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Old 17th September 2021, 12:23 PM   #1
Bob001
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General admits "we made a mistake."

The U.S. commander in Afghanistan admits that the missile launch against "terrorists" that killed 10 people, including seven children, was a mistake.
Quote:
(CNN)A United States military investigation into a deadly Kabul drone strike in August has found that it killed 10 civilians and the driver and the vehicle targeted was likely not a threat associated with ISIS-K, Gen. Frank McKenzie, the top general of US Central Command, announced at the Pentagon on Friday.

McKenzie told reporters at the Pentagon that the strike was a "mistake" and offered an apology.
https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/17/polit...hnk/index.html
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Old 17th September 2021, 12:28 PM   #2
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An 'apology' for killing 10 civilians, including children, is not enough.
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Old 17th September 2021, 12:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
An 'apology' for killing 10 civilians, including children, is not enough.
What else would you recommend they do, at this point?
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Old 17th September 2021, 12:38 PM   #4
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Look, this is bad. Really bad. But if we're putting things into perspective, it's not as bad as if ten Americans had been killed. Or even two Americans.
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Old 17th September 2021, 12:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
The Pentagon had maintained that at least one ISIS-K facilitator and three civilians were killed in what Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley had previously called a "righteous strike" on the compound on August 29. The investigation released Friday found that all of those killed in the residential compound were civilians.
This guy is having a bad week, PR-wise.
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Old 17th September 2021, 12:55 PM   #6
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In fairness to Warp12, he has a point regarding the apology not being enough. What, exactly, can they do now apart from apologise?
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:01 PM   #7
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They are now admitting they targeted the wrong vehicle. They believed from reports that a "white Toyota Corolla" would be used in an attack on US soldiers at the airport. Such a car arrived at one of the points that had been identified as a terrorist location. The driver received a bag and then drove the car to another point where a third man got in with a bag. They then drove to a compound that had an office of a Nutrition and Education Int'l.
The 3 men unloaded bags and jugs there and left. At that time, intelligence received that an ISIS K member was in Kabul dropping off supplies. The men in the car stopped at another location where two of them got out, went into the building, then got back into the car which continued to drive west then south and returned to the third stop. There they loaded the trunk with what were believed to be explosives. The car left with four adult males and returned to the second stop location and dropped off one of the men carrying a bag. The car then dropped off another of the men several hundred meters from the first location. With only the driver, the car backed into a compound about 3 kms from the airport. The compound was observed for about 8 hours and the car was approached by a man "assessed to be a co-conspirator". That is when the missile was launched at the car.

The secondary explosions was likely a propane tank just behind the parked car.

This is from Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr.'s webstream.
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
What else would you recommend they do, at this point?
After an investigation, that should be determined by the military. Gen. McKenzie just said that they are looking into payments. I couldn't understand one word he used before "payments". It sounded like 'exrasha' and even the captions missed it.

ETA: McKenzie said they are investigating it now when asked if anyone will be held responsible.

Last edited by Stacyhs; 17th September 2021 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
What else would you recommend they do, at this point?
You pay their families money.
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
After an investigation, that should be determined by the military. Gen. McKenzie just said that they are looking into payments. I couldn't understand one word he used before "payments". It sounded like 'exrasha' and even the captions missed it.

ETA: McKenzie said they are investigating it now when asked if anyone will be held responsible.
Ex gratia?
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:13 PM   #11
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It was a horrible mistake.

It was also more merciful and kind than anything any ISIS associated organization has ever done to anyone ever.

Not right, but very far from the worst wrong.
War, it turns out, sucks
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:15 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You pay their families money.
It's not like most Americans really care that much about some dead Afghans, to be honest. But they sure do love to cry crocodile tears, and try to erase things by writing checks. Sure, send them a check. How do we calculate the worth of a dead Afghan, these days?

On a more serious note, why does the military even release this sort of info to the general public? It's not like these are the only innocents who have died due to military operations. The general public does not need to know every military failure, or success, for that matter.
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Last edited by Warp12; 17th September 2021 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:16 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You pay their families money.
Yes, and that is a traditional thing to do in Afghanistan when someone is killed.
Quote:
Pashtun norms of criminal law are based on the notion of restorative justice
rather than on the notion of retributive justice relied upon in Western and international law. Rather than being sent to prison for a wrong committed, the wrongdoer is asked to pay Poar, or blood money, to the victim and to ask for forgiveness. Because asking for forgiveness, or Nanawati, is part of many “sentences,” it seems appropriate to describe
the concept at this juncture. Nanawati is a special custom for seeking apology and eliminating enmity. The custom is used in all Pashtun tribes, taking virtually the same form in every community
https://www.usip.org/sites/default/f...fghanistan.pdf
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Ex gratia?
Yes. Thanks.
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:27 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You pay their families money.
More important, you restructure operations so innocent people aren't identified and killed as terrorists. Only the military itself can know how to do that.

But this is far from the first time this has happened. A large percentage of U.S. drone strikes kill people who had nothing to do our enemies. But their friends, relatives and neighbors sure as hell became our enemies after the fact.
Quote:
Credible, independent attempts to determine how many civilians the Obama administration has killed arrived at numbers in the hundreds or low thousands. And there is good reason to believe that they undercount the civilians killed.
[From 2016] https://www.theatlantic.com/politics...mbling/473541/

Quote:
The controversial U.S. drone strike program in the Middle East aims to pinpoint and kill terrorist leaders, but new documents indicate that a staggering number of these “targeted killings” affect far more people than just their targets.

According to a new report from The Intercept, nearly 90 percent of people killed in recent drone strikes in Afghanistan “were not the intended targets” of the attacks.
[From 2015] https://www.huffpost.com/entry/civil...b028dd7ea6c4ff
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:29 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
More important, you restructure operations so innocent people aren't identified and killed as terrorists. Only the military itself can know how to do that.
I hate to tell you this, but war is imperfect.
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:31 PM   #17
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I'm in no way minimizing this, or other, tragedies where innocents are killed in war. But it is a cold, hard fact of war that this kind of thing has happened, does happen, and will happen. War sucks.
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:31 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Ex gratia?

I had to look it up. It means a payment that is not legally required and implies no legal responsibility. In other words, a tip. I'm not sure that gets the military off the hook.
Quote:
An ex gratia payment is made to an individual by an organization, government, or insurer for damages or claims, but it does not require the admittance of liability by the party making the payment.

An ex gratia payment is considered voluntary because the party making the payment is not obligated to compensate the individual. In Latin, “ex gratia” means “by favor.”
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e...ia-payment.asp
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:33 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
I hate to tell you this, but war is imperfect.
Can I quote you on that?
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:35 PM   #20
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This miscalculation is horrible and tragic beyond words.

About a week ago I finally got around to watching Zero Dark Thirty. I'm reminded of the scene where they're trying to calculate the odds that the house actually contains Osama Bin Laden. You have a perfect setup for confirmation bias and "groupthink".

However, attempting to explain how it can happen in no way excuses it.
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:36 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
I hate to tell you this, but war is imperfect.
Sure. But these are not combat mistakes. These are cases where the U.S. deliberately rains death from the skies on people that it hasn't correctly identified as enemy. That's not only a tragedy for the victims and their families, but a catastrophe for U.S. efforts to gain popular support. And then we wonder why they hate us.
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:38 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
It's not like most Americans really care that much about some dead Afghans, to be honest. But they sure do love to cry crocodile tears, and try to erase things by writing checks. Sure, send them a check. How do we calculate the worth of a dead Afghan, these days?

On a more serious note, why does the military even release this sort of info to the general public? It's not like these are the only innocents who have died due to military operations. The general public does not need to know every military failure, or success, for that matter.
It's a good question.

Maybe the public should know. A democracy is based on an informed electorate. How can the electorate be informed if our state actors are lying or hiding the truth?
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:51 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
.....
On a more serious note, why does the military even release this sort of info to the general public? It's not like these are the only innocents who have died due to military operations. The general public does not need to know every military failure, or success, for that matter.
In this particular case, the facts were already known, and multiple outlets reported them. The guy's employer at an aid agency vouched for him. He had apparently applied for a visa to the U.S. His nephew, also killed, had worked with U.S. special forces. The military could either tell the truth or try a cover-up, which would inevitably have been revealed.

From Aug. 29:
https://www.latimes.com/world-nation...e-strike-kabul
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/08/29/a...ntl/index.html

From Sept. 11:
Quote:
But a New York Times investigation of video evidence, along with interviews with more than a dozen of the driver’s co-workers and family members in Kabul, raises doubts about the U.S. version of events, including whether explosives were present in the vehicle, whether the driver had a connection to the Islamic State group and whether there was a second explosion after the missile struck the car.
https://news.yahoo.com/times-investi...140449695.html

You think the Army should be able to kill people at random without taking any responsibility, or what?

Last edited by Bob001; 17th September 2021 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 17th September 2021, 01:57 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
You think the Army should be able to kill people at random without taking any responsibility, or what?
My point is, the public doesn't need to know about every success or failure. These are military operations. It doesn't mean that there should not be some degree of oversight by the appropriate parties.
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Old 17th September 2021, 02:01 PM   #25
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Admitting to it rather than the usual doubling down is at least some progress.

Reparations are definitely in order as well as a review of how circumstantial evidence was so poorly interpreted.
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Old 17th September 2021, 02:04 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
I hate to tell you this, but war is imperfect.
Is it hell also?
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Old 17th September 2021, 02:05 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
My point is, the public doesn't need to know about every success or failure. These are military operations. It doesn't mean that there should not be some degree of oversight by the appropriate parties.
The military is eager to tell us about every success. But don't you ever imagine that they tell us about every failure, even when our own troops are killed. Don't forget how long the cover-up of Pat Tillman's death went on.
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Old 17th September 2021, 02:07 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
The military is eager to tell us about every success. But don't you ever imagine that they tell us about every failure, even when our own troops are killed. Don't forget how long the cover-up of Pat Tillman's death went on.
Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
My point is, the public doesn't need to know about every success or failure. These are military operations. It doesn't mean that there should not be some degree of oversight by the appropriate parties.
My above quote applies to your above response, as well.
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Old 17th September 2021, 02:09 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
My point is, the public doesn't need to know about every success or failure. These are military operations. It doesn't mean that there should not be some degree of oversight by the appropriate parties.
Again.

Maybe the public should know. A democracy is based on an informed electorate. How can the electorate be informed if our state actors are lying or hiding the truth?
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Old 17th September 2021, 02:11 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Again.

Maybe the public should know.
As can be easily determined by statements I have already made, I disagree with you. As I say, of course there should be oversight, but the general public is not the agency for such a thing.
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Old 17th September 2021, 02:25 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
As can be easily determined by statements I have already made, I disagree with you. As I say, of course there should be oversight, but the general public is not the agency for such a thing.
That's the difference between us. I believe it is essential that our leaders don't lie or hide the facts from us.

But then again I voted against Trump.
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Old 17th September 2021, 09:48 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
My point is, the public doesn't need to know about every success or failure. These are military operations. It doesn't mean that there should not be some degree of oversight by the appropriate parties.
But this isn't just any normal 'success or failure'. It's innocent people being murdered by a military who sees the enemy everywhere, doesn't do enough to prevent 'mistakes', and suffers no consequence for them.

The public does need to know about incidents like this, otherwise they will continue getting away with it. Remember the Mỹ Lai massacre? I bet you think the public didn't need to know about that either, right? Well we did find out, but the shame didn't stop there,

Quote:
Initially, three U.S. servicemen who had tried to halt the massacre and rescue the hiding civilians were shunned, and even denounced as traitors by several U.S. Congressmen, including Mendel Rivers, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Only after 30 years were they recognized and decorated, one posthumously, by the U.S. Army for shielding non-combatants from harm in a war zone.
And here we are in 2021, still killing innocents without consequence, and still having to put up with apologists like you who want to sweep it under the rug. When will it stop?
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Old 19th September 2021, 04:48 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
In fairness to Warp12, he has a point regarding the apology not being enough. What, exactly, can they do now apart from apologise?
1. Compensate survivors and family.
2. Punish any new negligence and failures.
3. Learn from and not repeat mistakes.
For a start.
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Old 19th September 2021, 04:49 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
What else would you recommend they do, at this point?
Send flowers.
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Old 19th September 2021, 04:55 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
1. Compensate survivors and family.
2. Punish any new negligence and failures.
3. Learn from and not repeat mistakes.
For a start.
1) I am sure they are herding up some goats to send, right now.

2) If there were/are any. People act like this sort of operation is perfect science.

3) Agreed.
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Old 19th September 2021, 05:17 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
What else would you recommend they do, at this point?
The person who has command responsibility should be tried in as open a court as possible. What is not appropriate is for the military to investigate itself. In theory the Afghan government should have an observer status so they can ensure the investigation is full and fair. Ideally the trial should be in Afghanistan since that is where the crime happened; but I know the US has a policy of not allowing its military to be tried by other countries for crimes committed in that country.

I think a good question is why the US did not inform the Taliban and they could have intercepted and questioned the car and driver. The decision to have a drone strike was not militarily essential it was political and emotional, a demonstration of power and vengeance for the killing of US troops. This was a potentially avoidable event.

There is an article on the BBC website about how throughout the occupation Afghanis had fed false intelligence to the US triggering drone strikes to satisfy family vendettas etc.

If we look at Guantanamo we know the majority of those held were not terrorists, and the US had years and the use of torture to clarify this before they were convinced. I wouldn't be surprised if many of those identified as terrorists for assassination by drone are not, they just live in the same building, have a similar name, work as part time taxi driver etc. In the developing world if you have a car and especially if you have access to fuel then there is an expectation that you help support the community by giving lifts picking up parcels etc. The behaviour probably looked strange to Americans who have never lived in a developing country.

Last edited by Planigale; 19th September 2021 at 05:20 AM.
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Old 19th September 2021, 05:30 AM   #37
Warp12
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
I think a good question is why the US did not inform the Taliban and they could have intercepted and questioned the car and driver. The decision to have a drone strike was not militarily essential it was political and emotional, a demonstration of power and vengeance for the killing of US troops. This was a potentially avoidable event.
Is this supposed to be comedy?
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Old 19th September 2021, 10:38 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
Is this supposed to be comedy?
Actually, since the Taliban and ISIL are bitter enemies, that's not a wildly unreasonable suggestion. It might not have been possible as a practical matter, but the Taliban didn't want ISIL bombers hitting the airport any more than we did.

Last edited by Bob001; 19th September 2021 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 19th September 2021, 12:29 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Actually, since the Taliban and ISIL are bitter enemies, that's not a wildly unreasonable suggestion. It might not have been possible as a practical matter, but the Taliban didn't want ISIL bombers hitting the airport any more than we did.
The Taliban could certainly have stopped the car and checked it out as they had control of the area the car was in. It's a completely reasonable suggestion as our military had the car under observation for quite some time and were in communication with the Taliban. They would have been able to request stopping and checking the car out.
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Old 19th September 2021, 01:04 PM   #40
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This thread is transitioning from tragedy, to tragicomedy.
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