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NOW Can We Admit the War On Terror Has Failed?

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In the wake of the terror attacks in England, France, Germany and elsewhere, can we finally admit that the war on terror is an utter and complete failure?

10 Ways to Reduce Terrorism

So if the war on terror has failed, what should we do to stop terrorists?

I. Stop Overthrowing the Moderates and Arming Crazies

We know it’s a difficult concept to grasp, but if we want to stop terrorism we should – (wait for it) – stop supporting terrorists.

Specifically, we’re arming the most violent radicals in the Middle East, as part of a really stupid geopolitical strategy to overthrow leaders we don’t like (more details below). And see this, this, this, this and this.

We’re directly arming and supporting folks who are committing summary execution, torture, kidnapping, and imposing Sharia law at the point of the gun.

But – strangely – we’re overthrowing the moderate Arabs who stabilized the region and denied jihadis a foothold.

U.S. allies are directly responsible for creating and supplying ISIS.

If we want to stop terrorism, we need to stop supporting the terrorists.

II. Stop Supporting the Dictators Who Fund Terrorists

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest sponsor of radical Islamic terrorists. The Saudis have backed ISIS and many other brutal terrorist groups. And the most pro-ISIS tweets allegedly come from Saudi Arabia.

According to sworn declarations from a 9/11 Commissioner and the Co-Chair of the Congressional Inquiry Into 9/11, the Saudi government backed the 9/11 hijackers (see section VII for details). And declassified documents only amplify those connections. And the new Saudi king has ties to Al Qaeda, Bin Laden and Islamic terrorism.

Saudi Arabia is the hotbed of the most radical Muslim terrorists in the world: the Salafis (both ISIS and Al Qaeda are Salafis).

And the Saudis – with U.S. support – back the radical “madrassas” in which Islamic radicalism was spread.

And yet the U.S. has been supporting the Saudis militarily, with NSA intelligence and in every other way possible for 70 years. And selling them massive amounts of arms. And kept them off of the list of restricted countries for immigration.

In addition, top American terrorism experts say that U.S. support for brutal and tyrannical countries in the Middle east – like Saudi Arabia – is one of the top motivators for Arab terrorists.

U.S. and NATO-supported Turkey is also massively supporting ISIS, provided chemical weapons used in the massacre of civilians, and has been bombing ISIS’ main on-the-ground enemy – Kurdish soldiers – using its air force.

The U.S.-backed dictatorships in Qatar and Bahrain also massively fund ISIS.

So if we stop supporting the tyrannies in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Bahrain, we’ll get a two-fold reduction in terror:

(1) We’ll undermine the main terrorism supporters

 

And …

 

(2) We’ll take away one of the main motivations driving terrorists: our support for the most repressive, brutal Arab dictatorships

III. Stop Bombing and Invading When a Negotiated Settlement Is Offered

The U.S. rejected offers by Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria to surrender … and instead proceeded to wage war against those countries.

Security experts – including both conservatives and liberals – agree that waging war in the Middle East weakens national security and increases terrorism. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

For example, James K. Feldman – former professor of decision analysis and economics at the Air Force Institute of Technology and the School of Advanced Airpower Studies – and other experts say that foreign occupation is the main cause of terrorism. University of Chicago professor Robert A. Pape – who specializes in international security affairs – agrees.

Indeed, the leaders of America and the UK were warned that the Iraq war would increase terrorism … before they pulled the trigger.

Negotiating peaceful deals whenever possible will drain the swamp of terrorists created by war and invasion.

IV. Prioritize Stopping Terrorists Over Stopping the “Shia Crescent”

As U.S. actions in Syria demonstrate, our politicians are focused on curbing Russian and Iranian geopolitical influence much more than actually stopping ISIS and other terrorists.

The U.S. has inserted itself smack dab in the middle of a religious war … choosing violent  Sunni Muslims to counter the influence of Iran and the “Shia Crescent”.

Amazingly, the U.S. military described terror attacks on the U.S. as a “small price to pay for being a superpower“:

A senior officer on the Joint Staff told State Department counter-terrorism director Sheehan he had heard terrorist strikes characterized more than once by colleagues as a “small price to pay for being a superpower”.

If we want to stop terrorism, we have to make it a priority.

V. Stop Imperial Conquests for Arab Oil

The U.S. has undertaken regime change against Arab leaders we don’t like for six decades. We overthrew the leader of Syria in 1949, Iran in 1953, Iraq twice, Afghanistan twice, Turkey, Libya … and other oil-rich countries.

Neoconservatives planned regime change throughout the Middle East and North Africa yet again in 1991.

Top American politicians admit that the Iraq war was about oil, not stopping terrorism (documents from Britain show the same thing). Much of the war on terror is really a fight for natural gas. Or to force the last few hold-outs into dollars and private central banking. For example, see this email to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

We’ve fought the longest and most expensive wars in American history … but we’re less secure than before, and there are more terror attacks than ever (update).

Remember, Al Qaeda wasn’t even in Iraq until the U.S. invaded that country. And the West’s Iraq war directly led to the creation of ISIS.

If we want to stop terrorism, we have to stop overthrowing Arab leaders and invading Arab countries to grab their oil.

VI. Stop Drone Assassinations of Innocent Civilians

Top U.S. warfighting experts say that American drone strikes INCREASE terrorism (and see this).

And yet Trump has increased drone strikes by 432%.

If we want to stop creating new terrorists, we have to stop the drone strikes.

VII. Stop Torture

Top U.S. terrorism and interrogation experts agree that torture creates more terrorists.

Indeed, the leaders of ISIS were motivated by U.S. torture.  For example, Charlie Hebdo-murdering French terrorist Cherif Kouchi told a court in 2005 that he wasn’t radical until he learned about U.S. torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

And the Secretary of Defense any many other top military and intelligence experts say that torture doesn’t do anything to keep us safer.

If we want to stop creating new terrorists, we have to stop torturing … permanently.

VIII. Stop Mass Surveillance

Top security experts agree that mass surveillance makes us MORE vulnerable to terrorists.

Indeed, even the NSA admits that it’s collecting too MUCH information to stop terror attacks.

In virtually every recent terror attack – in Boston, Paris, San Bernadino, Orlando, etc. – the suspect was already on a terror watch list, known to authorities, previously interviewed by the FBI, or the like. They were already known to authorities.

Mass surveillance simply doesn’t keep us safer.  Indeed, instead of focusing on known bad guys and their associates, the government is flooded with surveillance data from spying on everybody. So they can’t do their job to stop terrorists.

Stop it.

IX. Stop Covering Up 9/11

Government officials agree that 9/11 was state-sponsored terrorism … they just disagree on which state was responsible.

Because 9/11 was the largest terror attack on the U.S. in history – and all of our national security strategies are based on 9/11 – we can’t stop terror until we get to the bottom of what really happened, and which state was behind it.

Many high-level American officials – including military leaders, intelligence officials and 9/11 commissioners – are dissatisfied with the 9/11 investigations to date.

The Co-Chair of the congressional investigation into 9/11 – Bob Graham – and 9/11 Commissioner and former Senator Bob Kerrey are calling for either a “permanent 9/11 commission” or a new 9/11 investigation to get to the bottom of it.

The Co-Chair of the Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 and former Head of the Senate Intelligence Committee (Bob Graham) said that the Paris terror attack, ISIS, and other terrorist developments are a result of failing to stand up to Saudi Arabia:

Again, others have different ideas about who was behind 9/11. But until we get to the bottom of it, terror attacks will continue.

X. Stop Doing It Ourselves

The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan – Lt. General William Odom said:

By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In ‘78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.

(audio here).

The Washington Post reported in 2010:

The United States has long been an exporter of terrorism, according to a secret CIA analysis released Wednesday by the Web site WikiLeaks.

Wikipedia notes:

Chomsky and Herman observed that terror was concentrated in the U.S. sphere of influence in the Third World, and documented terror carried out by U.S. client states in Latin America. They observed that of ten Latin American countries that had death squads, all were U.S. client states.

 

***

 

They concluded that the global rise in state terror was a result of U.S. foreign policy.

 

 

In 1991, a book edited by Alexander L. George [the Graham H. Stuart Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Stanford University] also argued that other Western powers sponsored terror in Third World countries. It concluded that the U.S. and its allies were the main supporters of terrorism throughout the world.

Indeed, the U.S. has created death squads in Latin America, Iraq and Syria.

Some in the American military have intentionally tried to “out-terrorize the terrorists”. As Truthout notes:

Both [specialists Ethan McCord and Josh Stieber] say they saw their mission as a plan to “out-terrorize the terrorists,” in order to make the general populace more afraid of the Americans than they were of insurgent groups. In the interview with [Scott] Horton, Horton pressed Stieber:

“… a fellow veteran of yours from the same battalion has said that you guys had a standard operating procedure, SOP, that said – and I guess this is a reaction to some EFP attacks on y’all’s Humvees and stuff that killed some guys – that from now on if a roadside bomb goes off, IED goes off, everyone who survives the attack get out and fire in all directions at anybody who happens to be nearby … that this was actually an order from above. Is that correct? Can you, you know, verify that?

Stieber answered:

“Yeah, it was an order that came from Kauzlarich himself, and it had the philosophy that, you know, as Finkel does describe in the book, that we were under pretty constant threat, and what he leaves out is the response to that threat. But the philosophy was that if each time one of these roadside bombs went off where you don’t know who set it … the way we were told to respond was to open fire on anyone in the area, with the philosophy that that would intimidate them, to be proactive in stopping people from making these bombs …”

Terrorism is defined as:

The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.

So McCord and Stieber are correct: this constitutes terrorism by American forces in Iraq. And American officials have admitted that the U.S. has engaged in numerous false flag attacks.

Indeed, many top experts – including government officials – say that America is the largest sponsor of terror in the world … largely through the work of the CIA. And see this.

Stop Throwing Bodies In the River

Defenders of current government policy say: “we have to do something to stop terrorists!”

Yes, we do …

But we must also stop doing the 10 things above which increase terrorism. We have to stop “throwing new bodies in the river.”

But the powers-that-be don’t want to change course … they gain tremendous power and influence through our current war on terror strategies.

For example, the military-complex grows rich through war … so endless war is a feature – not a bug – of our foreign policy.

Torture was about building a false justification for war.

Mass surveillance is about economic and diplomatic advantage and crushing dissent.

Supporting the most radical Muslim leaders is about oil and power … “a small price to pay” to try to dominate the world.

A leading advisor to the U.S. military – the Rand Corporation – released a study in 2008 called “How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering al Qa’ida“. The report confirms what experts have been saying for years: the war on terror is actually weakening national security (see this, this and this).

As a press release about the study states:

“Terrorists should be perceived and described as criminals, not holy warriors, and our analysis suggests that there is no battlefield solution to terrorism.”

We, the People, have to stand up and demand that our power-hungry leaders stop doing the things which give them more power … but are guaranteed to increase terrorism against us, the civilian population.

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zippy72
8 hours ago
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Apple urged to legalize code injection: Let apps do JavaScript hot-fixes

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Up your application policing, fruit-branded phone maker is told

Faced with an existential threat to its hot patching service, Rollout.io is appealing to Apple to extend its app oversight into post-publication injections of JavaScript code.…

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zippy72
1 day ago
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I'm guessing Apple's response will be two words, of four and three letters, respectively...
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Not Just The US: UK Bans Use Of Laptops On Flights From 6 Mostly Muslim Countries

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One day after the Trump administration imposed restriction on carry-on electronic devices on planes coming to the United States from 10 airports in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified terrorism threats, moments ago the UK issued a similar ban, restricting the use of carry on laptops and tablets for inbound flights for flights originating in the following middle-eastern nations: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and surprisingly, Saudi Arabia.

And so what last night appeared to some to be a capricious decision by the Trump administration, may have been prompted by some actionable intel since the UK has joined the action.

According to Downing Street, no phones, tablets, or laptops bigger than 16cm length, 9.3cm wide and 1.5cm deep would be allowed in the main cabin of the plane. The devices will need to be placed into hold luggage and checked-in instead.

“The safety and security of the travelling public is our highest priority,” said a government spokesperson. “In the last few weeks we have had a number of meetings on aviation security. This morning at a meeting we agreed that these new measures were required.” 

According to the FT, the spokesperson declined to explain how the decision was made, saying, “we would not get into the information on which this decision was taken but we think these steps are necessary and proportionate. We have spoken closely with the US [about which countries they have included] but we have each taken our own decisions on this.”

UK carriers affected by the ban are: British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2.com, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson.

While we await more detais, a reminder that on Monday afternoon, the DHS said passengers traveling from a selection of airports could not bring devices larger than a cellphone, such as tablets, portable DVD players, laptops and cameras, into the main cabin. Instead, they must be in checked baggage. The new restrictions were prompted by reports that militant groups want to smuggle explosive devices in electronic gadgets, officials told reporters on a conference call on Monday. They did not provide further details on the threat.

The airports are in Cairo; Istanbul; Kuwait City; Doha, Qatar; Casablanca, Morocco; Amman, Jordan; Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates.

Officials said the decision had nothing to do with President Donald Trump's efforts to impose a travel ban on six majority-Muslim nations. DHS spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said the government "did not target specific nations. We relied upon evaluated intelligence to determine which airports were affected."

The airports affected by the electronics rules are served by nine airlines that fly directly from those cities to the United States about 50 flights a day, senior government officials said.

The carriers - Royal Jordanian Airlines, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways [KA.UL], Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways - have until Friday to comply with the new policy, which took effect early on Tuesday and will be in place indefinitely.

Several of the carriers, including Turkish Airlines, Etihad and Qatar, said early on Tuesday that they were quickly moving to comply. Royal Jordanian and Saudi Airlines said on Monday that they were immediately putting the directive into place.

An Emirates spokeswoman said the new security directive would last until Oct. 14. However, Christensen termed that date "a placeholder for review" of the rule.

The policy does not affect any American carriers because none fly directly to the United States from the airports, officials said. Officials did not explain why the restrictions only apply to travelers arriving in the United States and not for those same flights when they leave from there. The rules do apply to U.S. citizens traveling on those flights, but not to crew members on those foreign carriers. Homeland Security will allow passengers to use larger approved medical devices.

Angela Gittens, director general of airport association ACI World, likened the move to years-long restrictions of liquids on planes, which she said also came suddenly, in response to a perceived threat, and caused some disruption. Airlines will adjust to the electronics policy, she said. "The first few days of something like this are quite problematic, but just as with the liquids ban, it will start to sort itself out."

DHS said the procedures would "remain in place until the threat changes" and did not rule out expanding them to other airports.

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zippy72
1 day ago
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The decision was made in order to curry favour with Drumpf and get a better trade deal. That's all.
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Ahead Of Critical Vote GOP Unveils More Changes To Health Bill, But It's Not Enough

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With just two days left until the House is set to vote this Thursday on the critical Obamacare repeal bill, where an adverse vote could lead to the biggest blow to Trump's domestic policy agenda yet, House Republican leaders on Monday night released the latest set of changes to their ObamaCare replacement bill, as they scrambled to win more votes for the legislation. 

According to the Hill, the changes include two measures that conservative Republican Study Committee members won at the White House on Friday: allowing states to require Medicaid recipients to work and allowing states to choose a Medicaid block grant over the cap system in the current bill.  The House changes - which come in the form of a manager's amendment -  also contain nods to calls from lawmakers to increase tax credits for older people to address projected cost spikes under the GOP bill, without actually making that change. Instead, the House bill would enact a different, placeholder provision to increase a medical tax deduction, with roughly the same cost, $85 billion over 10 years.  

As summarized by Axios, the GOP leaders skipped some of the biggest changes they could have made instead punting on the key ; a list of the actual changes the House GOP is making is as follows:

  • States can now choose Medicaid per capita caps or block grants.
  • There will be an optional Medicaid work requirement (with extra federal funds for states that do it).
  • There will be a more generous Medicaid inflation adjustment for the costs of elderly and disabled.
  • Obamacare taxes get repealed a year earlier.

What they punted on:

  • A reserve fund to beef up the tax credit, especially for the low-income elderly, but no actual change to the tax credit. That's up to the Senate.

What they left out:

  • It doesn't end the Medicaid expansion earlier, as conservatives wanted. Rep. Joe Barton could still bring that to the Rules Committee on Wednesday.
  • It doesn't try to repeal Obamacare's insurance regulations. GOP leaders say that can't be done in a budget "reconciliation" bill, but conservatives want them to try.

Still, the overall structure of the bill remains the same after these changes which is why the head of a House conservative group said there still aren’t enough votes to pass the measure

"Currently there are not enough votes to pass the legislation," House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said Monday night after a raucous caucus meeting. The group, which has opposed earlier versions, didn’t take an official position on the changes, but a spokeswoman said a whip count by the group showed it could block passage. Meadows added that "our leadership is going to put forth a bill that does not address any of the concerns in a meaningful way and will dare us to vote against it."  The Hill also adds that it remains in doubt whether this range of changes will be enough to win the 216 votes needed for the bill to pass on Thursday. 

But the House chairmen who helped lead the efforts to write the bill, known as the American Health Care Act, expressed confidence.

“We're confident these changes will set AHCA up for success in the House,” Chairmen Kevin Brady and Greg Walden said in a statement. “We look forward to working with our Senate colleagues to get this bill over the finish line and send it to the President as quickly as possible.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan was also optimistic "With this amendment, we accelerate tax relief, give states additional options to spend health care dollars how they choose, strengthen what were already substantial pro-life protections, and ensure there are necessary resources to help older Americans and the disabled." In a statement late on Monday he also said: “I want to thank the White House and members from all parts of our conference who have helped make this the strongest legislation it can be."

"With the president’s leadership and support for this historic legislation, we are now one step closer to keeping our promise to the American people and ending the Obamacare nightmare.”

The optimism was quickly shut down by theMeadows: "I think there are obviously some small tweaks that are good tweaks but there’s no substantial changes in the manager’s amendment that would make anybody be more compelled to vote for this,” Meadows said.

"This is a defining moment for the Freedom Caucus," he added. "I don’t think there is a more critical vote for the Freedom Caucus than this particular one." Another Freedom Caucus member, Justin Amash of Michigan, said he’s confident the group will largely hold together to block the bill after leaders ignored their demands.

“We’ve made suggestions all the way through,” he said Monday night. “If they don’t want to listen to them then that’s on them.”

On Tuesday morning, the president will visit Capitol Hill in an attempt to seal House Republican support for the plan. Representative Phil Roe, a member of the Republican vote-counting team, said Trump’s visit may help “any wavering souls.” “It’s gonna be a close vote I think, but I think it’s going to pass,” said Roe.

House leaders were working hard to to win over remaining holdouts, both
conservatives and moderates in their party, a process known as whipping
votes. “They’re already whipping with a whip that’s 10 feet long and five feet wide,” Meadows said when asked if GOP leaders were trying to pick off individual members of the Freedom Caucus.

Finally, as Axios concludes, this means "we will still have lots of drama between now and Thursday night."

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zippy72
2 days ago
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Why does Paul Ryan always wear such cheap-looking suits?
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mkalus
2 days ago
To signal he isn't a big tax waster?
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BBC is 'failing in its duty to be impartial over Brexit'

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Broadcaster has characterised Britain as xenophobic and focused too much on regretful leave voters, says group of parliamentarians in letter to BBC chiefs

The BBC is failing in its duty to be impartial over Brexit, a group of parliamentarians has claimed. In a letter to senior BBC figures, they said the broadcaster had characterised Britain as xenophobic and focused too much on regretful leave voters.

The 76-strong group, made up mainly of Conservative MPs and including former cabinet ministers, warned the BBC’s director general, Tony Hall, and the incoming chair of its new governing body, David Clementi, that the broadcaster’s future might be in jeopardy if it was not seen as neutral.

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zippy72
2 days ago
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Censorship by any other name...
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How The UK Has Misplayed Its Best Card

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Well the nine months that we have waited before starting the Brexit process proper is now nearly up so it looks like the starting gun will be fired shortly.  I am still not entirely sure what the purpose of the delay was.  The cynical part of me wonders if the government, and Mrs May in particular, were simply hoping something would turn up to allow them to get out of the whole thing somehow.


The stated reason was that time was needed for planning and organising.  If so, not much in the way of details have emerged from the process.  But I think realistically the real reason was a very simple and human one.  It is a big job and the people in charge simply needed time to get their brains around what was actually going on.  They can't have been mentally prepared for it after all.  I don't think anyone really believed it was all going to happen so quickly.  A lot of us never gave the possibility a moment's thought.

But the delay has not really produced any tangible benefit to justify the time that has been lost.  Since the referendum vote an anti-free trade president has been elected and is now in office.  That certainly wasn't part of the script.  The EU itself has failed to fall apart, which was one of the possible consequences that some leavers were hoping for.  And the fall in the pound has weakened the UK's bargaining position considerably.  We are now worth about 15% less as a market than we were last June.

So although the negotiators are probably in better mental shape than they would have been had they been thrown in at the deep end, nothing else is really working  in their favour. And the EU too has had time to come to terms with the situation and to come up with some initiatives on its side.  The possibility of UK citizens being able to have some kind of EU associate membership in particular is a good example of how the EU are beginning to build the conditions for a UK readmission.

Basically the leavers missed their best chance of getting out for good by not moving quickly on  day one.  The other strategy that would have given the UK some leverage was to simply announce that the UK would be leaving, but only when we are ready.  This would have driven a lot of people mad, not least the hardline leavers who really want to get out.   But it would have enabled the economy to be restructured in our own time.  It would have enraged remainers like myself because it would be the best way of ensuring that UK's departure is a long one.  It would have annoyed the EU who would have been at a considerable disadvantage in any preparations they might be making.  But the feelings of one's opponents isn't the top priority of those who are determined to make a project succeed.

Now negotiations are getting going in earnest there will no doubt be compromises, gaffs, surprises and miscalculations on both sides.  But I have a feeling the UK has already failed to get the best out of the only card it had to play, its choice of the date to start the process.


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zippy72
3 days ago
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