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Once More, Neocons, Into The Breach!

Of course. Of course! “Unpatriotic Conservatives!” as David Frum said of the anti-Iraq War right in 2003. These people are shameless. I’m old enough to remember when Kristol predicted that the coming Iraq War would be “a two-month war”: My friend David Brooks — whose friendship I always state because I am loyal to my […]

Of course. Of course!

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"Unpatriotic Conservatives!" as David Frum said of the anti-Iraq War right in 2003. These people are shameless. I'm old enough to remember when Kristol predicted that the coming Iraq War would be "a two-month war":

My friend David Brooks -- whose friendship I always state because I am loyal to my friends, even when I disagree with them -- writes of the Zelensky speech in today's Times:

Sure, there were dissenters in the room, but they were not what mattered. Words surged into my consciousness that I haven’t considered for a while — compatriots, comrades, co-believers in a common creed.

Zelensky and his fellow Ukrainians have reminded Americans of the values and causes we used to admire in ourselves — the ardent hunger for freedom, the deep-rooted respect for equality and human dignity, the willingness to fight against brutal authoritarians who would crush the human face under the heel of their muddy boots. It is as if Ukraine and Zelensky have rekindled a forgotten song, and suddenly everybody has remembered how to sing it.

We never learn. To be clear, I don't blame Zelensky for giving that speech. The man is a patriot, and he is brave. Nobody can fault him for playing the hand history has dealt him. But come on: we fell for Ahmed Chalabi on Iraq. We fell for Hamid Karzai on Afghanistan. We Americans are suckers for foreigners who know how to strike a resonant rhetorical chord within our breasts. They make us feel good about ourselves. We keep shoveling gobs of money at them, for the sake of Democracy™, never once stopping to consider whether or not their crusades are in America's interests.

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Saddam Hussein was a bad man. The Taliban were bad men. Vladimir Putin is a bad man. But their badness is not the most important thing about them, when it comes to assessing America's interests. Suddenly, the folly of the Iraq adventure we allowed ourselves to be talked into, and the Afghanistan democracy-building debacle, have all been memory holed.

From Live Not By Lies, this passage referring to a Czech communist leader quoted by Milan Kundera:

“Not to know what happened before you were born is to remain a child forever,” said Cicero. This, explains Kundera, is why communists placed such emphasis on conquering the minds and hearts of young people. In his novel The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Kundera recalls a speech that Czech president Gustáv Husák gave to a group of Young Pioneers, urging them to keep pressing forward to the Marxist paradise of peace, justice, and equality.

“Children, never look back!,” [cries Kundera’s character Husak], and what he meant was that we must never allow the future to collapse under the burden of memory.

A collective loss of historical memory—not just memory of communism but memory of our shared cultural past—within the West is bound to have a devastating effect on our future. It’s not that forgetting the evils of communism means we are in danger of re-creating precisely that form of totalitarianism. It’s that the act of forgetting itself makes us vulnerable to totalitarianism in general.

It was only twenty years ago that the neocons led our country into foolish wars and nation-building projects that cost us trillions, to say nothing of the lives of American and allied troops, and innocent people in those countries, and for what? Now some of these same people are banging the war drums again, using the same techniques that apparently were not discredited. Back in the day, Pat Buchanan, Bob Novak, and the other so-called "unpatriotic conservatives," were not pro-Saddam or pro-Taliban. They were pro-America, and they pressed unpopular questions about whether or not the United States was right to spend blood and treasure on these particular foreign wars, following a messianic vision of global democracy. History has vindicated them.

Here we go again. "Children, never look back!" say the neocon bigs to us today. If you ask for financial accountability, or question the wisdom of this endless war, well then, you are an unpatriotic conservative who simps for Putin. Simple as that. So say our neocons. And you know what? Evidently, the hustle still works.

Here's Unpatriotic Conservative 2022™ Tucker Carlson asking some rude but necessary questions. I could have done without the personal slams at Zelensky, but otherwise, Tucker is right on target. Thank God we have him to keep the heat on our politicians who care more about Ukraine than their own country. Whose unpatriotic now?

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Fran Macadam
Fran Macadam
Kristol-nacht.

Z is shameless. His gay performing in 1999 and his perverse leather music video show a performer willing to prostitute himself, practiced at show business.

World War III now looms while imperial Washington's hubris has it delusional that unconditional surrender of Moscow to NATO and regime change in Moscow is now doable.

You don't think we have our own bad? The Trump clown show was better than this real life War Party zombie apocalypse.
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    Bogdán Emil
    Bogdán Emil
    I don't know why you have to personalize your attacks on Zelensky, who apparently did what Giuliani also tried, once: having some fun, Donald Trump-style. There is no greater prostitute than Trump, whose wife posed topless, but he's still a realist, and so is Zelensky. Actually, our assistance to Ukraine _increased_ under Trump, even as he angrily lectured the Germans about their Russian energy dependence. The man was a patriot first and foremost, and you could have the courtesy of recognizing the same thing about Zelensky.

    Being sensible about the way of the world, you know very well where the rubber meets the road. It's the impossible decisions, the ones with no good outcome, only bad, or worse. We have a fait accompli in Ukraine. There is no way to walk any of it back. We can't just completely cut off their funding, not even Trump would do that. It's a horror show, as Ukraine is being slowly bled. We certainly could let it bleed out quickly, and let Russia handle the reconstruction. But who is making that argument?

    Nobody knows what to do. We are stuck with Zelensky, like we're stuck with Putin. It's a real love triangle. In the end, the three parties will have to sit down sensibly and dissolve this antagonistic and unfair marriage, for Ukraine really is in the middle between two giants having a stare-down. I do agree there's something perverse about all of it. But I wouldn't fire my biggest guns at the weakest party, Ukraine.

    Look at the rest of the players in this fiasco, with Biden and Putin first and foremost. Zelensky might well be the most sympathetic flawed and tragic figure in this whole ugly drama.
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      Fran Macadam
      Fran Macadam
      Biden and Putin claim to be Christian believers. Z is not and Biden interrupted when Z said he sought revenge, substituting the aim of peace. Maybe the Christians should talk to each other as the Ukrainian child is torn asunder between them.
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      Zenos Alexandrovitch
      Zenos Alexandrovitch
      Zelensky is a crossdressing sodomy-loving tyrant who abuses priests and Russian-speakers in his insane quest to line his pockets with the corpses of Slavs - all to serve the members of NATO (the members inside trousers, that is.)
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    ncube7
    ncube7
    I agree Fran. Z is a shameless wonder. Sadly, DC is filled with the same.
    https://twitter.com/RepMTG/status/1606610858398056449/photo/1
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JON FRAZIER
JON FRAZIER
We are not committing troops to Ukraine-- which would be the height of folly against nuclear-armed Russia. We are following a middle course between doing nothing and doing too much (or doing the wrong thing). It's not ideal by standards of perfection, but it's the best course we can follow, with hope of avoiding both Scylla and Charybdis.
The New Right brays a lot of about the virtues of nationalism-- and Rod has praised Hungarian nationalism. Well, what about Ukrainian nationalism? Are those people not allowed a national identity and to defend themselves against a foreign aggressor? I wonder what Rod would say and urge if Hungary were attacked by a bigger foreign power? I doubt it would be "Let the Bear have what it wants lest we inconvenience people or deprive them of their creature comforts".
And pre-emptory strike against the idiot Qanon Qontingent that infests this site these days: Ukraine is at least ass socially conservative as Russia. It is absolutely not San Francisco East.
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    Fran Macadam
    Fran Macadam
    What about the historical ethnic and language of eastern Ukraine? I recommend studying history that does not ignore the day before yesterday, if understanding is sought rather than simplistic propaganda.
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      JON FRAZIER
      JON FRAZIER
      Oh, good grief from my posts it should be obvious that I am fairly well-informed about the history of those lands. Do you know who Bogdan Khmielnitsky was? The Zaporozhian Coassacks? The Pereyaslav Treaty? It was the latter (in the 17th century) that first brought the Muscovite tsardom into the Ukraine, with the eastern parts of the region ceded to Moscow while, ultimately the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth kept control of the western half. The Cossacks had hoped to create an independent state-- Ukrainian nationalism also did not start yesterday.
      As for Crimea and the Donbas I'm willing to entertain Russian claims. The USSR after all did much mischief in gerrymandering many of its constituent republics to ensure a Russian population who would be loyal to Moscow-- but not claims enforced by lawless, aggressive war.
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        Fran Macadam
        Fran Macadam
        Sounds like your concession is an excuse for an ethnic population's expulsion, which credibly could be called genocide. By that standard, a Reconquista is legitimate, or going even further back, the removal of colonists since 1492. Even though I have indigenous ancestry and originate from a reservation, I don't advocate violence against the descendants of those who did steal land through conquest. I also have sympathy for those who fled Europe's interminable wars for these shores, while being appalled by their descendants' lust to jump right back in.
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          JON FRAZIER
          JON FRAZIER
          Re: Sounds like your concession is an excuse for an ethnic population's expulsion

          I have no idea where you are deriving that wild conclusion from. I am in favor or both the Donbas region and the Crimea being allowed self-determination-- meaning an election with no Russian troops on hand, but with international observers from neutral nations (e..g, China, India...) to oversee such a process. In the case of Crimea that should include the option of complete independence.
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        Zenos Alexandrovitch
        Zenos Alexandrovitch
        Jon and his compassionate genocide. All to push Western sodomy.
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    Theodore Iacobuzio
    Theodore Iacobuzio
    Please list three items of U.S. national interest involved in whether or not Ukraine becomes a Russian satrapy (which is the worst case scenario, on the table now because of Zelensky's intransigence: the Minsk accords were reasonable). Three. Thanks.
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      JON FRAZIER
      JON FRAZIER
      Why three items?
      But it is in the US interest, and has been US policy since the end of WWII, that territorial disputes between nations not be settled by invasion and war. We rolled back the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1991 for that reason. It is also in our interest that Russia behave according to the rule of law and not as a lawless aggressor. Russia is a great nation, and the world will be the better with a Russia that it takes its place in the international order and not as a rogue nation determined to destroy it in the manner of a ganglord. And from this latter interest it is very much in our interest that the world not be set on a course that leads to nuclear war.
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        Fran Macadam
        Fran Macadam
        It's well established that American diplomats greenlit the Iraqui operation against Kuwait. After all, America had recently armed Iraq for a proxy war against Iran, and this particular grievance was that the Kuwaiti emirs were diagonally drilling for oil into Iraq. Not to mention, all these supposedly inviolate boundaries were set up by external imperial powers. It ought to be abundantly clear that deception is a part of a manipulative foreign policy. That both Poroshenko and Merkel admit that the entire Minsk peace treaty process was no more than a sham to gain time to better prepare for war is the latest example of duplicity as policy in international relations. That is a fools based international order.
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          JON FRAZIER
          JON FRAZIER
          Yet it is an order which prevented major international war for the past seventy plus years. Far from perfect certainly, but better than we've had in previous eras where big powerful nations could get away with any land grabs they set their hearts on as long as no other big powerful nation stopped them.
          This is a little like affirming the basic necessity of the police, even when the police are occasionally corrupt, and occasionally brutal. You wouldn't sign on to defunding the police (at least I doubt you would), why sign on to a "Down with the international order!" agenda, which, just as reducing police presence greenlight thugs and gang lords, would greenlight rogue nations to do as they will. The rule of (human) law will always be imperfect, but it's the best we can do.
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        Theodore Iacobuzio
        Theodore Iacobuzio
        We won't know what we "prevented", do we, because it didn't happen. As it is the butcher's bill is pretty impressive: Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia. Did we "intervene" between Iran and Iraq in the 1970s? We didn't stop the Israelis from having "settled" a "territorial dispute" by invasion and war, did we? And are paying for it now. You're mistaking George Kennan's containment with J.F. Dulles's militarized parody. And when powerful forces have a dog in the hunt (1967) our principles seem to go phht.
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        Zenos Alexandrovitch
        Zenos Alexandrovitch
        You mean like America's terrorism operations in Vietnam. Because releasing 'interviewed subjects' by tossing them out of flying helicopters so our allies didn't know we were torturing them and civilian.
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    Fran Macadam
    Fran Macadam
    There aren't U.S. "troops" in western Ukraine yet, but there are increasing numbers of U.S. and NATO advisors, and the escalation of advanced weaponry will require many more. This is the same implausible deniability that opened the breach to deploy needed U.S. forces into Vietnam- a bridge not too far, since in reality the beach head was already there. The fiction that NATO officers killed in battle are recently retired volunteers leading the Ukrainians is not credible, either.
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    Fran Macadam
    Fran Macadam
    So now I'm an infestation from Qanon. I actually know nothing about them other than it's some sort of devastating personal insult that supposedly negates any logical argument you disagree with. As Alinsky puts it, when argument fails target the person instead.
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      JON FRAZIER
      JON FRAZIER
      Fran, that was not directed at you, and I think you know who I meant.
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        Fran Macadam
        Fran Macadam
        I honestly don't. You had previously said I had lost all moral integrity, so I assumed I had been metaphorically tossed into the basket of deplorables.
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        Zenos Alexandrovitch
        Zenos Alexandrovitch
        Jon, you mean yourself and your paranoiac theories.
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    Zenos Alexandrovitch
    Zenos Alexandrovitch
    That's false. American and UK spec ops have been on ground in Ukraine engaging Russia covertly for months.
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    Zenos Alexandrovitch
    Zenos Alexandrovitch
    Jon loves to suck Qanon's balls because he's so in love with pedophilia theorists that he believes disproving them means being a pedophile - because QANON said so. He loves QANON's member because he can't think with all Q in his mouth 👄
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Theodore Iacobuzio
Theodore Iacobuzio
Of all of them I like Podhoretz the best. He has a sense of humor for one thing. Yesterday he called national conservatives "nihilists". That's Andrew Sullivan low.
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Fran Macadam
Fran Macadam
I had forgotten about Zelensky's comedy performance where he played the piano with his penis. Apparently Ukrainian nationalists
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Fran Macadam
Fran Macadam
I had forgotten about Zelensky's comedy performance where he played the piano with his penis before a live audience. Apparently western Ukrainian nationalists have a kind of provincial crudeness that approves that sort of entertainment. Not exactly the Bolshoi ballet or Dostoyevsky, now banned, but perhaps the world stage of the Weimar west applauds too. Crude intentions were also on display in the presser with Biden, when Z declared that the western Ukrainian nationalists seek revenge in the east, whereupon Biden interrupted and said he and Z both seek the same thing, peace. How believable that is when U.S. and UK leaders dispatched Boris Johnson to prevent peace breaking out in March, warning Zelensky that the west would not agree to peace no matter what he wanted. The script changed and the actor dutifully performed the director's lines.
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Henry Clemens
Henry Clemens
Fran Macadam to the contrary notwithstanding, it is not "well established that American diplomats greenlit the Iraqui operation against Kuwait." This presumably has reference to the conversation between Ambassador April Glaspie and Sadam Hussein just before his invasion of Kuwait. To provide an easy reference, I note that this issue is treated at some length in the Wikipedia article on Amb. Glaspie. Her statement, reported in the cable back to State, that the US had no opinion on Arab-Arab border disputes was later seized on as a serious misstatement that gave Hussein some sort of reassurance of American neutrality, and the respected foreign policy scholars John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt argued so 20 years ago. But others, examining the expanded record more recently, conclude distinctly otherwise. Tariq Aziz, former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister has stated that “There were no mixed signals… it was a routine meeting… She didn’t say anything extraordinary beyond what any professional diplomat would say without previous instructions….”

Juan Cole, following the WikiLeak’s 2011 publication of Glaspie’s July 1990 cable, noted that the Ambassador “pressed the dictator on the meaning of his troop build-up on the Kuwaiti border, letting him clearly know of American anxieties,” and argued that "her infamous reference to the U.S. not getting involved in inter-Arab disputes referred to a limited issue, the exact border between Iraq and Kuwait, and could not possibly have been interpreted as permission to invade Kuwait!" Cole concluded: "Ms. Glaspie's detractors owe her an apology.”

There is more to be found in the Wikipedia entry and there is doubtless more that could be said. But as a retired but long-practiced diplomat who has discussed this issue a number of times with people more directly concerned, I find the accusation echoed by Fran Macadam that “American diplomats greenlit the Iraqui operation” to be without any serious foundation.
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    Fran Macadam
    Fran Macadam
    Thank you for your deep state service. The Kuwaiti emirs are hardly exemplars of freedom and democracy and our propaganda about babies tossed into the air and impaled on bayonets by Iraqi soldiers who invaded maternity hospitals was part and parcel of our diplomatic propaganda. Don't you know part of our foreign policy is "to lie, cheat and steal" as per a CIA Director and a Secretary of State? Well of course you do. We not only go abroad in search of monsters to destroy, if not found, we create them.
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    Fran Macadam
    Fran Macadam
    Wikileaks is useful but not immune to politically influenced entries and edits. However, regardless of the volume cited, there is still the context of such events as the overthrow of an unwanted Iranian democrat by the west and the installation of a permanent autocratic monarch as a proxy, then a major war fomented at the instigation of western powers, epitomized by the public embrace of Hussein by Rumsfeld, when the Shah himself was overthrown in a popular uprising. These machinations are not the product of democratic policy in our own nations, but at the behest of elites who benefit, with the only nod to democratic influence being the manufacture of public opinion through propaganda, keeping salient facts secret or drowned out.
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A734
A734
I've always thought that if you're heading into a quagmire and you recognize it, the first thing you should do is retrace your steps. Ukraine is beginning to look like another multi-trillion dollar quagmire for us. We should stop funding Ukraine's military. Zelensky will have to make the best deal he can with the Russians. Ukraine may lose some territory, now occupied by people who may feel more affinity to Russia than Ukraine. Zelensky himself may have to flee the more nationalist elements of his capital city. Life will go on. The way things are otherwise escalating it may not go on, as the civilized world escalates into nuclear war. As for all the breast-beating about sacred international borders, the fact is that the U.S. and NATO invoke that principle when it suits them and ignore it when it suits them. That's sometimes what powerful countries do.
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    Theodore Iacobuzio
    Theodore Iacobuzio
    "More nationalist elements" is good.
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Eric Bergerud
Eric Bergerud
I didn't mind Tucker's knock on Zelensky. I don't know why tribalism flourishes in Eastern Europe, but it does. The Poles can't stand Ukrainians - and hate the Russians with a purple passion. Hungarians look down on everyone. Zelesnky whether by choice or necessity allowed himself to be turned from the "peace candidate" (which got him elected with a huge majority) into arch nationalist determined to reclaim the Greater Ukraine of 2013 borders in about two months. Make no mistake, Zelensky wants to get the US and anyone else willing to get into a crusade against Russia and damn the risk of WWIII (or a shocking military defeat - I'm sure Russia would fully mobilize, receive "Lend Lease" from China and fight with ferocity against the West). The other day Zelensky was meandering off about seeing the "liberation" of Crimea in his head - the operation was, in fact, under way. A screw lose? Certainly a view blinded by hatred. In 1919 the leaders of the new Greater Serbia (Yugoslavia) were quick to tell anyone that wished to listen that the Great War - which demolished the European world - had been worth the candle because they got their precious nation. Which turned into a failed state.

This is a dangerous situation - Russia is going to attack in the next few weeks and if their blows turn the tide what will NATO do? Nothing? (FDR would have done nothing. It's not at all clear to me that he didn't think that Lend Lease etc would do the job in the war against Hitler. If you look closely at the crisis between Japan and the US in the summer and fall of 1941 it's easy to see that it was the State and Treasury Departments, not the White House, that were putting the screws on Tokyo. But all in all FDR was a great leader. Biden is not. And who in Europe would you put up against Putin and Lavrov?) So watch out. Morons like Lindsay Graham might want to drag the United States into a shooting war against Russia to help out - the new Churchill - V. Zelensky. And David Brooks and company will cheer the NeoCons on. What a hill to die on.
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    Fran Macadam
    Fran Macadam
    The hill could credibly become the city on the hill. Trump altered course more than once thanks to the sane analysis by Tucker Carlson. This administration wants to cancel him.

    Whether or not a country's leader is "bad" is likely entirely different from the perspective of that nation's people. Objectively speaking, propaganda does not alter reality, just the perceptions in its victims' heads. I still recall Obama's executive order legalizing propaganda against the domestic population. Obviously covering for those who might become exposed.
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    Bogdán Emil
    Bogdán Emil
    "Hungarians look down on everyone."

    Fascinating observation, and if true, consider why that might be the case. To help you out, think not of Hungarians looking downward, but of everyone else looking upward. Sure, the end result is the same, but why put all the blame on the Hungarians? It takes two to tango, though it's not so elegant if one party is enamored and distracted, stepping on my feet.
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Sympatica
Sympatica
OK but you are encouraging the same policies that the British and French followed during the 1930's, and that did not work out so well.
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Fran Macadam
Fran Macadam
Fran Macadam is a bad man.
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    Fran Macadam
    Fran Macadam
    I only have first hand knowledge of the inner soul of one person.
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    Bogdán Emil
    Bogdán Emil
    non sequitur
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Fran Macadam
Fran Macadam
What's worse, is that in service to corruption, the narratives change and contradict, with the previous ones disappeared, 1984-like.
https://rumble.com/v22hc4c-media-rewrites-ukraines-dark-history-new-twitter-files-on-rigged-covid-deba.html

Starts about 16 minutes in. Irrefutable.
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