Friday started off with updates from General Ingram – all ground forces were preparing for a push next weekend into the northern region of Iran. There were several very large cities – including Tehran – that could be problematic. Logistics was moving men and equipment closer and building stockpiles of supplies.
By pushing it off to next weekend the troops would have plenty of time to rest, rearm and rejuvenate. It would give the Generals more time to divide the northern region into sections and quadrants and then assign adequate troops and equipment to take control of the sector – hopefully preventing friendly fire incidents.
There were two more airports that would be ready to accept the C17 and C5 planes.
After the General left, the crap hit the fan. Manuel Santos – Secretary General of the UN – called and wanted another video conference. I had Troy set it up for 1100. That would give me time to check in with Victor Mason – our Ambassador – to find out if anything had been going on behind the scenes in New York.
I found out Iran’s Ambassador to the UN Bahar Farzad had spent the last two weeks wheeling and dealing. I was pissed that Victor didn’t think it important enough to keep me informed. An email or a quick call was all it would have taken.
At 1100 Secretary Dean of the State Department, General Ingram and my group of advisors were sitting at the fancy meeting table with me at the end with the US flag and the Presidential Flag behind me and off to the side so they would be seen on the video feed from the room.
At 1115 – fifteen minutes late – Secretary Santos came on the screen.
”It’s time you stopped your military action against Iran. You have been bombing 24/7 for three weeks. Hundreds of thousands have been killed according to the information we have.”
”I have been working on a solution with member countries in the area. This is what we have come up with,” he said.
”UN peace keeping troops from Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Turkmenistan will take positions between the northern and Central sections of Iran. You will pull your troops back fifty miles to allow them to create a neutral zone. ”
”The Iranian Ambassadors from Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Ambassador Farzad will form a new government for Iran that will comply with all UN administrative directives.”
”An oversight committee formed from other Muslim countries from the North African and Middle East countries will have veto authority over the new government for five years.”
”Once the new government is formed and established according to these terms, you will withdraw all US troops and equipment and remove all Navy and Air Force from the region including the Indian Ocean,” he said.
”Same old faces, same old extremist politics, same old government policies and nothing new,” I said.
”I told you three weeks ago what had to be done to end the conflict and ground war. It still stands. Unconditional surrender by Iran is the only end to this conflict as you call it that I will accept.”
”If you send any UN peace keeping troops to Iran, make no mistake – I will send them home in body bags – all of them, no matter where they come from,” I said.
”I cannot make it any clearer than that.”
”It amazes me to think you do this without the blessing of the Security Council. Ambassador Mason will veto that proposal and any like it and I know I can count on several more council members to vote the same way,” I added.
”You must end this conflict. Think of the humanitarian crisis it is causing. Thousands of people are fleeing and starving,” he said.
”I don’t know where this humanitarian crisis is. I have seen no reports of it. Food and water deliveries are continuing at pre-war levels. Medical teams are attending the sick and injured. Utilities are operating in the central and southern regions twenty four hours a day- something that has not happened in a decade,” I said.
”I have no reports of any exodus of the population,” I added.
”You are being fed a pack of lies and misinformation. Don’t bother me again with this useless bull shit. You have the terms and conditions that I will accept. Good Day,” I said as I cut the feed.
”It’s time for lunch! Anyone want to join me?” I asked.
Troy, Connie and General Ingram were the only ones that accepted. The others quickly scattered.
As I was eating lunch I was thinking about the UN call. I wondered what the next step would be. If the Iranian Ambassador had gone to all that effort, there was more. Was this just a smoke screen, a diversion?
“General, please send a memo to all commands for the Iranian operation. Remind them the No – Fly zone over all of Iran is to be strictly enforced including shoot down if necessary,” I said.
”Do you think they are going to try something?” General Ingram asked.
”I think we may see some shenanigans in the near future,” I said.
I had barely settled into my chair when State Department Secretary Dean called.
”I just finished a call from Turkish President Cevdet. He is upset that you did not further evaluate the peace offer and wishes you to reconsider. He will call you later today,” Secretary Dean said.
”Let him call, it won’t do any good, I’m not changing my position. We are too close to ending this on my terms. I’m not changing directions now,” I said.
We talked a few more minutes before I ended the call. I had more to make that were much more important and plans to solidify for next few days and next week.
Tuesday my mates were going with me and staff to England. I needed to meet with Prime Minister Attenborough and members of his cabinet and then spend the night. The following day I was to have an audience with King William.
From there to Moscow on Thursday. Some of the early goals had been met with the Russian agreement. President Orbatch and I were to cut the last fuel tank into pieces, rendering it useless on the last mid range missile that was part of the agreement for the cameras.
It was one milestone of the many in the agreement. It would be an international media distraction from the war and everything else. Another thing it would do was be another sheep burr in the britches of Secretary General Santos.
He was still miffed that the agreement was reached without him and his precious UN negotiating team and was still going strong without him.
My mates and I were going to finally get the guided tour of Red Square in Moscow and on the second day a tour of Catherine Palace in St Petersburg. The infamous Amber room had been reconstructed there. It was to be personally guided by President Orbatch and Anton. We were staying there two nights, leaving on Saturday.
Turkey’s President Cevdet called a few minutes later. Turkey was still a member of NATO even after many attempts to remove them. They were responsible for a lot of problems in the region.
They believed that the resurgence and reconstruction of the Ottoman Empire was their destiny. Over the past 20 years they had involved themselves in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Greece and many other places in the region. Usually they were an instigator of political strife.
We talked about NATO and the possible changes because of the Russia agreement. He wasn’t happy when I told him, ”We are going to collect all the US made nuclear bombs that were on lease to NATO and replace them with upgraded dial-a -yield war heads that would comply with the new agreement.”
Even though it may have been clouded science I told him, ”The existing warheads were nearing the end of their useful life because of deterioration of the nuclear pellet and insulating plates. The insulating plates could cause an accidental explosion in a severe earthquake. Some were already forty years old,” I said.
”Even without the agreement they would have to be replaced within the next twelve months. An accelerated schedule is nearly complete because we have plenty of cargo planes going back to the US while empty,” I said.
”Why did you not accept the peace deal offered by the UN? There was a lot of work by Muslim countries familiar with the Iranian needs,” he asked.
”I’m winning so I don’t need to. When you are winning, one does not quit and negotiate,” I said.
”Surely there has been a heavy cost in soldiers’ lives. The American public has to know the numbers and be screaming,” he said.
”There are a lot of dead Iranian troops, very few American troops,” I said.
”How can that be? The IRG was one of the better trained and equipped armies in the region,” he said.
”I didn’t follow their war games book like they thought we would,” I said.
”The war will be over soon; I have enough confidence in that to do a four nation trip next week,” I said.
”Why did you destroy all the mosques, learning centers and shrines?” he asked.
”We did not destroy all of them. Those that were listed as world heritage sites were spared. Intelligence had undisputed proof that they were being turned into weapons storage. History also indicates that they are routinely used as command and control centers, sniper towers and spotting for mortar fire. I have seen that with my own eyes.”
”I learn from the mistakes of the past and chose not to repeat them,” I said.
”The Imams would not allow such activity,” he said.
”I believe there are several passages in the Koran that say otherwise,” I replied.
”Then there is no chance of you reconsidering the peace plan then,” he said.
”No, none at all,” I said.
I closed out the desk and called it a day. I was going home to be with my mates for the weekend.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.