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Old 08-01-2002, 11:43 PM   #16
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zooropa: I don't find anything contradictory about my 4th reason for opposing military action in Iraq. The Bush administration believees Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction-yet have no proof. No doubt, as I admitted, Iraq may very well possess some of these weapons. If we were to attack Iraq Saddam undoubtedly would use whatever weapons he had against us. Subsequently, in an ironic twist, the Bush administration would have caused Iraq to use the very weapons of mass destruction it possesses against us and which we are supposedly trying to prevent FROM being used.

Re: the polls you cite. In my original comments I was relying on CNN/Gallup poll numbers from April that asked "Do you support the use of U.S. ground forces in Iraq". That question had a 50% NO response and a 46% YES. Your poll data is more current. I don't, however, believe this provides any type of mandate to Bush...and it doesn't address the larger issue of his autoritative capacity to simply order an attack on Iraq without Congressional approval under the Constitution.

What bothers me greatly is how the Bush team is spinning this Iraqi conquest to the American people. You state that "...we have elected leaders that we trust to make decisions that reflect our beliefs". I, for one, have little faith in elected leaders of any party to make decisions that reflect our beliefs. An invasion of Iraq isn't about any "axis of evil"... it's about global supremacy, oil, and American domestic politics. Former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter (a card carrying Republican in the conservative-moderate range who voted for Bush) recently said the following at Suffolk Law School in Boston:

"This (Iraq) is not about the security of the United States. This is about domestic American politics. The national security of the United States has been hijacked by a handful of neo-conservatives who are using their position of authority to pursue their own ideologically-driven political ambitions. The day we go to war for that reason is the day we have failed collectively as a nation."

According to Ritter, there is no justification, in terms of national security, international law or basic morality, to justify this coming war with Iraq. When asked pointedly what the mid-October scheduling of this conflict has to do with the midterm Congressional elections that will follow a few weeks later, he replied simply, "Everything."

Zooropa asked what my point was in reason 7 to my opposition to the war in Iraq, when I said that no credible evidence exists that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks. My point is that the Bush administration has recently been using a supposed link between Mohammed Atta and an Iraqi official as evidence that Iraq was somehow involved in 9/11...i.e. thereby providing just grounds to attack Iraq. There is no link and no evidence to suggest such a link exists. Ritter commented on this "The Bush administration has provided the American public with little more than rhetorically laced speculation. There has been nothing in the way of substantive fact presented that makes the case Iraq possesses these weapons or has links to international terror, that Iraq poses a threat to the U.S. worthy of war."

The Bush admin's basis for war is the continued existence of a weapons program that threatens America. Ritter noted explicity that Iraq did possess these weapons AT ONE TIME--as he spent 7 years tracking them down. By the time Ritter and his UNSCOM team was finished he was confident that 90-95% of Iraq's weapons were destroyed. Ritter believes that when UNSCOM pulled out of Iraq in 1997 that Iraq was only "technically capable" of restarting it's weapons program within six months of his departure. That leaves 3 1/2 years to manufacture and weaponize all the horrors that has purportedly motivated the Bush administration to attack. However, Ritter notes that Iraq would have had to start completely from scratch and procure complicated tools and technology required through front companies, which would be detected. The manufacture of chemical and biological weapons emits vented gassess that would have been detected by now if they existed. The manufacture of nuclear weapons emits gamma rays that would have been detected by now if THEY existed. The U.S. has been watching, via spy satellites and other means, and have seen none of this. Ritter states "If Iraq was producing weapons today, we would have definitive proof."

So why go to Iraq? Ritter believes it comes down to opportunistic politics and a decade of anti-Hussein rhetoric that has boxed the Bush administration into a rhetorical corner. Some say that the U.S. may be holding secret evidence incriminating Iraq, but Ritter dismisses this idea out of hand, stating "If the administration had such secret evidence we'd be at war in Iraq right now. We wouldn't be talking about it. It would be a fait accompli." Our immediate action in Afghanistan, whose ties to Al Qaeda were manifest, lends credibility to this point. Ritter finished by saying, "The clock is ticking, and it's ticking towards war. And it's going to be a real war. It's going to be a war that will result in the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. It's a war that is going to devastate Iraq. It's a war that's going to destroy the credibility of the U.S. I just came back from London, and I can tell you this--Tony Blair may talk a good show about war, but the British people and the bulk of the British government do not support this war. The Europeans do not support this war. NATO does not support this war. No one supports this war."

Obviously, I tend to agree with much Ritter has to say about Iraq. The Bush admin is stating that at the very least the U.S. should go through with its militaristic plan against Iraq because if we don't we would lose credibility. James Schlesinger, former CIA director and Secretary of Defense, told the New York Times, "Given all we have said as a leading world power about the necessity of regime change in Iraq...our credibility would be badly damaged if that regime change did not take place." Well, of all the reasons to go to war, that has got to be the WORST possible one. Kinda like saying "well, that's a stupid idea but we've said it so many times, we've just got to do it." Going to war for "credibility" purposes has historically been disastrous, as evidenced by the results of Austria in WWI, Japan in WWII, and the U.S. in Vietnam.

I apologize for being so long-winded. This whole thing really bothers me. Zooropa, I am well aware of the risks of having a wife in the military...but I must admit it is never easy coming to terms with the fact that she could get deployed on a moments notice. It's especially troubling to me when I personally am against such action as I just don't believe it is justified. She is a soldier...she will serve her country admirably if called. It's interesting to note that the prevailing attitude in her unit is this Iraq thing is a big mistake...she says there isn't a lot of support for it...but at the end of the day they will do their sworn duty.

Again, I do believe that it is time for Americans to take back their country...to be that democracy of the people and for the people by the people. I encourage all U.S. citizens here to contact your elected reps in Washington and let them know you opose unjustified action against Iraq. The human and economic costs to this country are way to high.

P.S. joyfulgirl: thanks for posting Pilger's info for our consideration. I enjoyed reading it. Peace and love.
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Old 08-02-2002, 12:12 AM   #17
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Mr SomeoneRobbie-
Maybe WE could send you over to Saddam, as a special Envoy to reason w him hold his hand..cuz he never reasoned too well w the United Nations Inspectors that Mr Kofi-sp sent over?
What do you think?
Could you help us w that?
Please let us know
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Old 08-02-2002, 06:42 AM   #18
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Old 08-02-2002, 09:42 AM   #19
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Originally posted by diamond
Mr SomeoneRobbie-
Maybe WE could send you over to Saddam, as a special Envoy to reason w him hold his hand..cuz he never reasoned too well w the United Nations Inspectors that Mr Kofi-sp sent over?
What do you think?
Could you help us w that?
Please let us know
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dear mr diamond (who uses too many smiles but remains cool):

Not sure how "diplomatic" I would be...maybe Bush can send your friend Bono...or maybe the King of Pop Michael Jackson...I hear he is a lover and not a fighter.
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Old 08-02-2002, 10:37 AM   #20
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Originally posted by LOVE MUSCLE





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Old 08-02-2002, 11:00 AM   #21
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Re: Re: Re: Re: War with Iraq...What is the U.S. Thinking?

Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama
And also, Saddam kills 500,000 Iraqi children everyday (or whatever the figure is) so that he can blame it on the infidels/great Satans of the West (Bush Sr -->Clinton -->Bush Jr) and garner international sympathy. Apparently, his strategy is working.

~U2Alabama
Bama, I wasn't aware Saddam kills 500,000 children EVERYDAY! The whole country must be awash in corpses...it sounds like an international crisis. Haven't read this in the news anywhere. Could you provide some evidence of this. Possibly you made a typo?

Possibly what you meant was that Saddam's regime is (in your opinion) responsible for the death of a great number of Iraqi's over the last few years? I'm not trying to speak for you...just making an observation about your comment. I would disagree with that assessment. The international community widely acknowledges that U.S. and British economic sanctions have accounted for the majority of deaths in Iraq over the past 10 years. One could argue that the sanctions are Saddam's fault-thereby implying that he is responsible for those deaths you cited, but I reject that. Saddam may be an evil man, but he has posed no risk to the U.S. or his Arab neighbors since the Gulf War. (see Scott Ritter's comments about this from my previous post). Our sanctions are literally destroying the hopes, dreams, and lives of Iraqi's.

Throughout history, nations without a middle class have languished in poverty and hate under the rule of dictators. Our sanctions on Iraq have wiped out there middle class. If we here in the West want to endear ourselves to the Iraqi people than economic sanctions that destroy any hopes of their future aren't the answer. Hatred towards the West will prevail and dictators like Saddam will continue to exist until our policies empower the people of Iraq to seize the day. A rebuilding of Iraq's economy is necessary for the middle class to return to power...it is than that the Iraqi people will truly be able to overthrow the Saddam regime. True, all of this rebuilding of Iraq's economy doesn't fall on our shoulders...but the repeal of oppressive economic sanctions currenly crippling Iraq and responsible for countless, innocent Iraqi lives is a required step towards achieving that goal.

War is not always the answer...and who is to say that a war in Iraq, i.e. regime change, will provide a safer, more peaceful Iraq? Saddam may be a nuisance...but he isn't a threat to our sovereignty. We should be more concerned with the likes of Iran (who shortly will possess nuclear capabilities), India, and Pakistan. These countries are much more capable of causing the world great harm. How does one think Iran will react if we have a preemptive strike on Iraq? You gotta believe that Iran will feel threatened by the U.S. in such a case...Bush has already called them an "axis of evil". Iran's going to be sitting there thinking "Are we next?" Where does it all end? With a nuclear bomb...that we have threatened to use numerous times in our rhetoric? I believe it doesn't end...as long as Bush is calling the shots. The guy (I believe) wants perpetual war. Nothing would make him happier. It worries me. No exit strategy exists and a preemptive strike on Iraq has no justification under international or domestic law...and no one wants this war...except the Bush administration.

I pray that God shows Bush that there IS a better way...
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Old 08-02-2002, 11:40 AM   #22
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I am not for WAR ..but I am for change of sadam husain in iraq in whatever way possible

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Old 08-02-2002, 01:18 PM   #23
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On this day 12 years ago, Iraq invaded Kuwait, August 2, 1990.


The reason to attack and change the regime in Iraq in 2002 is if we believe that Saddam is likely to supply sometime in the future, terrorist with weapons of mass destruction, to do damage in the USA far greater than what happened on 9/11. The question is how serious and likely is this threat? Have the risk of not doing this started to outweight the cost that an invasion would involve? Remember to think about the risk and cost of the use of weapons of mass destruction in a major US city. Also look at the possible attackers previous record in international actions. The true threat from Saddam is not his possession of such weapons but the possiblility that he would try to use them directly(unlikely) or indirectly. Saddam is a miscaculator, he may miscaculate that he could do harm and damage through a terror organization and get away with it, believing it could not be traced back to him.

As far as the sanctions, the UN figure on the number of deaths cannot not be confirmed at all. Remember, IRAQ is a POLICE STATE! Iraq only lets international media and organizations see things it wants them to see. It is there for impossible to attain any accurate estimate of deaths in Iraq since 1991! It is also impossible to determine of sanctions were a cause of death or if it was the government and military which control the distribution of goods and services throughout Iraq. It is in Saddam's interest to see the Sanctions lifted so he can use his oil money to rebuild his military which was largely destroyed in the 1991 Gulf War.

Another thing about the sanctions is that Iraq can sell as much oil as it wants to buy humanitarian supplies. While Iraq was primarily import dependent for most of its heavy military weapons, that was not so about all civilian goods and services. But in any event, they have Billions of dollars to use to buy more than enough food and humanitarian supplies under the watchful eye of the UN. In addition, Saddam has his own money which is used for the Republican guard and to build weapons of mass destruction. He also likes to build palaces and murals of himself all over this place. This is money that could be used for his people. Then there is the Black Market, that is alive and well. Saddam of course control much of this. Iraq's anual exports and imports have been back to the same level they were before 1991 for several years.

Bottom line here is, little accurate info can be gathered on the true condition of Iraqi civilians by Int. Organizations or media because of Saddam's Police State. Only the US military might have the capability to answer this question with spies or spy equipment. But even then it would be difficult to gather accurate info. Given that Iraq can buy the humanitarian supplies it needs(with UN approval) to take care of its people with its massive oil exports into the tens of Billions, the only reason people in Iraq are suffering is because of Saddam, who is creating their suffering to get sanctions lifted, by denying them goods. Saddam wants to rebuild his military and getting sanctions lifted is the first step.

There will not be a middle class in Iraq to threaten him unless Saddam allows it. Remember, this is a dictatorship and a Police State. It has been that way for over 20 years! The middle class could only defeat Saddam Hussain if they had the military capacity to defeat the Republican Guard which they have never had and do not have now, and can't have do to Saddam's Iron grip on the country.

An invasion and regime change in Iraq could be very stabilizing for the region given the massive problems that Saddam has caused(invading Iran and the 1980-1988 War, invading Kuwait, the use of chemical weapons against Iranian troops and his own civilians, attacking Saudia Arabia with troops and Scud Missiles, attacking Israel with Scud missiles, and in 1987 attacking one of our frigates with an anti-ship missile, just to mention a few things). The US would have to stay there for the next 10 years in some capicity to rebuild the country and guard the security of the government, but this has been very successful in the past. Just look at Germany and Japan today, these are two of the most wealthy and democratic countries in the world thanks in large part to the efforts of the USA after World War II was over. Iraq can quickly rebuild itself because of the massive amount of wealth that it is already sitting on. One of the worlds largest known oil reserves. Most developing countries are not sitting on a pot of gold(oil) like Iraq. It is these funds that can pay for the war and reconstruction. These funds right now are not used by Saddam and only when he decides to buy humanitarian supplies. Get Saddam out of the picture, and within in 10 years, you'll have one of the wealthiest countries in the region. They even have the chance to beat Saudi Arabia do to extra resources like the Tigeris/ Euphrates river. Instead of being a destabilizing influence, Iraq could be a stabilizing influence and with US help easily guard against Iranian ambitions. In fact, with the more liberal and democratic stances growing in Iran now, democracy in Iraq could push that foward even faster. The bottom line is, when countries are defeated and taken over by the USA, it is actually a huge benifit since dictatorship is taken out replaced by democracy, US troops to help with security and massive funds to help in reconstruction from the richest country in the world. Again, look at what happened to GERMANY and JAPAN. Look at SOUTH KOREA, a poor farm country in 1950 is now a growing Asian industrial power.

But it is true that containment of the past 11 years has been very cost effective for the USA and the region. It may be so in the future. Of course if speaking about the interest of the Iraqi people, a US military invasion and regime change is in their best long term interest. The problem now is whether containment will continue to work in the future. Is the RISK of staying with just containment begining to outweight the COST of invading and changing the regime? That is not an easy question to answer, but if it is yes, then regime change should be done.

As far as international law goes, the 1991 Gulf War is not technically over do to Iraq's failure to 100% comply with all the UN demands that led to the Gulf War Ceacefire. Were technically still at war because they have failed to meet their obligations under the ceacefire terms.
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Old 08-02-2002, 01:24 PM   #24
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Sorry to confuse you Rono, that magnificant machine is the B-2 Stealth bomber (a.k.a. B-2 spirit, flying bat-wing, etc.).

Rather than argue this point again I decided to post a couple of pics that ought to speak for my opinion.

As Rob is aware, I don't mean to offend anyone with them.



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Old 08-02-2002, 02:02 PM   #25
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Originally posted by STING2
On this day 12 years ago, Iraq invaded Kuwait, August 2, 1990.


The reason to attack and change the regime in Iraq in 2002 is if we believe that Saddam is likely to supply sometime in the future, terrorist with weapons of mass destruction, to do damage in the USA far greater than what happened on 9/11. The question is how serious and likely is this threat? Have the risk of not doing this started to outweight the cost that an invasion would involve? Remember to think about the risk and cost of the use of weapons of mass destruction in a major US city. Also look at the possible attackers previous record in international actions. The true threat from Saddam is not his possession of such weapons but the possiblility that he would try to use them directly(unlikely) or indirectly. Saddam is a miscaculator, he may miscaculate that he could do harm and damage through a terror organization and get away with it, believing it could not be traced back to him.
I understand what you are saying STING2 but I respectfully disagree. I don't believe the U.S. should be in the business of "preemtive strikes". There is no precedent for this type of action and it certainly undermines the foundation of international law. Also, I'm a big believer in our Constitution...that requires a Declaration of War from Congress before this type of action is taken. As I said earlier, the Bush administrations "preemptive strike" mentality is imperialist arrogance, imo. I still tend to agree with Scott Ritter's assessment that Iraq is not a threat to the U.S. or the Middle East. If the U.S. under the Bush admin adopts a policy of "preemptive strikes" who will be next??? Iran? North Korea? Pakistan? Surely those nations, some with nuclear capabilities, are wondering the same thing...and don't think for a second they aren't going to protect themselves if they sense an American preemptive strike. It's perpetual war...with a high human toll and unexpected results.

I'm of the opinion that the American public is largely ignorant of the potential ramifications of an attack on Iraq. They have bought into the spin of the Bush admin and those opposed to such an attack in the Congress have pooh-poohed their objections for fear of being labeled un-patriotic by the Bush political machine. No credible evidence exists of Saddam's capabilites...if it existed we would know about it. Where is the evidence?

Lastly, am I the only one who remembers during the presidential debates with Al Gore that Bush emphatically said he was against "nationbuilding?" I remember Bush criticizing the Clinton administration for this very policy. Yet, nationbuilding is exactly what we are doing in Afghanistan and are proposing to do in Iraq. So much for campaign promises...
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Old 08-02-2002, 03:59 PM   #26
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Originally posted by LOVE MUSCLE
As Rob is aware, I don't mean to offend anyone with them.
That's probably the case.

I was a little girl when I spent one of my birthdays hiding in a basement due to shelling. In a small room of 3m x 3m, with 13 other people. We were there for 2 and a half days, and this is but one such example. I was a little girl when we saw Serb women decorating tanks that were heading for Bosnian villages. There are no words to express how disturbed I am by your pictures. You see the planes; I see the kids who will be hiding from them, and I see the adults they'll grow into and the struggles they'll have to regain their humanity and choose not to live vindictively.

Maybe you won't stop posting them, but you know what, it's something worth considering.
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Old 08-02-2002, 04:08 PM   #27
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Originally posted by anitram
You see the planes; I see the kids who will be hiding from them, and I see the adults they'll grow into and the struggles they'll have to regain their humanity and choose not to live vindictively.
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Old 08-02-2002, 04:51 PM   #28
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Originally posted by anitram


I was a little girl when I spent one of my birthdays hiding in a basement due to shelling. In a small room of 3m x 3m, with 13 other people. We were there for 2 and a half days, and this is but one such example. I was a little girl when we saw Serb women decorating tanks that were heading for Bosnian villages. There are no words to express how disturbed I am by your pictures. You see the planes; I see the kids who will be hiding from them, and I see the adults they'll grow into and the struggles they'll have to regain their humanity and choose not to live vindictively.

Maybe you won't stop posting them, but you know what, it's something worth considering.
I just got a huge lump in my throat reading that chilling statement. How awful. Makes one really appreciate how good we have it here in the U.S...how ugly war can be...and how it affects the human psyche. I'm honestly speechless...
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Old 08-02-2002, 05:51 PM   #29
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: War with Iraq...What is the U.S. Thinking?

Quote:
Originally posted by Like someone to blame


Possibly what you meant was that Saddam's regime is (in your opinion) responsible for the death of a great number of Iraqi's over the last few years? I'm not trying to speak for you...just making an observation about your comment. I would disagree with that assessment. The international community widely acknowledges that U.S. and British economic sanctions have accounted for the majority of deaths in Iraq over the past 10 years. One could argue that the sanctions are Saddam's fault-thereby implying that he is responsible for those deaths you cited, but I reject that. Saddam may be an evil man, but he has posed no risk to the U.S. or his Arab neighbors since the Gulf War.
For this argument to work, you would have to argue that Saddam would not have been a danger to the US or his people or his Arab neighbors or Israel had the UN *not* implemented the sanctions, and this is not clear.

Okay, I just realized that there are way too many negatives in that sentence. Let me put it this way: I think there's a good chance that Saddam would have been causing trouble without the sanctions.

Quote:

I pray that God shows Bush that there IS a better way...
I'm not sure what ideas you have, but I don't think Saddam's regime is going to go away without the use of force. Maybe the US could train a bunch of Iraqi guerrillas and send in a bunch of secret agents for an inside job.
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Old 08-02-2002, 06:31 PM   #30
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Originally posted by anitram


That's probably the case.

I was a little girl when I spent one of my birthdays hiding in a basement due to shelling. In a small room of 3m x 3m, with 13 other people. We were there for 2 and a half days, and this is but one such example. I was a little girl when we saw Serb women decorating tanks that were heading for Bosnian villages. There are no words to express how disturbed I am by your pictures. You see the planes; I see the kids who will be hiding from them, and I see the adults they'll grow into and the struggles they'll have to regain their humanity and choose not to live vindictively.

Maybe you won't stop posting them, but you know what, it's something worth considering.

I am sorry you find this disturbing.

Your reference to shelling is caused by artillery, I did not post pics of artillery cannons/rounds but 2 airplanes that I see daily that really had nothing to do with your situation.

IMHO these aircraft are beautiful, magnificant and are a beacon of freedom to which I am a part of. As a dear friend of mine told me a couple of months back, "I am a part of this." And when telling him about how I love to sit by the runway sometimes and watch the aircraft take off he assured me that everytime they take off it is because of me. This friend of mine is a very wise man, and he is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army.

And I also want to point out that these aircraft are part of my religion. They are here to protect this country, and our allies against evil. I believe that christianity teaches us to protect one another, and to protect those who cannot defend themselves. Even if that means we lose our own life in the process. Some of us have put our own lives on the line on your soil to try and help you.

I feel for your situation, and I am sorry you had to go through that. We were born into this world without a choice of our past history. But we damn sure can make a difference in our future. I think it is reasonable at the least to say that in doing so these aircraft are going to have to head east.

I myself find many things in here disturbing. I could name you five signatures that I find nauseating, at the very least. I guess that is the cost of entering FYM.

Please do not take it personal.
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