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North: Who Lost Nicaragua?
Townhall.com ^ | 10-6-06 | Lt. Col. Oliver North

Posted on 10/07/2006 3:30:44 PM PDT by cgk

Who lost Nicaragua?


By Oliver North
Friday, October 6, 2006WASHINGTON, D.C. -- During the 1980 presidential campaign, Republicans pointed out that Jimmy Carter had "lost Nicaragua" to communism. The 1979 Sandinista "Revolution Without Frontiers" led by Daniel Ortega was just one of many foreign policy disasters during the Carter administration -- and Ronald Reagan assured Americans that such things wouldn't happen on his "watch." Unfortunately, Reagan is gone, and today Nicaragua looks like a case of "back to the future."

On Nov. 5 -- just two days before our own mid-term congressional elections -- the people of Nicaragua will cast ballots for a new president. Friends of democracy in Latin America have been stunned by new polls showing that Ortega -- the ardent Marxist who once ruled Managua with a Soviet-backed iron fist -- is again poised to take control of government, a decade and a half after U.S.-backed freedom fighters succeeded in ousting him from power. If he wins, Ortega will have key regional allies -- men who, by themselves, present no immediate threat to our security but who, together, could create problems aplenty for the United States and its democratic Latin American allies.

Ortega's backers in the region have learned to use the "democratic process" -- elections -- to their advantage. Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, awash in petrodollars and with the encouragement of Cuba's aging Stalinist dictator, Fidel Castro, is committed to spreading an anti-American "Bolivarian Revolution" throughout the southern hemisphere. Chavez protege, Bolivian President Evo Morales, was barely in office two months before he re-wrote the country's constitution -- giving himself authoritarian powers. And in Ecuador, leftist Rafael Correa is now the front-runner in the race for the Oct. 15 presidential elections. If elected, Correa has vowed to ''re-found'' the nation, on the pattern of Bolivia and Venezuela.

Like Adolf Hitler, the anti-American leftists in Latin America are using elections -- not revolutions or military coups -- to take and then solidify power. It's a tactic that seems to have escaped the striped-pants set in our State Department. Until this week's visit to the region by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the State Department's response to the threatening leftward turn to our south -- and a Sandinista return to power -- has been both flat-footed and tone deaf.

The most recent polls show that if the election were held now, Ortega would garner 32 percent of the vote -- just three percent short of what he needs to claim a first-round victory. Jose Rizo, a former vice president and the PLC -- or Liberal Party candidate has 27 percent of the electorate and Foggy Bottom's anointed aspirant, Eduardo Montealegre, trails with 15 percent. The balance of the vote appears to be split between former Sandinistas Edmundo Jarquin (14 percent) and Eden Pastora with 2 percent.

Unfortunately, official U.S. policy in Nicaragua has been blind to the realities of Nicaraguan politics. The country has only two parties that matter -- the Sandinistas' FSLN and the PLC. Together, they command nearly 85 percent of the vote. Because of past scandals in the PLC -- with which Rizo has no connection -- U.S. diplomats in Managua have distanced themselves from his candidacy and promoted what they call "support for emerging forces." The result: a fractured democratic opposition to the Sandinistas.

Hopefully, the most recent polls -- and the earful Rumsfeld received this week about the insidious role being played by Chavez, Castro and their cronies -- will wake up Washington before it's too late. U.S. diplomats in Latin America in general -- and Nicaragua in particular -- act and speak as though everyone in the region thinks we're "ugly Americans." It's simply not true.

There are millions of our southern neighbors -- small "d" democrats, entrepreneurs and labor leaders -- who are counting on the United States to stand up for our own interests -- and the cause of liberty in their countries. Many of them -- like Presidents Alvaro Uribe in Colombia and Tony Saca in El Salvador have put their lives on the line to achieve and preserve democracy. They have watched with alarm as the will of the people was perverted by Chavez in Venezuela and distorted by Morales in Bolivia -- and they know the consequences for foreign investment, development and economic opportunity.

This sad outcome doesn't have to happen in Nicaragua -- but it will require an abrupt reality check at the State Department. The United States doesn't need to launch an "Uncle Sam says: Vote for Rizo" campaign -- but we must act now to level the playing field and help unite the anti-Sandinista opposition.

Our ambassador, Paul Trivelli, has to stop pressuring private sector leaders with potential reprisals for supporting the PLC. And when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice returns from her Mid-East trip -- she should head to Managua and meet with all the presidential candidates -- including the now shunned Rizo. Doing these things now might well prevent people asking next year: "Who lost Nicaragua?"

Oliver North is the founder and honorary chairman of Freedom Alliance and author of The Assassins .


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: amlo; bolivia; coldwar2; fidelcastro; hugochavez; hugoping; johnfkerry; nicaragua; olivernorth; ollienorth; putin; tomharkin; venezuela

Vicepresidente de la República de Nicaragua José Rizo Castellón

1 posted on 10/07/2006 3:30:46 PM PDT by cgk
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To: cgk

Rand-McNalley?


2 posted on 10/07/2006 3:32:16 PM PDT by CAWats (Post to Free Republic without knowing HTML. Click my name.)
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To: 2Jedismom; 2rightsleftcoast; abner; ACAC; Arkinsaw; Beck_isright; Belleview; Ben Hecks; bluefish; ..

Ollie Ping!

Please FReepmail me if you would like to be added to, or removed from, the Oliver North ping list...


In this, our post-9/11 world, with the Democrats bent on the destruction of America, including but not limited to our complete capitulation to Islam, think long and hard:
Do YOU want Nancy Pelosi 2nd in line to the Presidency?

3 posted on 10/07/2006 3:35:54 PM PDT by cgk (I don't see myself as a conservative. I see myself as a religious, right-wing, wacko extremist.)
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To: StJacques
Friends of democracy in Latin America have been stunned by new polls showing that Ortega -- the ardent Marxist who once ruled Managua with a Soviet-backed iron fist -- is again poised to take control of government, a decade and a half after U.S.-backed freedom fighters succeeded in ousting him from power.

He's BAAAAAAACK!

4 posted on 10/07/2006 3:36:49 PM PDT by cgk (I don't see myself as a conservative. I see myself as a religious, right-wing, wacko extremist.)
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To: cgk
The country has only two parties that matter -- the Sandinistas' FSLN and the PLC. Together, they command nearly 85 percent of the vote.

Up here we call them Democrats and Republicans!

5 posted on 10/07/2006 3:39:29 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: cgk
Comrade, long time, no si!


6 posted on 10/07/2006 3:43:42 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: operation clinton cleanup

Two socalist communists shaking hands, what's the big deal. (who are the couple watching?)


7 posted on 10/07/2006 3:51:12 PM PDT by TruthWillWin
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To: operation clinton cleanup
EXCELLENT! Kerry & Harkin cementing their ties to the Democratic party's socialist foundation preserved for moments like this one. What's amazing to me is that photos like these were included in pro-Kerry bios like Boston.com's "John F. Kerry - Candidate in the Making."
8 posted on 10/07/2006 3:52:56 PM PDT by cgk (I don't see myself as a conservative. I see myself as a religious, right-wing, wacko extremist.)
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To: TruthWillWin

--(who are the couple watching?)--

The dude looks like Warren Beatty.


9 posted on 10/07/2006 3:55:10 PM PDT by rfp1234 (I've had it up to my keyster with these leaks!!! - - - Ronald Reagan)
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To: TruthWillWin; cgk
LOL! That is Harkin, isn't it!
10 posted on 10/07/2006 3:55:43 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: TruthWillWin; rfp1234; operation clinton cleanup

The other smiling fool is Senator Tom Harkin. I'm not sure who the woman is... his wife?


11 posted on 10/07/2006 3:58:04 PM PDT by cgk (I don't see myself as a conservative. I see myself as a religious, right-wing, wacko extremist.)
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To: cgk
Wonder how this never made it into the 2004 election campaign. I guess someone in that photo may get elected President someday.

Shortly after taking office in 1985, Kerry and Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa went on a fact-finding trip to Nicaragua, where they met with Daniel Ortega (right) and other Sandinistas. The trip was criticized when the Sandinistas cemented ties with Moscow.
12 posted on 10/07/2006 4:01:57 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: operation clinton cleanup; WhistlingPastTheGraveyard
Good times:

The Bark of Tom Harkin - John Kerry's most rabid attack dog

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, lobbied by Harkin and Kerry, voted against giving aid to the anti-Communist Contras. Harkin and Kerry according to some accounts had been told privately in Nicaragua, but had kept secret from fellow Democrat lawmakers, that at the very moment the vote against President Reagan’s request was taking place Daniel Ortega would be aboard a Soviet airliner winging to Moscow to pledge his allegiance to the Soviet Union.

Kerry’s response was not to criticize the Sandinista leader but to tell the liberal Boston Globe that President Reagan had “forced Ortega to look to the Soviets for help.”

But years earlier Ortega’s brother Humberto had declared: “We [Sandinistas] are anti-Yankee, we are against the bourgeoisie…we are guided by the scientific doctrine of the revolution, by Marxism-Leninism.” Humberto Ortega also had said that the Sandinistas intended to “crush” all who dissented from their rule.

Harkin and Kerry, said critics, had violated the Constitution by negotiating a treaty directly with a foreign nation (a power exclusive to the Executive, not the Legislative branch of government), and that the two leftwing Senators were “cavorting with, and used by, the Communists.” Kerry said that he was “as mad as anyone” that the Sandinista leader he and Harkin had embraced days earlier had gone to Moscow.

“Where did my colleagues think he was going to go? Disney World?” retorted liberal Senator Christopher Dodd (D.-Connecticut), annoyed by the embarrassment they had caused for other Democrats. “The man is a Marxist.”

Harkin and Kerry had been circulating a study to fellow lawmakers that purported to show 77 instances in which the Reagan Administration had misled Congress about its Central American policies. The study, which included not a single word critical of Soviet or Cuban involvement in Central America, turned out to have been written by Institute for Policy Studies analysts, at least one of whom was an agent for the Soviet secret police, the KGB.

OOOOOOps. :)


In this, our post-9/11 world, with the Democrats bent on the destruction of America, including but not limited to our complete capitulation to Islam, think long and hard:
Do YOU want Nancy Pelosi 2nd in line to the Presidency?

13 posted on 10/07/2006 4:02:38 PM PDT by cgk (I don't see myself as a conservative. I see myself as a religious, right-wing, wacko extremist.)
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To: cgk

Thanks for the ping. I'm an Ollie North AND Lt. Dan Band fan ;o)


14 posted on 10/07/2006 4:03:38 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life)
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To: cgk
Imagine that, Republicans were misleading Democrats 20 years ago.. some things never change.

Harkin and Kerry had been circulating a study to fellow lawmakers that purported to show 77 instances in which the Reagan Administration had misled Congress about its Central American policies. The study, which included not a single word critical of Soviet or Cuban involvement in Central America, turned out to have been written by Institute for Policy Studies analysts, at least one of whom was an agent for the Soviet secret police, the KGB.

15 posted on 10/07/2006 4:15:12 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: cgk

--Harkin and Kerry, said critics, had violated the Constitution by negotiating a treaty directly with a foreign nation (a power exclusive to the Executive, not the Legislative branch of government), and that the two leftwing Senators were “cavorting with, and used by, the Communists.” --

Members of Congress are above the law (as long as they are liberals). Very similar to that moron rockefeller going to Damascus, and telling the Syrians in 2002 that we are going to invade Iraq. No consequences! GRRRRR.


16 posted on 10/07/2006 4:25:00 PM PDT by rfp1234 (I've had it up to my keyster with these leaks!!! - - - Ronald Reagan)
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To: cgk
Come now, Ollie.

If we hadn't allowed the entire Somoza family, and 250,000 of their supporters to move to the U.S. twenty years ago "temporarily" and stay indefinitely, this might of had some effect on the political situation there?
17 posted on 10/07/2006 4:37:52 PM PDT by outdriving (Diversity is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.)
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To: cgk
I expect Ortega to win.

The currents of Nicaraguan politics would seem to dictate it. Ortega is not a Castro or even a Chavez. Not that I'd vote for him. But the two alternatives manage to make themselves even more unattractive than Ortega. I expect Ortega will return to power in much the way we see Putin and the old Soviet elite ruling Russia.

Political currents run in courses of decades. This is why it takes so long for fundamentally flawed political ideas to be dispeled by an electorate. Look at France or Russia with their socialists/communists. Look at the failed socialist governments of Europe. Despite their demonstrable failures in economics and social justice, they can attract substantial popular support for decades.

Given the country's sad history, it will be hard to cheer the victory of any of these candidates, much as it was following the recent Mexican election.
18 posted on 10/07/2006 4:51:55 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: cgk
Harkin and Kerry, said critics, had violated the Constitution by negotiating a treaty directly with a foreign nation (a power exclusive to the Executive, not the Legislative branch of government), and that the two leftwing Senators were “cavorting with, and used by, the Communists.” Kerry said that he was “as mad as anyone” that the Sandinista leader he and Harkin had embraced days earlier had gone to Moscow.

You might recall the video of Bob Dole travelling there as well. He was surprised when Ortega's people were at the meeting and he bolted at the door. Didn't prevent a camera from recording it and we saw the video here later. Bob Dole was still angry about it years later.
19 posted on 10/07/2006 5:08:16 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: cgk

Despressing report. What's not clear to me, however, is what we can do about it except help ensure fair elections. Looks like we have fools all over the world putting in leftists democratically.


20 posted on 10/07/2006 5:12:17 PM PDT by plain talk
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To: George W. Bush

Ortega won't win unless he squeaks by in the first round of voting with more the 35%.

He is despised by 65%, but they haven't rallied around a single opponent. They will if it gets that far.

Nicaragua is a beautiful country with friendly people. I was there a few months ago.

It deserves much better than Ortega.


21 posted on 10/07/2006 5:32:21 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone
He is despised by 65%, but they haven't rallied around a single opponent. They will if it gets that far.

If they truly despised him, they would drop the factionalism and unite around one opponent instead of giving Ortega such a good chance at power. Therefore, they don't actually fear him in the way dictators in former communist countries are generally hated and feared. Ortega and the Sandinistas don't hold a plurality but they also didn't conduct the sorts of communist horrors of the old Soviet era or Vietnam/Cambodia or Cuba, or the ugly African regimes. And they left power when they were defeated fairly in much the way you would see when the Italian communists were defeated.

Given that N. Korea is an annoyance and Cuba useless to the Chinese communists, only Venezuela with its oil is worth cultivating for China. So the threat of international communism has receded and only Chinese communism remains to threaten us. The resurgence of the hard Left in Central and South America seems almost ignored in America's foreign policy. I know we're fighting police actions in two Mideast states but one would think that from time to time, we'd hear a little speech about hemispheric defense.
22 posted on 10/07/2006 6:25:18 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: operation clinton cleanup

Damn right it's Harkin.


23 posted on 10/07/2006 6:38:07 PM PDT by FreeKeys (Remember: John Kerry wanted to give Iran nuclear fuel.)
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To: George W. Bush

If your position were right, which it isn't, we'd be all unified around a single candidate that would defeat Hillary in 2008.

Imagine a vote in November for our next President under the current political environment.

That's what Nicaragua is facing. Their political structure is different than ours. Multiple parties. A parliamentary system.

We're rather unique in that regard around the planet.


24 posted on 10/07/2006 6:50:04 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: cgk; Alia; livius; proud_yank; Kenny Bunk; Founding Father; Kitten Festival; chilepepper; ...
"He's BAAAAAAACK!"

Thank you for the ping cgk.

Yes; Ortega AND the Sandinistas are back, a development I view with great dismay. And Oliver North is correct that the problem lies with the division of their opposition among themselves. If you look at the opinion poll results you can combine the support for Ortega (hard left), Jarquin (center left), and Pastora (national left) vote to come up with 48%, which indicates that overall, Nicaragua is almost split 50 - 50. I have seen other opinion polls which put the left slightly lower in their overall popularity, my guess is that a slim majority of Nicaraguans oppose the left. But with all this in mind the last thing the opposition to the left can afford is to divide among themselves while the left unites against them. This is what happened in Venezuela, Argentina, and Chile and it appears that it may be about to come to pass in Nicaragua. And just to tell you how stupid the center-right opposition has been in this campaign, the biggest issue Rizo and Montealegre have raised with each other in television commercials is that one calls the other "ugly." I don't remember who says it about the other, but I saw the report on Univision; "don't vote for my opponent, he's ugly." I'm not kidding.

I note that North points out that the State Department seems to have bet on the wrong horse in backing Montealegre. I agree with that. The role of the State Department should be in uniting the opposition to Ortega, instead we've involved ourselves in an attempt to help one side among the center-left opposition to Ortego dominate the other. It's a huge mistake in my opinion.

And just for a note, North writes that "Bolivian President Evo Morales, was barely in office two months before he re-wrote the country's constitution -- giving himself authoritarian powers." Technically this is not correct. Morales has called for a Constituent Assembly to rewrite Bolivia's constitution -- and the goal is to give him something approaching authoritarian powers -- but that assembly has not concluded its work. There is a major controversy surrounding it as Morales's MAS Party is attempting to force through a simple majority rule for the passage of proposed parts of the constitution, as opposed to the originally planned 2/3 vote, which has brought the assembly to a standstill, and the rest of Bolivia is uniting against MAS right now. That country might end up in civil war if the matter is not resolved.
25 posted on 10/07/2006 7:22:32 PM PDT by StJacques (Liberty is always unfinished business)
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To: StJacques

Your insights into Latin America are invaluable.


Thanks.


26 posted on 10/07/2006 7:31:56 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: cgk

Bump.


27 posted on 10/07/2006 7:36:58 PM PDT by T. Buzzard Trueblood ("left unchecked, Saddam Hussein...will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." Sen. Hillary Clinton)
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To: FreeKeys
Damn right it's Harkin.

No, No.....It is "Dung-Harkin"!!!

28 posted on 10/07/2006 7:46:25 PM PDT by danamco
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To: TruthWillWin

The man is Tom Harkin.


29 posted on 10/07/2006 7:50:46 PM PDT by Valin (http://www.irey.com/)
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To: Dog Gone
If your position were right, which it isn't, we'd be all unified around a single candidate that would defeat Hillary in 2008.

Their election is a month away. Ours is two years away. Your analogy is stretched too thin to be convincing. In two years, Republicans and conservatives will be united, provided we avoid a McStain or a Rudy-type liberal as nominee.

It will be interesting to watch their election. Maybe we'll fly warplanes over their capital just before the election again, just for old times' sake.
30 posted on 10/07/2006 8:02:36 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: StJacques; Dog Gone
You're very welcome, StJacques. And I agree with Dog Gone, your insights into this are invaluable. Might I request an ADD to your "Latin America Left Watch" ping list? Thank you!

In this, our post-9/11 world, with the Democrats bent on the destruction of America, including but not limited to our complete capitulation to Islam, think long and hard:
Do YOU want Nancy Pelosi 2nd in line to the Presidency?

31 posted on 10/07/2006 8:50:43 PM PDT by cgk (I don't see myself as a conservative. I see myself as a religious, right-wing, wacko extremist.)
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To: cgk
"North: Who Lost Nicaragua?"

Nicaragua did, of course, with a little help from some of her neighbors. ...and some European visitors, who brought extra conspiracy stories.
32 posted on 10/07/2006 10:33:22 PM PDT by familyop
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To: StJacques

Your insight and data is very helpful, StJacques.


33 posted on 10/08/2006 4:51:13 AM PDT by Alia
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To: cgk
" Might I request an ADD to your "Latin America Left Watch" ping list?"

You're on the list cgk. And thank you for the kind words.
34 posted on 10/08/2006 11:19:50 AM PDT by StJacques (Liberty is always unfinished business)
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To: cgk
May I ping you -- and anyone else who may be interested -- to the following thread, page 2 starting with post #52, with information and pics on a massive and very successful rally in Caracas, Venezuela yesterday for Manuel Rosales, the opposition candidate running against Hugo Chavez for the presidency? Caracas is Chavez's strength within the Venezuelan political landscape and this event may have changed the dynamic of the campaign.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1712371/posts?page=52#52

If you read through the various posts you will see there is reason to be hopeful that a viable opposition is taking shape.
35 posted on 10/08/2006 11:28:33 AM PDT by StJacques (Liberty is always unfinished business)
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To: kanawa; jazusamo; Thunder90; Hill of Tara; Victoria Delsoul; Army Air Corps; monkeywrench; cll; ...


PING – Hugo is at it again!

Please FReepmail me if you would like on/off the Hugo/Venezuela Ping list.

HugoPing Archive

36 posted on 10/09/2006 1:02:29 PM PDT by proud_yank (Socialism - An Answer In Search Of A Question For Over 100 Years)
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