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Posts Tagged War

The War You Don’t See – a John Pilger Documentary

‘The War You Don’t See’ (2011) is a powerful and timely investigation into the media’s role in war, tracing the history of ’embedded’ and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan and disaster in Iraq. As weapons and propaganda become even more sophisticated, the nature of war is developing into an ‘electronic battlefield’ in which journalists play a key role, and civilians are the victims. But who is the real enemy?

 

 

 

John Pilger says in the film: “We journalists… have to be brave enough to defy those who seek our collusion in selling their latest bloody adventure in someone else’s country… That means always challenging the official story, however patriotic that story may appear, however seductive and insidious it is. For propaganda relies on us in the media to aim its deceptions not at a far away country but at you at home… In this age of endless imperial war, the lives of countless men, women and children depend on the truth or their blood is on us… Those whose job it is to keep the record straight ought to be the voice of people, not power.”

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FOOL’S WAR in AFGHANISTAN – by Eric S Margolis

Image result for Afghanistan Swamp

FOOL’S WAR  in AFGHANISTAN 

by 

Eric S Margolis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fifteen years ago this week, the US launched the longest war in its history: the invasion and occupation of remote Afghanistan. Neighboring Pakistan was forced to facilitate the American invasion or ‘be bombed back to the stone age.’

America was furious after the bloody 9/11 attacks. The Bush administration had been caught sleeping on guard duty. Many Americans believed 9/11 was an inside job by pro-war neocons.

Afghanistan was picked as the target of US vengeance even though the 9/11 attacks were hatched (if in fact done from abroad) in Germany and Spain. The suicide attackers made clear their kamikaze mission was to punish the US for ‘occupying’ the holy land of Saudi Arabia, and for Washington’s open-ended support of Israel in its occupation of Palestine.

This rational was quickly obscured by the Bush administration that claimed the 9/11 attackers, most of whom were Saudis, were motivated by hatred of American ‘values’ and ‘freedoms.’ This nonsense planted the seeds of the rising tide of Islamophobia that we see today and the faux ‘war on terror.’

An anti-communist jihadi, Osama bin Laden, was inflated and demonized into America’s Great Satan. The supposed ‘terrorist training camps’ in Afghanistan were, as I saw with my eyes, camps where Pakistani intelligence trained jihadis to fight in India-occupied Kashmir.

Afghanistan, remote, bleak and mountainous, was rightly known as ‘the graveyard of empires.’ These included Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Timur, the Moguls and Sikhs. The British Empire invaded Afghanistan three times in the 19th century. The Soviet Union, world’s greatest land power, invaded in 1979, seeking a corridor to the Arabian Sea and Gulf.

All were defeated by the fierce Pashtun warrior tribes of the Hindu Kush. But the fool George W. Bush rushed in where angels feared to tread, in a futile attempt to conquer an unconquerable people for whom war was their favorite pastime. I was with the Afghan mujahidin when fighting the Soviet occupation in the 1980’s, and again the newly-formed Taliban in the early 1990’s. As I wrote in my book on this subject, ‘War at the Top of the World,’ the Pashtun warriors were the bravest men I’d ever seen. They had only ancient weapons but possessed boundless courage.

During the 2001 US invasion, the Americans allied themselves to the heroin and opium-dealing Tajik Northern Alliance, to former Communist allies of the Soviets, and to the northern Uzbeks, blood foes of the Pashtun and former Soviet Communist allies.

Taliban, which had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, had shut down 90% of Afghanistan’s heroin and opium trade. The US-allied Northern Alliance restored it, making Afghanistan again the world’s leading supplier of heroin and opium. US occupation forces, backed by immense tactical airpower, allied themselves with the most criminal elements in Afghanistan and installed a puppet regime of CIA assets. The old Communist secret police, notorious for their record of torture and atrocities, was kept in power by CIA to fight Taliban.

Last week, Washington’s Special Inspector General for Afghan Relief (SIGAR) issued a totally damning report showing how mass corruption, bribery, payoffs and drug money had fatally undermined US efforts to build a viable Afghan society.

What’s more, without 24/7 US air cover, Washington’s yes-men in Kabul would be quickly swept away. The Afghan Army and police have no loyalty to the regime; they fight only for the Yankee dollar. Like Baghdad, Kabul is a US-guarded island in a sea of animosity.

A report by Global Research has estimated the 15-year Afghan War and the Iraq War had cost the US $6 trillion. Small wonder when gasoline trucked up to Afghanistan from Pakistan’s coast it costs the Pentagon $400 per gallon. Some estimates put the war cost at $33,000 per citizen. But Americans do not pay this cost through a special war tax, as it should be. Bush ordered the total costs of the Iraq and Afghan wars be concealed in the national debt.

Officially, 2,216 American soldiers have died in Afghanistan and 20,049 were seriously wounded. Some 1,173 US mercenaries have also been killed. Large numbers of US financed mercenaries still remain in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Noble Peace Prize winner Barack Obama promised to withdraw nearly all US troops from Afghanistan by 2016.  Instead, more US troops are on the way to protect the Kabul puppet regime from its own people. Taliban and its dozen-odd allied resistance movements (‘terrorists’ in Pentagon speak faithfully parroted by the US media) are steadily gaining territory and followers.

Last week, the US dragooned NATO and other satrap states to a ‘voluntary’ donor conference for Afghanistan where they had to cough up another $15.2 billion and likely send some more troops to this hopeless conflict. Washington cannot bear to admit defeat by tiny Afghanistan or see this strategic nation fall into China’s sphere.

Ominously, the US is encouraging India to play a much larger role in Afghanistan, thus planting the seeds of a dangerous Pakistani-Indian-Chinese confrontation there.

There was no mention of the 800-lb gorilla in the conference room: Afghanistan’s role as the world’s, by now, largest heroin/opium/morphine producer – all under the proud auspices of the United States government. The new US president will inherit this embarrassing problem.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2016

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‘Drone strikes killed more civilians than publicly acknowledged’ – UN investigator

‘Drone strikes killed more civilians than publicly acknowledged’ – UN investigator

Published time: October 18, 2013 12:50 
Edited time: October 20, 2013 19:35

 
 
Pakistani protesters belonging to United Citizen Action march behind a burning US flag during a protest in Multan on September 30, 2013, against the US drone attacks in Pakistani tribal areas (AFP Photo / S.S Mirza)

Pakistani protesters belonging to United Citizen Action march behind a burning US flag during a protest in Multan on September 30, 2013, against the US drone attacks in Pakistani tribal areas (AFP Photo / S.S Mirza)

A UN report accuses the United States of downplaying the number of civilians killed in anti-terrorist drone operations, while failing to assist in the investigation by releasing its own figures.

With the increased use of remotely piloted aircraft in military operations in a number of countries, the nagging question of civilian “collateral damage” as a consequence of these deadly technologies is a growing concern for the United Nations and human right groups.

In Afghanistan, for example, the number of aerial drone strikes surged from 294 in 2011 to 447 during the first 11 months of 2012, according to data released by the US Air Force in November 2012, UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson noted in his interim report.

Pakistan officials confirmed that out of 2,200 deaths “at least 400 civilians had been killed as a result of remotely piloted aircraft strikes and a further 200 individuals were regarded as probable non-combatants.”

Although the first missile test-fired from a drone occurred in February 2001, it wasn’t until the end of 2012 that the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released data showing that 16 civilians had been killed and 5 injured due to drone strikes during the course of the year.

In its latest published figures, covering the first six months of 2013, UNAMA documented 15 civilian deaths and 7 injuries in seven separate attacks by drone aircraft.

Emmerson’s 24-page document, which is due to be presented to the UN General Assembly next Friday, mentions a report by a US military advisor that contradicted official US claims that drone attacks were responsible for fewer civilian deaths compared with other aerial platforms, for example, fighter jets.

He pointed to research by Larry Lewis, a research scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses, who examined aerial strikes in Afghanistan from mid-2010 to mid-2011. With the help of classified military data, Lewis found that the missile strikes conducted by drones were “10 times more deadly to Afghan civilians” than those performed by fighter jets, according to a report by The Guardian newspaper.

 

Northrop Grumman / Chad Slattery / Handout via Reuters

Northrop Grumman / Chad Slattery / Handout via Reuters

 

Lots of targets, little transparency 

The United States and the United Kingdom have been reluctant to hand over information regarding drone strikes of any sort, including those that result in civilian deaths. For example, on February 21, 2010, 23 civilians were killed and 12 wounded in a Predator strike in southern Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province.

The US military released partially declassified information on the incident, suggesting “administrative and disciplinary sanctions” against the crew for providing misleading “situational information” as well as “a predisposition to engage in kinetic activity (the release of a missile).”

Emmerson said the US, which has attracted a lot of scorn in Afghanistan over the drone attacks, had created “an almost insurmountable obstacle to transparency.”

“The Special Rapporteur does not accept that considerations of national security justify withholding statistical and basic methodological data of this kind,” Emmerson wrote in the report.

The United Kingdom, which also figured into the report, has officially admitted to one civilian casualty incident, in which four civilians were killed and two civilians injured in a remotely piloted aircraft strike by the Royal Air Force in Afghanistan on March 25, 2011.

However, that figure remains open to speculation given that the United Kingdom’s ‘Reaper’ drone has flown more than 46,000 hours in Afghanistan, averaging three sorties per day, with a total of 405 weapons discharged. 

Pakistan hunting ground 

Emmerson also reported that Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided him with statistics on drone strikes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, where the US military has targeted members of Al-Qaeda since 2004.

The government noted the difficulties in determining the exact number of civilian deaths due to particular“topographical and institutional obstacles” of the Tribal Areas, including the tradition of immediately burying the bodies of the dead. So the figures are likely to be an underestimate.

The highest amount of civilian casualties, Emmerson noted, came when the CIA dramatically increased drone attacks in Pakistan between 2008 and 2010. Following intense criticism from Islamabad, however, drone strikes in Pakistan have steadily declined and “the number of civilian deaths has dropped dramatically.”

 

Pakistani schoolgirls walk along a path after school in Mingora, a town in Swat valley (AFP Photo / A Majeed)

Pakistani schoolgirls walk along a path after school in Mingora, a town in Swat valley (AFP Photo / A Majeed)

 

In September, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ), a non-profit organization launched a project,“Naming the Dead,” to record properly the names and numbers of people who are killed by US drone airstrikes in Pakistan. 

Civilian fatalities attributed to US drone strikes have occurred beyond the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan, including in Yemen, where the figure is 12-58, according to Emmerson. Statistics are not yet available from Iraq or the Nato operation in Libya in 2011. 

Who’s a target? 

Meanwhile, with America’s arch-enemy Al-Qaeda looking increasingly fractured, especially with the death of its terror mastermind, Osama bin Laden, the question as to who now qualifies as a legitimate target of US strikes is becoming more pertinent. More importantly, perhaps, are the limitations that the United States and other countries must recognize as the battle against ‘terrorism’ goes global.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has noted the absence of a clear international consensus on the issue, Emmerson noted. But one thing that is generally accepted, however, is that“international humanitarian law does not permit the targeting of persons directly participating in hostilities who are located in non-belligerent States, given that, otherwise, the whole world is potentially a battlefield,” the report emphasized.

In Washington, the report got a lukewarm reception with White House spokesperson Laura Magnuson saying, “We are aware that this report has been released and are reviewing it carefully.”

She noted that at the National Defense University on May 23, “[T]he President spoke at length about the policy and legal rationale for how the United States takes action against Al-Qaeda and its associated forces. As the President emphasized, the use of lethal force, including from remotely piloted aircraft, commands the highest level of attention and care.”

The Special Rapporteur intends to submit a final report on the subject of robotic aircraft in counter-terrorism operations to the Human Rights Council in 2014. 

 Reference

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HAMID KARZAI, THE SALAJEET PEDDLER OF KABUL; SELLS SILAJEET OF FEAR TO THE AMERICAN NATION, AND IS A SNAKE UP PAKISTAN’S SLEEVE

And, who came out he biggest winner in all the Wars in Afghanistan?  Of course India, it did not send a single soldier to fight in Afghanistan from 1987 to 2012. Thousands of Pakistani, US, and NATO soldiers have died fighting, but not a single Indian soldier has died in Afghanistan. And that you may call Indian chicanery or the Chanakiya doctrine, but, whatever, name you give it, good or bad, India played its cards right and won the great game.

HAMID KARZAI,THE SALAJEET PEDDLER OF KABUL IS A SNAKE IN PAKISTAN’S SLEEVE, AS THE NATION CONTINUES TO CARRY THE BURDEN OF OVER I MILLION PERMANENT SOVIET ERA AFGHAN REFUGEES

Hamid Karzai’s Anti-Pakistan Statements: With friends like Hamid Karzai, Pakistan needs no enemies.

Pakistan is involved in a series of terrorist attacks inside Afghanistan.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday that the “recent assassination attempt on the country’s intelligence chief was planned in Pakistan.”

(CNN) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday that “a suicide bombing targeting the country’s spy chief was planned in the Pakistani city of Quetta, and that he expects to raise the issue with Pakistani authorities.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai plans to confront Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari at a meeting in Turkey on Tuesday over the wounding of his intelligence director in a suicide bombing which he says was planned in Pakistan.

 

Drawing by Latuff.

Shilajit, also spelled Shilajeet or salajeet, is a pale-brown to blackish gummy brown substance found on rocks. Shilajit is found on steep rocks in the mountains of India, Himalayas, and Afghanistan. It has been thought to be an exudate of the plant Styrax officinalis and other plant and microbial substances. This substance is thought to be a complex mixture of organic humic substances and plant and microbial metabolites occurring in the rock rhizospheres of its natural habitat.  In Afghanistan and India, silajeet is claimed to libido and sexual thoughts. Hamid Karzai peddles the silajeet, not of libido arousal but of fear arousal. He keeps harping on the theme, like a broken record:“the Taliban are coming, the Taliban are coming to US and their NATO allies.”  

Pakistanis know, that Taliban, may have some power of mounting small scale probes or attacks, but for all intents and purposes, they are a spent force. But, for Karzai, US offers a gravy train, not only for himself,  his brother and relatives, but, also to the coterie of crooks, who forms his inner circle politically. He is really enjoying the prospect of taking the only global super Power, for as the American slang say, “for a ride.” He is laughing all the way to the Swiss, Cayman Island, and Luxembourg Banks. Hamid Karzai, is a master of playing both sides of the aisle. He has Loya Jirga with the Taliban and is allied with Baitullah Mehsud faction. He winks at their opium and heroin smuggling, and lets their shipment pass on to Europe. On the other hand,  he thinks Americans are too naive about the region, its tribal culture and mores,that he can sell them any bill of goods, he wants, including the Fear Factor of Bogeymen Al-Qaeda and/or Taliban reaching the shores of Long Island, a total absurdity.  At the same time he wants the American gravy train to continue till 2030 and feed his personal coffers. He has no regards for the young Americans, who lose their lives to Taliban attacks as well as IEDs. He wants to keep feeding the American people and politicians, the silajeet of fear, that the bogeymen, Taliban are ready to disembark on Coney Island. He understands that a psychology of fear works wonders on the American people’s psyche and keeps them worrying about the resurgence of Al-Qaeda and their cohorts the Taliban. He is a Master Proponent of  Domino Theory.  The Domino Theory was first developed under the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower. It was argued that if the first domino is knocked over then the rest topple in turn. Applying this to South-east Asia Eisenhower argued that if South Vietnam was taken by communists, then the other countries in the region such as Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, Malaysia and Indonesia, would follow (Ref:US Education Forum).  Eisenhower’s vice-president, Richard Nixon, was a devout follower of this theory. In a speech made in December, 1953, Nixon argued “If Indochina falls, Thailand is put in an almost impossible position. The same is true of Malaya with its rubber and tin. The same is true of Indonesia. If this whole part of South East Asia goes under Communist domination or Communist influence, Japan, who trades and must trade with this area in order to exist must inevitably be oriented towards the Communist regime. Karzai sells the fear to US that , “today Afghanistan is conquered by the so called Islamic “fundamentalist,” or Taliban, next to fall will be Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and rest of the Islamic World .”  So far, Karzai’s silajeet has sold well among the US congress, the US Executive branch, US Media, and US people, majority of whom would not be able to point to Afghanistan on a map of the World.. But  nevertheless, American people cannot be fooled for ever, they are begining to realize, that Karzai is nothing but, what people in the American south call, a “Flim-Flam Man.” He may not see it, but, the train of American peoples enlightenment and realization of the facts on the ground is heading inexorably coming towards Karzai. He may not accept to see it, but, its headlights are coming closer and closer, when its hits him, he will will be banished to the nirvana of iniquity. And, thats the truth!

 

Pakistan the Patsy in the Global Game

Pakistan played a key role as an ally of US and NATO in the defeat and ultimate disintegration of the Soviet Union. That was the biggest mistake in its over 60 years history. Thousands of Pakistan Army soldiers from the Pashtun belt fought as Mujaheddin, in the battle to make US and NATO nations safe from a Soviet onslaught. But, little did Pakistan know that how fickle the Western nations are, when it comes to protecting their own interests. Pakistan, by siding with the West, is still paying a very heavy price. An extra bonus has been added, which includes a constant barrage of drone attacks by its own allies, whose soldiers exult in calling Pakistani child drone victims as “bug-splats,”.  And to top it all, India, its inveterate enemy is enjoying the largesse of economic growth and expansion of exports to US , UK, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and NATO nations.

Pakistan has been left holding the bag full of exploding suicide bombers and so-called “Islamic” fanatics or “fundoos.” Never again, should Pakistan strike such a “chickenshit” bargain. The destruction of the Soviet Empire was a Phyrric victory for Pakistan, its people, and thousands of Pakistani soldiers, who laid down their lives as the so-called Mujahedin.  The Western agents from Arab countries like Osama Bin Ladin, Ayman Zawahiri, Abu Zubayda, the CIA trained “Mujahids,” became double-edged sword for Pakistan. After the Soviet-Afghan War, while US packed its bags and left, these “stalwarts” of the “Good War,” turned on their host Pakistan and became hell-bent on its destruction. Their presence in Pakistan not only earned it a bad name and provided fodder the Zionists and their Hindu cohorts in the Western Press and Media  A crescendo of propaganda was launched to declare Pakistan, a “Terrorist State.”If had not been for President George Bush Sr and Jr, and to a great extent President Obama and General David Petraeus, Pakistan would have been a proverbial toast.

And now to top it all, even the West and its NATO ally are starting pose a real time threat to Pakistan nuclear and strategic assets. the Qu’ranic exhortation to Muslims, not choose allies from other Abrahamic faiths, which Pakistan ignored are coming true.

And the Winner is…

And, who came out he biggest winner in all the Wars in Afghanistan?  Of course India, it did not send a single soldier to fight in Afghanistan from 1987 to 2012. Thousands of Pakistani, US, and NATO soldiers have died fighting, but not a single Indian soldier has died in Afghanistan. And that you may call Indian chicanery or the Chanakiya doctrine, but, whatever, name you give it, good or bad, India played its cards right and won the great game.

Pashtuns are Incorruptible, according the Code of Pashtunwali: 

Hamid Karzai has made mockery of Pashtunwali, a cornerstone of Pashtun character. Pakistan hosted millions of brethren Afghan refugees, during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai was one of the refugees, who enjoyed the hospitality of Pakistani Pashtuns, but, this ingrate broke all norms of Pashtunwali and started a long romance with Pakistan’s inveterate Hindu enemy.  In other words, he urinated in the pot from which he received his meals. But, the flaws of Hamid Karzai’s weak and corrupt character are exploited by his stealth enemies, who wine and dine him, when he visits them India.India still hosts a large number of KHAD agents, who are waiting in the wings to land at Bagram Airbase, as soon as an opportunity occurs. The Guardian, UK states that: 

“Karzai and Abdullah had their men in the polling station, but there was no one for [Ghani], so we cheated for him. He is a very educated man and with good strategy for Afghanistan. Also we are all from his tribe in this area. I tried to put my extra ballots in our polling station, but I had some enemies who tried to take my picture so I went to another polling station and no one asked to ink my finger or anything, they just said bring cards and put them in the box. It was a very happy day.“Karzai’s men were paying 1,000 Afghani per family and Abdullah’s were paying 1,500 Afghani. But many people took money from Abdullah and voted for Karzai anyway.”(http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/18/afghanistan-election-fraud-evidence)

Hamid Karzai Bit the Hand that Fed him

While most Afghans were grateful for Pakistan’s hospitality, safety, security, and largesse in feeding,clothing, educating, and healing their millions of refugees, Hamid Karzai, a backstabber, started plotting against Pakistan, so much so, that he tried to influence the opinion of US President Obama against Pakistan Army and people. Now, he is worried, that after US leaves Afghanistan, his chickens will come to roost. He makes secret trips to Pakistan, to seek a fellow crook Asif Zardari’s help to find a post US departure safe haven in Pakistan. But, he forgets, that Pakistani Pashtuns still adhere to Pashtunwali, and consider Hamid Karzai, a blot on the honor of  the Pashtun global community. 

Bennett editorial cartoon

Lest We Forget: If a Pakistani had one piece of bread, he gave half to his Afghan Refugee Brother or Sister

  At one time an estimated 10 million Afghan Refugees were living in Pakistan. Pakistanis fed, housed, and educated their children. These Afghan refugees still linger in major cities and take up Pakistan’s meagre resources. In 2012, Pakistan’s cities like Karachi host millions of Afghan, who came as refugees and never went back. However, this huge influx of Afghan Refugees has made Karachi, a tinderbox, where ethnic Afghans vie for jobs, food, and shelter, with the local population, who had migrated from India during the the 1947, Diaspora of Muslims of India.  
 
Afghans in Pakistan are the source of destabilization of nation, economically, socially, culturally, and most importantly present a security threat 
 
Pakistanis, even this day tolerate, love, respect, and honor their Afghan refugee brethren. But, Pakistanis patience is running out. Pakistan is a developing nation. It has 180 million people and topping that are at least several million undocumented Afghans, who use and abuse Pakistan on a daily basis in their blogs, newspapers, and media. Pakistani people are falling below the poverty line due to resources being grabbed by Afghans, some of whom have palatial houses not only in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but in Dubai, US, Britain, Canada, India, and Europe, including Moscow. Pakistan is facing  a burden of feeding millions of extra mouths. It is a gargantuan task, in which a handful of brotherly country’s like Turkey are helping. The International Aid Agencies provide mere pittance to support this huge population. Moreover, western intelligence agencies recruits amongst these refugees to carry out surveillance of Pakistan’s defense and strategic sites.
 
US Looks the Other Way or Winks and Nods, at Indian RAWS Training of Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan attack Pakistan’s Frontier Constabulary.
 
 On top of this catastrophe, innocent Pakistanis in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Hyderabad, Faisalabad, Khuzdar, Bannu, Kohat, and in all major metropolitan areas are being blown to smithreens daily by bombs, planted by Afghan agents of Hamid Karzai working in tandem with RAW and Mossad. RAW, the Indian Intelligence Agency trains so-called Pakistani Taliban, and sends them across the Durand Line to attack Pakistani Frontier Constabulary and Frontier Police. Pakistan’s corrupt government led by Asif Zardari and his opposition chort Nawaz Shariff, have no sensitivity towards the enormity of problems, each and every day 180 million Pakistanis face.  They do not need an extra burden of carrying the load of a million or more Afghan refugees, who NEVER left. Pashtunwali has reached its limits, enough already. 
 
 
A GENUINE SILAJEET PEDDLER OF KABUL 
 Unknown-31

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