Sunday, March 19, 2006

How Much is That Fighter in the Window?

The newly declassified captured Iraqi documents available for public inspection a the Foreign Military Studies Office
Joint Reserve Intelligence Center
are a grab bag; many of them given without synopsis or explanation. Take this transcript of an audiotape, wherein Saddam gets a sales pitch for the French Mirage-4000 fighter/strike aircraft:
Sir, the Mirage- 4000 can be used for two duties, it is an excellent interception aircraft and it is also an excellent fit for Decentration purposes in deep ranges [TC: a term used to describe a kind of Bombing] and it is also a ground-attack aircraft with long range capability also it could be used for air defense purposes. As far as its maneuverability also an excellent aircraft, Because its engines gives this aircraft a percentage of 1:1 between its flying power and its weight, Sir, this means sir, 1 Kgm of its flying power is equal to 1 Kgm from its weight different from other aircrafts in which its flying power its relatively less than the weight of the aircraft, which means that ½ Kgm from its flying power is equal to 1Kgm from the weight of the aircraft and this will reduce the Speed of the aircraft and its maneuverability, there is also another point which is the size of this aircraft, which is considered to be an obstacle in the modern Electronic warfare but as far as its maneuverability and its specialized equipments for air defense, its considered to be an excellent aircraft.
This is presented for historical reasons only, not as an attempt to bash the French, as this conversation most likely took place in the 1980s, during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88). God knows there are plenty of reasons to bash the French without going back twenty years.

Saddam and his advisors also discuss problems with desertion from the Iraqi army, noting that Iran is accusing them of using foreign soldiers because so many Iraqi troops have left.

One passage is puzzling however, when Saddam (Male 1 is apparently Saddam) notes that they are "almost five months and in three days it will be six months" into the war. My understanding is that the Mirage-4000 wasn't available until 1986. Perhaps the translator or transcriptionist meant to type: "almost five years" - that would make more sense and the dates would then match up.

Also posted at The Jawa Report and Vince Aut Morire.