Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Big things happening in Lebanon. This could mean the end of Assad:
intelligence sources report the Assad regime is in a panic as the UN team’s findings on the murder case come closer to Damascus. In Beirut, the specter of civil war hovers as Syrian agents and Hizballah officers are seen handing out weapons to Muslims – the first sign that Assad has decided to react to the threat closing in on him by igniting fresh civil bloodshed.

Warnings from French intelligence to were conveyed to Lebanese leaders in the last 24 hours to get out of Beirut and take temporary refuge in Paris. “Big events are in the making,” they said. Most Lebanese cabinet ministers, bankers, public figures and newspaper editors accepted the offer. They and Saad Hariri, leader of the ruling party with his family, fled to the French capital.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Bases in Iraq 

Here's the reason why you won't hear Bush, or any other official, say that we don't have plans for military bases in Iraq:
At the same time, the Americans are building at least four semi-permanent military bases that could hold 18,000 troops each. These are usually described as way stations on the eventual route home for the Americans, places where they will stay while ever-more-capable Iraqi troops engage the insurgents on their own. But that will clearly take time. Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top military commander in Iraq, when asked this month about how the bases would be used, dismissed the question: "You're talking years away." And if Iraq's politics remain unstable, the bases could offer a continuing rationale for not providing heavier weaponry, since the Americans would still be close by for the Iraqis to rely on.
Hmm..."semi-permanent military bases...described as way stations on the eventual route home for the Americans". I wonder if that's how we described our military bases in Germany and Japan, after World War II. I guess 60 years is still "semi-permanent".


Monday, August 29, 2005


Sometime over the weekend, FPN reached the 10,000 visitor mark. Honestly, I never thought I'd make it to 10,000, but I wanted to thank everyone (both of you) for stopping by, and making this blogging thing fun. So....thanks!



Uh oh:
AL-FALLUJAH, Iraq -- Insurgents in Al- Anbar province, the center of guerrilla resistance in Iraq, have fought the U.S. military to a stalemate.


Friday, August 26, 2005

Feel Good Friday 

Postponed because...I don't feel good. Hopefully, more later. Until then, enjoy the links on the left.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

"Night of the Living Dead Nation" 

The Cunning Realist on the moral absurdity behind the so called "flypaper" theory.
Is anyone actually going to think about the absurdity of the "flypaper" mantra after today, or are people going to accept it as mindlessly as it will no doubt continue to be spoken? It is heartening to see right-of-center clear thinkers like Greg Djerejian dissect and reject it based on pragmatism in this piece. But has anyone thought about why we're justified in using another nation as flypaper in the first place, even if it was a viable, effective strategy? What gives us the right to use a sovereign nation as a catch basin for carnage so we can go on blissfully consuming and merrily flipping real estate here? Instead of flypaper, this should be called the "Night of the Living Dead Nation" strategy---using the undead, zombie-like carcass of a failed state for our own benefit. Beyond the sheer selfish immorality of it, has anyone thought about the potential for blowback? How would you feel if we were invaded by the Chinese on a false pretense, and they stated openly that their strategy was to attract and fight the scum of the earth in the streets of New York, Washington, Los Angeles and Chicago so they did not have to fight in Beijing?

Whoa. I'm amazed that nobody, to my knowledge, has brought up this point before. We may be more screwed than I thought we were.


Osama LUVs the SUVs 

I'm in complete solidarity with Andrew Sullivan on SUVs (Disclaimer: I really like the look of some SUVs, and wanted an Xterra, but I've changed my mind):
SUVS AND TERRORISM: Fareed Zakaria makes an excellent point today in a column about rising oil prices, and how they are helping to finance the terror masters in Tehran, Saudi Arabi and elsewhere. Some kind of move toward greater energy efficiency is essential in the war on terror. But what I didn't realize is how the curse of the SUV is so damaging. Fareed writes that 54 percent of today's U.S. fleet of cars are made up by these ugly, behemoth tanks that guzzle gas, and make life miserable for everyone not in them. My anti-SUV ire always goes up in the summer, when I see these vast, bloated symbols of excess bulldozing down the narrow streets of Provincetown, pushing every bicyclist, pedestrian or small child out of their way. My only solace is thinking of how many of these SUV owners are pouring money away to keep their mobile homes on the road. Pity that same money goes to finance Islamist terror. And please don't give me all this guff about how I don't have a car (hey, I'm not indirectly donating to al Qaeda), having to take kids here, there and everywhere, with all their stuff and the dogs and suburbs and soccer practices and on and on. All of this took place before SUVs; kids were just packed into back seats and trunks were stuffed full if necessary. Parents coped. Kids thrived. If all else failed, people could even have less stuff. Imagine that: less stuff. As readers know, I'd gladly put a dollar of extra tax on gas, insist on higher fuel standards for cars, make SUVs comply with the fuel standards of other cars and put a tax on SUVs on top pf all that. We are in a war. As far as I'm concerned, those people driving SUVs are aiding and abetting the enemy, and helping to finance the terrorists that want to kill us all. I'm well aware that the notion that the Bush administration has any interest in energy independence or taxing gas or deterring SUVs is about as likely as their demanding subsidies for sex-changes, but I might as well vent. We can always stigmatize these SUV-terror-enablers. How about bumper-stickers for non-SUVs that simply say: my car doesn't subsidize Saudi terror. Would that help?

Here's how increasing the mileage on new cars would be quite beneficial (also from Sullivan's blog):
A simple one-third increase in the mileage of new vehicles would have a remarkably beneficial impact on the United States-Persian Gulf relationship, and quickly.

Here's the math. About 17 million new cars and "light trucks" (SUVs, pickups, and minivans) are sold in the United States each year and driven, on average, about 12,000 miles annually. If the fuel efficiency of 17 million vehicles driven 12,000 miles annually rose by one-third, from a real-world 17 MPG to a real-world 23 MPG, that would save about 200 gallons of gasoline annually per vehicle, or about 3.4 billion gallons of gasoline. Since a barrel of petroleum yields 20 gallons of gasoline, about 170 million barrels of oil would be saved.

Perhaps you think, Aha! With U.S. petroleum demand at 20 million barrels daily, this MPG initiative has saved just about one week's worth of oil. Yes--in the first year, the MPG increase would have little effect, in much the same way that, in their first year, few investments yield much return. But remember the miracle of compounding! In the second year, with two model-years' worth of vehicles at the higher MPG, 340 million barrels of oil are saved. The next year, the savings is 510 million barrels, the next year 680 million, and so on. In just the fifth year of this initiative, we would need to purchase about 850 million fewer barrels of petroleum--approximately the amount the United States imports each year from the Persian Gulf states

It's completely doable. And, if Bush wants to, he can can call the mileage increase the "Freedom Increase", or something like that, so he feels all warm and fuzzy about it.



I call BS on Drudge's "breaking" story:
Wed Aug 2005 24 21:20:05 ET

Anti-war protestors besieged wounded and disabled soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C, a new web report will claim!

CNSNews.com is planning to run an expose on Thursday featuring interviews with both protestors and veterans, as well as shots of protest signs with slogans like “Maimed for a Lie.”

The conservative outlet will post video evidence of the wounded veterans being taunted by protesters, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Developing late...

First of all, the source is CNSnews, which is a right-wing "news" organization anyway. Secondly, this is an obvious (and desperate) attempt to smear anti-war protestors. The right is so scared about Bush's recent poll numbers, and Cindy Sheehan, they are forced to make shit up about protestors attacking wounded soldiers. Don't you think we would have heard about this before? As soon as we see the interviews with the "protestors" and "veterans", background checks on who they really are should take place. I'm willing to bet they are conservative plants. When Rove reads that returning troops are saying things like this, he knows it's smear time:
If there's growing sentiment against the war in Iraq, many area veterans of the fight aren't taking it personally.

Vets see the opposition as a protest against policy, not them or their service.

During the Vietnam War, many returning U.S. troops felt taunted, humiliated and treated with little or no respect. In contrast, today's veterans say they don't encounter animosity from people who don't agree with the U.S. military presence in Iraq.

"I have run into people who don't support the president's views on Iraq or our objectives, but I haven't run into a single person who said (he or she) doesn't support the troops," said Jason Crawford, a Purple Heart recipient who was shot in the face by opposition forces in December 2003 while in Iraq. "I think our society learned from Vietnam that it's not the men and women who sacrifice their lives and signed on the dotted lines who make up the plans and objectives. I think pretty much everyone supports the troops."
I only hope that the MSM can smell the BS, and not get suckered into reporting this story. In addition, if there really are protestors harrasing wounded soldiers, shame on them.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Cap Lounge 

A Capitol Hill institution is no more:
It looks like careless smoking caused the fire that destroyed a Capitol Hill tavern early Wednesday.

D.C. Fire and EMS spokeswoman Catherine Friedman tells WTOP the two-alarm fire caused significant damage to the Capitol Lounge.

The fire started in the bar and no one was injured, she says.

Around 6 a.m. Wednesday a cell phone caller alerted the fire department about heavy smoke coming out of the building in the 200 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, Southeast.
Anyone who has ever lived or worked on the Hill will mourn the loss. The lie will no longer be, "I saw the plane hit the Pentagon", but "I was at the Lounge the night it burned".


Panic Mode 

For an idea of how some Bush supporters are feeling about Dear Leader, and his (lack of) Iraq strategy, check out David Frum's letters page. One letter that really stands out to me is this one:
"[T]his is an old, old problem. With a few exceptions, the Bush people have STUNK at public diplomacy. Here and abroad. They STINK. Did they do ANYTHING to attempt to persuade the publics of, say, France and Germany that their leaders weren't serving their interests? Do we HAVE ambassadors in those countries who could have been sent canned speeches, if they were incapable of formulating them themselves? Have they rallied our allies in Britain, Australia, and Poland with rousing speeches, ceremonies, gifts, pacts, ties, symbols, etc.? Have they effectively ever articulated our distinction between Muslims and "Extremists" and tried to rally the publics of, say, Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Morocco, etc., to our side?

"They're HORRIBLE at this stuff. And my only explanation is that it's the president's disinclination towards public speaking that trickles down, creating the impression that it's not necessary. Rather than press his subordinates to make up for his shortcomings, the president seems inclined to think that because he's right and/or winning elections and wars that rhetoric is empty or unimportant, when it's often of primary importance ....

"I think I've permanently injured my frontal lobe in pounding my head against the wall on this one over the years. ..."

That letter hits the nail right on the head. Why has the Bush Administration been so bad at PR? Why has it taken so long to have some body coordinate U.S. Public Diplomacy? We've done a lot of good for Muslims in the past, why aren't we reminding the extremists of that? Sure, they're not going to go away because we helped out Tsunami victims, but PERHAPS, it would motivate the so-called "moderate Muslims" that the U.S. is good. This kind of information helped show some of the citizens stuck behind the Iron Curtain, the U.S. wasn't the enemy, their own government was. Instead, we get worthless photo ops and countless 9/11 references. I don't see any reason that this will change, Bush is too stubborn.



Remember the disgusting Purple Heart band aid from the Republican Convention? Now, say hello to the "Bullshit Protector":

Bill Moyer, 73, wears a "Bullshit Protector" flap over his ear while President George W. Bush addresses the Veterans of Foreign Wars. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
I'm sure the highly-decorated Mr. Moyer will be accused of not earning all of the medals that he wears.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Ann Coulter: Hypocrite (Obviously) 

I hate to give the anorexic, lunatic Ann Coulter, any of my time, but then she say something as stupid as this:
Of terrorists, "it's far preferable to fight them in the streets of Baghdad than in the streets of New York (where the residents would immediately surrender)."

However, after one minute of research (same amount of time Coulter uses to research any of her idiotic books), I learn that Coulter LIVES in NEW YORK!
Ed Cone is right about what's really sick about that statement:
That's what Ann Coulter thinks of the cops and firemen of New York City, and of the family members of those lost on 9/11, and of the everyday people who refused to let the attacks keep them from going on with their lives.

Never mind the courage and character New Yorkers have demonstrated in the face of terror. People in the city tend to vote for people other than the ones Coulter supports, so she calls them cowards.

Ann may want to avoid dealing with any of NYC's finest anytime soon.


Monday, August 22, 2005

Casey Jr. hits Santorum 

On Iraq:
U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum's leading Democratic opponent, state Treasurer Robert P. Casey Jr., accused the senator this week of remaining silent while the U.S. death toll in Iraq rises.

After months of maintaining a low profile, Casey said the Republican senator was being too focused on "partisanship and ideology" to go after President Bush with the fervor he showed during the 1999 U.S.-led raids of Kosovo under President Bill Clinton.

"The U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, who is third in the leadership, says one of the reasons people should vote for him is because he is in leadership," Casey said in an interview Thursday. "But he is not asking the tough questions."

Santorum responds:
"I have a very clear track record of being supportive of the policy, but not necessarily all of the tactics," the two-term senator said. "That shows a level of involvement and sophistication that my opponent has not grasped... . I still have concerns about our level of activity with respect to fighting the insurgency, and the number of former Baathists who are put in positions of power in the country and their relationships with Iran. I have expressed those concerns publicly and privately."

However, according to the Inquirer:
However, his public statements on those issues could not be found.


Casey maintains that Santorum should be as pointed in his questioning as when Clinton, a Democrat, carried out U.S. missile attacks as part of NATO's efforts to end ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. To prove his point, Casey unearthed Santorum's comments from March 1999 that sound similar to current critiques of Bush's Iraq policy.

"President Clinton is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy," Santorum said after voting against U.S. involvement in Kosovo because Clinton failed to offer a compelling national interest. "He is yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And, he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home."

Santorum emerged a vocal opponent, saying in April 1999 that the conflict was beginning to resemble Vietnam.

Casey called Santorum "plainly inconsistent," saying his support for Bush's Iraq policy should not prevent him from demanding an exit strategy. Gen. Wesley K. Clark, a Democrat who commanded NATO forces during the Kosovo war, said in an interview yesterday that Santorum's criticisms are "precisely, to the nth power, what has been wrong with the Iraq strategy... . So when he doesn't apply the same standards, it makes you believe his criticism was purely partisan in nature."

"Beginning to resemble Vietnam". Right Ricky, a Vietnam where ZERO U.S. service people are killed. I'm glad to see Casey Jr., calling out Santorum on this issue. He's been quiet for awhile (which I agree with-no need to strike to soon. Wait for the right moment and make your attacks count.).

Update (8/25/05 3:33EST: Santorum's office can't find any public statements questioning the Iraq war:

Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum's office acknowledged yesterday that it cannot locate public statements of the senator questioning the Iraq war, despite the senator's claim last week that he has publicly expressed his concerns.

But Santorum said that doesn't mean he hasn't made the comments.
Perhaps, Santorum thought thinking about the Iraq war (somewhere between thoughts of women having an abortion), counted as questioning the Iraq war.



You'd rather be in one, then see it.


Friday, August 19, 2005

Feel Good Friday 

I've decided that every Friday I'm going to post something positive that has happened, because, despite all that's bad around us, good stuff does occur.

So, for the first installment of "feel good Friday", FPN will be spotlighting the Cincinnati Reds, and what they did to help a little boy who's grandfather died of a heart attack, while the two were at the ballpark. It goes to show that despite the mega salaries, athletes are human.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Israeli Spies 

Check out Billmon's informative piece on Israel's spies in the U.S., and their willing partners in the Pentagon, and the Bush Administration. He calls Israel the "51st" State (I guess Iraq would be the 52nd, but that's another story), and after reading about what's going on, he can't be too far off.

I think being strong allies with Israel is a good thing, but we have to watch our backs. Israel looks out for themselves first.


Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New 'Intelligent Falling' Theory 

KANSAS CITY, KS—As the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools continues, a new controversy over the science curriculum arose Monday in this embattled Midwestern state. Scientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held "theory of gravity" is flawed, and they have responded to it with a new theory of Intelligent Falling.

Don't worry, it's from the Onion, but I don't doubt that someone in Kansas really believes it.


American Safari 

I would love to see this happen:
If a group of US researchers have their way, lions, cheetahs, elephants and camels could soon roam parts of North America, Nature magazine reports.
The plan, which is called Pleistocene re-wilding, is intended to be a proactive approach to conservation.

The initiative would help endangered African animals while creating jobs, the Cornell University scientists say.

By introducing living counterparts to the extinct animals, the researchers say, these voids could be filled. So, by introducing free-ranging African cheetahs to the Southwest, strong interactions with pronghorns could be restored, while providing cheetahs with a new habitat...

Other living species that could "stand in" for Pleistocene-era animals in North America include feral horses (Equus caballus), wild asses (E. asinus), Bactrian camels (Camelus bactrianus), Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) elephants and lions (Panthera leo).

"Obviously, gaining public acceptance is going to be a huge issue, especially when you talk about reintroducing predators," said lead author Josh Donlan, of Cornell University. "There are going to have to be some major attitude shifts. That includes realising predation is a natural role, and that people are going to have to take precautions."

However Americans might do more than put up with their new compatriots - they might actually welcome them.

According to Dr Donlan and his colleagues, the re-wilding plan would offer ecotourism and land-management jobs to help the struggling economies of the Great Plains and Southwest.

Dr Donlan said that large tracts of private land are probably the most promising place to start, with each step carefully guided by the fossil record and the involvement of experts and research.

"We are not advocating backing up a van and letting elephants and cheetah out into the landscape," he said. "All of this would be science driven."

Instead of having the animals just roaming anywhere, perhaps a Reserve can be created for them, which would lessen the risk of attacks on humans. Where the land would come from, is the obvious question. I don't see anything happening (if at all) for a long time, but in the meantime, you can see some "wild" animals in New Jersey.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Washington Times Goes to North Korea! 

Looks like the president of the conservative Washington Times had his geography wrong and visited the wrong Korea:
Pyongyang, August 16 (KCNA) -- Leader Kim Jong Il Tuesday received Joo Dong Mun, president of the Washington Times Corporation, on a visit to Pyongyang. On the occasion the president offered his congratulations to Kim Jong Il on the 60th anniversary of Korea's liberation.

Kim Jong Il welcomed the Pyongyang visit of the president, had a cordial talk with him and posed for a photograph with him.

Or was his visit part of an official Washington Times policy towards N. Korea?


Tuesday, August 16, 2005


If you're anything like me, and glad the NHL is back, check out Eklund's Hockey Rumors for the latest news & rumors. The blogger has many credible inside sources, and was THE site to go to for lockout news, so don't worry about it being untrustworthy. So, go check it out, and of course, go Flyers!


Monday, August 15, 2005

Such Great Heights 

Reuters has an interesting interview with Sub Pop Records co-founder Jonathan Poneman, where he's refreshingly honest about what fans downloading music means to him, and his label:
Q: Without a tour or a big radio hit, the Postal Service became your second-best-selling act. Would that have happened without the Web?

A: I don't think they could have had the success they had without the Internet, without a doubt. We're approaching 9 million downloads on (Postal Service single) "Such Great Heights." Those are freebies, but we've also done a huge amount of paid downloads on that. Tony Kiewel, who's the Postal Service's A&R guy here, always points out that we're still selling "Such Great Heights" even though it's been available for free on our site for two years. It's our greatest freebie and probably our greatest-selling (online) song.

Q: When you see a stat like 9 million free downloads of "Such Great Heights," is there a part of you that says, "Why haven't we sold 2 million albums?"

A: No. My first goal is to promote my artists. The artists are doing well, and I'm doing well. The idea that we should be making more is obscene. The fact that I can make a living being around these artists I admire so much and whose music I live for is a gift.

Sales measure the success, and the artists, of course, want to sell a lot of records. But from my standpoint, success is measured in how many people know about the music. So if every bit of music that's out there is not paid for, it's not the end of the world.

Amen. I know making money is a MAJOR factor for the artists making the music, but as a fan, I would think the artists would love the fact that fans from around the world can share the music, and introduce others to a band/song that they like. Yes, that may be naive, but whatever.


Iran in Iraq 

Here's a couple of scary articles on Iran's (the real terror mastermind) plans for Iraq (and the U.S.):

First, from Fareed Zakaria, who states what's probably obvious, but never talked about:
With 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Tehran has many ways to retaliate against an American military strike.

Secondly, Time, on how Iran is helping make the lives of Coalition members miserable:
The U.S. Military's new nemesis in Iraq is named Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani, and he is not a Baathist or a member of al-Qaeda. He is working for Iran. According to a U.S. military-intelligence document obtained by TIME, al-Sheibani heads a network of insurgents created by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps with the express purpose of committing violence against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. Over the past eight months, his group has introduced a new breed of roadside bomb more lethal than any seen before; based on a design from the Iranian-backed Lebanese militia Hizballah, the weapon employs "shaped" explosive charges that can punch through a battle tank's armor like a fist through the wall. According to the document, the U.S. believes al-Sheibani's team consists of 280 members, divided into 17 bombmaking teams and death squads. The U.S. believes they train in Lebanon, in Baghdad's predominantly Shi'ite Sadr City district and "in another country" and have detonated at least 37 bombs against U.S. forces this year in Baghdad alone

We've known for a long time that Iran was going to try to be a major influence in Iraq's Shiite dominated South, but why am I not surprised that their plan for Iraq has been better thought out than ours?


Saturday, August 13, 2005

Get Out 

I couldn't agree more. This should be the way any sensible, non-partisan, realistic person should feel:
But it’s time to declare victory and get the fuck out. Thanks to the incompetence of this administration, we can no longer avoid the “Q” word. It’s a quagmire. Period. Listening to Marketplace while I made dinner tonight, I learned that attacks on military convoys have gone up—doubled or tripled, I didn’t have a pen—in the last 12 months. How’d that happen? How many billions spent and how many Americans and Iraqis dead and yet things just keep going from bad to worse.

It seems that the more corners we’re told we’ve turned, the more walls we run into. And it just keeps coming back to manpower—“just enough troops to lose,” as Andrew says. There were never enough troops on the ground, and since this President never met a fuck-up that he wouldn’t pin a Medal of Freedom on, the same fuck-ups who mismanaged this thing from the start are still grinning at us on TV.

Does anyone in the White House know what the fuck they’re doing? One day it’s the war on terror, the next day it’s got a new name, then it’s back to the war on terror. We’re going to set a date to start reducing troop levels—no, wait, we’re not. Killing Saddam’s sons will change things for the better, no wait. Capturing Saddam will take the wind out of the sails of the insurgency. Now that everyone in Iraq has a purple finger, the insurgents are going to slink away. We clear a town of insurgents, but we don’t have the manpower to hold it, so we pull the troops out and—surprise—the insurgents take the town back. “Dead enders,” “last throes,” “losing stream.”

On and on it goes, and the news doesn’t change, or get any better. If it needs a new name perhaps we should call it the Groundhog’s Day War. Does anyone believe that the Iraqi Constitution—coming on Monday—is going to change a damn thing?


Frauding Forrester 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Forrester, who has made the financial and political associations of his opponent a central theme of his campaign, is in business with a corporation being sued for fraud by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

I guess Forrester thinks to truly clean up corruption, he needs to experience it first.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005


What a f'n joke:
There are reports this afternoon that wide receiver Terrell Owens exchanged words with Head Coach Andy Reid at a team meeting and was asked to leave.

Owens then got his belongings and cleared out of Eagles training camp at Lehigh University, according to one television report.

The Inquirer will update and confirm this information as soon as possible.
Who does he think he is? He picked the wrong city to act like a spoiled brat. At this point, he will not be getting paid, so I'll expect him to be back. Don't forget who the Eagles play their first 3 games:

Game 1-Atlanta Falcons-T.O's adopted hometown.
Game 2-San Francisco 49ers-T.O's former team
Game 3-Oakland Raiders-Randy Moss.

He won't want to miss those games.


9/11 March and Concert 

Talk about bad ideas:
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon will hold a massive march and country music concert to mark the fourth anniversary of 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an unusual announcement tucked into an Iraq war briefing yesterday.
"This year the Department of Defense will initiate an America Supports You Freedom Walk," Rumsfeld said, adding that the march would remind people of "the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation."

The march will start at the Pentagon, where nearly 200 people died on 9/11, and end at the National Mall with a show by country star Clint Black.

Nothing sounds as cheesy as a Pentagon led march, followed by a country music concert.
That piece of it is disturbing since we all know now there was no connection," said Paul Rieckhoff, an Iraq veteran who heads Operation Truth, an anti-administration military booster.

Rieckhoff suggested the event was an ill-conceived publicity stunt. "I think it's clear that their public opinion polls are in the toilet," he said.
Rieckoff's right, a military led march, with a country music concert is an obvious attempt to strike a cord with the Red Staters (especially in the South), boost the Administrations lousy approval ratings, and increase more faux patriotism from the idiots who think Bush can do no wrong. It reeks of bad taste. And, why do I get the impression that more planning has been put into "Operation Boost Approval Ratings", than into the War in Iraq?

I live about 2 blocks from the Pentagon, I think I'll sit it out with this guy.

Update 8/10 4:06PM: Wouldn't a march, honoring the 9/11 dead, from the Pentagon to the Mall be a perfect target for terrorists? We can't go living in fear, and cancel every event that "could be a target for terrorists", but this one is fairly ripe.

Update 8/10 4:36PM: Conspiracy Theory Alert: This march/concert is just a Rovian attempt to rouse anti-Bush protestors so that they can be labelled "Anti-U.S. Solider". Perhaps, the Pentagon is the one that's "anti-Soldier", couldn't they spend the march/concert planning money on armor for our equipment in Iraq?


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Bin Laden to Iraq? 

From Debka:
Coded electronic signals bandied in recent days among al Qaeda Middle Eastern elements across secret Internet sites all carry the same message: the supreme leader, Osama bin Laden, has come out of hiding in Afghanistan and set out, or is about to set out, for Iraq. This is the sense gained from this correspondence by DEBKAfile’s exclusive counter-terror sources.

Some of the signals schedule his date of arrival as the second half of September when Ramadan is estimated to begin. His arrival in Iraq is planned to signal the launching of the biggest offensive his organization has ever launched against the US army. If these signals are a true representation of bin Laden’s plans and not a red herring, what is planned is a dramatic landmark battle in the global war on terror and the Iraqi conflict.

The signals cap a secret exchange of messages in recent weeks in which al Qaeda’s Iraq commander Abu Musab al –Zarqawi attempted to persuade bin Laden to leave Afghanistan and take command of the Ramadan offensive in Iraq. Zarqawi argued the importance of his transferring from Afghanistan to Iraq on two grounds: to boost al Qaeda’s standing as it embarks on an “offensive whose scale and importance rival the September 2001 operation.” and in the interests of his own personal safety.

Zarqawi stressed, according to our sources, that bin Laden will be safer in Iraq than in Afghanistan – an indication of Jordanian terrorist’s inflated self-confidence.

This obviously raises many questions: Bin Laden appearing in Iraq, would be a major boost of morale for his terrorists, who are hitting us and our Iraqi allies quite hard. Is this supposed offensive, Al Qaeda's version of North Vietnam's (and Viet Cong) Tet Offensive? On the battlefield Tet was a major loss of manpower, but a major psychological and propoganda victory for the North, precisly the kind of thing Al Qaeda likes. I think Bin Laden is in Iran, but if he's not, does it mean that Iraq's chaos is a better sanctuary for him to hide in, rather than Afghanistan's partial chaos? Perhaps, Iraq will provide Bin Laden with his moment to lead his terrorists into battle against the "Infidel Americans", and allow him to publicly die as a martyr.



Sorry for the unannounced hiatus- I had some wireless difficulty late last week, then went back to the Jersey shore for the weekend. FPN is recharged and back in action now.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Sacrifice during Wartime 

...or head to the ranch for a month.
President Bush is getting the kind of break most Americans can only dream of -- nearly five weeks away from the office, loaded with vacation time.

The president departed Tuesday for his longest stretch yet away from the White House, arriving at his Crawford ranch in the evening to clear brush, visit with family and friends, and tend to some outside-the-Beltway politics. By historical standards, it is the longest presidential retreat in at least 36 years.

I bet our troops in Iraq wish they time for a vacation.


R.I.P. Steven Vincent 

Killed in Iraq.


Monday, August 01, 2005

Interesting Headline 

"Russia angered by Warsaw mugging"

About 66 years ago, there was a "mugging" of a different kind.

/History nerd.


Fire Ed Wade 

Now. Worst GM in the league. I like President Bush better than Wade.


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