Saudis in Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones
There is a giant difference between those who have been in combat and those who have not. I spent almost two years in Vietnam so I understand a lot about stupid illegal criminal wars. One is that 80% of those in combat zones never hear a shot fired in anger. The vast majority of those who engaged in combat in Vietnam were either infantry or chopper pilots. They got shot at and they know what happens. Those in the rear may have collected combat pay but they were no more in combat than a donut dolly.
You make the transition to being a veteran of combat the very first time someone fires a rocket or mortar or machine gun with the deliberate intent to kill you, not those surrounding you, someone wants to kill you. And everyone goes through exactly the same sequence. “Damn, why is that jerk trying to kill me? My momma would be really upset.”
You can go through boot camp and learn neat ways to kill people with a rifle or bayonet or an elbow in the enemy’s throat. I never thought the pugil sticks would be good for much in combat but we had to train with them. But no one ever suggested that when we tried to harm people, they would be doing exactly the same thing to us.
In flight training we learned air-to-air tactics for use against enemy aircraft. I did practice bombing of desert ranges in barren South Texas as well. While we were indeed taught how to twist and turn in a fast moving dog fight, no one really explains the simple reason you don’t want to be the 2nd best fighter pilot in the fur ball. When you shoot at people, the people shoot at you.
On the 14th someone attacked a major Saudi oil facility with some combination of drones and perhaps cruise missiles. It caused major damage and reduced oil production by 50% in the kingdom. Spokesmen for the government claim full production will be back in swing before the end of the month. We shall see.
In late July of 1968 I took off from Da Nang with a load of ten 500-pound bombs. I had barely lifted off and popped the gear up when I saw what appeared to be green fireworks off my wing. I wasn’t aware of any religious celebrations or holidays that might have prompted the activity. Finally my brain clicked into gear and I realized a VC was in Dog Patch just south of the airport and he was firing a 51-caliber machine gun directly in the air hoping I would fly into his pattern.
I took a firm grip on my seat pan and thought to myself, “Why is he shooting at me? I don’t even know him and he’s trying his best to kill me.” Then I thought about the ten bombs I was carrying with the intention of dropping on someone. It woke me up. When you wage war on others, don’t be all that surprised when they respond.
While Pompeo is whining about Iran attacking Saudi Arabia readers should remember his famous quote about his own truthfulness. “We lied, we cheated and stole.”
No doubt you will sleep better tonight knowing that hard men stand ready to lie on your behalf.
We still, five days after the attack cannot be certain who made the attack. Pompeo said Iran without proof. They certainly have both the capability and the intent. After all, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US have been waging war against them for years.
The Houthi rebels in Yemen certainly have an attitude after having been bombed by the Saudis for years but they almost certainly lack the technical ability to launch missiles or drones with enough range to hit the oil facility.
Multiple reports suggest the attacks come from the North West and could be Egypt, Israel or Jordan. Egypt and Jordon simply don’t have a dog in the fight.
Israel certainly possessed both the ability from a technical point of view and the intention to drag the US into fighting yet another war for them. There is also the interesting issue of Bibi being up for reelection on Tuesday September 17th. If he loses the election, he faces trial and potentially prison for corruption. Those are serious considerations. Only time will fill in the blanks. The Saudis may have set up a false flag all by themselves.
We do know now, four days after the highly successful attack, that it is certainly a false flag operation on someone’s part. I flew 834 missions in combat, controlled a thousand air strikes, fifty missions with the Battleship New Jersey firing a 16-inch gun and hundreds of artillery missions. I’m not bragging, it was an evil and illegal war I regret greatly. But I’ve been there and done that.
Conducting an aggressive mission against a major infrastructure as important as that oil facility and stopping when you are only half successful is about as meaningful as trying to make love with half a hardon. No one in military history stopped an attack when it was half way done.
But even more dangerous is the fact that someone opened Pandora’s box. The genie is out in the open. Saudi Arabia is in deep doo-doo even if they did the operation themselves. You see, you can’t possibly defend that kind of facility from precision cruise missiles or cheap drones when a kid’s toy can be turned into a suicide strike.
It’s called asymmetric warfare and big trouble for Saudi Arabia. It’s what happens when big and powerful armies are in conflict with tiny and weak armies.
Here is the best example I can think about. The US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive military program in world history with total costs of well over $1.5 trillion. Each aircraft costs $100 million or more. The custom-made helmet is priced at $750,000 and you have to have your own even if you only fly the aircraft one time.
I was flying the $4.5 million dollar F-4B when I was 20. It cost US taxpayers a million smackers in 1967 to put me in the front seat of the aircraft but I used them 125 times in combat. There was this slight technical glitch where the enemy could actually see you from 20 miles away because of the smoke trail but that’s another issue.
The North Vietnamese were brilliant fighter pilots who used their primitive Korea vintage planes to great effect. They had Mig-15 aircraft flying ten-minute missions doing one gun firing pass on us and knocking down what was a far more effective and far more expensive aircraft.
As a former fighter pilot I can assure you with great confidence that the F-35 is the biggest piece of crap aircraft the US ever built. The procurement program is totally corrupt and it is little more than a retirement program for a bunch of useless ex-military deadbeats who would be on welfare and living under a bridge if it weren’t for the F-35 aircraft. It is worthless, can’t fight, has no range and it wouldn’t last a week in combat against real pilots.
Think about being in a glass house and the wisdom of throwing stones. The very first time an F-35 gets taken down by a kid with a $10 slingshot, you might as well shut down your flight program and fire all the pilots. And that is similar to what just happened in Saudi Arabia when $200 drones could close half the nation’s oil production.
If the Saudis have any sense they will collect all the white cotton sheets in the country and start sewing nice white flags to hand out to every prince and person over the age of five in the country. They can all wave them in unison to send a clear and convincing signal to anyone who might even think they are the enemy. They might as well burn down all their aircraft and fire all their mercenaries. They just got their donkeys totally kicked. Even if they did it themselves.
This is the ultimate Pyrrhic victory.
If Saudi Arabia doesn’t immediately surrender to anyone who they might have offended in one way or another, the next strike will take out 100% or more of their production capability. In that case, in the future the women will be making their living by raising dates and the men by herding sheep. On the other hand, at least the men will have 1,000 girlfriends.
If you are tempted to live in a glass house, don’t even pick up pebbles.