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‘They Took Out Entire City Blocks'
Dust storm, car bombs and confusion: Inside the Battle for Ramadi By Andrew Tilghman
A Recap of ISIS’s Latest Victory
Imagine being a marginally trained soldier, “deployed to Ramadi for a year with no leave, no pay over the past six months and no proper resupplies” waiting for the suicide troops of the nihilist ISIS Islamist horror show to come for you while your generals fuck Ethiopian boys back in Bagdad and their phone rings off the hook, your local commanders take bribes to give away your position to the enemy, and your captain tries heroically not to take the Prophet’s name in vein when that armored dump truck full of C-4 driven by some British metal guitarist turned Islamic militant begins to roll your way!
Did Eli Roth write this script, or was it Tarantino?
Imagine a dust storm hits your post and your commander says this means that American hammer of God is not going to be thundering down out of the sky obliterating your enemies. Imagine further that your enemies have dozens of car bombs rolling your way behind a giant bulldozer, and that 10 of these car bombs each pack as much explosives as the Oklahoma City Bombing!
Does that suck enough for you?
Oh, don’t forget the guys with the black masks and beheading knives who hand out nifty orange jump suits from their American Humvees!
If this sounds depressing, do not worry. We will finally get to see how our Abrams Main Battle Tank holds up under state of the art airstrikes—because, ISIS now has 10 of those suckers and 100 more Humvees!
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broken dance
by the wine dark sea
the lesser angels of our nature
masculine axis
of the sunset world
BJun 17, 2015

Their sources are either Iraqis reporting other Iraqis' hearsay, or American officers reporting a polished version of other American officers' reports of Iraqi hearsay.

If it comes from an Iraqi, it's 30% exaggeration and 70% outrageous lie. I'm surprised they didn't claim ISIS had dragons breathing fire on them.

So I assume there were four suicide vehicle bombs, one of which broke down or got stuck in rubble, and then the Iraqi army broke and ran for it.

By the way, simple concertina wire, staked down, will stop a tracked vehicle dead. Once that shit gets hoovered up in the sprockets, you have to get out and spend several hours with pliers and wire cutters picking it out. It's not like ISIS has an engineering squad attached to every SVBIED, ready to put a bangalore in. So that's an SVBIED to breach every wire obstacle. Unless the grunts get out and start manually pulling up the wire, but that's why you cover your obstacles with fire.

Not to mention the ample supply of antitank mines the Iraqi army has, or the fact that half of those Shia militia guys spent 2004-2008 rigging IEDs to blow up American vehicles, and presumably could have done the same in Ramadi.

People want to assume that it's Stalingrad there, but I suspect it's like the cut scenes from Dumb and Dumberer, with guns and bombs.
responds: Jun 19, 2015

B, I almost broke a rib laughing while reading your comment. You should have a podcast.

Honestly, from what I read in memoirs of Iraq like Hell's Highway, House to House, Warrior King [I might have the title wrong, the autobiography of the colonel that got screwed over because his men ziptied some hostiles without the SPCA present] and Killer Elite I can't imagine the locals duking it out at Nazi-Soviet levels of intensity.

Thank you so much for this informative comment. If you ever want to post anything concerning military matters here, e-mail me your thoughts at and include an alias if you want me to credit the post to anyone other than 'B.'

Thanks, and thanks.
BJun 21, 2015

Think that's funny? You should take a look at my old boss' old blog. I worked for Tim for a bit after the military and college.

I guess you could say we operated similarly to how you do in Baltimore. The local cops were also a frenemy-the worst nightmare was getting pulled over by cops/Afghan army at a checkpoint, being robbed of our weapons and vehicle, and maybe thrown in jail to boot until bribes were paid.

I remember driving across SW Afghanistan in a beater unarmored sedan, local clothes, with my right hand dude (a Baluch tribesman) at the wheel. We hit a checkpoint, and the Afghan soldier talking to him demanded we pull over for a search. My partner, stalling for time, asked him what he was looking for. Weapons, the guy tells him. You don't have to look, says my partner. We do, says the soldier. No, I tell him, no searching required-the weapons are right here-and show him the rifle I've had my man-jammies draped over the whole time. The dude does a double take and we all have a slightly hysterical laugh, and then he waves us on.

Tim lived that way for something like nine years, and blogged a good chunk of it.
responds: Jun 21, 2015


My mind has already healed some thanks to the addition of this term into my lexicon.
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