Operation Eagle Crawl

Lest We forget . . .

By P Chong                               30 April 2010

Operation Eagle Claw (or Operation Evening Light) was a United States military operation that attempted to rescue 52 Americans from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran on 24 April 1980. The attempt was aborted when three helicopters that were part of the operation were damaged by a sandstorm or forced to return to the carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68). As the U.S. force prepared to leave Iran, a refuelling accident led to the remaining helicopters and a C-130 Hercules refuelling aircraft being destroyed or left behind, and the deaths of eight American servicemen.”

To the Iranians, the above debacle or disaster was interpreted as an act of Divine intervention. The Iranians had but very slim chance of any success against the might of the American force.

Lest we forget!

Repainted RH-53Ds in sand camouflage and without markings aboard Nimitz.

On the part of the Americans, the Operation was meticulously planned & prepared. As with the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan (or the past wars in Korea & Vietnam), the Americans were never short of detailed planning & preparation. Their military strength & strategies were always hailed with great enthusiasm & optimism. How could they fail – Goliath against David?

Air Force AC-130

The Operation was designed as a complex two-night mission. The first stage of the mission involved delivering a rescue team of of U.S. Army SFOD-D operators to a small “staging site”, named as Desert One, inside Iran, near Tabas in the Yazd Province. The site Desert One was to be used as a temporary airstrip for the the three USAF special operations MC-130E Combat Talon I penetration/transport aircraft & three EC-130E Hercules, each of the latter installed with a pair of collapsible fuel bladders containing 6,000 U.S. gallons of jet fuel.

The burned out wreckage of one of the RH-53 with an intact one sitting in the background

Suffice for me to say that every inch of the military operation was precisely & timely planned. Nothing was left to chance. They had the helicopters, aircrafts, trucks for transporting the ground troops, aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the nearby Indian Ocean, a “hide site” in Desert Two to conceal the helicopters, top commanding generals – just about bit of military power & strength to overpower their poorly equipped Iranians. Of course, they never left out the services of the CIA.

Yet, against all odds, disaster struck & the victims were the Americans. The Iranians were the unexpected victors! It looked like God was never kind to the Americans . . . one defeat after another . . . so unimaginable!

From the Iranians’ perspective, they deemed it as a miracle, an act of Divine intervention. It did appear to be as it was. But when will the Americans learn? When will they ever stop pushing their military weight around & threatening every nation on earth? God alone knows.

The 53 Americans were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981, after a group of Islamist students & militants took over the American Embassy in support of the Iranian Revolution. The Americans should have persevered in their release through diplomatic means, but I guess pride & haughtiness got in the way as always happened. This embarrassing & unfortunate episode is otherwise referred to as Iranian Hostage Crisis.

It ended with the signing of the Algiers Accords in Algeria on January 19, 1981. The hostages were formally released into United States custody the following day, just minutes after the new American President Ronald Reagan was sworn in.

Now, with the present Iran nuclear question, will the Americans strike the first blow again possibly as an entanglement of “vengeance and mutual incomprehension”? God forbids!

War is so senseless.

It doesn’t solve problems.

Atrocities of war spell only misery & suffering.

It’s a lose lose situation for all parties involved.

The only ones benefitting are the manufacturers of war weapons & equipments.

Source: Wikipedia & Aljazeera TV Report (26 April 2010)


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Can We Really Understand All Things?

By P Chong                  Mon. 29 Mar. 2010


The World In God’s Hands

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55: 8-9

From the above quote, it is evident God’s ways are beyond our imagination. Our finite gray matter will in no way capable of understanding God’s ways. God often orchestrated events to show absolutely his glory – happenings that might go against all human understanding and action. For instance:

  • The miraculous deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt with Pharaoh’s

hot pursuit and the parting of the Red Sea.

  • With Lazarus’ death to demonstrate the power of rising up to life again.
  • The underdog story of David and Goliath.
  • The miracle of walking on the water with Peter stepping out of the boat.
  • Judas’ betrayal was one of mystery, but without which there could be no resurrection.

Such unexplainable power is what miracles are all about. “I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.” ~ John 3:11. When men are driven to the edge and all things seem impossible, then you’ll see “all men drawn unto Me.”

Today, there is that danger that men are losing touch with God. We are driven closer to our own understanding and supposedly great human intelligence by the progress we are making in the field of human endeavour. Be cautious and be forewarned that we may be feeling all too superior to need God. The converts in the early Church changed the world they lived in because of what they saw and heard. Are we not seeing enough of God’s hands in the happenings in the world today? Do we really want a catastrophic event in order to turn to God?

Let’s build up our faith and demonstrate

That others may be drawn to investigate.

Like the lyrics of an old favourite song of mine:

Have Faith, Hope & Charity

That’s the way to live successfully.”

If this short message touches you, please share it with your loved ones & friends.

David – “A Man After God’s Own Heart”

By P Chong                                       Wed.24 Mar. 2010

David & Goliath

“And David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and

that his kingdom had been highly exalted for the sake of His people Israel.“~ 1 Chronicles 14:2

Much have been written & known of David slaying the giant Goliath as a shepherd boy

or how he usurped  his captain’s wife, Bathsheba.

Strangely enough, David, who was credited as “a man after God’s own heart” was far from perfect. He was  sinful and yet God blessed him. He commited adultery and even murder just so he could have Bathsheba. Handpicked by God to be King of Israel when he was just a shepherd boy, his life was mixed with both tribulations and triumph.

Certainly, David received blessings from God not because he was perfect and deserved it, though he was a great military strategist. Or that he ascribed his Psalms and Songs to God. God never blesses an individual solely exclusively for his sake. God blessed David essentially for the sake of His people Israel. This is the important lesson that David learnt. Each one of us is called by God to be a blessing unto others.

David underwent great trials and tribulations. Pursued by King Saul and even by his own son Absalom, he was living largely a fugitive life. His family life was topsy-turvy. But he never failed to turn his heart to God’s own heart despite his perils. and trouble.David’s repentance was truly genuine and God’s blessings flowed from him to His people.

Be a blessing unto others. God’s blessings should bear spiritual fruits that others can harvest from. Blessings shared and freely flowing unto others are manifested manifold. To you, as in Numbers 6:24-26 ~

“The LORD bless you and keep you;

The LORD make His face shine upon you

And be gracious to you;

The LORD turn his face toward you

And give you peace.”