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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 6:49 pm 
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I guess the big question here is: Is the military going south or is it just getting that much more wiser? Watching what is happening over Iraq is like pulling teeth these days. We can argue until the cows come home weather or not we should be there, but there is some certainly some solid facts that just are:

(1) we are still there
(2) men are getting killed daily
(3) we are being widely criticized by the press regarding our treatment of prisoners, and noone is denying it
(4) desertions are getting press
(5) soldiers are openly criticizing the administration due to the lack of equipment to their length of service
(6) a group of soldiers are going to court to stop the administration from lengthening their tours
(7) there is going to be another increase of "men in country"
(8) the military is calling up officers who have already been discharged such as the 50+ year-old woman sharpshooter I just heard about
(9) no numbers, but I heard on the radio that recruitment is down again
(10)from my perspective of a high school teacher, kids are really concerned that the draft will be reinstituted

Now this is just off the top of my head. This all came to mind as I watched Donald Rumsfeld do his tap dance to the soldier's questions the other day. I can't remember back when soldiers were so blunt to their commanders even if they had a legitimat point. It sounds like the military is losing their grip on surpressing the troop's opinion (whether that is a good thing or a bad thing, I don't know).

I don't have any answers and I'm not looking for the ever spirited debate on whether or not Bush is right or wrong for being in Iraq as we have heard all the arguments for and against by now. I'm simply looking at the apparent evolution of our military.

Comments?

mike


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:09 pm 
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Hi, Mike! I was just thinking the other day that it's been a long time since we've seen you. Hope the election crap wasn't too frustrating for you.

Mike wrote:
we are still there

Indeed. And we absolutely need to stay there for a while.

First order of business is for elections to happen ON TIME no matter what. The major Shiite cleric leader stated it as his most important wish if he was going to cooperate with the U.S. And he has a right to demand that. Self representation is the thing that the vast majority of Iraqis want and deserve. And self representation (without Islamofascism or Baathist rule) is the last thing in the world the former regime members, the outsiders, and the other insurgents want. This is why they are killing their own Iraqi security guards, blowing up the oil pipelines, blowing up electrical stations, letting off suicide bombs in public, etc.
Mike wrote:
men are getting killed daily

Ask Virginians how many lives were lost in the civil war. Ask them what happened to Richmond. Ask Georgians what happened to Atlanta.
Quote:
Find the cost of freedom

Buried in the ground

Mother Earth will swallow you

Lay your body down
- CSN
Mike wrote:
desertions are getting press

Yes... Consider the source and the motives.
Mike wrote:
soldiers are openly criticizing the administration due to the lack of equipment to their length of service


See Reporter needed to tell of Rumsfeld Q&A role. Again, consider the sources.

I'm all for soldiers speaking their minds. They're the ones getting their asses shot at. You go, boys!!!!
Mike wrote:
a group of soldiers are going to court to stop the administration from lengthening their tours

Yep... Don't expect them to get far.

You should have had conversations with my great granddad. He started with the Union Army at age 14 as an Irish immigrant, and finished on the western frontier. He had a few stories to tell about the military "keeping promises."

If only those recruits had bothered to read the documents they signed...
Mike wrote:
there is going to be another increase of "men in country"
...because insurgents want to delay the elections. If they succeed, civil war eventually will break out. The Shia are patiently waiting for the representation their majority never enjoyed over the years. Don't expect them to be happy if there are delays.

Good for Bush for saying "Tough sh!t" to anyone that complains about being "rushed." He's doing the right thing. And if it takes a few extra troops through January to accomplish that, then so be it.
Mike wrote:
the military is calling up officers who have already been discharged such as the 50+ year-old woman sharpshooter I just heard about
See above
Mike wrote:
no numbers, but I heard on the radio that recruitment is down again
I heard they are meeting quotas. Who knows...

The economy is getting better. The military has to compete with other sectors of the economy for quality personnel.
Mike wrote:
from my perspective of a high school teacher, kids are really concerned that the draft will be reinstituted
I've posted about this before. See Draft Fears Fueled by Inaccurate E-mails. Ain't gonna happen. It was a Democratic plot designed to spook younger voters into voting Democrat. Didn't work... Didn't spook enough younger people to offset the more reliable older voters with their own concerns.

Tell your students not to worry. The all volunteer army is the best and smartest thing that happened to our military. Quite frankly, the world fears us a lot more because of it.

Neither the military nor the draftee wants soldiers that don't want to be there in the first place. It's stupid policy.

***

This is going to take some time, Mike, but the alternative is much, much worse. Get it right in both Iraq and Israel/Palestine, and the islamofacists will be close to out of business.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:21 pm 
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Also see my thread Future of US Military.

Very interesting read...

- Bill


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:27 pm 
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Quote:
If only those recruits had bothered to read the documents they signed...


...and the military will still renege on its promise. Even officers who acceptep discharge after their term of service was finished AND resigned their commissions are being activated from the Ready Reserve.

Quote:
Ask Virginians how many lives were lost in the civil war. Ask them what happened to Richmond. Ask Georgians what happened to Atlanta.


F$%k with the bull, and you get the horns....

Quote:
I'm all for soldiers speaking their minds. They're the ones getting their asses shot at. You go, boys!!!!


But speaking your mind too much will get you thrown in the stockade. So says the Code of Military Justice.

Gene


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:40 pm 
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Rumsfeld asked the boys what was on their minds (quite literally) and they responded. Too bad it had more to do with an imbedded reporter "planting" questions... :evil:

The military needs its discipline. But it also needs an outlet for the boys. Let us all support them.

As for the horns, well as you know my family participated on the "giving" end. And neither side escaped devastation. Before Gettysburg, the Union Army was getting their asses kicked. My underaged immigrant great granddad was an example of the desperate measures that were being taken to keep the North in the war at all.

It wasn't in the cards for The South to win the war. They lost it tactically before it started. It had little to do with testosterone.

- Bill


Last edited by Bill Glasheen on Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:41 pm 
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US stance on armor disputed

Quote:
US stance on armor disputed
Company says vehicle orders waiting for OK
By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | December 10, 2004

WASHINGTON -- Despite Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld's assertion that the military is outfitting Humvees with armor as quickly as possible, the company providing the vehicles said it has been waiting since September for approval from the Pentagon to increase monthly production by as many as 100 of the all-terrain vehicles, intended to protect against roadside bombs in Iraq.

Army officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged yesterday that they have not approved new purchase orders for armored trucks, despite the company's readiness to produce more. They said the Pentagon has been debating how many more armored Humvees are needed.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:48 pm 
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So why aren't you bitching to your Congressman? Our men deserve no less than our best efforts.

I also heard it reported that one armored company said it wasn't producing at capacity. They would if asked...

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 2:53 am 
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Mike

A few points of clarification and stuff...

1) The Shiite cleric I spoke of is al Sistani. He's the Grand Poobah that everyone shows deference to in the 60% or so of Shia Iraqis located primarily in the south. He has put his allegience with the U.S. and its coalition as long as there are elections as soon as possible.

Good for him!

2) I believe November tied as the deadliest month for U.S. troops since the conflict started. And my response? I am absolutely amazed it was not worse. That speaks highly of the forces and their training. November was the major urban offensive in Fallujah where they cleaned the rats nest of insurgents out of the city, and found all the weapon caches, training centers, car bomb factories, and torture rooms.

Urban warfare has got to be one of THE bloodiest and nastiest types of warfare. It was the very thing that everyone feared before entering Iraq in the first place. It is hard, dangerous, lengthy, and deadly work. And you don't get much in the way of thanks it seems from embedded reporters.

I am absolutely amazed at the performance of both the U.S. and Iraqi troops in this offensive. And there are other similar minor offensives going on in other parts of the Sunni triangle.

The stated goal is to secure this unstable central region of Iraq so the population can register and vote w/o intimidation - on time in January.

Interesting paper on the subject...

[url=http://web.mit.edu/ssp/Publications/confseries/urbanwarfare/urbanwarfare.html]URBAN WARFARE:
OPTIONS, PROBLEMS AND THE FUTURE[/url]

3) Deserters? Perhaps you mean this.

Marine who went missing in Iraq charged with desertion

Old news, Mike. This guy deserted in June. Must be a slow news day.

- Bill


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 Post subject: military today
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 12:08 pm 
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Bill,

I've been around. Busy, busy, busy these days; especially around the holidays with 3 young ones 8O

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I understand your pro-administration stance on all the Iraq thing, but the question is that in looking at the recent evolution of our military, why does it seem that the men are becoming more restless than usual and being allowed to express it? Sure, there have been open refusals and desertions before, but it seems more now that the military is not surpressing all this stuff OR there is more of it that is happening.

I'm all for our boys and girls to express themselves and refuse orders if it is an unlawful order, but would we have heard about it in such frequency and amplitude 10, 15, 20 years ago? I mean, I had friends in Beirut in the 80s who had a lot more to complain about during this Reagan debacle, but you didn't hear about it. Why now, I wonder?


Just to add fuel to the fire (I can't resist) :-) Do you honestly think that by allowing the "free"(hahahahahahaha) elections in Iraq, and by solving (hahahhahahahaha) the Israeli/Palestinian issue that we are suddenly going to bring peace and stability to a region on this planet that has never known peace or stability? You are fooling yourself and history proves it over and over again in that area of the world.

I love the CSN song "Daylight Again" but I don't think they'd be crazy about you using it to support war in general ;-)

As for the draft, it's a very real possiblity if quotas do not come up, and I would hazard to guess that we are stuck in this Iraqi quagmire for too long that you will see this brought back up in Congress. They'll have no choice.

We all know that Bush is not leaving Iraq anytime soon; in fact, I would presume that he will leave that legacy to the next president to have to deal with. We can all agree (I think) that there is no easy answer to it. Regardless of what we think of the issue, we're there now and we have to deal with it, but I hope its not at the cost of your son's life or mine, because honestly, I don't think that issue is worth it (and you can debate which issue I'm speaking about).

AND ABOUT THE CIVIL WAR....... This I REALLY couldn't leave alone....

Be specific as to where you say the North was getting their asses kicked. Definately in the East, where inept leadership put them into very bad positions and made people like Gen. Robert E. Lee look like a genius. In the West and Trans-Mississippi Dept, however, the opposite was quite true. So I guess it's where you are speaking about.

As for it wasn't in the cards for the South to win the war, you couldn't be more off base. Prior to 1864, the South had many avenues and chances to win the war, both strategically and politically. The real turn of the tides occured after the 1864 election and the reelection of A. Lincoln over George McClellan. One can look at the "what ifs" all day long during this conflict and predict a different outcome from either side's perspective. Historians have been doing it for 140 years.

mike


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 Post subject: Re: military today
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 3:22 pm 
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mikemurphy wrote:
I'm all for our boys and girls to express themselves and refuse orders if it is an unlawful order, but would we have heard about it in such frequency and amplitude 10, 15, 20 years ago? I mean, I had friends in Beirut in the 80s who had a lot more to complain about during this Reagan debacle, but you didn't hear about it. Why now, I wonder?


Some of the most "disgruntled" U.S. Troops ever occurredduring Korea. Many had fought in WWII, made it home and just started getting settled back into their new lives when they got their butts snatched up and shipped out. There was plenty of complaining. So, why do we hear more now?

NOW, we have embedded reporters, not "reporting" but fomenting discontent and then "reporting" how bad things are. In EVERY war there have been times when soldiers have had to "make do with what they have". That's part of the American/Yankee ingenuity that has kept them going. Now we have a predominently left-leaning media who don't and haven't supported the war on terror that have reporters "embedded" with the troops. LAST time that happened, we lost. Unfortunately, THIS time losing doesn't just mean tucking our collective tail between our legs and bringing folks home from Saigon... This time the enemy has vowed (and provent they will) come to us and kill all of us "infidels". This isn't a war for some other patch of earth it also includes the very survival of this nation.

Quote:
Just to add fuel to the fire (I can't resist) :-) Do you honestly think that by allowing the "free"(hahahahahahaha) elections in Iraq, and by solving (hahahhahahahaha) the Israeli/Palestinian issue that we are suddenly going to bring peace and stability to a region on this planet that has never known peace or stability? You are fooling yourself and history proves it over and over again in that area of the world.


Since the American War for Southern Independence has been mentioned, this fits: (from Charles Krauthammer)

In 1864, 11 of the 36 states did not participate in the American presidential election. Was Lincoln's election therefore illegitimate?

In 1868, three years after the security situation had, shall we say, stabilised, three states (and not insignificant ones: Texas, Virginia and Mississippi) did not participate in the election. Was Grant's election illegitimate?

There has been much talk that if the Iraqi election is held and some Sunni Arab provinces (perhaps three of the 18) do not participate, the election will be illegitimate. Nonsense. The election should be held. It should be open to everyone. If Iraq's Sunni Arabs - barely 20% of the population - decide that they cannot abide giving up their 80 years of minority rule, which ended with 30 years of Saddam Hussein's atrocious tyranny, then tough luck. They forfeit their chance to shape and to participate in the new Iraq.

People keep warning about the danger of civil war. This is absurd. There already is a civil war. It is raging before our eyes. Problem is, only one side is fighting it. The other side, the Shias and the Kurds, are largely watching as their part of the fight is borne primarily by the US. Both have an interest in the outcome. The Shias constitute a majority of Iraqis and will inevitably inherit power in any democratic arrangement. The Kurds want to retain their successful autonomous zone without worrying about new depredations at the hands of the Sunni Arabs.

This is the Shias' and the Kurds' fight. Yet when police stations are ravaged by Sunni Arab insurgents in Mosul, American soldiers are rushed in to fight them. The obvious question is: why don't we unleash the fierce and well-trained Kurdish peshmerga militias against them? (Mosul is heavily Kurdish and suffered a terrible Kurdish expulsion under Saddam.)

Our taking on the Sunnis is a way of demonstrating good faith. As is our intention to hold the election no matter what. Everyone knows that the outcome of the election will be a historic transfer of power to the Shias (and, to some extent, to the Kurds). We must make it clear that we will be there to support that new government. But we also have to make it clear that we are not there to lead the fight indefinitely. It is their civil war.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:55 pm 
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General observation:

Apparently the perception is that we're told:

--Everything is wrong with the war
--All the soldiers are totally against it
--All that matters is sucking up to the UN and France
--This country is such a mess large swaths want to flee it entirely

The response here seems to be often:

--Nothing is wrong with the war
--commie reporters are generating made up news.
--F--- the rest of the world
--If you wouldn't fight in Nam or you don't like Bush, you're a whiny loser.

And I wonder if larger groups aren't sitting back and thinking:

--Hmmmm.
--The war is a tough struggle we're committed to
--The troops are hardy and committed yet rightly dissatisfied with several issues
--World opinion matters but the US does not kowtow
--Bush is a divisive leader in divisive times and we've got reasons to stick with him and reasons to expect better.

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--Ian


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 12:16 am 
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Good input Ian. I'm with the larger group, which I believe to be very large. All the troops I know are hardy and committed as you stated.

From what I read today, the armed forces met their recruiting goals for the year ended 30 September. Reenlistments in the reserve/nat'l guard are up, even among those that served in the middle east! However, there was a miss of 6,000 for new recruits for the NG.

Rich

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 12:42 am 
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Ian wrote:
The response here seems to be often:

--Nothing is wrong with the war
Oh really??
Bill wrote:
self representation (without Islamofascism or Baathist rule) is the last thing in the world the former regime members, the outsiders, and the other insurgents want. This is why they are killing their own Iraqi security guards, blowing up the oil pipelines, blowing up electrical stations, letting off suicide bombs in public, etc.

Panther wrote:
In EVERY war there have been times when soldiers have had to "make do with what they have".

I believe that refutes your claim.
Ian wrote:
--commie reporters are generating made up news.

USA Today wrote:
an embedded reporter had helped frame a question that a serviceman asked of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld this week in Kuwait, the reporter's publisher says.

Ian wrote:
--F--- the rest of the world

Personally my attitude is F--- the U.N., France, China, Russia, and Germany. They have no right to bitch about what happened because the status quo they perpetuated was corrupt to their benefit and at our peril. So when it comes to them, indeed F--- them.

So sorry they lost all their oil vouchers and cash payments. (NOT!!!)
Ian wrote:
--If you wouldn't fight in Nam or you don't like Bush, you're a whiny loser

Bill says if you want to move to Canada because of the election results, by all means you're a whiny loser.

If you want to continue to participate in free speech and the electoral process that we all have access to, by all means!! There is no dishonor in voting for a losing candidate. Heck, I voted against W in his first election because I wanted electoral gridlock. I was hoping we could pay down the debt more.

Then came 9/11...

Mike

I think Panther addressed many of your points.
I love the CSN song "Daylight Again" but I don't think they'd be crazy about you using it to support war in general wrote:
I love the CSN song "Daylight Again" but I don't think they'd be crazy about you using it to support war in general

All I did was quote truth, Mike. The cost of freedom can be death. Period.

I was in 9th grade when the Kent State massacre happened. CSN was writing about another war. It was a war for freedom from the draft, freedom from an administration they didn't like, etc., etc. And that war cost 4 lives on the campus of Kent State University.

War is war. Two people can disagree whether any given war is just.

And in case you didn't notice...
USA Today wrote:
Nearly a week after Tuesday's {9/11} terrorist attacks, late-night comics returned to television, but laughs weren't the immediate priority.

{snip}

When The Tonight Show returns tonight, Jay Leno will talk to {Vietnam War hero} McCain. Crosby, Stills & Nash will sing Find the Cost of Freedom and My Country 'Tis of Thee.
And they all shook hands on the couch after CSN performed.

Go figure... :wink:
Mike wrote:
As for the draft, it's a very real possiblity if quotas do not come up, and I would hazard to guess that we are stuck in this Iraqi quagmire for too long that you will see this brought back up in Congress. They'll have no choice.

Yep. And pigs can fly out of my butt...

Not gonna happen with "W" in office. How much money do you want to bet, Mike? I could use a little bit of diversity in my investment portfolio...
Mike wrote:
As for it wasn't in the cards for the South to win the war, you couldn't be more off base.

The south was primarily an agricultural economy. With the blockade (of major ports and of the Missisippi River) strangling trade and the movement of supplies, the South eventually was shut down both economically and militarily. Money and military supplies became scarce. Might want to come by Brown's Island in Richmond and see what happened to the POWs from The Union Army when things started getting really bad. Happened in other South POW camps as well.

Economics also won The Cold War.

We can save the rest of The Civil War for another thread if you want to have some fun. We have plenty of good war history buffs around with initials such as Rich Castanet... ;)

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 5:06 pm 
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Of course there are suicide bombings and set backs. Acknowledging them doesn't mean people do find "problems with the war," but merely proves that they are NOT out of touch with reality. Under what circumstances COULD those things be denied? So that must not be what I meant.

It's more about a perception issue. America is now unapologetically acting as if 9/11 gives it the simultaneous right to police the world and to not give a krap about it. The french are famous for their snooty attitude but we may overtake them if we continue to persist in juvenile exercises like renaming fried potatoes "freedom fries." I think America's classic ideals are the best available and there's a good reason why they're changing the world. BUT taking the tack that we're somehow entitled as the only superpower to push them wherever we want is not making us friends. The islamofacists, of course, also believe their ideas are best and that they're gonna take over the world with them, by force if necessary. They're wrong, and we're right... we fight as clean as possible, they fight as dirty as possible; we are trying to get out the vote, they're trying to suppress it. No disputes there. But many in and out of the united states aren't comfortable with how pushy we've gotten about how freakin' perfect and entitled we are. I think we could catch more flies with honey, now and then, and that doesn't mean putting down our swatter....

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:46 am 
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You seem to have convered all your bases there, Ian, in a very confusing way. It's difficult to know how to respond.
Ian wrote:
America is now unapologetically acting as if 9/11 gives it the simultaneous right to police the world and to not give a krap about it.

This is the "liberal guilt" thing that really has me scratching my head.

If you're going to invade Afghanistan to rid them of the Taliban and their terrorist training camps (remember that attack that killed 3000+ civilians...), if you're going to bring down a despot who has corrupted the U.N. and is playing dangerous games with us (the history is too long and sordid to go into here...), you do it right or you go home. Frankly when it comes to the Sunni triangle, I think we've been a little too nice.

But you can't tell me that spending extra time, effort, and American lives in both those countries to see to it that they have representational governments is consistent with a country that does "not give a krap." Given that we're allowing both countries to set up governments at least influenced by Islamic law isn't exactly a sign that we're imposing governments in our likeness either.

It's not that our foreign policy is showing we don't give a crap. It's just that we no longer are accepting B.S. from countries and leaders on the take, and countries and leaders not willing to participate in a process that drains us of both human lives and economic capital. The U.S. and the average Iraqi citizen were shown utter contempt during the "oil for food" program. And we are shown utter contempt now that we have acted and governments' hands have been caught in the cookie jar. And we are being painted as an evil, greedy society interested only in Jews and Middle East oil.

Fine...

Don't expect GW to be all cozie with those "friends." Rewarding those who stab you in the back is sick.

This isn't about being world policeman. We have skin in the game in both these countries. Acting was never in question. Exactly what to do was the "debate."

There's a lot of venom going around. It's time just to put on the blinders, do what is right (the best you humanly can), ignore the B.S., and go home when it is done. It will be costly, but IMO it will be worth it.

- Bill


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