Monday, August 21, 2006

Just In Case

I know that the White House continues to be effused with glowing praise over the progress in Iraq. Some folks are pointing to plans to build a water park in Baghdad as some of the good news coming out of that beleagured country.

But temper your enthusiasm.

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today, Mon Aug 21 12:09:47 2006.


December 29, 2005

This Travel Warning updates the current security situation and reiterates the dangers of the use of civilian aircraft and road travel within Iraq. This supersedes the Travel Warning of June 28, 2005.

The Department of State continues to strongly warn U.S. citizens against travel to Iraq, which remains very dangerous. Remnants of the former Ba’ath regime, transnational terrorists, criminal elements and numerous insurgent groups remain active. Attacks against military and civilian targets throughout Iraq continue, including in the International (or “Green”) Zone. Targets include convoys en-route to venues, hotels, restaurants, police stations, checkpoints, foreign diplomatic missions, international organizations and other locations with expatriate personnel. These attacks have resulted in deaths and injuries of American citizens, including those doing humanitarian work. In addition, there have been planned and random killings, as well as extortions and kidnappings. U.S. citizens have been kidnapped and several were subsequently murdered by terrorists in Iraq. U.S. citizens and other foreigners continue to be targeted by insurgent groups and opportunistic criminals for kidnapping and murder. Military operations continue. There are daily attacks against Multinational Forces - Iraq (MNF-I), Iraqi Security Forces and Iraqi Police throughout the country.

There is credible information that terrorists are targeting civil aviation. Civilian and military aircraft arriving in and departing from Baghdad International Airport and flying to other major cities in Iraq have been subjected to small arms and missiles. Civilian aircraft do not generally possess systems, such as those found on military aircraft, capable of defeating man-portable, surface-to-air missiles (MANPADS). Anyone choosing to utilize civilian aircraft to enter or depart or travel within Iraq should be aware of this potential threat, as well as the extremely high risk to road transportation described below. Official U.S. Government (USG) personnel are strongly encouraged to use U.S. military or other USG aircraft entering and departing Iraq due to concerns about security of civilian aircraft servicing Iraq. U.S. government personnel are only authorized to travel commercially on Royal Jordanian Airlines and AirServe. Personnel are prohibited from flying on all other commercial airlines due to safety and security concerns.

All vehicular travel in Iraq is extremely dangerous. There have been numerous attacks on civilian vehicles, as well as military convoys. Attacks occur throughout the day, but travel at night is exceptionally dangerous. Travel in or through Ramadi and Fallujah; travel between al-Hillah and Baghdad; travel between the International Zone and Baghdad International Airport; and travel from Baghdad to Mosul is particularly dangerous.

Occasionally, U.S. Government personnel are prohibited from traveling to certain areas depending on prevailing security conditions. There continues to be heavy use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), (especially new-type Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFP), and/or mines on roads, concealed in plastic bags, boxes, soda cans, dead animals, and in other ways to blend with the road. Grenades and explosives have been thrown into vehicles from overpasses, particularly in crowded areas. Overland travel should be undertaken only when absolutely necessary and with the appropriate security.

The U.S. Embassy is located in the International Zone. The Embassy can provide only limited emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq. At present, travel to and from the International Zone is extremely limited. The U.S. Embassy does not provide visa services to the general public. American citizens who choose to visit or reside in Iraq despite this Travel Warning are urged to pay close attention to their personal security, avoid crowds, especially rallies or demonstrations, and to inform the U.S. Embassy of their presence in Iraq. All Americans in Baghdad are strongly encouraged to register with the Embassy at the following website:

American citizens may obtain the latest security information or other information about Iraq by calling the U.S. Embassy, located in the International Zone, at: 1-240-553-0584 x5340 or x5346, or Iraqna cellular phones - 07901-732-134 and 07901-168-383 or by e-mail: or via the U.S. Embassy's website: http// The after-hours number in case of extreme emergency is 1-914-822-5493.

Updated information on travel and security in Iraq may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or, from overseas, 1-202-501-4444. For further information, please consult the Consular Information Sheet for Iraq, the current Worldwide Caution and the Middle East and North Africa Public Announcements, all of which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at


At 11:22 AM, Blogger markedmanner said...

Ill be the first to admit things arent going as Id like to see them in Iraq. But do you honestly think that it should be safe to travel to Iraq already? They have only had a government for 6 months now. I dont expect it to be safe for travel for a very long time. I dont think this is as huge of an issue as your making it. I dont know in comparison Id like to look at past wars to see how long it took before it was considered safe to travel to the countries where war was going on. Id venture to say this wouldnt seem as absurd as you think.

At 11:38 AM, Blogger Weaseldog said...

No, I'm just contrasting this with some of the news we hear on the radio and is broadcast on television. It's an excersize in absurdity.

One of the realy absurd stories I've heard from Rush Limbaugh is that things are going so well that Halliburton is building a water park in Baghdad.

That story was on the GOP website for a while as one of their success stories, until Jon Stewart lampooned it.

Iraq has had several governments since we took control of the country in 2003. There's no reason to think this one will last.

If they support the US, their own people will take them out. If they support their people, the US will take them out.

When we do leave, they'll be ripped from power.

The strategy we used in Iraq is one we've seen countless times in varying forms through history. Even Sun Tzu wrote about this sort of invasion and occupation.

He tells us that this very sort of occupation will force the occupying nation to divert all of it's resoruces to the war and occupation. While the war continues, the invading nation will be unable to maintain it's own infrastructure. It will have to raise taxes. It will be unable to care for it's own people. Basic services and it's economy will suffer.

And true to form, we're seeing that.

Now, if Sun Tzu was able to accurately predict the outcomes of strategies such as our thousands of years ago, then our own people surely knew this as well. Our generals and officers all read Sun Tzu. they all knew how this would turn out and many of them told us this was exactl what would happen.

So, what we have in Iraq must've been the goal all along. And who benefits?

At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good thing I read this. I was about to sneak into Fallujah in the middle of the night by flying my red, white, and blue Cessna 150 under the radar. Later I was going to check out the night life and party into the wee hours of the morning all the time singing Christian hymns at the top of my lungs.(NOT!!)

What a mess! The US officially has no dignity. We will draft 40 year old couch potato retirees to go fight for oil. You should have seen them, Wease, they could barely walk, trying to do p.t. at 7:00 a.m. These guys were friggin' over the hill drunken kielbasa eatin' spuds. If that is what our fighting force consists of no wonder we're losing the occupation! We have no chance of winning a war with Iran. It will have to be an air and missile war only. That will do wonders for their precious oil production. When are the American people going to pull their collective heads out of their collective rears?

At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny, some of the people over at TOD wanted to take CFN off the blogroll because of his recent political rants. They say he doesn't even talk about peak oil anymore because he's become obsessed with Israel. The majority said he still serves a function as a p.o. nutjob, so leave him alone. Bwahaha!!


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