Friday, June 17, 2005

Iranian Election (in part posted at Slate)

Well here's what I learned. I was once, attached by classes, to the wife of the test pilot of the F-14 "Tomcat", she was in Iran, when we sold 100 Grumman F-14 "Tomcat" fighter bombers to the Shah of Iran. They used to be big on Long Island. She was teaching in the Anthropology Department at Stony Brook University, that just had a British anthropologist "back" from East Timor before the troubles there with Indonesia. Then there was a number of Iranian students who complained that the Shah's secret police, "Savak" were operating in the U.S. with impunity (? Kissenger said there was nothing he could do about it on record, I used to "Tootsie Taxi" "them" to the store from school). I met "Tom" the test pilot, on his birthday and that night we were told by TV media all "Tomcats" (congratulations Tom Cruise, "Topgun" F-14 pilot in the movie, President "what rush" Bush used to fly the F-102, though, an obsolete dog he thought it, left the Air Guard six months early for a Harvard MBA) would all be blown up if the USSR made a move for Iran's border (back then in 1979 or so was it?) since the air-to-air missile technology was secret. SO secret we gave it to the Iranians? Anyway, I read General Schwartzkopf's father as part of an American Expeditionary Force put the "Shah system" in power in the 1930's in troubled Iran. He was also in charge of the Federal investigation of the Charles Lindberg baby kidnapping ("Lucky" fell out of favor with FDR though contributed to research to protect our pilots, buried in Hawaii, for fraternizing with the Nazi's, as many Americans did, including the Bush's business interest, "strategic metals sales" shut down by the State Department after we were surprised by the German declaration of war on the US 15 days after Pearl Harbor, which was to have a declaration of war before it, held up in translation by an extremely long eulogy in Washington, D.C. one Sunday. So, I imagine President Carter had trouble thinking about sending in air-craft carriers to fly against what 90+ F-14's manned by recent U.S. trained "Top Gun" Iranian pilots? Where's that "October Surprise" when you need one? I think there is still more to it. The press reported Khomeini holding Reagan's personal bible as a gift. Well if that's true, I hope the moderates voice in Iran can be heard no matter what the outcome of the election. We need to heal some of the problems (the Aegis shootdown of their jetliner) that money can't really solve. Two F-14's buzzed the Army/Navy game at West Point a number of years ago in a snow squall, while I was working on the EPA cleanup of the NIKE missile battery (nickel and cadmium) contamination in Constitution Marsh or Foundry Cove where the rifled Parrott cannon was produced across the river in Cold Spring, NY. We relocated the prototype of the platform used to bombard Charleston, SC in 1863 with incendiaries called the "Swamp Angel". Can they really fly that low by law? I've seen what might have been the Massachusetts Air Guard's F-102 (current President's model once) fly over the West Meadow Beach one Fourth of July. Note: to check the veracity of this story, I present the shoulder patch I was given. It showed a small orange tiger striped cat in a boxing ring with gloves on. At the bottom it said "Anytime, baby". It was later replaced I think by the same cat but instead it said "Make my day". I think testing out on the island saw the last two "Tomcats" to fly over Long Island. They have had some "shoulder" problems swept wing as they are, and I think will be retired over the next few years. They also had had some problems with stall-spins that the government corrected after research at the super spiffy airframe research facility, whose name escapes me. I saw a video of it in Troy, NY on the TV news, that guy Brad Holbrook, who used to by in NYC TV, about air show crashes, falling and spinning, the day they shut Albany, NY, it was so hot. I was in Troy, NY collecting all the research reports in history and prehistory they had at the State Historic Preservation Office, for the PCB cleanup of the Hudson River at Fort Edward, which affects the spawning of the "stripers" (striped bass fish) so important to the fishermen of Long Island. I and another travelled to the State's Peebles Island Office which also shut down early (in Waterford, NY, where the Mohawk River joins the Hudson River, it's tidal to there). It was so hot one of the bridges couldn't close, once opened in Troy. The ice machines in the hotel refused to make ice.

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