Weird dream. I was at a small settlement that seemed to be in the 1860s. Soldiers in Federal (Union) uniforms were present. They were holding off a force of what seemed to be Mexican-Indians.
I wasn’t part of the conflict, but an observer, drawing scenes for posterity, using pencil and charcoal on rough wooden whiteboards. The commander was particularly interested in having cards with small drawings depicting the scenes so he could send them to others without much cost or trouble.
Attacks began while I was working on my drawings. I noticed the Mexican-Indians would shoot volleys of arrows from a distance that was so far out that their arrows fell well short of the settlement. The soldiers in the settlement would stay in hiding, though, sporadically returning fire, but also from well outside of range.
It irritated me because they were both so far out. What was wrong with them? I kept telling people, “They’re all too far apart. They’re too far out. This will go on forever.”
No one listened, though. They admired my art, complimenting me on my skills and talents.
I awoke feeling exasperated.
The dream’s standoff reminded me of the 1980s Iraq-Iran war. We had opcon of the middle-east (southwest Asia, in our parlance). My job during part of that time was to brief the Commander of the Ninth Air Forces every morning. I did the Ops part, which was about the readiness of our tactical air forces and reserve forces (everything east of the Mississippi River), along with any situation reports on incidents that took place on our bases. I was the third briefer each day. Weather went first, followed by Intel.
The three-star general who was the CC and his staff were bullies. If they smelled weakness on you, they started circling, looking for a chance to take a bite out of your ass. I was too stupid to back down, though. Not so, the weather guys. They always seemed like they were about to cry.
The Intel guys, though, were covering the Iraq-Iran war, reporting on tactical sorties the two sides had flown the previous day. Most of that was about one side trying to sink the other’s oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz in what was called, with little imagination, the Tanker War. The fighters attacking the tankers rarely did any damage because they would fire their missiles outside of the missiles’ range because they were worried about the air defense systems and getting shot down. So, the stalemate went on.
Our commander approved of those fire and run tactics, even if they hit nothing. That kept the aircraft and crew safe while keeping the enemy unnerved. So what if they shot off a missile and hit nothing. Missiles were less than five million each.
Odd how my dreams are dredging up so much past recently. Sometimes I feel like I’m excavating my memories.