The 'Alert' that danlowlite talks about is known as a Threat Condition, aka THREATCON. THREATCON Bravo is pretty much standard in the gulf when there is any sort of tension in the area (like now). THREATCON B translates to: "There are terrorists around, and they're planning things against the US, but nothing specific." THREATCON C means that Terrorists are specifically planning an act of terrorism against YOU! THREATCON C is only put into place in specific locations.

I was in the gulf in 1998 on an amphib ship. We had planned to stop in Aden for an overnight refueling, but upon recommendation from the American Embassy in Yemen, our admiral cancelled the port visit because it wasn't considered a safe place to go then.

And by the way, if it was your friend, or your brother, or your sister, or your son or daughter, or your mom or dad, I'll bet you'd think the soft links below suck too.

Have some class, everythingians. Not everything is a joke on here.

To comment on the writings of mat catastrophe, Zeolite, and ShadowNode:

1. Just to be safe, let me say that I am a sailor in the US Navy, but these are my opinions only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the US Navy or other sailors.

2. mat catastrophe has a good point. The US position and actions with regard to Iraq do not make moral sense. The August issue of the Utne Reader printed an article about the effects of both the sanctions and the low level conflict that has been simmering there for the last three years. It opened my eyes to the Iraqi people's side of things.
It really sucks there. Alot. People die all the time lacking necessities we would not even conceive of doing without. Here's another thing--We drop bombs on them all the time too, and contrary to some beliefs, we sometimes miss the intended target.

So, what does that mean to me and the American public? I think that it is really too bad that the Iraqis are being punished for a corrupt and inhumane leadership, but I also don't want to be responsible for policing and rebuilding Iraq for the next fifty years. For me, and most Americans, the lives of our relatives and neighbors mean more to us than the lives of unknown Iraqis. It sucks, but I think it's true. Deep down, I'd rather other people die than me. There you go, my ugly secret. Call me a murderer, but by a fortunate accident of birth, I am an american fighting for my country, not an Iraqi.

That is not to say that the course we are on could not use some work, but as a sailor, even an officer, it is not my job to make policy--That is your job, US civilians. If you don't like it, VOTE YOUR CONSCIENCE NOT YOUR GAS TANK.

For Zeolite-- The Mai Lai Massacre demonstrated very clearly that American Soldiers and sailors do not abdicate moral responsibility when they take the oath to support and defend the constitution of the United States. Instead, if an order given to us is illegal or morally abhorent, it is our responsibility to refuse to obey that order and prevent others from following it. As far as I know, no one has refused to support the UN sanctions on Iraq.

For shadownode: I think you're just trying to piss people off, so I'll do what mamma always says and not say anything at all.

So anyway, I need to go see if I can finish some work for the hundred babykillers and murderers who work for me and protect all you US citizens (oh who am I kidding, most of the world) from the terrors of expensive gasoline and rogue states. Sleep tight, and enjoy your coffee and cigarettes tomorrow morning.

Whoops. So much for not saying anything.