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The French Intifada: The Long War Between France and Its Arabs [Anglais] [Relié]

Andrew Hussey
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Détails sur le produit

  • Relié: 464 pages
  • Editeur : Faber & Faber (22 avril 2014)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0865479216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865479210
  • Dimensions du produit: 23,1 x 15,5 x 4,6 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Vu d'ailleurs 23 juin 2014
Par pierre guillemot TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS
Format:Format Kindle
Rien de plus intéressant pour un Français que de lire un guide touristique, volume "France" écrit par et pour des étrangers (Let's go ou Frommer par exemple). Ce que je ne vois même pas tellement c'est évident, l'étranger le met au centre du sujet. Ce livre est le guide historique et politique d'une affaire complètement française: comment vivent les Maghrébins musulmans dans le pays qui est devenu le leur sans qu'ils le veuillent. L'Algérie, la Tunisie et le Maroc font aujourd'hui partie de la France, ce que l'auteur explique avec candeur, parce que pour lui c'est évident. Les musulmans en France (métropolitaine) n'ont rien à voir avec les Indiens ou les Pakistanais du Royaume-Uni, qui, eux, sont des immigrés. Comme en Palestine, il y a deux populations inassimilables et inséparables. Une fois qu'on a digéré le choc, on peut profiter de cette vision d'un outsider (je dirais bien "extérieur", mais le mot anglais a en français la connotation qui convient), qui explique pour ses lecteurs qu'il existe en France (métropolitaine) une chose appelée "Laïcité" qui oblige à interdire aux femmes de se couvrir la tête et aux lycéennes de porter des jupes longues, et force les autorités publiques à pourchasser la moindre manifestation extérieure d'une conviction religieuse. Et nous qui pensions que la laïcité est un fondement de la république ! Lire la suite ›
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Format:Relié
Before discussing the ideological content (and the content is always ideological, extremely rarely historical and hardly sociological) let me evacuate an irritating surface of the book.

THE SLOPPY SURFACE

There are very numerous mistakes at the level of the spelling, the plain syntax, the general proofreading that was sloppy and careless. Apart from misspellings, some words are missing, some words are in excess, some words are misplaced. The author has a real problem with his articles. You will learn that someone “was born in THE Isère.” (p. 270) That must have been a very wet delivery. I just wonder if it would be possible to be born in THE Thames. That would be very muddy indeed. For a Britisher, what’s more working for the BBC, he should know better: it is a typical mistake performed by “continental” British expatriates. But what about these other cases: “the real masters of THE Bagneux” (p. 32), “taking his cue from THE Iran” (p. 307).

Those were petty remarks. But the following is not. He systematically uses the word “deputy” for a French Member of Parliament as if “deputy” did not have a meaning in English that makes it quite different from what an MP is. He could if he wanted use the French word in italics, député, or in single quotes, but he translates the word as if it were a transparent word. It is not. It is irritating to use that Franglish that means NOthing in NO language NOwhere in NO world. We could of course go on with such mistakes. The book is full of them, literally as stuffed with them as a Thanksgiving turkey.

Let’s move to the content.

REDUCTIVE INFORMATION

The book starts with the famous 2007 “Gare du Nord riot” in Paris (page 1).
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Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  15 commentaires
16 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Colonialism and backlash. 5 mai 2014
Par Sinohey - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
In 1827, France was trying to weasel out of paying its long overdue debts for goods imported from Algeria. The French consul confronted the Bey of Algiers (ruler of the country) with France's demands, in a supercilious manner. The irate Bey replied by slapping the pompous Frenchman with a fly-whisk. In response France's ships blockaded Algiers, the Bey's army cannonaded the French, the hostilities gradually escalated, culminating into a full blown invasion by France in 1830. And for the next 130 years, until Algeria's war of independence, France ruled Algeria as part of its territory but a second class province. The annexation of Algeria was accomplished with unmitigated brutality against individuals (incarceration, beatings, torture and executions) as well as entire villages, with firebombing from the air and "enfumades" (smoking attacks) - where villages are set on fire and the escaping dwellers are shot down by the French army. The same tactics were again used to quell the 1950s uprisings.
About 1.5 million French "colons" settled in Algeria and ruled it with an iron fist. Dissent was crushed with ruthless, merciless and violent efficiency by the "gendarmes" who were proficient in torture methods. Their innovative techniques are said to have been later adapted by the tyrants of the Middle East.
To the French, the natives were barbarians who needed to be "civilised" and abandon their culture. Algerians, who according to Hussey, were considered by the French to share "racial and cultural defects of all North Africans, ranging from stupidity, criminality and a taste for violence." They were given the choice between French citizenship or continue to live as Muslims. The devout were thus definitely excluded from governing. This was also reinforced by spurious elections.
By the early 1950s, the colonialists "pieds noirs" (black feet), most of whom were first through fifth generations born in Algeria, began to lose their grip on the natives due to the revolutionary anti-colonial fervor gripping the third world, sparked by Nasser's 1952 revolution in Egypt. In 1954, the National Liberation Front (NLF) initiated the revolt for independence and Algeria deteriorated into chaos; with the European and the Harkis (pro-French natives) together battling the NLF, during a horrifically savage and cruel war from 1954 to 1962. Unimaginable atrocities were perpetrated on both sides.

The author, Andrew Hussey, begins his book with with a rioting mob of Muslim youths at Paris's Gare du Nord in 2007, chanting in colloquial Arabic: "Na'al abouk la France" - that he mistakenly translates to "F... France!" - The correct meaning is "Damn your father France!" - a serious insult in Muslim society.
The mob came out of the "banlieues" - suburbs outside the `peripherique' highway and the central arrondissements of Paris - that are large dystopian concrete ghettos to the vast population of North Africans, which are the descendents of the Harkis that escaped to France with the "pieds noir" and the 1.5 million migrant workers that followed from the "Maghreb", and continue to immigrate from France's previous colonies.

The same type of alienated, disenfranchised angry youths rioted in 2005, in Paris, Lyons, Marseilles and other cities looting, vandalizing and setting fires to shops, buildings and cars. Hussey writes that, "the rioters, wreckers, even the killers of the banlieues are not looking for reform or revolution. They are looking for revenge."

"The French Intifada" is about "the unacknowledged civil war between France and its disturbed suburbs." It describes and analyzes the root-cause of the disaffected Muslim youths of France to be mostly due to the "devastating psychological effect of colonialism" and the loss of "all sense of authentic identity...they don't' feel that they properly exist". They refuse to assimilate and become part of the "Republique indivisible", which secularism (laicite) is reminiscent of the civilizing mission of colonialism and in reaction lash out at their oppressors.
In Hussey's opinion, the civilian turmoil in France and the West is that, "This war is not just a conflict between Islam and the west or the rich north and the globalised south, but a conflict between two very different experiences of the world - the colonisers and the colonised."

A large portion of the book involves France's colonization of North Africa, its methods of subjugation and the bloody wars of independence of (mainly)Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. Hussey seems to relish detailing the various cruelties inflicted by both sides on their enemies, but dwells mostly on the Algerian nationalists savagery, which included "mass executions, crucifixions, gouging of eyes and castrations, live burnings and beheadings" of the Harkis. =No spoilers here=
The writer seems somewhat careless with the facts; he continuously calls the North Africans Arabs, which they are not! They are mostly Berber or Black Africans from the Sahara. Hussey says that "France promised democracy to the Algerians"; it never did. Napoleon invaded Egypt in 1798 and not "in the early 1800s".... And a few other factual errors, that diminish the book's authority. Also, Hussey relies on outdated facts about the Algerian war of independence culled from "Savage War of Peace" (Alistair Horne/1977) that was mostly a French history/perspective.

The author has no concrete solutions to the conflict but avers, "What France needs is not hard-headed political solutions or even psychiatry, but an exorcist."
Exorcism is not the answer to France's dilemma. The solution lies in changing the life-cycle of this disenfranchised population; from poor (or lack of) education, high unemployment, hopelessness and unabated boredom that drive them to join criminal gangs and radical Islam, which give them a sense of belonging and purpose. Many end up incarcerated in France's prison system where about 70% of the inmates are Muslim; there they become more radicalized in the mold of al-Qaeda with its virulent doctrine of anti-semitism and hatred for western values. Hussey writes, "Until this ceases to be the case, the unacknowledged civil war between France and its disturbed suburbs will go on."
France should acknowledge its "Muslim problem" and not simply call the riots as part of the long history of workers' revolts; and it should accept that its republicanism - that prohibits any other identity - has alienated about six million of its population who consider themselves Muslim first. Unlike other countries, in France no one can be identified by their ethnicity or religion. Also better housing, improved education, social support, work incentives, job opportunities and including minorities into the professions, business world and even government would go a long way to remedy some of these social ills and truly practice "liberty, equality and fraternity."

The book is mainly about France's misadventure in colonialism, mostly based on secondary sources with some original first-hand reportage. It is over 400 pages with uneven chapters. The writing is clear, the syntax crisp and the narrative flows in a journalistic fashion.
The obvious anti-Arab bias, the lurid detailed depiction of (mostly) NLF reprisals and brutality and the multiple careless factual errors - in my opinion - make the book more appealing to the prurient curiosity about human atrocities and less of a genuine historical document.

I have given it 3.5 stars.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Anti-historical and ideological, if not biased 7 octobre 2014
Par Jacques COULARDEAU - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Before discussing the ideological content (and the content is always ideological, extremely rarely historical and hardly sociological) let me evacuate an irritating surface of the book.

THE SLOPPY SURFACE

There are very numerous mistakes at the level of the spelling, the plain syntax, the general proofreading that was sloppy and careless. Apart from misspellings, some words are missing, some words are in excess, some words are misplaced. The author has a real problem with his articles. You will learn that someone “was born in THE Isère.” (p. 270) That must have been a very wet delivery. I just wonder if it would be possible to be born in THE Thames. That would be very muddy indeed. For a Britisher, what’s more working for the BBC, he should know better: it is a typical mistake performed by “continental” British expatriates. But what about these other cases: “the real masters of THE Bagneux” (p. 32), “taking his cue from THE Iran” (p. 307).

Those were petty remarks. But the following is not. He systematically uses the word “deputy” for a French Member of Parliament as if “deputy” did not have a meaning in English that makes it quite different from what an MP is. He could if he wanted use the French word in italics, député, or in single quotes, but he translates the word as if it were a transparent word. It is not. It is irritating to use that Franglish that means NOthing in NO language NOwhere in NO world. We could of course go on with such mistakes. The book is full of them, literally as stuffed with them as a Thanksgiving turkey.

Let’s move to the content.

REDUCTIVE INFORMATION

The book starts with the famous 2007 “Gare du Nord riot” in Paris (page 1). He obviously has had indirect and edited (I mean biased) information. The “riot” was a cover-up for a totally different act. The LTTE (The Tamil Tigers) were at the end of their life span in Sri Lanka since for two years they had been confronted to a winning and advancing offensive from the Sri Lankan armed forces supported, equipped or simply technically aided by the Chinese, the Ukrainians, the Russians and the Americans, plus a few smaller ones (the American support was only revealed a year ago). And two years later in 2009 they would be completely wiped out.

In 2007 they organized or prompted this racial incident in Gare du Nord, second level underground at the exit of the various metro and RER lines to make all the police personnel available in the station come down to contain it, which meant the underground level of the stores was open to anything. All those stores have insurance contracts covering looting. Most of them were in the hands of Sri Lankan Tamils and these had to accept what the LTTE decided for them to do, under the blackmail of possible duress and repercussions on their families and relatives in the island.

The stores were emptied of all merchandise that was transferred to the trucks that were waiting in Rue du Faubourg Saint Denis, a one-way outgoing thoroughfare getting “lost” around Stalingrad Square. When loaded the trucks disappeared. The Tigers had calculated that the closest police reinforcements had to come from Gare de l’Est and that it would take them about 20 to 25 minutes to arrive. In that lapse of time one million euros of merchandise disappeared to be thrown onto the black market and to provide an urgent mass of cash for the LTTE and their last though doomed war efforts.

We are very far from a purely racial riot of Muslims against France. In one word that is a horrific opening for the book.

HISTORICAL MISTAKES

And all along a real string of mistaken praying beads are used as mantras to hammer in an opinion that is at least debatable, that is nothing but that, an opinion far from history and far from reality, at least some helpful understanding of reality.

Let me give some of these.

The 1961 putsch in Algeria (page 197). On April 22, 1961, the planes of the putschists were planned to fly into France in the night. One of the main targets was Bordeaux and its major armory and ammunition depot. It did not happen because in Algiers the planes were supposed to be refueled by the draftees and the draftees refused to do it. The planes were grounded.

I was a student in the boarding school across the road from the ammunition depot. All night long trucks were loaded and the ammunitions were taken away. In the morning, at daybreak, the depot was empty. That depot was next door to the two airports of Mérignac (commercial and military) and particularly the air force base. And the planes never came.

Michel Debré, the Prime Minister at the time, had called for all citizens to go to the airports in the morning brandishing their empty hands to block the putschists. They did not do it. No one went to the airports. But the Communists and the unions (particularly the CGT) had called for a general strike, and the country was grounded against the putsch leaders. De Gaulle was obliged to move.

MORE HISTORICAL MISTAKES

Then we have the demonstration of February 8, 1962 (page 201) with eight French citizens killed in Charonne’s tube station. There is still a plaque on the station to prove and commemorate it. His presentation is so sloppy that the demonstrators must run from La Bastille square to Charonne tube station to be killed. Unluckily there are some three or four kilometers between the too. In fact Charonne is next to Nation Square on Voltaire Boulevard, and that’s where the demonstration started getting repressed by the police. He does not seem to know the layout of things in Paris very well.

The book speaks of the famous hundreds of Algerians who were thrown into the Seine on October 17, 1961 by Papon’s cops (page 200) and the helping hands of some demonstrators. The text of the book says a graffiti was written on the bridge where this happened and the author says it read: “This is where we kill Algerians.” But the book also gives the photo of the bridge and the graffiti and it reads (in French of course) “Here we drown Algerians.” And that is what happened. The Algerians were simply thrown into the Seine and they drowned because most of them did not know how to swim, and that detail was well known of the cops and the French. This discrepancy in the book is bad work. And his editor – if he had any – was very cheap if not illiterate.

He has a strange sense of French history.

EVEN MORE HISTORICAL MISTAKES

The “Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen” becomes the Declaration of the Rights of Man, expurgating the Rights of the Citizen and using a very awkward phrasing. It would have been a lot better to speak of the Declaration of Human and Civil Rights. His translation word for word is typical of Brussels gibberish English.

That leads us then (page 110) to the “restoration of the third republic” in 1870. Apart from the fact the Republic was voted back into existence in 1875, it was not the “restoration of the third republic” but the establishment of the third republic since the previous one, before Napoleon III was the second republic from 1848 to 1851 or 1852 (the election of Napoleon or his instating the Second Empire under his rule as Napoleon III). Of course he meant the restoration of the republic. But such mistakes are sloppy historical knowledge or sloppy proof reading. Probably both of them on the part of the author and on the part of his editor (English meaning of course because I am not going to make the type of mistakes the author does page after page, speaking Franglish).

A last instance will suffice. “The paid holidays,” in my language paid vacation, he asserts were passed by the Popular Front. They were for sure voted in by the French Parliament and its Popular Front majority in 1936, but they were not in the program of that Popular Front. They were imposed by the general strike that hit the country after the elections and the concept itself seems to have come from the Christian Unions and the various Christian Youth Movements (dixit the psychiatrist Lucien Bonnafé in a private interview in 1986). He says it was the first time ever in the history of humanity and here he is completely wrong.

A LAST BATCH OF IGNORANCE

First of all, days without any work were introduced by the religious reform of the 9th century that imposed the total absence of work on all Sundays and during the three main religious week long festivities (Nativity, Passion and Assumption) altogether some 75 days of NO-WORK-FOR-ALL. Hence the Christian inspiration behind the concept. Then it is wrong to say the French here were the first. Hitler had done it in 1935: two weeks off for workers, either on Cruises on the Baltic Sea or in various vacation camps. Mussolini should be checked and Stalin had done something along that line too. It is a French myth, I mean a totally illusionary belief, that the Popular Front in France invented the concept and the reality of paid vacations, and first of all that Léon Blum did it as the Prime Minister. This is a pure mistake, just as much as it would if we said the Americans were the first to fly a man into the cosmos. Andrew Hussey has the Internet at the tip of his fingers. It would be good if he checked his information or if he paid someone to do it. A second or third year history major in any university could do it very easily for a pittance.

These were some cases. There are many others like his information about Papon and the Jews; He connects him with the Vel’ d’Hiv’ “evacuation of Jews” though Papon was tried late in his life for anti-Semitic deeds during WWII, he was for the deportation of Jews from Bordeaux in 1944, just before the departure of the Germans at the beginning of June 1944 after a negotiation between Papon and the Germans for the latter to leave the city before the arrival of the communist resistance who, when they arrived, found Papon in the “prefecture,” Chaban Delmas in the Kommandantur in the “Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux” and the Germans in Poitiers. My parents were there and admired the blowing up of all German ammunitions in Cenon from their fourth floor apartment Quai des Chartrons across the Garonne. I am the son of this event, nine months later.

THE CORE OF THIS BOOK

Now what is the main idea of the book?

France conquered Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia in the most violent and colonial way possible. The only way out of this mess was independence 150 years later, more or less, after total devastation, destruction, destructuralization, deculturation, etc., or at least the attempt of all these since Islam was something impossible to eradicate. It left though only one choice to the locals: submit, either in poverty and famine, or in poverty and expatriation-emigration.

Then these masses of people deported to France and living in squalor in some suburbs or urban areas find themselves totally abandoned, rejected, segregated against. The deculturation is never compensated by any acculturation, which makes the Post Traumatic Stress (Colonial) Syndrome enormously more powerful, especially since the deculturation of their religion was impossible and this religion became the main corner stone of their resistance. Their religion was and still is their stronghold.

Unluckily the author does not refer to this colonial version of this famous PTSS and he can only verbosely speak of some kind of alienation and the search of stability and compensation in jihadism, Islamism, extremism, just like for him the proletariat of old found the same compensation in Marxism, communism, Leninism, Stalinism or Maoism. He quotes Franz Fanon, the West Indian psychologist who fought on the side of the FLN in Algeria, but Fanon died very early and young. His approach of the heritage of colonialism could not know PTSS since this concept in its general form, or in the PT Slavery Syndrome or PT Slave Disorder did not exist yet. Quoting people from the past or referring to people from the past can, and it is obvious in this case, block your understanding of the present. Same thing when he refers to Michel Foucault and his writings of the 1960s or 1970s. Yet he could have quoted Louis Althusser who had to be known by Foucault, particularly his study of State Ideological Institutions (Appareils Idéologiques d’Etat, AIE) and that could have made him understand that Islam is such an AIE and when it becomes such a harness it is very close to a mental straight jacket especially when it is based on centuries or generations of deculturation and segregation, colonization or slavery. It is the ideology of these institutions that can best become the core of the mental resistance that will animate the material, physical and social resistance later on.

WHAT IS HE MISSING?

This the author does not see because of his extreme anti-communism and his absolutely blind agnosticism. He cannot understand that a frustration, alienation and exploitation accompanied by violence and extreme humiliation when it is long and reaches five or more generations is going to produce in the next two or three generations, at times even longer, the violent compensation that leads to destructiveness.

The treatment – and I do say treatment because it is a “transmissible disease” – cannot be repression or any war on terror. This PTS(Colonial)S is based on a double mentalcide. A mental suicide on the side of the colonized that either makes them consider themselves and behave as inferior submissive non-entities or rebel and hence justify their elimination. A mental homicide on the side of the colonizers that either makes them consider the colonized as inferior and subhuman and eventually treat them as less than human beings. We come to the following double reality. Only violence can liberate the repressed energy of the colonized and only violence can keep the colonized in order and within submissive limits. In the USA the Nation of Islam is heftily working on such concepts to enable the descendants of slaves to come out of their slave heritage. The author would be very much inspired if he tried to get into such logic.

HOW CAN WE GET OUT OF THIS IMPASSE?

But it has to be a collective process that first of all reconstruct the past for every descendant to rebuild his or her ancestry and the positive and negative aspects of this ancestry of these ancestors. It also has to be a collective process because this recollected heritage has to be shared with other descendants of the same historical event. It finally has to be collective too because it has to involve the people of both sides and on both sides, the descendants of the colonized and the descendants of the colonizers, without forgetting the descendants of those who were neither colonized nor colonizing any one. The author might then have come to the idea that all members of our societies have to remember the past in both what good or bad it brought, reconcile with their past and all their neighbors, and finally recommit themselves to basic human and civil values.

Then we come to this final assessment of this book. It is not helping anyone in the present strife and in fact it justifies both violent sides by pretending the descendants of the colonized have only one option, violence and terror (in one word intifada), and by pretending the descendants of the colonizers and of those who were neither have only one option, to wage a war against terror.

Not only is this book bad as for history, but what’s more it is ideologically negative and dangerous, evil some would have said one or two generations ago. He is blowing on the embers of destructiveness, of the death instinct, the Thanatos that is glowing in all human beings.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Superficial and disappointing 18 septembre 2014
Par NK - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Long on recitation of France's colonial history, short on analysis of the reasons for the current problem, which is what I was looking for.

France had other colonies and other colonial wars, (Southeast Asia) yet it seems only to have problems with its North African population. The US had a colony in the Philippines, which I'm sure was not benign, yet Filipino Americans assimilate perfectly. There is a problem with this particular immigrant group and that is not explained.
1.0 étoiles sur 5 You just can't trust it 7 juillet 2014
Par Lester Elephant - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
It is very revealing that the reviews of this book by specialists of the field have been absolutely damning but that the reviews by jobbing journalists have been favourable. That tells you a lot.

One of many problems I find with this book is that it is so riddled with inaccuracies that it is impossible to trust the content and therefore the book becomes worthless as anything other than fiction.

We can forgive Hussey for his massive generalisation about what the word 'banlieue' means as many people use a similar shorthand for 'banlieue' as 'troubled area', when in actual fact banlieues cover a vast array of different social settings: posh Reuil-Malmaison for instance is a banlieue in the true sense of the word.

Hussey's generalisation of all North Africans as 'Arabs' is crude in the extreme and demonstrates the author's simplistic mind-set: it is completely inexcusable for someone who has written a book on this subject.

The idea that there are no Jews living in the banlieues is frankly laughable- why would there still be a number of synagogues in these areas if the Jewish community had disappeared entirely.

When the author talks about how 'Arabs' in the suburbs are, in large numbers, called Kevin as a result of anti-French and Anglophile tendencies he overlooks the fact that the name Kevin was THE most popular name throughout France at the time these people were born: it reflected the popularity of the American actor Kevin Costner- it had absolutely nothing to do with anti-French colonialism.

These are just some of a huge number of mistakes which undermine one's confidence. After a while one starts to wonder whether Hussey was really present in all the events that he describes and how many of his conversations with people in the suburbs are just made up.

One can't help feeling that the book would have benefitted from some genuine research. A big thumbs down! The title and cover photo give a strong indication of the lack of subtlety in the text...
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Important for understanding today's world 14 juillet 2014
Par joan white - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Beautifully written and argued, this book relates France's (and the world's) recent troubles with Arabs to its colonial past. The mistakes made by the conquerors continue to haunt us.
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