“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Iran supplying Taliban in Afghanistan with same bomb-making equipment it provides Iraq

Iran 'arming Taliban with roadside bombs'
By Tom Coghlan in Kabul Telegraph
Last Updated: 10:43am BST 04/10/2007

Iran is supplying the Taliban in Afghanistan with the same bomb-making equipment it provides to insurgents in Iraq, according to British military intelligence officers.

US Army General Dan McNeill, the commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, said that the discovery of more than 50 roadside bombs and timers in lorries crossing the border from Iran last month proves that Iran's Quds Revolutionary Guards are actively supporting the Taliban.

The allegation will add to fears that the escalating war of words between Iran and the West could end in armed conflict between the two.

British special forces, believed to be from the Special Boat Service, played a prominent role in tracking and intercepting two lorries that crossed from Iran into Afghanistan's Farah Province on Sept 5.

"I cannot see how it is possible for at least the Iranian military, probably the Quds force, to not have known of this convoy," said Gen McNeill.

He claimed the vehicles contained materials to make explosively formed penetrators (EFPs), a type of roadside bomb. Britain and America have accused Iran of supplying such bombs to Iraqi insurgents.

Gen McNeill added: "The observation of a number of British officers who served in southern Iraq was that [the bomb timers] were relatively common there and that they originated from Iran."

A spokesman for the British embassy in Kabul said yesterday: "This confirms our view that elements within Iran are supporting the Taliban. We have previously raised the issue of arms to the Taliban with the Iranians and will

continue to do so." Last month, Lt Col Patrick Sanders, the commander of British forces in Basra, said troops there were engaged in a "proxy war" with Iran, which was supplying Shia militias.

EFPs work by concentrating explosive force through a concave copper plate, which is projected as a molten missile through a vehicle's armour.

To work properly, the components have to be made to factory specifications.

Prior to September's find, there had been two discoveries of EFPs in Afghanistan. While they raised suspicions of Iranian involvement, they were crude by comparison and the Nato commander had never before yesterday pointed the finger directly at the Iranian military.

Gen McNeill added: "These EFPs have caused me some anxiety. I would say whoever put these together had the benefit of not only knowledge, but also some technology and machines."

Iran, a Shia Muslim state, has denied that it was supplying the Taliban, pointing out that it was a Sunni militia. Iranian officials allege that American and British rhetoric is part of a propaganda campaign to build a case for war over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

The Americans have recently begun work to expand Shindand airbase, in western Afghanistan, which is within 50 miles of Iran's border.

Afghan officials insist that this is in preparation for Shindand becoming the main base for the newly formed Afghan Army Air Corps and say they have a written undertaking by the US government not to use the bases for military operations against Iran.

Last month, the new head of the Quds Revolutionary Guard force, Gen Mohammed Ali Jaafari, warned that a US attack on Iran would be met with a response directed against US interests in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"If the enemy wants to take any impudent action, the Islamic republic will for sure give a decisive and teeth-breaking response," he said.


  1. time to stop jaw jaw...

    time to start fuckin them up....

    start smuggling seized arms from iraq and give them to those who will use them in iran

    take out their gasoline refinery with something mysterious

    and let's start the games...

    want to go sow, quiet and small? fine

    want to go big fast and complete? better

    but let's agree, the time for talk is over..

  2. Nothing to see here, move right along:
    Quds are an NGO not affiliated with the Sovereign Govt of Iran.
    ...your friendly, and ever vigilent CIA.

  3. ALSO:
    ANY offensive action against Iran or Syria is Equivalent to Declaring WWIV and the War of the Worlds Simultaneously.

  4. A new drug strategy in Colombia

    The U.S. plans to shift funding from battling drug lords and eradicating coca plants to bolstering a grass-roots economy.
    Harvesting plants used for tattoo ink.

  5. These "EFP" "IEDs" are just shaped charges. Nothing particuarly technically sophisticated about them.

    That the Iranians are supplying the anti-US natives in either Iraq or Afghanistan, to be expected.

    But those numbers must ne balanced by conditions and scale.

    The preponderounce of the outside logistical support to anti-US forces in Iraq transits the Syrian border, not the Iranian. The largest minority of the anti-US foreign fighters are Sauds and Yemenites. A few Algerians thrown in.

    In Afghanistan, tonnes of material flow, with the Taliban fighters from Pakistan. The Taliban, long an action arm of Pakistani Intellignce, the ISI.

    The Authority/Responsibility criteria that makes the Quds a functionary of the Iranian Government applies just as well to Pakistan, the ISI and the Taliban.

    Let US bomb Islamabad, Pakistan if supplying a proxy with a handful of weapons is reason enough for a real war.

  6. That'll be something to see ...
    trish as the Queen of Tats

    How about switch grass or that other plant rufus was touting the other day. 2,000 gal of ethonal per acre, per annum.

    Messin' around with tattoo ink.
    Idiots operating will above their brain level, when serious work needs to be done.

    Tattoo ink ...
    Excuse me, gotta spit ...

  7. Almost 4,000 US lives later, we find out Saddam was right when he said he had no WMDs.

    Fast forward to 2010, 40,000 US lives later, will we find out Ahmedinejad was right when he said his nuclear program is for power generation only?

  8. Just as Blackwater and the other military contractors (mercenaries) are functionaries of the US Government, in Iraq.

    Civilians in the employee of ...
    Acting as agents of ...

    Operating outside of, and not answerable to, the pre-established Chain of Command of the regular military.

    But still an action arm of the US Government

  9. Operating outside of, and not answerable to, the pre-established Chain of Command of the regular military.


  10. Screw switchgrass:
    We got Algae that'll produce more energy from a swimming pool than 3 Mile Island, FREE!
    I just happen to have stock options for All American Algae for sale.

    Get in now at bargain basement prices.

  11. He's trying to sound profound, since Trish is not with us today, Mat.

  12. you guys amaze me...

    learn history...

    war was and is declared by syria, iran, and other islamists...

    but it's ok, you can hide in your basements....

    personally I know what evil does and can do....

    but go ahead, be prudent, be cautious, talk about how saddam was really harmless, how he really wasnt a liar, there were no wmds...

    tell it to the kurds

    tell it to the marsh arabs

    tell it to the iranian people

    so you'll are right and i'm just a war monger

    tell ya what, i'll say it now to say myself the time later

    I TOLD YOU SO.....

    so now, sit back and watch the next community center blow up by iran across the globe, watch how unnamed christians are beheaded in indonesia, watch the virus spread and happy in your safe padded rooms

  13. You guys?
    I'm not responsible for 'Rat!

  14. Doug,

    We can only hope she is resting in peace.

  15. The arguement, mat, that the Revolutionary Guard was not part of the Iranian Army, some how independent of the Iranian government.

    It has been advanced that since the Quds operate outside the "regular" chain of command that they are exempt from Iranian Authority and Responsibility.

    Which is preposterous.

    The Quds are as answerable to the Iranian Government as Blackwater is answerable to the US Government.

    The US is as responsible for the actions of Blackwater, as the Iranians are for the actions of the Quds.

    Both are functionaries of their respective governments.

    An interesting point made at the Blackwater hearinng.

    One Blackwater perative cost six times the expense of a line troop.
    But defers the costs of 12 support troops.

    So the merc force deploys at a 50% cost advantage, compared to using military troops.

  16. Efficiencies of Private Enterprise!

  17. Exactly right - nothing new here. These shape charges have been around since the early 70s, probably earlier.

    Nothing new about the proxy war with Iran either. It's been going on for a long, long time.

    The so-called GWOT simply emphasizes the point that wer’e not actually fighting the war - just dragging along with it.

    I would disagree concerning Blackwater, though - and mercenaries, to a degree. Blackwater and similar companies don't perform military functions, per say, but mostly "guarding" functions. They guard people, places, and things because our military is simply too small and are needed elsewhere (for military operations).

    Be careful throwing the mercenary word around. “Mercenaries” have freed millions of people in Africa and other places. But yes, some of them have done bad things. Our own volunteer military force is well paid compared to earlier times and I don’t see every able-bodied American male volunteering, but I do see youngsters needing money volunteering along with the sincere patriots.

    I’m not saying our “Army” is a mercenary force, as compared to the classic mercenary seen in the movies, but I no longer see a citizen Army either.

  18. dRat,

    Sorry. I missed the sarc marks. I'm barely cognitive, taking Pariet..

  19. You misunderstand, wi"o".

    Like, totally ...

    No one disputes that that the radical mussulmen have declared war on the "west".

    No one disputes that the Wahabbists were behind the
    Border Raids of 9-11

    The dispute, the debate, is how best to deal with them.

    How to properly define the targets, prioritize them, as it were.

    First and foremost, the US must admit there is a "War". There is no war in Iraq, in is now a "Peacekeeping" mission, writ large, according to the Generals in command.

    The US is not at war with Iran, despite the current efforts of the Iranians.

    The current "action plan" scenario, per See-mor Hersch, is a series of punative anti terrorist airstrikes against Iran.

    Avoiding the nuclear facilities and infrastructure.

    Half step measures, which will not further US vital interests in the least.
    It will further Abracadbra's cause and strengthen his position.
    In Iran and in the Region.

    It will not serve the US interest, not in the least.

  20. dRat,

    You overstate Iran's strength.

  21. Doug,

    A tale of two plans:

  22. The US has chosen to hire civilians, to carry out functions that once were military.

    Guarding stuff. That's what the military is all about.
    Guard Mounts & Guard Duty.

    The "Red Ball Express" was not driven by civilians.

    Differing structures in differing times, but that does not lessen the US Government responsibility for their actions, while the contractors are operating under US authority.

  23. No. The US has chosen to hire ex-military, and thus extend their service.

  24. No,no,no...

    "Guard duty" was something to get out of. You tried to make "numero uno" during inspection to be released from "guard duty". The military I was in was centered around aggressive offensive operations against the enemy. Infantry patrolling techniques, ambush, covert ops, explosives and weapons, etc; all geared toward killing the bad guy.

  25. No more than you understate their current strength, but overstate their current and future threat posture.

    The threat that US action poses is not countered by a military threat, though an escalation of violence in Iraq would surely follow.
    No, the counter threat is economic, based upon perceptions as much as facts.

    Targeting a few warehouses will not help US. Will not rally the US public.

    If you want to continue on a war footing, mat, that is the mission.

    Rally the US citizenry to your cause. Could have done it in 2003, 2004, but not now.
    To much nationbuilding under the bridge.

    30,000 Troops
    Homefor the Victory Parade
    July Fourth, 2008

    They'll still be marchin' home on Labor Day!

  26. Tiger:The so-called GWOT simply emphasizes the point that wer’e not actually fighting the war - just dragging along with it.

    If this was a real war we wouldn't worry about shaped charges on the roads, because we'd be making our own roads by driving tanks right through the empty space where the houses, schools, mosques, and factories of the enemy used to be.

  27. Right, "T"!

    It's like the proxy war with Iran all these years - wer'e just not figting a real war (all due respect to the soldiers).

    Political correctness kills! It kills mainly good guys!

  28. Triple Canopy is Peruvian, mat, not US.

    We've brought in the Hessians.

    The Army I was in, did both, tiger.
    Did 'em both pretty well, too.

    No one stole that Canal, we gave it away.

  29. Yes we did, Rat - gave it to the Chinese! - back in the old "Jimma" days!

  30. dRat,

    I’m not proposing direct US military action in Iran. In fact, I’m proposing the complete withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. It has become obvious that the US is just wasting time over there. And worse than that, it’s preventing others from taking action. Lead or get out of the way.

  31. I vote for the Israeli system, since nobody likes the Draft, except a 3 year minimum instead of two.

    If you whine and don't want to serve - then maybe you can't get a student loan, or vote, or run for office.

  32. of course, I'm dreaming again!

  33. Though Howard Air Force Base and Fort Kobbe still stand ready, empty and waiting.

    Housing, infrastructure, great runway. Sittin pretty, pretty empty.

    Housing for a Bn or more of ground troops, plus what ever one needs to run a air base.

  34. Then we're gettin' together, mat.

  35. the war started HUNDREDs of years ago...

    no I am not talking about the crusades, the gates of vienna or even the arab occupation of north africa..

    It all goes BACK to our 13 colonies folks... (except RI, they did not like the idea of fighting for freedom)

    PLEASE do yourself a favor read about HOW the arabs/moslems declared war on US!


    this is not new...

    will we wake up? not until we see masses of americans dead, in piles of corpses, we do a disservice by NOT showing those Americans leaping to their deaths.

    Not to be a war monger, we also NEED to do something about OIL WHILE we kick the crap out of Mr Dinnerjacket, and LET's BE HONEST...

    ARABIA is EVIL and the Pakis? G-d Help us... or better yet, Let's study the Art of War by SunTzu, let;'s EMPOWER the Jap's and Indians AGAINST the Russians and Chinese and Pakis...

    Time to fight on MORE than a checker board, it's time for 4d chess

    1. Devalue the USA Dollar (did that)
    2. Surround Iran (did that)
    3. Get the Islamists to spend 20 billion on worthless military equipment supplied by the USSR (did that)
    4. Get the price of OIL up to 100 buck a barrel (close to doing that)
    5. Build 500 New fuel Refineries (doing that)

    please fill in the list...

  36. Star Ship Trooper, tiger, the book, not the movie.

    If you're gonna dream

  37. Tiger: It's like the proxy war with Iran all these years - wer'e just not figting a real war (all due respect to the soldiers).

    It's not even a proxy war, it's an occupation. We know the Iraqi government is not sovereign because they could not even put their decertification of Blackwater into effect.

  38. There you go, wi"o", it's not really military, at all.

    If it is, it is SWAT raids in a nuetralized macro battlespace.
    Check the Press Releases for the MNF Iraq.
    Figure the captured to kill ratio. It is police work, violent police work, but police work.

    The US and the "west" will not destroy the enviorment that breeds the radicalism.

    We're trying to guide the run-a-way team, not shoot the lead pair.

  39. Yep, the movie sucked big time! The book is a classic!

    "T", I don't see any of those Bedouins over there as sovereign! You may call me a bigot - I really don't care - but all the Arab "nations" were simply a gift from the Brits.

    We either fight this to win or we don't. Everyone's making good points and its obvious that our "leaders", including some in the military (generals) don't want to try to win also.

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. The US speaks the rhetoric of soveriegnty, but will not supply the Iraqi with the means to "Stand Up".

    So now the Chinese prosper, to the tune of $100 million USD.
    The arms trade continues.

    Couple of hundred bucks per AK?
    Helicopters? APCs?
    Wonder what's on that shopping list
    Mr Bysh said the Iraqi had budgeted sizable amounts to fund their own defense. First step on a long term course, to China, for the Iraqi?

    Wonder what round the majority of the Iraqi weapons are chambered for, anyone know?

  42. In fact they don't like the M-16, AR, M-4 variants.

  43. The Chinese could supply untold numbers of those.
    Both weapons and ammo.

    Old School, to be sure.

  44. Somebody once said; "when the western world melts down, the "gun" I want is the AK-47, because the fighting will be up close and dirty".

  45. SKS is what's in my closet.

    I'm not planning on block to block fighting, but without a magazine, it fits in the saddle scabbard.

    Always functions.

  46. tiger,

    If the fighting will be up close and dirty, you want an uzi, not an AK47.

  47. Uzi's are good, Mat, but as Rat says; old school. A good bullpup design would be nice.

    The assault rifle gives one the ability to hit 'em farther away, of course, but works well up close.

    My AK is a "folder" and is as accurate as it needs to be - and again as Rat says - it ALWAYS WORKS!

  48. For distance work the M-1 or M-14 designs are great (I'm old school too) or you pay $6500 for a state of the art 50 cal!

  49. Tiger,

    You don’t need a riffle for up close and personal. You need small, fast fire, and fast reload. That takes the AK47 and the M16 out of the equation.

  50. Tiger: "T", I don't see any of those Bedouins over there as sovereign! You may call me a bigot - I really don't care - but all the Arab "nations" were simply a gift from the Brits

    I don't care either. But the official reason for fighting the war has morphed from WMD to overthrowing Saddam to making Iraq a beacon of democracy to stopping al-Qaeda to (finally) securing the sovereignty of a united Iraq. Next it will be to pave the way for the tri-partite solution. Whatever, as long as the contractors keep making their money.

  51. The key here, Mat, is reliability, access to plentiful ammo, and versatile usage. The Uzi s I've fired many years ago were inaccurate and would jam, though they put out lots of firepower quickly. Also, ammo for the Uzi is not that plentiful here in America.

    AK and SKS ammo, parts, et al; is extemely easy to get here. These weapons have become the preferred weapon amongst gang members and are the number one weapons world-wide.

    Being versite is key; hitting them away as well as close. That's why most militaries carry assault RIFLES instead of sub-machine guns. Uzi's shoot a pistol round, that's why they're caled subs. You need something more powerful to drop 'em in their tracks - hence the use of a RIFLE round.

    Heres's one you'll like.

  52. Oh! I agree with you, "T".

    It continues to morph and will continue to because the objective is not to win a war, but to win over their hearts and mind through many generations of effort; living amongst them, convincing them the great loving Christian way is best, etc!

    I think its a falacy. Its a misunderstanding of our enemy. Its, "can't we all just along" time for Bush and others.

    We'll be in the ME forever - like Europe.

  53. Mat, here's your Uzi!

    I misspoke; The 9mm parabellum ammo can be obtained fairly easily here in America; due to the age of the Uzi, most likely, but for the other reasons I prefer the assaut rifle.

  54. Thanks, Tiger.

    I haven't yet handled one personally, but from what I hear so far, it’s not bad. :)

  55. You betcha, Mat!

    Also, you may or may not know, most "machine guns" have gone to 3 round burst firing instead of full auto. It was realized that most full auto fire was wasted. However, some guns have selectors for full auto when it's needed.

    We civilians can't have full auto anyway (in most locales), so the Uzi becomes a very nice collector's item.

  56. The Uzi was once described as the Roman Short sword of the 20th century.

    If one wants the hasles of owning one, in the US, legally.
    Better to use shotguns for close encounters, especially indoors in police or home defense actions. Where wall penetration and civilian casualties becomes an issue.

    With loads from 50 cal. rifled slugs to #8 shot there are a wide variety of scenarios where the shotgun reigns as the optimal weapon.

  57. Shotguns are good! You can even get 'em with high capacity mags!

  58. Tiger,

    7.62 packs a bit of a punch, but I wouldn't trust it to stop anything larger than a Moose.

    Happy Hunting. :D

    |__ \_/

  59. I've still got my original .22 Remington with a scope from so many years ago I don't want to mention. Still shoots like it always did. Has a small nick now on the stock. Not used much any more. A person can get attached to an old gun.

  60. Dad had one of those 1897 12 guage shotguns, pump action with the hammer. Dang, my brother got it. The few times I shot it when I was small it almost knocked me over. Left a bruise on my arm.

  61. Talking about "Timing." Last night I said Romney was a wonderful Entrade Pick at 8%; This morning Rasmussen showed him picking up three points to 17%, which means that, considering it's done on a four day moving average, he must have popped Wed night to the low twenties.

    Man, I'm Good. :)

  62. In Larry Craig news today, the Judge rejects Craig's bid to withdraw restroom guilty plea. Bad news for Dems, good news for Pubs.

  63. Darn, you are fast, Ms. T.

    In other news

    Lewiston teen will face felony charges in alleged racist incident


    A Lewiston teen charged with chanting "white power" at an American Indian girl and her mother will face felony charges in 2nd District Court.

    Jason R. Grant, 19, was among four people charged with attempted witness intimidation in an incident three days after a 13 year old girl was allegedly beaten by Jason Grant's mother and sister.

    Magistrate Judge Kent J. Mercia heard testimony from victims and witnesses in the case during a preliminary hearing Wednesday....

    The article continues...
    I am sick of all this racist stuff. Put me on the jury.

    But, the problem goes both ways. Some years ago I was nearly assaulted by a Native American male, who was just pissed off by things in general, right in the Albertson's parking lot.

    Let's do better than this, friends and neighbors.

  64. The judge made the correct decision. I hope Craig serves out his term, so we don't have an appointed replacement, and we can have a 'wide open' ;) republican primary.

    I make this pledge. I will never vote for Craig again in my life.

  65. It's 'the best of all possible worlds', Ms. T. ;)

    He says he won't run again, and we will have an open republican primary, my vote will count a little, and the governor won't be appointing another 'insider'.

    Blue sky day!

  66. Plus we may have a circus in the Senate Ethics
    Committee to keep us entertained in the coming months.

    Though I'd think the Republicans would want to 'let the clock run out' on this investigation.

  67. WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says he doesn't wear an American flag lapel pin because it has become a substitute for "true patriotism" since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

  68. Metuselah: His name is Hussein.

    His name is mud:

    October 4, 2007 -- WASHINGTON - Hillary Rodham Clinton has jumped to an astounding 33-point lead over Barack Obama, topping her main rival among every major slice of the electorate and widening a dominating advantage she has held all summer.

    Clinton got support from a full majority for the first time in any national survey about the Democratic presidential field. She is backed by 53 percent in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll.

    Obama follows far behind, with 20 percent, and John Edwards has 13 percent.

    "I think it's pretty well done, don't you? All over but the voting," said Rep. Tom Petri (D-Wis.), when asked about the poll.

    The contours of the survey are striking, even considering Clinton's previous edge.

    Clinton leads her rivals on every major policy issue - and gets backed by an astonishing 66 percent on health care. The New York senator just released her health plan last month.

    She wins backing from voters who want "strength and experience" (62 percent) as well as those who want "new direction and new ideas" (45 percent to Obama's 31 percent). She even rates as more "inspiring" than the charismatic Obama, 41 to 37 percent.

  69. LGF: "I’m now beginning to put some credence in the idea that Barack Obama is nothing but a stalking horse for the Hillary Clinton campaign, because nobody could really be this stupid.."

  70. Organization, Ms T, organization.

    There's a world of folk who owe her husband, one way or another. Even if it's only a debt of gratitude in their own mind.

    She'll be the nominee, whether or not she becomes President, well the GOP needs more than a mail list specialist to pull that of.

    But the parts to the puzzle are all there, the Presicent can make things happen, can create events.

    Why else have they waited, to play the cards that were dealt.
    If I knew, so did "they".

    To go for the big prize, one more go. To turn the tables yet again, after being misunderestimated one last time.

    Rudy still suits that part best...

  71. Such a moment, captured on film, Mat, makes my heart go pitty patty, yet puts spine in my backbone. I begin to break out in patriotic song....

  72. Bob,

    sHillary, she now be wearing dem Amerikkkan flag pins as dentures, so youz better know youz lyrics by heart.

  73. Did you hear about how they made a postage stamp in honor of Senator Clinton? They did. But people complained that the stamp did not work. It kept falling off the envelope. The post office tested the glue
    and it was good. Then they tested all sorts of things and finally they decided people were spitting on the wrong side.

  74. $396 for a LOUD metal shotgun that hold a bunch of ammo at dicks sporting goods...

    i priced it last week....

    i asked the clerk, "i need a gun to go hunting in the house for bad guys" he handed me this dark metal shotgun with the loudest chuc-chuc I ever heard...

    he smiled and stated, that's 90%...

    I replied, "cool, but where do i feed in the pork fat to send the pricks to hell"

    He then turned towards me with the largest grin i have seen in years

  75. "chuck-chuck, say good night asshole."

  76. I can hear him running for the door....sweet wio.