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Here it comes! July 7, 2015

Posted by hslu in China, Cold War, Economics, Global Affair, Islam, Middle East, Muslim, Obama, Oil, Putin.
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Saudi’s government money is coming to Russia! Saudi’s sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund, will invest $10 billion in Russia over the next five years. It is a game changer as far as American Middle East foreign policy is concern.

First of all, Saudi’s money comes to Russia despite western economic embargo engineered by Obama and EU leaders after Russia entered Crimea. In essence, it is a slap on Obama’s face whether he admits it or not.

Saudi for the past 35 years has been in American’s back pocket working closely with American presidents on working as a swing oil producer to stabilize world oil price, sales of American’s advance weapon to Saudi, and popping up the Saudi royal family. This relationship continued for the best part of the past 3 decades and the friendship has more or less been beneficial to both countries.

Then came Obama who, being a closet Muslim, decided to appease to Arab nations and adopted this as the central tenet of his Middle East foreign policy. In this regard, Obama disparaged Israel and belittled Netanyahu as if Obama was sympathetic to what Muslims had to endure what this nation has done to Arabs. I don’t think he gained any friends but he has certainly lost an ally.

Obama fulfilled his campaign promise and satisfied Democrat’s liberal base by pulling American troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan because American are tired of wars, the U.S. can’t afford it anymore and Muslims do not want infidels in Muslim’s territories. Obama used American’s tax money to equip Iraqi troops and left American advisors to train Iraqi soldiers to defend their own country. However, these soldiers don’t want to die and don’t want to fight. This total failure on the part of American foreign policy created a vacuum and helped ISIS grew to a formidable force it is right now. Obama has failed to recognize the threat of ISIS and it created the mess the Middle East is in.

Obama failed to support Egypt’s Mubarak and let him became a prisoner of the new Egyptian region. Obama failed to support Morsi despite the fact that he was the president elected by Egyptian people.

Obama continued economic embargo on Iran but failed to stop Iranian’s aggression to develop a nuclear weapon program. In the end, Obama recognized that it is inevitable that Iran will be a nuclear nation and decided to negotiate with them.

In the midst of all this, what can Saudi’s royal family do especially after the death of King Abdullah? Can Saudi’s royal family continue to trust Obama as a loyal friend when they need help to support its rule over Saudi people?

Apparently, the answer is “NO.”

Now the door to Russia is open, it won’t be closed anytime soon. Putin will open his arms to welcome Saudi princes whenever they want to come for a visit or vacation.

Obama still has a year and half in the White House. He made Putin and Xi good partners. He will make sure Putin and Saudi Prince become good friends well after Obama collects his life time pension from American people.

Wow, this is insane March 24, 2014

Posted by hslu in Congress, Economics, Global Affair, Islam, Obama, Politics.
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An Egyptian court in the city of Minya, south of Cairo, sentences 529 Morsi supporters to death, reads one Fox News headline on March 24, 2014. The charge was murdering a policeman and attacking police. These men were convicted after only two sessions of trial even though their lawyers weren’t given more time to examine the trial material. Many of these men were tired in absentia.

Another mass trial will begin against 683 suspects facing similar charges. The fates of these people are unknown now.

Morsi was a democratically elected president in Egypt. He was ousted by a military coup. Many of his supporters were killed by the government and another 16,000 were arrested. They may face similar harsh punishment too.

These people may have to pay the price for democracy with their lives. But is democracy worth fighting for?

America has for decades promoted democracy as the one and referred way to govern. But is it?

Look at Taiwan. Democracy has bought the country to its knees. Thousands of students have stormed the office of the legislators for 10+ days demanding the withdraw of a pending legislature agreed upon by the current government and Chinese government.

Look at Thailand. Protest after protest have bought the democratically elected government to a standstill.

Look at Egypt. Democracy has no chance succeeding there because Islam is the dominant force in the society. Morsi’s democratically elected government was bought down by force. Morsi’s supporters have been killed and thousands have put in jail. A military government is in place and the future of democracy in Egypt is seriously in doubt.

Look at Iraq. Tribal killings continued even though a democratic government was put in place with American’s backing. Thousands have died and thousands more will die later. Peace has stayed away from the country after America invaded the country under Saddam.

Look at Italy. A new government was formed once every year or two. What benefit has democracy bought to Italian people?

Greece is in an even worse situation. Democracy was used by politicians to hijack ordinary people’s money and gave it away to secure votes for their next election. In the end, the country suffered in the hands of politicians who were elected under a democratic system.

And, last but not the least, look at the United States. Obama, under the disguise of democracy and with helps from Reid and Pelosi, is doing all he can to advance his followers’s benefits at the expense of the others. Wealth re-distribution has been expanding to reinforce the welfare system. Obama is looking after his party’s benefit but not the nation’s. To him, democracy is just a tool; a very effective tool, to advance his agenda even though poll after poll showed that majority of the American people don’t agree with him. This is not democracy. It is democracy under siege. And where was the opposing party in the midst of all this? Well the Republican Party was reduced to a token opposition at best under the rules laid down by the democratic system. Democracy, it appears, only exists in name only because it has broken down completely. Democracy has turned into a fight of ideology and the nation’s interests become the secondary concern to these career politicians. Urgent matter got kicked down the road and the American people, with “one person one vote” every four years, have been powerless to stop the train wreck in process. Yet, the process of democracy continues even though only a minority of voters participated in the democratic process.

Isolate Isreal is Obama‘s new Middle East Foreign Policy February 14, 2014

Posted by hslu in Global Affair, Islam, Military, Muslim, Obama, Oil, Politics, Religion.
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It appears that the Middle East has entered into a no-man’s land with social unrest, protests on the street, none-stop suicide bombings, ethnic attacks, regional conflicts, killings of innocent civilians and alleged militants by American drones, isolation of Israel and a nuclear Iran.

Lybia continue to be in the headline since the death of Gaddafi, a Sunni. Al Qaeda has emerged as strong as ever with a carefully planned attack on US consulate in Benghazi on 9-11-2012 where American ambassador and three others were killed. The country has fallen into the hands of Muslim Fundamentalists and fighting between tribes sank the nation into civil war and chaos. One thing is clear: the nation is not a friend of the United States and by taking out Gaddafi, America has created an enemy and possible an ally to Iran. To complicate the matter more, much of Lybia’s oil resources in South and East Lybia is controlled by a self-declared autonomous government of Cyrenaica. The separatist group announced that it is in discussion with a number of prospective customers to export crude.  However, the central government doesn’t recognize the separatist government and has forbid any oil shipment to foreign buyers. It is unclear whether the group has the capacity to protect oil transportation and shipments if a deal is stuck because government naval ship has blocked a tanker from loading any crude oil at an oil terminal controlled by the group.  

Egypt, a Sunni country strong enough to withstand the power of Iran, a Shiite nation, has changed from a trusted ally for the US over the last 30 years under President Hosni Mubarak to a region of continuing unrest. It all started with the arrest of Mubarak which was followed by a democratic election when Mohamed Morsi supported by the anti-Semitic and anti-US group: Muslim Brotherhood, was elected president of the nation. After a year in office, President Morsi was removed by the military because he faced massive protest from the opposition. A new government was then installed by the military and a new president, General Abdel Fattah Sisi, was put in the office. The latest development was that a new constitution was overwhelmingly approved by Egyptian people and General Sisi is expected to be the new president under the new constitution. In the mean time, American foreign aids in the form of fighter jets and other weapons have been scaled back but I expect that the aids will continue once dust is settled. As of now, America simply does not know what to say about the Sisi government because it doesn’t know the true nature of the new government.

Syria, a Shiite nation and an ally of Iran, is a mess by any calculation and the two-year old civil war has no sign to stop anytime soon. Many Al Qaeda sympathy groups and foreign fighters have entered the war against the Assad government which is backed by Iran. It will be anyone’s guess what will turn out from the military conflict. Obama has vowed to support the opposition but it is likely that the opposition may be linked to groups sympathetic to Al Qaeda’s cause. Obama has drawn a red line in the sand warning Assad not to use chemical weapons on the opposition. The line has clearly been crossed, possible multiple times, but Obama has failed to carry out his promise and has totally lost credibility among Muslim countries. Obama kicked the political hot potato to the US Congress while he hid behind his supporters. Fortunately Russia’s Putin entered the picture by broker a deal to dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons which saved Obama from total humiliation. It appears that the civil war will in time play out on its own. As of now, the military conflict will remain inside Syria’s border and since the civil war poses threat to America’s national interest and Syria has no oil production to speak of, America is taking a hand off approach for the near future. The fall out of Syria conflict is the rise of Putin’s standing on the international scene and the loss of influence of the United States among Arab countries.

Saudi Arabia (Sunni) is not without political risk. The Saud family has ruled the country for decades. It has spent country’s petro wealth generously on its people so that they will keep the Saud monarchy in power. The Arab Spring is a threat to the House of Saud and political unrest is not out of question inside the Saudi nation either. One thing that works to Al Saud’s favor is that the country of 23 million people, including 5 million from foreign countries, is controlled by about 7,000 princes of the royal family. Of course, any sign of political unrest against the monarchy of Saudi Arabia will upset the equilibrium existed in the energy market. If it happens, a catastrophe on the world economy will happen quickly and decisively. Crude oil price will shot up to $200 and higher and recession will happen if it stays at an elevated level for any long period of time. As of now, it is not likely that anything bad will happen. In these day and age, a monarchy can’t stay in power for an extended period of time.

Even Obama attacked the family of Saud as early as October 2, 2002 in his first foreign policy speech dubbed “Iraq War Speech”: “You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality. . . .” In May 2011, Obama uttered these words on the monarchy of Saudi Arabia: “Prosperity also requires tearing down walls that stand in the way of progress -– the corruption of elites who steal from their people; the red tape that stops an idea from becoming a business; the patronage that distributes wealth based on tribe or sect.” It is clear that things are different under Obama and something unexpected will happen in that region. We just don’t know when.

Saudi’s neighboring country, Bahrain, a Shiite nation, of course, is a very small but important country in the region’s geopolitical scene. America has its 6th Air Carrier Fleet there and it is a small oil producing country in the Middle East. It is also a troubling time bomb waiting to explode. In the early days of March 2011, political protest by the Shiite majority (about 70% of its population) against the Sunni monarchy has been going on for more than a week or two. Saudi, being a Sunni state, was worried because the unrest may spread to its own soil. On March 14, 2011, 2,000 soldiers, 1,200 from Saudi Arabia and 800 from UAE, entered the small country and crushed the protests. Iran, a Shiite dominated country, rejected the military action and called it an invasion.

Iraq and Afghanistan are two countries invaded by the America in their wars against terror. President Bush started the war against Taliban in Afghanistan after 9-11, forced Osama into hiding, created a pro-America government in Kabul, rebuilt the war torn country with US tax money and left a not too small contingent there to prevent the resurgence of Taliban. President Bush then initiated the 2nd Iraq War in 2003, captured Saddam Hussein, created a government under Al Maliki (a pro-Iran Shiite), rebuilt the war-torn country with more US tax money and left a significant number of US soldiers behind to train the Iraqi Army. After Obama got into the WH, he, being a liberal, decided that America should leave Iraq for Iraqi people. Iraq also decided that the country didn’t want any US presence there. The withdraw of US military force began in 2009 and completed in December 2011. Since then, the world has witnessed the country mired in constant suicide bombings and armed attacks. America has no say on the country it helped to rebuild from the ground up and most of Iraqi oil is out of American oil companies’ control. The key for Iraq now is whether it can defend itself against rebels who want to overturn the government. The government is by no means friendly to the US and America has little to say about this country. It seemed to me that all the sacrifices American soldiers made with their lives, sweat and blood and those by other countries’ soldiers, have been in vain. Hundreds of billions, or as much as $6 trillion for Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined, of American tax dollars spent on this country has not gained the US a friend but a less hostile foe. Recent developments inside Iraq painted a worrisome picture because Al Qaeda has captured two cities in Southern Iraq: Fallujah and Ramadi while the capital city of Baghdad has seen bloodshed almost on a daily basis. Even though the problem is Iraqi’s, the implication could be felt worldwide as unrest continues.

American’s war in Afghanistan was less successful because, unlike Iraq where Iraqi tanks and soldiers had little place to hide, Afghanistan is a region best suited for defense. Bush recognized this from analyzing Russia’s defeat in the hands of Mujahedeen in late 1970’s and early 1980’s. As a result, Bush decided to leave some 10,000 soldiers to maintain the security around the site of the new government, the city of Kabul. After Obama got into the WH, he decided that a resurgence of military attack in Afghanistan was necessary. He increased the number of US soldiers there from around 10,000 to as many as 100,000 while Afghanistan posed no apparent threat to America’s national security. At the same time Obama also decided that the war in Afghanistan will end in 2014 and American forces will leave the country by 12/31/2104. In the interim 5 years, billions of US tax dollar have been spent to rebuild the country and thousands of American soldiers have lost their lives for no just cause at all.

As the deadline for withdraw fast approaching, US has requested a small number of American soldiers, 9,000 to 12,000, to be stationed in the country. Afghanistan’s president Kazai has refuse to sign the security treaty with the US and the decision will be pushed back into this year with the new government. More recently, Biden has floated the idea of leaving only 2,000 to 3,000 soldiers behind but a complete withdraw, the so-called “zero-option, is not out of the question either. In the mean time, the Afghanistan government’s control is only limited to the capital region and the majority of the country is really in no-man’s land. The situation there is not promising but I think American will be glad that the US is out of that country. The Obama Afghanistan war has achieved nothing and the only thing it has done is to give the new government some breathing room to build its own security forces. I don’t think it is enough. A total co9llapse is possible and in the end Al Qaeda may have to final say on this country. America’s war on terro will never end and it will be a drag on US resources for decades if not centuries to come. It will end when fundamentalist Muslims decide to stop attack America. It is not a very good picture if you are an American. 

Iran has been a headache for America because Iran has reportedly been working on a nuclear weapon for years and sanctions against the rogue nation have been less effective over the years. Since being the US president, Obama has repeatedly claimed that he will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.  But after Kerry was appointed secretary of state, America’s policy towards Iran has made an 180o turn probably because Obama and Kerry came to the realization that a nuclear Iran may be inevitable. The recent P5+1 and Iran talks (also called E3+EU+3 – Iran Talks) at Geneva have yielded significant benefits to Iran’s nuclear ambition. In essence, the international community has

  • Recognized Iran’s “right” to enrich uranium for “peaceful” energy purpose.
  • Iran has to “freeze” its nuclear program for 6 months and cease the work of a plutonium reprocessing facility at its Arak nuclear reactor.
  • Iran also agreed to stop enrich uranium at 5% level and accept IEAE cameras and inspections.
  • Iran will be allowed to access $4.2 billion fund previously frozen as part of the financial sanction against Iran by Western countries.
  • In addition, Iran will be allowed to produce its oil resources. It appeared that Iran has achieved the “greatest diplomatic triumph” over the objection of Israel and Saudi Arabia. Of course, Israel was quick to brand the deal as a “historical mistake” and said the world has changed to a more “dangerous” place. Saudi Arabia be I wouldn’t be surprised that one day we may witness a nuclear Iran which could threaten the entire region.

When we discuss the situation in the Middle East, we have to deal with Israel. To say that the situation there is complicated is a gross understatement because Obama, after his occupation of the WH, has completely turned the American foreign policy on Israel upside down. The assault on Israel began at home with Obama’s choices for the Secretary of State, Clinton and later Kerry, Secretary of Defense, Hagel and CIA chief, Brennan. All these four influential people are more or less against Israel’s policy and thing got worse from there.

Obama since 2009 has decided that it was necessary to adopt a new approach toward Israel; arguably the most trusted ally US has in the region since the late 1940’s. Obama reportedly has decided that Israel is the source of the unrest in Middle East and American policy on Israel has prevented the US having a normal relationship with 57 Muslim countries in the world. He chose to turn his back against Israel, specifically towards Netanyahu.

During his time in the WH, Obama made friendly offers to Palestine people and the Muslim world but changed his attitude towards Israel. At the same time, he continued to tell lies to American Jews, who overwhelmingly (80%) helped to vote him into the WH in 2009:

“I try not to pat myself too much on the back, but this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration.” 

But his actions and words said something quite different. In fact, Obama could be the most hostile president against Israel since Jimmy Carter. Consider the following from Obama:

  • Obama, in his Cairo speech, demanded unprecedented concessions from Israel while asking nothing from the Palestinians.
  • In the same speech, Obama accentuate the controversy that Israel exists only because of European nations’ guilt over the Holocaust and compared Palestinian’s “suffering” to genocide.
  • ·         In his 2010 UN speech, Obama talked about “coming back next year with a new member of the United Nations; an independent and sovereign state of Palestine.
  • The United States under Obama does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements into West Bank and East Jerusalem and consider “settlement” as the source of what is wrong about the Israel-Arab conflict.
  • In May 2010, Obama demanded that Israel must come to the negotiating table with the precondition of returning to the “1967 borders.”
  • All the while, Obama has never condemned Palestinians to stop their anti-Semitic propaganda against Israel; such as publicly proclaiming that they will never recognize a Jewish State and calling for Israel’s destruction.
  • In May 2011, he pressed forward the theory of “linkage” which links the Arab-Israeli conflict to the root of all geopolitical problems in the Mideast and called on Israel to retreat to the so-called 1949 armistice lines. He also insisted on Arabs’ right of return.
  • Obama has withdrawn the landing rights for Israel airplanes to US airbases in the Middle East, Turkey, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Israel had these rights under the Bush, Clinton and Bush Jr. administrations. Now Israeli airplanes has no place to re-fuel anywhere in the Middle East except its own soil.
  • According to an unconfirmed report from a Wall Street insider, Obama has sent messages to Iran through back channels in Europe that America will not support an Israeli military attack of Iran’s nuclear facilities. It was said that there are 30 military facilities in Iran and four of them have underground bunkers.
  • Among the most egregious act by Obama was humiliating Netanyahu by forcing him to enter the WH through a service entrance for a meeting with Obama. It was reported that Obama deliberately served non-kosher food to Netanyahu and refused to dine with him.
  • During the same meeting, Obama lectured Netanyahu that he is not permitted to attack Iran, he has to withdraw all forces from the West Bank and he may not build any more settlements in East Jerusalem.
  • After insulting Netanyahu, Obama hosted Abbas at the WH and increased American assistance to the PA by $70 million.

Well, this is not the end of it. According to source linked to Chinese’s Xinhua news service that Kerry, US Secretary of State, proposed to Abbas to “return” 80, 000 Palestinian “refugees” to Israel. He also proposed to offer U.S. troops to help secure borders of the “New State of Palestine” and be stationed at Jordan Valley where Israeli forces are. There is also unconfirmed report that Kerry will support boycotting against Israeli products in Europe and against Israeli companies operating in Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights if talk between Israel and PA fail to gain any traction.

Wow, we are really at an unprecedented moment in the Middle East conflict where Israel was humiliated, coerced and bullied by a seating US president who has convinced himself that Israel is the source of all Middle East problems while giving Muslims a big pass. He believed that American’s interests are at odds with those of Israel. Obama may actually sees Israel as the biggest threat against the United States and if Israel is gone, Muslims’ hatred against the US will be minimized.

In my humble opinion, I think that Obama, being a closet Muslim himself, believed that being unfriendly or even hostile to Israel would appease to Muslims in the region. He allegedly told Netanyahu that Israel needs the US but US doesn’t need Israel. Obama believed that hostility against Israel would in turn make Arab countries friendlier to Obama and the US. However, this one-sided policy has only one possible outcome: It will drive Israel away from the United States, solidify Israelis to stand up for their country’s survival and force Israel to take the matter in its own hands, reads military action, when it is necessary to do so.

Sure enough, Israel announced that it will continue its expansion project into West Bank and East Jerusalem with yet more new housing developments. As of now, there are as many as 700,000 settlers in these regions. Regarding Iran, Netanyahu has more than once said that they will bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities when it determines that the military is necessary.

What may also happen before Iran is about to gain an up-hand on nuclear weapons is a nuclear arm race where Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Turkey and Egypt may want to have the same capabilities in order to neutralize the threat from Iran.

Wow, what has this world finally come down to with one man’s anti-Israel policy? Was he trying to bring down the Netanyahu government? Was he trying to establishing a better relationship with Muslim countries by bashing Israel in public? Was he trying to hide his no-so-effective sanction policy against Iran’s nuclear ambition? Was he trying to withdraw America from the Middle East conflict because the US is financially incapable of doing so? And most important of them all, did Obama actually think his anti-Israel foreign policy has a chance of achieving lasting peace in the Middle East any time soon? I don’t have an answer but I think that Obama actually has a personal grudge against Netanyahu.

I am afraid to think what could be next in that region when the world thinks the danger of a nuclear Iran is over after the P5+1 and Iran Talk. I can say this unequivocally that there will be no world peace so long as new foreign policy experiments are being conducted by Obama with Israel on one side against Muslims on the other.  

We may have to settle for a post Israel era in the Middle East!

 

Detroit Debacle: Missing Party at Bargaining Table July 30, 2013

Posted by hslu in Congress, Global Affair, Military, Obama, Politics.
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All along the painful decline of the once thriving Detroit, one party was consistently missing at the bargaining table: the tax payers.

The elected representatives gave Detroit tax payers’ money away until they were no longer able to afford the endless fat checks to public sector labor unions.

This is called “况慷他人之慨.“ Of course, “费别姓之财,於人为不利,於己甚无谓乎?”

The ones who have generously spent other people’s money buying votes got re-elected again and again. This amounted to “legalized bribery” disguised as democracy, even though the other 49.99% might disagree with the so-called “majority.” The only recourse those disgusted tax payer had was to vote with their feet and move to other communities. In the end, the ones without any means got totally screwed.

I hope the bankrupted judge is able to see through this legal but unethical practice and reduced pensions to union members. It is only fair, isn’t it? I also hope that the disguised tax payer file a class action law suit against current and former city officials who failed miserably to protect tax payers’ interests for so long. Someone or some people have to be held accountable for their mistake.

Of course, this didn’t just happened in Detroit. It has been happening up and down the entire political spectrum for decades in the United States: from the president of the United States on down to the Senators, the Representatives and to many if not all elected officials in the State and local levels.

For sixty or seventy years, America repeatedly declared itself the “sole defender of democracy” in the world. The United States gave itself the license to wave the “flag of democracy” in the faces of others nations. It also repeatedly called on other nations to change and constantly told them that this was the only way to go.

In the mean time, the U.S. government either covertly via secret CIA operations or overtly in the form of wars, interfered in other nations’ internal affairs or engaged in nations building. It then installed a so-called “Democratically elected” government. Once again, those elected representatives spent our tax money on other nations often without our input. Of course, in the case of Mursi of Egypt, democracy decidedly took a back seat because the United States didn’t like the policies the elected president tried to do. Obama looked the other way while a military coup removed Mursi, free election can wait.

I call this Hypocrisy of epic proportion because the flag of democracy was conveniently folded for Mursi.

Well, our tax money to Egypt is still on because a coup is not a coup when America doesn’t like the free-elected president.

Sorry, Mursi and millions of Mursi and Muslim Brotherhood supporters. It was not America’s fault because Obama has been tired of playing the role of the leader of the world. As far as Obama is concern, someone else can take it.

Here is the new definition of Democracy:

“Generously spending tax payers’ money for the benefit of publicly elected representatives.”

Again, the tax payers are not at the bargaining table. In the end, the ones who get screwed are the tax payers.

Royally, every time!

 

 

 

 

Morsi is in Jail but Obama is on vacation July 14, 2013

Posted by hslu in Economics, Global Affair, Health Insurance, Islam, Obama, Politics.
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Obama vs MorsiTell me this: Who did more damage to his country which he was elected to serve:

Obama or Morsi?

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