I used to always state that Quora.com was a site where people could ask questions on any topic, and those who feel qualified attempt to answer them. “It’s much like Yahoo! Answers”, I would further explain. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that this is not a fair comparison. It’s becoming more like a bunch of yahoos WITH answers making up answers. And doing an even worse job with some of the questions. Quora doesn’t make people stupid. It just makes stupid people more accessible to the general public. And as the old adage says – “stupidity is contagious, and there’s no known cure”.
The question popped up a few days ago, and I couldn’t believe it. I also couldn’t keep quiet. How dare the uneducated chatter class insult the memory of the tens of thousands of Canadians who gave their lives for our global freedom (yep, including the freedom of the brainwave that wrote this question, no matter where he or she lives). This writer should be happy to discover that Canada was very effective in World War II, along with their Allied partners. It’s why we aren’t speaking German or Japanese today.
WHAT FOLLOWS IS MY RESPONSE, word-for-word, to this highly controversial question. Photos were later added for this blog article only.
You’ll have to excuse my homeland of Canada – we were amiss apparently by not personally educating YOU on our war effectiveness from 1939–1945. Let’s fix that. There are a few people you should talk to:
ASK THE BRITISH how effective we were. Before we even sent a single man, gun, plane, tank or ship – we made sure to take care of the British people themselves. Remember, they live on an island, and risked being isolated by the Nazis, after the war started in September 1939.
Canadian exports accounted for as much as 77% of British wheat and flour consumption in 1941, 39% of the bacon, 15% of the eggs, 24% of the cheese, and 11% of the evaporated milk that the British imported globally.
Britain also had to leave 75,000 of their 80,000 vehicles behind in the evacuation at Dunkirk in 1940. Virtually defenseless on the ground, Britain turned to Canada – and particularly the Canadian auto industry – to replace what had been lost. Canada not only replaced those losses – we also did much more.
Canada produced more than 800,000 military transport vehicles, 50,000 tanks, 40,000 field, naval, and anti-aircraft guns, and 1,700,000 small arms. 38% of this production was used by the British military alone. The Canadian Army “in the field” had a ratio of one vehicle for every three soldiers, making it the most mechanized field force in the war.
Canada also loaned $1.2 billion on a long-term basis to Britain immediately after the war; these loans were fully repaid in late 2006. That’s the equivalent of about $17.7 billion today.
ASK THE FRENCHhow effective we were. On June 6, 1944, 14,000 Canadian troops stormed Juno Beach, arriving on 110 Canadian ships and supported by 10,000 Canadian sailors, part of 150,000 Allied troops total, who were part of the greatest invasion by sea in world history. Canada was the only nation that captured its beach and fulfilled all Her orders on D-Day. We suffered over 1,000 casualties that day alone.
The French WILL tell you we were effective, by the way – they were occupied by the Germans for over 4 years – but then just 74 days after D-Day, we liberated Paris, and less than one year after D-Day, our little nation had assisted in bringing down the Third Reich completely – an empire that conquered 11 nations on 2 continents with 20 million battle-hardened troops, And Hitler was dead. Were we effective. They would shout a resounding “Oui!”
ASK THE DUTCH how effective we were. Our country welcomed Queen Juliana, Prince Bernhard and the other members of the Dutch royal family as our guests for 5 years, after the Nazis invaded their Kingdom in June 1940. Dutch Princess Margriet was born in Ottawa Civic Hospital.
Later, Canada almost single-handedly liberated the Netherlands from the Nazis on May 9, 1945, and the Dutch still celebrate Liberation Day (unofficially called “Canada Day”) with Canadian flags flying in Amsterdam on that day, citizens still running to give our aged soldiers flowers as they march or ride in parades there.
In a decades-old Dutch tradition, schoolchildren visit the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, Netherlands on Christmas Eve every year, where nearly 1,400 Canadian soldiers are buried, and they place candles on every grave. More immigrants arrived in Canada in the 1950s from the Netherlands than from any other nation in the world, including America. In fact, the 2016 Canadian Census reported 1,111,655 persons of Dutch origin living in Canada out of 37 million Canadians. Did they find us effective? They would say “ja!”
In fact, I’d even recommend ASKING THE GERMANS how effective we were. Particularly the German troops that were garrisoned at the town of Zwolle, in the Netherlands. Canadian soldier Léo Major was the only Canadian and one of only three soldiers in the British Empire and Commonwealth to ever receive the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) twice in separate wars. In 1945,he single-handedly liberated the city of Zwolle, the Netherlands from German army occupation. He was sent as a scout with one of his best friends, but he thought the town was too beautiful for a full scale attack. So the next rational option was to clear it out himself. A firefight broke out and his friend was killed, but that didn’t stop him – he put the commanders of each group of soldiers he found at gunpoint, and the entire unit would end up being taken prisoner as a result. He ended up taking nearly 100 Germans prisoner that night, until the entire city was clear of Nazis. He received his second DCM during the Korean War for leading the capture of a key hill in 1951.
Canada declared war in Germany just 7 days after Great Britain and France, and had troops in Europe literally weeks later. It would take a further 26 months before the United States would enter the War. By the time the War was over, Canada had over 1.1 million soldiers in uniform – about 33% of our entire adult male population.
At the end of the Second World War, Canada had one of the largest navies in the world, with 95,000 men and women in uniform, and 434 commissioned vessels including cruisers, destroyers, frigates, corvettes and auxiliaries.
During the 2,159 days that Canadian soldiers fought across Europe, Asia and Africa, 45,000 were killed, and55,000 were injured. Those total casualties were equal to nearly 1 out of every 10 soldiers that served.
Canadians are not a blunt, brash or boasting lot. We are famous for apologizing for things that aren’t our fault. So let me say ”sorry” to you in that vein – during the War, our armed forces were too busy making scraps to make a scrapbook for posterity. Many of our soldiers were gone for six years and then had to be re-integrated back into society after the War. We were also kind of busy burying our dead, and helping rebuild the world.
We’ll be sure to get it right for World War III – which ironically will likely be started by someone like you, asking ill-advised, inflammatory questions like this.
(Editor’s Note: The answer above certainly struck a nerve, which I’m thankful for! In just the last 30 days alone, nearly 50,000 people on Quora.com read my answer above, and I received dozens of very kind comments. I’ve shared my favorite at the end of this article.
I’m also honoured to have been “upvoted” over 2,900 times, which, according to Quora, means that these readers “believe I answered the question asked and contributed in a meaningful way to Quora’s repository of knowledge”.
If only the ORIGINAL QUESTION had been written with that same goal in mind.
And for the very first time in my life, I believe, something I’ve written has been painstakingly translated word for word into French, by a man I don’t know and have never spoken to before! Merci beaucoup, Pierre Luc Gaudreault de Montréal! You did an amazing job / Tu as fait un travail incroyable!
And it’s comments like these that truly make my blog, Quora, Youtube, Twitter…all worthwhile. Thank you Raymond Li!
In Canada today, the two most dramatic symbols representing our society, our freedoms – even our very identity as Canadians – are arguably: – The poppy, which we wear with pride around Remembrance Day (November 11) annually, and… – The Cross, which we revere every day of the year.
So it should be no surprise that BOTH symbols are under fervent attack by secular humanism and the rise of false religions, more than any other in Canada today. For if the enemies of everything we hold dear simply strike at our foundations, this entire structure we call “Canada”…
…will come crashing to the ground.
We are NOTHING as a country, if we choose to ignore the individual and corporate sacrifices, (in “sweat, blood, toil and tears”, as Winston Churchill once said), of the brave men and women who have served in our Canadian Armed Forces with honour for 152 years and counting.
On Remembrance Day annually (November 11), we pause for a moment at 11:11 AM local time, in whatever part of this HUGE country’s we may be in, to commemorate the moment when, on that date and time in 1918, the Great War – the “War to End All Wars”, the “Seminal Catastrophe”, or the “European War” as it was known, finally came to a close.
This was the first global war in world history. Starting in Europe on July 28, 1914, and carrying on for 1,567 days until November 11, 1918. 70 million troops marched onto battlefields in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It was also the deadliest, claiming 9 million soldiers and 7 million civilians, as a direct result of the war, and over 20 million others from diseases like the Spanish flu, that claimed another 50 to 100 million, starvation and scattered genocides that followed.
We wear a poppy to commemorate what our soldiers did there because it MATTERED. Our young boys stepped into living Hell on hardened battlefields, that had equally hard names to pronounce and spell – like Ypres, Festubert and Givenchy (1915), The Somme (1916), Vimy Ridge, Hill 70, Lens, Passchendaele and Cambrai (1917). In every situation, we did things beyond our training. We successfully completed missions that France and England, who had 1,000 year old military histories, couldn’t do. Canadian soldiers often did the unthinkable – at times, even the impossible – for 1,567 days (from July 28, 1914 to November 11, 1918), and we assisted the Allies in defeating the Central Powers, which included three Empires (German, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian), as well as Bulgaria.
Little Canada was not even 50 years old when the war started. Only 8 million residents in the whole country then. We grew up into adulthood before the eyes of the world. So foundational was our input in World War I that the last 100 days, from August 8 to November 11, 1918, are known today as “Canada’s Hundred Days”. At one point during World War I, 7% of Canadians were in uniform, one of the highest participation rates by any army in any war in world history. If the US had that size of army based on population, it would number 22 million. If China did, their armies would have number 97 million.
We wear a poppy to show solidarity with the everyday Canadians who fought for us so long ago. They were us. A total of 619,636 Canadians enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the war, 424,000 served overseas – and 59,544 died during the war (51,748 as a result of enemy action, and 7,796 from “friendly fire” incidents, accidents and disease). Hundreds of thousands more worked in the war effort back home, in administration, factories making munitions, equipment, tanks, planes, ships, uniforms, and growing and packaging food and medicine. There wasn’t a familiy in Canada that was untouched by the war – there were likely few in the country that didn’t know someone overseas. Many also knew someone who died there.
And this war was not as advertised – it did not “end all wars”. In fact, just 21 years later, the world would once again be set on fire, with battles raging on three continents, as Hitler and his Nazi hordes attempted to conquer the world. By the time the final bomb had been dropped on Nagasaki on August 8, 1945, and the two wars had finally ended in Europe, Africa and Asia, over 60 million people had died, including 25 million Russian civilians alone.
We wear a poppy to remember that Canadian soldiers changed the world. And Canada had become a new symbol of freedom and hope in the world. We sent over 1 million soldiers to Europe, many of whom didn’t come home for 6 years in World War II. Tens of thousands didn’t come home at all. We declared war on Hitler just one week after Great Britain and France did, on September 10, 1939. We weren’t forced to – the King had told our government that we had free will to determine if this is was a cause we wanted to send our boys into harm’s way for. We debated it in Parliament, we thought about it, we prayed about it. And we did it. Once we declared war on September 10, we had troops on the ground in Europe just 2 weeks later.And our boys volunteered for it. It took the US another 820 days before they joined the war, and their troops had to be drafted, even then, to do so.
We wear a poppy over our hearts, because we loved these young men, and because they gave all they had, with all their hearts, for us. We honour the heroic contributions of our soldiers, over the last 1.5 centuries, to the building of our nation. And to the freedom enjoyed by the entire Western world. They were literally a force for good that stopped the forces of evil spreading across the globe.
Speaking of which – there are some misguided Cretans who introduced a rainbow poppy this year, just before British Armistice Day – like the gay community wasn’t getting enough attention during commemorations for our war dead? Attempting to turn the poppy into a culturally misappropriated gay symbol is outrageous.
These are likely the same morons that wear a pink triangle as a symbol of connection with the LGBT community – not realizing that the symbol was introduced in the Nazi concentration camp system, along with the yellow star, to help sort out which prisoners were which.
It is also truly disgusting that some in the Muslim community boycott the sale of poppies because they consider it a symbol of “racism”, and some Legion branches in the UK stopped selling them in “certain areas” of Britain to avoid offense, though they have been selling them throughout the UK since 1921. This vocal minority of Muslims try to extinguish the symbol altogether – yet they are hardly the spokespeople for racial tolerance in the world.
In Canada, our freedoms are only authentically maintained when our people still hold dear to the sacrifices symbolized by thePOPPY – and we must “NEVER FORGET” to STAND AND SALUTE those who shed their blood for victories over dictators and despots.
However, that freedom only truly exists in Canada and indeed in EVERY nation on Earth, when the people hold EVEN MORE dear to the Sacrifice actualized by the CROSS of JESUS CHRIST – and we must “BE IN REMEMBRANCE” to KNEEL, BOW AND CLING to the One who shed His blood for our final victory over the Devil and even Death itself.
I STAND to honor the anthem and the flag, and symbolically pin a poppy OVER MY HEART today, with pride and thankfulness.
I KNEEL and BOW to honor the Cross, and literally invite the Saviour of the World, Jesus Christ, to LIVE INSIDE MY HEART, with humility and thankfulness.
Because of the sacrifices of Canadians – on far off battlefields – many individual freedoms are enjoyed today by the Canadian people.
But without the Sacrifice of Christ – “on a hill far away” – WE HAVE NO FREEDOM AT ALL – either on this Earth or eternity to come.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
“It is forfreedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Ephesians 3:12)
“I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.”(Psalm 119:45)
UK newspapers The Guardian, The Independent, and the Sun, and many other European news services are reporting today that the Russian Federation has just completed the largest military drill by their armed forces in their entire history. American news bureaus have been largely silent on the matter.
The Russians have made no secret of it – international journalists were invited to witness the event. However, when news sources like ABC News did bother to report on it, they didn’t even mention that thousands of Chinese soldiers also marched with Russia, side by side, for the first time in history. Nor was it specifically mentioned in America that the war games commenced … on the 17th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. Was that a coincidence? Not a chance.
Russia is constantly stoking fears amongst its citizens with the spectre of a possible NATO attack on its soil. Doing so, they have justified the most unbelievable examples of human emergency preparedness in world history – you’ll recall we reported almost exactly 2 years ago, on October 5, 2016, that the Russians somehow were able to hold mock nuclear attack drills with 40 million people – and had previously held a drill with over 60 million people previously. The logistics of such a massive-scale movement of people is hard to imagine – perhaps even hard to believe. It should be noted that NO independent confirmations of these huge drills were ever made.
But the scale and scope of the “war games”, being held for 5 days this week, were hard to miss, as international journalists from around the world were invited to come and witness them firsthand. Oddly, most American news agencies were completely silent on the story.
The three largest branches of the Russian armed forces participated:
Army: 300,000 Russian soldiers, 900 tanks, and 35,000 armoured vehicles Air Force: 1,000 jet fighters Navy: 80 ships
The West should be highly concerned that Chinese and Mongolian service personnel will also be involved in the “Vostok 2018” drills, set to include “massive” mock airstrikes and the testing of cruise missile defence systems. Chinese personnel included:
Army: 3,200 Chinese soldiers and 900 tanks Air Force: 30 jet fighters and helicopters
This is the first time that the Chinese and Russians have held such massive joint military exercises in their entire histories, and it represents a significant geo-political shift in the region.
To put this into perspective, The Sun reported that:
The five-day mock battles involve more than DOUBLE the number of troops in the entire British armed forces.
Moscow said the exercises – the largest since 1981 – were purely “defensive in character”.
Ahead of the drills, Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in the eastern city of Vladivostok and told him the two countries relations were based on trust “in the sphere of politics, security and defence”.
“It sends a very strong message to China, saying that Russia doesn’t see China as an adversary or a military threat any more,” said analyst Alexander Gabuev, an expert in Russia-China relations at the Carnegie Institute in Moscow.
The most intensive part of the exercises will take place about 90 miles from the Chinese and Mongolian borders, where the two nations’ forces will practice against Russian formations.
The huge exercises will be spread across five army training grounds and four airbases.
Meanwhile, news in the United States continues to center around Hurricane Florence, which was built up all week as a category 4 hurricane, only to piddle onto the US East Coast as a category 2 storm – with wind speeds that we have often seen on the Canadian Prairies. It was a non-story that may just have been a diversion from something much more ominous. But at least now you know what’s really going on out there.
There are some today who believe that it’s time to put the poppies away, let go of the past, and stop commemorating Remembrance Day. Some believe it should no longer be a statutory holiday, others say it “glorifies War” – an activity that only the criminally insane would ever contemplate.
And for one giant global sports brand, apparently wearing a poppy is considered nothing more than a “political statement”.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The poppy still matters. Remembrance Day still matters. And they are both worth fighting for –because they represent those who fought – and died – for us.
The BBC reported on November 1 that Zurich, Switzerland-based FIFA, the international union of 211 member associations that governs worldwide football, turned down a request from England and Scotland for players to wear armbands featuring poppies when they face each other at Wembley on Armistice Day (Remembrance Day in Canada or Veterans Day in the United States), says the Scottish Football Association (SFA).
FIFA doesn’t allow any “political, religious or commercial messages” on shirts. The teams were allowed to wear black armbands embroidered with poppies in November 2011, after Prince William and British Prime Minister David Cameron appealed to the football governing body.
Certainly the poppy is not a religious or commercial message. So we’re left to believe it’s a political message? Surely World Wars I and II are much more all-encompassing than a debateabout politics?
THIS Is Why Poppies Matter, FIFA
In World War I, more than 10 million soldiers on both sides – including 6 million Allied troops – were killed on the battlefield. Another 9 million civilians were killed in the crossfire. Europe buried an entire generation of young men, changing their landscape and history forever.
Great Britain (whom FIFA believes doesn’t need to be wearing it’s history on its sleeve) alone raised an army of 6 million troops out of their population of 46 million – and 900,000, or 11.5% of those, were killed. Overall, the death toll represented an astounding2%of the overall population – the largest loss of life in the 1,000-year history of Britain from any conflict.
Canada’s contribution was even more priceless – thus perhaps why we are just as upset as our British brothers and sisters. Our little nation of 7 million somehow raised an army of 620,000 troops – that’s 1 out of every 11 people in the country. Today, with 35.6 million people, an equivalent army would number 2.9 million people – or the entire populations of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland put together.
But our total losses on foreign battlefields with names like the Somme, Vimy, and Passchrndaele changed us forever – with 67,000 killed and 250,000 wounded, nearly 40% of our armed forces ended up casualties of this Hell on earth, representing 5% of our population!
Perhaps people in Zurich, Switzerland where FIFA is located, a neutral country in both wars, cannot relate to the horrors of war. That’s an enviable position to be in for sure.
But for the nations that lost so much for the price of freedom…
…the same freedom that Switzerland enjoys without having lost any of their sons for it;
…the same freedom that allows FIFA to make buckets of money in a relatively wealthy, peaceful Europe today
…those nations who remember and honour that terrible price have a RIGHT and a RESPONSIBILITY to commemorate those who freed our world of evil and tyranny, and who laid the foundations for our Western greatness and freedoms with their bodies.
From a business perspective, it makes no sense for FIFA to snub their nose at an event that millions of people commemorate. Every year, more than 40 million poppies are sold in the United Kingdom alone to support the Legion. 40 MILLION. In fact, I could even go one step further and say that to ignore or to even insult the memories of the fallen dead within Wembley Stadium on November 11 will have negative repercussions on FIFA for a long time to come. FIFA is making a political statement here by banning the poppies – they are saying that the millions who died don’t matter, that their sacrifice isn’t as important as corporate image, or as necessary as insulting some modern leftwing pacifists’ delicate sensitivities.
We, from both sides of that terrible War, know better. FIFA also doesn’t seem to recognize that a new generation of school children are finding a new interest in Remembrance/Veterans/Armistice Day, and attendance has never been better.
Why? Because we all need to believe in heroes, more than ever before. The next generation needs to see peace on Earth modelled for them. They need to be taught that sacrifice isn’t a wasted effort, that “I” and “self” can be our greatest threat.
We all need to hope and strive to never see war like this ever again between nations. And a people that forget their history are doomed to repeat it.
The poppy is incredibly symbolic in this commemoration. When the ground was ripped apart in Europe after World War I, it was noticed on Flander’s Fields in Belgium, an especially bloody battlefield, that equally blood-red poppies were just about the only plant that would grow anywhere afree – and grow they did, like a weed. The symbolism wasn’t lost on the Canadian physician, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, who penned the words we all know so well:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders
Citizens of the United Kingdom, and football players of England and Scotland, disobey the rules. Let’s not “break faith with those who died”. Wear your poppies with pride. These men and women have earned your honour. They have earned your commemoration.
So we “Take up our quarrel with the foe.” FIFA, their young players have earned all of our respect for their patriotism and desire to do the right thing. We hope they all come to the game wearing their poppies, violating your rules.
You can even fine them if you wish – an outraged world will happily pay it. Unlike American football players who can’t seem to even stand for their anthems, these young men simply want to show respect.
Maybe you should return the favour to them. You should know from history that the United Kingdom doesn’t get told what to do, nor will they forsake their dead heroes for you.
I anticipate the stands in Wembley Stadium to be a sea of red. And if you don’t change your opinion before November 11, you may find your global financial statements will be a similar color.
By Shawn J., Founding Editor Calling Out Community Posted November 2, 2016 We’d love to hear from you:
IslamRising:Special feature to the Calling Out Community, Posted January 1, 2016.
On November 25, 2015, former Obama CIA Director Mike Morell appeared on PBS’ Charlie Rose show, and dropped a bombshell that the Media Party didn’t at first pay much attention to. During that hour, Morell surprised many by claiming that President Obama has intentionallynot ordered the bombing of the oil fields now controlled by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS):
“we didn’t go after oil wells, actually hitting oil wells that ISIS controls, because we didn’t want to do environmental damage and we didn’t want to destroy that infrastructure.”
ISIS depends on those oil fields for the majority of its operating revenues, and U.S. Air Force jets have specifically avoided bombing them because the White House was concerned about adding to the carbon emissions that promote global warming. In the DESERT? Is that seriously not the dumbest thing you’ve heard so far this year?
According to the IBT Pulse Newsletter, ISIS continues to sell about 100,000 barrels of oil at an average of about $20/barrel (discounted), for a take of $2 million every day. ISIS generals may be radical whacko jihadists – but the privates are reportedly soldiers for hire who are first and foremost trying to earn a paycheque, and are not merely fighting for some twisted ideology.
Many experts believe that if we can cut off this ISIS cash stream, the Islamic State army would quickly disappear – making President Obama’s decision especially bewildering and exasperating. By putting the priority on a potentially minor impact on the local environment rather than on the globalsecurity concernsthat such inaction may allow and even encourage, ISIS was able to “miss the bullet” and continue its murderous rampage through the Western world, killing people at random.
This brings back stark memories of the destruction of the Kuwait oil fields back in April 1991. Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army set between 605 and 732 oil wells on fire during the first Gulf War, as they retreated from Kuwait. Almost immediately, the #looneyleftwing was out in full force, predicting an environmental disaster to come:
Paul Crutzen, a noted atmospheric scientist, predicted that a “nuclear winter” might ensue with a cloud of smoke covering half the Northern Hemisphere for at least 100 days.
U.S. astronomer and best-selling author Carl Sagan argued that the effects of the destruction of Kuwaiti oil fields could be comparable to the explosion of the volcano Tambora in 1815, which produced “a year without summer.”
Ummmm nope, neither of those things happened, though some of the fires burned into November that year, releasing 1.5 billion barrels of oil into the environment, the largest oil spill in human history.
The Kuwait oil fields produced about 2 million barrels per day before the Gulf War — at least 20 times as much as the ISIS oil wells generate. The Kuwaiti fires dwarf anything that potentially destroyed ISIS oil wells could produce in terms of harmful environmental effects. So it would be completely rational and logical to destroy this critically important cash-generator for ISIS. NOW.
Thank God, my friend, one air force completely agreed with that assessment – and on November 20, 2015, Russian fighter jets attacked a convoy of over 500 oil trucks illegally carrying petroleum and crude oil from ISIS fields to their territories in Iraq (see this article’s Featured Image). A few days prior (November 16), Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that he had recently told his G20 colleagues that 40 countries including G20 nations are financially helping ISIS by purchasing this illegal oil.
The day before the November 20 convoy attack, Russian General Valery Gerasimov announced that Russia would be allocating 25 strategic bombers for the Syrian mission. Separately, Russian Air Forces will be strengthened with advanced 37 aircraft, including eight Su-34 bomber jets and four Su-27 fighter jets.
So while Canada pulls out of the air strike campaign altogether, and the U.S. worries more about global warming than getting the bad guys, Moscow is more than doubling the strike potential of the Russian Air Force in the region.
Once again, Obama says he wants to fight terrorism, but everything else comes first. And once again, if you need to get something done properly in the world, you have to call Vladimir Putin.
In a move that has infuriated neighbouring China, the upper house of the Japan’s parliament (the Diet) has approved legislation giving more power to the armed forces. This legislation will allow Japanese troops to fight overseas – something has been banned by the Japanese constitution for nearly 70 years, since the dissolution of the Japanese Empire at the end of World War II.
The Lower House passed 11 security-related bills on July 16 – an act, which was followed by a wave of protests. The Upper House’s final session was called late Friday night and they finished early Saturday morning with the enactment of 2 of the controversial security bills. Officially a pacifistic nation for the last 7 decades, this law brings up for many modern and older Japanese citizens reminders of their military aggression in the past.
Up to this point, Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution has reads:
Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. 2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.
In recent years, though, the line between defense and offense has blurred. In 2004, Japan sent its Ground Self-Defense Forces to Iraq — the first deployment of Japanese soldiers in an active combat zone in over 60 years. With North Korea test-launching ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan and China’s economic and military expansion, Japan has started reconsidering its regional strategy.
In 2008, photographs of Japan’s newly commissioned Hyūga-class “helicopter destroyer” raised eyebrows around the world – as it looked exactly like an aircraft carrier, though smaller. Many Americans and Japanese expressed disapproval, still highly sensitive of the carrier-led Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, which led to the American entrance into World War II.
Upon completion the 13-000 ton Hyūga and Ise were the largest ships built for the Japanese navy since the Second World War, and have 4 helicopter landing pads each. Hyūga was described in a PBS documentary as the “first Japanese aircraft carrier built since WWII.” To add further controversy, both of these carriers were named after the Ise-class battleshipHyugaof the Imperial Japanese Navy, launched in 1917 and converted into an aircraft carrier in 1943.
But the Japanese navy’s building program has not ended there. The first of the Izumo class helicopter carriers, the much-larger 24,000 ton, 5 helicopter-pad Izumo, was launched in August 2013 and came into service in the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) in March 2015. And just last month, Japan announced the launch of the second and file carrier of this class, the Kaga, launched at the Japan Marine United shipyard in Yokohama on Thursday, August 27, to be commissioned in March 2017, Sputnik reports.
Students of history will once again be surprised to hear the name of another World War II Japanese ship – the original Kaga infamously took part in the bombardments of the China’s eastern coast including the cities of Shanghai and Nanjing in 1937. Later, it also was a part of the naval group that attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Eventually, the ship was sunk by the US navy in the Battle of Midway in June 1942.
In January 2015, Japan approved a $42 billion military budget, the largest in the history of Japan, and the fifth largest in the world – an increase of 2 percent on last year’s and the third consecutive rise after a decade of military spending cuts. Yet, surprisingly, the US government is supportive of this change. Thomas Schieffer, the American ambassador to Japan, encouraged the Japanese government to end its self-imposed limit of 1percent of the GDP
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose ruling block extended the session to Sept. 27 and voted down all the motions from the opposition to ensure that the legislation was passed, says that Japan needs to be up to the challenge in today’s world, taking into account a rising threat from China.Of course I don’t remember Pearl Harbor or any of the Pacific Theater events of the Second World War, having been born in 1967. However, I can understand the nervous tension that this military build up has caused – I had similar chills when I saw these “helicopter destroyers”.Japanese officials said that the primary roles of the four modern helicopter carriers are peaceful, such as humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations. However, they have also mentioned that the ships could be used in anti-submarine warfare. The ships “heighten our ability to deal with Chinese submarines that have become more difficult to detect,” a JMSDF officer told Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper in March 2015.
Kaga will carry seven Mitsubishi-built SH-60k anti-submarine patrol helicopters able to detect sophisticated Chinese submarines as well as seven Agusta Westland MCM-101 mine countermeasure helicopters, according to the US Naval Institute’s News.
I almost got comfortable with this whole idea of a helicopter ship, until I read the last line of the RT article on the Japanese navy’s recent carrier launches:
The ships also have potential to launch American-built assault transport MV-22 as well as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter with their short takeoff and vertical landing capabilities.
BBC has reported that Japan plans to buy 42 of the planes, 36 of which they would like to see made in Japan. Delivery of the first is expected in 2016. I just hope, as they continue to expand their military like crazy, that this time they are actually on our side.
71 years ago this morning (June 6, 1944) my Uncle Clayton Cross was on a landing craft with a handful of other prairie boys, crossing the English Channel from the relatively safe British coast, embarking on an adventure into Nazi-occupied France, and their target, code-named “Juno Beach” – an adventure that would take another full year to realize fully.
Just the thought of it amazes me. My uncle was a mild-mannered farm boy raised near Kipling, Sask. Most in his regiment – the Regina Rifles – probably hadn’t been outside Canada before. Their Dads always taught them NEVER to point their hunting rifles at another person. They had fears and dreams just like we do. And suddenly everything they knew was upside down.
What they were ordered to do for us was impossible, unthinkable… yet the future of civilization depended on their success. What a burden was placed on them – to trade their farm chores or college classes or first real jobs or high school sweethearts for assault rifles to defend our “King and Empire” – to kill or be killed.
These young people didn’t stage protests about: how ‘unfair’ this war was, how much it cost, the fact it was being fought in places we couldn’t even pronounce, or that it had nothing to do with Canada. Civilian casualties in this terrible war numbered as high as 80 million – or 2.5% of the world’s population. No one yet was even saying a word about that.
None of these soldiers leaked to the media that they had only trained for WEEKS for this “D-Day invasion” against superior German soldiers who had conquered Europe AND planned defences against such an attack for 3 YEARS. The entire Canadian Army, Navy and Air Force numbered 1 million – but more than 20 million Germans wore their uniform at some point, a staggering number larger than our country’s entire population at that time.
It must have been hard to process the sight of 5,000 ships – spread out in every direction as far as you could see – and know they carried 500,000 men just like you, all steaming at the same time and to the same place. I wonder if they felt they were part of something monumental?
In September 2009, I stood on Juno Beach in the Canadian Sector – and realized quickly there was absolutely nowhere to hide. As my Uncle’s boots hit shore he was aware that some friends were already dead. They were sitting ducks on a flat, miles-long beach with an impossible military objective. By the end of D-Day alone (June 6), more than 360 Canadians were dead, and 700 more wounded. Perspective? We had 153 casualties in the ENTIRE 12-YEAR WAR in Afghanistan, our longest conflict ever.
But these farm boys were used to hard work and sacrifice. So they left the boats on purpose, as fresh-faced KIDS – and stepped onto the beach as MEN undertaking the largest military invasion in world history.
D-Day was just the first day 1 of nearly a year of fighting to come – and the Canadian Army was the only one to meet their objectives that day. The First Canadian Army alone liberated the Netherlands, and to this day Canada is celebrated there during “Liberation Day” every year – bringing our country into a new age of influence and respect around the world, which we still enjoy.
My Uncle was one of the lucky ones he came home, raised a family, and died an old man in his bed, with his loved ones around him. To my late Uncle Clayton and all the “boys from back home” – who either came back as men or as memories, I say “thank you for paying the price”. Because Freedom is NEVER free.
Israel has been, and seemingly will endlessly continue to be, criticized and attacked in the media for at times using its military might to enforce its borders, protect its people and ensure the continued peace throughout the Middle East. But the Liberal agenda seeks to discredit and destroy their credibility, reputation – and of course, some wishing to destroy Israel herself. We believe Israel has a right to might. But does She really?
On July 13, 2013, the Süddeutsche Zeitung or South German Daily, the most-read daily broadsheet in Germany (2014 circulation: 418,000), published a review of the 2012 book by Peter Beinart, The Crisis of Zionism. Beinart, a liberal Jewish professor and journalist known for his critical stance on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, once called in the New York Times for a boycott on Israeli settlement products and warned that Israel’s polices in regards to the Palestinians were creating an ever-growing rift between the US’s liberal Jewish community and Israel. Did your eyes glaze over before you finished that last sentence? So did ours.
Though the book review (and the book itself) are classic examples of “left-wing loonie” puffery, the German daily newspaper went one disastrous step too far (and drew almost unanimous worldwide outrage against the paper) when it published an accompanying cartoon that depicted Israel as a hungry monster, in bed with his knife and fork, waiting to be served by a buxom German girl. Printed below the cartoon was the following caption (translated from German):
Germany is serving. For decades now, Israel has been given weapons, and partly free of charge. Israel’s enemies think it is a ravenous Moloch. Peter Beinart deplores this situation.
Moloch(also known as Molechin the King James Version,or Molek in the New International Version of the Bible) is the name of an ancient Ammonite god, whose worship was practiced by Canaanites, Phoenicians and related cultures in North Africa. Leviticius 18:21, 20:2-5; 2 Kings 23:10 and Jeremiah 32:35 warned Israel that they must not “let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech/Molek”. Yes dear reader, it seems that Molech/Moloch/Molek worship involved sacrificing children by throwing them in a fire.
The world was suitably and rightfully outraged at the reference toward Israel – the cartoon looked and smelled like 1940s antiSemitic Nazi propaganda – and this was a German broadsheet after all. After the firestorm had subsided, the paper begrudgingly issued an “apology”. We assume begrudgingly because they didn’t do it until July 4, over 2 weeks later (and to be sure, they first laughed all the way to the bank with the amazing sales receipts from this issue). We also assume it was an “apology”, but it didn’t actually sound like one:
Readers found the illustration of a Moloch with horns waiting for breakfast in bed as anti-Semitic. The Süddeutsche Zeitung added that it regrets the misunderstandings surrounding the publication of the cartoon and it was a mistake to have published the drawing in this context.
Please note, dear reader, that the broadsheet isn’t responsible for what they said. No no, dumb-dumbs, this is all your fault. You are apparently responsible for misinterpreting what they depicted and stated, even though the cartoon was pretty clear and in full color. There were even some words with the pictures that the few literate amongst the unwashed masses must have misconstrued too – you are even bigger DUMB-DUMBS. Of course, the paper doesn’t develop any further how the “misunderstandings” could have become so universally accepted – to the point where we all shared a momentary global psychosis. Apparently, there are a LOT of dumb-dumbs out there. Thank God the liberal media is here to help set us dumb-dumbs straight.
This cartoon was taking a swipe at the German government for their various weapons sales to the “child-sacrificing Moloch”, Israel. To be sure, most of the western democracies, including the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, and India all sell weapons to the Israeli army, and the western media is dumb-founded by it. These are monsters, after all, are they not? Are we not aiding and abetting criminals in the Middle East? Is Israel not in fact this “ravenous Moloch” that the cartoon depicted? Are we so upset about it, because deep down we feel guilty about supporting them this way?
We are after all constantly bombarded with videos and photos of burned-out hospitals; modern Israeli tanks aiming their barrels at teenage Palestinian boys throwing stones; Israeli soldiers portrayed as cruel, evil tyrants: and body bags, body bags, body bags. They could be filled with rocks, but they are everywhere in Israel. The world sees these images, shakes their collective, ill-informed (thanks to the Western/liberal media) heads, and clucks their motherly tongues – as well-coiffed, well-heeled, and overpaid news anchors (who lately can’t seem to tell the truth about their own lives, not to mention someone else’s (cough – Brian Williams – cough) spit out vitriolic filth about Israel with such poise and grace, you just have to believe it’s true.
They clearly choose to innocently see only one side of the equation? Not a chance. These are not stupid people – they are all well-educated. Possibly that’s the problem – toowell-educated, in western Universities that preach the same slanderous garbage. And the circle of journalistic life continues. Let us be clear – these attacks on Israel by the western media are an intentional public relations smear campaign against the government and people of Israel by an anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish, anti-Zionistic liberal media. Period.
At this point in this posting, we believe it’s important to clearly spell out the position of Calling Out Community on this subject. Israel has every right to exist in the body of nations. It has every right to defend it’s people against enemy aggression, no matter what form that aggression takes. It has every right to ensure the stability of the region around it whenever possible, for reasons of self-preservation and national defense (as long as that does not mean needless aggression itself). It does not need permission from any national or international body for the protection of its own people against hostile forces either inside or outside its geographic borders. Period.
Our society has become soft, spoiled – a weak silhouette of the generation that saw us through to victory in World War II. Without question, that previous generation saw things from a very different worldview, including their own individual and national positions in that world. While they were every bit as sensitive, self-actualizing and loving of their fellow man as we are today (and even arguably more so than we today), they also had the stomach to handle significant national and international events, no matter how tragic, without the pitiful hand-wringing, second-guessing and beating of the chests that we see today. It was their fiery resolve, and their gaze firmly affixed on the goal of absolute victory in World War II, for example, no matter what the cost, that led them through to that final outcome. Let’s take a look at one such event, and how it was interpreted at that time. Perhaps from this, we can smell out some of the media bias today, and react accordingly.
No other Allied military operation during World War II was as controversial or contentious as the one conducted on the “Florence on the Elbe” (Elbflorenz) – the city of Dresden, Germany. Dresden was over 700 years old, having been a major player in the Holy Roman Empire (a vast network of over 300 territories that covered all of modern-day Germany, Italy, parts of Russia and beyond) for centuries as the capital of Saxony, one of the Empire’s major realms. Dresden was also home to the Electors of the Holy Roman Empire – who would meet together and choose which Emperor ruled next after the last one had died – much like the College of Cardinals does with the Pope today.
Dresden was, for all intents and purposes, the very heart of the Holy Roman Empire, the “First Reich” (or First Empire/Government) which lasted for over 1,000 years – when Charlemagne was crowned its first Emperor in A.D. 800, the Empire’s defeat by Napoleon in 1806, and its resulting dissolution. The French then created the new Kingdom of Saxony, with Dresden as its royal capital city – a status it held through to the end of the “Second Reich“, the German Empire – created in 1871 by the reunification of Germany and dissolved after the Second Reich’s defeat in 1918 at the end of World War I.
After that period, Dresden continued to live in peace and prosperity – a fantastic city filled with many cultural and artistic wonders – at the heart of which was the 400-year old Residenzschloss (Royal Palace); the beautiful Zwinger (“fortification” in German) royal gardens; and the glorious Semperoper opera house, arguably the most beautiful in Europe, where works by composers Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss were once introduced to the rest of the world. In fact, so beautiful was the city, and particularly it’s royal central core, that it became known as the “Jewel Box”. The Introduction to the Constitutional Charter of the kingdom of Saxony (1831) described Dresden as a “cheerful capital [which] offers many attractions to those who prefer modern enjoyments…the excesses of luxury and the unceasing and unavoidable dissipations of the metropolitan cities of greater empires.”
Now, you could be forgiven for not being aware of the cultural and architectural wonders of Dresden, or the powerful influence that it held to European history for over 700 years. Perhaps you even asked yourself why you didn’t seem to know much about the city at all? The answer is simple, dear readers – because on the nights of February 12-15, 1945, the history of Dresden was rewritten forever.
Late in 1944 and early into 1945, the city of Dresden had swelled to nearly 1.2 million residents, as a flood of nearly 600,00 refugees were escaping the advancing Red Army (only 60 miles away to the East) with stories of unbelievable atrocities committed by the Russians on ordinary Germans. This was the same Russia, you will recall, that had lost nearly 25 million citizens at the hands of the Nazis when it invaded Russia in 1941.
As the city slept the night of February 12, 1945, 722 British Royal Air Force (RAF) heavy bombers, as well as 527 from the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), began to drop what later totalled over 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on the city of Dresden – nearly 700,000 phosphorus bombs alone. What happened next was horrific – as the temperature rose in the city to over 1,100F and winds of up to 100 mph developed, a firestorm developed that destroyed over 1,600 acres (6.5 km2) of the city centre, and killed between 22,000 and 26,000 residents. The wind grew so strong it literally pulled people into the fire, lifted roofs off houses, and uprooted trees. Nearly every historic building was either partially or completely destroyed.
The Nazi government reported that nearly 200,000 people had been killed, which was countered by many subsequent reports, including one commissioned by the Dresden Historical Commission in 2010, that the number was more likely 20,000-25,000. Regardless, critics have since stated it was an unnecessary destruction of civilian property, at a time when the war was nearly over. Yet there was no second-guessing at that time by the news media – just a mere reporting of the facts. There was little hand-wringing by politicians on either side of the floor – in fact, in a March 28, 1945 letter written by Winston Churchill to Bomber Command, he downplays the bombing, and tells the leadership to simply have “more precise concentration upon military objectives” in future bombing campaigns.
They understood that there were consequences for a country that both started World War II in 1939, and allowed it to continue for 6 years. The people of London had been bombed mercilessly in the Blitz for years as well, and nearly 50 million people around the world lay dead as a result of the War – most being mere citizens.
We also think of the hilltop monastery and church at Monte Cassino in Italy, which had stood in that same location for nearly 1000 years. During the Battle of Monte Cassino (January–May 1944) the Abbey made up one section of the 161-kilometre (100-mile) Gustav Line, a German defensive line designed to hold the Allied troops from advancing any further into Italy, overlooking Highway 6 and blocking the path to Rome.
On 15 February 1944, the abbey was almost completely destroyed in a series of heavy American-led air raids. The bombing was conducted because many reports from troops on the ground suggested that Germans were occupying the monastery, and it was considered a key observational post by all those who were fighting in the field. However, during the bombing, no Germans were present in the abbey. In a rather large puff of smoke, 1,000 years of history was gone. Yet our generals did not hesitate to do what was necessary to protect our troops and smash German resistance.
As calloused as it may sound, no one in 1945 would even think twice about lighting up a hospital, a school, or a church full of nuns, babies and puppies if required – if it was also full of enemy combatants firing at their families. Fast forward to 2014, with people clucking their tongues at the nation of Israel and say, “how dare they bomb a hospital/school/mosque (etc.).” It’s so easy in North America to be a dumbass, leftwing, soul-less armchair critic of Israel’s self-defense activities.
Most of those critics didn’t face the Holocaust, nor watch every member of their family be gassed and cremated, leaving behind the guilty living. Most of those critics don’t face worldwide discrimination against them just for being alive, as the Jews experienced after 1945, when no nation including Canada and the US would have them. They were forced to flee the horrors of Nazi Europe, then were forced to go to Palestine when no other country would take them in after the war – a country, incidentally, surrounded by 16 enemy combatant Arab nations.
Most of those critics didn’t face an army of one million Islamic soldiers coming at them, and few if any weapons to defend themselves with, AFTER the Holocaust. This didn’t happen once, not twice, but THREE times in the last 60 years (1948, 1967, and 1973). Today, most of those critics don’t face a 16-nation group of countries (the Arab League), with a combined army of millions of troops, that hate Jewish EXISTENCE with every fibre of their being; and a United Nations that doesn’t give a damn WHO shoots at Israel, as long as they don’t shoot back.
Yet, Israel’s defence budget is not an obscene amount of money – and in fact, is not even keeping with this enemy neighbours. In 2013, Israel was reported to have spent about $18.2 billion US on defense, approximately 6% of their gross domestic product (GDP). Fueled and financed by incredible wealth in oil revenues, Saudi Arabia, just one of the 16 Arab nations allied against Israel, spent $59.6 billion (8% GDP) alone in that same year, and Iran, another enemy nation nearby, spent only slightly less than Israel, at $17.7 billion (4% GDP). The United Arab Emirate spent another $19.0 billion (4.7% GDP).
In contrast, Germany, which after World War II is by international law to have only defense forces, spent over $44 billion on that alone, though they have few if any threats against them in the region. And in that same period, Japan, under the same restrictions, spent $51 billion.
Japan also shocked the world on August 7, 2013, when it announced it had unveiled its long-awaited Izumo-class helicopter destroyer (22DDH-class destroyer). At 250 meters (820 feet) long, and reportedly displacing 24,000 tons, the ship can carry 14 helicopters. It is the largest warship Japan has fielded since WWII, and about 50 percent bigger (in terms of displacement) than Japan’s current largest ship, the Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer. The rest of the world just looked at each other and blinked – as Japan’s new ship looked very oddly like an AIRCRAFT CARRIER, which their own pacifist constitution would seemingly prohibit it from operating. And the world said what? NOTHING.
So many North Americans seem to think the world is as civil as we are – but how quickly we have forgotten September 11, when we faced an enemy for the first time in our generation who hated us so much just for being alive, that they spared no expense to attempt to destroy us, our families and our way of life. Facing true evil is something few of us will ever experience. You should be thanking God out loud right now.
Knowing now that a wide-scale invasion of Israel by their own national armies would be unacceptable, Islamic states now sponsor terrorist groups such as the Palestinian Liberation Organization, ISIS / ISIL, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Boko Haram, Dash, the Muslim Brotherhood and others who’s sworn purpose has been their total destruction, even if it meant sacrificing their own people to do so.
And in 2014, no one else on Earth will face an enemy of baseless, faceless cowards living next door who fire THOUSANDS OF ROCKETS at their families. Those same cowards then hide behind their wives and children (and often use them as human shields) in public facilities like hospitals, schools, and mosques. In fact, since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, terrorists have fired more than 11,000 rockets into Israel. Over 5 million Israelis are currently living under threat of rocket attacks.
Faced with the possible annihilation of your own family at the hands of such barbarians, how far would YOU go to protect your family? Thinking as a nation, if Canada were threatened by thousands of rockets fired on us, how much money would we spend on weapons? Is any amount too great? How well trained and equipped would you expect our troops to be?
Pacifism is a laudable goal – but true pacificism only works when you can completely trust the other side to not take advantage of the moment and strike. If you lay down your weapons of self defense, you are the only one who potentially loses everything. Israel declared ceasefires on several occasions and their silence was met by gunfire from Hamas. Israel didn’t even start this current conflict, Hamas did and they seem to be vowing to continue no matter what he price – but it is the Palestinian people, but these armed thugs, who are paying that price.
The government and armies of Israel have a sworn and sacred duty to protect THEIR people and their people alone. They do everything in their power to ensure that minimal casualties follow the destruction of a terrorist stronghold. In fact, NBC News reported on July 13, 2014 that Israel even dropped leaflets on a neighbourhood hours before to warn of impending Northern Gaza attacks. They read:
“To the residents of Beit Lahiya, the [Israeli Defense Force] intends to attack terrorists and terror infrastructures in the area east of Al-Atatra and Al-Salatin St., and in the area west and north of Ma’bscar Jabalyia,” the leaflets said. “Israel is currently attacking, and will continue to attack, every area from which rockets are being launched at its territory.”
That doesn’t sound like a clan of monsters to anyone paying attention. Sounds more like self-defense. And Israel faces an Arab people who are even willing to drag their own children to the roofs of those same targeted buildings, to defy Israel to do something, as was seen in 2006, when Palestinians used human shields on the roof of a suspected militant’s home. As with any military operation – Dresden, Germany or Monte Cassino, Italy or the West Bank – risk assessments are completed and a decision is made.
Don’t fault the one who has to pull the trigger to defend his family – fault the one who causes the threat in the first place. To state that Israel has no right to clamp down on such brutal attacks against them is open, naked anti-Semitism. Period.
By Israel Is Forever, Founding Blog Member Calling Out Community Posted July 1, 2016. Updated April 27, 2017.
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