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Old 08-06-2004, 06:48 PM #1
Gagarin
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For War Junkies: Explanation of Events in Fallujah. {Long}

You wouldn't think a big powerful country like the US would go out of our way to make our own version of the Gaza Strip. I mean, even the Israeli rightwingers, some of the mean-craziest people this side of my HS vice principal, are scrambling to find a way to get out of Gaza, which is like all Hell crammed into a beachside slum a few miles square. But that's what we've done in Fallujah.

At least the Israelis have the excuse that Gaza is right next door. What we've done is much weirder: we took this crappy Iraqi town half a world away from America and turned it into a sanctuary for every crazy Jihadi, with hundreds of American troops supplying the entertainment by giving the locals something to shoot at.

By now it's reached the point that we're actually sending fighter-bombers to attack this town that we supposedly took more than a year ago. Yesterday, when I started writing this, the headlines went like, "More than Two Tons of Bombs Dropped on House in Fallujah!" It was like they were celebrating the sheer tonnage or something. Top this, Ariel! You may be zapping cars at every stoplight in Gaza with Hellfire missiles (that you got from us for free in the first place), but hey, we managed to focus 4,000 pounds of HE on one little stucco shack in Fallujah!"

You might wonder how it all happened. I hear you asking, "Gary, I've been thinking of setting up my own little Gaza Strip in the backyard, cause I'm getting bored with video games and all, and I wonder if you could tell me how you turn a sleepy little Arab town into Hell on earth." Why sure. Happy to oblige. Here's what we did to make Fallujah such an interesting war-tourist magnet for all the Zarqawis of the world. The key, remember, is the whipsaw effect: total violence, then lame "pacification," then back to total violence, then another round of "Let's be friends!" Nothing on earth drives people crazier than that schizo flip-flop, and that's been the theme-song of the Fallujah episode. We zoomed into Fallujah way back in April 2003, all fired up -- and ready to smoke anything that moved.

Fallujah was a classic "Sunni Triangle" town, with about 300,000 people. They're usually called "Saddam loyalists" and most of them are, for the simple reason that in a gangland country like Iraq you better stick to your own people. But from what I hear, Fallujah was more like a country town, more old-fashioned than anything. What counted most was family, but not the nuclear family thing, the older version: the clan. You belong to a clan, like a real big family or a small tribe, and you stand up for your clan. If people mess with it, you mess back.

Killing is part of the culture, the way it's part of every culture if people had the guts to face that little fact. In Iraqi culture, just like it was for the Vikings, killing somebody is a commercial matter. It's like the sign in secondhand shops: you break it, you own it. Only it's "You kill my kin, you owe me money."

The invasion was going well back in April 2003, and we were pretty cocky. The 82nd Airborne, which did an outstanding job in the charge to Baghdad, rolled into Fallujah, did a few victory dust donuts in the town square (I hear the Bradley does a pretty good dust donut, too) and decided to make the local schoolhouse our HQ. Well, since Iraq has a birthrate like Mormons on ecstasy, this pissed off the local parents -- millions of kids hanging around the house, no summer camp to send 'em to. So on April 28, 2003 they staged a typical Arab demonstration at US HQ. By all accounts a typical Arab noisefest: a lot of yelling and posing, a lotta shoes being waved and thrown, annoying as Hell. Nothing to be afraid of. Except somebody in the chain of command wasn't feeling cool, calm & collected that day. Maybe pissed off at not getting enough kills on the Hellride up the river, maybe tired of Arabs yelling -- God knows I can sympathize with that. So we started shooting. And by the time we stopped there were at least 13 locals dead. Turned into 20 dead by the time May 1 rolled around.

That wasn't smart. Like I've said a thousand times: listen to the Brits! They've done this stuff a thousand times, in countries all over the world, and they know what pays and what doesn't. Down in Basra they ran into the same sort of yelling, but they stayed cool. And so did Basra. If you want a perfect example of why not to shoot into a mob, the Brits have a classic. In the early 70s in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, the Brits got sick of getting attitude from the local Micks, always complaining and yelling. So they transferred the soft units out of town and sent in the 2nd Paras. Now the Paras...don't get me started. These are maybe the best soldiers in the world, but diplomats they ain't. Never mind "Shoot first, ask questions later"; these guys are more like, "Shoot first, and one in the head for anything still twitching."

Next time the locals staged one of their rock-throwing "protests," the Paras reacted. Bigtime. In 30 seconds there are -- guess how many dead? That's right: exactly 13. The same number we hosed in Fallujah last April.

It probably felt good, if you were a Brit -- finally we shut those noisy drunken Micks up. But it was the worst thing that ever happened to the Brits in NI. Next day there were lines, literally lines, of guys wanting to join the IRA in every town in NI, and a lot of towns in the Irish Republic too.

And from then on, it was 30 years of urban guerrilla action cinema: Central London blasted to confetti not once but twice, bombs all over the place, massive security that ended up costing the British economy hundreds of billions in lost efficiency and tourist money. Moral of the Story: blasting the crowd may be fun -- Hell, it's probably a pure delight, I admit -- but it doesn't pay. If you're going to invade other countries, you gotta be cool.

Even then, we could've fixed it up. This is the weirdest part of the story: after the killings, the clan leaders for the 13 dead apparently contacted the US officers in charge for blood money. That's how it's done: "You owe us for 13 dead cousins, dude!" It's not as cheap and moneygrubbing as it sounds. Just like with the Vikings, paying bloodmoney means "OK, I admit I got out of hand with the ol' battleaxe at the party last night. Um, real sorry about your wife and kids an' all...so that's, what? 20 gold pieces per wife, and for the kids, 40 per boy and 5 per girl?" (Face it, they were sexist and proud of it back then.)

It's a way of saying "Sorry, man." It's polite.

Maybe if we hadn't been lying to ourselves about what we were doing there, we'd have paid up. "Yeah, sorry -- got a little out of hand with the 25mm cannon there. You understand -- 9/11 and all, had to work out on somebody. Now how much is it per dead teenager?"

But nope. We were too snotty to pay up. I mean, think about all the hundreds of billions we've poured into fake "aid" to Iraq -- and we were too dumb to pay a few thousand in bloodmoney.

So surprise, surprise, Fallujah turns into Dodge City for American troops. Even the Principal at the Fallujah school we'd turned into our HQ got interviewed and said he was looking forward to driving a car full of HE into an American patrol.

Damn, I'd like to see my old vice-principal do that! They must breed a better class of VP in Iraq. Talk about "Be True to Your School." From May to July 2003, so many GIs died or were wounded in Fallujah that we did our first whipsaw move: now we were willing to pay the bloodmoney. We paid out $1500 per dead demonstrator and $500 per wounded. And to pour it on, the US put God knows how many millions into, get this, "civic improvements" for Fallujah. I love that phrase, "civic improvements": "Gosh, looks like your town could use some nice median islands, maybe some oleander plantings, and diagonal parking spaces to get more retail traffic in your downtown area..."

You can imagine the effect this had on the locals in this country town. They might be slow, but they ain't stupid. They drew the right lesson: when we ask the invaders for proper compensation, they give us the high hat -- but when we start killing their soldiers, they're suddenly all over us, offering all this CalTrans beautification crap. And they weren't buying. They took the money, but they kept the guns and RPGs coming at us too.

By this time, see, it wasn't just the locals. Everybody from Tangier to Islamabad knew that if you wanted a nice, jihad-friendly small town with some of the best American-game hunting in the world, all you had to do was come to Fallujah. And they came.

That's another funny-in-a-sick-way side of the story: when the locals started shooting us, we said it was all "foreign agitators." Well, it wasn't. Not back then. But by spitting on the locals, we turned Fallujah into Disney World for freelance killers. The whole "Have Quran & Burial Shroud, Will Travel" crowd took the next bus there.

By this time we were playing catch-up and they were playing catch -- our bullets that is, bloodstains all over those nice new "civic improvements" we bought them. The stuff we were offering was so lame, so chicken**** and hopeless, it makes you cringe. Like: after our climbdown in July 2003, we made a new rule: from now on, we'll knock first before smashing the door in our house-to-house searchers.

Seriously. That's what I mean about the whipsaw effect: kill you, then pat you on the head. Blow up your house and then put in a nice sidewalk with petunia plantings in front of the smoking ruin. It's insane. And worse: it's weak.
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Old 08-06-2004, 06:50 PM #2
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All this was leading up to the great big battle of Fallujah that was supposed to happen in April 2004, one year after we fired up that demonstration. Remember the four contractors' carbonized bodies hanging from that bridge? Well, remember how we were going to send the Marines in to clean up, once and for all? Ever wonder why that didn't happen -- why we're actually sending planes in to bomb houses in Fallujah instead of going in and kicking *** like we promised?
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Old 08-06-2004, 06:50 PM #3
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On March 24, 2004, the US command in Baghdad announced that the 82nd Airborne, which had been in charge of Fallujah since we got there, would be replaced with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), which was basically the 1st Marine division with attached air support. The 82nd had tried to play good cop; the Marines were going to crack some heads, convince the locals to stop messing with us.

The folks in Fallujah were just as eager for action as the Marines. One week after the Marines moved in, four "security contractors" driving through Fallujah were ambushed.

You probably remember what happened next. The four American corpses were kicked, beaten and finally hung up on a bridge. That wasn't just high spirits, that was strategy. The Fallujah insurgents wanted to get the Marines angry enough to come in blasting. The first ambush was just a way of setting up a way bigger ambush -- an old, old guerrilla tactic. Rumsfeld was on TV next day promising we'd "find and punish" the killers.

The Marines hit Fallujah hard on April 4.

It was a tough fight. The Fallujah insurgents have played it smart all the way, daring us to fight them on their own terms, in the crowded little dirty alleys they know by heart. It was a messy fight. Urban combat is just naturally gory and sloppy, and one thing this war's shown is that we're going to have to think hard about how to do it next time. War planners would rather not think about urban warfare. Their plans work much better in places like Utah or the Kuwait border: nice clean deserts.

Cities are like forests, and forest fighting is a mess. Commanders always hated it, tried to stay on open ground if they could.

Think about the Wilderness and Spotsylvania in the Civil War. Units get lost, cavalry (horse or mech) is useless, locals have a huge advantage.

In an urban war landscape, every window is a fighting position. When the Russians tried to take Grozny from the Chechen insurgents, they found out about the "vertical warfare" problem in city fighting. Most of Grozny was apartment buildings, big hulks nine or ten stories high. Advancing down the streets was like entering a canyon, where the enemy controls the high ground. Chechens on the roofs with RPGs blasted the first and last APCs, then finished off the stalled column without even working up a sweat.

The Marines were fighting well in Fallujah, but losing men for every street they advanced. And things were going even worse in the rest of Iraq. On April 6, we lost 12 Marines in a classic urban ambush in Ramadi, next door to Fallujah.

Then Bremer shut down al Sadr's newspaper -- now there was a smart move! -- and every Shiite slum in Baghdad, Karbala and Najaf turned on our troops. We were involved in urban combat on two fronts, a commander's nightmare. In two days, April 11 and 12, we lost 23 men.
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Old 08-06-2004, 06:51 PM #4
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The Iraqis who weren't shooting at us directly started kidnapping foreigners to take the pressure off the besieged cities. By April 12, they'd kidnapped a total of 40 foreigners: Japanese, Koreans, and even a Canadian. Imagine this liberal Canadian peacenik blogger trying to explain himself to the Jihadis who have him posing on his knees in some back room, with a big scimitar against his skinny throat: "I am NOT an American! I mean, I'm an 'American,' because like we always say, the US isn't the only 'America,' Canada is also American-" At this point they start sawing at his neck and he gets desperate, "Wait! You misunderstood! I'm Canadian! Lookit the big red maple leaf on my backpack! Listen to my accent, here: 'Get me OOT of here, Mommy!' -- you hear that 'oot'? Instead of 'out'? Aaagh!"

Bush decided to cave under the pressure. On April 11, Marines were ordered to accept a "truce" in Fallujah. The next week, Bush's people were desperately looking around for somebody they could make a deal with. On April 19, Bush's people announced that we had an agreement in Fallujah. The US would call off the Marine snipers (who were doing a great job picking off insurgents -- like I said, city fighting is a sniper's dream), and in return the people of Fallujah would turn in all "heavy weapons": surface-to-air missiles, mortars and machineguns.

Makes you kind of wonder what the garages look like in that town. Kids must get ashamed when they bring their friends over and there's nothing but a couple of RPGs: "Gee, Rashid, MY daddy has a brand-new SA-7 and a BMP-76 in OUR garage!"

The "heavy weapons" deal didn't work all that well. Gen. Kimmitt -- you know, the skinny guy who gets paid to tell Saigon lies at Baghdad press conferences -- said: "There's been some intangible progress, even though we did not see a tremendous number of weapons turned in."

I like that bit about "intangible progress." How do you get "intangible progress" with machineguns? A machinegun is pretty tangible. Love may be just a state of mind, but a machinegun -- that's pretty tangible. Another great line of Kimmitt's: "...we did not see a tremendous number of weapons turned in." Turns out that was kind of an understatement: "On Wednesday, [April 21],police officers [in Fallujah] delivered a pickup truck filled with rusty and largely inoperative weapons, not the modern equipment military officers had wanted."

One lousy pickup bed of stuff! That's worse than those ghetto "handgun buyback" programs where they try to get paid for a piece of pipe taped to a saw handle.

I can just see the scene: a bunch of disgusted, angry USMC officers watching this pickup pull up and getting a peek at the big haul: two British shotguns and some granddad's rhino-horn dagger. "So you're telling us THIS is what's been killing our men for a week?" "Oh yes yes! This is all! Fallujah now peaceloving unarmed city! Yes yes!"

It was so ludicrous even Bush's people had to face the fact that the only way to pacify Fallujah was to let the Marines do their job and take the city by storm. Even Rumsfeld admitted that the old men we'd made this phony truce with had no power over the insurgents.
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Old 08-06-2004, 06:52 PM #5
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On the April 24-25 weekend, Bush and Rumsfeld flew to Camp David for a videoconference with the Brass in Iraq on what to do with Fallujah. The Marines were psyched, finally sure they'd get the chance to do what they were trained to do.

This is the key moment in the battle for Fallujah, and I suspect for the whole war. And in the end, it came down to one simple fact: Bush chickened out. He or his handlers decided they couldn't risk casualties on the scale this battle would take while they were going for reelection. Sometime that weekend, they decided the Marines weren't going to get the chance to win the battle. They were going to be called off in favor of some cheap PR face-saving strategy. Monday, April 26 -- and as far as I'm concerned, this goes down in history as Black Monday -- the announcement came from Bush that "the US has opted to delay the Fallujah offensive...in favor of joint patrols" of Marines and local Iraqi security forces.

"Joint patrols"! That was it! Bush went on TV to tell the suckers that, "the situation in Fallujah is returning to normal." Well, if "normal" is leaving the enemy in possession of the city, letting them ambush any Marine patrol they want, then Hell yeah, Fallujah was as normal as it gets. He also said the joint patrols would make the city "secure." But to be fair, he did admit there were, and I quote, "pockets of resistance" still operating in Fallujah. Yeah. Like there are pockets of gambling in Vegas.

I wanted to spit on the TV screen.

So the battle of Fallujah was over, and we lost. The Marines were ordered to withdraw from the city. From now on they went in only as part of these ridiculous "joint patrols." Since then we've only attacked the city from the air, because that way we don't risk any casualties. Of course we also don't have a chance of dislodging the enemy, and we leave them in possession of the field, and we make our brave soldiers look ridiculous -- but I guess none of that is as important as PR for the election campaign.

Bush didn't even have the decency to mention the four dead contractors whose killers he and Rumsfeld promised we'd find and punish. Like all his big talk and promises to get tough, the dead were just plain forgotten. "Bring it on" -- yeah, sure. Until it might cost votes. Then he's all, "Call it off! Call it off!"

I thought that was the ultimate humiliation for American arms. But I was wrong. There was worse to come: these miserable ex-Saddam soldiers we stuffed into uniform and sent to patrol Fallujah under the command of an ex-Republican Guard general started to whine about having to patrol with the Marines. They said the Marines would draw fire, and that affected their safety. Poor babies.

This defeat -- this disgrace, more like it! -- has got our enemies all excited. "Fallujah" is a rallying cry now for Muslim crazies all over the world. It's like their Bastogne, their Alamo. It will go down in their histories as the turning point in the war, the moment when we faced off against them and we flinched first. And I'm not talking just about the war in Iraq, I mean the bigger, longer war we're supposed to be fighting.

The worst of it is, our troops fought brilliantly, damn it. No matter how ridiculous and contradictory their orders were, our Marines never flinched, never backed off, never showed fear.

It was our leader, our President, who chickened out, just like he did when it was his time to face combat in Nam 30 years ago. Once a chicken, always a chicken -- that's the lesson, I guess.

You know, in a lot of countries, politicians betraying an army fighting for its life in the field...a lot of times that sets off a military coup. Actually that might not be a bad idea.


P.S. THanx Gary Brecher..you are the man!
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Old 08-06-2004, 07:05 PM #6
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It was our leader, our President, who chickened out, just like he did when it was his time to face combat in Nam 30 years ago. Once a chicken, always a chicken -- that's the lesson, I guess.
where do you get this bull ****, he was honorably discharged the same as kerry
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Old 08-06-2004, 07:12 PM #7
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Originally posted by Azzkicka
where do you get this bull ****, he was honorably discharged the same as kerry
Yeah cuz we all know Bush was in NAm...he was a green berret , silently killing charlie with his shoe laces.

He went to the air national guard and barely attended.

I didn't say any thing aobtu kerry why bring him up?

THis is not an election thread..its jut about what happened in Fallujah.
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Old 08-06-2004, 08:06 PM #8
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I'm kinda sorry to say this, but you're wasting your time. Not many people will read that.
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Old 08-06-2004, 08:10 PM #9
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entertaining...
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Old 08-06-2004, 08:13 PM #10
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He went to the air national guard and barely attended.
well, its hard to believe the page when it adds a bunch of BS, there is no record that he didnt attend or that he was awol. its all a bunch of biased opinion
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Old 08-06-2004, 08:28 PM #11
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Here are some images from fallujah.
If i am breaking some sort of forums rules please tell me cuz therse are graphic imgaes of real life events not tv bull.







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Old 08-06-2004, 08:31 PM #12
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Originally posted by SlingerXL
I'm kinda sorry to say this, but you're wasting your time. Not many people will read that.
Yeah i know..but i was hoping that a few would read it and disguss a little bit..figured that the largeness(real word?) of the post would deter the average flamer type.

Im glad you found it entertaining.


Theres also no proof of his service record in the air national guard...just 3 pages with scribbled junk on it. But i dont want to turn this into a bush good or evil thread i just wanted to talk about fallujah.

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Old 08-06-2004, 10:14 PM #13
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Entertaining, Informative, and Interesting.
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:38 PM #14
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Entertaining, Informative, and Interesting.
Thanx
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:46 PM #15
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Originally posted by SlingerXL
I'm kinda sorry to say this, but you're wasting your time. Not many people will read that.
I read it all, and I must say, it was quite entertaining.
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Old 08-06-2004, 11:32 PM #16
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Most certainly was I just finished it. But took long enough.
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Old 08-07-2004, 01:34 AM #17
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Wow thanx guys...i tihnk this has been the most positive response to a post with out pictures ever in ST!
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Old 08-07-2004, 06:04 PM #18
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We, here in the politics forum prefer a slightly more civilsed approach...

Source or Shenanigans.
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Old 08-08-2004, 02:13 AM #19
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I'll just post this to put a little perspective out there:

What is going on in Iraq is no different than what happened in Germany post WWII. The war ended in1945 and there was a wide spread group of Nazi-diehards who called themselves "werewolves" they were fanatic ex-SS unwilling to surrender. The werewolves spent 3 years trying to destabilize the new government. In one town after the 1st election they hung 12 men, women and children who represented the new Germany. They continued their terror by assassinations, street and factory bombings. The only difference now is the samething is happening in Iraq today.

When these werewolves were caught in the American sector, it was on the spot firing squad. When caught by the British, they were beheaded. When caught by the French, their home town had French artillary turned on it. When the Russians caught them their whole family was wiped out. All this was done without the scrutiny by the press, and finally the de-Nazified Germans finally turned on these werewolves and they became a historic footnote.

Until we de-Baathize Iraq and take the politically correct gloves off the military and get down to business we will never succeed there. But I am happy to say we have been seeing some hope just for example: we are getting cooperation from some of the residents from Fallujah they are telling us were the terrorists are hiding and meeting at, that is what our planes are hitting.
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Old 08-08-2004, 10:14 AM #20
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Good read.
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Old 08-08-2004, 01:26 PM #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by SlingerXL
We, here in the politics forum prefer a slightly more civilsed approach...

Source or Shenanigans.
Actually...that's pretty true.
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