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The tiny Estonian town that could spell the end of NATO
The Week ^ | 3/27/2014 | By Michael Ben-Gad

Posted on 03/27/2014 3:54:03 PM PDT by Mariner

Will Putin call NATO's bluff?

The Russian invasion and rapid absorption of the Crimean peninsula might seem like the spark ready to ignite a new Cold War. In fact, given the feeble Western response so far, the more likely outcome is not the division of Europe once more between NATO's Western alliance and a neo-Soviet Russia, but rather the fracturing and ultimate demise of NATO and the Western alliance itself.

Of course, no one expects the West to use military force to protect Ukrainian territory, despite the 1994 Budapest Memorandum in which Russia, the U.S., and the U.K. guaranteed Ukrainian sovereignty in exchange for its relinquishing the nuclear weapons that remained on its territory after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yet even the Russians now seem surprised, indeed somewhat amused, by how disunited and weak the Western response has been. So what comes next?

Having demonstrated to the Ukrainians with his Crimean excursion the emptiness of Western guarantees...

(Excerpt) Read more at theweek.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: estonia; moldova; nato; obama; putin; ukraine
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To: Mariner
I believe the essential issue to be that NATO was over-extended when Russia was weak and none of the Neo Cons involved ever stopped to ask the question: Would we really defend such a country at crunch time against a nuclear power?

I agree. Wars start over such miscalculations.

51 posted on 03/27/2014 5:21:51 PM PDT by Always A Marine
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To: Zhang Fei

What if it is not just Estonia? What happens if it is all the Baltics and Poland at the same time? We live in interesting times.


52 posted on 03/27/2014 5:25:03 PM PDT by phormer phrog phlyer
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To: sten

That’s what happens when libs control the schools.


53 posted on 03/27/2014 5:25:34 PM PDT by Viennacon
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To: Always A Marine

No one will ever die over Narva.

NATO is a bloated organization without nowhere near the resources to adequately defend every member country.

We would do well to drop every country east of Germany and get back to NATO’s core mission of defending the West, which is sustainable.

A NATO of 28 is far less credible for Western security than a NATO of 12.


54 posted on 03/27/2014 5:26:27 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: phormer phrog phlyer

The Russians can take over the Baltics in 48 hours. It would’t be a close contest. We have nothing with which to stop them and the Cold War Tripwire is gone. And if Russia re-annexed those countries, we wouldn’t instigate World War III over it.

NATO guarantees are so much p*ss*ng in the wind and we know it and Moscow knows it. At the moment the Kremlin doesn’t want to bite off more than it chew.


55 posted on 03/27/2014 5:31:08 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop
A lot of people would say this is exactly why NATO should not have been expanded eastward. We find ourselves on the hook defending tiny countries no one cares about. The original NATO made sense. The new one doesn’t.

If the original NATO made sense then an expanded NATO makes sense.

And if there is any country worth defending in the expanded NATO it's Estonia.

Peace thru strength (dare I say).

56 posted on 03/27/2014 5:35:18 PM PDT by FreeReign
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To: Viennacon

I’m at the point where i have a serious problem bringing myself to pay for their support


57 posted on 03/27/2014 5:35:31 PM PDT by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: FreeReign

And how do you propose we do it?

We’re cutting our military to the bone and there is no political constituency in the EU for higher defense spending.

NATO is a sad joke under the current circumstances. And we’d be fighting a war on terrain advantageous to the Russians.


58 posted on 03/27/2014 5:39:32 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop
A lot of people would say this is exactly why NATO should not have been expanded eastward. We find ourselves on the hook defending tiny countries no one cares about. The original NATO made sense. The new one doesn’t.

I am one of those who disagreed with the eastward expansion of NATO. By aggressively recruiting former Soviet satellites, the formerly defensive alliance shifted to offense by planting its flag on Russia's doorstep -- and then attempting to flank its "former" enemy and seize its sole year-round warm water outlet. The aggressive expansion also diluted NATO's franchise, reducing the small, united and committed alliance to a large and disparate gaggle with less in common and fewer shared interests.

59 posted on 03/27/2014 5:45:54 PM PDT by Always A Marine
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To: goldstategop

NATO is a sad joke under the current circumstances. And we’d be fighting a war on terrain advantageous to the Russians.


Hardly. It’s simple op to defend the Baltics. Put up some air defense. Then deploy an armored brigade and some of the 173rd Airborne from Italy. Pansy Putin won’t do a thing with a credible NATO force on station. His no insignia homo army would be crushed immediately if they tried to play games inside a NATO country.


60 posted on 03/27/2014 5:50:33 PM PDT by lodi90
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To: Mariner
Maybe the "Arch Duke Ferdinand" moment was Sevastopol?

I know who poked the Bear while sleeping. It was the weakness from 0bama, and the disastrous five years of his foreign policy.

We could be witnessing the start of WWIII.

5.56mm

61 posted on 03/27/2014 5:54:56 PM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: kabar
"It can meet any Russian capability up to and including a nuclear one. "

While I have no doubt US Forces would prevail eventually, I also have no doubt that Russia's best...not the export stuff...will have more than a few surprises for us.

They also maintain the ability to strike and do tremendous damage to US/NATO forces and airfields, depots etc.

A dozen Blackjack bombers can wreak havoc all on their own, but when combined with the rest of the Russian Air Force they will definitely get some targets.

The American public is not used to taking losses and Congress is even worse.

62 posted on 03/27/2014 5:59:26 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: Always A Marine
By aggressively recruiting former Soviet satellites, the formerly defensive alliance shifted to offense by planting its flag on Russia's doorstep -

It was really up to the people of Estonia if they wanted to receive the NATO flag. Being a former "Soviet satellite" should have nothing to do with it, at least morally.

And your description that Estonia was "aggressively recruited" is hyperbole.

63 posted on 03/27/2014 5:59:42 PM PDT by FreeReign
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To: Always A Marine
"Wars start over such miscalculations"

1914 all over again. Entangling alliances over nothing that matters to most of the American People.

64 posted on 03/27/2014 6:00:43 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: VeniVidiVici

Should the US go to war with Russia over a town in Estonia that is nearly all Russian?

Yup. ................................................... Of course, its like going into Czechoslovakia when parts of it was nearly all German. In fact I half expect Putin’s Navy may try and annex Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn soon. LOL will our Leader do then? Draw a red line in Queens? s/


65 posted on 03/27/2014 6:03:16 PM PDT by Bringbackthedraft (2016 an election or a coronation of a Queen?)
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To: Always A Marine

By aggressively recruiting former Soviet satellites, the formerly defensive alliance shifted to offense by planting its flag on Russia’s doorstep -


Utter rubbish. Where did you come up with that? Alex Jones? Savage?

The fact is the new NATO members lined up and happily joined NATO. No recruitment necessary. They have plenty of graves in their country to remind them that periodically Russia murders them. That’s all the motivation they needed to seek NATO membership.


66 posted on 03/27/2014 6:05:26 PM PDT by lodi90
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To: FreeReign
"If the original NATO made sense then an expanded NATO makes sense"

I'd like to hear a supporting argument for that contention.

the idea that the USA has an interest in defending Bulgaria from anyone, at any time is ludicrous to me.

Romania?

And, would you expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia...and would their defense with US Forces make sense?

To "make sense" there would have to be a real US strategic interest.

67 posted on 03/27/2014 6:07:26 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: FreeReign
"It was really up to the people of Estonia if they wanted to receive the NATO flag"

WTF?

You don't think the original members of NATO got a vote on that?

Of course all the European members thought it was a GREAT idea. What I want to know is where the hell was the US Senate when the treaty modification came up for a vote? Surely it had to be ratified by the US Senate.

I contend it was a major strategic blunder to expand NATO. There is no US interest served by doing so.

But I also contend we MUST honor that sh!tty treaty at all costs lest the entire world sink into chaotic destruction.

68 posted on 03/27/2014 6:14:06 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: bigheadfred

Putin is not going to annex Poland - he’s going to give Lwow, Grodno, Brest and possibly Wilno BACK to Poland.

Which begs the question - what about Breslau, Stettin, Danzig, and Königsberg?


69 posted on 03/27/2014 6:19:31 PM PDT by Jim Noble (When strong, avoid them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise. H)
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To: Mariner
Reviewing my comments I said, "If the original NATO made sense then an expanded NATO makes sense". The example I gave as being a new NATO member was Estonia.

So I ask you, do you think defending the original NATO countries make sense?

If so then why wouldn't Estonia make sense?

70 posted on 03/27/2014 6:20:03 PM PDT by FreeReign
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To: Jim Noble
Putin is not going to annex Poland - he’s going to give Lwow, Grodno, Brest and possibly Wilno BACK to Poland.

Nice guy that Putin.

71 posted on 03/27/2014 6:21:12 PM PDT by FreeReign
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To: Mariner
Yes.

On another site there was a heated discussion regarding what if California with its love for illegal aliens votes to join Mexico.

72 posted on 03/27/2014 6:24:53 PM PDT by Jane Austen (Boycott the Philadelphia Eagles!)
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To: Mariner
"It was really up to the people of Estonia if they wanted to receive the NATO flag"

WTF? You don't think the original members of NATO got a vote on that?

Don't waste my time with your nonsense comment. Read what I wrote. Read every word. Do you know what the word "receive" means?

Unbelievable.

73 posted on 03/27/2014 6:25:09 PM PDT by FreeReign
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To: goldstategop

Just where would you draw the line? A few days ago you were saying Crimea but no more. Now you’re willing to start carving up Estonia. What are you going to say when Putin talks about the poor oppressed Russians in Brighton Beach?


74 posted on 03/27/2014 6:26:27 PM PDT by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: Mariner

I have it on good authority that Kerry-Heinz has sent a flurry of stern notes to the Russians. The Russian responses are #$@%%^^^^ you stupid dip sh!t!


75 posted on 03/27/2014 6:27:26 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (History is about to be repeated in the Third World of Progressive intellectual and moral depravity.)
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To: FreeReign
You're right.

My tone and words were totally uncalled for.

I apologize.

76 posted on 03/27/2014 6:27:39 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: FreeReign; All
I believe there's a solution here to this conundrum.

Notify NATO that any nation that does not spend 3% of GDP on Defense and meet certain readiness and capability requirements to be defined by our US Military professionals...will be expelled from the Alliance. They have 5 years.

If we cannot gain agreement with the majority of NATO countries on this, we will withdraw from the treaty in that same 5year timetable.

77 posted on 03/27/2014 6:31:25 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: Mariner

NATO died in 1986 when France denied the US overflight rights to Libya.
It died again in 2003 when Turkey denied the US overflight rights as well.

It is a two way street.
Now, when they are scared they want us to fly over in powerful aircraft. Right.


78 posted on 03/27/2014 6:33:32 PM PDT by Fear The People (When the government fears the people, you have LIBERTY.)
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To: kabar

I understand completely.
The current circumstances aren’t the same. Events are still manageable if they had the will.
What is war but failed diplomacy?
Economic pressure is the proper method. Tell Russia that they would be financially responsible for any area they would annex. The IMF loaned Ukraine $18B and since Crimea is still recognized as sovereign territory, Russia would have to pay proportionally.


79 posted on 03/27/2014 6:38:25 PM PDT by griswold3 ("Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8".)
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To: Mariner
Apology excepted.

We'll have to agree to disagree on the expansion of NATO.

80 posted on 03/27/2014 6:39:23 PM PDT by FreeReign
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To: VeniVidiVici

How many millions of American kids are you willing to sacrifice for that town?


81 posted on 03/27/2014 6:40:34 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Viennacon
With Obama at the helm, Putin could invade Alaska without consequence

With Obama at the helm, Putin is living rent-free in the heads of all the Congress-critters in D.C.

82 posted on 03/27/2014 6:49:26 PM PDT by Tonytitan
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To: FreeReign
Too bad it is not a passionate debate in the US Congress and America as a whole.

The stakes are enormous, potentially existential.

83 posted on 03/27/2014 6:53:39 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: DesScorp
Either that or break up the alliance. Let Russia gobble up Ukraine and Belarus all they like. But a NATO member? Either keep your commitment, or quit.

Exactly. Too many want to be like Obama where one's word doesn't mean anything anymore.

84 posted on 03/27/2014 6:55:00 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Play the 'Knockout Game' with someone owning a 9mm and you get what you deserve)
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To: FreeReign; Mariner
Apology excepted.

Ooops didn't mean to exclude your apology

Should be apology "accepted".

85 posted on 03/27/2014 7:01:31 PM PDT by FreeReign
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To: Mariner

Eliminate NATO and also the European Union!

They are both nothing but roads to a ome world socialist government!

While they are at it scrap NAFTA.


86 posted on 03/27/2014 7:05:55 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: Mariner
I believe there's a solution here to this conundrum. Notify NATO that any nation that does not spend 3% of GDP on Defense and meet certain readiness and capability requirements to be defined by our US Military professionals...will be expelled from the Alliance. They have 5 years.

Lithuanian president wants to raise defense spending to 2% of GDP...

Baltic Republics Pledge More Defense Spending as Ukraine Crisis Continues

87 posted on 03/27/2014 7:09:29 PM PDT by FreeReign
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To: Bubba Ho-Tep

I’m not saying we shouldn’t fight where our vital interests are at stake.

But Americans are not going to awakened to action over a town hall in a city they can’t even name in a foreign country they couldn’t locate on the map.

Good luck with invoking the NATO Charter’s Article 5 - if that ever happens.


88 posted on 03/27/2014 7:15:50 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: lodi90
Utter rubbish. Where did you come up with that? Alex Jones? Savage?

I was a part of it in the "Partnership for Peace" days. Of course they signed up to join NATO, believing our promise that we would wage total war to defend them. Now it is dawning on the world that NATO (and America, its guarantor) wrote checks that it can no longer cash. It was "The End of History" back then, and there was never going to be another major war.

89 posted on 03/27/2014 7:17:50 PM PDT by Always A Marine
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To: VeniVidiVici

You signing up for the front lines? Or just sending other folks?


90 posted on 03/27/2014 7:33:28 PM PDT by bigdaddy45
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To: FreeReign
"Lithuanian president wants to raise defense spending to 2% of GDP... "

Meanwhile the larger, richer countries spend weakly while relying upon a US umbrella:

France, Germany and Italy are ALL under 2%.

The only country that could reasonably be considered as caqrrying their fair share is the UK at 2.4%.

The US spends 4.4%. And all the blood.

91 posted on 03/27/2014 7:38:06 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: goldstategop

Where is the spot where you’ll say “enough”?


92 posted on 03/27/2014 7:48:24 PM PDT by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: VeniVidiVici

I see that there is plenty of Chamberlin fans here in response to your question.

But I think ultimately there wouldn’t need to be a war if NATO would just mobilize to the eastern bloc. Call Russia’s bluff, in the end it would be Russia that would need to start the war.


93 posted on 03/27/2014 7:51:18 PM PDT by Almondjoy
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To: bigheadfred

There virtually no ethnic Russians in Poland.....That was one benefit of Poland getting her Eastern part taken away after the war....Poland is almost exclusively Polish, unlike pre-war Poland that was only 70% Polish.


94 posted on 03/27/2014 7:53:38 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Zhang Fei

“There’s really no need for US ground forces to get involved. We’d shoot down anything the Russians sent up, and recreate the highway of death for Russian ground forces in Estonia, “

You are crazy.

First, I think we have about 180 F22’s and zero F35.
The f22 does not have a long “loiter time” because it has no external fuel tanks to be stealthy. The f22 also needs a lot of down time for maintenence. Committing our entire f22 fleet would mean having maybe 20 in the air at all times sustainable for maybe 1 month.

All the other jets can be shot down by russian AA missles.

There will be no highway of death.

from wiki

“In 2004, the F-22 had a mission ready rate of 62%, this rose to 70% in 2009 and was predicted to reach 85% as the fleet reached 100,000 flight hours.[206] Early on, the F-22 required more than 30 hours of maintenance per flight hour and a total cost per flight hour of $44,000; by 2008 it was reduced to 18.1, and 10.5 by 2009;[206] lower than the Pentagon’s requirement of 12 maintenance hours per flight hour.[207] When introduced, the F-22 had a Mean Time Between Maintenance (MTBM) of 1.7 hours; by 2012 the figure was 3.2 hours, exceeding the requirement of 3.0 hours by 2010.[206] By 2013, the cost per flight hour had grown to $68,362, over three times as much as the F-16.[208]

Each aircraft requires a month-long packaged maintenance plan (PMP) every 300 flight hours.[209] The stealth system, including its radar absorbing metallic skin, account for almost one third of maintenance.”


95 posted on 03/27/2014 7:55:31 PM PDT by staytrue
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To: MCF
Let the European Union handle it. I am so sick of the “In case of war call the US” attitude.

Exactly. We are not mercenaries for hire. Let them receive some telegrams for a change.

96 posted on 03/27/2014 8:08:19 PM PDT by exit82 ("The Taliban is on the inside of the building" E. Nordstrom 10-10-12)
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To: Zhang Fei

The problem is, does Estonia have enough men in arms to do any good? I think they have spirit and would fight if they thought they had any chance to hold out, but they might all be dead or captured before we could get enough assets into the area to turn the tide. :-(


97 posted on 03/27/2014 8:21:26 PM PDT by Paul R. (Leftists desire to control everything; In the end they invariably control nothing worth a damn.)
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To: bigdaddy45
You signing up for the front lines? Or just sending other folks?

Sure. They asked me to come back in once. I'll go again. Wise ass.

98 posted on 03/27/2014 8:33:01 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Play the 'Knockout Game' with someone owning a 9mm and you get what you deserve)
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To: Zhang Fei

Heh - what was it the Estonian President said about some book describing Americans as being from Mars, and Europeans from Venus: He said the Euros are from Pluto.

I think a valid question is, “What would the Euro’s need to spend to counter Russia’s buildup?” I think that if they all participated, an average of the oft quoted 2% of their GDP might get them there, as their economies in total far surpass Russia. The problem is that it’d take several years to catch up at that rate.

At least some of them are actually talking about it:

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/03/21/ukraine-crisis-prompts-rethink-on-defense-spending-in-russia-european-neighbors/

On the other side of the argument, though, long term there is great danger in a heavily armed Europe and an ineffectual U.S.


99 posted on 03/27/2014 8:42:04 PM PDT by Paul R. (Leftists desire to control everything; In the end they invariably control nothing worth a damn.)
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To: Mariner

On this, I agree with you.


100 posted on 03/27/2014 8:43:20 PM PDT by Paul R. (Leftists desire to control everything; In the end they invariably control nothing worth a damn.)
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