Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Shadow’s taxicab reports-Ice mortars, IED’s and dreams of guerrillas.

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU
 
shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 01:01 PM
Original message
Shadow’s taxicab reports-Ice mortars, IED’s and dreams of guerrillas.


The road brings me to another actor in George Bush’s Middle East drama. A man I learned through our conversation was actually a member of the National Guard who just came off an 18 month tour. I’m sure I audibly gasped when he told me this and I expressed that I had no idea they were deploying the Guard for that long. I inquired as to what theatre he had been in and he replied that he was in both. Literally he told me he got done in Iraq for 9 months and got shipped right to Afghanistan. It was my understanding it was his entire unit that was deployed this way.

With a little leading he was very open about some of his experiences and in particular we talked at length about the differences between the two wars that I’ve discussed with many soldiers and some of the tactics the enemy employs. Despite rosy rhetoric from people like Donald Renfield I don’t think I’ve had one soldier tell me any of the people they’re fighting are pushovers. They all definitely have a healthy fear and respect for the cunningness of these fighters due mostly to the friends they’ve seen mangled and killed by them. The gentleman I was talking to this night used a phrase that I’ve heard many soldiers use and I think it’s mostly a defense mechanism either for them or for those like me that would be the recipient of horrors should I delve into the story.

He said, “It’s not that bad”.

It’s rare of me to let my passions get the better of me when I’m doing these little fishing expeditions for war stories but I couldn’t help myself and I blurted out, “Not that bad! My god man you guys are getting shot at and bombed! Back here is ‘not that bad’ what you guys go through is inconceivable to me. I hear a lot from you guys, particularly the differences between the two theatres, that the Taliban will give a more stand up fight and that in Iraq it’s a lot more guerrilla warfare.”

He replied that there were both in each case but in Iraq the insurgents are particularly crafty with some of their attacks. One example he cited was the reason they are able to do so many mortar attacks on our forces and our bases without us being able to find the attackers is they use mortars packed in ice. I don’t recall the exact mechanics of it but in a nutshell the insurgents set a mortar up undercover of night somehow packed in ice so the shell will trigger after a few hours when the ice melts enough for the mortar to drop and engage the firing mechanism. Needless to say when our forces scramble a patrol to attack the source of the mortars the human targets are long gone.

He said the insurgents are adapting their IED’s quite well to our vehicles armor which is supposed to be nearly impenetrable. He claimed that they’ve designed a new bomb that somehow pops up next to a vehicle as it’s going by and will somehow slap a metal plate against the vehicle that will stick to the armor. The explosive then goes off behind the metal plate and the force blows shrapnel right through the armor filling the interior with hot flying metal.

Despite the obvious savagery of these conflicts I’ve heard many soldiers, this Guardsman included, lament the rules of engagement they have to operate under. He made a couple chilling comments. One that even if his superior officer told him not to shoot someone, if he personally “knew” the person in question was a terrorist he would blow him away. The other was that he believed that the military still wasn’t adequately trained how to fight a guerrilla war.

“If we could fight a guerrilla war we’d kick some serious ass. We don’t hide in buildings and shoot out windows like they do, we attack from out in the open and assault the buildings they’re in.” I got the sense he wasn’t overly impressed with how the campaigns were going over all. Add another to that list. Always tip your cabbie.
Shadow out




Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. Ice--ingenious. Set it up, stroll away, by the time it melts, they're long gone.
Wow.

It's definitely time to go!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Scary ingenious
n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I'll bet that's not even the top of the barrel in terms of their creativity
I have to admit, when I lived over that way, I saw some crazy contraptions that were cobbled together with bubble gum and baling wire, hugely unsafe, some of them, but they WORKED. Everything from vehicles to oddball Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions to do all sorts of things. In Saddam days, the bravest of the brave would make satellite dishes out of soup cans, and sneak them up on the roof in the dark of night.

The culture greatly respects 'engineers' and you see a high proportion of degrees in engineering coming out of their universities (Arafat had a civil engineering degree, so did Osama, for that matter, as does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the current PM of Iran). No doubt a lot of these unemployed engineers are putting their unused degrees to work....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
3. Shamless kick
Hey first report after a long bout of writer's block. Show me some love DU! Working on another one right now. B-)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. k&r! 3 more votes needed to get this on the greatest page!
Welcome back, shadow.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. 1 more...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
7. K&R. Keep em coming.
:hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Just finished another one
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Little Star Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Kick
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
10. k&r
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
11. one more boot for the night crowd
n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 08:07 AM
Response to Original message
12. Thank you, Shadow, for giving us the human face of war.
I'm not going to give the traditional glad-handing and everything like that. I will say this: if you can find the time, you should write down these stories and sell them as a book. HBO has made a series out of "taxicab confessions" that aren't half as interesting or significant as the things you've shared with us.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Sep 19th 2014, 11:03 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC