A Marine's Notes

by admin on December 27, 2006 · 0 comments

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At The Corner, from Iraq.

On IED’s:

The biggest killer of all.

Most of the ready made IED’s [improvised explosive device] are supplied by Iran, who is also providing terrorists (Hezbollah types) to train the insurgents in their use and tactics. That’s why the attacks have been so deadly lately. Their concealment methods are ingenious, the latest being shape charges, in Styrofoam containers spray painted to look like the cinderblocks that litter all Iraqi roads. We find about 40% before they detonate, and the bomb disposal guys are unsung heroes of this war.

On the Enemy:

They use handheld GPS units for navigation and “Googleearth” for overhead views of our positions.

They are very careless with their equipment and the captured GPS units and laptops are treasure troves of Intel when captured.

They operate mostly in Anbar province (Fallujah and Ramadi). These are mostly “foreigners”, non-Iraqi Sunni Arab Jihadists from all over the Muslim world (and Europe). Most enter Iraq through Syria (with, of course, the knowledge and complicity of the Syrian govt.), and then travel down the “rat line” which is the trail of towns along the EuphratesRiver that we’ve been hitting hard for the last few months.

Most, however, are hard core terrorists from all the usual suspects (Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas etc.). These are the guys running around murdering civilians en masse and cutting heads off.

In the Baghdad area and south, most of the insurgents are Iranian inspired (and led) Iraqi Shiites.

Fun facts:

The enemy death toll is supposedly between 45-50 thousand.

The insurgent tactic most frustrating is their use of civilian non-combatants as cover. They know we do all we can to avoid civilian casualties and therefore schools, hospitals and (especially) Mosques are locations where they meet, stage for attacks, cache weapons and ammo and flee to when engaged. They have absolutely no regard whatsoever for inflicting civilian casualties. They will terrorize locals and murder without hesitation anyone believed to be sympathetic to the Americans or the new Iraqi govt. Kidnapping of family members (especially children) is common to influence people they are trying to influence but can’t reach, such as local govt. officials, clerics, tribal leaders, etc.).

The first thing our guys are told is “don’t get captured”. They know that if captured they will be tortured and beheaded on the internet.

About our troops:

[M]orale among our guys is very high. They not only believe that they are winning, but that they are winning decisively. They are stunned and dismayed by what they see in the American press, whom they almost universally view as against them. The embedded reporters are despised and distrusted. They are inflicting casualties at a rate of 20-1 and then see shit like “Are we losing in Iraq” on TV and the print media.

Bottom line though, and they all say this, is that there are not enough guys there to drive the final stake through the heart of the insurgency, primarily because there aren’t enough troops in-theater to shut down the borders with Iran and Syria. The Iranians and the Syrians just can’t stand the thought of Iraq being an American ally …

My favorite part? The bad guys use Google Earth to find the US positions, and I can’t even use Google Earth to find my house. Shouldn’t someone tell Google to shut off the cameras over Iraq?

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