Friday, August 24, 2007

Stop Fox from fomenting war with Iran

Via MoveOn:

"My station was intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers at FOX News."

That is CNN's Christiane Amanpour explaining why the major television networks failed to properly scrutinize the Bush administration's claims before the Iraq war.1 Instead, they joined FOX in broadcasting the Bush administration's pro-war talking points without a response.

This week, a YouTube video from film director Robert Greenwald reveals how FOX is at it again—this time, beating the war drums against Iran. FOX uses the same images and Bush talking points now as they did in 2003.



theteach

14 comments:

AnimeFreak40K said...

I found several discrepencies about this video...and the only reason that I can say this is because I was there in Iraq, I work for the Department of State and I talk to folks who are more wordly than I am on a regular basis:

- The video stated that Saddam had no ties to Al-Qaida
This is a half-truth. Just like saying that he did is also a half-truth. Saddam did not have any direct ties to Al-Qaida. What people seem to forget or just plain out not realize at all is that Al-Qaida is a very large organization with thousands (if not more) independant cells all over the world. Although Saddam refused to assist Al-Qaida, he had no problems in sending money and support to cells and groups that did.

So...no...he did not have direct ties to the organization, but he did have some. Were they enough to legitimize war? Hell no.

- Video stated that no WMDs were found.
This is a false statement. Period. I was stationed for 13 months at Al-Taji. This is was the second largest military base under Saddam's regime. This was also where 'Chemical Ali' did his work. It was his headquarters. I marched or ran by his home/base several times a week. It was always cordoned off with "Biohazard" tape, signs, etc. A friend of mine who worked in S-2 (Military Intel) confirmed that there was stuff in there, that the entire place was contaminated and the basement had been flooded to destroy evidence.

Next: There was one attack that I am aware of (and more likely than not several that I was not) where mortars were launched at our base laden with Chemical agent (specifically a type of nerve gas). Fortunatly those guys can't hit the broad side of a barn and the mortar itself did not go off like it should have (but the potential for a lot of damage was present nonetheless).

Lastly: We knew Saddam had a bunch of Chemical Weapons because we sold them to him. During the Iran-Iraq war, we backed Saddam and we sold him all the slime he could want. When the inspectors came, we knew how much they should have simply because we kept the recipts.

You know why you won't find the stuff in sufficent quantites over there?
One: Saddam sold, hid or otherwise got rid of it to make us look bad (we were on his doorstep for months saying 'we're comming to get you - more than enough time to hide, destroy, get rid of evidence)
Two: If we did reveal that we found certain quantities of the stuff, it would become much more common knowledge to the nation and the world that we were not only willing but did sell a despot WMDs. That would be VERY bad. Better to take the political hit and say "we can't find it" than let that get out to everyone.

- The video stated that Iran is the central banker of international terrorisim.
This is complete and utter bullshit. I know that this is Fox news saying that, but the REAL financer of this stuff is Saudi Arabia. Not Iran. No nation has the funds and the hatred of the US that the Saudis have. Oh, and yes...the Saudi Government are friends with us...but just the government. Not the people of the nation. While the Government is all nicey-nice to our faces they are paying for all sorts of nefarious acts around the world. But we won't call Saudi Arabia on this...because we like their oil too much, and they will continue to be covert as they like our money (it should be noted that most of the attackers were, in fact Saudi Arabians).

Yes...I see the way things are going...and if you want my opinon, this is Goebbles' and Hittler's propaganda machine at work going full-spin. Remember when I mentioned those guys before on TCD? Yeah...this is what I am talking about. This is the kind of stuff Goebbles did to get the Germans behind the Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler. They did not use Mass Media...only because it did not exist...but it exists for those that learned lessons from them.

This is why I do not listen to talking heads.

Oh, and since you shared this video with me, let me share one with you:

An interview that Mr. Cheney had in 1994 about why we were NOT going into Baghdad. Interestingly enough, the only thing that has changed is who is in charge.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BEsZMvrq-I

Enjoy

the teach said...

Anime, I know we sold Saddam WMDs and whatever happened to them is beyond me. If Saddam got rid of them or buried them or whatever...they certainly could not serve as a legitimate reason for going into Iraq.

You say: "While the Government is all nicey-nice to our faces they are paying for all sorts of nefarious acts around the world. But we won't call Saudi Arabia on this...because we like their oil too much, and they will continue to be covert as they like our money (it should be noted that most of the attackers were, in fact Saudi Arabians)."

Didn't Michael Moore point this out in his "Farenheit 911"? But Bush & Co can't talk against the Saudis, right?

Now everything on that video is Fox News wanting to stir up trouble and start people thinking we have to go and get Iran. I don't think it will work because people are fed up with Iraq and also we don't have enough troops (right?) and because "pre-emptive war" is immoral.

You have to remember that I was around during Desert Storm and at that time I thought Cheney (who was Defense Secretary, I think) was great and careful and cautious. god, how he's changed!!! Thanks for the video.

the teach said...

Anime, I threw that line in there: "...because "pre-emptive war" is immoral." because I thought it was provocative and you'd respond to it.:)

jm4847 said...

Sadly it doesn't surprise me, but you're right: People are sick and tired of Iraq and there's no way they'll support another war.

Besides, there's no time left: The campaigns will begin soon and I just don't see the republicans winning or the democrats going to Iran for the hell of it.

the teach said...

Hey, jm4847, I've missed you! Here and on your English language blog. But you're right in what you say. I can't imagine that the people would accept war with Iran...

AnimeFreak40K said...

Ok...I tired to reply to this yesterday, but the site was being mean again. Fortunatly, I learned my lesson and Copy/Pasted my thoughts to a Text file to just put here. So anyway...let's try this again.

You said: "Anime, I know we sold Saddam WMDs and whatever happened to them is beyond me. If Saddam got rid of them or buried them or whatever...they certainly could not serve as a legitimate reason for going into Iraq."

Exactly! However, I brought it up because it is a very VERY common misconception that "There were no WMDs found in Iraq". That is an outright lie. We knew some of the stuff was there (at least what we sold them), just the location is up in the air. I am of the firm belieft that it is better to have found the stuff and kept it quiet than announce it to the world anyway.

...But that is just my opinon...

As for Fox stirring up trouble...yeah. That sounds exactly right. This sounds more and more Orwellian every day, and it is creeping me out. Seriously. When will people realize that you cannot win a "War on Terror". It is insane and asanine at best. Bloody fools...

And yeah, Michael Moore did make that point in that movie, but I have not seen it (nor do I have any desire to do so). I do not like his methods of gathering the information and how he took so many things out of context...but that something else entirely.

Mary, you threw me the bone to try to provoke me. You know, you normally would not need to do that, but I will gladly accept this one ^_^

Here are my thoughts on "Pre-Emptive War". To put it simply, it is a tactic and style of combat that has a time and place for use. Using such a strike against Iraq is bad form...they posed no direct (or indirect) threat to us. None.

Pre-Emptive striking after war has been declared, or if there is a genuine threat to our nation or interests are fine though. Here is an example of what I mean:

Hypothetically, we will say we found several submarines equipped with STS Ballistic Missiles (not necessarily nukes) running around in International Waters near California. We give China a clear message - Get them away or they will be sunk. China refuses, tensions rise....war is inevitable. The subs are still present, so we sink them...and war breaks out.

This is a legitamate tactic as we saw a clear threat to our borders - we tried diplomacy and those subs were a threat. Yes, we fired the first shot, it was a surprise and a pre-emptive strike against those subs. I would much rather eliminate a threat (as that is a clear and present threat) before letting it hit me.

The issue with Iraq, and what fox is suggesting with Iran is just wrong and obviously agressive empire-building tactics. They are trying to instill fear and twist the minds of the citizenry to back this action. It also looks very much like "We didn't find what we are looking for in Iraq, so we will go beat up on Iran. Then Syria...perhaps Egypt or Pakistan". The suggestion is that it will never end.

Yeah, I do not think that the American People are going to buy that. Hell, I don't think the US Military is going to buy that either.

Now, you asked me if we have the troops to 'deal with Iran'. That actually depends on how you want to 'deal' with Iran. The success or failure of such an assult depends on how we go about doing it, of course:

If you want to play the same game we are playing with Iraq...then no. We do not have the manpower. Too much down-sizing and the shift away from Cold-War/WWII siege and occupation tactics have left us wanting. Our men are not trained or prepaird and our equipment is not designed for it.

Now, if you mean by 'deal with Iran'in that we have the tools to do it...then yes. Yes we do. I think the only country we really can't wipe off the map without using nukes is China...but that is because of the terrain. For Iran, we can level every city, town and villiage from the ocean or a reasonable distance inland with artillery, off-shore ships, cruise-missles, aircraft carriers, etc. We may not be able to pull them out of the mountains, but we can keep them effectivly pinned in them.

Would the American people accept that? Hell no. Would the soldiers? Not likely. I can see Generals, Admirals, etc. pretty much telling those in charge to sod off.

the teach said...

Anime, with regard to your scenario of "preemptive war"...do you remember The Cuban Missile Crisis? 14 days of tension between Cuba, US and Soviet Union very similar to your scenario. We spied nuclear missiles in Cuba, we demanded they be gotten out and eventually they were removed.
We blockaded Cuba so no more missiles could be delivered by the SU. But the rest of the time we talked and postured and finally it was resolved without war and bombing of anybody. It was diplomacy and nobody didn't want it to work because we were (supposedly) looking at nuclear war/holocaust.

Now I meant to say that a preemptive war is not considered a "just war." And what is a "just war" A war is just only if:
1. There is just cause;
2. the injustice suffered by one party significantly outweigh that suffered by the other.
3.Only duly constituted public authorities may use deadly force or wage war
4.Force may be used only in a truly just cause and solely for that purpose
5.There must be a probability of success
6.Force may be used only after all peaceful and viable alternatives have been seriously tried and exhausted.
Check out Wikipedia at:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_war

Back in 2002 Bush told a bunch of West Point cadets, "The war on terror will not be won on the defensive. We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans and confront the worst threats before they emerge. In the world we have entered, the only path to safety is the path of action. And this nation will act."

Bush's war is not a "just war." Do you think most people KNOW that? Do you think most people care?

I'm glad we basically agree that "They [Fox] are trying to instill fear and twist the minds of the citizenry to back this action. It also looks very much like 'We didn't find what we are looking for in Iraq, so we will go beat up on Iran. Then Syria...perhaps Egypt or Pakistan'. The suggestion is that it will never end.

Yeah, I do not think that the American People are going to buy that. Hell, I don't think the US Military is going to buy that either."

That makes me feel glad. Also Wikipedia has an article on preemptive war that's pretty good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preemptive_war

Jeepers I haven't talked about just war since I was in Catholic school many years ago.
And yes I'm here to tell you " I survived (barely) a Catholic school education!" Hah! :)

AnimeFreak40K said...

I am too young to know and remember the Cuban Missile Crisis (but I have heard of it) and although you are correct, the CMC had much higher stakes. My example suggested a fairly conventional war when diplomacy broke down. The CMC would suggest Nuclear War.

The primary difference, of coruse, is that a conventional war, a nation can recover from...you can't recover from a nuclear war. It is also one thing to send a country back to the Stone Age...it is something else altogether to end life as we know it worldwide.

That said, I think politicains are far more willing to find a peaceful resolution with such high stakes.

Heh..."Just War"...

...excuse me while I laugh at the very concept.

I will outline why 'Just War is laughable, at best, and I will try to keep my sarcasim to a bare minimum in the process.

There is no such thing as a Just War. Period. Every war ever waged was viewed as "Just" to a certain degree from one side or the other. In fact, to get the citizenry behind the war, those in charge merely have to convince them and create a certain level of propaganda.

The Crusades - The church and rulers claimed that it was to 'retake the holy land from the infidels'. That's just, right? To take and defend an area that you consider holy? Make sure vile pagans and heretics can no longer defile the holy land? Take note that the Muslims at the time felt the same way - they had to defend their lands from these barbarain crusaders!

WWI - Tensions rose between 2 nations and eventually it sparked into war thanks to an assassination. Due to treaties and alliances several nations were drug into war with each other (I don't know why Germany is blamed at all for WWI, they were honoring the treaties they sighed). Both sides felt a great injustice was done to them.

WWII - You know why the Japanese attacked the United Staes? We ept up trade embargos on them. The reasons are bascially they were doing nasty things in the Pacific and were associated with the Nazis to a very limited degree. We asked them to stop their operations in China and Korea or we would cut of trade...they didn't listen, we cut off trade. They got upset and felt that such actions are an act of war...so they attacked.
Heck, to a degree, the German attack on France could have been considered a "Just War" from the perspective of the Germans: After the end of WWI, the French did whatever they could to destroy the Germans economicaly...a great injustice if all you were doing was honoring your treaties.

There is no such thing as a Just War. Never has been, never will. Wars have always been waged for the following reason: Money
Any and all wars can be broken down as thus: Who benifits when the dust settles. What do they get?

Pick any situation where war broke out in history and look at what lead up to the events and what happened afterwards. Here is what you will find:
- 2 or more groups are lacking in territory and wish to either expand or defend themselves from encroaching outsiders. Money ties in to this in the form of either wishing economic stability (by expanding or keeping what you have), location (that place has a good port while we don't have one) or resources (they have iron, we need iron...why trade when we can just take their country?)

- Religion desires more worshipers (as they bring in tithes) or seeks to eliminate the competition (who could take away their tithes)

- Individuals who are in power (or control the power) benifit by increased production, etc. as well as the spoils.

My point, with all of this, is that ANY war can be considered a "Just War". It all depends on how well you doctor it up. How much you work you put into getting the people behind it and all that stuff. People are more inclined to fight if they feel they have been wronged than they are if it is mere expansion, acqusition of resources, etc. mostly because the citizenry at large does not benefit or become better once it is all over.

To be perfectly honest, Bush's words that you just quoted, taken as they are, ARE correct. You cannot fight terrorisim on the defensive, you have to take the fight to them, disrupt their plans and confront them whenever they show themselves. However, it is the execution of that action that we start running into problems.

You can proactivly seek out and destroy terrorist cells. You can unearth their plans and crush them. You can act and take action against terrorisim without leaving the country. Unfortunalty, you can also do the same by doing what it is we are doing too - the result is the same...just one is far less efficent and effective than the other.

You said: "Bush's war is not a "just war." Do you think most people KNOW that? Do you think most people care?"

I disagree. By the sheer definition of "Just War", the war on Terror is a "Just War". How is this? I will explain:
1. There is Just Cause - we were attacked by Terrorist cells and an organization that we have tied to different countries all over the world. We are taking out those cells. If we have to take the country they are housed in to do it...so be it.
2. the injustice suffered by one party significantly outweigh that suffered by the other - We, as Americans, genuinly feel that the injustice suffered by us at the hands of Al Qaeda outweigh anything we have ever done to them
3.Only duly constituted public authorities may use deadly force or wage war - Last time I checked, President Bush (love him or hate him) IS a duly contituted public authority. So is Congress.
4.Force may be used only in a truly just cause and solely for that purpose - We are kicking terrorisim in the teeth...or at least we think so - as that is our intent!
5.There must be a probability of success - Sure there is. No other nation or organization can withstand the might of our firepower and our determination!
6.Force may be used only after all peaceful and viable alternatives have been seriously tried and exhausted. - You can't negotiate with terrorists. It solves nothing and only emboldens them to further acts in the future.

If this sounds like some of the BushCo hyperbole...you are right it is. I do not agree with the above statements (not entirely at any rate) but I also do not think there is such thing as a 'Just War'; either. The point I am trying to make is that ANY war can be turned into a 'Just War' if you look at it from the right perspective. It can look even better if you have the right spin-doctors working on it too.

Anyway...yeah...that whole 'Just War' thing is just a heaping pile of BS to me. War is war....and the sooner people actually aknowledge the reasons behind it and accept them, then people will always try to legitimize it.

the teach said...

Aw, Anime, don't rub it in that you're TOO YOUNG to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis...;)

Yeah, you're right that your scenario of preemptive war did not involve nukes...but I brought up the CMC because when we talk about Iran and war, Iran has nukes and, although they say they use them for peaceful purposes only (and in truth I believe them) we don't want anyone, let alone the media provoking war with them.

I find it interesting that you insist there is no such thing as a "just war" and you know, you very well may be right. A whole bunch of philosophers have spent a hell of a lot of time talking about it but you make a very good argument.

Really...the Crusades, both sides believed they were right and just, same with WWI. Even WWII Germany was devastated under the Treaty of Versailles and wasn't going to take it anymore. However Germany's war of aggression had to be stopped and they had to be stopped because of what they were doing to the Jews, Gypsies and homosexuals (a just cause if I ever heard one). The Allies' war BECAME a "just war".

You insist there is no such thing as a "just war" but then you go right ahead and make points that a war on terror is a "just war." And yes it probably is.

But our war in Iraq IS NOT a war on terror. It started out as a war to topple Saddam H. and then, and then, well what the hell was the rest of it? To find WMDs -- there weren't any (even though you say there should have been). We didn't go into Iraq to fight al Qaeda. Didn't we really go in to protect our oil rights? That's not JUST. We don't really know now if al Qaeda has joined the sects, Sunnis and Shiites, in the sectarian fighting.

But you have completely turned my head around. I learned about "just war" when I was in school and I think the Church was using the concept to justify much of the war that it and the US (and the West) perpetrated.

Here's a quote: While proponents claim such views have a long tradition, critics claim the application of Just War is only relativistic, and directly contradicts more universal philosophical traditions such as the Ethic of reciprocity.

The Ethic of reciprocity is just the Golden Rule, you know, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It's definitely a better rule to live by than "just war."

Along the way we forgot about the concept of "preemption." The Bush Doctrine is the reason we're in Iraq. Many, many countries, as well as the UN, didn't think we could go into Iraq (preemption). Of course Bush went into Iraq calling it "self defense" bringing a war to the terrorists. I've already said that us being in Iraq is NOT a war against terror, it is not a "just war." If there were such a thing as a "just war."

the teach said...

Anime, check out what I have to say in response to your comment at stormbear's post: http://www.towncalleddobson.com/
?p=846

AnimeFreak40K said...

A lot of the stuff I was talking about with the "War on Terror" and calling it a 'Just War' was mostly to illustrate just how it IS a 'Just War', buy the definitions you gave to me. These are arguments that would be used by BushCo, the Media, etc.

That does not mean I agree with them. I feel that any war is just ...but it depends on who's point of view we are looking at.

The War on Terror CAN be more legitimate if it is waged properly, and it is a war in name only...sort of like 'The War on Drugs' that was rampant in the 80s. That war was fought with making the people aware of their surroundings, the consequences of drugs, etc. You can fight terrorisim in a similar manner by making the people, police, fire department, security forces, etc. more aware of what is going on and how to act and react properly...but I digress.

Germany's war of aggression began as a 'Just War' - from the perspective of the Germans. It should be noted that a lot of the atrocities committed by the Germans were not, in fact committed by the Germans but by the Nazis. The Nazis were fanatics and were lead by a madman...who just happened to be manipulative enough to A: get into power and B: twist words, events and ideals to make their actions legitmate and "just" to the people...or at least make them apathetic to the situation as a whole.

We did not find out about the atrocities until well into the war, in fact it was not until the war was all but won and we were tearing through Germany that the atrocities, concentration camps, etc. were discovered.

I will agree that the attack on Iraq is NOT part of The War on Terror. It was not about tobbling Saddam, finding WMDs or even about oil (well...it was indirectly).

The war was about making money. Halliburton, Blackwater and many other corporations and companies are making money hand over fist in this war. Halliburton is getting paid to rebuild and establish an infrastructure, Blackwater provides mercenaries, numerous weapons manufacturers get to put their new toys to the test as well as kick out armor, guns and ammunition of all sorts. Oh, and the oil too. Stable pipelines means stable oil income...this lowers the production costs, but the Oil Barons keep the price the same. Result? more profit of course.

This is a LOT of money being made in this country on this war...but who benifits? Not the Middle Class, I assure you. Things aren't getting any easier for me to get buy. And if the Middle Class is not benifiting, you can sure as hell bet that the Lower Class is getting the shaft.

Anyway, about your comments:

- 4 years is NOT a long time
- Sanctions and restrictions will not stop a nuclear reactor from producing materials that could be used in a bomb or missile, regardless of what the reactor's purpose is.
- No, BushCo will NOT blow up the universe...I do not see him as suicidally stupid. Besides, there is no money in it.

I know exactly where the crap that BushCo is spitting out now will only make matters worse. We will STILL be stuck in Iraq and we will now be fighting on multiple fronts, which our current military and doctrine cannot support.

I have little to no faith in any fatwas that are put out by any Muslim. This does not mean that I am degrading the Ayatollah or Imam who issues it. Rather, Islam has a lot of things that are up for interpretation. One leader may put out a fatwa against nukes, while another encourages (or even demands) it. These could be of the exact same sect (Sunni, Shite or whatever) in the same country.

So..yeah...

I really need to stop thinking about this sort of stuff. It is making cynical and cold again.

the teach said...

You say: - No, BushCo will NOT blow up the universe...I do not see him as suicidally stupid. Besides, there is no money in it.

I never said BushCo would blow up the universe I said He TALKS a lot about it. Yesterday he said the words" nucular holocaust when talking about Iran!"

You agree with me because you said: I know exactly where the crap that BushCo is spitting out now will only make matters worse. We will STILL be stuck in Iraq and we will now be fighting on multiple fronts, which our current military and doctrine cannot support.

Yup that's exactly right! And you basically say that on today's "Dobson"

You don't trust any fatwas - well I do. And I believe we can deal with Iran diplomatically. And BushCo better begin trying. Read that link I gave you on "Dobson." http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi
/middle_east/4031603.stm

You and I agree that Bush's rhetoric is criminal.

You write: I really need to stop thinking about this sort of stuff. It is making [me]cynical and cold again.

And it's making me tired. I'm going to check "Dobson" day to day and if we have a new topic I'll be there commenting on your comments. Why don't you check my blog periodically and see if there's anything that peaks your interest.

I think we both need some rest. BTW do you have an e-mail address?

AnimeFreak40K said...

Yeah... BuchCo tends to do a lot of that mindless talking thing. This is why I try to not may attention to it. It makes my head hurt. If I am going to do something that makes my head hurt, I may as well do it with something that is somewhat intelligent...like Quantum Physics or something like that.

It is not that I do not necessarily trust the fatwas per se. Iran, and most of the Middle East are run by theocracies, and therefore depend a lot on such rulings by the Imams and other religious leaders. It is not that I do not trust the people issuing the more peacful fatwas (such as not using nukes for example). I can trust the intent by the peacful fatwas, I can trust that those who follow the religious leaders will adhere to the rulings of thier leaders.

This breaks down when you realize that what one religious leader decrees may not be in line with others, even if they are in the same country, area or sect. 'Ayatollah A' may look at the situation and say "Nuclear weapons are evil and should never be used!". While 'Ayatolla B' could say "Nuclear weapons are the best way to eliminate the infidels and follow the instructions of the Quran! Those who do not convert to Islam will burn!"

You have 2 people, same rank and power, but 2 vastly different beliefs. Who will the people follow? Whomever they have already been following of course...and this does not change the situation at all.

Point is that just because a high-ranking religious leader of Iran has made a religious decree does not mean the government or other leaders will accept it.

Honestly, I WANT to believe that Iran is on the up and up. I really and truely do... But THe Iranian President (or Prime Minister or whatever he is) has already stated that he wants to wipe Israel off the map. Nuclear weapons are the best way to do that.

So as much as I want to believe that such aggressive actions are not on ther agenda....I have seen too much of the world and how it works to know this is not the case. I trust Iran to use whatever nuclear power they receive for peacful purposes...I also trust them to put them to military and agressive purposes as well.

Anyway... this week has been a bear to me, and this topic is only illustrating how bleak our future really is on its current path. All of that together is not making this any better, and my thoughts may seem clouded, angry and...well...not me. I think I need to change gears and get my mind off of it.

I will continue to check out Dobson, and I will sift through your Blog from time to time...dropping my presence if I feel it is necessary. I do look forward to your comments and replies as well.

I have several E-Mail addresses, but the one that will get the quickest/soonest response is sirkinsel@aol.com.

E-Mail me any time you want...all I ask is that you let me know who you are in the subject line until I learn/memorize your E-Mail address, otherwise it will get deleted. I give this warning because I delete all E-Mail I receive that I do not know who the sender is.

the teach said...

Okay, Anime, I have no intention of losing contact with you or not joining in some interesting tete a tete from time to time.

If I e-mail you I will certainly let you know who I am "maryt" or "theteach" from "Work of the Poet." Also yes, do "drop your presence if you feel it necessary. And now I have a place to go to speak to you direct. I'm pleased.