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Subject: US bombs Libya under UN blessing rss

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J.D. Hall
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So much for pulling back from Mideast involvement....

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/08/01/us-launches-airstrik...

The short version is that a provisional government formed under UN auspices made its first request to the world body a plea for bombs. Not food. Not economic aid. Bombs. And the world cop (that's "MURICA FUCK YEAH!) got to do the dirty work. Sort of like in the US, where the politicians have all these "great" programs to help the poor, but they always translate into sending the cops into the hood and cracking skulls.

Madness. I say let those people kill themselves all they want.
 
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David desJardins
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remorseless1 wrote:
The short version is that a provisional government formed under UN auspices made its first request to the world body a plea for bombs. Not food. Not economic aid. Bombs.


The article says that it was the first time the provisional government requested air support. Not the first time they made any request of anyone.

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Sort of like in the US, where the politicians have all these "great" programs to help the poor, but they always translate into sending the cops into the hood and cracking skulls.


You certainly have a knack for ignorant, inaccurate drivel.
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Born To Lose, Live To Win
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Who pays for the bombs, fuel and parts? Sure, Defense Contractors, some of our Holy Job Creators, are going to receive the money, but are we, the American people, stuck with the tab?
 
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David desJardins
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"We, the American people" generally support military action against ISIS. I'm not sure who you think should pay for that. Maybe Uruguay or Botswana?
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DaviddesJ wrote:
"We, the American people" generally support military action against ISIS. I'm not sure who you think should pay for that. Maybe Uruguay or Botswana?
Libya? The UN? Is ISIS in Libya the same bad guys as ISIS in Syria? If I am buying bombs, I want them to be used on the highest priority, most genocidal, war crimes committing SOBs first. I just want to be clear before I support military action. Especially with the USAF crying about lack of pilots and other personnel to support different aircraft platforms.
 
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David desJardins
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TheChin! wrote:
If I am buying bombs, I want them to be used on the highest priority, most genocidal, war crimes committing SOBs first. I just want to be clear before I support military action.


I'll have Obama send the Joint Chiefs to give you a briefing so you can decide whether to sign off on your tax dollars being used for this. That sounds like a good system.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I'll have Obama send the Joint Chiefs to give you a briefing so you can decide whether to sign off on your tax dollars being used for this. That sounds like a good system.
Oh, so I am supposed to just accept every military decision as justified and not worry that our priorities might not line up with what I think the U.S.'s role should be? We should have just let Johnson/Nixon finish out the fight in Vietnam with as much force and equipment as they and the Joint Chiefs thought was necessary? I dunno, it doesn't sound like a great plan to just let our government do whatever it wants without any transparency. That sounds like an even worse system.
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David desJardins
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TheChin! wrote:
Oh, so I am supposed to just accept every military decision as justified and not worry that our priorities might not line up with what I think the U.S.'s role should be?


No. However, you're supposed to inform yourself and then make your opinions known through the electoral system and democratic processes, rather than complaining that you don't know enough about what ISIS is doing in Libya. It's not like there's not plenty of media coverage.
 
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J.D. Hall
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DaviddesJ wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
Sort of like in the US, where the politicians have all these "great" programs to help the poor, but they always translate into sending the cops into the hood and cracking skulls.


You certainly have a knack for ignorant, inaccurate drivel.

Just trying to emulate you, O Great One.

Have you not listened to the decades of complaining from inner city neighborhoods who viewed the police as an occupying military force during the War on Drugs (1987-97)? The legislators had a solution to a social problem -- drug abuse. So did they do? They sent in the troops (cops). Over the past few weeks, police officials all over the country have echoed this theme, and the folks in the inner city neighborhoods agreed with them.

Violence is the last resort of the incompetent.
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David desJardins
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remorseless1 wrote:
Have you not listened to the decades of complaining from inner city neighborhoods who viewed the police as an occupying military force during the War on Drugs (1987-97)?


I haven't heard a single mayor or activist in an inner city say that they wanted to abolish all anti-poverty programs because they all do nothing but "crack skulls". That's a new one you came up with.
 
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DaviddesJ wrote:
No. However, you're supposed to inform yourself and then make your opinions known through the electoral system and democratic processes, rather than complaining that you don't know enough about what ISIS is doing in Libya. It's not like there's not plenty of media coverage.
I was asking the pertinent questions to see if anyone who supports the operation could enlighten me, I threw in some snarky context in order to get the data I thought was important. Who knows, maybe the education I get from this thread will help make my opinions better informed so that that I can make them known through the electoral system and democratic processes.
 
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David desJardins
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TheChin! wrote:
I threw in some snarky context in order to get the data I thought was important.


Did that work? laugh Usually I don't find that snark *increases* the information content of the responses.

But here's something you might find relevant: the recent (May 2016) State Department designation of ISIL-Libya (and other groups) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and Specially Designated Global Terrorists. It's not directly relevant to US military action, but it's the basis for other actions the US government is taking against them.

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2016/05/257388.htm
 
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J.D. Hall
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DaviddesJ wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
Have you not listened to the decades of complaining from inner city neighborhoods who viewed the police as an occupying military force during the War on Drugs (1987-97)?


I haven't heard a single mayor or activist in an inner city say that they wanted to abolish all anti-poverty programs because they all do nothing but "crack skulls". That's a new one you came up with.

The Shia and Sunni hate each other more than 1,200 years after the incident that caused the split in Islam. You honestly think people living in inner city neighborhoods that were overrun by the police in the 1990s have forgotten that? I never said anti-poverty programs, but to help you, I bolded the program I did mention. I'm not quite as bright as you, so it is difficult for me to equate bombing Libya with anti-poverty programs. The cops weren't trying to help addicts, they went into those neighborhoods to bust down doors and drag drug dealers off to jail. Interesting definition of anti-poverty programs you have there, David.

Allow me to make a further point: what strategic or tactical interest is served by the US bombing targets in Libya? Tactically, it does demonstrate that the US is still a major, perhaps THE major, military power on the globe. Other than that, I don't see any tactical advantage. Strategically? Not a one. Aircraft dropping bombs may degrade terrorist activity, but to bring it under control and reduce it to the point of ineffectiveness entails a complex web of economic, social, sectarian, and police moves.
 
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David desJardins
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remorseless1 wrote:
I never said anti-poverty programs


You wrote that ALL "great programs to help the poor" ALWAYS "translate into cracking skulls".

It's pretty easy to look up what are the main programs to help the poor in the US. Google can do that. They are: Social Security, Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

For your statement to be correct, all of those programs would have to do nothing good, just 'cracking skulls'.
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That's our oil, dammit.
 
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remorseless1 wrote:
Allow me to make a further point: what strategic or tactical interest is served by the US bombing targets in Libya?


ISIS seeks to control territory in Libya, as it does in Syria and Iraq. That allows them to function as a shadow government and provides a base for offensive military operations against other factions and the official government. Expanding their territorial control increases their power, and also makes it easier for them to facilitate more and larger-scale attacks (like how the Taliban/Al Qaeda control of Afghanistan facilitated the WTC attacks in 2001). Controlling territory and expanding that control requires more than just a network of insurgents, it requires overt military operations including vehicles and equipment. Striking at those targets, in concert with Libyan government operations, makes it harder for ISIS to maintain and increase their territorial control.
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J.D. Hall
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DaviddesJ wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
Allow me to make a further point: what strategic or tactical interest is served by the US bombing targets in Libya?


ISIS seeks to control territory in Libya, as it does in Syria and Iraq. That allows them to function as a shadow government and provides a base for offensive military operations against other factions and the official government. Expanding their territorial control increases their power, and also makes it easier for them to facilitate more and larger-scale attacks (like how the Taliban/Al Qaeda control of Afghanistan facilitated the WTC attacks in 2001). Controlling territory and expanding that control requires more than just a network of insurgents, it requires overt military operations including vehicles and equipment. Striking at those targets, in concert with Libyan government operations, makes it harder for ISIS to maintain and increase their territorial control.


But as they lost territory in Iraq and Syria, ISIS carried out its most spectacular and deadly attacks against western targets, mostly in western Europe. Their attacks on the West were far less frequent when they had more territory to control. So it seems it is the inverse of what you propose -- more territory=more attacks. The 9/11 attack was carried out by a Saudi-majority terror cell that received protection from the Afghan government but wasn't controlling territory and thus was a free actor on the stage. Currently, while the Taliban is fighting tooth and nail to recover its position in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda has moved on to greener pastures.

The issue I have is that the US is doing the heavy lifting here in a part of the world where -- in theory -- there are effective modern militaries in Europe and the Mideast that could (and should) be the primary actors against ISIS. Instead, it appears that everyone sits on their hands until the US initiates something, anything, against ISIS.
 
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DaviddesJ wrote:
"We, the American people" generally support military action against ISIS. I'm not sure who you think should pay for that. Maybe Uruguay or Botswana?

Obviously, we build a wall around Syria and don't let anything out but oil and money to pay for the military.

No Poe's law problem, I trust?

Probably a more neutral article:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36941934
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remorseless1 wrote:
But as they lost territory in Iraq and Syria, ISIS carried out its most spectacular and deadly attacks against western targets, mostly in western Europe. Their attacks on the West were far less frequent when they had more territory to control. So it seems it is the inverse of what you propose -- more territory=more attacks.


This is kind of like correlating with sunspots. Lots of other things happened over that time period. I can't tell if you're seriously arguing that the less territory they control, the more attacks they will be able to make, or if you're just being facetious.

Quote:
The issue I have is that the US is doing the heavy lifting here


About 5000 Libyans have died in the fighting in their country since 2014. The US conducted one airstrike targeting an ISIS tank and two other vehicles, and there have been two other US airstrikes in Libya in the past 9 months. I think your notion of who's doing the "heavy lifting" is absurd.
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J.D. Hall
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I'm really enjoying this back and forth by the way:

DaviddesJ wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
But as they lost territory in Iraq and Syria, ISIS carried out its most spectacular and deadly attacks against western targets, mostly in western Europe. Their attacks on the West were far less frequent when they had more territory to control. So it seems it is the inverse of what you propose -- more territory=more attacks.


This is kind of like correlating with sunspots. Lots of other things happened over that time period. I can't tell if you're seriously arguing that the less territory they control, the more attacks they will be able to make, or if you're just being facetious.


No more facetious than you arguing that control of territory would increase the number of attacks on European and American targets when the evidence points to the opposite. There was a lot of things going on when ISIS really started kicking ass in Iraq and Syria, but there weren't nearly the number of attacks back then.

By controlling territory, ISIS can make the case that it is successful and continue to attract recruits. When they lose territory, they resort to violent attacks in Iraq, Turkey, Germany, France, and Belgium, plus inspire attacks in the US in order to demonstrate their resiliency and effectiveness and ... continue to attract recruits.

DaviddesJ wrote:
Remorseless1 wrote:
The issue I have is that the US is doing the heavy lifting here


About 5000 Libyans have died in the fighting in their country since 2014. The US conducted one airstrike targeting an ISIS tank and two other vehicles, and there have been two other US airstrikes in Libya in the past 9 months. I think your notion of who's doing the "heavy lifting" is absurd.


Agree that the US hasn't had to do much in Libya lately. Guess we've been busy doing other things, like bombing ISIS in Syria and Iraq, doing drone strikes in Yemen, facing off with the Russians in Crimea, and standing with Japan and the Philippines in opposing China's bullying in the waters off east Asia. You're right, we ain't doin' nuttin.'

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This is fun. We should do this more often.
 
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David desJardins
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remorseless1 wrote:
I'm really enjoying this back and forth by the way:


That makes one of us. I'll probably give up soon.

Quote:
No more facetious than you arguing that control of territory would increase the number of attacks on European and American targets when the evidence points to the opposite.


Virtually all large-scale terrorist attacks have been conducted by or with the support of entities that controlled large territories. That includes the Beirut Marine barracks and Khobar Towers (Iran), the 2001 WTC bombing (Afghanistan), and the recent European attacks (ISIS). That is the pattern. You can't disprove that pattern by looking at microfluctuations in territory from day to day. It also seems facetious because you can't seriously be suggesting we give ISIS some more territory so they won't want to attack anyone. That sure didn't work with Hitler.

Quote:
Agree that the US hasn't had to do much in Libya lately.


At least now you're agreeing with literally the opposite of what you just said.

I'm also not sure what "facing off with the Russians in Crimea" amounts to. If that's "heavy lifting", it seems so far to have cost the US precisely zero.
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remorseless1 wrote:
The issue I have is that the US is doing the heavy lifting here in a part of the world where -- in theory -- there are effective modern militaries in Europe and the Mideast that could (and should) be the primary actors against ISIS. Instead, it appears that everyone sits on their hands until the US initiates something, anything, against ISIS.

As David points out, calling out this op is a bad example. But, you have a good long-term point.

The problem is, aside from Nixon (of unloved memory) and maybe Ford, when the Republicans are in office, they're huge fans of being the World's Policeman, even if they don't call it that: Reagan in Grenada, Panama, tragically in Lebanon (the Marine barracks), and Iran-Contra, GHWB in Iraq and Kuwait (which I supported), W in Afghanistan (obviously necessary) and Iraq (unnecessary and botched).

I suppose the logic is, if we have all the power, we're safe and a maximum amount of money can be channeled to right-leaning defense contractors. But, when Democrats are in office, Republicans simultaneously attack them for being weak on national security and using too much military power, and doing things like "nation building". After WWII, the only nation building I recall was started under Republicans: Vietnamization, Panama, Grenada, Afghanistan, Iraq.

Not only have we been doing it forever, we withhold our best weapons from even our closest allies. The Air Force constantly poo-poos the A-10, but we've never let anyone else have one. Not Israel, not Britain, not Germany, not Poland, not Japan, not South Korea. Ditto the F-22. (Yet, we let everyone and their brother in on the supposedly super-secret F-35.)

I don't disagree that Europe should take care of itself, but that's going to take a long-term program, the Europeans are going to have to buy into it, and just now, the EU is a little distracted. We have made good progress getting Japan and South Korea to take care of themselves--South Korea is extremely strong.
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J.D. Hall
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DaviddesJ wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
I'm really enjoying this back and forth by the way:


That makes one of us. I'll probably give up soon.


Damn, I'm having fun. Sort of like debating...

DaviddesJ wrote:
Quote:
No more facetious than you arguing that control of territory would increase the number of attacks on European and American targets when the evidence points to the opposite.


Virtually all large-scale terrorist attacks have been conducted by or with the support of entities that controlled large territories. That includes the Beirut Marine barracks and Khobar Towers (Iran), the 2001 WTC bombing (Afghanistan), and the recent European attacks (ISIS). That is the pattern. You can't disprove that pattern by looking at microfluctuations in territory from day to day. It also seems facetious because you can't seriously be suggesting we give ISIS some more territory so they won't want to attack anyone. That sure didn't work with Hitler.


Would you kindly point out in any of my posts where I said ISIS should be given more territory to placate it? Actually I said that local actors should be doing the work to clean up their own neighborhood. However, I would not equate -- at this time -- ISIS with a modern, industrialized Germany. ISIS has not shown the ability to produce and research its own weaponry, it has no ambassadors to conduct business with foreign entities, and whatever trade it undertakes is on the black market. And ... Beirut, 9/11, Khobar Towers, and the recent European attacks were carried out by terrorist organizations with support from two countries with legitimate governments who had a beef with the West or a terror group who created a power vacuum and then jumped in to loosely control a section of two countries. So, bombing ISIS is going to discourage Iran? The Taliban accepted defeat after the US invaded Afghanistan?

Why is it you want Americans to do the fighting and dying? Iran and the Taliban found proxies -- we need to do the same thing.

DaviddesJ wrote:
Quote:
Agree that the US hasn't had to do much in Libya lately.


At least now you're agreeing with literally the opposite of what you just said.

I'm also not sure what "facing off with the Russians in Crimea" amounts to. If that's "heavy lifting", it seems so far to have cost the US precisely zero.

To quote Shreve, now you're being disingenuous. The US has moved small military forces into the eastern reaches of NATO, which puts our people at risk and costs us money. With China, we're moving ships and planes over to Japan and Korea, and sailing our ships through the allegedly "disputed" waters, again putting our people at risk.

But until somebody, or a lot of somebodies, die, we're not paying a price, correct?
 
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J.D. Hall
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Tall_Walt wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
The issue I have is that the US is doing the heavy lifting here in a part of the world where -- in theory -- there are effective modern militaries in Europe and the Mideast that could (and should) be the primary actors against ISIS. Instead, it appears that everyone sits on their hands until the US initiates something, anything, against ISIS.

As David points out, calling out this op is a bad example. But, you have a good long-term point.

The problem is, aside from Nixon (of unloved memory) and maybe Ford, when the Republicans are in office, they're huge fans of being the World's Policeman, even if they don't call it that: Reagan in Grenada, Panama, tragically in Lebanon (the Marine barracks), and Iran-Contra, GHWB in Iraq and Kuwait (which I supported), W in Afghanistan (obviously necessary) and Iraq (unnecessary and botched).

I suppose the logic is, if we have all the power, we're safe and a maximum amount of money can be channeled to right-leaning defense contractors. But, when Democrats are in office, Republicans simultaneously attack them for being weak on national security and using too much military power, and doing things like "nation building". After WWII, the only nation building I recall was started under Republicans: Vietnamization, Panama, Grenada, Afghanistan, Iraq.

Not only have we been doing it forever, we withhold our best weapons from even our closest allies. The Air Force constantly poo-poos the A-10, but we've never let anyone else have one. Not Israel, not Britain, not Germany, not Poland, not Japan, not South Korea. Ditto the F-22. (Yet, we let everyone and their brother in on the supposedly super-secret F-35.)

I don't disagree that Europe should take care of itself, but that's going to take a long-term program, the Europeans are going to have to buy into it, and just now, the EU is a little distracted. We have made good progress getting Japan and South Korea to take care of themselves--South Korea is extremely strong.

Nice analysis -- although Vietnamization was an idea of the Johnson Administration that Nixon implemented.

I agree -- bombing a tank in Libya isn't exactly being the world's policeman. But I do tend to take the long view when it comes to politics, international events, and government. If we had before, there might not have been Nisei in interment camps or innumerable other mistakes.

I do tend to think that, on balance and overall, America's influence as the world cop has been positive, but there have been costs, both to our reputation internationally and to our domestic life. It also has cost the US upwards of 100,000 lives since the end of World War II and literally billions of dollars. There is the beginning of a backlash in this country as demonstrated by the success of Donald Trump's isolationist rhetoric. If more and more of these type of operations are left to the US, solely or a majority of the fighting, then that sentiment being tapped by Trump is going to grow. And I would argue it would be a bad thing for the US to retreat across the oceans and return to the isolationist country it was before World War II. But we need to build new international alliances that will spread the burden a little more.

And quite frankly, I wish that war-fighting mentality hadn't been so thoroughly beaten out of two of our best allies -- Germany and Japan. Can't blame them, though. And I do appreciate what the UK and France are doing alongside us in many, many places. Ditto the ragged Iraqi Army, the Kurds, and the Syrians that are fighting against Assad and ISIS. But this started back in 1950 when the Korean War broke out and it's just getting worse.

So yeah, that's a long way of saying, yes, I do take the long view. I think people would better off if they did.
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David desJardins
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remorseless1 wrote:
Why is it you want Americans to do the fighting and dying? Iran and the Taliban found proxies -- we need to do the same thing.


I guess I'm not really seeing the moral superiority of finding some pawns to die for you.

Quote:
To quote Shreve, now you're being disingenuous. The US has moved small military forces into the eastern reaches of NATO, which puts our people at risk and costs us money.


I don't think that has much to do with Crimea. If you said we were facing off with Russia over Ukraine and Eastern Europe, sure. But could we seriously do something different? Crimea is an enclave of 2 million people who are mostly Russian or pro-Russian and who probably do prefer to be part of Russia. But Ukraine itself is a fledgling democracy of 40 million people that's seriously threatened by an aggressive superpower on its border; that's kind of different. And we're moving military forces into the "eastern reaches of NATO" because, you know, we are bound by treaty to defend those countries. Are you really suggesting now a Trumplike withdrawal from our NATO commitments?? The NATO treaty doesn't limit collective defense to only if we decide they deserve it.
 
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