No Laughing Matter…

I don’t know if it comes as a major surprise that the murderers behind last week’s terrorist attacks in London were of British nationality. Perhaps the bigger shock is that they were, so it now seems (and contrary to initial reports from the British police as recently as Saturday), willing to sacrifice their own lives in their perverted pursuit of hatred. The worry among ordinary Britons – of all stripes – that further potential suicide bombers live among them is likely to run deeper than the fear of actually getting on an underground train.

Driving home last night from an extended weekend upstate (making the most of our Campbell being in England), we listened closely to the hour-long BBC World News report about the home-grown terrorists. That’s my terminology of course: as Roger Mosey, the Head of BBC News, writes in today’s Guardian, while that the term “terrorist” has not actually been banned,

“the word is contentious in some contexts on our international services, hence the recommendation that it be employed with care.”

Everyone knows that the BBC never actually bans anything. But put it this way: I’m not seeing any derivative of the word “terror” used by reporters themselves anywhere on the BBC’s many online news pages and am certainly not hearing or seeing it on the World News reports either: they’re going with the term “bombers” instead. (It could be worse. They could just call them “insurgents.”)

It was perhaps more informative to hear Lord Ahmed of Rotherham parse certain other words as pejorative. On the same World News radio report, he expressed, in no uncertain terms, his absolute outrage at the attacks and yet questioned Tony Blair’s initial assertion that these terrorists were “Islamic extremists.” Ahmed was not disputing that the terrorists were extremists, but said he could not possibly allow that anything about their actions was Islamic.

I take his point: I don’t consider it a Christian act, for example, to murder doctors who perform abortions. Ahmed seems to be suggesting – in which case I fully support him – that perhaps the only way we can ever move forward and away from this global terrorist danger is for those in whose name such attacks are carried out to vehemently, vocally and unequivocally disassociate themselves from the killers. Remove even the slightest hint of grass roots support and acquiescence. Stand up for peace and tolerance. And do not allow your own beliefs to be hijacked for terrorist gain.

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12 Comment(s)

  1. Kevin

    14 July, 2005 at 10:13 am


    Something tells me Ahmed is paying lip service here…if the mullahs were so outraged by the terrorist hijacking of their so-called “religion of peace” then why are we not seeing peace marches in Tehran, Damascus, Cairo, Mecca, etc….better yet, why are we not seeing the Muslim Communities in London, Paris, Amsterdam, New York (the free world) organizing peace marches…

    No…instead we see them organizing protest events in London where the clerics and organizers shout “Bomb the Pentagon! Bomb Washington! Death to Tony Blair! Death to George Bush!” — then when interviewed about recent events they blame the Jews for the Underground bombings — undercover Shin Bet operatives…

    I say call what it is, Islamic terrorism/Islamofascism…call them what they are, Islamic terrorists/ Islamic fascists…call what they do what it is, murder…

    Whatever we do, let’s stop calling them “insurgents” and what they do “insurgency”, for what they did yesterday in Baghdad where a suicide car bomb was detonated near a group of American soldiers who were distributing CANDY to children in a poor neighborhood was beyond barbaric — they slaughtered 23-24 school children, killed three adults and wounded dozens more. Of course, this is nothing new from them — after all, they massacred hundreds of school children in Russia…come to think of it, they did the same in Algeria as well…

    AND…the PC Police want us to worry about hurting feelings…and, the press want us focused on Karl Rove, hurricanes, and soldiers handling Korans without white gloves? puh-lease…

    Be well and stay safe,
    – Kevin –

  2. 14 July, 2005 at 11:27 am


    As sometimes happens, I think we may be agreeing but misunderstanding each other. Lord Ahmed’s reponse was, verbally at least, of the kind that you are looking for. If you’d heard him speak (unless you did) you would hopefully have understood that. Ahmed is not a mullah but he may have the power and influence to organize the kind of grass roots response that you and I want to see. I think my sentiment was leading to yours: what could send a better signal right now than all of Britain’s Muslims taking peacefully to their streets under the slogan ‘Not in our name’?

    Don’t play down the Karl Rove business. If he supplied the leak and Bush has promised to sack whoever supplied the leak, then Bush has to sack his advisor. This is major.

    Take care


  3. Kevin

    14 July, 2005 at 1:58 pm


    I am just practicing the art of the pragmatic — all I hear from our so-called leaders are empty words with no action…all of the reaching out and no action…in England, “The Racial and Religious Hatred Bill” passed its third reading by a 301-229 vote — if passed, the legislation will create a new offense, applying to written material and public verbal comments that are deemed threatening, abusive or insulting and likely to stir up racial or religious hatred towards Muslims…BUT…Muslims can organize in the streets of London shouting “Bomb the Pentagon! Bomb Washington! Death to Tony Blair! Death to George Bush! Death to the West!.” Hiding behind Western Democracy when it suits them — you know, I would not be surprised to discover that the mullahs will be allowed to continue with the practice of dawah by reading passages from the Koran that call for the extermination of Jews, Christians, and other infidels that will not bow at the sword of Mohammed…

    How much appeasing must we the people endure…we are on the road towards the Animal Farm scenario where some are more equal than others…will the UK follow Canada in allowing Muslims to be under sharia law and not the laws of the land because sharia law is the law of Allah and constitutions, federal law, and parliamentary law are man made laws, and Muslims do not have to abide to man made laws. When will the secular Muslims (I keep hearing that they exist) rise and take a stand in support of the West? While waiting, we have to hear from Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair and the Secretary of this, that, and the other to expect to be hit again and again and again — excuse me, I was under the impression that it is the government’s job to protect not only the borders but the people that reside within the borders…

    As for the Rove distraction — it is meaningless in the grand scheme of what our favored Nations and what constitutes the Western World is facing…I find the whole thing laughable — it is on line with the Monica fiasco — complete nonsense…investigate the madrasses operating within the UK and the USA, free-up the court’s time from the partisan power posturing and focus the energy where it belongs…anyway, if Bush has to sack Rove who cares — there is no law prohibiting them from chatting on the phone or exchanging e-Mail — well, not yet anyway…

  4. snotty moore

    15 July, 2005 at 7:57 am

    Leave the ‘we the people’ crap out. If your simplistic opinions represent the West, then it’s unsurprising that extremists find it so easy to rouse anti-American sentiment. You certainly don’t represent me. I’m standing well away from your gung ho type. Perhaps you could meet up with a crew of anti-Americans for a proper barney, football hooligan style, then decide who’s best, the USA or Jihad Islam. No knives, just fists and boots. Winner rules the world forever. The school holidays start next week, so the sports field will be free.

    What is the ‘Western World’ facing exactly? A handful of nutters who kill with homemade weapons from time to time. Shouting ‘Bomb the Pentagon’ and actually bombing the place are very different things. The hippies shouted ‘No Rain!’ at Woodstock, but they didn’t want eternal drought. Without trivialising the horror these bastards create, it’s not exactly the Cold War is it? (And Russia is fighting a war so dirty that it’s generally believed Putin blew up several Russian apartment blocks, killing hundreds of innocents, and blamed it on Chechen separatists as a pretext for war. A nice ally for the West, eh?)

    The USA and UK invaded Iraq on what is now accepted to be false intelligence and in Britain at least, against popular opinion. That had nothing to with appeasement, but a realisation that a senseless war with no defined endgoals was likely to result in a bloody quagmire and offer fuel for extremists. As it has. Iraq will be Bush’s Vietnam.

    As for the ‘secular Muslims’ you seek (that’s a contradiction in terms, obviously, as Islam is a religious faith, not a racial definition, but I choose to understand what you mean) they’re everywhere. They live next door to me on both sides here in London, Turkish Britons to my left, Pakistani Britons to my right. They’re very nice people and as horrified by the attack as anyone else. Why wouldn’t they be? How else are they expected to get to work? They take a stand every day by working and paying taxes and contributing to the nation. Do they have to suddenly wave flags because people like you living three thousand miles away don’t think they’re patriotic enough?
    Don’t bother starting an argument, as I won’t respond. Just think about how dumb you sound, a big mouth Yank who knows what’s best for everyone else and can’t comprehend that others might feel differently-that’s almost the dictionary definition of a psychopath.
    But have a nice day.

    Tony, there’s an extremely good piece on the BBC website where a correspondent talks to local people in Leeds about why young Muslims might feel isolated from society and are thus suggestible to wild ideas. It’s intelligent, subtle and very illuminating. I’d suggest Kevin reads it, but with his Manichaean worldview, he probably won’t understand it. Your own analysis of extremism was spot on. Cheers

  5. Kevin

    15 July, 2005 at 3:06 pm

    I shoud probably post in the PUB, but I will let the administrator decide what is best…so here goes…


    How very sporting of you, “don’t bother starting an argument for I won’t respond.”

    So you can insult me by implying I am simplistic and dumb, and you can write that I am a Big Mouth Yank…psychopath…and have the nerve to inform me not to respond. As they say over here in the good old USA –what, chutzpah!

    Where to begin countering — might as well start with the “simplistic opinions.”

    Let’s see:I stated, “why are we not seeing peace marches” condemning terrorism in the name of Islam from the Muslim community — so far that fact holds true — however, I have read that something is being organized in London, now if we could only see some ‘love’ from Mecca, Tehran, Cairo, etc…so that really was not an opinion, but a fact…

    Forward we march (like good Christian soldiers)…May 23, 2005 in the streets of London, the mad mullahs organized with their flock and began shouting “Bomb the Pentagon! Bomb Washington! Death to Mr. Blair! Death to Mr. Bush!” This is a fact and not an opinion…

    Then the thread entertained whether terrorism is terrorism — I know to some, terrorist is just another name for freedom fighter and freedom fighter is just another name for Marxist. I will not apologize for being a man of conviction with precise clarity when recognizing that quite often a cigar is just a cigar. The deliberate bombing of civilians is an act of terrorism — the deliberate guerrilla bombing of a tank, barracks, patrolling soldiers, etc., is an act of insurgency. The deliberate bombing of school children is barbaric (Baghdad, July 13th, FACT)…however, I will acknowledge to those of you who live in the ‘relative’ world that my definitions are based upon opinion…so Snotty, you got me there…

    Then I introduced the “The Racial and Religious Hatred Bill” that just passed its third reading — a strange piece of legislation on the grounds of oppressing free speech — yes, I know free speech is regulated on a daily basis, for instance it is illegal to yell, “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater, as a practical joke but if this continues we soon won’t be able to tell a good Irish drunk joke…

    So it seems it will be illegal to say, “boo” to a Muslim, Jew, Hindu, etc., but go ahead and spout hateful rhetoric against the USA and attack Christianity such as:

    01. “If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers (than the attack of 9-11), I’d really be interested in hearing about it.” – Ward Churchill, professor, University of Colorado

    02. We need “a million more Mogadishus” (referring to the slaughter of 18 American soldiers during a peacekeeping mission in Somalia in 1993). – Nicholas De Genova, assistant professor, Columbia University

    03. Close-up photos of women’s vaginas plastered all over a portrait of the Virgin Mary — last spotted at the Brooklyn Museum of Art

    04. A crucifix submerged in a jar of urine — NEA funded

    I suppose none of the above comments or so-called pieces of art are offensive to you — so, I will share the blame on this one — The Bill is a fact, the statements are facts, the artworks are fact, but my worries, complaints, are based on sentiment…

    Then I mentioned appeasement, and I will stand by that word…the Canadian government should not even consider granting Sharia Law as an acceptable form of governance to its minority Muslim community. Although many hope Sharia will not lead to STONING or AMPUTATIONS, many do worry that the Rghts of Women will be sacrificed for the sake of multiculturalism. I suppose it would not surprise anyone to discover that the main opponents of Sharia Law are Muslim women…I guess you, Snotty, would consider the adoption of Sharia Law as diversification — I see it as appeasement due to the fear of terrorism…I say potato — you say pohtahtoe…

    But enough about me…let’s talk about you…

    So…the “Western World is facing a handful of nutters who kill with homemade weapons.” Perhaps you need to be reminded that 9/11 saw two commericial jet airliners smash into the Twin Towers on the isle of Manhattan — 9/11 also saw a jet-liner crash into the Pentagon…of course before this event, the Twin Towers were attacked (Feb. 23, 1993) but the attack failed to bring mass murder…but let us investigate matters that don’t pertain to homeland USA…

    01. August 7, 1998, Nairobi, Kenya, US Embassy, 301 KILLED (imagine that, and we had not invaded Iraq yet)

    02. October 12, 2000, the USS Cole was bombed, 4 KILLED (legit military target — you decide)

    03. December 13, 2001, New Delhi, India Parliament Building, 15 KILLLED

    04. January 22, 2002, Calcutta, India, US Consulate, 5 KILLED

    05. March 17, 2002, Islamabad, Pakistan, Christian Chuch, 5 KILLED

    06. April 6, 2002, Djerba, Tunisia, Synagogue, 19 KILLED

    07. May 8, 2002, Karachi, Pakistan, 15 FRENCH tourists KILLED (French and they opposed the war in Iraq — I guess the terrorists did not get the memo)

    08. May 16, 2002, Casablanca, Morocco, Jewish Center, 41 KILLED

    09. October 12, 2002, Ball, Indonesia, Night Club 187 KILLED

    10. November 28, 2002, Mombasa, Kenya, Hotel, 15 KILLED

    11. May 12, 2003, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Housing Complex, 20 KILLED

    12. August 5, 2003, Jakarta, Indonesia, Marriott Hotel, 17 KILLED

    13. Nov. 8, 2003, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Housing Complex, 17 KILLED

    14. Nov. 15, 2004, Istanbul, Turkey, 2 Synagogues, 23 KILLED

    15. Nov. 20, ’04, Istanbul, Turkey, British Cons. & HSBC Bank, 27 KILLED

    16. Feb. 1, 2004, Arbil, Iraq, Kurdish Political Offices, 117 KILLED

    17. March 11, 2004, Madrid, Spain, Railway Station, 202 KILLED

    18. Sept. 1, 2004, Beslan, North Osetia, School Building, 344 KILLED including 172 School Children

    19. Dec. 19, 2004, Najaf and Kerbala, Iraq, Ali Shrine and Kerbala, 66 KILLED

    20 December 28, 2004, Hillah, Iraq, Government Building, 125 KILLED

    21. July 7, 2005, London, England, Underground and Bus, 52 KILLED

    As they say on your side of the Atlantic, “right mate” they are just nutters…

    As for, “it’s generally believed Putin blew up several Russian apartment blocks, killing hundreds of innocents, and blamed it on Chechen separatists as a pretext for war.” I ask, generally believed by what group? The same group of people who generally believe the Jews were behind 9/11 and the Jews were behind 7/7, and that there would be peace on earth if only the Jews would giveup sovereignty to the Palestinians…see above list of terrorist actions and tell me how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict relates to Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Osetia, India, the Ali Shrine, etc…

    As for the Iraq War…you conveniently forget the UN Resolutions — you conveniently forget that Germany, France, and Russia did not dispute the WMD intelligence, they disputed the means in which to disarm Saddam…you conveniently forget, Saddam’s reign of terror and the mass graves associated with his name (apparently it is OK for Saddam but not for Milosevic) — you conveniently forget that Saddam gave safe harbor to terrorists (read Christopher Hitchens for the details — he even went to Baghdad to inteview them)…you conveniently forget that the Russians were in Iraq before the War emptying warehouses, and of course you conveniently forget about the Syria connection…then again, I suppose we were duped by the Jews…

    Anyway, continuing with your sentiment — I ask why were the first British Citizens killed in Afghanistan fighting for the Taliban — did the Taliban offer better social services…it couldn’t have been about Iraq — there was not any war going on in Iraq…but every act of terror is now about Iraq — logically this is a fallacy under the rules of post hoc ergo propter hoc — it does not work (much like Bush’s communication skills)…

    Maybe the terrorists decided to commit murder in the name of Islam because they have a problem with seeing unveiled and ankle showing women — or — they have a problem with the existence of one single Jew — or — they have a problem with Western Democracy usurping Sharia Law — or — maybe they have a problem with black African Muslim farmers who insist on working the land in Dafur — or — maybe they have a problem with the existence of homosexuals, rock-n-roll, fiction writers, artists who depict the human body — or — maybe they had a problem with East Timor’s liberation from Indonesian rule — or — maybe they have a problem with the USA actually supporting Israel, the only Democratic State in the Middle East — or — maybe they had a problem with the USA putting troops in Saudi Arabia to protect the royal kingdom from Saddam…all of these issues have been given the jihad approval — it seems the terrorists need any old excuse to quench their thirst for blood under the name of Islam…

    By the way, no one is arguing many Muslims have taken the side Western civilization, and no one is questioning their patriotism — we are questioning why they are not taking to the streets to show support of their adoptive nations…

    As for the rest, one can be a secular-Muslim — one must believe in the law of the land and that the law of the land cannot oppress Islam — secondly, the Muslim must respect the law of the land and not expect Islam to influence the law of the land…Christians and Jews have been abiding by the set-up for centuries…AND…as for your BBC link — this is typical blame the victim and excuse the disgruntled — almost like the battered wife syndrome…

    -why did you hit me…
    you made me hit you…
    – oh, there must be something wrong with me
    yes, and here is a list of things you must change about yourself or I will hit you again

    Take it to the UN while the body count rises…

    – Kevin –

  6. 15 July, 2005 at 3:29 pm


    This post came to me for ‘moderation’ whereas the others didn’t. (A conspiracy!) To answer your opening question, while the new look iJamming! is still finding itself, it would seem that comments relating to a particular post are best under the original piece, and that The Pub may yet turn out to be the wide-open meeting ground for all other subjects not related to a specific post. In other words, yeah, let’s keep this argument here for now. The two of you are welcome to agree about football in The Pub…


  7. 15 July, 2005 at 6:57 pm


    You and I get on well, so I’m going to be really polite here and reply only to this one paragraph. Had it come from someone I didn’t know I might have lost my rag on it.

    “A handful of nutters who kill with homemade weapons from time to time. Shouting ‘Bomb the Pentagon’ and actually bombing the place are very different things. The hippies shouted ‘No Rain!’ at Woodstock, but they didn’t want eternal drought. Without trivialising the horror these bastards create, it’s not exactly the Cold War is it?”

    Actually, Kevin’s replied already but his views are his own and he knows I don’t subscribe to them all. I think you ARE trivialising the horror these bastards create. I think the war we are immersed in IS as major as the cold war,and much more difficult to win because it’s not confined to geograhical borders. These are not homemade weapons – unless you allow that turning airplanes into bombs qualifies them as ‘homemade’ – and these people shout ‘Bomb The Pentagon’ and then DO go ahead and bomb the Pentagon. I’m a little surprised you let that one slip through. For my part, I wouldn’t want to trivialise the horror that other bastards create all over the world nor deny where the responsibilities sometimes lie, but as someone who went through 9/11, I really take offense at your lackadaiscal attitude towards all this murder.

    Have a peaceful weekend there in London


  8. snotty moore

    17 July, 2005 at 8:44 pm

    Tony, what you describe as lacksadaisical I would prefer to be recognised as a Londoner’s cynical attitude, and if it offended, I offer my apologies. My point is that the ‘Bomb the Pentagon’ shouters, each one of them filmed by MI5, aren’t actually the ones committing such acts, more the crowd cheering them on to greater horrors. I appreciate that this may be unclear. ‘Improvised’ should replace the word ‘homemade’ too (although the London bombs were in fact homemade, cooked up in a bathtub in Leeds).

    Personally I don’t consider this situation remotely comparable to the cold war with its permanent threat of nuclear holocaust. In fact I wouldn’t even dignify it with the description ‘war’. As far as I can see this is a terrorist campaign with no particular aim in mind beyond seeking to generate fear. This makes it difficult, perhaps impossible, to eradicate, yet it’s hard to see how it can escalate beyond the events of 9/11, so dramatic were they. The mood of revulsion in Britain is quite striking now that people have become aware of who did it and where they came from, but without resorting to the ‘Blitz spirit’ cliche, London goes on. Dirty old river and all that…

    The Putin allegations are described in some detail in Andrew Meier’s ‘Black Earth- Russia After The Fall’ by the former Moscow correspondent for Time, although the basic facts are apparently indisputed and have been reported often. Several apartment blocks in Russia were blown up by unidentified forces, conveniently assumed by the government to be Chechen, except in Saratov where secret service men were disturbed in the process of planting explosive charges.The previously unpopular Putin was re-elected a few weeks later.
    The conflict between Chechnya and Russia predates Al Qaeda by centuries and should not be lumped in with it, as Chechen terror has been aimed only at Russia and not the West. Obviously they’re prepared to concede that their enemy’s enemy must be their friend but that’s to be expected.

  9. Kevin

    18 July, 2005 at 10:30 am


    That is why I left it up to you…and, I agree…just did not know, if the comments section could hold a ‘wordy’ (but worthy) reply…

    Anyway, part of the fun of the human condition is that two men like ourselves can be friends…and, I would wager that Snotty and I would have loads of fun discussing world events, politics, football, etc., over a proper bevy session…

    On a side note: chatted with my father-in–law over the weekend — he is excited to discover that I am bringing the family back (home) to Germany for a two-week vacation — he tells me has invited his Marxist friends to night out, in my honor, so be prepared to have some fun — told him. I just want to enjoy the Riesling and the Gewürztraminer but if I must educate the masses then duty calls (lol)…it should be great fun…

    Be well and stay safe, (since the FED does not want to give NYC the money to take proper precautions, I truly do mean “be well and stay safe.”)

    – Kevin –

  10. Kevin

    18 July, 2005 at 10:37 am


    The protesters may, in fact, not have committed the terrorist acts but they, as the cliché goes, “add fuel to the fire” — there are laws against inciting riots and violence.

    As for the “homemade” bombs we are facing — it is scary issue — the bombs can be made from ordinary cleaning supplies, fertilizers, and such — anyone can create an explosive as long as they are willing — and, as we know, the enemy is willing to commit suicide with the hopes of killing infidels…the Cold War had dialog and an economic race — this war has no negotiation just a list of ever-changing demands…I, for one, find it scarier than the Cold War — I never did believe Russia and the USA would wage a nuclear war, for it was not in either nations interest…

    As for how matters can escalate beyond 9/11 — well, they could orchestrate the detonation of dirty bombs. If we are to believe our intelligence community (I know they have been wrong before) the next attack on US soil will be delivered as a dirty bomb — apparently, hitting the USA with suicide bomb attacks, such as the recent Underground bombings, is a sign of weakness in the eyes of Middle Eastern anti-America community. Who knows…

    As for Putin, I am not about to defend him — I am not a Putin fan — I am, however, not inclined to willingly accept conspiracy theories, and I will give Putin the benefit of the doubt — not quite sure why he needed to bomb his own civilians to wage a centuries old conflict (your point taken)…though, I would not put it past him to win re-election — then again, he practically ran unopposed considering he would not allow his opponents to run commercials, and I believe he placed two opponents in jail…

    So…the past Friday found the West threatened by China — China stated it would use nuclear weapons against the USA and anything West of Baghdad if the USA opts to side with Taiwan — come Saturday, the networks were busy, all day, informing us about hurricane “Emily.”

    Have a great week!

    Be well and stay safe,
    – Kevin –

  11. 20 July, 2005 at 5:08 pm


    I appreciate your toning down the rhetoric. I like that we have a range of opinions here and I think it’s useful to all concerned that they’re transatlantic, too. And that Kevin doesn’t tow party lines. I wouldn’t like to have lived through the Cuba Missile Crisis, but for all that I marched for CND in the 80s, I don’t know that I ever really felt a nuclear was likely. With the current conflict, I really have no idea what might happen next, to whom, or when. I believe that’s how our enemies want it to be. I’m not willing to cut these enemies a break, or make an effort to ‘understand’ or ‘sympathise’ (don’t worry, those are my terms, not yours) with people who so readily and keenly seek to kill innocent everyday civilians.

    I am, however, really heartened by the general reaction in the UK to the London bombings; seems to me that there is a moment here waiting to be seized if the right people can rise to the occasion. It is possible that, if Britain’s Muslims speak out loudly enough and the country’s leading politicians can positively harness that reaction, that Britain could send an incredibly powerful message to the rest of the world – most notably to the terrorists themselves. I live in hope. I have to.


  12. 20 July, 2005 at 5:10 pm


    It’s harderto ‘quote’ in these comments so this refers to your imminent German trip. Be sure to bring back some wine on the level of your last shipment! Watch out for those 2003s – the heatwave was such that many wines had acidity added to them to make them palatable. Those who knew what they were doing or/and had sufficiently old vines came out okay but overall,2002 might be a safer bet.



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