We received this in email overnight. As the emailer explains, it’s the start-up of a power plant in Baghdad’s Doura district. Obviously we can’t verify every detail, but the video is definitely from the Doura power plant. The emailer’s report squares pretty well with reports of low-ranking AQI members turning on leadership and helping the coalition halt attacks in the area.

I’m a contractor working at a power plant in the “notorious Dora” district in Baghdad. I took this video of a typical startup of unit #3 this morning. Al Gore would have a heart attack watching this old Russian built plant in operation. Unit #4 does the same when it starts up also. The two units I’ve been retrofitting are a bit cleaner than these, but would still fail EPA standards.

Just thought I’d give you my two cents’ worth on the surge, life here, and my pick for US Prez in ’08:

Something certainly caused the nightly mortar duels around us in December to go away. Instead of hours of booms each night, we only hear the occasional IED once or twice a week now. The Apaches are flying around here more frequently, and we saw a couple unload some 30mm HEDP at the AQ guys nearby. I hope they connected. My guess, judging by the article about AQI minions turning on the leadership, is the surge has concentrated AQI around here, and this increased activity (the Apaches) is our men wiping the remnants out.

I’ve been working here, off & on, since Dec. ’05. Life in the camp has had its ups and downs. But I’ve always tried to keep things in perspective. The men & women of our armed forces live in much worse conditions than we contractors do. I am always gratelful when I see them come in and share some meals with us. I share with them the goodies my wife mails to me. The men here have always been very courteous and professional. They do make me proud to be a part of this effort.

And my pick for the next President? Needless to say, no democrat has shown any backbone at all when it comes to dealing with the very real threat we face today. I firmly believe the Second Amendment is specific in saying WHO has the right to keep and bear arms (it is the same people mentioned in the other Bill of Rights, not the state police). I believe there are very few Republican candidates who say they believe the same thing. There is one, unannounced candidate who has said just that. So, darnnit FRED! Announce, already!

Fred gets a plug from the front.

The USAID web site has numerous photo galleries of other ongoing rebuilding projects around Iraq.