Sunday, September 02, 2007

"We Are Going To Hit Iran. Bigtime"

This story was removed from Daily Kos:

"We Are Going To Hit Iran. Bigtime"by MaccabeeSat Sep 01, 2007 at 03:50:24 PM PDTI have a friend who is an LSO on a carrier attack group that isplanning and staging a strike group deployment into the Gulf ofHormuz. (LSO: Landing Signal Officer- she directs carrier aircraftwhile landing) She told me we are going to attack Iran. She said thatall the Air Operation Planning and Asset Tasking are finished. Thatmeans that all the targets have been chosen, prioritized, and taskedto specific aircraft, bases, carriers, missile cruisers and so forth.I asked her why she is telling me this.Her answer was really amazing.Maccabee's diary :: ::She started in the Marines and after 8 years her term was up. She hadserved on a smaller Marine carrier, and found out through a friendknew there was an opening for a junior grade LSO in a trainingposition on a supercarrier. She used the reference and theinformation and applied for a transfer to the United States Navy.Since she had experience landing F-18Cs and Cobra Gunships, and anunblemished combat record, she was ratcheted into the job,successfully changing from the Marines to the Navy. Her role is stillaligned with the Marines since she generally is assigned to liasonwith the Marine units deploying off her carrier group.Like most Marines and former Marines, she is largely apolitical. Thefact is, most Marines are trigger pullers and most trigger pullerscould care less who the President is. They simply want to be the tipof the sword when it comes to defending the country. She voted oncein her life and otherwise was always in some forward post on thewater during election season.Something is wrong with the Navy and the Marines in her view. Alwaysready to go in harms way, Marines rarely ever question unless it's amatter of tactics or honor. But something seems awry. Junior andsenior officers are starting to grumble, roll their eyes in thehallways. The strain of deployments is beginning to hit every jot andtittle of the Marines and it's beginning to seep into the dailyconversation of Marines and Naval officers in command decision."I know this will sound crazy coming from a Naval officer", shesaid. "But we're all just waiting for this administration to end.Things that happen at the senior officer level seem more and more tohappen outside of the purview of XOs and other officers who typicallyhave a say-so in daily combat and flight operations. Today, ordersjust come down from the mountaintop and there's no questioning. Infact, there is no discussing it. I have seen more than one seniorcommander disappear and then three weeks later we find out that hehas been replaced. That's really weird. It's also really weirdbecause everyone who has disappeared has questioned whether or not weshould be staging a massive attack on Iran.""We're not stupid. Most of the members of the fleet read well enoughto know what is going on world-wise. We also realize that anyone whohas any doubts is in danger of having a long military career yankedout from under them. Keep in mind that most of the people I servewith are happy to be a part of the global war on terror. It's justthat the touch points are what we see since we are the ones out herewho are supposedly implementing this grand strategy. But when youliason with administration officials who don't know that Iraniansdon't speak Arabic and have no idea what Iranians live like, then youstart having second thoughts about whether these Administrationofficials are even competent."I asked her about the attack, how limited and so forth."I don't think it's limited at all. We are shipping in and assigningevery damn Tomahawk we have in inventory. I think this is going to bemassive and sudden, like thousands of targets. I believe that noAmerican will know when it happens until after it happens. Andwhatever the consequences, whatever the consequences, they will haveto be lived with. I am sure if my father knew I was telling someonein a news organization that we were about to launch a supposedlysecret attack that it would be treason. But something inside me tellsme to tell it anyway."I asked her why she was suddenly so cynical."I have become cynical only recently. I also don't believe anyonewill be able to stop this. Bush has become something of an Emperor.He will give the command, and cruise missiles will fly and aircraftwill fly and people will die, and yet few of us here are really ableto cobble together a great explanation of why this is a good idea. Ofcourse many of us can give you the 4H Club lecture on democracy inthe Mid East. But if you asked any of the flight officers whetherthey have a clear idea of what the goal of this strike is, youranswer would sound like something out of a think tank policy paper.But it's not like Kosovo or when we relieved the tsunami victims.There everyone could tell you in a sentence what we were here doing.""That's what's missing. A real sense of purpose. What's missing isthe answer to what the hell are we doing out here threatening thiscountry with all this power? Last night in the galley, an ensignasked what right do we have to tell a sovereign nation that theycan't build a nuke. I mean the table got EF Hutton quiet. Not so muchbecause the man was asking a question that was off culture. But thathe was asking a good question. In fact, the discussion actuallyfollowed afterwards topside where someone in our group had to smoke acigarette. The discussion was intelligent but also in lowered voices.It's like we aren't allowed to ask the questions that we always askbefore combat. It's almost as if the average seaman or soldier isdoing all the policy work."She had to hang up. She left by telling me that she believes theattack is a done deal. "It's only a matter of time before theirorders come and they will be sent to station and told to go to RedAlert. She said they were already practicing traps, FARP and FAST."(Trapping is the act of catching the tension wires when landing onthe carrier, FARP is Fleet Air Combat Maneuvering Readiness Program-practice dogfighting- and FAST is Fleet Air Superiority Training).She seemed lost. The first time in my life I have ever heard hersound off rhythm, or unsure of why she is doing something. She knowsthat there is something rotten in the Naval Command and she, likemany of her associates are just hoping that the election brings insomeone new, some new situation, or something."Yes. We're gong to hit Iran, bigtime. Whatever political discussionthat are going in is window dressing and perhaps even a red herring.I see what's going on below deck here in the hangars and weaponsbays. And I have a sick feeling about how it's all going to turn out."

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