My first "business-travel" experiences were in spending four years in the U.S. Navy, including one year on the ground in Saigon. I got there in early 1968, for historians among you.
Recently, and ever since the appearance online of that video of the incident in the Gulf of Hormuz involving U.S. Navy warships and the pesky (and reckless) Iranian speedboats (great story on the technique of "swarming" the other day in the Times), I've been curious about that strange voice that comes into the transmission, and seems to sound like Chevy Chase knocking on a door in the early Saturday Night Live days, saying, "Land shark ..."
Hey, George ("Dodged Vietnam") Bush: Chill, man. It appears as if the the Filipino Monkey has struck again.
Ol' George wouldn't know anything about actual military lore, of course, because his military "service"consisted of a stint in the Texas National Guard, a portion of which was spent A.W.O.L., which was still a shootable capital offense when I was in the actual armed services.
Navy officers, navigators and radiomen (and women) all know the Filipino Monkey, the generic name for the inevitable pain-in-the-ass adolescent with a CD radio, or the modern equivalent, who messes around, shore-to-ship, when ships are close to shore -- as they are in the Strait of Hormuz. Here's an even better link to the Filipino Monkey lore, from the UK Guardian.
I'd say the Navy on duty last week exercised admirable restraint with those speedboats, given the known perils of the terrorist technique of swarming. If I were the Iranian navy, I wouldn't push my luck again with that stunt.
I liked it the other day when good ol' Fred Thompson woke up long enough (hey, put yourself in the place of those poor souls dashing around the country running for president, when you and I can't even make a connection through Houston!) to remark of those Iranian speedboat-hotshots:
"I think one more step and they would have been meeting those virgins they've been looking so forward to seeing."
Ol' Fred, of course, never was in the military, though like the other chicken-hawks he talks a very good game to the uninformed.
I need to add my own caveat to Fred's wisecrack. The Islamic terrorists are not thinking things through if they believe that "paradise"means that you are cast as the central figure in the lives of 72 -- count 'em -- 72 virgins -- all contemplating eternity with the likes some bozos who thought it might be a good idea to swarm a United States Navy convoy.