Thursday, April 30, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Looking around the Situation Room at those seated before him – the chairman of the joint chiefs, an admiral, two generals, the directors of the CIA and the NSA, his secretary of defense – the president assesses the realities of this moment. Though I’m commander in chief, I feel inadequate to the task before me. Only these four military men have any strategic planning and military experience at the command level. I am humbled in their presence.
“Dean, you said that you wanted to start with the list of military sites we need to consider. Let’s have it,” Egan says with a sigh.
Dean Hargrove rises and walks to the podium. After adjusting a sheaf of papers in front of him, he turns on a computer. The Great Seal of the United States of America appears on the screen at the front of the room; all eyes are drawn to the thirteen arrows in the grip of the eagle’s talon.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I am filled with the melodies
of my ancestors
I wake knowing I have been listening
to their music all night long
in the moments between sleep
and full consciousness
I hear it
music of joy and sadness
a minor key
the passionate sounds flow through me
connecting body and soul
©1996 Linda H. Feinberg
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
“What do you think you’re seeing?” asks Ritter, fishing out a pack of cigarettes from his jacket pocket. Carter’s clearly negative reaction inspires Ritter to drop them back in.
“I’m getting the sense of an increasing intensity in making deadlines by the military,” Dave informs them. “It’s almost like they’ve got some kind of major deadline they’re shooting for. I’m seeing traffic that suggests the two Kilos they’re buying from Russia are undergoing sea trials, with two Iranian crews already in Russia. In the past the Russians always delivered their Kilos, and sea trials were conducted in Iranian waters.”
“I don’t know if that really means anything in and of itself,” Proctor says, pushing his chair back from the table.
“Maybe you’re right. Maybe it doesn’t,” Dave concedes. “It’s a gut thing. Have either of you gotten any sense of a red flag? I need your views besides my own.”
Ritter gets up and paces the floor, thinking. Then it hits him. “There’s been a pick-up in messages between the Council and the navy, about missile firings that aren’t going as satisfactorily as they’d like. I can’t put a finger on what kind of missiles they are talking about, but there does seem to be a lot of internal pressure going into the problem, whatever it is.”
“Internal pressure. What do you mean by internal pressure, Jack?” asks Proctor as he puts his feet up on the conference room table.
“Its hard to put into words. It’s – it’s as if some project of theirs isn’t measuring up to somebody’s expectations.” Ritter tries to put the pieces of a hunch together. “But whatever this is, I get the sense that the navy’s trying to pass the buck. Have either of you seen anything that might suggest they’re having missile malfunctions?”
Thursday, April 9, 2009
“Give me your proposed routes and transportation requirements and I’ll handle everything here,” Atwan says in an almost patronizing tone. “I expected you have everything complete by now.”
“Jibril, we do not want to use the same means of transportation we did for the last trip to Russia,” says Dakham, pulling a map out and laying it one the table. “We shouldn’t attract anymore attention to ourselves than we have to. We plan a different border crossing into Pakistan, here, at Turbat,” he says, pointing, “in the southern end of the country, not going in again from Zahedan. And here is the name of a service we can use to get us from the border to the Karachi airport. As we told you yesterday, we’ll need a minimum of five days at Dimitri’s place to conceal the uranium in the housings, and we’ll need a flat-bed truck to carry the three reducers down to the port at the mouth of the Volga. And not just any flat-bed truck. This transport must have adequate shock absorbers to protect the units from being bounced around.” Dakham’s delivery is terse; his annoyance is beginning to show.
Hussein jumps in, taking over from here. “At the seaport,” he says, “we’ll need the services of a stevedore who knows what he’s doing, so the units are handled properly and are well secured inside of the ship’s hold. Everything needs to be labeled with a final destination of Pakistan, traveling through Iran. We have everything laid out. All you have to do is approve it. We have already taken the time to investigate every option.”
“All right, all right,” Atwan says, somewhat mollified. “Clearly the two of you have put a lot of research into these plans. You seem to have everything covered, just as you said you would. However, I might want to use other carriers than those you have in mind.” Hussein shrugs. We get it, Jibril: this is your show.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
I hope to continue sketching during the summer so I won't forget all the things I just learned before I go back to school. The textured objects were done in pencil on white mat board. I was experimenting with the stripes so some are conte crayon and some are white colored pencil (Prismacolor) on black paper.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
“Project Whispering,” the president continues, “is beginning to yield some insight as to what might happen in the near future concerning the Middle East and the United States. This is why I’ve called for a meeting.” The president pauses, looks down as if consulting with an inner advisor, then proceeds onto territory he never expected to have to face in his administration.
“Our top military people have suggested that, in the event of an attack on our shores, we designate pre-assigned targets to minimize reaction time – for retaliation.” He pauses again, giving the group a moment to adjust to such a difficult reality. “It makes sense to me to do so, but I believe the responsibility for making those choices lies with all of us. Do I have any questions at this point?”