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View Diary: The Iraq Election: Defining Success (489 comments)

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  •  British plane crash (none)
    Has anyone heard anything else about the British cargo plane crash outside of Baghdad?  They're being very tight lipped about it, but sources say that the wreckage is spread over a wide area.  It sounds horrible, especially with the potential number of passengers this thing might have.  

    This from news.com.au:

    The sources said the aircraft was primarily used to ferry troops from the British sector headquarters in Basra, the main southern city, to the Iraqi capital.

    The coalition military press office in Baghdad said the aircraft crashed northwest of Baghdad at 4.40pm Iraq time (12.40am AEDT).

    According to the Royal Air Force website, the Hercules is used primarily to carry troops, passengers and freight.

    The site said the aircraft carried a crew of five or six and up to 92 or 128 troops, 64 paratroops, or 74 stretchers.

    •  spread over wide area = shot down (none)
      If the wreckage is spread over a wide area, that means that the plane broke up while in flight. The most likely reason for an airplane to break into pieces while in flight over a war zone is that somebody shot it down.

      Combine this with the US losing several helicopters due to "weather" on clear sunny days, and I'd say that the insurgents have managed to get a stock of newer anti-aircraft missiles than they previously had.

      •  I was wondering how long this woul take (none)
        Remember, when the Soviets were in Afghanistan, we gave the Mujihadeen Stinger anti-aircraft missles. I've wondered if the Soviets would start getting them their latest MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense System, i.e. shoulder launched Surface to Air Missles). As noted, Syria recently received a batch, which gretaly upset the neocons. I can only assume Iran has been receiving them as well..

        I am only assuming they are being shot down by Soviet MANPADS as opposed to our Stingers that we know they have, because we would know how to deploy counter measures with those. The question then becomes, what countermeasures was the RAF C-130 equipped with?

        Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

        by Alumbrados on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 12:17:02 PM PST

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    •  Sadly, no news or rather slow news ... (none)
      could not be good news for the crew and passengers aboard the downed British C-130.  I grieve.
      •  Update: US and British deaths (none)
        This from Reuters.  You're right;  The fact that both governments acknowledge this and offer their condolences but don't release the number of passengers does not bode well:

        The C-130 Hercules transport plane involved in the crash can carry up to 92 troops, 64 paratroopers or military equipment.

        Blair, in a statement on British television, did not say how many had died but President Bush said both U.S. and British military personnel had lost their lives in the crash.

        There had been no previous reports of U.S. deaths.

        No information has been released about the cause of the crash, but U.S. officials said helicopters had spotted the wreckage, which was strewn over a wide area.

        "Yet again today we see the sacrifice they (British military personnel) make," Blair said in his statement.

        "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives earlier today. They can be so proud of what their loved ones accomplished. This country and the wider world will never forget them."

        Bush paid tribute to the U.S. and British troops who died. "Their sacrifices were made in a vital cause of freedom, peace in a troubled region, and a more secure future for us all," he said in televised comments from the White House.

        •  I have a bad feeling about this (none)
          It is as if the number of dead involved is being suppressed to avoid spoiling the spin of what a wonderful day this has been in Iraq.

          I hope that I am very, very wrong.

          And please, anyone who suggests that we on here like to forecast gloom and don't like being proved wrong, it is because we have been proved right too many times. It is a sad statement of these times that we open the web news resources with a hollow, empty and joyless fear of what we might learn.

          Nor can anyone say that we are not hoping for the biggest and most glorious joy of all: Peace. As long as we are striving for that, there is nothing negative in what we do, say or fear.  

        •  US military borrowing the plane? (none)
          Someone posted that the US might have been borrowing the British plane to ferry troops between security areas. That's why the plane wasn't in the usual British zone of control.

          So British crew and and probably a full flight of American passengers. No wonder they're not saying anything.

          --- My opinions are my own and not my employer's.

          by Aexia on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 02:28:25 PM PST

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