- The war began as planned. The Israeli pilots took off
well before dawn and streaked across Lebanon and northern Iraq, high above
Kirkuk. Flying US-made F-15 and F-16s, the Israelis separated over the
mountains of western Iran, the pilots gesturing a last minute show of confidence
in their mission, maintaining radio silence.
- Just before the sun rose over Tehran, moments before
the Muslim call to prayer, the missiles struck their targets. While US
Air Force AWACS planes circled overhead--listening, watching, recording--heavy
US bombers followed minutes later. Bunker-busters and mini-nukes fell on
dozens of targets while Iranian anti-aircraft missiles sped skyward.
- The ironically named Bushehr nuclear power plant crumbled
to dust. Russian technicians and foreign nationals scurried for safety.
Most did not make it.
- Targets in Saghand and Yazd, all of them carefully chosen
many months before by Pentagon planners, were destroyed. The uranium enrichment
facility in Natanz; a heavy water plant and radioisotope facility in Arak;
the Ardekan Nuclear Fuel Unit; the Uranium Conversion Facility and Nuclear
Technology Center in Isfahan; were struck simultaneously by USAF and Israeli
- The Tehran Nuclear Research Center, the Tehran Molybdenum,
Iodine and Xenon Radioisotope Production Facility, the Tehran Jabr Ibn
Hayan Multipurpose Laboratories, the Kalaye Electric Company in the Tehran
suburbs were destroyed.
- Iranian fighter jets rose in scattered groups. At least
those Iranian fighter planes that had not been destroyed on the ground
by swift and systematic air strikes from US and Israeli missiles. A few
Iranian fighters even launched missiles, downing the occasional attacker,
but American top guns quickly prevailed in the ensuing dogfights.
- The Iranian air force, like the Iranian navy, never really
knew what hit them. Like the slumbering US sailors at Pearl Harbor, the
pre-dawn, pre-emptive attack wiped out fully half the Iranian defense forces
in a matter of hours.
- By mid-morning, the second and third wave of US/Israeli
raiders screamed over the secondary targets. The only problem now, the
surprising effectiveness of the Iranian missile defenses. The element of
surprise lost, US and Israeli warplanes began to fall from the skies in
considerable numbers to anti-aircraft fire.
- At 7:35 AM, Tehran time, the first Iranian anti-ship
missile destroyed a Panamanian oil tanker, departing from Kuwait and bound
for Houston. Launched from an Iranian fighter plane, the Exocet split the
ship in half and set the ship ablaze in the Strait of Hormuz. A second
and third tanker followed, black smoke billowing from the broken ships
before they blew up and sank. By 8:15 AM, all ship traffic on the Persian
Gulf had ceased.
- US Navy ships, ordered earlier into the relative safety
of the Indian Ocean, south of their base in Bahrain, launched counter strikes.
Waves of US fighter planes circled the burning wrecks in the bottleneck
of Hormuz but the Iranian fighters had fled.
- At 9 AM, Eastern Standard Time, many hours into the war,
CNN reported a squadron of suicide Iranian fighter jets attacking the US
Navy fleet south of Bahrain. Embedded reporters aboard the ships--sending
live feeds directly to a rapt audience of Americans just awakening--reported
all of the Iranian jets destroyed, but not before the enemy planes launched
dozens of Exocet and Sunburn anti-ship missiles. A US aircraft carrier,
cruiser and two destroyers suffered direct hits. The cruiser blew up and
sank, killing 600 men. The aircraft carrier sank an hour later.
- By mid-morning, every military base in Iran was partially
or wholly destroyed. Sirens blared and fires blazed from hundreds of fires.
Explosions rocked Tehran and the electrical power failed. The Al Jazeerah
news station in Tehran took a direct hit from a satellite bomb, leveling
the entire block.
- At 9:15 AM, Baghdad time, the first Iranian missile struck
the Green Zone. For the next thirty minutes a torrent of missiles landed
on GPS coordinates carefully selected by Shiite militiamen with cell phones
positioned outside the Green Zone and other permanent US bases. Although
US and Israeli bomber pilots had destroyed 90% of the Iranian missiles,
enough Shahabs remained to fully destroy the Green Zone, the Baghdad airport,
and a US Marine base. Thousands of unsuspecting US soldiers died in the
early morning barrage. Not surprisingly, CNN and Fox withheld the great
number of casualties from American viewers.
- By 9:30 AM, gas stations on the US east coast began
to raise their prices. Slowly at first and then altogether in a panic,
the prices rose. $4 a gallon, and then $5 and then $6, the prices skyrocketed.
Worried motorists, rushing from work, roared into the nearest gas station,
radios blaring the latest reports of the pre-emptive attack on Iran. While
fistfights broke out in gas stations everywhere, the third Middle Eastern
war had begun.
- In Washington DC, the spin began minutes after the first
missile struck its intended target. The punitive strike--not really a war
said the harried White House spokesman--would further democracy and peace
in the Middle East. Media pundits mostly followed the party line.
By ridding Iran of weapons of mass destruction, Donald Rumsfeld declared
confidently on CNN, Iran might follow in the footsteps of Iraq, and enjoy
the hard won fruits of freedom.
- The president scheduled a speech at 2 PM. Gas prices
rose another two dollars before then. China and Japan threatened to
dump US dollars. Gold rose $120 an ounce. The dollar plummeted against
- CNN reported violent, anti-American protests in Paris,
London, Rome, Berlin and Dublin. Fast food franchises throughout Europe,
carrying American corporate logos, were firebombed.
- A violent coup toppled the pro-American Pakistan president.
On the New York Stock Exchange, prices fell in a frenzy of trading--except
for the major petroleum producers. A single, Iranian Shahab missile struck
Tel Aviv, destroying an entire city block. Israel vowed revenge, and threatened
a nuclear strike on Tehran, before a hastily called UN General Assembly
in New York City eased tensions.
- An orange alert in New York City suddenly reddened to
a full-scale terror alarm when a package detonated on a Manhattan subway.
Mayor Bloomberg declared martial law. Governor Pataki ordered the New York
National Guard fully mobilized, mobilizing what few national guardsmen
remained in the state.
- President Bush looked shaken at 2 PM. The scroll
below the TV screen reported Persian Gulf nations halting production of
oil until the conflict could be resolved peacefully. Venezuelan president,
Hugo Chavez, announced a freeze in oil deliveries to the US would begin
immediately. Tony Blair offered to mediate peace negotiations, between
the US and Israel and Iran, but was resoundingly rejected.
- By 6 PM, Eastern Standard Time, gas prices had stabilized
at just below $10 a gallon. A Citgo station in Texas, near Fort Sam Houston Army
base, was firebombed. No one claimed responsibility. Terrorism was not
- At sunset, the call to prayer--in Tehran, Baghdad, Islamabad,
Ankara, Jerusalem, Jakarta, Riyadh--sounded uncannily like the buzzing
of enraged bees.
- USAF veteran, Douglas Herman correctly predicted the
aftermath of the attack on Iraq in his column: Shock & Awe Followed
by Block-To-Block. A Rense contributer, he is the author of
Guns of Dallas, available at Amazon.com. Contact him at email@example.com.