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Nashville Christmas Attack: Looks like average-sized VBIED

27 December 2020
Portland, Oregon

Yon-Genre Mind Dump without edit

Looking at many photos and videos, looks like your normal car bomb. Thousands in Iraq. Fewer in Afghanistan but still tons. A large truck bomb would have obliterated buildings on both sides in that confined space.

If you know veterans who served in Iraq outside-the-wire between about 2004 and late 2007, ask them about car and truck bombs. Remember all the bombs I wrote about while there? Most of the bombs I saw — I never mentioned. There were so many.

Most would warrant about this much in the press:

“A car exploded in Mosul on Tuesday. At least eight people reported killed. Unknown numbers wounded. Al Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility for this and 23 other car bombs in the past ten days.”

Thousands of VBIEDs in Iraq, and at least tens of thousands of other IEDs. So many that I often wrote not a single word. Would be like reporting every lightning strike in a hurricane. Imagine several dozen of these per week across the United States. Checkpoints everywhere. Innocent people being accidentally shot at roadblocks. Happens a lot, you know.

Most people shot at roadblocks were from simple accidents. We called them TCPs. Traffic Control Points. Police or military would set up checkpoints and there were inevitable misunderstandings, such as people not noticing until too late, and not slowing down — and suddenly their family is shot to shreds. And the war grows.

The more people attack police and military, the more they attack back. And the war grows.

Lawlessness skyrockets.

Ad hoc vigilante groups spring up. Militias of all sorts grow. Militias fight government, businesses, each other. And the war grows.

Lawlessness skyrockets more. Robbery becomes normal. Journalists forfeit protected status and are hunted.

The Iraq war was amazingly dangerous for correspondents, as was Afghanistan. Al Qaeda was gunning for me in Iraq. Media companies become frontline offices. Life becomes more dangerous associated with journalism than with police or military. When I was covering Iraq, Afghanistan, and Thailand, many correspondents were killed, often just near me. I covered Hong Kong until they kicked me out this year. Despite the violence in Hong Kong, that was tame for foreign correspondents compared to other wars I have seen.

Some journalists still maintain that special arrogance carried by those with illusions of untouchability. War cleanses the mind of illusion.

There is chatter all over the internet already about targeting journalists and tech companies. ANTIFA has already been targeting journalists. I was out in Portland tonight and you may have seen my twitter video of ANTIFA tonight. (I would livestream to Patreon but have tech issues making this happen.)

Ask your veteran buddies who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, or other conflicts. Many vets continue to warn. Civil war is a terrible thing. The scent of war.

Michael Yon

Michael Yon is America's most experienced combat correspondent. He has traveled or worked in 82 countries, including various wars and conflicts.

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