Friday, April 16, 2004

Headscarves bad, 

Headscarves by a different name, good. The French headscarf ban never made sense to me, and now it is looking even more absurd.

For those keeping score at home, the headscarf pictured here is bad, while the bandanna in the BBC article above is okay.

Now, the headscarf issue is a much more complex matter in the Muslim world than I initially thought, and I won't get into it now. Maybe some other time. But it still seems like a bad idea to ban something that a religious minority believes--rightly or wrongly--that their religion requires them to wear. It just screams of an antogonistic "why can't you be like the rest of us" attitude on the part of the French.
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Worth looking into 

French President Jacques Chirac, speaking in Algeria on Thursday, proposed that "a conference bringing together all elements of Iraqi society would perhaps give the political transition - while awaiting elections - the necessary legitimacy." He suggested the United Nations as a facilitator for such a conference.

I think his idea has some merit, and I'll have more in the morning. Until then, here's a link to a Le Monde article, in French.

UPDATE: Okay... The difference between Chirac's proposal and his stated goals for Iraq, and those held by the US administration, is not a vast chasm. According to Chirac, the political solution in Iraq

will happen by a rapid, complete, and visible transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqis, and by the establishment of Iraqi institutions that are truly representative, legitimate, and completely responsible.
A transfer of sovereignty and the establishment of responsible Iraqi institutions are goals the US and France share. The outcome we seek is the same, so what of Chirac's proposal for an inter-Iraqi conference?

The conference he has proposed is not terribly different from the Governing Council, except perhaps that it would be larger in size. That body proved itself able to work together and to reach compromises acceptable to all parties. At the same time, the constitutional process left several key questions unanswered, and this is where a larger conference would come in handy during the transition.

The current Governing Council may be too small to hammer out the unresolved details of the transition, but a larger conference, as Chirac proposes might do the trick.

At the same time, a large conference could quickly descend into chaos, with no hope of resolving anything. That is a risk, but an inclusive conference bringing in a wide number of respected Iraqis would, first and foremost, have a better chance of reaching an agreement that everyone can live with, and secondly, would be seen as legitimate in Iraqi eyes.

While writing this, news has broken that the Bush administration has welcomed UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi's plan for a "caretaker government." His plan calls for a conference to assemble after June 30th to create a consultative assembly.

This is good news all around. It gives the administration an actual playbook to work from as the transition approaches, and it will show the world that the US does not totally ignore its friends and international bodies--indeed, when they have an idea, we listen.
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Thursday, April 15, 2004


We all hate spam. We often wonder what to do about it, or if anything CAN be done.

Well, I have used MailWasher for a while and it's starting to get results. It has the nice feature of allowing you to bounce spam back to the sender as undeliverable. After a while, your address gets removed from spammers' lists. It takes some time to start showing an effect, but after a couple of months, the amount of spam I receive has decreased dramatically--enough that I am no longer deleting spam all day long. My rough estimate is that my daily spam is down to 15-20% of what it was pre-MailWasher.

And oh yeah, it's free. Just thought I would offer up some advice on what works. Many of you have probably heard of it, but many probably have not, so I just wanted to throw it out there. It seems to work for me, anyway.
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Oh, the irony 

I got off on a rant about the UN earlier, because of the narrow vote to censure Cuba for its record on human rights.

Well, right after only 21 of 51 members of the Commission on HUMAN RIGHTS found the guts to vote in favor of condemning CUBA's record, Cuban officials beat up a demonstrator outside the Commission's meeting. That should go a long way toward demonstrating Cuba's respect for human rights, eh?

And getting back to the moral equivalency bullshit:

A Freedom House delegation recently returned from Geneva, where it presented its annual list of the "Most Repressive Societies" to the Commission on April 2. Five of the fifteen countries are members of the Commission.
What a g-ddamn joke. ENOUGH ALREADY!

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LCPL Boudreaux - Priceless 

The LCPL Boudreaux story is taking on a life of its own here on the net. This message board has an appropriate new Photoshopped version of the Boudreaux pic.

UPDATE: The Times-Picayune has the most thorough article I've seen about the matter.
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Stupid EPA tricks 

The EPA released a list (.doc) of counties that are noncompliant with federal ozone standards. The regions with substandard air quality face penalties if they do not comply within a certain time frame, with sanctions such as the loss of federal highway funds. In addition,

The EPA said that the regions in noncompliance may have to impose new controls on industrial plants, restrict transportation and require tougher vehicle inspection programs to clean up their air. Some counties also may have to require the use of special, cleaner-burning gasoline.
Clean air is a good thing, and I don't really have a problem with the suggested compliance measures.

What I have a problem with is that a number of the counties listed are not the cause of the problem--they are recipients of other states' industrial pollution. Yet regardless of the origin of the pollution, the places where it ends up will be the ones held accountable.

Half the counties in Maine are listed, for example. Four of them, Hancock, Knox, Lincoln, and Waldo counties, are in sparsely populated eastern Maine, with little industry to speak of. They are not the problem, yet they will be held responsible for other states' bad air, which finds its way to the Maine coast and, due to ocean currents and prevailing winds, builds up there.

Acadia National Park, in Hancock County, is number five on the Sierra Club's list of smoggiest National Parks. As one environmental group says,

Maine is at the "end of the tailpipe" of all dirty power plants to the south and west. Depending on the way the wind blows on any given hot summer day, the Maine coast often records some of the highest harmful ozone levels in the East. Power plant pollutants follow the same routes down east that millions of tourists follow every summer, hoping to fill their lungs with fresh air and enjoy the magnificent vistas offered by Acadia National Park.
But the pollution does not come from Maine. This 1998 study determined the sources of air pollution on the Maine coast:

As shown in Figure 5-6, nickel smelting facilities in the area around Sudbury, Ontario, contribute the most sulfur to Acadia National Park (29 per cent). It is estimated that coal-fired power plants in the New York­Philadelphia area contribute approximately 15 per cent, while plants in northern New York contribute about 24 per cent. Midwestern SO2 sources -- primarily in Michigan -- contribute about 9 per cent.
Over three quarters of this pollution originates far from Maine. So the EPA is set to punish the wrong people if these coastal Maine counties don't see an improvement in air quality, and that's not right.
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BAG Day update 

I did my part.
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Speaking of human rights 

In the last post I criticized the UN for giving all manner of unsavory nations equal voices, and decried the result of that policy--abject failures to actually do something about the problems of the world.

Well, since I haven't posted anything about Zimbabwe in a while--at least not of any length--I thought this would make a good time to do so.

The latest action in Mugabe's miserable failure of a land reform policy is to confiscate farm equipment from people whose land has already been confiscated, and then give it to the people who now occupy the land, who have shown no inclination to actually farm. I wonder if the so-called Commission on Human Rights will address Zimbabwe's human rights violations.

Oh wait... Zimbabwe is a member of the Commission. Of course. Along with Cuba and Sudan, naturally.

My posts about Zimbabwe:

4/13 - 2/28 - 2/10 - 1/23 - 1/22 - 1/4 - 12/17 - 12/13
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Moral equivalency 

Here's a bright, shining example of what's wrong with the concept of moral equivalency embodied in the United Nations system. The UN's Commission on Human Rights held a vote today, on a motion to call upon Cuba to reform its human rights practices.

The UN and its constituent bodies, representing dictatorships equally alongside democracies, without passing judgment on them, inevitably lead to absurd results like today's vote--a single vote passage of a motion to condemn Cuba. Twenty-one nations voted in favor of the motion, but twenty others disagreed with the need to rebuke a Communist dictatorship that freely imprisons political dissidents. Ten more couldn't bring themselves to vote either way. So this body, the Commission on Human Rights only has twenty one out of fifty-one members that are willing to, well, actually work for human rights.

It's pathetic, and it's high time this charade ended. The UN needs to set basic conditions of political and civil rights before it allows nations membership--and a vote--in its various organs. It's time to stop pretending that all nations are created equal and to stop treating them as if they are.

UPDATE: Rand Simberg has more proud moments of the UN.

MORE: Noted historian and political expert Oliver Stone says that Cuba is not a Stalinist state.
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Biting the hand that feeds you 

An Iranian diplomat was assassinated in Iraq. Given the support Iran has given to Muqtada al-Sadr, the firebrand leader of militant Shi'ism in Iraq, this can't be good for Sadr. Iran has been mediating discussions between the Coalition Provisional Authority and Sadr about disbanding the Al-Mehdi Army, Sadr's militia. Apparently someone wasn't interested in stopping the fighting, and killed this Iranian in hopes of disrupting the process. I think all this will do is drive a wedge between Iran and Sadr, whether he was involved or not. Even if he was not directly involved, it shows that he does not have tight control of his militia. Iran now has even more incentive to bring its wayward client in line, and Sadr has probably lost some negotiating room with Iran. Coupled with the rebukes he has gotten from Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, it looks like Sadr is very short of friends at the moment. He must realize this, and hopefully he will do the wise thing and disband his militia rather than consign his men to inevitable destruction in an American assault on Najaf.
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Door number three 

According to the Associated Press, there is a third version of the LCPL Boudreaux picture out there, but I can't find it anywhere. The AP says that this other version of the photo has the sign reading,

My country got invaded and all I got was this lousy sign.
Fortunately, the Marine Corps has finished its investigation so we should be hearing the conclusion of this story soon.

UPDATE: A longer version of the same article, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It appears that the Marine Corps is having some difficulty reaching LCPL Boudreaux:

Boudreaux is not on active duty and the Marines were trying to contact him Wednesday.
Gotta keep that recall info up to date, Lance Corporal Boudreaux! (We do it every single month in my reserve unit. It gets old, but it beats not being able to reach someone.)
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Iraq is not Vietnam 

Famous Bush apologist Christopher Hitchens explains why the Vietnam analogy fails.

The scenes in Fallujah and Kut and elsewhere are prefigurations of what a transfer of power would have looked like, unedited, in the absence of coalition forces. This is the Iraq that had been prepared for us by more than a decade of sanctions-plus-Saddam, with a new lumpen class of impoverished, disenfranchised, and paranoid people, with bullying, Khomeini-style, Wahhabi-style and Baath-style forces to compete for their loyalty. Such was the future we faced anyway...

Here is the reason that it is idle to make half-baked comparisons to Vietnam. The Vietnamese were not our enemy, let alone the enemy of the whole civilized world, whereas the forces of jihad are our enemy and the enemy of civilization. There were some Vietnamese, even after the whole ghastly business, who were sorry to see the Americans leave. There were no Lebanese who were sad to see the Israelis leave. There would be many, many Iraqis who would be devastated in more than one way if there was another Somalian scuttle in their country. In any case, there never was any question of allowing a nation of this importance to become the property of Clockwork Orange holy warriors.

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BAG Day 2004 

Aaron brings Buy a Gun Day back for a second year. It's tomorrow, April 15th--tax day!

No promises from me, but I did assist someone in selecting a fine rifle last weekend. Aaron tells me that counts.

Now, let me say that I don't agree with him on everything... the Bill Clinton chew toy he's giving away is way over the top, for example. That's the kind of treatment I would reserve for really deserving people like bin Laden. And whether I agree with his premise (spiting the great fabricator Michael Moore) or not ("April 15 is a day of frustration and pain and liberal asset-seizing glee" is a bit of a reach) it's as good a day as any to exercise one's Constitutional rights. If it can be done in a coordinated way by a significant number of people, then good on him for organizing it.
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100 days of Rwanda 

NYCO of Silent Edge is blogging a Rwanda retrospective, with 100 days of posts, each describing the events of that date in 1994. It is excellent reading for those who want to know more.

An excerpt from today's post:

Ten years ago today: Interahamwe stopped a Rwandan Red Cross ambulance at a checkpoint and killed six wounded Tutsi who were on the way to the hospital. RTLM announced that the Red Cross was protecting "enemies of the Republic, disguised as wounded." The incident prompted Philippe Gaillard, head of the international Red Cross mission in Rwanda, to alert the world media about the targeting of wounded civilians.

Belgium announced its troops were leaving the country.

In Kibeho church in Gikorongo province, thousands of Tutsi refugees died in an attack. Kibeho had been the site of apparitions to Catholic girls during the 1980s.

Thousands of people were also killed at Nyamata church in central Rwanda this week, starting today.
Thanks to Tacitus for linking it on his site, without which I would not have known about NYCO's blog.
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The wrong plan 

President Bush has expressed support for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plans to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

US President George W Bush has hailed Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's plans to disengage from Gaza and parts of the West Bank.

Mr Bush called Mr Sharon's proposals "historic and courageous".

He restated his commitment to a Palestinian state, but appeared to rule out one which included the whole West Bank, saying realities on the ground had changed.

But Yasser Arafat said US backing for the plan would wreck all peace hopes.
Tony Blair supports the plan as well. A month ago, so did Arafat.

I'm not totally against withdrawal from the occupied territories, or even the retention of some settlements included in Sharon's plan. What I am against is lending support to the plan at this stage. Speaking of which, I would love to see details, because I know there have been several competing ideas kicking around about which West Bank settlements stay, and which go, and what the effect on the Palestinian population would be in each case.

A complete withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, demanded by some Palestinian hardliners, is impractical at this point, and would leave large numbers of Israelis, and also Palestinians, on the wrong side of the border.

Even worse, though, would be a retention of West Bank territory by Israel that does not provide for a contiguous Palestinian area. If the six settlements that Israel will retain under the plan are able to be connected to Israel proper in such a way that Palestinian towns are not encircled or otherwise cut off from the rest of the Palestinian territory, then some of my concerns would be relieved. If I were in the President's shoes I would make sure to get Sharon's assurances about Palestinian territorial integrity before giving him American approval of his withdrawal plan.

The only realistic way to approach the peace process is to find the least painful partition for each side. The Palestinians will have to accept some settlements, but Israel should not cut Palestinians off from each other. So far I haven't heard that the Israeli withdrawal plan fits that condition.

The continued construction of the security fence (currently halted) and the line that the fence follows, will also play a big part in the dynamic.

So at this point, I think there are too many questions about the potential pitfalls of withdrawal for the American President to support it, and I believe that it is a decision which could come back to haunt the President and complicate American foreign policy.

UPDATE: Oops. (Thanks to Allah for the heads-up.)

MORE: Stratfor says this will kill any hope for a viable Palestinian state because it will cut off Palestinian populations from each other--precisely the fear I expressed above.

The Israeli government has no intention of limiting its "separation" to these six settlements. Ariel, Givat Zeev, Gush Etzion and Maale Adumim are deep within the Palestinian territories, and simply walling them off not only would divorce them from Israel proper, but also would render them indefensible. The only solution is for Sharon to secure wide support corridors running from Israel proper to these four enclaves.

Only Kiryat Arba and Hebron will be true Israeli islands sustained by nearby Israeli military bases. A (planned) side effect of such corridors is that they would restrict -- or even eliminate -- connections between Palestinian population centers, splitting them into five discrete segments with minimal direct contact.

With no hope for a sovereign Palestinian state, any factions in the PNA that still want to push for a negotiated settlement will be in no position to sustain a dialogue.
And the intifada will gain in popularity...
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Successful Google bomb 

A Google search for "Jew" now gives the Wikipedia entry as the top result, and not a hate site like it used to do.

I'm glad to know my small contribution helped.
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The whole story 

The Marines in Iraq, through Spirit of America, have a request.

US Marines seek to equip seven (7) television stations serving local communities within Al Anbar Province, Iraq. The Province includes the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi. These stations will offer information that is more accurate and balanced than existing alternatives. The goal is to improve understanding between Americans and Iraqis, build trust and reduce tensions.

Current TV news in Iraq often carries negative, highly-biased accounts of the U.S. presence. Unanswered, its effect is to stoke resentment and encourage conflict. The Marines seek to ensure the Iraqi people have access to better, more balanced information. By equipping local television stations and providing the ability to generate news and programming, the Marines will create a viable news alternative - one owned and operated by local Iraqi citizens.

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3K 4K 

Thanks to visitor number 3,000 who arrived today. And thanks also to visitor number 4,000 who will probably show up today as well, by the look of things.

UPDATE: Hello to visitor 4,000, from Texas.
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LCPL Boudreaux - an alternative view 

In a comment to this now infamous post, urbanmythbuster links to a different image, with a much more innocuous message.

My caveat about trusting web images stands.

UPDATE: The Associated Press jumps into the fray...

Investigators have not determined if the photo showing Lance Cpl. Ted J. Boudreaux Jr. was altered, said Capt. Jeffrey Pool, a spokesman for Marine Reserves in New Orleans.

Results of the investigation and possible punishment were expected Wednesday, Pool said.
Thank goodness. Maybe this whole thing will be laid to rest tomorrow. (Er...today.)

Or maybe not. I predict that if the photo is determined to have been altered, the usual suspects will cry "cover up!" and accuse the Marines of allowing misconduct. Or if it is determined to be real, Boudreaux's punishment won't be severe enough. Keep an eye on CAIR, Democratic Underground, and antiwar.com for reactions.

See here for more of a two-way discussion.

MORE: John Cole is convinced it's a hoax. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
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Say anything 

During last night's press conference, when asked if he had made any mistakes since 9/11, the President fumbled.

Now, he didn't respond in the negative; indeed, he said, "I don't want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I'm confident I have." Of course he has. We all make mistakes and he's no different. But it would have helped if he had come up with an answer of some kind. Any answer is better than no answer, as anyone who has been interviewed for a job knows.

On the other hand, it was a rigged question, designed to produce a negative sound bite for the press to focus on. It was a no-lose question for them... whatever Bush answered, they would get a headline out of it. And they did.

It was an unfair question, but the President would have done better to answer it than to come across as unwilling to admit mistakes. Personally, I think he just couldn't quickly come up with an answer he could live with, but some people are going to assume otherwise.
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Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Lyndon LaRouche would be proud / Bush visits to wounded 

The Saint Petersburg, Florida Democrats have bought themselves a newspaper ad calling for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to be put up against a wall and shot.

Isn't that wonderful? What nice people they are. And check out the raving, illogical lunacy in the rest of the ad.

I can answer one question the ad asks:

How many military hospitals has Bush visited to talk to our wounded who have lost arms, or legs, or their eye sight, or combinations of these, how many?
Several, including five visits to Walter Reed Army Medical Center which got almost zero coverage in the major media. I wonder why that is? How many soldiers does Bush have to visit before the press notices? How many?

And then the ad calls the Iraqi insurgents "patriates." Well, yeah, if that's the opposite of "expatriate." I think they meant "patriots" but weren't capable of spelling correctly with all that mouth foam in the way.

UPDATE: He visited a hospital at Ft. Hood, Texas and pinned Purple Hearts on 10 soldiers on Easter Sunday, right before the St. Pete Dems asked how many military hospitals he has visited. Why didn't they know? Because the press doesn't want you to know. I didn't know until he mentioned it just now during his press conference.

MORE: Okay, so the ad ran before the Ft. Hood visit. The point stands: President Bush has visited wounded soldiers at three military hospitals during seven visits--six since the start of the Iraq war. The dates and places:

January 17, 2003 - Walter Reed Army Medical Center
April 11, 2003 - Walter Reed and Naval Medical Center Bethesda
September 11, 2003 - Walter Reed
December 18, 2003 - Walter Reed
March 19, 2004 - Walter Reed
April 11, 2004 - Ft. Hood, TX

And yet there are still widely circulated articles as this one by Bill Berkowitz, reproduced on countless lefty websites. On the very same day as Bush's third visit to Walter Reed, Berkowitz wrote:

The president has repeatedly visited with troops that have returned intact and he has issued statements honoring the dead, but he has not shown up at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Berkowitz is far and away the leader of the "Bush hasn't visited the wounded" charge, but he's not alone.

This blogger thinks he scores points with a conservative friend by stating, four days before Bush's fourth visit to Walter Reed,

You DO know he hasn't visited any of our wounded troops...?
After Bush had visited wounded soldiers four times, blogAmY stated,

The Compassionate Conservative President himself hasn't visited one wounded solider who gave of himself/herself for their lies.
Do you get the idea yet? The links above are all from the first page of search results.

Then there's Moby, darling of the hip lefty MoveOn.org crowd:

but you know what REALLY depresses me and what stuns me that the media haven't reported?
that george bush hasn't visited a SINGLE soldier who's been wounded in iraq.
This, again, after Bush had done so four times.

I've had enough... And I can only conclude that people know what they want to know and ignore the rest.
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Wrong on many levels 

Kos reads the collective mind of the right and comes up with this prediction:

So you're a war supporter, and Iraq is going to hell. You want to pull the troops out, but doing so might require admitting defeat. And admitting defeat would mean that the bloodbath in Iraq was all for naught.
What to do? Easy.

Blame Iraqis. Talk about how the US came in, altruistic at heart, hoping to spread "freedom" to the Iraqi people. And then, pointing to the current broad-based rebellion, screech about how "ungrateful" the Iraqis are to the US for bringing said "freedom" to the country.

And then cut tail and run.

Watch the Right. It's gonna happen.
In just eleven sentences, Kos makes so many wrong assumptions that it's hard to sort them all out. But I'll try.

First, who says Iraq is going to hell? If Kos is into predictions, I've got one. Within a couple of months, the narrowly-based insurgency--not a "broad-based rebellion" as Kos says in another false assumption--will be over. Don't believe me? It's happening already.

Second, he assumes that the troops will be pulled out before the job is done. That will NEVER happen. Of that I have no doubt, and I'm surprised that Kos, a former soldier himself, would entertain the notion at all.

Third, he assumes that the "bloodbath" is all for naught. I disagree, and think the stakes are bigger in Iraq than any we have faced in sixty years.

Fourth, he disparages the idea that freedom for Iraqis is a goal of the operation. He uses scare quotes around the word, "freedom." Freedom for Iraqis is the single most important goal in Iraq, and Kos knows it. He just conveniently overlooks it because the political jabs are so much easier to make if you ignore the fact that 25 million Iraqis are and will remain free from Ba'athist tyranny. That they will form their own government with the consent of the governed. And that they will be the lone democracy in a sea of repression--repression which has led to despair, which has led to young men and women killing themselves and others as they resort to the only means left to affect change in their own countries. Perhaps the Iraqi example will change that dynamic. That is certainly the hope, and there is, in my mind, no more important goal on earth today than Arab democracy.

There is nothing more liberal than helping oppressed peoples to establish democracy and civil rights, so why is such a huge portion of the so-called "liberal" element so dead-set against the American effort in Iraq?
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Zimbabwe seeks tourists: BBC 

Zimbabwe woos new Asian tourists

Zimbabwe is seeking to boost the number of visitors from Asia, to make up for the collapse in European tourism, an official says.

Asia was the biggest tourist growth market last year, state media reports.

Some 40,000 people, mostly from China, India and Japan visited in 2003, an increase of 40%.
That's funny, I figured that Cambodians would feel nostalgic while visiting Zimbabwe. And North Koreans would feel right at home, if they were allowed to leave home.
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Monday, April 12, 2004

Sick joke (Updated 4/12) 

If you're arriving here from one of the blogs or discussion boards that has linked to this post, there is much more where this came from. Please see my posts from 4/14, 4/15, 4/15 again, 4/20, 4/22, and 4/23.

(4/12 UPDATE: An interesting development in the story... The Corps is investigating. Or at least that's what the Marine Corps Times, a private, nonofficial publication says. It's apparently an old picture, based on the uniform--read below for an explanation--but if the sign turns out to be real, LCPL Boudreaux needs to become PVT Boudreaux, spend a couple of months cleaning latrines, and then get a Bad Conduct Discharge. There is nothing in the Uniform Code of Military Justice that addresses such an act as posing with foreign nationals and an insulting sign, but Article 134, the general article, is a nice catch-all.)

Body and Soul is up in arms over an obviously doctored photo, and says that the Pentagon needs to look into it immediately. The photo shows an American soldier with a couple of Iraqi boys, one holding a handwritten sign that says "Lcpl Boudreaux killed my dad then knocked up my sister!" What's more, Islam Online and CAIR are upset about it too.

There's only one small problem. Well, two.

First is the soldier's uniform. He's wearing the standard three-color desert camouflage utility (DCU) uniform worn by the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Navy forces in the Middle East. Which means he can't be a Lance Corporal--that's a Marine Corps rank only, and the Marines wear a different uniform with a digital camouflage pattern. Yet the handwritten sign identifies him as "Lcpl Boudreaux."

So, the guy in the picture can't be a "Lcpl" AND wear the three-color DCU.

Secondly, the Army sometimes writes rank abbreviations with only the first letter capitalized. A Marine would write his rank in all caps, as "LCPL Boudreaux," not "Lcpl Boudreaux."

Add it all up, and it convinces me that the picture is a fake. Whoever doctored the photo didn't know enough about the U.S. armed forces to make the doctoring job believeable to anyone with a clue.

UPDATE: I just keep thinking of more details. Marine Corps headgear has the eagle-globe-and-anchor emblem centered on the front. This man has no such markings on his hat.

MORE (4/7): Apparently the whole Lcpl Boudreaux thing is being talked about, because a whole lot of people arrived here today searching for it. They're also arriving from this discussion, where yours truly was quoted. One respondent says:

Jesus, have you ever seen the sun? It's obvious it's a fake, even to people who don't necessarily know all that horse shit trivia.
Well, it's not obviously a fake, even to people who don't know all that "trivia," judging by the amount of discussion the photo has generated--and the angry response from Islam Online and CAIR, among others. A whole lot of people apparently think it's real, and that alone concerns me--that there are people out there who would, for even one moment, believe the picture to be real, is dumbfounding. I'm just doing my part to set the record straight. One person calls it "trivia," I call it factual evidence to support a conclusion. And if you happen to be coming from that link above, tell ".." that as of September 03 when I worked alongside a number of Marines in the Middle East, they all had the digital camouflage. This was at a base in a friendly country, and I'm sure the Marines there weren't first in line to get the new combat clothing.
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