Hillary & Vladimir 1

EDIT2-hillary-080116-AP

This is from Investor’s Business Daily:

At the recent Democratic National Convention, the party of the donkey worked overtime at remaking Hillary Clinton’s image from one of an ethically challenged political operator to one of a caring champion of children and families. But as new revelations about her shady dealings with Russia emerge, it may all be for nought.

New revelations from Peter Schweizer, the author of the meticulously documented book “Clinton Cash,” and Stephen K. Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart, show that Hillary’s campaign Chairman John Podesta “sat on the board of a small energy company alongside Russian officials that received $35 million from a Putin-connected Russian government fund.”

Making things worse, Podesta never fully disclosed the relationship, as the law requires. But of greater concern than Podesta is what it says about Clinton’s strange and mutually beneficial relationship with Russia that led to Clinton lending a hand in helping Vladimir Putin build Skolkovo, a high-tech community meant to be “the Russian equivalent of America’s Silicon Valley.”

This is not some sort of free-enterprise experiment. As the authors detail in a study published by the Government Accountability Institute, some 30,000 workers toiled in the state-of-the-art tech hub “under strict governmental control.” While Clinton was in charge at the State Department, the U.S. recruited a bunch of U.S. high-tech powerhouses — including Google, Cisco and Intel — to take part in the project.

Of the 28 companies from the U.S., Europe and Russia that took part, 17 were donors to the Clinton Foundation or paid for Bill Clinton to give speeches.

It’s yet another stunning example of the Clinton Foundation’s growing list of conflicts of interest, suggesting that Hillary used the State Department’s offices to line her family’s pockets through the Clinton Foundation. Don’t forget that, with her email carelessness on her home-brew server during her tenure as secretary of state, Hillary has already exposed the United States’ most secret information to the Russian government. As radio talk show host and law professor Hugh Hewitt noted Monday: “Hillary is already a Putin pawn.”

This was no accident. Nor was it innocent. FBI Assistant Special Agent Lucia Ziobro in 2014 sent a letter to several U.S. corporate participants in the project warning: “The (Skolkovo) foundation may be a means for the Russian government to access our nation’s sensitive or classified research development facilities and dual-use technologies with military and commercial application. … The FBI believes the true motives of the Russian partners, who are often funded by the government, is to gain access to classified, sensitive, and emerging technology from the companies.”
Either Hillary did not suspect that – in which case she was not fit to be secretary of state; or it did not matter to her – in which case she was not fit to be secretary of state.
Which brings us back to Podesta. He sat on the board of a tiny energy company named Joule Unlimited, write Bannon and Schweizer. A mere two months after he joined the board, Rusnano, founded by Vladimir Putin in 2007, invested $35 million in the company. Podesta sat on three separate boards of Joule-affiliated corporate entities, but only reported two.

Moreover, Podesta’s own leftist think tank, the Center for American Progress, got $5.25 million from a group called the Sea Change Foundation in the four years ending in 2013. Sea Change, in return, had received what the authors call “a large infusion of funds from a mysterious Bermuda-based entity called ‘Klein Ltd.'”, which appears to have Russian ties.

This puts Clinton’s actions while in office under deep suspicion – including her enabling a “reset” with Russia that seems to have led to a resurgent Russia expanding its military, diplomatic and economic power in Eastern Europe and the Mideast.

In a wide-ranging interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Hillary suggested that Donald Trump “has shown a very troubling willingness to back up Putin, to support Putin, whether it’s saying that NATO wouldn’t come to the rescue of allies if they were invaded, talking about removing sanctions from Russian officials after they were imposed by the United States and Europe together, because of Russia’s aggressiveness in Crimea and Ukraine, his praise for Putin which is I think quite remarkable.”

Anyway much remarked upon, with pretense of shock and horror, by the US media. Whereas her commercial collaboration with Putin, and her exposing of state and military secrets to his government hackers, is unlikely to be remarked upon at all. In any case, such things make no difference to her followers and fans. They gave up caring about the character, morals, criminal behavior, and treachery of their present candidate for the presidency long ago; from the very beginning of her “political career” as the wife of a governor.

Putin’s man in Washington is running Clinton’s campaign 1

This report, published in April this year, is from the Observer, by John R. Schindler:

The revelations of the so-called Panama Papers that are roiling the world’s political and financial elites this week include important facts about Team Clinton. This unprecedented trove of documents purloined from a shady Panama law firm that arranged tax havens, and perhaps money laundering, for the globe’s super-rich includes juicy insights into how Russia’s elite hides its ill-gotten wealth.

We have no objection to tax havens or the super-rich safekeeping their money any way they can from the confiscating hands of government. But Hillary Clinton claims that she does.

Her hypocrisy is a wonder for the ages.

However, the connection between “Team Clinton” and the Panama Papers is indirect, if it can be called a connection at all.

The Clinton scandal the article exposes is unsavory enough without any such involvement. It is this:

HER CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN also LOBBIES for Vladimir Putin’s personal bank, which is AN ARM OF THE KREMLIN.

The bank’s name was found in the Panama Papers, and Schindler’s article takes off from there:

Almost lost among the many revelations [of the Panama Papers] is the fact that Russia’s biggest bank uses The Podesta Group as its lobbyist in Washington, D.C.

Though hardly a household name, this firm is well known inside the Beltway, not least because its CEO is Tony Podesta, one of the best-connected Democratic machers in the country. He founded the firm in 1998 with his brother John, formerly chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, then counselor to President Barack Obama. Mr. Podesta is the very definition of a Democratic insider. Outsiders engage the Podestas and their well-connected lobbying firm to improve their image and get access to Democratic bigwigs.

Which is exactly what Sberbank, Russia’s biggest financial institution, did this spring. As reported at the end of March, the Podesta Group registered with the U.S. Government as a lobbyist for Sberbank, as required by law, naming three Podesta Group staffers: Tony Podesta plus Stephen Rademaker and David Adams, the last two former assistant secretaries of state.

It should be noted that Tony Podesta is a big-money bundler for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign while his brother John IS THE CHAIRMAN OF THAT CAMPAIGN, the chief architect of her plans to take the White House this November.

It’s hardly surprising that Sberbank sought the help of Democratic insiders like the Podesta Group to aid them in this difficult hour, since they clearly understand how American politics work. The question is why the Podesta Group took Sberbank’s money. That financial institution isn’t exactly hiding in the shadows — it’s the biggest bank in Russia, and its reputation leaves a lot to be desired. Nobody acquainted with Russian finance was surprised that Sberbank wound up in the Panama Papers. Sberbank (Savings Bank in Russian) engaged the Podesta Group to help its public image — leading Moscow financial institutions not exactly being known for their propriety and wholesomeness — and specifically to help lift some of the pain of sanctions placed on Russia in the aftermath of the Kremlin’s aggression against Ukraine, which has caused real pain to the country’s hard-hit financial sector.

Although Sberbank has its origins in the nineteenth century, it was functionally reborn after the Soviet collapse, and it the 1990s it grew to be the dominant bank in the country, today controlling nearly 30 percent of Russia’s aggregate banking assets and employing a quarter-million people. The majority stockholder in Sberbank is Russia’s Central Bank. In other words, Sberbank is functionally an arm of the Kremlin, although it’s ostensibly a private institution.

Certainly Western intelligence is well acquainted with Sberbank, noting its close relationship with Vladimir Putin and his regime. Funds moving through Sberbank are regularly used to support clandestine Russian intelligence operations, while the bank uses its offices abroad as cover for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service or SVR. A NATO counterintelligence official explained that Sberbank, which has outposts in almost two dozen foreign countries, “functions as a sort of arm of the SVR outside Russia, especially because many of its senior employees are ‘former’ Russian intelligence officers”. Inside the country, Sberbank has an equally cosy relationship with the Federal Security Service or FSB, Russia’s powerful domestic intelligence agency. …

Sberbank is the Kremlin, they don’t do anything major without Putin’s go-ahead, and they don’t tell him ‘no’ either,” explained a retired senior U.S. intelligence official with extensive experience in Eastern Europe. …

Predictably, Sberbank has blown off the Panama Papers revelations as nothing of consequence, but the fact that they are an arm of the Kremlin and they do plenty of shady things in many countries is a matter of record. As is the fact that the Podesta Group is their lobbyist in America.

Among the Sberbank subsidiaries that the Podesta Group also represents are the Cayman Islands-based Troika Dialog Group Limited, the Cyprus-based SBGB Cyprus Limited, and the Luxembourg-based SB International. As reported this week by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, a consortium of journalists exploring the Panama Papers leak, Sberbank and Troika Dialog are used by members of Mr. Putin’s inner circle to shift public funds into sometimes questionable private investments. In other words, this is top-level money laundering of a brazen kind. As the OCCRP stated plainly, “Some of these companies were initially connected to the Troika Dialog investment fund, which was controlled and run by Sberbank after the bank bought the Troika Dialog investment bank. Troika and Sberbank declined to comment.”

Adding to the shadiness of all this, the Podesta Group is playing along with the useful charade that Sberbank is simply a private financial institution, rather than the state-owned bank that it is, since that would require the lobbyists to register as agents of the Russian government under the Foreign Agent Registration Act.

John and Tony Podesta aren’t fooling anyone with this ruse. They are lobbyists for Vladimir Putin’s personal bank of choice, an arm of his Kremlin and its intelligence services. Since the brothers Podesta are presumably destined for very high-level White House jobs next January if the Democrats triumph in November at the polls, their relationship with Sberbank is something they — and Hillary Clinton — need to explain to the public.

The point is:

Putin’s lobbyist in Washington, D.C., is running Hillary Clinton’s campaign. 

Posted under Russia, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, July 31, 2016

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How the Clintons sell America to “do good” – to themselves 0

This film is about the Clintons’ corruption, which is on a colossal scale.

The documentary is derived from Peter Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash, narrated by him. It is long but it rewards attention. It demonstrates in detail how the Clintons have enriched themselves by exploiting – but never ameliorating – the desperate plight of the poorest of the poor.

Perhaps the worst of all the heart-searing accounts of their cold-blooded venality indulged in at the expense of massive and intense human suffering, is that of their activities in Haiti. The telling of this appalling story extends from 16.43 minutes to 29.43 minutes. But don’t miss the rest.

A taste of socialist honey 5

Bernie Sanders is out of the running for the presidency of the United States. Millions are disappointed. He stimulated a taste for socialism. The Democratic Party is more socialist now than it was before it watched him entrancing his millions of followers.

He conveyed to crowds of Americans apparently innocent of any knowledge of modern history, that socialism is a benign system for an ideal society in which all are equal, and everyone gets free education from kindergarten to college, and free health care for life.

He has managed not to notice that where the system was tried – as in Russia – it did not established unending human happiness.

Although he went to Soviet Russia himself.  He took his honeymoon there.

He got back home again safely, and has continued to the present day to consider socialism a fine thing.

Other Americans who went there – to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – were just as foolish but not as lucky.

We quote from an article by Tim Tzouliadis, published by the BBC in August 2008:

At the height of the Depression, several thousand American emigrants left New York on the decks of passenger liners waving goodbye to the Statue of Liberty, bound for Leningrad.

Over 100,000 Americans had applied for jobs working in brand new factories in Soviet Russia, ironically built for Stalin by famous American industrialists such as Henry Ford.

Those American emigrants who entered the “workers’ paradise” were certain that they were leaving the misery of unemployment and poverty behind them. They considered themselves fortunate.

Their optimism would prove to be short-lived. Most were stripped of their American passports soon after their arrival.

Considered suspect by Stalin’s paranoid totalitarian state, the foreigners were swept away in the Terror.

The American jazz clubs, the baseball teams, and the English-language schools set up in cities across the USSR, would quickly vanish with them. …

The Metropol Hotel became the weekly venue for the party of rich American journalists, businessmen and engineers who would dance around the circular fountain kept stocked with fish in the middle of the dance-floor.

Diners were encouraged to select their supper, at which point a net would be deftly flourished by the waiter, the fish caught and cooked and brought to their table.

Seventy years later the Metropol is still Moscow’s finest hotel, and the marble fountain is still present in the centre of the dining room. The city has changed radically but the key locations of the American emigration are still there.

In Gorky Park, the American baseball teams would compete against each other in the summer evenings of the early 1930s.

The American Ambassador’s residence, Spaso House, where William C. Bullitt once hosted the “party of the century” in April 1935, still has the Stars and Stripes flying in front and the diplomats still drink cocktails on the terrace.

The original American embassy on Mokhovaya Street is now the headquarters of a Russian investment bank. … At the height of the Terror, the American emigrants had besieged their embassy, begging for passports so they could leave Russia.

They were turned away only to be arrested on the pavement outside by lurking NKVD agents.

Inside, the American diplomats had known about these disappearances almost from the very beginning. But they did little to save their fellow countrymen 

The emigrants began their long journey either into the prison cells and the Gulag camps, or the shorter route to the execution grounds.

In the killing fields at Butovo, a suburb 27 kilometres south-east of Moscow, several of the American baseball players were executed during the Terror, and lie in mass graves stretching for hundreds of metres.

Thousands were killed in this quiet country backwater, surrounded by trees to muffle their screams. …

Wearing leather aprons and protective gloves, the masked NKVD guards had set about their nightly work methodically, killing young and old alike, understanding that they too would be killed if they refused.

But many also acted willingly, as the conscious and deliberate agents of the class struggle.

Stalin’s executioners had been convinced of the need to “kill and kill and kill” for the benefit of all mankind. And then they returned each morning to steady their nerves with their specifically-allotted quota of vodka, and to douse their clothes in eau-de-cologne to remove the stench of death, ready for the next night’s work.

Vladimir Putin was recently quoted as saying that Russians have nothing to be ashamed of concerning the Terror.

The iconography of totalitarianism remains firmly in place in modern Russian society. The entrance to the Lubyanka is still decorated with hammer and sickles.

 

(Hat-tip Robert Kantor)

Posted under Russia, Soviet Union, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, June 12, 2016

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So Hillary worked for the Kremlin 1

Yes. The Kremlin does have Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Mark Tapson reports at Truth Revolt:

A “war of words” reportedly has broken out between the Director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Bortnikov and Chairwoman of the Council of Federation Valentina Matviyenko over the issue of releasing tens of thousands of top secret and classified emails obtained by the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) from Hillary Clinton’s private but unsecured computer.

The European Union Times reports that, according to a Security Council report circulating in the Kremlin, in 2011 SVR intelligence analysts began “serious/concerning” monitoring of a Romanian computer hacker named Marcel Lazăr Lehel (aka Guccifer) after he attempted to break into the computer system of the Federation-funded RT television network.

The [Russian] analysts followed Guccifer’s activities as he broke into Hillary’s private computer – allowing the SVR to copy tens of thousands of top secret and classified emails.

Chairwoman Matviyenko then personally authorized a “partial/limited” release of them to RT [Russia Today, a government-funded television network], which published an article about them on 20 March 2013 titled “Hillary Clinton’s ‘hacked’ Benghazi emails: FULL RELEASE,” although this went unreported in the Western mainstream media until January 2016 when Vice News published their article called “Libyan Oil, Gold, and Qaddafi: The Strange Email Sidney Blumenthal Sent Hillary Clinton In 2011—and that confirmed our 1 August 2014 report about what really caused Secretary Clinton to order the destruction of Libya.”

FSB director Bortnikov was “highly furious” with Matviyenko over her release authorization due to his concern that the Americans would discover the original source of the hacking, which they did by aiding the Romanian government in their investigation of Guccifer and his arrest in January 2014. He was convicted of computer hacking and sentenced to 7 years in a Romanian prison.

In March of this year, the report claims that Matviyenko “hinted/suggested” to her “peers/comrades” that due to President Putin’s favorable “opinion/thoughts” about presidential candidate Donald Trump, the Security Council should considering releasing all of Hillary’s top secret and classified emails to help Trump in the presidential contest against the “hated/repugnant” Hillary.

Trump has said that he could “get along with Putin”. That cannot be a bad thing for international relations. To regard  Putin’s respect – which we suspect and hope contains an element of fear –  as a mark against Trump, would be a mistake.

Within days, the Obama administration moved Guccifer from Romania to the U.S. where he awaits either a trial or deal to tell what he knows – the facts of which were concealed from the American people by NBC News, according to the report.

The European Union Times notes that the U.S. then

launched a disinformation counterattack against the [Russian] Federation by their releasing, on 15 April, of CIA intelligence doctored documents, referred to as the Panama Papers, casting unfounded, and undocumented, allegations against many Federation business people and politicians that the FSB describes as an “overt/notice now” warning to the Kremlin that should Secretary Clinton’s top secret and classified emails be released more damage to Russian peoples could be done.

So we’re already getting a glimpse of how smoothly relations with Russia will go if the “hated/repugnant” Hillary, whose lies and incompetence about her unsecured emails created this mess, becomes President.

America forbid!

Posted under Russia, Treason, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, May 12, 2016

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The new Republicanism 0

It is more than likely now that Donald Trump will be the Republican Party’s nominee in the presidential election this November.

It is therefore very likely that the Republican platform will be what he wants it to be. And many Republicans, especially the go-along-to-get-along pillars of the Grand Old Party, most prominently its leaders in Congress, do not like what he wants. They repudiate him and his ideas. They say he is unfaithful to conservative principles and will alter long-standing Republican policies. But if their choice is between changing principles and policies to those of Trump or breaking the Party asunder by thwarting the will of the millions of voters he attracts, they will accept – are slowly coming round to  accepting – Trump and his vision for America. (While probably still planning to knock it into a more familiar and acceptable shape.)

What do his conservative Republican critics object to in particular?

In an article hostile to Donald Trump, but accepting that he is almost certain to be the Republican nominee, Linda Chavez writes at Townhall:

Trump represents a repudiation of the Republican Party’s commitment to smaller government, free trade and an internationalist foreign policy.

Let’s consider these commitments one by one, and assess how far Trump is likely to change them, and how bad the change would be.

Smaller government is certainly a cherished principle of conservative Republicanism. We list it among our core conservative ideals, along with individual freedom, a market economy, and strong defense. Regretfully we admit that government is not likely ever again to be actually small, but does Trump not say anything that suggests he would reduce the hugely overblown bureaucracy oppressing Americans now? He does. He says he will lower taxes. Lower taxes must mean some shrinking of government. And that’s probably the most any conservative Republican could do.

It’s on free trade that we have a difference of opinion with Trump. He has indicated that he would match tariff barriers with tariff barriers. We think that’s counter-productive. But it’s not enough to induce us to call Trump a wrecker of American prosperity. In fact, most of his economic thinking is likely to increase American prosperity very considerably. He would stop foreign aid unless America got something back for it. He would make those countries that want American military protection contribute to the cost of it. And he has plans for job creation which we’re inclined to trust because, as an extremely successful businessman, he has done it.

As for the Republican “internationalist foreign policy” – we’re coming to that.

Here are some points from Charles Krauthammer’s syndicated column on Trump’s recent foreign policy speech. Much as we respect Charles Krauthammer, on this rare occasion we disagree with him.

On the Republican side … foreign policy has been the subject of furious debate. To which Donald Trump has contributed significantly, much of it off-the-cuff, contradictory and confused. Hence his foreign policy speech on Wednesday. It was meant to make him appear consistent, serious and presidential. …

Its major theme, announced right at the top [was]: America First. Classically populist and invariably popular, it is nonetheless quite fraught. On the one hand, it can be meaningless — isn’t every president trying to advance American interests? …

On the other hand, America First does have a history. In 1940, when Britain was fighting for its life and Churchill was begging for U.S. help, it was the name of the group most virulently opposed to U.S. intervention. It disbanded — totally discredited — four days after Pearl Harbor. …

The irony is … it is the underlying theme of [Obama’s] foreign policy — which Trump constantly denounces as a series of disasters. Obama, like Trump, is animated by the view that we are overextended and overinvested abroad. …

Both the left and right have a long history of advocating American retreat and retrenchment. The difference is that liberals want to come home because they think we are not good enough for the world. Conservatives want to wash their hands of the world because they think the world is not good enough for us.

That’s nicely put! Our disagreements will come below.

For Obama, we are morally unworthy to act as world hegemon. Our hands are not clean. He’s gone abroad confessing our various sins — everything from the Iranian coup of 1953 to our unkind treatment of Castro’s Cuba to the ultimate blot, Hiroshima, a penitential visit to which Obama is currently considering.

Trump would be rightly appalled by such a self-indicting trip. His foreign policy stems from a proud nationalism that believes that these recalcitrant tribes and nations are unworthy of American expenditures of blood and treasure.

At least Krauthammer calls it “a proud nationalism”. Linda Chavez, in her article, likens Trump’s nationalism to disreputable [?] European nationalist groups which are better described as tribal. She seems to forget that the United States has for centuries been a melting-pot, and the American nation has been – until very recently under Obama – the least tribal in the world. And Trump’s “nationalism” is better described as patriotism. That’s what an American’s “proud nationalism” really is.

This has been the underlying view of conservative isolationism … It is not without its attractions. Trump’s version, however, is inconsistent and often contradictory. After all, he pledged to bring stability to the Middle East. How do you do that without presence, risk and expenditures (financial and military)? He attacked Obama for letting Iran become a “great power.” But doesn’t resisting that automatically imply engagement?

More incoherent still is Trump’s insistence on being unpredictable. An asset perhaps in real estate deals, but in a Hobbesian world American allies rely on American consistency, often as a matter of life or death. Yet Trump excoriated the Obama-Clinton foreign policy for losing the trust of our allies precisely because of its capriciousness. The tilt toward Iran. The red line in Syria. Canceling the Eastern European missile defense. Abandoning Hosni Mubarak.

Trump’s scripted, telepromptered speech was intended to finally clarify his foreign policy. It produced instead a jumble. The basic principle seems to be this: Continue the inexorable Obama-Clinton retreat, though for reasons of national self-interest, rather than of national self-doubt. And except when, with studied inconsistency, he decides otherwise.

Is Trump’s patriotism a “version of isolationism”?  Is it “inconsistent and often contradictory”? By “unpredictable” did he mean what Krauthammer is taking his words to mean?

What did Trump actually say?

We quote his speech in part (find all of it here):

America first will be the major and overriding theme of my administration. But to chart our path forward, we must first briefly take a look back. We have a lot to be proud of.

In the 1940s we saved the world. The greatest generation beat back the Nazis and Japanese imperialists. Then we saved the world again. This time, from totalitarianism and communism. The Cold War lasted for decades but, guess what, we won and we won big. …

Does he regret those American involvements? Not at all. He is proud of them.

Unfortunately, after the Cold War our foreign policy veered badly off course. We failed to develop a new vision for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our foreign policy began to make less and less sense. … We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper. Very bad. It all began with a dangerous idea that we could make western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interests in becoming a western democracy.

With that we could not agree more strongly. It is not possible to turn states like Iraq and Afghanistan – Arab states, Islamic states – into Western style democracies.

And as for his comment on Obama’s actions – they have been “unpredictable” in that they make no logical sense. Krauthammer chooses them as examples of unpredictability to condemn Trump’s recommendation of it, when in fact Trump means something entirely different – as we shall see.

We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans and just killed be lives, lives, lives wasted. Horribly wasted. Many trillions of dollars were lost as a result. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill. Iran, too, would rush in and fill that void much to their really unjust enrichment.

They have benefited so much, so sadly, for us. Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster. No vision. No purpose. No direction. No strategy.

Trump goes on to “identify weaknesses in our foreign policy” and to say how he would fix them. Among them (they are worth reading in full) is this:

We’ve had a president who dislikes our friends and bows to our enemies, something that we’ve never seen before in the history of our country. He negotiated a disastrous deal with Iran, and then we watched them ignore its terms even before the ink was dry. Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon, cannot be allowed. Remember that, cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. And under a Trump administration, will never, ever be allowed to have that nuclear weapon …

At the end of his analysis and outline of his intentions he promises:

 This will all change when I become president.

To our friends and allies, I say America is going to be strong again. America is going to be reliable again. It’s going to be a great and reliable ally again. It’s going to be a friend again. We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests and the shared interests of our allies.

Does that sound isolationist?

We need a long-term plan to halt the spread and reach of radical Islam.Containing the spread of radical Islam must be a major foreign policy goal of the United States and indeed the world. Events may require the use of military force, but it’s also a philosophical struggle, like our long struggle in the Cold War.

Absolutely right! And no other politician, as far as we can recall, has said it before.

He goes on to speak of “working very closely with our allies in the Muslim world”, which is one of the few points on which we disagree. There can be no such thing as an American ally in the Muslim world, precisely because “the philosophical struggle” prohibits it. Islam is ideologically opposed to the West.

… And then there’s ISIS. I have a simple message for them. Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how. We must as a nation be more unpredictable. We are totally predictable. We tell everything. We’re sending troops. We tell them. We’re sending something else. We have a news conference. We have to be unpredictable. And we have to be unpredictable starting now. But they’re going to be gone. ISIS will be gone if I’m elected president. And they’ll be gone quickly. They will be gone very, very quickly.

So that is what Trump means by “unpredicatble”. A commander-in-chief does not announce to his country’s enemy just when its army will stop fighting and when he will withdraw his troops – as Obama has done. It is a military absurdity!

He goes on to say “we have to rebuild our military and our economy”.

The Russians and Chinese have rapidly expanded their military capability, but look at what’s happened to us. Our nuclear weapons arsenal, our ultimate deterrent, has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal. And it has to happen immediately. Our active duty armed forces have shrunk from 2 million in 1991 to about 1.3 million today. The Navy has shrunk from over 500 ships to 272 ships during this same period of time. The Air Force is about one-third smaller than 1991. Pilots flying B-52s in combat missions today. These planes are older than virtually everybody in this room.

And what are we doing about this? President Obama has proposed a 2017 defense budget that in real dollars, cuts nearly 25 percent from what we were spending in 2011. Our military is depleted and we’re asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming.

We will spend what we need to rebuild our military. It is the cheapest, single investment we can make. We will develop, build and purchase the best equipment known to mankind. Our military dominance must be unquestioned, and I mean unquestioned, by anybody and everybody.

Does that sound “isolationist”?

But we will look for savings and spend our money wisely. In this time of mounting debt, right now we have so much debt that nobody even knows how to address the problem. But I do. No one dollar can be wasted. Not one single dollar can we waste. We’re also going to have to change our trade, immigration and economic policies to make our economy strong again. And to put Americans first again.

But, he says …

I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of strength only is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries.

Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a deal under my administration, a deal that’s great — not good, great — for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It’s as simple as that. We’re going to find out.

Fixing our relations with China is another important step — and really toward creating an even more prosperous period of time. China respects strength and by letting them take advantage of us economically, which they are doing like never before, we have lost all of their respect.

We have a massive trade deficit with China, a deficit that we have to find a way quickly, and I mean quickly, to balance. A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China, better than we have right now. Look at what China is doing in the South China Sea. They’re not supposed to be doing it. …

To be militarily strong again, and at the same time try to negotiate better relations with an aggressive Russia and China – is that “contradictory” or is it speaking softly while carrying a big stick? 

I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative. But if America fights, it must only fight to win. …

Our power will be used if others do not play by the rules. In other words, if they do not treat us fairly. Our friends and enemies must know that if I draw a line in the sand, I will enforce that line in the sand. Believe me.

My goal is to establish a foreign policy that will endure for several generations. That’s why I also look and have to look for talented experts with approaches and practical ideas … We have to look to new people because many of the old people frankly don’t know what they’re doing

No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first. Both our friends and our enemies put their countries above ours and we, while being fair to them, must start doing the same. We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism. The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony.  I am skeptical of international unions  … And under my administration, we will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs. …

I will view as president the world through the clear lens of American interests. I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion. …

The world is most peaceful and most prosperous when America is strongest. America will continue and continue forever to play the role of peacemaker. We will always help save lives and indeed humanity itself, but to play the role, we must make America strong again. … We have to and we will make America great again.

Where are the alleged “inconsistencies”? Where is the “jumble”. (We urge doubters to read the whole speech and tell us if they find any inconsistencies or contradictions that we have overlooked.)

The speech as a whole could be taken as a manifesto of the new Republicanism – what the Republican Party will stand for under the leadership of Donald Trump. He will take the Party forward, but not in the direction it has long wanted to go. It wanted to go, but did not move. He will make both good and bad decisions, as leaders generally do. But he will make them in the interests of a strong and prosperous America, and that is an America that is good for the world.

Bernie and Francis, co-religionists 1

Bernie Sanders, whether he likes it or not, is a Jew. And as he is a man of the Left, he doesn’t like it.

The Jews – UNIQUELY – are both a nation and a religion. Yet it is not only possible but common for Jews to be one OR the other. Converts to Judaism are obviously of the religion but not of the nation. Many Jews – probably a majority of Western Jews – who are of the nation by birth, are not religious.

Perhaps it would be better to speak of the Jews being “a people” rather than a nation, as a Jew’s legal nationality might be American, or British, or French etcetera.

Bernie Sanders is of the Jewish people. And for two millennia his people were despised, humiliated, robbed, tortured, murdered individually and en masse by the Christian powers – longest and most atrociously by the Catholic Church. (Except in America.)

For a while, between the early 19th century and the mid-to-late twentieth century, many of the educated Jews of Europe and Russia put their hopes for relief from persecution in the new religion of Communism, in which (its theorists claimed) there would be neither Jew nor Gentile, neither bond nor free, neither male nor female, neither rich nor poor: for all would be one in the utopia of the Communist state.

But where Communist utopias were established in the twentieth century, Jews found they were not welcome. That should have told them that Communism would not save them. But many Jews who realized that the Lenins and Stalins of the Communist faith could not be relied on to treat them much better than had the Christians, were yet unwilling to give up the utopian Communist dream. Some Jews had realized this early on, so tried forming their own Communist party – the Bund. But as a separate group what could it achieve? A society in which there would be neither regrettably-still-sort-of -Jewish Jew nor absolutely-no-longer-Jewish Jew, neither bond Jew nor free Jew, neither male Jew nor female Jew, neither rich Jew nor poor Jew: for all would be one in the utopia of a Jewish Communist … What? Where?

Other Jews,  who could think better, decided to work to regain the ancient Jewish homeland in the Eastern Mediterranean region of the Ottoman Empire, and establish an actual state on real territory. They were the Zionists. In 1948 they achieved their state, their safe haven at last, on real territory that had been part of their ancient homeland.

Those Jews who, despite being unwanted, remained faithful to the Communism imposed on Russia and Eastern Europe, stuck to their abjuration of their Jewishness, the peoplehood as well as the religion. So did – and do – most of the Communists of Jewish descent everywhere in the free world.

As Communists often object to being called Communists since the Leninist-Stalinist utopias of Russia and Eastern Europe collapsed in poverty and criminality, we will call them Leftists for the rest of this article. Bernie Sanders is a Leftist.

Meanwhile, the Jews’ ancient persecutor, the Catholic Church, has selected a leader, Pope Francis, who is also a Leftist. He has found it possible to join the new religion without leaving his old one. He owes this achievement to his fellow Latin American priests, who spun the antithetical dogmas of secular Communism and Triune-God-worshiping Catholicism together in such a whirl of words that they came out of the Synthesizer as one substance, inseparable. And the stuff, the thing, was named “Liberation Theology”.

It is Leftism. The Pope is a Leftist, like Bernie Sanders.

For Leftists, their Leftism trumps all. No appeal to loyalty, history, precedent, reason, logic, decency, or common sense can move them. They want there to be neither black man nor white man, neither civilized nor savage, neither citizen nor illegal alien, neither CEO nor minimum-wage-earner, neither one sex nor any of the others, but all to be one in the global Communist mystic egalitarian low-carbon-emission utopia ruled by themselves.

To acknowledge and strengthen their brotherhood in the Kingdom of Means-Justifying-Ends, Bernie Sanders and Pope Francis shook hands on April 16, 2016.

Commanders forced to follow from in front 1

Questions: Why is the Middle East in flames? Why are rivers of people flooding from the Third World into Europe? Why are millions hungering in squalid refugee camps? Why are jihadis torturing, beheading, burning, burying, drowning men and women and children and making taunting videos of themselves doing it for all the world to see? Why are thousands of women enslaved? Why are young boys being sent to their deaths in suicide vests? Why has Russia annexed a part of the Ukraine? Why has the tyrannical Iranian regime been able to free itself from sanctions and develop nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them to the West? Why has China been able to extend it power with militarized artificial islands in the South China Sea?

Answer: Because Americans elected a know-nothing doctrinaire greenhorn to be its president and the leader of the free world.

Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page:

Multiple Secretaries of Defense are complaining about micromanagement from the White House and in particular, the National Security Council. Which means [Susan] Rice.

“It was the operational micromanagement that drove me nuts, of White House and National Security Council staffers calling senior commanders out in the field and asking them questions, of second-guessing commanders,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Bret Baier in a new Fox News special called Rising Threats, Shrinking Military.

Gates’ successor, Leon Panetta, took office in July 2011 and told Baier he had similar concerns with the Obama administration, despite being a long-time Democrat who served as a California congressman for many years and as Bill Clinton’s chief of staff.

Panetta complained that the president’s national security council staff had gotten so large and overbearing in recent years, creating massive inefficiency with creating foreign and defense policy.

Chuck Hagel, who replaced Panetta in February 2013, agreed that the size and role of the White House staff during the Obama presidency made it difficult to accomplish tasks and be productive.

“There were always too many meetings and always too many people in the room and too many people talking,” Hagel described. “Especially young, smart 35-year-old PhDs love to talk because that’s the way you let everybody know how smart you are. So there were a lot of reasons those meetings descended into … nonsense and the hard time we had making a decision.”

Hagel focused especially on the inexperience of the president himself and his staff, describing how Obama is “one of the youngest presidents we’ve ever had, one of the most inexperienced presidents we’ve ever had. He has a staff around him that’s very inexperienced. I don’t think there’s one veteran on his senior staff at the White House. I don’t believe there’s one business person. I don’t believe there’s one person who’s ever run anything. Other than Vice President Biden, none of them have ever been elected to anything.”

Hagel added that he is not sure if Obama or his staff ever understood “the tremendous responsibility the United States has … to lead”. 

Gates said he is concerned the president is suspicious of the military. He also said Obama was told by White House personnel during the debate over the war in Afghanistan that the Pentagon was trying to “box him in”, “trap him”,  and “bully him”,  which Gates said was never true.

“But there were clearly a number of people at the White House who believed that,” Gates said.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice imposed a gag order on military leaders over the disputed South China Sea in the weeks running up to the last week’s high-level nuclear summit, according to two defense officials who asked for anonymity to discuss policy deliberations. China’s president, Xi Jinping, attended the summit, held in Washington, and met privately with President Obama. …

The NSC dictum has had a “chilling effect” within the Pentagon that discouraged leaders from talking publicly about the South China Sea at all, even beyond the presidential summit, according to a second defense official familiar with operational planning.

So tensions are heating up. Rice is showing overt hostility to the military. And that’s the attitude emanating from the White House.

Obama has gone through multiple SODs and had bad relations with every single one of them. Including the current one [Ashton Carter] who was targeted by hit pieces from the WH, and whose authority over Gitmo Obama tried to ask Congress to usurp so he could free more terrorists faster. The facts are just impossible to ignore.

Obama made no secret of his contempt for America’s military. For America’s might. For America.

It was so well known that Scandinavians who shared his opinions gave him a Peace Prize when he’d only just begun to warm the desk chair in the Oval Office.

Now the world desperately needs an American leader who will make America great again. 

A hell-hag as leader and role model? 2

hillary_clinton_6

Who is the woman whom millions of Americans would vote for to become the first woman president of the United States? What sort of woman is she? What has she done? What does she stand for? What sort of model would she be for rising generations of Americans?

Is she a person of model character? No. She is an habitual liar (see here and here), a conniver and plotter; arrogant, corrupt, and vicious and cruel.

Is she a person who has achieved great things? No. Her only achievements have been catastrophes, bringing incalculable suffering upon millions of people who live their precarious lives in frail societies, most notably in Libya, where she brought unending chaos; in Nigeria, where she actively encouraged Boko Haram, the butchers of untold numbers of defenseless Christians; in Egypt, where she did all she could (but fortunately failed) to keep the tyrannical Muslim Brotherhood in power; in Iran, where she has helped Obama strengthen the oppressive dictatorship of the Ayatollahs.

Is she a woman of ideas? Does she at least associate herself with a political philosophy that promotes freedom, openness, tolerance? No. She has not articulated a single original political idea. And far from promoting freedom, openness and tolerance, she has actively worked with Islamic enemies of America to shut down free speech.

Is she clever? No. Cunning, yes, she is. But she lives in a sort of mental glass house in which she is forever throwing stones. Apparently oblivious to the facts of her own life, she denounces the very people and activities that support her political existence. It is a kind of blind, blundering stupidity.

Or call it “cognitive dissonance”. Examples of it are given by Victor Davis Hanson, who writes at Townhall:

Hillary Clinton recently said she would go after offshore tax “schemes” in the Caribbean. …

Yet her husband, Bill Clinton, reportedly made $10 million as an advisor and an occasional partner in the Yucaipa Global Partnership, a fund registered in the Cayman Islands.

Is Ms. Clinton’s implicit argument that she knows offshore tax dodging is unethical because her family has benefitted from it? Does she plan to return millions of dollars of her family’s offshore-generated income?

Clinton is calling for “huge campaign finance reform,” apparently to end the excessive and often pernicious role of big money in politics. But no candidate, Republican or Democrat, raised more than the $112 million that Clinton collected in 2015 for her primary campaign.

In 2013, Clinton earned nearly $1.6 million in speaking fees from Wall Street banks. She raked in $675,000 from Goldman Sachs, and $225,000 apiece from Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and UBS Wealth Management. Did that profiteering finally make Clinton sour on Wall Street’s pay-for-play ethics?

Clinton has also vowed to raise taxes on hedge fund managers. Is that a way of expressing displeasure with her son-in-law, Marc Mezvinsky, who operates a $400 million hedge fund?

For that matter, how did Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea – who worked for a consulting firm and a hedge fund despite having no background in finance – reportedly become worth an estimated $15 million?

Hillary Clinton recently proposed a new $350 billion government plan to make college more affordable. Certainly, universities spike tuition costs, and student-loan debt has surpassed $1 trillion. Colleges spend money indiscriminately, mostly because they know that the federal government will always back student loans.

Yet, since she left office, Clinton routinely has charged universities $200,000 or more for her brief 30-minute chats. Her half-hour fee is roughly equal to the annual public-university tuition cost for eight students.

It’s been said that Clinton is trying to rekindle President Obama’s 2012 allegations of a Republican “war on women”. That charge and the war against the “1 percent” helped deliver key states to Obama. Renewing that theme, Clinton recently declared on Twitter, “Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.”

Does Clinton’s spirited advocacy of “every” survivor include the array of women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct? In other words, does Hillary now trust the testimonies of survivors such as Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones, whose allegations must be “believed and supported”?

Ms. Clinton has also called for more financial transparency and greater accountability in general – something needed after scandals at government agencies such as the IRS, VA and GSA. But Clinton’s use of a private email server probably violated several federal laws. Her laxity with confidential communications was arguably more egregious than that of Gen. David Petraeus, a national icon who pleaded guilty to mishandling classified materials.

Perhaps Clinton assumes that the electorate is still in the ethical world of the 1990s. Back then, it was somewhat easier to dampen scandals – at least the ones that didn’t involve sex in the White House. But in the age of social media, 24-hour cable TV, instantaneous blogging and a different public attitude toward political corruption and sexual assault, Hillary Clinton now appears to be caught in the wrong century.

Womanizing and sexual coercion can no longer be so easily dismissed. The financial antics of the Clinton Foundation don’t past muster

Ms. Clinton at times tries to offset scandals by pointing to her record as secretary of state. But few believe that her handling of Russia, Iran, China, Benghazi or Islamic terrorism made the world calmer or America more secure.

There is a brazenness, an audacity, a shameless impudence in her hypocrisy that has no match even among politicians. In this, one would have to look back to medieval Popes to find her equal. 

Yet there are tens of millions of voters who would put enormous power into her hands. For no better reason than that she is a woman. Such people deserve their doom, of course. But what of the rest?

America must not fall into the talons of this hell-hag!

Posted under China, corruption, Diplomacy, Egypt, Ethics, government, Iran, Islam, jihad, Leftism, Libya, middle east, Muslims, Nigeria, Russia, tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, January 21, 2016

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Nuclear war risk rising 1

Iran is free to go. Free, that is, to become a nuclear power.

Caroline Glick writes at Front Page:

Given the Democrats’ allegiance to Obama’s disastrous policies, the only hope for a restoration of American leadership is that a Republican wins the next election. But if Republicans nominate a candidate who fails to reconcile with the realities of the world as it is, then the chance for a reassertion of American leadership will diminish significantly.

To understand just how high the stakes are, you need to look no further than two events that occurred just before the Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate.

On Tuesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency voted to close its investigation of Iran’s nuclear program. As far as the UN’s nuclear watchdog is concerned, Iran is good to go.

The move is a scandal. Its consequences will be disastrous.

The IAEA acknowledges that Iran continued to advance its illicit military nuclear program at least until 2009. Tehran refuses to divulge its nuclear activities to IAEA investigators as it is required to do under binding UN Security Council resolutions.

Iran refuses to allow IAEA inspectors access to its illicit nuclear sites. As a consequence, the IAEA lacks a clear understanding of what Iran’s nuclear status is today and therefore has no capacity to prevent it from maintaining or expanding its nuclear capabilities.

This means that the inspection regime Iran supposedly accepted under Obama’s nuclear deal is worthless.

The IAEA also accepts that since Iran concluded its nuclear accord with the world powers, it has conducted two tests of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons, despite the fact that it is barred from doing so under binding Security Council resolutions.

But really, who cares? Certainly the Obama administration doesn’t. The sighs of relief emanating from the White House and the State Department after the IAEA decision were audible from Jerusalem to Tehran.

The IAEA’s decision has two direct consequences.

First, as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday, it paves the way for the cancellation of the UN’s economic sanctions against Iran within the month.

Second, with the IAEA’s decision, the last obstacle impeding Iran’s completion of its nuclear weapons program has been removed. Inspections are a thing of the past. Iran is in the clear.

As Iran struts across the nuclear finish line, the Sunni jihadists are closing their ranks.

Hours after the IAEA vote, Turkey and Qatar announced that Turkey is setting up a permanent military base in the Persian Gulf emirate for the first time since the fall of the Ottoman Empire a century ago. Their announcement indicates that the informal partnership between Turkey and Qatar on the one side, and Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State on the other hand …  is now becoming a more formal alliance.

Just as the Obama administration has no problem with Iran going nuclear, so it has no problem with this new jihadist alliance. …

In other words, with the US’s blessing, the forces of both Shi’ite and Sunni jihad are on the march.

On the warpath, that is. But will the war be between Sunnis and Sunnis, and Sunnis and Shi’ites, or will it be a much wider conflagration?

Peter Apps, a Reuters defense correspondent and Executive Director of The Project for Study of the 21st Century, writes at Newsweek:

On Sunday, Nov. 28, Californians watched with bemusement and in some cases alarm as a bright light moved across the sky. It wasn’t a UFO. It was a U.S. Navy Trident ballistic missile.

It was, of course, just a test — the first of two in three days. They coincided with tough talk from U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, who earlier that month had criticized Russia for engaging in “challenging activities” at sea and air, in space and cyberspace. Days earlier, he had been in the South China Sea aboard an aircraft carrier, sending a similarly robust message to China about its actions in the disputed region. …

The Project for Study of the 21st. Century recently published its survey of major conflict risk. Over six months, we polled 50 national security experts on the risk of a variety of potential wars.

The results make interesting reading. The most striking thing, though, is not the numbers themselves — it is the fact that there now seem to be multiple potential routes to a variety of potentially devastating state-on-state wars.

Our poll showed the experts — who ranged from current and former military officials to international relations professors and insurance and risk specialists — putting a 6.8 percent chance on a major nuclear war in the next 20 years killing more people than World War Two. That conflict killed roughly 80,000,000 at upper estimates. …

A majority – 60% –  of the respondents believe that “the risk of nuclear had risen over the last decade” and 52% “expected it to rise further in the decade to come”.

The increasing confrontations with China and Russia have, of course, become increasingly obvious. Of our respondents, 80 percent said they expected a further rise in the kind of “ambiguous” or “asymmetric” conflict between major states. …

The world could see bloodshed on a previously unimaginable level.

Despite this year’s nuclear deal, our experts saw a 27 percent chance Iran would end up in a shooting war with its enemies, be that the United States, Israel, the Gulf States or all. On average, they saw a 6 percent chance of such a war including at least one nuclear detonation.

At least one? Wouldn’t there be a retaliation? Could there possibly be fewer than two? And then probably many more?

Overall, our panel estimated the risk of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization fighting Russia in at least a limited military confrontation at 22 percent. That compared to only a 17 percent chance of U.S. and Chinese forces fighting (as well as a slightly higher 19 percent chance of Japan and China doing the same). …

After a generation in which major European war was simply never thought possible, it’s worth remembering the continent is still home to more than half the world’s nuclear weapons.

And they are all likely to fall into the hands of a Muslim majority around the middle of this century.

The experts, hampered by the usual myopia of experts, do not apparently take that into account:

And yet, amid such apocalyptic talk, our survey shows that all of these conflicts remain on balance unlikely …

Unlikely? Why do they say that?

At one of our events earlier this year, Harvard geopolitics expert Professor Joseph Nye pointed out that nuclear weapons have so far acted to avert war by functioning as a brutally effective “crystal ball”. What their existence meant, he said, was that national leaders knew what the consequences of going over the edge would be — complete and utter destruction and a war which everyone would lose.

Had the leaders of Europe experienced such clarity before World War One, he suggested, they could well have stepped back from the brink. And sure enough, it’s true that we have avoided such conflicts in the era of “mutually assured destruction”.

The dark-minded mullahs who rule Iran don’t care a fig about “mutually assured destruction”. They say that the state of Israel can be destroyed with one nuke, and even if Iran lost millions in a counter-attack, Iran would still survive as a large and powerful nation.

And, they believe, the Iranian dead would all be martyrs who’d dwell in paradise forever. And there they long to go.

For all their warnings and nice academic calculations in percentage terms of the chances of our civilization being destroyed, The Project for Study of the 21st Century experts – though made nervous by something they gingerly sniff in the wind – are, in our view, far too optimistic.

And out of touch.

Caroline Glock is closer to making the prediction that needs to be spoken. But even she stops short of actually making it.

We will make it:

Unless “a Republican wins the next election” who  does not fail “to reconcile with the realities of the world as it is”, Iran will use its nukes.

“Apocalyptic” destruction will follow.

And that will be Obama’s legacy.

Posted under Arab States, China, Iran, Islam, Israel, jihad, Muslims, Russia, Turkey, United Nations, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Monday, December 21, 2015

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