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View Poll Results: Yes or no?
Live in UK and want it to leave 6 12.77%
Live in UK and want it to stay 3 6.38%
Don't live in UK and want it to leave 22 46.81%
Don't live in UK and want it to stay 16 34.04%
Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

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  #976  
Old 07-18-2016, 03:54 PM
SomeRandomEvilGuy SomeRandomEvilGuy is offline

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This is pretty much slowly turning into the UK thread of UK things.

The debate for Trident renewal is tonight.
Take that parliamentary thread!

I don't get why people don't want nukes. When was the last time a country with nuclear armament was invaded?
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Me neither, I never got the hype surrounding it; seems to be something the older generation are fond of and american teenage girls love.
I wouldn't be surprised if the older generation prefer the older seasons rather than the new ones.

I find it has some good episodes but generally it's meh for me.
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  #977  
Old 07-18-2016, 04:26 PM
ijffdrie ijffdrie is offline

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I don't get why people don't want nukes. When was the last time a country with nuclear armament was invaded?
The issue some people have with them is that the nest time a country with nuclear armaments gets invaded, it might be the last time a country with nuclear armaments gets invaded.
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  #978  
Old 07-18-2016, 05:02 PM
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Personally I think the use of nuclear weapons of mass destruction is a bloody and terrible thing and I would never advocate their use on anyone - even for vengeance. I can't see how obliterating entire cities full of hundreds of thousands of non-involved citizens is a good or just thing. Even for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where the argument was that bombing those cities would have prevented an even-more destructive land invasion of Japan, I can't agree with punishing men, women and children for the crimes of their government. If there are any laws to war then surely the protection of the citizen should be paramount - we shouldn't look towards total war as a necessary conclusion of modern politics.

The United States governments' strategy at the time was to keep dropping nukes until Imperial Japans' surrender was secured - and how many innocents would have been obliterated until victory was secured if the Emperor had not surrendered before he did? Nuclear war is a threat to all human civilization and it is not any kind of solution to any particular temporary territorial dispute. Mutually-assured destruction would destroy us all if we let it.

Not that this has any particular bearing on the Brexit.
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  #979  
Old 07-18-2016, 06:08 PM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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Personally I think the use of nuclear weapons of mass destruction is a bloody and terrible thing and I would never advocate their use on anyone - even for vengeance. I can't see how obliterating entire cities full of hundreds of thousands of non-involved citizens is a good or just thing. Even for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where the argument was that bombing those cities would have prevented an even-more destructive land invasion of Japan, I can't agree with punishing men, women and children for the crimes of their government. If there are any laws to war then surely the protection of the citizen should be paramount - we shouldn't look towards total war as a necessary conclusion of modern politics.

The United States governments' strategy at the time was to keep dropping nukes until Imperial Japans' surrender was secured - and how many innocents would have been obliterated until victory was secured if the Emperor had not surrendered before he did? Nuclear war is a threat to all human civilization and it is not any kind of solution to any particular temporary territorial dispute. Mutually-assured destruction would destroy us all if we let it.

Not that this has any particular bearing on the Brexit.
What would you have done then? Blockade the Japanese islands until they surrendered? More would have likely died with that strategy. An invasion would have been far bloodier.

A temporary territorial dispute is a very reductive way to describe Japan's actions during World War 2. The militarist government was aggressive and genocidal, every bit as awful as the Third Reich. Leaving them in power would have been the height of irresponsibility. Further, it would have doomed Japan to a slow and wasting death. The entire country would have ended up like North Korea; a backward and isolated state rotting under totalitarian rule (and indeed, North Korea's nationalist juche ideology is in some ways closer to Japanese militarism than to Soviet communism).

As the Kyujo incident showed, there were elements within the military that were quite willing to continue fighting after the bombs fell.
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  #980  
Old 07-18-2016, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by HlaaluStyle View Post
What would you have done then? Blockade the Japanese islands until they surrendered? More would have likely died with that strategy. An invasion would have been far bloodier.

A temporary territorial dispute is a very reductive way to describe Japan's actions during World War 2. The militarist government was aggressive and genocidal, every bit as awful as the Third Reich. Leaving them in power would have been the height of irresponsibility. Further, it would have doomed Japan to a slow and wasting death. The entire country would have ended up like North Korea; a backward and isolated state rotting under totalitarian rule (and indeed, North Korea's nationalist juche ideology is in some ways closer to Japanese militarism than to Soviet communism).

As the Kyujo incident showed, there were elements within the military that were quite willing to continue fighting after the bombs fell.
A land invasion may have been bloodier, but I believe there is a difference between bombing hundreds of thousands of citizens than fighting a land invasion. Because if you grant the premise for one state, you have to grant it for every belligerent power. Was it right for the French kings to exterminate the Cathar heresy down to the last man, woman and child? Should the Allies have fire-bombed Dresden and other Axis cities? Was it right for al-Qaeda to murder innocent citizens of New York for their own political-religious aims? Destroying whole cities is a monstrous thing because it makes the claim that the citizen is the moral equivalent of a soldier - its terrorism induced through fear of weapons of mass destruction; that's no ethical way to instill political change.
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  #981  
Old 07-18-2016, 06:44 PM
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Well, admittedly the bombing of civilian centers was going on before the atomic bomb even became an option. That "tone" had already been long established for the war between both sides. Hence the cumulative air raid casualties in Tokyo nearly matching those caused by both atomic bombs combined.

The use of the A-bomb essentially reset the prospect of "total war" to something shocking, sudden and abhorrent rather than a constant and grinding companion of war that the afflicted nations had all but gotten used to.

In a way the revelation of nuclear armaments and just how much damage they could very quickly cause arguably turned the world's powers back off of large-scale mass city bombings after five years of WW2 had threatened to make it routine for all warfare going forward.

Last edited by ARM3481; 07-18-2016 at 06:49 PM..
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  #982  
Old 07-18-2016, 06:53 PM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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A land invasion may have been bloodier, but I believe there is a difference between bombing hundreds of thousands of citizens than fighting a land invasion. Because if you grant the premise for one state, you have to grant it for every belligerent power. Was it right for the French kings to exterminate the Cathar heresy down to the last man, woman and child? Should the Allies have fire-bombed Dresden and other Axis cities? Was it right for al-Qaeda to murder innocent citizens of New York for their own political-religious aims? Destroying whole cities is a monstrous thing because it makes the claim that the citizen is the moral equivalent of a soldier - its terrorism induced through fear of weapons of mass destruction; that's no ethical way to instill political change.
A land invasion would have involved a great deal of bombing. It's not like the US just suddenly decided to drop bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki one day; they'd already been conducting bombing raids for a long time. Ditto in Germany. It's absurd to think they'd stop once they started landing troops.

Pitched land battles would disrupt transportation and destroy/isolate arable land. This would have worsened the starvation that was already prevalent in Japan (my mother, who was an infant at the time, would have almost certainly perished as the result of such a campaign). Further, as the Battle of Okinawa demonstrated, the Japanese government was ordering its own civilians to commit suicide rather than fall into American hands. Quite a few did this; there are filmstrips of Japanese hurling themselves off the cliffs in order to avoid capture. There's no reason to think they would do any differently if Allied troops landed on the Home Islands.

Further, the Japanese was not shy about enlisting civilians to act as cannon fodder. This included children, who were already being prepared to fight and die in the emperor's name. The Germans also resorted to this during the last days.

An much larger number of civilians would have died in an invasion. Many more cities would lie in ruins. It would have taken Japan much longer to recover from such an attack.
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  #983  
Old 07-18-2016, 07:00 PM
SmokeBlader SmokeBlader is offline

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Ironically mutual destruction may have saved many lives. Otherwise we'd still have Russian armies coming from the north to reclaim their lost territories.

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A land invasion may have been bloodier, but I believe there is a difference between bombing hundreds of thousands of citizens than fighting a land invasion. Because if you grant the premise for one state, you have to grant it for every belligerent power. Was it right for the French kings to exterminate the Cathar heresy down to the last man, woman and child? Should the Allies have fire-bombed Dresden and other Axis cities? Was it right for al-Qaeda to murder innocent citizens of New York for their own political-religious aims? Destroying whole cities is a monstrous thing because it makes the claim that the citizen is the moral equivalent of a soldier - its terrorism induced through fear of weapons of mass destruction; that's no ethical way to instill political change.
And here's why the world wars are endlessly fascinating. Not only they brought the worst of mankind, through destructive warfare and horrific deaths, but it also saw the use of weaponry capable of razing an entire city, something ancient commanders would have wet themselves over.
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  #984  
Old 07-18-2016, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by HlaaluStyle View Post
A land invasion would have involved a great deal of bombing. It's not like the US just suddenly decided to drop bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki one day; they'd already been conducting bombing raids for a long time. Ditto in Germany. It's absurd to think they'd stop once they started landing troops.

Pitched land battles would disrupt transportation and destroy/isolate arable land. This would have worsened the starvation that was already prevalent in Japan (my mother, who was an infant at the time, would have almost certainly perished as the result of such a campaign). Further, as the Battle of Okinawa demonstrated, the Japanese government was ordering its own civilians to commit suicide rather than fall into American hands. Quite a few did this; there are filmstrips of Japanese hurling themselves off the cliffs in order to avoid capture. There's no reason to think they would do any differently if Allied troops landed on the Home Islands.

Further, the Japanese was not shy about enlisting civilians to act as cannon fodder. This included children, who were already being prepared to fight and die in the emperor's name. The Germans also resorted to this during the last days.

An much larger number of civilians would have died in an invasion. Many more cities would lie in ruins. It would have taken Japan much longer to recover from such an attack.
But we wouldn't say it would be right for Washington, New York and Philadelphia to be entirely leveled by a political enemy of the United States government. To my mind it is the equivalent of deciding to stop a robbery at a mall by blowing up the entire shopping complex - it is disproportionate, unethical and unwise.

Can you imagine any scenario where you would personally authorize the obliteration of any world city with nuclear weaponry? How would an exchange of weapons of mass destruction in any way improve the welfare of human civilization? That's a utilitarian calculation that we have no right to invoke.
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  #985  
Old 07-18-2016, 07:10 PM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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That's a utilitarian calculation that we have no right to invoke.
We may not have the right, but we do have the responsibility.
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  #986  
Old 07-18-2016, 07:17 PM
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What would you have done then? Blockade the Japanese islands until they surrendered? More would have likely died with that strategy. An invasion would have been far bloodier.

A temporary territorial dispute is a very reductive way to describe Japan's actions during World War 2. The militarist government was aggressive and genocidal, every bit as awful as the Third Reich. Leaving them in power would have been the height of irresponsibility. Further, it would have doomed Japan to a slow and wasting death. The entire country would have ended up like North Korea; a backward and isolated state rotting under totalitarian rule (and indeed, North Korea's nationalist juche ideology is in some ways closer to Japanese militarism than to Soviet communism).

As the Kyujo incident showed, there were elements within the military that were quite willing to continue fighting after the bombs fell.
The one thing I found interesting to learn was how disorganized the Japanese military was. Part of the reason for so many of the atrocities was because the people on the ground just did not listen to those higher up and there wasn't a damn thing the military leaders could do about it (unlike Germany where the orders actually came from higher up). It's ironic to consider that the General who basically started WW2 and took Manchuria ended up being one of the biggest pacifists during the entire war.

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Where the German atrocities were more often than not carried out in a top-down function: namely, the government was fully complicit in the atrocities (through the SS and its Einsatzgruppen, for example), the Japanese atrocities were more often than not carried out as a result of a lack of government control over its troops. I would argue that the Japanese civilian populace at the time was not "particularly vicious," for instance, bringing up the case of the thousands of Jews that emigrated from Lithuania to Kobe in 1940-1941, where despite growing anti-Western sentiment the Jews were treated essentially as tourists.

On the other hand, the military was plagued by both disorganization and war crimes. In 1931, during the Mukden incident, a Japanese colonel essentially unilaterally invaded Manchuria from Korea without orders from the government, and was promoted for his audacity despite his expectation that he would be executed. This revived the ancient Japanese idea of "gekokujo," literally meaning "the weak over the strong." The idea was that local "daimyo," or lords, could overthrow or overrule those who were supposedly superior to them, such as the shogun. This idea was revived, as many lower officers in the Japanese military envisioned themselves following in the colonel's (now general) footsteps. As a result, often times senior officers would have little idea what was happening on the ground, or if they did they were either unable or unwilling to do anything about it.

For instance, during the Bataan Death March, General Honma had laid out a plan to feed and move American prisoners from the Bataan peninsula to a series of camps. The problem was that he had arrangements for only 25,000 prisoners, not the 100,000 that actually surrendered. Japanese logistics here were overwhelmed, and the soldiers guarding the prisoners essentially were left to their own devices to move them from point A to point B. Japanese military discipline was notably savage, with officers and NCOs physically abusing their underlings on down to the general enlisted. Many of these troops took out their frustration by beating and killing the prisoners. For his part, Honma, who was forced to retire by the high command for being too friendly with the Filipinos (such to the point that some of his officers attempted to have various Filipino officials executed under his name, which he was able to stop) and concerned with preserving the lives of his troops, claimed he was busy laying siege to Corregidor rather than overseeing the march.

In another instance, another Class A war criminal, General Yamashita, had difficulties managing the conclusion of operations in British Malaya after the capture of Singapore. He turned a bit of a blind eye to the Sook Ching massacres of Singaporean ethnic Chinese, although he did notably intervene after some Japanese troops broke into one of the hospitals and killed some patients (by having the offender executed and going to the hospital to apologize). He too was tried and convicted of not controlling his troops and preventing massacres, in what has become known as the Yamashita standard of command responsibility.

Worst of all was the China theater, which was additionally fueled by ethnic animosity between the Chinese and the Japanese, In the infamous Rape of Nanking, the general in charge of the South China Area army, Iwane Matsui, was fully aware of "abominable actions" happening in Nanking under his watch, and publicly denounced atrocities in a speech he made during the massacre. But he did not or was not able to rein in his troops, However, Iris Chang contends that he was used as a fall guy for Crown Prince Asaka, who was also in charge of troops during the massacre.
Nor was this solely relegated to the army. While you had several notable instances of humanity, such as the Japanese destroyer Ikazuchi picking up over 400 survivors of Allied ships (for comparison, the ship itself held little over 200 crew), you also had instances like the Japanese submarine I-8 forcing survivors to walk the plank and proceeding to machinegun them in the water. These totally polar moments suggest that the IJN too suffered from incredibly poor command-control and that officers on the ground more or less had the final call of who lived and who died.

Ironically, the very person who was responsible for the Mukden Incident, Kanji Ishiwara, ended up being one of the biggest pacifists and outspoken opponents of the military regime, especially Tojo, who he referred to as a "useless man who can do nothing but wave his Kempeitai around." It was said one of his first actions upon being promoted to general at the Kwantung army was to berate the staff officers for sexual misconduct, which quickly made him unpopular among members of the army. In fact, after the Marco Polo incident, he was so against the war that he flew to Nanjing to attempt to negotiate with Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek personally. These sorts of actions eventually cause the government to force him to retire, where he spent his time berating Tojo's policy, including a call for his arrest and execution, and later an alleged attempt to assassinate Tojo by using a sumo wrestler. Such an ironic fate, for a man who's rise to power was achieved by disobeying his superiors, to proceed to become ignored by all of his newly gained subordinates.

Sources:
Dower, Embracing Defeat
Chang, the Rape of Nanking
Records of the International Military Tribunal of the Far East
Mason, a History of Japan

Last edited by Leviathon; 07-18-2016 at 07:20 PM..
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  #987  
Old 07-18-2016, 08:10 PM
Ragnahar Ragnahar is offline

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But we wouldn't say it would be right for Washington, New York and Philadelphia to be entirely leveled by a political enemy of the United States government. To my mind it is the equivalent of deciding to stop a robbery at a mall by blowing up the entire shopping complex - it is disproportionate, unethical and unwise.

Can you imagine any scenario where you would personally authorize the obliteration of any world city with nuclear weaponry? How would an exchange of weapons of mass destruction in any way improve the welfare of human civilization? That's a utilitarian calculation that we have no right to invoke.
Your problem is thinking that always doing what's right is the same thing as always doing what's best. Idealists do make the world entertaining though, even if the mindset is naive.
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  #988  
Old 07-18-2016, 08:23 PM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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But we wouldn't say it would be right for Washington, New York and Philadelphia to be entirely leveled by a political enemy of the United States government. To my mind it is the equivalent of deciding to stop a robbery at a mall by blowing up the entire shopping complex - it is disproportionate, unethical and unwise.

Can you imagine any scenario where you would personally authorize the obliteration of any world city with nuclear weaponry? How would an exchange of weapons of mass destruction in any way improve the welfare of human civilization? That's a utilitarian calculation that we have no right to invoke.
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Your problem is thinking that always doing what's right is the same thing as always doing what's best. Idealists do make the world entertaining though, even if the mindset is naive.
Ragnahar pretty much said what I was going to say. The necessary action is not always the most moral; that doesn't make it any less necessary.

If the US were ruled by a fascist regime bent on world conquest--if the US government had engaged in atrocities on par with the Rape of Nanking--I would definitely consider it fair to use super-weapons in order to force a surrender, assuming that other methods had been tried.

I don't think you fully appreciate how awful the militarist Japanese government really was.

If I were in charge of an invading force, I would try to make the choice that results in the smallest number of casualties. Given the tremendous death toll that would result from a land invasion--both among my own troops and the civilian population--making an overwhelming strike against a few urban centers strikes me as a reasonable choice.

Tactics and strategy have also changed since World War 2. Modern forces can be somewhat more precise; potentially, they could take down the architects of the regime with less in the way of collateral damage.

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We may not have the right, but we do have the responsibility.
This is also correct.
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  #989  
Old 07-19-2016, 12:42 AM
PajamaSalad PajamaSalad is offline

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It isn't like the US had the ability to pin point only military assets, especially back then. They didn't have drones with sensors on them, satellite imagery/gps, or much in the way of surveillance back then. Nor did they have satellite or laser guided missiles. Aircraft used gravity to drop bombs and the the vision of the pilot/dead reckoning. Even before the nuclear bomb the Allies did carpet bombing but did so regrettably because of the high civilian casualties. The technology we have developed today just didn't exist back then. I also don't like the idea of putting the ground forces at greater risk when we have ways to mitigate casualties inflicted against them.

The most moral decision should be the one that reduces the most human suffering and sometimes that means making difficult decisions. We can only choose the best alternative. What ever destroys the will or capability for the enemy to fight back. Most of the mistakes made in WWII were made at the beginning in my opinion. It was the lack of preparedness and the hesitation act. A lot of the paratroopers in the initial invasion of Europe had never jumped out of a plane before and because of that many of them broke their feet and that is just one example. Both Germany and Japan had their forces built up and entrenched for so long that it became more expensive to remove them after people waited so long. Vigilance is what allows you to extinguish fires before they grow out of control.

I think we should maintain a nuclear arsenal because deterrence is effective but we shouldn't lean on it. We should always invest in better intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance so we can better differentiate our targets. We should invest in more precise weaponry. I think better investments into things like patriot missiles can really help negate ballistic missiles. Cyber warfare opens up a non-lethal way to negate an adversaries ability to carry out war and deal economic damage. A lot of people think sanctions are harmless but they can cause starvation and who ever controls the food gets to choose who starves which is usually a state government you are trying to stop.
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  #990  
Old 07-19-2016, 06:45 AM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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It's an ugly business, but the acts of terrorism that were Hiroshima and Nagasaki likely saved more lives than they cost. Who can say who has the right to deliberately murder so many innocents? What matters is the military has the responsibility to minimize civilian casualties. This is what we call a rock and a hard place. Chalk it up to this fucked up world we live in and the impossible problems the human species has set for itself.
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  #991  
Old 07-19-2016, 09:46 AM
Hammerbrew Hammerbrew is offline

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Ragnahar pretty much said what I was going to say. The necessary action is not always the most moral; that doesn't make it any less necessary.
This.

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Tactics and strategy have also changed since World War 2.[
Also this cannot be overstated enough.
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  #992  
Old 07-19-2016, 10:56 AM
Insipid_Lobster Insipid_Lobster is offline

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It passed with something like 400 to 180 or something. More state of the art submarines Inc <3333
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Old 07-19-2016, 11:47 AM
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It passed with something like 400 to 180 or something. More state of the art submarines Inc <3333
I haven't trusted the UK's subs since the last one you gave us caught on fire underwater.
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  #994  
Old 07-19-2016, 01:21 PM
Insipid_Lobster Insipid_Lobster is offline

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I haven't trusted the UK's subs since the last one you gave us caught on fire underwater.
Only a shoddy workman blames his tools!!!!
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  #995  
Old 07-20-2016, 04:27 PM
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So you do not seem to go anywhere soon.
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  #996  
Old 07-20-2016, 06:25 PM
PajamaSalad PajamaSalad is offline

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It passed with something like 400 to 180 or something. More state of the art submarines Inc <3333
A stronger UK makes a safer world!
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