2.08.2006

Making The Bombs

The latest issue of The Atlantic has a great article by Robert Bryce on what we are fighting in Iraq: mines.

When people think of “war”, images of gun battles and planes dropping bombs usually come to mind. So when you hear “Iraq War”, no doubt some people still envision this scenario. But that’s not what’s happening. While there are scattered "traditional" see how sbattles (i.e. Fallujah), mainly what we are battling are bombs. Terminology such as "Improvised Explosive Devices" muddles the reality of what is killing our troops: mines and car bombs. These are the weapon of choice of insurgents, and their history in the Arab world goes back to T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt.

In Iraq, the percentage of deaths due to mines is higher than in any war we have ever fought. And it’s not getting better.

So, with the bombs getting bigger in sheer number and detructive capability, you have to ask yourself: where in the world are all these explosives are coming from?

Oh yeah.
Some 380 tons of explosives powerful enough to detonate nuclear warheads are missing from a former Iraqi military facility that was supposed to be under American control, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency says.
That was waaaay back in 2004. Let’s see how seriously the administration took the news at the time:
A senior administration official played down the importance of the missing explosives, describing them as dangerous material but “stuff you can buy anywhere.”
Now let’s see how those not in the administration took it:
“The immediate danger” of the lost stockpiles is its potential use by insurgents to make small, but powerful, bombs, an expert told the Times. The expert said the explosives could be transported easily across the Middle East.
Hmmm. Well what did John Kerry say about it during the campaign?
Kerry, speaking in Dover, New Hampshire, mentioned reports about the missing explosives…
“George W. Bush, who talks tough…and brags about making America safer, has once again failed to deliver…This is one of the great blunders of Iraq and one of the great blunders of this administration.”
He said the “incredible incompetence of this president and this administration has put our troops at risk and put this country at greater risk than we ought to be. ... The unbelievable blindness, stubbornness, arrogance of this administration to do the basics has now allowed this president to once again fail the test of being the commander in chief.”
During 2004 campaign, Kerry was called a flip flopper, and elitist, a loony liberal, French, and on and on. What he wasn't called was exactly what he was: right.

So the next time a bomb kills some of our soldiers, try to imagine where such high grade explosives could have come from. Remember who was in charge when they went missing. The Bush administration talks a good game.

But talk minus action equals nothing.
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