Iraq government bans alcohol in Green Zone

Oliver August of the Times reports here that the Iraqi government has banned the sale and transport of alcohol in the Green Zone.

Here are a few excerpts for your amusement:

“The Iraqi Government has banned alcohol in Baghdad’s heavily fortified green zone, home to foreign embassies and some legendary drunken parties in recent years.”

“Senior Iraqi officials living in the green zone are not exempt from the new rules. Abdul Bari al-Zebari, a Kurdish member of parliament, was forced to give up two bottles of Chilean red when stopped by guards at the entrance to his residential compound.”

“In the past few years, the compounds that make up this part of central Baghdad have been the site of bacchanalian revelry reminiscent of 19th-century colonial life. Stumbling fully clothed into one of Saddam’s palace pools was a rite of passage for young neoconservative Americans sent over after the invasion.”

“One South African security guard is said to have threatened an Iraqi police officer with a gun during a stand-off over a bottle of Smirnoff. “Baghdad is hard enough when you’re medicated,” said a senior European diplomat.”