Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category

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Spotted: Another Brobdingnagian Factcheckathon

February 22, 2008

I got the feeling that the rightosphere pulled another all-nighter, as their blogs are all abuzz over an anecdote that Obama used in last night’s Democratic debate. 

First, the anecdote:

“You know, I’ve heard from an Army captain who was the head of a rifle platoon — supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon,” he said. “Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24 because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq.  And as a consequence, they didn’t have enough ammunition, they didn’t have enough humvees.  They were actually capturing Taliban weapons, because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief.”

Then came the Brobdingnagian factcheckathon (see HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.)  These bloggers called BS, because, you know, prior to last night’s debate there was no evidence whatsoever that the Iraq adventure diverted resources from the mission in Afghanistan.  It’s not like the Iraq Study Group said exactly that or anything.

So, what came all this hysteria?  Well, some journalist guy actually contacted the Army captain that Obama was referring to.   And what do you know?

Prior to deployment the Captain — then a Lieutenant — took command of a rifle platoon at Fort Drum. When he took command, the platoon had 39 members, but — in ones and twos — 15 members of the platoon were re-assigned to other units. He knows of 10 of those 15 for sure who went to Iraq, and he suspects the other five did as well.

The platoon was sent to Afghanistan with 24 men.

“We should have deployed with 39,” he told me, “we should have gotten replacements. But we didn’t. And that was pretty consistent across the battalion.”

and

Also in Afghanistan they had issues getting parts for their MK-19s and their 50-cals. Getting parts or ammunition for their standard rifles was not a problem.

“It was very difficult to get any parts in theater,” he says, “because parts are prioritized to the theater where they were needed most — so they were going to Iraq not Afghanistan.”

“The purpose of going after the Taliban was not to get their weapons,” he said, but on occasion they used Taliban weapons. Sometimes AK-47s, and they also mounted a Soviet-model DShK (or “Dishka”) on one of their humvees instead of their 50 cal.

Oh well, perhaps now they’ll get some sleep. 

Nah.  There’s some BS in there somewhere.  I just know it.

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John Bolton Delivers Another Head-Scratcher

November 22, 2007

And when I say “another”, it’s in reference to the Bolton quote I featured here in the Chamber a little while ago.

Today’s nugget is once again on the subject of Iran.  Mr. Bolton, appearing on Hardball, is chiming in on Iran’s possible reaction to an attack on their nuclear facilities (h/t NewsBusters):

JOHN BOLTON: I give the Iranians more credit than you [addressing himself to Matthews] do. I think they’re smart enough to understand that an attack against the nuclear program is not directed against them.

I’m not sure if Bolton actually believes this, or if he’s just saying whatever he thinks he needs to in order to sugarcoat his position (which, needless to say, is quite hawkish). 

It’s hard not to envision that, after an attack, the Iranian state run TV would run clip after clip of burning buildings and lifeless bodies being dragged out from under the rubble.  I’d assume that Ahmadinejad would make sure that the footage played in every TV set in the country, and probably the world.  Does Bolton really think that the Iranians are just going to sit there and collectively think “Well, they were just nuclear facilities.  They had it coming.” or something like that?  I mean, come on

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

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John Bolton Gets Nostalgic

September 30, 2007

boultonmup.jpgI’m picking this for quote of the week, delivered by John Bolton while discussing what should be done about the Iran situation:

“If we were to strike Iran it should be accompanied by an effort at regime change … The US once had the capability to engineer the clandestine overthrow of governments. I wish we could get it back,” he said.

What Bolton is referring to, of course, is this.  Nothing quite like the spooks of yesteryear, compared to the moonbats that are inhabiting the CIA these days, right?

I’m not sure why he thinks of the exercise as a dead practice though.  There’s word that Bush and Cheney at least making an effort at it in Iran currently.

And Johnnyboy, it isn’t particularly “clandestine” when you’re telling the media about it, is it? 

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General ChenZhen Strikes Again

September 17, 2007

I like having fun with this new nickname that fellow LGFer DesertSage gave me, and tonight I have another opportunity to pat myself on the back for another convergence of thought with a real general.  A few months ago, I posted this on the subject of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons:

Would Iran actually use nukes on Israel preemptively, considering the consequences?

It was just a question I threw out there for the lizard army, and I thought it was a legitimate one given the fact that there are many Muslims and Islamic holy sites in Israel and the surrounding area, along with the considerable onslaught and retaliation the Iranians would face from such an action.

Most of the response my comment received was based on the notion that the Iranian leadership doesn’t care because they believe in Armageddon, so this kind of deterrence means nothing to them.

Well, today, a famous retired general came out and addressed the subject: Abizaid: World could abide nuclear Iran

“Iran is not a suicide nation,” he said. “I mean, they may have some people in charge that don’t appear to be rational, but I doubt that the Iranians intend to attack us with a nuclear weapon.”

The Iranians are aware, he said, that the United States has a far superior military capability.

“I believe that we have the power to deter Iran, should it become nuclear,” he said, referring to the theory that Iran would not risk a catastrophic retaliatory strike by using a nuclear weapon against the United States.

Now, I realize that Abizaid was talking about a threat to the U.S. and not Israel, but I think it’s safe to assume at this point that they are one in the same, especially with regards to the deterrence factor.  Anyway, I’m certainly hoping that the General and I are right on this one.  But I think this calls for another brandishing of my stars…

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Iranians Getting Squirrelly

July 13, 2007

I just had to put this on the blog: Squirrel Spy Ring? Thats Nuts!

Police in Iran are reported to have taken 14 squirrels into custody – because they are suspected of spying.

The rodents were found near the Iranian border allegedly equipped with eavesdropping devices.

The reports have come from the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

When asked about the confiscation of the spy squirrels, the national police chief said: “I have heard about it, but I do not have precise information.”

The IRNA said that the squirrels were kitted out by foreign intelligence services – but they were captured two weeks ago by police officers.

If the Brits really are using squirrels, it might mean that MI6’s prairie dog team has been compromised:

Details are sketchy.  There are reports that the British Badger Brigade is having more success in Basra, however. 

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General Lieberman Speaks (Followed By General ChenZhen)

June 12, 2007
First, from the other day:

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sen. Joseph Lieberman said Sunday the United States should consider a military strike against Iran because of Tehran’s involvement in Iraq.

“I think we’ve got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq,” Lieberman said. “And to me, that would include a strike over the border into Iran, where we have good evidence that they have a base at which they are training these people coming back into Iraq to kill our soldiers.”

My initial response was this (from another blog):

ChenZhen said…
    “I want to make clear I’m not talking about a massive ground invasion of Iran,” Lieberman said.

That’s the problem. Unless we’re prepared for full-scale war, I think any attack inside Iran’s borders is just plain foolish. For one, said attack probably won’t halt Iran’s involvement. In all liklihood, the attempt would backfire, even if we did destroy some training camp somewhere. They’d probably just come back at us harder, and the situation would escalate.

Nevermind the fact that this would be exactly what al Qaeda in Iraq wants us to do.

It’s a nice fix Bush has gotten us into, eh?

 ———–

DesertSage said…
Oh boy…General ChenZhen is giving us military advice.
WE.MUST.LISTEN.TO.GENERAL.CHENZHEN!
June 10, 2007 5:45 PM

I wonder if I should put some stars in my sidebar?

Sure enough, a real general weighs in:

Senator Lieberman’s saber rattling does nothing to help dissuade Iran from aiding Shia militias in Iraq, or trying to obtain nuclear capabilities. In fact, it’s highly irresponsible and counter-productive, and I urge him to stop.

generalchenzhen.gif

Update:  Excellent and related read from Ezra Klein: Let’s Get Serious  —  What do liberal hawks actually want to do regarding Iran?

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Flag Burning 101

June 4, 2007

I happened to stumble upon this post by my pal Sisyphus over at Blogs 4 Brownback, where the notion of buring of the Iranian flag is put forth as a viable idea with regards to the Iran situation.  I left a comment in there, but it pretty much got ignored.  So, I thought I’d mention it here, just because I thought is was pretty darn funny:

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The Perils Of Posting Legitimate Questions On Blogs

May 31, 2007

You might just get your LIFE THREATENED!

First, the legitimate question:

Would Iran actually use nukes on Israel preemtively, considering the consequences?

One response:

#53 Iron Fist 5/31/2007 6:22:16 pm PDT

Are you willing to bet YOUR life that they won’t? I’d be willing to kill you if they do.

Pistol to the forehead OK with you? Beheaddings are so messy.*

My response:

So…you have a pistol and you’re not afraid to use it (on) me?

The response:

#102 Iron Fist  5/31/2007 6:50:09 pm PDT

#94 ChenZhen,

Actually, I’d prefer the blade, as there is a certian circularity to it.

I can arrange the pistol.

That you even question indicates that you think Iran’s using nukes is likely.

I agree.

Are you willing to bet your life they won’t?

Doesn’t sound like it.

I think I’ve finally spotted the elusive Troglodyte:

Troglodyte seems to have emerged from the mists of time untouched by human evolution.troglodyte.jpg Devoid of a single progressive idea and lacking the slightest awareness of social and cultural advances, Troglodyte has developed an incoherent political philosophy that he characterizes as “conservative” or “libertarian”, but which could be more accurately described as “bigoted narcissism”. His aggressive posturing often frightens off weaker, more timid Warriors. In pitched battle, however, Troglodyte easily loses control and his attack quickly degenerates into a rant. Just for the fun of it, Weenie, Issues. Pinko and Evil Clown will sometimes deliberately goad him into a towering rage.

What a wonderful netizen, huh?  But then I was reminded of this from the LGF FAQ:

Q. What’s the Iron Fist Rule?
A. “If you think you are too drunk to post, you are too drunk too post.”  First used on LGF by… er… well, you can probably figure that one out for yourself.

*As of this writing, Charles (LGF’s webmaster) deleted this comment.  The second one remains. 

And if you’re reading this Charles, I’d like you to know that I don’t appreciate having my life threatened on your website.  I don’t think you do either.  I’ve decided to post the exchange here on my blog (as documentation), but if it happens again I’ll consider posting it somewhere that gets more traffic.

Update 10/31/07:  Speaking of traffic, I am getting a lot of it from Sadly, No! today, so I thought it might be as good a time as any to add this search link:  LGF Watch: Iron Fist

…and while we’re on the subject, a real howler…

#278 LanceKates 10/31/07 12:23:40 pm

Sometimes, just for a day, I wish we could be as evil as they say we are.

If, for no other reason, just to show them the difference.

#279 Iron Fist 10/31/07 12:32:59 pm

re: #278 LanceKates,

It would be fun…

No shit?

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WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

May 25, 2007

I had an idea (strange, huh?). Originally I thought it would be neat to add political WordPress.com blogs in a special section of my blogroll, and create my own little community of amateur pundits that use the service. In a way, ALL WP.com bloggers are part of a community already, but I thought I’d start a club just for those who like to talk politics.

Most political bloggers will have blogs from other services in their blogroll.  Not everyone uses WP, after all.  There are advantages to staying within the community, however. One advantage would be ease of commenting. Once you’re logged in, you can hop from blog to blog without having to enter in tedious email info and quickly drop a comment (nice to have avatars too), and all discussions can easily be kept track of through the “my comments” section of our dashboards.  Another advantage: you don’t have to do a lot of work to ping these blogs.  All you have to do is link to a post, and it pings them immediately (leaving a pingback in the comments section).  With other blogs (or blog services), you may have to copy/paste trackback urls, and that can be a bit of a crap shoot.  It can work real slick for some blogs and not work at all for others (or at least I’ve discovered). Yet another advantage is how easy it is to search for tags within the community, but that is less special because services like technorati seem to be dialed into it as well. Anyway, you get the idea….

So, every so often, I’ll click on the WP ‘politics’ tag and check out what people are posting.  If I stumble upon a blog that I haven’t seen before, I’d just add it to the blogroll.  I’ve been adding a couple a week since I started it.  I’m sure there are more, so as time goes on this list will grow in my sidebar (under “wordpress political blogs”)

Then I started thinking. What if we formed some semi-formal alliance? A ‘club’ made up exclusively of WP.com political bloggers (right, left, and center) who could regularly exchange ideas and comment on others’ posts. So far I haven’t seen anything like that. Maybe it’s worth a shot?

I whipped up a ‘club’ button that we can put in the sidebar. You’ll have to forgive my photoshopping skills, but here goes:

wppoliblog1.jpg

If you want to add the button to your blog (it links back to this post), here is the code (with border):

<a href="http://chenzhen.wordpress.com/2007/05/25/wordpress-political-blogger-alliance"><img src="http://chenzhen.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/wppoliblog1.jpg&quot; alt="WordPress Political Blogger" /></a>

WordPress Political Blogger

…and without a border:

<a href="http://chenzhen.wordpress.com/2007/05/25/wordpress-political-blogger-alliance"><img border="0" src="http://chenzhen.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/wppoliblog1.jpg&quot; alt="WordPress Political Blogger" /></a>

WordPress Political Blogger

Update 11/2:  The alliance has become interactive!  The lowdown:

What I’m attemping to create here is a tool that we can use to make our blogs more lively and entertaining.  I’m not really forcing any obligations on anyone, so I don’t want you to get the impression that going along with this means that there’s going to be a whole list of expectations (beyond etiquette).  You don’t have to respond to every ping.   Just so you know.  

If you want to participate, there are just a few details…

  1. In order for this to work smoothly, everyone needs to create a page that can be pinged.  It took me about 2 min. to make mine: http://chenzhen.wordpress.com/wp-political-blogger-alliance/ .  And I need to know the link so that I can consolidate them, so just post it in that thread or respond in email once you’ve whipped it up.  That’s really the only requirement.  A handful of you already have done this, and the pings work beautifully.  The idea here is to compose a code that is easy to paste in your post that allows you to ping everyone in the alliance at the same time.*
  2. I don’t really like the idea of any one blogger “abusing” the tool by using it to try to dominate the discussion.  In other words, if you’re calling out and pinging the alliance 3 times a day it might get a little annoying.  Sure, it’s easy enough to just ignore such a thing, but nevertheless I think it would be akin to blog whoring just for the sake of blog whoring.  It’s kind of a fine line, and we’ll probably tweak the guidelines as we go forward, but for now I’ll stick with a rule of 1 per day max.  No minimums, since some of you might prefer to comment only.  And, it probably goes without saying, but we don’t want to double up on a topic either, so try to make sure that a story or headline hasn’t already had pings sent by someone else first.  If it has, and you’ve got your own unique analysis that you just spent like 2 hrs on, just link to that thread in your post instead.  We’ll see it.  Make sense?
  3. Be somewhat civilized.  This might be the hard part, ’cause a) there’s a very diverse crowd being pinged and b) it’s the internet.  In debate, you win by attacking the argument or idea, and you lose once you resort to attacking the person (there is a difference).  Keep that mindset, and we’ll be fine.  That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy a good blog war.  This will be a bit of a free-for-all, so I hope people are relatively thick-skinned when it comes to having  logic, facts, position, etc. challenged.  We’ll just have to see how this goes, cause I’m not sure if anyone has really tried anyting like this before. 
  4. This is about “politics”, so use the “politics” tag/category when you post, and only send the pings when you post about “politics”.  You might have a cool car, for example, but please don’t ping the whole group to show off the latest pics you just posted.  Also, consistent use of the “politics” tag in general means more views from the wider wordpress.com audience.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy as individuals to block urls and IP’s if #2 or 3 becomes a problem for someone.

* The up-to-date code can always be found in my sidebar (——>): 

Founder of the

WordPress Political Blog Alliance

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

Simply copy the “WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance” and paste it at the bottom of your post. Once your post is published, it will send a ping back to everyone in the alliance.  Easy!

Update 11/4: A tag (category) specifically for the alliance:

WordPress Political Blogs

Create the “WordPress Political Blogs” category and add it to your alliance-oriented posts.  In2thefray and I have already added the RSS feed for this tag in our sidebars, so we can see the latest offerings right on our blogs:

RSS WP.com political blog alliance

Even better, if everyone uses the tag consistently, the above link will provide a great chronological record of the posts within the alliance. In addition, you will have a record of your own contributions to the alliance in your sidebar (assuming you have added the “categories” widget).  Remember to use “WordPress Political Blogs” exactly (alternate spellings and abbreviations will be a different tag, technically)

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We Aren’t Leaving Iraq Anytime Soon

May 22, 2007

I think I’m finally accepting the reality that this terrible idea that is the Iraq war is really a decades-long commitment, whether I like it or not.  Just look at a few of the headlines that have popped up in the last few days:

Yeah.  Instead of going on a long rant about this, maybe I should just post something a little less depressing….

Comin’ right up.

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Judith A. Klinghoffer’s Bizarre View On ‘Winning The War On Terror’

April 26, 2007

As the blogs react to a recent opinion poll that came out regarding terrorism and the Muslim world, one column by Judith A. Klinghoffer caught my attention:  Poll: US unpopular but winning War on Terror

Now, anyone who’s read a bit of my blog will probably be thinking that my head exploded just reading the title (you’re not far off), but I thought I’d comment on it.  I’ll skip the long analysis of what was prefaced as a ‘push poll’, and move right to the conclusion:

All in all, the glass is 3/4 full. Yes, theoretically, Muslims would like to see a day when they will all unite within the border of a righteous Khalifat but they disagree with Al Qaeda and Bin Laden means and unwilling to pay the high price needed to achieve it. The As it was the American led War on Terror which raised that price, it is a small wonder America is not popular in the Muslim world. I am sure the US was not popular in Germany during W.W.II. or in the USSR during the Cold war. Trying to be popular with the enemy is a strange idea anyhow. Actually, as we have learned with victory comes even a very short lived boost of popularity. All in all, PIPA push poll contains encouraging news.

Stumbling through the grammatical errors in that, and ignoring the fact that Judith slipped in her opinion that the ‘Muslim world’ is the ‘enemy’ (and validating our unpopularity in the process), it’s clear that I’ve come across a rare brand of Kool-Aid here.  

On one hand, we have the quest for ‘victory’ in the ‘War on Terror’.  A war which, by definition, can only be ‘won’ the day that people stop wanting to blow us up. On the other hand, we have a poll showing our rampant unpopularity and sympathy to al Qaeda across 4 Mid East nations .  The verdict: ‘encouraging news’.  Even if it is a push poll, I don’t know how anyone can view this as a positive step towards victory in a war that is unwinnable to begin with anyway.  In fact, I think I would have learned more if she would have just taken the poll herself and posted her answers.

Something tells me that this all comes back to Bush and Iraq.  The war has worsened our post 9/11 position.  The war supporters don’t want to admit that us ‘BDS’ sufferers were right all along, so they whitewash news like this by screaming ‘push poll’.  It’s the same type of thing when people say that the ISG doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about (as if they do either), or try to spin the NIE’s assessments.  No one wants to admit that they supported what turned out to be an unmitigated disaster.

So, just for the record, this has been the most popular forum on FearBush.com, and has run like this since 2002:

World War III
September 11th was undoubtedly one of the most tragic days in American history. It’s unconscionable that Bush has used those who lost lives on that day as justification for an endless campaign of fear, misinformation and hate. Bush’s sudden need to wage war on Iraq will only breed more world hatred for the US, inspire more terrorism, at a cost of even more untold civilian lives. War should always be a LAST RESORT, not a matter of policy.

Registration is open.

Update:  More ‘encouraging news’ : Annual terrorism report will show 29% rise in attacks

WASHINGTON – A State Department report on terrorism due out next week will show a nearly 30 percent increase in terrorist attacks worldwide in 2006 to more than 14,000, almost all of the boost due to growing violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. officials said Friday.

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Note To Iran: It’s Just A Damn Movie

March 13, 2007

I haven’t even seen this movie yet, but I thought I’d comment on this one because it seems that everyone takes movies a bit too seriously.  Iranians included:  Iran outraged by Hollywood war epic

War epic “300”, a smash hit in the United States for its gory portrayal of the Greco-Persian wars, has drawn the wrath of Iranians for showing their ancestors as bloodthirsty “savages”.

The press, officials and bloggers have united in denouncing the film as another example of “psychological warfare” against Tehran by its American arch enemy at a time of mounting tension over its nuclear programme.

Can’t I go to a movie without having to contemplate what hidden message about someone’s ancestors may be contained within?   I suppose the ironic thing is that your average moviegoer probably wouldn’t have made the Iranian/Persian connection if this ‘outrage’ hadn’t made the news.

read more

Digg!

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Gen. Wesley Clark: Decison to Attack Iraq Made 9/20/01

March 5, 2007

Just add this to the list of evidence that Bush lied when he said “hopefully no military action“,  here’s an  interview with Wesley Clark (with audio):

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, in a way. But, you know, history doesn’t repeat itself exactly twice. What I did warn about when I testified in front of Congress in 2002, I said if you want to worry about a state, it shouldn’t be Iraq, it should be Iran. But this government, our administration, wanted to worry about Iraq, not Iran.

I knew why, because I had been through the Pentagon right after 9/11. About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”

It gets better (or worse), as Clark details how the admin. planned on taking out half of the Middle East. 


Digg!

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What Would Indiana Jones Think?

March 5, 2007

From The Guardian: Iran’s rich architecture and rare treasures threatened by possible US strikes 

Other nuclear installations lie close to Shiraz, dubbed “the city of roses and nightingales”, famous for the tombs of medieval poets; Persepolis, the great palace of King Darius, whose ruins are still magnificent; and the 6th century BC tomb of Cyrus the Great, the Persian ruler who was said to have been buried in a coffin of gold.

Four years ago Dr Curtis was warning that war in Iraq would be a disaster for some of the oldest and most important sites in the world. He has since seen his worst fears confirmed: the site of ancient Babylon became an American military base; thousands of objects are missing from the national museum at Baghdad; and looted artefacts have been illicitly excavated and smuggled out of the country.

Curious, I thought I’d check it out, so here’s  the tomb of Cyrus the Great:

cyrus-the_great_tomb.jpg

Gold…in there?    Hhmmm.   What would  Indiana Jones think?

Bomb that tomb, and I'll bullwhip your ass

 

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