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They got Saddam

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Postby dodecahedron on Wed Dec 31, 2003 4:01 pm

@Flyer:
i apologize, i was in a pissy mood.
you of course have a right to your own opinions and to air them here.
i have the right to disagree.

@jase:
power corrupts.
i'm one of those that think we have no business in the West Bank, and that the Palestinians should have their own state.

be that as it may, i think that on the whole, Israel is on the higher side of the moral scales.
Israeli soldiers do not go into Hebron or whatever with orders to shoot and kill Palestinian children and women (and men for that matter too). these things do happen. surprise surprise, when terrorists (or freedomm fighters if you will, i don't really care) hide behind women and childen when fighting with soldiers, or when children throw rocks at rifle bearing soldiers (and believe me, a rock can kill), these things will happen.
i'm not saying that these things are justified, but one has to understand that they will happen.
look at the US in Iraq. suddenly the US isn't so critical of the Israeli's army behaviour in the West Nank is it? the US now faces what we face here.

Western Europe is oh my so enlightened, isn't it?
just have a look at your own history.
Bloody Sunday was just one incident. the most extreme one perhaps. but there were others.
look at what the French did in North Africa and Vietnam. what Israel is doing in the west bank looks like a picnic by comparison.

honestly, i didn't mean to post in this topic again. but was drawn back to it.
i hate politics.
and even more i hate politicians. 99.9% of them are corrupt to some degree.
what's the difference between a Statesman and a Politician?
a Statesman is a dead Politician.

God knows, we need more Statesmen.
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Postby cfitz on Wed Dec 31, 2003 5:48 pm

It is a mystery, this world of ours. I do not understand.

We have two groups, group A and group B. Group A's stated goal is the complete elimination of group B by any means necessary, up to and including genocide. Group B's goal is a secure homeland where they can be free from the persecution that has haunted them for thousands of years.

Group A's strategy for attaining their goal is the deliberate targeting and killing of the civilian population of group B, including men, women, adults, elderly and children, without discrimination and in as great numbers as possible. Or rather I should say with the sole discrimination of specifically targeting those who are most defenseless.

Group B's strategy for attaining their goal is to defend themselves against the perpetrators of group A by either capturing or killing them.

Somehow, in an incomprehensible reality, group A has won the hearts and minds of a great number of peoples and nations of the world. These peoples take up the cause of group A cloaked under the thin, threadbare gauze of freedom for the oppressed. Surely they can see through that transparent guile to the truth that lies beneath, can't they? I still do not understand.

When group A succeeds in slaughtering a number of defenseless civilians in group B, at the least the supporters of group A give their tacit endorsement through their deafening silence. At worst they actually cheer on the killing.

When group B inadvertently kills a defenseless civilian of group A as an unfortunate consequence of the hunt for the unrepentant murderers in group A, the ever so sympathetic apologists for group A's atrocities stand up in righteous indignation and soundly condemn group B as evil incarnate.

Even now I do not understand. Or, perhaps I do. Many of the supporters of group A are of the very same peoples and nations that throughout history's thousands of years have tried their own hands at exterminating group B. It appears that hatred runs deep and cold...

To such people, all I will say is that, motivations aside, the support and encouragement of terrorism - and do not deceive yourself as to what you are really doing when you join with the killers: cast your lot with murderers, and the blood of their victims stains your hands as well - will only beget more terrorism. The fans you are flaming now will not forever subvert themselves to your needs and desires. Someday the terrorism you nurture will step outside the comfortable boundaries you have drawn for it, and you will find it in your own neighborhoods and houses, and it will know no history, and it will have forgotten the favor you curry now, and it will show you no mercy.

Reap what you sow.

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Postby jase on Thu Jan 01, 2004 1:10 am

I am sorry cfitz, but your comments here, unless properly qualified, are a damned sight more damaging than anything said prior.

Define "Group A" for me please.

If you are seriously saying that 3.5 million people are terrorists, then I'm afraid this is simplistic in the extreme, and exactly the sort of dangerous thoughts which pollute this world.

It is far too easy to portray the Palestinians as the evil side in this conflict. Equally, it was a commonly-held opinion among the lazy-thinkers in the UK in the 70s and 80s that all "Catholics" in NI were evil. "They" were the ones blowing up shopping malls in the British mainland, and attempting to murder our democratically-elected prime minister in 1984. This is truly poisonous thinking, and is in effect a racial slur of the worst possible kind.

And why would I call a suicide bomber, a "freedom fighter"? The reason I don't verbally condemn the scum behind these attacks (though not necessarily the actual bombers themselves who are demonstrably brainwashed in most cases) is that it goes without saying. Likewise, when a terrorist hides behind children, that is reprehensible -- but then so is shooting into the crowd of said children indiscriminately and asking questions later.

be that as it may, i think that on the whole, Israel is on the higher side of the moral scales.


Perhaps. The main problem I have with the Israeli position however is this: Israel is a free nation. "Palestine" is not. In the 21st century there are a number of areas where a democratic state should be acting more responsibly IMO. Fighting terror with more terror is not the answer. Their brand of terror may well be worse, but you are the country with the laws and the institutions. Israeli soldiers don't go into Palestinian areas and deliberately shoot innocents, of course they don't, but 600 dead civilians this year is clear evidence that the first thing that is taught to any soldier, that you keep civilian casualties to the minimum even if it compromises your objective, is either not being taught or is being forgotten. Essentially, Israeli troops need to become more disciplined.


Western Europe is oh my so enlightened, isn't it?
just have a look at your own history.
Bloody Sunday was just one incident. the most extreme one perhaps. but there were others.
look at what the French did in North Africa and Vietnam. what Israel is doing in the west bank looks like a picnic by comparison.


I have never sought to imply that my country is in some way above all this -- indeed the way Israel was handled by the British and other nations in the first place is arguably one of the chief reasons Israelis and Palestinians are in the mess they now find themselves. But just because pretty much no developed country is free from blood on their hands over the years does not negate the need for criticism where it is due.

In any case, I'm not going to sit here and attempt to defend the French, that would by like asking an American to stick up for Canada :lol: sorry, couldn't resist.....

The sad truth of this whole sorry affair is that both the Israelis and the Palestinians continue to be oppressed peoples as long as corrupt, incompetent and frankly criminal governments on both sides refuse to compromise, and allow the terrorising of their own people to go effectively unchecked for dogmatic and selfish reasons.

As someone of Irish descent, with both Protestant and Catholic blood in my veins, it truly pains me to see another two populations making the same mistakes and going through the same pain over bits of land and power which the pawns in the middle never see any of in any case. My uncle had part of his leg blown off in an IRA bombing attack in 1982 in Belfast city centre. He was buying Christmas presents for his young children. My grandparents had shit posted through their letterbox on a regular basis, and had to move on a number of occasions, for the horrendous crime of a Protestant marrying a Catholic. I myself was spat at in a Catholic area for having an English accent; I was eight years old, the group of youths must have been around 16 or 17. You don't know how utterly terrifying that is until you've experienced it. Ironically the so-called "Unionist" Protestants often treated the English little better. I have seen the effects of terrorism first-hand. I know how dehumanising the whole experience can be. And all the time, all I hear from Sharon and Arafat is disturbingly reminiscent of the intransigent rhetoric of Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams -- "Never, never, never" -- which caused so much grief over the years. Both sides need to ask themselves -- do they want another 300 years of this? I have to say that Sharon's plan to build a wall, completely separating the two peoples and give them a couple of generations to calm down, might be the best thing that has ever happened. The problems come from (a) where you build the wall, and (b) who polices it. I do not understand why this cannot be done by the UN.

Trust me, you will never see peace as long as you continue to tolerate the mistakes made on your own side. The mistakes made by the other side are for the other side to rise up against. There is no "good" and "evil" side in the conflict. As long as people continue to think in black and white, rather than shades of grey (and frankly, I am disappointed with cfitz's post in this regard) there is no hope.

Even now I do not understand. Or, perhaps I do. Many of the supporters of group A are of the very same peoples and nations that throughout history's thousands of years have tried their own hands at exterminating group B. It appears that hatred runs deep and cold...


While the UK's record regarding the Jews (and any other minority group) is less than perfect to say the least, I don't think Americans can get holier-than-thou about this either. In fact it could be argued that the treatment of black minorities until fairly recently has been equally as bad if not worse. For the record, I am not anti-semitic nor am I anti-Israel; I think the situation could have been handled a lot better and I am not afraid to say so. What prompted the original post was the news that the Israeli soldier in question had been arrested. It just rattled me that this particular innocent victim should be singled out simply because he was a Brit. Something not quite right about that, I am sure you must agree on that point at least.[/quote]
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Postby Kennyshin on Sun Jan 04, 2004 11:26 pm

MikeTR wrote:
Kennyshin wrote:Forcing democracy is terrorism?


Democracy can't be forced on anyone. Defeats the entire purpose.


Tell me so after you lived some years in North Korea. Probably you meant nationalism and not democracy.

I lived most of my childhood life under dictatorship, in the city of revolutions and rebellions. Yes, democracy was forced. The dictators are still alive but they were forced out of power around 1990. That was also the year I gave up Korea and Koreans. I got to hate too much, too intensely and too explosively. Though the thousand s of students and teachers who were massacred by generals and presidents won't ever come back alive, the dictators in the end lost the top power. Who forced the democracy into South Korea? The UN? The United States? The global mass media? Prosperity that came after the 1950-1953 Korean War and the wars in Vietnam? They all contributed.

If I remember it correctly, you live in the Netherlands. The freedom in your country was not achieved without the use of violence regardless that force was the main factor or not. When China and North Korea talk about democracy, they mean the few dictators they represent are as democrat as any statesmen in the history of the world. When they talk about peace and security, they are mostly talking about peace and security from the threat to remove them from the top seats of national power. From the threat inside the people they have ruled and tortured and from the threat outside the people that escaped from their rule.

Democracy cannot be forced on individuals but one can force it on nations and states.
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Postby jase on Wed Jan 07, 2004 3:50 pm

Yes, but the question is, can democracy be forced upon a country by direct means?

In my opinion, it can never work. You need to work out the underlying reason why a country is not democratic before the freedom can happen. If you just go in all guns blazing, you are only polarising the inherent problems the country has. There is usually a very good reason why a country becomes a totalitarian regime. Generally it is the perceived need for force to bring about order due to political or social groups who will not work together. Ironically this is exactly the procedure the coalition is using to somehow bring about democracy and freedom.

Mark my words, Iraq will either not exist in 10 or 20 years time, or it will be back to being a one-party state. It is up to the people of a country to put together a constitution. An imposed one will never work.
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Postby dodecahedron on Wed Jan 07, 2004 6:46 pm

jase wrote:There is usually a very good reason why a country becomes a totalitarian regime. Generally it is the perceived need for force to bring about order due to political or social groups who will not work together.

this is true only if you use the word totalitarian in a very limited meaning.

e.g., the reason you gave is not the reason Iraq was totalitarian (until now).
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Postby jase on Wed Jan 07, 2004 11:42 pm

I'd be inclined to disagree with you there.

Whilst it is true that Iraq has never been a free democracy in any case, the disparate cultures, religions and histories in Iraq have never been and probably never will be compatible. I honestly can't see the Kurds, Sunnis and Shias ever getting along in a stable democracy, can you?

Unfortunately for that country, the only stable (and by that I do not mean fair in any sense of the word) rule as I see it which keeps the three main cultures together is a secular(-ish), dictatorial regime. If the people want peace *and* freedom (and I am sure they do, who wouldn't?), I can't see any way around the solution other than to divide the country up, much as has happened in Yugoslavia for example (that group of countries still have serious problems, but they are at least more stable than they were in the brief period when they were non-Communist and together -- and of course I acknowledge that the states were independent of each other historically). Which is strange given the Iraqi people's sense of nationalism despite their obvious differences (although this in itself may simply be a reaction to the occupation of their country).

In the case of Iraq, the problem is fairly clear (at least as I see it anyway). The Kurds will use their new-found freedom to demand independence, which will not be permitted by the US as this will inevitably destabilise Turkey which of course has a large Kurdish population. Meanwhile the majority Shias will effectively take control of the country under a democratic system due to their being the majority of the population, which of course will anger the Sunni minority. Result: probable civil war under a democratic system, leading to either a break-up of the country or another military coup and another dictator.

Meanwhile the West will have forgotten about Iraq (especially as Mr Saddam II will probably be friendly to the West and offer to help us in our kicking of Syria's behind), and will have moved on to their next demon leaving the country and wider region to destabilise further.

Moral of the story: if you see a bull in a china shop, for god's sake don't kick his ass.

God I hate politicians.
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Postby dodecahedron on Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:22 am

what i had meant was:
the reason Iraq was under a totalitarian regime until now was because a totalitarian managed to get hold of power. not for the reasons you gave.

the reasons you gave may certainly explain why a democracy won't work (or will be very difficult), but "political or social groups who will not work together" does not necessarily equate totalitarianism.
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Postby jase on Fri Jan 09, 2004 6:23 pm

dodecahedron wrote:what i had meant was:
the reason Iraq was under a totalitarian regime until now was because a totalitarian managed to get hold of power. not for the reasons you gave.

the reasons you gave may certainly explain why a democracy won't work (or will be very difficult), but "political or social groups who will not work together" does not necessarily equate totalitarianism.


Yes, I quite agree that just because a country has these problems does not mean they will inevitably become a dictatorship or totalitarianist regime or whatever. But these are IMHO (and history gives many examples) sicknesses in a nation's culture which often lead to such an outcome, unfortunately.

Yes, of course the reason Iraq became totalitarian was that a totalitarian managed to sieze power. What I am saying is, that if you look into the root causes of why the political situation in countries that end up in this state happens, that very often a complete lack of will or capability for various groups to get along is behind it. This leads to instability and the correct background for a dictator to come along and take advantage. A stable country without any serious, fundamental problems very rarely becomes a dictatorship, unless that is the historic position of the country (the various monarchies around the world for instance).

The reason I gave is not always the underlying cause. What I'm saying is that whatever the reason, in order for a free, stable society to form from the fragments of a regime such as Saddam's, these fundamental issues have to be addressed. That is the problem I have always had with the removal of Saddam from power; yes it is good that he is gone but there never seems to have been a recognition of Iraq's issues. Now, I may well be inaccurate in my analysis of those problems, and in fact that's the point exactly if you think about it.
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Postby Kennyshin on Sat Jan 10, 2004 2:47 pm

jase wrote:Yes, but the question is, can democracy be forced upon a country by direct means?

In my opinion, it can never work. You need to work out the underlying reason why a country is not democratic before the freedom can happen. If you just go in all guns blazing, you are only polarising the inherent problems the country has. There is usually a very good reason why a country becomes a totalitarian regime. Generally it is the perceived need for force to bring about order due to political or social groups who will not work together. Ironically this is exactly the procedure the coalition is using to somehow bring about democracy and freedom.

Mark my words, Iraq will either not exist in 10 or 20 years time, or it will be back to being a one-party state. It is up to the people of a country to put together a constitution. An imposed one will never work.


Honestly, that sounds just a humble excuse to criticize US.

Political superstructure does rely upon various substructures in a given system. It is also true that industries and education cannot prosper without political progress. Remember? South Korea was "liberated" in 1945. I cannot say that about North Korea because it just went from a Japanese empire to a nationalist dictator. Are the Iraqi people in 2003-2004 less enlightened than the Koreans in 1945? It took nearly 50 years for South Koreans to develop a more refined form of democracy, but during the half century, South Koreans could do many things what were prohibited for North Koreans on pain of savage death. That difference helped individuals exactly like myself to know better.

Yes, democracy was forced upon by outside forces, armies with guns and fighter airplances.

In this very same moment, people are killed just because they are trying to escape North Korea when they will be killed in just another way if they don't try at all. No wonder North Korea does everything to spread propaganda inside South Korea and worldwide about this Iraqi crisis.

Do you know why there was no major South Korean actor in the latest James Bond movie titled Die Another Day? It was because no South Korean wanted to be part of the Western imperialist consiracy to make a bad and poor picture of Koreas and Koreans. Millions of South Koreans on the web forums felt so. So Taiwanese and US nationals with Korean blood took the roles of South Koreans and North Koreans in the movie. What now happens in Iraq affects South Koreans greatly.

I am one of the minority South Koreans who favored sending the best troops into Iraq. Most South Koreans violently resist the idea accusing it of "invasion". You know what I think of them.
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Postby dodecahedron on Sat Jan 10, 2004 2:58 pm

along similar lines, one might say the democracy was "forced" on Japan.

and with great success!
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Postby Kennyshin on Sat Jan 10, 2004 3:19 pm

dodecahedron wrote:along similar lines, one might say the democracy was "forced" on Japan.

and with great success!


That's why we are facing Sony, Hitachi, NEC, Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, Matsushita, JVC, Pioneer, Sanyo, Toshiba, Sharp, Yamaha, Olympus, Nikon, and many other Japanese companies in the ways we are. The Mitsubishi group was divided into hundreds of separate companies though they are mostly still connected in loose ways. South Korean Samsung and LG groups didn't have to go through that forced reform. That's why Samsung and LG are so strong unlike Sony and Sharp these days. Japanese companies had to grow up on their own wihle their South Korean counterparts enjoyed the protection of successive central government regimes. The result: South Korea is much more centralized than Japan, much less affluent than Japan, and the most dependent on Japan in the world.

The biggest flaw in most anti-US and anti-Western ideologies is in the thinking the world as a place for nation-states to compete in a static view. They become most successful in countries with the highest degree of hatred and national groupthink.
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Postby dodecahedron on Sat Jan 10, 2004 3:24 pm

Kennyshin wrote:That's why we are facing Sony, Hitachi, NEC, Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, Matsushita, JVC, Pioneer, Sanyo, Toshiba, Sharp, Yamaha, Olympus, Nikon, and many other Japanese companies in the ways we are.

your examples are slanted (understandably :) ) towards the electronics industry.
Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi the first 3 that came to mind (out of quite a few more).
or the motorcycle industry - even more so?
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Postby Kennyshin on Sun Jan 11, 2004 6:04 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
Kennyshin wrote:That's why we are facing Sony, Hitachi, NEC, Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, Matsushita, JVC, Pioneer, Sanyo, Toshiba, Sharp, Yamaha, Olympus, Nikon, and many other Japanese companies in the ways we are.

your examples are slanted (understandably :) ) towards the electronics industry.
Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi the first 3 that came to mind (out of quite a few more).
or the motorcycle industry - even more so?


No, I didn't mean any single industry but the entire economic structure of over 5 trillion USD annual production. South Korea is heavily centralized. A handful of conglomerates like LG, Samsung, Hyundai, SK, Hanjin, and so on own literally almost everything. In Japan and Taiwan, such centralization ceased to dominate long ago.

Try to understand why South Korean government never let Hyundai and Daewoo die in the late 1990s. LG Capital, one of LG group company was going to bankruptcy in late 2003 with 20 billion USD debt and no prospect of getting well again but South Korean public and the government interfered to save the company because the bankruptcy would result in the fall of LG group which would in turn spread to other jaebol groups very soon. Similar things happened with Daewoo, SK, and Hyundai.

This is why Samsung will in the end dominate the whole storage industry from DRAM and flash memory to hard disk drive and optical disk drive. Samsung again recorded multi-billion dollar profits in portable phone in 2003. Its third large success after DRAM and LCD.

Imagine what Microsoft could do if US public and government supported the company in such a scale. Or Mitsubishi geiretsu which would command a trillion dollar industry now if not splitted by the US forces five decades ago.
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Postby dodecahedron on Sun Jan 11, 2004 7:31 pm

hey Kenny, my last comment was huorous, no criticism intended :D
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Postby MonteLDS on Sun Jan 11, 2004 9:22 pm

...kind of off topic, but i keep thinking Ian is Saddam ever time i see his avatar...
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Postby jase on Mon Jan 12, 2004 9:45 am

Honestly, that sounds just a humble excuse to criticize US.


It always comes down to that, doesn't it? Someone disagrees with an element of US foreign policy, and it's some anti-US rant.

Forgetting of course that this wasn't solely an American law. For what it's worth, the Americans acted broadly honestly with regards this conflict. They said from the start that this war was about getting rid of Saddam (putting aside the small detail of the fact that this is contrary to international law, but still).

The British government, and Blair in particular, were staunch backers of this war, and many thousands of troops fought in and still occupy parts of Iraq. But we were told it was about WMDs. We were told that the west was in imminent danger, 45 minutes away from an attack by Saddam. After the war, Blair still was telling his troops this Christmas that WMDs had been found, another lie.

We in the UK were sold this war on a tissue of lies and half-truths. And then we see this so-called leader of ours being hailed as a hero in the US Congress? The sense of betrayal in this country is palpable.

Meanwhile, we are supposed to have learned from the Korean example. South Korea might have benefitted from military intervention, but it took a very long time for the country to recover, the circumstances were very different and your brothers in the North have paid a very high price for your comparative affluence.
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Postby dodecahedron on Mon Jan 12, 2004 9:57 am

jase wrote:Meanwhile, we are supposed to have learned from the Korean example. South Korea might have benefitted from military intervention, but it took a very long time for the country to recover, the circumstances were very different and your brothers in the North have paid a very high price for your comparative affluence.

that sounds a little like criticism.
do you really put the blame on South Korea?

if the US had'nt been in South Korea, do you think the Russian's/Chinese wouldn't have been in the North?
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Postby jase on Mon Jan 12, 2004 10:09 am

dodecahedron wrote:
jase wrote:Meanwhile, we are supposed to have learned from the Korean example. South Korea might have benefitted from military intervention, but it took a very long time for the country to recover, the circumstances were very different and your brothers in the North have paid a very high price for your comparative affluence.

that sounds a little like criticism.
do you really put the blame on South Korea?

if the US had'nt been in South Korea, do you think the Russian's/Chinese wouldn't have been in the North?


OK I apologise, it was poor use of language. Of course I don't blame South Korea for what happened in the North. What I was trying to say was, that the disaster in the North shows that the Korean story was not something that can be showcased as a victory for the hawks of this world.
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Postby dodecahedron on Mon Jan 12, 2004 10:15 am

agreed.
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Postby VEFF on Mon Jan 12, 2004 3:23 pm

MonteLDS wrote:...kind of off topic, but i keep thinking Ian is Saddam ever time i see his avatar...


I just see a funny avatar.

It's interesting that you posted this though, because I was just thinking that everytime I see this thread I see S's name in the thread title.
The guy's looks belie his true nature.

The fact that they have caught SH and that they might catch or kill BL,
doesn't change the fact that there will always be people (putting it nicely) who think it is perfectly alright to kill or harm innocent strangers - they don't even know who they will kill - in the name of THEIR political cause.
I never quite understood that.
Then again, to this day I still don't understand how come people, other than the SH's and BL's of this world, can be so insane (well literally insane) as to commit the despicable crimes (I won't list them; they are in the news almost daily anyway) they do.

Humans can really be cruel. I know it is a fact of life.
However, it is one of those things that still amazes me, and I am sure many others (I don't want to imply that I am alone in thinking this way) on a daily basis.
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