Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 26, 2012

The Myth Of An Isolated Iran

While on the road today I listened to the hourly news broadcast of the German public radio station DLF. The station is available countrywide and the program is usually of very high quality. It is seen as somewhat official.

But one of the news item in today's 6:00 pm broadcast was schizophrenic. Here is my translation of the Germany text:

Summit of non-aligned States opened in Teheran

The summit of the Non-Aligned Movement opened today in the Iranian capital Teheran. More than 40 head of states and head of governments are expected to attend, including the Egyptian president Morsi and Cuba's head of state Castro. The secretary general of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon has also agreed to participate which is seen as diplomatic success for the internationally isolated Iran. The five day long gathering is the biggest international meeting in Iran in more than a decade.

One wonders what the news writer at the DLF was thinking when she wrote that piece. Did it escape her that the country which now leads the NAM, the biggest international political association of states next to the UN, is by definition not isolated? That the attendance of more then 40 head of states plus the UN secretary general and lots of foreign ministers in Tehran proves indeed the opposite of international isolation?

The alleged "international isolation" of Iran is obviously nothing but a western propaganda item and the NAM meeting in Tehran proves this. Still western news media, DLF isn't far from alone in this, repeat this propaganda item even while reporting the facts reveal it as such. Do they really expect that their listeners will not detect such doublethink?

Posted by b on August 26, 2012 at 01:39 PM | Permalink

Comments

schon ein wenig schizo, diese deutschen nachrichten ;-)

Posted by: pewpewlazergun | Aug 26, 2012 1:45:45 PM | 1

Do they really expect that their listeners will not detect such doublethink?

Yes, and for 90% of the listeners they are probably right.

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 26, 2012 3:09:42 PM | 2

As long as the US defines them as internationally isolated, that's what western media will sten..report.

Posted by: Alexander | Aug 26, 2012 3:27:26 PM | 3

Many local, regional, intl. conferences take place in Iran, see schedule here:

http://www.conferencealerts.com/country-listing?country=Iran

or here:

http://www.allconferences.com/Regional/Iran/

Ppl looove going to *Persia* all works out fine.

Iran is also trad. very active in lower level meets, like young scientists, girls into maths, and odd but gripping stuff. Low level sports, as well, ping-pong I have heard (?) - son of friend went to beat the Chinese, for ex.

The US has lost the ‘market’ for big conferences because of difficulties with visas, entering the US etc. It takes just a few refusals for entry or hugely late responses (meaning ppl pay for costly air fare but can never enter) aimed at top scientists or experts from China or Arab countries or Africa for organizers to give up on the US.

Complaints in the US from the hotel and conference circuit lobbies have been strident and bitter for more than 10 years, but, oh no, terrorism, terrorism.

One exception is the last international AIDS conference which has not taken place in the US since 1990 (?) but did in July 2012 in Washington. This was because Obama lifted the ban on entry of ppl who are HIV positive.


Posted by: Noirette | Aug 26, 2012 3:40:36 PM | 4

I get my news from the Jews. :-)

The Jerusalem Post: 'Isolated' Iran boasts attendance of leaders, kings at NAM

. . .The Iranian press also used the convention to demonstrate how the country is anything but isolated.
"Tehran to Host 2 Kings, 27 Presidents, 7 PMs for NAM Summit," was the headline to a story on the summit on the official Fars news agency on Saturday. The headline left out perhaps the most prized participant – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The report said that in all 100 states have announced their participation at different levels. There are some 120 countries in the movement.
One Israeli government official lamented that the summit in Tehran gives the Iranian regime a chance to "showcase that it is not isolated, to say there is no serous diplomatic pressure, and to give the regime a chance to show its own people it has friends and allies."
http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=282669

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 26, 2012 4:48:00 PM | 5

Yeah..According to Washington, Iran is really isolated by the "international community"(US, UK, France,Germany,Canada,Israel and a few occasional puppet states) that they have over 50 heads of states and may high level delegations attending NAM conference IN TEHRAN.

One has to be a complete idiot to believe that crap..For the US, their world revolves around G8, G7 and occasionally G20..Any other real international body doesn't exist.


Off topic but thought I'd share this..Captured Turkish terrorist make a confession..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKqM0uPdJQQ&feature=player_embedded

This sh*t is becoming hard to hide now..Erdogan is toast..It seems the "refugees" who're being hosted in Turkey's soil are beginning to turn on Turkish citizens who have nothing to do with conflict. Erdogan's given orders preventing any Turkey's official from entering the camps..

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/tensions-fuel-debate-over-syrian-refugees.aspx?pageID=238&nID=28683&NewsCatID=338

Turkey's now making noise about the "refugees" numbers rising to "unbearable" numbers..WTF??? They're not useful anymore?

Posted by: Zico | Aug 26, 2012 5:32:33 PM | 6

Well, yeah, it all depends on how you define the "international community".

For the USofA the "international community" consists of the USA and its allies/puppets.

Twenty countries, maybe. Maybe a few more. Maybe a couple less.

But as far as the yanks are concerned that's the "international community".

Q: And all the rest of the world?
A: Cattle

Posted by: Johnboy | Aug 26, 2012 6:16:40 PM | 7

This was "the world" last year.
Libya - UN Resolution 1973, Mar 17, 2011


World population: 6,910m

Voting for the resolution - 10
France, UK, Lebanon, US, South Africa, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Colombia, Portugal, Nigeria, Gabon
Total population: 711m = 10%

Against - 0

Abstentions- 5
Russia, China, Germany, Brazil, India
Total population: 2,949m = 43%


The resolution’s principal parts.
* protection of civilians — cease fire and end to violence, protect civilians under threat of attack, excludes foreign occupation forces
* no fly zone — a ban on flights except humanitarian
* enforcement of an arms embargo — by air and sea
* asset freeze

In practice this meant bombing the crap out of Libya and government overthrow, based on a vote of ten percent for doing much less than what US/UK/France ended up doing.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 26, 2012 6:56:16 PM | 8

Well, being a Ggerman I can tell you that we hardly have a free press. While it can be said as a rule of thumb that the "public media" such as DLF (which are basically state controlled media) are somewhat more informative, higher quality and slightly more neutral than the "private media" (owned and controlled by private owners/investors), there is not really something like unbiased and independent media over here.

Actually, Germany strongly tends to follow the mainstream as defined by Nato an EU countries (in that order).

Based on our past (to which quite nobody can really relate as septagenarians an even older people are a diminishing minority) it is kind of woven into the very fabric of the FRG to be peaceful and democratic. Therefore we do, for example, strongly prefer non-fighting roles such as medical, general support or intelligence gathering (as right now) rather than taking rifles in our hands.

Nevertheless, Germany can - and probably should - be regarded as a us-colony. Even more so as being quite close to the us line automagically means also being on the israeli line.

Many might not know (or even imagine) it but actually we do have special attorney generals for "crimes of racism" which basically always boils down to swiftly punishing the slightest deviance from the official line concerning israel (which _must_ be a wunderful country and the blossoming and only democracy in the near east - unless you are ready to find yourself in a criminal courtroom) which just happens to be very very close to the us/Nato line.

The problem with our media is that we basically have to chose from two quite unsatisfying options: Either the state controlled media which offer better quality but sure enough never ever differ from the governments view - or the private media which offer insanely low quality, are quite apolitical, and are - by some strange coincidence - even more israel-friendly.

Generally speaking the basic line is sth. akin to "There is 'we', the Nato/usa/eu and there is 'the others' who are usually perceived (or painted) as 'the communists/muslim terrorists/bad guys'".

As a funny side note: Of all newspapers, FAZ, a well respected and rather conservative newspaper, surprisingly enough was the lone one to from time to time take a step aside and report some real news such as the fact that the "freedom fighters" in Syria are actually sponsored and equipped by forein Nato interests.

Frankly, listening to or reading german "news" is not worthwhile. You might as well read haaretz and the washington post and know 98% of what one can read in Germany.

---

Last but not least: Thank you for you excellent and insightful work. I discovered your site just recently but look at it daily now. Compliments!

Mr. Pragma

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Aug 26, 2012 10:02:16 PM | 9

Well the FRG didn't participate in the rape of Libya so thanks for that. So not that colonial. But watch out, General Allen US Marine Corps will be coming soon to the federal republic as US commander, fresh from his successes(?) in Afghanistan. :-)

Regarding the news, it seems to be a general western thing. I just, today, got knocked off a large blog site (The Atlantic) for taking a position on Israel opposite that of the pro-Israel columnist -- Jeffery Goldberg. I wasn't the only one. Comments stricken, and can't comment more.

The US State Department even has a name for it -- criticism of Israel or Zionism is "the new anti-semitism."

new anti-Semitism, characterized by anti-Zionist and anti-Israel criticism that is anti-Semitic in its effect—whether or not in its intent—is more subtle and thus frequently escapes condemnation. http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/102301.pdf

I suspect that Arabs and Persians are better informed than we are.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 26, 2012 11:21:29 PM | 10

Oh gee Don, you managed to offend Jeffrey Goldberg? I'm Shocked, Shocked I tell you!

Posted by: scottindallas | Aug 26, 2012 11:51:38 PM | 11

That almost qualifies to make you an anti-Semite to portray him as an Ordinary Jewish Author.

Posted by: scottindallas | Aug 26, 2012 11:53:46 PM | 12

@Don Bacon #10: Page moved. Those anti-Semites!

Posted by: m_s | Aug 27, 2012 4:36:25 AM | 13

Oh, concerning "new anti-semitism" I have something that might be considered funny, if it wasn't so weirdly sad, too:

Recently there was a rather official "study" financed by the german government. Presented as super-scientific and objective, a closer look soon made obvious that virtually everyone "working" on that "study" was involved in one or the other pro-israel organisation.

The result?

Well, obviously the percentage of potential israel haters is too low to be useful for propaganda. So they came up with something new: "latent anti-semitism". And - shock and awe! - the "study" came to the conclusion that some 21% of germans are "latently anti-semitic", i.e. they were not actively and gleefully praising the mass-murder Inc. ... uh, I mean the israel regime...

Sure enough this was then loudly propagated through the super-duper objective media.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Aug 27, 2012 4:46:44 AM | 14

Deutschlandfunk has been an excellent radio station over decades. It is a nation wide public radio and has been founded during cold war. Nevertheless, if followed for decades an ethos of high quality journalism with excellent features based on very good journalistic work. However, since about four years, the quality of some features became horrible. Obviously, a new policy had been imposed hiring easy going propaganda journalists which follow the official right wing NATO-neocon agenda. One of the worst examples had been a feature on the South Ossetia conflict which has been really embarrassing in providing wrong information and harrassing a well informed interview partner who tried to present objective information and facts. So inside the journalistic teams there seems to be a schism between committed journalists adhering to the traditional high quality standards, and newcomers placed into the editorial team with the aim to convert the DLF in a propaganda outlet which goes unisono with the mainstream media, thus plugging the last source of unbiased and balanced information with a high reputation. This is Angela Merkels policy - in former GDR she had been propaganda officer for the regional SED center, and she knows exactly how to use media for gathering and securing power. I doubt she ever understood the idea of democracy.

Posted by: Blockwartbuster | Aug 27, 2012 6:33:21 AM | 15

@Blockwartbuster:

1. Angela Merkel never was a propaganda officer but the official of her seminar group's Free German Youth organization for propaganda. This is a huge difference.

2. She has no idea of how to communicate or of how to manipulate the public. Each and every statement she makes proves you wrong.

3. She does the banks bidding, so she has understood the idea of western democracy very well.

4. She was willing to join the U.S. war in Iraq. See (3).

Posted by: m_s | Aug 27, 2012 7:00:29 AM | 16

Yes the current crop of EU leaders have been a complete disaster. For me the signature evidence of this was in Europe's choice to sanction Iran's oil knowing it would damage the Economy further. It just showed how "following the US" beats all other concerns even Economic. Hollande who I openly supported during the election has proven to be a huge disappointment. Merkel has given the impression, to me at least, that she is just blindly fumbling through the Euro Crisis with no long term plan. I haven't heard her stand up and give a speech outlining a long term plan for this. It is all short term measures and things that will get us through "the next 3 months". You can't run an Economic policy like this.

European goals should be clear. Abandon the US alliance, which brings nothing and ties us to a rapidly melting Empire. Improve relations with Russia which after all is supplying most of our natural gas. The cold war days are well over and Russia is now a responsible player. Move away from US and closer to China since there is no point betting on the losing horse. Restore relations with Iran, since fighting them is counter-productive. In cold geo-political terms I would much rather an ally like Iran with 70 million people and oil wealth than a tiny strip on land stolen by 4 million Zionists.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 27, 2012 7:34:01 AM | 17

'Yes the current crop of EU leaders have been a complete disaster. '

nice admission....of course a representative 'democracy' is only as good as its representatives....if they are rotten scoundrels...you have rotten govt

Posted by: brian | Aug 27, 2012 7:39:49 AM | 18

"Hollande who I openly supported during the election has proven to be a huge disappointment"

yer obviously an intelligent chap, so with all due respect I'm curious as to why you bothered putting any hope or faith in a professional politician, especially an ostensibly 'left-wing' French Politician? what is it that you have not yet 'got' about how things really work?

Posted by: Hu Bris | Aug 27, 2012 8:12:28 AM | 19

so with all due respect I'm curious as to why you bothered putting any hope or faith in a professional politician,

Well on the Middle East, I'd assumed that Sarkozy was Israels man, he was tied to them since his term as Interior Minister, with whispers he had a past history with Mossad, Hollande I probably had the naive hope that it would be a bit more of a redirection towards French interests. Obviously that didn't take place, as seen by the Iran oil sanctions and Hollande's statements on Syria. On the economy, I'd less faith but hoped DSK's idea on a basket currency would be promoted within the Socialist Party. If that was enacted it'd weaken the dollar position and shore up the Euro, but Hollande seems to be defering alot to Merkel on the Eurozone crisis.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 27, 2012 9:52:32 AM | 20

Hollande I probably had the naive hope that it would be a bit more of a redirection towards French interests.

Actually Hollande is kind of negative - he hasn't done anything successfully yet, good or bad. Difficult situation he's lumbered with. He'll probably turn out Obama like.

Posted by: alexno | Aug 27, 2012 11:02:37 AM | 21

In countries like France or the US the ‘left’ is elected when repair has to be implemented, and some stab has to be made to quiet ppl down and the relevance of the duopoly has to be reinforced. (Obiman was a fantastic choice.)

The ‘left’ - ie. socialist party - in France is just a fakey alternative to the right, and it is traditionally more punitive and rabid about *certain* foreign powers (e.g. Kaddafi, Saddam, Ben Ali, etc.) when it is in opposition, than the right, who will of course (horrors!) treat with these ppl /countries / organizations for personal gain or commercial, nationalist, purposes.

Once in power, that attitude is maintained, or amplified, e.g. Hollande is just as mad - dog towards Syria as Sark would be (or is), Sark’s supposed success in Lybia being due to Lybia basically disarming, capitulating, and China and Russia being asleep, whereas Syria has not.

To make it extremely short.

The main left discourse is wrapped up in cheesy human rights blah....

Oh, and also, the left is more concerned with anti-semitism than the right. (in F)

That is the cynical pov.

Huh, I can’t think of any other right now with the roast in the oven and veggies boiling over.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 27, 2012 12:18:15 PM | 22

Sorry
URL for "new-antisemitism"
http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/102406.htm#new

Anti-Semitism has proven to be an adaptive phenomenon. New forms of anti-Semitism have evolved. They often incorporate elements of traditional anti-Semitism. However, the distinguishing feature of the new anti-Semitism is criticism of Zionism or Israeli policy that — whether intentionally or unintentionally — has the effect of promoting prejudice against all Jews by demonizing Israel and Israelis and attributing Israel’s perceived faults to its Jewish character. . .Anti-Semitism couched as criticism of Zionism or Israel often escapes condemnation since it can be more subtle than traditional forms of anti-Semitism, and promoting anti-Semitic attitudes may not be the conscious intent of the purveyor. Israel’s policies and practices must be subject to responsible criticism and scrutiny to the same degree as those of any other country. At the same time, those criticizing Israel have a responsibility to consider the effect their actions may have in prompting hatred of Jews.

PS: I'm not trying to make up for posting a bad URL but, in case it happens --
TIP: (to those who don't know this, like me until recently) In a case like this, put a portion of the excerpt in quotes and google it. You'll get a list with at least one link which should work, unless the doc has been pulled entirely. (If you fail to put it in quotes, google will only go after the separate words.)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 27, 2012 2:12:27 PM | 23

re 22 Noirette

The problem with the 'Left', as in France or the UK (I do not speak of the US), is that there is no reaphilosophy

Posted by: alexno | Aug 27, 2012 2:16:25 PM | 24

Sorry about the last, delete it.

re 22 Noirette

The problem with the 'Left', as in France or the UK (I do not speak of the US), is that there is no real left philosophy these days. It should not be difficult to construct one, but no-one thinks of anything. I could do it, but politics is not my world.

In France, the Socialists concentrate on the demands of their supporters, better salaries, better retirements, without thinking how it is going to be done.

Foreign policy is more difficult, as it tends to pass from one government to the next. A ship difficult to turn around, largely because of foreign governments like the US, who insist on continuity. It is not necessary to simply order troops abroad to turn around and come home. It requires someone of subtlety. The problem is that winning elections is not the same skill as handling foreign policy, as Mitt Romney may discover.

In the case of Hollande, I don't have much hope.

Posted by: alexno | Aug 27, 2012 2:34:22 PM | 25

RT has a story that shows France coming out as the point man for direct intervention in Syria.

"French President Francois Hollande has called on the Syrian opposition to form a provisional government, saying his country will recognize it as legitimate.
Hollande’s announcement – the first of its kind – creates new diplomatic pressure against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. "
One more discouraging story on RT today: Netanyahu's new threats against Lebanon:
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly said Tel Aviv is ready to strike against its neighbor if Lebanon-based Hezbollah attempts “provocations.” The armed group, in turn, claims it is ready to retaliate to a possible strike from Israel.

For months now Israel has been brandishing a sword in bellicose rhetoric directed at Iran. Now it seems to have broadened the subject matter to include neighboring Lebanon.

Hollande, of course, makes the predictable reference to the Syrian government's chemical weapons. Happy to oblige its master, the French poodle barks at Russia and China, for good measure. Whatever else happens, Netanyahu's saber rattling can only darken the glass a bit more, and seems to suggest that the world is lurching a bit more in the direction of global war. The murmurs of August and September are indeed unpleasant.

Posted by: Copeland | Aug 27, 2012 3:51:45 PM | 26

If critique of Israel's bellicose zionist project is now officially equated to antisemitism, then the path is made for illegalising critique of the US axis powers bellicosity. Some term like "proterrorism" will be coined and repression institutionalised. Actually it seems this process is now well underway.
John E.

Posted by: JohnE | Aug 27, 2012 3:55:54 PM | 27

re 26

France won't do anything without agreement with the US.

re Netanyahu's threa

Posted by: alexno | Aug 27, 2012 4:10:37 PM | 28

re 26

France won't do anything without agreement with the US.

re Netanyahu's threats against Lebanon, nothing new. They should go ahead and attack Lebanon, if that's what they want to do. They may succeed or not. There's no point in being frightened by the threat.

Posted by: alexno | Aug 27, 2012 4:17:54 PM | 29

France won't do anything by itself, of course; but it reiterates the Obama spiel about chemical weapons. Netanyahu will do what he pleases, even if it contradicts the counsel of present and former Israeli leaders. Hollande only speaks because he's been spoken to; otherwise he wouldn't make so bold.

Posted by: Copeland | Aug 27, 2012 4:24:56 PM | 30

A decade ago the "left" in Europe was mounting marches involving a million here, two million there and hundreds of thousands everywhere, to protest against the drive to war with Iraq.

If you look back on the debates surrounding that war two things are striking: the warmongers' case against Saddam Hussein, which all on the left but renegades rejected as nothing more than excuses for an imperialist power play, was a lot stronger than those against Ghadaffi or Assad, where clearly the Empire is bent on regime change in order to advance the same strategy which prompted the attack on Iraq, and presages one on Iran.

Add to this the fact that, from the imperialists point of view, the war on Iraq proved to be a disaster, revealing both their military weakness, their and amorality and the fragility of their economies. The immediate effect of which was, in the aftermath of the war, to add incompetence and ignorance to the case against Bush, Blair and their allies.

And it pays to recall how few those allies were: the governments in Germany and France both advised against attacking Iraq and were widely supported for doing so. The neo-fascists in Spain were enthusiastic but they lost power as a direct result of being seen as too close to Bush. The "coalition of the willing" consisted of the bare minimum of Washington's clients and puppets.
Now, however if you wanted to rally a million "leftist" people in London, Toronto or Paris you would be advised to march not against but for war and imperialism.

The anti-imperialism that was once central to the post war left has been replaced by a banal CIA friendly "humanitarian interventionism" which has spread far beyond the right wing of social democracy (which has long been sponsored by the State Department) to the very Trotskyist sects which grew up in the anti-Vietnam war agitation.
In France, so I gather, large swaths of the "left" see the wahhabi led war against heretics as a (please don't laugh) workers revolution against a Syrian Romanov. In the UK not only is this view widely held but the "revolution" in Libya, now clearly identifiable as an imperialist adventure with sickeningly violent sectarian and racist pogroms, is held to be a triumph, a vital stage in the "permanent revolution."

In terms of real politics the Empire has never been weaker. Its credibility, the trump card throughout the Cold War, has evaporated. Throughout the world people may not know where their next meal is coming from but they know that America is cruel and evil, and its white European allies jackals, as cowardly as they are weak.

Diplomatically China and Russia are running rings around NATO, and, while doing so, shoring up nationalist domestic support in the very circles which were once a cultural Fifth Column for the USA.

Economically countries like Iran, Ecuador, Venezuela and many others are being driven by sanctions, snubs and injustices to form countervailing systems, alternatives to the dollar, Wall St and The City. And the more the Empire bullies, as it always does, the more dangerous its position becomes. Take Egypt, for example, in need of loans but not in need of the IMF's insistence that it reduces its population to peonage. Take Greece where there is no let up and the Troika seems to have a death wish and to be determined to make it impossible for its clients and creatures to survive politically. The list of such countries is getting very long, and as the Depression deepens it will get longer...

Just as, when the capitalist world system showed signs of finally imploding, the "left" stopped pretending to be socialist, to criticise capitalism as a system, to ally itself with the working class and to insist upon the public ownership of the commanding heights of the economy. Just as, when mass unemployment returned, the left gave up its commitment to Full employment and the Welfare State.

So, as the Empire, with drums a-beating and bugles blowing marches angrily and proudly up its own arsehole, the "left" throws up its criticisms and joins with its enemies, the warmongers, imperialists and authoritarians to surrender its fate to a ruling class longing for Armageddon. It is like 1914 all over again only the high explosives have been replaced by H bombs.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 27, 2012 4:50:25 PM | 31

re 23 "the new antisemitism"

I've given up with that. It is impossible to know whether one's being anti-semitic or not. All I know is that if one criticises Israel, you're anti-semitic. Given that it is impossible to avoid the accusation, why worry?

The question is, whether you want to spend the time on the comments pages to deny what there will always be another hasbarist to attack you on. In my view, it's a certain duty for us all. There is a lack of soldiers to resist the hasbarists. I do it when I have the time.

Posted by: alexno | Aug 27, 2012 5:15:14 PM | 32

'"French President Francois Hollande has called on the Syrian opposition to form a provisional government, saying his country will recognize it as legitimate.
Hollande’s announcement – the first of its kind – creates new diplomatic pressure against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. "
'===============

Hollande continues the new forms of dictatorship begun with Sarcozy (the more things change! as in US, France is one party two right wing system)

if its that easy, any group in france can form and be recognised as the legitimiate govt by any other state in the world...Hollande hsa forgotten, or hopes others do that its the people who elect a govt not foreign regimes.Why dont the frenc people tell Hollande he is exceeding his mandate?!

Posted by: brian | Aug 27, 2012 5:56:49 PM | 33

@Don Bacon #23

regarding the quote from the Department of State:

has the effect of promoting prejudice against all Jews by demonizing Israel and Israelis and attributing Israel’s perceived faults to its Jewish character.

well, I agree

"Israel's perceived faults", beginning with its absurd foundation on racial basis and ethnic cleansing, are a problem arising straight from racist, Darwinist and imperialist late XIX-century Europe

Zionism was founded as an imitation of what other supposed "peoples" were doing: one people, one state, one land, survival of the fittest, etc

a coherent critique of Israel must be a critique of racism and imperialism

if instead one thinks the problem are the Jews, then, well, he is an antisemite

as a reader of Gilad Atzmon and Shlomo Sand, I don't even think the "Jewish people" as such exist; Israel has been a political project from the beginning, spread among people of Jewish religion

Posted by: claudio | Aug 27, 2012 6:13:04 PM | 34

@ 31 --Thanks for a great post, bevin.

While Iran is getting hooked up diplomatically, in the USA, various Federal agencies are preparing for domestic strife by ordering hundreds of thousands of rounds of 40 cal hollow-point ammo for "target practice". The home population is expected to become crazed at some future time. Between 1914-1918, the Empires were worried that worker solidarity at home and revolution abroad would get together and bring down the imperial, capitalist process, and threaten the vices and the profits, to which the ruling class had grown accustomed.

The prolific and energized labor movements, in 1914, expected that worker solidarity around Europe and the UK could be used to throttle back the national governments which were stampeding the populations to war. If a real revolution can't be co-opted; then a fake one or a hijacked one will do.

What these governments fear more than any external threat is trouble at home.

Posted by: Copeland | Aug 27, 2012 6:15:10 PM | 35

@m_s re Merkel
1) You are right. She has been Secretary for Propaganda and Agitation at the FDJ youth organisation board of the Leipzig University. Not SED, but certainly a source for future leading elites of the GDR, so she certainly got some primer in propaganda and manipulation.
2) She is not leading the mass media propaganda machine (in particular BILD, but also the general media mainstream), but she is excellent in using it and in being used by it. She`s not a leader but a clever apparatschik.
3) & 4) You are absolutely right. The twist is that her Marxist-Leninist formation prepared her well for understanding the machinery behind the western democracy facade, so it was no problem for her to fit in. Since she seems to be never bothered by any ethics (apart from the math necessary for physics), using the tools of the western power machine (and successfully offering to be used, thus gaining support) went easy.
Being in power does not correlate with competences, but the consequences do.

Posted by: Blockwartbuster | Aug 27, 2012 6:29:26 PM | 36

This trend where certain states decide to recognize a particular group within a country is very dangerous precedent that is being set by the idiotic Washington stooges of Europe..

They were allowed to get away with it in Libya and they think they can repeat the same sh*t again in Syria..If Russia and China don't make their voices heard loud and clear on this latest development, it won't be long before some has-been European country decides to recognize pussy riot fans or Tibet monks as legitimate rulers of Russia/China..

The world is surely heading toward WW3 with this stupid/desperate moves from Washington and her tag-alongs..

Posted by: Zico | Aug 27, 2012 6:45:08 PM | 37

@34
State Dept: "has the effect of promoting prejudice against all Jews by demonizing Israel and Israelis and attributing Israel’s perceived faults to its Jewish character."

Well, yeah, that observation would make some sort of sense if Israel wishes to be perceived as a state just like any other, albeit one that has demographics that gives it a "Jewish character".

But that's not how it perceives itself, and that's not how it demands to be perceived by others.

Israel itself insists that its "Jewishness" is its all-defining and utterly unique raison de'tre, while it is its critics who insist that Israel's all-defining characteristic is its incessant warmongering and colonial expansionism.

As such it is a bit rich for the State Department to define criticism of Israel as anti-semitism when it is actually those critics who are dismissive of "attributing Israel’s perceived faults to its Jewish character".

No.

I attribute Israel's perceived faults to the fact that it refuses to come to grips with the notion that the 19th century is long past, and therefore it thinks that colonial expansionism and conquest are still Okey Dokey in the 20th and 21st century.

Those are not "Jewish characteristics" at all, and the State Department flunky who equated the two is an idiot.

Posted by: Johnboy | Aug 27, 2012 6:47:28 PM | 38

Let's think about this.
Israel self-defines as a Jewish state. The idea of the Jewish people living independently in their own land stands at the heart of that tradition. Israelis, and Jews in general, then claim that criticism of Israel is criticism of Jews and that's antisemitism. The US government and media goes along with this. Criticism of Israel is off the table.

But consider the Islamic Republic of Iran. The US regularly demonizes the Islamic Republic but Iranians don't consider that criticism to be anti-Islamic, but only politically motivated (not religiously). All options are on the table.

What's the difference? Why do Jews get all upset and Muslims don't, when their countries are dissed? Is it that Jews have only one state and Muslims have a bunch? Or that Israel is much more Jewish than Iran is Islamic? I don't know.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 27, 2012 7:19:29 PM | 39

If people were really concerned about anti-Semitism, they would make certain that the US doesn't enter a war on false pretenses on behalf of the Jewish state. But it looks like that is what Israel is begging for. And when they get what they want, they will rant and rave about anti-semitism. Only difference is that nobody will be listening.

Posted by: JohnH | Aug 27, 2012 10:27:58 PM | 40

@39
"What's the difference?"

The difference is that the Persians are not cry-babies, nor are they much interested in making excuses for their own behaviour.
The Israelis are, and therefore always seek to blame others for their faults.

"Why do Jews get all upset and Muslims don't, when their countries are dissed?"

See above.
The Persians are acting like mature adults.
The Israelis are acting like spoilt children.

"Is it that Jews have only one state and Muslims have a bunch?"

No. The same behaviour would be apparent even if/when there is a schism that causes there to be an "Israel" and a "Judea and Samaria".

"Or that Israel is much more Jewish than Iran is Islamic?"

No. It is because their behaviour marks them out as a 19th century anachronism - a throwback to the age of empire-building and colonial expansionism - and they simply do not want to acknowledge that, least of all to themselves.

They therefore have to come up with Some Other Excuse, and that something else is "they hate us because we are Jewish".

The same thing happened to the USA post-9/11 i.e. "they hate us for our freedom"
No, George, they hate you because Uncle Sam insisted on getting in their faces.

Posted by: Johnboy | Aug 28, 2012 1:34:39 AM | 41

France calls for "transitional government" formation
The US does not support the call

Bad Cop/Good Cop in action.

France would never have made that statement without US approval

Posted by: Penny | Aug 28, 2012 7:13:19 AM | 42

Penny @ 42

Hollande's call for the formation of a transitional government by the fsa/snc, and the open rebuttal by the US is a classic case of psy-ops..

What exactly can France do in Syria? Drop more cheese and wine? What all these noise are about is to booster the morale of the fsa, who're taking a massive beating in Damascus and Allepo.

And dig this, the Syrian army hasn't even called up their reserves yet..The Allepo operation took only 20000 troops to snuff the fsa out.. Personally, I don't see any way out of the fsa other than total surrender and fighting to death - which most of them seem to be doing.

Meanwhile, the French economy seems to be digging deeper and deeper into the sh*ts with no end in sight..Hollande has proven to be just another Sarko(Sarko lite) but slightly taller than Sarko.

His much touted "tough-guys" stance against frau Merkel, which won him his presidency, has just fallen apart and he's now under Merkel's diktats on pretty much any of the EU policies..Why do big powers always screw the French over every time?

Posted by: Zico | Aug 28, 2012 7:58:39 AM | 43

Based on comments above about France, I feel I should repeat myself from an earlier post. France has a fundamental firm longstanding and bipartisan policy that the UN Security Council is the only authority that can authorize a military attack against a sovereign country. That policy is self-serving for France; see France's status on the UN Security Council. Russia and China will continue to veto any UNSC authorization of military attack against Syria. Therefore, France can't harm Syria.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 28, 2012 8:02:32 AM | 44

@ m_s #13, @ Don Bacon #5, #10, and others: For external links the parser requires a whitespace character at the end of the URL link address to indicate its termination. Otherwise the parser does not know correctly where the address terminates, and reads the address's end at the wrong place, resulting in an invalid link address. For example:

This is an invalid link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hegemony;
This is the correct link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hegemony ;
This is an invalid link: (http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=282669).
This is the correct link: (http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=282669 ).

Contrary to Don #23 the URL at Don #10 was perfectly good except it needed a whitespace before '<'.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 28, 2012 8:06:54 AM | 45

A commenter from Germany says at #9:

German "public media" such as DLF (which are basically state controlled media) are... slightly more neutral than the "private media" (owned and controlled by private owners/investors).... Generally speaking the basic line is sth. akin to "There is 'we', the Nato/usa/eu and there is 'the others' who are usually perceived (or painted) as 'the communists/muslim terrorists/bad guys'".

That's the spirit of Western hegemonism; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hegemony ; also http://search.news.cn/language/search.jspa?id=en&t=1&t1=0&ss=&ct=&n1=Hegemonism&x=23&y=13 .

The spirit of Western hegemonism lives in the hearts of the masses of ordinary people in the West and determines the foreign policies of the Western countries. I say it's a form of latter-day tribalism and I say it's a form of latter-day bigotry. The hegemonists believe in good faith that it is virtuous and wise. I say it is evil and ignorant.

Its bedrock foundation lies in the mass market, and not in the mass media. The mass media outlets are always in a state of competition for consumers, for market share (just as Western political parties are in a state of competition for votes). The ones who win these competitions are the ones who reflect the values and presuppositions of the Western masses. After having won, they re-inforce and re-affirm the same values and presuppositions, but they are not the bedrock, not the foundation.

Commenter 'Brian' at #18 says "a representative 'democracy' is only as good as its representatives." I disagree and I say on the contrary that a representative 'democracy' is only as good as the masses who are being represented. As Brian see it, the Western masses are innocent angels on the whole, while their mass media and their politicans are devils. That's not how I see it at all. What's foundational is what's in the heads of the masses. The media and the politicians are the slaves of the masses.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 28, 2012 8:21:31 AM | 46

zico @ 43

Agree with the psyop play

That said France wouldn't have dared to say that without the statement being pre approved by the US.

France has also confirmed today they are working on a buffer zone along with their killing compatriots

"France has confirmed that Western states were working with Turkey to establish buffer zones within Syria
“We are working … [on] the initiative of buffer zones proposed by Turkey,” Mr Hollande said. “We are doing so in co-ordination with our closest partners.”

All statements have to be pre-approved for leaking by the US
Links to news sources are in a
post over at my blog if interested.

France by all appearances is replaying the role of faux leader as was done prior to Libya's destruction

Posted by: Penny | Aug 28, 2012 8:22:58 AM | 47

Parviziyz @ 44

" France has a fundamental firm longstanding and bipartisan policy that the UN Security Council is the only authority that can authorize a military attack against a sovereign country."

And yet the entire scenario continues to progress?
Calling for a transitional government. Aiding in the creation of a buffer zone.


So how does that correlate with the belief that France has a fundamental and firm longstanding bipartisan......UN Security council etc
When there has been no approval
There looks to be a disconnect.

Posted by: Penny | Aug 28, 2012 8:30:34 AM | 48

@ Penny #48: France can advocate for an all-out war against Syria, and can do so loudly. But France cannot actually go to war against Syria without a UNSC authorization. France can only advocate that the UNSC approve a war against Syria. The UNSC will never approve it, and so France is wasting its breath. There is no disconnect between France's (self-serving) commitment to the UNSC institution and France's hostility towards the Syrian establishment.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 28, 2012 8:46:02 AM | 49

Parviziya @ 49

" But France cannot actually go to war against Syria without a UNSC authorization."

Really?
Lets clarify the language so we are on the same page?

France cannot go to war against Syria with out a UNSC resolution?
Or France will not?
Capable or un/willing are two very different creatures.

France can along with their NATO allies go to war against Syria
They can do that (they are capable)

France has called for a "coalition of the willing"
What does that language indicate to a reader that France is willing to do?

Is France willing to go to war without UNSC approval?
Is the will present in the French leadership?

Posted by: Penny | Aug 28, 2012 9:13:31 AM | 50

Parviziya:
not trying to be difficult, just trying to be sure we are on the same page

communicating via internet has it's limitations

It is entirely possible to speak the same words with entirely different meanings to the individuals "speaking"

Posted by: Penny | Aug 28, 2012 9:15:37 AM | 51

They're not wars any longer, they're no-fly zones which include the suppression of suspected militants and activists while protecting innocent civilians against horrific regime assaults and massacres.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 28, 2012 10:53:17 AM | 52

@ Penny: France's in its foreign policy has a fundamental commitment to the UNSC institution, more so than the USA or UK or Germany has.

France's Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on 24 Aug 2012 that the possibility of setting up a partial no-fly zone over Syria deserved to be examined, but he reiterated that France would not enter into a war without a UN mandate. http://www.france24.com/en/20120823-france-considers-partial-no-fly-zone-over-syria-le-drian-clinton-assad-opposition

Frence's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said very recently that France would only violate the territorial integrity of Syria in the context of an "international mandate". I read that as UNSC mandate. If you can show me a quote from Fabius that France could be a party to violation without UNSC authorization, it would mean that a fundamental plank of France's foreign policy has been suddenly broken.

President Hollande, in a lengthy statement about Syria yesterday 27 Aug 2012, gave no indication that France was contemplating abandoning what has been a firm commitment to the UNSC as an institution. Hollande said yesterday that any use of chemical weapons to repress Syria’s people “would provide a legitimate reason for direct intervention by the international community.” I read that as "would convince the Russians to not veto".

Penny asks: "Is France willing to go to war without UNSC approval?" The short answer is NO, and will continue to be NO until you can find a senior French government spokesman saying explicitly and on the record that UNSC approval is not strictly necessary.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 28, 2012 11:42:59 AM | 53

Apparently Turkish FM Davutoglu's yapping about a 100,000 refugee redline, coupled with a military buildup near the border and talk of a safe haven in Syria, has been slapped down by the US. Earlier, Davutoglu had said that if the number of Syrians staying in Turkey exceeded 100,000, then it would be a necessity to set up a buffer zone. There are no current moves to do that.

To accommodate refugees Turkey will open four new camps to accommodate refugees fleeing violence in Syria by next week, bringing its total capacity to 120,000 people, and is making plans for a continued influx, its disaster management agency said today.

In connection with the safe haven talk, France's Hollande suggested a "partial no-fly zone" but that has also been slapped down by the US. SecDef Panetta, Aug 14, 2012: "With regards to the no-fly zone, that is not a front-burner issue for us."

I'm sure the safehaven/bufferzone/enclave/noflyzone idea won't be abandoned by Davutoglu and Hollande. France now heads the UNSC, and foreign ministers of the UN Security Council will convene Aug 30 under the chairmanship of France in New York to discuss the recent developments in Syria. Davutoglu will attend and can be expected to bring up the buffer zone for "humanitarian purposes." New UN Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi is also expected to attend.

Of course the US never cared about the millions of refugees from its Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya adventures but that was then and this is now.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 28, 2012 11:52:37 AM | 54

One reason Turkey wanted to cap refugees was its own internal political instability.

Zaman: The issue of Syrian refugees being exploited in domestic politics to criticize the government is a cause of concern according to many analysts in Turkey, who believe the tension that has occasionally broken out in the past weeks between local Turkish people and Syrians who have taken refuge in Turkey should not be abused by the opposition, and the issue should not be treated one of internal politics. . .

It was said in past weeks that Syrians accommodated in camps in the province of Hatay were to be transferred to other cities because of the tension that had allegedly risen between locals and the refugees. Gazi Mısırlı, a Syrian who acts as a consultant to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, allegedly went to Hatay on Sunday to try to persuade the representatives of Syrians in camps there to move from the province. It was claimed in news reports that some Syrians in Hatay refused to pay restaurant bills, bus fares and were renting apartments, although they were not entitled to do so. They are also said to be rude in conduct and didn't respect the law.
http://www.todayszaman.com/news-290731-political-exploitation-of-refugee-issue-by-opposition-draws-ire.html

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 28, 2012 12:02:59 PM | 55

I've read some nice words about Germany here. Wondering is this outlet of BND or Bundeskanzleramt?

@ Don Bacon | Aug 26, 2012 11:21:29 PM | 10

"Well the FRG didn't participate in the rape of Libya so thanks for that."

No!? Really, wondering, how far you memory goes back? Or, if memory serves you at all. I am curious in which group you fall that Italian scientist Carlo M. Cipolla invented: http://cantrip.org/stupidity.html

Or, you are just mean and outright evil sociopath and you know of people's natural tendency to forget just about anything in short time. In particular when "untermesch" comes in question, then everything is allowed.

Germany was very first country that send its Navy at the shores of Libya. What's happened next remained mystery. My explanation is: old division of labor inside "liberal-facist-democracies" in other words London and Paris (along with Washington) did not allow to Berlin to have any role in Mediterranean theater - or fatamorganic The Union for the Mediterranean.

German's Gov. pay once hefty sum to NATO's Libyan mercenary 100 millions of Euros, and second time, I think 150 for ammunitions when complains starts to comings about depletion of cruse-missiles. Still, not convinced?

http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,15263076_page_1,00.html

Germany is major villain country - politically, militarily, and economically! It was first and major instrumental in destruction of Yugoslavia, and today Syria with Turkey (old ally from WWI), than they actively supported secession of South Sudan. Do I need to mention Iran. If you ever read "Grand Chessboard" the author mentioned Germany as "vassal state" which is what Germany is. German's party affiliated NGOs are in par with Washington's ones - in spreading "freedom and democracy", i.e. death.

And the list is long. All in all, Germany is actively involved in all Western intervention and Crusade against independent countries across the world and in support Christian and Jewish Zionism.

Take, for example, this so-called NGO: United Against Nuclear Iran, and their "leadership".

http://www.unitedagainstnucleariran.com/about/leadership

Just read their names, bios and where they are coming from. They need Mit Romney and Thilo Sarrazin in brown-shirts to complete its neo-nazi profile.

On fun side this guy have hilarious story about German-Turkey "cooperation" - GERMANY COMMITS SQUAD TO TEACH TURKS HOW TO SWIM;

http://syrianperspective.blogspot.com/2012/08/third-post-august-25-2012-germany.html

Posted by: neretva'43 | Aug 28, 2012 12:52:15 PM | 56

'Germany's rebel cash flow to keep Libyan oil in pipeline' LIBYA ON WAR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8NT3SJuLMU

Posted by: neretva'43 | Aug 28, 2012 1:03:50 PM | 57

Parviziyi @ 53

Penny asks: "Is France willing to go to war without UNSC approval?"

The short answer is NO, and will continue to be NO until you can find a senior French government spokesman saying explicitly and on the record that UNSC approval is not strictly necessary.

Government spokespeople say all kinds of stuff, on record and off, then turn around and take entirely different actions on an almost regular basis.

I prefer a wait and see approach, you believe as you wish, obviously.

Thanks for your response

Posted by: Penny | Aug 28, 2012 1:53:58 PM | 58

France has a fundamental firm longstanding and bipartisan policy that the UN Security Council is the only authority that can authorize a military attack against a sovereign country. That policy is self-serving for France; see France's status on the UN Security Council. And it is supported by the French electorate. I cannot expect today's French government to abandon the policy in the heat of a moment in the case of Syria, a case with very little self-serving benefit for France.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 28, 2012 2:23:43 PM | 59

And there appears no hope that Russia and China would abstain on Syria as they did on Libya, so Hollande is all talk and no walk currently, like the US and UK, merely the whimperings of a dying world hegemony.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 28, 2012 2:44:46 PM | 60

--sorry for the repeat, I posted this in the open thread by mistake--

From ABC News [Australian Public Broadcaster]

Syrian delegates storm out of Tehran summit

The Syrian delegation has stormed out of a summit in Iran during a speech from the new Egyptian president that was highly critical of the Syrian regime. Mohammed Morsi is the first Egyptian leader to visit Iran since relations between the countries soured after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

He used the summit to launch a stinging attack on the Syrian government, a key ally of Iran.
He said Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was leading an oppressive regime and that countries had an ethical duty to support the Syrian opposition in their revolution.

"Our solidarity with the struggle of the Syrian people against an oppressive regime that has lost its legitimacy is an ethical duty as it is a political and strategic necessity," he said.

The Syrian delegation is reported to have stormed out during his speech, though that has been denied by Iran's official media.

Syrian foreign minister Walid Muallem later accused Mr Morsi of using his speech to incite further bloodshed. He said the speech amounted to "interference in Syria's internal affairs and... incites continued bloodshed in Syria".

Tehran is hoping the high-profile event will prove that Western efforts to isolate it and punish it economically for its disputed nuclear program have failed.

Iran, which has given staunch backing to the Assad regime, will not be pleased with Mr Morsi's comments.

Posted by: kodlu | Aug 30, 2012 8:28:08 AM | 61

Is France willing to go to war without UNSC approval? > No.

Parviziyi is right ..

A perhaps deeper reason is that F has experienced its post-colonial and other decline painfully, and has had, is having, great difficulty in digging itself out or away from a declinist scenario. (Sarkozy was elected to counter it, in part.)

France’s seat on the SC gives it status and legitimacy from its past, which it could not garner today. It is thus highly approving of, and attached to, the UN and all Int’l bodies.

This fits with both international imperialism aims, and F’s public adherence to supra-national values, concerning religious rights, worker rights, etc., values held by the public (hypocritically or not), notably more strongly by the left, now Hollande, than any other pol. party, including (imho) the Communists (today.) It gives F a legitimacy it cannot possibly abandon. It paints F as a straight-shooter, collaborative, decent, sensible.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 30, 2012 10:55:54 AM | 62

Is France willing to go to war without UNSC approval? > No.

Parviziyi is right ..

A perhaps deeper reason is that F has experienced its post-colonial and other decline painfully, and has had, is having, great difficulty in digging itself out or away from a declinist scenario. (Sarkozy was elected to counter it, in part.)

France’s seat on the SC gives it status and legitimacy from its past, which it could not garner today. It is thus highly approving of, and attached to, the UN and all Int’l bodies.

This fits with both international imperialism aims, and F’s public adherence to supra-national values, concerning religious rights, worker rights, etc., values held by the public (hypocritically or not), notably more strongly by the left, now Hollande, than any other pol. party, including (imho) the Communists (today.) It gives F a legitimacy it cannot possibly abandon. It paints F as a straight-shooter, collaborative, decent, sensible.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 30, 2012 10:55:56 AM | 63

Teheran got everything it might wish from the summit, they cannot realistically expect countries present to agree with them, however, it is clear everybody is talking to them and they are by no means isolated

eg this country here

KSA endorses Tehran NAM summit

and him

In other news Angela Merkel agreed with China to usr Euro versus Chinese currency for trade.


Posted by: somebody | Aug 30, 2012 10:58:36 AM | 64

oh and quite a lot of Morsi's speech seems to have got lost in reporting and translation, here an Egyptian summary of all of his "unusual" remarks

No France will not go to war in Syria, this here from a French retired army general including this interesting revelation:

"En juin, quand les Turcs ont voulu tester la défense aérienne syrienne (pour tout expert en la matière, c'est une évidence à l'examen des trajectoires publiées), la réaction ne s'est pas fait attendre et l'appareil a été abattu. Pour venir à bout aujourd'hui de l'aviation de Bachar Al-Assad, il faudrait employer toute la machine de guerre américaine et utiliser les aéroports de Grèce et de Chypre, voire du Moyen-Orient."

Posted by: somebody | Aug 30, 2012 11:37:58 AM | 65

and its not just Angela Merkel above linked al Ahram article ends with

"Morsi arrived in Tehran for the NAM summit on Thursday morning. He is scheduled to return to Cairo later in the day after a five-day trip that started in and was largely spent in Beijing, where he explored avenues for wider economic and trade cooperation."

Posted by: somebody | Aug 30, 2012 11:39:55 AM | 66

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