May 04

Fallujah: In The Hands Of Insurgents


The mujahed named Mohammed who detained us is a stocky, handsome man in his early 20s from a well-to-do Fallujah family. He had been studying foreign languages at Baghdad University when the U.S. military toppled Saddam Hussein last year, and he says he initially supported Saddam’s overthrow, but “the Americans should have left Iraq immediately [after the war].” When the Marines invaded last month, Mohammed was one of hundreds of neighborhood men and teenagers (including many former Iraqi soldiers) who answered the call to arms from local mosques. “How would you feel if French soldiers or Arab soldiers invaded your city, and killed your friends, your family?” he asks as he and his brother serve us kebab, pita and tea on the richly carpeted floor of a cousin’s spacious home. “We fought in the streets, in the houses, on the rooftops. Even the Marines’ tanks and helicopters could not stop us. My closest friends died beside me.” He says that his mother and his brother were shot dead by Marine snipers, and he scoffs at the portrayal of insurgents as “terrorists.” Mohammed and his comrades tell us that the prisoner-abuse scandal wasn’t a surprise. “We knew what was going on inside Abu Ghraib all along,” claims one young fighter with a badly burned hand. “You Americans can’t do anything good.”

Jan 04

Iraqi rebel tactics to down helicopters

NyTimes: Iraq Rebels Seen Using More Skill to Down Copters:

Iraqi rebel forces using Russian made guided missiles:

    One troubling finding, Army officials said, is that on at least one occasion the insurgents used an SA-16 shoulder-fired missile, which has a guidance system that is harder to thwart than the SA-7 missiles and rocket-propelled grenades that insurgents have used in other attacks.

    Since Oct. 25, nine military helicopters have been shot down or have crash-landed after being hit by what the authorities believe was hostile fire, killing a total of 49 soldiers. American military authorities say on Jan. 2, a rocket-propelled grenade or a surface-to-air missile downed an OH-58 Kiowa reconnaissance helicopter, killing the pilot. …

    Colonel Bullinger said that even before the team started its work, the Army was adopting lessons from Iraq, teaching Apache and Kiowa pilots to fire their weapons while “running and diving,” instead of hovering, when a helicopter is more vulnerable to an attack from the ground.

(It sounds like these pilots need to play some Desert Combat)

Global security has some good reference information with images on the different missile systems described here:

  1. SA-7 GRAIL 9K32M Strela-2
  2. SA-14 GREMLIN 9K34 Strela-3
  3. SA-16 GIMLET Igla-1 9K310 “The 9M313 missile of the SA-16 employs an IR guidance system using proportional convergence logic, and an improved two-color seeker, presumably IR and UV). The seeker is sensitive enough to home in on airframe radiation, and the two-color sensitivity is designed to minimize vulnerability to flares. The SA-16 has a maximum range of 5000 meters and a maximum altitude of 3500 meters.”
  4. SA-18 GROUSE Igla 9K38

The Afghan mujahadeen of course used American shoulder-fired FIM-92 Stinger missiles against the Soviets during their attempted eleven year occupation of Afghanistan. From Wikipedia:

    The CIA helped supply nearly 500 Stingers to the mujahideen warriors fighting Soviet forces in Afghanistan. The Stingers are said to have downed nearly 300 Russian aircraft, including many helicopter gunships, before Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989.

Aug 03

The Iraq Takeover

More evidence that you can’t really call the so-called Second Gulf War a war. It’s more of a US-led coup d’etat with the accompanying routine wartime propaganda. Iraq represents little more than the very bold, well-planned, and carefully executed takeover of an oil-rich third world country by a first world power to support its own perceived strategic interests.

  • U.S. covert effort preceded Iraq war: Alliances were forged with Iraqi military leaders to expedite operations: WASHINGTON — The U.S. military, the CIA and Iraqi exiles began a broad covert effort inside Iraq at least three months before the war to forge alliances with Iraqi military leaders and persuade commanders not to fight, say people involved in the effort.
  • U.S. Moved to Undermine Iraqi Military Before War

  • 28
    Jul 03

    Some bit from the latest on the US Occupation

    From this:

      In Karbala, meanwhile, hundreds of angry demonstrators gathered at the Imam al-Hussein Shrine, Iraq’s second-holiest site for Shi’ite Muslims, protesting the alleged shooting by US forces Saturday night of a 51-year-old restaurant worker.

      Witnesses said US soldiers, accompanied by local Iraqi police, tried to enter the shrine but were blocked by Haider Hanoon, the alleged victim, and workers in the shrine. The witnesses said troops and police withdrew after the shooting, in which nine people were wounded.

      “We will take revenge for this. … We will make life miserable for the Americans,” the crowd chanted.

      The US military in Baghdad said it had no information on the incident.

      The bodies of Saddam’s sons Uday and Qusay – killed by American forces in a shootout last Tuesday in Mosul – remained unclaimed at the American base at Baghdad International Airport. Iraq’s American-backed Governing Council said it was discussing with US authorities what to do with the corpses. The brothers, according to Islamic tradition, should have been interred the same day they were killed.

      “If no one claims the bodies, other measures will be taken. This is what we recommended and I expect that coalition forces will go with this recommendation,” Samir Shakir Mahmoud, a member of the council, told reporters without elaborating. It was believed the brothers might be buried in a secret place to prevent it from becoming a shrine for their supporters.

    Jul 03

    From the “Holy shit, they’re lying to us!” Department

    Via WhatReallyHappened.com: Documents from Judicial Watch: CHENEY ENERGY TASK FORCE DOCUMENTS FEATURE MAP OF IRAQI OILFIELDS:

      (Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, said today that documents turned over by the Commerce Department, under court order as a result of Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as 2 charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.” The documents, which are dated March 2001, are available on the Internet at: www.JudicialWatch.org.

    Jul 03

    Corporate Warriors

    I found an interesting show on privatized military contractors over at the Fresh Air website:

      “Singer wrote the new book, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry. Over the last decade, private companies have provided tactical support, advice, training, security and even intelligence to the military. In the recent war against Iraq, private military employees handled everything from feeding and housing U.S. troops to maintaining sophisticated weapons like the B-2 stealth bomber. The practice raises troubling ethical questions. Singer is an Olin Fellow in the foreign policy studies program at the Brookings Institution and coordinator of the Brookings Project on U.S. Policy towards the Islamic World.”

      Listen to the show

    Jun 03

    Iraqi Resistance Stiffens

    Guerrilla resistance to American occupation forces has been stepped up. Note that the media is very careful to only discuss it in terms of ‘Baathist resistance’. It is very important to the US and to the western media by proxy not to give the idea that this resistance is supported by the Iraqi people.

    1. The soft-approach headline: Experts Question Depth of Victory:
        Because the war was so narrowly focused on Hussein’s government in Baghdad, a large part of the Iraqi population does not feel as if it was defeated, said retired Army Col. Scott R. Feil. “As I heard one Iraqi say, the Americans defeated Saddam, but not the Iraqi people, so the psychology of the loser is not present,” he said
    2. U.S. Soldier Shot Shopping in Baghdad-Witnesses
    3. 4 Dead, 2 Abducted in Iraq Ambushes
    4. British troops agree to suspend arms searches
    5. No First Amendment: Iraqi Youth Arrested for Insulting US Soldiers
    6. Marsh Arabs threaten to resist ‘army of occupation’

    Jun 03

    US makes gesture to appease Pakistani militants?

    Remember that one of the main demands of the Pakistani militants who took credit for the execution of Israeli-American journalist, Daniel Pearl, was the sale of the promised F-16’s to Pakistan. Is this a move by the US to coax the cooperation of the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), Pakistan’s equivalent of the FBI, into diminishing support for Islamic militants who have been successfully disrupting the fledgling, pro-US puppet government of Afghanistan?

    1. US to sell F-16 aircrafts to Pak, Rumsfeld told Advani : HindustanTimes.com
    2. ‘ISI, FBI met Taliban to work out Afghan solution’
    3. Feb. 26, 2002: Pearl a victim of Pakistan’s grim legacy
    4. Journalist’s killing ‘link to Pakistan intelligence’

    Jun 03

    Some news

    Here are some good news stories I came across today:

    1. Resistance to occupation is growing:
        “America’s generals, happy to boast about the rapid defeat of Saddam’s regime, now admit the war is far from over. In Baghdad yesterday Lieutenant General David McKiernan, commander of US ground forces in Iraq, said his troops would be needed for a long time to come, that Baghdad and a large swathe of northern and western Iraq is only a “semi-permissive” environment, and that “subversive forces” are still active. Should all this be so surprising?

        The US and Britain said they came to liberate Iraq and protect its people. The failure to understand how Iraqis would respond may be rooted in arrogance. It is also a colossal failure in intelligence which may prove to be at least as important as the inability to find any of Iraq’s banned weapons. The commander of British forces in the war, Air Marshal Brian Burridge, admitted as much in remarkably frank evidence to MPs this week. Asked about the problems of “policing” Iraq, and the number of forces needed to do the job, he replied: “I’m not sure we understand yet.”

    2. Mounting opposition or wary citizens trying to protect themselves? Iraqis Buying and Hoarding Guns, Grenades
    3. US purge aims to eliminate resistance
    4. US loses helicopter, fighter jet in Iraq:
        The campaign came as the top American civilian administrator, L. Paul Bremer, issued a notice banning all gatherings, pronouncements or publications that incite to disorder, riot, violence against the US-led occupation forces, or espouse the return of the Baath Party. The decree said violators would be arrested and held.

      • US turns to the Taliban

    Jun 03

    New Issue of Parameters

    There is a new issue of Parameters, the quarterly journal of the US army war college, out now. It’s full of good reading.