Improvised Explosive Device

It's curious that the roadside bombs responsible for about a third of U.S. casualties in Iraq are called improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by the military, but the improvised explosive devices used by Ted Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, and at the World Trade Center in 1993 are called bombs.

The IEDs in Iraq are typically devised from disassembled warheads or mines -- gadgets designed to explode. On the other hand, McVeigh, the ’93 WTC bombers and others used ANFO, a homemade explosive mixture of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and fuel oil, detonated with a makeshift mechanism.

No mincing words about it. A bomb is a bomb whether here or there. Calling it an IED masks its meaning, much as collateral damage does for civilian deaths. No, we aren’t being bombed to pieces in Iraq. Yes, there are some IED casualties. Doesn’t that sound better?


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