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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/19/2005 3:41:07 AM EDT

www.townhall.com/news/politics//200507//FOR20050706b.shtml
China, Russia Challenge US Military Presence in Central Asia

(CNSNews.com) - All eyes are on the G8 summit starting in Scotland Wednesday, but another gathering of political leaders this week may have significant implications for American interests and influence in an important and oil-rich part of the world.

China, Russia and four former Soviet republics are calling for the United States to set a date for withdrawing from military bases in Central Asia. That call is the closest that an increasingly powerful security grouping has come to taking a clear anti-American stance, a regional expert said Wednesday.

The declaration by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a boost for Moscow and Beijing, both of whom have bristled at the growing influence of the U.S. in the region, said Dr. Kirill Nourzhanov, a specialist in Central Asia at the Australian National University.

The U.S. has maintained bases in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan since late 2001, in support of the anti-terror operation launched in nearby Afghanistan after 9/11. France has several hundred soldiers at an airport in Tajikistan.

A summit Tuesday brought together the leaders of those three Central Asian countries as well as their partners in the SCO - China, Russia and Kazakhstan.

A joint statement released in the Kazakh capital, Astana, expressed support for coalition operations in Afghanistan, but said that "as the active military phase ... is nearing completion" coalition members should set a deadline for removal of their forces from the SCO countries.

"This is quite a novel development as far as the politics of Central Asia are concerned," Nourzhanov said by phone from Canberra. "For the first time in the decade-long history of the SCO a rather clear anti-American message arrived from a summit."

He said while SCO members were "unhappy with the United States for one reason for another," recent events in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan probably served as a "catalyst" for the tone of the summit.

Kyrgyzstan was roiled by an uprising last March which toppled the government, the latest in a series of political transitions in former Soviet states - after Ukraine and Georgia - viewed in Moscow as having possible links to the U.S.

Meanwhile, a U.S.-Uzbekistan partnership established after 9/11 has come under strain since Washington called for an international probe into a military crackdown in May in Andijan, in which hundreds of people were apparently killed.

Following the U.S. criticism, Uzbek President Islam Karimov placed limits on flights in and out of the U.S. airbase at Karshi-Khanabad in southern Uzbekistan.

Nourzhanov said Karimov insisted the decision had nothing to do with the U.S. stance on Andijan "but of course for any objective observer it's quite clear ... that Karimov took offense and basically decided to teach the Americans a lesson.

"The SCO summit is one of the venues where he can let his frustration be known," he added.

During the meeting, Karimov pointedly thanked Russia and China for their support in the aftermath of the Andijan upheaval, and complained that outside forces were threatening to "hijack stability and impose their model of development" on Central Asia.

Nourzhanov said a "bitter and scathing" Karimov had essentially called on his SCO partners to make a choice between siding with the U.S. "or with our neighbors in Russia and China."

"It's quite obvious that the entente cordiale between Uzbekistan and the U.S. is over."

Russian payback

The SCO summit can be seen as a victory for Moscow, which regards the region as part of its sphere of influence.

Russia also has bases in Central Asia - in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - but the SCO leaders made no mention of the Russians setting deadlines to withdraw.

In other former Soviet republics further to the west, Russia is under pressure from the West to shut down bases in Georgia and Moldova.

Nourzhanov said the SCO summit provided President Vladimir Putin with the opportunity to even the score.

"Moscow believes it is being snubbed by the United States in the trans-Caucasus because the Americans are experiencing a honeymoon with Georgia and overseeing the withdrawal of Russian troops from there.

"The Russians do not like it a single bit and retaliate on a different front, this time in Central Asia: 'If our troops are not welcome in the trans-Caucasus then your troops are not welcome in Central Asia.' "

'Immense potential'

An initiative of China, the SCO was created as the Shanghai Five in 1996, then expanded into the SCO after Uzbekistan became the sixth member in 2001.

Although the stated focus was one of combating terrorism and instability in Central Asia, the wider strategic implications were evident.

"There is nothing more dreadful for U.S. Central Asian policy than a rapprochement between Russia and China," Russian lawmaker Alexey Arbatov was quoted as saying of the development in 2001.

Since then the SCO has become increasingly significant, holding joint military exercises, setting up a rapid reaction strike force, and last month opening a regional anti-terror center in Uzbekistan.

Speaking ahead of the summit, Kazakhstan's foreign minister said he was convinced the SCO was becoming more influential regionally and internationally.

Another step in that direction was seen Tuesday, when the meeting approved SCO observer status for India, Pakistan and Iran, prompting summit host and Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev to observe that delegates around the table represented countries comprising "half of humanity."

Putin hailed the "immense potential of the SCO" while Chinese President Hu Jintao said: "We are reaching a new stage of cooperation."

Nourzhanov said the Astana summit should also be seen in the context of a "rather momentous" meeting last month between the foreign ministers of Russia, China and India, who met in Vladivostok.

"This stream of events - the meeting in Vladivostok and now the summit in Astana - does illustrate the fact that all these powers in Eurasia are unhappy with the United States for one reason for another.""

At the same time, however, members of the SCO had their own differences with each other and the much-vaunted unity could quickly disintegrate.

In the past, the SCO was little more than "a paper tiger," Nourzhanov said, characterized by "empty declarations" but no action.

"This general unhappiness [with the U.S.] is not likely to translate into any practical action, for example the creation of an anti-American military bloc."

There were also economic realities involved.

For instance, Kyrgyzstan holds presidential elections this weekend and although a pro-Russian will likely win, Nourzhanov said it was not certain the new government would want to see the U.S. Manas airbase there shut down despite the SCO call.

Every time a plane lands at or takes off from the base, he said, Kyrgyzstan earns $7,000 - "no small change" for the country.

"I think the newly-elected president will not do anything dramatic to spoil relations with the United States and the base in Manas will continue to operate for as long as the United States feels comfortable with it."

Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita told a press briefing Tuesday that the Central Asian bases had provided "an important capability in the global war on terror."

But "we'll make do however things develop," he added. "There's no one facility ... that is so critical that we couldn't manage without it."

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 3:48:36 AM EDT
I wonder what is really going on behind the scenes? This kind of stuff goe's on usually because the countries involved want something.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 3:49:39 AM EDT
Cliff Notes?
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 3:49:40 AM EDT
DATE=08/18/05

HEADLINE: Russia and China Join Forces in War Games

www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/russia/2005/russia-050818-2cbd610f.htm

INTRO: Russia and China have kicked off their first large-scale joint war games, involving 10-thousand troops, in the port city of Vladivostok in Russia's Far East. Officials say the exercises, dubbed Peace Mission 2005, are aimed at countering new threats and challenges, such as terrorism and separatism. VOAs Lisa McAdams in Moscow has details.

TEXT: The week-long drills, simulating intervention in a country wracked by ethnic violence, began with political and military consultations between Russian and Chinese military delegations.

In comments broadcast on Russian television from Vladivostok, the chief-of-staff of Russia's armed forces, General Yuri Baluyevsky, said the primary aim of the land, air and sea drills is peaceful.

/// BALUYEVSKY ACT IN RUSSIAN EST. & FADE ///

Mr. Baluyevsky echoed his Chinese counterpart in saying the two sides are not striving to build a strategic military alliance, in order to confront or threaten a rival third party, as some may fear or suggest. He says the drills seek to fine-tune command and control preparations in the event of a large-scale terrorist attack or emergency.

A Russian professor of military sciences, German Petrenko, also discounts the threat level of the games. In an interview with Russia's Echo Moscow radio, Mr. Petrenko says the maneuvers mainly aim to protect Russia's national interests.

/// PETRENKO ACTUALITY IN RUSSIAN EST. & FADE ///

Mr. Petrenko, a military reservist, says the nod east, to China, reflects what he calls the current strategic and geographical reality after the break-up of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact military alliance.

Others say the joint exercises are an opportunity for Moscow to demonstrate its weaponry to China, one of the biggest consumers of Russian military hardware.

The exercises also highlight growing ties between Moscow and Beijing. Their relations have warmed following decades of Cold War-era rivalry, reflecting their mutual concerns over perceived U.S. dominance in global affairs, as well as shared interest in combating extremism and separatism in Central Asia.

Despite the attempts to downplay controversy, western news reports note the unusual involvement of warplanes that can carry conventional or nuclear-tipped missiles during the drill. Such planes are not normally seen during peacekeeping exercises.

/// REST OPT ///

The United States was informed of the maneuvers in advance, but reportedly chose not to send observers. State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack earlier said that the United States expects that, whatever activities take place during the drills, they will only be ones that further regional stability and peace in Asia and the Pacific. (SIGNED)

NEB/LAM/RAE/TW
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 3:51:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By glockguy40:


The United States was informed of the maneuvers in advance, but reportedly chose not to send observers.

I am sure someone was watching.....
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 3:52:25 AM EDT
I guess Russia feels that they have to be aligned with someone in order to feel important and be relevent in the world, now that the big bad Soviet Union has broken up.

As far as the article, piss on em. We aren't gonna set a date for shit. If they don't like it? Tough shit.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 3:56:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/19/2005 3:56:30 AM EDT by glockguy40]
Iran, China Eye Military Cooperation After Oil Deals (Update1)

www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=aFAFgtkElY7Y

Aug. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Iran received a military delegation from China, paving the way for cooperation in the defense field, Iran's Mehr News agency reported, citing Brigadier General Nasser Mohammadi Far, the commander of the Iranian army's ground forces.

The Chinese delegation is in Iran for talks on ``developing military relations, deepening bilateral ties and paving the way for military cooperation,'' the state-run Iranian news agency said. The press office of China's Ministry of Defense in Beijing declined to comment on the delegation's visit.

``Our mutual enemies possess advanced military technology, and undoubtedly they would rely on this technology in any possible future wars,'' Mehr News quoted Mohammadi Far as saying. ``Therefore, it seems necessary that both Iran and China upgrade their defense and military technology.''

China is Iran's third-largest export market for crude oil, and ties between the two countries have strengthened in recent years as Iran started granting stakes in the development of its oil and gas fields. Iran, under U.S. economic sanctions and at odds with both the U.S. and the Europe Union over its nuclear program, is increasingly turning to the East for new markets, opening its economy in return.

Energy Contracts

Iran, holder of the world's second-largest oil and gas reserves, has given Chinese state oil company Sinopec a 50 percent stake for the development of the Yadavaran oil field, one of the Iran's largest undeveloped field.

In March, China agreed to buy more than 110 million metric tons of Iranian liquefied natural gas over 25 years in a contract which may be worth more than $20 billion. The two countries said a month earlier they may set up a tanker venture to carry liquefied natural gas to help Iran ensure deliveries of its gas to the world's second-largest energy consumer.

China is also involved in the construction of the Iranian capital's metro and plans to invest $220 million to help finance a new highway linking Tehran with its Caspian Sea coast.

Chinese President Hu Jintao was among the first to congratulate Iran's new president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his election victory in June, and said Chinese leaders looked forward to working with him, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao reported at the time.

The Asia country also took a softer stance than the U.S. and EU on Iran's nuclear ambitions. ``We support resolution of this issue through dialog,'' Liu said on June 28.

UN Resolution

Iran last week rejected a resolution from the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency urging it to freeze a uranium processing program, and vowed to become a nuclear fuel exporter within the next decade. Iranian officials on Aug. 10 removed UN seals on equipment used in uranium enrichment at a facility in Isfahan, the site of Iran's largest nuclear research center.

In response to the Iranian decision, U.S. President George W. Bush told Israeli television he wouldn't rule out a military response against Iran, saying ``all options are on the table.''

The EU has been negotiating with Iran to limit the program, and Iran implemented a voluntary freeze on its uranium processing in November.

The U.S., in contrast, severed ties with Iran in 1979 after radical students stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran, holding 52 people hostage for 444 days. The U.S. accuses Iran of sponsoring terrorism and has imposed unilateral economic sanctions on the country of 70 million, forbidding U.S. companies to invest or sell goods such as drilling equipment, computers or aircraft.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Marc Wolfensberger in Tehran at mwolfens@bloomberg.net

Last Updated: August 18, 2005 04:57 EDT


Anyone notice a pattern here??? Our enemies are filing ranks. I see a new axis developing
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 3:58:47 AM EDT
Well it looks like the cards are starting to get played. I am glad I am not in GWB's shoes. A lot of heavy shit is going down.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 4:13:22 AM EDT
L.A (688) class boats, as "Elderly" as they are must give those A-Holes fits LOL
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 4:16:16 AM EDT
You guys know what this means?

It means...................Red Dawn is now a relevent movie again folks!

Cold War part Deux, here we come!
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:38:22 AM EDT
We should send a few subs and in there and fire from within the formations of the Russian Navy at the Chinese formation and vice-versa. Hilarity will ensue! Their crews are so lousy, they're probably going to think they were just accidents.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 6:20:31 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 6:23:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
Cold War part Deux, here we come!



I hope it stars Charlie Sheen. He's funny.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 7:29:41 AM EDT
The Russians are the most foolish people on the Earth.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 7:44:47 AM EDT
Virtually all of the other "major" powers (Note I did NOT say "super".) are maneuvering, elbowing and schmoozing each other, trying to create strategic alliances in an attempt to strengthen their world posture sufficiently to compete economically with the United States for resources and business.

This "Realpolitik" has been going on for centuries and isn't about to stop...as long as their are nation-states with long term goals and cultural pride driving the process.

Right now, much of the world, having their roots in socialism, are angling to improve their positions vis. the USA. We remain the one true capalist power other than say...Singapore in the world. Even our best allies have pretty much gone over to the Dark Side of wealth redistribution. On top of that, we have virtually the ENTIRE Muslim world who would very much like to see us all dead.

The only true allies we now have are the Brits and the Aussies. Anyone else note a certain commonality there?

I seriously doubt that our world will be at peace any time soon.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 7:58:34 AM EDT
The next big war will be against China and Russia will be their ally. The Chinese are pulling the wool over many people's eyes with their overatures toward capitalism. Of course, this new capitalism in Red China is only superficial as nearly all power and wealth there remains in the hands of a few in the communist party. The Chiniese have been encroaching into out hemisphere for years and practically own the Panama Canal. The reason North Korea hasn't exploded yet is because the Chinese are keeping them on a leash until they are ready to act and then they can use NK to open another front and stretch us even thinner. Russia (read Putin) is simply grasping at straws for power and relevancy and is making a deal with the devil and should not be trusted anymore now that we trusted them in Cold War.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 3:50:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SSeric02: The reason North Korea hasn't exploded yet is because the Chinese are keeping them on a leash until they are ready to act and then they can use NK to open another front and stretch us even thinner.
The obvious counter is to unleash the Taiwanese and the Japanese on the Chinese. Then call in a favor from the Indians. We'll still win out.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 3:55:08 PM EDT
China...................................strap yer' ass in cause' it's comin'!!!!

vmax84
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 4:46:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/19/2005 6:59:42 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]
A few tidbits for all you "Chi-com Littles"...

1.)China has not had any actual combat expeirence for almost 4-5 decades(unless you count rolling tanks against civillians). USA has lots of experience and adapts well.

2.) China is trying to match our current capabilities and is still coming up short. Meanwhile our "black programs" budget is the largest it ever has been.

3.) US defence budget will equal ROW combined "within 12 months"
Defence expenditure in the US will equal that of the rest of the world combined within 12 months, making it "increasingly pressing" for European contractors to develop a "closer association" with the US, corporate finance group PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) says.

Its report - 'The Defence Industry in the 21st Century' by PwC's global aerospace and defence leader Richard Hooke - adds that "the US is in the driving seat", raising the prospect of a future scenario in which it could "dominate the supply of the world's arms completely". (from janes.com)

I'm not saying we should underestimate the chi-coms but let's not forget that the USA is very, very good at making war. We are keeping an eye on the chi-coms and we are actively working the problem now militarily. Hopefully the chinese will collapse from within due to capatilism and Christianity sweeping the country...we shall see.

I now return you to-"The chicoms are coming...the chi-coms are coming..."
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 6:33:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:
A few tidbits for all you "Chi-com Littles"...

1.)China has not had any actual combat expeirence for almost 4-5 decades(unless you count rolling tanks against civillians). USA has lots of experience and adapts well.

2.) China is trying to match our current capabilities and is still coming up short. Meanwhile our "black programs" budget is the largest it ever has been.

3.) US defence budget will equal ROW combined "within 12 months"
Defence expenditure in the US will equal that of the rest of the world combined within 12 months, making it "increasingly pressing" for European contractors to develop a "closer association" with the US, corporate finance group PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) says.

Its report - 'The Defence Industry in the 21st Century' by PwC's global aerospace and defence leader Richard Hooke - adds that "the US is in the driving seat", raising the prospect of a future scenario in which it could "dominate the supply of the world's arms completely". (from janes.com)

I'm not saying we should underestimate the chi-coms but let's not forget that the USA is very, very good at making war. We are keeping an eye on the chi-coms and we are actively working the problem now militarily. Hopefully the chinese will collapse from within due to capatilism and Christianity sweeping the country...we shall see.

I know return you to-"The chicoms are coming...the chi-coms are coming..."



This is all very true and I agree with your second to last paragraph completely. I am also completely confident that the US command structure is not ignoring the issues, nor am I doubting US capabilities. But, a lot of the ROW and many here in the US are oblivious to the very real threat China does pose, and our conventional forces are stretched thin and will be for at least the next couple of years in IZ.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 6:47:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:
A few tidbits for all you "Chi-com Littles"...

1.)China has not had any actual combat expeirence for almost 4-5 decades(unless you count rolling tanks against civillians). USA has lots of experience and adapts well.

2.) China is trying to match our current capabilities and is still coming up short. Meanwhile our "black programs" budget is the largest it ever has been.

3.) US defence budget will equal ROW combined "within 12 months"
Defence expenditure in the US will equal that of the rest of the world combined within 12 months, making it "increasingly pressing" for European contractors to develop a "closer association" with the US, corporate finance group PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) says.

Its report - 'The Defence Industry in the 21st Century' by PwC's global aerospace and defence leader Richard Hooke - adds that "the US is in the driving seat", raising the prospect of a future scenario in which it could "dominate the supply of the world's arms completely". (from janes.com)

I'm not saying we should underestimate the chi-coms but let's not forget that the USA is very, very good at making war. We are keeping an eye on the chi-coms and we are actively working the problem now militarily. Hopefully the chinese will collapse from within due to capatilism and Christianity sweeping the country...we shall see.

I know return you to-"The chicoms are coming...the chi-coms are coming..."



Ok...but as you well know, one way we maintain that fat DoD budget is to scare the HELL out of Joe and Wanda Public once in a while.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 7:05:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LWilde:
Ok...but as you well know, one way we maintain that fat DoD budget is to scare the HELL out of Joe and Wanda Public once in a while.



Good point...never thought of that angle.
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 3:42:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SSeric02:
The next big war will be against China and Russia will be their ally. The Chinese are pulling the wool over many people's eyes with their overatures toward capitalism. Of course, this new capitalism in Red China is only superficial as nearly all power and wealth there remains in the hands of a few in the communist party. The Chiniese have been encroaching into out hemisphere for years and practically own the Panama Canal. The reason North Korea hasn't exploded yet is because the Chinese are keeping them on a leash until they are ready to act and then they can use NK to open another front and stretch us even thinner. Russia (read Putin) is simply grasping at straws for power and relevancy and is making a deal with the devil and should not be trusted anymore now that we trusted them in Cold War.



It is my theory that China established the capitalist zones as a means of rapidly funding the modernization of their military.
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 3:49:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/20/2005 3:50:11 PM EDT by Lumpy196]

Originally Posted By ZitiForBreakfast:
Cliff Notes?




A large quantity of heavily-armed Commies are testing the waters to see if they can step up to the U.S. anytime soon.
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 3:57:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/20/2005 3:57:56 PM EDT by eodtech2000]
It won't be a successful China-Russian wargame unless each have a submarine fire or lose one.
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 4:49:55 PM EDT
Do not underestimate either of these adversaries. Yes, we have the upper hand by all symetrical means, but there is much going on now and more in the future to undermine our superiority through assymetrical means. Not saying we can't counter these means, but damned if these people aren't creative, and they do know what our vulnerabilities are. Amazing how much the "global economy" plays into all this!!
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 4:52:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/20/2005 4:52:35 PM EDT by jkstexas2001]

Originally Posted By OLO:
Do not underestimate either of these adversaries. Yes, we have the upper hand by all symetrical means, but there is much going on now and more in the future to undermine our superiority through assymetrical means. Not saying we can't counter these means, but damned if these people aren't creative, and they do know what our vulnerabilities are. Amazing how much the "global economy" plays into all this!!



China pulls many strings behind the scenes, by providing arms, training and other types of support to our enemies. This is SOP for Communist bloc nations for a long time. Very, very rarely do they engage in a direct confrontation (as they did in Korea).
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 5:53:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/21/2005 5:54:51 AM EDT by Ross]
The whole central Asia area is a major oil region. If not producing it, transporting it by pipline is just as important. By getting the US out of the area, which they've effectviely done now, they get to secure that flow. Remember that the west end of China ends there, so getting oil by pipline to develop the western Chinese provinces, is much easier and cheaper through this area.

The Chinese have lately been using every alliance, whether with Russia, the various "stans", Iran, etc (none of them exactly upstanding in "human rights") to trumpet their policy that "no nation has the right to interfere in the affairs of another", which is a direct signal to the US and EU that they should butt out of Chinese affairs, human rights history, and especially Taiwan (which they always say is an "interal affair", not by chance are these words chosen). They have solid reasons to go after these countries, but they maximize these alliances as well.

You can say all you want about the Chinese, but you have to admit they get alot more done diplomatically without the "ugly American" arm twisting that the USA or even EU seem to rely on. You can't underestimate the Chinese in politics and diplomacy. They're pros, not some third world raghead.

The Russians are interested in China, obviously because they can help counter the west's superiority, but equally for economic reasons. The Russians are using much of this exersice as a way to train the Chinese on equipment they recently bought from Russia, and also to showcase the capabilities of equipment that the Russians would like to sell them. The Russians bring a few strategic bombers to the exercise, fly them around, and drop a few hints, then wait for the Chinese to ask if they might be available for sale. While the Russians haven't sold higher level equipment to the Chinese before, they have steadily sold them higher and higher levels of stuff to keep up with other countries, like Israel and the EU that has been or begun to offer China higher quality, low level stuff. The Russians will probably start selling the Chinese higher level stuff that the other countries politically can't to keep an edge in that market. If Russia is the only place China can buy a strategic bomber, or other high level system, then de facto the Russians have made a sale. The Russians need hard cash in a bad way.

The Russians and Chinese aren't going to be best friends, or really military allies any time soon, but the moves they are making have many underlining motives that make it benificial for them to do this.

Ross
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 9:20:54 PM EDT
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