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Political and social commentary with a liberal bias
For more columns and other liberal views, see Jackson's Liberty and Justice For All Site at http://www.geocities.com/jacksonthor/.

Email Jackson at jacksonthor@justice.com

 

Thursday, March 20, 2003

 
A Republican with a conscience

With most Republicans and Democrats in Congress who have no kids in this war supporting Bush-Cheney's immoral invasion of Iraq, it's a good time to salute those who stand up to these idiots who will bring us more days like Sept. 11, 2001.

Since most Dems, including Hillary and Lieberman, sound like Bush these days, I'm seriously considering leaving the Democratic Party to go back to being an independent. While I appreciate Dems like Sen. Robert Byrd and Rep. Pete Stark who go on the record with their scathing criticism of this war, most Democratic leaders make me sick with their spinelessness.

So I'm here to congratulate a Republican who has a greater conscience than most Democratic leaders - Jack Walters, a former GOP county chairman in Missouri who resigned March 8.

Jackson

Here is the resignation letter of Jack Walters:

As the Bush administration moves toward certain war in the Middle East—a war which I believe nothing good will come from, a war which is unjust, unnecessary, and a war which will undoubtedly widen, perhaps even into world war, thereby placing our nation in dire peril—I have made a decision regarding my position as Boone County Republican Chairman.

Wars are easy to get into, but very difficult to get out of. They can sap the moral and spiritual fiber of a nation, squander lives and resources, deplete scarce funds, cause undue hardship on all involved, destroy families, and engender hopelessness.

I have questioned both the motives for military action at this time, and the ever-changing, illogical justifications presented to us in what has to be one of the greatest media propaganda blitzes ever force-fed a populace. Any time ground troops are deployed, serious questions must be asked and real answers demanded. The jingoistic rhetoric we are receiving does not constitute legitimate answers.

The consequences of our planned attack on Iraq (and also probably Iran, given the size of our forces and their location in proximity to Iran), should cause us all to pause. The Pentagon has announced that we will hit Baghdad with a force almost equal to the bombing of Hiroshima. Obviously many thousands of civilians will perish, with untold thousands maimed. And for what? To liberate them? To bring them freedom? Or democracy? Or is it to really secure the world’s second largest oil reserve and establish a base from which to subjugate other Middle Eastern nations? Is it also the plan for Israel to use the cover of war to forcibly relocate the Palestinian population (as has been publicly stated by some members of Israel’s current government)?

How on earth have we arrived at this crucial juncture in our country’s history? How has a war on terrorism been converted into an attack on Iraq? What threat does Iraq pose to us? We must lay the blame squarely on our congress, who according to our Constitution, only has the power to declare war. For congress to cede it’s war-making power to the executive branch is unconstitutional on the very face of it and effectively destroys our three branches of government. Circumventing our Constitution is very bad, and the undeclared wars, which have resulted in our recent history, have had disastrous results. Undeclared wars have no declared objectives, and therefore can widen at will, and our foray into the Middle East will likely set in motion a long-term wave of retaliation. Indeed, I believe that the administration would like to entice Iraq into firing the first blow so some justification could be paraded at the United Nations. If the United States government can adopt this unreal doctrine of preemptive attack on any nation, anywhere, at any time, so can other nations! This is how world wars begin. If the President goes into Iraq alone without a UN resolution, he will be in violation of the war powers given him last October by congress which was contingent on UN approval. A constitutional crisis will occur.

What we are about to do in the Middle East is abhorrent to me. It is made doubly so since this is a contrived and fraudulently justified war with hidden objectives. The coming mass slaughter of innocents, the harm our own troops are being placed in, and the potential for wars on several fronts have brought home to me the sobering realization that by remaining Boone County Republican Chairman, I would be giving tacit approval to this imminent war, and tacit approval to the belligerent and reckless language coming from the White House. The safety and integrity of our country outweighs politics.

I therefore resign as Chairman of the Boone County Republican Central Committee effective at noon, March 10, 2003. I do not wish to be Chairman when this tragedy starts. I am not resigning to placate those who have demanded same .I do not fear them in the least. I was quite willing to stand and face an ouster vote. I am resigning because I cannot support the Republican position on this war. I only sought the position of Chairman originally in the hope that I could recruit God-fearing, thinking, pro-life believers in our Constitution to stand for office.

I grieve for our nation, and the untold suffering that will be wrought. As history has shown, you can possess the greatest armaments in the world, but if your cause and motives are not right, only catastrophe will result.

Jack Walters, March 8, 2003

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1980.htm



Wednesday, March 19, 2003

 
From America Held Hostile: http://www.americaheldhostile.com/ed031803.shtml



Call For a Special Session of the United Nations
General Assembly to Stop Bush's Immoral War

By Jackson Thoreau

Bush is on the verge of his immoral invasion of Iraq. It's clear Bush wants to get his friends in the oil business a piece of the Iraqi oil pie, to improve his polling numbers, to boost U.S. and worldwide military spending that will help his defense contractor buddies, to allow the Pentagon to test some new weapons on human Arab guinea pigs, to gain some personal revenge against Hussein for daring to go after his dad, to bully what's left of the rest of the world through even more effective ways than surprise attacks and bombings.

But we can stop Bush. We can and we must. Not by protests, which are noble and necessary to make a statement. But Bush doesn't listen to such statements, even when tens of millions of people make them.

No matter what you think of it, the United Nations is our best hope to stop Bush. We must stop what we are doing right now and contact our UN representatives to demand they convene an emergency special session. The Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, Greenpeace, and others are calling on all members of the UN to convene an emergency session of the General Assembly to avoid Bush's immoral war on Iraq by using little-known UN resolution 377.

We must answer the call, once again. We must join this campaign.

Known as "Uniting for Peace," the resolution allows the General Assembly to call an emergency session when the Security Council is split on the issue of how to maintain international peace and security. As Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, said, "The 'Uniting for Peace' resolution may be the last hope to avert war. If passed, it will put the U.S. and the U.K. on notice that a war without Security Council authorization is utterly illegal and a crime against the peace."

As labor author Jeremy Brecher recently wrote, when Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956, Great Britain, France, and Israel invaded Egypt. Then-U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a real Republican and patriotic American, demanded that the invasion stop. The UN Security Council called for a cease-fire, but Great Britain and France vetoed such measures.

Then the United States did what we MUST do now - it appealed to the UN General Assembly, where countries like Britain and France and the U.S. do not have veto power. The U.S. proposed a resolution calling for Great Britain, France, and Israel to withdraw its forces from Egypt. The General Assembly convened in an emergency session and approved the resolution. Great Britain and France withdrew from Egypt within a week.

Resolution 377 says that if there is a "threat to peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression" and the permanent members of the Security Council do not agree on action, the General Assembly can meet immediately and recommend collective measures to UN members to "maintain or restore international peace and security." Since adopted by the UN in 1950, the "Uniting for Peace" mechanism has been used ten times, most frequently and ironically by the U.S. The last time was in 1997 over the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

One UN member state must request that such a meeting be convened to consider adoption of a resolution. Either seven members of the Security Council or a majority of the members of the General Assembly must agree.

"It's now up to all the world's countries, not just a few of the powerful, to meet together to avert this march to war," said Steve Sawyer, a spokesman for Greenpeace. "If it wanted the world to be ruled by the cowboy with the biggest guns, the international community wouldn't have created the UN in the first place. The UN, including the General Assembly, was created to preserve the rule of law and promote multilateralism. It's time the UN fully exercises its mandate and unites as a whole to defend its founding principles and stop the impending attack on Iraq, which would be the most horrific example of unilateralism. It must take this last chance for peace."

Indeed. STOP what you are doing right now. Go to http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/govcontacts/govindex.html or http://www.uvpeaceandjustice.org/UN_and_media.html and contact as many UN representatives as you can. Phone them. Fax them. Email them. Tell them to convene an emergency session of the General Assembly to stop this war.

Start by phoning Secretary-General Kofi Annan at 212-963-4475 or faxing him at 212-963-7055. If you live in the U.S. like me, then phone U.S. Ambassador John D. Negroponte at 212-415-4000, fax him at 212-415-4443, or email him at usa@un.int. Then keep going.

I contacted, at least by email, everyone on those lists. I will continue to do so. If anyone has any better UN General Assembly contacts, please let me know.

To repeat, the US can't stop a resolution in the General Assembly, as it can in the UN Security Council. The US does not have veto power in the General Assembly. For more info on this action, go to http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/whatsnew/report.asp?ObjID=o3ONGr1exC&Content=207.

Even if the UN General Assembly passes such a resolution, Bush can still ignore it. But he does so at the risk of the UN invoking some sanctions on the U.S. or some European countries boycotting trade with the U.S.

This is another tool we need. Keep going to the protests and vigils. Keep writing your politicians and the media. But contact the UN as well.

Once the war is stopped, the UN can form a tribunal to try Hussein and whoever else on crimes without shedding innocent blood. The UN can work if we support it. But we must support it.

So tell the UN to find its backbone.

Tell it to do its job.

Jackson Thoreau is co-author of We Will Not Get Over It: Restoring a Legitimate White House. The 110,000-word electronic book can be downloaded at http://www.geocities.com/jacksonthor or at http://www.legitgov.org/we_will_not_get_over_it.html.
Thoreau can be emailed at jacksonthor@justice.com.


ASK NOT FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS FOR IT TOLLS FOR US ALL!

By Bob Connors



Back in the 1969 I was an 18 year old who tried to get my Catholic Church’s priest to help me to become a conscientious objector. I could never have killed a Vietnamese solider. My draft number was high, and I was never drafted, so I never followed this plan to its conclusion.

Now, I’m a 51 year old, flabby, weak, mid-level bureaucrat, whose job happens to be halfway between the White House and the Capitol. I’m more afraid going to work each day than when I was as an 18 year old awaiting my position on the wheel of death, draft lottery.

Back then, as now, I love my own, the U.S. of A. I didn’t think that the Commies, or the Viet Cong were anything other than our enemies, and I disliked Hanoi Jane Fonda’s stance. Having said that, I didn’t have the ability to go over to Vietnam and kill people who I thought were being interfered with by the U.S. military.

It is same for me now, except for a few minor situational specific alterations.

I, as every D.C. based Federal Government employee has seen parts of the Federal Government, the Pentagon, destroyed by airplanes remade into bombs. I personally see that the Capitol steps, which I had for years used as my outside walking machine, closed. I see the increased helicopter surveillance and in the subway we’ve all received tips on what to do if we see something strange going on.

I didn’t sign up for this. I’m not a soldier. I’m a geeky, untrained for hand to hand combat and unaware of the signs of being attacked by WMD, computer programmer. We all are scared because we all know that the inevitable Iraq will foment Islamic hatred of the U.S. and the likely places of attack I can see from my office window.



GOP LIES!

Back then, I also knew that Tricky Dick had a long record as a perpetual liar, and I was convinced that his “domino theory” was as big of a pack lies as his “secret plan to end the Vietnam war”. He unveiled the latter during his 1968 presidential campaign. People died directly as a result of these lies, which were associated to the GOP warmongering habit.

Nixon realized that if the country’s energy was expended dealing with wars then his other policies could slide through with little resistance. Remember his “trickle down theory of economics”? No one can clearly calculate the indirect carnage, which ensued, because of reduced income, due to this particular lie, but Nixon never settled for small victories. Relate, as any objective person would, Nixon‘s “trickle down theory of economics” to 43’s tax cut for the top 1%, his “Pioneer buddies. They are the same, just called a different name solely for propaganda reasons!



AM I NUTS TO DREDGE UP THESE HISTORICAL REFERENCES TO EARLIER GOP WARMONGERING?

No, I’m not! Political parties continually dredge up what has worked for themselves in the past. They often make references to the earlier stances of their own in similar situations. How many times recently have heard about the 1991 Iraq War, and Reagan’s stance against the “Evil Empire”? The current president’s “Axis of Evil”, uses 50% of the phrase that the GOP used in the 1980’s to tank our economy and wage an ideological driven war against the Christian God hating, nuclear weapons of mass destruction possessing, heathen, Communist threat. Now we are waging an ideological driven war against the Christian God hating, biological and chemically, but not nuclear weapons of mass destruction possessing, Islamic, terrorist threat. The current phrase is pretty much the same for the consumption of the common masses of U.S. voters, as the former propaganda slogan. The GOP depends on the obvious, that is why Bush stands in front of signs like, “Peace in the Middle East”, when he is pushing for war and death there.

WHY JUST FOCUS ON THE U.S. VOTERS?

Simply, because the GOP plays lip service to being a part of the international community and have constantly had stances, such as Bush’s earlier pledge, of not “getting bogged down in nation building”. This, as with most of his other promises, he abandoned when it stopped serving his interests.

At its core, the GOP has one constant concern. They want to win the next election. They have reasoned that as long as they mumble slogans like, “returning the people’s money to the people”, while they are in reality redistributing all of the money they can to the top 1%, they can skim off the cream for their “Pioneer” buddies, and still win the next election. It is a model they have been using for at least as far back as the 1968 election.

THE AZORES SUMMIT

We could get only 3 out of 15 countries in the U.N. Security council to agree with this terrible war. We could only get 2 out of 5 countries with vetoing power to agree with this terrible war.

The AZORES SUMMIT presentation started less than an hour after the leaders of Spain and England converged with the U.S. super-duper power-man Bush. He greased a few palms, slapped a few backs, and told Blair that he would talk to Rumsfeld about respecting England. Then, the others rolled over and played dead for the privilege of basking in 43’s radiant personality.

He, who as a candidate just 3 years ago, was mocked by news reporters for not knowing the names of foreign leaders, who had no experience in foreign policy prior to becoming “the leader of the world who doesn’t do nuances”, who has ignored the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, as well as the North Korean crisis, is now the leading man in foreign policy for the entire world. No, no one thinks that! The world realizes we can buy off vast segments of the economically strapped countries and intimidate the rest.

Only one concession from the U.S. came out of this. Blair had been trying to get 43 interested in the Israeli-Palestinian crisis since the summer of 2002, when Blair convened meetings with each side. Finally, 43 has muttered something, which everyone in the world knows better than to believe, about this situation, which Blair rightfully has been saying is much more critical than Iraq! Everything else out THE AZORES SUMMIT was predictable, and could have been written months ago!



ALLIES WORK WITH US AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE

During Bush’s short run we have reneged on existing treaties, most specifically the ABM treaty, which has resulted in the anticipated proliferation of nuclear weapons in both Iran and North Korea, proposed treaties, Kyoto, and shafted the world with tariffs on foreign goods being imported into the U.S.

Now we force this abomination of a war onto the world! How can we expect any ally to help us with the legitimate threat of fighting terrorism, when we stick them with this and laugh at them and call them names like, “Old Europe” and Rumsfeld denigrate England’s part in the upcoming war? Consequentially, since turn around is fair play, our anticipated and needed help from our allies, will surely wane. Who would help someone who has frequently disparaged them? We can anticipate a day soon in which all of the Islamic terrorist hatred will directed entirely against the U.S. and that our allies will remember how we have snubbed them and will respond in kind to our pleas for help.

THE MEMBERS OF THE U.N. HAVE GOALS OTHER THAN SERVING OUR DESIRES, AND WE HAVEN’T RESPECTED THEM, AT OUR OWN PERIL!

The members of the U.N. don’t like the U.S. being THE POWER. They will gladly cut us down to size for this monstrosity of selfishness, this wrong war!



MAYBE THAT DEAR BOY, 41’S SON, DOES NOT REALIZE:

The allies paid for over 90% of the bill for Iraq 1. Never in the history of the U.S. has a president started a hugely expensive war and subsequentially cut taxes. How can we pay for the war without a revenue stream? Does 43 know that Reagan had to repeal most of his tax cuts? Do the U.S. citizens realize that when the deficits get higher, then 43’s spokespeople will say that all domestic services have to be slashed? Who doesn’t realize that cutting taxes is a ploy to cut down on all Federal government, except for the GOP priority, the military. Surprisingly, now their new crown jewel, homeland security, a place where it seemed to be a sure bet that the GOP would dump money that could then be funneled to their “Pioneer” buddy corporate executives, is getting under-funded. If Ridge can’t figure out ways to get carloads of money then maybe the GOP is in earnest about controlling the deficit. Ronnie Reagan paid lip service to that while he ran up huge deficits.



WHICH ARTICLE COMES FROM FOXNews.com AND Power and Interest News Report (PINR)



“Allies Withdraw Iraq Resolution; Bush to Address Nation Tonight

Monday, March 17, 2003

UNITED NATIONS — The United States and its allies on Monday withdrew the

resolution seeking the use of force against Saddam Hussein. The White House,

saying, "the diplomatic window has closed," announced that President Bush would

address the nation at 8 p.m. EST.

Saying no compromise within the U.N. Security Council is possible, British

Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock announced to reporters that there will be no vote

on Tuesday on the resolution, which was co-sponsored by Britain, the United

States and Spain.

With the "explicit threat" of a veto by France -- which was referred to only as

"one country in particular -- U.S. officials said, there was no way the

resolution would pass. Greenstock said this country's objection came even

"before the Iraq government itself" responded to a British proposal for a new

set of deadlines and benchmarks.

But "we believe the vote would have been close," said U.S. Ambassador John

Negroponte.

Greenstock said Sunday's summit in the Azores with the United States, Britain,

Spain and Portugal concluded that "no ultimatum, no pressure, and no

disarmament" would come as a result of the French position.

The cosponsors of the U.S.-backed resolution "reserve their right to take their

own steps to secure the disarmament of Iraq," he added.

If the allies called for a vote and the resolution failed, they would be in

violation of the U.N. charter if they went to war. By not holding a vote at all

-- regardless of whether the resolution would have garnered enough support --

they could still use force against Saddam and not be in direct violation of the

United Nations.”



OR


“In the next few weeks, the future of international

order will be determined. If the Bush administration chooses

to invade Iraq after failing to secure United Nations

approval, a precedent will be established encouraging states

to pursue unilateralist rather than multilateralist policies.

The failure of the U.N. to restrain the United States may

spark a new wave of nationalism, where states no longer feel

secure under the symbolic umbrella of international treaties

and agreements. This will weaken global cooperation and

increase the possibility for conflicts around the world.



Therefore, the current debate over Iraq is merely a power

struggle set on the world stage. Multilateralists such as

Colin Powell would rather have the U.S. secure U.N. support,

or an otherwise broad coalition before invading Iraq. Powell's

purpose for this is that he does not want the U.S. to

blatantly abandon multilateralism because it may hurt U.S.

interests in the long term. The so-called "hawks" of the

administration associated with the Pentagon are indifferent to

the U.S.' failing to secure international support. These

nationalists would like to see a U.S. unrestrained by

international agreements, solely pursuing its own short-term

interests even at the expense of other powerful states. As of

now, the "hawks" are in control, expressed through U.S.

willingness to attack Iraq with or without U.N. support.”.

The first article was from FOX, one of the many GOP media organs of choice and the second came from Erich Marquardt, of Power and Interest News Report (PINR), the Yellow Times. Neither article was glowing of the U.S., but the second was openly more honest, and consequentially, honest. How can the world let the U.S. acts as we have been since this regime has started? Even Powell, who initially was a multilateralist has been co-opted and has traded his right place as being a seasoned military and foreign policy expert, to being a shill for 43’s war against specifically Iraq, but also, more broadly, the wishes of the world.

IN SUM, 43 HAS DECIDED THAT HE HAS ALL OF THE ANSWERS, AND NEEDS NO OTHER COUNTRY’S HELP. WHEN THE PRICE TAG FOR THE OCCUPATION OF IRAQ STARTS BREAKING INTO THE NUMBED MINDS OF OUR U.S. CITIZENS, THEN 43 WILL BE IN TROUBLE.

His spinners can massage phrases like, “the deficit in relation to our GNP is manageable”, and later, when the deficits start chewing us apart, “we have to cut funds for non-essential domestic services, such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, but soon we’ll be able to replenish their budgets!”. Maybe by say, the 2004 presidential election, the current regime will find out that more U.S. citizens then they project, are actually calculating the ledger sheet on this ruinous regime and they will see that the expenditures quadruple the revenue for this folly, tax cuts for 43’s buddies only!



FOREIGN TRUTH!

This from the ©2003 Asia Times Online Co, Ltd., article, “THE ROVING EYE--The moment of truth - and lies”, by Pepe Escobar,

“CAIRO - Cynicism. Hypocrisy. Orwellian newspeak. As

photo-ops of political theater go, the Azores

micro-summit was somber. How apt a metaphor: three

isolated men in a remote island in the middle of the

Atlantic - the American behaving like a bully and the

two Europeans trying to bridge the unbridgeable.

As a show of unity, it was a fiasco. France, Germany and

Russia were not even invited. On Saturday, this

so-called "axis of peace" - helped by anti-war

demonstrations around the world - may have preempted

Azores with a call for a meeting of foreign ministers at

the Security Council; but then on Sunday US President

George W Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his

Spanish counterpart Jose Maria Aznar made their own

preemptive move against the United Nations.



Bush's dislike of the UN process was evident by his body

language and omission. The work of the weapons

inspectors was not even mentioned. The blame for the

diplomatic collapse was shifted to the ones who oppose

an illegal war. Bush implied that he does not need the

UN now because it does not fit his agenda. But he

explicitly said that he will go back to the UN to get

the expertise and the commitment to rebuild Iraq. He

conveniently forgot to mention the European Union -

whose main financial donors are none other than France

and Germany. The UN may be useful only for

nation-building - when Washington's attention span moves

from Iraq to the next war.

The whole Bush-Blair-Aznar argument rests on UN

resolution 1441, which superseded all previous

resolutions related to Iraq. Lawyers in the European

Union in Brussels, as well as 16 eminent British

academic lawyers, stress that 1441 specifically does not

authorize the use of military force. If it had been the

case, the resolution would never have been adopted. UN

Secretary General Kofi Annan has also stated the

obvious: if the US and UN go to war sidelining the UN,

they breach the UN charter. The conclusion on all

quarters - except Washington - is that such war is

illegal. And a supposed God-given mandate for regime

change and occupation of Iraq is also illegal.”, is only moderately disparaging of 43’s war.

On many Cable shows, Powell was spinning furiously that the war was not illegal, and that the U.N. Resolution 1441 sanctions this action. He neglected to mention the fact that The "Uniting for Peace" mechanism has been used ten times, most frequently on the initiative of the United States. If you are depending on the U.S. media only, this term means nothing to you. This procedure was adopted by the Security Council so that the UN can act even if the Security Council is stalemated. Resolution 377 provides that, if there is a "threat to peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression" and the permanent members of the Security Council do not agree on action, the General Assembly can meet immediately and recommend collective measures to U.N. members to "maintain or restore international peace and security."









ASK NOT FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS FOR IT TOLLS FOR US ALL!

Last week, before we were told that Terror Alert had been bumped up due to the upcoming war against Islam in Iraq, there was a huge black billowing cloud originating 3 blocks from me on the mall. One woman in my office, soaked a sweatshirt with water, wrapped it over her nose and mouth and ran off to the nearest subway. A guy in my group yelled at her not to do that because he was concerned that it could have been an explosion of chemical or biological weapons in the subway. I worked on projects to take my mind away from fear, and called my wife and told her about it and asked her to call me if she heard anything on the radio. The remaining 100 lost souls in my group went into an office and listened to the radio and looked up AP reports on the internet for the remainder of the day. We never heard what it was.

On March 18th, I woke up and immediately began listening to the news radio station. I didn’t want to waste my morning going to work if there was a terrorist strike. The news radio station had sketchy reports of someone driving a bomb laden van into the reflecting pool. It was 20 blocks from where I work, so I could go to work today.

Are all of us D.C. based Federal Government employees fools to continue in our jobs? Should we quit immediately?

I tell myself that the Ridge’s boys in blue will concentrate its efforts to protect the area around the white house and Capitol building. In Afghanistan, the central government area in Kabul is now the only place that country where people have security. Maybe I’m deluding myself, but I think the terrorists will attack the vast portions of the country that haven’t been invaded in the 9-11 attack. Part of me realizes that this is a rationalization, but maybe if I didn’t consciously hoodwink myself, I would not be able to function anymore, so I tell myself that our homeland security department has cordoned off the D.C. area, and all of you are the ones

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS!

Bob Connors n323c@erols.com





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