Thursday, January 19, 2006

Today's war story

A story in today's WaPo about U.S. Paratroopers in the Iraqi oil patch town of Baiji. Here's a little taste:

The sheik was holding a large gathering and was unavailable, they were told. The American convoy tried to turn around, but Iraqi cars blocked the way and people waved the soldiers down an alternative, dirt route (my em) along the Tigris nicknamed "Smugglers' Road."

"It was weird," Bartlett recalled thinking. A few hundred yards down the road, bordered by fields, the convoy was hit by a massive explosion.

Behind the blast, Goudy jumped out of his Humvee and ran forward toward the huge cloud of smoke and debris. As it cleared, he was confused by what he found.

"I saw this big piece of flesh and thought it was a goat or cow. I thought, 'Wow, these guys put an IED in a dead animal,' " he recalled. He went on, hoping to find his men sitting in the truck. But as he got closer, he recalled, "I didn't see the truck. I started seeing limbs and body parts." Goudy tripped over what was left of one soldier. Then he found the only survivor of the five soldiers in the Humvee, blinded and screaming.

"It was horrible," Bartlett said. "We had to pick up body parts 200 meters away." The Humvee was "ripped in half and shredded," he said, by a monster bomb later found to contain 1,000 pounds of explosives and two antitank mines, with a 155mm artillery round on top (my em).

Fixer's the authority on explosives, but even my old grunt mind tells me that's a shitpot full. Certainly more than enough to blow up a Humvee. It appears the insurgents have an ample supply if they can use enough explosives to sink an aircraft carrier on a truck, fer chrissake. Can you say 'Al-Qaaqa', boys and girls? And the friendly Iraqis told the soldiers right where to find them. How nice of them.

It appears that the Iraqis are taking care of their own security problems. Us.

Let's get the fuck out of there.

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