5-20-2004 Public Safety vs. Balanced Budgets


Bush is an incompetent leader. In fact, he's not a leader. He's a person who has no judgment, no experience and no knowledge of the subjects that he has to decide upon.

He has on his shoulders the deaths of many more troops, because he would not heed the advice of his own State Department of what to expect after May 1 when he ... declared that major combat is over. The shallowness that he has brought to the office has not changed since he got there.--House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told the San Francisco Chronicle in a 45-minute interview Wednesday

Only a completely partisan moron could be stupid enough to utter those irresponsible words while our troops are being shot at. Is it any wonder the "insurgents" seem to have plenty of fight left in them after more than a year of occupation? Incompetent? I guess Pelosi never bothered to consider that election year screeds such as those only further encourage the lawless pricks currently killing our troops. Another idiot posing as someone in the knowing of a lot of things. You know, a Commucrat.

Meanwhile...back at the ranch.

Here's some money in the bank for ya. I've been reading Geostrategy-Direct for more than five years and have found their info to be on the mark just about every time. They are more accurate than the Debka File and Jane's Defence Weekly in most cases.

GEOSTRATEGY-DIRECT INTELLIGENCE BRIEF

New evidence: Saddam's WMD in Lebanon Weapons transferred to Syria before war, then to Bekaa Valley

Posted: May 20, 2004
5:00 p.m. Eastern

Editor's note: WorldNetDaily brings readers exclusive, up-to-the-minute global intelligence news and analysis from Geostrategy-Direct, a new online newsletter edited by veteran journalist Robert Morton and featuring the "Backgrounder" column compiled by Bill Gertz. Geostrategy-Direct is a subscription-based service produced by the publishers of WorldTribune.com, a free news service frequently linked by the editors of WorldNetDaily.

Over the last few months, the U.S. intelligence community has received new evidence a sizable amount of Iraqi WMD systems, components and platforms were transferred to Syria in the weeks leading up to the U.S.-led war in Iraq, reports Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence news service.

But chances are the Bush administration won't be releasing this information for a while.

The convoys were spotted by U.S. satellites in early 2003, but the contents of the WMD convoys from Iraq to Syria were not confirmed.

Confirmation later came from Iraqi scientists and technicians questioned by a U.S. team that was searching for Saddam's conventional weapons. But all they knew was the convoys were heading west to Syria.

But over the last few months, U.S. intelligence managed to track the Iraqi WMD convoy to Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.

Through the use of satellites, electronic monitoring and human intelligence, the intelligence community has determined that much, if not all, of Iraq's biological and chemical weapons assets are being protected by Syria, with Iranian help, in the Bekaa Valley.

The Syrians received word from Saddam Hussein in late 2002 that the Iraqi WMD would be arriving and Syrian army engineering units began digging huge trenches in the Bekaa Valley.

Saddam paid more than $30 million in cash for Syria to build the pits, acquire the Iraqi WMD and conceal them.

At first, U.S. intelligence thought Iraqi WMD was stored in northern Syria. But in February 2003 a Syrian defector told U.S. intelligence the WMD was buried in or around three Syrian Air Force installations.

But intelligence sources said the Syrians kept dual-use nuclear components for themselves while transferring the more incriminating material to Lebanon.

********

Yo! Ethel! Can you say "ouch?"


Iraq is a quagmire, right? It's Vietnam II sans the Budweisers. Hell! We've even got pictures of American soldiers forcing Iraqis to play Twister stark freaking naked. Somebody had better get Walter Cronkite or Tom Bigler to say that the war cannot be won. It's all over. Bush lied. He eats small children.

Hold on. This just in from The Biloxi Sun Herald:

email this----print this

Posted on Fri, May. 21, 2004

A soldier's view from the frontline

By JOE ROCHE

A KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE FORUM

BAGHDAD, Iraq - I am a soldier with the 16th Engineering Battalion of the 1st Armored Division. Our unit is presently in combat against the uprising of Muqtada al-Sadr.

This situation is extremely sensitive. Had we entered this prematurely, victory would not have been possible. We have been involved in preparations and much planning. Today we are scoring amazing successes against this would-be tyrant.

I ask only that the American people be brave. Don't fall for the spin by those portraying this as a disaster. It just isn't true.

In April 2003, while the main war was still going on, I gave a class to my company about the threat posed by Sadr. Though my fellow soldiers didn't appreciate having to attend a class at 8 a.m., they can tell you that what is happening now is no surprise.

Our evaluation more than a year ago was that Sadr presented a formidable and possibly impossible threat. Last summer, as my unit covered Sadr City - the sprawling part of Baghdad that Sadr controlled - his militia made a show of force in defiance of the effort to open Iraq to new freedoms.

Sadr intimidated most of Iraq's Shia leaders and the community at large. He welcomed many foreign fighters to train and assist his militia in terrorist tactics and guerrilla warfare.

Our leaders acted with caution and care to secure ever-stronger cards against Sadr while working to achieve four main goals. The first goal was to isolate Sadr. Second was to exile him from his power base in Baghdad. Third was to contain his uprising. And the last was to get his hard-line supporters to abandon him and to encourage moderates to break from him.

This has been done brilliantly. Sadr is losing everything. Consider just some of the goals we've accomplished recently:

Goal One: Sadr's so-called Mahdi Army militia now is fighting alone. The people of Baghdad, Karbala and Najaf are not supporting him. His forces are isolated.

Goal Two: His one-time powerbase, Sadr City in Baghdad, has been lost. Sadr has been exiled. We have him on the run. Other Shia leaders are breaking from him. Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has left Sadr's call for jihad and uprising to founder on deaf ears. Paul Bremmer and Gen. John Abizaid stunned the Shia community by negotiating a calm in Fallujah. That tail-spinned Sadr's ability to intimidate Iraq's Shia leaders. The Iraqi people of Najaf and Karbala are offended by this Baghdad thug coming to their cities and trying to hijack them into conflict with the United States.

Goal Three: Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia are insulting the most sacred sites of Shia Islam daily. This is offending Iraq's Shia leaders very much. Our units, in fact, are operating within 500 meters of the most sacred Shia religious sites, and the local people are not resisting. This is what the pessimists at home are preventing you from understanding. Something like this would have been impossible before Sadr and his militia thugs went into there to hijack Iraqi Shia Islam. The people of Najaf and Karbala know we are not there to conquer and occupy the religious sites; we are there to liberate them from this would-be tyrant.

Goal four: Now Sadr's patrons and mentor in Iran are breaking from him. Grand Ayatollah Kazim al-Haeri in Qom, Iran, is no longer backing him. Haeri was a close intimate to Sadr's respectable father. Sadr has been abandoned.

I'm not blind to the casualties this is causing us. My battalion should be home reunited with family and friends after serving a full year here. Instead, we are still here where the temperature is reaching 115-125 degrees. And some of my fellow soldiers have fallen.

U.S. soldiers are working their hardest. Be strong and persistent in your faith with us. Sadr's militia is desperate, so it is dangerous, but keep this in perspective.

The pessimists would have you believe this is a disaster. Don't listen. I think some of them believe their reputations require our failure because they have been so negative. Eliminating Sadr's threat is part of the mission. We are further ensuring the liberation of the Iraqi people. This has to be done, and we are doing it.

Don't be seduced by those who would rather that we sit back and just enjoy the freedoms past generations of Americans have sacrificed to gain for us. This is our time to earn it. I remember President Bush saying after the Sept. 11 attacks: "The commitment of our fathers is now the calling of our time."

Joe Roche serves with the U.S. Army's 16th Combat Engineer Battalion in Iraq and is an adjunct fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research (www.nationalcenter.org), a conservative think-tank. Readers may write him at NCPPR, 777 N. Capitol St. NE, Suite 803, Washington, DC 20002.


It was one thing...

... when this dog-and-pony-show 9/11 commission tried to score some political points at the president's expense during an election season, but it's well, well over the line for them to dare to chastise and criticize the members of the FDNY and NYPD for any aspect of their brave responses to the 9/11 attacks, higher-ups or not. It's unacceptable and it never should have come to pass.

Who the f**k do they think they are anyway, these bloated high-and-mighty politicos who never had to rush into a two story structure fire let alone a 110 story structure fire? What a collection of totally pompous assholes! Well goll dern! They read a few transcripts and listened to some tape-recorded phone calls and now they are ready to chew some serious ass.

If I sat before them fielding questions and listening to their ridiculous bilge, my first verbal reaction to them would have been something like, "With no due respect f**k-face,..."

And what's up with the families of the 9/11 victims cheering and clapping during these hearings already? It was infuriating when they reacted to Condi Rice's gruff treatment as if they were attending a taping of the Gong Show. That was gross for sure. But to have them clapping and hooting while the leaders of the firemen and cops who died trying to save their relatives were called incompetant was enough to make me want to puke. It's getting to the point where I can no longer feel any compassion for their losses while all they do is further politicize the death of their loved ones.

Blame Bush if that makes you feel clever. Whatever. But now we're hacking the nuts of the first responders too? I never thought I'd be itching to tell some of those grieving folks to go get themselves unf**ked already, but I sure as hell am at this point.

Virginia Falzone,...

...the president of the North End Citizens Association and Taxpayers Association, as reported by the Times Leader, called the resolution to put another fire engine out of service "sneaky."

Now, if you read this site you would have to take issue with that charge. I did mention a couple of weeks ago that our new mayor had a big decision to make. Namely, whether to put another engine out of service, or to close a firehouse entirely. In all honesty, it didn't really matter which way we went. Either decision will serve the same purpose. It'll reduce overall public safety in this city.

Getting back to Virginia's comment, as far as the general public knew, this resolution to kill another engine was in fact sneaky. It was not mentioned at the work session and it wasn't even listed on the agenda for last night's meeting. I knew an engine was probably going to be put out of service, but I didn't expect it to be handled the way it was. I expected better from the administration as well as our council. Which is not to say that the decision was incorrect. I would have preferred to see our top guns explaining the necessity of certain things before they were implemented rather than having them doing damage control after the votes have been cast.

Sneaky? That's the way it came across.

On a side note, Virginia's Nord End sidekicks have simply got to settle on a new name. Sorry, but they've got to keep the new name of their watchdog group under 2,000 letters.

Now let's cut the elected officials in this city a bit of slack. It's an interesting juggling act they are currently trying to pull off. They are trying to improve the city's appearance, it's finances, it's morale and it's future prospects, all the while doing it with a frayed purse filled mostly with McG's dated I.O.U.s. It's a daunting task for sure. And it has to be tough for a new mayor who had the support of the fire department during the election season to have to start scaling back on their operations. But he did promise all of us financial responsibility and now we're seeing it manifest itself. It sucks. Years and years of financial irresponsibility have led us to this sorry point, so remember that when assigning blame.

Sneaky or otherwise, the gavel has come down and we now have one less fire engine in service. What does that mean to us? Let's sort it all out.

North Station (Scott Street): Engine 9

Northeast station(Conyngham Avenue): Medic-5

Headquarters (Ross Street): Truck 6 and a pick-up truck

East Station (Northampton Street): Rescue 7 and "Quick Attack 4," a mini-pumper purchased because it can fit in our smallest alleys

South Station (High Street): Engine 3 and Medic-3.

The fact of the matter is, two engines have been put out of service with this move. Engine 5 at the Northeast station is now out of service, as well as Engine 4 from the East station in the Heights. Engine 4 will be relocated from the Heights to headquarters only to collect dust, while Rescue 7, previously stationed at headquarters will move to the Heights. Confused? Don't be. Just think of our fire department as being one threadbare enterprise.

Let's try a scenario. Ready? A call comes in for a working structure fire. There goes probably every engine except for one held in reserve. If the structure fire is of the nasty variety, there goes all available fire engines, Truck 6, Rescue 7, and a medic unit. That would leave us with a medic unit and nothing else until some off-duty firefighters are called in. Then the out-of-service vehicles will come on line again.

Since Rescue 7 responds to all motor vehicle accidents in this city, if an MVA occurs before the structure fire erupts, Rescue 7 will be spoken for and will not be responding to said structure fire.

If both of our ambulances (Remember, one automatically goes to a structure fire) are on calls and another ambulance call comes in, no engines would be available to babysit the sick or injured person, or persons, while waiting for an ambulance to "turn around" from a hospital. So...one of Kingston's, or Hanover's, or Plains' ambulances will just have to do. Do you see where we're going here?

The outstanding response times our fire department and paramedics have always been counted on to deliver are about to suffer greatly depending upon demand. Or in other words, public safety has been compromised in order to balance the budget in a city nearly overwhelmed with debt.

Scanner Land is sure to be much more interesting as a result of this latest move. Sadly, it might also prove to be much more frightening.

I know we're broke. I know about all of that. And I also know that we are training the average folks to call 9/11 if they stub their big toe. And while we're responding to the frivilous, the assinine calls, who the hell is going to be available to save the folks that really need saving?


Me needs sleep. I had a robust week at work and then Copper Dude called me early this evening. The result? 12 more miles on the Rock Stomper with Gage and A.J. in tow. We did the dike on the west side. We saw one plane land at the Forty Fort airport. We visited the bestest playground around which is located in Kingston. We rolled past our Healing Field. And we treated the boys to hoddogs and iced tea at the crowded Fine Arts Fiesta. When George Wesley finally got his instruments tuned, we were out of there. Reggae is cool for about ten minutes until it starts to inevitably loop itself to boredom. Pedestrian beats will never excite this musical gourmet.

Nite

Gage & A.J.