WMD.......not exactly...

  1. U.S. teams seeking weapons find Iraqi warplanes buried in desert

    JOHN J. LUMPKIN, Associated Press Writer

    Thursday, July 31, 2003

    (07-31) 23:12 PDT WASHINGTON (AP) --

    Some of Iraqi's missing air force has turned up down below.

    Search teams, some hunting for Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, found dozens of fighter jets from Iraq's air force buried beneath the sands, U.S. officials say.

    At least one Cold War-era MiG-25 interceptor was found when searchers saw the tops of its twin tail fins poking up from the sands, said one Pentagon official familiar with the hunt. He said search teams have found several MiG-25s and Su-25 ground attack jets buried at al-Taqqadum air field west of Baghdad.

    Iraq's air squadrons were a no-show during the war, and U.S. military officials supposed their pilots stayed grounded because they believed they were overmatched by American and British air power.

    Various officials differed in opinion as to whether the buried aircraft could ever fly again. Many of the planes were buried intact with minimal efforts to protect them from the sand.

    Rep. Porter Goss, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the discovery pointed to how far Iraqi forces went to conceal their activities. The Florida Republican was briefed on the discovery during his recent trip to Iraq.

    "Our guys have found 30-something brand new aircraft buried in the sand to deny us access to them," Goss said. "These are craft we didn't know about."

    He said the planes were not considered weapons of mass destruction for which coalition troops have been searching for months, "but they are weapons (Iraq) tried to hide."

    Prewar intelligence estimates from earlier this year said Saddam Hussein's regime had about 300 combat aircraft, all of them survivors of the Gulf War. Most were aging Soviet-era MiGs, Sukhois and older French Mirage fighters. The best are MiG-29 Fulcrums, one of the most advanced fighters produced in the Soviet era.

    Allied warplanes bombed several planes on the ground, and U.S. Air Force officials say no Iraqi planes were detected flying a combat mission during the war.

    Australian troops, who on April 16 captured the Al Asad Airfield, 112 miles northwest of Baghdad, found scores of fighter aircraft, mostly Soviet-era MiGs but also three advanced MiG-25 Foxbats, the fastest combat aircraft today. Helicopters, radar systems and millions of pounds of explosives also were found.

    The MiGs had escaped detection during the coalition bombing campaign. Some were buried or hidden under trees or covered with camouflage sheets. Aircraft destroyed in prior wars were littered across the airfield to make it more difficult for bombers to choose their targets.

    While not WMD, it does show that anything buried in the sand over there is very difficult to find. A MIG-25 has a length of 70 feet and a wingspan of 41 feet. An SU-25 is 47.5 feet long and has a wingspan of 50.8 feet.

    If "only" 30 of them were buried 5 across and 6 deep it would take a rectangle 420 feet x 205 feet large. And it took this long for them to be found.

    Now imagine a few 55 gallon drums with nerve gas or other WMD buried in an area the size of California. If they are there, and ever found, it would be just short of a miracle.

    The worst case would be twenty years from now when some Iraqis are digging a new well, or building a new road, and they find them by breaking them open. The potential for an ecological disaster could just be siting there, 10-15 feet under the surface of the desert.

    MIG-25


    SU-25


    bob
    Last edit by 2ndCareerRN on Aug 5, '03
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Mkue
    Thanks Bob, interesting article.
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    Not exactly WMD either:
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/m...9_1n5bomb.html
    Officials confirm dropping firebombs on Iraqi troops
    Results are 'remarkably similar' to using napalm
    By James W. Crawley
    UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
    August 5, 2003
    American jets killed Iraqi troops with firebombs - similar to the controversial napalm used in the Vietnam War - in March and April as Marines battled toward Baghdad.
    Marine Corps fighter pilots and commanders who have returned from the war zone have confirmed dropping dozens of incendiary bombs near bridges over the Saddam Canal and the Tigris River. The explosions created massive fireballs.
    "We napalmed both those (bridge) approaches," said Col. Randolph Alles in a recent interview. He commanded Marine Air Group 11, based at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, during the war. "Unfortunately, there were people there because you could see them in the (cockpit) video.
    "They were Iraqi soldiers there. It's no great way to die," he added. How many Iraqis died, the military couldn't say. No accurate count has been made of Iraqi war casualties
    ...
  5. by   2ndCareerRN
    Officials confirm dropping firebombs on Iraqi troops
    Results are 'remarkably similar' to using napalm
    By James W. Crawley
    UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
    August 5, 2003
    American jets killed Iraqi troops with firebombs - similar to the controversial napalm used in the Vietnam War - in March and April as Marines battled toward Baghdad.
    Marine Corps fighter pilots and commanders who have returned from the war zone have confirmed dropping dozens of incendiary bombs near bridges over the Saddam Canal and the Tigris River. The explosions created massive fireballs.
    "We napalmed both those (bridge) approaches," said Col. Randolph Alles in a recent interview. He commanded Marine Air Group 11, based at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, during the war. "Unfortunately, there were people there because you could see them in the (cockpit) video.
    "They were Iraqi soldiers there. It's no great way to die," he added. How many Iraqis died, the military couldn't say. No accurate count has been made of Iraqi war casualties

    And your point is ..?????

    After reading the entire article I noticed one particular blurb, among several.

    The bombing campaign helped clear the path for the Marines' race to Baghdad.
    Perhaps you would have rather seen more US Marines killed, wounded, and maimed while participating in a ground batle for the bridges.

    I for one, am thankful the planners used every device at their disposal to weaken the Iraqi resistance prior to engaging in ground fighting for the bridges.

    Also from the quoted article:

    Although many human rights groups consider incendiary bombs to be inhumane, international law does not prohibit their use against military forces. The United States has not agreed to a ban against possible civilian targets.
    In battle, anyway you die is horrible. Being blown in half by an RPG makes you just as dead as being burned to death.

    I would hope that should the need arise again to use these weapons they will be used and not left to leak into the environment like the napalm they replaced.


    bob

    Now that this thread has been taken completely off topic, I will excuse myself.
    Last edit by 2ndCareerRN on Aug 5, '03
  6. by   Mkue
    buried beneath the sands
    No telling what else may be buried in the sand. I've always wondered what else could be found underground in Iraq. SH was so good about hiding things.
  7. by   fergus51
    Not to be argumentative, but I don't remember Bush asking for patience when UN weapons inspectors were looking. He seemed to feel the few months they had been there since resuming the inspections was enough, so I have a hard time feeling a ton of patience now, especially considering the fact that we have way better access than the UN inspectors ever did.
  8. by   donmurray
    MMMmm....Still nothing to show. I thought we gave up on finding WMD, and were just looking for the WMD "Program"
  9. by   pickledpepperRN
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by 2ndCareerRN
    [B]"And your point is ..?????

    Perhaps you would have rather seen more US Marines killed, wounded, and maimed while participating in a ground batle for the bridges.

    Also from the quoted article:

    In battle, anyway you die is horrible. Being blown in half by an RPG makes you just as dead as being burned to death.

    I would hope that should the need arise again to use these weapons they will be used and not left to leak into the environment like the napalm they replaced."

    bob
    ---------------------------------------


    No, I would NOT rather see Marines or anyone killed!

    I had no point except to give information without starting a thread. You have my apologies for posting an article that veered off course.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Aug 6, '03
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/09/in...e27decfaa895fd
    Iraqi Trailers Said to Make Hydrogen, Not Biological Arms
    ---------------------
    http://www.inthesetimes.com/comments.php?id=299_0_1_0_C

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