Brits: “Our Boys picked up the Iranian helicopters on radar crossing into empty desert ( of Iraq )”. The sightings have been confirmed to The Sun by very senior military sources. “We have hard proof that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps have crossed the border to attack us. It is very hard for us to strike back. All we can do is try to defend ourselves. We are badly on the back foot.”
How long can we afford to pretend we are not at war with Iran, to allow them to kill our troops and destroy the process of stabilization in Iraq? Those who know better, the President, the Republican House and Senate, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, are all too afraid for their political lives to do their duty. This cannot stand. The lives of our troops remain in the balance, and many have died due to our lack of action.
IRANIAN forces are being choppered over the Iraqi border to bomb Our Boys, intelligence chiefs say.
Military experts claim this worrying move means we are at WAR with Iran in all but name.
Last night an intelligence source told The Sun: “It is an extremely alarming development and raises the stakes considerably. In effect, it means we are in a full on war with Iran — but nobody has officially declared it.
“We have hard proof that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps have crossed the border to attack us.
“It is very hard for us to strike back. All we can do is try to defend ourselves. We are badly on the back foot.”
Our Boys picked up the Iranian helicopters on radar crossing into empty desert.
The sightings have been confirmed to The Sun by very senior military sources.
At least two Brit squaddies are thought to have been killed by bombs planted during these incursions into Maysan province — Corporal Ben Leaning, 24, and Trooper Kristen Turton, 27.
A further 44 British deaths have also been linked to the highly advanced bombs, rockets and mortars which originated in Iran.
Coming so swiftly after the kidnap of 15 Royal Navy sailors in the Gulf, our revelation will send strained relations between London and Tehran plummeting further.
Until now, secret units from Iran’s fanatical RGC have restricted themselves to just training and arming Shia rebels in Iraq.
They include the al Quds Brigade — a secretive force tasked to spread Islamic revolution abroad who are the main backers for Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon and are also active in Palestine and northern Iraq.
An MoD spokeswoman said: “There is evidence that explosive devices used against our troops in southern Iraq originated in Iran.
“Any Iranian link to armed militias in Iraq either through weapons supply, training or funding are unacceptable.
Newly arrived U.S. troops southeast of Baghdad are destroying boats on the Tigris River and targeting networks believed to be bringing powerful roadside bombs from Iran as the military cracks down on extremists from all directions
Newly arrived U.S. troops southeast of Baghdad are destroying boats on the Tigris River and targeting networks believed to be bringing powerful roadside bombs from Iran as the military cracks down on extremists from all directions, military officials said.
In addition, a top U.S. commander warned on Monday that three or four times more Iraqi security forces are needed to sustain the progress in clearing the area and stanching the flow of arms and makeshift bombs into the capital.
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, whose command covers the southern rim of Baghdad and mostly Shiite areas to the south, said the reinforcements who arrived as part of a troop buildup have had success in rooting out militants from their sanctuaries and preventing them from fleeing the area in an operation called Marne Torch—one of a quartet of offensives in the capital and surrounding areas.
NBC’s Body Armor Embarrassment
By Tom Donnelly
The Weekly Standard | June 26, 2007
ONE OF THE RECURRING themes of press coverage of the Long War, and particularly the conflict in Iraq, is that soldiers are victims. According to this trope, soldiers and Marines are sacrificing themselves in a cause already lost, by an administration that cares little for the men and women in uniform. The proof of this last proposition was demonstrated to the media’s satisfaction long ago, and confirmed for them in former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s proclamation that we went to war with the force we had rather than the one we’d liked to have.
Exhibit number one in the press’s case for the prosecution was the question of armor protection for soldiers–not only armor for trucks and Humvees but individual body armor. Facts have never been allowed to get in the way of these stories–nor have questions about the tradeoffs between mobility and protection –and, if a recent report by NBC’s Lisa Myers is any indication, they still aren’t. In Myers’s report, done in the classic “I-team” TV investigative style, NBC paid for an independent ballistics test comparing something called Dragon Skin body armor (so-called because it is made up of overlapping ceramic discs) with the Interceptor body armor now being worn by soldiers.
Far from being a case of independent investigation, the report smells more like a piece of special pleading. Dragon Skin is made by Pinnacle Body Armor, whose chief executive, Murray Neal, has long complained that the Army has been lying about his product. According to Myers, “In our limited testing at a renowned ballistics lab in Germany, Dragon Skin was able to defeat more bullets than the Army’s Interceptor and did so with significantly less body trauma.”
Employing yet another media-catnip tactic, Neal and his PR team have convinced some concerned parents that there may be something better than what the Army is supplying their children; they in turn have agitated for Congress to intervene. The House Armed Services Committee’s once-moderate Democratic chairman Rep. Ike Skelton–whose son is a soldier, and who is apparently competing for the Iraq “oversight” job with more reliably left Rep. Henry Waxman–dutifully responded to the NBC broadcast by holding a hearing on the subject of body armor. Alas, the story soon deviated from the script.
In testimony to the committee, the Air Force related its history with Dragon Skin. While researching flexible body armor, the Air Force purchased some Dragon Skin for evaluation. However, after being notified of Dragon Skin test failures, the Air Force requested a live fire test, which Dragon Skin failed, resulting in a recall of all its Dragon Skin. As it happens, the Army has had a similar experience. It had purchased some Dragon Skin vests for use by its Criminal Investigations Command, but recalled the vests in April 2006, not only because of test failures, but because of false certification claims. Finally, under questioning from the committee’s ranking Republican, Duncan Hunter, once an infantryman in Vietnam, one of NBC’s “experts,” upon hearing of the Army’s experience, allowed that Dragon Skin was “not ready for prime time.”
The NBC report, too, included questionable claims–and its tests were indeed “limited,” falling far short of military standards. In fact, Pinnacle’s Dragon Skin body armor has been tested a total of six times by the military, four times by the Army, and once each by the Air Force and Marines. It has failed every time.
On the Army’s website you can see footage of Pinnacle’s Murray Neal peering into a hole in ballistic clay–which simulates the human body–after a test round made a full penetration of his product. The Army standard is, not surprisingly, zero penetrations. According to the Army, Dragon Skin suffered 13 penetrations out of 48 test shots. The service also provided NBC with the results from a May 2006 test showing that Dragon Skin failed Army testing, “miserably” in the words of Brig. Gen. Mark Brown of the Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground.
But why let the facts get in the way when you’re retelling a story that fits the accepted narrative? The press and the leadership of the Democratic party, in the throes of an extended Vietnam flashback, have decided the war is lost. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid even thinks he knows what’s going on in Baghdad better than does Gen. David Petraeus, the commander on the scene. But the media and the Democrats still fear that their defeatist attitudes may alienate people in uniform, or Americans more broadly. Thus the need to cast soldiers as victims. The only victim in the body army story, though, is the truth.