I spent the rest of the morning at the o'club working on my journal. Rip and Tonto
strolled in around noon, and the three of us headed to the mess hall for lunch. Grumpy
was standing in the buffet line. He informed us that CENTAF Director of Campaign Plans, Brig. Gen. Buster Glosson, was due to arrive on base within the hour. According to Grumpy, Gen. Glosson planned to meet with the pilots at 14:00 in the beer tent. This could mean only one thing: he was coming to prepare us for war.
Everyone jumped to their feet as Gen. Glosson walked into the room. Following close behind him were Col. Navarro and Col. Huddle.
"Take your seats," the general barked out.
A big man with silver hair, Gen. Glosson looked more like my grandfather than a fighter pilot. But his swagger and booming voice quickly marked him as a leader.
"I want everyone in the room who isn't a fighter pilot to leave," Glosson bellowed. He paused for a moment, waiting to see if anyone would walk out. Finally, he began.
"Yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland, Secretary of State James Baker
met with Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz for six and a half hours. Unfortunately for Iraq, the secretary was unable to convince the foreign minister that it is in his country's best interest to withdraw from Kuwait. It does not take a genius to figure out that Saddam Hussein made a huge mistake when he invaded his southern neighbor. He made an even bigger one yesterday when he refused to leave. Now, men, he's about to suffer the consequences."
"Iraq was given every opportunity to end this crisis peacefully, but Aziz's refusal to accept President Bush's letter to Saddam Hussein was the final slap in the face. As a result, the greatest air war in military history is about to begin. We are on the verge of decapitating every nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons plant in Iraq. We will crater each and every runway. We will hunt down each and every leader in their country - including Saddam Hussein - and
we will eliminate them. We are going to wipe the Republican Guard off the face of the earth."