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What if you threw a wargasm and nobody came?

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Now, I don't want to claim that the Pentagon's September 11 wargasm party they threw today, to try to help Bush's sagging approval ratings, was a complete bust, but...

Joe in DC and I decided to hit the fete and see exactly how many hundreds of thousands of patriotic Amurikans joined in the by-registration-only "sterile" event (they had the entire event, from the Pentagon to the mall (a few miles away), fenced in for safety or something).

Well, Joe and I arrived there at 2, just off of the Lincoln Memorial and Korean War Memorial, and here's what we saw:

A whole lot of nothing.

So we walked closer.

And we saw young kids putting away tables, or something, in an empty field. Ok. So we walked a bit farther (further?)

And there we saw a nice empty stage and a handfuls of empty chairs. Joe and I found this a bit odd, since the event began at the Pentagon, where they had some ceremony, and then folks had to walk to the Mall, a good couple of miles. How did they all get here, party, and leave so quickly? Not to mention, there wasn't a speck of litter on the ground - either these people were uncommonly neat, or there weren't that many of them. Nor was the "sterile" party area very large.

I went up to some guy on the soundstage and asked him when this all began. He told me 11am, as soon as people started arriving. How many were there, I asked him. 15,000 to 18,000, he told me. Yeah, right. The Washington Post says "thousands" and another story online simply says "droves."

I've seen a lot of marches on the mall in my 20+ years in Washington, but I've never seen one where 15,000 people arrive between 11am and noon, and are all gone, and everything's cleaned up, two hours later.

Methinks the Freedom March, Patriot Party, or whatever, was a bit of a bust. Clearly Bush didn't get the September 11 war-fest he wanted. And my suspicion is that after Katrina, and all the criticism of every other event the president ran to instead of focusing on Katrina, the White House wrote this thing off.

And good riddance.

Can we now move past September 11, finally?

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