Thursday, May 23, 2013

Answer Number Three to the Namavaran Network Corporation

Mike L.

For those of you who may not know, I have been tapped by an Iranian media outlet to answer a series of questions around the Arab-Israel conflict and have agreed to do so.

Was it wise of me to do so?

I have no idea, but this is Mr. Soleimani's third question:

3- Is it true that on the issue of Palestine, America obeys Israel? Or vice versa? What about Iran?

This is absolutely a terrific question.

Does Israel control the United States or does the United States control Israel?

This question is directly at the heart of how so many people - Muslim, Christian, and otherwise - view the Jewish State of Israel.  According to the hate-filled and racist Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as well as Mearsheimer and Walt's book, the Jews represent a malevolent force that stands behind the scenes manipulating foreign governments and foreign media to the detriment of the innocent citizens and residents of those lands.  According to this fantasy, America obeys Israel.

This is what the Nazis thought, by the way.

They thought that Jews controlled Germany.

Hitler imagined that the German defeat in World War I was the fault of the tiny Jewish minority in Germany at that time.  You may not be aware, but Jewish-Germans represented a grand total of about 1 percent of the entire population of the country, which is why they were so easily swept up.  We simply did not have the numbers to defend ourselves either physically or rhetorically via the media.  The hatred against us came about so quickly, or so it seemed, and did so in such an overwhelming fashion that we stood no chance to even begin to stand up for ourselves.

The German people honestly believed that the Jews were guilty for their economic and military losses after World War I, which is why they voted for Hitler to begin with.  We were scapegoated then, just as we are being scapegoated now, by the vast Arab-Muslim majority in the Middle East.

The truth, of course, is that the United States does not obey Israel.  I just wish that the United States would take Israeli advice now and again.  You may not be aware of this but my friend Arik Sharon recommended to George W. Bush against attacking Iraq, because he considered Iran, your country, to be the real threat.  George W. Bush disagreed and went about conducting a little military operation known as Shock and Awe that took Saddam Hussein out of power.

I marched against that war, you should know.

In any case, Israel does not control the United States, nor does the United States control Israel.

The US and Israel are allies because - as we so often say - we share the same values.  In today's world what that means is supporting secular democracy as opposed to al-Sharia.  Iran, whatever its virtues, is an Islamic theocratic state.  The Jews in Iran are a terrified and subdued minority and Gay people, which according to outgoing president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, don't even exist in your country, are sometimes hung from cranes.

Women are occasionally stoned to death for the crime of infidelity... or, perhaps, the crime of getting raped... not that western feminists care.

So, what about Iran?

You know what might be helpful?  If Iranian leadership were to say to the rest of the world that what they want is to open up trade relations with Israel.  That would be terrific and there's no reason - aside from the prevailing bigotry against Jews in so much of the Muslim world - that it could not happen.

Until that does happen, however, Israel cannot allow your country to gain nuclear weaponry because you have threatened to wipe us off of the map.

Why would you think that Jewish people would ever allow any such thing?

We won't.


29 comments:

  1. I've had a brief look around that site Mike as no doubt you have. It's even uglier than I thought. Usual crackpot American antisemites and a particularly stupid libertarian and an interview with an English academic with a post at an Indonesian university with the memorable name of Shakespeare.

    Check this guy out. The video is clipped at least on my machine but you couldn't create this character as a work of fiction. You would be accused of using thimble shallow and cartoonish literary devices.

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  2. Meanwhile, I'm on an Australian website Shirl led me to, arguing with some idiot who claims that Israel is a 'colony' of the countries he, at the same time, claims Jews were never kicked out of.

    This is simply surreal.

    I need to retire to Jennifer Charles' soothing voice on my iPod... :)

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    1. And I've apparently been banned from posting further to the thread

      Damn, twice in two days!

      Wtf?

      If anyone can let me know why I've been banned from further commenting there, while the Hitler admiring commenter is still free to do so at her will, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

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  3. That's the academic with the moniker Shakespeare. Not the university.

    Just thought I'd ...

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  4. Jay I just checked out that thread.

    sheeshh Jay

    Shirl sure threw you in the deep in that comment bile

    Head's up. Marilyn Shepherd is among Australia's most prolific and determined antisemites and is a well known ugly piece of works. She is British born and lives in Adelaide the heart of Australian crackpottery. Her father served in the British forces in Mandate Palestine. He hated Jews.

    She has a rural background and says she was routinely subjected to incestuous abuse as a child by uncles and other male relatives. She believes this happens in all families because men are like that.

    Just thought you should know what you're up against in case you should stray into Australian forums again.

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  5. I would recommend the short book "America Views the Holocaust" by Robert Abzug. It's essentially a compendium of contemporaneous newspaper articles, magazines, personal letters etc from 1933-1945. There's not much historical analysis, most of the material is presented as-is. @ 215 or so pages it's not a heavy read. But what's astonishing or not so astonishing is the huge amount of press coverage Hiter's antisemitic persecutions, massacres, pogroms, concentration camps received BEFORE September 1939. Whereas Laurel Leff has shown that the New York Times intentionally ignored it ("Buried by The Times, The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper"), the news was available and people knew. See Deborah Lipstadt's "Beyond Belief: The American Press & the Coming of the Holocaust 1933-1945" for more on this.

    The point is, antisemitism is both supernal and widely embraced. And if America knew and ignored it, then it is beyond preposterous to imagine that the German people didn't know about it. It would be like living in Baltimore and saying you don't know who the President of the US is today.

    Arguing with Iranians about facts is somewhat pointless. People know what they know but the believe what they believe. If the Jewish population in America wasn't 7 million but 700, the antisemites would be screaming about how 700 Jews control America and the world. The less actual evidence of something the MORE conspiracy theorists believe it. That is their nature.

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  6. "Was it wise of me to do so?"

    Whether or not it changes minds, I think it's wise in the sense of not leaving arguments and misconceptions unanswered. The anti-Zionists are far too accustomed to thinking our side has no responses in the quiver.

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    1. I think, with respect, it's usually a waste of time. Aside from the probability it will change no minds, does it matter what they think? Anti-Zionists at these web sites are in their own echo chamber. Left alone, the louder the echo, the more unreasonable they appear. Those few who stray into these chambers will see first hand who these characters are.

      Generally, I prefer proactive efforts rather than reactive.

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    2. I don't know if it's a waste or time or not, but I would have done the same as Mike, I wouldn't have declined the offer to give answers. Declining could lead to the impression our position is indefensible.

      "Generally, I prefer proactive efforts rather than reactive."

      What does that mean in practical terms? (That was a question, not a criticism.)

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    3. I hear you, but think that the impression already exists for them that there is no justification for any other position than their own.

      By proactive I mean finding open minded people and groups and helping to educate them by a number of means, such as confronting the disconnects, showing Israel in a positive light, or illustrating the true character of its adversaries. Always done without gratuities.

      Proactive means to choose the best subject matter to communicate the information, not to play defense, and to challenge people to reexamine their views based on the information and their values.

      To me, there is too much white noise, usually reactive and ineffective, often between actors who are fixed and immune to change, who argue as if they can convince their adversaries or who create a larger echo among themselves.

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    4. Well, it's like in online forums where you respond to the trolls not because you think you can change the trolls' minds, but for the benefit of lurkers. I see your point, though.

      I'm reactive only in the sense of tuning my pro-Zionist arguments to respond exactly to the ideological root from which the anti-Zionists' arguments grow out. In discussing ways and methods of reaching out with our messages, I think I'm extremely proactive: My thinking is that Zionists should ram their arguments down the worldwide media's throats. This view of mine is born of my observation that Israel is effectively under a media blockade, by virtue of most world media outlets being under the ownership of anti-Zionists (Far-Leftists ones mainly).

      So, I fully agree we need to carry our message out, actively. But, the big problem we have to solve in order to do that is how to build a battering ram that would break the media blockade. The media won't air our message of their own free will, they will only do so when coerced. Currently I can only think of things that are legal for a nation-state (i.e. Israel) to do, not for individuals; this has the disadvantage that we have to wait passively until adequate leadership arises, which could take a heckuva long time. I gotta think of some ways individuals could legally force the hostile media outlets' hands.

      Thanks, Oldschool, this is a very important topic IMO.

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    5. oldschooltwentysix,

      you wrote:

      "By proactive I mean finding open minded people and groups and helping to educate them by a number of means, such as confronting the disconnects, showing Israel in a positive light, or illustrating the true character of its adversaries. Always done without gratuities."

      Bingo.

      Dr. Catherine Chatterley explains:

      Catherine Chatterley: The effects of IAW (Israel/apartheid week on campus)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPwnAmcbsRA

      Dr. Chatterley:

      "...Who is trying to educate not just Jewish kids but non-Jews?...Non-Jewish allies are absolutely key...It can't just be conservatives. It can't just be the conservative leadership...We need non-Jews across the political spectrum..."

      ----

      Also:

      What is Antisemitism and How Does It Affect the Conflict?, by Dr. Catherine Chatterley, University of Winnipeg, Middle East Week, March 2013
      http://vimeo.com/61949203

      and:

      Uprooting Antisemitism Through Scholarship and Education, by Dr. Catherine Chatterley, Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, Women's Endowment Fund Lecture, Winnipeg, 2011
      http://vimeo.com/45200603

      ----

      "Dr. Chatterley teaches modern European and Jewish history at the University of Manitoba and directs the Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism (CISA), which she founded in 2010."

      www.catherinechatterley.com

      Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism
      www.can-isa.com

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    6. ziontruth,

      The leaders of the government of Israel simply need to start telling the truth -- facts to counter and dispel the libels that are being propagated against Israel. Israeli leaders have a platform -- if they make one for themselves. They are leaders of a state - an economically and technologically powerful liberal democratic state which is crucial to the technological and military sustainability and well-being of the United States and the entire Western world. They just need to start acting like normal leaders of state -- competent leaders of state.

      Waiting twelve years after the al-Dura Blood Libel to state the obvious and provable fact that Israeli Jewish soldiers didn't murder a 'Palestinian' Arab boy?! Come on! Are you kidding me?

      Previously telling European authorities to not listen to Philippe Karsenty?! What?!

      Internationally legitimizing a Nazi organization -- Fatah-PLO -- and endeavoring to give them a state constituted of the militarily and culturally strategic heartland highland of the homeland of the Jewish people? Are you kidding me?!

      Israeli leaders -- leaders of the government of Israel -- just need to start acting like normal heads of state -- competent heads of state -- heads of state that protect their own nation.

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    7. By the way, a crucial article:

      Egyptian Islamo-Nazism and “Omar Amin” Von Leers, by Dr. Andrew Bostom
      http://www.andrewbostom.org/blog/2011/05/30/egyptian-islamo-nazism-and-%E2%80%9Comar-amin%E2%80%9D-von-leers/

      "'Omar Amin' von Leers: The Nazi Who Found a Haven in Egypt and Embraced a More Potent Ideology to Destroy the Judeo-Christian West—Islamic Jihad"

      "...Upon his arrival in Egypt in 1956, it was the jihadist and Nazi ally, Hajj Amin el-Husseini, former Mufti of Jerusalem, who welcomed von Leers, stating, 'We are grateful to you for having come here to resume the struggle against the powers of darkness incarnated by international Judaism.' The ex-Mufti oversaw von Leers’ formal conversion to Islam, and remained one of his confidants. ..."

      "...Von Leers observes that to the pious Muslim,

      "'...the Jew is an enemy, not simply an ‘unbeliever’ who might perhaps be converted or, despite the fact that he does not belong to Islam, might still be a person of some estimation. Rather, the Jew is the predestined opponent of the Muslim, one who desired to bring down the work of the Prophet.'..."

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    8. There are web sites where it may be worth the effort to attempt discourse, but in my experience most of the internet is too polarized to make a difference or for reason and tolerance to get a fair shake.

      There can also be an overlap and even a mutuality between the proactive and reactive.

      It is extremely difficult to get educated, academically intelligent people to understand the extent of their own ignorance.

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    9. Daniel Bielak,

      "The leaders of the government of Israel simply need to start telling the truth..."

      Yes, they do, but that's not enough in our situation. The best-formulated message in the world is worthless if it's blocked by the media gatekeepers. Israel needs to tell the truth by coercing the worldwide media outlets to air it. Again, this coercion is necessary because they won't do it of their own free will—they're by and large owned and operated by anti-Zionists.

      Also, while we're waiting for leaders to this and that, we might as well grow hairy palms in the meantime, with Israel's stature further deteriorating. We must think what we can do ourselves, because the passivity of waiting for adequate leadership to save us is too dear a price to pay.

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    10. ziontruth,

      They are leaders of a state.

      Hold a press conference. Say:

      - "Fatah-PLO are a Nazi organization originated by one of the co-architects of the Nazi Final Solution, Hajj Amin al-Husseini.", etc.
      - "Jordan was part of the British Mandate of Palestine.", etc.
      - "Jordan occupied what is called 'The West Bank' from 1949 to 1967, and Egypt occupied what is called 'The Gaza Strip' from 1949 to 1967, and no effort was made to create a 'Palestinian' Arab state there during that time. Fatah was created in 1958, and the PLO was created in 1964 -- during the time that Jordan occupied what is called 'The West Bank', and during the time that Egypt occupied what is called 'The Gaza Strip' from 1949 to 1967." Cite the The Fatah Constitution and the 1964 PLO Charter and the current 1968 PLO Charter. etc.
      - Describe Pallywood. Describe the occurance of the al-Durah Blood Libel.
      - Show the ideologically genocidally anti-Jewish anti-Israeli propaganda that constitutes the programing of Fatah-PLO ("Palestinian Authority") TV.; etc.
      - List the targeting and killing of the thousand Jewish people -- men, women, and children -- civilians -- by bomb attacks in Israel, in restaurants, buses, etc., by Fatah-PLO and Hamas from the years 2000 to 2006.
      - State the fact that there are over 50 Muslim states in the world, and that there are over 20 Arab states in the world, and that there are numerous other national states in the world, and that there are several officially Christian states in the world, and that there is one Jewish state in the world -- Israel.
      - State the fact that there are over a million Arab citizens of Israel -- Muslim Arab, Christian Arab, and Druze Arab -- and that those Arab citizens of Israel constitute approximately 20 percent of the citizenry of Israel.
      - State the fact that the group of Arab people who are now called the "the Palestinians" -- 'Palestinian' Arab people -- are not citizens of Israel and don't live in Israel.
      - State the fact that approximately 50 percent of the Jewish citizenry of Israel is constituted by still living members of, and descendants of, Jewish refugees from Muslim states in the Middle East
      - State the fact that the conflict between the Muslim Arab states in the Middle East and Israel caused more Jewish refugees from Muslim states in the Middle East than it caused Arab refugees from Israel
      - State the fact that the group of Arab people who are now called the "the Palestinians" -- 'Palestinian' Arab people -- are simply the Arab refugees from a Muslim Arab military attack of intended annihilation against the Jewish state Israel.
      - State the fact that there have been millions of non-Arab and non-Jewish refugees in world since the end of World War II and that most of those refugees have been relocated to and absorbed into countries to which the fled or were expelled

      There may be a firestorm as a result of that -- among and by bigoted anti-Jewish Western "elites" -- journalistic and governmental (perhaps including morally corrupt Jewish Western "elites" -- "court Jews", etc.). In response to that firestorm, repeat the facts. Clearly, firmly. And refute, by stating facts, any lies that may be told during that firestorm. Repeat as needed.

      And give speeches in the U.S. Congress and say these things there. And give speeches, and hold press conferences, elsewhere, and say these things there.

      It's a campaign that needs to be engaged in in order to protect Israel. It's part of maintaining and protecting a state.

      And, no, the leaders of the government of Israel have never done this before.

      And, yes, it can be done.

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    11. Dan,

      I don't know that I agree with everything that you write above, but I certainly agree with the great majority of it.

      Isn't it interesting and sad that doing what you suggest - laying out the broad and significant truths in a press conference - somehow seems radical or way out-of-the-box.

      We cannot really know what is politically possible for Netanyahu, but nothing would please me more than to see him take up your honest and bold recommendation.

      One place, however, where I do have a problem with what you've written above is this:

      State the fact that the group of Arab people who are now called the "the Palestinians" -- 'Palestinian' Arab people -- are not citizens of Israel and don't live in Israel.

      Now that's going to be a tough sell.

      I'd be happy to discuss it with you so that we can flesh out the arguments, but this one looks rather tricky.

      Most of the rest of what you've written is pretty straightforward and eminently provable.

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    12. But, yes,

      In the meantime,

      We, ordinary people, can do this ourselves.

      And, as part of that, urge the leaders of the government of Israel to do this -- their job. And, as part of this, Israeli Jewish people can become informed and make the leaders of the government of Israel do this -- the job of the leaders of the government of Israel.

      And as Dr. Catherine Chatterley (who is not Jewish) expressed:

      "...Non-Jewish allies are absolutely key. ...and..it can't just be conservatives. ...We need non-Jews across the political spectrum..."

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    13. Mike,

      "Isn't it interesting and sad that doing what you suggest - laying out the broad and significant truths in a press conference - somehow seems radical or way out-of-the-box."

      Yes. But it only seems radical or way out-of-the-box because it hasn't been done. This behavior just hasn't been done by Jewish people. And it doesn't seem radical or way out-of-the-box to me. It seems perfectly normal and natural to me. It seems, to me, the appropriate action to be done.

      "One place, however, where I do have a problem with what you've written above is this:

      "'State the fact that the group of Arab people who are now called the "the Palestinians" -- 'Palestinian' Arab people -- are not citizens of Israel and don't live in Israel.

      "Now that's going to be a tough sell."

      Why?

      What are your thoughts about this?

      And I just wrote it shorthand. The wording can be changed and added to to make it accurate and more precise.

      Such as:

      "State the fact that the group of Arab people who are now called "the Palestinians" -- 'Palestinian' Arab people -- who live in what is now called 'The West Bank' and who live in what is now called 'The Gaza Strip' and who live in refugee camps in Arab states -- are not citizens of Israel and don't live in Israel."

      Or something like that.

      And perhaps add more information to further clarify.

      And add the fact that "The West Bank" is currently governed by Fatah-PLO and that Fatah-PLO are now called the "Palestinian Authority" and that the "Gaza Strip" is currently governed by Hamas and that Israel has some security presence in "The West Bank" and that Israel has no presence in "The Gaza Strip".

      And add the fact that what is now called "The West Bank" is Judea (Yehouda) and Sameria (Shomron) and was referred to as "The West Bank" -- as "the west bank" of the Jordan river -- during the time when Jordan was occupying that land from 1949 to 1967.

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    14. Dan, this is accurate:

      "State the fact that the group of Arab people who are now called "the Palestinians" -- 'Palestinian' Arab people -- who live in what is now called 'The West Bank' and who live in what is now called 'The Gaza Strip' and who live in refugee camps in Arab states -- are not citizens of Israel and don't live in Israel."

      This is much better than your earlier formulation.

      The problem with your earlier formulation is that it suggests that Arab citizens of Israel, who may consider themselves "Palestinian," are not citizens of Israel.

      Needless to say they are.

      That's the distinction that I want to draw.


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    15. "The problem with your earlier formulation is that it suggests that Arab citizens of Israel, who may consider themselves 'Palestinian,' are not citizens of Israel."

      Yeah, that's what I thought. I realized that. That's why I changed it / added clarifying information.

      Thanks for your feedback.

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    16. ziontruth,

      I apologize for the brusque way I replied to you.

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    17. Daniel,

      "I apologize for the brusque way I replied to you."

      Huh? I didn't perceive it that way at all.

      The fact is we're agreed on the importance of telling the truth. My comments touch a different issue, the issue of how our message is to be transmitted when the gatekeepers are none other than our sworn enemies.

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    18. Okay, thanks, ziontruth. I just felt that maybe the way I replied to you was brusque and I felt that maybe I offended you. And I felt badly about that. Thanks for telling me that I didn't offend you.

      And about what we're talking about:

      I think that the leaders of a state can bypass the gatekeepers. By walking through the gate. The gate still exists. And I think that by walking through it appropriately the gatekeepers will have no choice but to let one through -- even though they may throw mud at the passer and pull at the passer. But the passer will pass through anyway. And I think that not all the gatekeepers are sworn enemies of Israel. I think that many of the gatekeepers are just enlisted grunts / volunteer grunts and just go with the flow to do whatever is most convenient for themselves. And, as I tried to express, the gatekeepers don't have complete control over the gate, or complete authority over the gate. And the gate is just part of the road. And if one walks along the road appropriately one can pass by the gatekeepers.

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  7. "The fact is we're agreed on the importance of telling the truth. My comments touch a different issue, the issue of how our message is to be transmitted when the gatekeepers are none other than our sworn enemies."

    There's something here called the Australian Press Council which is the print media self-regulatory body. The treatment of the Al Durah affair is worth a formal complaint about a segment of the print media (Fairfax). two really

    press treatment of Al Durah in 2000 and press non-treatment of Al Durah now.

    Problem is how do you lay a general complaint and/or how do you get access to newspaper archives ten and more years old to harvest for a test case? It's at this point you wish you had a research team.

    Anyway I'm thinking of giving it a go. Keep it public at the blog of course. I'm waiting for the French decision. That might be an opportunity.

    http://www.presscouncil.org.au/about/

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    1. Geoff,

      "how do you get access to newspaper archives ten and more years old to harvest for a test case?

      The problem is not gaining access to the material, but having either the time or the human resources to go through that material.

      In the US we have access to all sorts of journal and newspaper archives on-line or on microfiche in the libraries.

      The simplest thing to do is go to your local library and tell them what you want to access. Librarians - mean and nasty as they are - live for this stuff.

      I bet that material is available and that they can point you in the best direction.

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  8. School,

    "To me, there is too much white noise, usually reactive and ineffective, often between actors who are fixed and immune to change, who argue as if they can convince their adversaries or who create a larger echo among themselves."

    I am a person who is politically unfixed and very much open to ideological reconsiderations and change.

    What I want is for this space to be a place where people can undergo ideological and social rethinking around the Arab-Israel conflict without getting slandered and demeaned by hostile partisans.

    I just want to rethink old assumptions and I am looking for people to help me do so.

    You have done so and I appreciate it.

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