Tuesday, August 9, 2011

We Make The New York Times

In Iraq, Last Days at Camp Victory's Version of Five-Star Hotel.
[ . . . ]

Last week, while the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, was at the Joint Visitors Bureau [J.V.B.], the “Incoming!” alarm went off in the middle of the night as sensors tracked a rocket attack. Everyone jumped out of bed and into gym shorts and scrambled into cement bunkers until the all-clear sounded 15 minutes later.

To pass the quieter hours, soldiers assigned to the J.V.B. cast fishing lines into the lake that separates it from the looming palace that is headquarters for United States Forces-Iraq.

The lake is home to a vicious breed of carp grown giant by constant gorging on food refuse. The Camp Victory carp are so conditioned by human feeding that any shadow over the water causes them to roil the surface like piranhas in a James Bond movie. One soldier-fisherman last week had a biceps tattoo that read “Carpe Diem,” suggesting a pun about seizing the fish of the day.

And then there is golf.

A tee has been set on the back porch of the J.V.B., and soldiers use the lake as a driving range. At night, they like to crack open incandescent tubes meant for marking landing zones and roadways, coating golf balls in glowing orange and green chemicals. Like tracer bullets, the balls arc over and vanish into the lake, one more reason not to eat the carp. [emphasis added]
Comment: We appreciate the publicity in The New York Times. Thank you!


The Fish at Al-Faw Palace
Camp Victory, Victory Base Complex [VBC]
Baghdad, Iraq

Fish Haiku #15

Giant sacred Carp

Living in the lakes protect

Iraq's future hopes.


  1. I just arrived at Victory and want to try fishing. Can you give me directions as to the best way to obtain some gear on this base?
    I asked the MWR nearest my CHU if they had any to sign out, but no luck.
    Also, what do you recommend as bait?
    Thanks, awesome blog.

  2. Thank you for your comment.

    Unfortunately, the Baghdad Anglers Club [see post below, 25 OCT 2009] is, like everything else on Camp Victory, defunct.

    We suggest checking out any Support Our Troops website and requesting whatever you need. Please put in a plug for The Fish and this website. At least they'll get a laugh, as long as they're not ducks or geese.

  3. PS. We'll eat anything, except perhaps lettuce.