Technical difficulties remain unresolved, but I have to break protocol here and blog from work.
It is on Like Donkey kong.
Things are KINETIC in Baghdad today.
Like nothing I've heard or seen in my nine months here, heretofore. Its a War again. Mortars, Counter-battery fire, Bradleys, 50-cals., Large plumes of beautiful black smoke. Ratatat tat of machine guns large and small, and unending stream of LARGE percussions, (I think I even heard a tank or two making its presence felt), There are no fewer than 2 pairs of Apaches doing what looks to be attack runs on the other side of the River. Its enough to bring a tear to this young, fascist warmonger's eye. God Bless the President, and God Bless the Troops. Methinks Sadr's balls are getting broken open and filleted. . . . Finally . . .
There really is nothing quite so dispiriting as a supremely lethal, deliberately surgical US Army, locked and cocked, with the combined firepower to erase a targeted people from history - boxed up and bent - like a coiled spring, and told to stand down while gangsters and death squads run amok around them. Today, I think I can confidently opine - that spring has sprung.
A word for Dirk and others - There are no Iranian "diplomats" in Iraq. There are, however, many Iranian intelligence agents here training lethal hit and run and ambush squads - and more ominously - starting, funding and training EFP-cells. I've seen this all on Yahoo now, so I feel I can safely discuss it on my blog.
An exceptionally well-trained team wearing US uniforms and driving PSD-typical SUVs attacked, abducted and killed 5 US soldiers over the weekend, in a brilliantly executed hit-and-run attack on a carefully-cased security planning meeting in Karbala over the weekend. They spoke flawless English to all they encountered. I'll wager next months paycheck that Iran was not un-involved, to put it at the most minimalist. Go here: http://www.pajamasmedia.com/2007/01/post_186.php
EFPs keep us all awake at night. Using the expertise Hezbollah has gained from decades of assymetric warfare against the IDF, Iranian agents are coordinating a Shiite Iraq-wide EFP operation. You need to know what EFPs are. (google this: Explosively Formed Projectiles). The ultimate assymetric IED. EFPs can penetrate anything, including M1A Abrams tanks. When one goes off, more often than not - it kills or maims (but mostly kills) everything in the contact vehicle. The survivability rate for your garden-variety IED (an idiot makes a bomb out a propane tank or mortar round) is better than 50%. Your survivability in an EFP attack - less than 10%. A team in my battalion was hit early in our deployment. One of the now-deceased was observed crawling around on his hands for a few minutes before he expired. He was cut in half, inside one of your new "where's the armor for our troops, Mr. Rumsfeld!?" up-armored humvees. (armor ain't the problem, people. Not in this case.) In another EFP case, the soldiers went looking for one or more missing soldiers down alleyways and streets - as there was so little left of them inside the vehicle, after the strike - the thinking was - they'd fled the scene.)
Here's one definitive link: http://www.afrlhorizons.com/Briefs/Dec04/MN0407.html
A single "array" of an EFP looks like a copper cookie jar, with a copper lid. Its full of explosives, and that copper lid forms a "super-bullet" in a few nano-seconds, travelling at an incomprehensible speed, and at an unbelieveably hot temperature. Its comparable to a naval five-inch gun going off at point-blank range. There is no armor than can defeat it. These "cookie jars" are usually found stacked in two rows of between 2 and 10 "arrays", and encased in concrete, or a concrete-like substance. They look like rubble, indistinguishable from anything in this rubble-strewn shithole. They are cleverly disguised and peerlessly lethal, but that's not what makes them fiendish. What makes them fiendish is the Passsive Infrared Sensor or "PIR" that triggers them. Its the exact same component, from the exact same manufacturers that turn your motion-sensor lights on above your garage. They are hard, if not impossible to defeat or detect. The UK-based "Mirror" newspaper has been reporting for a few weeks now that President Bush signed a clandestine order to target these teams and their Iranian sponsors. God bless him, but if that's true I wanna know why he didn't do it earlier! Iranian "diplomats" deserve death by Pig, a la that last movie installment of "Silence of the Lambs" - (I forget the name) - the one with Julianne Moore as Agent Starling.
I will toast the death and capture (but preferrably - the unbearably excruciating DEATH) of every Iranian found in Iraq - and you should too. It made the news about a week ago with the announcement of two separate captures of Iranian "diplomats" including some who were released, (an abomination). My angst and anxiety is "what have you done for me lately?" Every day that goes by without the death/dismemberment/ excoriation by burning gasses/death by flesh-eating pig - of an Iranian "diplomat" is a very sad day for me. We need to kill Iranians much, much faster. And our SF boys are up to the task. My fear is that their hands are being tied. And where are the flesh-eating pigs in next year's defense budget? We are fighting this war by University Dress-code committee. Flesh-eating pigs. I want them now!
Perhaps, as of this marvellous day - with the plan in place and the State of the Union delivered, there will be a lot less hand-tying. The death of Iranians, that is what restores optimism for me.
(Flesh-eating pigs would restore my sense of fun and excitement, not to mention righteous indignation - at a Mohammedan Horde intent on immolating themselves and the whole world with them. Imagine the treatises the Imams would have to pen guaranteeing entrance to their bordello-valhalla in order to get young "mujahadeen" to take on an American army armed with flesh-eating pigs.)