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Thread: Iraq CF Thread - Page 2







Post#26 at 08-01-2007 09:27 AM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Post#27 at 08-01-2007 09:34 AM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Dear readers:

Do you remember those heady days for the Administrations supporters were posting photos of purple fingers, and just how remarkable and wonderful a free election had been held in Iraq?

Do you remember just how modest and unassuming those posters were? How they asserted the election justified all the mistakes, lies, and crimes that had been committed in this CF?

Do you remember just how quick to defend themselves they have been on this thread?







Post#28 at 08-01-2007 09:38 AM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Oh, these are the last throes indeed:

http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_New...surgency/2492/







Post#29 at 08-01-2007 11:22 AM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Post#30 at 08-01-2007 12:33 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Buying time for what

Remember, according to Petraeus, the surge is not about a military victory, its about "buying time for Iraqis to reconcile."

Well, we know the parliament just went home for August without accomplishing one of the benchmarks; and now, we get this little gem -

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070801/...8ycU1fIOcE1vAI

Sunni Arab bloc quits Iraqi government
BAGHDAD - Iraq's largest Sunni Arab political bloc announced its withdrawal from the government Wednesday, undermining efforts to seek reconciliation among the country's rival factions, and two bombing attacks in Baghdad killed at least 67 people.
.
.
.
Rafaa al-Issawi, a leading member of the Front, said at a news conference that the bloc's six Cabinet ministers would submit their resignations later in the day.

Al-Issawi said the decision to pull out from the government followed what he called Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's failure to respond to the Accordance Front. It gave him seven days to meet its demands, and the ultimatum expired Wednesday.

Among the demands: a pardon for security detainees not charged with specific crimes, the disbanding of militias and the participation of all groups represented in the government in dealing with security issues.

"The government is continuing with its arrogance, refusing to change its stand and has slammed shut the door to any meaningful reforms necessary for saving Iraq," al-Issawi said.

"We had hoped that the government would respond to these demands or at least acknowledge the failure of its policies, which led Iraq to a level of misery it had not seen in modern history. But its stand did not surprise us at all," he said, reading from a prepared statement.
Yep, sure looks like its all coming together now. And, good news, this cost us only 77 US killed in July -- the lowest tally since the surge began (they don't tell you its the highest July number since we been there).
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#31 at 08-01-2007 05:03 PM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Post#32 at 08-01-2007 06:26 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Speaking of Ireland, here is an interesting comparison from DailyKos -

While the advocates of staying in Iraq search for statistics that can bolster their position, here's a pair of numbers they should consider: 38 and 300,000. That's the number of years and the number of British soldiers that have served in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is thirty times smaller than Iraq, holds only a fifteenth of Iraq's population, has only a single border, contains only two major factions, and is much more familiar to the British than Iraq is to the United States. And still it took 38 years to reach a political settlement and "end operations," by which they mean there will still be a residual force of around 5,000 troops.

Anyone willing to predict the numbers that will result should we "stay the course" in Iraq until peace is won? Should we be predicting the year in which America would leave Iraq, or the century?
No wonder the Brits are buggin out of Iraq.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#33 at 08-03-2007 03:34 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Pink, this might be of interest

Pink, this might be of interest --

http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/200...unterinsurgen/

In todays military, the requirement to conduct tasks far outside traditional specialties is an accepted reality. Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have taught leaders across the services the need for flexibility and creativity both in action and organization. The recently published FM 3-24 (MCWP 3-33.5) Counterinsurgency (COIN) manual provides an excellent framework for leaders to understand the demands of the COIN environment and draw from recent lessons. With regard to organizing for COIN, the manual makes several valuable recommendations such as establishing a company level intelligence section and identifying a political and cultural advisor. My purpose here is to go one step further, providing additional, specific recommendations for company level leaders organizing for counterinsurgency operations. Some of the ideas presented involve actual changes to task organization, while others involve developing skills internally that, by doctrine, only exist in specialized attachments. These steps are by no means prescriptive, but intended as a starting point for discussion among officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) at the company level.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#34 at 08-03-2007 03:37 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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And the spin continues for July

And the spin continues for July

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/..._of_surge.html

The 74 US military deaths reported in July (since revised upwards to 78) were indeed the lowest since November. According to a high-ranking commander quoted by the New York Times, this is a "positive sign". Viewed in another way, though, the figure is alarming. As Juan Cole, the blogging professor from Michigan University, points out, a decrease in July would be normal:

July is like a blast furnace in Iraq, with temperatures approaching 120 degrees F in the shade. Guerrillas typically lie low in this unfavourable environment, compared to other seasons, and so the casualty rates go down. Instead, this year the killing season has gone on as if it were spring.


In fact, last month was the deadliest July for American troops since the war began. The July figures for previous years range between 43 and 54, so - behind the spin - this year has seen a big increase.

Military deaths, of course, are not the whole story. The aim of the surge is to take control of troublesome areas and deliver security. So if the surge was really working we ought to be seeing the start of a downward trend in civilian casualties - but unfortunately not.

According to the Iraqi government, civilian deaths totalled 1,652 in July - up by a third compared with June. And with attacks on coalition and Iraqi forces, civilians and infrastructure averaging of 177.8 per day, June itself was the worst month for attacks since President Bush declared "mission accomplished" in 2003.
And let's not forget where the surge brillance came from -

A group of military experts at the American Enterprise Institute, concerned that the US was on the verge of a calamitous failure in Iraq, almost singlehandedly convinced the White House to change its strategy.

They banded together at AEI headquarters in downtown Washington early last December and hammered out the surge plan during a weekend session ... Then came trips to the White House by AEI military historian Frederick Kagan, retired Army Gen John Keane and other surge proponents.

More and more officials began attending the sessions. Even Vice President Dick Cheney came. 'We took the results of our planning session immediately to people in the administration,' said AEI analyst Thomas Donnelly, a surge planner. 'It became sort of a magnet for movers and shakers in the White House.'

Donnelly said the AEI approach won out over plans from the Pentagon and US Central Command. The two Army generals then in charge of Iraq had opposed a troop increase.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#35 at 08-03-2007 03:40 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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As the real drumbeat continues

As the real drumbeat continues -

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/212/story/18639.html

Roundup of Daily Violence in Iraq - Thursday 2 August 2007
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#36 at 08-04-2007 01:47 AM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
Very interesting article.

The fundamental problem is that there is only so much talent to go around; and there is only so much a small unit (and it's commander) can keep track of. You can only get humans to deal with so much before they break down (normally through fatigue). CPT Gwinn correctly note that an organic unit, containing all the assets needed, works better than an ad hoc unit thrown together in a panic. The problem is, as the threats multiply, so does the unit size and logistics needs.

It's a very old problem.

This is why the Romans, among others, reverted to razing, sacking, enslaving, etc. Easier to destroy a hostile culture than to adapt to operating in one.







Post#37 at 08-05-2007 03:56 AM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Stone Age Indeed:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070804/...RG4DIAjwys0NUE

HC, DA/Zilch and Chris Seamens must not have paid the electric bill this month...







Post#38 at 08-05-2007 04:16 AM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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I remember, from about 2003, how an American commander was puzzled about the lukewarm reception the playground for Iraqi kids his troops had worked so hard to build got. His guys had busted thier asses in thier limited free time to build the damned thing, and nobody was grateful.

Hmmmm.....







Post#39 at 08-06-2007 09:35 AM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Post#40 at 08-06-2007 03:21 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Weapons Given to Iraq Are Missing
GAO Estimates 30% of Arms Are Unaccounted For
Would that be your regular SNAFU or would this be considered more of a "HOLY MOLY SNAFU!"?

Inquirying minds would like to know.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#41 at 08-06-2007 03:27 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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No idea how close

People have no idea how close we are to total chaos breaking out -

http://www.iraqslogger.com/index.php...nated_in_Najaf

Sistani Aide Assassinated in Najaf
Sheikh Fadel 4th Assistant to Shi'ite Cleric Killed in Past Two Months
Sistini's demise would make the Golden Dome bombings just small footnotes.

I'm not so sure it necessarily would be Al Qaeda or even Sunni that attempts it.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#42 at 08-06-2007 03:45 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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BBC Monitoring of the Surge

The BBC is keeping some quantitative tabs on the Surge's "progress." Take a look at their most recent report -

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6928586.stm


The electricity pies are really telling. Here's where it stood this past week -




and compared that to just a couple weeks ago --

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6906499.stm




Now which house belongs to Zilch, KIA and Semo? And did they all forget to pay their e- bills or did Rani run off with all of their monies?
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#43 at 08-06-2007 03:46 PM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
Would that be your regular SNAFU or would this be considered more of a "HOLY MOLY SNAFU!"?

Inquirying minds would like to know.
Note that many of the weapons were issued during Fallujah, etc, to arm as many Iraqi Army and police personnel as possible. Panic mode. Given the track records of those organizations, any number of bad situations are possible...

Weapons and ammo will still be obtainable by our opposition; this is just sweet irony (pun intended).







Post#44 at 08-06-2007 03:49 PM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post

Now which house belongs to Zilch, KIA and Semo? And did they all forget to pay their e- bills or did Rani run off with all of their monies?
Rani grifted them all.







Post#45 at 08-06-2007 03:53 PM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Post#46 at 08-06-2007 05:04 PM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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COL Pat Lang, on what a withdrawal might look like:

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_s....html#comments







Post#47 at 08-06-2007 05:17 PM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Post#48 at 08-06-2007 07:13 PM by catfishncod [at The People's Republic of Cambridge & Possum Town, MS joined Apr 2005 #posts 984]
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Quote Originally Posted by Pink Splice View Post
Wow. That is an incredible, incredible story -- and the most honest recounting I've ever seen on the Vietnam War. I don't think I can over-emphasize how difficult it is for Millies to understand Vietnam... every source, verbal, written, photographic, statistical, etc. is slanted in some way or another. While facts can be determined, the overall picture is very murky. And given the polarizations of the Cold War how many people in the world were truly prepared to be both present and objective? Very few.

Whether we "won" or "lost" Vietnam appears to depend entirely on the observer's opinion on the purpose of the War -- a purpose not well defined even to this day. If the purpose is defined as the strategic economic attrition of the Second World, it may be fairly said to have been won, as the economic damage to the Soviet Union and China was greater than the economic damage inflicted on the West. In terms of "defending democracy", defending a Western influence sphere, or doing anything at all positive for the Vietnamese, it was of course a colossal failure. It also did incalculable damage to the social fabric of the United States, wounds that may be scabbed over today but certainly have not healed, even into scar tissue.

What is clear to me is that our Armed Forces are still designed to smash other Great Power conventional armies, i.e., to prevent the rise of any competitive superpowers. What purpose this has in the nuclear age is unclear. It is most certainly not designed to effect constructive counterinsurgency or to enact social engineering on foreign populations. Our Soldiers/Sailors/Air Force personnel/Marines are valiant; but why do we give them orders they cannot carry out well? Nothing about our government is designed to make occupation easy. This is by design; our Founding Fathers lived in mortal fear, above all else, of having armies trained to occupy... because the easiest country for them to occupy was our own. So why do we even try? Because winning a war inevitably leads to chaos in the defeated country, and may lead to a resumption of the war; this was the lesson that took Europe thirty-one years and half-gross-million deaths to learn. One of the lessons of Iraq, it seems clear, is that war plans are worthless without peace plans; the resolution of the war must be envisioned before the first shot is fired. This goes further than the Powell Doctrine, which merely prescribes an "exit strategy"; exit strategies are useless if the will to exist cannot be found. We want to leave things better than we found them; so we stay.

Is intervention even practical anymore? Or is conventional wisdom turned on its head, where the best offense is now a good defense? Is our "soft power", so derided by the current Administration, now a more useful weapon than our rifles? Is the pen truly mightier than the sword?
'81, 30/70 X/Millie, trying to live in both Red and Blue America... "Catfish 'n Cod"







Post#49 at 08-07-2007 03:12 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod View Post
Wow. That is an incredible, incredible story -- and the most honest recounting I've ever seen on the Vietnam War. I don't think I can over-emphasize how difficult it is for Millies to understand Vietnam... every source, verbal, written, photographic, statistical, etc. is slanted in some way or another. While facts can be determined, the overall picture is very murky. And given the polarizations of the Cold War how many people in the world were truly prepared to be both present and objective? Very few.

Whether we "won" or "lost" Vietnam appears to depend entirely on the observer's opinion on the purpose of the War -- a purpose not well defined even to this day. If the purpose is defined as the strategic economic attrition of the Second World, it may be fairly said to have been won, as the economic damage to the Soviet Union and China was greater than the economic damage inflicted on the West. In terms of "defending democracy", defending a Western influence sphere, or doing anything at all positive for the Vietnamese, it was of course a colossal failure. It also did incalculable damage to the social fabric of the United States, wounds that may be scabbed over today but certainly have not healed, even into scar tissue.

What is clear to me is that our Armed Forces are still designed to smash other Great Power conventional armies, i.e., to prevent the rise of any competitive superpowers. What purpose this has in the nuclear age is unclear. It is most certainly not designed to effect constructive counterinsurgency or to enact social engineering on foreign populations. Our Soldiers/Sailors/Air Force personnel/Marines are valiant; but why do we give them orders they cannot carry out well? Nothing about our government is designed to make occupation easy. This is by design; our Founding Fathers lived in mortal fear, above all else, of having armies trained to occupy... because the easiest country for them to occupy was our own. So why do we even try? Because winning a war inevitably leads to chaos in the defeated country, and may lead to a resumption of the war; this was the lesson that took Europe thirty-one years and half-gross-million deaths to learn. One of the lessons of Iraq, it seems clear, is that war plans are worthless without peace plans; the resolution of the war must be envisioned before the first shot is fired. This goes further than the Powell Doctrine, which merely prescribes an "exit strategy"; exit strategies are useless if the will to exist cannot be found. We want to leave things better than we found them; so we stay.

Is intervention even practical anymore? Or is conventional wisdom turned on its head, where the best offense is now a good defense? Is our "soft power", so derided by the current Administration, now a more useful weapon than our rifles? Is the pen truly mightier than the sword?
I once read a pretty persuasive argument that 'Nam bought time for the Asian Tigers (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore) to develop towards the capitalist model rather than the communist one. The world might have look very different if we had not gone into Viet Nam or had folded our tents a decade earlier that we did. I'm not necessarily buying into it, but it is an interesting notion.

I think our soft power has always been our stronger card. While significantly damaged in the last six years, I believe it is recoverable.

And I'm sure you know where I come down on the question of the sword or pen.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#50 at 08-07-2007 03:19 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Watch out below

Things going swimmingly well around Baghdad, but what about the South -

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews

As British Leave, Basra Deteriorates
Violence Rises in Shiite City Once Called a Success Story
For the past four years, the administration's narrative of the Iraq war has centered on al-Qaeda, Iran and the sectarian violence they have promoted. But in the homogenous south -- where there are virtually no U.S. troops or al-Qaeda fighters, few Sunnis, and by most accounts limited influence by Iran -- Shiite militias fight one another as well as British troops. A British strategy launched last fall to reclaim Basra neighborhoods from violent actors -- similar to the current U.S. strategy in Baghdad -- brought no lasting success.

The British have basically been defeated in the south," a senior U.S. intelligence official said recently in Baghdad. They are abandoning their former headquarters at Basra Palace, where a recent official visitor from London described them as "surrounded like cowboys and Indians" by militia fighters. An airport base outside the city, where a regional U.S. Embassy office and Britain's remaining 5,500 troops are barricaded behind building-high sandbags, has been attacked with mortars or rockets nearly 600 times over the past four months.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite
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