Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 23, 2016

Meltdown in Libya

by Richard Galustian

The fallout of the continuing meltdown of Libya will be felt hard in in particularly Southern European countries.

The Tripoli and western town's militias are continuing to make hundreds of millions of dollars sending even more tens of thousands of migrants north to the EU.

All changed for the worse last week with a number of pronouncements and events, though reading mainstream media, you would be forgiven for thinking otherwise. First Britain's Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond announced he didn't need Parliament to send troops involving the UK in another quagmire that would prove similar to its disastrous involvement in Afghanistan. Hammond, within hours, back tracked on that idea under pressure from Parliament.

Meanwhile the UN and EU has also stated it will change formally international recognition status, from the House of Representatives (HOR) parliament to Serraj, whether or not HOR recognize the Government of National Accord (GNA) which would give the UN appointed Serraj control of Libya’s vast foreign assets, estimated at $140 billion.

The saga further continued last Monday night when Serraj's addressed more than 50 of the great and good; foreign and defense ministers of the European Union gathered at a dinner in Luxembourg, his words coming to them by video screen.

Despite the fact that the HOR in Tobruk, had not decided to accept the GNA nevertheless illogically the EU's Federica Mogerini reaction to Serraj's presentation that same evening, perpetuating the charade of his Unity government, stated she had €100m to give him!

To remind readers, over two weeks ago Serraj arrived in Tripoli with no more than 7 men were on the ship, the remnants of what should have been a 9-man Presidential Council. And where are the 30 ministers and 60 deputy ministers that constitute the GNA?

Plucked from obscurity by the UN, a Tripoli businessman was selected, one Fayez Serraj, to bring peace to Libya, who they expect to end the war between the Islamist National Salvation government in Tripoli and the elected parliament (HOR) in Tobruk. The further expectation then is for Serraj to head a united Libyan army crushing both ISIS and the migrant-smuggling gangs, the West’s twin Libya headaches. Impossible!

To preserve this illusion, western dignitaries staged visits to the Libyan capital, a virtual 'Potemkin Village' show.

They land amid tight security at the city center Mitega airport, guarded by their own small army and by the few militias who have taken Serraj’s side, and his promise of fat pay rises. From there it is a nervy two mile dash in armored cars down the coastal highway to the naval base. Once the dignitaries are inside then there are the all-important photographs showing handshakes before scurrying away again.

Also last Monday the British Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond paid a very short visit to Tripoli's Naval 'bunker' as it has become known.

A few days earlier the French, Italian and German foreign ministers completed this sham also. Soon after the French and German VIP planes flew away though, a militia blew up the home of a politician who had dared object to the new government. Hours later, another militia attacked the Tripoli home of deputy designate prime minister, Ahmed Maiteeg. Neither man was home, wisely staying well clear of this militia-infested city, but the second attack saw rival militias bring tanks onto the streets in fighting that spluttered for five hours. Of Serraj there was no sign. He has spent most of the last few weeks abroad, in Cairo, Istanbul, London and Tunis, anywhere but Libya.

None of this was mentioned in Monday night’s Luxembourg gala dinner. EU leaders maintained the facade, and in fact enhanced it, promising to send diplomats to Tripoli, a city almost equivalent to Sarajevo of the early 90s.

Last month both the EU and the UN however threatened sanctions on 'spoilers' - the threatened asset freeze and travel bans - on men for daring to object to the Serraj government. One, Abdul Rahman Swehli caved in quickly to EU pressure was rewarded by being anointed as 'President' of the so called State Council. Other 'spoilers', of which Gen. Hafter is one, can expect the same despite the fact he has almost won the Battle for Benghazi against extremists. However only one man this week so far has been named to the sanctions list under President Obama’s executive sanctions order against 'spoiler' Libyans and that is Khalifa al-Ghweil, the leader of the Islamist Tripoli Government. So far he’s the only addition. No doubt more will be added. That US Executive order will be implemented by the UN not the EU.

Unless the HOR's Saleh is also intimidated sufficiently by UN to say yes soon to Serraj's phantom GNA government, he could be next on the list. He is already sanctioned by the EU.

The UN's Martin Kobler also this week in Tobruk made Salah an offer, in Don Corleone's words, he can't refuse!

But even if the HOR does accept the GNA, which they allegedly did the other day, that still will not bring peace to Libya, only the facade of there being a unity government. Recently both Libya's rivals eastern and western central banks announced plans to print their own new currency. I predict a country that will eventually split.

Posted by b on April 23, 2016 at 9:59 UTC | Permalink


The legacy of HRC............

Posted by: notlurking | Apr 23 2016 11:38 utc | 1

RG, 'Other 'spoilers', of which Gen. Hafter is one, can expect the same despite the fact he has almost won the Battle for Benghazi against extremists.'

Looks to me that Gen. Hafter is the CIAs man. He's spent more time in Virginia and 'training' at Langley than he has in Libya over the past twenty years. I guess he's in charge of the 'moderate' Wahabis in Benghazi? The ones who burnt J. Christioher Stevens? at CIA direction?

Just as in Syria the best the US/NATO could do for the Libyans in this case would be to ask the Russians in to clean up their mess.

The US/NATO are intent on financial and fossil-fuel rape and pillage though, after the fusiliers have devastated and destroyed the place once again. And, hey, the US can live with al-CIAduh. Their man is al-CIAduh's 'moderate' general.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 23 2016 12:10 utc | 2

When will these idiots learn that instability in your near abroad or your border areas is not a desirable state of affairs. The wars in Libya Ukraine and Syria have been a catastrophe for Europe and Britian but their stupid sock puppet leaders still think there is something to be gained through the spread of chaos.
Remember, this is just the beginning of the migrant crisis. Millions more will be arriving soon and the Ukraine will be spiking out millions more.

Posted by: Secret Agent | Apr 23 2016 13:28 utc | 3

JFL: North Africa is not in Russia's near abroad so it is unlikely that they will clean up the mess there's, especially given NATOs policy that it's more important to cause trouble for Russia than it is to deal with crises that could destroy Europe.

Posted by: Secret Agent | Apr 23 2016 13:42 utc | 4

I'm quite fond of this "Fly-in a New Libyan proxy Govt at night" idea. I wonder if Xi and/or Vlad are ready to show the West's Wankers how to do it properly - and openly? There seems to be a huge gap in Libya's (unified) self-defense capability. I reckon China/Russia could restore complete control of Libya, to Libyans, in 7 days, maximum.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 23 2016 13:56 utc | 5

instability at EU border might be the only way to pass en force the transatlantic partnership, i.e. put the EU in the US or put the US within EU
forbidding demonstrations is another one

Posted by: Mina | Apr 23 2016 14:25 utc | 6

I wonder when Americans will be informed of their countries absolute shite leadership by the MSM?
When Obomba and the hell bitch are called to account?
The 12th of never?
When hell freezes over?

Posted by: dahoit | Apr 23 2016 15:05 utc | 7

"When will these idiots learn that instability in your near abroad or your border areas is not a desirable state of affairs. "

Posted by: Secret Agent

Tell that to Soros...

Posted by: shadyl | Apr 23 2016 15:06 utc | 8

is that the best plan they can come up with? clearly libya into a clusterfuck was not a well thought out plan, or these stupid politicians are just a rubber stamp for a higher level of piranhas who feed off the destruction of a country, which was a well thought out plan... the eu, nato and the usa leadership look like a bunch of complete fools in all of it.. and that goes double for clinton.. her ignorance exceeds her bad looks..

Posted by: james | Apr 23 2016 15:39 utc | 9

with the financial system imploding, and the global economy writhing with spasmodic contractions, you just know that the psychopathic suits are slobbering over those hundred and forty billion sitting in escrow. so i suppose we'll have to humour these scumbags once again as they scramble to put a 'legitimate' face on their larceny and murder.

infusing ten trillion or so into the pot over the last not so many years did jack, except, perhaps, to more clearly discern a bottomless pit.

but then, loaning money to yourself always sounded kind of fishy to me.

Posted by: john | Apr 23 2016 17:00 utc | 10

The fig leaf of the so called unity government, is only meant to hide the strategic objective of foreign interests, who aim to control Libya's assets. Those who overthrew Ghadafi's government want the country broken in two; and their immediate challenge is finding the right puppets to accomplish this end.

Posted by: Copeland | Apr 23 2016 17:02 utc | 11

In the minds of EU and US elites the chaos they caused in Libya and Syria and the resultant migration into the EU is not a defeat, it always is just another opportunity to fire up their supplicants in their controlled media to spin it to their advantage for more money and power.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Apr 23 2016 17:10 utc | 12

It is always the same foreign policy by the US: create an excuse, destabilize the opposition, send in the troops. Winning is NOT a military defeat so long as the target population is decimated and so mixed up it can no longer function as a society. The goal is simply to destroy the 'evil other.' It has been that way since the first European colonists began to destroy Native American communities. The goals for destabilizing Libya was not so much to get rid of a functioning government as it was to create wave after wave of displaced persons. The strategy in Syria created waves of migrants into Eastern and Northern Europe. The strategy in Libya is to send waves of migrants into southern and western Europe. Destabilization is good for what has always been our military industrial complex. It has always been the goal of the American Oligarchs to control and subjugate all others. The primary difference between the past and the present is not predatory actions per se, it is rather creating instability and fear. It works on the 'evil other' and has been turned inward by making the use of fear and martial law an acceptable role for the military/security complex.

Unless and until we wake up and realize that we are not only BOTH victims and victimizers, there is no hope for change. Americans are greedy, violent, militaristic and do not differ from the elites they serve.

Know how I know? I, just like you, am an American: greedy, callous and just sophisticated enough to dupe not only others but myself as well.

Posted by: rg the lg | Apr 23 2016 18:18 utc | 13

@13 Yes, but Sarkozy got the ball rolling. 19 states were involved in the so-called R2P in Libya. One could argue that Europe is paying the price for its stupidity.

Posted by: dh | Apr 23 2016 18:44 utc | 14

@ james 9

“is that the best plan they can come up with? clearly libya into a clusterfuck was not a well thought out plan, [.]

au contraire. After the 1967 war, for their survival, that indeed was the long established Israel policy… um turned a plan then into action steps; to protect Israel’s security, all Arab states in the ME –Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Libya and Syria had to be dismembered. A dismembered state facing internal strife does not have the resources for war against Israel. For added protection Israel was given nukes. Former president `Jimmy Carter, in frustration, revealed the number was 250.

Should we also mention the Oded Yinon’s musings? More than just a few hours of musings.

Posted by: likklemore | Apr 23 2016 18:54 utc | 15

Libya was always a cost to the EU. Berlusconi was paying Gaddafi EUR 3 Billion/year to keep migrants on his side of the med. Due to Clinton's folly, the price has simply gone up. In addition to having to pump in much more money, the EU probably is going to get involved in the fighting. The EU wanted to be a "soft" empire, i.e. without having to militarily deal with the instability along its borders, coz that somhow made it morally superior. Now its finding out the hard way that unless you supply the muscle, you end up having to pay others to do the dirty work, and they just keep increasing the price (Erdogan, and now Libya).

Posted by: rint | Apr 23 2016 19:32 utc | 16

Many good points. Another essential point is this:

The Power Brokers (austerity agenda) despise any nation which even hints at meager social benefits for its poor and working classes. See Chile 1972, Venezuela, Cuba, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and etc.

With free education, electricity and numerous financial benefits for common people, Libya and Ghadafi, were a model nation of social progress.

The other thing was his spearheading a union of self-determined African states and gold-backed dinars (threatened the petro-dollar).

Libya had to be destroyed. You can't have people thinking there might be a better way.

Goldman/Monsanto rules.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Apr 23 2016 19:45 utc | 17

What's happened with Ayesha Gaddafi ?

Posted by: aaaa | Apr 23 2016 20:02 utc | 18

@15 likklemore... chaos is never a well constructed plan, even if one thinks they will benefit from it.. the unintended consequences have unforeseen ramifications... this will not end well for israel, or the west in any//all of their manipulations, if for no other reason that it doesn't end well for our ship - planet earth.. it's fine to experiment.. however, thinking some can benefit via the sacrificing of others well never end well at any time or place..

Posted by: james | Apr 23 2016 20:41 utc | 19

Hoarsewhisperer wrote: "I reckon China/Russia could restore complete control of Libya, to Libyans, in 7 days, maximum."

You mean, like the stability the Russians brought to Afghanistan in the 1980s with a proxy government in Kabul? Or the stability in Syria at present? Or perhaps the stability their support of Russian nationalists brought to the Eastern Ukraine?

Secret Agent wrote: "When will these idiots learn that instability in your near abroad or your border areas is not a desirable state of affairs. The wars in Libya Ukraine and Syria have been a catastrophe for Europe and Britian but their stupid sock puppet leaders still think there is something to be gained through the spread of chaos."

Most of the Syrian refugees have fled because the Syrian government has carried out indiscriminate bombing of urban areas in an attempt to depopulate areas under rebel control. Since refugees from the Syrian civil war constitute the vast majority of asylum seeking immigrants to Europe, it seems fairly obvious where the fault lies. But perhaps this doesn't agree with your agenda.

Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Apr 23 2016 21:18 utc | 20

ep - more bullshite from you... what else is new... i will give you this - it's difficult to impossible to create order when the usa/west is so attached to sowing chaos and discord in select places globally.. take your msm talking points and tell them to someone who is stupid enough to believe it.. it ain't here.. this is also in response to the other stupid post of yours from last night..

Posted by: james | Apr 23 2016 21:23 utc | 21

@14 dh

What Hillary Knew about Libya

In an April 2, 2011 email, Blumenthal informed Clinton that sources close to one of Gaddafi sons were reporting that “Qaddafi’s government holds 143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver” and the hoard had been moved from the Libyan Central Bank in Tripoli closer to the border with Niger and Chad.

“This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).”

Blumenthal then added that

“According to knowledgeable individuals, this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.”

The email added:

“According to these individuals, Sarkozy’s plans are driven by the following issues:

  - A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
  - Increase French influence in North Africa,
  - Improve his internal political situation in France,
  - Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,
  - Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa.”

In an earlier email, dated March 27, 2011, Blumenthal also discussed the French interests in the conflict, citing “knowledgeable individuals” who said that Sarkozy

“is pressing to have France emerge from this crisis as the principal foreign ally of any new government that takes power.”

I never understood the French and Sarkozy, Their very own psychopath. Zbig in the cheap, but not as an adviser but with the reins of power in his very own hands!

And now the Germans are in on the deal. The Brits and Italians always have been.

Sidney Blumenthal is a weird Clinton groupie, but his son is Max Blumenthal. Maybe, too, the French will somehow be reborn with hearts and minds in the right places? Doesn't look good at the moment. Americans? Doesn't look good at all. The Germans seem to be following the Americans over the cliff.

@4 sa

Yes, the Russians have problems closer to home. But, as the US/EU collapse into naked colonialism the Russians' best bet is to go over the heads of the moral degenerates in the US and EU and NATO and appeal directly to the world's peoples, by doing the 'right thing'.

They need to get the Chinese involved as well, the only economy in earth still growing. They could benefit a great deal by showing up where the US Navy isn't, in the Mediterranean, working with the Russians and Egyptians at breaking the blockade of Gaza and running the Wahabists out of Libya. The points made with the world's Muslims and the reduction of tensions for both the Russians and Chinese in Central Asia - stirred up of course by USrael's CIA and Mossad - would be worth whatever it cost. Having 1 billion Muslims on their side won't hurt them going forward. And the blowback for the Saudis and the GCCs for their decades of inaction on behalf of their Muslim 'brothers' and their double-dealing with the USraelis - in the spotlight after the Russian/Chinese succor and aid - ought to bring those troublesome regimes down as well.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 23 2016 21:45 utc | 22

@22 Wouldn't hurt the Chinese designs in Africa one bit either.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 23 2016 21:52 utc | 23

well are the tankers being loaded with that sweet light crude bound for the refineries optimized for such supply
we saw we came we ripped off

Posted by: Jay M | Apr 24 2016 3:27 utc | 24

Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Apr 23, 2016 5:18:48 PM | 20

No. I meant what I wrote, not what you've been imagining.
Libya was poorly defended when Gaddafi was in charge. That situation can only have worsened since the Christians decided, in their Infinite Wisdom, to transfer the remains of his arsenal to Syria where the Russians were able to destroy both it and the head-choppers to whom it was given.

So, IF Russia/China can hilight the (apparently criminal) hijacking of the UN's imprimatur by the Christians, Libya can probably be quickly, and legally, liberated by Russia/China. But, given Russia/China's determination to operate within the confines of International Law, that's a big IF, in April 2016.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 24 2016 5:23 utc | 25

ff @ 17 said.."With free education, electricity and numerous financial benefits for common people, Libya and Ghadafi, were a model nation of social progress."

"The other thing was his spearheading a union of self-determined African states and gold-backed dinars (threatened the petro-dollar)."

"Libya had to be destroyed. You can't have people thinking there might be a better way."

All three points are highly relevant. The Empire (U$A/NATO) cannot brook competition to it's hegemony. Period. It's just business.

Posted by: ben | Apr 24 2016 13:55 utc | 26

@dahoit 7

I think a sizeable proportion of the US public is aware of that fact. I think a better observation would be that public opinion doesn't matter at all, whether it's in the US, the UK, France, or Germany, or any number of other nations.

Posted by: sleepy | Apr 24 2016 15:10 utc | 27

@27 You got that right. The various publics have been beaten down and sedated. Apathy rules.

Posted by: dh | Apr 24 2016 15:46 utc | 28

@ #27, #28.
War (whether Fake or Flippant) helps too. In war-time, people are accustomed to being told what to do (and think) by their government. However, with the invention of the Fake War on Terror on 9/11, we're in a constant pre-war, or mid-war, footing. And in Oz, at least, the Govt has persuaded itself that Australians should refrain from questioning the Govt on ANY and every policy. It's virtually upside-down democracy in which the people are required to do the Govt's bidding instead of the old-fashioned democracy whereby the people elected a govt to do OUR bidding. And it's getting noticeably worse by the month. Abbott was an uncouth moron. His replacement, Malcolm Turnbull, is a dangerously stupid Toff with absolutely NO imagination or ideas. In Oz it's now Government of the People, by the 1%, for the 1%. And the 1% are basically the Middle Men (and their progeny) who exported millions of Australian jobs and now want to circumvent their tax, and fair wage, obligations. Owning every politician with a profile has greatly simplified their take-over.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 24 2016 17:28 utc | 29

@29 So why aren't people marching in the streets? Or are they all on the beach?

Posted by: dh | Apr 24 2016 17:35 utc | 30

@ 30 @ 29

Though people have marched in the street opposing foreign policy in all western nations, it doesn't seem to matter. Let's face it--most people are concerned about their own economic well-being. Is that selfish? Yeah, it is in the larger, global picture, but I do think as neoliberalism continues to degrade the lives and expectations of citizens of even those "wealthy" countries, it will collapse, along with its soulmate neocon foreign policy.

Hopefully what comes after those isms will be something more beneficial to mankind as a whole. I don't bet on it at all, just hoping.

Then there is the specter of climate collapse which is nature's big FU to all of us.

Posted by: sleepy | Apr 24 2016 19:53 utc | 31

@31 I went on a few marches in my time. CND, anti-Vietnam. Hard to say if it achieved anything. Too old for that now. Street protests seem to fizzle out pretty fast.

I've often thought no real change will come until the middle-class get angry. No gas for the SUV, no burger for the barbie, no football to watch. Don't see that yet. The closest thing to anger at the moment is Trump.

Posted by: dh | Apr 24 2016 21:47 utc | 32

aaaa 28 -- Just googled and last mention of Ayesha Gadafi was on March 29 of this year, a story about her announcing she would lead a new resistance against NATO and Libyan terrorists.

How long has the new president been in LIbya?

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 25 2016 15:30 utc | 33

Eastern Libya ships oil cargo independently from Tripoli

Tripoli have asked the U.N. Security Council to blaclist the India-flagged Distya Ameya tanker. The tanker left the eastern Libya port of Hariga yesterday carrying 650,000 barels of crude.

Maltese national TV said the ship was in international waters near Malta. The island’s Port Directorate said the tanker was not authorized to dock there and requests would be refused.

“We are concerned about purchases of Libyan oil outside of legitimate channels,” U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday, emphasizing that all sales should go through the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation.

The government in eastern Libya is the elected government.

The criminal UN has appointed a foreign government for Libya and is pushing it as the 'legitimate' government.

With the UN acting like this, is there a legitimate government in the world today?

Posted by: jfl | Apr 28 2016 5:45 utc | 34

Apple sales decline points to faultlines in global economy

Perhaps more than any other firm, Apple exemplifies the colossal and historically unprecedented inflation of prices assigned by the market to stocks and other financial assets since the Wall Street crash of September 2008. Driven upward by multitrillion-dollar bank bailouts and an orgy of money printing and debt expansion promoted by the world’s central banks, stock prices have tripled since the low point of the post-Wall Street crash recession, further enriching the world’s financial oligarchs and widening the chasm between the rich and super-rich and the rest of the planet.

This process is starkly illustrated by one statistic: In 2003, when Apple last suffered a quarterly sales decline, its market capitalization (the value of its shares) was $5 billion. Today, even with the recent drop in Apple stock, the company’s market value is well over $500 billion—more than a hundred-fold increase.

This is the context in which Apple reported a 13 percent decline in overall sales and a 22 percent decline in profits for the first quarter of 2016. Sales of iPhones fell by more than 16 percent. Sales of the company’s other products also fell, with iPads falling 19 percent, Mac computers dropping 12 percent, and the “other products” segment, which includes the Apple Watch, plummeting 50 percent.

When will the bottom fall out?

Posted by: jfl | Apr 28 2016 6:14 utc | 35

The West Negotiates with former Al Qaeda Leader to Empower the Unity Government in Libya< video

The West Negotiates with former Al Qaeda Leader to Empower the Unity Government in Libya

The Special Representative, Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, Martin Kobler, is negotiating with Libyan politician and military leader, Abdelhakim Belhadj. Belhadj is the former head of the al Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and a major player in the U.S.-backed overthrow of Muammar Gadhafi.

In the 1980s, Belhadj and other leaders of the LIFG joined the Taliban in Afghanistan. Following the US invasion of Afghanistan, Abdel Hakim was arrested in Pakistan in late 2001, and handed over to US security officials, but unlike other captives taken in Afghanistan, he was repatriated to Libya two months later. Belhadj was arrested in 2004 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia. He was then transferred to Bangkok and was then placed in the custody of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, where he was retained at a secret prison at the airport. Returned to Libya on the rendition aircraft N313P, he was held at the Abu Salim prison for seven years. These developments show clearly that Belhadj has been collaborating with both the US and Libyan special services.

The Western powers have decided to involve a terrorist and the leader of an international criminal organization as an ally in order to set into the power the so-called “unity government” of Libya which has almost no support throughout the country. Do they really believe that this is a good plan in the best interests of the Libyan people?

The Libyan people?! F**k the Libyan people! ... F**k the American people! ... F**k the people! ...

ISIS approaches Libyan capital after capturing Abugrein

The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) is quickly approaching the city of Misrata in coastal Libya after capturing the village of Abugrein yesterday.

With Abugrein under their control, ISIS is now two villages away from reaching Misrata; this aforementioned city is only 160 km east of the Libyan capital.

Misrata is the third largest city in Libya and possesses one of the most important ports inside the country.

Posted by: jfl | May 6 2016 22:48 utc | 37

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