T Nation

consequences

To those sick of Iraq related threads - please ignore the following.

The following is an NY Times article that raises some good points concerning who sadly, but predictably, is not “flinching” in the Middle East.

How America Created a Terrorist Haven
By JESSICA STERN

Yesterday’s bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad was the latest evidence that America has taken a country that was not a terrorist threat and turned it into one.

Of course, we should be glad that the Iraq war was swifter than even its proponents had expected, and that a vicious tyrant was removed from power. But the aftermath has been another story. America has created ・not through malevolence but through negligence ・precisely the situation the Bush administration has described as a breeding ground for terrorists: a state unable to control its borders or provide for its citizens’ rudimentary needs.

As the administration made clear in its national security strategy released last September, weak states are as threatening to American security as strong ones. Yet its inability to get basic services and legitimate governments up and running in post-war Afghanistan and Iraq ・and its pursuant reluctance to see a connection between those failures and escalating anti-American violence ・leave one wondering if it read its own report.

For example, the American commander in Iraq, Gen. John Abizaid, has described the almost daily attacks on his troops as guerrilla campaigns carried out by Baathist remnants with little public support. Yet an increasing number of Iraqis disagree: they believe that the attacks are being carried out by organized forces ・ motivated by nationalism, Islam and revenge ・that feed off public unhappiness.

According to a survey this month by the Iraq Center for Research and Strategic Studies, nearly half of the Iraqis polled attribute the violence to provocation by American forces or resistance to the occupation (even more worrisome, the Arabic word for “resistance” used in the poll implies a certain amount of sympathy for the perpetrators). In the towns of Ramadi and Falluja, where many of the recent attacks have taken place, nearly 90 percent of respondents attributed the attacks to these causes.

Why would ordinary Iraqis not rush to condemn violence against the soldiers who liberated them from Saddam Hussein? Mustapha Alani, an Iraqi scholar with the Royal United Services Institute in London, gave me a possible explanation: even in the darkest days of the Iran-Iraq war, most Iraqis (other than Kurds and Marsh Arabs) did not have to worry about personal security. They could not speak their minds, but they could count on electricity, water and telephone service for at least part of the day. Today they fear being attacked in their bedrooms; power, water and telephones are routinely unavailable. As Mr. Alani put it, Iraqis today could could care less about democracy, they just want assurance that their daughters won’t be raped or their sons kidnapped en route to the grocery store.

Blaming the violence on isolated Baath loyalists was perhaps more plausible when the violence was centered in the Sunni heartland. But the recent riots in the southern Shiite city of Basra, and the sabotage of a major oil pipeline in the Kurdish north, make clear that other regions may not be peaceable indefinitely.

Shiites widely supported the operation to remove Saddam Hussein, but they are furious about what they see as American incompetence since the war. This set the stage for religious extremists. Moktada al-Sadr, a vitriolic cleric in Basra, says he has recruited a 5,000-man Shiite army to take on the occupiers. In public he is urging his followers to engage in “peaceful” resistance, but some have told Western reporters that they are prepared to carry out “martyrdom operations” if and when they receive orders to do so.

In addition, in the run-up to the war, most Iraqis viewed the foreign volunteers who were rushing in to fight against America as troublemakers, and Saddam Hussein’s forces reportedly killed many of them. Today, according to Mr. Alani, these foreigners are increasingly welcomed by the public, especially in the former Baathist strongholds north of Baghdad.

As bad as the situation inside Iraq may be, the effect that the war has had on terrorist recruitment around the globe may be even more worrisome. Even before the coalition troops invaded, a senior United States counterterrorism official told reporters that “an American invasion of Iraq is already being used as a recruitment tool by Al Qaeda and other groups.” Intelligence officials in the United States, Europe and Africa say that the recruits they are seeing now are younger than in the past. Television images of American soldiers and tanks in Baghdad are deeply humiliating to Muslims, even those who didn’t like Saddam Hussein, explained Saad al-Faqih, head of Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia, a Saudi dissident group in London. He told me that some 3,000 young Saudis have entered Iraq in recent months, and called the war “a gift to Osama bin Laden.”

Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, told a crowd of 150,000 in a March religious observance that the United States was trying to create a “tragedy for humanity and to spread chaos in the world” and predicted that the people of Iraq and the region would “welcome American troops with rifles, blood, arms, martyrdom.”

The occupation has given disparate groups from various countries a common battlefield on which to fight a common enemy. Hamid Mir, a biographer of Osama bin Laden, has been traveling in Iraq and told me that Hezbollah has greatly stepped up its activities not only in Shiite regions but also in Baghdad.

Most ominously, Al Qaeda’s influence may be growing. It has been linked to attacks as far apart as Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Morocco. One suspect in yesterday’s attack is Ansar al-Islam, a Qaeda offshoot whose camps in Northern Iraq were destroyed early in the war. In recent weeks American officials acknowledged that members of the group had slipped into Iraq from Iran, had begun organizing in Baghdad and were suspected of plotting bombings, including the Aug. 7 attack on the Jordanian Embassy. In addition, Mr. Mir reported that Al Qaeda was carving out new training grounds in the border region between Iraq and Syria.

While there is no single root cause of terrorism, my interviews with terrorists over the past five years suggest that alienation, perceived humiliation and lack of political and economic opportunities make young men susceptible to extremism. It can evolve easily into violence when government institutions are weak and there is money available to pay for a holy war. America is unlikely to win the hearts and minds of committed terrorists. After some time on the job, it is hard for them to imagine another life. Several described jihad to me as being “addictive.”

Thus the best way to fight them is to ensure that they are rejected by the broader population. Terrorists and guerrillas rely on getting at least some popular support. America’s task will be to restore public safety in Iraq and put in place effective governing institutions that are run by Iraqis. It would also help if we involved more troops from other countries, to make clear that the war wasn’t an American plot to steal Iraq’s oil and denigrate Islam, as the extremists argue.

The goal of creating a better Iraq is a noble one, but a first step will be making sure that ordinary Iraqis find America’s ideals and assistance more appealing than Al Qaeda’s.

Jessica Stern, a lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, is author of “Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill.”

For the love of God, would you let us FINISH rebuilding Iraq BEFORE drawing conclusions?

Of course you’re gonna see Anarchy to a certain degree once you overthrow the country’s leader - those with no morals/values/ethics will have to determent from doing what they always wanted to do. LET US finish rebuilding Iraq, train its new Law Enforcement personell; let a new leader and a new permanent government be established; let its economy rebound from all the UN economic sanctions.

THEN we’ll jump to conclusions. Of course Saddam’s followers will put up resistance. What do you expect? It’s a fuckin war, people kill and get killed.

Comparing Saddams followers who shoot down our troops in a war environment, to a terrorist who plots carefully designed acts of terrorism targeted at innocent civilians in a non-war environment is comparing potatoes to chickens - no matter how hard you try you just cant say they’re the same.

We will NOT flinch. Damn canadian pussy.

Hey Diesel, whats shakin’ man?

The article is not talking about Saddam loyalists (though they are active) but rather refers to Iraq becoming a “cause celebre” for extremists from various areas (Iraq too) who now have targets available in their backyard.

The bungled US occupation is throwing alot of fuel on already dry tinder.

Retired Marine General Zinni, former commander of Middle East operations was just on a public TV program remarking (I’m paraphrasing here) that the White House couldn’t be handling this any worse, and that they seem to have absolutely no plan, but appear to be running the occupation ad hoc each day.

I’m not claiming to have the answers but the fact is there are glaring problems not being addressed in mainstream media- thus the American public at large is in a haze of disinformation.

Oh, and I’m not Canadian but thanks for the compliment.

I’m sure our Canadian friends on the T-forum appreciate your warm regards.

Kury, you have to make Diesel a drawing because his reading comprehension skills are clearly very poor.

Unfortunately all good that could come of the USA occupation in Iraq has already happened. That is the falling of Saddam’s regime.

Now you will be screwed whatever you do. The international community and especially Iraq’s neighbours would not forgive you if you abandoned the country, which would result in civil war that would most likely lead to the dismemberment of Iraq in at least two or
three states, and any puppet regime that you might plant there, which regardless of you calling it a democracy or not can not be a democratic regime as it wasn’t the result of democratic elections, will always be looked upon as a interference from the zionist supporting american infidels.

Anyway, it is not like abandoning Iraq and risking to stop the flow of Iraq’s oil once again is an option so you’ll always be screwed by the second option. You that is, ultimately Iraquis are the one that will be screwed, you and I just watch it in the TV screen in the comfort of our homes.

Clearly assuring the populations basic needs was NEVER a concern, judging from your lack of protection given to hospitals and other crucial structures and still isn’t, which only leads to Iraquis hating you more.

You did a good job protecting the oil minister. Congratulations.ummmm, maybe that does mean something, I wonder what.

Terrorism has and will rise again, and the only way to stop would the international implementation of a military totalitarian regime that would completely sacrifice everyone’s freedooms. You can not fight terrorism by killing people, you will only make it stronger.

So Bush has lied to the whole world about WMD’s, has lied when he said this would contribute to the pacification of middle east and americans still can’t tell the real reason(s)?

well, I am still waiting for George Dubya to magically pull a WMD out of some Iraqi’s arse (yes that IS why America went to war w/ Iraq). I still fail to see how you ppl can support a president who let the economy fall to shit, LIED, yes he f*kin lied to the American public to go to war, and now that’s its over (according to original plans America should have pulled a lot of troops out by now) you guys are sitting around doing who knows what will GW goes about raising his 200 million to make a run at being able to ruin the country for 4 more years. No, I do not hate America, your management just bloody blows!!

Its no big mystery as to why many Americans aren’t asking the most basic questions - they aren’t being given the information by the shoddy US mass media.

To quote writer Gore Vidal: “What I have to do lot of times in Europe is explain to them that Americans are not stupid, when they meet them, they think they’re very stupid because they don’t know anything, I have to explain to them that we’re not stupid, I think we’re rather brighter than the average, but we’re ignorant, which means not knowing, we have no information because it isn’t given to us.”

I believe that if people knew what the hell is going on they would get upset and start forcing the Bush Admin to own up to their lies.

But thats wishful thinking. Look at how many still don’t know the facts about the Gulf of Tonkin incident that precipitated the Vietnam war.

The media is concerned with ratings, which attracts more advertising money, and with not offending their corporate ownership.

Keeping Americans fearful and uninformed keeps profits high. These facts are not lost on executives and the politicians they own.

Perceived foreign threats and war make alot of money for certain corporations-so its no surprise that the Bush cabinet is basically an All-Star cast of corporate officers, mainly from the oil & energy industries.

I fuckin’ love Canadian pussy.:slight_smile:

Oops:D.
Isn’t Christian Thibeaudeau canadian? And Mr Berardi too…

I was just kidding there with the canadian comment very nervous laughter/sweat dripping from forehead

Thibeaudeau and Berardi will never again answer my questions.

Another attempt to blame America for everything. We let thousands of Iraqi’s go if they laid down their weapons, and this has left many who didn’t fight able to fight afterward. We attempt to rebuild something for the benefit of the Iraqi people, and yet it is destroyed which will only harm the Iraqi people. The UN came to help rebuild, and the Red Cross came to help people, and yet they were attacked. The only reason to keep attacking is to try to ruin the attempt to rebuild Iraq and keep unrest in the region. A military guerilla strategy.

History shows that the peace after a war is the most dangerous time for troops. (Was it Patton who said that?) And we are in an area of the world where people are raised being told that America is evil, “The Great Satan.” We are fighting a large group of brainwashed buffoons. I doubt they are the majority there, but they are a large group. Saddam’s own men were guarding the UN building there, and after the war they were left as guards, and these are the people believed to have blown up that building.

Once again you have to read between the lines. Few opinions are written by unbiased people, and most are by people with agenda’s, like winning the next election. Right now the Democrats are going to talk down the economy, even though it was a minor slowdown, and the recession was over quite a while ago. Yet people act as though millions are suddenly thrown into the streets living off garbage.

Also people are trying to twist one little sentence into a “LIE” that apparently caused us to get into the war, even though this complaint is based on a speech made after congress already voted for the war. Gee I wonder who is actually lying?

It is so funny seeing all the people fall for the spin doctors’ lines. And yes there are spin doctors on both sides. People just need to learn to read through all the crap and find the truth. And unfortunately it becomes harder the closer we come to an election.

And again on the economy, I am worried about the energy prices. We are just starting to leave the recovery, and enter a period of expansion, but this can be stalled out with massive increases in energy prices.

August 21, 2003, 3:30 p.m.
Phase Three?
The enemy is growing desperate

by Victor Davis Hansen

After the first two conventional military victories in Afghanistan of November 2001 and this spring in Iraq, the recent bombings suggest that we are now entering a third phase: A desperate last-ditch war of attrition in which our enemies feel that bombing, suicide murdering, assassination, and general terrorism against Westerners the world over might still achieve what conventional military operations did not. The idea is to make life so miserable for Iraqis, and so dangerous for foreigners, that the United States will withdraw, thus allowing either a fascist autocracy or terrorist theocracy — in the manner of the Taliban or an Afghan warlord — to emerge from the chaos.

Our real problem? We must shed our complacency that has habitually arisen after the absence of another 9/11 attack in the United States, and the rapid victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, and press on. Either the Middle East will be a breeding ground for terrorists and rogue regimes that threaten sober nations and peoples the world over, from Manhattan to Jerusalem, or it will desist and join the rest of the world. It really is as simple as that.

Indeed, the abhorrent assault on a U.N. complex in Baghdad — taken together with the near-simultaneous murdering of innocents in Jerusalem, the recent attack on the Jordanian embassy, and the bombing of Iraqi oil and water pipelines — may suggest to critics of the Americans that the enemy is recouping and gaining the upper hand.

Far from it. We are indeed entering a third phase. But it is not quite what most people think, since it has brought a brutal clarity to the conflict that the terrorists may not have intended. For those who were still unsure of the affinities between the West Bank killers once subsidized by Saddam, Baathist fedeyeen, the Taliban, and al Qaedist terrorists, the similarity in method, the identical blood-curling rhetoric, and the eerie timing of slaughtering during peace negotiations and efforts at civil reconstruction should establish the existence of a common enemy. It has been fighting us all along — a general fascism, now theocratic, now autocratic, that seeks to divert the Middle East from the forces of modernization and liberalization.

Contrary to the latest round of punditry, the liberation of Iraq did not stir up a hornet’s nest nor create ex nihilo these terrible alliances. No, they are natural expressions of the hatred manifested on 9/11 that will continue until either we or they are defeated.

The intifada was unleashed during negotiations and concessions. The World Trade Center and Pentagon were bombed in a time of peace after a decade of forbearance in the face of continual affronts. The killing in Afghanistan focuses on aid workers and restorers. And the U.N. complex in Baghdad was not a casualty of war, but rather targeted during the postbellum efforts to feed, clothe, and rebuild civil society. There is a pattern here.

From the detritus of Wednesday’s terror will arise a new grim acceptance that despite all our brilliantly rapid military victories we are not yet finished in this war for civilization, and that there are a group of killers — whether Baathists, al Qaedists, West Bank murderers, or Iranian and Saudi terrorists-who shall give no quarter. We should never forget that. In the euphoria of the three-week victory many of us rightly still worried that under the new restrictive protocols of postmodern warfare the age-old laws of conflict were for a time being forgotten: The ease of postbellum occupation is in proportion to the level of punishment inflicted on the enemy.

Our careful air campaign, the inability to sweep down into the Sunni triangle in the first days of the war from Turkey, and the abrupt collapse rather than the destruction of enemy forces in the field paradoxically resulted in thousands who ran away rather than were defeated. We immediately ended the fighting and began the humanitarian effort to help the helpless — even as our enemies and their jihadist friends saw that magnanimity as the removal of the stake driven through their vampirish heart.

Yet tragically whether an enemy is engaged in battle or in the street, there always remains a finite number of recalcitrant diehards who must be killed or captured. So while it was amazing that Saddam’s army dissolved in April, we should always remember that many of them still must be dealt with in August and September — both to eliminate combatants and, just as importantly, to send a message to foreign terrorists that it is a deadly mistake to take on the United States military.

The current choice of soft and largely civilian targets, while in the short-term horrific and depressing, is also instructive. The Baathist remnants and assorted terrorists who are now their allies have declared themselves not only enemies of the United States, but murderers of innocent Iraqis, Jordanians, and U.N. officials at large. They brag that they are driving infidels and Westerners of all stripes from sacred land. In fact, the current indiscriminate killing was a strategic mistake. It is a sign of desperation and can only unite the global community in its belief that terrorism, suicide murdering, and the agents of rogue regimes really do constitute a nexus of opposition to the forces of civilization — and must in return warrant universal resistance from the world at large.

Blowing up petroleum pipelines and vital water supplies in a scorching summer is directed at the Iraqi people, not just the American military. That nihilism reminds both us and the Iraqis that there is no going back to Saddam or descending into anarchy. The terrorists wish to make life as miserable for Iraqis as they do for Americans, and are willing to kill both for their own political ends. The net result of that desperate gambit will be a grudging acceptance that those who seek to end water, gas, food, and freedom in Iraq are the enemy, not us — and thus only Iraqi assistance can end the terror that threatens themselves.

What should be the American response to the latest terrorism? There will of course be the normal post-calamity bickering and recriminations: Not enough troops? Unwise dismissal of Baathist police and army? Failure to incorporate U.N. and international peacekeepers? These are important issues to be adjudicated, but they and many others still to be raised do not get to the heart of matter.

Our astonishing defeats of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban cannot blind us to the reality — unchanging since 9/11 — that we are in a war to the end with those who wish to destroy Western society and all that it holds dear. Both tactically and strategically this is a conflict that our enemies cannot win — given their military inferiority and accompanying failure to offer an attractive alternative to the freedom and prosperity of the West.

This doom the nihilists grudgingly accept. Thus the past week in Afghanistan, in Baghdad, and in Jerusalem they have once more embraced the tactics of the bomb-laden truck and suicide belt to demoralize civil society and to win the only way they can — as was true in Beirut and Mogadishu — by eroding public support for the continuance of war. Otherwise, they will lose and the virus of reform and legality will only spread.

Because September 11 was a direct consequence of our early failures to confront our enemies, our general response to the latest challenges should be even greater defiance. It is time to bring to fruition the president’s warning of nearly two years ago, that one is either with or against the terrorists. So Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, from which our enemies (many now in Iraq) operate, must either close their borders, turn over terrorists, and join the ranks of civilization — or chose the side of barbarism and accept the terrible consequences of such a fatal decision. And for the short term, we must continue on course-employing counterinsurgency tactics to go after the terrorists in the field, accelerating the transfer of governance to Iraqis to increase their visibility and responsibility in the conflict and restoring infrastructure to Afghanistan and Iraq.

It is the American way and the nature of our media culture to exaggerate setbacks and ignore successes. Thus even as our television screens seem to be overcome by panic and fear, high-ranking Baathists continue to be arrested in Iraq, terrorists find themselves stymied in achieving another 9/11, and the reconstruction of Iraq continues.

Victor Davis Hansen is king! He writes like current events will be described in the history books.

It’s amazing how you casn manipulate anything so it serves to prove whatever points you which to prove.

So the same actions terrorist organizations ALWAYS performed, and even an increase in these actions, is now a clear example of the “enemy despair”? How come? Care to explain the logic? I don’t believe there’s one but can you explain it?

Why isn’t 9-11 also a clear example of their despair? Do you actually believe your military action in Iraq is actually doing anything in what concerns terroism other than aggravating things? That article was complete bullshit.

Terrorism feeds of things like your illegal ocuppation of Iraq. For every civilian you kill there’s a few relatives and frieds that will become suicidal bombers. What’s so easy to understand here?

The world is not a safer place in what regards terrorism.

I meant “hard to understand” and not “easy to understand” and “friends”, not “frieds”.

Heres a few more gems from Victor:

“We are militarily strong, and the Arab world abjectly weak, not because of greater courage, superior numbers, higher IQs, more ores or better weather, but because of our culture.”

The subtitle of his article:“They hate us because their culture is backward and corrupt.”

Think about his profound wisdom for a minute, let it sink in…

What a man of tolerance and deep understanding!! Gandhi would be proud!

Are you kidding B. Barrister?

So if they with their “vampirish hearts” are inherently evil, then why did the US give Bin Laden billions in funds and expert training in the 80’s? He sure was our best buddy then.

Why were Taliban leaders in Texas, hosted by Unocal in 1998?
The Taliban even hired a prominant PR firm in the US to help them negotiate the construction of the Unocal pipeline.
Oh, but when negotiations went south and the Taliban seemed to unstable—well, we’ll just replace them!
Maybe thats why there were plans to overthrow them 6 months before 9-11.

Why was Rumsfeld doing business deals with Saddam in Baghdad?

You guessed it! There was big money to be made. But when they misbehave the US has to go and give those naughty Muslims a spanking.

They must learn that you don’t piss of US oil interests, especially when the executives of those firms get control of the US military and have no qualms about firebombing your family.

How can a bunch of terrorists gathering in one spot to fight our military be bad for us? That’s a hell of a lot better than the greasy bastard hiding in New York waiting to blow up the Empire State Building.

There are so many things wrong with you just said kuri it’s baffling. It’s no wonder, you are from California!

SeanW, don’t you know that nobody is from California- people just eventually end up here?

So whats wrong with what I stated (hope you noticed the heavy sarcasm in that post)?

The fact that the US supported the Taliban, Al-Quaeda, AND Saddam when they served US economic interests?

Yes that is very wrong.

Or maybe when Walker Texas Ranger himself said “bring 'em on” in regards to terrorists in Iraq?

Not only wrong but very stupid.

The sad fact is that the Bush Administration is more than willing to trade lives for oil & power in the Middle East - and do it under false pretense.

The major reason that they aren’t doing what it takes to rebuild Afghanistan & Iraq, EVEN while both Repubs and Democrats in Congress urge them to authorize more troops and funds - the reason is that
the Bush admin NEVER had a plan nor any intention to rebuild those countries and allow native populations govern themselves.

These are all easily verifiable facts for those who care enough to check into it.

In regards to the Taliban having a PR rep in the US - just do a google search on Laila Helms.

Laila Helms, the niece of Vietnam-era CIA director Richard Helms, was hired by the Taliban to represent them and spin them a positive image to the US media during the 90’s.

And it worked because the US Government did NOT oppose the Taliban’s taking power.

In fact they supported them, albeit quietly, until it became apparent that the Taliban could not control the northern areas so critical to the oil piplines. When the Taliban’s public executions and other acts of insanity became too well known the US could no longer endorse them of course.

ah, off the Iraq track here- but illustrates the real concerns of the US Govmt. in that region.

Sorry kuri, but Victor is correct. The article posted was absolutely right on, and I saw no attempt to twist facts just to support one party or another like I too often see in opinion.

About the quotes “…but because of our culture.” Is true. We have freedom. We do not put people to death for practicing the “wrong” religion. Their schools teach all children that America is “The Great Satan”, and that all Jews should die. This is a brainwashing culture. Is American culture better then brainwashing?

“They hate us because their culture is backward and corrupt.” Also correct. The freedom we offer the world is the only thing they actually fear. Their control falls apart with freedom.

Now I love statements like “(according to original plans America should have pulled a lot of troops out by now)” by ren, but you forget that it was repeatedly stated that this won’t be a quick war. That this may take years. This was stated repeatedly, and yet everyone keeps trying to make it out that we were supposed to go in, finish in a week, and everything would be hunkey dory with everything perfect with a new working government in just a week.

If people cannot remember history from earlier this year then haw can they have any knowledge of history from years or decades ago? I cannot believe how many people fall for these statements and cannot remember what was said by these people before. I remember that Afghanistan was the one country nobody had ever beat in a war, and America was going to be fighting there like in Vietnam. And nobody brings this up to the people who made these statements, but still listen to these people forgetting every wrong statement they made before.

Restless said, “Why isn’t 9-11 also a clear example of their despair?” Ok, why isn’t the Nazi holocaust an example of German despair? Why exactly do you expect America to bend over for any other country? Why should we ever accept being attacked? If I am sitting alone in a bar and somebody comes over and slugs me in the face, I don’t just sit down and wonder what I did to cause him to hit me, I slug him back. Should all women who get raped be yelled at for causing their attack? By justifying the attack on 911 you are saying that Al Qaeda was justified, and everything they do is ok?

This thought process is the road to destruction, and self-annihilation.

Now can anyone tell me when exactly we gave “billions” to Bin Laden? I know of some training he received before he went over the edge. He was already rich from his family business, but I know of no time where we just gave him “billions.” It would be easier to continue this discussion if we are discussing facts and not just make up things. It causes any argument to become suspect.

Sorry, thats Laili Helms (believe I wrote “laila”).