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Taking Mohamed Out of Christmas

Teen plotted to bomb Oregon tree-lighting ceremony

"Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested at 5:40 p.m. just after he dialed a cell phone that he thought would blow up a van laden with explosives but instead brought federal agents and Portland police swooping in to take him into custody.

Mohamud yelled "Allahu Akhkbar" and tried to kick agents and police as the arrest came, according to prosecutors.

He was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction."


Search the intertoobs and notice that none of the headlines dare say this pile of dog squeeze is a Muslim.

The folks in Portland are simply thankful none of their Mao ornaments were damaged.

MM has a murderers row of Islamic terrorists who have plagued us in recent years with their death, violence, and attempted destruction.

"Yes: Violent jihad. Two words the current occupant of the White House won't say together and about which he remains in stubborn denial.

Violent jihad. A fundamental tenet of legions and legions of Muslims worldwide -- and untold numbers of homegrown and immigrant practitioners of the Religion of Perpetual Outrage here on American soil."

We may not be at war with Islam, but Islam sure as h*ll is at war with us!

TY L (title courtesy of commenter #14 - cause I ain't that clever)

UPDATE: Ooops. Rick beat me to the original announcement, and he states a good point - imagine the investigative kerkuffle if this kid was a "Christianista."


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Comments (59)

Portland embraces diversity... (Below threshold)
fremont:

Portland embraces diversity. I'm sure the law enforcement officers who saved hundreds of people will be fired for racial profiling.

also both Oregon US senator... (Below threshold)
fremont:

also both Oregon US senators and Portland congressperson are
open border, illegal alien supporters.

1: Where in the article doe... (Below threshold)
daniel rotter:

1: Where in the article does it say that that law enforcement officers used racial profiling to catch Mohamud?

2. Even if true, what does that have to do with anything? Mohamud is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

You're missing the point, M... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

You're missing the point, Mr Rotter.

See, according to certain Wizbang commenters and authors, readers of the Portland Observer, the New York Times, MSNBC.com, and other Lamestream Media outlets are way too ignorant to know that "Mohamud" is a Muslim name. Or that Somalia and Pakistan are Islamic countries. Or that would-be terrorists who shout "Allahu Akbar" are most likely Muslim would-be terrorists.

How do they GET so ignorant? By reading the Lamestream Media, of course!

See, Mr Rotter, only by making sure that Lamestream writers insert Wizbang-approved words into their articles, and inserting them into the VERY FIRST PARAGRAPH, can we be sure Lamestream readers will be properly informed. Get it now?

Bruce: "See, Mr Rotter, onl... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Bruce: "See, Mr Rotter, only by making sure that Lamestream writers insert Wizbang-approved words into their articles, and inserting them into the VERY FIRST PARAGRAPH, can we be sure Lamestream readers will be properly informed. Get it now?"

Shorter Bruce: "It is of no consequence to the story of a muslim islamist-supremacist attempting to commit mass-murder in the name of allah to actually make note, in the body of news report about this incident, that the culprit is a muslim islamist-supremacist who believes he is acting in the name of allah."


Well Bruce you got part of ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Well Bruce you got part of it right. We think you and Rotter are fucking politically correct idiots.

As for Mohamed - they screwed up. He should have gotten his Muslim approved award the second he started dialing.

Who decided that what this ... (Below threshold)
dunce:

Who decided that what this country needed was more black muslims for our future gene pool? Why are we still bringing them into the country?

Who decided that what th... (Below threshold)
Keith Ellison, D-Libtard Minnesota:

Who decided that what this country needed was more black muslims for our future gene pool? Why are we still bringing them into the country?

I did.

Sorry to belabor he point B... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Sorry to belabor he point Bruce, but you appear to need exactly that.

The point is that despite naming this fool, quoting his muslim battle cry, it never once names him as a muslim, nor does it ever call what he did an act of terrorism.

Furthermore it cites "Pakistan-born" men and a "Jordanian" man in the article but never bothers to connect the dots that these individuals are all muslim and driven by their religious intolerance to kill Americans.

The point is that the media dances all around the fact that 99.999% of terrorists today are muslim and driven by their religion to kill.

It would be nice for the media to recognize that these people have a uniting reason for what they do and despite obama's unwillingness to deal with reality they are indeed conducting a religious war against the west.

I would wager that once the... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I would wager that once the ACLU gets this guy his lawyer they will claim that he was unfairly targeted because of his religion.

Lamestream Bruce:T... (Below threshold)
epador:

Lamestream Bruce:

This is the same complaint as reporting an elected official in trouble getting an R after his or her name, but never a D. Yet your claim not to get that. I suppose you figure all the readers of the NYT know their D officials by heart and don't need any help identifying them, but for the GOP, that needs to be spelled out for them.


I don't understand how this... (Below threshold)
LiberalNItemare:

I don't understand how this happened. The TSA frisked my grandmother at JFK last week, shouldn't we all be safe now?

Well at the end of the NYT ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Well at the end of the NYT article from the AP, they do say this:

At the time, Attorney General Eric Holder said the indictments reflect a disturbing trend of recruitment efforts targeting U.S. residents to become terrorists.

Officials have been working with Muslim community leaders across the United States, particularly in Somali diasporas in Minnesota, trying to combat the radicalization.

Sigh, Penn State Lost to the damn Spartans. TIme to decorate the tree and go for a walk while its not raining.

Dr Epador, when I, personal... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Dr Epador, when I, personally, complain about the media misidentifying an allegedly corrupt politician's party, THEN scold me. But I'm not responsible for what every single liberal says on the Internet.

I'm just enjoying the hilarity of you guys getting all knickertwisted because the NYT didn't write the story exactly as you would. As if your average reader doesn't get it, and is even now scratching his average head, wondering, "Now what in hell you s'pose got into that Somali feller?"

And the hilarity of Rick's sister post, in which he plays the victim card by pretending there's a vast libislamunistofascist conspiracy to obfuscate the truth about Islamic jihadism and make Christians look like the real terrorists.

Hey Jim M, how many lawyers... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Hey Jim M, how many lawyers have the ACLU hired for terrorists, claiming that the alleged terrorists were "unfairly targeted because of their religion?"

Bruce,No one think... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Bruce,

No one thinks that there is some lefty-islamic conspiracy. No the sad truth is even worse, which is that the left is steadfastly ignorant and unwilling to confront the reality that there exists a strong and powerful minority within the islamic world that demands a return to the 7th century and calls for he oppression or outright murder of unbelievers.

How large that minority is is unknown, but the left insists, without any evidence to support it, that these islamofascists are a small and insignificant minority and furthermore it insists that if ignored for sufficient time that these terrorists will simply go away. So we see the leftist media refuse to acknowledge that muslims pose a threat. They will not call an act of terrorism, terrorism. They will not identify terrorists as muslim, despite their own words, country of origin and name.

The left seems to believe that appeasement is the answer to every enemy except those who would oppose them peacefully and politically. No, it is only the right that the leftists believe should be forcibly suppressed.

Thanks for once again clear... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Thanks for once again clearing up for me what "the left" is ignorant of and unwilling to confront, as well as what the left "seems to believe," Jim.

Pontificate to someone else about what the left seems to believe, Jim. I'll never let you get away with it. I myself am just as aware of the danger of Islamic jihadism as I am that you don't know what you're talking about.

Hey, what about a "Thank You" to the Holder DOJ for catching this kid? Sure beats the shit out of Ashcroft and a certain group of 19, huh?

Can we have a G.. D... happ... (Below threshold)
914:

Can we have a G.. D... happy ending for once? Y'know, where the moslem piece of shit gets his head blown off before he lawyers up with a bunch of ACLU liberals like Bruce?

So Bruce you speak for the ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

So Bruce you speak for the entire left?

How often do you meet with Barry? or Olbermann?

I look at the left and I tell you what I see. I see that they are appeasers, detached from the reality of current politics. They live in an adolescent fantasy world where everyone would get along if we could just talk it out and understand each other. They understand the world about as clearly as a high school model UN.

Current left wing foreign policy in the US is predicated on this juvenile understanding of the world and foreign nations.

With regard to terrorism the trend runs from sticking their heads in the ground to an obtuse refusal to acknowledge the obvious: that some muslims really do pose a serious threat and ignoring that fact endangers us all. Refusal to call a terrorist attack what it is and refusal to identify the culprits as muslims are part of that obtuseness.

It isn't just the word usage that people get worked up about, it is the arrogant refusal to deal with reality that pisses us off.

The latest in idiot terrori... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

The latest in idiot terrorists. WTF.

Bruce: "I'm just enjoying t... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Bruce: "I'm just enjoying the hilarity of you guys getting all knickertwisted because the NYT didn't write the story exactly as you would."

Well, I'm just enjoying the hilarity of you, Bruce, getting all twisted to come up with a strawman argument ("..didn't write the story EXACTLY as you would.") to avoid the fairly obvious and unavoidable criticism of the media failing to note the most easily discernable facts about the individual accused in the story.

But go ahead Bruce, just keep pretending that posters on wizbang are angry because the NY Times, amongst others, didn't write the story "EXACTLY" as conservatives would.

Yep.

No exaggeration there.

Nope.

So much for the "reality-based" community.

Bruce,Evidence of ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Bruce,

Evidence of this willful ignorance of the world is the recent failure to convict the embassy bomber on a single count of murder. The obama administration's insistence on trying these people in civilian courts has been shown to be the unworkable disaster that everyone else said it would be.

But rather than admit their mistake they point to the one count that they achieved a conviction on and claim that the rest do not matter, ignoring the fact that they came a hairs breadth away from having a terrorist acquitted on all counts.

Kudos to the Obama team for... (Below threshold)
SteveM:

Kudos to the Obama team for handling this and preventing a single American injury or death.

"Kudos to the Obama team fo... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Kudos to the Obama team for handling this and preventing a single American injury or death."

Yeah, unlike Ft Hood, and the incompetency of the the Times Square bomber.

1 for 3. Quite impressive.

No one thinks that there... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

No one thinks that there is some lefty-islamic conspiracy. No the sad truth is even worse, which is that the left is steadfastly ignorant...

It's worse than that. The offensive coordinators on the Left stand up for Muslim terrorists (pardon the pleonasm) because they view terrorism as helping them to undermine America. It's much the same reason leftists invariably support criminals such as "Mumia" and "Tookie." That, and all three groups identify with scum. Birds of a feather, and all that.

Pleonasm! I haven't heard ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Pleonasm! I haven't heard anyone use that term since I was a philosophy minor. Well done!

I see the left as thinking that the muslims must be their natural allies as the muslims hate America and so does the left. What the left fails to comprehend is that the muslims don't hate America per se, but hate western culture and specifically US culture.

muslims hate the left just as much as the rest of us (possibly more because the left has little that resembles morals) but the left doesn't comprehend that truth. muslims will use the left to try to achieve their aims and then they will put the left to death just like the rest of us. The left remains in a fantasy world.

Damn bruce, aren't you runn... (Below threshold)
epador:

Damn bruce, aren't you running out of straw men to burn?

I offer another example of the press selectively labeling or failing to label newsworthy bad guys, and you again take it personally. Are you Paul Hoosan's cousin Brucey? (Apologies to AM 700's Bruce Morrow, who annoyed me in a different way through my adolescence).

I wouldn't get so alarmed a... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I wouldn't get so alarmed about an Islamic American conspiracy, not this plot anyway. It seems this one, was a FBI undercover, set-up plot that lured the solo young man into it, after he had written a radical article online, but one which did not explicity call for vioence.

An Somali-born, American teenager was apparently set up by federal law enforcement officials who posed as radical Islamic fighters and lured the young man into a plot he believed would lead him to detonate a car bomb at an Oregon Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

The bomb, provided by FBI agents, was "inert" and did not pose a threat to public safety, according to the US Attorney's Office in Oregon

crickmore: "It seems this o... (Below threshold)
Drago:

crickmore: "It seems this one, was a FBI undercover, set-up plot that lured the solo young man into it, after he had written a radical article online, but one which did not explicity call for vioence."

Yep.

Just another perfectly innocent muslim set up by "the Man".

Why, oh why, can't these "Christianists" simply allow these peace-loving muslims to go about their merry way?

No wonder these adherents of the Religion of Peace hate us so.

Thanks for putting it all into perspective crickmore.

We have so much to learn from our muslim betters.

Why don't we start with honor killings and female genital mutilation? Then we'll move onto stoning by death of adulteresses and hanging homosexuals.

Yes indeed, we have so much to learn.

Jay Guevara:"The o... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Jay Guevara:

"The offensive coordinators on the Left stand up for Muslim terrorists (pardon the pleonasm) because they view terrorism as helping them to undermine America."

For someone who uses such nifty language that sure is a stupid statement. Sure, I can understand the fact that you have your issues with how Democrats, leftists, hippies, or whatever think about and talk about these kinds of issues. But THIS bullshit, basically saying that the left stands up for MUSLIM TERRORISTS? WTF? Are you serious?

jim m:

"I see the left as thinking that the muslims must be their natural allies as the muslims hate America and so does the left."

Again, WTF? Ya jim, the people left of center just "hate America." Sorry, but disagreeing with the opposing side is one thing--claiming that they must align themselves with terrorists b/c they disagree with you is ridiculous.

jim, you usually raise pretty good points around here, even if I do disagree with you often. But this kind of crap is over the top, IMO.

Steve C:"It seems ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Steve C:

"It seems this one, was a FBI undercover, set-up plot that lured the solo young man into it, after he had written a radical article online, but one which did not explicity call for vioence."

Dude. No need to be naive here. The guy thought he was detonating a bomb in the middle of a crowd of civilians. That was certainly indicative of a pre-meditated intent to commit terrorism (ie an explicit "call for violence"). Luckily this was an FBI sting.

Actually Steve, this serves... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Actually Steve, this serves to undermine the cant of the left, which has been to claim (without any evidence) that the majority of muslims are peace loving and not in the least prone to violence even if they do not fully adopt American culture.

The fact is that many muslims hate American culture and thus hate Americans. Many, as in the case of this young man, are merely waiting for the opportunity to act or to materially support some act of terrorism.

You already bear witness to the liberal belief that he was "lured" into action and would not have if the evil FBI had not "set him up". The left is unwilling to consider that someone would hate the US for its culture and way of life.

But in reality that is the very thing the left has done for decades. The left hates America, hates free market capitalism, hates individual responsibility. Heck, leftists went so far as to try to plant bombs to provoke a war of revolution or have you already forgotten about Barry's friend, Bill Ayers, who said of his terrorism the his only regret was not planting more bombs?

Drago, I'm with you on thes... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Drago, I'm with you on these barbaric sexist customs, honor killings it seems even for being a a victim of rape. On the other hand, the silver lining (I grant you it is not much of one) may be the muslim religion may moderate thieving.

And the black muslims used... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

And the black muslims used to be surprising effective at reducing drug dependency in the inner cities, but you don't hear so much about their influence any more? And if they are prostrating themselves five times a day to Mohmmmed that has to remove them from some criminal opportunities.

See, Bruce? Told ya that s... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

See, Bruce? Told ya that someone would come along claiming entrapment... and Steve Crickmore obligingly does it.

It'd almost be funny if it weren't pathetic.

jim, regional spokesman for... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

jim, regional spokesman for "the left" wrote:

"The left hates America, hates free market capitalism, hates individual responsibility."

Holy sh*t!

They hate America, the free market, capitalism, AND individual responsibility!!! What ARE these people??!!!

They probably don't like beer, baseball, or even puppies. I'll bet they don't even sleep with a copy of Glen Beck's "Christmas Sweater" under their pillows! Commie, Christmas-hating, totalitarian pinkos, every last one of em!

"See, Bruce? Told ya that s... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

"See, Bruce? Told ya that someone would come along claiming entrapment... and Steve Crickmore obligingly does it."

JLawson, for the record I vote no on the whole entrapment argument. Don't tell the p.o.l.i.t.b.u.r.o., ok?

So that makes it at least 1-1 from the commie-leftist-totalitarians on this thread.

muslims hate th... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

muslims hate the left just as much as the rest of us (possibly more because the left has little that resembles morals) but the left doesn't comprehend that truth.

Jim, I think that they do (the offensive coordinators, that is; not the grunts in the trenches, the useful idiots with the "Coexist" bumper stickers). It's just that the leftists figure that they'll turn on the Muslims after they (the Muslims) have done as much of the heavy lifting as they can.

muslims will use the left to try to achieve their aims and then they will put the left to death just like the rest of us

Yep, and the leftists figure exactly the same thing about the Muslims. Their interest - destroying America and replacing it with something else - coincide right now. Once they've destroyed America either leftists or Muslims will destroy the other, like scorpions in a bottle.

PS: in this scorpions in a ... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

PS: in this scorpions in a bottle respect, the Muslims and the leftists are much like the Soviets and the Nazis; each thinks it's using the other, with whom they'll deal later. One of them is right. The question is, "which one?"

But THIS bullsh... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

But THIS bullshit, basically saying that the left stands up for MUSLIM TERRORISTS? WTF? Are you serious?

Absolutely. Pay attention. Who defends Muslim terrorists? Leftist lawyers. (See, e.g., Lynne Stewart.) Who wears kaffiyehs at demonstrations? Leftists. Who babbles about supporting Palestinian wars of national liberation? Leftists. (See, e.g, Rachel Corrie, or practically any demonstration documented on zombietime.com). Who is incensed about Guantanamo? Leftists. Who attacks Israel incessantly, and defends the most barbarous actions of Muslims? Leftists. ("They're fighting Western oppression.") When have you ever heard a leftist attack Islamic terrorism, ever?

Put aside your present convictions, and look impartially at the evidence. The Left supports Muslim terrorists 100%. If you disagree, I'll deluge you with links to prove it unequivocally. Face it - as unpalatable to you as this assertion may be, it is nevertheless true.

But THIS bullsh... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

But THIS bullshit, basically saying that the left stands up for MUSLIM TERRORISTS? WTF? Are you serious?

Absolutely. Pay attention. Who defends Muslim terrorists? Leftist lawyers. (See, e.g., Lynne Stewart.) Who wears kaffiyehs at demonstrations? Leftists. Who babbles about supporting Palestinian wars of national liberation? Leftists. (See, e.g, Rachel Corrie, or practically any demonstration documented on zombietime.com). Who is incensed about Guantanamo? Leftists. Who attacks Israel incessantly, and defends the most barbarous actions of Muslims? Leftists. ("They're fighting Western oppression.") When have you ever heard a leftist attack Islamic terrorism, ever? Put aside your present convictions, and look impartially at the evidence. The Left supports Muslim terrorists 100%. If you disagree, I'll deluge you with links to prove it unequivocally. Face it - as unpalatable to you as this assertion may be, it is nevertheless true.

Again, WTF? Ya jim, the people left of center just "hate America." Sorry, but disagreeing with the opposing side is one thing--claiming that they must align themselves with terrorists b/c they disagree with you is ridiculous.

Ryan, check out zombietime.com, e.g., the San Francisco "Anti-War" Rally from March 20, 2010, and then tell me leftists don't hate America. Seriously, check it out. You may not hate America, and you may consider yourself a leftist, but you're not driving the leftist bus. Those who are, are masters of manipulation. Once again, face it: you've been duped by leftist agitators. Big time.

Back in the day (when I was young, stupid, and left-wing, the usual trifecta) I knew Angela Davis, who once upbraided me for taking the issue of the day at face value. She snapped that the issue was of no concern to the Party; it was merely a vehicle for agitation.

She was right.

Jay, thanks for the extensi... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Jay, thanks for the extensive reply.

"You may not hate America, and you may consider yourself a leftist, but you're not driving the leftist bus."

I don't consider myself a leftist, no. In fact, I think that the whole left/right political dichotomy is kind of stupid. But I usually get put in the "leftist" camp because I disagree with folks around here a lot and that's the only handy category they have to pin on me. So there you have it.

"Those who are, are masters of manipulation. Once again, face it: you've been duped by leftist agitators. Big time."

lol

How the f*ck do you know what I have or have not been "duped" by?

"The Left supports Muslim terrorists 100%. If you disagree, I'll deluge you with links to prove it unequivocally. Face it - as unpalatable to you as this assertion may be, it is nevertheless true."

Let me ask you this, Jay. How do you define "the left"? Are you talking about everyone to the left of Dick Cheney, or what? Because you're making some sweeping claims, to say the least.

Granted, there are plenty of ideologically blinded folks on the left, no doubt about that. And, as someone who attended a fairly liberal college during my undergrad, I can attest to the ill-informed ways in which people who identify themselves as "leftists" comport themselves--Stalin references, Che Guevara posters, violence in the name of peace, and all. So, ya, there's plenty of BS coming from the edges of that movement.

But your claim that "the left" supports Muslims terrorists 100% is still a wee bit out there, IMO. Seriously though, how do you define the left? Are you talking Democrats, or what? Michael Moore fans? Or members of the International Socialist Organization? People who think Stalin wasn't really a bad guy once you got to know him? Dennis Kucinich? People who think Cuba is a people's paradise, despite the political and social repression?

Do you automatically equate people who disagree with you as "the left"?

Just wondering.

"Sorry, but disagreeing wit... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Sorry, but disagreeing with the opposing side is one thing--claiming that they must align themselves with terrorists b/c they disagree with you is ridiculous."

It would be ridiculous if that were what I was doing. The left actually does align itself with terrorists as Jay Guevera points out quite ably above.

The left is the side that when they dissent they call it patriotism, but when others dissent against the left it is called sedition. DOn't go getting on your high horse, just look at the actions of your side. They really do rally with the palestinians and support their terrorism and lies. Dem congressmen have gone to Israel and protested with the palestinians becoming useful idiots for terrorists.

I did not claim that 100% of the left support terrorists, but I did claim that the majority of the left does. I stand by that claim.

As to who I define as the left I would say it is a question of who leads it. Obama has surrounded himself with Maoists, who claim that Mao is one of their personal heroes. Some of his campaign headquarters in 2008 proudly displayed the image of Che. He and Pelosi et al have lead us down a road of radical socialist change taking over industry, socializing medicine, demonizing people who earn money. His supporters are people in the media, who never question his actions or motives. The netroots community that thinks his failure is that he is insufficiently left (which, by the way is what his response to the 2010 midterms boils down to).

And yes, Ryan, I have run across just regular people in the street who with a straight face claim "Stalin was a good man."

That is the left today. You have the misfortune to be a part of it. You have chosen to support a political movement that is steadfastly against the US. A movement that supports our enemies and supports dictators and tyrants of history claiming that they are the ones we should follow.

When terrorists are put on trial the leftist lawyers line up to represent them, but where are they when Americans are falsely accused? Where were all the civil liberties lawyers when the Haditha Marines were falsely accused? Too busy trying to defend the lies of the enemy that's where.

jim,"The left is t... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

jim,

"The left is the side that when they dissent they call it patriotism, but when others dissent against the left it is called sedition."

Bullshit. BOTH sides do this crap, and if you paid attention for the last 10 years you would realize that. Political dissent is a key component of a functioning democracy, and idiots on the right and left start wielding the "sedition" charge all too often. Not like this is a new story.

"I did not claim that 100% of the left support terrorists, but I did claim that the majority of the left does. I stand by that claim."

Ok. You stand by the claim that the MAJORITY of the left literally SUPPORTS TERRORISM. No hyperbole here, at all? The irony is that you complain about being labeled seditious for dissenting against the left, and yet you're willing to claim that the "majority" of your [undefined] political opponents support terrorism. Hmmm. Do you see the irony?

"As to who I define as the left I would say it is a question of who leads it."

Another bullshit answer that allows you to keep being vague about who "the left" is. Seriously, are you labeling anyone who voted for Obama as the left? Or all Democrats? Are you talking about the far left? Who are you talking about? Or do you just feel more comfortable making vague proclamations about millions of American citizens?

"And yes, Ryan, I have run across just regular people in the street who with a straight face claim 'Stalin was a good man.'"

So have I. There is definitely no shortage of idiots in this world, is there? I love running into some ill-informed kid who thinks that Castro or Chavez are great guys. Ya, except for all the political repression, just peachy. Kind of like people who say that Pinochet "did a good job with the economy" or that Rios Montt was a "humanitarian".

"That is the left today. You have the misfortune to be a part of it. You have chosen to support a political movement that is steadfastly against the US."

Oh, I see. Since I disagree with you I MUST be anti-US. How do you have any clue what political movement I do or do not support? You have some serious cajones to make BS claims like this. Why do you assume this? Because I disagree with you on certain social and political issues? How are you any better than people on the far left? You're not. From my perspective, you sound just as ignorant and myopic as any extreme leftist I have had the unfortunate chance to run into. You just have a different set of talking points and canned replies.

"A movement that supports our enemies and supports dictators and tyrants of history claiming that they are the ones we should follow."

Have you ever heard of a guy named Pinochet? Or Somoza? Or the Shah of Iran? Rios Montt? Do you know the recent histories of US involvement in Central America? How do you feel about the autocratic regime in Saudi Arabia? How do you feel about the US "supporting" them?

Bad decisions--or outright wrong decisions--exist throughout the political spectrum. While idiots on the left have made all sorts of excuses for people from Stalin to Castro, the political right has been all too willing to placate and support its share of anti-democratic, repressive dictators in the name of "US interests." So you can now step off your high horse as well, jim.


"JLawson, for the record... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"JLawson, for the record I vote no on the whole entrapment argument. Don't tell the p.o.l.i.t.b.u.r.o., ok?"

Okay - but your dissent has been noted and the Reeducation Authority will soon dispatch the Attitude Adjustment Councillors to assist you in understanding the error of your thoughts. Assume the proper attitudes and their visit will be short and relatively pain-free...

Seriously, in the other thread I was predicting that this guy would be off the front pages of the news sites by Monday... and that there'd be screams of "Entrapment! It's all the FBI's fault!" And Crickmore came along...

Sigh. Some of these folks are way too predictable.

BTW - "Bad decisions--or outright wrong decisions--exist throughout the political spectrum. While idiots on the left have made all sorts of excuses for people from Stalin to Castro, the political right has been all too willing to placate and support its share of anti-democratic, repressive dictators in the name of "US interests.""

Yeah - the only problem I see with that is in a lot, probably all, of the cases the people at the time have to decide who to support and how. On the one hand you can support group A, which has some aspects you disagree with, or you can support group B, which has other aspects you disagree with. The choice to NOT support either group (with the USSR ready and willing to step in as 'friends' to both, for example) doesn't advance US interests - and in the long run our interests HAVE to be looked out for.

In the realm of international relations, rarely are there cut and dried good/bad guys... though you can usually tell who the really rotten ones are.

And mistakes do get made, I don't think there's a President and administration dating back to Washington's time that hasn't messed up some way or another. 20-20 hindsight is great - but Silicon Valley hasn't invented anything to give us 20-20 foresight yet. (And from a strictly functional viewpoint, I'm not sure if I'd want it. Predestination takes all the fun and excitement out of diplomatic life, you know?)

JLawson,Thanks, as... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

JLawson,

Thanks, as usual, for providing a more thoughtful rebuttal than some of the usual suspects around here.

"Sigh. Some of these folks are way too predictable."

Agreed. Yet another two way street in the land of hyper-partisanship.

"Yeah - the only problem I see with that is in a lot, probably all, of the cases the people at the time have to decide who to support and how."

Granted. None of this is easy, clear cut, or even predictable. I think we have talked about this one before. Hopefully we have learned from past mistakes. Supporting dictators like Somoza and the Shah of Iran...well, we all know how that turned out. While those leaders were willing to comply with US "interests," the longstanding political repression of their people led to some pretty terrible results (which are still major issues to this day). Again, hopefully we've learned.

"In the realm of international relations, rarely are there cut and dried good/bad guys... though you can usually tell who the really rotten ones are."

Agreed. But watch out...folks around here might accuse you of making "nuanced" arguments! And THAT is a terrible, terrible crime.

I don't conside... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

I don't consider myself a leftist

I suspected you didn't, and I don't consider you one, either, by conviction. But objectively, you are, because you've not recognized leftist agitprop for what it is.

Let me answer your other responses generically. As indicated above, when I was in college I spoke with Angela Davis tete-a-tete on a number of occasions, and often heard the late Herbert Marcuse speak. Their sole criterion for adopting a position was whether it advanced the revolution. Period. They didn't give a rat's ass about any of the "issues" in and of themselves. In a steering committee meeting of a campaign regarding an issue, I commented that something Davis said did not comport well with our position on the issue. She gave me an eye roll and essentially told me to grow up: the "issue" was for rubes, a matter of no interest to the Party, and that it was merely a vehicle for "organizing the masses," i.e., grist for agitation, something to stir up the naive. For "naive," read "people like you."

Think that's harsh? Let me prove my point with a few anecdotes, the first taken from history.

On August 22, 1939 American leftists were villifying Nazi Germany, and urging America to intervene in Europe to fight fascism. On August 24, they were advocating isolationism ("Hands off Europe!"). What happened in between? The Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact.

Think feminism is about women? Do you hear feminist organizations getting upset by, e.g., Iran hanging women for having been raped, or stoned to death for having committed adultery? Nope.

Think environmentalism is about the environment? Do you hear environmental organizations getting upset by the environmental catastrophes in Russia (e.g., Aral Sea) or China (massive air pollution)? Nope. (Ever hear "global warming" zealots teeing off on China? Ever?? Carbon dioxide is carbon dioxide, after all.)

Think human rights organizations are about human rights? Do you hear them squawking about human rights in, say, North Korea, Cuba, or anywhere in Africa? Nope.

Why? Because none of these organizations is about its purported raison d'etre. They're all about agitation. Here's how you can predict their take on any incident: is there any perspective that can be used against the U.S.? If so, they'll adopt it. If not, they'll ignore the issue. Admit it, with this simple approach you can absolutely predict their reactions across the board.

The Left is composed of a s... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

The Left is composed of a small proportion of leaders (e.g., Angela Davis) and a huge proportion of followers whom they've influenced (e.g., you), people who think they've reached their opinions themselves, but in fact have unwittingly succumbed to leftist agitprop, much as consumers succumb to a clever marketing plan.

The Left will take any position, no matter how ridiculous, or how it contradicts yesterday's position, if it will advance The Cause. They're now supporting Islamic terrorism, just as they once supported Nazism, and for the same reason: it advances their interests. And in the same fashion, when it no longer does, Islam will become their mortal enemy again, just as Nazism did.

Historical note: who were the very first people exterminated by the Bolsheviks, once they seized power? Answer: the Revolutionary Socialists, their erstwhile allies. Why? Because 1) they threatened the unity of the leftist movement, and 2) the Bolsheviks no longer needed them.

Suspend your current disbelief, look at the data, and try to formulate a hypothesis to explain them. If you do this, you will find that, inevitably, you will draw the conclusions outlined above. Conversely, it is simply not possible to understand leftists' actions by taking them at face value. They make zero sense from that perspective. They make perfect sense from mine. In a way, I owe Angela Davis a great debt; her blunt comment stunned me into starting to think clearly.

You're a good man, and impute goodness to others who don't warrant it.

As far as the Shah went, Ry... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

As far as the Shah went, Ryan, it was either the Shah or another figurehead that would go play with the USSR as I understood it. Could be wrong on that... but considering the locale and the importance of the Persian Gulf, even with 20-20 hindsight it's a bit iffy on what the best choice was.

Somosa? Eh. Flip a coin, take your chance. That apple looked good on the outside, but was rotten inside...

Lot of folks would really like international relations to be simple, straightforward, and not complex or convoluted. But what they forget (whether intentionally or unintentionally) is that every leaders' job is first and foremost to protect the interests of that country. (Or, in a lot of cases, their own interests.) And sometimes the alliances and support aren't predicated on a 'best possible' scenario, but a 'least worst'.

"Seemed like a good idea at the time" isn't much of a defense, but it's the way geopolitics go.

Nuanced? Me? Heh. No, more of a 'realist' - I've seen enough to understand that there's a hell of a lot of factors that have to be taken into consideration whenever any alliance is made - and not all of them will be weighed the same down the road.

Have you ever h... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Have you ever heard of a guy named Pinochet? Or Somoza? Or the Shah of Iran? Rios Montt? Do you know the recent histories of US involvement in Central America? How do you feel about the autocratic regime in Saudi Arabia? How do you feel about the US "supporting" them?

Pretty much the way I feel about the US supporting Joe Stalin during WWII. The question is, what are the alternatives? The alternative to "bad" often isn't "good," but rather "worse."

On the other hand, the Left doesn't support, say, Cuba because there's no better alternative; they support it because they support what Cuba is about, and what they want us to be. It's not a distasteful choice they're forced to make. It's one they're eager to make.

Jay,Well, you're c... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Jay,

Well, you're certainly a good writer. My favorite parts are where you tell me what I am really thinking. Nice work.

"I suspected you didn't, and I don't consider you one, either, by conviction. But objectively, you are, because you've not recognized leftist agitprop for what it is. "

Right. So I'm a de facto leftist because, according to you, I'm a brainless fool who can't recognize the difference between propaganda and reality. Because, like, Che Guevara was totally a saint who wanted to save "the people".

Look, do me a favor and stop assuming that I'm an idiot, and I'll do the same. You have your points to make...but just because I question what exactly you're talking about when you make broad claims about "the left", don't assume that I walk around with a Stalin biography and promulgate the wonders of a totalitarian state (purges aside).

"She gave me an eye roll and essentially told me to grow up: the "issue" was for rubes, a matter of no interest to the Party, and that it was merely a vehicle for "organizing the masses," i.e., grist for agitation, something to stir up the naive. For "naive," read "people like you.""

lol. Ya, this kind of shit really confuses my simple mind. I mean, who could imagine the possibility that there could be ulterior motives?

"On August 22, 1939 American leftists were villifying Nazi Germany, and urging America to intervene in Europe to fight fascism. On August 24, they were advocating isolationism ("Hands off Europe!"). What happened in between? The Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact."

Not a shocker. Should I act shocked for you?

"Think feminism is about women? Do you hear feminist organizations getting upset by, e.g., Iran hanging women for having been raped, or stoned to death for having committed adultery?"

You certainly have a propensity to generalize. Feminism encompasses a range of political and social positions, some of them contradictory in motive and underlying philosophy. So, if you want to talk about massive issues like this, then you'll have to be more specific.

"Think environmentalism is about the environment? Do you hear environmental organizations getting upset by the environmental catastrophes in Russia (e.g., Aral Sea) or China (massive air pollution)?"

Environmentalism is about the environment, politics, ideology, power, money, manipulation, control of resources, and a whole slew of other socio-political and economic factors. Are you assuming that I have no idea that there are severe environmental issues that exist outside of the US? Really? This is great. Feel free to tell me how it is, Jay.

"Think human rights organizations are about human rights? Do you hear them squawking about human rights in, say, North Korea, Cuba, or anywhere in Africa? Nope."

Are many NGOs and international aid organizations corrupt? Hell yes. Are many governments corrupt? Yup. Are human rights organizations composed of a bunch of saints? Nope. Do I trust each and every one of these kinds of organizations? Nope. Are there serious human rights issues in places like Cuba, Congo, Nigeria, China, and North Korea. Indeed, there are. Again, sometimes your broad brush statements kind of preclude any actual discussion. Corruption and deceit abounds. But then, some groups and organizations are legitimately trying to do something, despite all of the international politics. So where should we start? USAID? Or Human Rights Watch?

So...tell me what you think about this organization. Just a bunch of commie agitprop? Check it:

http://www.pih.org/

"Admit it, with this simple approach you can absolutely predict their reactions across the board."

I think you have oversimplified your approach. But that's just me.

"The Left is composed of a small proportion of leaders (e.g., Angela Davis) and a huge proportion of followers whom they've influenced (e.g., you), people who think they've reached their opinions themselves, but in fact have unwittingly succumbed to leftist agitprop, much as consumers succumb to a clever marketing plan."

Ok, you're doing it again. You're assuming that I am not versed whatsoever in political and social theories other than...what? Karl Marx? Lenin? Mao? Stalin? Well, if you want to get into a discussion about political theory and history, let's do it. But again, please stop assuming that I read the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital and thoughtlessly converted to the church of the left. Sorry, wrong guy. Again, your assumptions keep getting in the way of any meaningful discussion here.

"The Left will take any position, no matter how ridiculous, or how it contradicts yesterday's position, if it will advance The Cause."

Once again, you have refused to define "the left" beyond making vague proclamations about particular leaders like Davis. Tell me, where is the line? Who IS NOT part of the left, in your opinion? It does in fact sound like you have a particular notion about the American left, but for some reason you remain pretty obtuse about this. Not sure why.

"Answer: the Revolutionary Socialists, their erstwhile allies. Why? Because 1) they threatened the unity of the leftist movement, and 2) the Bolsheviks no longer needed them."

And your point is what, exactly? That political movements and revolutions are often violently hypocritical? Again, not a shocker.

"Conversely, it is simply not possible to understand leftists' actions by taking them at face value. They make zero sense from that perspective."

Here we agree. Although, I think that this practice should be extended to any dogmatic political philosophy. That's pretty much my stance.

"You're a good man, and impute goodness to others who don't warrant it."

Overall, I think you may be misinterpreting my intentions. But then, that's my fault for not communicating clearly enough. My goal isn't to impute goodness upon those who don't deserve it, but instead to interrogate your broad claims in an attempt to flesh out exactly WHO or WHAT you're talking about. Massive terms are great for flashy discourse, but they often obscure as much as they illuminate.

Jay,"The question ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Jay,

"The question is, what are the alternatives? The alternative to "bad" often isn't "good," but rather "worse.""

In some cases there are few alternatives, yes. In others, we made the wrong call. Guatemala is a particularly poignant and sucky case. We made a bad call...and basically supported commercial interests over human rights. Mostly because of an annoying left-leaning president who pissed off United Fruit.

Also, it seems to me that supporting democratic movements in Nicaragua, instead of a brutal dictatorships, may have worked out better in the long haul. Instead, we ended up with radicalized Sandinistas and violent rebellion.

And what did the repression of the Shah give us? The g-damn radicalism of 1979. Great. That really worked out well.

"On the other hand, the Left doesn't support, say, Cuba because there's no better alternative; they support it because they support what Cuba is about, and what they want us to be. It's not a distasteful choice they're forced to make. It's one they're eager to make."

People who support Castro are ideologically blind and ignorant of history. Revolutionary movements often end up recreating the power dynamics they toppled. In many cases, it's not about changing the world, but simply about replacing those in charge with new faces.

My point: manipulation and obfuscation pervades the entire political spectrum.

JLawson,"But what ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

JLawson,

"But what they forget (whether intentionally or unintentionally) is that every leaders' job is first and foremost to protect the interests of that country. (Or, in a lot of cases, their own interests.) And sometimes the alliances and support aren't predicated on a 'best possible' scenario, but a 'least worst'."

I hear you about the "least worst" choice.

But here's the paradox. What happens when supporting a democratic government isn't exactly going to be in the best "interests" (economic, etc) of the US? Should we then go ahead and support an authoritarian regime instead, to hell with democracy?

The problem with democracy, of course, is that people may elect to do things that outside states disagree with.

This is the kind of choice we have faced in the past, and at times we have made the wrong call, IMO.

"But here's the paradox.... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"But here's the paradox. What happens when supporting a democratic government isn't exactly going to be in the best "interests" (economic, etc) of the US? Should we then go ahead and support an authoritarian regime instead, to hell with democracy?"

That's an excellent question. My immediate thought is that we should support the democratic government, and tell the proponents of replacing the democratic government with an authoritarian regime that their last check will be in the mail, as they're escorted out of the building. (Assuming they're government 'advisors'.) And that they're going to get positively glowing (as in radioactively deadly) references in the future.

Democratic governments (or representative republics, or any other governmental system where there's sufficient churn that no party comes into perpetual power) have an inherent advantage in that their people are mostly happy and that means the government is going to be relatively stable and prosperous in the long run. Dictatorships or top-down authoritarian constructs don't tend to have a happy population - money needs to be spent on either a secret police to keep down dissent, or a war to keep the population in line.

So my thinking is - no matter what (and especially based on past history) we should support the democratic government. And I agree with you - in the past the decisions we made were wrong. Whether the President and Congress were influenced by businesses (United Fruit as you mentioned) or whatever - we've screwed up in the past, and likely will again.

I might also add, Ryan A - ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I might also add, Ryan A - that pretty much everyone makes decisions that are great/okay in the short term but not so hot in the long run. (Thinks about ex-girlfriends and shudders...) The issues driving us today may not be the ones ten years from now - but the actions we take today may well affect what we can do ten years down the line.

Or as Cat Stevens sang "Life is like a maze of doors, and they all open from the side you're on..."

You don't know what's beyond the door until it's opened, and going through one door precludes going through others. And sometimes... there's just no good choices at all.

Ryan, I'm not telling you w... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Ryan, I'm not telling you what you're thinking. I'm not telling you what to think. I'm telling you to think.

So I'm a de facto leftist because, according to you, I'm a brainless fool who can't recognize the difference between propaganda and reality.

I don't think you're a brainless fool. I think you're a bit naive, and underestimate the skillfulness with which the propaganda is distributed. Read the Mitrokhin Archive (the notes, compiled over 30 years, of a KGB defector) about the KGB's activities during the Cold War.

Many factoids that are still kicking around today originated with the KGB (e.g., J. Edgar Hoover's sexuality, AIDS started in a CIA laboratory, to name two they were especially proud of). Others concerned the innocence of Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs (both proven to be guilty as sin by the VENONA decrypts of transmissions to Soviet intelligence, and confirmed by later access to KGB files, and in the Rosenbergs' case, by the recent admission of co-conspirator Morton Sobell). These are all old issues, but I cite them because now we know the truth. In their day, they were all hotly contested.

Similarly, we also now know that McCarthy, whatever his other faults, had a point: the government in general and the State Department in particular were heavily infested with Communists (McCarthy's information was extraordinarily good, as we now know; apparently he had a source in the FBI and/or CIA, as well as in the State Department). Two of those accused of complicity in losing China to the Reds resigned ...and fled to Red China. Hmmm. Yet today, McCarthy is demonized.

Further, in part through the efforts of Whitaker Chambers, we also know how closely the Soviets worked with the CPUSA to manipulate news coverage through sources in the news media (most famously Walter Duranty).

During the 80s Europe was in uproar protesting US cruise missles. Of the Soviet SS-20s - which were actually targeted on the protestors' countries - nary a peep. Odd? All of those demonstrations were inspired, organized, and funded by the KGB, as the sources below make clear. In fact, the KGB was quite proud of its work.

You might think that because the USSR no longer exists, that all of this is purely of historical interest. It is not. The same crap goes on today, it's just domestically generated, by Americans Marxists. Their loyalty hadn't been so much to the USSR as it was to Marxism; assisting the USSR was only a means to an end. As such, the USSR's demise did not end the problem.

Ever hear of Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States, now used in many high schools and colleges? Several months ago the FBI revealed that Zinn had been card-carrying member of the CPUSA. It is straight-up agitprop. How many people are aware of that?

Bottom line: the most paranoid ravings of the time underestimated the problem, which exists to this day.

So to where we came in: would leftists support Islamic terrorism if they thought it would advance their cause? Of course. They would, they do so think, and they do so support.

Sources:

History of Soviet and Russian espionage in the United States - read especially the links in this article.

Haynes, John Earl and Klehr, Harvey (2000). Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-08462-5.

Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West, Gardners Books (2000), ISBN 0-14-028487-7

Chambers, Whittaker] (1952). Witness. New York: Random House. pp. 799 (total). ISBN 52-5149. http://lccn.loc.gov/52005149.

Apologies for the length ab... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Apologies for the length above.

One afterthought: did you notice JournoList members talking about a "Popular Front?" Do you know what a Popular Front is? It's a term commonly used by Marxists to describe sa temporary alliance with socialists and other non-communist parties to achieve some particular goal.

Jay,"Ryan, I'm not... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Jay,

"Ryan, I'm not telling you what you're thinking. I'm not telling you what to think. I'm telling you to think."

Well, I appreciate the thought. I think.

"I don't think you're a brainless fool. I think you're a bit naive, and underestimate the skillfulness with which the propaganda is distributed."

Ok. So what is your recommendation for locating, analyzing, and recognizing propaganda for what it really is? Do the same tools work for propaganda from the left AND the right?

Also: Do you think that propaganda is merely a one-way street? Or does it take many forms? Does it cut across the political spectrum, or only emanate from communists?

"The same crap goes on today, it's just domestically generated, by Americans Marxists. Their loyalty hadn't been so much to the USSR as it was to Marxism; assisting the USSR was only a means to an end. As such, the USSR's demise did not end the problem."

Ok. It's becoming more clear who you're talking about when you refer to "the left." Sounds like you're thinking about the die-hards. Your view of "the left" has a decidedly Cold War era feel to it.

"Ever hear of Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States, now used in many high schools and colleges?"

Sure. It's on the same bookshelf in my office that has Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations," Marx's "Capital," Friedman's "Capitalism and Freedom," Lewis' "The Shaping of the Modern Middle East," Said's Orientalism, Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom," and Weber's "Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism." Among others.

That's my economics, history, and politics section. No shit. So what's your point about Zinn? Is there some secret coding in there that brainwashes unwitting readers? What do you recommend as an antidote? More Hayek? Maybe some von Mises? Atlas Shrugged? Reagan's memoirs?

"Several months ago the FBI revealed that Zinn had been card-carrying member of the CPUSA. It is straight-up agitprop. How many people are aware of that??"

How is the book "straight up agitprop"? Look, if you're saying that everything has a bias, and should be taken with a grain of salt...then we're on the same page. Do I think Zinn's book is historical gospel? Hell no. There is no historical gospel. Now what?

"So to where we came in: would leftists support Islamic terrorism if they thought it would advance their cause? Of course. They would, they do so think, and they do so support."

Who, specifically, do you put in this camp? Just wondering.

Also, thanks for the refs. The book on Venona looks interesting.

A couple of somewhat related books on my "need to read" stack:

"Blacklisted by History" by Evans (about McCarthy).

"Anthropological Intelligence: The Deployment and Neglect of American Anthropology in the Second World War" by David H Price (since I study anthropology, this should be particularly interesting).

"Apologies for the length above."

No worries. I have no problem with longer posts.

Overall, Mr Guevara, we clearly disagree on certain issues. It happens--and in some cases is what makes these sorts of sites actually interesting. For me it is worthwhile to actually take the time to hear different positions and perspectives. So thanks for taking the time to reply.

JLawson,Sorry for ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

JLawson,

Sorry for being late to the party. But, at least my latest paper is done and does not completely suck ;)

"I might also add, Ryan A - that pretty much everyone makes decisions that are great/okay in the short term but not so hot in the long run. (Thinks about ex-girlfriends and shudders...)"

Haha. A good point that applies to individual AND governments.

"You don't know what's beyond the door until it's opened, and going through one door precludes going through others. And sometimes... there's just no good choices at all."

Agreed. Sometimes there are definitely no good choices, or the info is so limited that it's difficult to make a reasonably informed decision. This happens in FUBAR situations all the time...and is a good thing to keep in mind.

Also, as for your points about democracy: I think we're on the same page there. But we need to watch out about agreeing--that might upset the overall political mojo around here!

Lastly, I'll be sure to avoid calling you "nuanced" and instead say "realist." Just to keep things straight...




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