Baghdad Country Club

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Baghdad Country Club

It takes Real Balls to Play here

?The Who?s Who of Baghdad?s Green Zone Ate Steak and Drank Fine Wine at a Bar that Billed It?self as??An Oasis of Calm.?

So, many?Western visitors to Iraq in the past decade have thrown their heads back after a near-miss with a roadside bomb and thought,?I need a drink right now.?That was where the Baghdad Country Club came in.

?The management is happy to secure any firearms, grenades, flash bangs or knives in the club armory.”

Saturday night in Baghdad, and Heidi, the barmaid at the Baghdad Country Club, is worried about the beer. On a busy night, she might serve 800 cold ones to the diplomats, security guards, and construction workers who frequent the Country Club, a white cinder-block house with blue trim on a residential street in the Green Zone.

The BCC, as its known, gets its alcohol from suppliers outside the walls, but insurgents are targeting the crossings on either side of the Tigris River. On this Saturday, a truck bomb on a bridge has locked up traffic on the west bank of the Tigris, delaying the delivery of the night’s beer supply. Heidi, a recent college graduate from Florida, wonders whether the war will eventually collapse on the Green Zone, the way it did on the U.S. embassy in Saigon. But she doesn’t let that occupy her for long. Looking down at the empty glass in her hand, she smiles and says, “Let’s do a shot…

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What It Takes to Open a Bar in Baghdad

There is a fascinating account of what it takes to open a bar in Baghdad in the middle of the Green Zone over at the Atlantic:

To keep the bar adequately stocked, the BCC’s owner James — a British ex-paratrooper turned security contractor who asked that I use his first name only, due to concerns that his past ventures in Iraq might affect his current work there (the Baghdad Country Club was a place where many people liked to recreate, but few later desired to admit they had) — and his fixer Ajax had to venture out there regularly. To cross hostile roads in vehicles laden with liquor, James would trade his suit for overalls and body armor, his Glock tucked into his ops vest, an M-4 in the passenger seat, a bag of cash stashed in the back. Fatalism came easy in a place with so many fatalities — if today’s your day, it’s your day, James thought whenever he eased behind the wheel.

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