Streetwise Professor

March 26, 2012

Should *We* Give Him Some Space?

Filed under: History,Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 7:40 pm

Per usual, the Russians have been throwing hissy fits over US ballistic missile defense plans, which the Russians believe are directed at them.  Medvedev has been warning that the time is fast closing for a deal to be done.  Rogozin has been venting about BMD.  And on and on.

And apparently Obama wants to deal, but feels constrained by, oh, you know, the fact that the American electorate is not nearly so enthusiastic.

In one of the most remarkable videos I have seen in a long time, before a live microphone Obama gives Medvedev the wink-wink, nudge-nudge, say-no-more routine:

President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.

President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

The body language is even more amazing than the words.  Look at Obama’s reassuring grasp of Medvedev’s arm.

Obama is trying to deceive someone.  He is either deceiving the American people, by his refusal to be honest with his intentions regarding missile defense, or he is attempting to deceive Medvedev (and Putin-the “him” referred to in Obama’s “give me space” remark), by insinuating that he will make a deal after the election.  But even the latter interpretation involves an attempt to dodge the US electorate: if he convinces Russia to tone down its rhetoric on BMD, he takes this issue-and the issue of Russia generally-away as a campaign matter.  This relieves him of the necessity of dealing honestly and forthrightly with a potentially contentious issue, and permits him to avoid accountability for the complete lack of concrete results arising from the vaunted Reset.  If the Russians continue to be cantankerous about missile defense, the Reset looks like a sham.  (Well, it is, but it will be obvious to everyone.) If Putin tones it down, based on Obama’s wink and stroke, Obama can continue to claim that he has improved relationships with Russia.

But given the fact that Obama is obviously playing somebody, do you really believe that Putin will conclude that Obama is playing the American electorate, and not Putin?  Given Putin’s suspicions of the US, I doubt it.

But I think that Americans have to take seriously the possibility that Obama is planning to conceal actively his intentions regarding a second term.  If he is willing to be “flexible” after the election-i.e., if he is willing to do things after the election that are contrary to what he says before it–about Russia and missile defense, what else is he being “flexible”-i.e., lying-about?

In other words, this exchange with Medvedev raises serious additional questions about his sincerity and honesty.  I don’t think he deserves space.  He deserves to be pressed repeatedly on his intentions, and this video provides a perfect pretext for the pressing.

The exchange with Medvedev was also notable for its confirmation of Medvedev as Putin’s errand boy: “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”  How embarrassing, mainly because Medvedev says that without a trace of embarrassment.  He is well and truly whipped. He has his mind right.  He knows who is boss.

In fact, pretty much anybody paying attention knew who was boss from day 1.  But Obama predicated the Reset on the idea that Medvedev was a rival of Putin’s.  How’s that looking now?

Speaking of missile defense, over the weekend Rogozin the Ridiculous tweeted that “Russian missile systems are able to overcome missile defense of any kind.” To which I responded: “So then why are you so fussed about US ABM system? You should welcome us wasting $ on it. So which is it?”

Which means that Rogozin is also attempting to deceive.  Either his fulminations against US missile defense are deceptive (because these really pose no threat to Russia because its ICBMs are invulnerable) are dishonest or his claims that Russian missiles are invulnerable  are lies.

Sad to say, Rogozin didn’t reply.  I’m shocked.  But a troll did claim that Russia was fussed because “it is indicative of NATO’s arrogant disrespect for Russian sovereignty.” Uhm, American missiles or ABM facilities- on Polish, Romanian and Czech violate Russian sovereignty how, exactly?

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  1. Obama has as many plans after the election as Russia has for 2020. All delay tactics and pushing decisions down the road to avoid putting the debate in front of the public when we have some recourse. Plus, I doubt Obama is trying to play Putin. He’s much more adept at playing us.

    Comment by Howard Roark — March 26, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

  2. Absolutely agree with Howard Roark.

    Comment by voroBey — March 26, 2012 @ 9:32 pm

  3. I think Rogozin should just go full bore and start mischeviously suggesting an ABM radar in Venezuela. Then watch El Rushbo et al go ape$#&^ about how it’s a violation of U.S. sovereignty, Monroe Doctrine etc. Well?

    In other news, how’s that Jon Corzine arrest coming along bro? And why are TIME et al trying to cover his ass by saying he really didn’t lie to Congress?

    Comment by Mr. X — March 26, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

  4. And BTW, while you sneer at Brother Alex Jones, his guest Pastor Lindsey Williams did just say on the Sunday show that ‘the Elite’ (the crude part of the globalist collection anyway) may make sure Obama doesn’t get reelected, that they’re furious about this Keystone deal because Keystone was supposed to be the right of way for the soon to be revealed motherload from offshore Alaska/Arctic Canada.

    Maybe Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s charge of a fraudulent SSN for the POTUS is suddenly, magically going to get some airtime after being completely buried thus far. But it won’t be Fox with Murdoch’s nuts in a vise that’s gonna do it. Nor your Romney fan Cointelpro buddy Reginald Quills. Darn I wish you’d comment on the company YOU keep for a change instead of everybody else’s.

    Comment by Mr. X — March 26, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

  5. So per comment @4, random ‘hot mic’ indeed?

    Comment by Mr. X — March 26, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

  6. And the logic of your ‘Rogozin must be lying thing’ fails on one count — THE OFFENSIVE potential of an ABM radar guiding ‘rods from God’.

    Comment by Mr. X — March 26, 2012 @ 10:16 pm

  7. Mr.X, you are a moron, with no understanding of military technology whatsoever.

    ABM’s are useless as an offensive system.

    Comment by Andrew — March 26, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

  8. And who needs radar for hitting ground targets? They just use GPS these days.

    Comment by Andrew — March 26, 2012 @ 10:54 pm

  9. Medvedev is the Communications Officer, transmitting messages to the Big Giant Head. He will be returning to normal functions in three, two, one… in May.

    Comment by TM — March 27, 2012 @ 12:40 am

  10. Vova calls him Little Me-me being short for Medevedev. What do you expect from a Russian President that does the herky jerky to American Boys and on camera no less. Putin’s most masterful political decision was the selection of Medvedev who must have the lowest level of testosterone of any male president of any country in history. Even the uber sycophant Rogozin would have posed more of a threat to Putin than Medvedev.

    And then we come to President I’ve Got A Secret. His secret is that he is willing to trade billions in tax payer funded R&D for any assistance no matter how slight to his reelection. He is willing to give a man who hates the US and has neo-Stalinist aspirations technological defense secrets that could only decrease the defense security of the US in exchange for near trivial support to his personal security as President…and Bennet Cerf says-are you President of the United States Barak Obama.

    Comment by pahoben — March 27, 2012 @ 8:11 am

  11. More money for the MIC – yes, please!

    In the best classical liberal tradition, of course.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — March 27, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

  12. Andy Dzughash…I guess Tom Clancy was a military tech moron too for writing about the OFFENSIVE potential of SDI 25 years ago.

    Comment by Mr. X — March 27, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

  13. Hmmm, Tom Clancy wrote “Fiction” Mr.X, you really are a moron.

    His grasp of military tech was average, and much bordered on sci-fi.

    Good stories, but only that.

    Comment by Andrew — March 28, 2012 @ 2:59 am

  14. But, Mr X, given you are a left wing pervert who gapes with pleasure every time Putin props up a neo-fascistic government, or he tries to stifle democracy in former soviet republics, it is understandable that your ability to distinguish between reality and fiction is negligible.

    Comment by Andrew — March 28, 2012 @ 3:01 am

  15. There’s only one word for Obama’s statements, and that word is: Treason.

    Thank heavens for Mitt Romney!

    Comment by La Russophobe — March 28, 2012 @ 5:29 am

  16. Andy this may be hard for your Helen Clark and Misha the Tie Eater addled mind to accept, but there are RIGHT wing critics of American foreign policy who are sick and tired of the empire business…post-Soviet client states included. If Iranian missiles pose such a mortal threat to the EU, why aren’t the Germans picking up 80% of the tab instead of Uncle Sam?

    Once again, SWP’s alleged ‘libertarianism’ (he’s quite establishmentarian when you get down to it, including his laughable assertion that there was no evidence for manipulation of crude markets in 08′) stops totally at the water’s edge, and is for foreigners, primarily, not for Americans to enjoy. Getting lectured by a Kiwi about how this American should view the world and continue to watch his government borrow from China/print 40% of its budget to handle the 30% of U.S. spending that goes towards ‘defense’ is truly aggravating.

    Comment by Mr. X — March 28, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

  17. You’ll notice of course that SWP hardly ever mentions a peep about Euros picking up the tab for their own defense from the dreaded Russian war machine he’s constantly pointing out is in such sorry state. Massive cognitive dissonance anyone?

    And seriously SWP, just two measly posts on Don Corzine and co? In your area of academic expertise? Afraid you won’t get an invite to some confab if you go too hard on Mr. Government Sachs?

    Comment by Mr. X — March 28, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

  18. And if you want a fine example of a critic of American foreign policy from the Right, go here:

    refusing to arm Saudi backed and possibly Muslim Brotherhood jihadis who dream of flying the same Salafist blag flag from Damascus that they fly from Benghazi is neither left wing nor anti-American, it is coolly realist. Remember Andy Dzughashvili I’ve actually been to the Golan Heights and at least loooked at Syria from there, have you or SWP?

    Comment by Mr. X — March 28, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  19. Moron X – talk to your mentors at KGB-FSB -Disinformation and Active Measures . Your stupid moronic ranting is uninteresting – Take a cup of tea with polonium – The idea is to keep the oil-price high .

    In an equally historic but little-reported action, Putin installed as acting president of Chechnya the strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, whose private army murders and abducts enemies of the regime with impunity. The son of a Muslim rebel, the bete noire of human-rights advocates, Kadyrov embodies internal policy toward its Muslim population. It is the same policy that Russia pursued these three centuries past.

    Putin’s pragmatism with respect to the human rights of Russian Muslims detracted not a whit from the festivities in Riyadh, because issues of principle have no place whatever in Middle Eastern politics. “I see in Putin a statesman and a man of peace and fairness,” said King Abdullah to the official Saudi Press Agency before the visit. “That’s why the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extends a hand of friendship to Russia.”

    Comment by Anders — March 28, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

  20. There is a peculiar tendency of alliance between the Red and the Brown, between the Communist and the National Socialist. This may be seen in Stalin’s support for Hitler in 1932, and in the Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939, and more recently in the parliaments of certain “former” Communist countries. The Red-Brown alliance deserves our close attention. It’s new rhetoric, no longer stale or lacking insight, is more conducive to European unity than the rhetoric of Hitler, and more anti-capitalist than Stalin. The fall of America is here anticipated, and welcome. The rhetoric of Faye and Dugin suggests that Russia is their instrument; but we must ask ourselves whether they are the instruments of Russia.

    In May 2005 Faye said the following to members of the People’s National Party in Russia: “I am often asked if I’m racist. If I am a Nazi. No. My concept is, I am against war. I don’t want to conquer Algeria. But if they attack us, they have to be destroyed…. So I completely agree with the teachings of Russia-ism. I believe that Russia must be the center of a great white confederation. It’s the same goal as your organization [the People’s National Party]. ” Commenting on this rhetoric, a Ukrainian researcher told me, “This is theater. They want to create a Nazi atmosphere without the Nazi stigma. They are exploiting the emotional idea that Hitler came close to liberating Russia from Bolshevism. This is why a lot of anti-Soviets have this unconscious sympathy toward Hitler. The stupid will be led by such emotions.”

    It must be understood that methods now exist, in terms of psychological warfare, for leading the Right and the Left toward the same end. What we find today is two varieties of rhetoric, each tending to the same outcome, each connected to the same secretive system. Readers should check out the images and symbolism of the People’s National Party at According to Wikipedia, the People’s National Party was allegedly founded by Aleksandr Ivanov-Sukharevksy with help from two veterans of the Black Hundreds. Ivanov-Sukharevsky allied himself with Semyon Tokmakov, the leader of a skinhead group. Oddly, the two great heroes of the People’s National Party are Tsar Nicholas II and Adolf Hitler.

    It might be said that a bizarre mixing-up of diverse personalities and causes is an outgrowth of an experimental approach to political adaptation, perhaps overseen by a particular country’s special services. However intriguing or brilliant the ideological formulations presented by writers like Faye, the character behind these formulations nonetheless cannot help revealing an unabashed lack of moral sensibility. This we also find in American ideologists who appear on the right, yet aim their blows at the Left’s favorite targets.

    Comment by Anders — March 28, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

  21. Last September, in the Web magazine, Nina Kouprianova wrote an intriguing article titled Who’s Afraid of Russia Today? As an “alternative right” spokeswoman, Ms. Kouprianova thinks Russia’s 24/7 English-language news channel (Russia Today) provides encouragement for “the burgeoning Patriot movement” here in America. And what encouragement, indeed! In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center is going after the Russian channel on account of its support for Right Wing extremists.

    Given the Leftist taint of the Southern Poverty Law Center, what are we to think? Has Russia Today been unfairly maligned? According to an explanatory article on the SPLC Website, “the Kremlin-financed television channel has devoted considerable airtime not only to coverage that makes Russia look good, but to coverage that makes the United States look bad.” Of course, nobody should be surprised at this, given the Kremlin’s longstanding rivalry with the United States. What is interesting, however, is the new approach of Moscow’s anti-American rhetoric – from the Right. According to the SPLC Website, “Over the past year and a half, Russia Today has reported with boosterish zeal on conspiracy theories popular in the resurgent ‘Patriot’ movement…. Its slickly packaged stories suggest that a legitimate debate is under way in the United States about who perpetrated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and about President Obama’s eligibility for high office.”

    It appears that Moscow’s TV channel is suggesting (however indirectly) that the U.S. Government was behind the 9/11 attacks; – and would also like to see a constitutional crisis over President Obama’s birth certificate. The Kremlin has long sought to demoralize and cripple their “main enemy” by every means at its disposal. Saying bad things about the capitalist system is Moscow’s stock and trade. For those who understand the game, it is hardly necessary to point out that the entire 9/11 Truther movement, in point of fact, is a tapestry of useful idiots and agents of influence whose activities may be characterized by that eminent pioneer of Right Wing Bolshevism, Lyndon LaRouche, who began his career as a member of the Socialist Worker’s Party teaching dialectical materialism at New York City’s Free School, and later founded a Right Wing Marxist Party (the United States Labor Party). His frequent meetings with Soviet representatives over the years did not end with the Soviet Union. He has continued to meet with Russian “representatives,” with occasional trips to Moscow.

    There is a picture, easily accessible on the Web, of long-time LaRouche associate Webster Tarpley sitting next to Russian Gen. Leonid Ivashov during the 2005 Axis for Peace Conference in Brussels. Ivashov, who served as the Chief of Staff of the Russian armed forces on Sept. 11, 2001, stated at the conference: “The organizers of those [9/11] attacks were the political and business circles interested in destabilizing the world order and who had the means necessary to finance the operation.” The Russian general further argued, “We have to look for the reasons of the attacks in the coincidence of interests of big capital at global and transnational levels….”

    Well of course, the evil capitalists were behind it all. Such are the talking points of every Bolshevik, at all times, without the need for direct instructions from on high. This “truth,” in one form or another, is constantly being packaged and passed along to the useful idiots, tools, and agents of influence who spread the infection throughout society. And make no mistake; the anti-capitalist infection has taken root, as anyone can see. Russia Today is no minor broadcast outlet. As the SPLC points out, “the Moscow-headquartered Russia Today has a large global audience tuning in via cable, satellite and the Internet. In North America, Europe and South Africa, some 200 million paying viewers – including a growing number in the United States – have access to the network.”

    It is worth noting that Russia Today has produced segments with the notorious 9/11 Truther Alex Jones, who once said to Webster Tarpley (on air), “Our information is everywhere.” And that is how Kremlin disinformation works. It is not a function of quality, but quantity; and Jones has been the perfect mouth-piece. Inciting his radio listeners against finance capital in the language of a revolutionary agitator, Jones says “9/11 was an inside job” and that the United States has become a “deep tyranny.” A close observer of the Jones phenomenon, Cliff Kincaid (of USA Survival News), has said, “Jones has much more in common with the Left than the Right.” Kincaid noted that Jones is a fan and friend of Lyndon LaRouche, and furthermore: “Why is he on Russian television defending their foreign policy? Why has MSNBC called this man a member of the ‘New Right’?”

    In the tangled web of today’s politics, where economic sabotage has its parallels in ideological sabotage, you must always look for the hidden connections and telltale signs that agents of influence are at work. The most sophisticated disinformation machine in the world has been the KGB and its successor organization (FSB/SVR). Nina Kouprianova, in her Alternative Right article, wants us to laugh at the idea of Russian agents of influence – as if the history of the last several decades never happened. Russia Today, she says, “is not much different than the BBC…. Furthermore, the idea that private ownership of massive media conglomerates somehow guarantees objectivity is simply utopian – to state the painfully obvious.”

    But that’s not really the point, Ms. Kouprianova. The BBC is not the mouth-piece of a murderous dictator at the head of a police state. For that matter, a private media corporation like ABC or Fox News is not the state, however slanted their presentations may be. There is an important difference between a private corporation and the state. Private corporations cannot send millions to death camps, or build a system of collective farms on a foundation of genocide, or threaten half the world with nuclear annihilation. No, Ms. Kouprianova, as Friedrich Nietzsche once said, the state is “the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth: ‘I, the state, am the people.'” But the state, more than anything, is not the people. If it has broken its bounds, usurping the private sphere, it is a destroyer of peoples. Whatever the state says, warned Nietzsche, “it lies – and whatever it has, it has stolen. ” There should be no room in the heart of the true Right (alternative or otherwise) for state control of any television channels. The state should remove its paws from the economy and from the media; that is, if the people are to remain free.

    Furthermore, American “patriots” should not serve as apologists for the Kremlin’s English-speaking propaganda tentacle. Those who attack America its institutions, favoring the institutions of a foreign enemy, do not merely insult our intelligence but undermine the integrity of public discourse. A random lie may be harmless when there is no guiding strategy behind it; but a coordinated campaign of lies, begun by secret agents, perpetuated by dupes, is no child’s play. The game threatens our national unity, our prosperity, the viability of our internal order. But then, how else would a foreign enemy provoke civil war in America?

    Comment by Anders — March 28, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

  22. Of course Anders, it’s:

    Putin’s goons sticking their hands into granny’s underpants at airports

    Putin’s to blame for Jon Corzine walking a free man

    It’s Putin who backed the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, while Al-Jazeera portrayed the Islamist thugs Gaddafi obligily kept locked up after they were released from Club Gitmo as freedom fighters. Putin must control Al-Jazeera too. SWP isn’t even touching that one with a ten foot pole, nor is the crowd at the Weekly Standard, or anywhere else.

    Etc etc etc.

    And who is J.R. Nyquist anyway? You sneer at Mr. Jones while linking to some random dude in California. It’s always the same pattern, whether its Reggie Cointelpro Quills or anybody else you use to make your points. Nobody has ever heard of them before, they always spring from whole cloth, and haven’t been around for years.

    Comment by Mr. X — March 28, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

  23. And if you told Chicagoan Daniel Larison that he’s part of some sort of vast Kremlins influence operation that conveniently includes every goldbug on the planet (gotta have fiat money for the eternal war with Eurasia/Eastasia) he’d laugh at you.

    Comment by Mr. X — March 28, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

  24. But go ahead Anders, defend insane stupidity like this meme:

    Reginald Quill ‏ @ReginaldQuill Reply RetweetedRetweet
    FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details @SenRandPaul blokd Iran sanctions bill 2day. He’s named after S.African Rand Refinery by pro-apartheid goldbugs @streetwiseprof @LibertyLynx

    First Rand Paul was named for Ayn Rand. Now he’s named for krugerrand gold coins, or something like that. His real name is RAND-AL. Kinda like Mittens’ Romney’s real first name is Willard.

    Cuz if you won’t defend it, then SWP will have to keep staying embarassingly silent about the ludicrous, libelous pro-Establishment conspiracy theorizing company he keeps on Twitter.

    Comment by Mr. X — March 28, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

  25. Oh yeah and one more thing for Reginald Quills – how many aides current and former to Willard Mitt Romney are or have been on the payroll of a foreign power (Randy Scheunemann, cough cough), compared to Ron Paul?

    But yeah, I’m the unpatriotic one because I don’t like being lectured by a bunch of globalist twits posing as Norwegians and Kiwis.

    Comment by Mr. X — March 28, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

  26. […] expert on Russia interprets the President’s […]

    Pingback by Thursday Breakfast Links | Points and Figures — March 29, 2012 @ 4:14 am

  27. I see that Mr.X has the typical left wing aversion to people having the right to discuss anything they like.

    It is called “freedom of speech” X, though you being a supporter of Russian fascism and imperialism, I am not surprised you are opposed to it.

    Comment by Andrew — March 30, 2012 @ 3:51 am

  28. I see that Mr.X has the typical left wing aversion to people having the right to discuss anything they like.

    It is called “freedom of speech” X, though you being a supporter of Russian fascism and imperialism, I am not surprised you are opposed to it.

    Comment by Andrew — March 30, 2012 @ 3:51 am

  29. Please Professor, it is MONMANIA: no reason to slander otherwise innocent sufferers from OCD with our unfortunately not missing friend. You have already got the carnies against you, now you risk being pelted by thousands of discarded bottles of medicine. Talk about life on the edge!

    Comment by sotos — March 30, 2012 @ 6:48 am

  30. Once again Andy Dzughashvili for the last time — I am a conservatarian of the American Right, not a Lefty at all. And in terms of imperialism, go look at that tally of bases in the other thread — Russia’s got em’ in eight countries, the U.S. has installations of some sort in 120. I support your freedom of speech as a Kiwi to yammer about whatever you please but not to serve as a useful idiot for my own country’s Military Industrial Complex further looting my fellow citizens. You after all down Under are relatively safe from the fallout risk and don’t have to worry about hordes of refugees from economic collapse, unless of course the U.S. and Aussie militaries go bankrupt and a Chinese/Indian camp of the Saints flotilla comes down in which case you’re SOL.

    Comment by Mr. X — March 31, 2012 @ 8:37 pm

  31. And Reginald Quill deserves the scorn that all peddlers of Joseph Goebbels-sized lies for their masters deserve. I just choose to reply here because A) I know he reads here and B) sometimes you need more than 140 characters and C) Twitter is an open sewer that is nonetheless heavily monitored by You Know Who, probably more so thann this site…(what’s with that Liberty Lynx sneering about Cointelpro, like it never existed? It’s all there in the Congressional record Church Commission documents online) and D) I’m amused that crazy Ekaterina Fitzpatrickeva is whining about how many thirtysomethings have a less hysterical view of Russia because they don’t remember the USSR. Isn’t that the point Catherine A., you’re stuck in 1975 and the world has moved on? Now YOUR government says killing/detaining people/disappearing them indefinitely is no big deal. And if you point out that all such legislation has to be ramrodded through in the dead of a Friday night in D.C., you’re a tinfoil hat wearing loon who hates America and is part of a Kremlin agitprop campaign. Well sorry, but it’s YOU people who have documented ties to governments, who apologize for foreign lobbyists distorting American policy etc.

    Comment by Mr. X — April 1, 2012 @ 1:00 am

  32. So yeah, the good Prof sneers at conspiracy theorist spreading Ronulans, while promoting people who’s whole world on Twitter is that they’re battling one big Commie conspiracy. Sorry but Assange is too inept, too full of himself and his org too riddled with plants for me to take seriously.

    Comment by Mr. X — April 1, 2012 @ 1:02 am

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