Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, February 26, 2007

More Iran-Iraq Weapons Links

Following on the heels of the LATimes' Sunday story doubting Iranian involvment in nukes and Iraq -- it acutally quoted a guy saying Iran wants a "stable" Iran, and the reporter didn't bother to ask how Iran intended to make Iraq stable -- comes this:
The U.S. military showed on Monday what it said was further evidence of Iranian-made weapons being used by Iraqi militants, including explosives linked to sophisticated roadside bombs.

The weapons, which included mortar bombs and 122 mm rockets, were found during a raid by U.S. forces and Iraqi police on Saturday near the volatile city of Baquba, north of Baghdad.

Washington, which accuses Iran of fanning violence in Iraq, is particularly concerned about what it calls "explosively formed projectiles" -- bombs which, on detonation, shoot out a copper plate that becomes a large bullet-like projectile capable of penetrating armored vehicles.

The U.S. military say such bombs, which it calls EFPs, have killed 170 U.S. soldiers in Iraq since 2004. ...

One completed bomb was found as well as around 150 copper discs -- the key component of EFPs -- rolls of electrical wire, plastic pipes to use as casings, ball-bearings and batteries.

U.S. military sources quoted in the story refused to link the explosives to Iran, saying that even if they are manufactured in Iran, there is no proof the Iranian government is supplying them directly to the Mehdi Army militia that dominate the area where the explosives were found.

It seems to be too fine a point, since it's unlikely a paranoid regime like Ahmadinejad's would allow controls on state-manufactured munitions to be so loose that anti-theocracy, pro-democracy forces could obtain them.

Nevertheless, in the messaging war we are taking a very conservative stance, hounded as we are by our own media if we ever overstate or leave a loophole unclosed. The enemy, of course, exploits our careful language and returns strong language short on qualifiers of any kind, which the media then use to pound down our spokespersons so they become weaker still.

It's my old lament: Ernie Pyle, where are you?

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