The Syrian Southern Front: Why it Offers Better Justice and Hope than Northern Front” by Marika Sosnowski

MSosnowski-1The Syrian Southern Front: Why it Offers Better Justice and Hope than the Northern”
For Syria Comment – 9 July 2015
by Marika Sosnowski – @mikisosnowski

The coalition of several dozen local insurgent groups, known as ‘the Southern Front’, is consolidating its control in and around Daraa and the Houran Plain in Syria. While the Southern Front is not a cohesive organization but instead an alliance of units that are each individually linked to and funded by the Western- and Arab-backed Military Operations Center (MOC) in Amman, the coalition has in recent months shown itself to be adept in understanding the importance of establishing and maintaining a legitimate and authoritative justice provider. This is because a strong judiciary shows Syrians, and the world, that the Syrian opposition can effectively govern areas under its control. A strong judiciary also makes the Southern Front one of the few viable alternatives to the Assad regime that has emerged from this crisis.

Court_Deraa

Syrian policemen stand in front the burned court building that was set on fire by Syrian anti-government protesters, in the southern city of Daraa, Syria, Monday March 21, 2011. Mourners chanting “No more fear!” have marched through a Syrian city where anti-government protesters had deadly confrontations with security forces in recent days. The violence in Daraa, a city of about 300,000 near the border with Jordan, was fast becoming a major challenge for President Bashar Assad, who tried to contain the situation by freeing detainees and promising to fire officials responsible for the violence. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Around November 2014, financial and military setbacks forced Jabhat al-Nusra, which also has a strong presence in the south, into an alliance with the Southern Front and other Islamists. The alliance consolidated the various Hay’at Al Sharia, or Islamic Justice Committees, that had been operating in the Southern Front’s area of control, into one Dar al-‘Adl known as the Dar al-‘Adl fi al-Hawran, or the Houran Courthouse, which is located in Gharz, southern Syria. Before that, the Islamic Justice Committees of the Southern Front had used a mix of tribal, Islamic, and customary law to maintain order, with some success.

While in many ways the union is borne out of strategic necessity the real difference with the formation of the Dar al-‘Adl is that nearly all the factions seem to back it, whereas the courts in the north are more fragmented and affiliated with smaller sets of armed groups. As such, the northern courts do not command the same authority or legitimacy with Syrians that the southern court seems to be garnering. Additionally, the relative strength of the Southern Front, gained in part through the consistent coordination and backing of the MOC, have enabled the creation of a unified court that includes groups such as al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham. The formation of the court draws on lessons learned from the north in seeking to prevent the Islamists from creating their own systems of governance.

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In a display of both military power and good faith, the groups negotiated to appoint sixteen judges to the court. Half were chosen by the Southern Front with al-Nusra appointing four and the remainder selected by other Islamist groups that are part of the alliance, Harakat al-Muthana and Ahrar al-Sham. It is not clear whether the judges are independent or simply members of their respective factions. However, the Courthouse is not wholly religious or civil, following the original Justice Committees by using tribal, Islamic, and customary law to deal with cases common in rebel-held Syria. These include military, criminal, and administrative matters, as well as reconciling disputes involving civilians and armed factions. For example, once the court was established detainees being held by the various factions were handed over to the court for sentencing and detention. The Court also seems to be playing an active mediation role between armed factions, such as the Shohadaa al-Yarmouk Brigade and Jabhat al-Nusra. In the aftermath of a military operation in April to secure the Nasib border crossing with Jordan, the Court was also charged with establishing a judicial committee to record the claims of people affected during the operation.

While each faction would certainly prefer sole-control, the establishment of the Houran Court reflects a necessary practicality. With all sides unable to decisively establish dominance over the others on the battlefield, they have been compelled into compromise. Additionally, the establishment of one main justice provider is part of a pragmatic effort by the Southern Front to win civilian hearts and minds. External backers of the revolution may also see the Court as a relative success story for pragmatism showing that the Syrian opposition can create, ‘a “third way” of local governance that threatens Bashar al-Assad’s depiction of the Syrian opposition movement as extremists and terrorists.’

The effectiveness of the Courthouse in Houran in upholding and enforcing the law is in stark contrast to the situation in the north of Syria. In rebel-held Idlib and Aleppo, many courts have been essentially white-anted by the armed groups or other power brokers in town making it impossible for them to enforce the law. While some courts operating in rebel-held areas, such as those established in the image of armed groups like the Islamic Front’s Aleppo Sharia Court, have the ways and means to enforce their rulings, other courts, such as the Unified Judicial Council that operated until February 2014 in Aleppo and northern Idlib, have little to no ability to implement the law without the support of an armed group.

Additionally, because a cohesive legal structure is essential to effective governance, local communities need to establish and develop one main justice provider (and an associated legal hierarchy) as well as decide on one consistent body of law to deal with legal issues. In Kafr Nobel and Saraqib in northern Idlib province, for example, there are as many as five justice providers including a Sharia Court, the local police force and a Security Committee. Additionally, there is as yet no opposition agreement on whether pre-Ba’athist Syrian Law, the Unified Arab Code or Sharia law should be used to arbitrate disputes. Particularly regarding civil matters, the opinion of local tribal leaders also remains authoritative.

The obstacles that plague the establishment of the rule of law in northern Syria don’t seem to be happening with the Dar al-Adl in the south. Groups have so far honoured the courts decisions including cases of criminal allegations against their own members. The Court also seems to be using a consistent body of law that builds on the work of the Southern Front’s original Justice Committees. However, at this stage, the Court remains firmly wedded to its armed backers.

In wartime, fortunes are won and lost on the battlefield. As the most recent battle for control of Daraa unfolds, it will be interesting to see how military results affect the Southern Front’s relationship with its Islamist partners. If the Southern Front gains militarily, its professed nationalist and democratic agenda could offer new hope for a Syrian opposition that, until relatively recently, was considered by many as either extremist or fratricidal.

*Marika Sosnowski is a Middle East researcher. She has taught the history and politics of the region at a number of universities and is a regular guest on Melbourne radio station Triple R.

End article

News:

Idlib Falling Victim to Systematic Looting

Weeks after the city fell in the hands of rebel groups, Idlib is reportedly witnessing the systematic looting of public and private properties.

In the last few days, a number of activists from the city have been reporting the rising number of incidents involving the theft of state institutions and private assets alike.

In an interview on an opposition-affiliated radio, Ghazwan Qronfol, the head of the Free Syrian Lawyers Assembly, said, for instance, that members of the armed opposition groups had stolen hundreds of passenger cars and looted the private homes of many residents of the city, in particular those considered wealthy.

Other activists have also reported that public assets stolen have included the warehouse of the agricultural directorate of the city as well as the equipment of the Olive Bureau, the body in charge of monitoring the country’s olive sector and that is affiliated to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Also, machinery and equipment at the Idlib Spinning Plant, a large factory employing thousands of people, are reported to have been stolen.

Other parts of northern Syria that were taken over by opposition groups in the last three years have already been largely victim of chaos, theft and looting. Aleppo’s city, for instance, has seen the looting of hundreds of its plants.

However, many had hoped that Idlib would not face the same fate because of warnings by civil society groups and statements by rebel leaders that the same mistakes would not be repeated.

The chaos engulfing the city, however, raises again the case of the incapacity of the opposition to administer areas that fall outside the control of the regime.

The Syrian regime lost Idlib at the end of March after only a few days after the beginning of an offensive led by the Nusra Front and other radical Islamist groups.

At the time, the issue of how the city would be administered was raised and the National Coalition, the main non-military grouping of the opposition had asked rebel groups to protect private and public properties, to preserve the state’s institutions and ensure that they continued operating normally “to prove to the world that Syrians are capable of managing their country properly.”

While activists are making their anger increasingly heard on social media, there haven’t been yet reports of an opposition on the ground to the behaviour of the armed groups.

In addition to the prevailing lawlessness, the city faced a systematic bombing from the Syrian air force as soon as it fell outside the hands of the regime.

In a scenario that is reminiscent of many similar events in the last few years, the actions of the regime and of armed rebel groups have combined to make life unsustainable in the so-called “liberated” areas.

Comments (125)


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51. ALAN said:

“We’re speeding up training of ISIL forces.” — President Obama

https://youtu.be/p2NkjNvwuaU

https://twitter.com/FearDept/status/620225870049882113

the training bases in Jordan and Turkey near Syrian borders could not be tolerated more! they could be inevitably attacked as revenge for Syrian people!
War maniac Obama! F**k U.

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July 12th, 2015, 3:48 pm

 

52. Akbar Palace said:

Omen,

Thanks for the link. These 180 EX-defense officials are all dovish labor and meretz party members. And what are they afraid of? Obama, not Iran. They also wanted BB to lose the election. But this is why the Left keeps losing elections. BB went ahead with his speech, detailing why this Iran deal sucks. Give BB credit Omen.

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July 12th, 2015, 3:56 pm

 

53. omen said:

That’s all we need is more conspiracy theory.

it’s government officials who cook up fake cover stories to disguise their true intentions who are the conspiracists.

51. ALAN said: War maniac massonic Obama!

if you were wondering where alan’s focus on masonry comes from —>

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/08/russia-today-has-an-illuminati-correspondent-really.html?via=desktop&source=twitter

Give BB credit Omen.

BB stands for barrel bombs. that’s what netanyahu now stands for when he colluded to keep assad in power.

a man who brags about this is a manipulator, not to be trusted:

I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in our way.

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July 12th, 2015, 4:05 pm

 

54. Akbar Palace said:

BB stands for barrel bombs.

Omen,

Believe it or not, Israel is not a super power. Israel can barely protect herself. Israel supported Lebanese Christians and lost. Like I mentioned before, NO ONE is asking for Israel’s help. You are being very unfair in your statement I italicized above. BB and the VAST majority of Israelis never trusted or liked Assad or his associations with terrorists. Thank G-d a peace wasn’t signed with him.

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July 12th, 2015, 4:28 pm

 

55. omen said:

is netanyahu the only israeli opposed to the iran deal? where is the crowd of officials to counter the doves? *crickets*

Believe it or not, Israel is not a super power.

israel influential enough to keep assad in power.

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July 12th, 2015, 4:39 pm

 

56. Akbar Palace said:

is netanyahu the only israeli opposed to the iran deal?

Omen,

Unless you have proof otherwise, I would say 90% of Israelis are against the deal. This is supported by BB’s excellent showing in the election, which occurred AFTER the speech.

where is the crowd of officials to counter the doves? *crickets*

Omen,

I will turn you on to some good conservative Israeli websites when I get back to the mainland. On my way to the airport.

israel influential enough to keep assad in power.

That’s right, Israel keeps all leaders in power, because Israel is infinite in power and influence. Sheeesh…

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July 12th, 2015, 5:20 pm

 

57. omen said:

sheesh michael oren, akbar, who blew the whistle on the chem deal/cover up/scandal that netanyahu took pains to hide his fingerprints because he knew he was in the wrong.

………………

syria comment FB pointed to this interview with yassin al haj saleh which counters ghufran’s argument.

http://en.radiozamaneh.com/articles/syria-iran-isis-and-the-future-of-social-justice-in-dialogue-with-yassin-al-haj-saleh/

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July 12th, 2015, 5:43 pm

 

58. Akbar Palace said:

Omen,

Re: Syrian chemical weapons

I see nothing that the GOI has to be embarrassed about.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/06/16/world/middleeast/israeli-helped-inspire-us-russia-weapons-deal-with-assad-memoir-says.html?referrer=&_r=0

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July 12th, 2015, 6:22 pm

 

59. omen said:

really? you objected to the story when syrian first posted it on this board. Sensitivity then but bravado now. Glad you were able to find the article. Every time I’d reference it, you were like “what are you talking about?” Even though I had posted relevant link 3-4 times.

The outcome of the deal gave Obama the pretext needed to backpedal on the threatened strike and to allowed Assad to remain in power. Thanks to bibi, bashar continues to this day to get away with gassing children. That’s nothing to be proud about.

Now back to the prospect whether netanyahu will bomb Iran – I forgot this earlier “chickenshit” scandal where the whitehouse bragged it got bibi to back off any attempt at a preemptive strike.

This is yet another cover story that stinks to high heaven. Probably cooked up just to save face to excuse Netanyahu doing jack shit to stop iran. In fact doing the opposite and acting to keep their proxy Assad in power.

There is no way this admin could bully netanyahu to act counter to Israeli national security. Yet this is what this whitehouse fiction expects people to swallow.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/10/the-crisis-in-us-israel-relations-is-officially-here/382031/

Odd how all these scandals rebound in iran’s favor. im sure that’s just a coincidence.

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July 12th, 2015, 7:07 pm

 

60. Ghufran said:

A deal with Iran is good for syria and the region. Positive engagement is better than sanctions and confrontation. Nobody should be surprised that Israel is not happy
about the deal, Israel will always prefer an environment of hostility and disorder in the region as an insurance policy against an inevitable compromise with the Palestinians.
Look at those who are against the deal and smile !!

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July 12th, 2015, 8:07 pm

 

61. Akbar Palace said:

really? you objected to the story when syrian first posted it on this board.

Omen,

My memory is poor and I don’t remember what Syrian posted. I do my best when responding to specific issues, news articles, etc.

The issue we’ve been discussing today seems to be whether Israel’s request to rid chemical weapons from Syria in exchange for not bombing Assad was a bad decision by the GOI?

Do you agree with summation?

Now if BB didn’t make this request, I’m willing to bet BOTH Assad AND CW would still be around, because I don’t think Obama would have done much.

Soooo, I think a CW-FREE Syria is GOOD for Israel AND Syria. But as we can see, a lot of death and destruction can happen w/o CWs.
What we need are TROOPS ON THE GROUND.

Now, how do we manage that Omen?

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July 12th, 2015, 9:19 pm

 

62. Ghufran said:

It is now fairly possible that white smoke will come out in Vienna tomorrow.
رئيس منظمة الطاقة الذرية الإيرانية يعلن عن انتهاء المفاوضات التقنية حول برنامج إيران النووي، وأنه تتم حالياً مراجعة النصوص للتأكد من مطابقتها المفاوضات الشفهية، ويكشف عن دخول بلاده نادي الدول المستفيدة من التكنولوجيا النووية تجارياً.
Arabs as usual are wondering how and why
ياامة ضحكت من جهلهاالامم
خلو القائد الملهم و الثوره المباركه تنفعكم

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July 12th, 2015, 9:24 pm

 

63. omen said:

62. Akbar Palace said: The issue we’ve been discussing today seems to be whether Israel’s request to rid chemical weapons from Syria in exchange for not bombing Assad was a bad decision by the GOI? Do you agree with summation?

this whole “deal” was a charade, a con job, an exercise in PR to placate the gullible. a childish game of three-card monty. if netanyahu was on the up and up, he wouldn’t have needed to keep secret israel’s role in being its architect.

put this shoe on your own foot, akbar. hypothetically, if you were being gassed to death by a dictator, on top of being pounded with heavy ordnance every single day, would you be happy with a “deal” that allowed your mass murdering monster to remain in power in exchange for some token measure but incomplete stockpile surrendered?

NO, you would not. you would never accept this “deal” for yourself. would you have accepted Hitler remaining in power in exchange for his surrender of a mountain’s worth of zyklon b? No, of course not, so stop pretending this deal has merit.

i’m sorry to say but that you would be happy with such an unjust deal, a devil’s bargain you would never tolerate for yourself, betrays just how little you value arab blood.

in the end it’s assad who is the WMD more so than any chemical.

Now if BB didn’t make this request, I’m willing to bet BOTH Assad AND CW would still be around, because I don’t think Obama would have done much.

if obama had gone ahead with the planned strike, it would have taken out heavy regime armor at the very least.

claiming the strike wouldn’t have done much runs counter to the fear struck anticipating it. if netanyahu wasn’t worried about the prospect of assad finally being driven out, he wouldn’t have resorted to cooking up this desperate deal to to save bashar’s skin to begin with.

this “deal” didnt do squat to cut the CW threat as this WSJ article from couple of weeks ago attests.

U.S. intelligence agencies believe there is a strong possibility the Assad regime will use chemical weapons on a large scale as part of a last-ditch effort to protect key Syrian government strongholds […]

More worrying, U.S. officials said, would be the possibility that Mr. Assad could tap into a secret supply of sarin and VX.

full article can be found here.

also from charles lister:

It’s broadly ‘known’ in top-level circles that Assad didnt disclose c.25% of CWs. Well-connected Syrians also talk of secret VX stores.

netanyahu the liar cooked up a crooked deal which relied on assad the liar to self disclose his own stockpile. this is netanyahu who is guilty himself of using banned substances against civilians. if you cant see the absurdity of how this this is one rogue helping another rogue wash his hands, then i cant help you.

the farce of the above is akin to this cartoon:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CJV53epWIAAVqAY.jpg

you still cant deny netanyahu’s “deal” benefited iran the most. when you boil it all down, bibi acted to preserve a khamenei asset.

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July 13th, 2015, 5:20 am

 

64. Akbar Palace said:

put this shoe on your own foot, akbar. hypothetically, if you were being gassed to death by a dictator, on top of being pounded with heavy ordnance every single day, would you be happy with a “deal” that allowed your mass murdering monster to remain in power in exchange for some token measure but incomplete stockpile surrendered?

NO, you would not. you would never accept this “deal” for yourself. would you have accepted Hitler remaining in power in exchange for his surrender of a mountain’s worth of zyklon b? No, of course not, so stop pretending this deal has merit.

i’m sorry to say but that you would be happy with such an unjust deal, a devil’s bargain you would never tolerate for yourself, betrays just how little you value arab blood.

in the end it’s assad who is the WMD more so than any chemical.

Now if BB didn’t make this request, I’m willing…

Omen,

Once again, you’ve zeroed – in on the problem: Benjamin Netanyahu! How original? How surprising! I will have to get you you’re own personal BB voodoo doll to meet ur needs.

BB signs a “secret deal” (everything Israel does is secret YET we all know about it;) that purportedly forces Assad to turn in his CW and in exchange, Assad isn’t bombed.

This “deal”, to my recollection, is carried out with UN inspectors and the US in a lead role.

You are now showing me information in the form of a WSJ report that “perhaps” 25% of Assad’s CW still exist.

Firstly, I will AGREE with you EXACTLY, that “…Assad is the WMD…”, and not so much the CW. In fact, THAT was MY MANTRA for invading Iraq, where I believe SADDAM WAS THE WMD. Of course, I was subsequently booed and hissed off this and other websites for having the chutzpah to suggesting this.

Omen, did you support GWB and his regime change goal in Iraq? Speak up. You are certainly expecting regime change is Syria (like me). What makes Saddam any different than Assad?

As far as fault is concerned with this deal BB (the “liar”) was involved with, why isn’t Obama faulted for not going through with his “red line”? Why isn’t the UN faulted for not finding all the CW (assuming 25% still remains)?

No, it is the Israeli PM at fault. Again, no surprise. BB answers not to Syrians who have hated Israel from inception to the present. BB answers to only Israelis. In this case, he obviously did enough to be VOTED in for another term.

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July 13th, 2015, 8:06 am

 

65. ALAN said:

Take it from Gilad Atzmon
http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2015/7/11/yahud-or-israeli

Asghar with Pro™ :
Its not up side down, but the real fact. Israel commits war crimes in the name of world Jewry.

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July 13th, 2015, 12:55 pm

 

66. Ghufran said:

Unfortunately, many Muslims in the Arab world especially in the media are using the struggle against dictatorships and the presence of Shia militias to hide their support for Nusra and Isis. Those terrorist groups could not have survived without active support from people and governments in the Arab world and Muslim countries as a whole.
This is an Ummah that legislates terrorism and human rights abuse in the name of Islam and self defense.
أمه فاشله من الألف للياء

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July 13th, 2015, 2:04 pm

 

67. ALAN said:

The President Obama said: “We’re speeding up training of ISIL forces.”
Mr GHUFRAN! “We”- it means Obama administration and all its potentials including the puppets and parrots, powerless without dignity, religion and conscience.

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July 13th, 2015, 4:38 pm

 

68. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Mr. Obama Hussein, the african shiite president of the americans, is going to sign a deal with Iran tonight. It is already know among experts as the worst dimplomatic deal ever in US history.

Good night and good …. luck (arabs and jews will need it).

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July 13th, 2015, 5:45 pm

 

69. SANDRO LOEWE said:

ALAN,

Go to Syria and fight and die for the interests of the new power IRAN & UNITED STATES in the Middle East.

For the imperial cause you can share the iranian, american, syrian regime forces or even share the Islamic State, the puppet of CIA and IRAN. You will surely enjoy it.

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July 13th, 2015, 5:49 pm

 

70. Observer said:

I beg to differ. The sectarian policies of the regimes in Syria and Iraq have left no choice for the Sunnis but to ally with whomever is willing to protect them from the sectarian militias.

It is exactly the same discourse of some Alewites asking France for a separate state and for the Maronites asking France to give them a state. Lebanon came to be but to make it viable in had to include the Bekaa and the south and with time demographics changed the equation.

Just as the Shia and Alawites think and feel and act as a sect so now the Sunnis define themselves as the majority Sunni population in Syria and the minority in Iraq.

As was noted before not all Alawites are with the regime and not all of them wished for the destruction and mayhem to be the lot of the Sunnis. This declaration proves that the Syrian national identity is dead on the ground.

Likewise when you hear Maliki declare that the problem is 1400 years old when Othman burned all the various versions of the Quran for a single one thereby destroying the one where Fatima wrote her annotations it tells you how deep this sectarian thinking is and when the Iranians declare the opposition in Syria as being Omayyad it tells you in what prism they are thinking.

Deal or no deal this playing with fire by the local powers with promoting factions and militia is going to bite them all in the behind: there are 50% non Persians in Iran, 20 million Kurds in Turkey, Shia in the eastern province in KSA and the list goes on.

Sykes Picot is finished and was used to consecrate the rule of the few over the many ( in mirror images by the way in Syria and Iraq until Bush intervened ). It is finished in Lebanon and in Syria and in Iraq. These countries are going to dissolve slowly and surely and with utter destruction.

He who sows the wind harvests the storm.

But wait the road to Jerusalem goes by Hassaka ( note not by Raqqa ).

Have a popsicle and please stop this nonsense of stupid postings

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July 13th, 2015, 11:44 pm

 

71. Majedkhaldoun said:

Iran accepted the west conditions, Iran gave up its sovereignty when Iran accepted the unfettered inspection of their military bases, and accepted the interviews of their nuclear scientists by US and European inspectors, humiliating conditions,
The question would the US allows Iran to resume its nuclear program after ten years? Obama will not be there at that time,
However Iran will get seventy billion dollar soon, which soon will be spent,

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July 13th, 2015, 11:44 pm

 

72. omen said:

i kept remembering this little boy in the back of my head but i couldn’t place him. then, today, looking for something else i accidentally pulled him up from an old folder.

Waseem al-Khatib, young boy slaughtered by Assad militias in Midan neighbourhood of Damascus. 11 Nov 2012

racan added shabiha slit his throat with a knife.

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July 14th, 2015, 12:37 am

 

73. Akbar Palace said:

Toppsy curvy video

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July 14th, 2015, 1:33 am

 

74. omen said:

like a few of us i suspect, i’ve been arguing tail wag the dog! obama FP Not Possible without israeli buy-in.

Lina Khatib: As the Iran Deal looms, Netanyahu huffs and puffs alone. But the US would never agree to a deal that would jeopardize Israel’s interests.

don’t need to be a credentialed analyst to recognize which way the wind is blowing.

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July 14th, 2015, 2:02 am

 

75. Syrian said:

Iran nuclear deal is reached, let the nuclear arm race begin.

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July 14th, 2015, 3:26 am

 

76. ALAN said:

Most people in the United States have no hostility to Iran. Despite deceptive media campaigns and confused propaganda, the average person in New York, California, Texas, Iowa, Alabama, or Michigan does not believe that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a “threat.” Most people in the United States are more worried about finding jobs, paying their mortgages and student loan bills, and trying to survive amid the barely noticeable “economic recovery.”
Studies show that it is the young people of the United States, the ones suffering the most in the new low-wage economy, who are the least hostile to Iran. This new generation, dubbed “millennials” in the US media, voted for Obama in record numbers. They did so hoping they could repudiate the politics of fear-mongering and militarism commonly identified with the Republicans. Polls show that they favor more cooperation with Iran, and are not taken in by scare-mongering propaganda about the notion that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons.
The fact that the June 30 deadline has arrived and no deal ending the sanctions has been reached is not a reflection of popular sentiments in the United States. Rather, it is an illustration that three specific special interest groups have effectively secured their hold on the US political apparatus. Despite the rising discontent recently displayed in the streets of Baltimore, three specific entities still exercise an astronomical amount of influence over US policy. Much to the frustration of the world, this triangle of evil demonstrates that it is still able to overrule the massive sentiment for peace

The struggle of the people in the United States who desire peace, not further economic and covert warfare against Iran, is intrinsically bound up with other ongoing confrontations. The struggle for peace is directly linked to the struggle against police brutality and racism. It is bound up with the call to raise the minimum wage and secure the rights of low-wage workers.

A change in US-Iran relations will require the people of the United States, who are becoming more and more frustrated with the decaying state of affairs at home, to assert their own power. Ending the continued efforts to attack and isolate the Islamic Republic of Iran will require the defeat of big money and an upsurge of people’s pow

http://journal-neo.org/2015/07/13/who-has-been-blocking-a-deal-with-iran/

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July 14th, 2015, 4:24 am

 

77. omen said:

73. Akbar Palace said: Toppsy curvy video

what video you mean?

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July 14th, 2015, 4:55 am

 

78. Majedkhaldoun said:

Alan said most people in the United States has no hostility to Iran
I am very surprised to such statement, I talked to many educated Americans, I am yet to find one that says what you just have mentioned, Iran is considered hostile to the United States , and Iran talk about US as the devile, I like to see statistics proves what you just said, may be someone else help in that,
Iran is represented by their government , and Iran government is not considered friendly to U S

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July 14th, 2015, 7:50 am

 

79. Akbar Palace said:

Hi Omen,

I don’t know where that post came from.

OTOH, this morning we got the bad news about the agreement with Iran.

If Israel was so “influential”, this deal would never get through. And let’s see how influential Israel is with congress.

Jewish-Americans and even our Jewish-American state senator is letting this nuke deal go through.

Wow, what power!

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/04/ben-cardin-bob-corker-iran-deal-116979.html

Israeli’s stomach turning green…

http://www.ynetnews.com/home/0,7340,L-3083,00.html

http://www.wsj.com/articles/pro-israel-lobby-urges-support-for-corker-bill-in-senate-on-iran-nuclear-deal-1430340654

Here are the “good” Israeli websites I promised you. Please skip the liberal Israeli news sources like Ynet and especially Haaretz.

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/

http://www.israellycool.com/

http://www.jpost.com/

http://www.timesofisrael.com/

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July 14th, 2015, 7:51 am

 

80. Akbar Palace said:

obama FP Not Possible without israeli buy-in.

Omen,

Obviously, you’re reading something different than I am:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3160393/Iran-given-licence-kill-Furious-Israel-condemns-historic-surrender-West-axis-evil-Tehran-agrees-nuclear-power-deal.html

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July 14th, 2015, 9:58 am

 

81. omen said:

79. Akbar Palace said: Hi Omen, I don’t know where that post came from.

whaaa? hmm, ok.

OTOH, this morning we got the bad news about the agreement with Iran.

If Israel was so “influential”, this deal would never get through. And let’s see how influential Israel is with congress.

Jewish-Americans and even our Jewish-American state senator is letting this nuke deal go through.

if you review, you’ll see where i tried to argue, however inarticulately, that israel’s real agenda has been to collude to empower iran. recall where i pointed out israeli generals have been holding closed door meetings with iranian agents. what could have been they talking about? exchanging recipes?

it is to israel’s benefit to unleash persian storm upon the region, pitting shia versus sunni.

you yourself affect a “nothing we can do” posture, ending arguments with rationale israelis can only look out for themselves. well then, what secures israel’s future more than having iran kill off all of her perceived “enemies”?

this is an astonishingly amoral view. im not an expert but anybody should be able to see unleashing destabilizing chaos to this degree will only end up with unintended consequence – blowback. netanyahu thinks he’s being clever by half. his anti-arab
bigotry
is making him astonishingly short-sighted.

it’s israeli acquiescence that’s allowed this “deal” to go thru in the first place. seems to have been the calculated tactic from the start. bibi cried wolf so often in the beginning that he reduced himself to white noise, to be tuned out & ignored. but when it came down to the fourth quarter – the most consequential period to prevent iran from making a touchdown – bibi was caught napping on the sidelines! sitting on your hands and keeping your mouth shut doesn’t constitute opposition. in fact, bibi put in more work & effort to ensure assad a soft landing so bashar could get away with continuing to gas more children!

remember all the press israeli officials garnered from vocal support for rapprochement? a counter rally effect opposing iran deal failed to surfaced. that wasn’t by accident.

all kinds of signs israeli establishment support continues to surface. here is latest example:

Channel 2’s Ehud Yaari, who lambasted Iran deal on Friday, now says “it’s not as bad as we thought

this is israel’s de facto motto, their raison d’être. they will do whatever it takes to make this a reality. what better outcome for israelis than to have the bigger, more powerful country like iran (or the US) to do their killing for them? israelis get to have their cake and eat it to while to pretending to have clean hands when they were responsible for setting the table in the first place.

like i noted earlier: “Israel still viewed Iran as its natural ally against the Arabs.”

true then, true now.

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July 14th, 2015, 11:56 am

 

82. ALAN said:

78. MAJEDKHALDOUN
the link included /I would have preferred if you have read the full article/
the auther Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College and was inspired and involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement

from another side:
Because, in recent years by certain circles in the USA are increasingly began to use tactics stuffing into the public consciousness distorted information, thus achieving various lucrative government targets.
So, the other day there was stuffing data that for the first quarter of this year US economy “collapsed.” At the same time the initiators of this “information” knew that the situation was properly assessed and it was designed only to new races on the international stock exchanges, for the sake of obtaining certain circles of new super-profits at the auction, and ordinary people are, as always, lost.

To participate in such misinformation stuffing are different ways: by leaks “information” from the scientists or experts’ studies research centers “of the US, and sometimes just using blogs, has a large number of visitors.

This tactic is used in various fields, particularly in the military and security sphere, in order to justify the government’s policies in a specific period or to obtain additional financing, constructing an image of a foe.

There are many concrete examples and transfer of the Washington scheme to manipulate public opinion and on the activities of international organizations. A vivid illustration of this, is the recent UN report on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territory.

http://journal-neo.org/2015/07/14/understanding-manufactured-dissent-in-america/

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July 14th, 2015, 12:18 pm

 

83. Akbar Palace said:

it is to israel’s benefit to unleash persian storm upon the region, pitting shia versus sunni.

Omen,

That would be logical from Israel’s standpoint, increase Iran’s influence so HA is more powerful and more of a threat to Israel. Make’s perfect sense.

Meanwhile, it is the Shia’s belief, like you, that Israel is “unleashing” ISIS upon THEM.

The common thread, of course, is the typical Israel conspiracy where Israel is responsible for all these muslim extremists and crises.

Back to Earth, BOTH Iran and ISIS are huge threats to Israel and Israel has no control of either foe. You are free to believe otherwise.

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July 14th, 2015, 1:24 pm

 

84. omen said:

you know what, akbar? your challenging the issue made me realize the chem deal is what provided media the cover needed to put assad on the back burner. look how syria was ignored after netanyahu engineered damage control. media attention plummets after ghouta gassing.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CHzvFN1UwAAComd.jpg

this pattern is going to be repeated. the iran deal is being hailed as “peace for our time.” this is going to give iran the cover needed to double down on killing syrians while networks continue to look the other way.

ghufran is giddy at the prospect. for shame.

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July 14th, 2015, 2:34 pm

 

85. ALAN said:

Netanyahu has a real problem. With the P5+1 deal completed, world attention is going to go back to Israel’s reign of destruction on Gaza a year ago, and without the distraction of trying to ban Iran’s imaginary nuclear weapons, world opinion will turn to banning Israel’s very real nuclear weapons!
http://rt.com/news/273589-israel-blasts-iran-deal/

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July 14th, 2015, 2:40 pm

 

86. Akbar Palace said:

Omen,

Thanks for the media attention graph. BB controls that too. You’re beginning to merge with Ahlan’s Laws of Jooish Conspiracy Theory. BB negotiated Assad’s removal of his CW (for whatever it was worth, probably little), and that was in Israel’s best interest. He did not negotiate for less media attention or for freedom for Syria’s people.

But you are free to email BB’s office in occupied Jerusalem to ask him to help Syria more. He has a lot of free time.

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July 14th, 2015, 2:55 pm

 

87. omen said:

i dont blame jews for netanyahu’s insanity. i dont conflate the two. you shouldnt absorb it as a personal affront. israel like the US are ruled by oligarchs.

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July 14th, 2015, 3:03 pm

 

88. omen said:

syrians enduring a holocaust but you’re more attuned to safeguarding israel’s reputation. whose the victim here, akbar?

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July 14th, 2015, 3:21 pm

 

89. ALAN said:

Obama went on increasing. His brother in low appointed “chief blacks rabbi in the world”!
Rabbi Capers Fanny, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capers_Funnye , who is a cousin of first lady Michelle Obama, was elected as the first “African-American chief rabbi» XXI century!
It is worth noting that earlier in the media have published articles that the rabbi Fanny called “dark-skinned chief rabbi of America,” but this time we will focus on “global recognition.”
The corresponding statement was made by the International Council Israhilitian rabbis, whose members unanimously chose the wife of US President’s cousin “figurehead of the international community of black Jews.” This community, in addition to the United States, represented in the Caribbean, South Africa, Uganda and Nigeria.
It is noted that this position was free since 1999 after the death of Rabbi Levi Ben Levy. It is expected that it will be responsible for the establishment of closer ties with the community of Ethiopian Jews in Israel, and to proceed to him he must have this fall.

Fanny is headed by Rabbi congregation “Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken” and is the only dark-skinned rabbi, who is on the Board of Rabbis of the city of Chicago.

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July 14th, 2015, 3:34 pm

 

90. Akbar Palace said:

Omen,

I don’t know what to tell you. Jews don’t own the term Holocaust despite the rumors.

Any time so many innocent people are killed, use it. Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Vietnam, Russia, China, Bosnia, Rwanda, Germany, Japan, etc.

Jews pleaded for help too. Just to take us in as refugees, like Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have so graciously offered many Syrians. So, I understand the frustration when calls get unanswered. BB is not the designated Syrian freedom fighter unless the Syrians designate him as such.

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July 14th, 2015, 3:47 pm

 

91. ALAN said:

POOR BIBI, THE WORLD HAS TAKEN AWAY HIS MOST BELOVED TOY — THE IRANIAN BOMB
The bomb has gone.From now on,Natanyahu is like a baby that has lost its secutity blanket, or like one whose favorite teddy bear was thrown into the garbage.

https://medium.com/@thepalestineproject/poor-netanyahu-the-world-has-taken-away-his-most-beloved-toy-the-iranian-bomb-63cc0b7db8cc

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July 14th, 2015, 4:07 pm

 

92. SANDRO LOEWE said:

ALAN,

FROM NOW ON BIBI MAYBE HAS LOST HIS IRANIAN BOMB TOY AND YOUR FRIENDS OF ASSAD AND HEZBOLLAH WILL FREELY KILL, TORTURE AND RAPE SYRIANS, IRAQIS AND LEBANESE PEOPLE.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE US OF AMERICA THE LAND OF THE FREE WHO DON´T HAVE AN IDEA OF THE CRIMES THEY ARE PROMOTING.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NATIONALIST, IMPERIALIST, ISLAMIST REGIME OF IRAN WHO WILL CELEBRATE CRIMES ON ARAB NATIONS.

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July 14th, 2015, 4:21 pm

 

93. majedkhaldoun said:

the importance of the Iran deal is that it converts Iran from foe to friend of US, as it was during the Shah, there is also realization that Sanctions never really worked, and the enthusiasm for war has waned in America under Obama tenure, and the cost of Iraq war.
the main critic to this agreement is can we trust the Mulla in Iran?, the answer is clear , NO , so why did the US agreed to this deal?
We know the answer, US is afraid of Erdogan who is the new Saladin, and US wants to stoke the fire of war in the Middle East so that they burn their money and destroy their countries, I mean a war between KSA and Iran, unfortunately we have seniles ruling KSA , whose policy has nothing to do with the Arab interest

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July 14th, 2015, 5:45 pm

 

94. Tara said:

“Rouhani wasn’t alone in bringing up Imam Hassan. The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei —who has final say in all political and national security matters—also began to invoke the imam in setting the stage for Tuesday’s compromise, calling it a policy of “heroic flexibility.” By repeating this term several times, Khamenei reached back into Shiite history to provide theological justification for the prospect of a rapprochement with Iran’s Western adversaries.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/07/how-a-seventh-century-cleric-led-to-the-iran-deal-120100.html#ixzz3fuACsu5t

Theology is jack of all trait. It is invoked for mass slaughter as well as rapprochement. Ironically bt the same spiritual leaders. May all religious clergy be cursed. They are all حثالة.

God can do much better without those people

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July 14th, 2015, 5:52 pm

 

95. annie said:

Maysaloon
Of course Annie agrees totally with him

TUESDAY, JULY 14, 2015
Pan-Arabists and the Iran “deal”
The Pan-Arabists of the Middle East are celebrating the US-Iranian deal along with all the Progressives of the world. Every spin is being put on this deal to make it look like a guarantee for peace in our time, that somehow the Iranian regime’s desire for a nuclear bomb has been curbed. In exchange, however, the world has offered Syria to Iran on a platter. We’re told by reasonable people that of course, “no deal is perfect”. What they won’t say is that the “imperfect” bits are Syria, and that the millions of people who can’t go home anymore, and the hundreds of thousands who have died in the last four years, are directly a result of Tehran’s actions.

I didn’t always used to think like this. You’re reading the blog of a bitter and disillusioned man who once cheered for Hassan Nasrallah during the 2006 war and believed that Tehran’s ‘Axis of Resistance’ was the region’s only hope. I changed my mind because Syrians were being murdered by the thousands, their legitimate claims dismissed, and their uprising brushed off as a terrorist uprising by a tinpot dictator who would not have survived had it not been for the help of Tehran and Hezbullah. The pan-Arabists were blasé about the news. We were brutalised and the world did nothing. We were tortured, and the world did nothing. We were starved, and the world did nothing. The world looked away when Syria started.

Whilst I write this I am thinking about a young Syrian boy I shook hands with in Turkey. Well, we didn’t shake hands. He shook my hands, I shook the stump of his arm because his hands were blown off by a Syrian regime missile strike. The Iranian deal means more bombs, more bullets, and more militias will be sent to Assad, and the easing of sanctions means more money will be used to prop up his economy and keep him in power. That’s why I’m not enthusiastic about the deal with Iran. That’s why I’m angry and biased. I don’t know, maybe I’m not thinking straight; I’m too ’emotional’.

I’m sorry that Syrians are inconvenient, that we’re not being killed by the right type of enemy for you people. I’m sorry we haven’t received your stamp of approval. Pan-Arabists are cheering a deal with Iran, because, as they keep reminding us, Israel is the real enemy; Palestine the real goal. Never mind the untold misery, guts and excrement that we are being forced to crawl through in the name of this mythical liberation that hovers on our horizon like a promised paradise for the wretched of the world. Syria is “complicated”. Syrians are only to be felt “sorry for”, like the victims of some flood or an earthquake. From your glass towers in Dubai you intellectual pan-Arabists can toast a deal with Iran, and celebrate the fact that nothing has been allowed to deviate your attention from the lofty goal of “liberating Palestine”.
http://www.maysaloon.org/2015/07/pan-arabists-and-iran-deal.html

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July 15th, 2015, 5:10 am

 

96. ALAN said:

93. MAJEDKHALDOUN
The essence of the subject is to replace the Russian oil and gas

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July 15th, 2015, 7:49 am

 

97. Akbar Palace said:

Annie thanks for the post above.

You’re reading the blog of a bitter and disillusioned man who once cheered for Hassan Nasrallah during the 2006 war and believed that Tehran’s ‘Axis of Resistance’ was the region’s only hope.

I’m willing to bet most of the participants here felt the same way. Professor Josh certainly did, as he continued to support Assad as the “best” alternative under the circumstances.

Omen, how about you? Were you ALWAYS critical of Assad and his Iran/Hezbo axis?

Of course my question, from my vantage point, is what “hope” were these supporters looking for? Economic hope? Freedom hope? Or just the typical “eradicate Israel” hope.

I think the author, Maysaloon, sums it up pretty nicely when he states:

Pan-Arabists are cheering a deal with Iran, because, as they keep reminding us, Israel is the real enemy; Palestine the real goal. Never mind the untold misery, guts and excrement that we are being forced to crawl through in the name of this mythical liberation that hovers on our horizon like a promised paradise for the wretched of the world.

So the Resistance Pros™ want YOU to suffer so they can eradicate Israel? Come again??

Why can’t you eradicate Israel without making your people suffer?

Ahlan, Professor Josh, Matthew, Omen, and all the other smart people here:

Do you have an answer?

The Obama-Iran deal will continue this false hope, and therefore, will bring more violence. Unfortunately.

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July 15th, 2015, 7:50 am

 

98. Observer said:

The deal according to the NYT is actually a tough one.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/14/world/middleeast/iran-nuclear-deal-who-got-what-they-wanted.html

I listened to Wali Nasr on NPR yesterday and he is Iranian and he is the Chair of the Center for International Policy at Johns Hopkins.

Iran got a very hard squeeze on its program.

Now this US administration can continue to amaze us in its incompetence but in reality the “Iranian cards” are going to suffer for there is no way that Israel and the GCC are going to allow for Iran to continue to have cards in the region with which it can threaten them.

The biggest question is what will Iran do with HA, its most important card as the 100 000 missiles constitute a deterrent to Israeli strike on Natanz and other sites.

To continue to support HA they need a corridor and this corridor called Thouria Al Athad is being slowly and inexorably diminished and will not survive.

The risk of war has increased in the ME as it will be only logical that the GCC will ally with Egypt and Israel to counter Iran.

If the regime cannot prevail against divided opposition it will certainly not be able to survive a concerted effort if they unite.

Also, the next President in the US will change the equation. There is at best 1 year left now

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July 15th, 2015, 8:20 am

 

99. Majedkhaldoun said:

This deal between US and Iran will be an issue in the US election, republicans are opposed to it except Rand Paul, Hilary Clinton as she was FM, she must express her opinion,
Obama will not last more than a year and half,

Alan
The oil is not the issue, Europe consumption of oil is too large for Iran to replace the oil they import from Russia, I believe US wants to isolate Erdogan, they tried hard to weaken him, military coup failed, supporting Gullen against him failed, and now they convinced the national party in Turkey to refuse to join him in a coalition government, it will fail as Mr. Erdogan will call for re election, further the young Saudi generation are more likely to work with Erdogan, rather than against him

I am told that Zabadani may fall, Jaish Al Fateh is starting an assault against Fau ah, and Kafrayya, in return,

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July 15th, 2015, 11:33 am

 

100. Hopeful said:

Why did the US agree to a deal with Iran?

The answer is fairly simple. Obama has been saying it to anyone who cares to listen. Because there is no other option to slow down Iran’s nuclear weapon agenda.

Neither the US government nor the US public are in any mood to fight another war in the Middle East. The US economy is turning the corner and Obama has no interest in getting the US into a new global conflict which may affect the progress he has made on the economy.

The sanctions, while they did hurt Iran, did not manage to stop it. Iran’s nuclear program was progressing.

So the only option left is a negotiated deal. Period.

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July 15th, 2015, 1:49 pm

 

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