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Dialogue of Cultures


November 11, 2001
Questions and Answers, Part II

Arthur (Rome) Burns

QUESTION: Hi Lyn. You've mentioned Arthur Burns a number of times. Last week you referred to some reform of 1954. The main thing I know about the guy is, he was the chief lobbyist for the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, which, of course, planted the roots for the morass they call the Congressional Budget Process. So, I'd like you to elaborate on his role, both, especially what you referred to in the 1950s, and in this whole mess.

Lyn: All right. Arthur Burns—I call him Arthur "Rome Burns," because of his history—became associated with the President Dwight Eisenhower, while Eisenhower was president of Columbia University, and during this period, picked up Burns as a key economic adviser. Burns' influence, as I tracked it, was, in the period 1952-1954, in shaping what became the new law, the Internal Revenue law, and other things. But, as I followed this in the 1950s, especially in terms of marketing, financial marketing of goods, retail goods, that is, automobiles, refrigerators, and so forth and so on, that I saw, and analyzed in detail, during the period 1954-1959, the way in which this Burns design of this and other policies of the Eisenhower Administration, had set into motion a bubble, a retail-finance-sales bubble in 1956-57, which caused the 1957 recession, which was the deepest of the postwar period, to that time; and also set into motion the process, which if continued—I just simply extrapolated, and said, "If this continues in to the 1960s, with the Burns-type policy, then by the second half of the 1960s, we're going to reach numbers which mean a general series of monetary crises in the present Bretton Woods system, which will lead, shortly after that, to a breakdown of the system, or else, a reversion of these policies." And that was Burns.

So, Burns' significance lies in his initiating role, in the 1950s and 1960s, in this. Now, Burns has also, another indicative quality. Burns met a young accountant, who was a bad accountant, in New Jersey. And Burns took this young, dumb accountant, called Milton Friedman, and sent him to Chicago University, under Wesley Mitchell, to become a so-called economist. One of the worst economists ever invented. As a matter of fact, he's not an economist at all; he's just an incompetent accountant gone wild. And Friedman became, then, a key figure, together with the Mont Pelerin Society, in leading this country to hell, under the influence of the Nixon Southern Strategy campaign, which turned this country from one which was successful economically, despite all its problems, from 1945 to 1963, through Kennedy, and turned this economy which had improved the standard of living of the United States, and also Western Europe, and some other places, and turned it, put it on the downslide, from about 1966, 1967 on. And this was, significantly, the influence of the ideas of Arthur Burns, and Friedrich von Hayek, the founder of the Mont Pelerin Society, and of his little American flunkey, his broken-down accountant, poor Milton Friedman, who was really—Milton Friedman was a fascist, and so was Arthur Burns.

Afghanistan: Characteristics of a Religious War

QUESTION: [translated from Spanish] I don't understand the contradiction in Afghanistan that, for ten years we supported people there fighting against the Russians, and now, with the weapons we gave them, they're now fighting in opposition against us.

LAROUCHE: Well, it's obvious, isn't it? The point was that Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was the organizer of the Carter Administration, who actually selected Carter to run for President through his angel, David Rockefeller, who funded the operation, created an operation which was called the Afghanistan War of the 1970s and 1980s. And Brzezinski has recently stated it publicly, which a lot of us knew beforehand.

Now, to understand this process, you have to go beyond Afghanistan, and that war, and look at what has happened in terms of U.S. military policy since the late 1950s on. Allen Dulles, who was the Director of Intelligence for the United States — which is not merely head of the CIA. The Director of Intelligence has a couple of positions. One is general director of intelligence for all intelligence, and the other is as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The Central Intelligence Agency is essentially an adjunct of our State Department functions, essentially. It may have some other functions, but that's it.

Now, under this arrangement, Allen Dulles created in the Department of Defense, a special unit, or special entity, called the Special Warfare section. Out of the office of Special Warfare, out of the office of Quartermaster, they created a conduit — Allen Dulles did — for running a combination of public and private people under dark, under black — in terms of deniable — as military units. We had the case of Ed Lansdale, the colonel from the Southeast Asia-Philippines area, who became the spokesman of this, and from the time of the Kennedy assassination, this began to really take off, under Allen Dulles' influence, Ed Lansdale's influence, others. We had a number of coups.

Now, since that time, the United States, the British, and the Israelis have moved more and more into creating, jointly and separately, large private armies of people who are actually engaged in warfare, but we don't call it warfare, we call it terrorism, we call it guerrilla warfare, we call it all kinds of things.

Now, what happened as a part of this process, under Brzezinski, is, Brzezinski went to an organization associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, in Egypt. It's called Islamic Jihad. A combat organization of certain terrorist-type proclivities, coup capabilities, and things like that; and used that as the nucleus of recruiting an army of professed Muslims, as volunteers, to fight a war, in Afghanistan, against Soviet influence. And to draw the Soviets into Afghanistan, for that war, as a geopolitical operation.

Now, this operation, especially as the 1980s rolled on, and Carter left, and the operation continued, became a characteristic of the world, in which drug-running and weapons-trafficking, including illegal weapons-trafficking, was used as a source of revenue to finance large private armies, organized like mercenaries, to conduct wars, under the direction of full general officers, that is, flag officers, who were in a position of being deniable. That is, you had a general, admirals, and so forth, who were actually running a private mercenary army, but this connection to the private mercenary war is more or less officially denied. And the army's connection to the United States government, or the British government, or the Israeli government, is denied. Most of the Israeli dirty operations in Africa, for example, where they participate in genocide, is done not by the Israeli official agencies, but is done as a special warfare, under private cover, with private funding. Sometimes gold, sometimes diamonds, this sort of thing. The British ran this kind of operation from the get-go, from the 18th Century, when the British East India Company ran large private armies, which people historically think were British armies — they weren't exactly British monarchy armies; they were armies of the British East India Company, which organized private armies, in India and elsewhere, to conduct large warfares, and famine, and so forth.

So, this is the problem we're dealing with.

So, in Afghanistan, you have a large capability, which is largely controlled by agencies associated with the British monarchy — that is, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and so forth — with the United States, and with Israel, who are jointly, and separately, or in parallel, running large-scale private armies on a global scale. Armies which are operating with deniability for their government's involvement, but which are conducting full-scale, or semi-full-scale wars, largely through private funding, by drug-traffickers, and so forth.

The Colombian, for example, FARC, is a private army, a terrorist army, run under this arrangement. And this Grasso thing is a good example, the "Grasso Abrazo," is a good example of this kind of problem.

So, this is what the problem is. It is not a problem of Russians. It's not a problem of Afghansis. It's not a problem of anything; it's a problem of this kind of operation has been going on since the 1950s, late '50s to 1960s. And it's about time we cleaned it up. Therefore, the total shutdown of drug-trafficking operations, the shutdown of a lot of other irregular operations, which are used to fund these private armies for these privately run wars, has got to come to an end.

What happened to the United States on Sept. 11, was exactly that kind of operation. It came home. The idea of using private armies, mercenary armies, with deniable connections to the U.S. government, to run coup d'etat-type of military operations against the U.S. government, so-called terrorist operations, came home on Sept. 11. We have to clean that up. We have to clean it out of the United States, we have to help clean it out of the other countries of the world. We've got to get the world out from under what Bush has called terrorism, which is not just terrorism; it's this use of private armies, or private mercenary hordes, of this type, in this way, as instruments of policy, while governments deny their connection to the institutions that do this.

Bringing Sanity to the World

QUESTION: Hello, from what I've read in the New Federalist and the EIR, it appears that foreign leaders such as Vladimir Putin, and a few others, seem to be the only reasonable people in this whole mess. And, I don't know, from what I've noticed, I've seen the pictures of Putin and Bush, and you know, China, with their funny suits, and all that; and you get the idea that Putin is inspiring, I guess, taking advantage of Bush's impressionability right now [Lyn: laughs], considering that he has to know that what's going on right now is really going to undermine him, his administration, and you know, possibly displace him.

So, I'm thinking: Do other leaders, do you believe, understand that now is probably the best time than any other time we're going to have to probably make a change, to probably lobby this guy, and basically get some input in, and to bring some sanity to the rest of the world?

Lyn: Well, I can not give you a final answer on what I think about Putin, because there are many things I don't know. What I do know that's relevant, is that, as President of Russia, he represents a key figure of a key nation in trying to put together some solutions to some problems. And so far, most of his efforts in international negotiations, including those from the United States, including with Bush, have moved in the direction of making possible the discussion and adoption of measures which could be significant contributions to the solution of the problem.

That is, for example: If you want to bring—the key thing I focus on strategically is, what is the United States, [what] should it be related to in the world. Well, the United States has a relationship with Europe, and Eurasia in general. We're across the Atlantic; we're across the Pacific. So, therefore, it means that we're looking at two ends of Eurasia, from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific Coast. We're going from West to East, rather than East to West. So, in that case, how does it work? Well, on one side, you have East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia. These have different characteristics, but generally, they're the large population centers of the world, with a tremendous appetite for needed technology, to enable their people, especially in the inland regions, the poorer parts of the population, to develop the technology needed to raise their standard of living and productivity. The major sources of such technology, needed by these nations, or that is, they're not helpless; the Chinese actually have some technology, the Indians, and so forth, but they have a shortage. Japan, to some degree; Korea has a significant potential; Russia, and Western Europe—these are the principle sources of positive margins, of potential productive technology, to be exported on long terms, into these areas which need it.

We have also a major financial crisis in Western Europe; Western Europe is bankrupt, in effect, right now. That is, they're not producing enough to pay the bills. They're not selling enough to pay the bills at home. Therefore, they need export markets. Asia, especially South and East Asia, represent markets; and Russia represents a major market for Western Europe, for exports, because Russia has vast resources, which are insufficiently developed, and therefore, these vast resources and their development potential is a great opportunity for technology absorption.

So therefore, Russia is in a key position in the center of Eurasia, between Western Europe and East and South Asia, in a key pivotal position for organizing a new kind of trade growth, a new kind of economic recovery, in Eurasia itself.

Now, if the United States has its druthers and sense, we wish to be partners with this combination in Eurasia, in expanding world production, and the transfer of technology over the long term, from parts of the world which can produce technology, to those parts which have a deficit in their ability to generate the technology they need. That's the policy. So, under these conditions, as along as Russia has its act together as a government, Russia is in a unique position to offer to Western Europe, the United States and other nations, the kind of middle-man key position to bring all these forces together for a general economic recovery, and hope for a more peaceful and durable relation among states on this planet.

So, the opportunities of Russia, as typified by the Putin operation, are tremendous. How well Putin will serve that, I don't know. Many things he's done, which I think are good: He's a very sharp, very smart statesman, probably the smartest stateman in a major government, Europe, or the Americas, today. He's a very smart guy, and he makes some very shrewd moves. He might be able to pull it off. I think that our concern should be—from the standpoint of the United States—is to work together with our Western European friends, and with Russia, to probe the possibilities of the kind of cooperation we need, especially for dealing with the economic crisis, for alternatives to the present crisis. If we can reach agreements of that type, those agreements on economic alternatives can become the basis for political measures to bring some of the other problems of the planet under control.

The Principle of the 'Common Good'

QUESTION: Mr. LaRouche, I've been listening to what you've been saying and everything. I do have a couple of questions, but I'll try to be as brief as possible.

First of all, you told us about the economic collapse that was going to happen. Now everybody that knows anything about what our economy is like, and what's going on, knows that our money more or less is worthless. So, the economic collapse is coming; it's just a question of time of when it's going to happen. Another thing is the fact that you referred to this soldier-for-hire thing that was going on back in the 1950s, that basically we call terrorism today. Would you say that these soldiers-for-hire people were basically something that was set into motion by the Western powers, not just the United States alone, but basically was something that they set into motion, it got out of control, and beyond their control, and, more or less, as a famous person said, "the chickens have come home to roost," so to speak? That's basically what we're experiencing, that happened in the 1980s, starting in the late 1970s, through the 1980s, and into the 90s, and into today.

LAROUCHE: Well, what happened is, you had two phases.

Q: Hold on, please. Another question here. Okay, also another thing too you were talking about, the world, as far as everybody wanting a little piece of the pie, so to speak. The thing is, though, is the fact, from what I understand of it, we offered a copy of our Constitution to the United Nations, to incorporate to other nations, but the UN rejected it, along with the World Bank. That basically tells me something right there: that the United Nations and the World Bank are not interested in establishing nations where people have individual rights, and individual freedoms, based on individual rights.

And another thing I'd like to add to that, is the fact that, since I'm also a gun collector and gun owner, okay? And the big thing that I get, is the fact that how the liberal wing of the Democratic Party has this big tirade on gun control: this is what we need to do to save our children in schools; this is what we need to do to do this; by disarming. But basically, when it comes right down to it, if you look at history, Germany, Italy, and nations prior to that, to those times, prior to World War II, World War I, the Medieval Ages, and everything else like, they've all tried arms control. Arms control was done to do one thing, and that was to disarm people to defend themselves, so someone else could move in and take control. And that's basically the way I look at it. I'm not necessarily someone who likes to run around with a rifle over my shoulder, walking down the street, but you get the idea.

There are a lot of problems in this country. My question, basically, if you're going to restore economic prosperity — because you say that's the basis for what's going on — how are you going to restore the value of money, if money is virtually worthless, because in the beginning, our money was based in gold and silver. Now it's not based on anything but the value of what the government sets it aside to be.

LAROUCHE: Okay, the economic collapse is coming on, it's on now. And this is in terms of the timescale of any relevance. It's happening now. It's what we should respond to now, not to wait to so-called Day X when it becomes official. It's pretty clear right now, but anyone who's looking at the picture, and not being disuaded by this deceptive kind of reporting, which is a shell-game kind of reporting, which is going on with the media.

Now, the solider-for-hire thing was actually set up as a by-product of two conditions. First of all, the introduction of nuclear warfare, which meant that governments were hesitant to resort to regular warfare, and thus the pretext was, to use irregular warfare, which would be deniable by governments — which actually sponsored it — but could be used against the adversary, in this case the Soviet adversary. And what happened: we did it, and the Soviets did it. So this set up the general climate.

But the operation was actually a traditional colonial-style operation, which had been run by the British Empire in the 18th century, through the British East India Company, where private armies, and armies for hire, mercenaries for hire, were the standard repertoire of most of the wars which were run. Regular warfare, as that fought in Europe, between regular armies, particularly from the time following the French Revolution, where regular armies really became an institution, that sort of came to an end, with the end of World War II, and the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Now, this became more and more funny, funny, because there were utopian models for setting up dictatorships, by various kinds of operations, including special operations, whose purpose was to create dictatorships. And the people who are running these special-warfare operations, were thinking in terms of creating dictatorships in other countries, and ultimately, including in the United States itself, and that's, of course, where this gun-control thing came in. It was very easy by mass brainwashing, to terrify people into believing that somehow eliminating guns is going to make things secure. It's very difficult to imagine that a nation could be secure, when a government cannot trust its own people. You don't have any security then. What you depend upon is a police state to provide security. And that's where the mistake is.

The Constitution — the problem here is a very simple one. The United States was set up to be a true republic, as I've defined a republic, but there are powerful influences, such as those of the British monarchy, and the alliance which exists between the British financier system, the Wall St. financier system, and some of the Confederacy types who are tied to Wall St. these days, like the Nixon types. These people are against a Constitution, because the idea of a Constitution, our Constitution, is based on a principle which is underlined in the preamble of the Federal Constitution, and is implicitly stated in other words, in the opening three paragraphs of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. All true republics are based on that principle, which is called the "common good," or the "general welfare." That is, government has no legitimacy except insofar as it is officially committed to promote the general welfare of the living, and their posterity.

And this applies to international relations, that the purpose of government in international relations among sane nations, is to promote the general welfare of all of them, to mutual advantage. That's the way things should work.

But the problem was, is that, in the elimination of Roosevelt by his death, that the crowd that took over with Truman, and the crowd in London, which are tied to the New York crowd, banking—it's really not banking, it's financial interest and large law firms associated with them, in Boston and New York City, and Washington, DC., Chicago, and so forth — and that's where the problem really lies. And this is the power bloc. This is the financier-oligarchical power bloc.

So the oligarchical power bloc does not want, as you see from Antonin Scalia, the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, who preaches shareholder value. Shareholder value is pure oligarchy. It is against the idea of the rights of the individual, against the idea of inherent rights of the individual, and against the principle of the general welfare. Al Gore was against the general welfare. The Bush campaign was against the general welfare. So these forces, which came into a dominant position after Roosevelt's death, reversed the earlier attempts to re-establish the principle of the general welfare, as under Roosevelt, and went back to this idea of avoiding the general welfare. Therefore, they didn't want the U.S. Constitution. They wanted what you see in other Constitutions generally.

Most Constitutions are not real constitutions. They're called basic law. It is a list of do's and don'ts, which governments adopt, and call it general law, or the basic law, in addition to laws which are enacted by legislatures. And this general law is not based on a coherent principle.

Look at a typical constitution abroad. Take the elegant simplicity of the U.S. Federal Constitution. Its simplicity is its genius. It states principles, defines institutions, and mechanisms by which we govern ourselves. Look at the constitutions of so-called other countries, the so-called basic laws. It's a long list of do's and don'ts, mutually self-contradictory claims and statements, and assertions, and so forth, but the oligarchy likes that. It gives them leg room and wiggle room in which to play. And that's the problem.

The problem is not with the United Nations, although that in itself is a problematic institution by virtue of its history. The problem is that we, in the United States, we have the power, if we know it, not the power to impose our will on the world, but the power to bring the world together in cooperative ventures, and to exert a tremendous moral and practical influence on the way nations meeting together, work out their problems. That's the way you need to approach it.

A Question of Identity

QUESTION: I have a QUESTION: I was really struck by the way you began this presentation, in terms of this issue of the funds that we need to sustain our efforts, and you said several things which hit me very hard. You said, income is not made at the point of production, and you talked about the fact that the source by which we get income to do our job is not based on the success of any local sales effort, and so forth and so on. And then you talked about the question of entrepreneurial leadership, and I was really struck by it, because I was looking around the room, and, you know, you're not addressing the sales force; you're addressing all kinds of people, young students, and all kinds of people that are here [Lyn: Ummhmm].

So, I was thinking about why you were describing this, and it really hit me—which is the biggest problem we have, is this idea that people hear the words, but don't believe that the ideas of one human being, in this case, you, [are] what changed the course of history. And I was thinking about some of the African-American students asking about this question about the lesser evil. As you know, I've been involved in a big battle with a lot of the African-American state legislators, and the key issue is, number one, whether people understand that the ideas of a single person—you mention this in the "God Has Blessed Me" paper [Lyn: Ummhmm]—where you talk about the fact that people think that the Establishment is all-powerful, and that they have the biggest problem understanding that it's the idea of a single human being, in history—you said it: "acting as a man of providence"—that determined the course of history. And, if people understand that, then they understand why [if] this organization doesn't exist, the human race doesn't exist [Lyn: Ummhmm].

And just, the last thing I was going to say about that: I was looking around the room and thinking about when I first joined this organization: I was about the same age as many of the students here [Lyn: laughs]. And I was thinking about the very first time I ever heard you speak; you were giving a class on "Beyond Psychoanalysis" in Philadelphia, and this was the same idea you were getting across, in terms of people facing what their mortal life is all about, and if they understand who they are from that standpoint, that's the exact opposite of this idea of, you know, being a slave, asking for favors, as opposed to seeing yourself as somebody whose ideas change the course of human history [Lyn: Ummhmm]. And, I just wanted you remark on that, because I think that's the single biggest—in other words—the problem that we have on raising the funds (which, of course, I'm prohibited from doing [Lyn: I know!]—as someone who shares being a "person of convictions" with you), but it really gets at the heart of the matter, because it's not a separate issue; it is the fundamental issue of why people have such a hard time understanding both how one person's ideas are determining history, and then, how they themselves—that that's what their whole mortal life is about.

I remember the first time I heard you speak, and you told the story about the guy who sat up at his own funeral, and said, "What was that all about?" And that was the first time in my life that anybody had actually said to me, or to anybody: What is your life about? And, that's when I made the decision that this was what my life was going to be about.

But anyway, that's what I wanted you to address.

LAROUCHE: The point is, on the implicit question, as a whole is, look, you've got people who are between 18 and 25 years of age. Now, as I've said many times, my observation, from experience, and I think it's good experience, in terms of its authority, as experience, is that I've seen people, when they've reached the age of about 27, who go braindead, including people who are brilliant students in their field, in universities and so forth. What happens is, they get to the point, [where] they'll say: "Now I'm perfected. I have the sheepskin. I have the career. And now, I'm going to coast, and the important thing is to get the career, to get that job, to get that security, and I'm not going to go out there and fight about ideas any more, to change myself. I'm already perfected. I'm going to go out and make myself the success I know I already am."

Now, people who are a little bit younger have questions, and not so much arrogance, about those kinds of things. They haven't gone braindead yet. My concern is always to get across to people who are younger, a sense of what that means: the ability to think, which, in our society, most people reaching the age of 27, lose. That is, they lose the ability to think creatively. Any ideas they have, they usually developed before they were 25 or 27. But after that, they actually do not make any important discoveries, or [they] make them in a routine way, not in a general way. My concern is that people in that younger age group should not lose the opportunity to do things for themselves, to develop themselves in ways which will prevent them from having to go braindead, the way most people over 27 have done in U.S. society, that is, university graduates, in recent generations.

Now, the key thing here is a moral question, as well as practical

QUESTION: To be a student is not merely to have the time as a student, the opportunities of a student, but it's to have the sense of identity of being a student. To be that kind of student, as a quasi-adult, or adult, means that you are in a period in your life where the important thing for you should be the freedom to make important discoveries of a more-or-less fundamental significance. In other words, you've gone through a lot things in years before, a lot of ideas; a lot of discoveries have been made in the course of education, and you got to a time, you entered a university, past the age of freshman or sophomore, and you really have to take yourself seriously, when it comes to you, yourself, and ideas. So, the practical question is, that this is the time to develop the habits of developing ideas. And to reject the idea of accepting something on faith because it's taught at the blackboard, or because it's in a textbook. Or because you can pass an examination if you write it on a multiple-choice examination, or something of that sort. Or, if you can recite the right words in a recitation, you might impress somebody and get a better mark in the course.

But instead, to say: "I don't care what this teacher says, I want to know the truth. And therefore, in that case, you've tried to reexperience the act of discovery of every important principle which you've heard of. And you have to reexperience the original act of discovery in yourself. So now, you know that discovery because you have experienced the act of discovery. That's one thing. That's the formal part.

But then, there's the moral part. If you have lived that kind of life, in education, if you know intimately, from the inside, the minds of many important people who are long-since dead—you know the inside of their minds because you have reexperienced the act of discovery, which occurred in their mind, maybe a century, maybe two centuries, maybe a couple-thousand years ago. You have a relationship, a personal relationship to that person, even though that person is dead, so that what happened in their mind, is living inside your mind, as a living person today. When you look to the future, you see yourself as transmitting something to the future, of people who are not yet born, from you, or by aid of what you do. And you have a sense of yourself as being, not some person who's born and dies, a mortal life, but a person who has a moral connection, and a practical one, to people from thousands of years before, and hopefully, thousands of years to come. And when you're in this age, say between 17-18 and 25, is the time, in my experience, when people are most capable, if they have that kind of character, most capable of assimilating both the practical view of that type, and also its moral implications.

Because what are you doing? You're out there dealing with the people. What do you say to the people? You look at the people's faces, and they're thinking about: "my community," "my chances next week," "this, in the short term," "what happened to me yesterday." They're not thinking about themselves as a person lodged in humanity. They're thinking about themselves as an individual, locked in a special situation, in a narrow timeframe, in a narrow geographic position. And they say: "Help me solve this problem." But, that problem sometimes can not be solved. Sometimes, something is happening outside that georgraphic area, that timescale, which is moving in to crush them. And they feel helpless, because this thing that's moving in to crush them is outside their georgraphic perspective, their timescale perspective of what is immediately practical.

What we need are people who are not locked in that way, who are not limited in their self-conception to a narrow timescale, to a narrow geographic scale, but who can think of themselves as that personal relationship to great minds, from thousands and hundreds of years earlier, and think ahead to what we are going to do today, which will benefit people who have yet to be born, generations ahead. That sense of identity is the fighting ability, the moral fighting ability, and the practical fighting ability to deal with the kind of problems that people have to deal with today, if they're going to organize.

to Part I of Questions and Answers
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