Sunday morning was laid back and started slow. There were no changes in the morning update from Saturday night’s update from Iran. But I knew big decisions were on tap on Monday. My family left early Monday morning.
I had a busy week – it was planned for me. Monday started with the generals, another hundred miles of Iranian territory had been captured over weekend. We were at a dilemma now with the offensive push.
Hundreds of small towns had surrendered. As soon as tanks and armored troop carriers appeared, someone in the town came out with a white flag of surrender. Usually it was the town’s mayor or some other high ranking politician.
It was a political as well as a military surrender – the two being closely tied together in Iran. In each case a specialized team came to put all the documents together and explain the terms so there could be no mistakes. The team had someone that could read and speak Persian.
First they were told that all guns and weapons had to be turned in to the American soldiers. Then there were a lot of general instructions including all women had to have their faces exposed. They could wear a scarf to hold the hair in place but the face had to be visible at all times; no more hiding. There were a dozen more rules that had to be followed.
Then there was a list of questions. Do you have enough fresh water? What is its source? Is the electric on in the town? If it is off, how long has it been off? Where does the food for the town come from; what is its source? Is there enough food? What do the town’s people do to live and survive? Is there petrol for the automobiles in town and from where was it supplied?
Did the town have a doctor, health clinic or hospital?
All these questions determined what had to be done and how soon. Food and water were immediate concerns. Electricity was the next big concern.
No power plants or electrical sub stations had been targeted by the bombers or Navy planes. Electricity was one of the first things that was needed to return to normalcy.
The Navy Seabees were ashore as were the construction units for the army. They had groups that could restore electricity – if it were out for minor problems.
Several big utility contractors from the US were also on the ground. It had been an afterthought as the war and its aftermath were hashed out in meetings. I had ordered that there be military and civilian committees to prepare and plan all the various pieces that were needed after the war ended.
It was something new that had never been done in advance before. Usually the aftermath resulted in various serious and deadly consequences for both the civilians and military.
It was always weeks or months after the shooting stopped that actions other than mass incarceration slowly came into play. That failure led to vigilantism, the forming of unwanted and uncontrolled political groups, riots and starvation.
The Marshall Plan to help Europe recover from WW2 was three years after the end of the war; by then communism had a strong foothold in Europe. I wanted to prevent the next ISIS or Hamas before they gained a foothold in Iran.
I wanted all of those issues not to be part of the reconstruction process.
The real problem was the bigger cities! So far troops had not entered them, they were on outskirts waiting for orders. Some had been approached by citizens wanting information.
Carts and trucks bringing food and supplies were stopped and inspected for weapons. Many were completely unloaded and reloaded before allowing to continue on. Thermal imagining checked floors and other places for hidden weapons.
We decided that on Tuesday exploratory entry into the cities would begin in earnest by the troops and armor. Attempts would be made to find out who was temporally in charge. There would be plenty of air cover if needed.
I left it to the generals – for the time being – so that I could address other questions and events coming my way.
All the major networks were wanting interviews after the debate. Each one was wanting to be the one with a news scoop – any news scoop. They weren’t getting it. Suddenly a lot of Congressional and Senatorial conservatives wanted access for a photo session to help their reelection campaign. It was due to my aggressive response at the debate and the ratings.
I knew it was normal and some of them needed all the help they could get. I also was wise enough to know control of the House and Senate was very important. It was an inconvenience but I took the time for the handshake and make believe, working to get the pictures they thought they needed for their campaign.
The most popular one was them setting across from me at the presidential desk with the presidential flag and the US flag behind us. I took the opportunity to press them to vote in favor of bills I wanted before the session closed for the election break.
Troy and Connie set up the desk for each photo session saying there had to be some difference for each senator or representative. They had a box of books and folders and papers for props.
The desk was set up with various themes with slight differences. I noticed there was one thing that was always somewhere on my desk in all the photos, a certain book. It some photos it was closed, in others it was open face down, in others it was open face up.
I spent the afternoon in front of the camera. Makeup touched me and them up time and time again. Every ten minutes there was a new representative and a remake of the desk.
My staff was working on campaign stops for me after the convention. Carl Isham was working with them, working out the dates and places. I had to stop and think where all this extra staff came from. I hadn’t expanded any of my presidential staff.
They were people who had worked for former President Thomas before he died. They were his political staff – a necessity in separating official work from campaign work, which otherwise could lead to conflicts of interest for using official staff for political purposes. It was the kind of thing that congress and negative media loved for grandstanding in front of the camera. Politics complicated everything in Washington.
I hadn’t needed them before now but they were still on staff. The party and I were paying for them under the advice of Jenny and Curtis Warren. The decision allowed at least some political cover.
Troy had setup the arrangements with Marcy footing part of the bill. Things that he thought of while I was too busy with the war to be involved in. There were other things going on as well that I would find about much later.
It was 1800 when we called it quits for today – the PR blitz would resume tomorrow at noon. General Ingram came in with the update from Iran. He wanted to know if there were to be any changes before the armored personnel carriers, tanks and helicopter rolled into four cities tomorrow. It would be midnight here, breaking day there.
I authorized the process to begin. If they were going to find major resistance and heavy causalities, it would begin tonight.
He picked up the book, ”Looks like a lot of interesting reading, probably for a lawyer,” he said as he placed it back on the desk.
I looked at the title, ”Rules and guidelines for Presidential candidates”, printed by the Federal Election Commission. It was the current issue.
No wonder everyone who went through the office today was glancing repeatedly at it – they already knew what it was and had a similar copy of their own to run for Congress. Was someone trying to send me a subtle hint? I had never seen that book before. There was a marker in it so I opened to the page, it was the section for presidential candidates, the requirements for campaigns and responsibility.
Now I knew there was a conspiracy in my office and security group. I wondered who all was involved in it.
I worked out in the fitness center with a couple agents close at hand. I was going to do a light workout but with a couple of competitive agents, it turned into almost three hours – the kind I liked. I was hot, sweaty and breathing hard, a worthwhile workout I seldom got here.
I carried the book and the other reading materials I needed to review before turning in.
It was a restless night. I woke up more than once wondering how the troops were doing with the assault on the cities. Four cities were to be invaded – for the lack of a better word – at day break, just several hours ago in Iran.
At 0400 I gave up and got up, found the first cup of coffee and then ordered breakfast. I followed that up by going to the Oval Office early.
If someone wanted to play I could to. I placed the opened book on my desk within reach. I had moved the page marker last night when I read forty pages or so.
At 0600 the Joint Chiefs night crew sent up the first report of the day. In an hour General Ingram and the day crew would issue a new assessment on the world threats for the day.
Troops had entered the four cities in central Iran meeting little or no opposition. Esfahan, Najafabad, Yazd and Birjand – all major cities – were now occupied cities.
That left seven more major cities and two of the most notorious prisons in the world in central Iran for the military to take control of. That control was from 30N to 35N; a swath through central Iran.
Those seven cities had been and were still being heavily bombed – there were military bases and IRG controlled factories there making missile parts and anti-aircraft guns. There wasn’t much of any of it left but the bombing was destroying civilian moral. White flags were already appearing over many houses and other buildings.
Those seven cities were for the latest arriving troops to take on. Twenty thousand were coming from South Korea. They were being flown in today, equipment and logistics had arrived on Sunday.
Other notes followed; the State Department had contracted sale of the first oil. The first super tankers were in the stand by anchorage waiting for the loading terminals to be operating.
The refineries were operating and the petrol was being delivered to the towns and cities that had surrendered. They weren’t too happy about the price – it was not subsidized by the government any more but there was no longer any rationing.
The meetings lasted all morning again, before everyone was satisfied with the arrangements. More troops were being rounded up from various bases around the world. We needed more logistics and transportation as bad as we needed more foot soldiers.
At noon the PR campaign was back on again. I needed to wrap it up earlier tonight. I placed the opened book back on the desk where it stayed the rest of the day.
At 1700 I ate a light supper, showered and dressed in a long gown before seeing the hair dresser and a makeup trio. I must have been looking old as I now had a trio of makeup ladies attending me.
A few minutes later wired up, I was sitting on an easy chair in the Oval Office answering questions for the number two news network. I pondered each answer carefully. I intentionally left the book on the desk through the interview.
Aides and advisers were out of sight of the camera, just in case I needed them or something came up.
I was glad when it was over and relieved that I had not made any gaffs or mistakes – so were the people that were off camera.
Champagne was brought out along with a case of cold beer and deep frosted mugs. The beer was for me and the agents that normally were with me. They were as country as I was. The champagne was for those that wanted to look important and have ‘class’.
I did an MTAC call to my mates and talked for an hour. Everything JBG was growing and busy. Lorrie was trying to get more planes – more C5s if she could – and more of the 747s for passenger, freighter and water tanker conversion.
Ching Lee and Vicky were trying to hire hundreds for the Cameroon and Nigeria contracts. Things were happening there faster than we expected. Andy needed men as soon as they could be rushed through the training. As it was some of those assigned to the Mexico security zone were going to be used.
Complicating things for the security department, the State Department had requested as many Persian speaking people as we could spare to help in Iran. It would be just one more possible conflict of interest in the eyes of some.
For Marcy, the leasing was growing as were the truck stops. Her accounting section was also growing.
Jenny’s HR and legal was growing as well. The Horsey Building was all administrative now. I felt left out at times during the conversation. They were asking me questions about some things and I wondered why, not that it was important. They seemed trivial so I didn’t worry about it.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.
Now I know this is fiction, as I can not think of anything that would create resistance in a 90% Shi’a country than to ban the Burka. While it is not a law written into the Koran, it IS a 1000-year-old custom. I can think of nothing that would inflame the populace to a stance of resistance to modern Crusaders and Colonialists than that. Ruhollah Khomeini used that point (westernized women’s dress) as one of his beginning toeholds to begin the process of overthrowing the Shah. Good yarn as always. I love the gameplay with the book on the desk.
Jack as always, man can you write one hell of a chapter….
As you will also know my only pet peeve is being forced to wait for new chapters only to get frustrated because i have to wait again…
G-d help you if ya ever stop posting