The Shotgun Blog
Monday, November 12, 2007
Yes, Mary Woo, there can be just wars
C'mon people, now/smile on your brother,/ev'ry-body get together,/try to love one another right now.
Remember the above lyrics? They're from the song "Get Together," and represent the naive ideology that permeated the hippie movement of the 1960s. But while the sentiments embodied in the lyrics may have given the hippie generation a flimsy, self-serving rational for living in their free-love communes, they're hardly fit for the real world of domestic and international affairs.
Sadly, however, we still see some opinion leaders trapped in the utopian mindset reflected by the lyrics of "Get Together." One such person is my Tri-City News debating partner, Mary Woo Sims, who displays her "group hugs will save the world" mindset in our latest Face to Face debate.
Here's Mary Woo's take on the question of just wars, Afghanistan and Remembrance Day, and here's mine, which I believe is both more pragmatic and, ulimately, in more secure possession of the moral high ground.
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"Which leads me to ask myself and you: Is war ever justified ... ?"
Depends on whether you would prefer to surrender to your enemy or defend yourself and your way of life, unless you are of the opinion all enemies are imaginary. Ask the Europeans and the Jews of the WWII era about that.
" ... and can any war really ever be won?
Did this woman just fall off the turnip truck? WWI and WWII were won by the allies, nitwit.
Posted by: Sounder | 2007-11-12 2:03:30 PM
First let me say that Mary Simms is one homely guy. It would indeed take a village to hug her.
"the Greek goddess Athena is the goddess of war, she also is the goddess of industry, justice, skill and wisdom."
I think the multi tasking line of skill and talent held my Athena speaks for itself.
The inevitability of having to deal with barbarians from time to time requires all those attribute. If you don't possess skill and wisdom you risk being taken over.
If you lack a sense of justice you may be reluctant to kill the bastards before they kill you and that is a problem I see with today's left. The want to prosecute rather than kill our mortal enemies. Very silly. Very dangerous.
If wars are never truly won, that can be attributed to the fact that humans hold grudges and pass them down. The never-ending possibility for more war is simply part of the human condition just as global warming and cooling is part of the natural planetary cycle.
Reality can be cathartic if one simply embraces it.
Now I will read Terry's piece.
Posted by: John | 2007-11-12 2:19:29 PM
Context of the time. She wrote that song during the Vietnam War to appeal to the anti-war crowd. To admit that some wars are justified and some that are not would undermine, if not destroy, her message.
Some say WW1 was not truly won, rather it just ended. It took WW2 to truly resolve it. Thank god, but at what cost.
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-11-12 2:21:50 PM
Some people will never grow up. This is the height of immaturity.
Posted by: obc | 2007-11-12 2:25:03 PM
"Dutch Defence Minister Eimert van Middelkoop made an incisive point in October when he criticized countries such as Germany, Spain and Italy for refusing to let their troops fight the Taliban in high-risk areas."
I suggest that Mr van Middelkoop may be living in a chicken coop. Pun intended. I'll bet his troops are braver than he is.
I find it hard to believe that he is not aware that his very county is a high risk area with over a million Islamists lazing about on the dole sharpening their teeth.
His troops will be fighting them in inside their own border within the next few years. Any bets?
Afghanistan has already proven itself to be a desirable place from which to launch attacks on the West. That is why it must be shut down.
Venezuela has become a similar place for global drug cartels and it will need to be shut down eventually as well.
Posted by: John | 2007-11-12 2:28:41 PM
"The wants to prosecute rather than kill our mortal enemies"
Thanks to Bill Clinton, of course. When the World Trade Center was first bombed in 1993, Billybob sent prosecutors instead of soldiers, judges instead of bombs - and we ended up with 9/11 at the same site.
Posted by: obc | 2007-11-12 2:29:22 PM
Just read Mary's piece and also Terry's. Mary's was piece was thought provoking. It raised a few moral questions, quoted a few great people and then left it to the reader to decide for themselves as to the "justifiability" of war.
Posted by: pat_pending | 2007-11-12 2:35:59 PM
Zebulon: You make a good point. Some historians have argued that if the German's had won the first world war, the 20th century would have been quite different, and not necessarily worse. WWII and the holocaust might not have happened. Communism would have died out 50 years sooner.
Posted by: Pat_pending | 2007-11-12 2:49:55 PM
Hippies used to make it a point to spit on American Soldiers returning from Viet Nam in and outside of the Los Angeles Airport Terminal. Many of them appeared in Canada, some are tenured professors at Dalhousie University in Halifax whose academic standards consequently dropped, which has caused serious problems for Faculty and the Student body such as it is. MacLeod
Posted by: Jack MacLeod | 2007-11-12 3:02:23 PM
Before she wrote her piece, Mary Woo Sims shoud have taken a few minutes to imagine what her life would have been like as woman living in Afghanistan under the Talibans regime. Her right to full participation in the social, cultural and political life of the country would have been denied. She would have lost any right to an education after the Talibans closed down all girls schools. She would have lost her job after the Talibans ordered all women to remain at home and issued threats of terrible consequences to those employers brave enought to dare hire a woman. She would have lost the right to go out of her home freely after the Talibans forbid all women to venture outdoors wihout the supervision a male member of her immediate family. She would have lost her right to basic health care after the Talibans forbid male doctors to provide health care to women. She could not have had emergency surgery after the Talibans forbid all surgical teams which included one man to perform surgery on girls and women. She could not have shown her face in public or wear bright clothing or make up or shoes with heels that click because the clicking sound could arouse males. All the windows of her house would have been painted black to prevent men from seeing inside. Worse still, if Mary managed to reach out and ask us for help, we would have to tell her that we feel terribly sorry for her but since we are pacifists, we cannot interfere in the internal affairs of her country. But we will pray for her and raise the issue at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Whenever the leaders of any country take away the freedom and liberty of half of their population, wouldn't you agree that this is just cause to go to war.
Posted by: andré | 2007-11-12 3:13:02 PM
Andre: Everything you wrote about the rights of women in Afghanistan during the rule of the Taliban are true TODAY in Saudi Arabia. Women in Saudi Arabia have just as few rights. Oh, and of the 911 bombers, all but two of them were from Saudi Arabia.
Should we go to war against Saudi Arabia? Will you be leading that charge? If the answer is no, let's not go to war against Saudi Arabia, then we should get out of Afghanistan.
Posted by: pat_pending | 2007-11-12 3:24:47 PM
I didn't know of Mary Woo Sims until Mr. O'Neill started posting these debates (which I enjoy).
Often pressed for time I try to quickly assess which authors I'll read and which I'll skip (e.g. such as Ms. Woo Sims).
The Wall St. Journal routinely posts a mini biography of its guest Editorial contributers, e.g. "former undersecretary of the Department of the Treasury" blah, blah, NOTABLY always without telling the reader which political party the guy was affiliated with or which former President appointed him, etc.
So, I've asked the WSJ editors to provide both the political party affiliation and the names of the last three Presidential Candidates who their writer voted for as part of the bio. With that information, I could trim the time I waste wading through drivel-delirium written by folks who cannot get out of their own way let alone enlighten others.
Of course the WSJ ignored my request for such information, as I ignore their requests that I resubscribe (they continue delivering anyway, evidently to fake up their circulation numbers).
Their analytical capability dropped so abysmally perhaps they list me as undecided after calling to ask for my subscription renewal and I respond: "NO! I hate your newspaper with your homosexual advocacy garbage from page one throughout and your childish naive fact free reporting of silly unimportant 'issues'."
Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2007-11-12 4:06:21 PM
So,P.P. Are you saying that we should be fighting in other countries also? I am all for wiping this scourge off of the planet,one country at a time.You have convienently forgotten the fact that the Taliban in Afg.allowed and supported the attack on WTC. When would you give up on the hugs and actually fight for your freedom? How many 9/11's would you endure? Why are the moderate islamists not taking up arms against the extremists? War is like surgery,often traumatic,but sometimes necessary for survival.
Posted by: wallyj | 2007-11-12 4:16:56 PM
You missed the example that if Sims were under the Taliban, Saudi or Iranian theocracies, her gender preference would make her stone-free (freely available for stoning).
As for pat_pending's equivalence example - all in good time. The Saudis will be toasted eventually in the nuclear crossfire between Iran and Israel. The humane thing to do would be to liberate them and Iran first but alas, the Left-libs have weakened the Western resolve to sacrifice to save a few million more souls.
Peace in our time!
Posted by: John Chittick | 2007-11-12 4:30:45 PM
You think Mary and her comrades in the media will be running with this news? Neither do I:
"Harper's popularity soars"
OTTAWA— Prime Minister Stephen Harper is soaring up as the top pick of most Canadians to lead the country, while Liberal Leader Stephane Dion has plummeted to third spot behind the NDP’s Jack Layton, a new poll has found.
The startling SES-Sun Media survey shows Harper has steamrolled ahead as the choice for “best PM” of 37% of Canadians, while Dion plunged to third place as the pick of just 13% of Canadians. Layton garnered 17% support across the country.
SES pollster Nik Nanos said the results are big news for Harper, who has cracked opened a 20-point lead from his nearest rival in the leadership popularity contest. The results deliver the worst news for Dion, who has fallen 10 points in the last 90 days.
Harper’s popularity is growing in vote-rich Quebec, which is expected to be a key battleground in the next federal election. In that province, 41% said they think he would make the best prime minister, up from 24% three months ago.
Dion has slid to just 11% from 15% 90 days earlier in Quebec.
HOW LONG WILL it be before DeYawn is dumped by his own party?
Posted by: obc | 2007-11-12 4:31:01 PM
"how long" till they dump Stephanie?
sadly, soon, i think. :(
i like Stephanie for one reason. the contrast between him and Harper is striking (kinda blinding, actually...). heh heh
...but we know that.
Posted by: shel | 2007-11-12 4:38:25 PM
Pat Pending: Should we go to war against Saudi Arabia? Will you be leading that charge?
I am ex-military, retired now. What regiment were/are you in?
Pat Pending: If the answer is no, let's not go to war against Saudi Arabia, then we should get out of Afghanistan
Wallyj & John Chittick already answered that second question.
Posted by: andré | 2007-11-12 4:41:43 PM
I suspect they'll hang on to him through one election because to do otherwise would demonstrate their lack of judgment in choosing him in the first place.
Posted by: obc | 2007-11-12 4:41:49 PM
I remember a radical feminist complaining to me about the way women were treated in Afghanistan. This was the year 2000.
My response at the time was "I'm not going to send my son to fight your war".
I post here now admitting my ignorance in the face of reality. I doubt very much her or any of the other Mary Woo Sims of the world are now doing anything but pointing their finger at me and shouting epithets of hatred and "warmonger" in my direction.
My mistake was ignorance. What do you call theirs?
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-11-12 5:42:27 PM
"What do you call theirs?"
A PHD from any university in the Liberal Arts.
Posted by: obc | 2007-11-12 6:01:04 PM
Actually I think Sims has a terrific idea. Will she not volunteer to go to any of the Islamic countries to hug the jihadists? That would put her theory to the test and save everyone a lot of time.
Posted by: Alain | 2007-11-12 6:10:03 PM
"A PHD from any university in the Liberal Arts."
Actually, she had a PHD in Physics from Queens.
It's worse than you thought.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-11-12 6:20:18 PM
"...a PhD. in Physics..." Hmmmm.
So I thought I'd take a quick read of her thoughts.
Her comment "...when the former Soviet Union disintegrated..." was a show stopper for me. I guess she thinks that it just happened.
This is not acute thinking. I fully expect that she got her PhD via affirmative action or a phony quota rather than by having earned it vs any competitive effort.
Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2007-11-12 6:33:01 PM
Oh, no! There's no one from the university world you can trust anymore!
Posted by: obc | 2007-11-12 6:45:47 PM
I agree Conrad. Also her quote from another of the rainbow,puppy dog crowd about "you can't win an earthquake" is not acute thinking but cute thinking along the lines of "Why can't we all get along". Well.Ms Sims,you also can't win a frigging jetliner being flown into an office building,a commuter train being blown up,or any of the other THOUSANDS of atrocities that are committed by the people that YOU want to like YOU.But if you have any respect for yourself,you can fight back instead of blaming the ones who die for your right to spew such nonsense.
Posted by: wallyj | 2007-11-12 6:56:45 PM
Don't worry folks, the Liberals have found an antidote to all their problems, Mulroney.
Their minions in the media are all excited too. Next poll out should have Dion and the CLEAN Libranos in first place.
Never mind such details as this government had nothing to do with Mulroney's dealings with Shreiber.
It should be an interesting week. The best we could hope for would be to have them all eating crow.
Posted by: Liz J | 2007-11-12 7:14:01 PM
She should stick to physics because her grasp of history is weak. Using Google hits to prove or disprove a consensus is flimsy.
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-11-12 8:00:32 PM
The world will be extremely grateful to the peace activists when they go to Afghanistan and deliver peace.
They have millions of dollars for media campaigns, so surely they could organize a few charter flights over there? Have they set a date yet?
Posted by: philanthropist | 2007-11-12 8:45:07 PM
I remember that lyric from Nirvana's "Territorial Pissings."
Posted by: Cynic | 2007-11-12 9:41:39 PM
Google to find out about "just war". Maybe she should start with St. Augustine.
Posted by: DML | 2007-11-12 10:38:41 PM
the PHD in physics of which I spoke belong to the radical feminist I mentioned. I don't know what Sims had.
Still, your observations are most likely correct.
I'm sorry that I wasn't clear.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-11-13 12:47:58 AM
>"Don't worry folks, the Liberals have found an antidote to all their problems, Mulroney.
Their minions in the media are all excited too. Next poll out should have Dion and the CLEAN Libranos in first place."
Posted by: Liz J | 12-Nov-07 7:14:01 PM
I wonder why, if Mr. Mulroney was actually having integrity issues, the Liberals didn't resolve this question when they were so much closer, historically, to the Mr. Mulroney's time frame and leading 3 back to back majority governments?
As to the thread topic, the erroneous assumption of Woo/Sims and her fellow travelers is that peace is the natural state of mankind.
The exact opposite is true.
War is the natural human condition and peace is an infrequent aberration.
The very question of 'just' war is beside the point and evades the issue at the heart of war itself.
That question is: Do we want our own existence and way of life to continue?
If the answer is NO, then we should have a revolution and overthrow the existing order ourselves to put a better one in place.
What does Woo/Sims think is a better way to live and how does she think allowing external existential threats to the existing order continue is going to bring about her ideal of a better way?
That said, Peace is not the absence of war.
Peace is the absence of threat.
Until the Left recognizes this crucial difference there is no point in having any discussion about war.
Posted by: Speller | 2007-11-13 6:49:55 AM
Speller: Wasn't there an inquiry into the Airbus affair during the 90s, during which Mulroney was completely exonerated?
If so, then this latest effort stinks of political opportunism.
The irony is that the Liebrals and Dippers couldn't take Harper on directly so they went after Mulroney. Harper's doing a great job.
I hope that Mulroney is again exonerated during this faux inquiry. He did a lot of good for Canadians and the world, unlike Pierre the Terrible.
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-11-13 7:15:49 AM
Zebulon: "Mulroney...did a lot of good for Canadians..."
Excluse me Zebulon, on what planet have you been living on? Do you recall the fact that Muldoon DOUBLED THE NATIONAL DEBT in just 8 years. Do you recall that he put this country into the greatest recession since the great depression.
There is a reason Muldoon is the most hated politician in Canadian history. He was a boob then, and he's a boob now.
Posted by: pat_pending | 2007-11-13 7:23:00 AM
PP repeats Leftoid talking points ad nauseum.
Trudeau is the one who increased the National debt, knowing he'd be dead before he'd be called on the carpet for it.
And the Creton had over a decade to overturn Mulroney's policies like the GST - but chose not too.
Posted by: obc | 2007-11-13 7:40:33 AM
Thank you obc. Notice how free trade and the GST - the two most hated of Mulroney's ideas - are still around. That is a sign of good statesmanship.
One black mark on Mulroney: the Oka crisis. There was no need to call in the military.
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-11-13 7:42:20 AM
I remember that there was a partial inquiry which stalled when Mr. Mulroney threatened to sue for $50 million.
The Chretien Liberals settled for a few million and dropped the matter, unresolved from the government standpoint, resolved from Mr. Mulroney's position.
My point was that if there was a time to prove any dirt on Mr. Mulroney then when the Chretien regime was enjoying the power of majority rule was the time to do it.
This whole affair is similar to the Liberals accusing the CPC of failure to meet the Kyoto Protocol when they did nothing themselves while enjoying majority governments.
Like Kyoto, the Mulroney affair is a manufactured diversionary issue consisting of nothing more than the trading of hot air at the cost of taxpayers patience and resources.
>"Do you recall that he(Mulroney) put this country into the greatest recession since the great depression."
Posted by: pat_pending | 13-Nov-07 7:23:00 AM
Canada was already in recession when Mr. Mulroney was first elected, in large part the recession was caused by the Liberal's NEP.
Mr. Mulroney's mistake, among others, was to follow Keynesian economics(Progressivism) to ease the recession which bloated the national debt that the Liberals created in the first place.
Mulroney should have cut social programs and taxes through pursuing a conservative fiscal program like his pals Margret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.
Posted by: Speller | 2007-11-13 7:43:54 AM
Talking about he "value" of education, read this column and discover the truth:
"Education Is Not the Answer to Every Problem"
At the Democrats' presidential debate last week, the candidates were asked to comment on issues pertaining to education. This was Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd's response:
"I've been asked the question over the years, 'What's the single most important issue?' I always say education because it is the answer to every other problem we confront as a people here."
Needless to say, no other candidate took issue with Sen. Dodd, and it is likely that most senators, all the Democrats and many Republicans, would agree with the sentiment.
But the sentiment is not only wrong, it is destructive.
There are, of course, links between education and professional success, between education and the ability to read and write. And obviously we need well-educated people in order to be able to compete with other countries. But for at least the few generations in the Western world there has been no link between higher education and human decency.
Posted by: obc | 2007-11-13 7:50:46 AM
I don't want to appear to be defending Brian Mulroney.
I voted for him in both federal elections and Mr. Mulroney let me down by being a Progressive rather than a Conservative.
I didn't like Mr. Mulroney's attempts to entrench Quebec superiority through the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords, the Young Offenders Act, the hated (revenue neutral) GST, and last but not least, the launching of the Kyoto Protocol.
I also resented the Mulroney government's attempt to bring in caps on third party election spending, the CF-18 contract award to Montreal instead of Winnipeg, and the PC protocols which lead to the tainted Canadian blood supply by both hepatitis and HIV.
Posted by: Speller | 2007-11-13 7:57:21 AM
But otherwise, he was great, right? :)
Certainly better than anything Trudeau did, that's for sure! (no sarcasm on this last line)
Posted by: obc | 2007-11-13 8:01:00 AM
>“There is little choice in a barrel of rotten apples.”
>"Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving."
>"Hell is empty and all the devils are here."
Posted by: Speller | 2007-11-13 8:22:42 AM
Just to be clear - I'd have preferred Mulroney over ANY Lieberal P.M. we've had over the last half-century.
Posted by: obc | 2007-11-13 8:29:03 AM
"There is a reason Muldoon is the most hated politician in Canadian history."
Sorry bat_spending, clear thinking people who live in the real world know that title can never be taken from the greatest buffoon to ever metal in politics, Trudeau.
It was Mulroney who ended the Canadian "cold war" with the US (brought on by the hated communist Trudeau) and Canada's economy has never looked back.
Only in the buffoonery that defines the left these days could drag out the ill's of Mulroney to try and discredit Harper while their own indiscretions are still under investigation.
Only when you control the media could you even attempt such blatant stupidity.
Posted by: deepblue | 2007-11-13 8:39:08 AM
Mulroney was a Liberal, but for the name.
Mulroney taxed like a Liberal, expanded government like a Liberal, promoted Liberal policy both foreign and domestic, had a dozen Quebec lieutenants resign over scandal just like a Liberal,.....if Trudeau had not had the membership of the Liberal Party of Canada in his thrall I have little doubt that Brian Mulroney would have lead the Liberal Party and been a Liberal PM instead of a PC PM.
The Free Trade Agreement that Mulroney signed with the American's was no different than the Reciprocity that Sir Wilfred Laurier was unseated for by the Conservatives of his day.
Saying that Mulroney was better than Trudeau is damning by faint praise.
Mulroney was a champion of bilingualism in the ROC and wanted to entrench Quebec in a superior position in the Constitution itself in perpetuity.
Posted by: Speller | 2007-11-13 8:48:13 AM
Again - I won't disagree with you in the main.
Posted by: obc | 2007-11-13 8:57:25 AM
I agree with Speller about Mulroney because the Meech Lake Accord was not necessary and only served to increase the demands of the separatists in Québec. As William Johnson wrote in the Globe and Mail, Mulroney is so eager to defend the Meech Lake Accord that he distorts the facts. Like a typical Quebec politician with a nationalist bias against Canada, Mulroney loves to regurgitates sovereigntist propaganda about Quebec's alleged 'humiliation' by Trudeau's patriation of the Constitution. Mulroney even goes so far as claiming that the National Assembly voted against patriation almost unanimously when in fact (and on the record), every federalist MNA in Quebec voted against the PQ resolution. Mulroney is also absolutely wrong to depict Meech as a reasonable response to Quebecois grievances and a blow to sovereignist sentiment because he should know by now that Robert Bourassa saw Meech Lake as the prelude to another round of endless and useless constitutional discussions. Meech Lake was not necessary and Mulroney badly screwed up on that one. Meech Lake is Mulroney's baby and we still live with the consequences of his political opportunism today. Meech Lake showed that Mulroney lacked good political judgment something I admire in Harper.
Posted by: André | 2007-11-13 9:12:48 AM
No harm, my friend.
What I appreciate most about Brian Mulroney was that he awakened Albertan's to the idea that just because a party has the word 'conservative' in it's name doesn't mean that it has Conservatives in it's ranks or driver's seat.
Back to the thread topic.
A war is just when the winners say it is.
That said, we should aim to win, as unflinchingly as possible, any conflict that we embark upon.
“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”
~Sir Winston Churchill
Posted by: Speller | 2007-11-13 9:32:58 AM
You guys are right. Mulroney was the greatest PM in our history. The GST, the great recession, Meech Lake, "Free" trade, the doubling of the national debt, the 45 billion a year deficits, the massive government spending and corruption, it was all good and we should all be thankful. It was all Trudeau's fault anyway, right?
Oh, and global warming is a crock, the Toronto Star is funded by the communist party of China, oil companies only have our best interests in mind, George W. Bush is a hero, the Iraq war will create peace in our time, Steven Harper can walk on water, Islam is the cause of all of all the world's problems (except for all those problems created by Trudeau and the NEP), feminism is responsible for all divorces, and..did I miss anything? I'm sure you guys will fill me in.
Just one question - where can I get a tin foil hat like you guys wear to protect yourselves from the liberal brain control rays emanating from Toronto?
Posted by: pat_pending | 2007-11-13 9:35:52 AM
>"did I miss anything? I'm sure you guys will fill me in."
Posted by: pat_pending | 13-Nov-07 9:35:52 AM
You are too empty to ever have a hope of being filled in.
"Of all the things I've ever lost, I MISS my mind the most. Ozzie must have been thinking of you when he wrote that, pp.
Try aluminum foil, pp, it doesn't rust.
We wear Smithbilt Stetsons out here.
The Liberal mind control rays aren't a problem ever since they shut down the CBC outlets in Alberta back in the '90s.
Even before then, it didn't matter.
For some reason they couldn't figure how to send on our frequency.
Something about the West being 'different' as the Shawinigan Strangler aptly put it.
Ole Screwface liked how easy it was to softsoap Easterners I quess.
Here's something to throw into that empty hole:
Posted by: Speller | 2007-11-13 9:59:57 AM
Speller: right...too empty, that's me (i.e. open minded).
As for CBC outlets in Alberta being shut down, actually Speller, I think your tin foil hat is a little too tight and is cutting off circulation to your brain. The CBC actually runs 18 tv stations in Alberta. More than CTV, Global or anyone else for that matter. Obviously, the mind control rays are beaming out to Alberta at full force.
I think that your
Posted by: pat_pending | 2007-11-13 10:27:43 AM
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