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Old 23rd March 2003, 13:55   #1
will
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How an american went to iraq as a human shield, and came back wanting rid of Saddam

If anyone is anti-war they should read this whole post very carefully, as it was written by someone who has first hand experiance of what is actually going on in Iraq, without mentioning WMD's.

Quote:
From The Sunday Telegraph

I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam
By Daniel Pepper

I wanted to join the human shields in Baghdad because it was direct action which had a chance of bringing the anti-war movement to the forefront of world attention. It was inspiring: the human shield volunteers were making a sacrifice for their political views - much more of a personal investment than going to a demonstration in Washington or London. It was simple - you get on the bus and you represent yourself.

So that is exactly what I did on the morning of Saturday, January 25. I am a 23-year-old Jewish-American photographer living in Islington, north London. I had travelled in the Middle East before: as a student, I went to the Palestinian West Bank during the intifada. I also went to Afghanistan as a photographer for Newsweek.

The human shields appealed to my anti-war stance, but by the time I had left Baghdad five weeks later my views had changed drastically. I wouldn't say that I was exactly pro-war - no, I am ambivalent - but I have a strong desire to see Saddam removed.

We on the bus felt that we were sympathetic to the views of the Iraqi civilians, even though we didn't actually know any. The group was less interested in standing up for their rights than protesting against the US and UK governments.

I was shocked when I first met a pro-war Iraqi in Baghdad - a taxi driver taking me back to my hotel late at night. I explained that I was American and said, as we shields always did, "Bush bad, war bad, Iraq good". He looked at me with an expression of incredulity.

As he realised I was serious, he slowed down and started to speak in broken English about the evils of Saddam's regime. Until then I had only heard the President spoken of with respect, but now this guy was telling me how all of Iraq's oil money went into Saddam's pocket and that if you opposed him politically he would kill your whole family.

It scared the hell out of me. First I was thinking that maybe it was the secret police trying to trick me but later I got the impression that he wanted me to help him escape. I felt so bad. I told him: "Listen, I am just a schmuck from the United States, I am not with the UN, I'm not with the CIA - I just can't help you."

Of course I had read reports that Iraqis hated Saddam Hussein, but this was the real thing. Someone had explained it to me face to face. I told a few journalists who I knew. They said that this sort of thing often happened - spontaneous, emotional, and secretive outbursts imploring visitors to free them from Saddam's tyrannical Iraq.

I became increasingly concerned about the way the Iraqi regime was restricting the movement of the shields, so a few days later I left Baghdad for Jordan by taxi with five others. Once over the border we felt comfortable enough to ask our driver what he felt about the regime and the threat of an aerial bombardment.

"Don't you listen to Powell on Voice of America radio?" he said. "Of course the Americans don't want to bomb civilians. They want to bomb government and Saddam's palaces. We want America to bomb Saddam."

We just sat, listening, our mouths open wide. Jake, one of the others, just kept saying, "Oh my God" as the driver described the horrors of the regime. Jake was so shocked at how naive he had been. We all were. It hadn't occurred to anyone that the Iraqis might actually be pro-war.

The driver's most emphatic statement was: "All Iraqi people want this war." He seemed convinced that civilian casualties would be small; he had such enormous faith in the American war machine to follow through on its promises. Certainly more faith than any of us had.

Perhaps the most crushing thing we learned was that most ordinary Iraqis thought Saddam Hussein had paid us to come to protest in Iraq. Although we explained that this was categorically not the case, I don't think he believed us. Later he asked me: "Really, how much did Saddam pay you to come?"

It hit me on visceral and emotional levels: this was a real portrayal of Iraq life. After the first conversation, I completely rethought my view of the Iraqi situation. My understanding changed on intellectual, emotional, psychological levels. I remembered the experience of seeing Saddam's egomaniacal portraits everywhere for the past two weeks and tried to place myself in the shoes of someone who had been subjected to seeing them every day for the last 20 or so years.

Last Thursday night I went to photograph the anti-war rally in Parliament Square. Thousands of people were shouting "No war" but without thinking about the implications for Iraqis. Some of them were drinking, dancing to Samba music and sparring with the police. It was as if the protesters were talking about a different country where the ruling government is perfectly acceptable. It really upset me.

Anyone with half a brain must see that Saddam has to be taken out. It is extraordinarily ironic that the anti-war protesters are marching to defend a government which stops its people exercising that freedom.

DO NOT PM ME WITH TECH SUPPORT QUESTIONS
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Old 24th March 2003, 09:33   #2
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This is very interesting.
Well I guess that poor taxi guy will also change his mind when his city is totally destroyed and members of his familly are blown up by the bombs

Smarter US governments used to have better methods to influence foreign governments.
Targeted killing was a very efefctive method, also US agents used to arm and equip TERRORISTS to deal with their governments.
well I guess now it's kinda out of place to help terrorists so let's BOMB !
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Old 24th March 2003, 09:37   #3
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Dude, the bombing is only on government buildings and saddams palaces.

Do you think that the coalition wants to kill innocents? No they do not, because if they do, then the public support diminishes.

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Old 24th March 2003, 09:48   #4
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Oh did I forget to mention that Taxis now get paid at least $5000 to bring refugees to jordan, while before the war it was a few bucks...?
An iraki with $10000 is what's called a rich guy in that country...
but wait, this war has nothing to do with economical interests.. nooooo

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Old 24th March 2003, 09:53   #5
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Will, Baghdad is not that big city, but still populated by 5 million people.
that's a major dencity.
Knowing that generals and government officials live in residential areas of baghdad where also civilians live, bombing those people can in no way spare inocents.

So far attacks in baghdad injured only 500 or so civilians, and only a few dozens dead.
that's a nice score, but lets wait till they have to fight on the ground...
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Old 24th March 2003, 09:56   #6
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Yeah, the amount of civilans wounded is quite low so far, considering the amount of bombs dropped on Baghdad.

Iraq should be a rich county, considering the amount of oil it produces, but all the profits are taken by Saddam.

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Old 24th March 2003, 10:09   #7
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Irak was quite wealthy before the ambargo imposed by the US.
shall I remind you that sick people couldnt even get treatment not because of the Iraki regime but because of the US imperialism.
in every country with rich natural ressources, only a few people get the incomes.
That's the sad reality in dozens of countries.
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Old 24th March 2003, 10:10   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Adil
This is very interesting.
Well I guess that poor taxi guy will also change his mind when his city is totally destroyed and members of his familly are blown up by the bombs
Quote:
this guy was telling me how all of Iraq's oil money went into Saddam's pocket and that if you opposed him politically he would kill your whole family

For the freedom to express myself in my own way without fear of being censored or banned.

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Old 24th March 2003, 10:10   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Adil

shall I remind that sick people couldnt even get treatment not because of the IRaki regime but because of the US imperialism.
Saddam had the power to lift that embargo for over a decade by simply allowing all his weapons to be disclosed. How exactly is that Imperialism? For sure it would benefit the US more monetarily to lift the Embargo and buy Iraqi oil- but because the last three US administrations have been principled, they have not made efforts to lift it until Saddam Complied.
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Old 24th March 2003, 10:14   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Adil
Irak was quite wealthy before the ambargo imposed by the US.
shall I remind that sick people couldnt even get treatment not because of the IRaki regime but because of the US imperialism.
Quote:
Originally posted by feroxis
Saddam Hussein's Iraq

"Sanctions are not intended to harm the people of Iraq. That is why the sanctions regime has always specifically exempted food and medicine. The Iraqi regime has always been free to import as much of these goods as possible. It refuses to do so, even though it claims it wants to relieve the suffering of the people of Iraq.

• Iraq is actually exporting food, even though it says its people are malnourished. Coalition ships enforcing the UN sanctions against Iraq recently diverted the ship M/V MINIMARE containing 2,000 metric tons of rice and other material being exported from Iraq for hard currency instead of being used to support the Iraqi people.

• Baby milk sold to Iraq through the oil-for-food program has been found in markets throughout the Gulf, demonstrating that the Iraqi regime is depriving its people of much-needed goods in order to make an illicit profit.

• Child mortality figures have more than doubled in the south and center of the country, where the Iraqi government -- rather than the UN -- controls the program. If a turn-around on child mortality can be made in the north, which is under the same sanctions as the rest of the country, there is no reason it cannot be done in the south and center (see chart 2).

The fact of the matter is, however, that the government of Iraq does not share the international community's concern about the welfare of its people. Baghdad's refusal to cooperate with the oil-for-food program and its deliberate misuse of resources are cynical efforts to sacrifice the Iraqi people's welfare in order to bring an end to UN sanctions without complying with its obligations."


And, on the issue of mismanagement of funds:


"Saddam's Excesses

In addition to the revenues generated under the oil-for-food program, the government of Iraq earns money from other sources which it controls. Rather than spend these funds to help the people of Iraq, Saddam Hussein chooses to build monuments to himself. In addition, he deprives those in need of water and other scarce resources in order to favor elites and other supporters of the regime.

• Saddam celebrated his birthday this year by building a resort complex for regime loyalists. Since the Gulf War, Saddam has spent over $2 billion on presidential palaces. Some of these palaces boast gold-plated faucets and man-made lakes and waterfalls, which use pumping equipment that could have been used to address civilian water and sanitation needs. "


The sanctions imposed on Iraq were primarily there to make the government spend its money on bettering the lives of its people rather than the military and excesses for the ruling regime. The oil for food program is an example of this. Please note that where such programs are controlled by the UN (the northern part of the country) the inhabitants' situation is far better than in the middle and southern regions, which are controlled by the Iraqi government.


But, by all means, don't allow mere facts and figures to sway you.

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Old 24th March 2003, 10:17   #11
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Dont think that the US could live long without Iraki oil, they allowed a UN resolution that made Irak sell its oil in exchange of food.
The US were the main buyers of that oil.

US could allow UN to provide Humanitary support to Irak but no, they needed something in exchange... oil.
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Old 24th March 2003, 10:21   #12
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"give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. teach a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime."

similarly, if you provide free aide, resources eventually run out. allow for an even trade, and then resources last much longer. a large number of iraqis rely on the food-for-oil food packages just to eat every day. and i've never been a big supporter of charity, especially foreign charity. it's a great way to kill a country's economy, or to make sure it stays dead. food-for-oil is a great idea. we get something we need, they get something they need. don't complain because we're not giving away handouts.
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Old 24th March 2003, 10:23   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Adil
Dont think that the US could live long without Iraki oil
What are you talking about? Can you back that up? I think not. The US gets a relatively small percentage of the oil it does import from the Persian Gulf, much less specifically Iraq. Note that the US only imports about half of what it uses. Chew on these graphs:
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Old 24th March 2003, 10:24   #14
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Old 24th March 2003, 10:24   #15
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I'm going to actually post my words because I don't feel like hopping around gathering up the relevant bits of info as quotes. I will continue to use quotes in the other thread.

1. The United States gets only about 25% of its oil from the middle east. Of that 25%, I believe exactly 0 percent comes from Iraq. We don't get oil from Iraq.

2. Anyone and everyone is allowed to give food to Iraq.

"That is why the sanctions regime has always specifically exempted food and medicine. The Iraqi regime has always been free to import as much of these goods as possible. It refuses to do so"

You can give all the "Humanitary support" you want. You just can't give Saddam more money to stuff in his pockets.

"Baby milk sold to Iraq through the oil-for-food program has been found in markets throughout the Gulf, demonstrating that the Iraqi regime is depriving its people of much-needed goods in order to make an illicit profit."

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Old 24th March 2003, 10:34   #16
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OH my go', now they show fake statistics!!
Great job man! thanks for the help
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Old 24th March 2003, 10:38   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by feroxis
But, by all means, don't allow mere facts and figures to sway you.
Quote:

For the freedom to express myself in my own way without fear of being censored or banned.

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Old 24th March 2003, 11:03   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by feroxis
What are you talking about?
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Old 24th March 2003, 11:06   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by triGEAR
what's all the paranoia about the truth being hidden? so far everyone i've heard complaining about the government hiding the truth claims to have access to this truth. seems the government isn't doing a good enough job of hiding this truth, then. don't you think the government would be better at lying to us?

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Old 24th March 2003, 11:11   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by triGEAR
truth being hidden
Quote:
Originally posted by triGEAR
the government hiding the truth
Quote:
Originally posted by triGEAR
lying to us
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Old 24th March 2003, 11:25   #21
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Quote:
originally posted by triGEAR
nutjobs

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Old 24th March 2003, 11:28   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Curi0us_George
The United States
Quote:
Originally posted by Curi0us_George
are
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Old 24th March 2003, 11:41   #23
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Quote:

For the freedom to express myself in my own way without fear of being censored or banned.

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Old 24th March 2003, 17:05   #24
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alright, seriously, both of you stop. or at least stop using my quotes. grow up.
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Old 24th March 2003, 21:10   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by triGEAR
alright
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Old 24th March 2003, 22:20   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Adil
OH my go', now they show fake statistics!!
Great job man! thanks for the help
Interesting debating technique you have. Spout whatever comes into your head whether it's true or not, totally unsubstantiated, and if someone presents some actual facts, say they are fake.

Where are your sources? I don't see support for a single item you've posted in this thread.
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Old 24th March 2003, 22:47   #27
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It's intended to be inflammatory. He argues with you, getting you to throw every fact and statistic in the world at him till you're blue in the face, then after that's done, he calls you a liar.

Is there a way to ban a user's posts from showing up in threads you're reading? It's not like the absence would subtract from the relevancy of the arguements at all. It'd be like cutting out the little kid that's always gotta throw in some stupid, smart-ass remark in a conversation.

(And the country being invaded is spelled with a Q, not a K. I'd think with all the news this would become apparent rather quickly...)
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Old 24th March 2003, 23:48   #28
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im glad xerxes is here. he can 0wn anyone anytime anywhere who thinks they know their politics.
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Old 25th March 2003, 20:41   #29
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Adil, you're awful spelling of Iraq as 'IRaK' is driving me almost as crazy as your bogus views on this war.
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Old 26th March 2003, 10:03   #30
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hahaha, allow me to inform you that I speak 5 different languages.
How many languages do you speak?
English being only in 4th position, I think I can allow myself such MINOR mistakes.
Irak is the way it's written in many languages and I will keep writing it that way if I WANT.

It's funny how some people in this forum turn to flaming me directly... as if I was a personality or something, it's flattering me

Quote:
Originally posted by insomniac
Adil, you're awful spelling
YOUR awful grammar is funny.
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Old 26th March 2003, 10:55   #31
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don't even bring up grammar as an argument.

While my english when i speak is nearly flewent, my written english is terrible. But that doesn't make my posts any worse - same thing goes for Adil - i don't think our english is so bad, that you don't understand what we are saying.

I Speak Danish, English, German and Japanese.... dammit missing one, well I suppose i could count swedish and norwegian too, as they are officially recognised independent languages - so i speak 6.... ha ha Adil
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Old 26th March 2003, 11:00   #32
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Old 26th March 2003, 12:44   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by JimmySmith
Is there a way to ban a user's posts from showing up in threads you're reading? It's not like the absence would subtract from the relevancy of the arguements at all. It'd be like cutting out the little kid that's always gotta throw in some stupid, smart-ass remark in a conversation.
View Profile of user you want to block , scroll down and click the "Add xxx to your ignore list" in this case it would be..

http://forums.winamp.com/member2.php...e&userid=40416

Quote:
originally posted by adil
hahaha, allow me to inform you that I speak 5 different languages.
Hehe, there is an obvious comeback for that,anyone care to fill inthe blanks
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Old 26th March 2003, 18:15   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by Adil
YOUR awful grammar is funny.
Bah.

Spelling and grammar errors aside, it doesn't change the fact that your views might as well have come out of my ass, as they're not backed up by any facts, and are just plain screwed up.
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Old 26th March 2003, 19:30   #35
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adil, i see your messages in almost every thread, and its all the same. you attack anyone that doesnt agree with you, you cant back up anything you say, and when faced with evidence that you're wrong you just pull something out of your ass then insult everyone. get a life man. theres a lot more to do than sit in front of your computer on the winamp site and spout off about things you apperently dontknow much about
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Old 26th March 2003, 21:34   #36
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here we go again with this lame "get a life" thing.
I hate getting such nonsense offensive advices from someone on a forum who doesnt even know me.
My answer is F#ck OFF.

I'm not backing up anything anymore with facts cause I've been doing just that for a few days, wasting my time for no results.
This place is not somewhere I can have an "intelligent discussion" about serious topics, people here are just too childish and fucking dumb.

insomniac, if my point of view's "coming out of your ass", then you might need to listen to your ass more often as it is more intelligent than you.
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Old 26th March 2003, 21:59   #37
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Hey Adil...must be nice to own the moderators around here like you do.
You get banned, then get to come back,
then get banned, then get to come back,
and on and on and on...
How do you do it?
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Old 26th March 2003, 22:04   #38
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/me hands out cookies to everyone, now play nicely
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Old 27th March 2003, 21:14   #39
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adil, if this is so childish, then find somewhere else to post. everyone has their opinion and thier feelings on this, and i'm sure we'd probably be better off discussing them without you
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Old 28th March 2003, 03:57   #40
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Adil has long been known as a super-arrogant blowhard...anyone who has visited the winamp3 skins/scripting forum knows that. Like papadoc said, he's been banned more than once. He's just gracing other forums with his delightful presence now.

I know at least 3 or 4 people on these boards who are jerks and claim to speak four or more languages. Coincidence?
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