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Syria Completes Destruction of Chemical Weapon Producing Equipment

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the all-done dept.

The Military 97

rtoz writes "Chemical weapons watchdog OPCW has declared that Syria has rendered inoperable chemical weapons production facilities and mixing/filling plants. This operation has been completed just one day before the deadline (1 November 2013) set by the OPCW Executive Council. The Joint OPCW-UN Mission has inspected 21 of the 23 sites declared by Syria, and 39 of the 41 facilities located at those sites. The two remaining sites were not visited due to safety and security concerns. But Syria declared those sites as abandoned and that the chemical weapons program items they contained were moved to other declared sites, which were inspected."

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But how much do they have stockpiled? (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year ago | (#45298849)

That's the real question. It's great that can't make any more of the stuff, but I'll bet they have enough to kill just about everyone in the country left hidden.

Re:But how much do they have stockpiled? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45298861)

Assad does not need chemical weapons to kill the uprising. He gives away the chemicals because it distracts countries from the civil war and they get the feeling that they can achieve something by completing the destruction of chemical weapons.

Re:But how much do they have stockpiled? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45298893)

Assad does not need chemical weapons to kill the uprising.

Are you sure? He seems to be making a bit of a chore out of it so far.

Re: But how much do they have stockpiled? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45299787)

The chemicals were used to buy America off while the regime kept Russia's support. So they win. And yes, they had and still have a lot of people to kill. That takes time.

Re:But how much do they have stockpiled? (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#45299519)

And (this is speculation, not my speculation, but speculation nonetheless) because the weapons were apparently used without Assad's consent by a general in his armed forces. He's worried that the civil war will be breeding grounds for a coup, and ditching the WMDs actually consolidates his power to an extent.

Re:But how much do they have stockpiled? (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year ago | (#45298963)

No, the real question is "how many production facilities are still operational?"

What is carefully ignored in TFS and most other headlines is that Syria has "destroyed or rendered inoperative all of the DECLARED chemical weapon production facilities."

Note the difference between "all" and "all declared".

Re:But how much do they have stockpiled? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45299473)

Enough with this fearmongering bullshit. America and Israel tried to start a war and failed because the public-at-large is too smart with fall for that "WMD" excuse again. Remember the Britam leak? It was widely considered to be a hoax, but here we are with the fabricated WMD scare again -- almost exactly as the so-called "hoax" letter predicted. Giving Al Qaeda chemical weapons and backing against a secular regime. Who exactly are the terrorists again?!

Enough with this madness. Let Israel fend for themselves. Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan are both test-firing nuclear-capable missiles in a dangerous but childish pissing-contest, and we're trying to portray Iran as the big scary?

-- Ethanol-fueled: fighting bullshit on Slashdot since 2003.

Re:But how much do they have stockpiled? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45299777)

Jesus, you people will just believe any old kayfabe that gets shoved in front of you, won't you? "Oh, Obama was trying to start a war and the brave Republicans in Congress were stopping him and then that swiftboater Kerry made some slipup in a press conference and Putin called him on it!" Ugh, you idiots.

Look, when Obama wants to start blowing shit up somewhere, he doesn't bring it in front of our dysfunctional craptastic Congress first, he just fucking does it, and tells the public afterward if at all. See also Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and so forth. So, therefore, bringing the Syria fight to Congress was an obvious stall for more time, because who the hell wants to piss away another trillion bucks in the middle east right now? We have to piss that money away at home, ffs!

Putin and Kerry were discussing the whole setup with each other ahead of time while Congress congressed, and then came out publicly and played good cop/bad cop with Assad. Putin got to keep his only Mediterranean naval base, Obama got to get the chemical weapons away from Assad (and the terrori-- sorry, "rebel alliance" who may well take over Syria), Assad gets to keep killing the people trying to overthrow him, only he has to do it with bullets. The only people who are screwed are the rebel groups, but half of them are Al-Qaeda under a cover name, so fuck 'em. (And the Syrian people, but honestly, they're screwed no matter what happens.)

Re:But how much do they have stockpiled? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#45299871)

How long do you think a major chemicals weapons plant could operate secretly? If you mean some small project to produce small quantities: those things are really dangerous to the people who make them and try and store them. Syria having had a large industrial program knows that.

Re:But how much do they have stockpiled? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45301321)

Well, in the case of the Aleppo 4 site, the answer was until the Israelis bomb the fuck out of it. Also, note that 2 sites were not visited out of "security concerns" and at the sites that were visited neither were 2 of the facilities. Yet on faith we're supposed to assume they are also shut down.

Re:But how much do they have stockpiled? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year ago | (#45301347)

How long do you think a major chemicals weapons plant could operate secretly?

I think you could avoid operating it until people find something else to get excited about, then turn it back on full-bore, if you've refrained from destroying the plant by the expedient of not declaring it.

Starting over from scratch is also possible, but way more expensive....

Re:But how much do they have stockpiled? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#45301737)

Syria is always going to have the capacity to openly start massive chemical weapons production. That's not a question. They have the capacity. But there will be satellites and intelligence in Syria for the foreseeable future. Syria isn't permanently giving up the weapons by more than treaty.

Re:But how much do they have stockpiled? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45300607)

Just be clear... by your logic, you can NEVER get all.

Re:But how much do they have stockpiled? (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#45300151)

If properly deployed, it doesn't take much more than a grocery store's stock on hand to really screw a lot of people up and kill some of them, especially in a confined space.

The biggest danger of chemical weapons is not the harm they cause, but the cruel way in which they do it and the simplicity with which one can produce and use them.

Re:But how much do they have stockpiled? (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#45305921)

This is just the 1st phase complete. As TFA clearly states, the next phase is to address the destruction of the existing stockpile.

and now the Russians will (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45298865)

supply them with anything they need... never trust the Russians - EVER!

Syrian news (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45298873)

And as a reward for being so co-operative, the Jews bombed Syria again last night in a "defensive" attack. How does the western propaganda machine account for the fact that this "brutal dictator" who Israel claims is a "threat" to them, once again turns the other cheek as his sovereign country is bombed by a foreign power and fails to respond to this fifth provocation?

Re:Syrian news (0)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#45298925)

As far as i know, Israel only bombs syria when it appears that arms are moving to terrorist factions hell bent on attacking Israel. I don't neccesarily agree wiyh the idea that all arms are going to hezbolah but the missiles destroyed in the attack you cited could be used to prevent israel ftom stopping arms going to hezbolah. It definatly is different then you tried to present it which might be why the west propaganda machine baffles you.

Re:Syrian news (1)

austerestyle (3396553) | about a year ago | (#45299645)

And with that retardedly open ended justification Israel can bomb all of Syria including the sewage system and toilets. The target was AIR DEFENSE, not exactly sure how you bomb a country with air defense.

Re:Syrian news (2)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#45299793)

They were bombing anti-aircraft missiles in transit. They were in transit to Hezbollah. As far as I know those facts aren't in dispute.

Re:Syrian news (1)

austerestyle (3396553) | about a year ago | (#45301033)

We don't even know if the bombing actually happened, how can it not be in dispute, and the claim is they bombed an air defense base. Not exactly something that just gets up and moves across the border you know.

Re:Syrian news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45301137)

Obviously you need to bomb the IADS first if you want to bomb actual targets later. Think, McFly, think!

Re:Syrian news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45301577)

I agree with this, although posting anonymously, since pro-Islamic elements on /. will mod any support of Israel down.

Israel's position on Syria has been very neutral, which would normally be pretty surprising given that Syria has been a backer of virulent anti-Israel terror groups, such as Hizbullah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and PFLP. But Israel knows that this is a part of a greater Shia-Sunni civil war - with both sides virulently anti-Israel. On one side - Hizbullah and Iran's backed regime in Damascus, which completes the Shia crescent and ensures a smooth flow of weapons from Iran to Hizbullah. On the other side, a Muslim Brotherhood led insurgency backed by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and al Qaeda. Neither side that Israel is comfortable with.

So while Israel has been taking out weapons destined for Hizbullah, they've not been doing things to destabilize the Syrian regime, per se. They're perfectly happy staying out of it. Honestly speaking, this civil war - without any clear outcome - is most in Israel's interests, since either side, if victorious, would make life miserable for Israel in Galilee, not just Golan.

Re:Syrian news (2)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#45299807)

The brutal dictator is in a state of declared war with Israel. People bomb each other during wars.

Like North Korea (3, Interesting)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year ago | (#45298879)

So is this like North Korea over the years where they declare a nuclear enrichment facility deactivated, but then a month later we hear that facility is back in operation?

Re:Like North Korea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45298973)

So is this like North Korea over the years where they declare a nuclear enrichment facility deactivated, but then a month later we hear that facility is back in operation?

Nah, Assad's nowhere near as good at shaking bribes from his neighboring countries as the Norks are.

Next time the Norks start wailing and banging in their crib, the US and Japan should ask the Chinese how they'd feel about a nuclear-armed Tawain if they don't get their jackass lapdog under control. A nuclear-armed Taiwan would sure get Beijing's knickers in a knot. Hell, an openly-nuclear armed Japan wouldn't make them all that happy, either. Hard to intimidate South Korea, Phillipines, or Vietnam with an openly nuclear Japan sitting right there going, "Ummmm, no."

Re:Like North Korea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45299823)

Japan doesn't give the first fuck about the Norks invading South Korea. I don't know if you noticed, but they've still got a bit of a grudge both ways about the whole WWII thing.

Re:Like North Korea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45300219)

Japan doesn't give the first fuck about the Norks invading South Korea. I don't know if you noticed, but they've still got a bit of a grudge both ways about the whole WWII thing.

Japan would probably cheer if the two Koreas started to wipe each other out, true. But they'd still not want China to take over the carcasses.

And FWIW, the grudge between Japanese and Koreans goes back quite a bit longer than WWII.

Re:Like North Korea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45301021)

Next time the Norks start wailing and banging in their crib, the US and Japan should ask the Chinese how they'd feel about a nuclear-armed Tawain if they don't get their jackass lapdog under control. A nuclear-armed Taiwan would sure get Beijing's knickers in a knot.

If I lived in China, I'd be worried about North Korea's nuclear weapons, not so much nuclear weapons in Taiwan.

The Chinese government has said that the recent car crash at Tiananmen Square was caused by terrorists in a Uighur separatist group. I'd be worried that this group might buy a small nuclear weapon from North Korea, and smuggle it into China.

If I were Chinese, I'd stop all support for North Korea until they (North Korea) stopped making nuclear weapons.

Like Iraq (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45298981)

So is this like North Korea over the years where they declare a nuclear enrichment facility deactivated, but then a month later we hear that facility is back in operation?

No, it's more like Iraq.

NOW the Americans can invade without worry.

Re:Like Iraq (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45299017)

>NOW the Americans can invade without worry.

I think you mean Israel.

Re:Like Iraq (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45299391)

If it's going to be more like Iraq, anybody who isn't us can damned well have it; but I don't want any part of that adventur.

Re:Like North Korea (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#45299011)

Nah. Syria was having problems secuting the sites from the rebels so this id likely more of a freed up troops are more valuable thing.

Syria doesn't need chemical weapons like iraq did or even N.Korea. Russia has pretty much dhown they are willing to either defend syria or supply it with anything it might be lacking in irs defense. N.K. in the otherhad has very large neighbors who only seem willing to defend them because they don't want whoever will replace them right next door.

In other words, china doesn't.want the US or Russia to occupie n.k. this is why they got involed the first time. So N.K. is in a unique position where they become stronger by inviting conflict and having China play big brother. Syria has a solid commitment from Russia due to Russia having a warm water naval port in their land.

Re:Like North Korea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45302139)

This. NBC anything is a liability to Syria now and a drain on resources. They didn't realize this until Russia pointed out to them politely that they could free themselves of potential game-changing elements (chem weapons and the threat of US invasion) in a game they were already winning by just getting rid of the damned things. Now they know, and they're earnestly trying to secure their own power by getting rid of chem weapons. This is how non-proliferation was always supposed to work but rarely did: it was always supposed to be better not to have NBC weapons and not to want them. Fifty years from now, Syria will be a case study in schools of foreign relations: how diplomacy can advance genuinely good causes even in the middle of civil war and major international crises. The warm-water naval port is good, but Russia is taking over Cyprus (they now have a majority board position in the remaining bank on the island) and will probably get a port there one day.

And NK will continue to be a case study in how tyrants fuck up their own countries and their own self-interests out of arrogance and fear. I'd dispute that NK grows stronger by inviting conflict: it's more like it treads water by perpetuating a cyclical threat of conflict, but it never gets anywhere, and especially not stronger, by doing so. Ironically, the Chinese only keep them around because the US has a strong naval presence in the Pacific; if the US were to withdraw from Asia or reduce its fleet considerably, the Chinese might be happy to be rid of NK.

Re:Like North Korea (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#45302573)

Well, i don't disagree with your assesment but by stronger, i didn't mean as a nation on the whole. Their defense from the US or Russia or any other country will be aided by china and they ( at least in the past) can usually get concessions of some sort by shaking things up.

I agree that if the threat of the US disapeared, china might just get rid of k itself, but this shows how they are stronger with conflict. Without it, they stand a good chance of becoming china.

Re:Like North Korea (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#45300623)

Except that we're more likely to invade Syria if they renege on their promises. They don't have nukes, which genuinely scare us away. And we'd be adding a friendly puppet government in a region that is up for grabs, which would be a gain for us (polititically, and by us I don't mean we the citizens.) Making North Korea into a puppet would have pretty harsh consequences from China, one of our biggest economic partners. We'd be nuking ourselves twice.

Re:Like North Korea (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year ago | (#45302431)

Did North Korea ever cooperate on this level with UN inspection teams?

Of course it's all gone! (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about a year ago | (#45298915)

Syria: As you can see, we've gotten rid off all the chemical weapons.
UN: Great stuff, and I see you've redecorated this building too.
Syria: Yes, we decided the old place could do with a lick of paint or two.
UN: That curtain's new...
Syria: Oh erm, we had someone come do some Feng shui to allow the Chi to flow better...

Re:Of course it's all gone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45301427)

Actually, stronger reason for Syria to get rid of them is that as the risk of it falling into rebel hands increase, it would be a double benefit for them if they did.
  1. 1. The rebels don't get any WMDs if they do capture the areas where the WMDs are made
  2. 2. The regime scores a PR coup and look like the good guys for destroying their chemical weapons, just like Libya did after the Iraq war

Of course, given that the West is determined to oust this regime, it may not do much good for #2, but Syria will have the Russkies & Chinks to back them

So when they rebuild it, it'll be new and better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45298919)

And I'm sure the Russians and Chinese are going to be more than happy to sell them the new equipment.

Wooo hooo.

Smart power in action.

Re:So when they rebuild it, it'll be new and bette (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about a year ago | (#45298949)

Paid for by the Iranians.

Re:So when they rebuild it, it'll be new and bette (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45299047)

Paid for by the Iranians.

No doubt. Gotta keep those Shias in power.

(Syria - the Syrian Arap Republic, with a majority-Sunni population - is ruled by Shia Alawites.)

how thorough (1)

nightsky30 (3348843) | about a year ago | (#45298971)

21 of 23 and 39 of 41...yep, that's all of them...no need to check those four at all.

Re:how thorough (2)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about a year ago | (#45300257)

23 sites with 41 facilities. Each site has at least 1 facility, some sites have 2 or more.
On 2 of these sites a total of 2 of the facilities have not been tested.
So it's not 4, it's still just 2.
2 facilities, one each in 2 sites.

Go Obama (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45298999)

Another win for Obama for all you haters. He didn't even have to drag us into a decades long pointless war to get there. Bonus points for trolling the Russians into helping. I hope you enjoyed the House of Representatives while you had it.

Re:Go Obama (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45299131)

Another win for Obama for all you haters. He didn't even have to drag us into a decades long pointless war to get there. Bonus points for trolling the Russians into helping. I hope you enjoyed the House of Representatives while you had it.

Win?!?!?!?

You sure set the bar low for your Messiah, don't you?

Of course, if you didn't set the bar low, you'd have to admit 0bama's a failure.

How's that unemployment rate doing? Hey, the workforce participation rate has dropped to a 50-year low.

Patriot Act repealed yet? Nope.

Gitmo closed yet? Nope.

Warrantless wiretaps stopped? Hell no, they've EXPANDED like crazy.

"Unpatriotic" $300 billion deficit closed yet? Hell no, it's now $2 trillion.

Gotta love how 95% of all new jobs are now part-time.

I bet you love the fact the US now has more people on welfare than with full-time jobs. How you gonna blame that on Boooosh!?!?!

Never mind the out-and-out LYING about Obamacare. Yeah, you can keep your plan Sure. Wink, wink.

Yep, NONE of that is Obumbles fault.

Re:Go Obama (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45300085)

How's that unemployment rate doing? Hey, the workforce participation rate has dropped to a 50-year low.

If only Obama's Jobs bill had passed...oh wait, it hadn't. All we got was a useless number of tax breaks whose only impact was to increase the national debt.

Yeah, that Stimulus? Most of it was tax breaks. We've still had austerity and deprivation, as we starve our way to prosperity, rather than any New Deal type policies.

Patriot Act repealed yet? Nope.

Gitmo closed yet?

My word, I wonder who opposed both of those things. And yet they're treating it as a defeat for Obama, rather than saying "Thank you, Mr. President for respecting our concerns!"

Can't win with you, can he?

$300 billion deficit closed yet? Hell no, it's now $2 trillion.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/10/30/241929386/u-s-budget-deficit-falls-under-1-trillion-lowest-since-2008

Actually, it's 600-700 billion this most recent fiscal year. Your facts are lacking.

Gotta love how 95% of all new jobs are now part-time.

Versus? You're citing a number without a comparative.

But do you want Obama to mandate a fix? He could. It'd be easy. If that's what you want.

I bet you love the fact the US now has more people on welfare than with full-time jobs.

The number of full-time workers is about 117 million. I can find numbers citing some 50 million on welfare. Unless you're throwing in Medicare and Social Security, there's no way the math works out.

How you gonna blame that on Boooosh!?!?!

Never mind the out-and-out LYING about Obamacare. Yeah, you can keep your plan Sure. Wink, wink.

Yep, NONE of that is Obumbles fault.

Well, did you want Obama to mandate your premiums not change, that your insurance policy be locked in stone? Wouldn't that be price controls?

Re:Go Obama (1)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#45301839)

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/10/30/241929386/u-s-budget-deficit-falls-under-1-trillion-lowest-since-2008

Actually, it's 600-700 billion this most recent fiscal year. Your facts are lacking.

So in other words, your guy has run a higher deficit in every single one of his five years than the last guy ran in any of his eight years. Yeah, that's real progress.

As you correctly say, facts. Just keepin' it real, sans the rose colored glasses.

Re:Go Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45302289)

If the truth is a bad enough criticism on its own, what's the justification for making up an exaggerated one?

Really, did you miss that? See that's what I don't understand, why make up a false claim if you could just say the truth and make your point clearly?

US turn (0, Flamebait)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#45299015)

to show how commited (or honest) are in the push against chemical weapons, must destroy its own chemical (and biological, and so on) weapons factories and stockpiles. And of course, private owned companies in US should do the same.

Re:US turn (1)

imikem (767509) | about a year ago | (#45299217)

How many civilians has the US gassed lately?

I'll be happy to see all N/B/C weapons disposed of, just as soon as someone figures out a way to verify that it has actually been done, and to detect when new ones are created. In any case, the US advantage in the apparently acceptable variety of turn-the-other-guy-into-pink-mist weapons is such that only small third-world countries have the slightest chance of doing this. Which leaves the "icky" N/B/C stuff around, and therefore requires at least some capabilities, if only for research and development of countermeasures.

Re:US turn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45299311)

How many civilians have the syrian government gassed?
Answer: 0.
The Fake Syrian Army on the other hand have gassed numerous people.

Re:US turn (1)

imikem (767509) | about a year ago | (#45300275)

So you only believe half the lies you are being told? Well, that's a nice start. Keep going.

Re:US turn (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45299439)

to show how commited (or honest) are in the push against chemical weapons, must destroy its own chemical (and biological, and so on) weapons factories and stockpiles. And of course, private owned companies in US should do the same.

The US has a shitload of back-stock, and the operation in charge of incinerating it into safety seems to have outbreaks of competence deficiency from time to time; but if the US is party to ongoing flouting of the ICWC, they sure are quiet about it. Their nukes, of course, will be streamlined a bit for cost reasons; but you'll have to pry the remainder out of their cold, dead, hands. Chemical and biological, though, haven't been major programs in some decades.

Re:US turn already happened (3, Informative)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#45299845)

The US did destroy about 90% of their stockpile. The remainder which we haven't destroyed are out of commission and at the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado and Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky. Both of which are disposal facilities. We are doing it and have been for decades.

Syria is going to ship their stable stuff to Russia for destruction and if they have unstable / weird stuff everyone is going to have to figure out what to do.

Re:US turn already happened (2)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about a year ago | (#45300923)

Your facts have no impact on the "waahh..the US sucks" faction here.

Re:US turn already happened (1)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#45301889)

Honest question, no rhetoric, I don't know the answer: why couldn't the US have spent 11% more effort and money and destroyed ALL the stockpiles? What is taking so long? Is the last 10% more difficult to deal with or something?

Re:US turn already happened (2)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#45301989)

Yes. We started with the massive quantity stuff and then had to go to the more specialized stuff. From what I understand the easy stuff we could just heat up 2100F and it was ruined. The harder stuff you have to carefully add neutralizing chemicals to which makes it into only standard toxic waste. Figuring out the right process + mixture + manufacturing the chemicals +.... is about $.5b / year job. It is more like the 80/20 rule the last 20% is more difficult than the first 80% several times over.

Re:US turn already happened (1)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#45302387)

Thank you. I don't suppose the fools behind the policy of generating all this stuff will ever face any sanctions for necessitating this cleanup effort.

Still, if I could pursue this just a bit more... If we spent $0.5 billion a year to get 90% of the work done, and keeping in mind the 80-20 rule, could we not have spent several billion instead and got it all done by now? I mean that is really chicken feed. And it sounds like the money has to be spent anyway; we're just spreading out the timespan so the rubes don't see so much money going out in one year.

Re:US turn already happened (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45302989)

I don't suppose the fools behind the policy of generating all this stuff will ever face any sanctions for necessitating this cleanup effort.

Most of those people have died of old age by now.

Re:US turn already happened (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#45306039)

By letting it take longer, we avoid the additional cost of building more disposal facilities that won't have any use once the job is complete. Meanwhile, the weapons are no risk in war since, due to aging, they cannot be transported safely much less actually used in combat.

Re:US turn already happened (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#45310197)

Yes, it is a total quantity thing. I suspect if we were spending 4x as much per year we could have been done during the Clinton administration, and I imagine the total cost would have been close to the same under that expedited process. The level we choose is indicative of the priority which is we want this to be a smallish line item that doesn't squeeze other priorities but we want progress. Plus there may be a defensive purpose. Because of the cleanup teams, we have large numbers of people skilled in working with and neutralizing chemical weapons. Many of the enemies we are/were likely to face (Iran, Iraq, Syria) have chemical but not nuclear weapons. I think the Army likes having this skill set so why rush?

As the fools behind the policy that was the USA people. And the sanction they are facing is paying for the cleanup. We all embraced and continue to embrace a weapons policy. Chemical weapons aren't remotely expensive compared to the costs are for nuclear weapons. The Republican party just last year ran a candidate for president who advocated building the next generation of these weapons and replacing our entire current generation. He got 2.5m votes shy of 1/2 the vote. The #2 guy in the Senate on the Republican side, John Kyl, makes nuclear weapon enhancement a high priority consistently. We as a people wanted the chemical weapons policy we had same as we want the nuclear policy we have today.

Re:US turn already happened (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#45302399)

Environmental requirements and NIMBY. The Utah Tooele facility was heavily opposed by NIMBY and environmental groups and sued more than a dozen times. They only reason it made it through courts and continued operation is because the Army was able to successfully argue the risk of allowing the decaying munitions to remain undestroyed was higher than the risk of a leak during the destruction process. It should be noted that the Army estimated about 10% of the stores were actively leaking at the time of destruction.

The Kentucky and Pueblo facilitates on the other hand are much much closer to heavily populated areas and have faced relentless opposition including probably double or triple the number of lawsuits (lawsuits that are designed to slow the process and make it more expensive). There are also some limited stores of munitions in the pacific and I don't believe they have even built the incinerator planed for Guam yet.

Re:US turn already happened (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#45302651)

Correction, I was wrong about the pacific stockpiles, apparently the incineration facility was constructed and all pacific stockpiles eliminated before Tooele completed. They built the incinerator on Johnson Atoll rather than Guam.

See: http://leavitt.li.suu.edu/leavitt/?p=626 [suu.edu]

Re:US turn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45300247)

to show how commited (or honest) are in the push against chemical weapons, must destroy its own chemical (and biological, and so on) weapons factories and stockpiles. And of course, private owned companies in US should do the same.

So basically you want the US to destroy its chemical productions industry? That's more than 750 billion in production, and over a million employees, and you want to put them out of work?

Why not do the same to the EU? Are you trying to get some advantage for the Germans and the French? Or the Chinese? That's the only explanation for your mandate.

Re:US turn (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45300481)

Umm, U.S. chemical weapons factories have been eliminated already. Destruction of our remaining stockpiles is set to start in Fiscal Year 2015. They would be gone already, but the Environmental Protection Agency makes it damn near impossible to get the approvals.

First Post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45299025)

you have a play milestones, teeling

Meanwhile their friendly neighbors had 400 nukes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45299065)

and no treaty.

And who has repeatedly bombed other countries?

Time for Israel to step up and show some responsibility instead of whinging and bombing shit.

Re:Meanwhile their friendly neighbors had 400 nuke (1)

austerestyle (3396553) | about a year ago | (#45299655)

Why should it? Is there an armada near its shores threatening it? No? Israel keeps its nukes, Syria blinked and lost its strategic deterrent. Life is tough and no one owes anyone anything.

Re:Meanwhile their friendly neighbors had 400 nuke (-1, Flamebait)

hazah (807503) | about a year ago | (#45300031)

Here we go again. Just couldn't resist the itch to point the finger at them "eeval joos". Trolled every goddamn thread in the discussion too. Indeed, how dare a nation not give in to genocide, how rude. You always peddle the same lie, as if it strengthens your position in the argument, meanwhile anyone with a brain in their skull is rolling their eyes, letting out an exasperated sigh. Yes, Israel bombs military targets. Read that again -- millitary targets -- personnel with arms, specifically personnel who had *used those arms in the past to attack it*. They _should_ if the nation has any hope to survive, concidering that every single neighbour it has will invade as soon as the opportunity arises. There are statements from each of their leaders on record, they confirm this. But your type already knows this, in fact, that's the idea, isn't it? At the end of the day, you're dreaming that millions of innocent people would be murdered, and it gives you warm feelings on the inside... doesn't it? They are nothing to you but infadels? You are a sick individual, and should seek psychiatric help. Your religion isn't saving you. It turned you into a complete asshole. A sorry excuse for a civilized man. I'd rather throw my lot in with real barbarians than the likes of you -- as at least they have SOME respect for the world around them.

Re:Meanwhile their friendly neighbors had 400 nuke (2)

Uberbah (647458) | about a year ago | (#45300909)

Here we go again. Just couldn't resist the itch to point the finger at them "eeval joos".

Wow, playing the antisemite card to deflect any attention from Israel's actions. Has this been done before? Now, if you can move past your wolf-crying shitweaselry, why should Israel get away with it's confirmed use of chemical weapons - the dumping of phosphorous on Gaza in Cast Lead - after threatening to bomb Syria for it's alleged chemical weapons use?

Just how long do right wing Israelis get to get away with what they accuse others of doing, anyway?

Re:Meanwhile their friendly neighbors had 400 nuke (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45301473)

When has Israel ever used WMDs? Plain fact about the Middle East - if the Arabs disarm, peace would still exist, and they would still exist. If Israel disarms, they'd cease to exist. Just look @ Lebanon - most Christians are fleeing, or have fled. Same story as in Iraq, and now Syria.

Given that you have Muslim Brotherhood types now running Egypt and possibly Syria, Israel would be reckless if they didn't have nukes.

Re:Meanwhile their friendly neighbors had 400 nuke (1)

Uberbah (647458) | about a year ago | (#45303105)

if the Arabs disarm, peace would still exist, and they would still exist.

Israel doesn't want peace. It wants land, specifically the primary territory from some kingdom they had 3,000 years ago. That's why Zionist terrorists engaged in bombings [wikipedia.org] and assassinations [wikipedia.org] and the odd massacre [wikipedia.org] before 1950. After 1950, they engaged in false flag operations [wikipedia.org] and finally enacted their own Manifest Destiny when they started the 1967 War with a sneak attack on Egypt. If Israel gave a shit about peace, it would go back to the Green Line, not announce 1500 new settlements a quarter on the land they are illegally occupying. Peace would have gotten in the way of all of that.

Now, this is the point where some Zionist will come in and cry wolf again, or try to drag this down into whattaboutery, so here's a preemptive piss off. The roots of this conflict are based on 1) tiny minority [wikipedia.org] of the population bringing in settlers on land stolen from the native population and 2) Israel's land grabbing in the 1967 War, which they started by attacking Egypt's Air Force. And there's no counter-argument that isn't self-defeating. Case in point: if Israel was justified in starting the 1967 war because of a blockade of a shipping route, then every Qassam rocket in response to the total blockade of Gaza is justified.

Re:Meanwhile their friendly neighbors had 400 nuke (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45303445)

Yeah, and how well is the land that Israel captured in the Sinai really working out for them? What's that - it's with Egypt now? Thought so. How about places in the West Bank sacred to Jews - Hebron, Nablus, Jericho? What was that - all of them PA controlled territory? What about 'Zionist' settlements in the West Bank? Dismantled, you say? If Israel just wants land, they have a funny way of showing it.

Re:Meanwhile their friendly neighbors had 400 nuke (1)

Uberbah (647458) | about a year ago | (#45304099)

If Israel just wants land, they have a funny way of showing it.

Like they're going to do it all at once. Then the veil would finally be lifted, and not even Daddy Amurika could keep covering for Israel's ass at the U.N. That of course hasn't stopped prominent Israelis from openly talking about wanting to engage in ethnic cleansing and murder [truthdig.com] to achieve a truly jewish Israel. And while you guys like to complain about the Hamas charter, the Likud charter lays claim to all of the West Bank.

How about places in the West Bank sacred to Jews - Hebron, Nablus, Jericho?

That's what the slow grind of Apartheid is for. The Jewish-only roads, the separation barriers, the abuse of water rights. Tearing down [icahd.org] Palestinian villages that have existed for hundreds of years because of 'building code violations' or to make room for 'public parks'. And last but not least, Settlers Gone Wild, who shoot Palestinian farmers in the head or divert sewage [liveleak.com] from their illegal settlements into Palestinian farms. They do it slowly enough and the United States will still automatically protect their ass with it's Security Council veto pen.

They do it too much and and the POTUS makes a big show of giving Bibi a talking to, at which point Israel announces they'll stop building settlements - for a month or two - and could we please please get back to talking about those Qassam rockets. [photobucket.com]

Re:Meanwhile their friendly neighbors had 400 nuke (2)

hazah (807503) | about a year ago | (#45304705)

if the Arabs disarm, peace would still exist, and they would still exist.

Israel doesn't want peace. It wants land, specifically the primary territory from some kingdom they had 3,000 years ago. That's why Zionist terrorists engaged in bombings [wikipedia.org] and assassinations [wikipedia.org] and the odd massacre [wikipedia.org] before 1950. After 1950, they engaged in false flag operations [wikipedia.org] and finally enacted their own Manifest Destiny when they started the 1967 War with a sneak attack on Egypt. If Israel gave a shit about peace, it would go back to the Green Line, not announce 1500 new settlements a quarter on the land they are illegally occupying. Peace would have gotten in the way of all of that.

Now, this is the point where some Zionist will come in and cry wolf again, or try to drag this down into whattaboutery, so here's a preemptive piss off. The roots of this conflict are based on 1) tiny minority [wikipedia.org] of the population bringing in settlers on land stolen from the native population and 2) Israel's land grabbing in the 1967 War, which they started by attacking Egypt's Air Force. And there's no counter-argument that isn't self-defeating. Case in point: if Israel was justified in starting the 1967 war because of a blockade of a shipping route, then every Qassam rocket in response to the total blockade of Gaza is justified.

Bold statements... wants land? Oh... you mean the land they conquered just like every goddamn nation out there before the 20th century? Get back to me after a history lesson... or 20. War is war, and if the didn't want to give it up they shouldn't have conspired to attack on all fronts. I've no sympathy for them now that history showed them to be the losers. Their loss was well deserved.

The bombing was a criminal act. You must have missed the heading that reads "aftermath." not too surprising.

Assassination is strickly anti-zionist. Any group that claims to be zionist and assasinates is by their very nature invalidated. As far as politics go, again, this is another criminal act. But don't let that deter your delusions!

Another link to another condemned act... I think I smell a pattern batman!

While the latter is a genuine fuckup. We are at 1/4 so far. You've finally found some merit for speaking!

But then you go into some rhetoric about "stolen land" from some "native population". There, right there, I have to ask, are you high? Stolen from *whom*? What exactly do you know of palestine before brittish rule? The ottoman empire before it? Hint... nomads do not own land by definition. Nor did they claim it UNTIL Israel formed, surprise surprise, someone wanted the jews out again.

On behalf of all of zion I am truly sorry that your rosy version of history is complete and utter bullshit. I am truly sorry that you've been conditioned to hate hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of innocent people over the actions of a literal handful of people, often provoked under threat of genocide, yet still condemend for their actions.

By the way... where are your precious links that describe atrocities done to Israel? Couldn't be bothered? I wonder why...

Re:Meanwhile their friendly neighbors had 400 nuke (1)

Uberbah (647458) | about a year ago | (#45308009)

Like I said, all the counter-arguments are self-defeating.

Oh... you mean the land they conquered just like every goddamn nation out there before the 20th century?

This is canard is full of holes, starting with the issue of what century was 1948 in, again? The world wasn't operating by the same rules as in 1448, and countries were no longer allowed to keep land won in aggressive wars of conquest. Other problems with your canard:

  1. If "might makes right" is your argument, then it's no big deal for you if the A-Rabs were actually able to invade and force out the Joos, right?
  2. If "this was done before so it's okay" is your argument, ethnic cleansing goes back a long way in human history as well. Would be as blase if you found out that some other people have been the victims of ethnic cleansing - lets say the Jews?
  3. If your argument is "this happened too long ago, deal with it and move on" did you have the same opinion as Israel was pursuing former prison camp guards and suing Swiss banks for assets stolen in the 1930's, much less the 1940's?
  4. The creation of modern Israel is utterly without precedent in human history. Unless you can find another example of two superpowers giving aid and support to ideologues and refugees as they conquer themselves a nation.

Self. Defeating. Finally, your argument is invalid because wrong is wrong. Conquering land from a native population is wrong when Zionists were doing it in the 40's, it was wrong when they did it for the first time thousands of years ago according to the Bible, it was wrong when English colonists were doing it to the Iroquois, it was wrong when the Spanish conquistadors were doing it to the people of Peru, it was wrong when the Romans were doing it to the people of the Mediterranean and Europe.

But there are no living Inca or Seminoles being denied the Right of Return. That is the case for Palestinians, some of whom still have keys to the houses they were forced out of in 1948, much less 1967. If we were a mere 46 years after the conclusion of Manifest Destiny, hell yes lands should be returned to the Navajo, the Apache, the Chinooks. Wrong. Is. Wrong. But not all wrongs are recent and ongoing events.

Assassination is strickly anti-zionist. Any group that claims to be zionist and assasinates is by their very nature invalidated.

That's funny, since the realization of Zionism, like it's twin Manifest Destiny, is that it was impossible to realize without violence. The assassins of Folke Bernadotte, a hero who saved thousands of Jews from Germany, included one Yitzhak Shamir, who only became prime minister of Israel. Further showing just how much Israelis really feel about terrorism, Bibi openly celebrates [theguardian.com] the Hotel David bombing while providing excuses that would be laughed out of the room the Muslim group of your choice were offering the same.

But then you go into some rhetoric about "stolen land" from some "native population". There, right there, I have to ask, are you high? Stolen from *whom*? What exactly do you know of palestine before brittish rule?

Your inability to read citations is your problem, not mine. Jews were less than 10% of the population in 1900, and only waves of European immigrants allowed them to swell to a whopping 40% of the population, who then up and declared ownership of 60% of the land. Same process that European colonists used to dispossess Native Americans of their land.

On behalf of all of zion I am truly sorry that your rosy version of history is complete and utter bullshit.

Reality has a well-known anti-Zionist bias. Again: like Manifest Destiny before it, Zionism was impossible to achieve without war, murder and ethnic cleansing.

am truly sorry that you've been conditioned to hate hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of innocent people over the actions of a literal handful of people, often provoked under threat of genocide, yet still condemend for their actions.

The problem for you and your fellow wolf-criers is that I'm entirely consistent. What Zionists are doing to Palestinians is every bit as amoral as what the Cossacks and the Popes put Jews through throughout the centuries. Wrong is wrong. But those Popes and their ghettos are long gone. The Palestinian victims of Zionism are not.

By the way... where are your precious links that describe atrocities done to Israel? Couldn't be bothered? I wonder why...

By the way, did you also fail to read the part about how trying to drag this into whatabboutery isn't going to work either? You can try to sidestep historical facts and cause-and-effect, but that's going to fail. One more time: the roots of this conflict are 1) immigrants fresh off the boat laying claim to land that already had people living on it and 2) illegal territory gains from the 1967 War, which was started by Israel with a sneak attack on Egypt.

Oppressors can also go fuck themselves when they whine about how the oppressed are uppity or fight back. It was unjustifiable bullshit when white South Africans were calling Nelson Mandela a terrorist and imprisoned him for decades, and it is just as wrong when Israelis do the same to the people of Palestine.

sanctions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45299345)

Benefit Sanctions Must Be Stopped Without Exceptions in UK?
Petition Calling For Benefit Sanctions To Be Scrapped Hits 5573 Signatures In First Few days
http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/benefit-sanctions-must-be-stopped-without-exceptions-in-uk

CNN.com now on Slashdot? (2, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#45299371)

Remember when Slashdot used to have articles on circuit boards, programming languages, cool games and hardware?

What's next Ben and Jen's new baby (or whoever the f#ck is the latest tabloid bait)

Re:CNN.com now on Slashdot? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45299889)

Did you just compare a bloody civil war to celebrity gossip.

Things that matter, fuckwit.

Re:CNN.com now on Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45300887)

I'm going with the GP on this one only because this doesn't matter. Most people will still swear that Syria still has chemical weapons as well as chemical weapon plants. Since this is the case, this is a non-story even in a general news outlet.

They got caught, and they are circumventing global intervention. The getting caught was news... this theater-ing around is not.

Re:CNN.com now on Slashdot? (1)

Uberbah (647458) | about a year ago | (#45303367)

I'm going with the GP on this one only because this doesn't matter.

I'm going with the other AC that this is fuckwittery. Even if you're a total sociopath and think that the ongoing deaths don't matter, Al Qaeda is being armed with your tax dollars. Any bombs that the United States would drop if Decider II decides he's not happy with Assad would also be paid for with your tax dollars.

Re:CNN.com now on Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45300625)

No longer news for nerds. Now /. is a crapshoot.

wow! (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#45299385)

Wow, they had a chemical weapon capable of producing equipment? Slashdot better upgrade their grammatical and punctuation defenses to deal with that one. Type to launch a preemptive hyphen at that title.

Muphry's law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45302393)

Surely you intended to write "Time to launch..." ?

All part of the plan (1, Troll)

transami (202700) | about a year ago | (#45299739)

From the looks of the comments, none of you have any clue whats really going on. This is all simply part of the run-up to the invasion of Iran. Timeline for the destruction of all chemical weapons in Syria is mid 2014, the same time the next phase our new missile defence system goes online in Israel (David's Sling). And by then Iran will be realling from a near 100% emargo on their oil exports --a bill currently making its way through Congress. Unless something very drastic changes, it looks like we will see war with Iran as early as 2014. Th only thing I can see delaying it is if poltically the powers that be would rather put the war under a new Republican president in 2017.

Re:All part of the plan (1)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#45302309)

OK, we have now heard from la-la land. Any invasion of Iran is a complete and utter fantasy on the face of it. Did you not learn anything from what happened in Iraq from 2003 until the invaders stuck their fingers in their ears, sang kumbaya and made a slow motion capitulation about a decade later? Iran has well over twice the population, and much more importantly is filled with forbidding, highly defensible terrain, not just a big indefensible desert.

The combined crushingly massive coalition forces that existed in 1991 MIGHT have been able to inflict a decisive military victory over Iran if they had been tasked with it. Maybe. The cost to the coalition would have been staggering. But invade, occupy, and subdue them? Not in the most supremely deluded imagination.

The forces available in 2003 would have been sadly unequal to the task, and those available today - don't make me laugh.

Just to be clear, yes, Iran could be devastated militarily from the air with physical destruction if anyone was willing to brave the backfire of universal global revulsion and condemnation. But "invaded", to use your word? No one with any grip on reality at all thinks anybody is stupid enough to bloody and bankrupt themselves with such a spectacularly ill conceived notion.

As to your proposal that Iran could be completely prevented from exporting any oil... Iran shares borders with Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. It has coastline on the Gulf of Oman outside of the Persian Gulf chokepoint. Russia and Kazakhstan are right across the Caspian Sea. Do you really think you're going to be able make them all toe the line and sign up for this embargo? Even if they sign up, are they just going to be snickering behind your back while they quietly flout it? How do you stop tankers from calling on Iran to pick up oil? With a naval blockade? That sounds like an act of war to me. Iran has submarines, you know, and every vessel you put out there on blockade duty is nothing but a target for a submarine.

Oil is fungible. As soon as it gets to a third party, no one can prove (and no one would care) where any given barrel came from. It's all mixed together.

Re:All part of the plan (1)

Uberbah (647458) | about a year ago | (#45303231)

Did you not learn anything from what happened in Iraq from 2003 until the invaders stuck their fingers in their ears, sang kumbaya and made a slow motion capitulation about a decade later?

Nope. This country didn't learn a damned thing after the Iraq war. Then as now, we have no problems fostering sectarian civil wars, only now it's in Syria. Then as now, mass market media repeats claims from "unnamed senior officials" as fact. Then as now, obviously weak justifications are used to drum up support for an attack.

Actually, scratch that last one. Because the "real" evidence that Syria used chemical weapons remains classified, and the what they have told us is laugh-out-loud worse than Nigerian yellowcake and aluminum tubes. The icing on the cake is having spent the last 1.5 decades telling us that Al Qaeda is such a threat that we have to spy on every person on the planet, but it's just a crazy conspiracy theory that Al Qaeda would obtain or use sarin gas, when a small cult in Japan was able to do so 17 years ago. [wikipedia.org]

Re:All part of the plan (1)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#45303905)

I understand. Not to mention the whole business of the US supporting Al Qaeda in Syria while ostensibly fighting it elsewhere.

Re:All part of the plan (1)

Uberbah (647458) | about a year ago | (#45304237)

Well, it did make for a good use of the chin-scratching T-Rex meme, which of course my Google-fu isn't finding an actual link for at the moment:

'If Obama is arming Al Qaeda rebels in Syria
could be be detained under section 1021 of the NDAA?'

Maybe they'd thought no one would notice after jumping the shark with MEK. [salon.com]

Re:All part of the plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45302681)

And by then Iran will be realling from a near 100% emargo on their oil exports

That's reeling, you dumb kid. Read more books, watch less TV.

unsafe because.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45300283)

there... are... still... chemical... weapons... there???

Yay! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#45300719)

Now the genocide and holodomor [reuters.com] can safely continue indefinitely! Aren't we a nice species?

Re:Yay! (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year ago | (#45302531)

Both sides are engaging in war crimes against civilian population, though rebels are more prone to specifically targeting groups based on their background (mostly religious, but then there are also Kurds), which is closer to the actual definition of genocide; the regime, on the other hand, just targets all political opposition.

So what's your suggestion on fixing it? With both sides having blood on their hands, the only way Syria could have something resembling peace right now is if an international coalition just took over and directly managed the country under a UN mandate or something along those lines, until reconciliation between various factions is possible and a local government that can actually stay in control can be established and stand on its own. This would probably take decades (a single decade in Afghanistan was not enough). Are the Western countries ready to foot the bill for such an operation, both with money and with the lives of their people (not just soldiers - you'll also need people to rebuild the infrastructure, teachers etc, and all those will be targeted by the local insurgents)? Can it handle the accusations of imperialism that such an intervention will undeniably provoke?

Declared by Syria... (1)

chinton (151403) | about a year ago | (#45300953)

21 of the 23 sites declared by Syria

And how many sites do they have that they didn't declare?

We Did It! (1)

Thrill Science (2845693) | about a year ago | (#45301551)

We Did It, Reddit!

They weren't "destroyed" (1)

jennatalia (2684459) | about a year ago | (#45301667)

They were just sent back to Iraq.
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