September 7, 2007
Persia: Threat or menace?
By DAVID T. WRIGHT
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It's happening again. The push for war with Iran is on. On the news, on the talk shows, in the newspapers, the American sheeple are being bombarded with allegations about unfathomable evil perpetrated by the Mad Mullahs. The Bush administration is apparently on the verge of designating Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a Terrorist Organization Terrorist! That means they're bad! and its attack squirrels carp incessantly that Iran is building the Bomb so that it can Wipe Israel Off The Map. Evidence? We don' need no steenking evidence!
As reported ad nauseum by our informal Ministry of Truth, the tame news media, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Israel should be "wiped off the map." In truth, however, he said something a little different: that the Israeli regime should be wiped out. And apparently he never actually said anything about a "map."
That doesn't seem like such a monstrous statement when one notes that our own Emperor often more-or-less casually calls for the destruction of this or that regime that has stumbled into his field of view. It's gotten so that the term "regime change" has entered common usage.
As for the hideous threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon:
1) There's no actual evidence that Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb. Iran is cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency, which says that its actions are in conformity with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran is a signatory to the treaty; on the other hand, U.S. allies Pakistan, India, and, of course, Israel, are not, and all have the Bomb.
True, Iran is building centrifuges to enrich uranium, but only enough to enrich it for use as fuel for reactors not the vastly greater number needed to make weapons-grade uranium. The Iranians have an excellent reason for wanting nuclear power: they want to sell their precious oil for hard currency instead of burning it at home to make electricity.
2) On the other hand, if I were a member of the Iranian regime, I'd want the Bomb, for the simple reason that having it seems to have helped preserve fellow Axis of Evil member North Korea from attack by Bellicose George.
3) Need I point out that if the United State had no troops in the Middle East, and kept its nose out of other peoples' business, an Iranian Bomb would hardly be a concern of Americans?
In any case, both the Afghan and Iraqi regimes, with whom the Empire has allied itself, declare that Iran is being a good neighbor to them, offering them support and cooperation in fighting their enemies this in the face of an out-of-left-field assertion by Bush that Iran is sending arms to the Sunni Taliban.
The real problem, of course, is that Ahmadinejad the current Designated
Hitler has said bad things about Our Gallant Ally; that Iran supports
Hezbollah, which gave Israel a bad black eye in Lebanon recently; and that
Iran's continued existence and its natural domination of the region stand
in the way of Israel's ambition to completely subjugate the Middle East.
None of those crimes can be forgiven.
But the Iranian Bomb is just the propaganda appetizer. By far the most inflammatory allegation by the warmongers is that Shiite Iran is supplying the Iraqi insurgents, most of whom are Sunni, with Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFPs). Those are a type of roadside bomb or improvised explosive device (IED) in the turgid lingo of the Imperial legions that are highly effective against the Empire's military vehicles, and that are claiming more and more U.S. dead and wounded every month. Those filthy ragheads are killing Our Boys! And Girls oops, I mean Wymyn too!
It doesn't have quite the visceral impact as Saddam's soldiers throwing Kuwaiti babies out of incubators, but it'll do nicely.
Here are a couple of examples. The first is from America's Völkischer Beobachter, the Washington Times. In an editorial in the August 28 issue, Struan Stephenson writes: "The mullahs and their 125,000-strong Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) provide the sophisticated roadside bombs (EFPs) that kill and maim allied military personnel."
The next is from an
Gee, you don't think it's possible that these guys are reading from the same talking points,
do you? Well, here's the Little Emperor himself, back on
And then on August 28, in a speech to the American Legion: "Members of the Qods Force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are supplying extremist groups with funding and weapons, including sophisticated IEDs."
Then there are the news reports that a shipment of roadside bombs from Iran was captured. No one has offered any evidence to support the allegation that they came from Iran, or if they were, that the Iranian regime was involved. A couple of weeks ago a U.S. general told the New York Times, "The devices we're seeing now have been machined. There is evidence of some sophistication."
Ooh! Machined! Well, that proves the Iranians are doing it.
Let's leave aside for the moment the question of why Shiite Iran would help the Sunni enemies of its Shiite Iraqi government allies. How "highly sophisticated" are these EFPs, anyway?
The answer is they're about as sophisticated as an anvil.
And how hard are they to manufacture? Let me put it this way. Your typical high-school metal-shop student could turn one out using nothing but the tools he could find in his shop classroom, none of which would be very hard for an Iraqi guerrilla to locate. They have metal-shop classes in Iraq too, you know. At least, they used to.
EFPs are so easy to make that there would seem to be little point in Iran's providing them when the Iraqis could so easily make them themselves. The American people are being hornswoggled yet again by the Bush regime and its running dogs in our informal Ministry of Truth, the media. This time, the allegations are even more laughable than those advertising the famous Weapons of Mass Destruction.
In fact, the insurgents' EFPs are a perfect example of Third World guerrilla improvisation. They are made by putting some explosive such as TNT or plastique into a steel pipe 5 to 8 inches in diameter, 5 to 8 inches long, with walls 3/8ths or half an inch thick. The cylinder is capped on one end with some steel plate of the same thickness, with a small hole in it for a wire leading to a blasting cap or similar detonator. Into the other end is inserted a dish-shaped piece of copper maybe an eighth to a quarter of an inch thick. Here are links to a couple of pictures of such a device:
www.theodoresworld.net/pcfreezone/iranianieds2.jpgNote that there are no obvious labels saying, "Made in Iran by the Republican Guards."
What makes these weapons so effective is this: When the explosive detonates, it is partially confined by the steel cylinder, so most of the force of the explosion is projected forward. The blast instantaneously turns the copper dish inside out and forms it into a red-hot bullet-shaped slug traveling at up to 1 kilometer per second. It's the slug that does the damage: depending on the size of the device and the explosive used, it's capable of penetrating the armor of main battle tanks such as the super-expensive M1 Abrams used by the Imperial legions. It can go through an armored Humvee like a lawn dart through a wedding cake. That's not bad for a weapon this easy and cheap to make, so it's no surprise that the insurgents are using them so enthusiastically.
The main body of the device is obviously made from common steel pipe. And, because of Saddam's policy of arming Iraq to the teeth, explosive materials are as common there as SUVs are here. Most of the explosives used in IEDs come from artillery shells salvaged from the thousands of ammo dumps left around Iraq by the previous regime.
My high-school student would mount a piece of appropriately sized pipe in the chuck of his shop class's medium-sized metal lathe, and use what's called a "parting tool" to cut it to the appropriate length with nice clean ends. Then, he would take a piece of steel plate and, using the shop's cutting torch, cut a circular piece, which he would weld to one end of the pipe with an arc welder or oxy-acetylene torch.
At that point he could drill the hole for the wire using a drill press. Or he could mount the piece on the lathe again, and drill it with a drill bit mounted in the lathe's tailstock. If he wanted to be neat, he could take the opportunity then to smooth the rough edges of the plate using a cutting tool on the lathe, but that would be strictly optional.
The most difficult part of the job is forming the "dish" of copper sheeting. From looking at the photos, it seems that it is formed using the technique called "spinning." That entails using the lathe to spin the metal sheet while forcing it over a piece of steel or wood of the appropriate shape, usually called a "mandrel." You can find an illustration of the process at iweb.tntech.edu/cventura/metalspinning.htm.
The weaponeer could use other methods, including casting which involves melting the metal and pouring it into a mold and using a small explosive charge to form a metal sheet over the mandrel. The dish could even be cut on the lathe from a bar of copper. But spinning is the easiest and, I think, most likely.
Once the dish is made, all that is left is to stuff the pipe with explosives and detonator, run the detonator wire out the back, and attach the dish to the front by welding on a couple of clips hacksawed from steel strap. The wire is attached to whatever trigger device is being used a modified cell phone, a hand switch and battery, whatever.
That's it. That's how hard it is to make these "sophisticated" weapons. With a lathe and a mandrel and enough copper sheet, one semi-skilled guy in a shed or garage could turn out enough of the copper dishes in a couple of weeks to make a year's worth of EFP roadside bombs. The only problem would be obtaining a sufficient supply of electric power under the Empire's benign rule most Iraqis are lucky to get a few hours of juice a day. Could that be the reason?
Now, where did the benighted Arabs learn how to make such fiendish devices? Well, it's just possible that they learned from the Empire itself. That's because EFPs are used as the "bomblets" in U.S.-made cluster bombs the kind that the Israelis scattered all over Lebanon, and the kind that the United State has used in Afghanistan and Iraq while denying it.
True, the cluster-bomblet detonators are more
sophisticated, because they are designed to
go off a certain distance above the ground, destroying armored vehicles beneath them. But it wouldn't take a genius to take a dud and reverse-engineer the weapon to
come up with the stone-axe version being used against U.S. legionaries
today. And they're easy to find. About
Meanwhile, the drumbeat goes on.
For the first time, the U.S. military said Sunday that Iranian soldiers are in Iraq training insurgents to attack American forces.Well, that proves it, then.
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, a top U.S. commander over a large swath of Iraq south of Baghdad, thinks about 50 members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps are in his battlefield area....
Military spokeswoman Maj. Alayne Conway said U.S.-led forces have not caught any of the Iranians, but military intelligence and recently discovered caches of weapons with Iranian markings on them indicate that the Iranians are there. ("Iran is training insurgents in Iraq, U.S. says")
Look out! Here comes that cliché again:
Lynch said that no Iranians have been captured in his area of command and that U.S. troops have never found any illegal weapons in two months of patrolling 125 miles of the Iran-Iraq border.More incontrovertible proof that the Iranians must be destroyed!
But he said that the number of Iranian-made explosively formed penetrators sophisticated roadside bombs built to puncture the armor on military vehicles has increased dramatically in recent months, while the accuracy of Shiite extremists' bombs and mortars has improved significantly.
And Georgie Boy's term is running out, so he's going to have to make his move soon. In his speech to the American Legion, he declared: "Iran's actions threaten the security of nations everywhere. And that is why the United States is rallying friends and allies around the world to isolate the regime, to impose economic sanctions. We will confront this danger before it is too late."
Note that he said "will," not "must" or "should." And later in the same speech, an even more ominous statement:
"The Iranian regime must halt these actions. And until it does, I will take actions necessary to protect our troops. I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran's murderous activities."
What he seems to be saying is that the United State will go to war with Iran. I can only hope that the Iranians fight a lot better than Saddam did. That seems to be our only chance for an end to this madness.
September 7, 2007
Published 2007 WTM Enterprises.
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