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Author Topic: Obama seeking 1/2 Billion for Syrian Opposition  (Read 1532 times)
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ATB
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« on: June 26, 2014, 08:20:35 PM »

Pretty late to the party. Is this a case of Obama sticking his thumb in Putin's eye? What do you think the chances are the congress gives it to him?  

The US powerheads just don't learn their lesson.  People we train today are the people we're fighting tomorrow.

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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2014, 08:43:24 PM »

America (and almost every large nation) has provided support via weapons to countries they later end up fighting.  The problem is that sometimes you have to support the lesser evil to combat the much greater one.   We were buddies with Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war.  Then we weren't a few years later.

But not doing so can result in consequences far worse than looking hypocritical.

Diplomacy is a game that often just comes down to staying alive, not winning.
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2014, 08:45:07 PM »

"Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests." - Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, KG, GCB, PC
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2014, 08:50:08 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 26, 2014, 08:43:24 PM

America (and almost every large nation) has provided support via weapons to countries they later end up fighting.  The problem is that sometimes you have to support the lesser evil to combat the much greater one.   We were buddies with Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war.  Then we weren't a few years later.

But not doing so can result in consequences far worse than looking hypocritical.

Diplomacy is a game that often just comes down to staying alive, not winning.

How does helping in syria keep us alive?   
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2014, 09:05:43 PM »

We have interests in the Middle East.  If we lose credibility there like we did when we backed down from bombing Syria because they surrendered their chemical weapons, we lose the willingness of those governments in the region to take actions on our behalf or to our benefit that expose them politically against opposition in their own countries.  Especially if they feel that our word carries little weight.
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2014, 09:17:20 PM »

Quote from: ATB on June 26, 2014, 08:50:08 PM

How does helping in syria keep us alive?  

I wasn't being literal.

If I remember correctly, you believe we shouldn't involve ourselves in foreign affairs in any way whatsoever.  So you'll probably not understand the need for trying to keep regions stable in order to protect our interests (as Issie notes above).  But the need is very real nonetheless.

Very simple question that isn't meant to trivialize things, but is intended to find out a baseline where you're concerned:  should we have stayed out of World War II and NOT acted to prevent Germany from overrunning Europe?  
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2014, 09:29:41 PM »

It is not clear that Assad's enemies are preferable to Assad for anybody other than the Syrians. Assad is at least fighting ISIS and al Qaeda along with groups that might be more pro-Western. Iraq is disintegrating. Libya is in the hands of warlords. Sometimes the devil you know....

At the same time, if our best intelligence says that Assad's days are numbered, then we do want to ingratiate ourselves with, and help to choose, his successors.

Pouring money and weapons into the region hasn't worked out very well, so I'm inclined to save the money and leave them to their own fate. If one bad outcome costs half a billion and the other bad outcome is free, take the freebie. But I don't exactly have inside intelligence, so who knows? It seems that we are fated to meddle whether we want to or not.
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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2014, 11:04:41 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on June 26, 2014, 09:05:43 PM

If we lose credibility there like we did when we backed down from bombing Syria because they surrendered their chemical weapons....


The United States threatened to bomb Syria unless they gave up their chemical weapon stockpiles.  The Syrian government immediately capitulated.  At last report, they have surrendered all of their chemical weapons, and we have not bombed them.

In what way did that result in the United States losing credibility?

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2014, 12:21:55 AM »

We didn't threaten to bomb them if they didn't give up their chemical weapons.  We threatened to bomb them if they used them, which they did.  Then Kerry got all flippant when someone asked him what would prevent us bombing them, and he shot his mouth off of them giving up the weapons.  They agreed to do it when the Russians came calling, and the Saudis got pissed.
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2014, 01:55:16 AM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on June 27, 2014, 12:21:55 AM

We didn't threaten to bomb them if they didn't give up their chemical weapons.  We threatened to bomb them if they used them, which they did.  Then Kerry got all flippant when someone asked him what would prevent us bombing them, and he shot his mouth off of them giving up the weapons.  They agreed to do it when the Russians came calling, and the Saudis got pissed.


Going to war with a country offering to unilaterally disarm because overthrowing the current power structure would please the Saudis was a big feature of the Iraq War.  That turned out poorly.

You're arguing we should have followed exactly that same track in Syria, launching a completely voluntary war solely because...why, exactly?  According that first article you linked, it's because President Obama repeatedly said that Syrian use of chemical weapons would "change his calculus" on whether or not to engage military force.  

Quote from: President Barack Obama
“I have, at this point, not ordered military engagement in the situation.  But the point that you made about chemical and biological weapons is critical.  That’s an issue that doesn’t just concern Syria; it concerns our close allies in the region, including Israel.  It concerns us.  We cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people.

“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.  That would change my calculus.  That would change my equation.”


It did change his equation.  He consulted with congress about launching air strikes, at which point the Assad regime offered to surrender their stockpiles.  It's literally everything the United States was demanding, without billions of dollars in military operations or sacrificed lives, and you're disappointed we didn't insist on going to war anyway.

More baffling is your assertion that this resulted in a credibility loss.  As if other signatories to the Chemical Weapons Convention watched the Obama administration strongarm the Assad regime into peaceful disarmament and sneered, "Oh, I heard from someone that he promised to start a war no matter what, so now Obama is just a big LIAR!"  Generally speaking, if the only reason you can think of to pitch the country into a *third* active warzone is to satisfy theoretical dignitaries with reasoning abilities on par with an average five-year old, it's probably a bad idea.

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2014, 03:09:24 AM »

Do the Syrians still have weapons of war?  Then they didn't "unilaterally" disarm.

I'm not arguing anything about what we should have done, I'm arguing about what actually happened.  Regardless of what he said, the expectation of just about everyone was that crossing that "red line" would result in some punitive action.  

Quote
The phrase then became a source of contention when political opponent John McCain said the red line was "apparently written in disappearing ink," due to the perception the red line had been crossed with no action.

And it's not my assertion that it resulted in a credibility loss.  It's a lot of the media and the Saudis themselves.

Quote
The Saudis have been particularly shaken by Mr. Obama’s refusal to intervene forcefully in the Syrian civil war, especially his recent decision not to punish President Bashar al-Assad of Syria with military strikes even after evidence emerged that Mr. Assad’s government used chemical weapons on its own citizens.

Instead, Mr. Obama chose to seek congressional authorization for a strike, and when that proved difficult to obtain, he cooperated with Russia to get Syria to agree to give up its chemical weapons. Prince Turki and Israeli officials have argued that the agreement merely legitimized Mr. Assad, and on Sunday, the prince called the world’s failure to stop the conflict in Syria “almost a criminal negligence.”

Quote
You're arguing we should have followed exactly that same track in Syria, launching a completely voluntary war solely because...why, exactly?

I have argued no such thing.

Quote
you're disappointed we didn't insist on going to war anyway.

I have expressed no opinion on whether or not the actions that were taken or those that were being considered were appropriate.

So my big question to you is why you seem to take my posting of the facts and opinions that are evident through major media coverage as some sort of personal opinion on the issue.  

When you posted:

Quote
The United States threatened to bomb Syria unless they gave up their chemical weapon stockpiles.

you were demonstrably wrong.  A point I made an effort to correct.  Nothing more.  
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2014, 11:51:24 AM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on June 27, 2014, 03:09:24 AM

Do the Syrians still have weapons of war?  Then they didn't "unilaterally" disarm.


"Unilateral disarmament" in the context of foreign policy refers to a policy whereupon one military power agrees to renounce some weaponry without the promise of similar concessions from other military powers.  In this case, Syria renounced their chemical weapon stockpiles without condition that the United States, Russia, the Syrian rebel groups, or any other international power give up any military capability in exchange.

You may be confusing it with the policy of "General and Complete Disarmament" which at least sounds like it means what you think it means.  You would still be wrong, however -- even that is defined primarily as the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, along with a general drawing down of military power in ways which do not sacrifice national security.


Quote from: Isgrimnur on June 27, 2014, 03:09:24 AM

Regardless of what he said, the expectation of just about everyone was that crossing that "red line" would result in some punitive action.


Yes, and in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention, of which Syria is a signatory, punitive action would have been legally sanctioned by international treaty.

If you would like to make the argument that Bashar al-Assad was secretly planning to turn all of his chemical weapons over to OPCW for destruction all along, and that the timing of his announcement in the face of looming military action by the United States was just an astonishing coincidence, I would like to see you try.


Quote from: Isgrimnur on June 27, 2014, 03:09:24 AM

And it's not my assertion that it resulted in a credibility loss.  It's a lot of the media and the Saudis themselves.


I generally support the idea of the United States working to help its allies and foster good international relations.  That support ends when it would require us to take actions that would be plainly counter to our own national interest, such as jumping into a *third* combat theater to intervene in a civil war.

The United States' goal here was to end the use of chemical weapons, as agreed by international treaty.  We achieved an unprecedented success, and if a Saudi prince is disappointed that we didn't pitch away billions of dollars and hundreds of American lives to overthrow one of his regional rivals in the process, I find his position uncompelling.


Quote from: Isgrimnur on June 27, 2014, 03:09:24 AM

When you posted:

Quote
The United States threatened to bomb Syria unless they gave up their chemical weapon stockpiles.

you were demonstrably wrong.


On September 9th, 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry was asked what, if anything, might avert U.S. air strikes on Syria.  That's when he "flippantly" remarked that they could choose to divest themselves of their entire chemical arsenal.  Hours later, Syria announced their intent to take him up on that deal.

Threat, condition, capitulation.

By comparison:

Quote from: Isgrimnur on June 27, 2014, 12:21:55 AM

We didn't threaten to bomb them if they didn't give up their chemical weapons.  We threatened to bomb them if they used them, which they did.


That emphasis-added bit I highlighted actually is demonstrably wrong, as demonstrated in the article you link to yourself.


You can keep going around like this, Isgrimnur, but I'm telling you now: criticizing Barack Obama for disarming the Syrian chemical weapons program because it was too peaceful is on par with complaining that the Special Ops forces didn't obtain visitor visas on their way in to kill Osama bin Laden.  Find a different avenue of attack.

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2014, 12:00:42 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 26, 2014, 09:17:20 PM

should we have stayed out of World War II and NOT acted to prevent Germany from overrunning Europe?  

I'm not sure if there is a rolleyes big enough for this question.  

Admittedly, I have moved more to an isolationist view since Gulf War 2 and the absolute waste of men and materiel that was Iraq and was (is) Afghanistan. I have also moved away from the blind patriotism that I used to have as I've read more about how the US has directly set the table for the mess we're in now and how the government (all three branches) moves more and more into the pocket of the corporations AND abuses (or perhaps ignores is the better word choice) the soldiers who protect our country once they get home (VA).  I also believe that there is a military industrial complex that continually stands to benefit from war/arming our future enemies...

In fact, I've moved so far to the left on the use of America's army as a global police force I wonder how I ever thought the other way.  This should be something that makes you happy, no? Or because it's a Dem in the whitehouse it's okay to warmonger?

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« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2014, 01:50:00 PM »

Quote from: Autistic Angel on June 27, 2014, 11:51:24 AM

You can keep going around like this, Isgrimnur, but I'm telling you now: criticizing Barack Obama for disarming the Syrian chemical weapons program because it was too peaceful is on par with complaining that the Special Ops forces didn't obtain visitor visas on their way in to kill Osama bin Laden.  Find a different avenue of attack.

-Autistic Angel

I am not criticizing the president for anything, merely exploring the actual events that occurred.  And I will ask you again to stop putting words in my mouth. 
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« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2014, 06:30:08 PM »

Quote from: ATB on June 27, 2014, 12:00:42 PM

Quote from: hepcat on June 26, 2014, 09:17:20 PM

should we have stayed out of World War II and NOT acted to prevent Germany from overrunning Europe?  

I'm not sure if there is a rolleyes big enough for this question.  

I was just teasing you and didn't really expect a paragraph in reply.   eek

Quote
This should be something that makes you happy, no? Or because it's a Dem in the whitehouse it's okay to warmonger?

And remember, I'm an independent too.  It's the ONLY way to claim you're right no matter what happens.  I thank you for helping me realize that!
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« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2014, 06:53:09 PM »

Quote from: ATB on June 27, 2014, 12:00:42 PM

Quote from: hepcat on June 26, 2014, 09:17:20 PM

should we have stayed out of World War II and NOT acted to prevent Germany from overrunning Europe?  

I'm not sure if there is a rolleyes big enough for this question.  

Admittedly, I have moved more to an isolationist view since Gulf War 2 and the absolute waste of men and materiel that was Iraq and was (is) Afghanistan. I have also moved away from the blind patriotism that I used to have as I've read more about how the US has directly set the table for the mess we're in now and how the government (all three branches) moves more and more into the pocket of the corporations AND abuses (or perhaps ignores is the better word choice) the soldiers who protect our country once they get home (VA).  I also believe that there is a military industrial complex that continually stands to benefit from war/arming our future enemies...

In fact, I've moved so far to the left on the use of America's army as a global police force I wonder how I ever thought the other way.  This should be something that makes you happy, no? Or because it's a Dem in the whitehouse it's okay to warmonger?



Rand Paul has your vote?
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ATB
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« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2014, 08:57:05 PM »

Maybe
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« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2014, 09:27:52 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on June 27, 2014, 01:50:00 PM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on June 27, 2014, 11:51:24 AM

You can keep going around like this, Isgrimnur, but I'm telling you now: criticizing Barack Obama for disarming the Syrian chemical weapons program because it was too peaceful is on par with complaining that the Special Ops forces didn't obtain visitor visas on their way in to kill Osama bin Laden.  Find a different avenue of attack.

-Autistic Angel

I am not criticizing the president for anything, merely exploring the actual events that occurred.  And I will ask you again to stop putting words in my mouth. 


I had no role in assisting these words to flow from your mouth to your keyboard:

Quote from: Isgrimnur on June 26, 2014, 09:05:43 PM

We have interests in the Middle East.  If we lose credibility there like we did when we backed down from bombing Syria because they surrendered their chemical weapons, we lose the willingness of those governments in the region to take actions on our behalf or to our benefit that expose them politically against opposition in their own countries.  Especially if they feel that our word carries little weight.


Emphasis added.

See that part where you casually remark that the Syrian disarmament agreement represented some sort of net loss in credibility for the United States?  With no citation, so it's presented entirely as your personal opinion?  That criticism is the centerpoint of this conversation.  And it's nonsense.

You can call it a value judgement, an analysis, an assessment, an opinion, or a free-wheeling exploration of actual events that occurred, but it is your injection into this topic and it is nonsense.

Negotiating the peaceful disarmament of WMDs from an otherwise hostile foreign power, at no cost and with no strings attached, is a success of historic proportions.  There were no downsides.  It was literally the best conceivable outcome, where all the players got what they wanted, and no matter how many individual Saudi princes or Republican cranks you can find to complain that the United States "lost credibility" in the balance, you will simply be compiling a list of people who have been proven unmistakeably wrong.

If you want to make the point that the Obama administration has lost credibility in the Middle East, pick something else.  Like, anything else.  Claim that his profligate spending has rendered the national coffers too empty to wage another war.  Say that his amnesty program for illegal immigrants has weakened the national spirit beyond the ability to morally prevail overseas.  Toss out the idea that his pitiable bowling skills have made him the laughing stock of Tehran. 

Choosing one of the most widely acclaimed foreign policy successes of his presidency to throw back in his face is simply a non-starter.

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2014, 09:40:00 PM »

Tell yourself whatever you want.  You seem more interested in trying to tell me what I think and mean.  I'm done with your nonsense. 
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« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2014, 10:06:03 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 27, 2014, 06:30:08 PM

And remember, I'm an independent too.  It's the ONLY way to claim you're right no matter what happens.  I thank you for helping me realize that!


So it is okay as long as it's a Dem.  Gotcha.
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« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2014, 11:07:06 PM »

Sure, why not.  I'm an independent, so no matter who we're talking about, I'm right! 
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« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2014, 11:09:13 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 27, 2014, 11:07:06 PM

Sure, why not.  I'm an independent, so no matter who we're talking about, I'm right! 

You've gone into your nonsense not addressing the question mode.  Guess we're done here. Locking thread.
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« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2014, 01:05:45 AM »

 icon_lol  you're "locking thread"?

Ah man, thanks.  That made my day.  

Anyway, I addressed the situation earlier, as did Issie.  I wasn't aware there was further discussion to be had.

But that's neither here nor there since you locked the thread.   icon_lol
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« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2014, 10:19:52 AM »

*taps mike*
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« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2014, 01:06:38 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 28, 2014, 01:05:45 AM

icon_lol  you're "locking thread"?

Ah man, thanks.  That made my day.  

Anyway, I addressed the situation earlier, as did Issie.  I wasn't aware there was further discussion to be had.

But that's neither here nor there since you locked the thread.   icon_lol

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« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2014, 01:59:01 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on June 30, 2014, 10:19:52 AM

*taps mike*

*Mike gets a restraining order*
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« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2014, 10:09:34 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 30, 2014, 01:59:01 PM

Quote from: Razgon on June 30, 2014, 10:19:52 AM

*taps mike*

*Mike gets a restraining order*

*Rip restrains Mike and taps him again*

*Rip drops the mike and strikes a pose*
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« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2014, 12:56:26 PM »

Well, the other thread got locked literally as I was posting this, so I'll just stick it here:

Quote from: Zekester on July 08, 2014, 02:23:17 AM

I'll stay out of R&P for good from now on. It's just the same like-minded people getting eachother off mentally anyway.

My guess is that you and I are politically closer (on some things) than I am with anyone else in here...it's just the scorched earth way you present yourself that is off putting.

Being an ass on the Right is not very different from being an ass on the Left.

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« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2014, 01:00:36 PM »

...or in the middle.
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« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2014, 01:03:13 PM »

where else would an ass be?
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« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2014, 01:06:30 PM »

For the record i'm not trying to be an ass with my posts, but the views on this forum are so slanted to one side a balance has to come from somewhere.

...and that other thread being locked, I reported no one.
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« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2014, 01:21:30 PM »

Shouting as loud as you can and screaming that everyone is wrong while insulting them because they don't agree with you is not how you "balance" things.

However, it is what makes you funny (to me...I know some folks are irritated by you and worry you might be representative of more than just a fringe group of extremists).
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« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2014, 02:17:30 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on July 08, 2014, 01:00:36 PM

...or in the middle.



 icon_lol
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Lee
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« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2014, 06:22:37 PM »

Quote from: Zekester on July 08, 2014, 01:06:30 PM

For the record i'm not trying to be an ass with my posts, but the views on this forum are so slanted to one side a balance has to come from somewhere.

...and that other thread being locked, I reported no one.

I thought you left R&P? Attention whore.
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hepcat
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« Reply #34 on: July 08, 2014, 06:31:52 PM »

He did, just not in person.
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« Reply #35 on: July 08, 2014, 10:12:12 PM »

Quote from: Lee on July 08, 2014, 06:22:37 PM

Quote from: Zekester on July 08, 2014, 01:06:30 PM

For the record i'm not trying to be an ass with my posts, but the views on this forum are so slanted to one side a balance has to come from somewhere.

...and that other thread being locked, I reported no one.

I thought you left R&P? Attention whore.

Figures you like soccer. Attention fag.

Maybe i'll just post some more in R&P just for you and a couple others, leelee. Or until I get banned.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 10:13:57 PM by Zekester » Logged

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Lee
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« Reply #36 on: July 08, 2014, 10:13:37 PM »

Quote from: Zekester on July 08, 2014, 10:12:12 PM

Quote from: Lee on July 08, 2014, 06:22:37 PM

Quote from: Zekester on July 08, 2014, 01:06:30 PM

For the record i'm not trying to be an ass with my posts, but the views on this forum are so slanted to one side a balance has to come from somewhere.

...and that other thread being locked, I reported no one.

I thought you left R&P? Attention whore.

Figures you like soccer. Attention fag.

Still posting?
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Zekester
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« Reply #37 on: July 08, 2014, 10:14:16 PM »

Quote from: Lee on July 08, 2014, 10:13:37 PM

Quote from: Zekester on July 08, 2014, 10:12:12 PM

Quote from: Lee on July 08, 2014, 06:22:37 PM

Quote from: Zekester on July 08, 2014, 01:06:30 PM

For the record i'm not trying to be an ass with my posts, but the views on this forum are so slanted to one side a balance has to come from somewhere.

...and that other thread being locked, I reported no one.

I thought you left R&P? Attention whore.

Figures you like soccer. Attention fag.

Still posting?

Just for you, sweetie

I want to get up to your attention-whoring number of posts.
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I am....Migaloo
Rest in Peace, Nan & Star
XBL Schins67
hepcat
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« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2014, 10:31:04 PM »

Zeke, calling someone a "fag" paints a picture of you as an uneducated hick who is married to and/or sleeping with an immediate family member.  

That or you're English and you just asked that he pay attention to your cigarette.

...that last one you'll get if you ask someone outside your peer group.

« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 10:39:00 PM by hepcat » Logged

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Just remember: once a user figures out gluten noting them they're allowed to make fun of you. - Ceekay speaking in tongues.
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« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2014, 10:36:34 PM »

Quote from: Zekester on July 08, 2014, 10:12:12 PM

Quote from: Lee on July 08, 2014, 06:22:37 PM

Quote from: Zekester on July 08, 2014, 01:06:30 PM

For the record i'm not trying to be an ass with my posts, but the views on this forum are so slanted to one side a balance has to come from somewhere.

...and that other thread being locked, I reported no one.

I thought you left R&P? Attention whore.

Figures you like soccer. Attention fag.

Maybe i'll just post some more in R&P just for you and a couple others, leelee. Or until I get banned.

Isn't that cute?  Bye troll.
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The action might turn out to be the world's most grievous mistake."
- Bad Religion, Past is Dead
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