Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lobbing (more than bombs)

Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, called the weapon "the greatest threat right now that we face," and he likened the shadowy group behind it to the American military's elite Delta Force….

The weapon is particularly worrying because it is designed to cause catastrophic damage and cannot be stopped once it has been launched….

The 107 mm rockets that are used in the improvised bombs — which some call an airborne version of the roadside bombs that through the course of the war have been the leading killer of U.S. troops — are manufactured in Iran, officials said. But some officers cautioned against assuming Iran is directly involved….

The detonation is sometimes triggered by a signal from a cell phone, other times by a washing machine timer….

Brig. Gen. Will Grimsley, deputy commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, said in a separate AP interview on Thursday that for lack of a better term he refers to the group as "the evil militia." He said it is small and exhibits a high degree of technical skill in assembling the weapons and executing attacks….

Hammond said the perpetrators are so skilled that he has likened their organization to the U.S. military's secretive and elite Delta Force. He said they have demonstrated an unusual degree of military skill and cunning….

In a previous post, Backward Iraqis (April 28th) this blogger bemoaned “the continued insistence by the U.S. military and administration that the Iraqis, or at least the Iraqi insurgents, are unsophisticated rubes” and how any hint of sophistication (EFPs, specific attacks, etc.) was prima facie proof of ‘foreign (i.e. Iranian) interference’

The press continues to uncritically print whatever they are told, even when it is innuendo or defies logic.

  • So the IRAMs are “particularly worrying” since they can’t be stopped once launched. Is this any different than other “ordinary” items such as RPGs, mortars, etc., can any of these be stopped once launched?
  • The “evil militia” is a “shadowy group”, “unusually skilled”, likened to the U.S. Delta Force… Hah, must be certain proof of Iranian meddling! Never mind that this group is so skilled that while conducting an attack on an American base in Baghdad (Adhamiyah district) their truckload of IRAMs prematurely detonated, destroying their truck, two “Mahdi Army Special Groups fighters” and 16 bystanders.
  • And the charges used to launch these come from Iranian 107mm rockets, further “proof” if needed of Iranian meddling. Hmm, perhaps the Russians and Chinese are meddling too, given rockets manufactured by these countries are also used.

Bottom line, how about some better reporting? The thrust of this article seems to be ‘very sophisticated attacks by a well-trained, lethal group using sophisticated weaponry killing our soldiers’ – probably to be followed by ‘the Iraqis couldn’t do this without Iranian assistance; they’re responsible for killing our troops, we need to do something i.e. bomb Iran.’ However, the facts as presented could just as easily be analyzed as ‘a last ditch effort by a bunch of desperate people using unsophisticated, cobbled-together, home made weapons (since they don’t have access to any good stuff), they’re really getting desperate.’ This blogger does not know which is the truer characterization, so this “reporting” essentially is worthless in terms of edifying the reader.

AP: 'Lob bombs' biggest worry for US in Baghdad
Lob Bomb - Wikipedia
Mahdi Army uses “flying IEDs” in Baghdad
Improvised Rocket Assisted Mortars (slide show)
Insurgents Using New Homemade Rocket Weapon in Iraq

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