June 19th, 2009

Iran: “it wasn’t supposed to happen this way”

Well worth reading, this NY Times op-ed purports to be by a young Iranian. Writer “Shane” describes the evolution of public opinion in the Iranian election and how the subsequent demonstrations got going, as well as noting the changed demographics of Iran during the thirty years since the Khomeini revolution.

Along the way, he castigates those in the US press and politics who muse that Ahmadinejad was actually the true winner of the election. He calls them ignorant of the changes that have occurred in Iran during the last thirty years, including increased urbanization and education. He also floats the curious notion that Ahmadinejad would be better for Iranian foreign (as opposed to domestic) policy because he would be able to make concessions to the West, since he is already viewed as such a hardliner, a sort of “Nixon opens up China” figure. Although I certainly don’t have my finger on the pulse of Iran, I beg to differ; Ahmadinejad could theoretically do that if Ahmadinejad showed a single indication of wanting to do that, which he most decidedly has not.

“Shane” doesn’t mention another factor about which I’ve read a great deal, one that seems to be a big part of the mix: the population of Iran is overwhelmingly young. This seems to be an example of the principle of “be careful what you wish for,” because it’s a result of campaigns by the rulers after the revolution and during the war against Iraq to increase the birth rate:

[T]he leaders of the new Islamic republic drew attention to a tenet of the Quran that encourages early marriage and large families. Population growth became part of the national agenda, with incentives to reward families for each additional child. Everything from TVs to cars to food was distributed on a per capita basis through a rationing system, making it advantageous to have many children. These incentives remained in place through the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, when population growth was viewed as a strategic advantage: more children, more future soldiers.

The government-spurred baby boom came to an abrupt end toward the end of the war. In 1988, the Ministry of Health and Medical Education held a three-day seminar in Mashad on development, which determined that the rapidly increasing population would soon exceed Iran’s infrastructure and natural resources.

The huge baby boom slowed down after 1988, but this left Iran with its current bubble of people under 30, variously estimated as being either 60% or 70% of the current population. That’s an awful lot of young people. This is most definitely a part of what’s happening in the revolt in Iran today; as “Shane” says, these people are finding strength in each other and experiencing a new sense of shared community and purpose. “It wasn’t supposed to happen this way” is a refrain of his essay, and it could also be applied to the mullahs’ encouragement of childbearing for the revolutionary generation, which created this problematic (for them) bubble of young people today.

At the moment the news appears grim for the demonstrators, however. Khameini just addressed crowds of supporters and laid down the law, as expected. Mousavi was not at his side,although he was told to be. The West, in particular Britain, was vilified (although Obama, despite all his carefully calibrated mealymouthed blather, was also panned).

Mousavi’s supporters plan to continue demonstrations tomorrow, as do a group of clerics on the same side. However, the real questions are (1) how far the demonstrators are willing to go, and how much violence against them are they willing to absorb; (2) how far the mullahs are willing to go, and how much violence they are willing to perpetrate; and (3) will the police, the Guards, and other forces called in by the mullahs to quell the crowds be willing to fire on them, or will they stay their hands?

That last question may be the most important of all. Like all tyrants, the mullahs can do little without the help of the vast numbers of henchmen they employ, and without the exercise of fear. Sometimes there is a great deal of opposition and unrest under the radar screen even within the groups assisting tyrants, and once dissatisfaction as a whole reaches a critical mass and events transpire to release it, there can be a sudden change and a refusal to defend the regime.

I am most definitely not saying this will happen in Iran right now. I am merely saying it is a possibility, although I don’t think it’s likely. The mullahs have the firepower, and if they also have the will to suppress the demonstrators, and the loyal police with which to accomplish it, they will almost undoubtedly succeed in doing so—even if “the whole world is watching.”

But no matter what happens, the seeds of unrest have been sowed, and they may bear fruit in later years. This will be scant comfort to those in Iran who want freedom now. But at least Obama will then have his much-anticipated talks with Ahmadinejad, for what that’s worth (which in my opinion is absolutely nothing).

26 Responses to “Iran: “it wasn’t supposed to happen this way””

  1. JESS Says:


    You forgot one major factor of the baby boom with Iran society specially under Mullah regime with temporary marriage “Muta’ah marriage” “sigheh” were the couple could have gotten married for as short a time as a few minutes or as long as 99 years.

    Read here, here and

  2. JESS Says:

    Ops, one more

  3. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Iran did what the USSR did, in order to make up for the horrendous casualties, and encouraged large families.
    As I recall, decades ago, a woman with ten children could get a state pension in the USSR. And retire.
    So it wasn’t a matter of making more soldiers, but of replacing the cohort of folks who would, after the war, do the work. The Sovs lost 20 million, mostly young. That’s a hell of a hole to have passing through the demographic stages, including working in factories and so forth. “not” working in factories, I mean.

  4. Tatyana Says:

    Richard, it’s more like a welfare assistance than a state pension. “Retired”: yeah, but it depends of what your definition of retirement is. In Russia it means security of being on permanent government assistance; the size of it is minuscule.
    They give those women a medal called “Mother-Heroine”, in addition to monetary payments, and sometimes move these families up in the queue for a state-sponsored apartment and a car, but that’s about it. If Russian society was so caring about their young, if the assistance was supposedly that great Russia would not be in a demographic crisis right now and the abortion rate in Russia was not highest in the world.

  5. Paul Gordon Says:

    A commenter, on a post about “Freedom in Iran”, observed…

    I have to say right now that we should be very cautious about depicting the Iranians as liberal-thinking Westerners who want total freedom. This is a mistake that we make all the time.

    Perhaps, but…

    How many times have we partnered with, or dealy “pragmatically” with, some oppressive regime with the justification that their people weren’t “READY” for freedom (as if they were sub-human or something). I really think this is an EXCUSE for preserving status quo.

    Could it be possible, that after recent events, there could be some Iranians wondering, “If the Iraqis and Afghans can pull off genuine elections, WHY THE HELL CAN’T WE?!!!”

    (Just saw, over at Gateway Pundit, an Iranian protester holding a sign that translated into, “DON’T FORGET WHAT HAPPENED TO SADDAM!!!.)

  6. Martin Bebow Says:

    The mullahs have the firepower, and if they also have the will to suppress the demonstrators, and the loyal police with which to accomplish it, they will almost undoubtedly succeed in doing so—even if “the whole world is watching.”

    It doesn’t matter who is watching. What matters is whether or not the Iranian people have reached the breaking point. And will Mousavi see that he is destined to lead the Iranians at this possibly historic time. We can’t tell that looking from the outside and not having experianced what the Iranian people have experianced since 1979. This is high drama.

  7. JESS Says:

    I have to say right now that we should be very cautious about depicting the Iranians as liberal-thinking Westerners who want total freedom. This is a mistake that we make all the time.

    For too many years now, the Western media have looked at Iran through the narrow prism of Iran’s liberal middle class — an intelligentsia that is addicted to the Internet and American music and is more ready to talk to the Western press, including people with money to buy tickets to Paris or Los Angeles. Reading Lolita in Tehran is a terrific book, but does it represent the real Iran?

    Robert Baer

    Iran is not a theocracy. It is a military dictatorship headed by Khamenei and advised by a coterie of generals from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Army, as well as hard-liners in the secret police. Ahmadinejad is little more than the spokesman for this group. He may have a say in the day-to-day management of the economy and other parts of Iranian administration–but all important decisions, particularly those related to Iran’s national security, including rigging presidential elections, are made by Khamenei.

    Robert Baer

    Baer, a former CIA field officer assigned to the Middle East, is TIME.com’s intelligence columnist and the author of See No Evil and, most recently, The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower.

  8. Artfldgr Says:

    the real questions are:
    (1) how far the demonstrators are willing to go, and how much violence against them are they willing to absorb
    (2) how far the mullahs are willing to go, and how much violence they are willing to perpetrate
    (3) will the police, the Guards, and other forces called in by the mullahs to quell the crowds be willing to fire on them, or will they stay their hands?

    Real honest answers that no one will like much:

    (1)They are only willing to go far enough till the other side gets organized more. They are not armed, and like Lenin found out, they are really not willing to overthrow any state. That is, without the external help that comes in these situations, they don’t succeed.

    Real despots do not get overthrown unless there is outside help, or outside interference. They do get replaced by others as ruthless as or more so than they through internal intrigue, potentially like your seeing.

    We already know its not going to go anywhere since there hasn’t been any war fighting with real weapons.

    (2) the mullahs have already killed their own people, have had night hit squads, and oversee a religion and politics in which public hangings and dismemberments are a regular thing. As long as they think its justified, and believe me, they will think it justified (unless they have orders from a higher authority), and they will do what they have to do and worry about public relations later.

    And this is where I said and why I said get prepared. What will happen is that these crowds will start to thin. As long as the crowds don’t bring weapons and start a fight, there will only be sporadic problems. In the background though, they will watch who leaves, they will take note, and people will start disappearing. Bodies mutilated beyond recognition will start showing up, or stories of such will be injected with no way to confirm or deny them. you know, like everyone knows a man that knows a Vietnam vet who served with the guy that collected ears. So by day you will get an image of tolerance and forbearance, and by night, you will have happenings. Eventually the crowds will peter out and the mullahs will get the reward of seeming to quell them with the words of the Koran.

    (3)the police are not going to have to do much firing. They will do their dirty work at night. But do not forget that its different living in a collective. Your own thoughts and will are not your own, you have no choice, so you stop thinking you have a choice or an option. So they will do whatever they are ordered to do. they know that a new regime will clean house of dirty people like them looking for new dirty people. And the new regime will let the new guys be dirty if they go after the ones that they want. The police and military do well, they know that if they stand up for the current regime, they will continue to do well. the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know as they would see it.


    The point is whether Russia thinks that Alma is still effective playing his role, or would another one be better. as I said before they are not going to let that puppy go. Switch leaders yes, switch leaders to someone not under their control – no way (unless the west did it – ergo each group blames which based on which scenario they think is at play).

    Ultimately I think that what’s going on here is a regime change with these crowds and games creating a strong leader who the public is backing (for now, which is what you will need for a war. Lots of young people that are a problem and who are on your side). And a leader who now can play the I am no alma, and so get lots of concessions. It also prevents the invasion to ‘close the door’ as we are soft and will try to negotiate first. All strategic goodies are too much on one side and all the other goodies on the other side are assumptive and presumptive.

    Ultimately, whether A or M, it wont make a hill of difference other than which one is more effective at playing the west. Neither are going to be what is real or what such as we would want them to be.

    If you want to understand whats going on underneath all this, you can read this article and realize that we are seeing variations on different combinations and themes (if your good at abstractions you can actually assign things to it). it also explains why we would tolerate such.

    Thriving on selfishness
    A new theory for why we put up with adulterers, steroid-using athletes and the mafia

  9. Artfldgr Says:

    that was very well put. let me see if i can describe for them the pragmatic mentality.

    the mentality is that the donkey (material) should work for the carrot that it doesnt get. why waste a carrot on a donkey?

    they know that once a person is born, there is so little that the parents or that person can do to avoid being a new tool, that they only have to get them born.

    now they dont give a damn about them… if everyone in the country that wasnt part of their clique offed themselves and died out and that didnt lead to them taken over by another state, they wouild be quite happy and feel that they did their jobs well.

  10. Mr. Frank Says:

    Now that the House and Senate have voted overwhelmingly in support of the demonstrators, will Obama get on the train?

  11. Artfldgr Says:

    But no matter what happens, the seeds of unrest have been sowed, and they may bear fruit in later years.

    why does everyone always assume that whatever they see is always real? from paris hilton, to obama, to protest crowds and such. always real, never fake, never orchestrated, assisted, fomented, created, incited, etc…

    if this was somewhat orchestrated or actually orchestrated, then your statement is kind of silly as an orchestrated event will not have the meaning you think years to come.

    for instance, if they taught the historical truth that rosa parks got lessons first at the highlander school on how to cause civil unrest. would the average person celebrate her? how about sanger and her negro project?

  12. Artfldgr Says:

    I was checking out the news in iran…

    and i noticed this little ditty with the piece linked on the bottom that took you to this as the first ad from google.
    under title “US to strike soon”

    followed by a missive for sexy iran women pictures or something like that..

    then followed by iran nuclear war prophecy.

    IRAN the latest News

  13. Artfldgr Says:

    Shadowy Iranian Vigilantes Vow Bolder Action

    The daytime protests across the Islamic republic have been largely peaceful. But Iranians shudder at the violence unleashed in their cities at night, with the shadowy vigilantes known as Basijis beating, looting and sometimes gunning down protesters they tracked during the day.


    sad to say that this was a gimme and why there is such thing as a one way ticket. one way tickets are why somethings should not be tried or tasted.

  14. Logern Says:

    Heh. With those big crowds, they could all get H1-N1 flu and go home.

    Some in the crowds (however young) are related to people in power. Which may also play a factor in how likely they are to use any kind of massive force. The bigger the crowds the better. But how many days can they continue at those size protests?

  15. JESS Says:

    they could all get H1-N1 flu one will be good

  16. csimon Says:

    I find the situation in Iran breathtaking, while at the same time I so much fear another Tianemen Square. Unfortunately, I am afraid this could happen.

    It is a terribly complicated situation. On one hand, we in the West observe and reason based on the freedom we have always lived with — it’s almost impossibly hard to think as those who have lived under such a tyrannic regime. Given that such a huge part of the population is under 25, they have never known another way of life. There is usually much trepidation in moving to the unknown. (There are reasons that we use sayings like “Beware of what you wish for.” History is full of revolutions in which the savior becomes a more terrific master) On the other hand, I believe the technological revolution has had an undeniable effect on the youth of the country. The use of the Internet has opened windows and doors that the mullahs would permanently lock closed. One thing about the technological age: it seems like there is no end to resourceful geeks that develop work-arounds and blocking of information. I read somewhere that Twitter is “on fire” in Iran with the youth. The exchange of thoughts and ideas is made possible, which has, I’m sure, created an atmosphere of mutual support which has laid the groundwork for the boldness and courage of those now acting out. I don’t believe it will peter out as Artfldgr believes, but a bloodbath could stop this thing in its tracks and there is no reason to believe that the mullahs would think twice about bringing the hammer down now while the protesters are just beginning to realize that they just may have the power to change things. Unfortunately, I agree that it is likely aid from the outside might be needed for success. The protesters are unarmed, mostly quite young, thus I’m guessing without much in the way of resources to fight against a regime with limitless wealth and resources. That wealth is what motivates the Republican Guard and the “unofficial” thugs the mullahs have now called out to beat down the movement.

    One last thing: I think this is definitely linked to what happened first in Afghanistan when the Taliban were overthrown with our help (despite the regression into the war now being waged again) and Iraq. I think George Bush and his administration envisioned just this kind of scenario in which the yearning for freedom and democracy would become “viral.” Unfortunately we did not anticipate would happened in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam, but we were dealing with the population of a country that had lived under tyranny and terror for 35 years! Most knew nothing else, and I imagine that yes, there was a contingent of the population who realized that their power was gone without Saddam (his fellow Bathists who ran the country so long as he was ruling), but I think that initially it’s likely there was paralyzing fear amongst a population that had no clue what was next, i.e. “what do we do now; we’ve always been told what we must do.” The Iranians and Syrians used this quickly to foment the war that followed. People talk about how long the war was in Iraq. I always thought that it was quite remarkable that a people who knew only a reign of terror throughout their lives, or could remember nothing else, could so relatively quickly form a government, leadership, and a democracy. Difficult enough to do, this was hugely exacerbated by the history of the different sects vying for power and domination over one another, and an unequal division of the population among the sects under a system based on 1 man (woman), 1 vote.

    I’ve been disgusted with Obama’s “carefully calibrated mealymouthed blather.” Certainly, he could not get behind Ahmadinejad vs. Mousavi for obvious political reasons, but at the first sign of population unrest due to the announced election results, his voicing affinity, if not encouragement, to those who demonstrated for the right to self-determination and fair democracy could have changed the situation considerably.

    I just envision George Bush glued to his television and jumping up and cheering at the sight of the numbers of those recently filling the streets of Iran.

    I’m done. (but still pulling for freedom…..)

  17. csimon Says:

    re: my previous comments on the effect of modern technology on the Iranian situation, I just found a very interesting article posted just 3 hrs. ago:

    “Web Support Pours Out For Iran Protestors”


  18. JESS Says:

    Few in the crowd were disappointed with the cleric’s words. “Death to America!” the people chanted repeatedly, interrupting Khamenei’s speech. “Death to Israel.”

    Noticeably absent Friday was Moussavi, the man who had sparked Iran’s unrest by calling for a recount of the votes. Absent, too, were Moussavi’s supporters, who did not take to the streets to protest as they had done in previous days. There were no signs and placards on the streets. Or people clamoring for change.

  19. AcidPoP Says:

    The definitive blow was Obama refusing to give an interview to the great Neil Cavuto and anyway, make sure the message is spread that Fox News is bad and a propaganda machine for the right. Where in fact the opposite is true. They are the only news channel that spread the truth , plus gives best advices to Kings everywhere. By stars for stars.

    Me and the president are in opposite camps. The question remains: will he shine thru? Will Joe, Nancy, Bill and Hillary oppose him?

    Interesting times. Everybody is indirectly challenged by Obama’s cluelessness or radical agenda. The American people must choose a side. The Persian people also. Everybody is on his/her own now – and yet the connexion is also very strong. It will be Life or destruction? A Persian revolution at this juncture can only turn out to become the return of life, nothing short of that.

    Obama is supposed to bring freedom thanks to his words. It’s now that he must choose which president he wants to emulate? Reagan or Carter? The iranian people are more than ready.

    Iran must find her own bunch of enlightened founding fathers. Her constitution ready. We will submit it to the iranian people, thank you internet. They can vote on line and then we’ll send the cops arrest the thugs in religious garb and bolchevic ramnling.

    We want a velvet revolution this time (ref. to “Velvet Underground”) against the possibility of one inspired by the ideology of the Weather Underground. Che, Chavez, castro, Michel Moores like.

    Iran has been hijacked by pagan thugs 1400 years ago and no amount of sufism has been able to give Islam a better reputation or its followers a better education and a lighter heart.

    The president must solve his own war: What will solve and save the world from darkness and hate: The Jesus way or the Mohamad route? Christianity or Islam?

    Even a Arab has to ask himself if he will follow the path of the Jews and challenge those who worship a cult or those who know God?

    The God described in the Koran is a fraud. He had the audacity to take His throne and bring hate, lies and horror each time power has been given to him.

    Every single individual must answer the call, accept the challenge and choose Freedom or Hell for all. Are we as God’s apprentices, ready to prove we are worthy of Him and worthy of paradise in Paradise?

    We want a peaceful revolution and a peaceful world, free from mafiosi politicians. If Russians build good reactors, when Iran will become worthy of her heritage and be run by West and Jew loving government, Russians can continue provide the technology. We believe in nuclear power as source of sustainable green energy.

    I have so many ideas and tips. Sorry if I don’t make too much effort in my writing. I have one advice for the president: Ask Lou Reed what he would do to make the best of it.
    The West should promise one thing to the Mullahs and gangsters who control the world. You can step down peacefully. We promise, we wont cut your head. We will isolate you in some paradise in the Caribbean. Gantanamo was not such a bad idea after all. Without the waterboarding and the guards. But nobody need to waterboard these people. We have the truth already.

  20. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    The main question here is whether Iran, under any likely Islamic leadership which believes in and carries out the primary, fundamental, Allah given commands of the Qur’an, to “fight unbelievers wherever you find them,” and to do so eternally until Islam reigns supreme over all the world and it’s peoples, and “all is for Allah,” is ever going to cease it’s predation, aggression and major contributions to the Muslim Jihad against the United States—the chief obstacle to “all being for Allah” in this age–and also against all other unbelievers. The answer to this question is, of course, no, and even hell, no.

    With the above always being kept firmly in mind, the next question is: should the United States encourage and support democracy and fair elections in Iran?


    We should encourage adoption of our democratic principles and the growth of liberty wherever and whenever we can. Talk is cheap—as Obama should well know, but in this instance, the President should both very pointedly and publicly make statements that unmistakably and unequivocally support the demonstrators and their calls for new, fair elections. But, as in the case of the elections in the “Palestinian territories” which Hamas won, we should not be deluded as to the likely character of those in Iran who might win more honest elections there.

    On a more realpolitik level, since Iran is such a danger to the Middle East, Israel, the United States and, indeed, to the whole world, we should at the same time use our clandestine resources to aid the protestors in the hope of overthrowing the current regime.

    It must be understood, however, that even if the current regime is overthrown and Mousavi or some other “reformist” candidate winds up on top, this new leader will be an Islamic “reformist”; we should not naively expect our brand of Liberalism, and sunshine, little bunnies , rainbows and lollipops to break out all over Iran, or expect that Iran will stop its drive for nuclear weapons, its encouragement of terrorism, drop its intention to annihilate Israel and the Jews, or halt its attempts to fight the “Great Satan” i.e. the U.S.

  21. waltj Says:

    Like you, csimon, I’m also pulling for freedom, but I have serious doubts that it will happen now. I see two likely scenarios, one similar to Tienanmen (failure), the other resembling Romania (success). The comparisons aren’t precise, but I believe the Tienanmen model to be the more probable one for several reasons: 1). The mullahs truly believe God is on their side, and we should never underestimate the ruthlessness of anyone who is convinced of that. Therefore, they will have no qualms about ordering the forces under them to do whatever is necessary to maintain control, no matter how many Iranians have to die in the process. 2). Near as I can tell, the protests have not been across wide swaths of society, but have been largely confined to the urban middle class. Significant numbers of the lower classes–who gravitate more towards Ahmadinejad and tend to join the Basij militia–would have to join the protesters for the uprising to have a chance. 3). This is the critical part, the security forces appear to be staying loyal to the mullahs. Because the populace of Iran is basically unarmed, it is unable to effectively resist armed aggression. Gandhi’s nonviolence worked because he directed it against the British, who were, and are, fundamentally decent and unwilling to slaughter large numbers of nonviolent protesters. If he had tried the same tactics against the Nazis or the Soviets under Stalin, his only accomplishment would have been to increase the body count.

    So there’s my take on Iran. If no. 3 changes, as happened in Romania, when the Army came over to the people’s side against the Securitate, then all bets are off. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am.

  22. Tatyana Says:

    Agree with Wolla Dalbo.
    Still, according to this source, among the “Allakhu Akbar” chanting thre is now “Down with Khamenei”. Nice to know.

  23. ad Says:

    It may not be wise to think of “the mullahs” as an undifferentiated group:


    “Clerical opposition to Ahmedinejad already exists, perhaps most prominently from senior Ayatollahs Sanei and Safi-Golpayegani. Another ayatollah, Montazeri, has said: “no one in their right mind can believe” the election results; Montazeri was designated to succeed Ayatollah Khomeini as Supreme Leader – that is until he stepped out of line, and criticised the republic’s human rights abuses back in 1988.”

  24. FredHjr Says:

    As in any modern rebellion, the balance of power is tilted by who the military chooses to support. That’s just being realistic.

    For example, in our country if we ever had a rebellion against the Marxists now ruling our country the outcome would be decided by the military and who the bulk of it chose to throw in its lot with.

    This is why our Founders were so wise. They knew that liberty is obtained at the point of a gun and sword. It is very rare that you can have a successful rebellion without arms and without the military deciding to go against the rulers. Why do you think the Roman emperors would pay off the army? They knew who held the real power.

  25. waltj Says:

    Agreed that the “mullahs” are not an undifferentiated mass. Grand Ayatollah Montazeri certainly does not march lockstep with Khamenei. However, the Guardian Council–the mullahs who count–appears to be more or less unanimous in how to deal with the present problems. Bottom line: Montazeri has moral authority, but no armed troops. Khamenei commands the security forces, and has no qualms about using them. Who wins? Smart money says Khamenei. As I said above, I hope subsequent events will prove me to be dead wrong about that, but I don’t think they will.

  26. Artfldgr Says:

    true fred,
    but military also know that they do better in despotic regimes than voluntary ones. they get respect, money, perks, and things like that, that we as a people no longer even give them in part. given the uneven promotion of women and men and what they have to do (and what the others dont have to do), they are demoralized. there is a reason why most of our conflicts are using marines to do a lot of the fighting and other special corps.

    the military has been filtering recruits and others by quizzing them on things and promoting those with the right answers. so i have no idea which way it would go since it would go one way on the command control side and another way on the tiny lone guy side.

    as far as iran, they know that any new regime will shake em up, and the old one will reward them for standing true. they will hold out for as long as seems prudent.

    unless someone does something about night death squads and such, it will not continue for too much longer.

    i have no idea whether our or other agencies can help or do anything that way given how they seem to be neutered.

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