Marine Corps Stories: In Agreement
General Misha Wainwright has a new plan.
A motorcade ambled down the road. Marine General Misha Wainwright, Lieutenant General Tasha Spraic, and Major General Paul Brandt looked pensive. Misha flicked some Irish pennants from her sleeve. Tasha tapped away at her mobile device. Brandt studied the notes from the recent bombing of Iran.
“Mish’, we’ve got ground troops now,” Brandt said.
“Yes, and that was my error. I should have not sanctioned for our Marines to storm that savage land on foot. The bombings were sufficient.”
Misha sighed. “I know one thing. I am going to ensure that these troops no longer go into harm’s way. I will send the order for more drones to drop bombs on the madrassas and other schools that preach viciousness.”
Tasha adjusted her seatbelt. The luxury sedan that the three generals travelled in afforded them the possibility to be comfortable. But no looks of comfort crossed their faces. Like crumpled paper, all three of them bore bitter countenances.
“I should have sent that order in the first place,” Misha said. “I didn’t want to hesitate so I pushed for the boots on the ground model. If lives, limbs, or minds are lost, that weight is upon me. You two had nothing to do with it, okay?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Tasha and Brandt said in unison.
Misha then pulled up on a digital screen that displayed holograms. She jabbed a manicured finger at the floating images.
“The ordnance from the sky took out the majority of the city of Tehran. Little to no ‘innocent’ casualties were reported. With the troops that we have now, what is it Paul?”
“About two hundred, Misha.”
“Okay, two hundred that’s good. What we need to do is firebomb as many of those specific targets from the air and allow the ground troops to eliminate any threats that may arise out of that firestorm.”
“Misha?” Tasha asked.
“We can do all of this within a thirty minute time frame. The air support is still within the area. Once we scramble those drones, then we can carry out this new mission.”
Paul Brandt shook his head. “No, I think that we ought to refrain from further damaging the city. It’s sustained considerable damage already. We have no civilian casualties, hell, we have very few weaponized jihadists that were lost. Is this the right thing, General Wainwright?”
Misha took a large breath of air as if emerging from the watery deep.
“Major General Brandt, I am aware that you are against the original mission. It, again, was my negligence to send in those Marines. But with this new order to raze those schools to the ground, the regime that should appear in its wake will have no capability to ‘educate’ future Islamists. So, I take your words but I disagree with them, respectfully.”
Brandt rested his arm on the window. He peered out into the street.
“I think that we should take preventative measures now rather than react to what we already did, respectfully, General.”
“Look at this image Paul,” Misha said.
The bluish-green glow of the weapons factory and army clothing warehouse with flames licking at their sides like a tiger’s tongue handling a steak.
“Do you not see the full force of the United States Armed Forces and our fine Marines, especially?”
“I see it.”
“This is the beginning and the end. We have carved out a space for our own people, Americans, to feel safe that we’re not going to be facing the East or kowtowing to our enemy anymore. This is a sure way to instill into each individual in the United States that they are protected. My failure in judgement is a blunder that I must carry with me. I let our Devil Dogs down on this one. But we must continue with the fight against jihadists. It’s imperative.”
“You may have erred, Mish’, but this plan will be effective,” Tasha said.
Paul sighed heavily. He looked at the digital fire and the smoke rising towards the sky. “I agree with your new order, Mish’.”
No one smiled. The image disappeared and they all looked like when they had just had their wisdom teeth extracted. Then, a smile crept on the faces of each general with the knowledge of Operation American Freedom persisting. While they bore no teeth, the subtle grins evinced that all three remained in agreement.