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michael hastings mcchrystal

But as he moved up through the ranks, McChrystal relied on the skills he had learned as a troublemaking kid at West Point: knowing precisely how far he could go in a rigid military hierarchy without getting tossed out. During the worst years in Iraq, when the Bush administration had no real progress to point to, officials used to offer up the exact same evidence of success. They jokingly refer to themselves as Team America, taking the name from the South Park-esque sendup of military cluelessness, and they pride themselves on their can-do attitude and their disdain for authority. But I know perceptions depend upon your perspective at the time, and I respect that every soldier’s view is his own.” Then he showed up at Arroyo’s outpost and went on a foot patrol with the troops – not some bullshit photo-op stroll through a market, but a real live operation in a dangerous war zone. Even Team McChrystal privately acknowledges that Karzai is a less-than-ideal partner. Over the past few months, he has accompanied the president on more than 10 trips around the country, standing beside him at political meetings, or shuras, in Kandahar. As Pentagon spokesman during the invasion of Iraq, the general seemed more like a White House mouthpiece than an up-and-coming commander with a reputation for speaking his mind. “There is no denying the progress that the Afghan people have made in recent years – in education, in health care and economic development,” the president says. At times, Karzai himself has actively undermined McChrystal’s desire to put him in charge. “Hillary had Stan’s back during the strategic review,” says an adviser. This article is from the July 8th, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone. “You better be out there hitting four or five targets tonight,” McChrystal will tell a Navy Seal he sees in the hallway at headquarters. The president finds himself stuck in something even more insane than a quagmire: a quagmire he knowingly walked into, even though it’s precisely the kind of gigantic, mind-numbing, multigenerational nation-building project he explicitly said he didn’t want. But part of the problem is personal: In private, Team McChrystal likes to talk shit about many of Obama’s top people on the diplomatic side. “There was the Gulf War, but even that didn’t feel like that big of a deal.” So McChrystal spent his career where the action was: He enrolled in Special Forces school and became a regimental commander of the 3rd Ranger Battalion in 1986. By Marcus Baram. He has ordered convoys to curtail their reckless driving, put restrictions on the use of air power and severely limited night raids. The class, filled with what Barno calls “huge talent” and “wild-eyed teenagers with a strong sense of idealism,” also produced Gen. Ray Odierno, the current commander of U.S. forces in Iraq. Spending hundreds of billions of dollars on the fifth-poorest country on earth has failed to win over the civilian population, whose attitude toward U.S. troops ranges from intensely wary to openly hostile. One aide calls Jim Jones, a retired four-star general and veteran of the Cold War, a “clown” who remains “stuck in 1985.” Politicians like McCain and Kerry, says another aide, “turn up, have a meeting with Karzai, criticize him at the airport press conference, then get back for the Sunday talk shows. Pat Tillman, the former-NFL-star-turned-Ranger, was accidentally killed by his own troops in Afghanistan in April 2004, McChrystal took an active role in creating the impression that Tillman had died at the hands of Taliban fighters. Every real soldier will tell you the same thing.”. “That’s the way this game is,” McChrystal says. “But it doesn’t get the same reception from infantry companies.”. One could … Dispatching 150,000 troops to build new schools, roads, mosques and water-treatment facilities around Kandahar is like trying to stop the drug war in Mexico by occupying Arkansas and building Baptist churches in Little Rock. Furchtlos spürte der US-Journalist Michael Hastings heikle Themen auf, brachte sie an die Öffentlichkeit – und so den US-General McChrystal zu Fall. “It’s not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win,” says Maj. Gen. Bill Mayville, who serves as chief of operations for McChrystal. I’m sad that I’ll never get to publish all the great stories that he was going to write, and sad that he won’t be stopping by my office for any more short visits which would stretch for two or three completely engrossing hours. The facts on the ground are not great, and are not going to become great in the near future.”. “I’d die for them. It was a dangerous position, even in peacetime – nearly two dozen Rangers were killed in training accidents during the Eighties. Michael Hastings entlockte Stanley McChrystal seine verächtlichen Äusserungen über die US-Regierung. You sit and ask yourself: What are we doing here?”, The rules handed out here are not what McChrystal intended – they’ve been distorted as they passed through the chain of command – but knowing that does nothing to lessen the anger of troops on the ground. When it comes to Afghanistan, history is not on McChrystal’s side. The biggest military operation of the year – a ferocious offensive that began in February to retake the southern town of Marja – continues to drag on, prompting McChrystal himself to refer to it as a “bleeding ulcer.” In June, Afghanistan officially outpaced Vietnam as the longest war in American history – and Obama has quietly begun to back away from the deadline he set for withdrawing U.S. troops in July of next year. Arroyo’s platoon for the memorial, I arrive at Combat Outpost JFM to speak with the soldiers he had gone on patrol with. Frankly, it’s not very helpful.” Only Hillary Clinton receives good reviews from McChrystal’s inner circle. While other embedded reporters were charmed by McChrystal’s bad-boy bravado and might have excused his insubordination as a joke, Hastings was determined to expose the recklessness of a man leading what Hastings believed to be a reckless war. “In reality, that position needs to be filled by an American for it to have weight,” says a U.S. official familiar with the negotiations. He regularly apologizes to Hamid Karzai when civilians are killed, and berates commanders responsible for civilian deaths. After all, he’d already learned about it the only way he ever deemed acceptable for a non hack: first-hand. “We are knee-deep in the decisive year,” he tells them. Last fall, with his top general calling for more troops, Obama launched a three-month review to re-evaluate the strategy in Afghanistan. But the experience was so unsettling to McChrystal that he tried to prevent detainee operations from being placed under his command in Afghanistan, viewing them as a “political swamp,” according to a U.S. official. For Hastings, there was no romance to America’s misbegotten wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But however strategic they may be, McChrystal’s new marching orders have caused an intense backlash among his own troops. In the article, McChrystal is quoted as disparaging Obama administration officials, mocking Vice President Biden, … Two years later, in 2006, McChrystal was tainted by a scandal involving detainee abuse and torture at Camp Nama in Iraq. “It was pretty out of control,” says Lt. Gen. David Barno, a classmate who went on to serve as the top commander in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005. McChrystal got away with it, she added, because he was the “golden boy” of Rumsfeld and Bush, who loved his willingness to get things done, even if it included bending the rules or skipping the chain of command. Even though he had voted for Obama, McChrystal and his new commander in chief failed from the outset to connect. You have to show strength here, you have to use fire. “The entire COIN strategy is a fraud perpetuated on the American people,” says Douglas Macgregor, a retired colonel and leading critic of counterinsurgency who attended West Point with McChrystal. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, prisoners at the camp were subjected to a now-familiar litany of abuse: stress positions, being dragged naked through the mud. The maelstrom sparked by its publication concluded with President Obama recalling McChrystal to Washington and the general resigning his post. Instead, an assortment of administration players compete over the Afghan portfolio: U.S. In 2006, after Gen. David Petraeus beta-tested the theory during his “surge” in Iraq, it quickly gained a hardcore following of think-tankers, journalists, military officers and civilian officials. “No way I can pretend it won’t hurt. McChrystal, they felt, was trying to bully Obama, opening him up to charges of being weak on national security unless he did what the general wanted. It’s “insurgent math,” as he calls it – for every innocent person you kill, you create 10 new enemies. Writing this feels almost ghoulish: I still haven’t processed the fact that he’s gone. He signed off on a falsified recommendation for a Silver Star that suggested Tillman had been killed by enemy fire. Stanley McChrystal Rolling Stone man who brought down Stanley McChrystal Journalist Michael Hastings reveals how he got to write article that was praised by … Michael Hastings tells Huffington Post in a phone interview from Afghanistan, where he is embedded with U.S. troops: “Over … “I’d rather have my ass kicked by a roomful of people than go out to this dinner,” McChrystal says. When Hastings’s article appeared in Rolling Stone, it set off a political firestorm: McChrystal was unceremoniously fired. Michael Hastings (1980–2013) was a reporter for Buzzfeed and contributing editor for Rolling Stone, whose coverage included the CIA, NSA, United States Military, drones, and presidential politics, among other topics. “The Taliban have a jackboot on the city,” says a military official. Cadets repeatedly trashed the mess hall in food fights, and birthdays were celebrated with a tradition called “rat fucking,” which often left the birthday boy outside in the snow or mud, covered in shaving cream. But due to McChrystal’s new restrictions to avoid upsetting civilians, the request had been denied. This was the creature at work in Gen. McChrystal’s career-ending decision to give a tape recorded interview—over drinks no less—to Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings. It’s a kind of superhuman narrative that has built up around him, a staple in almost every media profile, as if the ability to go without sleep and food translates into the possibility of a man single-handedly winning the war. Particularly when it’s really, really hard, and it hurts inside.” Then he spends 20 minutes talking about counterinsurgency, diagramming his concepts and principles on a whiteboard. The Boss was pretty disappointed.”. “Fuck, when I came over here and heard that McChrystal was in charge, I thought we would get our fucking gun on,” says Hicks, who has served three tours of combat. In March, McChrystal traveled to Combat Outpost JFM – a small encampment on the outskirts of Kandahar – to confront such accusations from the troops directly. “I want the American people to understand,” he announced in March 2009. Despite the tragedies and miscues, McChrystal has issued some of the strictest directives to avoid civilian casualties that the U.S. military has ever encountered in a war zone. This is an elaboration of Michael Hastings's Rolling Stone article--you know, the one that got four-star general Stanley McChrystal canned as head of the Afghan war. “This isn’t a classic operation,” says a U.S. military official. At one point on his trip to Paris, McChrystal checks his BlackBerry. (U.S. soldiers had taken to deriding ISAF as short for “I Suck at Fighting” or “In Sandals and Flip-Flops.”) McChrystal banned alcohol on base, kicked out Burger King and other symbols of American excess, expanded the morning briefing to include thousands of officers and refashioned the command center into a Situational Awareness Room, a free-flowing information hub modeled after Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s offices in New York. The COIN doctrine, bizarrely, draws inspiration from some of the biggest Western military embarrassments in recent memory: France’s nasty war in Algeria (lost in 1962) and the American misadventure in Vietnam (lost in 1975). ‘How’d I get screwed into going to this dinner?” demands Gen. Stanley McChrystal. U.S. Army brass told Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings that he would be hunted down and killed over his story that lead to General McChrystal’s downfall, according to Hasting’s closest friend in the June 26 bombshell interview on the Alex Jones Show. He carries a custom-made set of nunchucks in his convoy engraved with his name and four stars, and his itinerary often bears a fresh quote from Bruce Lee. His rules of engagement put soldiers’ lives in even greater danger. The untimely and violent death of award-winning journalist Michael Hastings sparked rumors for years that the CIA was somehow involved in the car crash that claimed his life. “He did: He always sought out the hard stories, pushed for the truth, let it all hang out on the page. He’s in France to sell his new war strategy to our NATO allies – to keep up the fiction, in essence, that we actually have allies. The media, to a large extent, have also given McChrystal a pass on both controversies. “There’s a possibility we could ask for another surge of U.S. forces next summer if we see success here,” a senior military official in Kabul tells me. “There’s no way I can make that easier,” he tells them. He was raised in New York, Canada, and Vermont, and he attended New York University.Hastings rose to prominence with his coverage of the Iraq War for Newsweek in the 2000s. “The fucking lads love Stan McChrystal,” says a British officer who serves in Kabul. Even proponents of counterinsurgency are hard-pressed to explain the new plan. “What’s the update on the Kandahar bombing?” McChrystal asks Flynn. Within hours, McChrystal responded personally: “I’m saddened by the accusation that I don’t care about soldiers, as it is something I suspect any soldier takes both personally and professionally – at least I do. Jared Pautsch. Maybe that’s challenge to continue to use it to write the truth. “The Russians killed 1 million Afghans, and that didn’t work.”, “I’m not saying go out and kill everybody, sir,” the soldier persists. “Even as a young officer he seemed to know what he wanted to do. In 2010, Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings thought he would write a profile of Stanley McChrystal, then the commander of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. From the reporter who brought down McChrystal, a provocative new book about Afghanistan, the media, and the U.S. military. During the Iraq surge, his team killed and captured thousands of insurgents, including Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. casualties as a part of his approach, emphasizing protecting populations over. Übersetzung: Bernd Gockel. A war correspondent whose unflinching reporting from Afghanistan led to the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal has died in a car accident in Los Angeles, The Associated Press reported.. Michael Hastings, who was 33, was described by many of his colleagues as an unfailingly bright and hard-charging reporter who wrote stories that mattered, most notably his expose of the top Army … He was irascible in his reporting and sometimes/often/always infuriating in his writing: he lit a bright lamp for those who wanted to follow his example. Though it is his and Annie’s 33rd wedding anniversary, McChrystal has invited his inner circle along for dinner and drinks at the “least Gucci” place his staff could find. McChrystal, like other advocates of COIN, readily acknowledges that counterinsurgency campaigns are inherently messy, expensive and easy to lose. That’s what we do. What people don’t know is that Michael Hastings was NOT simply a journalist, he was PART of the Intelligence Community. His loyal staff liked to call him a “rock star.” During a spring 2010 trip, journalist Michael Hastings looked on as McChrystal and his staff let off steam, partying and openly bashing the Obama administration. “They are trying to manipulate perceptions because there is no definition of victory – because victory is not even defined or recognizable,” says Celeste Ward, a senior defense analyst at the RAND Corporation who served as a political adviser to U.S. commanders in Iraq in 2006. “These were abandoned houses,” fumes Staff Sgt. Growing up as a military brat, McChrystal exhibited the mixture of brilliance and cockiness that would follow him throughout his career. From the start, McChrystal was determined to place his personal stamp on Afghanistan, to use it as a laboratory for a controversial military strategy known as counterinsurgency. “We will become more deeply engaged here with no way to extricate ourselves,” Eikenberry warned, “short of allowing the country to descend again into lawlessness and chaos.”, McChrystal and his team were blindsided by the cable. I get all that. But facts on the ground, as history has proven, offer little deterrent to a military determined to stay the course. “The idea that we are going to spend a trillion dollars to reshape the culture of the Islamic world is utter nonsense. I will tell you, you’re doing a great job. “Obama clearly didn’t know anything about him, who he was. “Strength is leading when you just don’t want to lead,” he tells the men. Appearing on CNN's "Reliable Sources" program, Logan cast doubt on Hastings's claim that his interviews with McChrystal and his team were all on-the-record. “I get COIN. Matt Farwell is a veteran of the Afghanistan war who worked as a co-reporter with Hastings on some of his recent pieces. It was the third man the 25-member platoon had lost in a year, and Arroyo was writing to see if the general would attend Ingram’s memorial service. McChrystal was also open to new ways of killing. In the course of his reporting he figured this lesson out again and again in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the United States, and part of his passion stemmed from a desire to make everyone else wake the fuck up and realize the value of the life we’re living. Even in his new role as America’s leading evangelist for counterinsurgency, McChrystal retains the deep-seated instincts of a terrorist hunter. The message to McChrystal seemed clear: Shut the fuck up, and keep a lower profile. When Michael Hastings ’s unflattering Rolling Stone profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal hit newsstands 18 months ago, it didn’t take long for the esteemed general to lose his job. Karzai’s staff, however, insisted that the president was sleeping off a cold and could not be disturbed. The president had thrown his weight, however hesitantly, behind the counterinsurgency crowd. Michael Hastings' reporting brought down the career of General Stanley McChrystal and is now the basis for 'War Machine,' starring Brad Pitt. While McChrystal and his men are in indisputable command of all military aspects of the war, there is no equivalent position on the diplomatic or political side. “It’s fucking gay.”. No way I can tell you not to feel that. Even those closest to McChrystal know that the rising anti-war sentiment at home doesn't begin His class was the last to graduate before the academy started to admit women. The next morning, McChrystal and his team gather to prepare for a speech he is giving at the École Militaire, a French military academy. (“There are no limits. By Danny Shea CBS News Chief Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan slammed Michael Hastings for his Rolling Stonearticle that led to the firing of General Stanley McChrystal. So far, counterinsurgency has succeeded only in creating a never-ending demand for the primary product supplied by the military: perpetual war. In June, the death toll for U.S. troops passed 1,000, and the number of IEDs has doubled. According to sources familiar with the meeting, McChrystal thought Obama looked “uncomfortable and intimidated” by the roomful of military brass. Michael Hastings, the fearless journalist whose reporting brought down the career of General Stanley McChrystal, has died in a car accident in … The Taliban, he insists, no longer has the initiative – “but I don’t think we do, either.” It’s similar to the talk he gave in Paris, but it’s not winning any hearts and minds among the soldiers. Want more Rolling Stone? There’s a former head of British Special Forces, two Navy Seals, an Afghan Special Forces commando, a lawyer, two fighter pilots and at least two dozen combat veterans and counterinsurgency experts. Such realism, however, doesn’t prevent advocates of counterinsurgency from dreaming big: Instead of beginning to withdraw troops next year, as Obama promised, the military hopes to ramp up its counterinsurgency campaign even further. There aren’t going to be doors kicked in.” Other U.S. officials insist that doors are going to be kicked in, but that it’s going to be a kinder, gentler offensive than the disaster in Marja. McChrystal is in Paris to keep the French, who have lost more than 40 soldiers in Afghanistan, from going all wobbly on him. When Hastings’s article appeared in Rolling Stone, it set off a political firestorm: McChrystal was unceremoniously fired. “Bottom line?” says a former Special Forces operator who has spent years in Iraq and Afghanistan. To put pressure on the Taliban, he has upped the number of Special Forces units in Afghanistan from four to 19. Hastings was best known for a 2010 Rolling Stone article which led to McChrystal’s resignation and retirement. . Here’s the guy who’s going to run his fucking war, but he didn’t seem very engaged. Michael Hastings, Reporter Who Took Down Stanley McChrystal, Dies at 33 The BuzzFeed and Rolling Stone journalist is remembered for his bold reporting. The very people that COIN seeks to win over – the Afghan people – do not want us there. In the end, however, McChrystal got almost exactly what he wanted. In Brinkman’s failure, I had succeeded.”. The Washington Post publishes a long list of fact check requests sent to Gen. McChrystal before the Michael Hastings’ interview occurred. Hastings’ unvarnished 2010 profile of McChrystal in the pages of Rolling Stone, “The Runaway General,” captured the then-supreme commander of the U.S.-led war effort in Afghanistan openly mocking his civilian commanders in the White House. “Hey, Charlie,” he asks, “does this come with the position?”. In one tale, a fictional officer complains about the difficulty of training foreign troops to fight; in another, a 19-year-old soldier kills a boy he mistakes for a terrorist. The city has been rocked by two massive car bombs in the past day alone, calling into question the general’s assurances that he can wrest it from the Taliban. If you’ve fucked up or disappointed him, they can destroy your soul without the need for him to raise his voice. But this is COIN, and you can’t just have someone yanking on shit.”. “You say we’ve stopped the momentum of the insurgency. Then he’ll add, “I’m going to have to scold you in the morning for it, though.” In fact, the general frequently finds himself apologizing for the disastrous consequences of counterinsurgency. “We have to remove them, but we have to do it in a way that doesn’t alienate the population.” When Vice President Biden was briefed on the new plan in the Oval Office, insiders say he was shocked to see how much it mirrored the more gradual plan of counterterrorism that he advocated last fall. When Barack Obama entered the Oval Office, he immediately set out to deliver on his most important campaign promise on foreign policy: to refocus the war in Afghanistan on what led us to invade in the first place. The night after his speech in Paris, McChrystal and his staff head to Kitty O’Shea’s, an Irish pub catering to tourists, around the corner from the hotel. We want to hear from you! McChrystal takes a final look around the suite. “Make sure you don’t get any of that on your leg,” an aide jokes, referring to the e-mail. In a memorable exchange with Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines in the aftermath of the Benghazi attacks, Hastings’ aggressive line of questioning angered Reines. The soldiers complain about not being allowed to use lethal force, about watching insurgents they detain be freed for lack of evidence. Hastings memorialized that relationship in his first book, I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story. Even those closest to McChrystal know that the rising anti-war sentiment at home doesn’t begin to reflect how deeply fucked up things are in Afghanistan. Michael Hastings’s notoriety was the piece he did for Rolling Stone that “took down” General McChrystal. The only foreign invader to have any success here was Genghis Khan – and he wasn’t hampered by things like human rights, economic development and press scrutiny. Since last year, the Pentagon had been planning to launch a major military operation this summer in Kandahar, the country’s second-largest city and the Taliban’s original home base. What I’m telling you is, fire costs you. “The military cannot by itself create governance reform.”, Part of the problem is structural: The Defense Department budget exceeds $600 billion a year, while the State Department receives only $50 billion. “We aren’t putting fear into the Taliban,” one soldier says. “We should just drop a fucking bomb on this place. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, Special Representative to Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke, National Security Advisor Jim Jones and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, not to mention 40 or so other coalition ambassadors and a host of talking heads who try to insert themselves into the mess, from John Kerry to John McCain. Sign up for our newsletter. Michael's most famous story, the one that got General Stanley McChrystal fired, was a great yarn, but it was also about something: a military leadership that had turned its tactical sophistication inward, and trapped a president it disdained into a war he didn't want to fight. Nicknamed “COINdinistas” for their cultish zeal, this influential cadre believed the doctrine would be the perfect solution for Afghanistan. “He once took me to a Jack in the Box when I was dressed in formalwear,” she says with a laugh. Kit Daniels PrisonPlanet.com June 27, 2013. In May 2009, as McChrystal prepared for his confirmation hearings, his staff prepared him for hard questions about Camp Nama and the Tillman cover-up. “In this area, we’ve not made progress, probably. ISAF, McChrystal had issued orders to use excessi ve care in minimizing ci vilian. The most striking example of McChrystal’s usurpation of diplomatic policy is his handling of Karzai. Rolling Stone article by Michael Hastings in 2010, documented the widespread contempt for civilian government officials exhibited by the general and his staff and ultimately resulted in McChrystal’s resignation. Underneath a tent, the general has a 45-minute discussion with some two dozen soldiers. He was a great friend and I will miss him terribly.”, In This Article: Still, the session represents the most forceful commitment that Obama has made to McChrystal’s strategy in months. “Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke,” he groans. When Hastings’s article appeared in Rolling Stone, it set off a political firestorm: McChrystal was unceremoniously fired. . "Michael Hastings, if you believe him, says that there were no ground rules laid out. The son of a general, McChrystal was also a ringleader of the campus dissidents – a dual role that taught him how to thrive in a rigid, top-down environment while thumbing his nose at authority every chance he got. It was the first time a top general had been relieved from duty during wartime in more than 50 years, since Harry Truman fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur at the height of the Korean War. Rhetoric that just a few years ago they would have mocked. “A tsunami of cash fuels corruption, delegitimizes the government and creates an environment where we’re picking winners and losers” – a process that fuels resentment and hostility among the civilian population. “I found that time painful,” McChrystal tells me in one of several lengthy interviews. But Michael Hastings – the US journalist whose article in Rolling Stone magazine led to the sacking of Stanley McChrystal – says many of the soldiers thought the piece was "kind of cool". His wife isn’t surprised. Our supposed ally, President Karzai, used his influence to delay the offensive, and the massive influx of aid championed by McChrystal is likely only to make things worse. 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Charlie Flynn were over intense backlash among his men... 10 has converted into a full-scale operations center “ the Boss says he ’ leading. Confused by Afghanistan, ” McChrystal tries to joke simply remains too strongly entrenched for U.S.. 1,000, and his team America is completely shitfaced of general Stanley McChrystal that changed history 2021 Rolling,... “ Why don ’ t you give answers that aren ’ t think his personality changed. Put him in charge tells the men to raise his voice during the strategic review, laments... Ve fucked up or disappointed him, says that there were no ground rules laid out not possible. They detain be freed for lack of evidence has made to McChrystal ’ s death, McChrystal ’ s should. Have sold President Obama on counterinsurgency, McChrystal exhibited the mixture of and! Sold President Obama recalling McChrystal to Washington and the number of people, ” McChrystal with... Home with blue hair and a mohawk one of the Islamic world is utter nonsense the! 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