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Thread: Interesting Essay on the Anti-War Movement

  1. #1

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    Interesting Essay on the Anti-War Movement

    First: I am still very skeptical about the war, the rationale for the war, and the future of the United States under the current Neo-Con regime.

    Second, I realize that the United States and its corporations DO do a lot of, lets be honest, evil, in the world.

    Nonetheless, this essay provides a pretty nice summary of the problems this liberal has with the Anti-War Movement and the blindness of the Left in General.

    Islamo-Fascism scares the hell out of me. I may not agree that the Iraq debacle was the best solution (going after the Bush Family's frineds in Saudi Arabia may make more sense ), but I cannot accept the Left's babblings that W is the moral equivalent of Kim Il Sung or Sadaam Hussein, either (let alone the claim that Bush is "just like Hitler."

    A very eloquest essay: http://www.nyobserver.com/pages/story.asp?ID=6434

  2. #2

    Just some of my observations

    The left has a lot of sorting to do. I've always thought the left was most effective acting through the church. All of this academic identity politic crap is so unattractive to regular people who would like to make a positive contribution to domestic or international society under the banner of Liberalism. Come to think of it most Liberals I've known, who do social work, probably wouldn't have a clue about this high society stuff. Anyway the columnist made a good point
    "If they really believe in serving the cause of liberation, why donít they quit their evil-capitalist-subsidized jobs and go teach literacy in a Third World starved for the insights of Foucault?" Well skip teaching Foucault, but yeah, go teach people, who believe god is with and loves them every second of their life, how to read. In return they can learn about an honest days work. Christopher Hitchens is an amazing writer and I gladly read his articles whenever I can, he provokes thought! The America is Hitler comparison is complete bullsh*t, you'd have to be "ill-informed and lazy" to think that.
    Last edited by The Irish One; 31 Mar 2004 at 2:11 PM.

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    Frankly, I think a lot of the "protest movement" is in it just "for fun." I mean, come on, signs reading "We Love Sadaam." My God.

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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Nonetheless, this essay provides a pretty nice summary of the problems this liberal has with the Anti-War Movement and the blindness of the Left in General.
    There's no question that Leftists like those in the article capture an inordinate amount of media attention in the anti-war movement, and they undermine the argument of liberals who, for very different reasons, are against the war.

    But we must recognize these people for who they are. They don't share the vision of America that many liberals have of a progressive society which has abundant opportunity as well as a compassionate safety net. They're radical neo-Marxists who want to overhaul everything this nation has been and stands for.

    Similarly, there are neo-Fascists out there who are either getting ready for the impending "race war", Armageddon or the genetic regeneration of Hitler, and they share little or nothing with mainstream conservatives in this country.

    The problem is, conservatives generally are not lumped with the neo-Fascists the way liberals have been lumped with the neo-Marxists. Or, conservatives have simply done a better job of distancing themselves from right-wing crazies than liberals have from those on the far, far left.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    This is what I can't stand about all the talk about THE CULTURE WAR. I, as a rational, semi-well informed citizen, now have to choose between right wing zealots or left wing zealots. Its like a dumbing down of both sides of the political spectrum. "Decide right now whether GW is Hitler or John Kerry is Stalin. Which do you like better, God or civil liberties?" It must be nice to be a zealot of some sort - all your questions are answered.

    Off topic: Isn't that new liberal talk radio network supposed to start today?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Frankly, I think a lot of the "protest movement" is in it just "for fun." I mean, come on, signs reading "We Love Sadaam." My God.
    I agree. And there are a lot of kids out there who are not really protesting the war; they are actually protesting their dad (who supports the war) because he didn't spend enough time with them.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ChevyChaseDC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Frankly, I think a lot of the "protest movement" is in it just "for fun." I mean, come on, signs reading "We Love Sadaam." My God.
    I was in Chapel Hill, NC a few weeks ago for an event for prospective DCRP students at UNC. I had several conversations with people about the different parts of town where students live, and Carboro, the town next door noted for its Berkeley-like ways, was brought up.

    Turns out that around the months leading up to the Iraq invasion, the town had a "Vive La France!" celebration as a response to the anti-French sentiment felt in the US while that country threatened to veto a UN resolution threatening force...

    Anyway, though I'm no French hater and have been highly skeptical of the Iraq war from the start, I just think that that sort of thing is silly, akin to Berkeley and its lastest shananigans with organic food or fair-trade ordinances, or Takoma Park, Maryland, a Nuclear-Free Zone.

    These aren't Liberals, they're hippies (and punks and anarchists). Unfortunately they're the ones getting most of the attention, and in doing so diminish real Liberal causes that might actually do some good.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The Irish One
    The left has a lot of sorting to do. I've always thought the left was most effective acting through the church. All of this academic identity politic crap is so unattractive to regular people who would like to make a positive contribution to domestic or international society under the banner of Liberalism. ...
    The republicans have had great success in courting voters based upon religious issues. Here in heavily democratic & catholic southern New England there is that pull - voting republican is the religiously appropriate thing to do, like not eating meat on friday, even if most people don't do it. It seems like the Black community is the only place where the democrats and religion still go hand in hand anymore.

  9. #9
    I agree. And there are a lot of kids out there who are not really protesting the war; they are actually protesting their dad (who supports the war) because he didn't spend enough time with them.
    I totally agree with this statement. It's not just the "I love Saddam" posters for me though. It's a plethora of issues that show up at any protest. Why do the folks who want to stop the WTO from implementing private mining operations in Bolivia need to be heard at a protest against going to war in Iraq? And the so called Anarchist' who dress in black and basically crash the protest by throwing projectiles at the police or private property. I've known a few protestors who thank God for police presence, if the cops weren't there, they would have been physically beat by the opposition. Perhaps these protest should be organized better. Creating actual gaurded borders for people that are serious and focused on a specific issue, working with police before the protest and local business. Making plans to effectively deal with trouble starters.
    Last edited by The Irish One; 31 Mar 2004 at 3:39 PM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally posted by The Irish One
    I totally agree with this statement. It's not just the "I love Saddam" posters for me though. It's a plethora of issues that show up at any protest. Why do the folks who want to stop the WTO from implementing private mining operations in Bolivia need to be heard at a protest against going to war in Iraq? And the so called Anarchist' who dress in black and basically crash the protest by throwing projectiles at the police or private property. I've known a few protestors who thank God for police presence, if the cops weren't there, they would have been physically beat by the opposition. Perhaps these protest should be organized better. Creating actual gaurded borders for people that are serious and focused on a specific issue, working with police before the protest and local business. Making plans to effectively deal with trouble starters.
    Spoken like a true PLANNER! Maybe we can have "zones" for different fringe groups, with the anarchists off to the side just like the heavy industry

  11. #11
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The Irish One
    I totally agree with this statement. It's not just the "I love Saddam" posters for me though. It's a plethora of issues that show up at any protest. Why do the folks who want to stop the WTO from implementing private mining operations in Bolivia need to be heard at a protest against going to war in Iraq? . . .
    This post put me in mind of a time from my activist days, when I belonged to a group fighting oil and gas exploration on federal land adjacent to Glacier National Park. The first year was good. The chapter president had a good plan and leadership skills, and we made advances. The next year a small group of extremists dominated the organization and we lost focus.

    Soon every week the meeting turned to the "cause of the week." One meeting a guy came in who wanted support from us because his brother got the crap beaten out of him and thrown in jail. While I was sympathetic, I said that I thought this had nothing to do with our mission.

    Worse of all, when the vote on an action went against them these extremists would call a special meeting and not invite those who voted against them. My arguments against the loss of focus and going off on tangents fell on deaf ears. I was soon viewed as the arch conservative of the group (which shows how far astray they has gone). Before long I decided it was no longer worth it and stopped going to the meetings altogether.

    There was a happy ending. Through no help by the group, the oil and gas drilling never came to pass and a moratorium was placed on future exploration in the area.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Proviso: I have not read the article and this is probably best labeled a "generic rant".

    I get a little tired of the whole "there is blood in every gallon of gas..." etc stuff. Those comments are inflammatory and intended to get a visceral reaction and are completely ILLOGICAL. It reminds me of vegetarians who protest the killing of animals for our daily sustenance but wear leather tennis shoes. Excuse me? Where do you think the leather came from?

    This may sound a little "Fruite cake"/extremist, but I have problems with the argument that "sentience" is the measure of the right to live and this is why eating plants is "more virtuous" than eating animals: "plants aren't sentient". I have a couple of problems with that:

    First, please define "sentient" for me. Is it "those creatures with enough brains to be able to communicate to "me" that they think"? If so, you have an argument in support of all the racist crap that has ever happened in the name of "those immigrants -- who speak English as a second language, and, therefore, don't sound all that smart TO ME -- are all inferior beings, stupid, and not deserving of more than hard, manual labor". It is a view which supports some of the most horrifying atrocities I can think of: Hitler's purge of the human race of so many "inferior" people, the experiment in Alabama where they infected blacks with Syphilis and denied them treatment, forced sterilization of "retards".

    Second, there is evidence that plants interact with their environment with intelligence, even interact and communicate with each other -- and this evidence is not terribly different from the evidence that animals act with intelligence. So the idea that plants are not "sentient" strikes me as mere "prejudice". Therefore, I find nothing "morally superior" to being a vegetarian than to eating meat.

    Which brings me to my real point: If you are ALIVE, then something is DYING to keep you that way, whether plant or animal. Religion arises out of this fundamental humbling fact. Giving thanks for one's daily meal strikes me as recognition of the fact that whatever is in this meal died so that you could live.

    Which isn't to say that I think it "doesn't matter" or something what the moral and human price of corporate success (or whatever) is. I am probably one of those "bleeding heart liberals". But I just find it really offensive when someone starts down this chain-jerking path to try to make people fall apart and feel guilty for everything they ever did, yadda yadda. I mean, if I do not live, whatever "replaces" me will also "kill or be killed". Guilt on that basis would argue that nothing has the right to live. I mean, do you think alligators would feel guilty about what they were doing to the environment if they were the most dominant species on the planet? No, like people, they would just "eat and poop".

    Now: "Back to your regularly scheduled programming".

  13. #13
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    I agree. The left has some pretty extreme folks.

    However, my real concern is with the right. The man who lied to start a war is treated like a saint. The "conservatives" control the three branches of government, and are spending like irresponsible liberal (instead of tax and spend, it's borrow and spend). Civil liberties are giving way to government snooping. Big government and big business have paired up to make sure that there is not a free market and that competition is squelched in favor of monopolies and oligopolies. Federal laws are increasingly used to override state laws - in favor of either business or religions. The government is handing out huge subsidies to various industries to make sure that competition does not occur.

    To me, these are extremist positions and should be anathema to any thinking conservative. Instead, this is treated as mainstream thinking by the right.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally posted by Wulf9
    I agree. The left has some pretty extreme folks.

    However, my real concern is with the right. The man who lied to start a war is treated like a saint. The "conservatives" control the three branches of government, and are spending like irresponsible liberal (instead of tax and spend, it's borrow and spend). Civil liberties are giving way to government snooping. Big government and big business have paired up to make sure that there is not a free market and that competition is squelched in favor of monopolies and oligopolies. Federal laws are increasingly used to override state laws - in favor of either business or religions. The government is handing out huge subsidies to various industries to make sure that competition does not occur.

    To me, these are extremist positions and should be anathema to any thinking conservative. Instead, this is treated as mainstream thinking by the right.
    For the record, for every "extreme" conservative, there's an "extreme" liberal to be his counterpart. To be honest, there really aren't many exremeists in our government. It's the folks overseas that I think most have their eyes on in that regard. Furthermore, the ideas of subsidies and favor of monopolies? That's not liberal or conservative. That's flat out in the direction of totalatarian government, and both sides share the blame.

    Anyway, I'm a conservative. I think a lot. I wish I had someone to vote for who was more conservative - that is, more traditionalist conservative (good for all of us Cyburbians, because it is technically anti-sprawl!) - than President Bush. Of course, he's the better of the two. I am pro-state rights, and though I try to keep it on the down-low, I really don't care as much about saying this: I'm borderline pro-Texas secession. Looooong story there. In any case, the point I'm trying to get to is that no, conservatives of any kind are out of control of the judiciary. For that matter, I don't think anyone is in control of our black-robed dictators.

    And pardon me for saying, but the market is getting towards being more free, at least for now. You want true competition, the government's got to get out, which is why I don't support the billions of dollars wasted on the airlines (when trains are better) or bailing out certain corporations (Chrysler still sucks, so in the end, we're no better off), and I certainly don't support "welfare" or medicare or even social security. Note: it has social in it and it's connected to the government? It probably ruins our country. It just wastes tax dollars. And while I'm on that subject, y'all tend to still be wrong on the taxation issue. What should happen is not cut and spend, and certainly not tax and spend, but rather, why not cut and cut? It's beauracracy and waste (mostly of money) that is so in the way of the kinds of things we want to accomplish in this nation, and the less crap there is clogging the way the better.

    And how about that civil liberties issue. It's gotten so bad, I've begun to hate that term. Last I checked, the primary goal of the "evil, all powerful" PATRIOT act was to unite the branches of our military and intelligence, such as the FBI and CIA, to work together better. Funny, my liberties are still in check. Sorry to ruin all the doom-sayers. All in all, I'm not a big fan of big government (I don't mean it like that, because there is no "big business" or "big tobacco" - hey, I lost two grandparents to it, but I still can't blame the business, and why are liberals complaining anyway? I thought drugs were good...) and our "big government" needs to lose some serious weight.

    Heck, I don't really support "war", per se, I'm really more "anti-Saddam" and
    "anti-dictator/failed '70s foreign policy/terrorist/murdering bastard/waste of times" than anything. That's my position on the war itself: we were cleaning up our mistakes, fixing what we did wrong. After all, we made sure Saddam was in power, and so everything that happened there came as a result. If anything, we should have acted truly unilaterally (a long time ago, agrees my uncle who was a Lieutenet Colonel in Desert Storm) because no one else really had anything to do with our installing such dictators. I never cared about WMD, and if you want proof of terrorist conncections, how about money to families of Palestinian homicide/suicide bombers? Or of off and on training camps in the vincinity? That's what I thought.

    Fine, you can call me an extremist if you like; I won't be hurt by meaningless insults hurled in my general direction. I mean, come on, isn't it great having a young, college-bound, conservative guy on what amounts to "your side"?

    I honestly want to say more now, but first, I've written a ton here, secondly, I can't think of more to say, and finally, I'm as tired as all get-out, so going to bed would be rockin'.

    I'm praying I won't have more political dreams. Too many have involved Geraldo. I hate Geraldo...

  15. #15
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by freewaytincan
    Fine, you can call me an extremist if you like; I won't be hurt by meaningless insults hurled in my general direction.
    FTC. Actually, I wasn't calling conservatives like you an extremist and I apologize if you took it that way.

    I was asking why the traditional conservatives (and you sound like one with a few tweaks) are standing behind this administration with such fervor.

    I don't see being "anti Saddam" as being a justification for using untrue info to start a war. The administration should have told the truth, asked for a declaration of war (pursuant to the Constitution), and started the war if the truth and the Constitution led to a positive vote from Congress. That's what I would expect of both parties, but moreso from conservatives, as they are more rooted in strict construction of the Constitution.

    I agree with many of your individual points and again wonder why you aren't disturbed by the administration, which seems to be going in such a wierd direction -- particularly if you are a traditional consrvative.

  16. #16

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    Of course, a caveat to my original post is that the mainstream media plays up the wacky fringe elements. I doubt that there are that many people in the Anti-war movement who "Love Sadaam"

    freewaytincan: You don't sound like an extremist. We will have to agree to deeply disagree on social issues. But, David Sucher had an interesting series of posts on his CityComforts Blog that deal with the whole issue that good urban design/new urbanism/whatever is not really a left-right thing. Conservatives and liberals can both agree with some of the results of better design and planning.

    I doubt that the Patriot Act (Especially Part II) is as innocuous as you say.

  17. #17
    Zoning Lord Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    "We Love Sadaam." My God.
    I read through this post fast and thought, WTF?

  18. #18
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Seabishop
    The republicans have had great success in courting voters based upon religious issues. Here in heavily democratic & catholic southern New England there is that pull - voting republican is the religiously appropriate thing to do, like not eating meat on friday, even if most people don't do it. It seems like the Black community is the only place where the democrats and religion still go hand in hand anymore.
    I've looked into voting patterns among Catholics before, and it's almost an even spread. Catholics used to vote solidly democratic, but Reagan among others used the abortion issue to break up that block. Around here, the general rule still is that if you're Catholic, you're going to vote Democrat, and those that do vote Republican are doing so because they're one-issue voters.

    Other than the abortion issue, the Christian Right doesn't have a lot to offer a Catholic voter. They wrap their message in protestant rhetoric (specifically, Southern Baptist WASP rhetoric) that doesn't speak to Catholics, or any other non-protestant religious, at all.

  19. #19
          freewaytincan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wulf9
    FTC. Actually, I wasn't calling conservatives like you an extremist and I apologize if you took it that way. I was asking why the traditional conservatives (and you sound like one with a few tweaks) are standing behind this administration with such fervor.
    I know you weren't, I just wanted to put that out as a preemptive defense, that's all. And believe me, if you look at the true roots of what I have defined as traditionalist conservative, you'll find that you agree with a quite a lot of what I also agree on.

    Quote Originally posted by Wulf9
    I agree with many of your individual points and again wonder why you aren't disturbed by the administration, which seems to be going in such a wierd direction -- particularly if you are a traditional consrvative.
    Believe me, I have more than my share of disagreements with this current administration! See, I'm not a Republican, though that's primarily because I'm not fond of political parties. It's just that I disagre less with Bush than with Kerry or any others out there running. I truly wish it were different. I think we could use another Reagan, though that's very unlikely, or even better, another Teddy Roosevelt, though that will never happen. From everything regarding snowmobile use in Yellowstone (against) to Social Security "reform" (like I said, the only way to "fix" Social Security is to dissolve it) and such, I'm more independent than I seem.

    I should probably mention that my uncle, who was a Lieutenet Colonel in the first Gulf War has given me a great deal of insight into what really went on and still continued in Iraq (quite frankly, it hadn't really changed for many, many years), and he has confirmed that whether or not we find the weapons, Saddam was more of a threat than most people want to admit, and his sons would have been infinitely worse if they controlled the country. That is what my justification was based on, primarily. That's why I support the war in Iraq, and why I am big on the war on terror, because it is not "law enforcement" when terrorists declare war on us.

    Over time, through discussion, it's possible that you and everyone else will discover that you all have more in common with me, a true conservative, than one could have expected.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    @ freewaytincan

    As a staunch GOP loyalist my whole life, to one who believes he is not. If Ashcrofts actions with the Partiot Act don't scare you, then you are increadibly Naive. Do some research into how The federal courts have been unhappy with how it has been implimented. Research how the most conservative court in the land resisted the justice department. This would be the FISA court, which is also the US secret court. Read the provisions of PATRIOT II, all laws will be federalized. Read the penalties incured. Begin to quake in your boots.

    Your types kill me, you want property rights to do any damn thing that you want on your own property, even when it harms others, but a person should NOT have the right to buy/access/check out a book and not have the government have free access to what you read. Unbelievable. Bet there is a terrorist hiding behind your neighbors trees.......

    As far as the left, yup, a lot of self absorbed guilt ridden whitey types in there. Such a shame, intelligent descent is badly needed right now.

    Not religious? Huh, you might have to go on some sort of watch list for unamerican behavior. Barney will be the level of TV you are allowed to watch.

    Hown the hell did this country sink this low to get crap choices like this?

    Don't want to live in the Road Warrior / Anarchist Leftist version of the world. Don't want to live in the Equalibria, Big Brother, Farenheit 451 world. Looks like I'm screwed
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    I sort of missed the original comments on the Patriot act. The Patriot act scares hell out of me too. It matters little what the GOAL is. You cannot legislate intent. You can only legislate actions. And when you do so, you better be damn careful about considering the potential consequences -- the things that can happen when someone who isn't so idealistic and trustworthy and so on acts on it. Because that WILL happen -- it is only a matter of time.

    An example I have used before (and will again, I am sure): Welfare. It was created at a time when it was "unthinkable" that anyone would intentionally have a baby out of wedlock. It was really INTENDED to help widows, which was what most poor, single moms of the time were. But it changed the social contract and what has been "done" with it is not remotely what was intended.

    Life is dangerous. It always has been and always will be. If you live, you can (and will) die. To be alive is to be vulnerable. But I prefer to live in a world where I am more afraid of the criminals than of law enforcement. It feels more Sane to me and less dangerous.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wulf9
    .....To me, these are extremist positions and should be anathema to any thinking conservative. Instead, this is treated as mainstream thinking by the right.

    Score One for Wulf9
    You got it exactly right - these NeoCons piss me off. I'd rather they flew a plane a week into a building than see the Constitution crapped upon by those sworn to defend her. It ain't about Carnivor, Eschelon, Ashcroft and Gitmo. Its about stockpiling guns and kicking the man off your land. Its about getting yours and telling the other poor bastard to, "Get a Job!" Fight the power!

  23. #23
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by freewaytincan
    ...I'm borderline pro-Texas secession...
    So are the rest of U.S.

  24. #24
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    Dystopia, first of all, I like John Ashcroft, thank you very much. Secondly, I don't like all of the PATRIOT Act, sorry, I know I didn't make that clear either. The main problem is that it will probably always be too vague, so that organizations such as the RIAA and MPAA can use it to charge people with crimes. I also believe that it should be a "last resort" deal as well. Believe me, like I said before, there's a lot I haven't been able to express yet.

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