Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Did my mom's aunt die as a result of sanctions?

I visited family over Memorial Day weekend and I saw my cousin who had horrible experiences in 1991, as did so many Iraqis. He's a successful engineer and he's been happy in America since the mid 90s, but in the 80s he was forced to work as an engineer for the Iraqi military. He was released from the military at the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988, only to be redrafted in August 1990, in anticipation of the impending war with America. He was sent to a casting factory in Baghdad where missiles and other equipment were manufactured.

I asked him more about the last few weeks he spent in Iraq, after sanctions had an immediate and devastating effect on the Iraqi economy and when Baghdadis got their first taste of American bombing. My cousin and a few other relatives, including my mother's aunt, had escaped the intense bombing of Baghdad in January 1991 and went to Najaf, which the US and allied air forces had pretty much left untouched. It was in Najaf where my mother's aunt's condition deteriorated and where she died. I had always thought she died in Baghdad and her body was taken to Najaf to be buried. Another thing I got wrong: she did not die because she did not have asthma medicine as I claimed in this post. I don't know how I got that one wrong, because it's crucial, and I thought she died of an asthma attack because she'd run out of asthma medicine. My mom's aunt DID have asthma medicine, my cousin clarified after I asked him a week ago. It had become very expensive as a result of sanctions, as were so many necessities, including food. My cousin said that a small amount of food was handed out by Saddam's government, but that it wasn't nearly enough to feed everybody. To have enough food Iraqis had to resort to the black market, on which food was 30 times as expensive as it was before sanctions were imposed, according to my cousin. The average Iraqi family could not afford the black market. My mom's aunt may have died as a result of poor nutrition, but she did not die because she did not have asthma medicine. Sanctions did cause malnutrition among Iraqis and may have contributed to my mom's aunt's deterioration in health, but I cannot blame her death directly on sanctions. Her body was buried in Najaf. Allah Yurhamha. She loved us kids and took care of us as much as she could, considering she was blind all her life.

Another aunt of my cousin's, on his father's side, also in Najaf, had kidney problems, and she also died in 1991. My cousins buried her body in the same Najaf cemetery, but this time it was during the uprising, when Najaf was engulfed in heavy fighting between Saddam's forces and Shia rebels. My cousins were caught in the middle of it, and they were very lucky to escape with their lives. After the burial my relatives, the same group that escaped Baghdad just weeks earlier, were looking for a way to get out of Najaf alive. They heard that a bus was leaving for Baghdad the next morning and found a hotel near the bus station and stayed there. My cousin asked the hotel owner where they could find some food. The hotel owner said the owner of the house next to the hotel has a small store in the back. There my cousin found only biscuits and juice, and that's what my relatives had for dinner that night. My cousin said that entire night was filled with the sound of machine guns and bombs. The next morning was calmer and so they got on the bus to Baghdad. Incredibly, the bus broke down just south of Baghdad, and this during the middle of a Shia uprising when Saddam's Republican Guard was hunting down Shia rebels in southern provinces. Anybody suspected of participating in the uprising was arrested and in most cases killed. A couple of hours passed when my cousin saw a bus heading north. He got in the middle of the road and waved his arms. The bus driver stopped and picked them up. The driver had driven to Diwaniya earlier that day, but was not allowed to enter and was returning to Baghdad. The driver said my relatives were very lucky because there were no other buses going to Baghdad. On the outskirts of Baghdad the bus was stopped by the military, who were looking for rebels. Luckily my cousin had his military ID, and with that they got through the checkpoint. My relatives got home and found something they'd been missing: food.

The next day my cousin felt that he needed to report to his military bosses. He went to the missile casting factory to find it had been flattened. A few days later he left for Amman. Over the next few weeks a stream of relatives followed him and eventually moved to the UK, where nearly half my relatives now live. My cousin was the first to arrive in Amman, but he was the last to leave. The British government did not give him a visa because they said he was in Saddam's military. So we worked on getting him to the US instead, and that's exactly what happened. My cousin is a brilliant engineer and now a great asset to an American medical device company.

Back to the main subject of my post: the death of my mother's aunt cannot be blamed directly on sanctions, but sanctions did have a negative impact on the health of millions of Iraqis. An embargo does not affect the rulers of the country being embargoed. It is always the poor and middle class who suffer. This was true in Iraq and it's true in Gaza today, I'm sure. Saddam built palaces while ordinary Iraqis starved. Read Iraq Under Siege to learn how sanctions impacted the lives of ordinary Iraqis.


Jon Claerbout said...

Thank you for telling your story. My son and I have opposite views on Iraq sanctions. What's your view on sanctions for Iran?

Iraqi Mojo said...

Jon, not selling uranium to Iran is fine with me. Forcing people to not sell food and medicine to Iran is not fine.

Bruno said...

Mojo, to be clear: Iran has abundant reserves of Uranium and can in fact become an exporter of that element. The current hysteria over putative Iranian "nuclear weapons" is nothing more than a repeat of the same lies that America employed to attack Iraq. Iran is acting within the laws and frameworks it signed onto re the NPT. It is subject to stringent IAEA supervision. It does not have 'breakout capability' to quickly construct nuclear weapons, even though I believe they would be better off with such weapons given US history in the region. Furthermore, the Iranian nuclear programme was begun at the encouragement of the USA and it was touted as a means to use uranium reserves as a means of creating electricity and freeing up oil reserves for export instead of power generation. Of course that was during the reign of the US sock puppet, the Shah. Now those reasons have been consigned to the dustbin of history.

Not that I'm particularly favourably disposed towards Iran, especially after what they have done in Iraq, but the looming US-Iran confrontation could end up making the invasion of Iraq look like the "good old days" for everybody in the region. It must be avoided. No to sanctions, and no to war against Iran.

Maury said...

Bullshit Bruno. Iran barely has enough uranium to run one reactor. They've got enough for a small weapons program, but the notion they can produce more than a trickle of energy with domestic supplies is ludicrous.

The US has been developing a bomb that can penetrate 200 feet of reinforced concrete. It should be ready any day now. A stealth bomber properly retrofitted can carry two of them. Obama isn't stupid. He isn't going to let Iran bully the region with nuclear weapons.

Don Cox said...

Although your aunt did not die directly from the sanctions, it seems likely that many people did.

Sanctions did work in South Africa, so they have been applied to other problems, where they have worked less well. Likewise, blast walls worked well in Northern Ireland, so they were used in Iraq too.

The current idea is to use "smart sanctions", as in Zimbabwe. But then, the ruling group responds by taking their revenge on the population. Still, it is good to prevent Grace Mugabe from shopping in London at the expense of ordinary citizens.

Maury said...

What Iran has been enriching for the last few years is 500 tons of yellowcake it bought from South Africa in the 80's. They'll need a lot more than that to fuel a nuclear plant. Nazi's aren't running South Africa anymore, so Ahwannajihad is kissing up to Mugabe instead. Zimbabwe has fairly ample uranium deposits.

Bruno said...

[maury] Bullshit Bruno. Iran barely has enough uranium to run one reactor.

It was only a matter of time before one of the 'supergenii' that infest this place took a running jump at putting his own foot in his mouth.

Here are the facts:

The Americans weren't so worried about Iranian nuclear power in the hands of their sock puppet:

"The foundations for Iran's nuclear program were laid after a 1953, CIA-supported coup deposed democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and brought Shah (King) Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to power.[33]

A civil nuclear co-operation program was established under the U.S. Atoms for Peace program. In 1967, the Tehran Nuclear Research Center (TNRC) was established, run by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI). The TNRC was equipped with a U.S.-supplied, 5-megawatt nuclear research reactor, which became operational in 1967 and was fueled by highly enriched uranium.[34][35]

Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968 and ratified it in 1970, making Iran's nuclear program subject to International Atomic Energy Agency verification.
Advertisement from the 1970s by American nuclear-energy companies, using Iran's nuclear program as a marketing ploy
[edit] 1970s

The Shah approved plans to construct, with U.S. help, up to 23 nuclear power stations by 2000.[36] In March 1974, the Shah envisioned a time when the world's oil supply would run out, and declared, "Petroleum is a noble material, much too valuable to burn ... We envision producing, as soon as possible, 23 000 megawatts of electricity using nuclear plants.""


Bruno said...

Since you are not going to believe any Persian sources, here you have it from the Americans themselves, admitting Iran is self sufficient in Uranium:

"Since 1988, Iran reportedly opened as many as 10 uranium mines, including the Saghand uranium mine in Yazd province, as well otherwise unspecified locations in Khorassan, Sistan va Baluchestan, and Hormozgan Provinces, and in Bandar-e-Abbas and Badar-e-Lengeh Provinces along the Gulf. The Director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Reza Amrollahi, announced in 1989 that the expected reserves of these deposts was in excess of 5,000 tons.

Uranium resources of Iran were not considered rich. The results of the AEOI exploration activities had shown proven reserves of about 3,000 tons of Uranium so far. According to the discovered indices (more than 350 anomalies) and the results of the field discoveries, the expected resources of Iran could be at the range of 20,000-30,000 tons of U3O8, throughout the country. Therefore Iran's domestic reserves might be sufficient enough to supply the raw material for needed nuclear power plants in future."


Bruno said...

Of course, insane warmongers like Maury aren't going to admit that their allegations are anything more than the basis for launching a new war against Iran. They don't care about the facts and they don't care about the consequences. I take Maury as a case example, already jacking off the the extra-large bombs that the US is developing.

But then, Maury never has been the sharpest knife in the box.

He seems to think that there will be no consequences to such an attack on Iran, whereas even the eggheads in the US military thinktanks acknowledge that the Iranian response is likely to be robust and furthermore plunge the entire region into fire. America will have no option but to invade Iran proper, and the resultant war will prove disastrous not only to Iran and its neighbours, but also to America itself, which will find that fighting against a country four times the size of Iraq will be four times as difficult.

With any luck, Maury gets drafted. We can only hope!

Bruno said...

[cox] "Sanctions did work in South Africa"


No they didn't.

South African political transition was linked to the demise of the USSR.

Maury said...

"Uranium resources of Iran were not considered rich. The results of the AEOI exploration activities had shown proven reserves of about 3,000 tons of Uranium so far."

Still a trifling amount Bruno. Several countries produce more than 10,000 tons a year. Iran has yet to produce a single pound of uranium. If they could somehow pull those 3000 tons out of their butts, they MIGHT be able to get a single nuclear power plant up and running. For a few years, at most.

Anonymous said...

you're lying again mojo. UN rapporteurs in the 90's and till this very day agree that the food rationing program during the embargo was one of the most efficient they had come across. so get lost with your propaganda.

Dolly said...

"to let Iran bully the region with nuclear weapons."

You heard it. When the Zio-fascists have nukes, it's a beautiful thing. If Iran were to do the same thing, that's called "bullying the region."

I don't mind you having a bias, just stop trying to deny it. The jews killed an American in Gaza, and Washington was unable to even condemn it.

Actions of the U.S. have nothing to do with any fairness or evenhandedness, and no one is deceived by your propaganda but you.

Dolly said...

Something occurred to me recently, about Iraqi Shia. I have come to the realization that their behavior is not human.

The most callous warmongers in the U.S., however evil and despicable they are, are still human.

However, with Iraqi collaborators it is different. Here is the difference:

A man may consent to die for: 1) a good cause of his own, or 2) an evil cause of his own, or 3) a good cause of somebody else. However:

A human does not override his self-preservation to further the evil ambitions of a third party.

The Iraqi Shia have volunteered to die, and have died (extending services to the U.S.), because they knew the U.S. was on a genocidal lies-based campaign.

Iraqi Mojo said...

Yes Saddam's govt was efficient at distributing a couple of chickens, a bag of rice and a bag of flour to each family every month. For most families that was not enough. Why do you think so many Iraqis suffered from malnutrition throughout the 90s?

Iraqi Mojo said...

And of course Saddam's govt neglected the south while he built palaces.

'Writer Chuck Sudetic traveled to Basra, one of Iraq's poorest cities, to witness firsthand the effects of the sanctions upon the lives of average Iraqi citizens. Poverty abounds in Basra, though Iraq has the world's second-largest oil reserves. According to Sudetic, "The devastating aspect of the sanctions is not that they restrict what Iraq can import; it is that they keep the country from accessing its cash." Although Iraq earned billions in revenue under the Oil-for-Food program in 2000, only about 33 percentwas spent on food and 2 percent on medical supplies.'

Bruno said...

LMAO @ Maury. The article clearly admits that Iran has the potential to be self-sufficient in Uranium, yet you persist in your absurdities, in the face of the evidence.


And even if they did not have enough ore for their own use, that does not automatically mean that their intended chain of powerplants is unjustifiable. Many countries import and refine raw materials, making a profit on the trade. I suppose America is unjustified in its large oil refining capacity, since it is not the world's largest oil producer? LOL. Give me a break.

The simple fact that (a) the Americans thought a nuclear powered Iran under the Shah was a good thing and (b) the fact that now they don't when their political enemies are in power there ... tells me that the arguments against Iran's nuclear programme are entirely spurious.

Bruno said...

[dolly] "The Iraqi Shia have volunteered to die, and have died (extending services to the U.S.), because they knew the U.S. was on a genocidal lies-based campaign."

Oh, come on. The "Shia" fought because they saw an opportunity to get political power, even if it meant siding with the invader for a while. Basically, what happened was that the need for ejecting the Occupier was subordinated to the need to achieve local political control. I find your argument that they are subhuman, outlandish.

Bruno said...

[mojo] "Yes Saddam's govt was efficient at distributing a couple of chickens, a bag of rice and a bag of flour to each family every month."

In other words, he gave people free food, to stop them from starving. Do you know that one of the first things the Americans and their lackeys wanted to do in Iraq was to remove the food ration?

[mojo] For most families that was not enough."

In other words, thanks for the free food, but fuck you anyway.

[mojo] "Why do you think so many Iraqis suffered from malnutrition throughout the 90s?"

Maybe because of this:

"The UK and the US have deliberately pursued a policy of punishment since the Gulf war victory in 1991. The two governments have consistently opposed allowing the UN security council to carry out its mandated responsibilities to assess the impact of sanctions policies on civilians. We know about this first hand, because the governments repeatedly tried to prevent us from briefing the security council about it. The pitiful annual limits, of less than $170 per person, for humanitarian supplies, set by them during the first three years of the oil-for-food program are unarguable evidence of such a policy. We have seen the effects on the ground and cannot comprehend how the US ambassador, James Cunningham, could look into the eyes of his colleagues a year ago and say: "We (the US government) are satisfied that the oil-for-food program is meeting the needs of the Iraqi people."


When asked on US television if she [Madeline Albright, US Secretary of State] thought that the death of half a million Iraqi children [from sanctions in Iraq] was a price worth paying, Albright replied: “This is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it.”

Bruno said...

In the 1980's Iraqi per capita gdp was around $3800 a head. Under sanctions it dropped to a low of something like $250.

Iraqi Mojo said...

Iraqi Real GDP: 1969 - 2007

Anonymous said...


are you stupid or what? malnutrition was due to the sanctions. go look up what the word means!

Maury said...

"LMAO @ Maury. The article clearly admits that Iran has the potential to be self-sufficient in Uranium,"

The article was full of what ifs and maybes. For someone so misinformed, you should spend less time laughing your ass off, and more time attempting to learn a thing or two Bruno. Uranium exists everywhere. Most of the time, concentrations are too small to make refining worthwhile. That's the case in Iran. They might well have 20,000 tons of uranium, but if it can't be refined it's useless. For all the yapping Iran does about having plentiful supplies, the sad fact is they've been refining 500 tons they bought from South Africa 30 years ago. They have no uranium of their own to refine. NONE. Laugh your ass off at that moron.

Don Cox said...

"Forcing people to not sell food and medicine to Iran is not fine."

A country like Iran should not need to import food. They have plenty of land and plenty of modern technology.

Likewise, there should be facilities to manufacture at least the major generic drugs in Iran. This is not some backward poverty-stricken undeveloped country.

Don Cox said...

"Zimbabwe has fairly ample uranium deposits."

Although rumours are floating around that Zimbabwe has Uranium deposits, this is far from certain.

Bruno said...

[maury] "They have no uranium of their own to refine. NONE."


20,000-30,000 tons of U3O8 != "none"

[maury] "Laugh your ass off at that moron."

No need to tell me that; I was laughing my ass off at you even before you asked me to.


In any case, whether or not Iran possesses uranium (it does) is irrelevant. The same as any signatory to the NPT, it has a right to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes. Roll it and smoke it.

Bruno said...

Iraq per capita GDP:


Our graph looks the same but the numbers are different.

Maury said...

Read your link again Bruno. The "expected" resources "could be" 20,000 tons. That "might be" sufficient for a nuclear program.

I expect to find 50,000 lbs. of gold in my backyard. Send me a few bucks and I'll cut you in.

Maury said...

"Roll it and smoke it."

Iran's missiles can't reach me, but smoking your snickering ass wouldn't be a problem. Yuck at that for awhile dumbass.

Bruno said...

So actually, all this American hysteria about Iran supposedly getting (oooh) nuclear missiles ... is actually concern for my well being?

Gee, thanks, Maury, but you needn't worry.

I'm not worried.

So, don't worry.


Iraqi Mojo said...

"malnutrition was due to the sanctions. "

Malnutrition was due to sanctions, but Saddam's govt was able to provide enough food for all Iraqis? LOL

This is the kind of duplicitous bullshit so many Arabs dish out.

Iraqi Mojo said...

"Our graph looks the same but the numbers are different."

That's because the graph I linked to is an index of total real GDP in which 2007 prices are set at 100. The graph you linked to is GDP per capita at 2003 prices.

Thanks for the link. It shows how GDP per capita plummeted in 1980, after Saddam made himself President.

Maury said...

Iraq had a GDP of $13 billion in 2003 and has a GDP of $94 billion today. Those damned amreekans and their puppet government only increased GDP 600% in the last 7 years. Sadman could have done so much better.....right Burno?

Of course, he had 30 years to increase Iraqi's standard of living, but took it into the dumster instead. But hey, at least he thumbed his nose at the amreekans, right Burno?

Bruno said...

[mojo] "Malnutrition was due to sanctions, but Saddam's govt was able to provide enough food for all Iraqis? LOL"

Oh, I see. So if Saddam had subscribed to free market ideology, instead of some pinko commie socialist care state, and had allowed Iraqis to die en masse of starvation, you would have been happy? Nice one, Mojo.

[mojo] "It shows how GDP per capita plummeted in 1980, after Saddam made himself President."

After the Iran Iraq war broke out you mean.

Don't try to be so disingenuous.

I had a pretty interesting discussion with Advocate wherein we covered some of that ground. Frankly Saddam did try to avoid war with Iran and frankly I think Iraq would have had trouble with Iran no matter who was in charge. (Well, maybe somebody like Hakim would have been acceptable to Khomenei)

[maury] "Those damned amreekans and their puppet government only increased GDP 600% in the last 7 years."

Yet another wiseass who thinks that we aren't aware that the effects of sanctions ended in 2003 and who ignores inflation. Gee, Maury, do you try to trick preschoolers out of their sweets with your intelligence? LOL. Cue the economic genius.

Iraqi Mojo said...

Iraqis DID die of starvation, schmuck. The point is that Saddam's shitty govt did not provide enough food for all Iraqi families as the anonymous jarab implied. The point is that he built dozens of palaces while millions of Iraqis suffered from malnutrition. But I don't expect the 3arab jarab or their South African friends to get the point.

"After the Iran Iraq war broke out you mean."

and how did that happen? Wasn't it Saddam who invaded Iran? Wasn't it Saddam who led Iraq to war and ruin?

"Frankly Saddam did try to avoid war with Iran"

LOL! He also tried to avoid mass murdering Iraqi Shia, I bet you'd say.

Maury said...

GDP is inflation adjusted Bruno. I can't believe you didn't know that. Zimbabwe had 65,000% inflation between 2000 and 2007. GDP dropped 40%.

Bruno said...

[mojo] "The point is that Saddam's shitty govt did not provide enough food for all Iraqi families"

Isn't it true that the rations AFTER the 2003 invasion got even worse? What does that say about the succession of American puppets, sonny?


"Under conditions of widespread malnutrition, run-away inflation and mass unemployment, the Iraqi Trade Ministry is preparing to slash the provision of subsidised food and basic hygiene necessities under the Public Distribution System (PDS).

The ministry insists that cutbacks are unavoidable because it has not been promised a sufficient budget for 2008. Mohammed Hanoun, chief-of-staff to the trade minister, told Al Jazeerah last month: “In 2007, we asked for $3.2 billion for rationing basic foodstuffs. But since the price of imported food stuff doubled in the past year, we requested $7.2 billion. That request was denied.”

Trade Minister Abid Falah al-Soodani told the Iraqi parliament: “Since the government’s financial support will not be available next year, we will reduce the items from 10 to five and the quantities of the remaining items will not be the same as this year and in past years.”"

[LMFAO! Maybe MAURY and MOJO should contact this evident fool Al Soodani and tell him that Iraq is literally swimming in money now. Maybe they could print out their statistics, and some starving Iraqis could eat them]


By the time of the March 2003 invasion, virtually the entire Iraqi population was to some extent reliant on the ration to meet their basic nutritional requirements. The US military occupation therefore had little choice but to continue the program. It has utterly failed, however, to ensure that the population received it.


The quantity of food available has fallen by 35 percent under US occupation, according to experts cited by the IRIN UN newsagency. The quality has also sharply deteriorated, with people expected to consume substandard products or items past their expiry date.


Where's MOJO's and MAURY's outrage?

Oh, yeah. Anything that America and its sockpuppets does is OK, even if it means reducing the ration to EVEN LESS than that of the eeeeeevil Saddam. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Bruno said...

[b] "Frankly Saddam did try to avoid war with Iran"
[mojo] LOL!

Here is a small part of the Iraqi position at the time:

"Despite Iraq’s friendly overtures, the Iranian leadership insisted on its hostile attitude. Throughout March 1980, Iranian officials persisted in their warnings to the Iraqi people to "Beware of the Ba’ath Party and Iraqi leadership." Khomeini issued a statement in late March urging both the youth and the military of Iraq to rebel against their government and to become heroes in a battle to rid Iraq of the Ba’ath and the extinction of Arab nationalism.

In an address delivered by his son on March 21, 1980, Khomeini made Iran’s position clear: "We should exert all efforts to export our revolution to other parts of the world. Let us abandon the idea of keeping our revolution within our borders."

Iran, however, was not leaving its message to chance.. "Iraq is Persian," Iran’s President stated on April 7, 1980, more than five months before the war began. "Aden and Baghdad belong to us," said Iran’s Foreign Minister, Qotob Zada on April 8. Zada went one step further in his remarks the following day, stating that his government had "decided to overthrow the Iraqi government.""


Jon Claerbout said...

I succeeded to find a definition of what the Iran sanctions amount to, at least from a German perspective

So far as I can see, food is not embargoed, but the economy in general is.

P W Botha said...

Quite right, Bruno boy, Saddam had every right to invade Iran because the Iranian towelheads were telling the kaffir Shia in Iraq to revolt. We considered doing to the same thing to all those cheeky countries that were encouraging a kaffir rebellion in South Africa in the 1980s. I tried very hard to avoid invading Angola but their provocations were just too great.

Anonymous said...

World Socialist Web Site?

Lol! Bruno can always be trusted to find a biased unreliable source to back up his bullshit. Those really interested in the food situation in Iraq should study the latest World Food Program Report.


"An estimated population of 930,000 (3.1% of the households sampled) were classified as food
insecure. The findings of this survey also indicate that an additional 9.4 percent of the population (2.8 million) is extremely dependant upon the PDS food ration, without which they could be expected to become food insecure. This group along with the 12.3 percent food secure households in the poorest income quintiles (less than 1 USD per capita per day) would be rendered food insecure if no sustainable safety net programmes to address the needs of those vulnerable are in place. Results indicate significant improvement from the estimated four million people (15.4%) food insecure and a further 8.3 million people (31.8%) potentially food insecure if they were not provided with a PDS ration as reported in the previous survey. Several factors may have contributed to this significant and positive trend and might include: (i) an overall security improvement; (ii) improvement in some macroeconomic indicators that are used to monitor the level of economic growth in Iraq including
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and (iii) humanitarian enhanced efforts of all stakeholders
including GoI, UN organizations, and NGOs during the period of 2006-2007."

Anonymous said...

yes mojo you're definitely irreversibly STUPID. no point wasting more time on this shitty blog.

Anonymous said...

Does that mean you're going to fuck off instead of posting moronic comments?