1. #2261
    Merely a Setback cubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mormolyce View Post
    Not the NSA, the National Security Adviser. Political position, so he's almost certainly a cardboard yes man.

    Reality is, the US committed a tactical blunder that eroded its position in the Middle East, and united its enemies against it. I look forward to the next generation of Jihadis growing up on stories of this assassination as well...
    But those Jihadis will grow up on some story, whether true or not. You seem to think what the US does matters to the Wahadi's raising the next generation of suicide bombers. They will get their crop regardless of what the US and other foreign nations do or not.

    Taking out the General takes a very bad guy off the board. That is a good thing.
    No one is above the law!

  2. #2262
    Quote Originally Posted by Mormolyce View Post
    Reality is, the US committed a tactical blunder that eroded its position in the Middle East, and united its enemies against it. I look forward to the next generation of Jihadis growing up on stories of this assassination as well...
    As usual we get a load of this nonsense any time the US takes out a big bad guy.

    It's rubbish.

    The US has been killing terrorists and their supporters/backers for years in the Middle East. Wasn't was just reduced to a shadow of itself through luck, it was because the Coalition arrayed against them killed en-masse. Tens of thousands of fighters, financial backers, leaders. The US kept targeting the top IS leadership and it worked to reduce them to nothing.
    "Life is one long series of problems to solve. The more you solve, the better a man you become.... Tribulations spawn in life and over and over again we must stand our ground and face them."

    Retired <Dreamstate> Gehennas

  3. #2263
    Quote Originally Posted by cubby View Post
    Taking out the General takes a very bad guy off the board. That is a good thing.
    How do you figure? we have stopped ISIS operations, we have had to do a troops surge in the ME, the moderates are bound to lose the election and any semblance of power in Iran, Iraq wants to kicks us out but we're now blackmailing them. We've violated an international norm which protects our people as well so much for our anti assassination stance when the Russians do it in Europe. Solemani's replacement is basically a clone who has worked with him for decades and this turn of events has also cost the lives of 176 innocent people.

    You are basically saying killing this one guy is worth all the shit that has come down the fan and that Trump did the right thing.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by CostinR View Post
    The US kept targeting the top IS leadership and it worked to reduce them to nothing.
    Iran is not ISIS and for people you say are reduced to nothing Turkey seem to have no problem finding and using them to do their dirty work. You can't just get rid of an ideology by killing people you only create more of them. And thinking you can bomb your way into the hearts and minds of the Iranian people is just bat shit crazy.

  4. #2264
    The Unstoppable Force CommunismWillWin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draco-Onis View Post
    How do you figure? we have stopped ISIS operations, we have had to do a troops surge in the ME, the moderates are bound to lose the election and any semblance of power in Iran, Iraq wants to kicks us out but we're now blackmailing them. We've violated an international norm which protects our people as well so much for our anti assassination stance when the Russians do it in Europe. Solemani's replacement is basically a clone who has worked with him for decades and this turn of events has also cost the lives of 176 innocent people.

    You are basically saying killing this one guy is worth all the shit that has come down the fan and that Trump did the right thing.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Iran is not ISIS and for people you say are reduced to nothing Turkey seem to have no problem finding and using them to do their dirty work. You can't just get rid of an ideology by killing people you only create more of them. And thinking you can bomb your way into the hearts and minds of the Iranian people is just bat shit crazy.
    They, the US, even killed one of the top generals fighting against ISIS, its clear they dont care.
    Conservatism and its off-shoots are the most rotten idealogies to ever exist in human history.
    Anarcho-communism =/ Stalinism.
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  5. #2265
    Quote Originally Posted by Draco-Onis View Post
    Iran is not ISIS and for people you say are reduced to nothing Turkey seem to have no problem finding and using them to do their dirty work. You can't just get rid of an ideology by killing people you only create more of them. And thinking you can bomb your way into the hearts and minds of the Iranian people is just bat shit crazy.
    Yet you can prevent the proxy groups that Iran controls from having power. That's the thing. This isn't a direct war where Iranian troops are fighting against the US. Iranian backed terror groups/militias are fighting the United States. They aren't created out of thin air. They have financial backers, resources poured into them and organization being provided.

    That's what Soleimani provided. To say that removing him doesn't have an impact, if not worse the nonsense that you create more of them, it's pure ridiculousness that flies in the face of what's been going on the ground. By your logic all the effort that went into wiping out ISIS was for nothing, but that is fundamental untrue. From a group that had a veritable army numbering in the tens of thousands on fighters equipped with tanks, APCs and artillery there's probably only a few thousand of them world wide fighting largely as a guerrila force as light infantry.

    Killing terrorists, removes terrorists. It's that plain and simple.

    One of the worst legacies of the Obama presidency is the perception that was created that US would bend over backwards when dealing with it's adversaries. Hence Syria, one of the bloodiest wars in decades with the worst refugee crisis since WW2, the rise of ISIS, Crimea, Donbass, the South China Sea Islands and North Korea.

    That's the price, and historians decades from now who won't have their views colored by the politics of today will look down at the Obama presidency as one of the worst periods of American foreign policy...since probably Jimmy Carter, and Carter actually has a noteworthy legacy having secured peace between Israel and Egypt.
    Last edited by CostinR; 2020-01-12 at 01:08 PM.
    "Life is one long series of problems to solve. The more you solve, the better a man you become.... Tribulations spawn in life and over and over again we must stand our ground and face them."

    Retired <Dreamstate> Gehennas

  6. #2266
    Quote Originally Posted by CostinR View Post
    Yet you can prevent the proxy groups that Iran controls from having power. That's the thing. This isn't a direct war where Iranian troops are fighting against the US. Iranian backed terror groups/militias are fighting the United States. They aren't created out of thin air. They have financial backers, resources poured into them and organization being provided.

    That's what Soleimani provided. To say that removing him doesn't have an impact, if not worse the nonsense that you create more of them, it's pure ridiculousness that flies in the face of what's been going on the ground. By your logic all the effort that went into wiping out ISIS was for nothing, but that is fundamental untrue. From a group that had a veritable army numbering in the tens of thousands on fighters equipped with tanks, APCs and artillery there's probably only a few thousand of them world wide fighting largely as a guerrila force as light infantry.
    Dude those tanks APCS and artillery were provided for by the US government, in the grand scheme of things killing Soleimani did nothing because the framework on how Iran operates has been in place for decades. You basically killed the architect after the building has been erected.

    Killing terrorists, removes terrorists. It's that plain and simple.
    Not that's grade school level thinking because there is such a thing as collateral damage, remember we went into this to defeat Al-Qeda now we are fighting multiple terrorists groups that have spawned from that one organization and are no closer to defeating them. It has all been for nothing we keep making things worse, we tried to meddled with Iran decades ago and that has led up to this. We went after Iraq leading Iran to get more powerful, it's a trillion dollar wack a mole with no end in sight in a sea of blood, death and destruction.

    We have been at this for decades now it's proof you can't bomb your way out of this.

  7. #2267
    Quote Originally Posted by Draco-Onis View Post
    Dude those tanks APCS and artillery were provided for by the US government, in the grand scheme of things killing Soleimani did nothing because the framework on how Iran operates has been in place for decades. You basically killed the architect after the building has been erected.
    You mean they were provided to Iraq, who because the US withdrew in a badly made decision was left divided and weak and unable to cope with a few thousand fighters on their own. A rather humiliating episode for the US foreign policy right there, but the handling of Iraq after the invasion has been one debacle after another with the only bright spot being between the surge and the withdrawal.

    We have been at this for decades now it's proof you can't bomb your way out of this.
    Oh yes you can, as long as you have a clear solid achievable goal in mind and the means to do it. The problem with US policy in the mid east isn't that they've killed a lot of people, it's that they didn't consider for a long time how to handle the region. That there was no clear cut goal in mind that could be realistically achieved.

    Here the goal seems rather straightforward: Prevent Iran from attacking US assets in the region via their proxies, because they'll pay for it.

    The Obama administration, after years of disastrous policies, came to the conclusion that the US should not even bother trying to change the nature of Middle Eastern Governments, but what they can do ( and did ) is to ensure that groups like ISIS are not a real large scale threat. That they are contained and controlled.
    Last edited by CostinR; 2020-01-12 at 01:20 PM.
    "Life is one long series of problems to solve. The more you solve, the better a man you become.... Tribulations spawn in life and over and over again we must stand our ground and face them."

    Retired <Dreamstate> Gehennas

  8. #2268
    Quote Originally Posted by CostinR View Post
    You mean they were provided to Iraq, who because the US withdrew in a badly made decision was left divided and weak and unable to cope with a few thousand fighters on their own. A rather humiliating episode for the US foreign policy right there, but the handling of Iraq after the invasion has been one debacle after another with the only bright spot being between the surge and the withdrawal.



    Oh yes you can, as long as you have a clear solid achievable goal in mind and the means to do it. The problem with US policy in the mid east isn't that they've killed a lot of people, it's that they didn't consider for a long time how to handle the region. That there was no clear cut goal in mind that could be realistically achieved.

    Here the goal seems rather straightforward: Prevent Iran from attacking US assets in the region via their proxies, because they'll pay for it.

    The Obama administration, after years of disastrous policies, came to the conclusion that the US should not even bother trying to change the nature of Middle Eastern Governments, but what they can do ( and did ) is to ensure that groups like ISIS are not a real large scale threat. That they are contained and controlled.
    Let's keep in mind where we started getting the people who did 9/11, terrorists hiding in caves. Here's where we are now Al-Qeda has now grown to occupying land in the ME, we have to keep iSIS in check because they are worse than them and the Taliban are about to have free reign because it's obvious we can't win Afghanistan. Our goal right now should be to stop fucking shit up but as long as there are people like Mike Pompeo in spheres of power our policy will remain a mess.

  9. #2269
    Quote Originally Posted by Breccia View Post
    @Skroe do you agree with Trump's NSA that the Iranians are more likely to negotiate now that Trump assassinated an Iranian general?

    If "yes" please explain, because that doesn't sound right to me.
    Well first, it's not Trump's NSA. It's our NSA. The United States' National Security Agency. All calling it "Trump's NSA" will do is legitimize the next Eddie Snowden, which will play right into Russia and China's hands. No one profited more than his stunt than those two countries. America's SIGINT capability has long been among our greatest strategic advantages, going back to World War II. Perhaps no other single type of advantage else has made as great a difference as it has. Snowden's pointless stunt - years later, we see how pointless - damaged the NSA and allowed our adversaries to try and close the gap. Who knows how much they managed it. But the NSA is unequivocally one of the goodest-good guys in the country and calling them "Trump's NSA" will only make it okay the next Eddie Snowden leaks something that shouldnt be in the name of going after Trump.

    With that being said, I'm not sure I can make an informed opinion to agree or disagree. It wouldn't be surprising if elements of the Iranian regime, like many autocratic states in times of trouble, look to negotiations as a pressure release valve as a means of regime survival. It also wouldn't be surprising if he White House were playing up such a potential avenue from an NSA analysis (which might be one of many perspectives) in order to validate the "Maximum Pressure" approach as having broken Iranian resistance (and there is amble historical precedent for that happening too). This would be far from the first White House to pick and choose intelligence. Last four have all done that as to that, particularly the last three.

    The fundamental problem is that the United States and Iran want completely different things in the Middle East.

    Iran want's to be the regional hegemon, turn the Gulf into an Iranian lake and push back against their hated Saudi rivals. In the perfect Iranian world, Iran is an ally of Turkey and Syria (and all on the same page), with Iraq and Lebanon under suzerainty, the Gulf Arabs having largely cordial relations, and Saudi Arabia largely isolated. From there, it would try and collapse the Saudi Royal Family and stage attacks on Israel. It would also likely advance Shiite interests in Jordan/Palestine over Sunni interests. It would best do this by gaining nuclear weapons capability and ever better ballistic missiles.

    The US on the other hand wants to maintain a balance in the region between the Saudi-Arab alliance and Iran. Keeping both out of a major and prevent nuclear and ballistic missile proliferation in the region. It needs to keep all players in the region reliant on US or Russian support for military capability in order to limit the legs any country could have in a war. This is to prevent a recurrence of various scenarios, such as another Six Day War-type conflict, another Yom Kippur-type conflict or another Iran-Iraq conflict, all of which would be destabilizing. The better the balance, and the fewer independent weapons capability, the more stable the region. Also throw in protection of Israel and counter terrorism.

    It's hard to see what a final settlement would look like between the US and Iran. Iran's agenda is unacceptable to the entire region. It would provoke a major war with the Saudi Arab alliance, regardless of the US position or not. It has to be coaxed to give it up. But it's also probably impossible to do so. If the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), one of the three pillars of the Iranian system, isn't out doing the kinds of stuff it is doing now, what would it be doing?

    Normalizing US-Iranian relations unilaterally won't do anything. Trading normally won't do anything. Apologizing for everything under the sun on our part won't do anything. The fact is, Iran, like Russia and China and the United States, has a powerful national myth, and are in a position (of sorts) to execute the policy to advance that national myth. What's Russia's? That Russians are a people of destiny who for historic and cultural reasons entitled to a great empire in Eurasia stretching from Central Europe to the Bering sea, and that it should be hegemonic in this domain, and the greatest power in Eurasia. What's Iran's? That the ancient and great culture of Iran, one of the oldest civilizations in the world, is entitled to its historic dominance of West Asia and the Levant. That it is the only legitimate modern religious successor state to Mohammed's caliphate, certainly more so than the Sunni Turks and the Sunni House of Saud. That it should be hegemonic in a region stretching from the border of Pakistan to the Mediterranean, and maybe even deep into North Africa. And that more than the Sauds, who were nothing until the early 20 century, primacy in the Islamic World is theirs.

    And we've talked about the China National myth, wherein every island on earth evidently is historic Chinese territory, Sacred and indivisible since ancient times.

    This is what imperialism in the 21st century looks like in a sense. Russia and the US in a sense was a pioneer of this in the 19th century. The UK, the French, the Italians and the Germans could scarcely dominate Europe - they all live there - so they created the Imperialism we think of... conquering lands of far flung peoples and cultures on different continents. But while they were doing that, the US expanded westward and ensured to the south was a pliant Mexico that would never be a threat, and Europe would stay out of the Americas. And simultaneously Russia expanded eastward, and made sure its neighbors were being pliant.

    In a sense, Russia, Iran, North Korea and China all want the same thing (though grander for China). They want extraordinarily weak neighbors and regional dominance. Regional empires in a sense. How can you talk a country out of that? You can't. Americans have tried with Russia and China for 25 years and the thing Americans have an incredibly hard time just accepting is that to these countries, the benefits of being a regional hegemon far outweigh the benefits of being a "productive stakeholder in the international and regional system". Americans are somehow surprised that Russia and China and Iran and North Korea are willing to take economic lumps to advance their geopolitical agenda. They shouldn't be. It's a very modern American viewpoint to think money and the public good outweigh power.

    So in summary, I wouldn't be surprised if some people in Iran's leadership who have wanted there to be an opening might force one open now. But I doubt it'll take, because Iran's goals, should they be achieved, will bring it far, far more than normalization with us will ever get them. So why should they give it up? They would be insane to.

  10. #2270
    The Insane PACOX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skroe View Post
    Well first, it's not Trump's NSA. It's our NSA. The United States' National Security Agency. All calling it "Trump's NSA" will do is legitimize the next Eddie Snowden,
    NSA as in National Security Advisor.

  11. #2271
    The Unstoppable Force Breccia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skroe View Post
    Well first, it's not Trump's NSA. It's our NSA.
    As @PACOX and others have pointed out, I screwed up and should have typed out "National Security Advisor" to make it more clear without having to click the link first.

    As always, thanks for the in-depth analysis.

    No-one is above the law.

  12. #2272
    Quote Originally Posted by Draco-Onis View Post
    Let's keep in mind where we started getting the people who did 9/11, terrorists hiding in caves. Here's where we are now Al-Qeda has now grown to occupying land in the ME, we have to keep iSIS in check because they are worse than them and the Taliban are about to have free reign because it's obvious we can't win Afghanistan. Our goal right now should be to stop fucking shit up but as long as there are people like Mike Pompeo in spheres of power our policy will remain a mess.
    US actions in the Middle East since the 1980s are the least of the Middle East's issues. The core issue is lack of development, democracy and opportunity for a growing population of young men in particular, often single, who are bored and frustrated.

    This is not a new story. Marginalized and bored men of fighting age have been destabilizing in one part of the world or another for thousands of years. In our own society, we manage it by structured education until 17 or 18, and then moving (either immediately or after higher education) into an economically productive career where the individual is self sufficient, feeling fulfillment and leading a fairly structured life. It forces a routine that acts as a constraint for a large portion of men of fighting age in a society. They wake up, go to work at 8 or 9, come home at 5 or 6. Eat. Do hobbies. Sleep. Repeat. Family and gaining "things to lose", add additional constraints on extremist behavior and promote an extremely conservative mode of living (conservative in the sense of minimal deviation).

    And we have seen in our own society when a modest contraction of GDP growth for a prolonged period and changing economy upends those long-held societal promises. What happens? There is disruption. A flare of extremism. It doesn't take much. A world where there was no great recession likely doesn't have President Trump or the alt-right in it.

    There is no fundamental difference between the 16-39 year old Westerner with few opportunities who is radicalized by a hard right wing YouTuber and then goes to join the Alt Right or some Nazi group, and some Muslim guy with few opportunities who joins a militant group after being hooked in by a charismatic religious speaker. The exact ideoloy is different but the process of moving towards an extremist position (relative to the mainstream of their society) on the backs of a charismatic person giving a simple explanation for why their personal problems exist (and usually blaming someone for it), is exactly the same.

    The US could pull its forces from the Middle East and abandon it to its fate - something I think we should somewhat do to one degree or another. But it wouldn't change anything. The US could never have gotten involved, and it wouldn't have changed anything. Until greater opportunity opens to these people in a sustainable fashion, change will not come.

    You want a static? Watch Youth Unemployment.
    http://web.worldbank.org/archive/web...B/0__C-301.HTM
    https://www.brookings.edu/research/y...the-challenge/
    Youth unemployment rates in MENA, at 21 percent in the Middle East and 25 percent in North Africa, are higher than any other region in the world.

    University graduates make up nearly 30 percent of unemployed in MENA.

  13. #2273
    Quote Originally Posted by Breccia View Post
    As @PACOX and others have pointed out, I screwed up and should have typed out "National Security Advisor" to make it more clear without having to click the link first.
    I don't think it is a screw up on your part to expect people to do something as basic as actually click the link.
    Often updated... ?

  14. #2274
    Quote Originally Posted by Breccia View Post
    As @PACOX and others have pointed out, I screwed up and should have typed out "National Security Advisor" to make it more clear without having to click the link first.

    As always, thanks for the in-depth analysis.
    I would never trust anything anyone in the White House has to say on a national security topic. The Trump White House has zero credibility on anything it considers an initiative. This. It's North Korea... whatever it is... scheme. It's China mess. These people are generally idiots and terrible at everything and can only justify their continued occupation by making up fairy tales where up is down and rain is sunshine. So when someone in the White House says something good comes from their Iran policies and actions, don't listen to it.

    If something works out - like deterrence did here (too bad, doubters) - wait for 3rd party expert opinion.

    And besides, in this case it's kind of academic. A settlement of differences with Iran would require the US Foreign Policy All Star Team. The best of the past 40 years. Better than the idiot crew fishing a Nobel Peace Prize Obama had negotiate the "ignore the ballistic missile problem" Iran Deal and certainly better than the not-fit-to-argue-a-high-school-debate-team group they have in the Trump Administration. So even if an opening is created, there is no way Trump's team would know what to do with it. They aren't capable.

    But then again, maybe the last President who had such a team was Bill Clinton. Trump's people don't know their asshole from their mouths. Obama's 2nd term people people's default position was to give away the farm out of a misplaced sense of being a global citizen whose principle job was to keep the US from being too strong (first term was fine). And Bush's people were more concerned with terrorist phantoms and low scale threats wherever they lie than US strategic interests.

    Is it any wonder nearly every Cold War Treaty has collapsed, NewSTART is on its way out, the Doha Round of the WTO is frozen after nearly 20 years of work, and TPP and TTIP were so hard? I think it isn't. I think the year turned to 2000 and we suddenly became terrible at diplomacy, and White Houses stopped listening to the experts who knew a thing or two.

    I'll tell you what: if the next Democrat's Secretary of State is some fucking Senator, head for the hills. We need a modern day George Shultz or James Baker or Madeleine Albright. It's a shame Rex Tillerson wasn't up to the task.

  15. #2275
    Old God Grimbold21's Avatar
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    What's happening this time? Another attack?

    Can you guys please stop?

    There's another attack reported on a base with american personnel in Iraq

  16. #2276
    Merely a Setback cubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draco-Onis View Post
    How do you figure? we have stopped ISIS operations, we have had to do a troops surge in the ME, the moderates are bound to lose the election and any semblance of power in Iran, Iraq wants to kicks us out but we're now blackmailing them. We've violated an international norm which protects our people as well so much for our anti assassination stance when the Russians do it in Europe. Solemani's replacement is basically a clone who has worked with him for decades and this turn of events has also cost the lives of 176 innocent people.

    You are basically saying killing this one guy is worth all the shit that has come down the fan and that Trump did the right thing.
    You're talking about elections in Iran? Really?

    If the clone is the same guy, maybe he'll think twice about ordering attacks on foreign countries.

    I can't even believe you think the assassination of someone who directly attacked us is even remotely related to what Russia does in Europe.

    We aren't responsible for shitty people who react badly to good policies. How many Embassy attacks do we sit on our hands before we do something? If you recall, as well, sinking an Iranian ship and bombing a training camp were also on the target list - what's the difference?
    No one is above the law!

  17. #2277
    Old God I Push Buttons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimbold21 View Post
    What's happening this time? Another attack?

    Can you guys please stop?

    There's another attack reported on a base with american personnel in Iraq
    There have been a multitude of attacks from Iranian-backed militias for months.

  18. #2278
    Merely a Setback cubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimbold21 View Post
    What's happening this time? Another attack?

    Can you guys please stop?

    There's another attack reported on a base with american personnel in Iraq
    I'm not seeing it on news yet - can you link reports?
    No one is above the law!

  19. #2279
    Old God Grimbold21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubby View Post
    I'm not seeing it on news yet - can you link reports?
    https://expresso.pt/internacional/20...anos-no-Iraque

    It's portuguese news

    Basically the first paragraph reads: This sunday several missiles hit a military base in Iraq where there are american military. The information was forwarded by France Presse who cites military sources which account for the firing of already 4 missiles. Reuters also mentions that this base has been hit by 7 mortars.

    Edit: I assume this is the Reuters' piece cited https://www.reuters.com/article/us-i...KBN1ZB0I0?il=0

  20. #2280
    Merely a Setback cubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimbold21 View Post
    https://expresso.pt/internacional/20...anos-no-Iraque

    It's portuguese news

    Basically the first paragraph reads: This sunday several missiles hit a military base in Iraq where there are american military. The information was forwarded by France Presse who cites military sources which account for the firing of already 4 missiles. Reuters also mentions that this base has been hit by 7 mortars.

    Edit: I assume this is the Reuters' piece cited https://www.reuters.com/article/us-i...KBN1ZB0I0?il=0
    Ah, thank you. I wonder if this is more of the same or an increase in attacks since the General's assassination.
    No one is above the law!

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