Re: Buh-Bye

1

Well sure, except for manning the permanent bases.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-20-08 10:51 PM
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They're trying to win the election ain't they? Nothing more important than that.

The precise terms of the agreement weren't clear Wednesday night, and the deal's final status likely will remain unsettled for at least a few more weeks.

Right. Better timing in September.

Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council, cautioned that the deal was not yet complete. "Discussions are ongoing with the Iraqis to finalize a bilateral agreement," he said. "We are working to complete the agreement, but it is not final yet."

Hrmm hrmm hrmm.

President George W. Bush is almost certain to accept the agreement, according to U.S. officials. The administration believes that the deal doesn't require congressional approval and won't present it to U.S. lawmakers.

It's not a TREATY. It's something that can, say, be really easily reneged on. ('Whoops, we gotta negotiate a new agreement!')

max
['Trial balloon... Jesus.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-20-08 11:00 PM
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Peace with honor, bitchez. That surge thing sure did the trick, didn't it? And who was for that surge thing from the beginning? Fuckity. They do play to win.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-20-08 11:06 PM
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This is what War or Car doesn't get; Americans really do love winning wars, and now Iraq gets to be a "victory."


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-20-08 11:11 PM
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You may think that just because your war seems to have grown stale and tired that there is nothing useful that you can do with it. But you'd be wrong.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-20-08 11:13 PM
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I may just be a cynical old wynical, but I can't imagine any way in which whatever this story is about could signify anything good for anyone, or anything significant either.

Did they just protract the war seemingly indefinitely for no reason so they could end it right now? I guess I should have been assuming that all along.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-20-08 11:19 PM
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To elaborate on 4, what most worries me is that the "wasteful" argument is more or less all that's left and, while it can very easily be tied in with Obama's best issue, the economy, it's not an argument well-designed to appeal to Americans. The notion that Iraq was a long, costly, but nearly straightforward accomplishment isn't too far-fetched, now—or, better put, it's an argument that will probably convince people. For Obama to challenge McCain on why we bothered to accomplish such an unncessary goal is going to do nothing to tarnish the image he will successfully project: we're a nation of winners and we won and what kind of pussy asks whether we should have bothered winning what we won?

(Then Obama presses the point about how the economy is in shambles because of this misapplication of resources, and McCain retorts that, with the central front in the war on terror stabilized, we're going to bring the victorious gung-ho attitude back home, roll up our sleeves, and fix that too.)


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-20-08 11:26 PM
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6: Are they criminal war-profiteering traitors who continue to use war as a means to staying in power? Yes.
Are they ending the war? No.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-20-08 11:29 PM
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By "end the war" I mean ""end the war"".


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-20-08 11:37 PM
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so maybe the US's going to leave Iraq to, like, regroup for fighting with Russia?
hopefully not in the near future
i watched some Russian TVs and they sound pretty military and the fighting looks like it's intensifying
though i think they did right to protect Osetins, otoh, Osetia is part of Georgia, so its their internal conflict and Russia should not interfere maybe with internal problems of others,
just the sooner all this ends the better


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 12:02 AM
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This is what War or Car doesn't get; Americans really do love winning wars, and now Iraq gets to be a "victory."

I recently won a war with sobriety. In the end, it was just a matter of will.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 12:06 AM
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Isn't 4 pretty close to maximally counterfactual? Americans don't give a shit about winning wars, except maybe World War II. George Bush Sr. won the Cold War _and_ the Gulf War, and he got bupkis.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 12:20 AM
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Americans care about winning foreign wars and losing domestic ones.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 12:22 AM
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13 is not really true.

Anyway, isn't Iraq supposed to have elections this fall? Or is the lack of an election law going to push that back?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 12:25 AM
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GHWB had too much time between Desert Storm and his re-election, during which the economy went to shit. That said, I think that pretty much anyone can be expected to prefer winning to losing.

Hopefully there's more to the Democratic national strategy than "Republicans are in favor of the Iraq war and we are against it." It's also a sign of how worried the Republicans are that they're taking such drastic measures.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 12:31 AM
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12: Do Americans give a shit about deficits?

Anyway, I know you're the Economic Model Determines All guy, but consider how important losing a war seems to have been to America after Vietnam.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 12:33 AM
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Losing Vietnam didn't seen to hurt Nixon, even though he jerked off for 5 years before accepting the inevitable. Americans seem to lose interest in wars after a while, and then want them to go away.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 12:44 AM
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Americans care about winning foreign wars and losing domestic ones.

America likes politicians who hold lots of victory parades.

max
['The actual outcome doesn't matter so much. See Nixon.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 1:02 AM
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What are you using as the point at which the Vietnam war was lost? Tet in '69? The US was still bombing the hell out of North Vietnam in '72 when Nixon said "peace is at hand", if my understanding of history is correct.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 1:04 AM
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That Americans mostly forget about wars is right—and is what makes the opportunity cost argument so weak against the Victory! one. While Obama asks you to think way back to when this war started and what else could have happened in the meantime, McCain is here to soothingly tell you that it's all over and it's something you can be proud of as you forget it.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 1:06 AM
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read!


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 3:37 AM
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Victory by adopting Obama's plan. And tossing Blackwater over the side (finally!) It won't be ratified in Iraq in this form anyway . . .


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 4:14 AM
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The security deal is a prelude to a full withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq. An earlier version of this article didn't specify that the deal applies only to combat troops

From Corrections & Amplifications, not sure when it was added. So it might all depend on your definition of "combat troops". It'll be interesting to see where this goes and really interesting/infuriating to see which media types help with the massive spinning to obfuscate the truth of Nápi's first sentence. I'm guessing we'll here "the surge worked" and "facts on the ground" until our ears bleed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 4:28 AM
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I heard on NPR this morning that there were holdups in teh negotiations over the permanent bases, and that that was why Condoleeza Rice had made a surprise visit to Iraq. The U.S. wants immunity for soldiers from Iraqi law, and the Iraqis aren't so keen on that.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 4:56 AM
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What Ari said in 3.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 5:47 AM
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Bush isn't running this through the Bad Ass Democratic Congress, but traditionally international treaties are honored throughout future administrations. But who cares, anymore? The Cold War is back on!


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 6:09 AM
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Talk is cheap in Iraq and nothing coming from the mouth of a Bush administration official should be taken at face value anyhow. I'll believe it when I see it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 6:34 AM
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24: The Iraqis are such little bitches.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 6:41 AM
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Rachel Maddow, on her Air America program, has been suggesting that the Iraqis are in the process of stiffing the U.S. oil companies in favor of the Chinese. I think there's a possibility here that Maliki recognizes that he's got some leverage and is sticking it to the Bush administration.

I don't think the Republicans can afford to piss off Maliki at this stage - and I don't think the lame duck administration can plausibly threaten him. As ari and others point out, Iraq has ceased to be a winning issue for the Republicans. And in any event, some kind of drawdown was pretty much inevitable anyway.

So I guess they decided to make a virtue out of necessity. I'm not sure this really plays against Obama. The Republicans can paint this as the success of the surge, but in the end, they're doing more-or-less what Obama asked them to do. And Iraq had lost a lot of its salience as an issue anyway.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 6:57 AM
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I reluctantly support the administration on the immunity issue. There will be crimes committed by US soldiers against Iraqis and the offenders should be punished, but how the offenders are punished has huge implications. On the one hand there's the duty of the US to protect its troops - they are laying their lives on the line, so it's a little shabby to subject them to the risk of being locked up in an Iraqi shithole prison (or executed) with their sole recourse being to the Iraqi judicial system. Given that there are political gains to be had by Iraqi politicians from accusing US troops of crimes, there's a very real possibility of some US soldier getting locked up or executed based on trumped up charges. Given that said soldier has volunteered to risk his life in the service of his country I think we have a higher duty to ensure his fair treatment than we do towards a US citizen who is in country on business, for example.

The relationship between soldier and country is a covenant, not merely an employment relationship. In exchange for the soldier accepting the possibility of being sent to die, he or she deserves a commitment to take all reasonable measures to ensure his or her safety and security.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 7:08 AM
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If we're continuing to occupy the defeated nation of Iraq, immunity for American troops makes sense. If Iraq is an independent nation with an invited American base on its soil, it doesn't. This issue has come up in many countries since WWII.

At the present moment, military contractors are also immune. As far as I know, they're not subject to Iraqi law, military law, or American law.

It's not about fair treatment for American soldiers. It's about impunity. It makes sense only under the imperial model.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 7:12 AM
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What I expect is bait and switch -- talk about bringing the troops home before the election, but something different afterward. And a media blitz explaining that the McCain-Bush surge won the war.

Pessimism and cynicism rarely mislead you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 7:14 AM
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I recently won a war with sobriety. In the end, it was just a matter of will.

On Victory Gin, I hope. (If someone marketed "Victory Gin," I'd buy a bottle. At least once.)

I laughed at this: Hillary Clinton To Whip Her Own Supporters.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 7:16 AM
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32 -- Yes, so keep pounding the counter-narrative.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 7:19 AM
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||

Good Gitmo-related decision out of the UK today.

I'll probably post something tonight.

|>


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 7:22 AM
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32: Feels right. Very much like Nixon.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 7:27 AM
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I laughed at this: Hillary Clinton To Whip Her Own Supporters.

Just another example of too little, too late from Hillary. She could've cleaned up on the submissive vote if she'd made this part of her campaign.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 7:30 AM
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32: Oh yeah - after the election, all bets are off. Purely ex recto, I think that this fact, too, temporarily strengthens Maliki's hand with the Republican political machine, because everyone understands that if Maliki wants take advantage of his current leverage, there's no reason not to.

If Maliki makes it known that he's prepared to use his influence to tilt toward the Democrat, that's a pretty credible threat under the circumstances. And it's especially credible because he's already shown he's willing to do it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 7:44 AM
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DEAR SUPPORTERS COMMA I AM VERY PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT I WILL BE HEADING INTO THE CONVENTION COMMA AND THE FUTURE OF THIS GREAT COUNTRY OF OURS COMMA JOINED BY THE PERSON WHO I BELIEVE WILL BE A GREAT VICE PRESIDENT AND EVENTUALLY A GREAT PRESIDENT COLON (OUT OF MEMORY)


Posted by: (UNKNOWN NUMBER) | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 7:48 AM
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31 - I figure that as long as there are combat operations ongoing, the comparison to Germany and Japan doesn't work. Of course, given the realities of the middle east, that means the comparison can't work ever, since the only way to completely end attacks on US troops is to pull them out completely. Which sounds to me like a most excellent idea.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 7:54 AM
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Is this the light at the end of the tunnel of lights at the ends of tunnels?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 7:56 AM
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SORRY THE COMPUTER ATE MY MAIL AGAIN STOP I WAS GOING TO SAY MITT ROMNEY STOP AND I HOPE YOU ALL ENJOY THE MCCAIN ROMNEY WEB PORTAL WHICH HAS WON SEVERAL SITE OF THE WEEK AWARDS AND IS BEING CONSIDERED FOR THE ATE MY BALLS FULL STOP


Posted by: (UNKNOWN NUMBER) | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 8:00 AM
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THAT IS COMMA THE ATE MY BALLS AND SPATULA WEBRINGS FULL STOP


Posted by: (UNKNOWN NUMBER) | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 8:01 AM
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40: The whole thing is a hoax. Iraqi sovereignty is only nominal as long as Americans are exempt from prosecution. Even the state of affairs in Japan, Germany, the Philippines, and Korea after WWII and the Korean War was a bit dodgy from the point of view of sovereignty.

The hard part about arguing against the Iraq War is trying to argue about the actual policy and the proclaimed policy at the same time.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 8:05 AM
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Though I wasn't alive then, one interesting apaprent difference between Iraq and Vietnam is the lack of decent quislings. In South Vietnam, we were continually toppling the puppet government; in Iraq, it seems like after Maliki, there's nobody.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 8:26 AM
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My trumpet goes apaprap-pap.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 8:27 AM
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Americans don't love winning so much as they love war but hate losing. (Actually, we are far from unique in this.) A good war, whether ongoing or victorious, always rallies people around. War is a force that gives us meaning, etc. Wars only become unpopular when we lose them (Vietnam). Actually if there is something unique about Americans, it is not our love of war, but our whiney, childish inability to deal with losing.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 9:22 AM
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48 isn't really true. Certainly, 48 isn't supported by the polling data or, particularly, by American history.

America's leaders are often fond of war, sure.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 9:27 AM
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48: 48 isn't really true.

I agree.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 10:05 AM
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Goddamit. Whoever deleted that upstream comment owes me, man.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 10:09 AM
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48, in clase it's not clear to any judgment-impaired Botswana partisans, was to rob's 47.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 10:10 AM
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51: I thought it was just an example of self-undermining liberalism.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 10:11 AM
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53 was to 51, and I MEAN IT.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 10:11 AM
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48 and 52 are really great.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 10:17 AM
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48: Oooh, oooh, I know this one.

You ask one of them "If I asked the other guy if this was the path to the village what would he say?"

Am I right?!


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 10:27 AM
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49 should have been "I disagree" so it could be all kinds of meta and shit.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 10:31 AM
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56: Yeah. Too late now. I already won with 55. Maybe next time.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 10:36 AM
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Also, "clase" is a word.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 10:36 AM
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You plagioclased that comment, Sify.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 10:37 AM
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I vaguely remember the class I was required to sit through regarding the SoFA between Japan and the US. I seem to remember being given a choice as to who would prosecute the alleged crime, etc. I definately remember being told that if convicted by the Japanese authorities one could choose either a western or Japanese menu while serving one's sentence. I don't think that the Japanese were offering teppanyaki.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 11:14 AM
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To reply to 61 48. I admit I have no polling data. I have come to my opinion based mostly on the fact that in my lifetime, the American public has never turned down an opportunity for war. Sure, some of us have been consistently vocal in our opposition to wars. But we were always a tiny minority going into the war and only ever gained strength if the war started to go badly. The only conclusion I can draw from the last 40 years of history is that Americans love war and hate losing.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-21-08 12:58 PM
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21 belatedly, BG!
i'm seriously glad that you people missed me :)
me too


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:12 AM
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62


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:13 AM
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61 -- There were people who wanted to do more in Angola in the 70s. Just to pick one. And we didn't go to war with Iran in 79-80, or thereafter, although there were plenty of people who wanted to.

62 -- It's a funny thing, isn't it. How we all get so used to each other from what's really pretty thin contact. I think I'd have a hard time explaining to my mother than I missed the hearing from the Mongolian medical researcher who comments, virtually never directly to me, once or twice a day on a website. And yet . . .


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:30 AM
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64 feel free to send me your baby :)
/a joke
my niece now speaks a lot, she can play with invisible balls and describe the ball like being red or small and pretend to throw it
but she always repeats the last word, that stage for now
like when asked how much she loves her mom, very much or just a little, she would say little, funny
she had trouble to reconcile real me with my skype image, even cried once after long staring at me sitting before PC


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 8:50 AM
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He may be able to help you with that unwed mother project your friends seem to be pushing for you, but it'd be illegal pretty much everywhere. You'll have to try someone else.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 10:27 AM
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