[Politics] - How Likely is War with Iran?

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If you asked me what I'm most concerned about in the world right now, climate change and its associated impacts rank highest. However, in recent times, I've become more and more concerned about Iran.

Now, I'm actually inclined to believe that war won't occur, because what's left to gain by either the US or Iran? On the one hand, the invasion of Iraq was a disaster for everyone involved, the US is still in Afghanistan, and the US is on its way out as a/the superpower. On the other hand, Iran has no reason to ignite a war because if the US really did want to wipe out the country/regime, it could do so. It would no doubt cost millions of lives, most of them innocent, but it could.

On the other hand, reading news that we were fifteen minutes away from an airstrike in regards to the drone being shot down, and that 150 Iranians would have died as a result...yeah. I remember back when the Iraq War was looming, as a teen, hoping that war wouldn't happen, and it did. An illegal war sold on lies, that cost at least 800,000 Iraqi lives (not directly at the hands of the US per se, but that's an estimated count of deaths direct and indirect), paved the way for ISIS, and even now, has the region as a tinder box. So, much as I'd love to say that war with Iran is unlikely, I can't deny that it's becoming a real possibility. And if that happens, I dread to think what'll happen. I can think of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Lybia. I can think of innocent people dying, and I can think of the influx of refugees in a region that's already straining under them.

So, that's just me. Think it's likely, unlikely? Fuck, even desirable (no idea why, but you can try selling me on the idea if you want)?

We've been jonesing for a war with Iran since well before John McCain died. "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran" and all that, it's going to happen.

All the military industrial complex needs to do is schedule a strike when Tucker Carlson isn't on or get a doctored poll showing that people would re-elect Trump if he went through with it.

I dunno. Trump is literally insane. But most of us are actually on to him. Oh, Iran HAPPENED to attack us just when you were saying we should attack them? Uh huh, sure.

The likelihood that the United States will attack Iran (again) is non-zero, and that is much, much too high.

Eh, the US has been war shopping recently, and wanting to attack Iran for ages. Or rather, the GOP, little to do with the US's interests.

Though, Trump likes being unpredictable, could just be another high profile whatever, possibly to distract attention from something else. No way of telling.

The USA won't put the army into the field. It might bomb Iran, and I would suggest the chances of that are low (if non-negligible).

I think this is mostly sabre-rattling for domestic politics in the run up to 2020: no-one ever lost votes by sounding super-tough against an established enemy. That whole "I called off a strike" story from Trump is, I suspect, more about trying to signal restraint and responsibility.

Attacking Iran is problematic because it's likely to be very unpopular, including with a sizeable chunk of Trump's own base that's inclined to non-interference. Iraq is still fresh in people's minds, there's a higher risk of casualties than Syria as Iran is considerably more militarily capable, and it will have zero international support of note outside Israel and Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, it's very likely to hurt oil prices, which will go down badly on the economic front.

I really feel like trump wants to attack them so he can have a nice war to boost his numbers. But, I feel like the public isn't as willing to go with it as they were during the Bush years so they have had to pull back. I don't know, its still somewhat likely, but congress won't approve it and him trying to push a military conflict like that without congressional approval would just be another thing to push democrats to impeach him.

Saudi Arabia wants to attack Iran

And Trump will do anything to please Saudi Arabia so he can do business with them once he leaves office

Considering that Fox and Friends - Trump's apparent favorite source of information - seemed to be trying to goad Trump to enter such a conflict? Certainly higher than I'd like, and for all the wrong reasons.

If anything does happen, God forbid, then I just hope Britain keeps out of it this time. I have no doubt Boris Johnson and many of the other Tories would want to keep their noses firmly in Trump's arse, but while the government doesn't strictly need Parliament's permission to go to war, that has been the precedent set by the past few conflicts and it would be hard to go against that now. The Tories lack of majority could be the saving grace here, with Labour, Lib Dems, SNP and Plaid being reliable anti-war votes. Not sure which way DUP, Change or various independents would swing. Plus Tory rebels, who helped swing the vote against war back in the Syria vote of 2013.

Saudi Arabia and Israel want the war with Iran and Trump is basically their bitch. Republicans want the war as well. They've been trying to wage war with Iran for years. On top of all of that, Trump literally thinks that starting a war will increase his chances of getting reelected. I'd say that the war is very likely. And if it happens it's going to be the greatest blunder in American history.

As much as I'd like to say Australia wouldn't be part of any war in Iran, we have a Liberal Party government now (they're our right/far-right conservatives) who are beholden to at least 2 racist parties that would be quite happy to help kill some brown people, especially if they're muslims.

In the end though, they'll do whatever Rupert Murdoch tells them to.

Good Lord, I really hope we don't end up in any sort of war with Iran. I don't care how terrible Bolton thinks the Mullahs are: It should not be the job of our military to right the wrongs of another sovereign state.

Worgen:
I really feel like trump wants to attack them so he can have a nice war to boost his numbers. But, I feel like the public isn't as willing to go with it as they were during the Bush years so they have had to pull back. I don't know, its still somewhat likely, but congress won't approve it and him trying to push a military conflict like that without congressional approval would just be another thing to push democrats to impeach him.

Not to mention Iraq happened coming off the heels of Afghanistan and 9/11. Iran doesn't have that particular Casus Belli to play off of(at least, not for anyone who isn't neo-con) and a lot of people have fresh memories of how crappy Iraq went(and technically is still going).

Let's also not forget we still don't have a Defense Secretary since Mattis left last year and the Secretary of the Army is basically pulling double duty in that role, starting today. It's not the best time to be starting a war even if it was justified(which it isn't). It certainly won't be smooth, but Trump is an idiot who probably doesn't know the difference between a tank and ship, so that doesn't matter and he thinks it'll show how "tough" he is.

But hey, Trump could probably start a war and tank the economy into recession, and there's still a decent chance he'll win reelection, because.....BUT HILLARYs EMAILS!

As near as I can tell, Trump would rather not go to war, nor would most of his base, but his advisers, notably Bolton and Abrams really like the idea, for whatever reason (Oil? Selling arms? Ideological insanity? Being too close to Israel or Saudi-Arabia? They get off on people dying in large quantities? All of the above?) Problem is that Trump is volatile and being manipulated by said warmongers. So, the US might certainly do it. Iran would not declare war, as they stand to lose far more than the US, but they aren't above provoking- and being provoked into escalation. It's also possible that Israel or Saudi-Arabia will start a war. Whoever starts it, millions might die. Our best hope is that Trump makes a clear decision to fire Bolton and company, and replace them with people who will not outright agitate for war. The guy is so fickle he might, but I won't hold my breath.

Pseudonym:
As near as I can tell, Trump would rather not go to war, nor would most of his base, but his advisers, notably Bolton and Abrams really like the idea, for whatever reason (Oil? Selling arms? Ideological insanity? Being too close to Israel or Saudi-Arabia? They get off on people dying in large quantities? All of the above?) Problem is that Trump is volatile and being manipulated by said warmongers. So, the US might certainly do it. Iran would not declare war, as they stand to lose far more than the US, but they aren't above provoking- and being provoked into escalation. It's also possible that Israel or Saudi-Arabia will start a war. Whoever starts it, millions might die. Our best hope is that Trump makes a clear decision to fire Bolton and company, and replace them with people who will not outright agitate for war. The guy is so fickle he might, but I won't hold my breath.

If he's convinced that Bolton is really running the White House, he might be so inclined. After all, apparently that's what got Bannon kicked out the door(unless I'm misremembering). Then again, he basically lets Hannity and Fox and Friends tell him what to do and that doesn't bother him at all.

CM156:
Good Lord, I really hope we don't end up in any sort of war with Iran. I don't care how terrible Bolton thinks the Mullahs are: It should not be the job of our military to right the wrongs of another sovereign state.

The crazy thing I've been hearing is that Trump has been trying to calm Bolton down on this war. When Trump is the sensible person in the room, there is a problem.

DarthCoercis:
As much as I'd like to say Australia wouldn't be part of any war in Iran, we have a Liberal Party government now (they're our right/far-right conservatives) who are beholden to at least 2 racist parties that would be quite happy to help kill some brown people, especially if they're muslims.

In the end though, they'll do whatever Rupert Murdoch tells them to.

I think Centre Alliance and Lambie are making a coalition of sorts, cutting out people like Hanson and Bernadi.

But yes, Australia is pretty primed to kill some of those evil Muslims.

Obama had a deal with Iran that the IAEA and E.U. declared Iran had not violated. So for Trump as a 'non-interventionist' to end the treaty and surround himself with warmongers seems a questionable approach, one I can only explain by having Iran policy manipulated by the Saudi's for lucrative arm deals and their support in the Gulf. The Revolutionary Guard in Iran ofcourse isn't going to wait till their economy collapses by having their oil shipping lines choked off, so it will try to provoke a retalitory strike to prove it still has relevance.

Trump is really at an impasse here. Conflict with Iran has absolutely zero benefit for the U.S. other than further solidifying Saudi Arabia's(sunni) dominance in the region and having the Iranian support to houthi rebels in Yemen cut off(and hezbollah in Syria for that matter). It's obvious Trump is playing into their cards but it seems not at the price of military intervention.

Trump's usual business tactic to bluf his opponent out of the competition doesn't work in foreign policy. It's a snake pit no one will ever leave unscathed. There are only ''worse and least worst'' options.

trunkage:

CM156:
Good Lord, I really hope we don't end up in any sort of war with Iran. I don't care how terrible Bolton thinks the Mullahs are: It should not be the job of our military to right the wrongs of another sovereign state.

The crazy thing I've been hearing is that Trump has been trying to calm Bolton down on this war. When Trump is the sensible person in the room, there is a problem.

This makes sense - Trump is incompetent. He has perilously little understanding of how government works, no mind for detail, no concentration span. His advisors and appointees like Bolton are effectively free to run rampant over policy. I would strongly suggest Bolton has realised that the gaping void of leadership at the top is a perfect opportunity to advance his own agenda and ideas with minimal interference. As Trump has no organised policy or control over what's going on, he is effectively reacting to his own ministers' decisions. So in a sense, Trump is likely to be reining in Bolton - because Bolton is occasionally going to do something Trump (or another of Trump's cabinet) realises might be kind of a problem.

Worgen:
I really feel like trump wants to attack them so he can have a nice war to boost his numbers. But, I feel like the public isn't as willing to go with it as they were during the Bush years so they have had to pull back. I don't know, its still somewhat likely, but congress won't approve it and him trying to push a military conflict like that without congressional approval would just be another thing to push democrats to impeach him.

I think Trump wants to get out of stupid wars but there is a strong pro-war elite in the USA. The elite is angry about him not falling for the most recent bait.

I also understand that wars can give a President's approval ratings a bump but it is temporary. If it is a stupid endless war it will cost the party in power that brought us into it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unltD5gzd9I&t=

Gorfias:
I think Trump wants to get out of stupid wars but there is a strong pro-war elite in the USA.

Trump doesn't give a shit. Do you think Donald Trump has ever had a meaningful principle or ideological stance on foreign war (except making sure he didn't serve in one)?

Trump has said at times that he wants the USA out of stupid wars. But Trump says anything, as he has done many, many times. We only need the briefest look at his record of action to tell us it's just one of his nonsense brain farts.

I mean, who the hell that wants less involvement in global wars lets John Bolton run loose? In terms of ongoing campaigns, he just handed over military activity to generals to do as they pleased and sat back. Trump could have done a million and one things to get the USA out of foreign wars: he's done absolutely nothing material to get it out of existing ones, whilst stoking up some new tensions and conflict risks.

Agema:

Gorfias:
I think Trump wants to get out of stupid wars but there is a strong pro-war elite in the USA.

Trump doesn't give a shit. Do you think Donald Trump has ever had a meaningful principle or ideological stance on foreign war (except making sure he didn't serve in one)?

Trump has said at times that he wants the USA out of stupid wars. But Trump says anything, as he has done many, many times. We only need the briefest look at his record of action to tell us it's just one of his nonsense brain farts.

I mean, who the hell that wants less involvement in global wars lets John Bolton run loose? In terms of ongoing campaigns, he just handed over military activity to generals to do as they pleased and sat back. Trump could have done a million and one things to get the USA out of foreign wars: he's done absolutely nothing material to get it out of existing ones, whilst stoking up some new tensions and conflict risks.

There are some geopolitical issues as well I think, though none of them involve Iran. No doubt the U.S. tries to sabotage the Russian gas pipeline they plan to build through Iran and which will make the U.S. lose significant extortion methods for embargos if it ever becomes a halfway Russian protectorate(same as Venuela and their heavy investments in oil exploration there). Similarly, the U.S. is losing North-Korea to the Chinese, who seem much more open to disarmament talks now under less strict resolutions. The U.S. is losing influence in two of it's most important regions to both it's political and economic rivals. In that context the Revolutionary Guard in Iran is also less cautious to provoke an attack, as lifting of embargo through U.S. sanctions is futile hope anyway.

Is all this worth a military intervention? Probably not, espescially considering the serious risk of escalation and marginal strategic gain. It would be interesting to know what the Pentagon's stance is. Trump only has one approach and that is bluf poker, something he often gets away with due to high stakes being in his favor. When this approach fails though(as now with Iran) there is no back up plan. Best Trump can do now is reign in a warmonger like Bolton who has been extremely damaging already to both U.S. interests and global security with the disastrous Iraq invasion in 2003. Cut his losses and move on despite damage to reputation. The only alternative is yet another pointless tragedy that will haunt the world many decades to come.

Gorfias:

Worgen:
I really feel like trump wants to attack them so he can have a nice war to boost his numbers. But, I feel like the public isn't as willing to go with it as they were during the Bush years so they have had to pull back. I don't know, its still somewhat likely, but congress won't approve it and him trying to push a military conflict like that without congressional approval would just be another thing to push democrats to impeach him.

I think Trump wants to get out of stupid wars but there is a strong pro-war elite in the USA. The elite is angry about him not falling for the most recent bait.

I also understand that wars can give a President's approval ratings a bump but it is temporary. If it is a stupid endless war it will cost the party in power that brought us into it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unltD5gzd9I&t=

No, he was really hawkish in all his rhetoric during the election. To think he was anti-war at all is ignoring pretty much everything he said.

I seriously doubt hes smart enough to think ahead that much. He is an ego maniac so he does anything to say hes the best and hes been shopping for a war since he got into office. Didn't work out with north Korea so now hes trying Iran.

Dalisclock:
Trump is an idiot who probably doesn't know the difference between a tank and ship, so that doesn't matter and he thinks it'll show how "tough" he is.

But hey, Trump could probably start a war and tank the economy into recession, and there's still a decent chance he'll win reelection, because.....BUT HILLARYs EMAILS!

You mean "ship the economy into recession"? Hey?

More seriously, he's still getting his deplorables to yell "lock her up", have they stopped the "drain the swamp" stuff?

Gorfias:

Worgen:
I really feel like trump wants to attack them so he can have a nice war to boost his numbers. But, I feel like the public isn't as willing to go with it as they were during the Bush years so they have had to pull back. I don't know, its still somewhat likely, but congress won't approve it and him trying to push a military conflict like that without congressional approval would just be another thing to push democrats to impeach him.

I think Trump wants to get out of stupid wars but there is a strong pro-war elite in the USA. The elite is angry about him not falling for the most recent bait.

By 'The Elite' do you mean his advisors, that he himself appointed?

trunkage:
I think Centre Alliance and Lambie are making a coalition of sorts, cutting out people like Hanson and Bernadi.

But yes, Australia is pretty primed to kill some of those evil Muslims.

Do you find that as odd as I do? Lambie is a former Hansonite, and the Centre Alliance have espoused positions closer to that of Anning and Katter than the centre, yet they do in fact seem to be forming a group to block the advances of the totalitarian right (and hopefully the left equivalent).

stroopwafel:

There are some geopolitical issues as well I think, though none of them involve Iran. No doubt the U.S. tries to sabotage the Russian gas pipeline they plan to build through Iran and which will make the U.S. lose significant extortion methods for embargos if it ever becomes a halfway Russian protectorate(same as Venuela and their heavy investments in oil exploration there). Similarly, the U.S. is losing North-Korea to the Chinese, who seem much more open to disarmament talks now under less strict resolutions. The U.S. is losing influence in two of it's most important regions to both it's political and economic rivals. In that context the Revolutionary Guard in Iran is also less cautious to provoke an attack, as lifting of embargo through U.S. sanctions is futile hope anyway.

Is all this worth a military intervention? Probably not, espescially considering the serious risk of escalation and marginal strategic gain. It would be interesting to know what the Pentagon's stance is. Trump only has one approach and that is bluf poker, something he often gets away with due to high stakes being in his favor. When this approach fails though(as now with Iran) there is no back up plan. Best Trump can do now is reign in a warmonger like Bolton who has been extremely damaging already to both U.S. interests and global security with the disastrous Iraq invasion in 2003. Cut his losses and move on despite damage to reputation. The only alternative is yet another pointless tragedy that will haunt the world many decades to come.

Pretty much. The USA is going through the decline and fall of its global supremacy, chiefly to China. "Make America Great Again" is the slogan of trying to fight the inevitability of the rest of the world catching up, the irresistable trend of nations to rise and fall. Unless the USA can find a way to nuke everyone else without reprisal, that's just the way it is. Probably would be tolerable if things were okay at home, but they aren't as the bottom half of the population stagnates its way towards parity with the living standards of middle income countries.

Trump represents a slightly pathetic attempt to throw weight around in the idea that if the USA looks like it can crudely push others around, Americans might think the USA is still the big I am. What it mostly achieves, of course, is to piss everyone off and make them look elsewhere for an ally and ways to get things done. And so the USA hastens the end of its global leadership in the pursuit of pretending it has global leadership.

Agema:
Pretty much. The USA is going through the decline and fall of its global supremacy, chiefly to China. "Make America Great Again" is the slogan of trying to fight the inevitability of the rest of the world catching up, the irresistable trend of nations to rise and fall. Unless the USA can find a way to nuke everyone else without reprisal, that's just the way it is. Probably would be tolerable if things were okay at home, but they aren't as the bottom half of the population stagnates its way towards parity with the living standards of middle income countries.

Disagree somewhat there, the US isn't in a bad shape to dominate world affairs, it's still the most powerful military, economic and cultural power. There's nothing (immediately) inevitable about it's relative decline. If the US got it's act together, it could continue to reign supreme at least for the foreseeable future.

But deciding to be a shambles when not everyone else is quite as keen on that isn't doing them any favours.

Thaluikhain:
Disagree somewhat there, the US isn't in a bad shape to dominate world affairs, it's still the most powerful military, economic and cultural power. There's nothing (immediately) inevitable about it's relative decline. If the US got it's act together, it could continue to reign supreme at least for the foreseeable future.

But deciding to be a shambles when not everyone else is quite as keen on that isn't doing them any favours.

The USA just about has global supremacy, and for decades after it will have global superiority.

But if Iraq demonstrated anything, it's that the USA's reach has significant limits. All across the developing world, China is slowly and steadily making inroads. I was sent to an African country for work recently, and they said China's building their and their neighbours' infrastructure - roads, telecommunications etc. The hooks are sinking in: they know it of course, that there's a price to pay, and China's not doing it for friendship. But the simple fact is that China is willing to serve their needs and wants in ways the USA (/West) won't, and so it grows and supplants the West in power and influence.

Agema:
But if Iraq demonstrated anything, it's that the USA's reach has significant limits. All across the developing world, China is slowly and steadily making inroads. I was sent to an African country for work recently, and they said China's building their and their neighbours' infrastructure - roads, telecommunications etc. The hooks are sinking in: they know it of course, that there's a price to pay, and China's not doing it for friendship. But the simple fact is that China is willing to serve their needs and wants in ways the USA (/West) won't, and so it grows and supplants the West in power and influence.

Certainly, I meant that it's not so much a matter of what they could do, but what they will do. The US seems content to keep its own house in disorder and let China get on with it, but that's a decision, not something forced upon it.

Agema:
But the simple fact is that China is willing to serve their needs and wants in ways the USA (/West) won't, and so it grows and supplants the West in power and influence.

True, but to be honest that is also in no small part thanks to China looking the other way in the face of some severe human rights violations. In opposition to their heavy investments in infrastructure they have even less scrupules to make deals with questionable regimes than the U.S. for mining of Congolese rare metals or Sudanese oil. Chinese mantra is 'stability' no matter the price. That in combination with their high risk/high reward investment policies obviously makes them very succesful in the third world. If U.S. often have lack of ethics China simply has none. Same for Russia, who is a far weaker country economically but is very shrewd in playing it's cards right. I shiver at the thought of a world with absolutely zero democratic oversight.

Thaluikhain:
Certainly, I meant that it's not so much a matter of what they could do, but what they will do. The US seems content to keep its own house in disorder and let China get on with it, but that's a decision, not something forced upon it.

A "decision" makes it sound like a conscious choice. I think it's more flat-out incompetence, under the reign of a buffoon who has little interest or understanding in governance. The USA has surely convinced Europe it's increasingly unreliable, probably also Japan and SK with his ham-fisted NK interventions. Underpinning it is that the State Department still has a huge number of unfilled posts - some very senior - over two years after Trump assumed office. Think how much important diplomatic communication and information will be being lost, and how that's likely to impair the USA'a ability to understand and deal with other countries long-term.

stroopwafel:
True, but to be honest that is also in no small part thanks to China looking the other way in the face of some severe human rights violations.

It's not just the dodgy countries, though. China's heavily involved with ones with much better records like Tanzania or Botswana as well.

You guys were panicking about a war with North Korea, and Venezuela some time ago.

Chill out we aren't going to war, Trump will just forget about it as long as Rouhani meets him, or he gets bored.

Agema:
Trump doesn't give a shit. Do you think Donald Trump has ever had a meaningful principle or ideological stance on foreign war (except making sure he didn't serve in one)?

I don?t think he has a political center. But underneath his surface, I think he is a business Democrat. These wars serve many special interests, but not the USA generally.

Trump has said at times that he wants the USA out of stupid wars. But Trump says anything, as he has done many, many times. We only need the briefest look at his record of action to tell us it's just one of his nonsense brain farts.

I mean, who the hell that wants less involvement in global wars lets John Bolton run loose? In terms of ongoing campaigns, he just handed over military activity to generals to do as they pleased and sat back. Trump could have done a million and one things to get the USA out of foreign wars: he's done absolutely nothing material to get it out of existing ones, whilst stoking up some new tensions and conflict risks.

I saw a clip in which he states he as Bolton to balance out those advisors trying to keep him out of war. Do you think the generals, or Bolton or the military industrial complex (do you think there is one?) were happy when Trump said, ?nah? to bombing Iran over the drone?

Worgen:

No, he was really hawkish in all his rhetoric during the election. To think he was anti-war at all is ignoring pretty much everything he said.

He said he wanted to ?bomb the shit? out of US adversaries and kill their families during the primary. He said that (even though he is describing war crimes!) to differentiate himself from the other dozen or so primary challengers. Everything he said, particularly during the primary, had a goal in mind: to sell himself, period. Going all the way back to the 1980s, Trump was very vocal saying these types of actions were like a bad joke on the USA. And, to be simply self-serving: entering stupid wars ultimately costs. Lyndon Johnson on Viet Nam. George Bush 41 and 43. Why would he want to end up like that?

MrCalavera:

By 'The Elite' do you mean his advisors, that he himself appointed?

As written above, Trump states Bolton is there to balance out the anti-war crowd so that he can hear from 2 sides, then make a decision. Which makes it sound like the Generals have less free reign than one might think.

EDIT: Have y'all seen this, at 1:20 ??!? Yikes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nICgdE_5Z84

Gorfias:

Worgen:

No, he was really hawkish in all his rhetoric during the election. To think he was anti-war at all is ignoring pretty much everything he said.

He said he wanted to ?bomb the shit? out of US adversaries and kill their families during the primary. He said that (even though he is describing war crimes!) to differentiate himself from the other dozen or so primary challengers. Everything he said, particularly during the primary, had a goal in mind: to sell himself, period. Going all the way back to the 1980s, Trump was very vocal saying these types of actions were like a bad joke on the USA. And, to be simply self-serving: entering stupid wars ultimately costs. Lyndon Johnson on Viet Nam. George Bush 41 and 43. Why would he want to end up like that?

I like how you trumples will always say that anything he said in the primaries or during the election was just talk. Seriously, I've been rewatching some old Destiny debates and you guys always handwave anything he said despite all his actions. Never vote for a republican if you want someone who won't be looking for a war or balloon spending, they always do it. They don't want less government spending, they just want it to be spent on the military, which you would think small government people would be against.

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