The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal

Informed but opinionated commentary and analysis on urban transportation topics from the Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal. Names have been omitted to protect the guilty.

Our Mission: Monkeywrench the Anti-Transit Forces

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Friday, April 18, 2003

Baghdad Metro In the News

"It is the unfortunate destiny of the ridiculous to be subject to ridicule."
James Howard Kunstler

"Truth passes through three phases: 1) It is ridiculed. 2) It is violently opposed. 3) It is accepted as self-evident." Albert Schopenhouer. In the United States, rail is currently passing through Phase Two.

From the Cabalmaster:

The fate of the guy with the mustache remains uncertain (we hear that he's holed up at the Bada Bing Club; another report has him, shorn and shaven, at the side of You-Know-Who, munching "pommes-frites de la liberté" (Freedom Fries) in Gay Paree . . . ). However, details have appeared about the unfinished Baghdad Metro.

According to an Iraqi defector described as a former top scientist, the tunnels were used to hide weapons of mass destruction. This story was broadcast on "60 Minutes" in February 2003:

A more recent "Washington Post" report (April 2003) includes estimates that Baghdad has up to 100 km of secret tunnels.

Finding tunnels and bunkers is reported as a priority for US military and intelligence. The Serbian engineering firm BK Aeroinzenjering (in English: Aeroengineering), established under the former Yugoslav Communist regime of Josip Broz Tito, is believed to have built many of Iraq's military tunnels and bunkers.

(Websites: and in Serbian (Latin alphabet); in Russian;

and in English.)

An AP report dated April 9. 2003 states that US troops have begun combing the tunnel network. (We trust that they'll avoid stray currents from the third rail, which might disrupt night-vision goggles.)

This page has several interesting links:

Don’t miss the great graphic, "Saddam and George holding peace conferences while touring a station on the Baghdad Metro," at the bottom of the page.

(By the way: the red-white-black Iraqi flag is the "pre-war" version, including the "takbir" (Allahu Akbar, "God is Great") in the calligraphy of the guy with the mustache. The supermarket tabloid Weekly World News is sponsoring a contest to design a new Iraqi flag

A British rail enthusiast has gathered information about the railways of Iraq and Afghanistan

See for a transit-related war protest message.

As a reminder that some of the details found in the links above may be less than credible, we're including the following, to a 1991 article by a British journalist, stating that Iraq successfully tested a nuclear bomb in 1989, at a secret underground site 150 km southwest of Baghdad.

See (We Opinionated Ones are frankly agnostic about this particular story -- we'll believe it when we see more details.)

An important detail not known to the Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal: whether any of Baghdad's "secret tunnels" are suitable for conversion to transit use. They may have been built with, grades too steep or curves too sharp, or clearances inadequate for operation of subway trains. So far, only the U.S. Army and U.S. Marines know for sure.

Remember: you read about the Bagdag Metro first on our blog! We'll bring you additional details as they become available.

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