[ . . . ]Comment: We appreciate the publicity in The New York Times. Thank you!
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]
The Fish at Al-Faw Palace
Camp Victory, Victory Base Complex [VBC]
Fish Haiku #15
Giant sacred Carp
Living in the lakes protect
Iraq's future hopes.