Sunday, January 28, 2007
BAGHDAD, Jan. 28 - A U.S. helicopter was shot down early Sunday afternoon near the provincial capital Najaf during a pitched battle with fighters described as religious fanatics.
A McClatchy Newspapers correspondent from Najaf, Qasim Zen, observed the helicopter lose control and crash to the ground in flames after it appeared to have been struck by rocket fired from the ground. The correspondent had been observing the battle from a safe position about half a mile away from the fight in the village of al Zarga. Al Zarga is about 5 miles from Najaf and about 80 miles south of Baghdad.
Mike at Crest says that at least 6 American aircraft have been taken down in the last seven weeks in Sunni-held territory in Iraq and notes that according to Iraqi government officials Saudi private citizens are reportedly sending money and arms (including Strela AA missiles) to Sunni insurgents.The administration says Iraq is behind all the illegal arms and money coming into the country. And yet, you'll note its the Sunni insurgency, not the Shiite militias, who are taking out the American helicopters. Mike says this could be a potentially devastating development for U.S. military forces if the Sunni insurgency can actually mount this kind of ground to air war. Mike says the Soviets were treading ground in Afghanistan until U.S. missiles starting showing up in the hands of Afghan militants. Then all hell broke loose for the Soviets as Afghan forces would corner Soviets forces on the ground, wait for Russian air power to show up and take one or two aircraft out each time.
Scary stuff if that's what's happening here.
I think we're far from nuclear attack against Iran, but Israel isn't.
Meanwhile, people are freaking out that two CVBG's will be in the gulf soon. Big deal. When Diego Garcia gets active, when increased air activity at B-52 and B-1/2 bomber bases become evident, and when a third CVBG arrives on scene in the gulf, I think we'll be seeing some change in both Iraq and Iran.
I'm not at all happy with Bush. I bet his appeasement speech to the left cheered you up some though, right?
As for the escalation of the war to Iran, here's a question for you; what happens after the bombing runs are completed and the nuke sites are "taken out"? Because I don't know about how you feel about it, but given the inaccuracy of the pre-war intel w/ Iraq, I'm not so confident that the pre-war intel on Iran is so accurate and I'm also not so confident that if the Bushies do try and take out the nuke sites in iran that they will actually be successful at doing it. Their track record in the two wars so far is not so good, you know?