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2003-10-03 Iraq
Polish Troops Find 2003 Model French Missiles in Iraq
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Posted by Steve 2003-10-03 4:36:36 PM|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [6462 views since 2007-05-07]  Top

#1 "Damn those east Europeans. Why do they always miss the opportunity to shut up. Don't they know my name is Nap.. Chirac?!?!"
Posted by Rafael 2003-10-3 4:46:43 PM||   2003-10-3 4:46:43 PM|| Front Page Top

#2 First of all, if you found Stingers in Iraq you wouldn't assume that the U.S. sold them to Saddam? Roland 3 wouldn't be very difficult to obtain on the black market.
Then this article doesn't say how the Poles could possibly know that these were Roland 3 and not Roland 2 (which look awfully similar). Roland 2 hasn't been produced after 1993.
Rolands do not bear markings of the production year. Newsweek has reported similar finds in Iraq in April 2003, with Rolands bearing the marking 05/11 KND 2002. This is not a marking the Rolands have (latter info from a Bundeswehr guy who know them by heart). It sounds far more likely to me that - if 2002 is meant to be a year - that it stands for an Iraqi inspection timestamp. Or a spare part from something else.
Conveniently (?) the Poles destroyed the missiles. (Did they?). If we find an intact Roland in Iraq it will be easy for the experts to tell whether it is really a Roland 3.
You do not seriously believe that the French - under violation of the embargo and with the certain knowledge that war was imminent - would export Rolands to Iraq with all the evidence written on them?
Posted by True German Ally 2003-10-3 5:48:42 PM||   2003-10-3 5:48:42 PM|| Front Page Top

#3 ou do not seriously believe that the French - under violation of the embargo and with the certain knowledge that war was imminent - would export Rolands to Iraq with all the evidence written on them?

Um, TGA, excuse me but we ARE talking about the French, aren't we?

In all seriousness, I'll bet these missiles are either a) not what was claimed, though I'd expect Polish troops to understand weapons or more likely b) sold by the French to Saddam through one or more intermediary parties.
Posted by Steve White  2003-10-3 5:59:31 PM||   2003-10-3 5:59:31 PM|| Front Page Top

#4 Steve what would be the first thing to do when you want to ship a stolen car to another country? (No Polish joke here!) Scratching away the vehicle identification number would rank rather high, right?
The French might be a lot of things but not extremely dumb. And if they exported Rolands to Iraq they'd get into serious trouble with Germany as the co-producer as well.
I'm sure the Poles can identify a Roland, but to tell a Roland 3 from a Roland 2 is not easy. And if they were convinced that they had a Roland 3 I bet they would have kept the evidence, just to stuff it into Chirac's behind (which would be a sight to see).
Well I could see something different, too. Maybe the black market seller scammed the Iraqis into believing that they were buying new stuff?
Posted by True German Ally 2003-10-3 6:19:18 PM||   2003-10-3 6:19:18 PM|| Front Page Top

#5 Scratching off VINs is one thing, TGA, but please note that there is more than one copy of the VIN on a car - several in fact. Most of them in places hard or downright impossible to reach without destroying the car.

How did the FBI track down the renter of a certain van used in the '93 WTC bombing?....
Posted by mojo  2003-10-3 6:37:46 PM||   2003-10-3 6:37:46 PM|| Front Page Top

#6 I'd rather hear the Polish explanation first why they believe that this is a Roland 3. Hard to speculate without the facts.
Whatever happened to the Newsweek story in April 2003?
I hate these stories: They pop up with no evidence provided and disappear after a while.
But will be remembered like: Hmm wasn't there something with new French missiles in Iraq?
I want the FRench nailed with hard evidence.

Ohhh what happened to the biological warheads from Iraq found in Kuwait?

"Kuwaiti authorities have seized archaeological artefacts and ''other items'' smuggled from Iraq into Kuwait, Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah said in remarks published on Thursday."
'Kuwaiti security forces were able to seize some Iraqi artefacts smuggled to Kuwait,'' al-Sabah, who is also interior minister, was quoted as saying by al-Seyassah daily. He did not identify the other items.
Al-Sabah was responding to a question about a report the paper carried on Wednesday that Kuwaiti security forces had foiled an attempt to smuggle artefacts, chemical materials and biological warheads from Iraq to a European country via Kuwait.
Kuwaiti security sources told Reuters on Wednesday the report on the seizure of such weapons was baseless.

Ummmmm did the Iraqis try to bomb us with vases?
Posted by True German Ally 2003-10-3 6:51:27 PM||   2003-10-3 6:51:27 PM|| Front Page Top

#7 TGA - I find it totally plausible the French would sell them to Saddam via an intermediary. I'm not sure if that says more about me or the french reputation
Posted by Frank G  2003-10-3 6:51:31 PM||   2003-10-3 6:51:31 PM|| Front Page Top

#8 Frank G, what is your understanding of "The French"? The Chirac government? French companies? Shady French guys trading illegally?

Illegal dealings occur all the times. Germans have broken the Iraq embargo. Those who were caught are in jail now for a long time.
Posted by True German Ally 2003-10-3 7:00:45 PM||   2003-10-3 7:00:45 PM|| Front Page Top

#9 Those who were caught are in jail now for a long time.

Long time in Europe is something like 3 years. But anyway... I digress.
Posted by Rafael 2003-10-3 7:21:09 PM||   2003-10-3 7:21:09 PM|| Front Page Top

#10 7 to 15 years. Yes, still mild by U.S. standards but that's the system.
Posted by True German Ally 2003-10-3 7:43:36 PM||   2003-10-3 7:43:36 PM|| Front Page Top

#11 I think the French Gov't (Chirac and Dom.) turn a willful blind eye to transfers by others for national and personal gain. Remember, Jacques is under probable indictment for bribery (and other crimes?) when he leaves the Presidency....track record, TGA
Posted by Frank G  2003-10-3 7:46:33 PM||   2003-10-3 7:46:33 PM|| Front Page Top

#12 Maybe I'm too trusting of Germany, but tend to think the self-flagellation after WW2 tends to limit the gov't/corporate corruption often seen in France. They underwent little of the same self-cleansing, even though there were many collaborators (and vichy gov't). France has a national psyche that seems (to me at least) to justify F*&king over friends and alliances at the drop of a hat if it earns the mighty Franc (now Euro)for a French interest...for current evidence I would point to their unprincipled noncompliance with national debt limits. Should another country do the same, expect the De Villepin and Chirac brigade to act like deceived wives....(oh, the wailing and gnashing of teeth)..
Posted by Frank G  2003-10-3 7:53:49 PM||   2003-10-3 7:53:49 PM|| Front Page Top

#13 Frank G, given the corruption in France and the close connections between politics and major companies, nothing would surprise me. And Chirac better enjoys his presidency while it lasts.

That said, the story lacks the essential info: Why do the Poles believe these were missiles of 2003? And why for God's sake did they destroy the evidence?
Posted by True German Ally 2003-10-3 7:59:20 PM||   2003-10-3 7:59:20 PM|| Front Page Top

#14 sure the Poles can identify a Roland, but to tell a Roland 3 from a Roland 2 is not easy. And why for God's sake did they destroy the evidence?

-I'm sure CIA intel was already on this. A find of this magnitude would have Langley up handling business. However, who knows if the fallout (if these are the real deal) gets put out to the press. Seems like it would but stranger things have happened. Chirac better hope these are not the new rolands even if they were acquired visa-vie the black market. TGA - you seem to know a lot about missile systems, have you heard anything about the Russian made kornet anti-tank missiles? I saw reports of these being used against our M1's.
Posted by Jarhead 2003-10-3 10:30:04 PM||   2003-10-3 10:30:04 PM|| Front Page Top

#15 Q: Why do the Poles believe these were missiles of 2003?
A: They have the missiles and the shipping container in their hands (they were found stored in a ammo dump). Any major piece of military hardware will have a data plate with make, model, seriel number, and date of manufacture. We have to do it, it's in our military DNA. They are there for inventory purposes and a missile has a shelf life, hence the production date. Why didn't they remove them? They didn't really think we were going to invade, plus a anti-aircraft missile is destroyed when fired. They didn't think about them being found in a ammo dump.
Q: to tell a Roland 3 from a Roland 2 is not easy.
A: See first answer, it's on the data plate.
Posted by Steve  2003-10-3 10:58:26 PM||   2003-10-3 10:58:26 PM|| Front Page Top

#16 Has anyone checked for a large deposit in Chiraq's swiss bank account in the first quarter of 2003? Just a thought ...
Posted by A Jackson 2003-10-3 11:21:57 PM||   2003-10-3 11:21:57 PM|| Front Page Top

#17 We haven't heard about the date plates the Poles found. The one Newsweek quotes are not those found on a Roland missile.
That said, I don't exclude it at all that Iraq had Roland 3 missiles. But... did Iraq just have Roland 3 missiles or did it have the whole improved system? Smuggling missiles should be easy but the whole system would be traceable for sure. Roland 3 has longer range, 8km to Roland 2’s 6.3km. It also has a larger warhead, 9.2kg, to Roland 2’s 6.5kg. The new system can fire both missiles and I suppose the old could fire Roland 3 as well but that would pretty much defeat the purpose of the new development.
As for the Kornets that seem to have turned up in Iraq it must be said that the Russians developed a variant that is adaptated to very hot desert climates. It's very light weight and should be easy to smuggle.
Posted by True German Ally 2003-10-4 12:31:12 AM||   2003-10-4 12:31:12 AM|| Front Page Top

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