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Posts Tagged ‘Vietnam’

The ‘Burn Pit’ Is The New Agent Orange Of Our Era

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2019

The VA was dragged, kicking and screaming, to set up a registry for which veterans could voluntarily register what they believed to be burn pit-connected illnesses.

https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2019/12/04/the-burn-pit-is-the-new-agent-orange-of-our-era/


Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

Its a headline that should, by all appearances, be considered good news.” But somehow the November 18 declaration, VA announces plans to study military toxic exposures, connections to veteran illnesses,” just comes off as an Onion-esque parody.

Thats because the Veterans Affairs Department has been vowing to study” the effects of the ubiquitous “burn pits” on soldiers for more than a decade—so has the Pentagon. In fact, there have been tons of studies already, big and small, in both the public and private sectors. But like everything in Washington, launching one more study or task force allows the bureaucracy to stall real action—in this case, practical help for thousands of men and women who say theyre suffering from war-related illnesses.

Once upon a time, the lag time between when Vietnam veterans reported getting sick from Agent Orange exposure in the late 1970s to when the government began officially recognizing their illnesses, including cancer (in 1991), was considered the height of institutional inertia and neglect. In fact, many Vietnam veterans who did not fit the original parameters of the 1991 policy that made Agent Orange exposure a service-connected illness, affording them access to VA health care and disability compensation, are still fighting for their due.

But successive wars in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan have created two new generations of veterans who have been mostly denied VA health care and disability benefits for their toxic exposures overseas. In other words, waiting as long if not longer than their Vietnam counterparts has merely become the new normal.

This includes some 250,000 Persian Gulf veterans, now mostly in their 50s and 60s, who are suffering from a variety of mysterious health conditions many medical experts now believe resulted from their exposure to widely used pesticides, the pyridostigmine bromide pills taken by troops to protect against sarin gas, and actual sarin gas exposure during the 1991 war. Outside studies have been conducted for more than 20 years now, with many finding direct correlation between service and illness. The VA has stepped up in so far as there is a way for these veterans to file service-connected claims, but the way the requirements are set up, it is still very difficult to actually get approved. According to one explosive report, some 80 percent of Gulf veteransclaims were denied between 2010 and 2015.

Then there are the burn pits. For years after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, the U.S. military dumped all of the trash accumulating on its massive U.S. forward operating bases into unregulated, unfiltered, open air pits. These pits, often the size of football fields or larger, burned everything from broken down vehicles, batteries, styrofoam, medical waste, food, paint cans, tires, you name it. They burned day and night, notable for the smoky haze and big black angry plumes. Tens of thousands of troops and other personnel worked and lived right next to these pits, unprotected, and many complained about coughing up crud,” and getting sick right away when they arrived for the first time on base.

In one case, this author interviewed the wife of a soldier who, while stationed at Camp Taji in Iraq, began to lose all feeling in his feet. By 2009 he was home and confined to a wheelchair at the age of 49. VA doctors were flummoxed by his condition, finally diagnosing him with rheumatoid fibromyalgia. But his own neurologist believed, even at the time, that his condition was the result of nerve damage caused by toxic exposure.

That was 10 years ago. But now we know that there is fine particulate matter like heavy metals in the air around these unfiltered pits, and it was reported to Air Force officials as early as 2006 that it was an environmental health hazard. We know they sat on this information and even to this day will not acknowledge that the toxic air could be responsible for serious neurological and respiratory problems, not to mention cancer, among this cohort of  veterans.

Congress believed it enough to shut down the burn pits in late 2009 after the stories like the one above started flowing from veteransblogs and into their offices on Capitol Hill. But despite the order, burn pits are still being used in the war zone today.

The VA was dragged, kicking and screaming, to set up a registry for which veterans could voluntarily register what they believed to be burn pit-connected illnesses. Since 2014, some 187,630 veterans have signed up as of this October. Meanwhile, the media is now rife with stories about young veterans dying of cancer, of wasting away in wheelchairs and with ever-present oxygen masks. A new report shows a spike in cancer rates among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking VA care.

A class action suit by 800 veterans who wanted to hold the private contractor Kellogg, Brown, & Root responsible for the conditions caused by the burn pits went all the way up to the Supreme Court, but the justices wouldnt hear the case.

Sadly, thanks to testing by private medical doctors, we know that the worst of the damage to vets is irreversible and that taking care of those who do not die as a result will cost the government billions over time. And here is the rub: between this generation, and that of the Persian Gulf veterans behind them, the VA is faced with liabilities that will stretch beyond today and decades into the future. There is every incentive to stall.

The American government should not have this luxury. When Washington made the decision to surge hundreds of thousands of troops into Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq, it also entered into a covenant of care with those service members. Yes, this covenant has been broken many times before, but there is no reason to normalize the practice.

Had the government cared enough to find out what it was spraying, firing, burning and asking our troops to ingest, instead of treating them like guinea pigs, or worse, disposable, they would not be staring down the barrel of a trillion dollar gun. But here we are. It is up to us as citizens and policy makers to force some action, and say that one more study” just wont cut it.

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VA asks for more veterans to sign up for Burn Pit Registry ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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U.S. finally admits Agent Orange residue poisoned its own soldiers

Posted by M. C. on December 5, 2019

A start. Now there is depleted uranium, toxic burn pits and all the military bases that are essentially superfund sites. Like Subic Bay.

I’ll bet you know vets that are dealing with Agent Orange. I do.

The American military is the US soldier’s worst enemy.

https://www.newstarget.com/2016-05-09-u-s-finally-admits-agent-orange-residue-poisoned-its-own-soldiers.html

By

After decades of denial, the Department of Veteran Affairs finally acknowledged that Monsanto’s Agent Orange, a herbicide sprayed across Vietnam during the war, was responsible for the health ailments of over 2,100 Air Force servicemen.

Federal officials have agreed to release over $45 million in disability benefits to Air Force active duty personnel and reservists who were exposed to Agent Orange from residue off C-123 aircraft, despite never having been to Vietnam.

The admission follows an Institute of Medicine study that concluded that “some C-123 reservists stationed in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts had been exposed to Agent Orange residues in the planes and suffered higher risks of health problems as a result,” according to a report from ABC.

“Opening up eligibility for this deserving group of Air Force veterans and reservists is the right thing to do,” said VA Secretary Bob McDonald in a statement.

The toxicity of Agent Orange

According to the non-partisan Aspen Institute in Washington D.C., Agent Orange was a herbicide used by the military to defoliate the Vietnamese jungle and expose Vietnam Cong and North Vietnamese troops using the jungle as a cover to move men and material to South Vietnam. Even though its use ended decades ago, the toxic contaminant of Agent Orange, dioxin, did not degrade as readily and is still causing health problems in Vietnam.

“The Red Cross estimates that three million Vietnamese have been affected by dioxin, including at least 150,000 children born with serious birth defects,” said the Institute. “Millions of Americans and Vietnamese are still affected, directly and indirectly, by the wartime U.S. spraying of Agent Orange and other herbicides over southern and central Vietnam.”

Monsanto is still in business

The payout is the least the government can do to compensate for all the years of suffering our servicemen had to endure. Unfortunately, despite the seemingly positive turn of events, injustice remains deeply rooted in our system. Monsanto, the corporation behind the deadly Agent Orange and the now destructive Roundup herbicide, continues to wield significant influence over the government and the mainstream media.

Funny, isn’t it? The military, after supporting the company through the purchase of millions of gallons of its herbicides, is now paying millions of dollars to deal with the aftermath of its deadly mistake – all the while, Monsanto and its cohorts continue to laugh all the way to the bank.

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The Doctor, the Depleted Uranium, and the Dying Children ...

 

 

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#Lest You Did Not Know: A “Tiny Piece” of Unknown History- This US soldier ‘found alive’ in Vietnam 44 years after being left behind

Posted by M. C. on October 17, 2019

Not so surprising considering John McCain did such an admirable job of covering up the ‘pows left behind’ story.

6. On Nov. 11, 1992, Dolores Alfond, the sister of missing airman Capt. Victor Apodaca and chair of the National Alliance of Families, an organization of relatives of POW/MIAs, testified at one of the Senate committee’s public hearings. She asked for information about data the government had gathered from electronic devices used in a classified program known as PAVE SPIKE.

McCain attended that committee hearing specifically to confront Alfond because of her criticism of the panel’s work. He bellowed and berated her for quite a while. His face turning anger-pink, he accused her of “denigrating” his “patriotism.” The bullying had its effect—she began to cry.

After a pause Alfond recovered and tried to respond to his scorching tirade, but McCain simply turned away and stormed out of the room. The PAVE SPIKE file has never been declassified. We still don’t know anything about those 20 POWs.

It’s not clear whether the taped confession McCain gave to his captors to avoid further torture has played a role in his postwar behavior in the Senate. That confession was played endlessly over the prison loudspeaker system at Hoa Lo—to try to break down other prisoners—and was broadcast over Hanoi’s state radio. Reportedly, he confessed to being a war criminal who had bombed civilian targets. The Pentagon has a copy of the confession but will not release it. Also, no outsider I know of has ever seen a non-redacted copy of the debriefing of McCain when he returned from captivity, which is classified but could be made public by McCain.

via #Lest You Did Not Know: A “Tiny Piece” of Unknown History- This US soldier ‘found alive’ in Vietnam 44 years after being left behind

envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com

A NEW DOCUMENTARY called Unclaimed claims to introduce the world to former Army Sergeant John Robertson, lost over Vietnam in 1968 and left behind for over four decades.

The Toronto Star reports Edmonton filmmaker Michael Jorgenson found Robertson, 76, living in a rural Vietnam village stooped with age, unable to speak English, remember his birthday, or names of the children he left behind in the U.S.

It’s a story difficult to understand considering the US military places such a priority on bringing every service member home, whenever possible.

Jorgenson told the Toronto Star that he was also skeptical when Vietnam vet Tom Faunce came to him and explained a man he’d found in Vietnam was a former “Army brother” listed as killed in action and forgotten. He says he became convinced only after going to Vietnam and meeting Robertson himself.

What he found was revealed to filmgoers in an invitation only screening of “Unclaimed” at a Toronto theatre earlier this month.

From The Toronto Star: There is physical proof of Robertson’s birthplace, collected in dramatic fashion onscreen; a tearful meeting in Vietnam with a soldier who was trained by Robertson in 1960 and said he knew him on sight; and a heart-wrenching reunion with his only surviving sister — 80-year-old Jean Robertson-Holly — in Edmonton in December 2012 that left the audience at the Toronto screening wiping away tears.

Jorgenson encountered so much resistance from the US military making his film that he says he’s convinced one “high-placed government source” was telling the truth when he said, “It’s not that the Vietnamese won’t let him (Robertson) go; it’s that our government doesn’t want him.”

Wringing out the details and talking to Robertson’s American family seems to have been a gut-wrenching affair. The children whose names he couldn’t recall declined DNA testing at the last minute with no explanation.

None of that mattered to Roberston who says he fulfilled his wish of coming to America and seeing his kids one more time before he dies.

Robertson’s now back in Vietnam, with no desire to leave and Unclaimed opens in the USA on 12 May, at the G.I. Film Festival in Washington, DC.

– Robert Johnson

 

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Unused Militaries, by Fred Reed – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on September 11, 2019

I seem to recall when NATO was freeing Libya FOR human and drug traffickers NATO forces ran low of munitions.

NATO was lucky they weren’t dealing with a real country with a real military.

http://www.unz.com/freed/unused-militaries/

For a couple of decades I covered the military for various publications, as for example the Washington Times and Harper’s, and wrote a military column for Universal Press Syndicate. I was following the time-honored principle of sensible reporters: “Ask not what you can do for journalism, but what journalism can do for you.” The military beat was a great gig, letting you fly in fighter planes and sink in submarines. But if you take the study seriously, as I did, you learn interesting things. Such as that a war with a real country, such as Russia, China, or even Iran, would be a fool’s adventure. A few points:

Unused militaries deteriorate

The US fleet has not been in a war since 1945, the air forces since 1975. nor the Army in a hard fight since Vietnam. Bombing defenseless peasants, the chief function of the American military, is not war.

In extended periods of peace, which includes the bombing of peasants, a military tends to assume that no major war will come during the careers of those now in uniform. Commanders consequently do what makes their lives easy, what they must do to get through the day and have reasonable fitness reports. This does not include pointing out inadequacies of training or equipment. Nor does it include recommending large expenditures to remedy deficiencies. Nor does it include recommending very expensive mobilization exercises that would divert money from new weapons.

Thus an armored command has enough replacement tracks for training, but not enough for tanks in hard use in extended combat. When the crunch comes, it turns out that getting more track requires a new contract with the manufacturer, who has shut down the production line. The same is true for air filters, there not being much sand at Fort Campbell but a lot in Iraq. Things as mundane as MRATs and boots are not there.in real-war quantities.

GAU-8 ammo is in short supply because theory says the F-35 will do tank busting. The Navy runs out of TLAMs early on and discovers that manufacturing cruise missiles takes time. Lots ot it.

And of course some things simply don’t work as expected. Military history buffs will remember the Mark XIV torpedo, the Mark VI exploder of WWII, and the travails of the Tinosa.

Come the war, things turn into a goat rope. FUBAR, SNAFU.

The United States cannot fight a large land war, as for example against Russia, China, or Iran. Such a war would require conscription. The public would not stand for it. America no longer enjoys the sort of patriotic unity that it did at the beginning of the war against Vietnam. It will not accept heavy casualties…

The existing fleet has never been under fire and does not think it ever will be. Most of its ships are thin-skinned, unarmored. One hit by an antiship missile would remove them from the war. This is as true of the Tico-class Aegis ships as of the newer Arleigh Burkes.

An aircraft carrier is a bladder of jet fuel wrapped around high explosives.The implications are considerable. A plunging hypersonic terminally-guided ballistic missile, piercing the flight deck and exploding in the hangar deck, would require a year in the repair yards…

Through Vietnam, America’s wars were fought by tough kids, often from rural backgrounds involving familiarity with guns and with hard physical work. I know as I grew up and went to Marine boot with them...

Today America has a military corrupted by social-justice politics. Recruits are no longer country boys who could chop cordwood. Obesity is common. The Pentagon has lowered physical standards, hidden racial problems, softened training. The officers are afraid of the large numbers of military women who are now in combat positions. One complaint about sexism and there goes the career.

In times of extended peace the officer corps decays. All second-tour officers are politicians, especially above the level of lieutenant colonel. You don’t get promoted by suggesting the the senior ranks are lying for political reasons, as by insisting that the Afghan war is being won...

The military is not ready for a real war now because its focus is always on things down the road. For example, the Navy cannot now defeat hypersonic antiship missiles but will be able to, it thinks, someday, maybe, world without end, with near-magical lasers still in development. These will funnel lots of money to Raytheon or Lockheed Martin or somebody whether they work or not. Which isn’t important since nobody really believes there will be a serious war...

Men of incalculable stupidity and likely sexual inadequacy talk about nuclear war as winnable. Dream on. Reflect: American cities cannot feed themselves. Three days without food shipments and New Yorkers would clear the supermarket shelves. A week and they would kill for cans of tuna fish. Two weeks and they would be eating each other. A very few nuclear bombs on transportation hubs would prevent distribution of food for months. Even fewer cobalt bombs, designed to produce a maximum of lingering radiation, would make the farm belts lethally radioactive for a decade.

“Defense Intellectuals,” usually stupid enough that they ought to live in trees, chatter about escalation dominance and the intimidation factor and airtight missile defense. They are nuts. What they really need is a codpiece and a subscription to Pornhub Premium.

This is why it is a really, really, bad idea to have a psychopathic cockatoo, two loon Christians, and a pathologically aggressive momma’s boy in a position to start a war.

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17 Best images about Peace, Love, Justice on Pinterest ...

 

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Does a popular Oregon Lake contain barrels of Agent Orange? – The Daily Sheeple

Posted by M. C. on June 19, 2019

Agent Orange. The government gift that keeps on giving.

I think most of us know a Vietnam vet that is suffering or dies from AO.

The people of Vietnam certainly do.

https://www.thedailysheeple.com/does-a-popular-oregon-lake-contain-barrels-of-agent-orange/

 

JOSEPH, Ore. — Is Agent Orange at the bottom of Wallowa Lake in Eastern Oregon? The Environmental Protection Agency says no.

Last summer, the diving group Blue Mountain Divers were swimming along the lake’s bottom when they came across a barrel with the label for weed killer on it. The group contacted the Department of Environmental Quality, who then turned it over to the EPA due to a lack of funding and resources to remove them.

When divers uncovered the label, which was covered in sediment, they noticed it said “Contains 2-4 D or 2, 4, 5-T Weed Killer,” the two ingredients used to make the Agent Orange herbicide.

Agent Orange was a tactical herbicide manufactured for the military during the Vietnam War. It uses an equal mixture of both 2-4 D and 2, 4, 5-T at a high concentration. The EPA and Oregon’s DEQ notes that the label says “or,” meaning the barrel divers found does not contain both chemicals, if at all.

The two agencies also said Agent Orange was never produced commercially.

In total, Blue Mountain Divers located 37 barrels. It’s unknown what’s inside any of the barrels, including the one with the weed killer label. That is making it difficult to remove them.

“We still don’t have enough information to know what condition they’re in. Whether they contain herbicides or not, it’s a fairly challenging thing to do at depth in cold water,” said EPA spokesman Bill Dunbar. “They have to be very, very careful in the off chance they do have herbicide and we have to be very careful as well. It’s not a matter of just wrapping a chain around them and yanking them up. You have to be very cautious.”

A contractor working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency started exploring the alpine lake’s bottom with side-scan sonar to learn more about what’s actually there. So far they have located 18 barrels near the marina…

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Why Would the US – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 25, 2019

Just consider the “War on Terror.” There is no stated enemy, there can be no surrender, and the CIA and other government and military sources can insure continuous conflict by manufacturing terrorists at will.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/03/gary-d-barnett/why-would-the-u-s-win-any-war/

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 “War serves only the warlords and the graveyards!” 
― Mehmet Murat ildan

The term “unwinnable war” is a strange and ambiguous notion used most often to describe fake reasoning for not winning a war. This seems absurd to me, and at the same time insincere. Lately, I have heard this term used often in personal correspondence sent to me, and in the published writings of others concerning past wars. Mainly ex-soldiers, politicians, and other purveyors of war use this term in order to shield themselves from the shame of losing. But was the real intent ever to win?

After the fact, the unwinnable war theory always seems to surface, as if war should not be fought if it is unwinnable.  Does this mean that war is just a game? Do the U.S. and its military enter each aggression with the question, is this winnable? If so, is this the criteria considered, or is the opposite effect actually pursued?

No war should ever be fought except for actual self-defense of people and country due to an aggressive invasion. In addition, once any threat is squelched, all force should immediately cease. This proper defense does not allow for foreign invasion by the U.S., but foreign invasion has been the mainstay of American policy throughout its history. This aggression has happened without any initial attack against the U.S. mainland ever taking place. In other words, U.S. wars in most of history have never been justified.

When talking about past, present, or future wars, it is imperative to understand that being “unwinnable” or “winnable” is never a valid reason to justify going to war. To say that the country should not be in a war because it is unwinnable is to imply that if it were winnable, war would be warranted. How difficult is it to see the insanity of this thinking?

Much of the correspondence I have received and articles I have read lately that mention war being unwinnable, have been concerning Vietnam. This is a perfect case in point. There was never any reason for the U.S. to be involved in the Vietnam War. There was never any attack against this country or its military by anyone in that country. The U.S. had committed acts of war against Vietnam for years, so it should have been obvious even when the war started that all reasons for that war were political in nature, and never for national defense.

But then, no wars, with the exceptions of the Revolutionary War and the South’s War for Independence, have ever been fought in order to protect this nation from tyranny or aggression. In other words, every U.S. war including Lincoln’s war on his own country and people was unnecessary and unwarranted…

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Practical Vietnam, Imploding America – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on December 30, 2017

Why is Americans putting America first a political correctness crime?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/12/linh-dinh/practical-vietnam-imploding-america-and-china-as-beacon/

 Way overpopulated, China has been exporting people and importing jobs for decades, while the US did the exact opposite. Chinese immigrants send money home and open new markets for Chinese goods, so it’s great, from China’s perspective, that Chinese are flooding into the Russian Far East, Europe, North America and Africa, although many have decamped from the last for greener pastures. No traffic is going in the other direction, mind you, for China has the lowest percentage of immigrants in the entire world.

It has been pointed out that China can accomplish much because it’s not bogged down by bipartisan politics, unlike the US, but the real reason is that the Chinese leadership still has a nation first mentality. They’re protective of Chinese identity and values, and feel, in a Confucian sense, that they can only justify their hold on power by doing what’s best for the Chinese nation. They’re nationalists, in short. Moreover, China doesn’t send its sons to die for a foreign power and/or arms manufacturers, and the Chinese media don’t mock and corrupt ordinary Chinese.

In the US, nationalism is reduced to waving the flag and mindless support for the troops, wherever they’re sent, on whatever pretext. As for the college indoctrinated, nationalism is just a shameful concept. Within such a context, it’s no wonder this nation is deformed, drugged and dying.

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The Best Way to Honor a Vet is With the Truth

Posted by M. C. on November 11, 2017

Because no one seems to care.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-best-way-to-honor-a-vet-is-with-the-truth/

Clinging to myths about Iraq and Vietnam only guarantees more war.

Read the rest of this entry »

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The Ken Burns Vietnam War Documentary Glosses Over Devastating Civilian Toll

Posted by M. C. on September 30, 2017

No one talks about civilian casualties. It is bad for business. War is a business

Burns works with PBS. PBS is one of the warparty’s useful idiots.

https://theintercept.com/2017/09/28/the-ken-burns-vietnam-war-documentary-glosses-over-devastating-civilian-toll/

Like Burns and Novick, I also spent a decade working on a Vietnam War epic, though carried out on a far more modest budget, a book titled “Kill Anything That Moves.” Like Burns and Novick, I spoke with military men and women, Americans and Vietnamese. Like Burns and Novick, I thought I could learn “what happened” from them. It took me years to realize that I was dead wrong. That might be why I find “The Vietnam War” and its seemingly endless parade of soldier and guerrilla talking heads so painful to watch. Read the rest of this entry »

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Obama and Vietnam-What Says Friendship Better Than Arms Sales?

Posted by M. C. on May 24, 2016

The Vietnamese arms sales embargo was just a US and US puppet thing.  Others, notably Russia, could sell all the market could stand.  We can’t have that can we?

This new friend will have to pay the price in being in the front lines against China.  How effective they will be against a fellow communist entity, only time will tell.  The Vietnamese aren’t stupid.It seems to me they could easily play this to theirs and China’s advantage.

Joining NATO, receiving foreign aid or being a friend to the US is not all rainbows and unicorns.  There are usually mandatory arms purchase requirements, accepting a US military presence, allowing CIA stations and directives on making the correct noises in the press and UN.

This deal is not made out of kindness of the heart.

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