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Old 09-17-2013, 08:07 PM   #251
mhgaffney
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Brit keeps reminding me why he was on iggy.

scratch was -- is.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:59 PM   #252
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Brit keeps reminding me why he was on iggy.

scratch was -- is.
I understand your pain.

Facts just clutter up your thinking, it's much easier to ignore them and assume no one notices.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:31 PM   #253
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Recurring revenue!

http://thenewamerican.com/usnews/for...-syrian-rebels
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:59 PM   #254
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The 'holy grail.'
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Old 09-18-2013, 02:14 PM   #255
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I'm amazed that highly educated people in the US government can be aware of our history of involvement in civil wars for the last fifty years and yet still believe that they can influence the outcomes. You really wonder what it would take for them to learn the most fundamental concepts. There is nothing you can do about a civil war other than stay out of it.
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Old 09-18-2013, 02:56 PM   #256
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The 'holy grail.'
It's so obvious...reminds me of a zappa quote:

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:08 PM   #257
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I'm amazed that highly educated people in the US government can be aware of our history of involvement in civil wars for the last fifty years and yet still believe that they can influence the outcomes. You really wonder what it would take for them to learn the most fundamental concepts. There is nothing you can do about a civil war other than stay out of it.
Oh you can influence the outcomes, all right. You just can never predict what the ripple effects of those outcomes will be. And when your foreign policy is a joke anchored in bullying, lies, Jesus and "capitalism" which suspiciously looks like a big fat white guy slavering from the mouth with a gas can and a KJ Bible in hand, those ripple effects are usually bad.

'Murrica!
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:38 AM   #258
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Default yet another reason to say no to US involvement

Rebel-on-Rebel Violence Seizes Syria

http://stream.wsj.com/story/syria/SS...2/SS-2-331469/

By Nour Malas

An al Qaeda spinoff operating near Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, last week began a new battle campaign it dubbed “Expunging Filth.”

The target wasn’t their avowed enemy, the Syrian government. Instead, it was their nominal ally, the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army.

Across northern and eastern Syria, units of the jihadist group known as ISIS are seizing territory—on the battlefield and behind the front lines—from Western-backed rebels.

Some FSA fighters now consider the extremists to be as big a threat to their survival as the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

“It’s a three-front war,” a U.S. official said of the FSA rebels’ fight: They face the Assad regime, forces from its Lebanese ally Hezbollah, and now the multinational jihadist ranks of ISIS.

Brigade leaders of the FSA say that ISIS, an Iraqi al Qaeda outfit whose formal name is the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, has dragged them into a battle they are ill-equipped to fight.

Some U.S. officials said they see it as a battle for the FSA’s survival.

In recent months, ISIS has become a magnet for foreign jihadists who view the war in Syria not primarily as a means to overthrow the Assad regime but rather as a historic battleground for a larger Sunni holy war. According to centuries-old Islamic prophecy they espouse, they must establish an Islamic state in Syria as a step to achieving a global one.

Al Qaeda militants from central command in Pakistan and Pakistani Taliban fighters have also set up operational bases in northern Syria, people familiar with their operations said.

The spread of ISIS illustrates the failure of Western-backed Syrian moderates to establish authority in opposition-held parts of Syria, some of which have been under rebel control for over a year.

The proliferation of the Sunni jihadists and extremists has brought a new type of terror to the lives of many Syrians who have endured civil war in the north. Summary executions of Alawites and Shiites, who are seen as apostates, attacks on Shiite shrines, and kidnappings and assassinations of pro-Western rebels are on the rise.

Estimates on the size of ISIS range from 7,000 to 10,000 fighters. Fighters from ISIS—though it shares the goal of toppling Mr. Assad’s Shiite-linked Alawite regime—have frustrated Sunni communities that until recently embraced the military prowess and social services of Islamist rebels, local residents said.

The FSA’s fight with extremists is spurring new rebel calls for Western help, after the U.S. put on hold what had looked like imminent strikes on the Assad regime. Instead, diplomacy has taken over, after a U.S.-Russian deal to disarm Syria’s chemical weapons.

A parallel effort continues by Gulf states—and to a much lesser extent by the U.S.—to strengthen select rebel units viewed as moderate, according to Western officials familiar with the arms flow to Syrian rebels.

The FSA’s Supreme Military Council, and other rebels who want the U.S. to intervene on their behalf, see the rise of ISIS as an opportunity to firmly separate themselves from al Qaeda militants, whose presence they believe is holding the U.S. back.

This account of the growing influence of ISIS and its backlash is based on interviews with FSA rebels fighting ISIS, Syrian jihadists who have fought alongside the al Qaeda group or are familiar with its operations, and Western officials.

Representatives of ISIS, a group also known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and in Arabic as al-Dawla, couldn’t be reached for this article.

“There’s been a real shift in focus [among Syrians in the north],” a Western official working with the opposition said. “A sense of ‘We can’t get rid of the regime without getting rid of Dawla first.’ “

U.S. officials said one reason for the delay in funneling small quantities of light arms to rebels, which began this month, is the difficulty of creating secure pipelines of delivery to intended recipients.

The chaos of the Syrian battlefield, where those fighting to overthrow Mr. Assad sometimes fight side-by-side with those who see Syria as a springboard for global jihad, has compounded U.S. concerns over this process.

U.S. and other Western officials said they were aware of a local backlash and localized FSA counteroffensives against ISIS. They welcomed FSA efforts to draw a line between al Qaeda fighters and the rebels who Western states back.

The extremists post a threat to the ability of the political opposition, too, to gain legitimacy on the ground and better coordinate with the Free Syrian Army.

In the past half-year, as the Syrian Opposition Coalition, the main opposition body, deliberated over forming what it calls an interim government, extremists have gained ground across the north.

“It’s an uphill struggle for the coalition’s interim government to establish itself inside Syria in the face of threats from the regime, and extremists, but there is still an opportunity to be missed here,” a senior Western diplomat said. “It’s still the case that a majority of Syrians are not up for Talibanization. Given a moderate alternative, they will choose that.”

The other alternative: A lawless north becomes a launchpad for jihadists, akin to areas of Pakistan and the Arabian peninsula.

“The roots of Waziristan, of southern Yemen have been planted in northern Syria,” a Western official working with the opposition said.

The group has moved quickly. In mid-August, ISIS pushed a well-known FSA unit, the Ahfad al-Rasoul brigades, out of the city of Raqqa in northern Syria after tit-for-tat killings and bombings between their fighters.

On Wednesday, clashes broke out in the town of Azaz, near the Turkish border, between ISIS fighters and rebels from an FSA-allied group, leading to some casualties on both sides, opposition activists in the town said. Clashes continued past midnight, activists said.

Along Syria’s border with Turkey, ISIS fighters are trying to wrest the four major crossings from other rebel units, in a bid to control supply routes, according to rebels battling the extremists, and Western officials.

In recent weeks, ISIS fighters have adopted a strategy of dropping back—taking rear positions—as rebels with the FSA alliance leave for front lines to fight government forces, allowing ISIS to build a presence in towns and villages left without security or services.

Some Syrians in the villages that dot the Turkish border have changed their lifestyles to dodge persecution by followers of ISIS’s fearsome brand of Islamic extremism.

Local men grow beards to pass without scrutiny through ISIS checkpoints. Many Syrian activists and aid workers, wary of their affiliations with Western aid agencies and governments, now say they prefer to work in Turkey and avoid cross-border trips, many border residents and aid workers said.

These jihadists see a long-term mission in Syria. Foreign fighters have begun to move their families to Turkish border areas, locals said.

The trickle of families picked up after the possibility of a U.S. strike on Syrian government targets emerged late last month in response to an Aug. 21 chemical attack near Damascus. U.S. officials said they saw indications the militants hoped they could seize on a U.S. strike to shift momentum against the regime.

As the U.S. threat receded, emboldened ISIS militants ramped up efforts to win local support, said Hamid Ibrahim, a spokesman for FSA leader Gen. Salim Idriss.

“They are telling them: ‘We told you that you can’t depend on America for freedom. Don’t be fooled—you only have us,’ ” Mr. Ibrahim said.

The Supreme Military Council, led by Gen. Idriss leads has been the focus of U.S. efforts to bring a command-and-control structure to rebels—but has now lost to the Islamist extremists most of its ability to operate in some parts of the north.

ISIS fighters recently raided a council arms depot filled with lights weapons and ammunition, funded by the Gulf states and funneled to the council with the guidance of the Central Intelligence Agency, council members said.

From Idlib in the north to Deir el-Zour in the east, Syrian activists are looking for Western help to learn ways to push back against al Qaeda’s influence.

In Aleppo and Hama, local rebel police forces are being trained with U.S. funds to put security in the hands of American allies.

The foreign jihadists have become a problem even for some of the hard-line Syrian Islamists who worked most closely with them on the battlefield. One such group is Ahrar al-Sham.

On Sept. 10, a gunfight that broke out at an ISIS checkpoint in Idlib killed a revered leader, Abu Obeida, as he accompanied Turkish and Malaysian relief workers on a distribution mission, unleashing criticism in Islamist rebel circles against ISIS.

ISIS members, posting on social-media networks, said the delegation was stopped because fighters confused the Malaysian flag for the American flag.

They deny intending to kill Abu Obeida, and said they aimed to shoot him in the legs only to keep him from running away after they had ambushed him and stuck him in the trunk of a car.
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:22 PM   #259
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We've seen cases of chicanery before. Nothing would surprise me. MHG

Were Videos Depicting Victims Of Sarin Attack Faked?
Dubious nature of videos selected by US intel community

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

One Christian nun puts entire US intel community to shame over 'stage-managed' Syria footage

http://www.informationclearinghouse....ticle36284.htm
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:25 PM   #260
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Another problem with the photos is that people were handling the alleged dead bodies without any kind of protective clothing or face masks.

This is further evidence that weapons grade Sarin was not in evidence. If it had been used -- the people in close proximity to the dead victims would have been poisoned as well.

Clearly - it was either some other agent -- or non weapons grade Sarin.
MHG
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:40 PM   #261
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Another problem with the photos is that people were handling the alleged dead bodies without any kind of protective clothing or face masks.

This is further evidence that weapons grade Sarin was not in evidence. If it had been used -- the people in close proximity to the dead victims would have been poisoned as well.
For how long afterwards? Forever?
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:10 PM   #262
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[QUOTE=

Clearly - it was either some other agent -- or non weapons grade Sarin.
MHG[/QUOTE]

It's the mini nukes!
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:43 PM   #263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhgaffney View Post
Rebel-on-Rebel Violence Seizes Syria

http://stream.wsj.com/story/syria/SS...2/SS-2-331469/

By Nour Malas

An al Qaeda...

...him from running away after they had ambushed him and stuck him in the trunk of a car.
I'm sure they'll work this out. After all, Islam is the religion of peace.
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Old 09-21-2013, 11:52 AM   #264
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We clearly dodged a bullet -- and gained a reprieve. But for how long? Powerful forces want another war. Nonetheless for the moment -- Obama has stepped back from the brink. MHG

Is the Sun Peeking Through the War Clouds?

By Pat Buchanan

http://www.informationclearinghouse....ticle36298.htm

September 20, 2013 "Information Clearing House - Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck is sometimes credited with the proverb, "God has a special providence for fools, drunks and the United States of America."

Observing the unfolding of the Syrian crisis, the Iron Chancellor was an insightful man.

In August, we were hours away from missile strikes on Syria and involvement in its civil war with the possibility that Hezbollah, Iran and Russia would be drawn in.

Seeking a way out of the box into which he gotten himself with his "Assad Must Go!" and "red line" bluster, President Obama announced he was going to Congress to get its backing, before bombing.

This ignited a Middle American uprising against Obama's war. Then John Kerry said Syria could evade the terrible swift sword of Barack Obama only by surrendering all their chemical weapons within a week.

Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, watching the United States careening toward a war that Russia no more wanted than did most of Congress, seized upon Kerry's statement and said: Let us work together to rid Syria of chemical arms.

Obama grabbed the life preserver.

To say the War Party is apoplectic at Obama for blowing this chance to get us into war with Syria, which held real promise of sucking us into a war with Iran, is an understatement.

The worst peace scare in memory is sweeping through the think tanks of Washington.

Conceding the incompetence of how Obama and Kerry got us into this mess, are we not in a far better place than a month ago?

—A U.S. war on Syria has been averted. We are not killing Syrians.

—Assad has conceded he has chemical weapons and has shown a willingness to have inspectors come in and remove it.

—The chilly, almost Cold War-like relations between Obama and Putin have given way to cooperation in getting these chemical weapons chronicled and removed.

—While this disarmament may take years, this is a powerful incentive for America and Russia to bring about a cease-fire, truce or end to this civil-sectarian war that has taken so many thousands of lives.

—There is a rising realization in the United States that the enemy in Syria is not Assad but the al-Qaida fighters and their allies. A victory for the rebels could mean mass martyrdom for Syria's Christians and the annihilation of the Alawites.

—Hassan Rouhani, the new prime minister of Iran, has gone on U.S.
television to declare Iran is not only not building an atom bomb, it will never do so. And he has signaled a willingness to prove it in return for a lifting of sanctions and readmission to the world community.

—A U.S.-Iranian meeting appears possible next week at the U.N., which could lead to direct negotiations over Iran's nuclear program.

There is always a possibility an incident could turn the United States back toward the bellicosity of August and put the War Party back in the saddle. But there are reasons to be hopeful. And that hope is not based on some naive trust in the truth of what we are being told by our adversaries, but on what their own cold interests dictate.

Take Russia. A U.S. attack on Syria would surely lead to deeper U.S. involvement, the fall of Assad, the loss of her principal ally in the Arab world and her naval base at Latakia, and a loss of prestige at having been proven unable to protect her Syrian ally from the Americans.

A U.S. war on Assad's regime could also mean a victory for Islamists and their capture of some of Assad's chemical weapons, which could turn up in the Caucasus just in time for the Sochi Olympics.

Take Iran. She is suffering from the sanctions. Failure to do a deal on her nuclear program carries a rising risk the War Party will get its way and the United States will launch air and missile strikes, leading to a war in the Persian Gulf. No matter the damage this might do to America and the global economy, Iran could be set back decades. A breakup of Iran is possible, as Iraq is breaking up.

And what would an atom bomb do for Iran? The Saudis would acquire one, and the Israelis would put their hundreds on a hair trigger.

If America was not intimidated by thousands of nuclear weapons in Soviet silos and on Soviet submarines, does Tehran think an Iranian bomb is going to frighten the Americans out of the Gulf?

Take Syria. Assad wants to survive and emerge victorious from his civil war. That means no war with the United States. That means meeting the Americans at least halfway.

In short, the United States, Russia, Syria and even Iran have a cold interest in no wider war in Syria. Unfortunately, powerful forces across the Middle East, and right here in River City, believe they have a vital interest in bringing about just such a war.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:30 PM   #265
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at Buchanan for thinking Kerry's remark was just off-the-cuff. Yeah. Kerry's the SOS of the U.S. and doesn't think through every single word he utters. God, what a boob.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:19 AM   #266
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Is this being reported in the lackey US media? Looks like the rebels were responsible for the gas attack.
MHG

Sunday 22 September 2013

Gas missiles 'were not sold to Syria'

Export papers seem to back Assad's denial over sarin attack – but Russians won't go into detail

ROBERT FISK


http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/...a-8831792.html

While the Assad regime in Damascus has denied responsibility for the sarin gas missiles that killed around 1,400 Syrians in the suburb of Ghouta on 21 August, information is now circulating in the city that Russia's new "evidence" about the attack includes the dates of export of the specific rockets used and – more importantly – the countries to which they were originally sold. They were apparently manufactured in the Soviet Union in 1967 and sold by Moscow to three Arab countries, Yemen, Egypt and Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's Libya. These details cannot be verified in documents, and Vladimir Putin has not revealed the reasons why he told Barack Obama that he knows Assad's army did not fire the sarin missiles; but if the information is correct – and it is believed to have come from Moscow – Russia did not sell this particular batch of chemical munitions to Syria.
Since Gaddafi's fall in 2011, vast quantities of his abandoned Soviet-made arms have fallen into the hands of rebel groups and al-Qa'ida-affiliated insurgents. Many were later found in Mali, some in Algeria and a vast amount in Sinai. The Syrians have long claimed that a substantial amount of Soviet-made weaponry has made its way from Libya into the hands of rebels in the country's civil war with the help of Qatar – which supported the Libyan rebels against Gaddafi and now pays for arms shipments to Syrian insurgents.

There is no doubt that Syria has a substantial chemical weapons armoury. Nor that Syrian stockpiles contain large amounts of sarin gas 122mm missiles. But if the Russians have indeed been able to identify the specific missile markings on fragments found in Ghouta – and if these are from munitions never exported to Syria – the Assad regime will boast its innocence has been proven.

In a country – indeed a world – where propaganda is more influential than truth, discovering the origin of the chemicals that suffocated so many Syrians a month ago is an investigation fraught with journalistic perils. Reporters sending dispatches from rebel-held parts of Syria are accused by the Assad regime of consorting with terrorists. Journalists reporting from the government side of Syria's front lines are regularly accused of mouthing the regime's propaganda. And even if the Assad regime was not responsible for the 21 August attacks, its forces have committed war crimes aplenty over the past two years. Torture, massacre, the bombardment of civilian targets have long been proved.

Nevertheless, it also has to be said that grave doubts are being expressed by the UN and other international organisations in Damascus that the sarin gas missiles were fired by Assad's army. While these international employees cannot be identified, some of them were in Damascus on 21 August and asked a series of questions to which no one has yet supplied an answer. Why, for example, would Syria wait until the UN inspectors were ensconced in Damascus on 18 August before using sarin gas little more than two days later – and only four miles from the hotel in which the UN had just checked in? Having thus presented the UN with evidence of the use of sarin – which the inspectors quickly acquired at the scene – the Assad regime, if guilty, would surely have realised that a military attack would be staged by Western nations.

As it is, Syria is now due to lose its entire strategic long-term chemical defences against a nuclear-armed Israel – because, if Western leaders are to be believed, it wanted to fire just seven missiles almost a half century old at a rebel suburb in which only 300 of the 1,400 victims (if the rebels themselves are to be believed) were fighters. As one Western NGO put it yesterday: "if Assad really wanted to use sarin gas, why for God's sake, did he wait for two years and then when the UN was actually on the ground to investigate?"

The Russians, of course, have made similar denials of Assad's responsibility for sarin attacks before. When at least 26 Syrians died of sarin poisoning in Khan al-Assal on 19 March – one of the reasons why the UN inspectors were dispatched to Syria last month – Moscow again accused the rebels of responsibility. The Russians later presented the UN with a 100-page report containing its "evidence". Like Putin's evidence about the 21 August attacks, however, it has not been revealed.

A witness who was with Syrian troops of the army's 4th Division on 21 August – a former Special Forces officer considered a reliable source – said he saw no evidence of gas shells being fired, even though he was in one of the suburbs, Moadamiya, which was a target for sarin. He does recall the soldiers expressing concern when they saw the first YouTube images of suffocating civilians – not out of sympathy, but because they feared they would have to fight amid clouds of poison.

"It would perhaps be going beyond conspiracy theories to say the government was not involved," one Syrian journalist said last week, "but we are sure the rebels have got sarin. They would need foreigners to teach them how to fire it. Or is there a 'third force' which we don't know about? If the West needed an excuse to attack Syria, they got it right on time, in the right place, and in front of the UN inspectors."
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:20 AM   #267
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Care to answer W*GS' question, Gaff?
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:29 AM   #268
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Google it yourself. Should take you all of two minutes.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:30 AM   #269
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Court document references al Qaeda-linked chemical weapons program in Somalia

By CBS News

http://www.informationclearinghouse....ticle36315.htm
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:33 AM   #270
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Google it yourself. Should take you all of two minutes.
I already have. That's why I'm asking you.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:40 PM   #271
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Don't trip over yourself with a response.

The silence here says it all.
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:29 PM   #272
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All the evidence suggests Assad was set up --

A Syrian nun thinks at least some of the photos/videos of dead bodies were staged.
http://www.informationclearinghouse....ticle36284.htm

Sarin causes uncontrollable vomiting, urination and defecation before death. Do you see any evidence of these in the photos/video?

MHG
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:21 PM   #273
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All the evidence suggests Assad was set up --

A Syrian nun thinks at least some of the photos/videos of dead bodies were staged.
http://www.informationclearinghouse....ticle36284.htm

Sarin causes uncontrollable vomiting, urination and defecation before death. Do you see any evidence of these in the photos/video?

MHG
So the UN inspectors lied about Sarin??
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:27 PM   #274
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So the UN inspectors lied about Sarin??
They're part of the conspiracy, dontcha know?

Because some yahoo thousands of miles away doesn't see signs he thinks should be there...get this...on a video.

Next time I get sick, I'm not going to go to the doctor, I'll just take a video of myself and email it to him.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:51 PM   #275
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They're part of the conspiracy, dontcha know?

Because some yahoo thousands of miles away doesn't see signs he thinks should be there...get this...on a video.

Next time I get sick, I'm not going to go to the doctor, I'll just take a video of myself and email it to him.
Your attention span is ...what? 3 seconds.

You forgot how they sold the first Gulf War...with a carefully crafted lie.

Those dead babies...thrown out of the incubators..on the floor to die..

It never happened. Yet, you would be deceived again

How stupid can you get.MHG

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nayirah_(testimony)
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