Basra as the new Scutari

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by BedIn, Oct 4, 2006.

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  1. In Basra city at the moment the situation is becoming rather like the Crimean War.

    In Basra Palace the water purification plant won’t work at full capacity. This has been the situation for weeks, but it hasn’t been addressed. As a result the lack of water means there are no flushing toilets and limited shower availability.

    The contractors who did the laundry and the portaloos have been sacked and replaced with a new contractor. On the day of the changeover the old portaloos were locked, but the new ones didn’t arrive. Since there are no flushing toilets (see above) we had a day with no toilets – that’s no toilets whatsoever. The new toilets finally arrived, but since then the new contractor has not returned to empty them.

    The new contractors have never turned up to collect the washing. This has been the case for nearly a week. We cannot hand wash because there is not enough water. Soldiers are out every day and most now have one set of dirty combats.

    We have not received post for over a week and no newspapers for a couple of months. The e-bluey machine has been broken for several weeks.

    In other locations in the city people still live in tents, despite daily indirect fire attack.

    I know that troops in Afghanistan have it very bad. I could accept the hardships if they were unavoidable, BUT THEY ARE NOT. If we wanted no laundry done it would be cheaper to simply not have a contract at all.

    Imagine if we’d been here three years and had a chance to sort this sort of thing out.

    Where is Florence Nightingale when you need her?
  2. Bedin,

    Excuse me if this is a daft post - the last time I visited Basra Palace was during CPA days.

    Are there still large amounts of Western NGOs based at the palace? Are they in the same situation as yourself?
  3. You mean the FCO and the US consulate and staff?

    No, no - they are quite all right. The FCO have enough water to have a swimming pool and watered lawns.
  4. What's more, in the US and FCO compounds everyone has an en suite bathroom and toilet and cable TV.

    This is not a joke - it is a fact. The FCO really do have a swimming pool. They also have several bars. How does their booze get in? Easy - we escort it through the city for them.
  5. BedIn,

    The best thing you can do right now is to compose a long and detailed article about every aspect of your tour (including the Bowman stuff, etc), and send a copy to the Daily Telegraph*.... if they don't snap at it, try one of the red rags.

    *(not forgetting to politely equire about their stringer and serialisation rates - heck, one way to get reimbursement for the kit you probably bought...)
  6. Bed in. No mail for a week, limited water and no-one to do your laundry! bless. Have a word with your (anshaved) face in the mirror and remind it that your a fcukin soldier.
  7. Have you contacted the SO2 Med Prev at MND?
  8. Gotta agree with you here. I know it seems harsh bed in but trust me you are all smiles.

    Nip over to afghan for a taste of No Water and ammo replen after massive Advances to contact (Not short sangar shoots). Then go back to a camp that gets no food delivered if helicopters aren't available to support the convoys. Mail??? Whats that!!!

    I'm not saying that Basra is a walk in the park... Far from it. The Ptl bases are awful and should be abandonned but its life in the army. To quote a well known war film. "Its a huge sh1t sandwich and we're all gonna have to take a bite"

    Just think of your colleagues scrapping for their lives with 2 mags a man when you are handwashing your kit and sh1tting in the shatt!
  9. I can understand whats he saying though. Why does the British Army always have to rough it at everything while our allies live in comfort.
  10. I know. I get that part... Its a b@stard. But right now there are much bigger worries on the plate. How many Ptl bases are still open in Basra. I imagine if things are like that in The "Palace" then OSB must be reduced to sleeping in the thunder box's and washing their kit in that sh1tty river outside the front gate!
  11. Just to answer your point. Florence Nighingale is not required. The system of NHS hospitals and the Prioiry provides everything an injured soldier might need. I know this, because the head of medicine MoD said so toady. Sorry, I mean today.

    There is no need for any form of military ward or anything else that smacks of esprit de corps or being part of a family. Again, RAF doctor chap said so this morning. So Florence will not be coming to Basra any time soon.
  12. Florence Nightingale never went to the Crimea. The closest she got was Scutari which is in Turkey and about 350 miles away across the Black Sea from the Crimea. Those nurses who wanted to go to the Crimea she accused of "deserting to the front". That said she did clean up the flith and improve the care given to soldiers but that didn't stop an outbreak of cholera killing up to 1000 soldiers per month in Scutari.

    No flushing toilets in Basra and no water purification plant? Won't be long before you get your very own outbreak of something nasty. I'd take Drain Sniffer's advice and get onto SO2 Prev Med.
  13. Mary Seacole went to the front at her own expense to provide essentials and comforts for the troops (in the most respectable sense) that their leaders were incapable of supplying. She lost a lot of her own money when the allied forces withdrew at the end of hosilities and she had to abandon her supplies. Florence got fame. Mary got diddly; she was black. Go google.

    There was a documentary on a couple of years ago following 2 (I think) Para in Kabul. They'd been living off compo for months when a whole field kitchen arrived. Toms, for the use of? No. Senior officers had flown in for a conference and the kitchen served them lunch and packed up promptly when they'd left. Even the Gentlemen of the press were somewhat gobsmacked. My jaw hit the floor.

    I recall getting bollocked by the CSM for getting a mug of tea before some of the men.

    There seem to be many small men in high places our army, but none measure up to Napoleon. Should the men not chunter because they are soldiers? Then should not the officers and SNCOs be officers and sort this shit?

    Who is in command of this chaos? No bogs? No water? Disease will follow shortly.
  14. Quite!

    As American friends have frequently noted, there are two ways of doing things:
    1. the sensible/ easy way;
    2. the Brit way!

    Personally, think it may be a legacy of the "Victorian public school" mindset - still remarkably prevalent among members of the "Establishment" - who persist with the arrogant & patronising view that it's somehow not too good for the rest of us to have more than the barest of essentials.

    Only last week, I attended a dinner at which a number of ex army officers (all VERY "public school"; all now very comfortably ensconced in lucrative jobs in the City, the Law, "farming" etc) expressed the view that "Your average squaddie doesn't appreciate too much comfort". I begged to differ - the response? Incredulity, followed by THAT knowing look to one another (NQOCD), and then THAT smirk. Said it all really: yet more confirmation that my Old Man (Yorkshire shitkicker who made Brigadier) - often accused of "chippiness" - was essentially right in his critique of what is wrong with Britain.
  15. Get a grip of yourself Bedin.So mail service improves because of your whining.What will you demand next? A conjugal visit from Mrs Bedin?

    Seriously,I feel your pain.While in OIF I was stuck in a little outpost which got resupplied about once a week by a single pallet dropped by a Chinook.It was a tough time but we sucked it up by accepting that war was never meant to be easy.If war was easy it wont be war.

    Just remember, as hard as it seems now, somebody somewhere is having it ten times harder and probably wishes they were in your position.Chin up matey.Think of all the beer you will drink when you get back home.