Well, an old chum of mine in the Deep South – a former US Vietnam veteran officer – has a habit of tramping through the hills to the north of his home and writes to me that "in my therapeutic and recreation trips ... in the mountains of North Carolina over the last two weeks, I've noticed a lot of F-16 and C-130 activity. They are coming right through the passes, low to the ground. The last time I saw this kind of thing up there was before Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan".Fisk speculates that Bush will make a major attack within Pakistan, but it could just as easily be Iran.
That was in early August. Two weeks later, my friend wrote again. "There were a few (more) C-130 passes... I know that some 75th Rangers have just moved out of their home base and that manoeuvres have gone on in areas that have been used... in the past before assaults utilizing [sic] aircraft guided by small numbers of special operations people."
And then comes the cruncher in my friend's letter. "I think that the Bush administration is looking for something to distract Americans before the mid-September report on progress in Iraq. And I believe that the pressure is building to do something about the sanctuaries for the Taliban and foreign fighters along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border..."
Meanwhile, the media surge surrounding the Petraeus Report continues to build, as US TV News Megastar Katie Couric joins Miranda Devine in Baghdad.