Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

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IRAQ: Crusade for ice

February 17, 2008 |  7:12 pm

Col. Patrick Malay, commander of the 5th Marine Regiment, has issued an order: All of his Marines will have immediate access to cold water to drink, even troops stationed in mid-desert to chase down insurgents. Details are up to his subordinates.

Malay says he was inspired from reading about Saladin, who led Muslim armies fighting Richard the Lionheart and others during the Crusades. Legend says Saladin kept ice on hand for friends and enemies.

"If he could do that centuries ago, we're going to do it," Malay said.

— Tony Perry in Al Asad