Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Perspective: Segregation, Iraq-style

Above: A 'gospel choir' sings during Good Friday services at FOB Warhorse in April.

Forward Operating Base Warhorse, Iraq -- The sign taped to the men's latrine is just five lines:


It needed only one: "NO IRAQIS."

Here at this hot, dusty U.S. military base about four miles west of Baqouba, Iraqis -- including interpreters who walk the same foot patrols and sleep in the same tents as U.S. troops -- must use segregated bathrooms.

Another sign, in a dining hall, warns Iraqis and "third-country nationals" that they have just one hour for breakfast, lunch or dinner. American troops get three hours. Iraqis say they sometimes wait as long as 45 minutes in hot lines to enter the chow hall, leaving just 15 minutes to get their food and eat it.

It has been nearly 60 years since President Harry Truman ended racial segregation in the U.S. military. But at Forward Operating Base Warhorse it's alive and well, perhaps the only U.S. military facility with such rules, Iraqi interpreters there say.

Read the rest at the Star Telegram