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مكتبة هاشم بدر الدين(Hashim Badr Eldin)
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آية الله بتاع المنبر حينتظر الموضوع يظهر فى المواقع الوهابية (حيكون متأخر)

08-26-2006, 10:51 PM

Hashim Badr Eldin
<aHashim Badr Eldin
تاريخ التسجيل: 12-28-2005
مجموع المشاركات: 1714

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آية الله بتاع المنبر حينتظر الموضوع يظهر فى المواقع الوهابية (حيكون متأخر)

    Quote: Dancers Land in Iraq. Marines Offer No Resistance.



    By MICHAEL R. GORDON
    Published: August 27, 2006
    HADITHA DAM, Iraq — One by one, the marines took the stage for one of the most coveted photo opportunities of the war. Tanea sat on a knee of an eager marine while Laurie rested on the other.



    Jim Wilson/The New York Times



    Inside the Haditha Dam in Iraq, a member of the Purrfect Angelz dance group entertained American troops.

    The Reach of War
    Go to Complete Coverage »
    Hostilities in the Mideast
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    Jim Wilson/The New York Times
    The Purrfect Angelz dancers recently visited American troops in Iraq.
    Hands on their miniskirted hips, Amber and Renee posed at each side. Dani stood behind and held the marine’s rifle as the camera snapped the photo. Some of the young marines who lined up for the memento were so mesmerized by the experience that they had to be reminded not to leave their weapons behind.

    The Haditha Dam is in a hostile stretch of the Euphrates River 140 miles northwest of Baghdad where the marines do battle with insurgents in the oppressive heat. But for a few hours this summer, the chow hall inside the dam was transformed into a theater for five shapely dancers who seemed to embody many a young marine’s fantasy.

    It was all part of a program to keep up morale in a war that is more dangerous than ever. There is a long history of providing entertainment for troops in war zones, including performances by attractive starlets. Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell toured with Bob Hope in Korea, who delighted troops during four conflicts. Raquel Welch and Ann-Margret performed in Vietnam.

    But at Haditha Dam, the marines have the Purrfect Angelz, as the dancers are known. Their tours, which organizers say are paid for by the military, have occasionally stirred some controversy. During the group’s 2005 visit to Baghdad, a female Air Force officer complained that the dancers’ wardrobes and routines encouraged insensitive attitudes toward women in the military.

    On the group’s third tour of Iraq, there were no complaints from the boisterous crowd of male marines at the dam or the solitary soldier in the audience from Azerbaijan, who mistook the Oklahoma-born Tanea for a Russian. A small group of Iraqi Army officers who are being trained by the marines were so enthusiastic they all but rushed the stage and filled their digital cameras with this sampling of American culture.

    Sgt. Dale Gooden, 31, a Marine reservist from Jacksonville, Fla., who is assigned to the dam security unit, saw the show as a sign that the American public had not forgotten about the troops. The most impressive part of the show, he said, was “just the fact that they came out here to see us.”

    Certainly, Haditha Dam seems an unlikely venue. The 10-story hydroelectric dam, which was built in the 1980’s, was captured in the opening weeks of the American-led invasion. The secret Delta Force destroyed much of the Iraqi defenses near the dam, while Army Rangers swooped in later to seize the structure.

    The Americans said the dam had to be taken to prevent Saddam Hussein from destroying it as part of a scorched-earth policy, though there is no indication that Mr. Hussein ever had such a plan. It was a firefight at the dam, in fact, that initially put it at risk. After discovering that the poorly maintained dam was damaged in the fighting, a sergeant in an Army civil affairs unit flew to the site and worked with the Iraqi engineers to keep the dam functioning.

    During a multimillion-dollar repair project by the Army Corps of Engineers, the dam’s turbines were rehabilitated. In addition to generating electricity, the dam also serves as a headquarters for the Marine battalion that is charged with securing the Haditha area and is home to a small contingent of troops from Azerbaijan who are helping the marines guard the structure.

    For the Purrfect Angelz, it was a stop on a tour that also took them to bases like Al Qaim and Taji. The dancers, former cheerleaders, calendar models and aspiring actresses, have an active schedule in the United States, much of which consists of events for motorcycle riders. By design, the routines at Haditha are a bit tamer than the biker fare.

    “We want to make it more about talent than being risqué,” Tanea Brooks said. “We are not going to boost every part of the morale.” Her credits include a three-year stint as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, a role in a country music video, “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” by Trace Adkins, and a turn as quarterback for the New York Euphoria, one of the teams that established the Lingerie Football League, in which models played football dressed in underwear.

    But for marines who deploy for seven months at a stretch, are forbidden to consume alcohol, have no real opportunities for social interaction with the Iraqi population and routinely travel down roads seeded by roadside bombs, the performance was exciting enough. “Servicemen are our best audience,” said Ms. Brooks, who gave her age as “21 forever.” “They are so appreciative. We love touring for them. They always get excited.”

    [David Chavez, the president of Pro Sports MVP, which organized the tour, said that it was paid for by the military and that the expenses consisted of travel costs and small stipends. A Pentagon spokesman said he had no immediate information on what the tour cost or the financial arrangements.]

    A recent show began with an entreaty by a diligent sergeant who saw the event as an opportunity to appeal to the marines to re-enlist. He was loudly shouted down. An announcer who was traveling with the dance group told the marines not to pay attention to news media reports that the American public did not support the war. The nation, she said, was solidly behind them.

    Then the dancers, in revealing outfits, energetically performed dance routines that were more rousing than most Super Bowl halftime acts — wardrobe malfunctions notwithstanding — but far less provocative than Las Vegas shows. At one point, one of the Angelz sang Lee Greenwood’s song “God Bless the USA,” a veritable anthem for many of the troops.

    The event wound up with the photo and autograph session. Then it was on to the next stop.

    The troops’ verdict on the tour seemed to be summed up by an e-mail message that an Army captain later sent the dancers from the base at Taji. He thanked them for helping to “make us forget about our jobs for a little while.”

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