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[mob] Fwd: How the mines were found might be mildly amusing

Who'd have thought it would be that simple?  Maybe the weapons inspectors
should have tried this: "Got any chemical weapons?" "Sure, right over here.."


----- Forwarded message from "R. A. Hettinga" <[email protected]> -----

Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 22:30:52 -0500
To: "Philodox Clips" <[email protected]>
From: "R. A. Hettinga" <[email protected]>
Subject: How the mines were found might be mildly amusing

--- begin forwarded text

Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2003 00:10:30 +0000
To: [email protected]
From: Fearghas McKay <[email protected]>
Subject: How the mines were found might be mildly amusing


So what have you got? Explosives

March 27 2003
By Jamie Wilson
Aboard HMAS Kanimbla

The British had initially boarded the ordinary looking tug in the Khawr abd
Allah River on the first day of the war looking for mines and weapons. They
found nothing. The same evening a US coastguard cutter took a look, with
the same result.

The next morning two Australian inflatable boats were sent to make a final
check. They did the one thing the other two teams did not: ask.

According to an officer in the boarding party the interrogation went
something like this: "So, mate, have you got any weapons or explosives on

"The captain didn't just say yes, he drew a picture showing how the
45-litre steel drums lined up on the deck had been welded together and then
split down the middle to make a hinged shelter for dozens of mines."

"Explosive! Explosive!" the captain reportedly said, pointing to the drums
and a raft towed behind the tug.

How the mines were found might be mildly amusing, but for the men trying to
clear the river to allow humanitarian aid ships into the port of Umm Qasr,
that is where the laughter ends.

The clearing of the river is being co-ordinated by the Australian warship,
HMAS Kanimbla, and is being carried out by six British minesweepers, a Sea
Stallion helicopter, a Polish ship and a US coastguard cutter.

The number of Iraqi mines in the river is not known, but it is thought 1100
mines are unaccounted for.

Captured Iraqis provided useful intelligence. Those on the tug, which had
been carrying 82 mines, had been on their way to mine the mouth of the
river. They revealed where they had been ordered to lay them.

The British minesweepers are made of plastic so that they do not set off
magnetic mines. A sonar detects a threat and a remote vehicle is sent to
have a look. If it is a mine the vehicle places a charge and detonates it.

At Umm Qasr, divers and two trained dolphins will be used to clear mines
below the quays.

The landing ship Sir Galahad will be the first supply ship to enter Umm
Qasr, in the next 48 hours, carrying 232 tonnes of humanitarian aid.

Naval commander of the task unit, Captain Peter Jones, said it would take
up to a week to clear the river of all mines.

- Guardian

--- end forwarded text

R. A. Hettinga <mailto: [email protected]>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

----- End forwarded message -----