Sunday, June 05, 2005

Marines uncover massive bunker in Iraq

The Marines discovered something very interesting in the deserts of Iraq:

::::::::U.S. Marines said yesterday they had discovered a massive underground bunker complex with 50 caches of weapons and ammunition and living quarters fitted out with air conditioning, a kitchen and showers.


The Marines said the bunker complex, discovered over the past four days in Anbar province west of Baghdad, included a recently used "insurgent lair" containing air-conditioned quarters and high-tech military equipment, including night-vision glasses.

The bunker was found cut from a rock quarry in Karmah, 50 miles west of Baghdad. Marines said the facility was 170 yards wide and 275 yards long.

In its rooms were "four fully furnished living spaces, a kitchen with fresh food, two shower facilities and a working air conditioner. Other rooms within the complex were filled with weapons and ammunition," the Marines said.

The weapons included "numerous types of machine guns, ordnance including mortars, rockets and artillery rounds, black uniforms, ski masks, compasses, log books, night-vision goggles and fully charged cell phones."

That's a lot of square footage to have been tunneled out of a rock quarry. People keep forgetting how big this country is and how easy it can be to hide activity if you're careful. But it's getting harder. The bunkers show a number of things, but 2 of them are especially noteworthy to me. First, this complex was expensive. It cost money to build, maintain, and supply. I know where that money is coming from, at least in part. Part of it was in the Italian lira handed over to buy hostages back, a process that keeps getting repeated. When payoffs are made to these terrorists, that money doesn't just go into someone's pocket never to be seen again. These guys aren't taking the money and running to live out retirement in Costa Rica with beautiful beaches and beautiful women at their sides. They're taking that money and buying weapons, ammo, food, shower facilities and air conditioners. Secondly, they're getting help. The old Republican Guard didn't take their earth-moving equipment with them when they melted into the populace to avoid the might of the US military. So they're getting it from somewhere else.

They're being sustained by outside forces.

Kudos to the Marines. Nice catch, boys.