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July 23, 2012 - 03:18 Doha| According to Qatari prime minister, the Arab nations are offering safe passage to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if he steps down.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani made the announcement after a ministerial meeting of the Arab league here in Doha

News for arab league assad

    Arab League urges Assad to give up power

    The News International‎ - 1 hour ago
    DOHA: Arab nations have called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to swiftly give up power in order to end his country's unrest, Qatar's prime ...

    Conflict arises in two Syrian cities
    WTVR‎ - 2 hours ago

Daily Kos: BREAKING: Arab League asks Assad to step down!
5 minutes ago – Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani made the announcement after a ministerial meeting of the Arab league here in Doha ...
Arab League leans on Assad to resign | News | DW.DE | 23.07.2012,,16118601,00.html
2 hours ago – Delegates from the Arab League have said they agree Syria's president Bashar Assad should step down and the Free Syrian Army should form ...

Just after I post this I did a Google search to see what else was available on this. Imagine my surprise when I found my Daily Kos posting was the second story down. Now that's what I call Breaking News

This may help explain the problems has been having which I noted earlier. SANA reported:

Syrian SANA News Agency website is under fierce attack 07-14-2012

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) website on Saturday was attacked by foreign sides which try to prevent the Syrian national media from conveying the truth of events and unmasking the conspiracy hatched against Syria. After the failure of several attempts to hack the website and publish fabricated news on it, foreign sides targeted the website with a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack).

In the same context, anonymous sides stole SANA logo from the website and designed an advertisement in English and Arabic that includes provocative calls and distributed it through email.
SANA website is a multi-lingual website. It publishes news and articles in seven languages: English, French, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Turkish and Arabic.


Here are my related diaries on Syria:Bashar al-Assad: New images released as slaughter continues in Syria
no blood for oil
BREAKING: Activists report toxic gas attack in Deir ez-Zor, SyriaGlenn Greenwald sees Islamist Terrorism as main issue in Syria
Will Syria's Assad make a chemical attack in Damascus on Saturday?
BREAKING: I know where Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is!
BREAKING: Massive Fire near #Assad's Presidential Palace in #Damascus, #Syria
BREAKING: Is Syria's Bashar al-Assad dead or dying?
BREAKING: Damascus explosion kills Defense Minister, other key figures
The battle for Damascus is coming
BREAKING: General Strike in Damascus
BREAKING: Intense fighting reported in Damascus now!
BREAKING: Syrian defector spills beans as important new defection reported.
Does Syria's Assad have something on Kofi Annan?
Tremseh Massacre in Syria: What we know
BREAKING: ~227 reported massacred by Assad's forces in Tremseh, Syria today!
Syria: Is Assad regime on the verge of collapse?
BREAKING: Russian Warships reported in Syria
BREAKING: #Russia changing on #Assad but not as fast as conditions in #Syria
UN Observers say violence in Syria is ‘Unprecedented’
BREAKING: Defection of major Assad insider reported in Syria
BREAKING: WikiLeaks releases 2.4 million #Syria emails
When did "Never Again" become "Whenever?" | #Douma
BREAKING: Incredible mass rally in Aleppo, Syria today!
BREAKING: HRW releases torture report on Syria
BREAKING: Syrian General defects with 293 to Turkey
BREAKING: Items not in the MSM on Syria
My response to Phyllis Bennis: Where is the non-violent opposition in Syria?
BREAKING: Syrian Air Force attacks Douma, 10m from Damascus, thousands flee
BREAKING: As Syria Burns, UN Blows More Smoke
BREAKING: Kofi Annan to propose Syrian unity gov't sans Assad!
BREAKING: Douma, Syria under massive attack, another massacre feared
BREAKING: Another mass defection from Syrian army
BREAKING: #NATO says No War in #Syria shoot down of #Turkey jet
NATO meetup tomorrow as more defect from Syria
BREAKING: Turkey calls for NATO consult on downing of jet by Syria
BREAKING: Senior Syrian Officers Defect
UPDATED: Russia reported to be preparing to evacuate from Syria
BREAKING: Syria fighter pilot defects
BREAKING: Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria
BREAKING: Russian troops headed to Syria
Qaddafi forces Strike Back in Libya
BREAKING: UN suspends mission in Syria
Libya & Syria - two videos - no comment
BREAKING: Russia denies supplying Syria with NEW attack helicopters
Syrian people rise up against the massacre
Another "Houla style" massacre in Syria
Fake Houla Massacre Photo: Was the BBC set up?
Idlib, Syria protest today on anniversary of Kent State killings
BREAKING: Massive protests in Syria following Friday pray
Syria is bleeding
Syria: Ceasefire faltering as mass protests breakout

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Comment Preferences

  •  Arab League has many members..# in support? (4+ / 0-)

    Somebody said Party! I got excited. I love Parties! Especially Parties with exclamation marks! Now I'm sad because there's not a Party! h/t AnnetteK ;-)

    by EdMass on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 07:52:23 PM PDT

  •  Shouldn't the Arab League also ask... (13+ / 0-)

    ...the dictators of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to step down.

    The dictator of Bahrain has slaughtered, proportionately, more of his people than the dictator of Syria.  And he's done so with the help of the dictator from Saudi Arabia.

    Or are some Dictators more equal than others?

    Es Pregunta.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

    by PatriciaVa on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:02:02 PM PDT

  •  so, the dictators want him out because.. (7+ / 0-)

    he gives dictators a bad name?

    And the US is paying most of them to be on our side and keep the oil flowing.

    At least there's no propping up of dictators with solar and wind power.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:17:16 PM PDT

    •  Egypt, Libya & Tunisia aren't dictatorships (10+ / 0-)

      anymore. Celebrate the victories.

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:24:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Egypt is no longer a (5+ / 0-)

        dictatorship - based on what - the army saying that it is no longer a dictatorship?

        •  There is now a Turkish-style power struggle (8+ / 0-)

          going on.  It ain't Canada yet but calling it a dictatorship is really no longer accurate.  Morsi and the reconstituted parliament have real, meaningful authority, although it remains to be seen what will happen when the Egyptians reach the point that the Turks did and someone has to blink.

          My guess is that the military will blink and Morsi will pull a Roosevelt and pack the Constitutional Court (unlike Roosevelt, he'll probably succeed).  The military likes money more than they like power - outside of a petro-state, it's a lot easier to spend money than it is to spend power - and Morsi is a lot of things but "fool" isn't one of them.  He'll buy them off with revenue streams and state-owned businesses, it'll be corrupt as shit but it won't be a dictatorship.

          "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

          by auron renouille on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:06:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Libya is (0+ / 0-)

        a country in Chaos, run by gangs who commit war crimes and torture.  In Egypt, where in contrast to Libya there was a real revolution, the military is still in control, despite the elections.

        •  "Nothing less than DEATH... (0+ / 0-)

          Will be the reward for you American running dogs of Imperialism!"

          It was a funny way to sell used cars last October, and it still is now.

          IMHO: code for the mean little thoughts of someone with the social grace of duckweed. --T. Pratchett

          by Cynical Copper on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:40:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Are you drunk? (0+ / 0-)
            •  I don't touch the stuff. (0+ / 0-)

              Unlike the character who was originally associated with the "used cars" part of the quote, Dr. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce as played by Alan Alda.

              What I'm getting at is that your assertions like these have gone on for the last 9 months about Libya despite chaos, accusations, and (now, at least) some hope of stabilization and democracy.  The funny thing is, it almost looks like you're cutting and pasting this stuff from somewhere.

              I grant you, having Libya's Olympic Committee chairman kidnapped and then released with no given reason is rather bizarre and the treatment of black prisoners during the war was terrible, especially in a decentralized, uncoordinated POW system.  However, you keep posting the very same assertions... MONTHS after the last time they were even halfway accurate and your behavior during the war did not not, may I add, make you many friends among the supporters of the (limited) airborne intervention (like myself).

              Basically, you sound like some brainless, bureaucratic propaganda radio reader.

              IMHO: code for the mean little thoughts of someone with the social grace of duckweed. --T. Pratchett

              by Cynical Copper on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:15:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, he does. (0+ / 0-)

      Most dictators manage not to slaughter their people by the tens of thousands.

      You don't have to be Thomas Jefferson to notice that things are pretty effed up in Syria.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:26:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Monarchies are not dictators (0+ / 0-)

      though the distinction is not a great one.  Basically, monarchies usually monopolize secular (military, economic) power and concede religious (social, legislative/moral) power to organized religion.  Dictatorship means monopoly, monarchy duopoly of power.

  •  I look forward to tomorrow when the National (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    majcmb1, johnny wurster

    Review et al will STILL be complaining that Obama is leading from behind and he really really should do SOMETHING about Syria.

    Giving diplomacy a chance - what a concept.

    HRC might just be leaving State on a high note.

    •  Diplomacy has given Assad a chance to kill 19k (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe from Lowell

      How long do you think we should give diplomacy? Let him killed another 19k? He's killing more than 3000 a month now so how long should the world continue to try to "talk him out of it?"

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:39:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The rebels have done their fair share of killing (4+ / 0-)
        The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday that among the 17,129 deaths are 11,897 civilians, 4,348 soldiers and 884 military defectors.
        Take note that the one-man Syrian Observatory for Human Rights classifies rebel fighters as civilians.

        It has been the rebels who have brought the fighting to highly populated areas in Damascus and other cities and put civilians at risk.

        •  False. Assad brought the fighting to the cities (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          When he sent the military to slaughter the then-peaceful protesters.

          I guess you forgot that part.

          But you just keep shitting on the rebels for not knuckling under to the dictator.  How dare they try to overthrow Assad? HOW DARE THEY?!?

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:30:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There was a tit-for-tat escalation of the violence (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Shawn Russell

            from BOTH sides. Arms and foreign fighters had entered the country within weeks of the start of protests according to two AlJazeera reporters who resigned because AlJazeera would not publish this information.

            There was violence with 6 police killed in Daraa at the very beginning. This pulled in the army. Since then there has been an escalation of violence from both sides as tons of arms continued to flow into the country from Libya, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

            Syrian Soldiers Killed in Clash With Defectors
            November 15, 2011

            Rami Abdul-Rahman, head of the observatory, confirmed that 34 soldiers were killed in an ambush in Daraa, the birthplace of the uprising that began in mid-March, inspired by successful revolts in Tunisia, Egypt and later Libya.

            Although activists say the protests have remained largely peaceful, with demonstrators calling for the regime's downfall, an armed insurgency has developed in recent months targeting Assad's military and security forces.

    •  I think neither diplomacy nor intervention (6+ / 0-)

      will work in Syria, unfortunately.

      Assad will fight until he dies or suppresses the entire uprising.

      It will be very ugly.  And there's nothing the West, the UN, the Arab League, or anyone else can do about it.

      That is my bleak assessment.

      •  the hope, I think (6+ / 0-)

        is to convince Syrians wavering in their support to go against him.

        Juan Cole argued several months ago that Assad's main power base was the business class who had become rich through supporting him.  I don't know what their current support is. It didn't exactly sound as if it was the same kind of personal/tribal loyalty as Gaddafi had.

      •  There is zero chance of Assad (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe from Lowell, killjoy

        succeeding in repressing the uprising. This has gone way too far for that. The opposition has much stronger allies than the Assad regime. The Russians and the Chinese are merely trying to thwart US influence in the Middle East. This is a losing struggle and they know it, sooner or later ( probably sooner) they will drop their support for Assad in return for the US agreeing to stay out of Syria. Since this is what the US wants, anyway, it should be easy to negotiate.

        The Syrian civil war could go on for some time, depending on how much it turns into a religious and tribal struggle for power.

        Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

        by OIL GUY on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 05:34:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just a quibble (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe from Lowell, angry marmot

          Usually these countries (e.g. Serbia, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, now Syria) don't become supports for American interests so much as they simply fall away as thorny militant obstacles to democratization.  And the significant side phenomenon of democratization of breakup of state territory by secession of incompatible parts that were usually obtained by conquest.

          Russia and China like thwarting the U.S. and EU.   But evaluating the effects of American wars and policies in the past two decades, and last century, has shown them that if they don't prop up these fairly minor dictators as obstacles to democratization/Modernization it will soon be fully on their borders.  The current rulers of Russia and China may fear regime change, but I don't think that's primary.   It's that their territories are constituted of incompatible parts and territories obtain by imperial conquest- Tartarstan, the northern Caucasus, Siberia, Tibet, Sinkiang, Manchuria.  Losing those to secession/partition is the unbearable thought.  These are still pre-Modern conservative societies and conservative elites; their sense of themselves as important is constructed on being imperial, on having such conquests, on inability to let them go.

          The U.S. lets conquests go- Mexico, Cuba, Germany, Italy, the Pacific Island countries, South Korea and Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, Iraq, etc.

          I suspect there will be significant change in Lebanon too when Assad has fallen and the forces he propped there crumble.  The whole map of Syria/Lebanon will be up for significant debate.  I wouldn't be surprised if a Kurdish autonomous region forms, which Turkey won't like but will have to conform to eventually.  That is what is at stake in this war locally- a whole slew of artifices and obsolete orderings will come to an end.

          •  Great comment. In the case of Russia, I'd add... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            killjoy, angry marmot

            that Russia has always - for centuries before the Soviet era, during the Soviet era, and since then - aspired to be a global power.  So it's not just territories on their periphery that they are concerned about, but with having a global sphere of influence.

            Unlike China, which doesn't seem to care very much about anything except its immediate environs.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 10:00:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Saudi Arabia As Safe Haven? (0+ / 0-)

    So, the Arab League is calling for Assad to step down and find a safe haven.  Are we supposed to understand that he could find such a location in Saudi Arabia?  It would make the most sense, except for the fact that the Saudis consider folks like Assad an even lower life form than true non-believers.  When the Saudis openly offer safe haven to Assad, then we'll know the announcement is real.  Right now, it appears to be mostly optics'n'acoustics.

    "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

    by PrahaPartizan on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:00:43 PM PDT

  •  SNC Emails: Clinton, Kilo, and Al-Farouq Batallion (0+ / 0-)
    SNC Emails: Clinton, Kilo, and Al-Farouq Batallion

    US State Department: Consider Safe Haven for Assad

    Among the emails found in SNC President Burhan Ghalioun’s inbox is an exchange with Matthew Irwin, Political Officer at Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace in the US Department of State.

    After a series of meetings conducted by the State Department with SNC representatives at the end of 2011 – one of which included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – Irwin sent a document (see below) to the SNC detailing some of the difficulties it had in finding a safe haven for Syrian President Bashar Assad.
    Kilo to Ghalioun: Turkey and Qatar’s Positions Not Positive

    The second email is a correspondence from the well-known opposition intellectual Michel Kilo declining an invitation to meet with the SNC in Istanbul because of what he considered negative positions toward Syrians’ struggle on the part of Turkey and Qatar.
    Fighters in Homs: The al-Farouq Battalion is Killing Us

    In a third email, a report recaps a meeting with al-Haj Khodr al-Halwani (the leader of fighters in the [Khalid Ibn] al-Waleed’s Grandchildren Battalion in old Homs, Hamidiyeh, and Bustan al-Diwan), Abu Qais (Baba Amr), and a number of leaders of different groups in Homs.

  •  Syria crisis: Iraqis flee 'sectarian violence' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redrobin, InAntalya

    Syria crisis: Iraqis flee 'sectarian violence' in Damascus

    In the late evening, a busload of Iraqis arrived in Baghdad after a 12-hour journey across the desert.

    With a mixture of anger and resignation, they said that they had been forced to leave their homes near Damascus by armed opposition groups.

    "The Free Syrian Army ruined our lives," said one Iraqi man who had just arrived with his Syrian wife and daughter.
    The neighbourhood is named after the grand-daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, who is believed to be buried in the Sayyida Zainab mosque.

    It is popular with Shia pilgrims from all over the world, and home to many Iraqi refugees, mostly Shia.

    "They evicted us," she said, staring defiantly at the camera. She was on the verge of tears, but refused to break down.

    "They are not an army, they're just gangs. There's only one army, the Syrian Arab Army, and they have a right to protect the people and the country. They are in control in Damascus."
    Resting on her arms was a sleepy three-year-old who just wanted to get to bed - the daughter of a Sunni Syrian mother and a Shia Iraqi father, going back and forth between two countries which seem to be racing each other to the abyss.

  •  Not sure what this gets anyone. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe from Lowell, PatriciaVa

    My bigger question is that I could not figure out what the Arab League can give Assad.  To my memory, only Bahrain is a Shi'a-majority state (ignore Iraq for a moment), and its Shi'a population is squished under the thumb of a as-Saud sponsored Sunni monarchy.  Iraq is Shi'a majority and now has a predominantly Shi'a government but they are in no position to buy the kind of trouble the Assad would come with, no less because Iraq of all places is being overwhelmed with Syrian refugees - anyhow, what super-rich dictator would willingly choose to live in Iraq?  Trade unlimited dictatorial power for intermittent electrical power?

    Basically, Assad does not have Arab allies, although in periodically allowing and/or encouraging the murder of Israeli citizens he occasionally is treated in accordance with the principle of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

    Unless by "safe passage" they literally mean "safe passage" to another state, e.g. Iran or Russia, but that would require both an invitation to Russia or Iran (Assad is useless to the Iranians in Iran and a liability to the Russians in Russia) and the decision-making capacity to choose to flee the country.  So... safe passage to where, precisely?

    Knowing that, he'll surely fight to the bitter end.  Death by artillery shell or by Hitleresque suicide is probably preferable to what the rebels will offer him.

    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

    by auron renouille on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:12:48 AM PDT

    •  I don't assume we'd know the answer to that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      auron renouille

      Easy enough for the US Military to transport him out of Iraq, or for the Saudis to slip him away. The sort of anonymous travel a plane leaving Syria for Russia can't quite offer.

      It's still a terrible idea, though. 20,000+ deaths and no justice doesn't tend to set a country on the right path.

      •  For a nation birthed in blood, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        2020adam, joe from Lowell

        the right path was unfortunately discovered to have been been bombed out over a year ago.

        I hate it.  I hate that the UN observer mission is such a farce that it should be canceled, that Assad will either escape to the comparative luxury of the Black Sea or be killed in a makeshift bunker, that the leaders of Syria, if the opposition wins, will all have a lot of blood on their hands, I hate the whole thing.  But Assad's dictatorship has so thoroughly poisoned the well that it's really no longer possible to do this in an orderly fashion.  There's no Slovakia to be found here and the only way to end the violence is for one of the sides to win.  That's kind of chilling and on some level it argues in favor of Western military intervention if only so Assad loses faster and thus kills fewer people.  But then is the opposition forever tainted as Western puppets?  They don't seem to be in Libya, but Libya ain't Syria.

        It's gonna get a whole lot worse before it gets better.

        "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

        by auron renouille on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:44:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Intervention is a vague term. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          auron renouille, angry marmot

          There was no occupation in Libya.  That is a crucial distinction.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:39:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry for the dead thread reply, but yes. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joe from Lowell

            Any intervention would need to be by air (and perhaps sea), probably from Turkey.  Cyprus would be quite convenient, perhaps RAF Akrotiri, but the UK won't touch this with a barge pole until after the Olympics close and Cyprus is of course politically controversial.  But I agree, what made Libya so successful and in the end non-controversial was the complete absence of boots on the ground.

            "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

            by auron renouille on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 02:31:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  That's always the question in these situations. (0+ / 0-)

        How many more lives are worth bringing the dictator to justice?

        It is deeply unjust that, say, Idi Amin gets to live a cushy retirement, but if offering some bloody bastard much more mercy than he deserves can prevent additional weeks of bloodshed, how can anyone say no?

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:37:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is a turning point-- it wasn't until (4+ / 0-)

    the Arab League turned on other dictators in the region (especially Libya) that the outside powers felt that they had the ability to do anything.

    Once the Arab League decided to turn on their own, they usually have to ask for outside help enforcing the edict, since the AL as an entity has no armed forces of its own-- only what volunteer nations are willing to devote or can afford.

    I suspect that we will see more active Turkish, and possibly French, intervention before too long.

    I hope they also all remember to take care of the people in the refugee camps, too. The Turks have an extensive network that is well done (as much as refugee camps can be) but I don't know hoe well supported the Jordanian ones are. Jordan isn't exactly a wealth country...

  •  Thanks again for your efforts to cover. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe from Lowell
  •  i'd say on the one hand you have (0+ / 0-)

    the arab league telling assad to step aside and they'll grease his way to safety. on the other hand you have asma al-assad, his wife, telling him if you lose my good life your assad is grass. which one do you think he'll listen to?


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