Thursday, June 16, 2005

Yet Eyes will not see it.

As you know, Austin Bay has returned to and is blogging from Badghad. Posts are up for June 15th & 14th. Phrases and sentences with greater moment (emphasis mine):

"After the ops briefing we talked with the current corps commander, Lieutenant-General Vines, for about an hour. When asked about Iraqi participation in security missions, Vines gave us a rough percentage figure. In at least nine out of ten security operations, the new Iraqi military is providing half of the forces. The Iraqi units demonstrate tactical combat proficiency but –this is the short version– lack logistical support organizations and heavy weapons (eg, sufficient artillery). "

Does anyone know about the Battle of Cowpens, and how Gen. Daniel Morgan used the Revolutionary War militia? Disconnect alert: I'd bet no member of the Religion of the Great Press does, I'd bet a lot of Marine officers do. Please look it up for yourself.

"This morning began on board the USS Normandy (Aegis class cruiser)– on patrol in the exlusion zone around Iraq’s “bank.” Well, not the bank precisely, but part of the bank, as in a key component of Iraq’s oil production system: the Al Basra Oil Terminal (ABOT). ABOT can pump about 90,000 barrels of oil an hour, and that’s money in the bank for Iraq. ABOT is off-shore–hence the immediate presence of US Navy and coalition naval forces. "

"On the morning of June 13 I flew by helicopter to the USS Normandy (the Aegis cruiser). The ultra-hi-tech missile-carrying Normandy now sports M-2 heavy machine guns and 25 millimeter chain guns (the type on US Army Bradley infantry vehicles and USMC LAVs). They are “add-ons” for close-in defense from potential attack by small boats. "

Any small boats, plus all riders would be shredded wonderfully and fiercely by an M-2 or chain gun. Plus the on board Koran's.

"I also visited ABOT and walked around part of the terminal with the commander of the Maritime Security Detachment (MSD) tasked with protecting the facility. The terminal itself may remind some of “Waterworld” — with weapons positions sprouting on platforms and on walkways. A number of Iraqi marines were on the platform, participating in a training exercise with the Navy MSD.
While on-board the Normandy I interviewed the Australian commodore (the rank is equivalent to a rear admiral, lower-grade, or an Army brigadier-general). The commodore is in charge of the coalition naval operations in the area. We spent some time discussing coalition naval ops. He pointed out that the naval coalition operation has been going on since 1990 (Desert Shield)

Since 1990...Think about that for a moment. Protecting the ABOT from whom?

And words never spoken, as they are Heresy to believers in the Religion of the Great Press:

"The technology and operations are fascinating– but the people involved, the sailors and marines, make the tech work. Once again I was impressed by the young people in uniform, particularly the sailors on the RHIBs doing boarding party work. The sand-salt haze reduced visibility, bumping waves at high-speed hammered my knees and back, and –oh yes– the heat was a challenge. But the opportunity to see these young sailors in action — what a privilege. "

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