Forget Russiagate, The REAL Scandal Is israelgate

Forget Russiagate, The REAL Scandal Is Israelgate

Almost exactly a year ago, just as the “Russia hacked the election!” delirium was taking shape, I pooh-poohed the idea that “Russiagate” (as it has come to be known) would persist for very long. Once the Trump administration started plowing ahead with its agenda, I argued, the Dems would toss Hillary aside and move on with politics as usual.

Russiagate fading away as Democrats come to terms with the 2016 election? Really, James?

Now I’ve made some inaccurate predictions before (OK, a lot of inaccurate predictions), but that one takes the cake in terms of how wrong I ended up being.

If you want a demonstration of this point, just type “russia collusion” or “russia interference” into your search engine of choice and feast on the millions and millions of nothingburgers that have been produced this past year chasing this non-story. It would almost be comical how stupid these stories were if it wasn’t for the fact that they have real world consequences.

Remember when the evil Russkies hacked the Vermont electrical grid?! Of course you do. But do you remember when the MSM presstitutes immediately amended their fear porn story to admit that the grid had not, in fact, been hacked at all? Of course you don’t, because the headlines are reported breathlessly and the “corrections” are issued quietly.

And do you remember when the dastardly Russians hacked into the voting systems of 39 states before the 2016 presidential election? Yeah, that didn’t actually happen, either.

And remember when the Russians went international and took their well-known operation to control people’s minds through Facebook ads across the pond to England, where they successfully pulled off “Operation Brexit?” Well the results are in, and the latest headlines tell of the startling breadth and scope of this mass mind-control experiment: “Facebook says Russian-linked accounts spent just 97 cents on ads over Brexit.”

And remember when ABC’s Brian Ross reported that candidate Trump directed Flynn to make contact with Moscow? Well one stock market crash later the suspended Brian Ross would like you to know that he meant president-elect Trump. (Meh, close enough!)

And remember when CNN dropped its bombshell story about how Wikileaks, those known Russian collaborators (*citation needed), were caught sharing their leaks in advance with Team Trump last year (BOOM!)? Well, guess what? More fake news.

It’s almost as if this whole Russiagate story is a wild goose chase that the fake news MSM is using to keep the American public distracted. It’s a simple enough formula:

  1. Use a scrap of information to create an elaborate conspiracy theory about nefarious Russian activities.
  2. Quietly retract the story when the information is discredited.
  3. Rinse.
  4. Repeat.

Israelgate<img class=”aligncenter wp-image-29882″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/russiadidit.jpg?resize=500%2C291″ alt=”Israelgate” width=”500″ height=”291″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/russiadidit.jpg?w=640 640w, https://i0.wp.com/www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/russiadidit.jpg?resize=280%2C163 280w, https://i0.wp.com/www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/russiadidit.jpg?resize=600%2C350 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />

It’s enough to keep the fluoride-addled, increasingly deranged Hillary holdouts renewing their subscription to the NY Times or the Washington Post even as it makes the rest of the population increasingly tired of the whole story.

But what if that’s the point?

Unbeknownst to a large section of the public, there is a very real story about actual collusion between team Trump and a foreign power. The collusion is deep, nefarious, compromises American goals and interests and is being studiously avoided by the dutiful lapdog mouthpieces in both the anti-Trump and pro-Tramp MSM fake news camps (and even among many in the pseudo-alternative media). And you haven’t heard a peep about it because thiscollusion touches the third rail of international geopolitics: Israel.

To uncover this story, let’s go back to the whole Flynn plea deal drama. Remember that discredited Brian Ross story? The one that sent the stock market tumbling because everyone thought the whole administration was about to come crumbling down? Well, after the correction was issued and the dust settled, the Russiagate hysterics just continued bumbling along their merry way.

But wait. What was that story actually about? What did Flynn actually do?

For those paying attention, Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty to one charge of making false statements to the FBI. Specifically, he denied telling the Russian ambassador not to respond too harshly to the sanctions that then-outgoing President Obama had just slapped on Russia, and he denied trying to convince Russia (“and several other countries”) to take a specific position on a UN Security Council resolution that was submitted on December 21, 2016. According to Flynn’s plea, both of these denials were false.

OK. So what?

So what, indeed. If the charge is Russian collusion then the first example is, if anything, actually counter evidence. Flynn, on behalf of the then-incoming President of the United States, asked the Russian ambassador not to get into a diplomatic tit-for-tat with Obama. That is not a smoking gun of collusion with a foreign power, it’s just a simple job description for someone whose duty was to act as a diplomatic go between for an incoming administration. The only question is why Flynn denied having the conversation at all.

But what about that second denial? About the UN Security Council resolution? What was that all about?

The resolution in question, United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, was submitted by Egypt on December 21, 2016 and passed unanimously with one abstention: the United States. The Flynn plea describes the resolution cryptically as pertaining to “the issue of Israeli settlements.” More specifically, the resolution reaffirmed the UN Security Council’s understanding that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law,” among other equally fiery statements. As I noted at the time, the resolution’s passage was remarkable for the fact that it was one of the strongest UNSC statements against Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine to pass a vote, not because such resolutions are never tabled but because they are always vetoed by the US.

So it was in this context that we can understand Flynn’s position. He was ordered, according to his own plea, “to contact officials from foreign governments, including Russia, to learn where each government stood on the resolution and to influence those governments to delay the vote or defeat the resolution.” The plea itself only states that the order came from “a very senior member of the Presidential Transition Team,” but reports from inner sources soon confirmed who had specifically put Flynn up to this task: Jared Kushner.

Yes, that Jared Kushner.

Israelgate<img class=”aligncenter wp-image-29881″ src=”https://i1.wp.com/www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/kushnernetanyahu-1024×576.jpg?resize=500%2C281″ alt=”Israelgate” width=”500″ height=”281″ srcset=”https://i1.wp.com/www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/kushnernetanyahu-1024×576.jpg?resize=1024%2C576 1024w, https://i1.wp.com/www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/kushnernetanyahu-1024×576.jpg?resize=280%2C158 280w, https://i1.wp.com/www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/kushnernetanyahu-1024×576.jpg?resize=600%2C338 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />

The Jared Kushner whose family is so connected to Israel’s zionist likudniks that he once let Benjamin Netanyahu sleep in his bed. (Yes, literally.)

The Jared Kushner who failed to disclose that he led a foundation that actually funded an illegal Israeli settlement. (Yes, really.)

The Jared Kushner who is actually leading Team Trump’s quest for the “ultimate deal:” Israel-Palestine peace. (You can’t make this stuff up.)

So just to spell this out: Trump’s zionist son-in-law got Flynn to twist the arm of every single member of the UN Security Council to vote against a resolution condemning illegal Israeli settlements…and this is a Russian collusion scandal? That is so far from reality it doesn’t even make sense. Unless, of course, you realize that there is almost no one on either side of the phony left/right divide willing to call out US-Israeli collusion because it enjoys completely bi-partisan support.

Haim Saban, the billionaire media mogul who was a key funder of Hillary’s failed presidential quest, actually hosted a gushing, fawning celebration of Kushner at a recent Brookings Institution event. Meanwhile, Trump’s main backer, Sheldon Adelson, just had his decades-long dream come true when Trump unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Democrat. Republican. When it comes to this collusion story, there’s no real difference.

This, of course, is just one window into the much, much bigger story of US-Israeli collusion. A story that would actually be worth all the attention that is currently being lavished on the Russiagate nonsense (and then some). But you will never see this story being blown wide open by a bombshell breaking news report on your favorite MSMBS channel.

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Trump’s degeneracy and America’s moral angst

Source

Trump's moral degeneracy

By Lawrence Davidson

Evidence of moral degeneracy

For all those who in 2016 closed their eyes, held their noses and took a leap into the unknown by voting for Donald Trump, it is time to pry open those eyelids, gaze upon what they have wrought, and smell the decay pervading the country’s public sphere. Indeed, it seems that growing numbers have, rather belatedly, noticed the signs of moral degeneracy coming from the Oval Office. What took them so long?

Actually, the time lapse is not really unusual. These Trump voters, having taken the leap sometimes for no other reason than their dislike of Hillary Clinton (and her “politics as usual” ways), returned to their local lives and carried on as before. It was Mrs Clinton’s defeat that satisfied them more than any concern with who had actually been elected. They had not paid attention to Trump’s malicious humbug.

These rather absent-minded balloters can be contrasted with another subset of voters, represented by the likes of former Klan leader David Duke, who went into their polling stations with eyes fully open. In February 2016 Duke had informed his white supremacist followers that “not voting for Trump was really treason to your heritage”. Later he would declare that “we are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.” The “we” here are those American whites who feel that social justice and civil rights for anyone but themselves would be an affront to their “heritage”. Every nation has its bigots. These are America’s.

From his first day in office Trump has, consistently and without embarrassment, packed the higher offices of government with unqualified fanatics, incompetent ideologues, and people who had as their goal the destruction of the departments they “ran”.

And here is at least one big structural problem with US democracy – it is a winner-take-all system.Thus, the “nose holder” helped the bigot to win. And, there was really no excuse for this result except that millions were not thinking through the consequences of their actions. Could those who were motivated more to vote against Clinton than to vote in favour of Trump have really anticipated the present consequences of their actions? I am afraid the answer is yes.

Even before 8 November 2016, Trump’s ethical shortcomings were pretty obvious. All that bullying, slander and racial innuendo at his campaign rallies was spontaneous Trump – the real Trump – and not the product of some miscreant speechwriter or sleazy campaign director. The notion that gaining power would somehow breed a sense of responsibility in such a personality, if this happened to occur to anyone, is just rubbish. We have known this to be so ever since a certain German election in July of 1932.

Nonetheless, it should be noted that a president of Donald Trump’s temperament is not new in US history. He is not the first man with anger control problems and a stark disregard for the rule of law to hit the White House. However, he is certainly the most blatant. Not that history is a guide for the average voter – the majority of Americans are not historically aware.The national history they are taught often does not go beyond what is needed to uphold an unquestioning pledge of allegiance. Put that ignorance together with prevailing inattention and you have an explanation of why it took so long for many US citizens to realise that their president is a moral idiot.

From his first day in office Trump has, consistently and without embarrassment, packed the higher offices of government with unqualified fanatics, incompetent ideologues, and people who had as their goal the destruction of the departments they “ran”. That is, with reflections of himself. He has also been bombarding us with moronic tweets (which are often indicators of forthcoming moronic policies), and lying like a cheap rug. Indeed, the only time the man is not lying is when he is in the grip of a temper tantrum or identifying with white supremacists, as after the Charlottesville debacle.

  the real scoop is that most of these “illegal aliens” are fleeing Central American violence which, historically, Washington has abetted.

Yet, as noted, many Americans are only now shocked at the president’s behaviour. And what has been the trigger for this belated jolt? Family values – that is, the disregard of them as applied to those seeking to enter the US in an undocumented fashion.

You see, many of those described by the president as “rapists” and “dope peddlers” seeking to sneak across the nation’s southern border are accompanied by their families. Donald Trump has declared this to be an invasion of “criminals”, and as a deterrent to the “invaders”, he had allowed the nation’s border guards to kidnap their children. By the way, the real scoop is that most of these “illegal aliens” are fleeing Central American violence which, historically, Washington has abetted.

Regardless, in Trump’s eyes the aliens are less than human. They are not worthy of legal due process or any sort of human rights considerations. The snatching of their children was an expression of this attitude. And, when the First Lady recently went to inspect the resulting kiddy concentration camps, she let every one know how she, and no doubt the rest of the Trump tribe, felt about the plight of these stolen children. It was right there on her jacket: “I really don’t care.” Trump said the sentiment referred to the couple’s attitude toward “fake news”, but really that was just a fake excuse. It was stupid callousness on Melania’s part. It was one of those “how low can you go” situations.

Corroborating evidence

The misrepresented refugees along the southern border of the United States are not the only ones for whom Trump has disdain. Connections with organisations that defend the rights and contribute to the needs of the poor and oppressed are now, seemingly, held hostage to the dictates of Israel – an ally of the US that regards its indigenous Palestinians much as Trump regards the “illegal aliens” on the Mexican border. Thus, the Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 12 October 2017, citing alleged “anti-Israel bias”. One of the goals of UNESCO is “promoting education for peace and protecting culture under attack”. Given these ends and Israeli behaviour towards the Palestinians, what Washington calls “bias” is in fact logical and necessary criticism on UNESCO’s part.

The same maoeuvre was repeated on 20 June 2018 when the Trump administration withdrew the US from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The council is the world’s premier human rights body that reviews and brings to light abuses on a country-by-country basis. Lo and behold, the Trump administration accused the UNHRC of “chronic bias” against Israel. What is a human rights organszation to do when confronted by a chronic human rights abusing state? Not be biased? Nor does the appearance of the occasional abuser state on its membership list negate the council’s mission. Membership is rotating and has not prevented the council from doing its job.

Conclusion

A recent Brookings Institution analysis stated that the goals of the Trump administration are ones of regression: “Weaken institutions not to its liking, abandon them if they do not comply with its demands… go it alone with little regard of the costs to US interests” and do so in a manner that “absolves the administration from pretending to lead by its own example on human rights”.

It should be noted that this approach to the world is not the product of a thought-out strategy. The present administration is not eschewing human rights because it has some detailed, if oddball, game plan to promote the betterment of American citizens. No. It is doing so because the man who is president and the henchmen he has surrounded himself with are themselves pathologically unethical people. And they in turn have found like partners both domestically and in foreign allies (Israel and Saudi Arabia, etc.). The dismissal of human rights comes naturally to these folks.

And all of this was predictable from the beginning of Trump’s campaign for the presidency – that is, if you were paying attention. Well, more and more citizens are now paying attention. They ask, “what kind of country do we want to be?” The word “want” is a misleading one. The US has always been a divided country. What enough of the American people did in 2016 was to allow the bigoted, barbaric part of the nation, assisted by the inattentive, to gain power in the person of Donald Trump.

There are congressional elections in November 2018. We will see how many of those who closed their eyes, held their noses and took a leap into the unknown by voting for Donald Trump now come to the polling stations hoping to atone for their sins.

THE SAKER: “NO 5TH COLUMN IN THE KREMLIN? THINK AGAIN!”

 South Front

29.06.2018

Written by The Saker; Originally appeared at The Unz Review

Following the re-appointment of Medvedev and his more or less reshuffled government, the public opinion in Russia and abroad was split on whether this was a good sign of continuity and unity amongst the Russian leadership or whether this was a confirmation that there was a 5th column inside the Kremlin working against President Putin and trying to impose neo-liberal and pro-western policies on the Russian people. Today I want to take a quick look at what is taking place inside Russia because I believe that the Russian foreign policy is still predominantly controlled by what I call the “Eurasian Sovereignists” and that to detect the activities of the “Atlantic Integrationist” types we need to look at what is taking place inside Russia.

The Russian 5th column and its typical operations

First, I want to begin by sharing with you a short video translated by the Saker Community of one of the most astute Russian analysts, Ruslan Ostashko, who wonders how it is that a rabidly pro-western and vociferously anti-Putin radio station named “Ekho Moskvy” manages not only to elude normal Russian legislation, but even gets money from the gaz giant Gazprom, which is majority owned by the Russian state. Ekho Moskvy is also so pro-Israeli that it has earned the nickname “Ekho Matsy” (Ekho Moskvy means “Echo of Moscow” whereas “Ekho Matsy” means “Echo of the Matzo”). Needless to say, that radio has the unwavering and total support of the US Embassy. It would not be an exaggeration to say Ekho Moskvy serves as an incubator for russophobic journalists and that most of the liberal pro-western reporters in the Russian media have been, at one time or another, associated with this propaganda outfit. In spite of this or, more accurately, because of this, Ekho Moskvy has been bankrupt for quite a while already, and yet – it continues to exist. Just listen to Ostashko’s explanations (and make sure to press the ‘cc’ button to see the English language captions):

Interesting, no? The state giant Gazprom is doing all it can to keep Ekho Moskvy afloat and above the law. In fact, Gazprom has been financing Ekho Moskvy for years! According to the hyper-politically-correct Wikipedia: “As of 2005 Echo of Moscow was majority owned by Gazprom Media which holds 66% of its shares”. If Gazprom is majority owned by the Russian state, and Ekho Moskvy is majority owned by Gazprom, then does that not mean that Ekho Moskvy is basically financed by the Kremlin? The reality is even worse, as Ostashko points out, Ekho Moskvy is the most visible case, but there are quite a few pro-western media outlets in Russia which are financed, directly and indirectly, by the Russian state.

So let me ask you a simple question: do you really think that Ostashko is better informed than the Russian authorities, including Putin himself?

Of course not! So what is going on here?

Before attempting to answer this question, let’s look at another interesting news item from Russia, the recent article “Pension reform as a fifth column tool to overthrow Putin” (original title “About a fair pension system”) by Mikhail Khazin translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard from the Stalker Zone blog (and cross-posted here and here). Please read the full article as it sheds a very interesting light on what the Medvedev government has been up to since it was reappointed. What I want to quote here are Mikhail Khazin’s conclusions: (emphasis added)

In other words, all of this reform is frank poppycock, a political joke aimed at destroying relations between the People (society) and the Authorities. The specific aim of this is to overthrow Putin, as our liberals are commanded to do by their senior partners from the “Western” global project. And it is precisely like this that we should treat this reform. It has no relation to economic reforms – neither good, nor bad. It not an economic reform, but a political plot! And it is from here that we have to proceed.

Having explained what is really going on, Khazin then goes on to openly state how such an operation is even possible:

Now concerning the media. It should be understood that at the end of the 90’s-beginning of the 2000’s practically all non-liberal media died. Completely. And of course, practically all non-liberal journalists definitely died (only a few dozen mastodons from the times of socialism remain). And the youth that grew from the faculty of journalism are in general totally liberal. They were a little bit suppressed in the middle of the 2000’s, but after Medvedev’s arrival to the president’s post they again blossomed. But then the attack of the State on everything that doesn’t reflect “the policies of the party and the government” began.

And then it so happened that now there are many “patriotic” publications in Russia that employ mainly liberal journalists. An enchanting sight. These journalists (in full accordance with the ideas of Lenin that they didn’t read) see their main task as supporting “theirs” – i.e., liberal-financiers, Nemtsov, Navalny and, so on, and to sully the “bloody KayGeeBee”! And it is this that they are involved in, meaning that, propagandising as much as possible the policies of the government, they optimally irritate the population by using Putin personally. There is just a need every time to act out some disgusting story (how an elderly man died on the way to the polyclinic or hospital, how children were taken away from a large family, how an official or a priest hit a pregnant woman and/or juvenile children with their chic car), to explain that this isn’t just the result of the policies of the liberal power, but the concrete fault of the President, who put on their posts the very ministers and law enforcement officers who encourage all of this.

Amazing, no? This is an attempt to overthrow Putin and it is covered-up by the (pseudo) patriotic press. What about Putin himself? Why does he not take action? Khazin even explains that:

Of course, the President is guilty, first of all, because he understands that if he starts to cleanse this “Augean stable”, then he will be obliged to shed blood, because they won’t voluntarily give back their privileges. But the most important thing, and this is the essence: the liberal Russian elite today set for itself the political task of removing Putin. Why it decided to do this is an interesting question: if Putin himself and a liberal are flesh from flesh, then this task is stupid and senseless. Not to mention suicidal. But if he isn’t a liberal (it is probably correct to say not a political liberal) then, of course, this activity makes sense. But at the same time, for purely propaganda reasons – because people hate liberals, there is a need to hang the label of political liberal on him.

Now let’s connect all the dots: there is a pro-western (in realty, western-controlled) faction inside the government which is financing those who are attempting to overthrow Putin by making him unpopular with the Russian general public (which overwhelmingly opposes “liberal” economic policies and which despises the Russian liberal elites) by constantly forcing him into liberal economic policies which he clearly does not like (he declared himself categorically opposed to such policies in 2005) and the so-called “patriotic media” is covering it all up. And Putin cannot change this without shedding blood.

But let us assume, for argument’s sake, that Putin is really a liberal at heart and he believes in “Washington Consensus” type of economics. Even if this was the case, surely he must be aware that 92% of Russians oppose this so-called “reform”. And while the President’s spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, declared that Putin himself was not associated with this plan, the truth is that this process does also hurt his political image with the Russian people and political movements. As a direct result from these plans, the Communist Party of Russia is launching a referendum against this project while the “Just Russia” Party is now collecting signatures to dismiss the entire government. Clearly, a political struggle of monumental proportions is in the making and the traditionally rather lame internal opposition to Putin (I am talking about the major political movements and parties, not tiny CIA-supported and/or Soros-funded “NGOs”) is now transforming itself into a much more determined kind of opposition. I predicted thatabout a month ago when I wrote that:

“it is quite clear to me that a new type of Russian opposition is slowly forming. Well, it always existed, really – I am talking about people who supported Putin and the Russian foreign policy and who disliked Medvedev and the Russian internal policies. Now the voice of those who say that Putin is way too soft in his stance towards the Empire will only get stronger. As will the voices of those who speak of a truly toxic degree of nepotism and patronage in the Kremlin (again, Mutko being the perfect example). When such accusations came from rabid pro-western liberals, they had very little traction, but when they come from patriotic and even nationalist politicians (Nikolai Starikov for example) they start taking on a different dimension. For example, while the court jester Zhirinovskii and his LDPR party loyally supported Medvedev, the Communist and the Just Russia parties did not. Unless the political tension around figures like Kudrin and Medvedev is somehow resolved (maybe a timely scandal?), we might witness the growth of a real opposition movement in Russia, and not one run by the Empire. It will be interesting to see if Putin’s personal ratings will begin to go down and what he will have to do in order to react to the emergence of such a real opposition”

Those who vehemently denied that there as a real 5th column problem inside the Kremlin are going to have a painful wake-up call when they realize that thanks to the actions of these “liberals” a patriotic opposition is gradually emerging, not so much against Putin himself as against the policies of the Medvedev government. Why not against Putin?

Because most Russian instinctively feel what is going on and understand not only the anti-Putin dynamics at work, but also how and why this situation was created. Furthermore, unlike most westerners, most Russians remember what took place in the crucial and formative 1990s.

The historical roots of the problem (very rough summary)

It all began in the late 1980s when the Soviet elites realized that they were losing control of the situation and that something had to be done. To really summarize what they did, I would say that these elites first broke up the country into 15 individual fiefdoms each run by gang/clan composed of these Soviet elites, then they mercilessly grabbed everything of any value, became overnight billionaires and concealed their money in the West. Being fabulously rich in a completely ruined country gave them fantastic political power and influence to further exploit and rob the country of all its resources. Russia herself (and the other 14 ex-Soviet republics) suffered an unspeakable nightmare comparable to a major war and by the 1990s Russia almost broke-up into many more even smaller pieces (Chechnia, Tatarstan, etc.). By then, Russia was subserviently executing all the economic policies recommended by a myriad of US ‘advisors’ (hundreds of them with offices inside the offices of many key ministries and various state agencies, just like today in the Ukraine), she adopted a Constitution drafted by pro-US elements, and all the key positions in the state were occupied by what I can only call western agents. At the very top, President Eltsin was mostly drunk while the country was run by 7 bankers, the so-called “oligarchs” (6 of which were Jews): the “Semibankirshchina”.

This is the time when the Russian security services successfully tricked these oligarchs into believing that Putin, who has a law degree and who had worked for the (very liberal) Mayor of Saint Petersburg (Anatolii Sobchack) was just a petty bureaucrat who would restore a semblance of order while not presenting any real threat to the oligarchs. The ploy worked, but the business elites demanded that “their” guy, Medvedev, be put in charge of the government so as to preserve their interests. What they overlooked was two things: Putin was a truly brilliant officer of the very elite First Chief Directorate (Foreign Intelligence) of the KGB and a real patriot. Furthermore, the Constitution, which was passed to support the Eltsin regime could now be used by Putin. But more than anything else, they never predicted that a little guy in an ill-fitting suit would transform himself into one of the most popular leaders on the planet. As I have written many times, while the initial power base of Putin was in the security services and the armed forces and while his legal authority stems from the Constitution, his *real* power comes from the immense support he has from the Russian people who, for the first time in very long time felt that the man at the top truly represented their interests.

Putin then did what Donald Trump could have done as soon as he entered the White House: he cleaned house. He began by immediately tackling the oligarchs, he put an end to the Semibankirshchina, and he stopped the massive export of money and resources out of Russia. The then proceeded to rebuild the “vertical of power” (the Kremlin’s control over the country) and began rebuilding all of Russia from the foundations (regions) up. But while Putin was tremendously successful, he simply could not fight on all fronts at the same time and win.

Truth be told, he did eventually win most of the battles which he chose to fight, but some battles he simply could not wage, not because of a lack of courage or will on his part, but because the objective reality is that Putin inherited an extremely bad system fully controlled by some extremely dangerous foes. Remember the words of Khazin above: “if he starts to cleanse this “Augean stable”, then he will be obliged to shed blood, because they won’t voluntarily give back their privileges”. So, in a typically Putin fashion, he made a number of deals.

For example, those oligarchs who agreed to stop meddling in Russian politics and who would, from now on, pay taxes and generally abide by the law were not jailed or expropriated: those who got the message were allowed to continue to work as normal businessmen (Oleg Deripaska) and those who did not were either jailed or exiled (Khodorkovski, Berezovski). But if we look just below the level of these well-known and notorious oligarchs, what we find as a much deeper “swamp” (to use the US expression): an entire class of people who made their fortunes in the 1990s, who are now extremely influential and control most of the key positions in the economy, finance and business and who absolutely hate and fear Putin. They even have their agents inside the armed forces and security services because their weapon of choice is, of course, corruption and influence. And, of course, they have people representing their interests inside the Russian government: pretty much the entire “economic block” of the Medvedev government.

Is it really any surprise at all that these people also have their paid representatives inside the Russian media, including the so-called “pro-Russian” or “patriotic” media? (I have been warning about this since at least 2015)

Just like in the West, in Russia the media depends first and foremost on money. Big financial interests are very good at using the media to promote their agenda, deny or obfuscate some topics while pushing others. This is why you often see the Russian media backing WTO/WB/IMF/etc policies to the hilt while never criticizing Israel or, God forbid, rabidly pro-Israel propagandists on mainstream TV (guys like Vladimir Soloviev, Evgenii Satanovsky, Iakov Kedmi, Avigdor Eskin and many others). This is the same media which will gladly criticize Iran and Hezbollah but never wonder why the Russian main TV stations are spewing pro-Israeli propaganda on a daily basis.

And, of course, they will all mantrically repeat the same chant: “there is no 5th column in Russia!! None!! Never!!”

This is no different than the paid for corporate media in the USA which denies the existence of a “deep state” or the US “Israel Lobby”.

And yet, many (most?) people in the USA and Russia realize at an almost gut-level that they are being lied to and that, in reality, a hostile power is ruling over them.

Putin’s options and possible outcomes

Sadly, in the USA, Trump proved to be a disaster who totally caved in to the Neocons and their demands. In Russia, the situation is far more complex. So far, Putin has very skillfully avoided associating himself with the Atlantic Integrationists. Furthermore, the biggest crises of the past decade or so were all associated with foreign policy issues and those are still controlled by the Eurasian Sovereignists. Finally, while the Russian government clearly committed some mistakes or promoted some unpopular policies (such has healthcare reform for example), they also had their undeniable successes. As for Putin, he continued to consolidate his power and he gradually removed some of the most notorious individuals from their positions. In theory, Putin could probably have most top Atlantic Integrationists arrested on corruption charges, but short of engaging in a massive and bloody purge, he cannot get rid of an entire social class which is not only large but powerful.

Some of my contacts in Russia expected a purge of Atlantic Integrationists right after the election. The logic here was “enough is enough” and that once Putin got a strong mandate from the people, he would finally kick Medvedev and his gang out of the Kremlin and replace them with popular patriots. That obviously did not happen. But if this pension reform program continues to further trigger protests or if a major war blows up in the Middle-East or in the Ukraine, then the pro-western forces inside the Kremlin will come under great pressure to further yield control of the country to Eurasian Sovereignists.

Putin is an exceedingly patient man and, at least so far, he has won most, if not all, of his battles. I don’t believe that anybody can predict for sure how things will play out, but what is certain is that trying to understand Russia without being aware of the internal conflicts and the interests groups fighting for power is futile. In her 1000 year long history, internal enemies have always been far more dangerous for Russia than external ones. This is unlikely to change in the future.

US Economy Going Full Throttle ‘Towards National Ruin’

Source

The Trump administration may find itself amidst serious economic trouble with a steadily increasing federal deficit and national debt. In case Donald Trump is re-elected in 2020 he may have to deal with a $1 trillion deficit and a US debt-to-GDP ratio exceeding 100 percent.

The US economy may find itself in dire straits, unless measures are taken as soon as possible, the US Office of Government Accountability (GAO) warned the US Congress on June 21, 2018.

“According to the 2017 Financial Report, the federal deficit in fiscal year 2017 increased to $666 billion-up from $587 billion in fiscal year 2016 and $439 billion in fiscal year 2015. Federal receipts increased by $48 billion, but that was outweighed by a $127 billion increase in spending, driven by Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and interest on debt held by the public (net interest),” the congressional watchdog noted, stressing that “the longer action is delayed, the greater and more drastic the changes will have to be.”

Earlier, reviewing Donald Trump’s 2019 budget, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) revealed that the nation’s growing federal deficit is projected to reach $1 trillion by 2020 and average $1.2 trillion per year from 2019 to 2028.Speaking to Fox News, in mid-June US Congressmen Andy Biggs shifted the focus on yet another problem — the country’s steadily increasing national debt that may lead to a “debt bomb explosion.”

“I think we’re headed over the edge,” he said. “Think of it as a waterfall, we’re in the boat, and now we’re almost at the point where we can’t get out of the flow. We’re heading over unless we do something immediately.”

On March 15, 2018, the US national debt exceeded $21 trillion for the first time in history.

“If you don’t start doing it now, then in ten years you’ll have no choice. You can inflate your currency, you can default on your debt, you can try to raise your taxes and kill your economy — these are the choices that we’ll be looking at in about eight to ten years,” Biggs said, emphasizing that short-term pain is the least evil to fix the problem.

Previously, on June 5, Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ former executive chairman emphasized the national debt as the country’s biggest domestic threat, while speaking to CNBC: “I think the greatest threat domestically to the country is this $21 trillion debt hanging over the cloud of America and future generations.”

For comparison’s sake Russia’s national debt — one of the lowest in the world — is currently 18.7 percent of GDP or $525 billion.For their part, CBO and GAO warn that the debt-to-GDP ratio may skyrocket to 106 percent within 14 to 22 years. However, the International Monetary Fund’s prognosis is more pessimistic: The international financial organization foresees the US debt-to-GDP ratio amounting to 116.9 percent by 2023.

One of the probable causes of looming economic hardships is the country’s overblown military budget. The budget deficit leaped up following the attacks of September 11, 2001, when Washington declared war on terrorism. From 2003 to 2011, the deficit doubled: from $437.4 billion to $855.1 billion. Simultaneously defense spending increased by 50 percent, according to the National Priorities Project (NPP), an American non-governmental organization. The US has colossal military expenditures exceeding $600 billion a year. Given the Trump administration’s defense budget proposals, these expenditures will unlikely shrink in the near future.

In an unexpected twist of fate, the Trump administration’s recent tax reform could boost the budget deficit even further, according to CBO’s April report. Due to the reform the deficit may be about $1.85 trillion higher over the next 10 years then was previously predicted.

On June 24, The Chicago Tribune published a letter by one of its readers, eloquently titled: “Is anyone in Washington worried about the national debt?”

“Federal deficits have been prevalent for many years now, but our current debt is staggering and almost unfathomable,” Michael Imhof from Aurora wrote. “Spending needs to be pulled in because America is on a train speeding toward national ruin. Pray for America to slow this train.”

Immigrant Children Tied Down, Hooded, Beaten, Stripped and Drugged

By Patrick Martin

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Court documents made public in Virginia and Texas give a glimpse of the systematic brutality being meted out to immigrant children in both public and private jails. Children are strapped down, hooded and beaten, or drugged by force, as part of the everyday procedure in what can only be called the American Gulag.

An Associated Press report published Thursday gave details of the abuses committed last year against young Latino migrants at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Staunton, Virginia. Lawyers for the teenage victims sued the prison—a state facility run by a consortium of seven towns and cities in the Shenandoah Valley—and a court hearing is set for July.

According to a half-dozen sworn statements, given by the victims in Spanish and then translated for filing with the federal court for the Western District of Virginia, children as young as 14 were beaten while handcuffed, tied down to chairs while stripped naked and hooded, and held for long periods in solitary confinement, sometimes naked and cold.

All these are forms of torture practiced at Guantanamo Bay and at CIA torture prisons around the world. These techniques have been transferred back into the United States and unleashed on immigrant children, who have been demonized by the Trump administration.

The lawsuit filed by the nonprofit Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs declares that young Latino immigrants held at Shenandoah “are subjected to unconstitutional conditions that shock the conscience, including violence by staff, abusive and excessive use of seclusion and restraints, and the denial of necessary mental health care.” As a result of “malicious and sadistic applications of force,” the youth have “sustained significant injuries, both physical and psychological.”

A Honduran youth sent to Shenandoah when he was 15 said in his statement, “Whenever they used to restrain me and put me in the chair, they would handcuff me… [They] strapped me down all the way, from your feet all the way to your chest, you couldn’t really move… They have total control over you. They also put a bag over your head. It has little holes; you can see through it. But you feel suffocated with the bag on.”

A 15-year-old from Mexico who spent nine months at Shenandoah described similar treatment.

“They handcuffed me and put a white bag of some kind over my head,” he said, according to his sworn statement. “They took off all of my clothes and put me into a restraint chair, where they attached my hands and feet to the chair. They also put a strap across my chest. They left me naked and attached to that chair for two and a half days, including at night.”

A 14-year-old Guatemalan youth reported frequent imprisonment in his tiny cell for up to 23 hours a day, as well as long periods of physical restraint. “When they couldn’t get one of the kids to calm down, the guards would put us in a chair—a safety chair, I don’t know what they call it—but they would just put us in there all day,” he said in his sworn statement. “This happened to me, and I saw it happen to others, too. It was excessive.”

A 17-year-old who fled Mexico to escape an abusive father and drug cartel violence was arrested at the US border and passed through several detention centers before arriving at Shenandoah, one of three facilities in the United States with contracts from the Office of Refugee Resettlement, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to provide “secure facilities” for young immigrants. The boy was frequently shackled, usually with cloth bindings, and reported at least one violent strip search and several beatings. He was driven to attempt suicide several times.

Other allegations include that the Latino youth received worse food and facilities than local juvenile prisoners, mostly white, and that meals were frequently cold and inadequate, leaving the children hungry.

The AP interviewed an unnamed child development specialist who had worked with teens at Shenandoah. “The majority of the kids we worked with when we went to visit them were emotionally and verbally abused. I had a kid whose foot was broken by a guard,” she said. “They would get put in isolation for months for things like picking up a pencil when a guard had said not to move. Some of them started hearing voices that were telling them to hurt people or hurt themselves, and I knew when they had gotten to Shenandoah they were not having any violent thoughts.”

Because the children held at Shenandoah were unaccompanied minors, rather than separated from their families, there were some suggestions in the media that they had gang connections that somehow justified the brutal treatment. But according to the AP report, a program director at the facility said the youth had been screened for gang connections and were actually suffering from mental health issues resulting from trauma in their home countries.

The acts of torture involved multiple guards at the facility, which was run by a regional board but under the ultimate control of the state government, headed throughout this period by Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe. The new governor, Democrat Ralph Northam, who took office January 1, ordered a state investigation into the claims of abuse, but only after the AP report became public Thursday.

Even younger children were targeted for abuse at a Texas facility operated under contract with the Office of Refugee Resettlement, according to a report published by the Center for Investigative Reporting and the Texas Tribune Tuesday. The allegations were further detailed in a court suit filed by the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law.

The lawsuit charges that the Shiloh Treatment Center in Manvel, Texas administered psychotropic drugs to immigrant children, who in some cases were separated from their parents at the border. Neither the children, some as young as nine years old, nor the parents gave consent to the treatment, and in some cases, children were forcibly drugged as they fought and screamed.

One report reads: “Some children held at Shiloh reported being given up to nine different pills in the morning and six in the evening, including antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants, Parkinson’s disease medication and seizure medications. They were told they would remain detained if they refused drugs, the lawsuit said. Children also said that after taking the drugs, they experienced side effects that rendered them fatigued and incapable of walking.”

The lawsuit charges: “ORR routinely administers children psychotropic drugs without lawful authorization… When youth object to taking such medications, ORR compels them. ORR neither requires nor asks for a parent’s consent before medicating a child, nor does it seek lawful authority to consent in parents’ stead. Instead, ORR or facility staff sign ‘consent’ forms anointing themselves with ‘authority’ to administer psychotropic drugs to confined children.”

The seven pills named in the court filings—clonazepam, duloxetine, guanfacine, Geodon, olanzapine, Latuda and divalproex—are medications used to control depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder, mood disorders, schizophrenia and seizures. This treatment amounted to applying “chemical straitjackets” to subdue the children, rather than meeting medical needs, the lawsuit charges.

According to the investigative reporting, the ORR paid $3.4 billion to private organizations to hold immigrant children, and nearly half of this, $1.5 billion, went to 13 companies that had been accused of hundreds of serious violations of their responsibility to provide care. These included failure to obtain medical treatment for accidents or illness, “inappropriate contact” between children and staff (apparently of a sexual nature), and neglect.

These reports of horrific treatment of innocent children do not just expose the savagery and sadism of individual guards, administrators and other officials, or the greed of corporate bosses seeking to join in the orgy of profiteering from federal contracts for the detention and abuse of immigrants. What is revealed above all is the criminal character of the American political elite, both Democrats and Republicans, who have deliberately encouraged an atmosphere of brutality and terror as their preferred method of “deterring” immigrants from crossing the US-Mexico border. The responsibility, moreover, rests not just with the sociopathic bully in the White House today, but also with his Democratic predecessor, responsible for more deportations than any previous president.

Obama’s Department of Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson declared that the jailing of Central American refugees seeking asylum, and the separation of parents and children, would have a positive effect in reducing the sudden influx of refugees in 2014. It was Terry McAuliffe, the longtime crony of Hillary Clinton, who presided over the torture of immigrant teenagers at Shenandoah from 2014 to 2017.

The shift from Obama to Trump has not fundamentally changed the policy of the US ruling class towards immigrants, which has always been of an anti-democratic and brutal character. But in the hands of Trump and his fascistic aide Stephen Miller, the brutality has become more systematic, and it is accompanied by a campaign aimed at whipping up anti-immigrant racism and hysteria over the purported danger that the United States will be “overrun,” as Trump claimed in his speech Wednesday night to a rally in Minnesota.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal Thursday, the Trump administration awarded multiple contracts involving tens of millions of dollars earlier this year to build detention facilities for children. This confirms that the mass separation of children from their parents, which followed the announcement of the “zero tolerance” policy by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, was not an unexpected byproduct of the new policy, but was planned and deliberate. It is a premeditated crime, the state kidnapping of more than 2,400 children, for which Trump, Sessions, Stephen Miller, Kirstjen Nielsen and other top officials should be prosecuted and jailed.

Far from abandoning this policy—as media reports on the executive order issued by Trump Wednesday suggested—the White House is preparing to accelerate the mass detention of immigrants, including children. A Pentagon spokesman said Thursday that military bases in Texas and Arkansas had been reviewed as possible locations for housing as many as 20,000 immigrant children, double the number currently in custody.

This article was originally published by “WSWS

Concentration camps for children in the USA

Some simple facts you are not being told

A two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker cries at the feet of border guards

This is a business operation

1. Seeking asylum in the US is not a crime. It’s an administrative process. After the hearings, the US can always no to the application.

2. There’s absolutely no legal basis to take the children of asylum seekers from their parents.

3. People who cross the border illegally and are found not to have criminal records used to be returned to the border they crossed. Now they are being jailed for six months – at taxpayer expense – and having their children taken from them.

4. The revenues for these interments are going to the shareholders of PRIVATELY owned prisons.

5. Privately owned Prison companies like GEO and CoreCivic donated nearly $500,000 to support Trump’s election campaign and underwrite his inauguration.

6. The Trump administration has no procedure in place for reuniting children with the parents they have been taken from.

7. The government will not disclose where the children they have seized are being held. Nor will they allow Congressman or the news media to enter these facilities

 

Iran already exonerated of role in 9-11 attacks, Docs display israel’s complicity

Source

FNA- A prominent Iranian political activist dismissed the Southern District Court of New York’s ruling ordering Iran to pay more than $6 billion of reparation for the 2001 terrorist attacks, stressing Israel’s role in killing nearly 3,000 Americans at the time.

The Southern District Court’s ruling “found the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and The Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran” liable for the deaths of more than 1,000 people as a result of the September 11 attacks.

Judge George B Daniels of the Southern District Court of New York said that Iran is ordered to pay “$12,500,000 per spouse, $8,500,000 per parent, $8,500,000 per child, and $4,250,000 per sibling” to the families and estates of the deceased.

A default judgment is issued when a defendant does not contest the case in court.

Daniels issued other default judgments against Iran in 2011 and 2016 that ordered the Islamic Republic to pay victims and insurers billions of dollars for damages and deaths in the hijacker attacks.

Iran has rejected all cases, but it says it doesn’t recognize the US courts for judging such cases

Last week, thousands of American professors, politicians, experts and former members of the US Congress in a letter to the Iranian Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs called on the country to immediately appeal the Southern District Court of New York’s ruling, and vowed to testify in support of the Islamic Republic in an appeals court after Tehran files for it.

Nader Talebzadeh, a prominent political expert and activist, referred to the letter, and stressed the need for Iran to end its tradition of not appealing the US courts’ rulings and challenge the mainstream media’s story about the 9-11 incident with the help of the US political activists at the court.

 

 

He told FNA on Saturday that “the September 11 fact-finding groups are ready to speak to the benefit of Iran in any court and testify that Iran has not been involved in the attack. They are ready to show presence in an official court and elaborate on the 9-11 incident. But the Iranian government is first required to appeal the ruling”.

According to Talebzadeh, Iran has never appealed to the US courts’ rulings and it has adopted the same approach in the recent case. “Now it has an opportunity only until next Tuesday to appeal the ruling.”

He described the 9-11 as the US Achilles Heel which was used as a pretext for military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, stressing Israel’s role in the deadly incident.

“There are documents to prove Israel’s role and we should allow the Americans themselves to speak about it. Even the official commission which has investigated the 9-11 incident has clearly underlined that Iran has played no role. How a judge in New York, who has certainly received money from Saudi Arabia and has issued such a ruling for the second time, sentences Iran, and the country does not react?” Talebzadeh said.

He noted that investigations have proved that C4 explosive material was used during the 9-11 incident, adding, “The Americans fear reopening of the 9-11 case as all its details are secret and it is an opportunity for Iran on which it can maneuver.”

The letter wrote by the American professors, politicians, experts and former members of the US Congress to the Iranian government to testify in support of the Islamic Republic in an appeals court is as follows:

“We (over 5000 US professors, experts and politicians) are willing and ready to provide court testimony in support of Iran’s innocence; the extremely weak case against Iran is predicated on the 9/11 Commission’s version of events, according to which 19 alleged hijackers (15 of whom were Saudis, and none of whom were Iranians) precipitated a series of miracles, including gross violations of the laws of physics. we can prove absolutely, beyond any reasonable doubt, that this version of events is false, thereby nullifying the case against Iran,” the statement said.

The signatories of the statement underlined their firm belief that by strongly contesting this matter in a US court, Iran can win a major media victory over its enemies, and will likely win the legal case as well, adding, that for while the US courts can be corrupt, they follow procedural rules, and create legal records, that will in this case make it very difficult for the anti-Iran forces to achieve their objectives.

They said that the alternative—not contesting the judgment—hands the anti-Iran forces a victory that they do not deserve, adding that for although they have no valid evidence against Iran, if Iran fails to defend itself, it appears to be admitting guilt.

“We believe that the following organizations would likely be available to assist with Iran’s defense, whether in the capacity of expert witnesses or as friends of the court; Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth  (https://www.AE911Truth.org), Consensus 9/11 (http://www.consensus911.org), Scientists for 9/11 Truth  (http://www.scientistsfor911truth.org),” the signatories of the statement said.

“We urge the government of Iran to contact Mr. Mick Harrison Esq. of the Lawyers Committee for 9/11 Inquiry” who, in his capacity as a private attorney, may be able to help the Islamic Republic of Iran take the initial steps toward assembling a legal team to appeal Judge Daniels’ ruling in advance of the May 28 deadline:

Lawyers Committee for 9/11 Inquiry https://www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org (which on April 10 filed a 54-page petition for a grand jury investigation of 9/11 with the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York).

The signatories include David Ray Griffin, Professor Emeritus, Claremont School of Theology; author of 13 books on 9/11, Richard Falk, Professor of International Law, Emeritus, Princeton University, Cynthia McKinney, Ph.D., six-term congresswoman (D-GA) and Green Party candidate for President of the United States (2008), Graeme MacQueen, Associate Professor of Religious Studies (retired), McMaster University; former Director of McMaster’s Centre for Peace Studies and author of numerous articles on 9/11, Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Culture and Communication, New York University, Piers Robinson, Professor of Politics, Society and Political Journalism, Niels Harrit, Ph.D., Associate Professor (retired), Dept. of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Oliver Boyd-Barrett, Professor Emeritus of Journalism, Bowling Green State University, Anthony J. Hall, Ph.D., Professor of Globalization Studies, University of Lethbridge, Tony Szamboti, ME, former Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems mechanical design engineer, Ibrahim Soudy, PhD, PE, SE, PEng, Structural Engineer, Ian Henshall, author, 911 The New Evidence, Sander Hicks, Candidate, US Congress, http://www.hicksforcongress.com, Michael Santangelo, Co-Facilitator for Truth Action Project, New York City, Kevin Barrett, Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for Truth; author, Questioning the War on Terror, http://www.scientistsfor911truth.org Scientists for 9/11 Truth Science professionals seeking new and independent investigations into the attacks of September 11, 2001, In early May, Southern District Court of New York issued a default judgment requiring Iran to pay more than $6bn to victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks that killed almost 3,000 people, court filings show

The US court’s ruling came despite the fact that official investigations found no evidence of Iranian involvement.

Though the lawsuit alleged Iran supported the hijackers with training and other assistance, no Iranian involvement in the attacks has ever been substantiated.

The 9/11 Commission, which was tasked with preparing a “full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding” the attacks, found no evidence of Iranian support.

Saudi Arabia remains the main target of US citizens looking for damages in relation to the attacks.

The judgment against Iran was issued in a court case consisting of more than 40 lawsuits that have been consolidated over the years.

Plaintiffs allege that Saudi Arabia provided material support to the 19 hijackers who crashed commercial airliners into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.

Another plane, reportedly targeting the White House, crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after passengers confronted the hijackers

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