Iraq

Betrayed on Iraq, a Die-Hard Obama Supporter Is Burning All His 'Yes We Can' Stuff

It's worth remembering that an electoral army of anti-war millennials wanted and expected Obama to withdraw from Iraq completely.

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Obama burning
Adrian Madriz / Youtube

Now that President Obama seems intent upon betraying his paramount campaign promise—to withdraw American military might from Iraq—one tireless defender of the president has finally had enough: He intends to burn every scrap of Obama paraphernalia he owns.

His name is Adrian Madriz, and he happens to be a good friend of mine from college. We were undergraduates at the University of Michigan during the 2008 campaign, and no one was more dedicated to Obama's cause than Adrian. He was the prototypical activist, always clad in a "Change We Can Believe In" T-shirt while wearing a "Yes We Can" campaign button and carrying a voter registration sign-up sheet. When Obama came to speak at U-M for our 2010 graduation ceremony, Adrian was overjoyed.

Over the years, Adrian has defended Obama's vision while disagreeing with some of his policies. But last week, my friend reached his breaking point:

But then you did something last week that I can no longer… contain my cognitive dissonance about. You decided to start a military operation in Iraq.

The issue of Iraq, President Obama, is what made you you. That is why people voted for you in 2008 over Hilary Clinton and John Edwards. That was the reason we knew you had a grasp, a real good hold on foreign policy. It gave us the reason to hope for a better American future.

A few weeks ago, I made a statement on social media that if we went to war with Iraq for a fourth time, the only pictures of you that I would post on my Facebook would be of me burning everything I owned that bore your name.

Because I was blessed to have you speak at my graduation, I will also have to burn things like my graduation cap, because the association that I have with you from that day is so strong.

True to his word, Adrian began with his copy of Obama's official Senate portrait. (It goes up in flames as the Foo Fighters song "My Hero" plays in the background.) The spurned activist plans to burn everything he owns with any connection to Obama over the next 51 days—the deadline to seek a Congressional declaration of war under the War Powers Act.

This anecdote may seem melodramatic to some. I mention it as a reminder that Obama's opposition to the Iraq War was not some inconsequential, easily set-aside campaign promise: It was the defining issue of the 2008 campaign and the Obama candidacy. It was the primary reason that young people flocked to Obama—and why, on the Republican side, they flocked to anti-war libertarian Ron Paul.

For those of us who never really expected Obama to wind the clock back on ceaseless military interventionism, the last six years have been an unfortunate vindication. But it's worth remembering that an electoral army of anti-war millennials wanted and expected Obama to withdraw from Iraq completely. And he burned them.

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  1. As some who never supported Obama I am sad that this man has trouble erecting a throbbing war boner. The country will easily find support for fucking up an enemy like ISIS. The really fucked up part is this means allying with Assad. The whole exercise makes Obama seem like a clueless buffoon.

    1. The really fucked up part is this means allying with Assad.

      Don’t forget Iran

      1. Can’t we just make Assad and Iran kiss and stay the hell out of it?

        Might even save us a few bucks and we won’t lose a war if we don’t join it.

    2. The whole exercise makes Obama seem like a clueless buffoon.

      You misspelled “everything”.

      1. But it’s worth remembering that an electoral army of naive, gullible retards wanted and expected Obama to withdraw from Iraq completely. And he burned them.

        ~~~

        Good.

  2. We were undergraduates at the University of Michigan…

    I stopped taking you seriously right there, Soave.

    O-H…

      1. You see guys, Zenon would have lorded over his sobbing, weeping pal while he torched everything in a beautiful bonfire.

    1. …INI…wait, that’s not right. Anywho, OSU is going to have issues w/out Braxton Miller. And as for Illinois, they’re going to suck. Again. Back on topic, I’m glad that this guy has finally come to the conclusion that BO has let him down, but why did it have to be over Iraq? What about BO’s endless abuse of presidential power and constantly violating the Constitution?

      1. Do you think he likes the constitution?

        1. If he’s as progressive as I think he is, then no.

      2. Barnett has been taking all,of the first team reps,since spring camp. I think the bigger issue is the green offensive line and the back situation, and those were gonna be there regardless of who the QB is.

        I think their chances of getting in the playoff are much lower. I still think they’ll fight with MSU for the conference championship (as the west is weak).

        1. So’s the East.

    2. O-H…

      How’s Braxton Miller’s shoulder? C-L-E-M…

    3. Figures an OSU grad wouldn’t notice the egregious error in the alt-text.

    1. I am so in love with this woman.

    2. What I like about that one is that no candidate in 2016 will offer her what she wants — certainly not Hillary. Which means she and her ilk will be exiting the Democrat voting pool.

      1. Which means she and her ilk will be exiting the Democrat voting pool.

        *holding…breath…*

    3. This video needed one less top.

  3. I’m not sure what a god hold on foreign policy is, but the Lightworker probably has it.

    1. Should have been “good” hold. Sorry for the typo.

      It’s kind of a funny typo, though.

  4. He was the prototypical activist, always clad in a “Change We Can Believe In” T-shirt while wearing a “Yes We Can” campaign button and carrying a voter registration sign-up sheet.

    And his status as a virgin continued unabated.

    1. oh, he got fucked alright.

    2. Are you kidding? Being an Obamaton had to be a great way to get laid back in the day.

      What baffles me is how my “Belly up the Barr ’08” t-shirt failed to achieve the same result.

      1. “Badnarik ’04: You drive, I don’t have a license”

        1. That, right there, is funny.

          1. I’d make a joke about the current Dem. candidate for Ohio governor, but that’d probably be way too obscure.

            1. Please – make it. I’m already sick of the television campaign ads; it’s gotten to the point every time my husband turns on the boob tube, I leave the room. I truly cannot stand it any more.

        2. Seen in a t-shirt store but never on a human:

          “Bend over. I’ll drive.”

          1. With a wood, naturally.

          2. “Is this the way Jayne Mansfield died?”

            1. HA HA Awesome, Jmomis, saw what you did there, a Cramps lyric reference. You made my day.

      2. But if you go carrying pictures of Congressman Barr
        You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow
        Don’t you know know it’s gonna be alright

    3. Masterly unabated?

    4. The term *virgin* does not apply to men. *Non-rapist* is most correct, for this dweeb. Once a man has sex with a woman he becomes a *rapist*. Where have you been?

  5. The issue of Iraq, President Obama, is what made you you. That is why people voted for you in 2008 over Hilary Clinton and John Edwards. That was the reason we knew you had a grasp, a real god hold on foreign policy. It gave us the reason to hope for a better American future.

    “God hold?” Freudian slip?

    1. Sorry, I should have scrolled down all the way before making my 2:01.

    2. KY will provide superior Freudian slip on your godhold.

  6. He intends to burn every scrap of Obama paraphernalia he owns.

    Even the bumper sticker? Is it still attached to the Pius?

    1. Pius? Except for the missing o, is that another Freudian slip?

  7. your friend sounds demented. glad to hear he’s getting better.

    1. I was going to say something similar, but then I remembered I was pretty stupid in college, too, so I’ll cut the youngster some slack.

      Now is the time to lure him to the dark side.

      1. yeah, I was just kidding. I doubt he’s getting better.

    2. He is burning shit out of spite and claiming it is a political protest.

      He is not getting better.

  8. I disagree with the basic premise. Iraw wasnt what made people vore for him, it was that he was black. Okay, there were probably a few of the former.

    1. Iraq wasn’t going to “end” or “change” by electing Obama

      It was a fait d’accompli. all voting for Obama did was say, “I didn’t like it”.

      It had ZERO to do with ‘foreign policy’. The fact that Obama made no changes to either Iraq or Afghanistan (or Guantanamo) between 2008 and 2014 that Bush hadn’t planned in the first place shows this. Obama was re-elected in 2012 *despite* zero actual progress on ‘foreign policy’ or any kind of ‘toning down’ of extrajudicial killing, unilateral drone warfare, or any loosening of Patriot Act restrictions on domestic life.

      He was elected, then re-elected, because it made them FEEL GOOD. Full stop.

  9. You have to get some better friends.

  10. Well “symmbolic gestures of moral self-absolution” do really cleanse the psychological palette

    Removing all the nasty aftertaste of ‘reality’ will at least allow for future unthinking participation in groupthink and mass-projection without any of the discomforts of ‘memory’.

    Is it really only ‘Iraq’ that provoked anyone to finally ‘disown’ their chosen one?

    I think maybe they’re still a few hundred drone-assassinations short of ‘hands clean’. Just to start. Seriously, where was this ‘deep reflection’ in 2012?

    Call me cynical, but i have a pretty low opinion of those who choose to abandon their deluded assumptions only when socially convenient.

    1. Something akin to the USSR’s ruling cadres claiming anti-Stalinist status after Uncle Joe was buried and Khrushchev had already given the secret speech.

      Oh, and fuck this guy — lots of people have lost much more than confidence in a fucking politician during the Obama administration, and he wasn’t all that broken about it while campaigning for him.

      1. I think people of my generation have a different perspective about politicians in general.

        We never thought Clinton was anything other than a scumbag politician with ‘some less-icky policies and more socially tolerant attitude’ (sort of)

        he wasn’t any kind of ‘savior’ from the Cold War. He was just a convenient stepping stone away from it. We were never ‘idealists’ about politics. politicians weren’t people you ‘admired’, they were just ‘a scumbag that’s not as bad as the other other-guy’.

        My point is that if Obama fans were ever going to lose their religion and finally ‘grow up’, they certainly waited until the last minute to choose to do so. Its obviously not really connected to any specific policy (because this Iraq thing seems to me simply a convenient occasion to claim “the last straw”)… its just a social gesture to absolve themselves of any association with a politically uncomfortable reality.

        Pragmatists, they *still* aint.

        i don’t think they’re suddenly going to become ‘policy oriented’ instead of ‘slogan/meme chanters’ anytime soon.

        I mean, its not like the ACA failures have provoked any sudden ‘self-awareness’ by the Prog-brigades that (GASP!) their actual policy ideas *suck hairy balls*

        1. Agreed.

          Hell, even when I was a socialist I can’t remember ‘admiring’ any particular politician, or having any peers who did, either. The Reagan cult was stupid, but it has nothing on Obama.

          Most of the yutes I talk to outside this website don’t even have an SDS level of engagement with politics; they really did think slogans like “hope and change” *were* substance.

          But hey: most libertarian generation ever, amirite?

  11. “But Elizabeth Warren…now *she’s* dreamy! And she won’t betray me like the last one, I just know it!”

    1. “And if she does, I’ll just boil some more rabbits!”

    2. I almost vomited. Damn you.

    3. “This one definitely won’t beat me!”

    4. and my the circle of stupidity be unbroken.

  12. If a politician is your hero, you need to seek professional help, pronto.

  13. The big question is whether your friend and the others out there like him will take this as a general lesson not to trust anything any political candidate promises them.

  14. And he burned them.

    Ah, the sweet naiveness of youth.

    1. He could only wait for the “Money for Memorabilia” program for so long.

    2. I burned all my bar prep material after the test. And peed on the fire. And poured somore white gas on it. And peed on it again.

      Man, I still get happy goosebumps about that night.

  15. Instead of burning everything, he should instead surround himself with Obama stuff…as a constant reminder that all politicians will eventually let their ardent supporters down in one major way or another. Because they’re politicians.

  16. Now is,your buddy still in the Peoples Republic Of Ann Arbor, because if so he would have needed to get a burn permit. And I doubt the city council would grant one if he was burning anything but a GWB effigy or a Kochtopus likeness.

  17. “The issue of Iraq, President Obama, is what made you you.”

    Looking back, it doesn’t seem that way, but at the time, there really wasn’t anyone else–except for Ron Paul–among either the Republicans or Democrats.

    We should remember that Hillary Clinton, then as now, was more of necon than Bush was, in a lot of ways, and she still is. Certainly, if Rand Paul wins the Republican nomination and and Hillary wins the Democratic nomination, it’s going to take a while to catch on–that the Democrat is the war-hawk.

    Anyway, the future was never inevitable in real time–people saw Obama the same way at the Nobel Prize committee when he was first elected. I don’t know why somebody would stand by Obama after he’s tried to solve our healthcare problems by siccing the IRS on the poor, after he defended eviscerating the 4th Amendment by way of the NSA, or after he used $350 billion of working people’s future paychecks to bail out the UAW and Wall Street…

    I guess symbolic issues are really important to some people. I’m glad he finally figured it out. Better late than never, I guess. Unfortunately, Obama has done a tremendous amount of damage to our country in the meantime. The millennials probably won’t live long enough to see all of Obama’s damage undone.

    1. Yeah, if getting out of Iraq was Job #1 for you, and you were naive enough to believe campaign promises, then voting Obama in the general in 2008 is not something I’d condemn you for.

      1. To be faor, he did move to end the Iraq war before he moved to start it again.

        1. To be fair, the withdrawal from Iraq was planned during the Bush administration, and the only reason we completely withdrew and left the country in turmoil was because Joe the Clown failed at negotiating a planned Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government. To be fair, the Obama administration even managed to fuck up the end of the Iraq war.

          1. the only reason we completely withdrew and left the country in turmoil was because Joe the Clown failed at negotiating a planned Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government.

            Oh not this horseshit. A SOFA would have done nothing to change the situation on the ground-abusive and incompetent Iraqi army pisses of locals until they rebel-except get US soldiers killed at massive taxpayer expense. Thank God Iraq said no to a SOFA.

      2. Yeah, the reason Obama won the nomination and not Hillary was because Hillary was so hawkish.

        Her criticism of the Bush Administration was that it wasn’t going far enough.

        Meanwhile, the Democrat’s congressional leadership was rubber stamping anything and everything the Bush Administration wanted to do.

        In that environment, Obama really did give people some hope. And the great thing about forward-looking hope is that it doesn’t have to be based on anything you’re actually done or anything real.

        People just see whatever they want to see.

        1. No, it was because Hillary ran an terrible nomination campaign and people were sick of her. They wanted the dreamy blank-slate outsider. Which is why her 2016 dreams are even more improbable.

          1. Although I dont wish it were so, but why if Mrs Clinton is improbable as a candidate, does she still lead the polls? (But then again polls in 2006 showed her ahead)

            1. Name recognition.

              Do you imagine that it was because of her amazing accomplishments?

              What accomplishments?

              Why do you think she’s leading in the polls?

          2. “No, it was because Hillary ran an terrible nomination campaign and people were sick of her.”

            Baloney.

            The Iraq War was the issue, and Obama was the most credible candidate on the war.

            Hillary was a fucking war-hawk at a time when the party was feeling anti-war.

    1. Speaking of which, I got Michigan tix for the first time in a decade. I WOULD be this year, of course.

      1. Are you doing a trip,to DC to scout out the sites and sounds now that MD is on the schedule? I can’t believe your paper wouldn’t want to do a travel piece on our nations capital.

        1. Been there, done that. Baltimore (for Navy game) ran last week. College Park is coming up — and I’m having some trouble finding a whole lot nice to say. Maybe I’ll just go the “See D.C.!” route. I like most of the Big 10 towns, but College Park isn’t a typical Big 10 town.

          1. I did find a nice campus bar, though. I always do. I’m a professional.

  18. What an idiot.

    Memorabilia of the first (and because of his horrible presidency probably and regrettably the last) black president will be worth real money in a few years.

    Tell your buddy to stop burning money.

  19. what obama’s retarded sycophants will hear: something, something, cross-burning klansman.

    1. There is usually some comment along the lines of “I’ve never seen people so instantly take a disliking to a President before, so I’m forced to conclude that it must be purely based on racism!”

      A good follow-up question would be how old the person making that statement is. Because if they think there wasn’t an instant, visceral hatred of both Bush and Clinton then they obviously weren’t old enough to be paying atention.

  20. Living in Pennsylvania in 2008, I had the honor of being subjected to a month’s worth of radio ads for the Democrat primary – if you recall, it was late in the cycle, Hillary needed a miracle, and there were no other key primaries going on, so all the money and attention were focused on the PA blue line.

    The main Obama ad featured a voiceover about all the wonderful things we could expect from him. “If you want to end a war….” was in there, as was a pitch perfect quote from a young woman with the appropriate tone of reverence mixed with youthful hero worship. “He just has this way of BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER!!!!”

    I always felt that ending the Iraq was was a sideshow to his campaign, which focused on the cult of personality and the idea that he was Not Hillary.

  21. If this guy thinks life is bad now, what is he going to think when Hillary gets the nomination in 2016 and makes George Bush seem like a Reason staff peacenik. Just get back in the car and shut up before Obama has to hit you again.

    1. This is why I’m stocking up on popcorn. Watching the old white ladies and Hollywood royals serve Clinton up to the disillusioned unicorn-lovers will be at least as hilarious as what the Republican primary voters of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina have in store for me.

  22. For those of us who never really expected Obama to wind the clock back on ceaseless military interventionism

    Sooo…

    not Weigel, Cavanagh and Bailey then?

    1. Or anyone else who wasn’t in a coma or had an IQ over room temperature.

      Remember when Joe from Lowell was just convinced that the Democrats were going to cut all funding to the war in Iraq if they took over Congress in 2006? If these people didn’t have smug stupidity, they wouldn’t have anything.

      1. I think a young person, especially one who is completely ignorant of history, is perfectly entitled to make that mistake — once.

        1. In other words, vote for Obama once, shame on him. Vote for Obama twice, you are one dumb motherfucker.

        2. That’s how Vietnam ended. Congress quietly refused to fund it any further.

          That’s probably the only way Iraq will finally end, too. There’s always going to be another crisis. There’s always going to be a power vacuum until someone fills it.

          This ISIS sort of thing happened with Vietnam, too. And how many of the journalists who were damning us for Vietnam were also damning us for doing nothing about the Khmer Rouge or for doing nothing about the Vietnamese “boat people”.?

          Those difficult issues were finally resolved by the locals, once the United States wasn’t there to blame or bear the brunt of the problem anymore.

          I’m sure there’s nothing to learn from that in Iraq. You know, since…since…I dunno.

          Hope and Change, you racists!

          1. The difference is that the North Vietnamese weren’t vowing to kill American citizens in America if given the opportunity.

            1. Are you suggesting that if they had, we should have stayed in Vietnam?

              Leaving Vietnam would have been in our best interests anyway.

              1. Are you suggesting that if they had, we should have stayed in Vietnam?

                Given that America basically won it by that point, maybe. North Vietnam was totally defeatable.

          2. Vietnam was never even close to being as fucked as Iraq. People just think it was because they tuned out after reading the leaked Pentagon Papers (which, like most things that came out of McNamara’s SecDef, was completely wrong in its premises). The Vietcong was a satellite of N Vietnam in the South and not indigenously supported. The N Vietnamese were not even close to being a powerful conventional army. The Vietcong was a spent force after the Tet Offensive, and N Vietnam’s conventional military was not at the caliber of the S Vietnam military we trained. S Vietnam would have done fine had we continued supporting them with arms like we did S Korea and Taiwan. A year and a half after we stopped, N Vietnam took over the South with a conventional, USSR-supported force in a conventional war without the popular support of the S Vietnamese.

            1. Still, sometimes it’s better to lose a battle and win the Cold War.

              When it’s in our best interests to leave, then that’s what we should do–regardless of whether anyone calls that excursion a win or a loss.

              And the North Vietnamese finally put down the Khmer Rouge themselves, didn’t they.

              1. One can still leave and supply arms to the place you left.

          3. *Those difficult issues were finally resolved by the locals, once the United States wasn’t there to blame or bear the brunt of the problem anymore.*

            Those “difficult issues” were “solved” by being killed outright, worked to death in the fields, drowned at sea, or just re-educated in camps.

    2. I’ll admit I actually did expect Obama to improve the state of civil liberties and to not play world cop. But I still wasn’t stupid enough to vote for him.

      1. Oh, and I only expected mild improvements, at best.

      2. I figured he would be pretty much exactly how he is been. If I erred it was underestimating just how craven the Democrats are. I figured they would end up Johnsonizing him. And they never did.

        1. Vietnam seems to be around the corner. Maybe he can golf it out and let Hillary get the Johnsonizing. (Which would be infinitely sweet.)

      3. “I’ll admit I actually did expect Obama to improve the state of civil liberties and to not play world cop.”

        I didn’t expect George W. Bush to invade Iraq, launch a full out assault on our constitutional rights, or expand Medicare to cover prescriptions…

        I thought he was going privatize Social Security! I thought he was going to replace welfare with private charity!

        And so I voted for the bastard.

        Damn.

      4. The best thing one can say about Obama is that he was not McCain.

        This reminds me of playing poker at the Reno Hilton on election night 2008. The NV Dems held their victory party there, and the whole place was full of the youthful exuberance of Hope’n’Change. I resolved to keep my mouth shut and be content to take the suckers’ money, because the hopefulness (and celebratory imbibing) seriously affected their poker play. For a while, their naivete was amusing but eventually, I couldn’t take it any more. I wonder if any of the Obamatons there remember a grumpy old man who told them that nothing meaningful would change: the US would still be in the ME, Afghanistan would escalate, Guantanamo prisoners would not get justice, and the banksters would still get bailed out.

  23. I think that those who did not burst, fully formed, from Murray Rothbard’s forehead are going to stagger along a learning curve, some steeper than others, leading to enlightenment. May your pal be on the path, Robby.

    1. He’s too young and doesn’t know enough history. I’ll wager he still believes government can fix everything if only the right Top. Men. are in charge.

  24. If your friend sees this latest presidential failure as belonging to Obama personally, then he’s missing the point.

    “If only the right people were in charge! I’m ready for Hillary!”

  25. dude, burning that shit is like tossing your Billy Beers in the garbage. Some moron on eBay’s going to pay top dollar in a couple decades for election crap from the country’s worst president.

    1. I wonder if Jimmy Carter memorabilia has been plummeting on eBay…

    2. Dude campaigned for Obama, so the idea of future consequences (not to mention basic economic sense) is obviously not in his wheelhouse.

      My dad used to have a full can of Billy Beer sitting on his shelf. He had to throw it away a few years ago because the beer started to eat through the metal.

    3. So much election crap was produced its going to be well over a hundred years before any of it is really worth anything.

  26. Obama was such an unknown in ’08 that I didn’t know _what_ to expect. I never bought into the hype – especially since he is a Chicago politician.

    If he had been smart, he really would have played the part of the moderate. He could have worked with the Republican side, pretty much got what he wanted – perhaps not to the extent of what he desired but still – and really have remained a “working across the aisle” / healing America sort that he promised to be. It really does show how cynical he really is once the mask has been stripped off.

    1. I think it’s useless to speculate on what he could have “done.” His hype, which he believed, was that DOING is precisely what he would never have to stoop to — that he could change the world simply by BEING.

      Well, his shining inaction has brought us to this point, and now he may realize that he does, alas, have to do something. But what? He hasn’t given much thought to it over the past six years.

    2. If the Dems had governed from a pro-business center-statism kind of model, they’d never lose power. They’d be a monolith similar to how they were in the 50s and 60s.

      1. You could say the same about the Rs.

  27. People, people, people. Let’s not be so hard on the guy. It was 2004. If you were anti-war but not a libertarian, who the hell would you have voted for?????

  28. Dude graduated how many years ago and is still acting like a 16 year-old drama queen?

    Boo. Hoo.

    How about changing your Foo Fighters for a little bit of the Who? Or do you intend to get fooled again?

  29. look in the dictionary under gullible naive liberal

    hey! there’s your picture!

  30. “I mention it as a reminder that Obama’s opposition to the Iraq War was not some inconsequential, easily set-aside campaign promise…”

    It wasn’t?

    Coulda fooled me.

  31. “I was OK with the lies about Obamacare. I liked the fact that the IRS was persecuting Obama’s political opponents. I didn’t care that he was arming Mexican drug cartels. I could understand how his foreign policy betrayed our friends and sucked up to our enemies, and got nothing in return. I’m fine with a porous border that lets in gangsters and diseased welfare cases. But killing Islamic terrorists who would kill me in an instant if they got the chance? That’s more than I can take!”

  32. “But it’s worth remembering that an electoral army of anti-war millennials…”

    There it is. I knew there had to be a millenial reference somewhere in H&R today.

    1. At least this one is accurate.

  33. America was anti-war from 1920 until Dec 1941. Is there a parallel?

  34. He intends to burn every scrap of Obama paraphernalia he owns.

    The fact that he owns “Obama paraphernalia” suggests that the damage may yet be permanent.

  35. “He kept us out of war.”

    Buy him some Wilson paraphernalia to burn while he’s at it, and a history book since the public education system failed him.

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