LP Media Release: End Dangerous Sanctions Now; Peace Through Free Trade

From a media release by the Libertarian Party:

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

WASHINGTON – Libertarian National Committee Chair, Mark Hinkle, released the following statement today: 

“As relations with Iran deteriorate, President Barrack Obama and the Bipartisan Senate Committee are making things worse: inciting yet another war in the Middle East through economic sanctions.

“On February 2nd,  2012 the Senate Banking Committee unanimously approved increased sanctions against Iran. Not willing to wait for a full Senate vote, President Obama increased sanctions by executive order on February 6th

“The United States must stop meddling and return to our traditional libertarian foreign policy of free trade in order to give peace a chance in the Middle East.

“Trade sanctions are proven failures. In the 1990s, Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton enforced trade sanctions against Iraq which led to the deaths of more than 100,000 innocent men, women and children. 

“Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in an appearance on 60 Minutes in 1996, was asked about the child deaths from sanctions, and replied ‘I think this a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.’ Albright’s willingness to sacrifice Arab children to achieve US policy goals was broadcast throughout the Arab world and was cited by Osama Bin Laden as a key motivation for the 9/11 attacks. 

“Now the US government is doing the same thing to Iran, a country that not only has never attacked the United States, but has attacked no other country in over 200 years.

“Sanctions don’t work. They unite the people of a country behind their political leaders, no matter how bad that leader may be. By meddling in foreign affairs, U.S. politicians turn foreign citizens – who support the United States – against us.

“Rather than repeat failed policies of past presidents, we must use the successful policies of those who kept us out of war.  Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson kept the United States out of the bloody French Revolution and allowed us to make peace with our archenemy, the British, by pursuing Free Trade and a noninterventionist foreign policy. 

“The Libertarian Party calls for removing all restrictions on trade. Free Trade is the best way to foster peace in the Middle East. 

See the original article here.

 

 

47 thoughts on “LP Media Release: End Dangerous Sanctions Now; Peace Through Free Trade

  1. Fact Checker

    Iran, a country that not only has never attacked the United States, but has attacked no other country in over 200 years.

    There are only 7 countries with Wikipedia pages devoted to the topic of terrorism sponsored by them.

    Truth is the first casualty of antiwar.

  2. paulie

    The fact that a country has a wikipedia page devoted to the topic of terrorism sponsored by it does not mean that it has attacked the US. It doesn’t even mean that it has attacked any other country, for that matter.

  3. paulie

    “Vote Libertarian. We can’t tell the difference between Iran and Switzerland.”

    Meta-factChecking — is that in any way stated or implied by the press release, or by anyone that has commented here thus far?

    There’s a lot of space between “not telling the difference from Switzerland” and calling for trade sanctions – especially as a likely precussor to war/bombing/invasion/occupation (as happened with Iraq) – and talking about “leaving no options off the table” (IE threatening a possible nuclear attack) as President O’Bomber threatened in the state of the union speech this year.

  4. Fact Checker

    Does anything the U.S. did in 1953 affect by one iota the truth-value of the LP’s assertion quoted @1?

    Is the case for not attacking Iran really so weak that the LP has to make assertions like that?

    As I said: Truth is the first casualty of antiwar.

  5. Fact Checker

    “Iran has attacked no other country in over 200 years.”

    “We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system.”

    MW, does accuracy only matter when midwives are involved?

  6. Meta-factCheck

    fact checking the fact checker:

    Does having a wikipedia page devoted to the topic of terrorism sponsored by country X automatically mean that country X has attacked the US, or indeed any other country?

    When, specifically, do you allege that Iran has attacked any nation in the last 200 years, which nation was it, and what exactly was the nature of the attack?

    Attacks against nations that attacked them first, in the course of a war, naturally would not count for the purpose of answering this question.

    Is the case for not attacking Iran really so weak that the LP has to make assertions like that?

    Well, as far as I now at this point in time that assertion is true.

    If you assert it isn’t, please actually state your evidence.

    Thus far you have only cryptically said “There are only 7 countries with Wikipedia pages devoted to the topic of terrorism sponsored by them.”

    As I said: Truth is the first casualty of antiwar.

    Yeah, you said that.

    Now what exactly is your case that the LP’s statement is untrue in this case?

  7. Fact Checker

    When the LP puts Iran in the same category as Switzerland, it laughably overstates its case and surrenders all pretense of trying to persuade anyone who isn’t already antiwar.

    Repeated red herrings about America’s dirty hands do absolutely nothing to substantiate the LP’s claim, but do much to confirm my assertion that concern for truth is the first casualty of antiwar. Thanks, keep it up.

    Now what exactly is your case that the LP’s statement is untrue in this case?

    I’ll forward your question to Salman Rushdie.

  8. David Colborne

    I will politely note, regarding the 1953 overthrow, that Iran’s ability to exercise self-determination wasn’t exactly virginal and pure – the USSR and Great Britain had been mucking about in that country for years up to that point. I will also note that Iran, like its neighbors (Turkey and Saudia Arabia immediately come to mind), has its friends in the region, many of which aren’t states in the Westphalian tradition (Hezbollah in Lebanon, for example).

    The truth is, the Middle East is in many respects feudal Europe with lots of oil, and Iran plays the role of one of the somewhat better organized (for the time) states while the Arab world has a German Confederation feel to it. Sure, there are countries in the sense we’re familiar with, but many NGOs and political organizations in the region operate with at least as much power, influence, and organization as any state. Consequently, it’s not surprising if Iran hasn’t invaded another country in 200 years – that’s not where their threats or power has ever really rested in that region. Iran’s NGOs, however, have been in fairly constant conflict with Saudi Arabia’s NGOs for several decades, competing for influence in the region. A decent historical parallel would be the Hapsburgs’ intrigues and holdings throughout the various embryonic nation-states the family bound together.

    In a way, Iran actually has quite a bit in common with Switzerland, at least if you look at pre-Napoleon Swiss history (i.e. before treaty-bound neutrality and strict Westphalian states). Helvetian mercenaries and armies used to fight in just about any conflict worth fighting in order to bring wealth and prestige back home. Their relative success allowed them to punch above their weight whenever one of the larger powers (France or the Hapsburgs, for example) would attempt to interfere with their affairs.

    Back to the topic at hand, Iran doesn’t care if we trade with them or not – we wouldn’t buy much oil from them even if we were close friends. They’re too far away. However, since oil is fungible, it still affects the global price and directly affects the fuel supplies in Europe or Asia. If nothing else, the sanctions will guarantee that countries like China and Japan look toward less optimal but less politically risky locations for fuel, like Canada. Given how well we handled the Keystone pipeline decision, this practically guarantees that less Canadian oil will be sold in the US.

  9. Fact Checker

    @12 is the sound of a trap springing shut: an anarcholibertarian discounting the rights of an innocent individual when judging the moral status of a nation-state. Are we really to believe that the LP argument for peace with Iran rests on the claim that Iranian aggression against individuals can be overlooked?

    Consistency is the second casualty of antiwar.

  10. Marc Montoni

    Damn good summary, David.

    This release could probably have been worded better; as the Iranian government, as is the case in every other nation in the Middle East, does indeed have a poor record with regard to making war on its own people.

    The Iranians have a long history of making war on their minorities; a habit that accelerated with the 1979 “revolution”, with near-constant assaults on Kurds, Jews, Christians, secularists, atheists, and the liquidation of the remnant Zoroastrian, Bahá’ís, Mandeans, and Yarsanis.

    I’m sure the survivors & refugees of these state campaigns feel like they’ve had war made on them.

    No, it does not justify any meddling by the US military, at all.

    The best way to promote freedom is to be free, so that others see what we have, and begin to want it themselves.

  11. paulie

    When the LP puts Iran in the same category as Switzerland

    When did that happen? Not in this release, nor any other LP release that I know of.

    it laughably overstates its case

    You mean like fact checker does when he or she asserts repeatedly without evidence that the LP puts Iran in the same category as Switzerland?

    Repeated red herrings about America’s dirty hands

    Your sole evidence to that is that there is an article on wikipedia about alleged Iranian sponsorship of terrorism. If that’s the criteria, it is certainly on topic to point out that there’s one about the US as well. You say there are only seven countries that have such articles about them; what are the other five?

    The fact that additional countries don’t have such articles (I assume it’s a fact) does not mean they don’t sponsor terrorism, it just means that not enough people have been interested in that particular topic to create such articles for them. The fact that such articles do exist for some countries does not mean that the allegations are true; they may be true, or they may just be allegations.

    “Sponsoring” terrorism can mean a lot of different things. In some cases it may mean a nation’s intelligence services creating and closely supervising terror operations, but using outside subcontractors for plausible deniability. In others it may simply mean that a nation gives terrorists money. In the former case you can say without stretching the truth too much that such a nation state has carried out attacks, but in the latter case
    it’s no more true that it did than, say, the parents of an adult child with drug and/or mental problems carried out that adult child’s attacks on someone.

    Actions that resemble terrorism to their victims are carried out openly directly by a lot more than seven nation states. They’re just called collateral damage in war.

    concern for truth is the first casualty of antiwar.

    I’m concerned for the truth, which is why I keep asking the following question which you keep deflecting:

    Now what exactly is your case that the LP’s statement is untrue in this case?

    I’ll forward your question to Salman Rushdie.

    Let me know if and when he gets back to you.

    In the meantime, unless you have some actual evidence, I’ll stay with my understanding that the LP is correct.

  12. paulie

    When did Salman Rushdie become a country?

    In deference to FactChecker he or she did not claim that Rushdie is a country, only that he has the thus far elusive evidence that the Iranian regime has carried out attacks against other regimes or nation-states.

    I’m looking forward to hearing from Mr. Rushdie, whether first or second hand.

  13. paulie

    Back to the topic at hand, Iran doesn’t care if we trade with them or not – we wouldn’t buy much oil from them even if we were close friends. They’re too far away. However, since oil is fungible, it still affects the global price and directly affects the fuel supplies in Europe or Asia. If nothing else, the sanctions will guarantee that countries like China and Japan look toward less optimal but less politically risky locations for fuel, like Canada.

    so Iran’s bottom line will be materially affected, correct? How did that work out for Iraq, among other nations that have been trade sanctioned?

  14. paulie

    : an anarcholibertarian discounting the rights of an innocent individual when judging the moral status of a nation-state.

    I didn’t see anyone claiming that the Iranian regime is morally pure; equating Iran with modern day Switzerland was your very own red herring. The specific claim we are defending, until you present actual evidence (rather than hand wringing and deflection) to the contrary, is that the Iranian regime has not attacked other countries (first) for around 200 years.

    Are we really to believe that the LP argument for peace with Iran rests on the claim that Iranian aggression against individuals can be overlooked?

    I saw no argument from the LP that individuals should be at peace with the Iranian regime.

  15. paulie

    the Iranian government, as is the case in every other nation in the Middle East, does indeed have a poor record with regard to making war on its own people.

    The Iranians have a long history of making war on their minorities; a habit that accelerated with the 1979 “revolution”, with near-constant assaults on Kurds, Jews, Christians, secularists, atheists, and the liquidation of the remnant Zoroastrian, Bahá’ís, Mandeans, and Yarsanis.

    True.

    I hope no one here is advocating trade sanctions and/or war with the entire middle east (and many other parts of the world, using those same criteria)?

    No, it does not justify any meddling by the US military, at all.

    The best way to promote freedom is to be free, so that others see what we have, and begin to want it themselves.

    Trade sanctions have the opposite effect, as I’m sure Fact Checker knows as well as you and I do.

  16. Fact Checker

    I want an LP that is so pro-peace that it can advocate for peace with Iran while still being candid about Iran’s record of aggression against non-Iranians. I want an LP whose most well-informed antiwar members aren’t shocked, shocked at invocations of that record.

    Perhaps candidness is the third casualty of antiwar.

  17. Thomas L. Knapp

    FWIW, “Fact Checker” is correct.

    The Iranian regime is not an innocent victim on the world stage. It is a regional power with aspirations to increase its influence.

    As a military matter, the Iranian regime pursues its goals through proxies (such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, which it funds to the tune of tens, possibly hundreds, of millions of dollars per year) and close allies (such as the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and its Badr Brigade), small-scale assassination and terror operations, etc., rather than direct invasion.

    Of course, if the US didn’t have its finger in every Middle East pie, it wouldn’t have to worry about getting those fingers burned by Iran.

  18. Ad Hoc

    I want an LP that is so pro-peace that it can advocate for peace with Iran while still being candid about Iran’s record of aggression against non-Iranians.

    You seem to be arguing against a strawman of your own construction. No one – not the LP nor anyone here – has claimed that Iran is innocent of aggression against non-Iranians or Iranians for that matter. No one but you has claimed Iran is anything like modern Switzerland.

    And you still haven’t shown that Iran has attacked other countries in the last 200 years. Do you have any evidence that it has or not?

    I want an LP whose most well-informed antiwar members aren’t shocked, shocked at invocations of that record.

    I have not seen anyone “shocked” by it here. In fact it seems that so far everyone has agreed and acknowledged that the Iranian regime is guilty of a wide variety of rights violations against individuals both foreign and domestic.

    However, thus far no one including you has provided any direct evidence that the point in the LP press release which you dispute is technically incorrect.

    Truth, consistency and candidness?

    The Iranian regime is not an innocent victim on the world stage. It is a regional power with aspirations to increase its influence.

    As a military matter, the Iranian regime pursues its goals through proxies (such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, which it funds to the tune of tens, possibly hundreds, of millions of dollars per year) and close allies (such as the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and its Badr Brigade), small-scale assassination and terror operations, etc., rather than direct invasion.

    Of course, if the US didn’t have its finger in every Middle East pie, it wouldn’t have to worry about getting those fingers burned by Iran.

    All true. Is anyone here arguing otherwise?

  19. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 4 I asked Just one question Mr. Fact Checker. The United States government overthrew the government of Iran in 1953. Does that qualify as an act of terrorism?

    I don’t see where Mr. FC has answered this.

  20. Thomas L. Knapp

    Ad Hoc,

    “Is anyone here arguing otherwise?”

    Yes.

    Iran, a country that not only has never attacked the United States, but has attacked no other country in over 200 years

    “Attack” /= “invade” or “declare formal war upon”

  21. Ad Hoc

    Sounds like a grey area.

    Indirectly sponsored terrorist attacks on, but has not invaded or declared war on.

    OK, fair enough, sounds like a semantic argument.

  22. NewFederalist

    “Don’t vote Libertarian if you can’t tell the difference between Switzerland and the US…”

    Uuh…okay. Thanks for your permission.

  23. Fact Checker

    Still don’t see how the America’s record affects by one iota the truth-value of the LP’s assertion quoted @1.

    Or are we now saying that Iran’s use/support of force outside its borders should be considered self-defense?

  24. Michael H. Wilson

    And FC wrote; There are only 7 countries with Wikipedia pages devoted to the topic of terrorism sponsored by them..

    This means what?
    1.That Wikipedia is deficient in its listing.
    2. That there are only seven countries that have ever used terrorism.
    3. Other

  25. 24/7 the T-Rex of Talk Radio

    Please Help the LP Gain Ballot Access In All 50 States by donating On-Line, Thanks ! – https://www.lp.org/contribute

    “…This regionalization (sic?) is in keeping with the Tri-Lateral Plan which calls for a gradual convergence of East and West, ultimately leading toward the goal of “one world government’….National sovereignty is no longer a viable concept…” – Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama’s chief foreign policy advisor

    Brzezinski wrote the Book years ago. These people deal in eternity, not months and years. Their hours and days are used toward an eternal goal. Evil vs Good if you will. Knowing many don’t acknowledge such things doesn’t mean these people don’t believe it!

    CP’s ’08 VP Castle has a very informative little article here! “Are We All Just Pawns on the Grand Chess Board?” – http://constitutionpartyoftennessee.com/2011/03/07/are-we-all-just-pawns-on-the-grand-chess-board/

    The answer is YES we are but pawns.

    Iraq Deaths: http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq

    No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
    – James Madison

    Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war.
    – John Adams

    America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.
    – John Quincy Adams

    Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.
    – Thomas Jefferson

    The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.
    – Thomas Jefferson

    “What we in America call terrorists are really groups of people that reject the international system.” – Henry Kissinger 2007 (If you don’t go along with the Globalists plans you must be long GONE!)

    Hence GET all the hero wannabes, and mushroom masses stirred up by the CHICKENhawk talkin head LACKEYS to go fight , with weapon paid for by the duped taxpayers, to enrich “them” and to accomplish “their” LONGTERM goals, in this case as written by “Brzezinski”, and paid in BUCKS and BLOODY BODIES by the deceived masses.

    “In Haig’s presence, (Henry) Kissinger referred pointedly to military men as ‘dumb, stupid animals to be used’ as pawns for foreign policy.” – Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein in their book The Final Days

    “Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths…I mean, it’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?” – Barbara Bush

    These people don’t give a damn about you or your family and certainly not about the American Republic and Freedon. They care about “their” goals and plans. And american dupes do their bidding for free and in fact PAY the freight for these scumbags in taxes and warm bodies (warm until they get over there anyway and begin to BLEED) for the military!

    btw checkers you have a little horse manure on your chin, didn’t swallow the whole portion today HEY !?

    Nothing much new, it’s been around for a long time in fact…..

    Eisenhower warns us of the military industrial complex. – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY

    the important thing is to RESIST the warmongers, their lackeys and their FEARMONGERING tactics………….

    “In war, truth is the first casualty.” – Aeschylus

    “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” – Albert Einstein

  26. Fact Checker

    Or just maybe:

    4) The 7 countries in question are among the worst offenders in that dimension.

    It seems the antiwar ends justify the means of denying the obvious.

    See @7, and note the difference between 1) having the truth on your side and 2) being on the side of truth.

  27. Fact Checker

    Anything’s “possible”. Truth-seekers ask what is most likely.

    Show me someone who can’t advocate peace with Iran while confronting the truths Knapp described @23, and I’ll show you a poor excuse for an antiwar activist.

  28. Melty

    “Free Trade is the best way to foster peace in the Middle East.”
    True. Simple. For our own purposes, we’d be better off that way.

    The U.S. earnestly supported the tyranical Shah we put in, even helping him with nuclear technology. We even sold weaponry to the current theocracy during the Iraq/Iran War. Of course we sold more to Iraq, eagerly supporting our big buddy Saddam Hussein throughout that war. So, I’d add that we ought to trade freely in that region as well, but not in war materials.

    Our problems with Iran stem from our destroying their democratic system in 1953. Every Iranian knows, this, and they know we supported the quarter century of oppression they endured under the Shah. No wonder the Iranians aint fond o da States. We’re their existential threat, and I would applaud an end to their obtuse theocracy, but what we do only helps the more assinine leaders to keep coming to power. We continue to support terrorist groups within their country, Jindallah and others, who’ve succeeded in committing numerous acts of terror. Our current economic fuckery (or “sanctions”) and brinkmanship are conserted efforts to destablize the area, and this works against our national security and resource interests. War secretaries of both US and Israel, Leon Panetta and Ehud Barak, and our own intelligence agencies agree that Iran is not trying to make nuclear weapons, and are in full complience with the Nonproliferation Treaty they signed.

    Perhaps I should stop stating things that, to anyone paying attention, are obvious truths.

  29. Thomas L. Knapp

    There are all kinds of good reasons to advocate peace with — or at least refraining from warlike activities toward — Iran.

    None of them require me to pretend that Ahmedinejad and Khameini are virginal Catholic schoolgirls.

    But, some people have trouble getting their heads around the idea that it’s possible for both sides of a conflict to be wrong, led by evil and murderous men, etc.

    Every day at Antiwar.com, I run into commenters who believe that anyone who doesn’t swear that Bashar Assad’s shit smells like roses is obviously a pro-war-on-Syria agent provocateur. They don’t understand how it’s possible to admit that Assad is an evil Ba’athist bastard without also advocating the use of US military force to overthrow him.

  30. Thomas L. Knapp

    Melty,

    Well, part of it is that much of the Middle East (and eastern Europe) “internal opposition” is US-funded subversion of the type that the US itself would throw people in jail for if they were doing it with money from, say, Iran (but the US bellyaches when Egypt arrests its paid subversives).

    It’s easy to assume, especially if you’re conspiracy-minded, that anyone who opposes one of these regimes is part of that kind of operation.

    Personally I’m a fairly equal-opportunity hater of states. I’d like to see them all fall. But when one state takes another state down it’s for the purpose of replacing it with another state. I disagree with the Rothbard-type take (he cheered when North Vietnam conquered South Vietnam because a state had been destroyed; but it hadn’t, it had just been absorbed).

  31. Robert Capozzi

    40 tk: I disagree with the Rothbard-type take (he cheered when North Vietnam conquered South Vietnam because a state had been destroyed; but it hadn’t, it had just been absorbed).

    me: Wow! I didn’t know this. I wonder how Saint MNR squared that view with the fall of the CSA?! 😉

    Was MNR an anarchist or a world federalist?

    What a tangled web he weaved!

  32. paulie

    @24 see @14

    @14 does not even begin to adequately respond to @24. In fact @24 acknowledges the argument @14 (“No one – not the LP nor anyone here – has claimed that Iran is innocent of aggression against non-Iranians or Iranians for that matter…. In fact it seems that so far everyone has agreed and acknowledged that the Iranian regime is guilty of a wide variety of rights violations against individuals both foreign and domestic.

    However, thus far no one including you has provided any direct evidence that the point in the LP press release which you dispute is technically incorrect.”)

    @27 sounds like a semantic argument

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truthiness

    Non sequitur.

    It does indeed sound like a semantic argument – Iranian regime has indirectly sponsored terrorist attacks on, but has not invaded or declared war on (other than in retaliation), other countries within the last 200 years.

    The LP’s press release is using “attack” in the latter sense, you and Tom are using it in the former sense.

  33. paulie

    Or are we now saying that Iran’s use/support of force outside its borders should be considered self-defense?

    To some extent, probably, although I would agree that both Iran and the US use and/or support force far beyond self-defense.

  34. paulie

    The 7 countries in question are among the worst offenders in that dimension.

    Perhaps they are among the worst offenders, although I’m surprised that you would acknowledge that the US (even perhaps) is.

    I’m even slightly surprised that you acknowledge that maybe they are among the worst offenders.

  35. paulie

    Is it possible that Wikipedia is biased?

    Not very likely, since it’s crowd-sourced.

    More likely that there’s just no one sufficiently motivated to create an article for some of the other countries, or that someone is sufficiently motivated to ask that it be taken down if one is put up and there are not enough people to successfully dispute the challenge.

  36. paulie

    Show me someone who can’t advocate peace with Iran while confronting the truths Knapp described @23, and I’ll show you a poor excuse for an antiwar activist.

    Other than the semantic issue with how the LP’s press release may be defining “attacked,” I don’t think anyone here has disputed what Knapp has said at 23, and I believe more than one person has acknowledged that it is correct.

  37. paulie

    Wow! I didn’t know this. I wonder how Saint MNR squared that view with the fall of the CSA?

    LOL, it’s obvious really.

    In one case the evil forces of yankee imperialism prevailed; in the other they were defeated 😛

    (More seriously, I’m with Knapp on this one).

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