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  #1  
Old 05-05-2011, 11:29 PM
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Default Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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  #2  
Old 05-05-2011, 11:40 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: Deja Vu?

From the old Axis of Evil Days??? Don't worry David. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld made the same mistake
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  #3  
Old 05-05-2011, 11:43 PM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

I just started listening. Glenn isn't the only person on the planet who isn't overjoyed that OBL was killed. There's at least one other, me. I don't feel overjoyed by anybody dying.

For me it's not about legality, though. I'm personally happy that he was killed on the spot rather than being put through the ludicrous US "justice" system. And, unlike Glenn, I don't really care about how it looks. I'm sick of "show trials" in some effort to make it all look better.

Why is David thinking we're obligated to feel happy or else there's something wrong with us. He can feel happy if he wants.

I think it's tragic that OBL misguidedly went the way he did in his life, caused all the misery he did, and ended the way he did, except his ending was better than any alternative I can think of. It's not something to feel happy about.

Last edited by Diane1976; 05-05-2011 at 11:48 PM..
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  #4  
Old 05-05-2011, 11:57 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by Diane1976 View Post
I just started listening. Glenn isn't the only person on the planet who isn't overjoyed that OBL was killed. There's at least one other, me. I don't feel overjoyed by anybody dying.

For me it's not about legality, though. I'm personally happy that he was killed on the spot rather than being put through the ludicrous US "justice" system. And, unlike Glenn, I don't really care about how it looks. I'm sick of "show trials" in some effort to make it all look better.

Why is David thinking we're obligated to feel happy or else there's something wrong with us. He can feel happy if he wants.

I think it's tragic that OBL misguidedly went the way he did in his life, caused all the misery he did, and ended the way he did, except his ending was better than any alternative I can think of. It's not something to feel happy about.
Tbh the fact that OBL died doesn't bother me. I'm not fully comfortable with what was pretty clearly an extrajudicial execution order (I imagine that a President Bush or McCain would've done the same thing). If OBL had been armed and died in a shootout, I likely would've had no qualms at all (so long as none of our SEALS were hurt). I have no problems at all recognizing OBL as an existential evil force that has been vanquished from the world.
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  #5  
Old 05-06-2011, 12:08 AM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Tbh the fact that OBL died doesn't bother me. I'm not fully comfortable with what was pretty clearly an extrajudicial execution order (I imagine that a President Bush or McCain would've done the same thing). If OBL had been armed and died in a shootout, I likely would've had no qualms at all (so long as none of our SEALS were hurt). I have no problems at all recognizing OBL as an existential evil force that has been vanquished from the world.
The "evil" thing kind of depends on your perspective. Personally, I think any killing of innocents is wrong in the name of any cause. I do recognize the difference between "targeting" civilians and "collateral damage" and I'm a big believer in just war theory, especially as Michael Walzer explains it. All the same, not everybody sticks as close to that principle as I would. PS, I do believe in the different value of causes too, but that's something else. For that you have to know a lot about what a particular cause entails.

Last edited by Diane1976; 05-06-2011 at 12:12 AM..
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  #6  
Old 05-06-2011, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by Diane1976 View Post
The "evil" thing kind of depends on your perspective. Personally, I think any killing of innocents is wrong in the name of any cause. I do recognize the difference between "targeting" civilians and "collateral damage" and I'm a big believer in just war theory, especially as Michael Walzer explains it. All the same, not everybody sticks as close to that principle as I would. PS, I do believe in the different value of causes too, but that's something else. For that you have to know a lot about what a particular cause entails.
I don't really disagree with much there. I would also agree that the killing of civilians is wrong in the name of any cause. But I wouldn't call every figure who has been responsible for killing innocent people evil. For instance, I don't think Fidel Castro or Pinochet are/were evil. They are/were people who did very bad things, but they didn't have an expressly eliminationist ideology. OBL on the other hand genuinely desired to cause a great deal of suffering, and in the name of a bizarre and horrendous distortion of Islam.
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  #7  
Old 05-06-2011, 08:52 AM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by Diane1976 View Post
I just started listening. Glenn isn't the only person on the planet who isn't overjoyed that OBL was killed. There's at least one other, me. I don't feel overjoyed by anybody dying.
And you're not the only additional person unable to feel overjoyed here.

I can intellectually understand, justify, accept and even prefer OBL's death considering all circumstances.

But at an emotional level, I don't rejoice on his death. I think it's sad that we're still such a brutal, violent species that these kinds of acts are necessary.

On the other hand I wouldn't blame those who were more directly affected by his acts and feel the need to celebrate his death. I'm sure that to some degree, or at least momentarily, it can bring a sense of closure.
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  #8  
Old 05-06-2011, 09:15 AM
Tara Davis Tara Davis is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
And you're not the only additional person unable to feel overjoyed here.

I can intellectually understand, justify, accept and even prefer OBL's death considering all circumstances.

But at an emotional level, I don't rejoice on his death. I think it's sad that we're still such a brutal, violent species that these kinds of acts are necessary.

On the other hand I wouldn't blame those who were more directly affected by his acts and feel the need to celebrate his death. I'm sure that to some degree, or at least momentarily, it can bring a sense of closure.
While I've disagreed with him many times about many things, put me on Team Glenn for this issue as well.

I do not mind that bin Laden is dead. I do, very much, mind some of the ways our society has transformed for the worse in order to get to this point. As the facts emerge to indicate (as they seem to be emerging at this point) that bin Laden was not simply shot to death in the struggle to apprehend him, but outright ASSASSINATED in cold blood... Yeah. I have a pretty big problem with that.

Freddie said it best:

"Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein."
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  #9  
Old 05-06-2011, 05:55 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by Tara Davis View Post
Freddie said it best:

"Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein."
Yes, I very much agree with that.
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  #10  
Old 05-05-2011, 11:55 PM
hamandcheese hamandcheese is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

This whole Osama story has gotten tedious. Canada just had a landscape changing federal election, on which David Frum could give an excellent analysis. Instead, it's virtually the same discussion of the last 3 diavlogs. The death of one man is a victory for what's good and just, the governance of 33 million a statistic.
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  #11  
Old 05-05-2011, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by hamandcheese View Post
This whole Osama story has gotten tedious. Canada just had a landscape changing federal election, on which David Frum could give an excellent analysis. Instead, it's virtually the same discussion of the last 3 diavlogs. The death of one man is a victory for what's good and just, the governance of 33 million a statistic.
Like it or not that OBL execution is a pretty big story. Tbh I think its significance in the realm of transnational security is being hugely overhyped, but there's not much we can do about that, and we can't really ignore that this is a huge story.

That being said, I do hope we get a Canadian election diavlog soon...and one on Peru!
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  #12  
Old 05-06-2011, 12:10 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by hamandcheese View Post
This whole Osama story has gotten tedious. Canada just had a landscape changing federal election, on which David Frum could give an excellent analysis. Instead, it's virtually the same discussion of the last 3 diavlogs. The death of one man is a victory for what's good and just, the governance of 33 million a statistic.
We can -- and should -- do both. You're right that there should be discussion of the elections in Canada. But I don't agree we should not talk about our huge victory in the ongoing war against the organization that trapped thousands of innocent people inside burning skyscrapers on September 11, 2001.

I really can't believe that people don't get they are destroying their own reputations and the agendas they care about by appearing to be sticking up for Osama bin Laden.
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  #13  
Old 05-06-2011, 12:24 AM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
We can -- and should -- do both. You're right that there should be discussion of the elections in Canada. But I don't agree we should not talk about our huge victory in the ongoing war against the organization that trapped thousands of innocent people inside burning skyscrapers on September 11, 2001.

I really can't believe that people don't get they are destroying their own reputations and the agendas they care about by appearing to be sticking up for Osama bin Laden.
I don't think anybody is sticking up for OBL. Any survey I've seen anywhere shows there's no, or minimal support, for his ideas. That's why I'm saying it's more like a tragedy than something to feel victorious about. It's not like having defeated a major army in a massive world struggle, like WWII, where people danced in the streets, but some people are trying to make it like that and it's just different, to me. It's more like defeating some rag tag group of seriously wrong minded people who never had a chance anyway, in terms of existential threat, whatever damage they inflicted through their wrongful thoughts and actions.
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  #14  
Old 05-06-2011, 01:01 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by Diane1976 View Post
I don't think anybody is sticking up for OBL. Any survey I've seen anywhere shows there's no, or minimal support, for his ideas.
Oh, I agree. But when your reaction to his death is to wring your hands about how wrong it was, how sorry you are that he was killed, and how Navy SEALS should have put themselves in greater danger to give the far left the satisfaction of seeing him arrested and placed on trial, you give the appearance of sticking up for Osama bin Laden, and you will strike most people as, basically, crazy. (If you go back and look at look at what I said it was that the hand-wringers risk "appearing to be sticking up for Osama bin Laden." I realize, they aren't actually sticking up for him, but rather principles of law and the humane treatment of criminals, but to most people, who are unambiguously (and properly) delighted that bin Laden has been killed, it looks nuts to be playing the role of Osama's defense lawyer. And it's not just a tactical mistake; it's a strategic mistake: People are now more likely to dismiss everything else they say because their judgement on this question is so bad.


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It's more like defeating some rag tag group of seriously wrong minded people who never had a chance anyway...
Rag tag?

David, of David & Goliath fame, wore rags. But armed with a single stone and sling, he was able to defeat a giant. Firearms have been called "equalizers" because with them, small, weak, even prostrate individuals can kill the tallest, strongest man. And with airplanes filled with fuel, Osama and his ragtag band of murderous fanatics were able to kill thousands, and change the course of history.

One thing every American should have learned on 9/11 is that there are people in this world who will commit any crime on any scale in the name of their ideology. If Osama had nuclear weapons, he would not have hesitated to detonate them in New York or Washington or London or Paris.

If pacifists care about peace, they should celebrate the end of one of the greatest murderers in history.

What's particularly offensive and shocking is the suggestion that the Navy SEALS should have increased the already incredible danger facing them by arresting bin Laden instead of killing him.

Regarding something pisc said: American soldiers and marines are trained to shoot to kill, never to incapacitate or disarm, because the singular priority in combat is to eliminate the enemy -- and the threat to themselves. If you try to injure an enemy instead of killing him, you are increasing the risk to your own life in a number of ways. (Bin Laden could have, for example, had a grenade, or a pistol. And leaving him alive diverts attention from other potential threats.)

Furthermore, if we had injured bin Laden and then taken him into custody, we would have had to administer medical treatment before loading him aboard a helicopter. This would have delayed egress from the compound by several minutes, during which bin Laden or Pakistani reinforcements could have arrived on the scene, putting the lives of all of the SEALS involved in the mission at risk. One man with a SMAW could have brought down 2 or 3 helicopters before they could escape. Bin Laden's life simply isn't worth that level of risk to our SEALS, and its the height of arrogance to suggest that they had some kind of obligation to take that risk.
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  #15  
Old 05-06-2011, 01:15 AM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
One thing every American should have learned on 9/11 is that there are people in this world who will commit any crime on any scale in the name of their ideology. If Osama had nuclear weapons, he would not have hesitated to detonate them in New York or Washington or London or Paris.

If pacifists care about peace, they should celebrate the end of one of the greatest murderers in history.

What's particularly offensive and shocking is the suggestion that the Navy SEALS should have increased the already incredible danger facing them by arresting bin Laden instead of killing him.

Regarding something pisc said: American soldiers and marines are trained to shoot to kill, never to incapacitate or disarm, because the singular priority in combat is to eliminate the enemy -- and the threat to themselves. If you try to injure an enemy instead of killing him, you are increasing the risk to your own life in a number of ways. (Bin Laden could have, for example, had a grenade, or a pistol. And leaving him alive diverts attention from other potential threats.)

Furthermore, if we had injured bin Laden and then taken him into custody, we would have had to administer medical treatment before loading him aboard a helicopter. This would have delayed egress from the compound by several minutes, during which bin Laden or Pakistani reinforcements could have arrived on the scene, putting the lives of all of the SEALS involved in the mission at risk. One man with a SMAW could have brought down 2 or 3 helicopters before they could escape. Bin Laden's life simply isn't worth that level of risk to our SEALS, and its the height of arrogance to suggest that they had some kind of obligation to take that risk.
If we really are at war with an combatants rather than criminals, then they have a right to use nuclear arms don't they?

As for your hypothetical it seems rather fanciful and we know that the events you outlined didn't even come close to happening.
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  #16  
Old 05-06-2011, 01:31 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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If we really are at war with an combatants rather than criminals, then they have a right to use nuclear arms don't they?
I honestly don't know how to respond to that. You're defending al Qaeda's right to nuke the major centers of Western society?


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Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs View Post
As for your hypothetical it seems rather fanciful and we know that the events you outlined didn't even come close to happening.
There's nothing fanciful about it at all. How do you know the compound next to bin Laden's didn't have some of his henchmen living in it, and that they weren't waking up and grabbing weapons when the SEALS were leaving the scene? More to the point, how were the SEALS to have known in advance that no one in the neighborhood was armed and would intervene? There was a Pakistani military training school just hundreds of yards from bin Laden's compound. The live tweets from Abbotabad indicate that Pakistani military were on the scene within minutes of the attack.

Also, I should not have implied they would have needed a SMAW to bring down the helicopters. A couple of guys with automatic weapons could have done it. Helicopters are extremely vulnerable aircraft, and again, it's the height of hubris to ask our SEALS to put themselves in even greater danger than they already faced.


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Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs View Post
...we know that the events you outlined didn't even come close to happening.
(1) No, actually, we don't know that. You have no idea whether there were a half dozen bin Laden loyalists hoofing it up the road towards the compound, or jeeps full of Pakistani soldiers, as the SEALS departed the scene. You act like they could have hung out all day if they wanted to.

(2) Even if we did know, now, in retrospect, that the events I'm describing didn't come close to happening, there was no way to know that in advance of the attack. It's easy from the comfort of a recliner in Ohio to second guess the judgments made by the most highly trained military professionals in the world.



.

Last edited by TwinSwords; 05-06-2011 at 01:41 AM..
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  #17  
Old 05-06-2011, 01:46 AM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

Do they, as an army, have the same right as the Allies did in 1945?

Maybe they have more of a right, seeing as Japan was no longer occupying foreign soil in 45, where as the US is today - surely the Taliban have a right (that's assuming they were the legitimate government in 2001).

Quote:
>There's nothing fanciful about it at all. How do you know the compound next to bin Laden's didn't have some of his henchmen living in it, and that they weren't waking up and grabbing weapons when the SEALS were leaving the scene? More to the point, how were the SEALS to have known in advance that no one in the neighborhood was armed and would intervene? There was a Pakistani military training school just hundreds of yards from bin Laden's compound. The live tweets from Abbotabad indicate that Pakistani military were on the scene within minutes of the attack.
They had been under surveillance for months, and I am not sure how the speed of the Pakistani response helps your argument. There is a much more reasonable hypothetical for shooting on sight, and that would involve the potential use of the suicide vest.

In England, just after the 7/7 attacks, which involved suicide bombs, a Brazilian guy was gunned down by armed police, and this was one of the arguments used. The country was nonetheless outraged, and an enquiry was held into the shooting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_o...les_de_Menezes

It's pretty easy to issue a command to the SEALs along the lines of capture the target, unless it compromises your security. I'm guessing carrying the corpse of OBL would have slowed down the SEAL team as well and therefore made them more vunerable to attacks from whoever, should they have just left it in the compound?

Last edited by opposable_crumbs; 05-06-2011 at 01:52 AM..
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  #18  
Old 05-06-2011, 01:58 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs View Post
Do they, as an army, have the same right as the Allies did in 1945?

Maybe they have more of a right, seeing as Japan was no longer occupying foreign soil in 45, where as the US is today - surely the Taliban have a right (that's assuming they were the legitimate government in 2001).
Okay. Let's test your belief in this theory.

Suppose you're on a subway train in Manhattan and encounter a jihadist about to detonate a nuke. You have a pistol and a cell phone. Do you shoot him in the head? Do you call the cops? Or do you tip your hat and not interfere with what you are calling his right to destroy New York City?



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They had been under surveillance for months
Yeah, and it was on the basis of that surveillance that the assault plan was devised, including the need to complete the mission in <30 minutes, and to not attempt to administer medical treatment to the injured or take bin Laden into custody. Unlike the backseat generals, the people planning the mission actually knew what was discovered during that surveillance, and the risks to the mission. I don't understand why you believe your judgement is better than theirs.


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Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs View Post
...and I am not sure how the speed of the Pakistani response helps your argument.
The SEALS needed to get out of the area before those troops responded, because it would have been exceptionally easy to shoot down the two or three helicopters used in the assault. Do you not agree?

The live tweets of the event suggest that the Pakistani military was at the scene within minutes of the departure of the US troops. Had we been administering medical care to bin Laden and arresting him, the entire mission would have been in jeopardy. It's asking quite a lot of our SEALS to suggest that they should have sacrificed themselves in this way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs View Post
There is a much more reasonable hypothetical for shooting on sight, and that would involve the potential use of the suicide vest.

In England, just after the 7/7 attacks, a Brazilian guy was gunned down by armed police. The country was outraged and an enquiry held.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_o...les_de_Menezes
Maybe it's because I've been awake since 4:30 AM ET, but I don't understand what you are getting at with this.
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  #19  
Old 05-06-2011, 02:10 AM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Okay. Let's test your belief in this theory.

Suppose you're on a subway train in Manhattan and encounter a jihadist about to detonate a nuke. You have a pistol and a cell phone. Do you shoot him in the head? Do you call the cops? Or do you tip your hat and not interfere with what you are calling his right to destroy New York City?
I shoot to kill, but that doesn't test my theory. If we are in a war with an army, then that army has a right to bear arms, and those arms can include guns, grenades and bombs. And if we had a right to bomb Japan, who where occupying no one, then do the Taliban have the right to bomb the US? It's not a morale question, but one of law.


Quote:
Maybe it's because I've been awake since 4:30 AM ET, but I don't understand what you are getting at with this.
My failing, I have updated my post to include more details. Basically the Brazilian who was shot was a suspected suicide bomber, and a it naturally makes sense to shoot an unarmed man on sight if you suspect they are infact secretly armed and ready to detonate on being spotted. That is one argument as to why it is reasonable to shoot an unarmed Al-Q member on sight.

The downside to killing OBL, or any Al-Q member, is that you just lost a potentially vital intelligence source. There are some reports that OBL/Al-Q where plotting an attack for September 2011. This was garnered from the hard drives they extracted - another luxury they could have avoided for the sake of brevity.

Last edited by opposable_crumbs; 05-06-2011 at 02:17 AM..
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  #20  
Old 05-06-2011, 01:22 AM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
...
Regarding something pisc said: American soldiers and marines are trained to shoot to kill, never to incapacitate or disarm, because the singular priority in combat is to eliminate the enemy -- and the threat to themselves. If you try to injure an enemy instead of killing him, you are increasing the risk to your own life in a number of ways. (Bin Laden could have, for example, had a grenade, or a pistol. And leaving him alive diverts attention from other potential threats.)
...
That is somewhat different from what I actually said but I would not argue with it either if it contained a caveat about not shooting dead the target if capturing that target is the mission objective.
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  #21  
Old 05-06-2011, 01:35 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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That is somewhat different from what I actually said but I would not argue with it either if it contained a caveat about not shooting dead the target if capturing that target is the mission objective.
Well, that's another point. The Administration was clear from the first reports that this was a mission to kill and not capture bin Laden. The initial reports stated that months ago, when the compound was first identified, the teams that were trained to undertake this mission were informed that it was a mission to kill a high value target.
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  #22  
Old 05-06-2011, 01:57 AM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Oh, I agree. But when your reaction to his death is to wring your hands about how wrong it was, how sorry you are that he was killed, and how Navy SEALS should have put themselves in greater danger to give the far left the satisfaction of seeing him arrested and placed on trial, you give the appearance of sticking up for Osama bin Laden, and you will strike most people as, basically, crazy. (If you go back and look at look at what I said it was that the hand-wringers risk "appearing to be sticking up for Osama bin Laden." I realize, they aren't actually sticking up for him, but rather principles of law and the humane treatment of criminals, but to most people, who are unambiguously (and properly) delighted that bin Laden has been killed, it looks nuts to be playing the role of Osama's defense lawyer. And it's not just a tactical mistake; it's a strategic mistake: People are now more likely to dismiss everything else they say because their judgement on this question is so bad.



Rag tag?

David, of David & Goliath fame, wore rags. But armed with a single stone and sling, he was able to defeat a giant. Firearms have been called "equalizers" because with them, small, weak, even prostrate individuals can kill the tallest, strongest man. And with airplanes filled with fuel, Osama and his ragtag band of murderous fanatics were able to kill thousands, and change the course of history.

One thing every American should have learned on 9/11 is that there are people in this world who will commit any crime on any scale in the name of their ideology. If Osama had nuclear weapons, he would not have hesitated to detonate them in New York or Washington or London or Paris.

If pacifists care about peace, they should celebrate the end of one of the greatest murderers in history.

What's particularly offensive and shocking is the suggestion that the Navy SEALS should have increased the already incredible danger facing them by arresting bin Laden instead of killing him.

Regarding something pisc said: American soldiers and marines are trained to shoot to kill, never to incapacitate or disarm, because the singular priority in combat is to eliminate the enemy -- and the threat to themselves. If you try to injure an enemy instead of killing him, you are increasing the risk to your own life in a number of ways. (Bin Laden could have, for example, had a grenade, or a pistol. And leaving him alive diverts attention from other potential threats.)

Furthermore, if we had injured bin Laden and then taken him into custody, we would have had to administer medical treatment before loading him aboard a helicopter. This would have delayed egress from the compound by several minutes, during which bin Laden or Pakistani reinforcements could have arrived on the scene, putting the lives of all of the SEALS involved in the mission at risk. One man with a SMAW could have brought down 2 or 3 helicopters before they could escape. Bin Laden's life simply isn't worth that level of risk to our SEALS, and its the height of arrogance to suggest that they had some kind of obligation to take that risk.
I didn't say most of the things you mentioned, so maybe you don't mean me personally. I wasn't sorry he was killed. I wasn't concerned about it being legally wrong, and I don't think it was, as far as the president's authorization was concerned, and not, so far as I know, in the execution. OBL declared war on the US, and was no doubt still conducting that war in some sense, so it was within its right to kill him, as I would see it. I also think killing him on the spot was better than a show trial at Gtmo, from any point of view.

I don't feel joyful about any of it though, and I was reacting to David's suggestion that there was something wrong with not feeling joyful.

I see him as a murderer because he targeted civilians, but I wouldn't see him as one of the greatest murderers in history, though, but I guess that depends on your point of view. Or perhaps in an indirect sense the numbers of deaths he caused was much larger than directly. I don't find anything to celebrate about any of it, so I guess we just feel differently and I think you can't tell people how they should feel.

Last edited by Diane1976; 05-06-2011 at 02:06 AM..
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:05 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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I didn't say most of the things you mentioned, so maybe you don't mean me personally.
Right -- I didn't mean you; I meant the generic "you." I've read everything you've said on this matter and understand your actual position. Sorry for the confusion.


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I wasn't sorry he was killed. I wasn't concerned about it being legally wrong, and I don't think it was, as far as the president's authorization was concerned, and not, so far as I know, in the execution. OBL declared war on the US, and was no doubt still conducting that war in some sense, so it was within its right to kill him, as I would see it. I also think killing him on the spot was better than a show trial at Gtmo, from any point of view.
Yes, that's what I understood to be your position, and I agree with all of it. (Though I remain unqualified to comment on the legal questions.)


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I see him as a murderer because he targeted civilians, but I wouldn't see him as one of the greatest murderers in history
Not in terms of his own body count, but he did light the fuse that led to the catastrophes in Iraq and Afghanistan, in which many hundreds of thousands have died, and many tens of millions have been harmed. Indeed, there's an argument that the spending on the wars contributed to the global economic meltdown of 2008, meaning that bin Laden indirectly harmed hundreds of millions of people. So, one of the greatest monsters in history is certainly a fair characterization, in my opinion, but of course he had help (of a kind) from Bush and Cheney (in that they reacted exactly the way bin Laden wanted them to react).


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though, but I guess that depends on your point of view. I don't find anything to celebrate about any of it, so I guess we just feel differently and I think you can't tell people how they should feel.
The only difference between us that I can detect is on this very narrow question of whether one should "celebrate" or feel good about bin Laden's death, and I personally think it's the least important of all the questions at issue.
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:23 AM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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.....Not in terms of his own body count, but he did light the fuse that led to the catastrophes in Iraq and Afghanistan, in which many hundreds of thousands have died, and many tens of millions have been harmed. Indeed, there's an argument that the spending on the wars contributed to the global economic meltdown of 2008, meaning that bin Laden indirectly harmed hundreds of millions of people. So, one of the greatest monsters in history is certainly a fair characterization, in my opinion, but of course he had help (of a kind) from Bush and Cheney (in that they reacted exactly the way bin Laden wanted them to react).....
You're right about indirect consequences. I amended my message after I first posted it.
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Old 05-11-2011, 02:46 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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Not in terms of his own body count, but he did light the fuse that led to the catastrophes in Iraq and Afghanistan, in which many hundreds of thousands have died, and many tens of millions have been harmed.
OBL is as responsible for Iraq as you are. the hundreds of thousands of dead iraqis can be hung solely around the head of George W. Bush and his lackeys


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Indeed, there's an argument that the spending on the wars contributed to the global economic meltdown of 2008, meaning that bin Laden indirectly harmed hundreds of millions of people. So, one of the greatest monsters in history is certainly a fair characterization, in my opinion, but of course he had help (of a kind) from Bush and Cheney (in that they reacted exactly the way bin Laden wanted them to react).
yes, the economic destruction of America was accomplished by two willing dance partners - bush and OBL. In that sense OBL did win the war he set out to fight (as he stated in '02/'03 his goal was economic harm not military defeat of america) His death at this point is completely beside the point.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:45 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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I didn't say most of the things you mentioned, so maybe you don't mean me personally. I wasn't sorry he was killed. I wasn't concerned about it being legally wrong, and I don't think it was, as far as the president's authorization was concerned, and not, so far as I know, in the execution. OBL declared war on the US, and was no doubt still conducting that war in some sense, so it was within its right to kill him, as I would see it. I also think killing him on the spot was better than a show trial at Gtmo, from any point of view..
Exactly. As I pointed out elsewhere, if OBL had been killed soon after 9/11, either by assassination or by some other means, his death would have been considered an act of war and justified as such. No one would have talked about "human rights," for the plain and simple reason that there are no rights, human or civil (though perhaps divine.....) when there is a state of war between individuals or states. Soldiers on the battlefield have no rights vis a vis the enemy.....until they surrender. It is only when they lay down their arms that the so-called humanitarian "laws of war" come into play....and often not even then. (This is also the basis for Hobbes' theory of the state: the state comes into being when all men give up their right to self-defense and surrender it to the "sovereign").

Al Qaeda, obviously, is neither a state nor an army; it is more like a band of pirates ("enemies of mankind" in the European tradition of jurisprudence going back to Cicero and the Romans). As far as I know, when pirates on the open sea take hostages or kill passengers who are citizens of a sovereign state, the state is under no obligation to treat the pirates as anything other than enemies. There have been several incidents in recent years. (It is interesting that Grotius, the father of international law, began his career as a jurist with a treatise on piracy).


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I see him as a murderer because he targeted civilians, but I wouldn't see him as one of the greatest murderers in history, though, but I guess that depends on your point of view. Or perhaps in an indirect sense the numbers of deaths he caused was much larger than directly. I don't find anything to celebrate about any of it, so I guess we just feel differently and I think you can't tell people how they should feel.
I agree. Nothing to celebrate, but nothing to mourn either.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:53 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Exactly. As I pointed out elsewhere, if OBL had been killed soon after 9/11, either by assassination or by some other means, his death would have been considered an act of war and justified as such. No one would have talked about "human rights," for the plain and simple reason that there are no rights, human or civil (though perhaps divine.....) when there is a state of war between individuals or states. Soldiers on the battlefield have no rights vis a vis the enemy.....until they surrender. It is only when they lay down their arms that the so-called humanitarian "laws of war" come into play....and often not even then. (This is also the basis for Hobbes' theory of the state: the state comes into being when all men give up their right to self-defense and surrender it to the "sovereign").

Al Qaeda, obviously, is neither a state nor an army; it is more like a band of pirates ("enemies of mankind" in the European tradition of jurisprudence going back to Cicero and the Romans). As far as I know, when pirates on the open sea take hostages or kill passengers who are citizens of a sovereign state, the state is under no obligation to treat the pirates as anything other than enemies. There have been several incidents in recent years. (It is interesting that Grotius, the father of international law, began his career as a jurist with a treatise on piracy).
I am in awe of your erudition. It's amazing how much detailed knowledge is packed into those few words.
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:35 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Al Qaeda, obviously, is neither a state nor an army; it is more like a band of pirates
Al Qaeda described as a band of religiously enhanced pirates. I like that one.
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:40 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Al Qaeda described as a band of religiously enhanced pirates. I like that one.
If only they were also zombies.
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:48 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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If only they were also zombies.
In a sense they are. Like all religiously enhanced pirates they are not afraid of death....because they are already dead.
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:52 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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yeah, I thought of that, and the generally pre-modern attitudes would suggest an already dead world view.
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:57 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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yeah, I thought of that, and the generally pre-modern attitudes would suggest an already dead world view.
medieval utopianism meets apocalyptic worldview. A death cult from a bygone era that exists only in their twisted fearful minds. Talk about hell on earth.
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:09 PM
handle handle is offline
 
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medieval utopianism meets apocalyptic worldview. A death cult from a bygone era that exists only in their twisted fearful minds. Talk about hell on earth.
Yes, but as I understand it, and I have very limited knowledge, and all reference to virgins aside, their acts of "heroism" insure that everyone in their families are guaranteed a place in heaven.
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:36 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Yes, but as I understand it, and I have very limited knowledge, and all reference to virgins aside, their acts of "heroism" insure that everyone in their families are guaranteed a place in heaven.
Godly ends all to often mean ungodly means. A death cult is a death cult even if in destroying this world they gain a place in the next one. The religion isn't the issue just how it is practiced and interpreted ( usually an issue of not understanding the concept of the metaphor )

I tend to think of islamic fundamentalists as just wanting to be left alone for the most part, to be insulated from threats whereas the virulent strain that wants to war ( al qaeda etc. ) want to remove threats as they see them, prophylactic-ally, so to speak.
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Old 05-06-2011, 03:25 PM
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Godly ends all to often mean ungodly means. A death cult is a death cult even if in destroying this world they gain a place in the next one. The religion isn't the issue just how it is practiced and interpreted ( usually an issue of not understanding the concept of the metaphor )

I tend to think of islamic fundamentalists as just wanting to be left alone for the most part, to be insulated from threats whereas the virulent strain that wants to war ( al qaeda etc. ) want to remove threats as they see them, prophylactic-ally, so to speak.
[emph. added]

Ah ha! I suspect you see fundamentalism (and most modern organized religion) as I do, not a practice of religion itself, but the perversion of said religion's teachings and texts from metaphorical life lessons, to literal interpretations. Which leads to a separation from the intent of the originators, that enables the "interpreters" to use it as a means to indoctrinate, and manipulate their followers.
I tend not to engage in the religious debates here, because to me, it's just that simple, and the fact that we are no longer even discussing religion, but the complete distortion, and misuse of it, renders me uninterested.

I completely agree with your main point regarding virulent strains, and see this as another very destructive aspect of what I have described.
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Old 05-06-2011, 03:52 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Ah ha! I suspect you see fundamentalism (and most modern organized religion) as I do, not a practice of religion itself, but the perversion of said religion's teachings and texts from metaphorical life lessons, to literal interpretations. Which leads to a separation from the intent of the originators, that enables the "interpreters" to use it as a means to indoctrinate, and manipulate their followers.
Quite so. I am an agnostic atheist for the most part but I do believe that various practices ( religious or otherwise ) have a symbolic power that can work wonders for the human psyche and since it can be powerful it can be dangerous. Obscuring the metaphors with literal interpretations are indeed a simple matter of trying to control. The horrible comedy of it all is that many religions actually warn you to not mix metaphor with reality, but those warnings are themselves distorted. I could be mistaken but idea of not portraying the prophet Muhammad is really a warning to not create concrete image that obscures true nature of something that is transcendent, yet this proscription itself is taken too literally and people who draw a cartoon are threatened and killed by people trying to protect something that can't be protected because the concrete symbol has no real meaning in a spiritual sense.

The irony and tragedy of it all is staggering if you think about it.
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:15 PM
handle handle is offline
 
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Quite so. I am an agnostic atheist for the most part but I do believe that various practices ( religious or otherwise ) have a symbolic power that can work wonders for the human psyche and since it can be powerful it can be dangerous. Obscuring the metaphors with literal interpretations are indeed a simple matter of trying to control. The horrible comedy of it all is that many religions actually warn you to not mix metaphor with reality, but those warnings are themselves distorted. I could be mistaken but idea of not portraying the prophet Muhammad is really a warning to not create concrete image that obscures true nature of something that is transcendent, yet this proscription itself is taken too literally and people who draw a cartoon are threatened and killed by people trying to protect something that can't be protected because the concrete symbol has no real meaning in a spiritual sense.

Horrible comedy... I love that, well said. I never came to your realization of the unreality of it actually morphing into a sort of parallel faux reality, but such is the nature of ideology set adrift I suppose. But this is a very logical extension of what I already understand to be the case.

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The irony and tragedy of it all is staggering if you think about it.
Spot on, again. That's what leads me to prefer not to obsess on it too much (although I'm not sure if this is the "right" thing to do), and try to remind myself to understand God (Gob?) as a metaphor for that which we do not understand (much of everything) and that which exists inside all of us, but, of which, we are unconscious.
Keeps me off the meds, anyway.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:05 PM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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Religion is used something in the way nationalism is too, in a way that really is just sort of hooked to religion as the common identity, not having much to do with the faith itself. As opposed to promoting war by telling people the nation is threatened, people are told the religion is threatened, and the way of life that goes with it. They may be very religious people or they may just be attached to it culturally.

A lot of the Al Qaeda leaders are highly educated people who have spent time in the West. I doubt if they're fundamentalists in the same way as some local imam somewhere. I think they're angry about all the real and imagined wrongdoings of the West towards their people and they use the bond of religion to inspire holy warriors.

Today there's only a mild version of that in Christianity I think, for the most part, unlike in the past. But there's a little. I've gotten messages from relatives with links to articles on the Internet about standing up against supposed attacks on Christianity, like people saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas or the government supposedly slighting Christianity in some way. These people are like me and haven't been in a church in years, except for weddings, etc.
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:45 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Indeed, hell on earth is most often created by those who are trying to make things better on the next one (whether the next one is determined by putative deity or by an impersonal abstraction, thrown in to include Stalin et al.)
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:50 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
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Yea like Hitler, Stalin and Mao religious fanatics all.
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