Barack Obama’s Syrian Distraction

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Who would ever have thought that examination of the continuing dire economic struggles distressing most Americans would completely disappear from the headlines and from public discussion?  Who would have believed that America’s stature in the world would be shaken over a failed state like Syria?   But here we are.  Americans are scrambling for part-time jobs, while listening to dictators insulting the resident of their most powerful office – the office they revere above all others.

Egos in Conflict

Egos in Conflict

The Oval Office has been imbued with almost magisterial spirit by a Nation founded on revolutionary determination.  The Presidency has since Washington been expected to personify the resolution, character and tenacity of those who first recoiled against the unreasonable arrogance of royalty.  That inspiration, which America breathed into the Oval Office since its creation 224 years ago, has lifted many common men who sought and accepted the responsibilities of the office to become greater than they were.

Whoever it elects to its Oval Office, America looks for the individual to fill that room fully.  It has every right to expect that person to ‘rise to the occasion,’  and it wants to feel that in that four or eight year undertaking, the President will reflect America’s own dreams, aspirations, resolution, forthrightness, and honor.  America wants its President to reflect its greatness.  Today, in a time of economic distress, Americans more than ever need a President who can provide the prospect of diminishing anguish.

No one expects a President to have all the answers, but it is reasonable to expect a President to attempt leading positively, surrounded by the best minds America has to offer for input on strategic thinking, analysis, design and implementation.

After five years of an Obama Presidency slamming business and industry, and littered with scandals ranging from IRS targeting conservatives, to Benghazi lies, to Solyndra, and to the NSA, America is presented with a deliberate provocation of the international community and an insane debate on WAR.

What WAR?  Obama’s WAR.  The Western MSM is misrepresenting the most important question:  Who will Obama’s ego be fighting?  We’ve heard it’s just a “shot across the bow” of Assad.  Let’s be clear, this is not a WAR about abuse of internationally prevailing modes of conduct on the use of poisonous chemical gas, although such provides poignant carriage, lifting emotions enough to confuse common sense. This is not about indignation on the death of an estimated 100,000 dead Syrians.  It can’t be.  Many times that number have died at the hands of Iranian leaders, Chinese leaders, and sundry African war lords without consequence. This is not really about Iran and Israel.

The WAR noise is about ego and vexation, with a dose of revenge to be inflicted on a seemingly weak adversary (Assad) on the part of a slighted personality who made serious missteps in front of the world, Barack Obama.  Not a slighted Office of The President, but a slighted individual, Barack Obama.

Other scandals grown from this Administration’s mismanagement and ineptitude, have cost lives, . . . Benghazi and the ATF ‘Fast and Furious,’ to name two.  Syria’s civil war has been used as a personal platform to rebuild the Obama Administration’s disintegrating credibility, erase the long list of scandals from public consciousness, assuage an ego in dire need of approval, and provide Obama with a lasting legacy on the world stage.  Whatever the wishful thinking, missiles fired into Syria will provide none of these.

Barack Obama going to WAR  with “My military” will inevitably ignite widescale slaughter across the Middle East.

At some point, Barack Obama became convinced that he could flex some military might.  After all, spiking the ball immediately after the hit on Bin Laden had been so well received by the devoted.  Even many conservatives had approved. Had it not been a glorious hour? Too many secrets were blurted out, endangering certain members of “His military,” but what marvelous triumph that operation had been.  And all the media had cheered.

Knowledge, capacity for strategic thinking based on engaged practical understanding, analysis based on input from depth of counsel equipped with independent, even contrarian minds,  experience,  and propensity to be decisive, are required when that so-called 3:00am phone call comes in.  The WAR  discourse which the world is now enbroiled in, did not get launched by a  3:00am phone call.  It comes from the imagination of Barack Obama.  The man who actually said this past week while in a foreign country, “my credibility isn’t on the line. . . . . America’s credibility is on the line” lacks all of those competencies.

Libya presented no long term calamitous consequences because it presented no significant import to foreign unfriendly Nations.  Egypt offered even less of material consequence to serious foreign rivals. Both Libya and Egypt also offered little of strategic substance to our foes.

Syria (Assad), presents a completely different strategic creature to two very powerful adversaries, Russia and Iran, or more accurately, Vladimir Putin and Ali Khamenei.  Putin has been buoyed by the stratospheric prices which oil and gas have enjoyed in recent years. Assad has been a useful customer of Putin arms, and provides Putin with a growing naval presence on the Mediteranean, Tardus, which is his only foreign military base.  Putin also has long term plans for Syria’s geography. He has a cozy relationship with Khamenei who needs to sell his oil and gas, particularly his gas in the vast South Pars gas field. Putin wants his Gasprom to build the pipeline through Syria which will quench the gas thirst of energy-consuming countries, particularly those of the EU.  Assad provides Putin and Khamenei an agreeable conduit for gas, as well as a pathway for arms and ammunition with which Iran can continue to attack Israel and kill its citizens.  For icing on his energy cake, Putin has his eye on the undeveloped offshore gas fields which can be accessed from Syria’s Alawite region on the shores of the Mediteranean.

An attack on Assad, is a provocation which threatens Putin and Khamenei at home, and in their pocket books.  Putin may not care if Syria remains whole, as long as enough of it remains under his control, and enables him to fulfill his ‘energy’ dollar objectives.

And Israel?  It would applaud the disintegration of Syria by anyone and by any means. Who could blame it?  Its priority is a removal of Assad and his replacement with someone less antipathetic to Israel in its conflict with Iran.  Israel may not be confident that it can control whoever the ‘rebel leader’ might be who will rise to power if Assad is removed, but what it is certain of, is that it cannot ‘deal’ with Assad.  It is looking for a new Syrian leader, and does not subscribe to “better the enemy you know.”  However, Israel expects a severing of relations between Syria and Iran, should a new leader be installed. That can only occur with force since Khamenei is not about to let Israel and the United States gain an upper hand in Syria.

Putin may be considered coarse, but he is a strategic thinker.  He took total control of Russia’s vast disjointed socioeconomic and political landscape through a thorough, effective, forceful, sometimes ruthless, campaign.  He now rules that nation with a firm hand. In order to maintain his ‘strongman’ image at home, Putin can hardly allow loss of Syria from his sphere of influence.  He also knows that for different reasons, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar want to weaken Syria’s relationship with Iran.

Obama & Putin

Putin has not forgotten his loss of Gaddafi’s billions in contracts when he failed to prevent the obliteration of the Libyan regime, from his seat on the UN’s Security Council.  How could this Administration not have fully grasped that a blow on Syria would be nowhere near as much a slam on Khamenei, as it would be a blast to Putin, to his ego, and to his personal pocket-book.  How could it not envisage that Putin would not stand down?  Could NOT stand down?

Putin also knows that Obama made such a mistake on Syria, that he purposely tweaked Obama’s ego with a reference to his being a “Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.”   Putin is the man in charge of Syria and he has declared himself its protector. He is the only one with whom a deal can be negotiated.  Syria, being decimated by a conflagration of disparate armed insurgents, will end up not only broken psychologically, but will end up divided into zones of ‘influence.’

Obama has successfully blustered American taxpayers for five years, but he isn’t so effective at deceiving, or negotiating with Putin or Khamenei.

Obama’s bluff has been called.  Barack Obama must stand down unless he wants to militarily engage Putin, militarily engage Khamenei, find the overnight blockage of the Suez Canal and the Strait of Hormuz, and watch the price of oil rise sharply, further burdening America with higher costs of living.  Obama should not seek more excuses for his “shots across Assad’s bow” to indulge his own image. He must back off on the fearmongering and warmongering.

As Europe continues to teeter on the edge of an unprecedented debt abyss, and the U.S. cannot find a foothold on the path to recovery,  American taxpayers cannot afford, and will not afford, Barack Obama’s self-satisfaction through military action against Syria.  Barack Obama has not risen to the occasion of the Presidency.

The Oval Office will survive his insecurities and maladroit management of all things Presidential, but Obama’s image may not recover from his Syrian diversion.

A constituent of the vast baby boomer generation with a career which has been fortunate to know the ponderous corporate worlds, as well as the intimately pressurized, and invigorating entrepreneurial domains of high tech and venture capital, I have harvested my share of mistakes meandering through corridors of enterprise from Silicon Valley, to London and endless, colourful, sometimes praetorian points in between. The voyage has provided an abundance of fodder for a pen yielding to an inquisitive keyboard, a foraging mind, and a passionate spirit. Whether political or business or social or economic or personal, is it not all political? It is a privilege to write, and an even greater privilege to be read by anyone, and sometimes with the wind at my back the writing may occasionally be legible. I do not write to invite scorn, nor to invite respect, but if I get really lucky the writing can stimulate thinking. I also write for the very selfish purpose of animating my own processes, and engaging the best of what life offers. Above all, whether biting fire or swatting shadows, I am grateful to be gifted the freedom to write and publish whatever flows down to the keyboard. To all those who enabled this freedom, and to all those standing guard to preserve it, I am indebted.

32 Responses to “Barack Obama’s Syrian Distraction”

  1. 2

    Nan G

    I often shift between two opinions on Obama.
    Is he just stupid and yet running his mouth anyway, OR, is he lying, again.
    Obama’s supporters can see nothing wrong with him.
    Yet, do they also see a petty man who has ruined (or tried to ruin) the political futures of two of his own party’s top leaders, Hillary and Kerry.
    Obama had Hillary self-destruct when she spoke for him about Benghazi.
    How can she EVER rehabilitate herself so as to be a viable candidate?
    Now, Obama is destroying Kerry by having him say all the things he used to oppose about war, things neither Kerry nor Obama can back up with facts.
    We all remember the heyday the press had with Kerry’s famous ”I was for the $27billion before I was against it.”
    Is Obama acting as ”kingmaker,” be clearing the Dem field for someone to be named later?

    Or, is Obama simply using Syria as more distraction?
    News broke today that Obama had an NSA restriction on DELIBERATELY surveilling Americans’ communications in their database in 2011.

    What had not been previously acknowledged is that the court in 2008 imposed an explicit ban — at the government’s request — on those kinds of searches, that officials in 2011 got the court to lift the bar and that the search authority has been used.

    So, it is NOT the same as Bush’s use of the Patriot Act at all!
    That, as well as many other scandals and failures all need to be OFF the front pages.
    Obama doesn’t want us delving deeper than the Labor Dept.’s phony headlines on unemployment or the Housing Dept.’s phony headlines about American home ownership.
    And there is so much more.

    Or, is Obama just led around by his ego?
    And now Obama can’t back down.
    Could we be walking into a war just because Obama talked without regard to the consequences of his words?
    He is famous for saying ”they’re just words.”
    Could it be that Obama had no idea all of these other consequences on Hillary, on Kerry, on headlines?

  2. 3


    Focusing on war instead of a trillion dollar debt, Obama’s forte has been to spread chaos not only in America but in the world. Like a fire bug his wake has left North Africa burning and he now supports terrorists the US once fought against.
    The FISAC just released information that the traitor pres, secretly advanced the efforts of the NSA on domestic spying from 5 years to six years.
    Unemployment is huge. In reality it is about 28% -34% of the American population. The debt is trillions and climbing by billions very day. The smoke a mirrors of this pre-war dance has cost this country billions. Want to bet that the budget efforts by the pres. Will try to loosen the belt of sequestration?
    The biggest lie was kerry when he indicated that the Arabs would foot the war bill. How about 75% down and the remaining 25% plus a 125% override in 60 days. An additional cost of 20% of the base cost for every day past 60 days on the ground. Inflation and diminution of the dollar over the next few month will require the Arabs to pay in past time money value.
    The toothless media in this country would have impeached Bush, why aren’t they impeaching this piece of trash who is not even an American citizen…no birth certificate, no SSN, no college transcripts, and what is his true sexual preference-not his wife.

  3. 4


    Latest move in stupidity-“The White House asserted Sunday that a “common-sense test” rather than “irrefutable, beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence” makes the Syrian government responsible for a chemical weapons attack that President Barack Obama says demands a U.S. military response.”
    And you want his idiot to start WWIII? Better yet, you want a bigger idiot like hillary clinton running this country with her whore-dog, cheating, lying, traitor with the selling of computer top-secret satellite and missile development to China as the sos?
    The world press has entitle these military efforts as “obama’s war”. At the G 20 the fool implied “his military” would handle the problem…

  4. 5


    Have you read the latest, the fool now wants 90 days of operation with the open end of “boots on the ground” as determined by the fool himself. What happened to the initial 60 days. OH! That was the pres’ alter ego talking. The fool thinks he is cool asking the Israeli community to support him when in the past he has trashed both the country and the government.
    Wonder when the illiterate, dysfunctional, bipolar types I and II from the acting world will jump into and fan the flames of war.

  5. 6

    James Raider


    @Max Modine: #1
    Thank Max. Deciphering this complex hornet’s nest is an exercise in sniffing the ego and tracing the dollar, while distinguishing the religious footprints clouding the view of the whole.

    Evidently, Obama’s surprisingly prescient clarity on this mess, which no one else seems to fully understand, doesn’t apply to his ability for providing answers on Benghazi.

  6. 7

    James Raider


    @Nan G: #2

    Is he just stupid and yet running his mouth anyway, OR, is he lying, again.

    What you know with certainty, is that he lies. Some of his lies are outrageous, but his adoring MSM never reacts, so he lies some more. He’s lied in every speech he’s given since stepping into the Oval Office. Where can you go with that? Nothing he says can be trusted.

    For example, when he announced that he was closing 20 embassies recently because of terrorist threats, I did not believe him. That was a visceral reaction given past analysis of this person’s assertions. It appeared too much like a forced distraction which made no sense on too many levels.

    If he pointed to his dog and said, “that’s a dog,” I’d call a vet to confirm.

  7. 8

    James Raider


    @MOS-8541: #5

    asking the Israeli community to support him when in the past he has trashed both the country and the government.

    Israel understandably welcomes U.S. missiles hammering Syria, if not taking Assad out entirely.

    Isreal is tired of the Iran/Assad axis of hell raining bombs on its people. If Syria was under Western control, Iran would become much less potent. THAT won’t happen. As I note above, Putin is just playing with Obama, and isn’t about to allow anyone to mess with his income, his ego or his influence.

    Putin pretends to be flexible, pretends to listen, then sucks you into telling him what you’re planning, and then, SURPRISE, . . . . he does what he wants to do, given the information you’re given him. And he does it more effectively.

  8. 9


    I seem to recall that Bill Clinton’s 1998 cruise missile attack on the Zhawar Kili al-Badr training camp that missed Osama bin Laden by several hours was condemned by the right as an effort to distract public attention from their Monica Lewinsky circus.

    The only time the right focuses on foreign policy without making it secondary to their domestic political scheming is when they’re firmly in control of the government, and even then they most often get it wrong.

  9. 10

    James Raider


    @Nan G: #2

    Could we be walking into a war just because Obama talked without regard to the consequences of his words?

    He obviously spends more time on the golf course than he does getting briefed on international affairs or on the state of the U.S. economy.

    Ignorance leaves the ego to ventilate without foundation and the resulting wind can quickly become toxic.

  10. 11


    “The mother of all wars” said Saddam, but he ended up being arrested In a cave under the ground, and was sentenced and hanged. Syria, Iran, and Russia, know all too well that America backs down for no one. They didn’t do it for Japan, nor Hitler, nor Saddam – no one. War isn’t something anyone sane wants, but Putin sees his chance to play the major world leader role and is sending anti-aircraft missiles to Syria. Pandora’s box has already been opened.

  11. 12

    James Raider


    @Augustus: #11

    Syria, Iran, and Russia, know all too well that America backs down for no one.

    Anyone capable of drawing breath knows that America has by far the dominant fire power.

    It requires an intelligent, prescient, and hopefully wise leader to manage and aim this power. Wisdom, for example, would ‘use’ that overpowering strength as threat to force anyone it wishes to the negotiating table. And threat has to actually mean ‘threat.’ Not much wisdom, negotiating, or managerial talent in this W.H.

  12. 13


    @James Raider:
    Agree that “the threat has to actually mean ‘threat’.” So all that’s left to him, if he strikes, must be to hit targets which are meaningless. His only alternative he left himself to not striking is using the military for making futile gestures. That begs the question: can you punish enemies in a meaningless way?

  13. 14



    Has a golfer drawn us into an unavoidable conflict? Does Obama’s ego control our military?

    It was not that long ago, the world let a paper hanger create a world war and before that, the French corporal brought Europe sorrow and death because of his ego. America follows a community organizer like ducklings following their mother to a senseless war because he has been a failure at everything, and now the American military, his personal military, must bail him out of his embarrassment. Is this the price America must pay for electing an incompetent failure?

  14. 15


    The problem Obama has is an opposition that can be counted on to take the other side in any situation he weighs in on, even if that puts them on the side of Vladamir Putin, Bashar al-Assad, and Iran, and leads them to assert that WMDs in the hands of an unstable dictatorship next-door to Israel is none of our business and no big deal. When the credibility of a threat matters, these are the people he has to deal with.

  15. 16



    The problem Obama has is an opposition that can be counted on to take the other side in any situation he weighs in on, even if that puts them on the side of Vladamir Putin, Bashar al-Assad, and Iran,

    Leave it to you, Greggie, to ignore that some of that “opposition”, that you want to accuse of siding with our foes, also includes some Democrats.

    Funny, that “red line” that Obama said he had, and now claims it wasn’t HIS red line, but the red line of the “world” seems to be not worth the rest of the world joining in on his plans to bomb the sh!t out of Syria.
    Why don’t you address the fact that John Fonda Kerry has no problem lying to the American people claiming that the nations supporting the U.S. are in the “double digits”, the same lie that that freakoid, Debbie Wasserman Schultz claimed although she claims she is not at liberty to say WHAT nations. Ummm, seems like all those nations are not willing to step up to the plate and commit money and man power.

    I seem to recall that Bill Clinton’s 1998 cruise missile attack on the Zhawar Kili al-Badr training camp that missed Osama bin Laden by several hours

    Well, I heard that one cruise missile did manage to hit a camel in the ass. But the strike did achieve one thing; it took Americans minds off Blow Job Bill.

  16. 17

    James Raider


    @Augustus: #13

    all that’s left to him, if he strikes, must be to hit targets which are meaningless.

    Part of the insanity in Obama’s strategy is that any missiles sent into Syria, will absolutely have MISS all targets and land in empty fields. There isn’t much doubt that Assad at least HAS chemical weapons, whether he’s used them or not.

    Can you imagine a U.S. missile hitting one of his depots of such weapons, and the winds carrying the cloud to crowded areas? The whole thing is nuts. The military command must be in tears at what it has to adjust and plan for, given the “meaningless targets” objective.

  17. 18

    James Raider


    @Skook: #14

    Is this the price America must pay for electing an incompetent failure?

    This may turn out to only be a disheartening embarrassment, if luck prevails.

    If not it will be One major element on a list of “prices” paid for having elected him, which will include the dubious unaffordable and unimplementable Obamacare.

    If we’re REALLY unlucky, a shitstorm is coming, involving Putin, Khamenei, Saudis, Israel, etc. with no end in sight. And your cost of living? . . . If you don’t own an oil well, you’re screwed.

  18. 19

    Nan G

    It’s going to be really interesting to see what Obama brings to his SIX tv appearances tomorrow.
    Will there be any ”proof?”
    Or just more, ”trust me, you fools!”
    If Obama brings something SUBSTANTIVE he can change a lot of minds.
    But we all KNOW a video exists of the aftermath of some attack.
    We need to be shown WHODUNIT.
    Obama has lost
    Obama has lost OFA.
    Obama has lost the Congressional Black Caucus.
    He will not regain them and add others based on his word alone.
    He’s played basketball most of his life, he knows all the trash talk is meaningless… have to have game.

  19. 20

    James Raider


    @retire05: #16,
    Come on, Retire, don’t you find entertainment, even wonderment and a little fascination, in the invisible power of ideological entrenchment, which enshrines celebrity leadership, and does so without independent common sense? Principles and morals get blurred for the good of the ‘Cause.’

    I remember rationalizations from a Russian acquaintance many years ago who actually excused all and any atrocities committed by Russian leaders against their own people, using the phrase, “For Mother Russia.”

    We may not understand it, but we are amused.

  20. 21

    James Raider


    @Nan G: #19

    Will there be any ”proof?”

    Chances of that occurring? Slim and none. But we’ll hear about how much we should care about the children. He doesn’t, but we should. He wants to go kill some more, but he won’t talk about that. It is doubtful that the MSM will do its job.

    Of course, that’s if he gets off the golf course early enough to read excuses and ‘cover my ass’ renditions provided by the Plouffes.

  21. 22

    Nan G

    @James Raider: I remember rationalizations from a Russian acquaintance many years ago who actually excused all and any atrocities committed by Russian leaders against their own people, using the phrase, “For Mother Russia.”

    I, too, had many friends and acquaintances from the old USSR.
    One told me how refreshing it was (in the 1960’s) to read American papers because they were direct and open.
    The old soviet paper, Pravda, had to be read ”between the lines,” to eek out the truth.

    Today, a story broke that SHOULD be big news.
    Instead is is getting a itty it of coverage.
    Marines retreat on court-martial charges in Taliban urination case
    Read it between the lines……
    How was it that Gen. Amos had a one-on-one meeting with Lt. Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, who went on to become Defense Secretary’s Chuck Hagel’s senior military adviser, to plot the crushing of Capt. Clement?
    It was all based on Hagel’s Lt. Gen Waldhauser, who had been overseeing all urination cases as the convening authority, getting to use private emails between the defendant and his attorneys!
    I wonder how Hagel’s man could have known before seeing those emails that incriminating stuff would be in those privileged emails?
    Hint-hint…..NSA spying.
    Then the lame attempt at a cover-up:
    Gen. Amos, through an aide, later told Gen. Waldhauser he regretted his orders that he get those emails and decided to replace Waldhauser.
    Somebody noticed anyway so, suddenly, the charges were ALL DROPPED!
    The IRS hinted that independent channels had to prove facts obtained through illegal wiretaps.
    Think Obama isn’t going after every commander in our military who he fears for any reason?
    And, without SHARIA, why should a urination charge equal a loss of command anyway?
    Shouldn’t we wait for a conviction?

  22. 23


    This is insanity. Imagine if Putin & Company take out one US missile destroyer in the defense of Syria. What next, escalate or retreat?! There are dozens of scenarios that could lead to a similar fate. Want to strike first? Then do so with conviction, authority and talking full accountability for the aftermath. I see no such resolve .

  23. 24

    James Raider



    Putin, continuing to hold the upper hand in his game-playing with our dear leadership, is pretending to be offering Obama an ‘out.’

    Putin is signalling, no, he’s shouting loudly, “I’m in control. Please listen to what I’m telling you, and please understand me. I have drawn my own Line Of Determination In The Sand around you Mr. President. Before you step out of this circle, think again, and when you do step out of it, be facing West, and go home.”

    . . . . What irony of situation. Gotta love history, but how could an ego have brought us into this mess so radidly?

  24. 25

    James Raider


    @DemoMan: #23

    I see no such resolve .

    Yes, and furthermore, there is no resolve to effectively negotiate with Putin. We could, and should negotiate hard with Putin. He’s the kingpin on Syria, and is critical on Iran.

    “Resolve” would bring him to the table, to extract concessions from him. But somewhere, somehow, you have to start with Competence.

    Is it me, or is Clinton sounding as flaccid and vapid as Obama, in her address from her Liberal Queen’s Podium? That was a stump speech?

  25. 26

    Nan G

    Obama is indeed standing in the middle of the circle Putin has drawn.
    While he stands there the al Qaeda part of the Syrian rebels have given the Christians in one city an ultimatum: convert to Islam or die.
    Albert Brooks may have provided the solution:
    let Russians go in and take out the chemicals then let the Syrians get back to killing one another in the conventional manner.

  26. 27

    James Raider


    @Nan G: #26

    let Russians go in and take out the chemicals

    • Putin isn’t about to send HIS troops in to do so. Putin is playing with Obama and he’s enjoying the limelight on this.
    • No one would trust that result even if it was possible.
    • How does one get the chemicals from the rebels?
    • The militant Islamists, including Al-Qaeda, won’t get out of their way even if UN troops went in. As I noted elsewhere it would be a never ending game of, . . .
    “You go.”
    “No you go first.”
    “I can’t, I’m busy over here. You go in.”
    “Hell no. Those guys are crazy.”
    “So what do you want to do?”
    “We’ll go tomorrow. Maybe.”
    “Sounds good. That’s a plan.”
    “Where’s Barack? We should let him know.”
    “Don’t know, but someone just said they saw him taking off on Air Force One with his golf clubs.”

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