But no one was saying, "Hallelujah"...!
Last night the Iraqis announced that Mr. Allawi's party had outpolled Mr. Maliki's party in the recent elections, which sent Allawi's supporters outside to the streets, shouting, singing, and firing thousands of rounds of AK-47 ammo up toward the heavens...and then back earthward, which the Iraqis seem to conveniently forget every time they whoop it up.
I was reading in my CHU when the heavy gunfire erupted. I grabbed my helmet, body armor and weapon and bounced outside, ready to defend the base. Peering out from behind the closest concrete T-wall, I quickly sized up the tactical situation. Recalling the basics of gunfire analysis from my days as a cavalryman, I noticed a whole lot of red and green tracers emanating from outside the wire...but all heading in a more or less vertical direction. That meant no attack, just your basic Baghdad celebration. The tracers triggered the base warning alarms, and the loudspeakers blared, "Attention, this is the command post, take cover immediately due to Iraqi celebratory fire!" Since I no longer had to emulate the great Sam Elliott in his role as CSM Basil Plumley, ("Gentlemen, prepare to defend yourselves!"), I retired back inside my CHU and took up a position on my bunkbed. I knew I'd be shielded from falling projectiles by the combination of the thin aluminum CHU roof, ultra-hard and lumpy upper mattress, and the plywood base.
I grabbed my laptop and TV remote and chilled out, listening to the rattle of gunfire which was soon joined by the pounding of a gigunda thunderstorm. Is it possible all that lead seeded the clouds, provoking the deluge? At any rate, nobody on base was hit, and aside from another darn mudfield, we survived the Iraqi celebrations in one piece.