9/11 memories

September 11th, 2011 at 12:55 pm by David Farrar

I doubt there will ever be another day I can recall as graphically as . My birthday was the previous night (I was born on 11 September, but in NZ of course the attacks happened on 12 September NZST) so I had just been asleep for a couple of hours when a friend from the UK texted me telling me to switch on the TV as a plane has flown into the World Trade Centre.

I switched on CNN and spent three hours transfixed watching the towers get hit and then eventually collapse. To the end of my days, I will recall those awful scenes of human beings on the upper levels of the twin towers jumping to a quick death rather than face a certain slower death.

Within an hour it seemed half of New Zealand was awake – or at least half of my friends. We were texting and talking to each other in disbelief, and even then with some anger about who had done this.

Around 5 am I headed into work at Parliament. Most of the day we did nothing but watch the televisions. Around 7 am though I had an idea. I went to our NZPA/Reuters feed. Normally I set it to NZ Politics, but swapped it over to International General. This covers stories from anywhere in the world which may be of interest to New Zealanders.

I scrolled back five hours looking for the very first story on the attacks, and found it. A one sentence story that just reported a plane had how one of the WTC towers. A couple more bland stories followed and then the all important story reporting a second plane had hit the WTC, turning it from a possible accident to a certain attack. I read every story of those first few hours, as each new detail unfolded with horror.

So much has been written about the attacks, and how the world changed that day (and it did). But my thoughts remain of the 3,000 souls who perished. They were not part of any war. They were not in a war zone. They were just you and me – people at work, plus of course the brave fire fighters and police officers who died trying to rescue others.

And such a terrible blow at New York itself. You see New York is not really an American city, it is a global city. We have three global cities – New York, London and Hong Kong. They may be physically part of the US, UK and China but they are global hub cities, with workers from scores and scores of different countries.

I recall the inevitable black humour that emerged within hours. Maps showing a lake where Afghanistan used to be.  I also recall Yasser Arafat donating blood to help the American Red Cross out, Australia declaring under the ANZUS Treaty that they stand ready to help the US strike back, as was NATO under the NATO Treaty.

At the time the US was not engaged in any significant overseas wars. And it is long forgotten, but Bush had been an isolationist President. He was actually sceptical of US even getting involved in former Yugoslavia. I worry that tomorrow’s students will regard 9/11 as a response to Iraq and Afghanistan, when in reality it was the other way around.

Iraq is highly debatable, but few would dispute that the US couldn’t allow this attack on their homeland to pass without those responsible being held accountable. International law clearly allows you to strike back after you have been attacked. The notion that all the US could do was send polite letters to the Taliban asking for those responsible to be extradited was farcical. The US did of course ask the Taliban to hand over those responsible, but they refused.

But despite that I recall how the Greens organised a protest march for later that week. Not to protest the slaughter of 3,000 civilians. But to protest against the responding. I was outraged and angered. In my mind they were the latter day Neville Chamberlains. but worse than that, the timing was so appalling. The death toll was still rising daily, and these people were marching against the , not against the terrorists. They were marching on Parliament and I was determined that a message go out that not all Kiwis hated the US. So I managed to arrange a US flag. Not a normal size one, but the largest one my “supplier” could locate – off memory it was 60 feet long. When the protest arrived at Parliament we unfurled the flag from our balcony. It was so huge it needed half a dozen of us.

Sadly it only got to stay up for a few minutes as some tosser from (off memory) Marian Hobbs’ office complained to the Speaker, and he sent security to make us take it down.

Anyway 10 years on, and the world has changed forever. Apart from anything else, air travel will never be the same again. Osama bin Laden is dead, and Al Qaeda much weakened. Somewhat remarkably they have not managed another successful attack inside America again.

I often wonder what would have happened if 9/11 had not occurred. Bush may have stayed an isolationist and who knows how this may ave affected his presidency. He may have ended up a one term President, or he may have ended up a less controversial two term President.

But it is too easy to focus on the big global aspects of 9/11. Today my thoughts and memories are on the 2,977 who died in the attacks (excluding the hijackers) and their families. Special thoughts to the 100 or so nine year olds who were born after their fathers died in 9/11.

The other strong memory is the brave passengers and crew of United Flight 93. They knew their actions would probably lead to their deaths. Logically they knew they would probably die anyway, but it still takes courage to rush armed hijackers – not to save your life, but to save others. Thanks to them, the plane did not reach Washington DC.

Horribly, it might not have made DC anyway. Two F16s had been ordered to intercept it. But they did not have time to arm the jets, so if it were not for the passengers, the F16s would have had to ram the 757 which would have have been a terrible (yet necessary) act.

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172 Responses to “9/11 memories”

  1. Longknives (4,682 comments) says:

    Well written- I posted in General Debate that this was one of the most shocking and horrific events I have seen in my lifetime, even ten years later watching those buildings collapse still sends shivers down my spine.

    The Greens quickly organised an ‘Anti- American’ protest march? I didn’t know that- Sadly I’m not overly surprised. Keith Locke would have been wetting himself with excitement at the terrorist attacks…

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  2. ben (2,414 comments) says:

    Happy birthday.

    I did not know that about the Greens. I have recently learned of the catastrophe and near-complete capitulation that Atlee and Chamberlain caused with their extreme pacifism in the 1930s. I believe Atlee was still opposed to re-armament even after the Sudeten Crisis in 1938, and labelled Churchill ‘Warmonger’ in the 1945 election! And still the Greens do not learn. Shame on them.

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  3. Ross Nixon (612 comments) says:

    And have we learned anything? Latter day Neville Chamberlains continue to believe in appeasement as the enemy extends its influence and power.

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  4. Mark (497 comments) says:

    The Greens and the left in general are the most pro-war people as long as its an attacked on the US and the West.

    They are personally responsible for the murder of 100s of millions of people on the planet that still continues today.

    They have blood of their hands and are the most evil people on the planet.

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  5. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    Perhaps we should do a whip around to get some money together so we can remind the country of the Greens’ protest in September 2001. Maybe DPF or someone else who is somewhere near the TV archives can help us find footage of the protest to put into a TV ad, and someone can supply some photos for newspaper ads.
    Is anyone else with me?

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  6. grumpyoldhori (2,416 comments) says:

    Ben before you rant how great Churchill was I suggest a bit of reading on history,
    he was the one who decided it would be a damn good idea to send 60,000 ANZACs to take on 400,000 Germans in Greece.
    He was the one who believed Gallipoli would be a real good idea .

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  7. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    “Iraq is highly debatable, but few would dispute that the US couldn’t allow this attack on their homeland to pass without those responsible being held accountable”

    Typical ill-considered, border-line racist comment. So say an Arab attacks you and you just attack any Arab walking down the street as a way of holding the attacker ‘accountable’? If say, a Chinese steals your wallet that gives you the right to beat the shit out of the next Asian you see walking down the street.

    Iraq had NOTHING to do with 911. But to the gullible racist Western public, Osama Bin Laden is an Arab and Muslim. Iraqis are also mainly Arabs and Muslims. That was enough to kill several hundred thousand of them.

    [DPF: You are a moron. My comments clearly relate to Afghanistan not Iraq. I said that Iraq is highly debatable, meaning that there is legitimate controversy over that war. I agree it had nothign to do with 9/11.

    Call me a racist again and you'll never be posting here again]

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  8. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    Consider all the imperialist wars the US has been involved in. The 2 million Vietnamese civilians killed.

    The slaughter of innocents at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, totally without any sort of military value.

    And earlier on the decimation of perhaps 1/8 the population of the Phillipines.

    As Malcolm X said “chickens coming home to roost”.

    You can’t expect to be a bully going round kicking sand in people’s faces with retaliation.

    The thing is I would guess that far more people in the world were, rightly or wrongly, happy about Sept 11 rather than appalled.

    The US is perhaps the most malign power in the history of the world. It would be a toss-up between Nazi Germany and the US.

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  9. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    “I worry that tomorrow’s students will regard 9/11 as a response to Iraq and Afghanistan, when in reality it was the other way around.”

    FFS Farrar!

    What was Osama’s three demands of the US before 9/11?

    1. Stop supporting Israel’s oppression and murder of Palestinians
    2. Stop sanctions against Iraq, which was killing hecatombs of Iraqi children
    3. Withdraw troops from Saudi Arabia.

    In respect of these, the US was guilty on all three counts.

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  10. Zapper (965 comments) says:

    A single spark

    You hate the west and hate America – fair enough. How about you f**k off? I’m sure they’d welcome you in Saudi Arabia or Iran where you’d be right at home.

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  11. F E Smith (3,314 comments) says:

    ASS (how appropriate an acronym for you),

    others will no doubt reply to your appalling statements with better facts and clarity than I, but I cannot let this statement go unchallenged

    The US is perhaps the most malign power in the history of the world. It would be a toss-up between Nazi Germany and the US.

    Which is not just not true, but you must know it to be false.   The Soviet Union and Communist China both have far worse records for slaughter than anything you can lay at the feet of the USA.  Ineed, for a time the Soviet Union was an ally of National Socialist Germany.  

    You are the worst sort of troll, and on this day your words are unforgivable.  Your apparent delight at the deaths of almost 3000 innocent people, on the anniversary of their death, is ghoulishness at its worst..

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  12. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    Your apparent delight at the deaths of almost 3000 innocent people, on the anniversary of their death…

    Not ‘delighted’ at all. Where did I say or indicate that?

    All I said is if you go round hurting and bullying other people, other people are bound to retaliate, or at least attempt retaliation.

    That is all. Right or Wrong?

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  13. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    You hate the west and hate America – fair enough.

    Not really. In fact my views on US foreign policy more or less align with those of many so-called ‘paleo’ conservatives in the US.

    You seem to be one of those imbeciles who think the US was attacked because of its so-called ‘freedoms’.

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  14. F E Smith (3,314 comments) says:

     ASS,

    1. Stop supporting Israel’s oppression and murder of Palestinians

    2. Stop sanctions against Iraq, which was killing hecatombs of Iraqi children

    3. Withdraw troops from Saudi Arabia.

    In respect of these, the US was guilty on all three counts.

    Do you actually believe the trash you write?

    1. Israel is a complex topic, but neither of those statements are true.
    2. The sanctions against Iraq were UN sanctions. 
    3. If there were US troops in Saudi Arabia prior to 11 September 2001, there were there at the Saudi’s invitation.  So are you suggesting that a Saudi citizen, living in Afghanistan, has the right to not only demand a sovereign nation to comply with his directive, but to arrange the murder of 3000 civilians as retribution for ignoring that demand?

    You are, quite frankly, hate filled. You have the right to be as offensive as you are being, but could you please do it somewhere else?

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  15. F E Smith (3,314 comments) says:

    Really?
    Prove it.

    You are kidding me, right?

    EDIT: Hey, what about Pol Pot’s Cambodian regime? Is the US worse than that, as well?

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  16. hj (6,720 comments) says:

    Frog, I agree the slur on your drug law reform plocy is as inaccurate as it is stupid, but you said. “Which terrorist groups are the Greens in favour of? Go on. Name just one.” Very well, let me open the batting. How about this, Frog:
    Remember soon after September 11 Keith Locke spoke at a meeting in Rotorua on a platform with Annette Sykes. This was a meeting to protest the liberation of Afghanistan.
    As Keith sat there smiling and nodding his head in agreement, Sykes told the audience: “I will never forget that morning turning on my TV and seeing those planes fly into those two towers, I jumped for joy, I was so excited to see that at long last capitalism was
    under attack. I was laughing, I was so happy, but then I saw those people
    jumping out of the windows and it suddenly hit me, oh those poor waiters, the poor cleaners, those poor lift operators, who the greedy capitalists had employed to do all the dirty jobs were probably the people jumping out of the windows.”
    Keith neither challenged nor questioned Sykes’ rant, he sat there and smiled and nodded and then led the applause when she finished.
    http://blog.greens.org.nz/index.php/2005/05/31/united-in-terrorism/

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  17. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    The US, along with Nazi Germany, was one of the few exterminatory regimes in world history.

    How many of the original Native American population is left?

    Industrial scale slavery?

    Industrial scale slaughter of Phillipinos during the Phillipine American war?

    The cold-blooded execution of hundreds of thousands of women and children at Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

    And of course much more….

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  18. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    “but then I saw those people jumping out of the windows and it suddenly hit me, oh those poor waiters, the poor cleaners, those poor lift operators, who the greedy capitalists had employed to do all the dirty jobs were probably the people jumping out of the windows.”

    That was the most sad & regrettable aspect of the whole thing.

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  19. Scott Chris (5,974 comments) says:

    A single spark

    I see the point you are making, but as the 911 issue carries a lot of emotional weight, perhaps your assertions would be more appropriately expressed in the general debate thread.

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  20. hj (6,720 comments) says:

    A single spark: a single brain cell?

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  21. reid (16,108 comments) says:

    Perhaps what ASS is trying to say is that he thinks a lot of people think like him about America. That a lot of people do think the US but an international bully bordering on international thug and he’s right, a significant proportion of people who live in the receiving end of the actions to which ASS refers, actually do think that.

    ASS perhaps hasn’t yet discerned the opposite is true in the West. While a small proportion of people in the West do think that, it’s a substrata of perhaps 30% of all lefties who think this.

    Perhaps because ASS has lots of lefty friends, s/he thinks everyone thinks like s/he does, since they talk about it, all the time. Like the syndrome in cops sometimes where they deal with criminals all the time so everyone becomes a crim, to some.

    Newsflash ASS – you’re wrong. It would appear that most people in the West don’t actually think the US is a bully and we’re the ones who count, not the people over there and not you because you’re a minority here not a majority. Sorry. (Well, not really. You’re a rude little cur, I’ll say that for you.)

    Whether the US has acted with optimal wisdom since 9/11 is an entirely separate question and one in which there are lots of good arguments to be made.

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  22. Mick Mac (1,091 comments) says:

    ASS and his leftist mates at The Labour party and the Greens are truly wicked in the sense that more people have died at the hands of their ideologists in history than any one else and they still can’t tell the truth.

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  23. F E Smith (3,314 comments) says:

    ASS,

    Nobody says they are innocent, but then nor is any other regime, really.  Every country has issues that can be pointed to if you go pre-20th century.
    But almost all of the worst offenders in the 20th century were all left wing. You need to add Japan in there, with probably upwards of 5 million dead in the Phillipines and China, as well as the Ottomans with their attempt at wiping out the Armenians (1.5million or so).

    If you want really bad stuff, why not go back to Tamerlane and his conquests?  Or the Romans? 

    You are going to lose this one, but it still won’t hide the fact that you hate the USA and appear to take delight in the deaths of innocent civilians in 21st century New York, at a time which they were relatively isolationist.

    EDIT: “That was the most sad & regrettable aspect of the whole thing.”

    You really are a nasty person, aren’t you?

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  24. F E Smith (3,314 comments) says:

    ASS,

    “I would guess that far more people in the world were, rightly or wrongly, happy about Sept 11″

    Including, it would seem, you.

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  25. Ryan Sproull (7,059 comments) says:

    The Greens and the left in general are the most pro-war people as long as its an attacked on the US and the West.

    I’m not, Mark.

    They are personally responsible for the murder of 100s of millions of people on the planet that still continues today.

    I’m not, Mark.

    They have blood of their hands and are the most evil people on the planet.

    I’m not, Mark.

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  26. dime (9,662 comments) says:

    single spark is funny!

    grumpy old racist against brown people does the old “churchill wasnt a great man cause he did blah blah 45 years before he died.” apparently he wasnt allowed redemption.

    as for 9/11. i was living in sydney. i went to bed 15 mins before it happened. doh. woke up and watched cnn for 2 days (no fox then :( )

    a week later prinicpals at sydney high schools were expelling arabs kids who were celebrating. muslims set fire to cars in auburn to celebrate (3km’s from where i worked). fun times.

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  27. F E Smith (3,314 comments) says:

    ASS,

    by the way, the Spanish were responsible for far more deaths in South, Central and North America than the US ever was, even if you don’t include deaths by disease.

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  28. Scott Chris (5,974 comments) says:

    FE Smith – “But almost all of the worst offenders in the 20th century were all left wing”

    I’d say that is more to do with totalitarianism than Marxism. In theory, Marxism isn’t about brutal repression.

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  29. hj (6,720 comments) says:

    A single spark is your typical flagburning peace activist who would likely join in Tame Itis frolics in the Ureweras (those that one activist described as “overwhelming” and as “freaking out”).

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  30. dime (9,662 comments) says:

    scott – in theory no. but thats one of the reasons its so flawed. it forgets about human nature.

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  31. hj (6,720 comments) says:

    On Marae it struck me that Sykes had the stare of a psychopath; makes good television.

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  32. F E Smith (3,314 comments) says:

    Theory is a wonderful thing, Scott, but I generally judge the ideology by the actions of its adherents. The fact is that they were or are all left wing in ideology. Even today, the UK Labour Party shows that the left wing is still authoritarian as a natural expression of its ideology. Nothing much changes, it just gets a little more sophisticated.

    Calling it progressive or whatever doesn’t change anything.

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  33. hj (6,720 comments) says:

    The Greens see the ideal world as one governed by tikanga: an elaborate system of justice developed before (or about the time/ perhaps after?) the European Enlightenment.

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  34. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    FE Smith – “But almost all of the worst offenders in the 20th century were all left wing”

    Bullshit.

    Capitalist imperialism killed at a conservative estimate 50 million people in the 20th Century.

    Hitler’s genocide of the Jewish people had its antecedents in German colonial behaviour in Namibia. And in the West in general, at the beginning of the 20th Century extermination of indigenous peoples was something that could be openly discussed even in polite society.

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  35. F E Smith (3,314 comments) says:

    ASS,

    Hitler’s genocide of the Jewish people had its antecedents in German colonial behaviour in Namibia

    What are you , a moron?  Have you even read Mein Kampf?

    Capitalist imperialism killed at a conservative estimate 50 million people in the 20th Century.

    Well, come on, evidence?  Notwithstanding that even the 50 million estimate is still probably a lot smaller than that of the left wing Communists and National Socialists.

    extermination of indigenous peoples was something that could be openly discussed even in polite society.

    Again, evidence and context, please.

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  36. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    F E Smith provides this as a source to support his claim of left-wing mass murder:
    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COM.TAB1.GIF

    The ‘researcher’ behind these figures is one Rudy Rummel. His figures are demonstrably false.

    However even Rummel, an arch-conservative, has come out to admit that the Western imperialist powers killed at a conservative estimate 50 million Africans and Asians in the 20th Century.
    http://tinyurl.com/2cf8sfp

    The worst case was perhaps King Leopold’s Belgium (who significantly outdid Pol Pot in kill rate – both in absolute and relative terms).

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  37. tas (596 comments) says:

    I was eleven when the attacks happened. My mum mentioned some disaster in the US before I left for school. I spent my lunch break in the school library watching the footage. I grew up in a post-9/11 world. And the full horror of that day is still sinking in for me.

    I am appaled to learn about the Greens’ reaction to 9/11. I moved to the US a year ago (and I have visited the site). All of the negative things I had heard about Americans have been falsified. They are hardworking, charitable, entrepreneurial, friendly, welcoming, and generally virtuous. (I can’t say the same about their government, but that’s another story.)

    I think running an anti-Greens smear campaign on the anniversary is sinking to their level. But I would be interested to see the relevant news articles, as I can’t remember.

    September 11 was about ideological hatred, religious dogma, and jealousy. The past decade has been about the struggle to contain that while preserving our freedoms.

    Today we must remember the victims of that day, lest we forget what we are fighting for. But we must also remember that what we have lost since then—how the world has changed—for those two must be weighed against each other.

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  38. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    September 11 was about ideological hatred, religious dogma, and jealousy. The past decade has been about the struggle to contain that while preserving our freedoms.

    What a load of hot air.

    You so obviously believe Dubya when he said the US was attacked because of its ‘freedom’.

    Pathetic. You obviously have not grown up much in the decade between the attacks and now.

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  39. Scott Chris (5,974 comments) says:

    dime – “in theory no. but thats one of the reasons its so flawed. it forgets about human nature.”

    I agree, to the extent that it can work provided all its participants are willing subjects, such as on a Jewish Kibbutz.

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  40. hj (6,720 comments) says:

    Question: Who was the Bloodiest Tyrant of the 20th Century?
    http://necrometrics.com/tyrants.htm

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  41. reid (16,108 comments) says:

    With respect to the success of the ‘War on Terror’ so far, I’d give it about a negative 5. It hasn’t yet totally tanked, like the ‘War on Drugs’ has but it’s not in good shape.

    Thousands and thousands of very very very angry even furious Muslims arising directly from how the US has conducted herself since 9/11.

    I’m saying that if you had a perfect execution then it would have been over by now, no-one would be angry, everyone would be calm, you had extracted the relevant arseholes and severely dealt to them, left everyone else alone and out of it, and re-built any collateral damage when you had no alternative but to use big weapons.

    That’s the ideal, positive 10 rating for the US in the ‘War on Terror’ and it is entirely possible for it to have been executed exactly like that, had the right people been in all the necessary key positions and the fact it hasn’t happened like that is their fault and no-one else’s. It’s not the grunt’s fault, it’s not the pilot’s fault, it’s not the captain or the major’s faults.

    The military won the territory in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The military did its job. That’s what it does: take and hold territory. The politicians job in a conquering nation is to win the peace. This means establishing workable institutions that bring life to normal get the country functioning and don’t encourage the sort of behaviour which generated the conquering in the first place, and none of that has happened. Has it.

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  42. Ryan Sproull (7,059 comments) says:

    But despite that I recall how the Greens organised a protest march for later that week. Not to protest the slaughter of 3,000 civilians. But to protest against the United States responding.

    DPF, the United States’ response to 9/11 slaughtered far more than 3,000 civilians. The time to protest something is before it happens. Happy birthday, but spare us the rhetoric.

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  43. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    DPF, the United States’ response to 9/11 slaughtered far more than 3,000 civilians.

    Also in the decade before 9/11. How many Iraqi children died because of US forced sanctions?

    Famously described as ‘worth it’ by Madeleine Albright.

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  44. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    ASS

    The 2 million Vietnamese civilians killed.

    Including the “civilian” members of the Veit Cong.

    The slaughter of innocents at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, totally without any sort of military value.

    Except that it saved the senseless destruction of much more of Japan due to invasion, saved countless American and Japanese lives in the inevitable battles, brought forward the end of the war by months if not years, that the USA warned the Japanese government that they had a weapon of unimaginable power, and the USA was attacked by the Japanese, not the other way around. You’re a bit one eyed.

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  45. F E Smith (3,314 comments) says:

    ASS,

    Oh well, try here then, if you don’t accept the first lot.  The thing is, you may quibble about just how many and who has the best figures, but there is no argument about who killed the most, and the Communists win.  I just cannot be bothered researching and proving my point against a despicable person such as yourself. (and if you want to know why you are despicable, just read what you have posted and consider the date)

    And I find it interesting that you see the Belgians in the Congo (an appalling regime) with 10 million dead in 23 years as worse than Pol Pot’s regime, which killed between 1.5 and 2 million in 3 years.  I would say both were bad, but the Pol Pot regime was worse.

    But your link, and any item carried by a site with the words democratic and peace in the title immediately becomes suspect, doesn’t actually specify where the 50 million came from.  So I call your assertion false. 

    And you are still a nasty piece of work that appears to take delight in mocking the deaths of thousands of innocents on the anniversary of their death, while defending murderous left wing regimes and declaring them better than the US.

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  46. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    Scott Chris –
    You are so right that socialism is great “to the extent that it can work provided all its participants are willing subjects”. The problem is it doesn’t work on a large scale, since you’re always going to have people who don’t want to participate. Those ones generally tend to be the ones who will do better without socialism – ie the people who pay for it. The only way to include them is to force them. And therein lies the problem.
    I think it is much better to have a system where everyone has a more or less equal opportunity to excel rather than one where everyone has an equal outcome regardless of their ability or how hard they work.

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  47. chiz (1,131 comments) says:

    ASS:Iraq had NOTHING to do with 911

    Not true. In fact 9/11 happened because of Iraq. As part of the strategy to contain Saddam the US had a number of troops stationed in Saudi Arabia. Osama and his friends objected to this strongly. Indeed you admit as much yourself when you posted some of Osama’s demands

    2. Stop sanctions against Iraq, which was killing hecatombs of Iraqi children
    3. Withdraw troops from Saudi Arabia.

    Those troops were there because of Iraq.

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  48. chiz (1,131 comments) says:

    ASS: How many Iraqi children died because of US forced sanctions? Famously described as ‘worth it’ by Madeleine Albright.

    There were only two options for dealing with Saddam that anyone could come up with. Either you remove him or you contain him. Removing him had the potential to lead to an outcome that was much worse than leaving him in power. Yes, people died as a result of the sanctions but suspected that the death toll might be higher if he was removed and so they gritted their teeth and went with containment. UNtil 9/11 when it became it was no longer a viable option.

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  49. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    ith 10 million dead in 23 years as worse than Pol Pot’s regime, which killed between 1.5 and 2 million in 3 years.

    Only a numnuts would argue that person A who killed 10 million was twice as ‘evil as person B who killed 5 million.

    When you get to such huge numbers using the number of millions supposedly killed as a metric for evilness is absurd.

    The fact is 10 million killed. Versus 1.5 to 2 million. Both are evil.

    A mass murderer who killed 20 people over ten years is no better than a mass murderer who killed 20 in five years.

    And Anders Breivik is no less evil than originally thought, simply because his body count dropped from 92 to 70 or so?

    F E Smith’s reasoning is childish.

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  50. F E Smith (3,314 comments) says:

    the United States’ response to 9/11 slaughtered far more than 3,000 civilians.

    Except the US did not set out to kill innocent people.  Civilian casualties are always an extremely unfortunate consequence of war.  But there was never any intent by the USA to kill civilians. 

    Whereas the 11 September Hijackers, along with countless other terrorists throughout the last 10 years, intended precisely to murder their victims.

    There is a very large difference.

    Moreover, those sanctions were imposed by the UN and were completely legal.  I don’t accept that deaths were caused directly by the sanctions.  Any deaths in Iraq during the sanctions should be laid at the feet of the Baathist regime.  While it is convenient for you to blame the UN sanctions, their effects could have been immediately ameliorated in a number of ways by the Iraqi regime.  Allowing people to die to prove a point makes Saddam Hussein the murderer, not the UN, and certainly not the US.

    And re the Albright quote, well, what do you expect from a left wing Secretary of State, eh?

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  51. Tookinator (216 comments) says:

    My daughter was being born at the time and I remember the doctors and i ‘urging’ my wife to ‘hang on a bit longer with the labour’ as we were all glued to the TV.
    The birth of my daughter was of course overshadowed by 9/11 so nobody was particularly interested when I phoned them with the news.

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  52. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    chiz
    It was always an option not to invade Iraq. Why hasn’t the US invaded North Korea or Zimbabwe to get rid of evil dictators there? Is it not because Iraq has massive undeveloped oil reserves? And Afghanistan was a proposed route for the Caspian Sea pipeline?

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  53. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    But your link, and any item carried by a site with the words democratic and peace in the title immediately becomes suspect, doesn’t actually specify where the 50 million came from.

    The researcher is EXACTLY the same researcher who you provided the link to ‘proving’ left wing ‘mass murder’.

    My daughter was being born at the time and I remember the doctors and i ‘urging’ my wife to ‘hang on a bit longer with the labour’ as we were all glued to the TV.

    You were indulging your ghoulish delight in what you saw.

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  54. Fletch (6,142 comments) says:

    While, back in the US, 9/11 images are embargoed; they are only allowed to be shown once a year and that’s it.
    The left wing media don’t like people being reminded.

    Meanwhile, I believe the mega mosque on ground zero is still going ahead.

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  55. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    “But there was never any intent by the USA to kill civilians. “

    But if you know full well in advance that your actions will kill civilians, and are willing to accept these, then that is tantamount to murder.

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki were pretty much deliberate murder of women and children.

    Because the cowardly US soldiers were too chickenshit to go man to man with Japanese soldiers.

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  56. F E Smith (3,314 comments) says:

     ASS,

    The fact is 10 million killed. Versus 1.5 to 2 million. Both are evil.

    Absolutely, I agree.

    Only a numnuts [sic] would argue that person A who killed 10 million was twice as ‘evil as person B who killed 5 million.

    Not really.  Both are evil, but that rate of killing is truly exceptional.  Imagine how many his left wing communist regime would have killed had not Vietnam (!) invaded.  Hence my point.  Moreover, many of the Pol Pot killings were actual murders, rather than mostly forced labour and government caused privation (both of which still abhorrent), although with murders mixed in.

    And Anders Breivik is no less evil than originally thought, simply because his body count dropped from 92 to 70 or so?

    And that is just stupid.  Nobody argued that at all.

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  57. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki were pretty much deliberate murder of women and children.

    Because the cowardly US soldiers were too chickenshit to go man to man with Japanese soldiers.

    Because the US government wanted to finish the war off as soon as possible, to prevent the deaths of thousands of its soldiers, countless “deliberate murders” of women and children caught in the crossfire, and countless Japanese soldiers defending their homeland.

    Jesus Christ you are a plonker.

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  58. Fletch (6,142 comments) says:

    NEW YORK, Sept. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The human rights organization American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) will be hosting its second annual 9/11 Freedom Rally on September 11 at 3pm at Park Place and West Broadway.
    While clergy, 9/11 first responders, and 9/11 family members are barred and/or not invited to the official ceremonies, all are welcome at the 9/11 Freedom Rally. And while White House guidelines forbid official 9/11 ceremonies from mentioning who attacked the U.S. on that day or why, the 9/11 Freedom Rally features more honest speakers.

    Free citizens are coming from all over the U.S. to attend the rally. “Honor our war dead and stand for freedom and against the deception and lies being used to subdue us,” said AFDI Executive Director Pamela Geller. “We must show the jihadists we are unbowed in the defense of freedom.”

    I see Obama’s White House still has it’s blinkers on; when a country is not even allowed to whisper who it was that actually attacked them then something is wrong. They’ve swallowed the Politically Correct narrative hook, line, and sinker.
    One can only wonder what is going to happen next, unless the citizens dump this useless-ass president.

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  59. F E Smith (3,314 comments) says:

    ASS,

    But if you know full well in advance that your actions will kill
    civilians, and are willing to accept these, then that is tantamount to
    murder. 

    Nope.  The US has made every effort not to kill civilians.  Any country involved in a war knows there will be civilian casualties.  Most try to limit them as much as possible.  That includes the US.  Your reasoning is false and wrongly attributes civilian deaths to the US as murders. 

    When a regime sets out to create conditions knowing that many will die, then that becomes murder. 

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki were pretty much deliberate murder of women and children.

    Nope. As has already been explained to you above.

    Because the cowardly US soldiers were too chickenshit to go man to man with Japanese soldiers.

    That proves my point.  You are an ignorant fanatic who is willing to falsify history to continue indulging in hatred.  You are truly a nasty person.

    And I won’t argue with points like that.  I have no intention of even pretending to think there might be any truth in that and so lend any credence to your arguments.  That is just despicable.

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  60. tas (596 comments) says:

    ASS:

    America was not attacked because of its freedom. But it was an attack *on* freedom, namely the freedom to go about your daily business without fear of being murdered because of a political issue you have little or nothing to do with.

    America the superpower is no angel, but that doesn’t justifying killing individual Americans.

    I’m somewhat unhappy that this thread has become an argument, rather than a sharing of memories. But then again, I don’t visit kiwiblog for human interest stories.

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  61. F E Smith (3,314 comments) says:

    Fair point, Tas. I was going to call it quits anyway after that last bit of untruth from ASS.

    My apologies if I have argued too much.

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  62. Griff (6,989 comments) says:

    A single spark then the fire went out !

    ASS has Beliefs that are patiently false and are obviously the propaganda of the far left The sooner she?/he?/it? goes to north Korea the better of we will all be.

    Attacking the World Trade Center was an attack on the entire west. The death of so many innocent to provoke the USA was stupid and reprehensible.

    That the USA has attack sovereign states without the consent of the United Nations is not much better .

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  63. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    Because the US government wanted to finish the war off as soon as possible, to prevent the deaths of thousands of its soldiers, countless “deliberate murders” of women and children caught in the crossfire, and countless Japanese soldiers defending their homeland.

    Actually I don’t think the US govt at the time was too concerned with the lives of Japanese soldiers and civilians.

    They were primarily concerned with the lives of US troops in any hypothetical invasion.

    But an invasion would not have been necessary. Japan was already incapacitated. The A bombs were used as a shot across the bow of the Soviets coming down through Manchuria. The reason for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki was political not military.

    /////////////////

    Now let us assume there was military value in using murdering innocent women and children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    That does not make it any less evil.

    If to save othe lives of one’s own soldiers, one resorts to killing women and children, that is despicable and cowardly. That is no different from the tactics of Genghis Khan.

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  64. Longknives (4,682 comments) says:

    “Because the cowardly US soldiers were too chickenshit to go man to man with Japanese soldiers.”

    Oh dear Single Spark- You either know very little or no WW2 History or your ‘Anti- American’ hatred is completely clouding your judgement/sanity. They certainly weren’t afraid to mix it up in Iwo Jima….

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  65. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    That the USA has attack sovereign states without the consent of the United Nations is not much better .

    So you have to ask the Russians and Chinese to have a war?

    ASS – why don’t you just fuck off. You’re making a dick of yourself and hiding behind the anonymity of being a Kiwiblog user.

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  66. Scott Chris (5,974 comments) says:

    gazzmaniac – “The problem is it doesn’t work on a large scale, since you’re always going to have people who don’t want to participate.”

    People like Noam Chomsky have promoted the philosophy of Libertarian Socialism, a non coercive, non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic, stateless society without private property in the means of production.

    But like you say, I can’t see how this would work without the coercive dissolution of society as we know it, unless the hypothetical state were founded from scratch or created within the confines of a different system, like the establishment of a Maori nation within New Zealand, who would ultimately still be its citizens and subject to its constitution and laws.

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  67. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    The US has made every effort not to kill civilians. Any country involved in a war knows there will be civilian casualties. Most try to limit them as much as possible.

    Absolute bollocks. Killing civilians to terrorise the enemy into surrender is something that was, rightly or wrongly, widely accepted in WWII.

    Civilians were deliberately targetted in both Germany and Japan, rightly or wrongly, to f@#$ with their morale.

    Obviously when it is Arabs or Muslims who do the same thing, because they lack the military power of their adversaries, that is terrorism.

    But what is ‘terrorism’ is exactly the same as the tactics adopted by the allies, rightly or wrongly, during WWII.

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  68. DJP6-25 (1,308 comments) says:

    gazzamaniac 3:53pm. The two atomic bombs certainly did a lot to convince the Japanese regime to surrender. However, you shouldn’t forget the Russian invasion of Manchuria. Their quick success eliminated Japan’s last military reserve. These two factors combined produced the surrender. Had there been an invasion, a lot of posters here wouldn’t have been born. Their fathers, or grandfathers would have been killed. In that respect, the baby boomers have something to thank Truman, and Stalin for. Even bad people [Stalin] can occasionally do something that turns out right.

    As for boomers who were anti-nuke, the logic fails me. As teens or twenty somethings, absent the bomb, they might have been fighting as conscripts in WW III. Better to risk being blown up in a nanosecond then endure the horrors of an infantry man’s life in war time.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  69. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    Scott Chris – I fail to see how a society without private property will work well at all. The whole reason why socialism doesn’t work is because some people see it as an excuse to not work, since somebody else will pick up the slack. That said, it might work if there was a slave class that did all the work, and a priviledged equal elite who don’t have to. It’d work for the elite, that is.

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  70. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    They certainly weren’t afraid to mix it up in Iwo Jima

    The US lost 7000 on Iwo Jima. That was too much for them. Iwo Jima is what brought them to the atomic bomb.

    Better to kill hundreds of thousands of completely innocent women and children than expose US troops to a man-to-man fight.

    Compared to the sacrifices the Soviets, Germans, Japanese, Chinese, and others were prepared to endure, the US soldier is a poser and a pussy.

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  71. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    Had there been an invasion, a lot of posters here wouldn’t have been born.

    What an idiotic statement. On a number of levels.

    There are an infinite number of scenarios and reasons which could have resulted in one not been born. Any slight change in the history of the universe would have vastly different outcomes.

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  72. nasska (10,897 comments) says:

    gazzmaniac @ 4.06pm

    I’ve always considered that Iraqi oil may have been a secondary reason. I can’t remember the exact details but didn’t Saddam Hussein make some sort of attack on George W Bush’s daddy in Kuwait during 1993. To a halfwit like Bush dragging the USA into a war for his personal revenge would make perfect sense.

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  73. DJP6-25 (1,308 comments) says:

    F E Smith 4:18. Your arguments are not long winded. They are always well founded, and supported. As for a certain troll. I was going to reply. However, DPF would ban me for life due to the content. Anyway, I try not to mud wrestle with pigs.

    Keep posting.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  74. DJP6-25 (1,308 comments) says:

    Mark 1:40 pm. You are right about socialiststs and authoritarians in general. Every time i get wound up about them, I remember one thing. The place where they will spend eternity.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  75. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    Compared to the sacrifices the Soviets, Germans, Japanese, Chinese, and others were prepared to endure, the US soldier is a poser and a pussy.

    What about the US soldiers who were POW during WWII and Veitnam? Are they pussies?

    To a halfwit like Bush dragging the USA into a war for his personal revenge would make perfect sense.

    What evidence do you have that GW Bush is a halfwit? Aside from fucking up some speeches (and God knows I would be worse) what else has he done that’s dumb? He is one of the few people who have run a sports team at a profit FFS.

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  76. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    The place where they will spend eternity.

    So you are God now?

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  77. F E Smith (3,314 comments) says:

    Cheers, DJP. Good point re the mud wrestling.

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  78. kowtow (7,932 comments) says:

    I could be wrong as I’m no expert.
    The Greek misadventure by Mussolini meant Hitler had to bail the useless Italian army out.He had to divert resources from and delay his planned invasion of Russia. Churchill’s ill fated attempt to bolster an ally,the Greeks,meant Hitler was late invading Russia. That threw out his schedule and the Nazis were fatally delayed by the onset of winter in front of Moscow.
    While Churchill did not know this would be the outcome, it still led to eventual Allied victory.
    Churchill was also aware of the bigger picture of the moral imperative of supporting an ally ,thus giving the west a say in the post war arrangements of the region. He helped keep the communists out ,a real threat there.

    The bomb was always gong to be used. And rightly so.

    As Bomber Harris said of the Germans, “They sowed the wind ,and now will reap the whirlwind.”

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  79. DJP6-25 (1,308 comments) says:

    Well 9/11/2001 was Sept 12th here. I was still at the Uni of Canterbury. I’d got up late, and heard the tail end of a radio bulletin about a commuter plane hitting the WTC. I thought ‘Oh just a light plane then’. ‘Must have been foggy’. I went to McDonalds for lunch. Then I went back to the Pols Dept and saw the Press. Someone said the WTC had fallen down. I said ‘That’s wierd, it’s eighty stories high’. It was 110. Then I went home and watched CNN for the next day or so. I was convinced Bush would nuke Afghanistan. After all, those planes were WMDs. I learned all I need to know about the ‘religion of peace’ on 9/11.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  80. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    As Bomber Harris said of the Germans, “They sowed the wind ,and now will reap the whirlwind.”

    Thank you. Fair enough.

    But then don’t complain when Palestinians adopt similar tactics against civilians (albeit on a much much smaller scale) to resist Israeli US backed aggression.

    What is good for the goose is good for the gander!

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  81. Scott Chris (5,974 comments) says:

    gazzmaniac – “It’d work for the elite, that is.”

    A proponent of Libertarian Socialism would argue that either there is no elite or that everyone is elite.

    But I agree, that is unlikely to work, at least in the foreseeable future. In a post-scarcity society – who knows.

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  82. grumpyoldhori (2,416 comments) says:

    DJP6-25 yep we will be nice and warm in hell with the booze and the big titted blondes.
    You lot will spend eternity listening to some old fart on a harp, boozeless and blondless.

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  83. DJP6-25 (1,308 comments) says:

    Fletch 4:15. Thanks for posting that. I guess President Perry will organize a proper commemoration in 2013.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  84. Ryan Sproull (7,059 comments) says:

    Except the US did not set out to kill innocent people. Civilian casualties are always an extremely unfortunate consequence of war. But there was never any intent by the USA to kill civilians.

    Whereas the 11 September Hijackers, along with countless other terrorists throughout the last 10 years, intended precisely to murder their victims.

    There is a very large difference.

    F E Smith,

    Both entities took actions they knew would kill innocent people – far more innocent people than if they had done nothing, or done something different.

    And to my original point, it was the action that would kill innocent civilians that the protests were about. DPF is being a bit melodramatic with his shock that the Greens were organising protests against the atrocity that could still be avoided rather than the atrocity that had already occurred.

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  85. chiz (1,131 comments) says:

    gazzmaniac:It was always an option not to invade Iraq.

    No. It wasn’t. After the first Gulf War there were two options for dealing with Saddam. Either remove him or leave him in power and contain him. The US toyed with the idea of removing him until the Saudis and others pointing that that could, at least potentially, be very catastrophic and they opted to to conatin him instead as the lesser of two bad options.

    Unfortunately it turned that this option wasn’t sustainable in the long run. It led to ~3000 dead people in NY and it was crumbling. It probably only had a year or two (or three) left.

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  86. Ryan Sproull (7,059 comments) says:

    Mark 1:40 pm. You are right about socialiststs and authoritarians in general. Every time i get wound up about them, I remember one thing. The place where they will spend eternity.

    You think about people being tortured to calm down? That’s a worry.

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  87. chiz (1,131 comments) says:

    nasska:I’ve always considered that Iraqi oil may have been a secondary reason.

    No. Oil was the reason that Russia and France ooposed the war and it was a fcator in the first Gulf War.
    But the second war was about cleaning up after the first.

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  88. Ryan Sproull (7,059 comments) says:

    Unfortunately it turned that this option wasn’t sustainable in the long run. It led to ~3000 dead people in NY and it was crumbling. It probably only had a year or two (or three) left.

    What?! 3000 dead people in NY was due to Al Qaeda, not Saddam Hussein!

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  89. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    You think about people being tortured to calm down? That’s a worry.

    Not surprising the mindset of such people. Thomas Aquinas himself said something like one of the pleasures of heaven would be awareness of the torments of the damned.

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  90. PaulL (5,983 comments) says:

    My view on Iraq has always been pretty simple. Bush felt that the US got caught napping. In the immediate aftermath, he pull all the key intelligence services together and said “is there another one out there”. Because he didn’t want another one on his watch.

    Afghanistan was obvious, they were clearly sheltering Al Qaeda. Iraq less so. I believe that the intelligence services pulled out any potential threat. Iraq was clearly a threat – Hussein had declared he wanted weapons of mass destruction, he’d tried to get them, he’d tried to build a nuclear bomb. He’d used mass weapons on his own people, and had declared a number of times if he had them he’d use the on the US. So when the question came to “is Iraq a risk” the answer was – probably. Rather than take that risk, Bush invaded. Nothing about oil, pipelines and the rest of it. Let’s face it, Hussein was happy to sell the US and the rest of the world all the oil they wanted, if they just turned away whilst he murdered his citizens. So invading was about the worst possible way to get oil.

    Bottom line, I see no conspiracy, just a group of people acting very conservatively in the months after 9/11.

    And, ASS – are you 16 years old? Because your world view and your writing style are very similar to a 16 year old. I recall at that age I thought it was funny to visit alt.religion.nz on usenet, and show how clever I was. Turned out that people much wiser than I gave me a right caning, since much of what I thought I knew was wrong or made up. That’s about what you’re doing. Other than pointing out the extreme bad manners, and gaping holes in your arguments, I’m not going to engage. You’re trolling, and you’re an idiot.

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  91. DJP6-25 (1,308 comments) says:

    Kowtow 4:49 pm. You are mostly right. The road system in western Russia was not too good. It was kept that way to slow down invaders. By June 22nd the summer had arrived, and the roads were dry. An invasion in late spring would have been slower. However, the initial battles would have still likely been won by the Germans. They might not have got so close to Moscow though. You are right about Churchill’s reasons for sending troops [including my cousin] to Greece. Bomber Harris was right on the button with that comment.

    PS I don’t reply to trolls. They belong in fantasy books and films, not on blogs.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  92. kowtow (7,932 comments) says:

    Talking of memories of that dreadful day I have a recollection of Gerry Adams ,Irish republican,making a statement of regret concerning the attacks along the lines of……..shit this kind of thing will put liberation movements back……..in other words it’s not the evil deed ,its how it will affect business as it were.

    And then there was someone from some international labour organisation (like Sykes) saying gosh,all those waiters and blue collar sorts have been killed (in other words bollox to the capitalists ,that would have been ok).

    DPF, your anecdotes on the Greens and Hobbs are welcome ,these are footnotes to history that should not be neglected ,ignored or omitted.

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  93. dime (9,662 comments) says:

    a single spark – do you teach in auckland or somewhere else?

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  94. DJP6-25 (1,308 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull 4:54 pm. No, I remember where they’re going. Then, I think: ‘Glad I’m not one of them’. There is still time for them to quit with the socialisim, and authoritarianisim already. They can choose another path.

    chers

    David Prosser

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  95. coolas (113 comments) says:

    Farrar must know that the following statement is deceitful:

    “Iraq is highly debatable, but few would dispute that the US couldn’t allow this attack on their homeland to pass without those responsible being held accountable. International law clearly allows you to strike back after you have been attacked. The notion that all the US could do was send polite letters to the Taliban asking for those responsible to be extradited was farcical.”

    Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.
    Al Qaeda had no presence in Iraq prior to the illegal US invasion.
    International law did not recognise the US invasion of Iraq
    The Taliban are not Al Qaeda
    The US invasion of Afganistan was planned long before 9/11
    The perpetrators of 9/11 were mostly Egyptian and Saudi

    Linking Iraq with 9/11 is a gross distortion of history and Farrar’s credibility as a commentator is seriously diminished if he continues with such mendacious propaganda.

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  96. Dazzaman (1,131 comments) says:

    “….the US soldier is a poser and a pussy.”

    Yeah, yeah, sure.

    Anti American derangement is cringe-worthy to watch.

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  97. kiwi in america (2,476 comments) says:

    ASS
    Other than revealing typical left wing loathing of America, your little rants show your woeful ignorance of wars in general.

    Japan attacked America for no other reason than it wanted to destroy the ability of the US Pacific fleet to interfere with its desires to conquor most of east Asia and her end of the Pacific. Now here’s the deal with attacking sovereign nations. Pretty much throughout all recorded history if country A chooses to attack country B, country A can’t complain when country B fights back. The notion of annihilating your enemy is as old as the world’s nation states and the tribes that preceeded them. So when Germany invaded Poland, the Lowlands, France, Norway and then Russia and tried to invade England thats a fair few countries to piss off and well… those attacked saw it universally in their best interests to rid the world of Hitler and Nazism.

    Wars are bloody, vicious affairs that involve the killing of many people not just soldiers. In the modern era all wars involve the death of civilians. If you’re so concerned about civilian deaths then why not wax lyrical about the number of Spanish civilians killed in the Spanish Civil War or the 20 odd million Russian civilians killed mostly by the Germans. WW2 involved the killing of many tens of millions of civilians on both sides of the conflict but the only civilian deaths that seem to have excited you are the Japanese civilians killed by the Americans. I guess the 90,000 civilian casualties inflicted during the Japanese invasion similarly are of little interest in your anti American obsession.

    He’s a little hint. Perhaps if the Japanese and Germans wanted to preserve their civilians they could’ve thought twice about their murderous invasions of the peaceful nations around them. The Americans told the Japanese EXACTLY what was in store for them. The Allies did the same to the Germans. The bombing of Japanese and German cities was done for the exact same reason why the Germans bombed London or the Japanese bombed Singapore or Darwin – to demoralise the civilian population to put pressure on leaders to sue for peace. At any time in late 1944 or 1945 the Emperor of Japan or Hitler (or his inner circle) could’ve spared their peoples the bloodshed that the Allies unleashed upon them. The atomic bombs were an escalation of that policy. Nagasaki could’ve been avoided had the Japanese unconditionally surrendered earlier. The US military had learned through their bloody and costly retaking of the various Pacific military outposts of the Japanese that a capture of the Japanese mainland would’ve resulted in massive loss of US life. The loss of lives of the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not because of some deeply rooted American genocidal mania as you allege, it was born of the stubborness of Japan’s leaders.

    I repeat – if you don’t want to get your arse eventually kicked by your enemy then don’t start the war in the first place. That is Warfare 101! To blame America for doing what nation states who gain the upper hand in wars have done for centuries is pathetic.

    To the left the only good wars are the revolutions fought by Mao, Lenin, Castro and the Sandinistas. All other wars are evil and are the fault of evil imperialists like the British and then the Americans.

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  98. Scott Chris (5,974 comments) says:

    A Single Spark – “Thomas Aquinas himself said something like one of the pleasures of heaven would be awareness of the torments of the damned.”

    To be fair, that’s not quite what he said. I think you are referring to this passage:

    “In order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful to them and that they may render more copious thanks to God for it, they are allowed to see perfectly the sufferings of the damned”

    Just your common or garden hell threat to subdue the peasants and extort money from the wealthy really.

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  99. ben (2,414 comments) says:

    grumpyoldhori – what does that have to do with anything? Churchill spent the 1930s warning about Germany and urging rearmament. He was right, Attlee and the pacifists were 100% wrong, and Britain only just caught on in time to respond. Whether Churchill made other mistakes is neither here nor there.

    The pacifists need to understand there are two ways to start a war: a) be belligerent, or b) look beatable.

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  100. Thrash Cardiom (298 comments) says:

    I recall reading something on the Internet about 4am or so and then turning on the TV. When I realised what I was watching I got my partner and her children up (aged 12 and 9 back then). I knew I was watching a world changing event and that they needed to see it too.

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  101. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    Good, he’s gone.

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  102. reid (16,108 comments) says:

    Good, he’s gone.

    yes, an unfortunate mangling of an important topic.

    What a shame.

    I might point out if we didn’t all react like that to people like ASS, perhaps we could have expanded this important topic into drawing some important new distinctions in some minds, but I don’t disagree with the need to have sent the cur back to his/her kennel.

    Anyway, my 3:50 gives my assessment of the ‘War on terror’ to date: what do others think? If you want to talk about 9/11 today that is.

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  103. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    Kiwi in America:

    for the exact same reason why the Germans bombed London or the Japanese bombed Singapore or Darwin – to demoralise the civilian population to put pressure on leaders to sue for peace.

    Exactly. Killing civilians to achieve victory was perfectly acceptable during WWII.

    I’m not going into the rights and wrongs of killing civilians to demoralise their country’s war effort.

    All I’m saying is what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    Bin Laden saw the US as waging war on his people, either directly (Iraq and troops in Saudi Arabia) or through its proxies (Israel).

    So the Muslims, because they are relatively weak militarily, choose ‘soft’ targets in order to terrorise the US into changing policy. Mainly in respect of its policy of supporting Israel.

    The Palestinians see themselves as having been invaded, in exactly the same way that Nazi Germany invaded other European countries. They lack the military might of the West and Israel.

    So they resort to terror tactics.

    There is absolutely no moral difference between the tactics of Palestinian ‘terroists’ and that of British and American terror bombing during WWII.

    Nagasaki could’ve been avoided had the Japanese unconditionally surrendered earlier. The US military had learned through their bloody and costly retaking of the various Pacific military outposts of the Japanese that a capture of the Japanese mainland would’ve resulted in massive loss of US life.

    We are not talking about Japanese culpability. We are all aware of Japanese atrocities in China and elsewhere in Asia.

    But that is not the point. We are discussing the US now. By any definition of the word, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were terroist acts of the first order. They were aimed at maximising civilian deaths and injury in order to force a change of policy of their government.

    Saying they were carried out in order to minimise military deaths does not change this point.

    If army A cannot defeat army B in man to man combat, does that justify killing the women and children of army B?

    Of course not. As even US Admiral Leahy said, that is “adoping an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages”.

    No different from the Sep 11 attacks really. Only killed about 300 times more people.

    The US made war on the Muslim people in the Middle East through its proxy Israel (and many other places around the world).

    On Sep 11 this war was brought to their own front step. And they did not like it one little bit.

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  104. reid (16,108 comments) says:

    ASS, piss off. This is not what the thread is about. It is about reality, not emotion. It happened. Has the US behaved effectively since then, is what this thread is about.

    Your lefty bleeding heart adds nothing to this discussion. No new dimension added thereby, to put it another way.

    I hope I don’t need to say it a third way.

    So change your contribution, or fuck off, one of the two (there is no third).

    P.S. I find your approach on this particular day and thread personally distasteful in the same way anyone not insane finds the Gween’s pwotest a few days after the real thing, distasteful. I forgive you and I don’t think you’re a bad person, but you are in my terms profoundly ignorant of geo-strategic thinking and tactical battlefield realities and I suggest you heavily educate yourself in those disciplines before re-engaging with us lest you suffer yet another shoot-down of biblical proportions such as you have indeed – yes you have – suffered today.

    Leave those of us who care about such profound matters to debate while you go and play with your own self somewhere else for none of us apparently are interested in any of your angles on anything.

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  105. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    The US military had learned through their bloody and costly retaking of the various Pacific military outposts of the Japanese that a capture of the Japanese mainland would’ve resulted in massive loss of US life.

    Yes. You agree. The atomic bombs were to save US soldiers from having to fight.

    The US preferred to kill the women and children of the Japanese soldiers they were fighting instead of go man to man with same soldiers.

    Most would call that cowardice.

    Both the Soviets and Communist Chinese, while both having fought staunchly against Japanese imperialism, were appalled by the use of atomic weapons against civilians.

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  106. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    but you are in my terms profoundly ignorant of geo-strategic thinking and tactical battlefield realities

    Wow! You must be something of an expert. Or are you simply a fantasist, one of those nutcases which exist in huge numbers on the far right.

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  107. hj (6,720 comments) says:

    9/11 and the Successful War
    By George Friedman
    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110905-911-and-successful-war

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  108. SHG (369 comments) says:

    I’ll never forget the morning of Sept 12. I was living in Sydney at the time, checked the news online before heading to work and found out the world had changed while I was asleep.

    The saddest thing about the Sept 11 attacks is that they were a total success. The planners, whoever they were, could never have dreamed that the plan would succeed as it did. Twenty young guys armed with nothing more than box-cutting knives and religious craziness dealt the USA a blow from which it will probably never recover.

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  109. adze (2,000 comments) says:

    Seeing on the CNN feed those planes go into the towers was deeply affecting for me, probably more than any other single news item. Not only because of its unparalleled in-your-face terror and callous use of civilian lives, but also because knowing who the POTUS was at the time, I couldn’t imagine the US responding without nuclear weapons. I thought World War 3 was about to begin. Some of the gallows humour circulating the emails days after the event reflected this feeling. But I remember being pleasantly surprised that Dubya showed initial restraint, instead sending a carrier battle group in to attack Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan.

    It’s true that the Taliban are not Al Qaeda. But they were openly hosting if not supporting the latter’s activities, so they could hardly complain if the US retaliated. I remember them cautioning the US at the time that they had already defeated one (ex-) Superpower – they evidently felt history would repeat and would result in the breakup of the US, just as the USSR had before it.
    I still think the removal of the Taliban regime was justified; they were a brutal regime with few if any redeeming features and were clearly supporting terrorist activities. But the invasion of Iraq was a completely different matter. That was an awful, costly endeavour, with spurious justification. It has severely damaged America’s “soft power” if not undermined their future prospects as the dominant global power.

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  110. dime (9,662 comments) says:

    LMAO

    yea, cause stalin wouldnt have used the bomb in ww2 if he had it.

    so in ASS’s world. the US should have invaded Japan. The jap soldiers would have met them on specific allocated “war areas”. no civilians would have been killed.

    the japs didnt even want to give up after the second bomb! their was almost a coup to keep fighting.

    the blood shed would have been unimaginable in the US had invaded.

    the nukes were the best option.

    as for saying bin laden isnt a terrorist because he used tactics from WW2 – remind me again who elected him? which country is he actually representing? or was he just a lunatic with a bank balance.

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  111. reid (16,108 comments) says:

    are you simply a fantasist

    ASS, read my 3:50 then come back to me on that.

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  112. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    as for saying bin laden isnt a terrorist because he used tactics from WW2 – remind me again who elected him? which country is he actually representing?

    ‘His’ people obviously are simply not just defined by the borders of the country he was born and raised in.

    Just like many here on kiwiblog support the US, because they see the US as a white christian nation, like they imagine NZ to be.

    the US should have invaded Japan. The jap soldiers would have met them on specific allocated “war areas”. no civilians would have been killed

    Japanese deaths did not factor into the calculations. The only consideration was avoiding a fight. The US lost 7000 troops on Iwo Jima. That freaked them into deciding it was better to kill a bunch of non-white women and children than fight their menfolk.

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  113. Scott Chris (5,974 comments) says:

    kia – ” for the exact same reason why the Germans bombed London or the Japanese bombed Singapore or Darwin – to demoralise the civilian population to put pressure on leaders to sue for peace.”

    You may be interested in this. I rate it as one of the most illuminating and well written biographies that I’ve read:

    American Prometheus : the triumph and tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer / Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin.

    It gives an incredible insight into that critical period of world history, the events surrounding the Manhattan Project, and the unprecedented and chilling use of atomic weapons on a country that, in Oppenheimer’s words, “was essentially defeated already”.

    Interesting too, how the McCarthy era has left its indelible imprint on the modern American psyche.

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  114. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    It’s true that the Taliban are not Al Qaeda. But they were openly hosting if not supporting the latter’s activities, so they could hardly complain if the US retaliated

    Replace ‘Taliban’ with ‘US’ and ‘Al Queda’ with’ Israel’ and US with ‘Al Queda’

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  115. dime (9,662 comments) says:

    “Japanese deaths did not factor into the calculations. The only consideration was avoiding a fight. The US lost 7000 troops on Iwo Jima. That freaked them into deciding it was better to kill a bunch of non-white women and children than fight their menfolk.”

    so say you were in charge of new zealand. we faced a situation like that.

    would you nuke our enemy? or would you let 100,000 or so kiwis die?

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  116. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    cause stalin wouldnt have used the bomb in ww2 if he had it

    What makes you say he would? Stalin is perhaps the most unjustly maligned figure in history.

    By and large, after victory, the Soviets treated the Germans far better than the Germans treated Soviet civilians during the war, and would have continued treating them if they had won.

    In fact if Germany had won, they would likely have killed off most of the Russians. Indeed the war on the Eastern front was a war of extermination (on the part of German troops).

    Whereas the Soviets, in the spirit of proletarian internationalism, simply imposed on the Germans the same system they already had for themselves.

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  117. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    “would you nuke our enemy? or would you let 100,000 or so kiwis die”

    If the enemy troops were about to overwhelm New Zealand and come marching in, the use of nukes would be understandable.

    That was far from the situation facing the US before they used those nukes.

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  118. adze (2,000 comments) says:

    Replace ‘Taliban’ with ‘US’ and ‘Al Queda’ with’ Israel’ and US with ‘Al Queda’

    I don’t endorse the US’s unqualified support of Israel, either.

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  119. reid (16,108 comments) says:

    Stalin is perhaps the most unjustly maligned figure in history.

    This is profound ignorance ASS.

    Very profound.

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  120. Griff (6,989 comments) says:

    Ass as I see “it”
    http://www.grimmemennesker.dk/ugly-people-468.htm

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  121. dime (9,662 comments) says:

    so teach, what language do you think youd be speaking right now if it wasnt for the US? thats if you were even born.

    as for your stalin comments lmao i think you may be here as a piss take. i hope so anyway.

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  122. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    Stalin is perhaps the most unjustly maligned figure in history.

    Try telling that to the 50 million or so people he killed.

    Oh, yeah, I’d save the 100,000 local soldiers and probably the same number of enemy soldiers and civilians.

    Did I mention Fuck Off ASS?

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  123. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    Maybe it’s time to Remove It Permanently.

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  124. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    Try telling that to the 50 million or so people he killed.

    Yeah….you must also believe in Santa Claus.

    If Stalin was so evil, then why is he still so popular among Russians now, as the Western media find ‘disturbing’.

    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/61367/sarah-e-mendelson-and-theodore-p-gerber/failing-the-stalin-test
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7802485.stm
    http://russiaprofile.org/politics/44897.html
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/the-big-question-why-is-stalin-still-popular-in-russia-despite-the-brutality-of-his-regime-827654.html

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  125. hj (6,720 comments) says:

    A Single Spark Says:

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki were pretty much deliberate murder of women and children.

    Because the cowardly US soldiers were too chickenshit to go man to man with Japanese soldiers.
    ………
    just what I would expect to here from the Peace Movement. :roll:
    (very much like Keith Locke applauding Anette Sykes comments)

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  126. DJP6-25 (1,308 comments) says:

    hj 7:10 pm. Don’t you mean piece movement?

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  127. big bruv (13,552 comments) says:

    Ass

    So you support terrorists?

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  128. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    ASS says “Hiroshima and Nagasaki were pretty much deliberate murder of women and children.”
    ASS is a troll and a cunt. Look up Nanking and see how the Japanese acted.

    We should be grateful to all those who helped our side win WW2. And we should despise arseholes who planned the 9/11 attacks.

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  129. tom hunter (4,563 comments) says:

    Hi Zhu Mao.

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  130. MT_Tinman (3,043 comments) says:

    ASS = the (banned) halfwit from Riverton?

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  131. Lance (2,557 comments) says:

    ASS fucked up a thread honoring good people murdered by pieces of shit and made it a left wing platform to spew forth his indoctrinated bile.
    Nobody likes you here
    Fuck off

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  132. Crusader (294 comments) says:

    A single NEURONE (44) Says:
    September 11th, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Stalin is perhaps the most unjustly maligned figure in history.

    ^^ utter ignorance

    Look, if all of us on this forum spent the rest of our lives “maligning” Stalin and did nothing else, we would not come close to doing that evil b@st@rd justice.

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  133. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Consider all the imperialist wars the US has been involved in blah blah blah and all the rest of the crap

    You’d think it was a troll, but let’s be honest, most of the Guardian writers think along the same line. Same old scum, ten years on. You ARE Seumas Milne and I claim my $10.

    If there is a single spark, it sure as hell isn’t in his head.

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  134. tom hunter (4,563 comments) says:

    The intention was to destroy the thread and unfortunately he succeeded. They’ll be plenty of other times to argue the whole Congocide and the rest at some later stage, for you know he’ll be back.

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  135. Chuck Bird (4,762 comments) says:

    “for you know he’ll be back ”

    How do you know it is a he? Annette Sykes spewed similar crap. I suppose using ASS’s logic she is innocent because she is female of sorts.

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  136. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    What an interesting thread.

    I’m so sorry I missed the fun!

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  137. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    And, ASS – are you 16 years old? Because your world view and your writing style are very similar to a 16 year old. I recall at that age I thought it was funny to visit alt.religion.nz on usenet, and show how clever I was.

    I remember the day I discovered that two of Kiwiblog’s most prolific and childish trolls were in their 40s. Before that day, I was as sure that people with such bad logic, grammar and manners were under 17 years old as I was that the earth rotates around the sun.

    Sadly in real life people someones have only bad choices. Grown ups know this.

    But not all people over 21 are grown up.

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  138. transmogrifier (522 comments) says:

    My heart goes out to all the friends and family who lost loved ones on September 11th.

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  139. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    Well Luc, of you want to suggest that the Nazis were just after cuddles and that WWII was ended so Truman could get back to his golf game you can feel free to do so.

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  140. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    When the protest arrived at Parliament we unfurled the flag from our balcony. It was so huge it needed half a dozen of us.

    Sadly it only got to stay up for a few minutes as some tosser from (off memory) Marian Hobbs’ office complained to the Speaker, and he sent security to make us take it down.

    It just occurred to me what this meant.

    At a time when even Iran was expressing sympathy for the US, the speaker of the house ordered a US flag removed?

    I suppose rules are rules, but that is particularly hard-ass given the circumstances I would have thought.

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  141. Aredhel777 (282 comments) says:

    “Stalin is perhaps the most unjustly maligned figure in history.”

    LOL.

    “If Stalin was so evil, then why is he still so popular among Russians now, as the Western media find ‘disturbing’.”

    You are so ignorant there really is no point responding.

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  142. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    My heart goes out to all the friends and family who lost loved ones on September 11th.

    I agree, and extend my sympathy to all the innocent people who cruelly and needlessly died since, and presently.

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  143. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Scrubone

    Hitler was involved in 9/11? That’s original!

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  144. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    Luc: Well, I have seen someone (I forget who, but I think it was a celebrity) suggest that 9/11 was a response to the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, the invasion that happened 2 years later.

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  145. Rich Prick (1,633 comments) says:

    At the hands of the “Religion of Peace”. And just remember the Pakistani’s were celebrating in the streets until they were asked not to. Fuck Islam. Over and out on this one. No leftie will ever convince me Islam is good.

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  146. Rich Prick (1,633 comments) says:

    I just feel sorry for that poor Kiwi who ended up with a custodial sentence for mailing some food to some of those who follow the goat-fucking prohfet. Now, there is a real injustice Sue Bradford and Keith Locke should protest over.

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  147. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    And just remember the Pakistani’s were celebrating in the streets until they were asked not to

    Rightly or wrongly, people tend not to really give a shit when a bully gets a bloody nose.

    But then perhaps we could all do better and try and turn the other cheek. But it is a hard ask for most people.

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  148. A single spark (46 comments) says:

    I suppose rules are rules, but that is particularly hard-ass given the circumstances I would have thought.

    Oh ffs! boo hoo. I’m sure Uncle Sam does not need our sympathy. They can handle it. After all they have been dishing out the same stuff in spades for how f#$*@(# long?

    No sympathy. No particular joy. Just utter indifference.

    No more moved than seeing a cockroach getting squashed.

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  149. kiwi in america (2,476 comments) says:

    When ASS disputed the cumulative casualty figure of those murdered by Stalin and his regime and said that he was one of the most unjustly maligned figures AND that his popularity in Russia today was some of the evidence of that it pretty much sums up his/her ideological and partisan leanings and thus his vehement anti American sentiment. Your views ASS are held by the 1% of the population who agree with everything John Minto and Annette Sykes say and believe.

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  150. Lance (2,557 comments) says:

    ASSwipe is a troll. Probably one of the worst to date
    Stop feeding it

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  151. tom hunter (4,563 comments) says:

    My memory of that day exists in two parts.

    I’d sent my wife and eldest son (all of four years old) off to Europe a couple of weeks earlier, while I stayed here with our two-year old daughter. We’d done this before but I’d never had such an awful feeling as they departed. A friend asked me why I was so down and I told him that I just had a dreadful feeling that “something” was going to happen – in Europe. When he said that this seemed “silly”, he pressed me on what I thought it might be, and I responded by talking about terrorists. After all, they’d hit Europe on many occasions and I pointed out that we’d not heard from Al Queda for a couple a years since the Cole attack. I said that I figured it would take them that long to plan and mount their next operation.

    After that day I worried less and dismissed the episode as departure guilt. I woke at 6am on Wednesday, the 12th of September to Morning Report as usual, to hear strange reports of Wall Street being closed and “damage to buildings”. My daughter had escaped her cot and cuddled in beside me as usual, so I drifted in and out of sleep before these increasingly strange snippets forced me to get up and switch on the TV. I watched for perhaps an hour but the demands of a child and a trip south later that day prevented me from sitting in front of the screen for very long. In any case the limitations of TV soon became apparent and I turned to the web, especially the newish “blog sites”, to keep track of things.

    My emotions were a mix of shock, anger – but also of terrible, guilty relief. It had happened in America, not Europe. My wife and son were safe, and would get home safely; I knew that the biggest security lockdown in history would be happening at every airport in the world. In the end they almost did not get out of Germany simply because they have different surnames: that’s how tough it got.

    It was also the day I began my final turn away from almost any aspect of the left-wing. I suppose I could be described as “centre-left” – I’d voted for Clark in 1999, but had also voted Labour in 1984 and 1987, which probably marked my first trespass into the dangerous world of the “right-wing”, although I’d never completely bought into the anti-nuclear stuff, even as I joyfully watched Lange take on Falwell. Moreover, I’d attended to much left-wing writing and thoughts on many issues, disagreeing perhaps only on occasion and only mildly. But I’d also lived in America for years, and found so much of what I’d thought of the place and it’s people to be bullshit – most of which had been disseminated by the left that I’d listened to.

    But now, as full-throated American hatred began to bloom I found myself revolted by the spectacle. For me it was less the usual nuts like the Greens, Minto, Locke and the rest and their very raw loathing. It was many of my old friends filling the space with “but”, that eternal marker of the point where moral clarity ends. They began emailing pieces filled with the now familiar far-left material we see from in this thread – and of course it grew worse as the months went by.

    I never bought the famous Le Monde line that We are all Americans Now. If the 9/11 attacks were an excuse for the Iraq war the latter was an excuse for millions of left-wingers, especially the so-called “centre-left” to take to the streets and give full throat to what they’d really wanted to say on 9/11, but which sympathy and politeness had restrained. Moroever, as long as America was willing to simply take the hits as some stoic victim they’d be acceptable, even admirable, to the left. But once they took up arms and struck back, it was business as usual. The reaction of the left made me see how little difference there was between them and the so-called “far left”. They made me vomit. They do to this day. Of all the writers and “thinkers” I’d been familiar with for twenty years only one surprised me by moving outside the echo chamber. That was Christopher Hitchens. When the question was later asked in a famous article -Can there be a decent left – I always think that Hitchens answered that question. But he was almost alone: sadly he still is.

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  152. Scott Chris (5,974 comments) says:

    Scubone – “I was as sure that people with such bad logic”

    ‘bad logic’ is bad logic.

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  153. Lance (2,557 comments) says:

    @ Tom Hunter
    Fine post, one of the best I have seen.
    Thank you

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  154. Scott Chris (5,974 comments) says:

    Lance – “ASSwipe is a troll. Probably one of the worst to date”

    I suppose a Troll is defined by how people react to it. That would imply that those who react to digressive provocation are complicit in the event itself, and are therefore co-trolls.

    Personally, I don’t believe in trolls, except for the one hiding in your cupboard.

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  155. tom hunter (4,563 comments) says:

    Lance – thanks. I’d read the PA thread on the subject and seen what memories could unfold when trolls were not present or ignored, so thought I would add mine here. I hope others do to because for NZ it is actually today that marks a decade for them.

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  156. tas (596 comments) says:

    I think we should ignore ASS and any response to him. The 9/11 attacks were wrong and a response was justified and needed. I really have no interest in “debating” that fact.

    However, I would like to hear more memories and opinions about the war on terror. Here’s my two cents:

    The invasion of Afghanistan and and intelligence operations in Pakistan and elsewhere are successful and well-justified. They have put pressure on al Qaeda and hindered their ability to orchestrate highly organised attacks, which was the original goal. Moreover, the invasion is entirely justifiable; the Taliban were evil. However, the cost of the war is very high and al Qaeda have switched from terrorising civilians in the US to to terrorising military personnel in Afghanistan, which makes the victory questionable.

    Iraq is a distraction. It has nothing to do with the war on terror. Let’s not go off on a tangent with that.

    The Department of Homeland Security is an unmitigated disaster. It has done absolutely nothing to counter terrorism, yet it has created a gigantic bureaucracy and grossly violated civil liberties. I have to deal with them every time I go between NZ and the US. I really hate them. They are bullies and I can easily think of 10 ways to bypass their security measures. After a trip I complained to a friend that the TSA were futile; terrorists could just go for other targets, such as setting off a car bomb in times square. Lo and behold, a few months later they tried it!

    Guantanamo bay is an embarrassment. Wikileaks revealed that it is a witch hunt. There are no trials, because there is no evidence. Indeed the government concedes that *some* inmates are probably innocent. Ultimately, it is an affront to every human right since the Magna Carta and I don’t think it delivers significant benefit.

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  157. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    I am glad someone mentioned the people in SEAsia in relation to Asses rant re the Japanese. These people lived thru unimaginable horrors at the hands of the Japanese generals. Think Burma railway etc. I met survivors of this in Wgtn years ago..think starvation , the rape of 12 yr old girls etc…
    I was in Malaysia at the time of the attacks so hardly saw anything about it in the papers or on TV;it was only a year later that I saw a documentary and was so shocked. RIP the victims.

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  158. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “Rightly or wrongly, people tend not to really give a shit when a bully gets a bloody nose.”

    A bloody nose?

    Three thousand dead is a bloody nose?

    The little girl who saw her dad jumping from the towers so he would burn is a bloody nose?

    What a sick puppy you are.

    “I am glad someone mentioned the people in SEAsia in relation to Asses rant re the Japanese.”

    The rape of Nanking was one of the most horrific atrocities ever commited. That act alone rendered the Japanese morally liable for both atomic bombs.

    Ass’s sick hatred is matched only by his historical ignorance.

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  159. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    For those that may not know, Ass’s name ( a single spark) is a phrase used by Mao Zedong :http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_6.htm

    He may be connected to this lot: http://workersparty.org.nz/ whos newspaper is called The Spark.

    So Ass, while whining about the USA, is a promoter of the most murderous, genocidal ideology the world has ever known.

    So sad that sickos like him think it ok to spit on the memories of the people and firemen who died on 911.

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  160. aitkenmike (94 comments) says:

    @ Tas. Very well put, and I agree completely. The only slight change is that I would say Guantamo Bay is a disgrace, rather than an embarrassment.

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  161. tom hunter (4,563 comments) says:

    If one wants to see how not to remember the event, take a look at Steyn’s nailing the issue as usual:

    There followed a sound bite of a lady explaining that she would be paying tribute by going and cleaning up an area of the beach.

    Great! Who could object to that? Anything else? Well, another lady pledged that she “will continue to discuss anti-bullying tactics with my grandson.”

    Marvelous. Because studies show that many middle-school bullies graduate to hijacking passenger jets and flying them into tall buildings?

    Apparently the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a “9/11 Peace Story Quilt”, while in New Jersey, middle-schoolers will mark the anniversary with a special 9/11 curriculum that will “analyze diversity and prejudice in U.S. history.”. He also notes that another gallery will feature Yoko Ono’s “Wish Tree”, where one can hang messages for peace. As Steyn puts it, no dreary, literal art of planes hitting skyscrapers or people plunging from tall buildings – it’s still too soon.

    Even so, I find this part of his article a little hard to believe; could “Republican mayor” Bloomberg really be this callous:

    What’s missing from these commemorations?

    Firemen?

    Oh, please. There are some pieces of the puzzle we have to leave out. As Mayor Bloomberg’s office has patiently explained, there’s “not enough room” at the official Ground Zero commemoration to accommodate any firemen. “Which is kind of weird,” wrote the Canadian blogger Kathy Shaidle, “since 343 of them managed to fit into the exact same space ten years ago.”

    I think those left-wingers who attack the godforsaken Department of Homeland Security might be surprised at how many right-wingers also think it’s crap. Presented with a chance to completely rebuild the moribund, Cold War, “intelligence” agencies and the rest, Bush chose the “moderate centrist” route of piling another layer of bureaucracy over the top of all of them. As the article points out, the day that the multi-billion Federal bureaucracies like the CIA, NSA, FBI, DIA, INS failed, was the day when unglamorous local government like the NYFD worked, as well as the free citizens of Flight 93. In both cases the memorials are still not finished a decade later.

    And so we commemorate an act of war as a “tragic event,” and we retreat to equivocation, cultural self-loathing, and utterly fraudulent misrepresentation about the events of the day.

    In the weeks after 9/11, Americans were enjoined to ask, “Why do they hate us?” A better question is: “Why do they despise us?” And the quickest way to figure out the answer is to visit the Peace Quilt and the Wish Tree, the Crescent of Embrace and the Hole of Bureaucratic Inertia.

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  162. gopolks (102 comments) says:

    Thoughts and wishes to those who lost loved ones and are affected by this horribler event.

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  163. BlairM (2,305 comments) says:

    The battle spurred by 9/11 is essentially a battle between freedom, democracy and human rights, versus Islamic fundamentalist jihadism.

    There can be no compromise with the latter. It must be eradicated. And if civilians die in the effort, that is unfortunate, but a sad reality of the battle.

    I couldn’t give a flying fuck how many of these arseholes American soldiers have killed. I hope it’s a lot. The moral difference between us and them is vast. And if you don’t believe me, ask yourself: Would you rather be a Muslim in America, or a Christian in Iran? The answer is all you will ever need to justify a few invasions here and there so that future generations don’t have to put up with this crap.

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  164. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    9/11 Memorial

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  165. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    MNIJ,
    Sic. Very very sick. Get a life.

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  166. RRM (9,639 comments) says:

    I do like the huge waterfall thing they’ve built at ground zero. that, and the video on Youtube with Jeff Buckley’s cover of Hallelujah over some 2001 era home movies of the WTC, are still pretty much the ONLY tasteful and respectful responses to the loss that I’ve seen.

    While “the US deserved it” type comments are highly distasteful, the contrary viewpoint does itself little credit with all the sound bytes they have generated:

    God bless America!

    War on Terror!

    Durka durka Mohammed Jihad!

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  167. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Lee, first, I didn’t create the image, I simply linked to it.

    Second, it is a very accurate portrayal of the last 10 years in the US.

    Bin Laden succeeded in bringing the US economy to its knees, seeing freedoms destroyed and engaging the US in its longest and least winnable war.

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  168. Dazzaman (1,131 comments) says:

    One of 3 of those “remember like it was yesterday” events.

    9/11; the death of Elvis; & the death of Diana.

    Tragic event & a sad day for Americans especially.

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  169. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “Lee, first, I didn’t create the image, I simply linked to it”

    And again I say, sick, very sick. YOUR promoting it.

    “Second, it is a very accurate portrayal of the last 10 years in the US”

    Hardly.

    “Bin Laden succeeded in bringing the US economy to its knees”

    Not really. The economy was in trouble prior to 911 when the dot com bubble burst.

    “seeing freedoms destroyed”

    Freedoms were not “destroyed”. Typical left win hyperbole. The Patriot Act gave the US government no more power than what the NZ government had at the time.

    “engaging the US in its longest and least winnable war.”

    Long yes, but certainly winnable. Where is bin Laden now?

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  170. Mike Readman (361 comments) says:

    I have a few things to say to you USA:

    How’s Afghanistan going for you?

    How’s Iraq going for you?

    How’s the economy going for you?

    How’s the balance sheet going for you?

    How’s the level of freedom going for you? TSA etc.

    Why didn’t you actually declare war on Afghanistan and Iraq instead of just going over there boots and all? Isn’t that the normal way of doing things?

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  171. chiz (1,131 comments) says:

    chiz:Unfortunately it turned that this option wasn’t sustainable in the long run. It led to ~3000 dead people in NY and it was crumbling. It probably only had a year or two (or three) left.

    Ryan Sproull:What?! 3000 dead people in NY was due to Al Qaeda, not Saddam Hussein!

    Yes and I’ve never said otherwise. The point is that Al Qaeda attacked NY because of the troops in Saudi Arabia. Those troops were there because of the decision to leave Saddam in power after the first Gulf War and contain him. They had two options for dealing with him – remove him or leave him in power and they thought the latter was the lesser of two evils. They never realised that it would turn out to be so unworkable, or that it would lead to something like 9/11.

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  172. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    Afghanistan was because of the attacks.

    Iraq was because of the paradigm shift.

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