Babylon & Beyond

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

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IRAQ: U.S. practices tractor diplomacy

March 9, 2009 |  3:16 pm

Sheiktrak_2

U.S. soldiers are leaving Iraq, but they're leaving ArmaTrac 602s behind.

The U.S. has presented 12 of the Turkish-built tractors to sheiks in the Latifiya Nahia region south of Baghdad. Each tractor can cultivate millions of acres without so much as an oil change.

Furrowing rows in the area has largely been done by hand or donkey-driven equipment. No more.

"We won't squander the goodwill of the Americans," one sheik told the American Forces Press Service.

— Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Army Lt. Col. Michael Mammay hands keys to a new tractor to Sheik Musa in the Latifiya Nahia region. Credit: U.S. Army