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Author Topic: Saudi Arabia giving amnesty to militants/terrorists?!
Sancselfieme
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story


quote:

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - A confidant of Osama bin Laden surrendered to Saudi diplomats in Iran and was flown to the kingdom Tuesday, a potentially valuable asset in the war on terror because of his closeness to the fugitive al-Qaida chief.

Khaled bin Ouda bin Mohammed al-Harby was shown on Saudi TV being pushed in a wheelchair through the Riyadh airport. He is the most important figure to surface under a Saudi amnesty promising to spare the lives of militants who turn themselves in.

Um, why the HELL is Bush allowing this? If Bush attacked Afghanistan for simply not turning over O/UBL, then why the heck are we standing by and allowing Saudi Arabia to give these people a free pass?!?!?!?!?! Under this premise, O/Usama could turn himself in and he'd get amnesty! I realize the Saudis might rethink this if he tried to use it, as high profile as he is, but the fact that they're willing to give a clean record to terrorists and militants that have aided Al Qaida and helped attack America is crap.


Saudi should no longer be considered an ally in the War on Terror. Lets see Bush be conistent with his "any nation that harbors a terrorist" and "if you're not with us you're against us" positions now.

I think Bush won't do a damn thing about this, he is too buddy buddy with the Saudis.

If Bush does nothing about this it proves he really doesn't care about protecting America more than his relationship with the Saudis.


I realize this amnesty period ends in 10 days, but we can't even use the people who turn themselves in during this period for intelligence, much less give them their just punishments for their crimes against the United States and humanity.

With a supposed election attack coming up, this is even more INSANE. How could Bush sit by and allow this to happen? The Saudis will undoubtedly not just let us interrogate anyone who turns themselves in.

[ July 13, 2004, 07:19 PM: Message edited by: Sancselfieme ]

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WarrsawPact
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OBL is persona non grata in Saudi Arabia. Count on it.
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WarrsawPact
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And the electino season is the only reason the Saudis are able to get away with it. If we assert ourselves and OPEC magically decides to lwoer production (thus raising prices), that can mean the end of Bush's chances this November.
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yossarian22c
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The other side of this story would be that hopefully Saudi Arabia will actually become a ally in the war on terror. They have a tradition of being lax on this issue so hopefully they will offer this one last truce to the terrorists then crack down. If several terrorists turn themselves in and reappear on the intellegence agencies radar it could provide us with new links if they try to reenter the terrorists world. Sure we all hate to see a lot of these guys go free; but at least we'll know where they are.

While this may not be the greatest statagy if there are less terrorists in the world afterwards maybe it isn't such a bad thing. The past cannot be changed but the future with less terrorists sounds good to me. Sure there are down sides to this policy but there is a silver lining if you think about it.

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Alma Teao Wilson
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Never underestimate the power of an amnesty.

Amnesties only overlook your past, not your future. Readiness to submit to the terms of an amnesty usually marks a change in future behavior.

I remember once a sci-fi story in which a fellow with the power to change people's memories for a fee goes around doing this service for a variety of criminals. He gets rid of all their memories of ever having done anything criminal. And they turn into legitimate businessmen...

Amnesties aren't really all that different.

(BTW, if anyone can remember the title of the story or who wrote it, I'd be grateful.)

Fraternally,

ATW

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Sancselfieme
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GIVE ME A BREAK, you think these terrorists will all reform their lives and magically only think pure, happy thoughts because of amnesty?

These people have been on the run from a US government that is hunting them down in the battlefield and they full well know intends to intern them and forcefully extract info from them in places like Gitmo. They saw this amnesty chance for what it was, a chance to get the heat off them for a while and have a safe country of operations from which to operate: Saudi Arabia.

You can't sit there with a straight face and tell me all these guys are taking advantage of the amnesty deal because they have instantly reformed. Their hatred of America and willingness to attack us doesn't just magically dissappear like that.

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RickyB
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Always ready with an explanation for Bush, WP, yet you chide me to "use my imagination" regarding something that simply isn't in evidence.

This is not some joe shmo. He's a significant Bin Laden associate. You can't tell us this time that he'll have no interrogative value (like the relatives who were allowed to run away after 9/11), nor ask us to count on the Saudis to get the dirt for us. We've been tolerating the Saudi bullcrap for far too long. We want the guy.

And yes, I remember the story about the AQ maggot who mysteriously died in custody who was supposedly scared silly about being turned over to the Saudis. Still. This could be as big a lead we've had on Osama's whereabouts since Tora Bora.

I say you either agree that WE should get him ASAP or you have no moral ground to ever chide anyone else for putting other considerations ahead of the WoT.

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yossarian22c
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I'm sure some of these guys won't completely reform Sanc but now we know where they are. So if they renew terrorist activities we may actually learn information by following or tapping their phones or whatever.

Ricky while I agree this guy may have some info we would like as long as he's in Saudi we should abide by their decision to offer him amnesty. (If he chooses to leave the country that's a different story.) I do put other considerations above the war on terror, namely human rights and maintaining an honorable country. This doesn't mean we should ignore this guy but he should get the freedom the Saudi's promised. I wouldn't have a problem though with the Saudi's or CIA tapping his phone or following him but I don't think we should arrest and interrogate him as long as he is in Saudi Arabia. This is part of the deal when you want to fight as the good guys you have to obey the rules and honor the deals that you and your allies offer.

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RickyB
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That's not the point, Yossarian. The point is that our allies shouldn't be offering sweetheart deals to known terrorist high-ups, and we shouldn't let them get away with it. If they do that, if they effectively put such a catch out of our reach, then how exactly are they our sllies?

I don't want to wait till this guy makes a mistake. I want to know what he knows, and I want to know it now. Imagine Great Britain in WW2 offering asylum and amnesty to a staff officer of Yamamoto's or Tojo's, so that we couldn't interrogate them. Would that be considered the act of an ally?

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Robertson, Ugly and Nohow
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From ABC News:
quote:
the Saudis aren't offering a full amnesty. The government says it won't prosecute, but private citizens can still seek retribution. Under Islamic law, families who have lost a close relative can either forgive murderers, take blood money, or demand capital punishment.
I haven't seen any details in this amnesty deal about Saudi Arabia protectecting any amnesty takers against foreign prosecution, either.
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Pete at Home
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I'm with Alma on this. Amnesty could break up terrorist loyalties.

I don't trust the Sauds to administer this intelligently, given their history, but the basic idea is sound. And maybe the Sauds have learned a lesson from past laxness.

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WarrsawPact
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Ricky -
quote:
Always ready with an explanation for Bush, WP, yet you chide me to "use my imagination" regarding something that simply isn't in evidence.
Oh give it up. It's an explanation, not an excuse. Of course I want the terrorist brought to justice, but if you think Bush (or any president, real or imagined, including Gore or Kerry or McCain) is going to slap Saudi Arabia around at this time of the year in an election year, and at this stage of the WoT, it's time to put your realism cap on.

None of Bush's handlers has spent enough time on the short bus to think it's a great time to send in our own boys and finish the job when the situation in the Middle East requires so much more tact.

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Ivan
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Yeah. I think I'm with ATW and Pete on this one. But I do hope they won't be given passports and be allowed to go to the US without us at least knowing that they're former terrorists.
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Pete at Home
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If I could cut a deal by which Islamist terrorism was permenantly crushed, but resulted in Osama Bin Ladin living peacefully in Fiji with seventy willing concubines, I'd take that deal in a heartbeat. Bringing terrorists to justice is not the end goal; it's just a means to the end. The end goal here is peace, freedom, and prosperity in America and in the middle east.

Furthermore, President Bush has said repeatedly that he is a big believer in "repentance," and holds up his own former alcoholism as an example. He said once that he even believed that Saddam Hussein still had the choice to rehabilitate himself, and that GWB was looking for signs of repentance from that dictator.

If OBL himself were to offer a deal wherein he turned in his Al Qaeda contacts and would swear to use his influence to preach peace and undo the damage he'd done, I'd say give peace a chance.

That's why I gave Arafat that chance, like most Israelis did, giving Arafat's pledge of peace the benefit of the doubt. I argued for years on this forum against the growing evidence against him, until the evidence of Arafat's collaboration with terror became damning and undeniable. Like most Israelis, I found that my hopes in Arafat's redemption were vain, but I do not give up my belief that peace and repentance deserves at least a chance.

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Sancselfieme
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Robertson, these people shouldn't get any breaks, even if families can still go after them.


Remember, some of these people helped engineer the deaths of over 4 thousand American citizens! How can we forget that?! Don't you people have a sense of justice?! You see, in addition to the interrogative aspect, these people also need to be punished for their crimes, in essence, the Saudi government has unilaterally decided it doesn't want to punish them, that's wrong.

If Bush has any balls, conistency, or morality at all, he'll say that Saudi can't do this and unless Saudi turns over all the people who have used this deal from the Devil, that he will go in and forcefully take them.


Afghanistan did LESS and we invaded them and destroyed their governments. Remember, according to Bush, any government that harbors terrorists is considered an enemy of the US. Lets see him live up to that.

Amnesty won't destroy terrorist affiliations, don't be naive here. There people have lived their lives hating America, you think just because the Saudi government offers them a clean record they are all of a sudden going to change and give it up? I can almost guarantee you that pretty much none of them will. When one decided to live a life of murder and killing, it's very easy to continue doing it and very rarely do people just magically give it up, especially when they think what they are doing is morally justified.

Lets get real folks, this isn't going to help the terrorist problem one bit.

[ July 14, 2004, 03:48 PM: Message edited by: Sancselfieme ]

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RickyB
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Yeah, well. I just remember how we Israelis counted on the Palestinians to fight terrorists and keep them in jail...Did Not Work Out, lemme tell y'all.

Some of your arguments (Pete, Alma) have merit, and so do mine and Sanc's, and it doesn't seem like we'll convince each other.

But Pete, if this was a democratic prez (say...Slick Willie? Say...."Kerry the flip-flopper"?), with business ties in Saudi Arabia, after having said what Bush said about "anyone harboring"... his blood would be drawn and spilt on all airwaves daily. And for the love of any and all gods, don't insult both of us by denying it.

bush gets high marks from the public for "saying what he means" and "being firm" and "staying the course", so it's infuriating to see him get a free pass on shait like that.

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Pete at Home
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Hating America is not, in itself a crime, just a lapse of judgment. I have less of a problem giving amnesty to any of the 911 murderers, if there is a realistic hope for peace, than with the deal that we cut with Stalin over Hitler. Or with many of the deals that our prosecutors routinely make with mob killers who turn dime.

Are the Sauds in fact offering these terrorists a "clean record"? I had thought that it was just freedom from execution.

The new South African government botched a lot of things, but one thing they did right was the "Truth and Reconcilliation" thing. If amnesty was paired with a complete confession and an oath against recidivism, then even if these guys broke their word, they'd be largely de-clawed, and the Muslim world would not support them any longer.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Yeah, well. I just remember how we Israelis counted on the Palestinians to fight terrorists and keep them in jail...Did Not Work Out, lemme tell y'all.
I've already conceded that, Ricky. But I still maintain that it was the right thing to do at the time. It's precisely by that sad story of Israel's misplaced hope in peace, that Israelis proved to everyone with eyes to see that they are morally superior, not only to their adversaries, but to the rest of the world, including America. It's because of that that Israel can finally stand united in the face of terror, and because of that that Americans will not run and go Euro on our Israeli brothers. And that's how many of us presumptuous American goyim see ourselves, even though the Israelis don't (and to be fair can't afford to) see it that way.

quote:
Some of your arguments (Pete, Alma) have merit, and so do mine and Sanc's, and it doesn't seem like we'll convince each other.
Maybe you will convince me. You've done it before. Just because I want to believe in peace does not mean that I am blind to reality. Like I said, I was finally convinced on Arafat. I hope to God that no Israelis died because of my personal slowness to acknowledge the obvious.

And if I'm right, and you're wrong, then I think that God will forgive you for not giving peace a chance this time, because you already saw your own people die horribly on such hopes. Even if I'm right, I think that you have an honorable excuse for holding a position that is not based on fear for your personal safety, but on responsibility for the safety of others.


quote:
But Pete, if this was a democratic prez (say...Slick Willie? Say...."Kerry the flip-flopper"?), with business ties in Saudi Arabia, after having said what Bush said about "anyone harboring"... his blood would be drawn and spilt on all airwaves daily. And for the love of any and all gods, don't insult both of us by denying it.
I do not deny it. But you're mistaken to limit this to Democrats. Bush Sr. had his blood drawn and spilt on all major newspapers when he threatened to cut US loan guarantees to settlements being built past the green line. Bush Sr. would never have gotten away with this, either.

quote:
bush gets high marks from the public for "saying what he means" and "being firm" and "staying the course", so it's infuriating to see him get a free pass on shait like that.
Why is it infuriating to see Bush "get away with" shait like peacemaking?

Your protests remind me of Republicans who were furious that Clinton was able to get away with shait like balancing the budget, when no Republican would have gotten away with it.


Although it remains to be seen whether he'll 1) agree to it and 2) get away with it, I think that you are right that GWB would get away with allowing an amnesty, because on certain issues he has earned our trust.

Likewise, in Israel, Barak never dared dismantle established settlements. Who other than Sharon could have gotten away with dismantling established Israeli settlements in the West Bank and in Gaza?

[ July 14, 2004, 04:44 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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yossarian22c
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quote:
I don't want to wait till this guy makes a mistake. I want to know what he knows, and I want to know it now.
Arresting him will make him talk? I think not. Even if we threaten him or use any interrogation techniques there is no guarantee anything he says will be true. Also by the time he does talk much of the information he has could be out of date. There is probably a better chance of getting better and more reliable intelligence through passive means here.

quote:
But I do hope they won't be given passports and be allowed to go to the US without us at least knowing that they're former terrorists.
I doubt that he will leave Saudi Arabia any time soon and if he does hop on a plane and come to the U.S. I would have no problem arresting him and prosecuting him for any crimes he has committed in this country or extraditing him to a country where he has committed crimes to be tried. I'm pretty sure intellegence agencies will be keeping a pretty close watch on these guys.

quote:
Remember, some of these people helped engineer the deaths of over 4 thousand American citizens! How can we forget that?! Don't you people have a sense of justice?! You see, in addition to the interrogative aspect, these people also need to be punished for their crimes, in essence, the Saudi government has unilaterally decided it doesn't want to punish them, that's wrong.

We don't forget that, but if their quitting being terrorists prevents 4,000 more people from dying wouldn't that be a worthy cause? The 4,000 dead can never be brought back, future terrorists attacks can be prevented. Reducing the number of terrorists seems like a good idea to me.

quote:
If Bush has any balls, conistency, or morality at all, he'll say that Saudi can't do this and unless Saudi turns over all the people who have used this deal from the Devil, that he will go in and forcefully take them.
So if Bush is moral he'll arrest these people who have been promised amnesty or go to war? War is never the most moral corse of action, sometimes neccessary though.

quote:
Afghanistan did LESS and we invaded them and destroyed their governments.
Afghanistan harbored active terrorists and was a breeding and training ground for terrorist groups. The Afghan government also had the worst human rights records in the world, not that the Saudi's are great in this area but they are a lot better than the Afghan's were.

quote:
There people have lived their lives hating America, you think just because the Saudi government offers them a clean record they are all of a sudden going to change and give it up? I can almost guarantee you that pretty much none of them will.
Sure they will probably continue hating America, that isn't a crime we just want them to quit being terrorists. I'm sure after living for years as a fugitive a home, hot showers, beds, and not living in fear may be more attractive than you think.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
We don't forget that, but if their quitting being terrorists prevents 4,000 more people from dying wouldn't that be a worthy cause? The 4,000 dead can never be brought back, future terrorists attacks can be prevented. Reducing the number of terrorists seems like a good idea to me.
Agreed, Yossi. But Sanc's valid question is *IF* terrorist attacks can be reduced by this. I think that accepting an amnesty does require some degree of humility. I've also mentioned a "truth and reconcilliation" model, which goes even further.

Ages ago I spoke of a "death penalty probation" sentence idea, as a means of replacing the prison system and allowing some severe but nonrepetitive criminals to rehabilitate (which prison doesn't) while keeping them on a very short leash.

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towellman
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Before you get too riled up blaming Bush for NOT invading Saudi, read some history about occupations and counter-insurgencies and look at what else is going on there, ok?

As a result of the terrorist attacks in Saudi over the past 18 months the Saudi government has actually woken up and is starting to really crack down on terrorist activity there. Looking at the history of counter-insurgencies an occupations shows that a "carrot-and-stick" method is the most effective way to control rebels (and hopefully terrorists, time will tell) while placating a divided population (source "The Savage Wars of Peace"). So the amnesty is the carrot so they can show how nice they are for letting a former terrorist that can't even walk (and a few other non-die-hards) off easy and then have a big stick waiting for the ones that don't accept the amnesty.

The popular support they will get and maintain for their crackdown is well worth letting a few terrorists retire. It's a good move: reduce the number of active terrorists and gain popular support. And if those retirees get back in the game then, having recently been a part of normal society, they are easier to track and whack.

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Kherlen
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Even if these 'retirees' want to get back into the game, will the game let them? Organizations like this aren't like a swimming pool, where you can hop in and out at your own leisure. Once you're in, you're in. Once you're out, you better hope those who are still in let you stay out.
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Dan Allen
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quote:
Originally posted by Sancselfieme:
Robertson, these people shouldn't get any breaks, even if families can still go after them.

Remember, some of these people helped engineer the deaths of over 4 thousand American citizens!

But based on what RUN quoted, those families can still sue for the death penalty - the amnesty only says that the saudi government cannot. All it takes is for a single family of the 3000 with standing in a saudi court for this guy to fry; I'd bet it will be pretty easy to find at least one that could do it, don't you?
Heck, maybe the U.S. government could gain standing for a class action suit against him.

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Pete at Home
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I refuse to believe that anyone, even Sanc, seriously wants us to invade Saudi Arabia. That makes as much sense militarily or diplomatically as invading China. Invade Saudi Arabia, and even moderate Muslims will turn into fanatical terrorists. Pakistan would distribute its nukes. No one, maybe not even Israel, would stand by us.
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kelcimer
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But Pete, that's why we need to pressure Suadi Arabia to the point where it goes into civil war. Then we wouldn't be "invading." We'd be going in to bring stability to the region and to preserve the world economy.
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RickyB
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Nobody said anything about invade. Something, though.

Kelcimer, are you being sarcastic?

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yossarian22c
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I hope so, civil war is some nasty stuff and I have no desire to see our military try to stabilize another country because then we really would need more soldiers and I'm still draft age. Nothing agaist the armed forces, I respect everyone who serves but this war (or some intervention in Saudi) isn't for me.
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Sancselfieme
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Saudi Arabia has been a financial base of operations for terrorists looking for funds. Past reconciliations between the Saudi government and former mujahideens have led to abuses of restored statuses. These people are just looking for a fresh start for their criminal activities. They've committed themselves to the downfall of American, and if we forget that for even a second they will have an even safer base of operations than Afghanistan: one where the US is dependant on oil exports so we won't invade no matter how many terrorists the Saudis harbor. Some of these people are probably just looking to get the "heat" off them as election time comes up and as the Bush gov't. intensifies it's hunt for terrorists to turn up some trophy captures for PR. You'll probably see some high profile Al Qaida people turn up in the next day or so before this deal runs out. This is truly sickening.

[ July 15, 2004, 11:43 PM: Message edited by: Sancselfieme ]

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kelcimer
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quote:
Kelcimer, are you being sarcastic?
Officially? On the record? Of course I was being sarcastic. Why oh why would I seriously think of a way to get a reason that is legitamite for the rest of the world so that if we wanted to we could go into that bastard nation and knockheads (which would be a thing that they surely deserve and direly need)?

[ July 16, 2004, 12:24 AM: Message edited by: kelcimer ]

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Pete at Home
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Maybe they should offer a prize to the 100th terrorist to accept the amnesty? Call it the 71-virgin amnesty or something catchy like that.
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