Tag Archive: Iraq

Embarrassment or Dirty Dealing Discovery – the Real Reason for Secret Trials

Cameron, Blair, Brown and Straw – The Real Reason for Secret Trials

Embarrassing Smiles Cover Up Secrets and Lies

Tony Blair and Jack Straw

Tony Blair and Jack Straw

Jack Straw may have been “embarrassed” when he abolished his plans to abolish secret inquests which would have covered up his and Blair’s secret dealings over the euphemistically named extraordinary renditions (a.k.a. kidnappings and torture) that he initially claimed not to have done.

He may have been embarrassed about his son getting done in a tabloid sting for dope selling although his continued usage of the substance seems to have passed him by.

He may also have been embarrassed about being caught out for hiding the truth about using fake reasons to start the illegal war in Iraq.

Discovery and Personal Guilt

Embarrassment is not it though.  The real reason is our discovery of Straw & Blair’s hypocritical dealings over wars and torture, kidnap and illegal detention without trial, things that Straw’s government, and now our own coalition one, seek to hide.  That’s a deep guilt.

Was it guilt over the knowledge that as he was the head of an unaccountable web of spies, they were doing everything that any free democratic nation would naturally think abhorrent?

Or was it guilt over authorising these abhorrences to civilised behaviour?  Perhaps he knew that in 2005 the US was training already designated terrorists, in terrorism, on their own soil?

Extraordinary rendition, U.S. style

Extraordinary rendition, U.S. (and U.K!!) style

That’s the special relationship for ya!   Straw brought in the US-UK one-sided extradition agreement in 2003.  The following yearhe and Blair were found out to have started the war in Iraq on false pretences.  There then followed the endless investigations that dragged on for so long that folks forgot what they were about.

A collusion between the military, the law and politics from the establishment, designed to legally obfuscate by the dreary analysis of the minutiae of the webs of illegality they’d hatched?

We now find out, in the same year, 2004, that Straw and Blair were (supposedly) in government, Fatima Bouchar and her husband, Abdel Hakim Belhaj were captured, bound in gaffa tape (her eyelid bound open for 17 hours during this process), kidnapped and transported to a foreign power (Libya) where they were tortured and imprisoned for seven years.

Straw said he knew nothing, so what exactly was he paid for?  Was he a stooge, a calm reassuring personae, quietly acquiescing to misdeeds on the grandest of scales in exchange for lifelong protection and a nice pension?

Abdel is now in the ruling government of Libya, having fought and beaten Gaddhafi, with The West’s help, let’s not forget….

See: Special report: Rendition ordeal that raises new questions about secret trials.  This is the story of their imprisonment, and the trail of evidence that reveals the involvement of the British government.  It’s all there.  Detailed.  How Straw and Blair either instigated or permitted this to happen.

Cover Up Illegal Government Work by Invoking Secret Trials, “in the national interest”!

Killer Drone Aircraft

Killer Drone Aircraft

It’s all true.  Our own (and the US) secret services kidnapped and transported innocents from our own and foreign soils to foreign powers.  This was all done without the intervention of a judge, without court orders and in many cases (those in Guantanamo Bay for instance), without any immediate or subsequent trial.  They’re still doing it!

Bush, Cheney, Obama, Blair - their handiwork

Bush, Cheney, Obama, Blair – their handiwork – it is estimated that >3ooo civilians have been killed by drones

The only difference between the recent actions of Jack Straw, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Blunket, Teresa May, Ken Clarke & David Cameron, and the historical actions of Joseph Stalin, Chairman Mao and Adolf Hitler are that in the former, there’s been no trial and the people are still alive, and in the latter there were usually show or peremptory trials usually followed by immediate execution.

Stalins Handiwork

Stalins Handiwork

Though life is precious, today’s innocents (innocent unless proven guilty, remember) may have at times wished they were dead.

One man’s been locked up since just after Jack Straw brought in the extradition deal with the US…! He’s now destined for transport to the USA and has been in solitary confinement here, without trial, for 8 years!  Murderers get less than that!  His crime was to host an anti-American website using a US-based host.

Killer Drone Pilots

Killer Drone Pilots

This is a bit like me.

  • I hate much of what the USA & UK does in the name of freedom, because plainly, it’s not.
  • I hate the undemocratic, illegal processes that the US and UK have done in the past (and now it appears are continuing to do) with a passion.
  • This website is hosted in the USA (Dallas, Texas, to be exact).

Can I expect a knock on the door and to be gaffa-taped off to solitary soon?  Probably not, because I don’t promote war, in fact, it’s an abhorrence.

Meanwhile, thousands of civilians die in US drone attacks while a lawyer for the victims is mysteriously prevented from gaining a visa because of “technical difficulties”!

Terrorist Distractions

Haditha Killings - US marines get away with murder

Haditha Killings – US marines get away with murder

Let’s not get distracted by today’s news that the European Court of Human Rights has allowed the extradition of a few “terror suspects” to be extradited to the USA though.

Killer Drone Pilot Control - the hand of death.

The targets have no chance to surrender, and the Afghan government has raised concerns. The drone strikes are dubbed ”Kill TV” or ”Taliban TV” because soldiers watch live video feeds of bombs and missiles detonating, with one source admitting it is uncomfortable viewing: ”You can see everything.”

Because the real devilish forces, whereby a supposedly civilised country like the United Kingdom can kidnap and torture with impunity, still exist.  Pregnant Fatima Bouchar was not a terrorist and nor was her husband.  Their terrifying ordeal at the hands of our secret service stands testament to that.

The Real Targets - our own freedoms

The Real Targets – our own freedoms

Even worse, our own dear whiter-than-white freedom-loving governments have now been found to have colluded in the kidnap, lied about having knowledge of the kidnap, and now seek to cover up any further public knowledge of this and other kidnaps (and worse, perhaps?) under the guise of “national security”.

These are the real devils in our midst.  They are the real terrorists.  Under false pretexts they continue to bomb civilians with drones and kidnap and torture those they can’t kill.  Though from different political persuasions, successive governments draft laws cover up the previous one’s actions.

What an evil nasty bunch they are.     Cameron and his crowing cohorts are just the latest in a long line.

 

Meanwhile,

  • MPs and judges can retire to fully indexed-linked pensions,   unlike the rest of the public sector workers who have been recently brutalised and scape-goated in the press for the thieving behaviour of gambling banker-politicians.
  • MPs and judges are protected from harm by the very secret services they’ve steered and governed while the rest of us are made
  •  to feel fear at home, where none exists
  • to feel loathed abroad, when we have done nothing

All due to the evil machinations of these few folk.

The Real Reason for Secret Trials and Internet Censorship

At least we can all now see the real reason for last week’s push for secret trials by Cameron and the ConDems – to cover up our government’s hypocritical, illegal, criminal, actions.

In future, all reporting of these actions will naturally be curtailed when the internet is thoroughly locked down and all we’ll be able to see will be tits, bums and football interspersed with Simon Cowell same-songs and holiday-home recipes of the day.  Everything will be like the front page of the Daily Mail website.  Some freedom, eh?

Question:  Why Pictures of Drones and Dead Innocents, Yet not many Kidnaps?

A. Simple.    It’s the same mentality of person that sends in the drones to kill innocents as kidnaps innocents.  In fact, it’s the same people.  They stand there smiling on our TVs, in suits, with the appropriate amount of gravitas dependant on the situation.

The real devils in our midst.  The real terrorists.

 

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Laws are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made: Mercenary Guidelines for a Better World

Guidelines for a Better World

Sausages

Sausages

Laws are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made.  Perhaps I should re-phrase this as:

The Rules of Law and International Diplomacy are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made

It’s a strange world out there.  Two recent political events have brought two previously unlinked ideas to my mind.  The events are:

Wikileaks disclosures
Innocents Killed In Iraq

Innocents Killed In Iraq by US gunship

For the Wikileaks disclosures, I see them as a highly embarrassing thing for those involved, but an empowering thing for us mere mortals who are divorced from the diplomatic process.  Normally, all the guts of the process are hidden.

In the case of the cover-up of the turkey shoot of unarmed civilians by US helicopter crews, it is something of which we should all be aware, no matter how discomforting for us.

In truth, we need better leaders in the West, people of real morals and guts so that we do not have to see the guts of innocents sprayed on the streets ever again to realise how crap the current bunch are.

Mercenary Forces

Mercenary forces I see as a fact of current and historical life, the old colonial powers especially – indeed, the UK has its own dirty hand in this.  For nigh-on 200 years the UK has even had its own full-time mercenaries, the Gurkhas, typically used in near-suicidal conflict situations.  Also, currently, from the standpoint of an Afghan tribesman, the British Army in Afghanistan could be seen as little more than mercenaries in the employ of a puppet king, Hamid Karzai.  For the tribesman, little has changed – there’s money about but he sees none of it whosoever is in charge.

Diplomacy

Click to see Sausage Making process from the inside.

Sausage Making

In the meantime, we have diplomacy.  For the West, this is a world of essentially astute well educated  folk, usually adept in law not technology, that seek to make deals with not-so-nice folk for our own country’s benefit.

 

Because these deals are done at the guttural level, like sausage-making, it’s an unpleasant process to stumble upon – which is exactly what we’ve seen with the Wikileaks Diplomatic Cable exposures.  Naturally we are aghast that such things go on in our name.  For me, it seems to be a wholly unpleasant process in our current world and something I’d wish to eliminate.

Earth in an oil drop

Taking the current crisis in Libya;  for the previous three years the Blair/Brown Labour Government has made overtures with Libya, sold arms and even SAS training, but all with the aim of ensuring Libya kept it’s hands off the nuclear button.  Seems good-ish.  Laudable aims, jaw-jaw nor war-war and all that.

This process, now revealed, is ugly – but no more so than our current Prime Minister Cameron sucking up to some Gulf Arabs who, like Libya, run a similar kind of oligarchic, autocratic, nepotistic state, full of outlandish greed and luxury with no voice for the inhabitants!  Seems pretty bad.  ………   It is bad.  Really bad.  It’s the same process as before, and we only do it because we need their oil.   Forget about Grand Prix cars and World Cup Football – it’s all about the O. I. L.  – OIL.

So What to Do?

Use Oil?  Sell Bullets.

Most of the recent interventions of the West’s (let’s call them wars should we – after all, thousands have died?), have been into countries that maintain a nice, steady flow of oil to us rich, lazy, westerners.  We think nothing of flying the globe or motoring to the shop for a cheap item that has most probably already crossed the globe once on its way from China, so yes, it’s important we can do this, right?…

On the other hand, our presence in places like Sudan, Rwanda or Congo has been notable by our absence.  Millions have brutally died.  (a.k.a. we don’t care as you’ve no oil.)

Meanwhile our presence in places like Nigeria or Bhopal, India has been notable for our poisoning of the local inhabitants without a trace of remorse or compensation by those involved.

Not Use Oil?  Don’t Sell Bullets.

  • Self-sufficient city planned near Seoul

    A Planned Self Sufficient Korean City

    Consider our own little part of the world.  It’s a place that many people in the world aspire to live because we are essentially free and most material things in our lives can be satisfied.

  • Consider how bright and technologically advanced we consider ourselves to be.

Now consider a world where we eliminated our dependency on chicken dictatorships – a world where we used our technological prowess to eliminate the consumption of oil and our addiction to the making and selling of arms, mostly to these self-same oil rich oligarchies. It’d be a world where we, the citizenry,  didn’t have to look on aghast as all our tax money was spent on bribing simple crooks to talk to us nicely.

Surely, like Egypt & Tunisia, those sort of oligarchies would collapse if we stopped buying their oil and stopped selling them our finest weaponry?

And if they didn’t, so what? There’d be no need for us as a nation to be thrown into hypocritical situations and taking ghastly actions for which we’d later be thoroughly ashamed.  Those areas of the world could take their own destinies into their own hands.

Green Shoot Of Peace

Green Shoot Of Peace

And Diplomacy? For us, we should see more not less of the words and processes done in our name.  We are not children and sooner or later, if the diplomats have fucked it up, we’re going to find out anyway, much as we did after WW1, WW2 and anywhere else our sons and brothers get killed in someone else’s war.

  • We need a proper, ethical, foreign policy.
  • We need diplomats of guile and courage, just like now,  to promote it.
  • And really, we really, really, need to be self-sufficient for all our needs and not rely on corrupt tin-pot states that have not left the Middle Ages in outlook.  This single thing is the most important thing for us and the peaceful futures of our immediate descendants.
  • We need a bit of courage to do this – to wean ourselves off this drug-like dependency on crooks of no substance who happen to sit on stuff we just happen to need, now.  Lets use our technological nous and make the current now a thing of the past – like stone axes and bronze swords, historical curiosities.
  • Mercenaries have courage – after all, if caught they’re usually the first one’s strung up.  See Dead Mercenary Taken to Tripoli Morgue, Libia Protests 2011.   But if the mercenaries have a proper home – what then?  There’d just be the few psychos like there’s always been, because you know, most people, even young hotheads, don’t want to wind up in an early grave.

Remember;

Courage is Contagious.

Get the t-shirt!

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The Real Troubles are not in Northern Ireland

Bloody Sunday

YOU ARE NOW ENTERING FREE DERRY 8The Saville Report, probably the longest and certainly the most expensive enquiry in the UK ever, is now out.  The ramifications are continuing, despite the Prime Minister trying to draw a line under everything.  See Bloody Sunday report published

History

On that day in 1972, 13 folks were killed, and overall, in what are called “The Troubles”, over 3,500 people were killed in Northern Ireland in the 30 years between 1968 and 1998.  (see ref.)  This is about 130 a year, or about 11 a month. ( Also, during the 30 years, >47,000 were injured!)

Bloody Philadelphia

But let’s stick with the dead for now.

I’ve been following the local 6ABC News in Philadelphia for a bit.  It’s not happy reading.  Most of the news headlines are murder related.

For Instance

Last year there was a ‘random’ shooting at a funeral.  Afterwards, Taaqi Brown was caught and charged with killing Aaron Kearney, although apparently he was after one of Kearney’s friends, ( – so that makes it alright, then?)

These are black guys, and drugs and guns come into the story a lot.  See storyline links below:

Disturbing Philadelphia

Recently, Taaqi had been let out of custody accidentally, which is pretty bad for the law enforcement agencies.  He later turned himself in.  What is horrifically disturbing though, is the interactive map from the Philadelphia Police Department.

http://citymaps.phila.gov/CrimeMap/map….from=5%2f17%2f2010&to=6%2f16%2f2010

Click on it and you’ll see all the homicides in the city for the past one month.  This is only one month, not a year or a decade….

27 people killed!

Most of these are from gunshot.  Mostly, people have been murdered outside in the street.  These are the cold statistics.

Crime Category Location Date/Time Premise Code
114 – Homicide: Knife 6100 BLOCK COTTAGE ST 6/13/2010 8:58 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 500 BLOCK E ASHMEAD ST 6/13/2010 0:23 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 6900 BLOCK N 19TH ST 6/12/2010 2:36 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun S COLORADO ST & WOLF ST 6/10/2010 6:04 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun N HOWARD ST & W HUNTINGDON ST 6/9/2010 17:11 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun CHEW AV & E WOODLAWN ST 6/6/2010 6:50 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
123 – Homicide: Non-Traffic 1100 BLOCK S 6TH ST 6/5/2010 0:52 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 400 BLOCK E SHARPNACK ST 6/4/2010 5:14 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
112 – Homicide: Rifle 1200 BLOCK S 21ST ST 6/3/2010 8:18 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 1600 BLOCK W YORK ST 6/3/2010 3:07 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
115 – Homicide: Beating 1200 BLOCK N 4TH ST 6/2/2010 14:54 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
114 – Homicide: Knife 2600 BLOCK COLLINS ST 6/2/2010 12:49 70. Private Residence
111 – Homicide: Handgun 3000 BLOCK W DAKOTA ST 6/1/2010 8:56 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun S 60TH ST & KINGSESSING 5/31/2010 6:56 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 2100 BLOCK E CLEARFIELD 5/31/2010 4:14 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
121 – Homicide: Auto W LEHIGH AV & MASCHER ST 5/30/2010 6:56 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 400 BLOCK W INDIANA AV 5/30/2010 2:37 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 4800 BLOCK DEVEREAUX AV 5/29/2010 3:56 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 5400 BLOCK BALTIMORE AV 5/29/2010 2:11 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 3300 BLOCK W WESTMORELAND ST 5/28/2010 4:21 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
123 – Homicide: Non-Traffic 1200 BLOCK RHAWN ST 5/26/2010 13:43 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun 1200 BLOCK S BUCKNELL ST 5/25/2010 3:30 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
117 – Homicide: felon by Police Officer 1500 BLOCK W TIOGA ST 5/22/2010 4:01 66. Apartment House/Condominium
117 – Homicide: felon by Police Officer 1500 BLOCK W TIOGA ST 5/21/2010 23:21 66. Apartment House/Condominium
111 – Homicide: Handgun 900 BLOCK FILBERT ST 5/21/2010 7:29 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
123 – Homicide: Non-Traffic N 2ND ST & W OLNEY AV 5/18/2010 20:32 53. Highway (Outside Structure)
111 – Homicide: Handgun N 59TH ST & LANSDOWNE AV 5/17/2010 6:20 53. Highway (Outside Structure)

But remember, Northern Ireland, for the whole of The Troubles, averaged out at 11 murders per month…..  This is just one month in Philadelphia!

Murderous, Troubled, Philadelphia

It means ol’ Philly is 3 times as bad as Northern Ireland.

  • What can they do?
  • Has it always been like this?
  • Do they want it to change?

Q. So which makes the best holiday destination?  N. Ireland or Philadelphia?

Q. Are they very similar?

Well, both Philadelphia and N.I. have similar populations of between 1.5 and 2 million souls.   But there, I’m afraid the similarity ends.

My own internal image I have of Northern Ireland is of it’s troubled times, but in all likelihood I could walk the streets yet not feel very “brotherly” towards the place because I’d be haunted by it’s past.  But I’d most likely be “safe”.

My image of Philadelphia is of the home of Benjamin Franklin and the Liberty Bell.  It means “The City of Brotherly Love” from it’s Greek meaning. I also have a vision of a  ‘tough’ place because of Will Smith’s signature tune from the Fresh Price of Bel Air.

But my new image is that it’s not somewhere that’s safe to walk the streets, or even drive.  27 murders a month is nearly one a day.

Northern Ireland was never, ever, as bad as Philadelphia now.

War On ??

The continuing “War on Terror” looks to be a misguided distraction from these figures.  The true war should be being fought on the streets of cities like Philadelphia and in the minds of it’s inhabitants.

Because, you see, what happens is that if these same “poor kids” involved in a society like this, decide that the only way out of their mess of a life, is to join the Army in it’s war on terror, then their poor grasp of right and wrong leads to the continuing atrocities that we see in Iraq, Afghanistan etc.  Things like the gunship turkey shoot below where American heroes heroically shoot unarmed civilians on the ground from afar… (We only know of this because of the great Wikileaks.  As usual, the government tried to cover it up.)

This action and the continuing slaughter on America’s own streets by Americans is inexcusable.

  • Why is America like this?
  • Why do they put up with such shit?

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Send in the Army

No Problem

Workington has been split in two by collapsed and closed bridges

Workington has been split in two by collapsed and closed bridges

The towns of Workington and Cockermouth are now effectively isolated because all the bridges are down, washed away in the floods.

However, they are ONLY bridges, and bridges can be made and rebuilt.  The problem is the lack of communications for the towns and surrounding villages, which affects everything, not least the provision of food.

But still that’s no problem for a creative, well-fed and well-organised, industrialised country like ourselves.  Is it?

Bailey Bridges

Brcko Bridge, Bosnia.  4 days contruction time!

Brcko Bridge, Bosnia. 4 days contruction time!

By the use of their modern replacement, the Mabey Logistic Support Bridge, the towns of Cockermouth and Workington should all be fully connected by next Monday with Bailey Bridges, if our government and the people employed to plan for disasters do their jobs properly!

Places like Bosnia, Iraq, Germany – anywhere that’s had it’s infrastructure blitzed by warfare or natural disaster, all have long-lasting evidence of the effectiveness of these things.

The bridges can span 200m, take a 60T tank and only take 4-6 days to make!

If you need a wider bridge, erect two!

It’s not a problem.  Just do it.

Workington

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What is the Point of Fine Words?

Obama

Obama Hope Painting

Obama: Hope and Change?

President Obama was elected under the banner of change.

  • Change for the overall health of his nation
  • Change in economics and finance
  • Change of a re-assertion of the higher ideals of his nation expressed in the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Rights.

In this last, he even promised this change in his inaugural speech on that cold January day, and a very big thing was made of it too!

Freedom Cracks

The executive order signals a sharp break with the Bush Administration

The executive order signals a sharp break with the Bush Administration

Barely 100 days had passed before Obama was revealed as the head of a United States, professing freedom for all while at the same time condoning torture.

Guantanamo was promised to be closed and the abuses stopped. The guilty would face the full majesty of the law.

Broken Promises

Even this bold Obama-ite sensed something was possibly wrong when the author stated back in January,

In the last week or two, Obama has been making a point of saying really depressing and right-wing things

Then in July, the same author said,

His world view isn’t set by the media, and the Western media at that.

The thing is when Barack speaks…

Photos showing prisoner abuse in Iraq caused a major scandal in 2004 (click for news item)

Photos showing prisoner abuse in Iraq caused a major scandal in 2004 (click for news item)

The thing is, it all sounds great when Obama speaks.  But as with everything, it’s actions that count, not words.  And the latest action in America is not pleasant at all.

Under direct command from Obama, Defence Secretary Gates has blocked the publication of any more images featuring Americans abusing and torturing people.

Q. The Reason?

A. National security, of course!

These aren’t all old images, mind you!   No!    The images span the period from the Twin Towers’ collapse to 22 January 2009 – this year!  Gates’ reason for blocking the picture releases is;

“Public disclosure of these photographs would endanger citizens of the US, members of the US armed forces, or employees of the US government deployed outside the US”

Germany Calling

Now can you imagine the scenario if a German had said that at the Nuremberg Trials after WW2?  What would the US and British media have made of that?   Let’s see what it sounds like, should we?

“Public disclosure of these photographs would endanger citizens of Germany, members of the German armed forces, or employees of the German government deployed outside Germany”

It’s ridiculous, isn’t it?  The whole point is that these people have done wrong.

Obama and Opinion

Eye Swear, hope to die .......

Eye Swear, hope to die .......

Obama’s new response to the blocking of all torture images is wholly at variance with Eisenhower’s at the end of WW2.

Eisenhower got all media and persons to visit the death camps and tell everyone they knew all about them.

Obama?  He said;

“…the release of such images would be ‘of no benefit’ and might inflame opinion against the US” – !!!!  ???

My opinion is that across the globe, people have been yearning for some leadership on this.  A demonstration of the ‘right way’ to behave.  A feeling that justice can be done.   A beacon of hope to show that actions and attitudes really can change.

There’s a fat chance of anything like that now, is there?

Q. Just what exactly did Obama learn when he lived abroad and elsewhere as a “normal person” as this author confidently states?

A. It certainly wasn’t ethics and it certainly wasn’t honour.

France

Shakespeare says in Henry V, “Done like a Frenchman: turn, and turn again!”  So despite being cool about Sarkozy, Obama has definitely picked up lots of tips on his French trip on D-Day this year about how to behave like Frenchman and how to run a Republic.

See My Old Posts on This – I won’t stop until they do!

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