A day in the life of a new democracy

A day in the life of a new democracy
: John Galt, blogging from the CPA in Baghdad, tells us about a typical day building a democracy:

Prayer call over the speakers of Baghdad’s ancient mosques at 5:45 a.m. usually wakes me up a little earlier than I’d prefer to get up. I’m a light sleeper so I stay awake. The faintest fingers of the sunrise begin to wiggle through the window….

I’m warm and dry, unlike many soldiers. There are no chairs or tables in the trailer but I don’t need them and can’t fit them inside….

By 6:30 a.m. I head to my office in the palace….

The palace is as huge as a Hollywood set and it’s pretty but without function–pure fantasy. Inside it is huge empty non-functional halls of polished marble and vaulted ceilings….

I zip into my little office in the north wing, west side. The west side is the rocket side but Baghdad Bob usually manages to overshoot and land in the river….

About 1,500 people work in the palace. That may seem like a large group, but it is pitifully small given the task of repairing the entire country after so much neglect, building the infrastructure, and creating policy and procedure, all while trying to stay safe….

Around 6 p.m. you check in with those at home. It’s now 9 a.m. at home. Read the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and even catch some morning shows on Armed Forces TV via your computer. Staying connected–that’s what helps keep us sane….

This is Ground Hog country. Every day can easily be indistinguishable from the other days before and after. Progress through days and days of hard work can be measured in inches at the CPA HQ, knowing that it causes huge and hopefully positive changes in the safety and lives of our citizens in uniform and for the newly freed Iraqi people.

Read it all.