FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARHORSE, Iraq The sign taped to the men’s latrine is just five lines:
“US MILITARY CONTRACTORS CIVILIANS ONLY!!!!!”
It needed only one: “NO IRAQIS.”
Here at this searing, dusty U.S. military base about four miles west of Baqouba, Iraqis including interpreters who walk the same foot patrols and sleep in the same tents as U.S. troops must use segregated bathrooms.
Another sign, in a dining hall, warns Iraqis and “third-country nationals” that they have just one hour for breakfast, lunch or dinner. American troops get three hours. Iraqis say they sometimes wait as long as 45 minutes in hot lines to get inside the chow hall, leaving just 15 minutes to get their food and eat it.
It’s been nearly 60 years since President Harry Truman ended racial segregation in the U.S. military. But at Forward Operating Base Warhorse it’s alive and well, perhaps the only U.S. military facility with such rules, Iraqi interpreters here say.