Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Two Ways to Remember September 11...

Method Number 1:

WASHINGTON - (KRT) - The Pentagon will hold a massive march and country music concert to mark the fourth anniversary of Sept. 11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an announcement tucked into an Iraq war briefing Tuesday.

"This year the Department of Defense will initiate an America Supports Your 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 Sept. 11, and end at the National Mall with a show by country star Clint Black.

Word of the event startled some observers. "I've never heard of such a thing," said John Pike, who has been a defense analyst in Washington for 25 years and runs

The news also reignited debate and anger over linking Sept. 11 with the war in Iraq.

"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.

Method Number 2:

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Ongoing concerns over conflicts in the oil-rich Middle East lifted crude-oil futures to a new intraday record of $65 a barrel Wednesday, even though U.S. data reflected ample domestic supplies, with imports at their second-highest weekly average ever.

Refinery outages helped tighten U.S. gasoline inventories further last week -- sending futures prices for the fuel to uncharted territory, but the strong imports help raise crude supplies by as much as triple some market expectations.

September natural-gas futures mirrored the strength among its energy peers to end above $9 per million British thermal units, the first time since November of last year on a monthly average basis.

Crude for September delivery climbed as high as $65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the first time a benchmark contract has ever reached a level that high. The contract closed up $1.83, or 2.9%, at $64.90 a barrel -- the highest close ever for a benchmark.

"The market shows crude stocks have indeed increased, but the market fails to believe we are building a comfortable cushion in inventories," said John Person, president of National Futures Advisory Service.

Instead, "traders are pricing in the worst fears from the Middle East tensions [and] Iran's nuclear program is an issue," he said. Added to that, there's the question of governmental stability in Saudi Arabia, and the "ongoing Iraq military policing action that no one wants to call a war," he said.

Those are "the real culprits behind the energy market's high prices," he said.

I think that it's a given that we'll see prices rise - not steadily perhaps- until at least after Sept. 11.

After all, it's not like we're asking the Saudis to, you know, actually bring democracy and religious freedom to the place that spawned al Qaeda...

And of course lost in all of this is actually, you know, remembering the dead, and trying to execute a coherent policy for dealing with the root causes of Islamic fundamentalist religious terrorism connected with our greed for oil.

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