IEDed at the ‘Gates of Hell’

March 20, 2009

Ironic in an age of such brain-busting technology, such a simple device can cause such horror.

Four US soldiers were killed last Sunday in a roadside IED blast in eastern Afghanistan, three of those from the Illinois National Guard — 11 from its ranks have now died since the unit arrived in country last September.

“It’s a very, very sad day for our state,” said Gov. Pat Quinn. “Our Illinois National Guard, we’ve sent 3,000 brave men and women to the gates of hell in Afghanistan, and I think it’s important for all of us in Illinois and America to say a prayer for their families.”

An Air Force staff sergeant from Tucson, Ariz., was the fourth fatality in the incident.

The Afghan war is about to get worse.

(Illustration found here).

Makeshift bombs like the one in the situation mentioned above — IEDs or improvised explosive devices — are indeed making life a tortured hell for coalition troops in Afghanistan, and have killed three times the soldiers in the first two months of 2009 than during the same period last year — 32 already this year, only 10 in 2008 with 96 troops wounded in January and February of 2009, a 146 percent increase from the 39 early last year.

IEDs can be made from all kinds of shit, jerry-rigged from household chemicals and appliances, some use standard cooking oil — components just need be of four parts: A power source, switches, an explosive initiator and, of course, some kind of explosive.

Or more gut grabbing: Hand grenade with pin pulled, placed in a small glass with glass filled mortar or plastic of paris; 120-mm HE mortar with hole drilled in shipping cap with an electric blasting cap inserted (placed in a sandbag); suicide vest — leather-look sleeveless waistcoat with explosives and ball bearing sewn into the interior; and maybe a thrown block of TNT with a grenade fuze inside.
Whatever works.

IEDs as terror weapon has a short history.

Not too long ago in a place not too far away — 1886 Chicago and the Haymarket Riot, where some asshole thrown a shrapnel-filled dynamite bomb into a crowd of cops.

Off and running was the concept of terror to influence a shitload of people.

The Haymarket incident cripplied the struggling US labor movement and the bombing resonated for years.
The World Trade Center attacks in 2001 killed 2,752 people, but the event scared the living shit out of 300 million and eventually caused even far, far-worse problems.

T.E. Lawrence, ‘Lawrence of Arabia,’ was a proponent of IEDs, using railway and roadside bombs to disrupt Turkish supply routes during WWI and create, as he put it, “an uncertain terror for the enemy.”

Flash-forward to Iraq: IEDs really came into its own, killing 70 percent of US troops in combat; Iraq and Afghanistan now carry the scar of IEDs being the signature weapon of those conflicts.

Although all the whack-heads who started both the Iraqi and Afghan misadventures knew the US military was not equipped to handle an IED proliferation, but did nothing, causing another term to arise, “hillbilly armor“, or an ‘improvised defensive device‘ — bits of scrap metal and ballistic glass — used by soldiers to “up-armor” their vehicles.
And from one pissed-off Iraqi war vet:

Well, as it turns out, Bush, Rumsfeld and all those folks who were supposed to be running this bitch knew that when we invaded and toppled Saddam, that an insurgency would develop and those insurgents would develop IEDs that would be used to kill Americans.
In spite of this, they sent us with insufficiently armored vehicles.
In spite of this, they cut off development and deployment of MRAPs.
In spite of this, they failed to provide for returning troops and fully fund the VA.
This has lead to increased homelessness, addiction and suicide amongst returning OIF/OEF veterans.
Now, I usually try to be a good person and forgive and forget. However, it was one of these IEDs that took 6 of my Marines.
I hope these people have a long time to burn in hell.

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