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Total number of comments: 2357 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:37)

JTMcPhee

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  • Pretext for US Syria Bombings?: No sign that Dread "Khorasan" Group even Exists
  • Why Obama underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq
    • Interesting question, what "we" ought to do now. Already answered by the "we" that rule "us:" Bomb stuff, missile stuff, slowly boil the frog by incremental loads of "boots" to kick in more doors, take more "us" casualties, up the ante, move the window, use NGO and GO fronts that pretend to be about "democratization" as long as that has no tiny element of "social justice" in it, no actual benefits for the ordinary people who actually create the Real Wealth the Masters feed on. And "them" Rulers, what are their plans and goals, again? Gee, I wonder -- so seductive, the end-point vision of one person, corporate or individual, completing the Reagan Dream of the "ownership society," owning everything and renting it back to the rest of us, who in addition to creating all that wealth are expected to eat or repair all the externality-bred damage and horror so the Lords and Ladies can disport in pleasure and comfort all the days of their consequence-free, impunity-girded lives.

      What "we" ought to be doing is less of more of the same, and some actual addressing and ameliorating of the Same Old Imperial Shi_t that keeps the fires stoked under the pot of oil "we" are cooking in. But the power is all in using sh_t up, leveraging the externalities of combustion and conflict that the "Halliburton Lockheed Martin Boeing RAND Orcs" feed and grow on. What's being done now, on a darkling plain with its confused alarms and false flags and other detritus of struggle and flight, is in no service to the most of "us," just aggrandizement of the Increasingly Few. You got detailed suggestions? Bombing from afar ain't gonna do it, and "our" World's Greatest Military does not e4ven have to pretend to be able to "win" this or any 4th generation conflict in all its complexity -- just keep procuring and using up...

    • One more bit about "what Obama believes." Beyond what Dr. Cole cites from the CBS interview, there's this:

      “Steve Kroft: I think everybody applauds the efforts that you’ve made and the size of the coalition that has been assembled. But most of them are contributing money or training or policing the borders, not getting particularly close contact. It looks like once again we are leading the operation. We are carrying…

      President Obama: Steve, that’s always the case. That’s always the case. America leads. We are the indispensable nation. We have capacity no one else has. Our military is the best in the history of the world. And when trouble comes up anywhere in the world, they don’t call Beijing. They don’t call Moscow. They call us.

      President Obama: That’s the deal.

      Steve Kroft: I mean, it looks like we are doing 90 percent.

      President Obama: Steve, when as issue … when there’s a typhoon in the Philippines, take a look at who’s helping the Philippines deal with that situation. When there’s an earthquake in Haiti, take a look at who’s leading the charge and making sure Haiti can rebuild. That’s how we roll. And that’s what makes this America. ” link to cbsnews.com

      It’s a complicated statement, but really? Haiti? HAITI? This Haiti? link to fourwinds10.net And THIS Haiti? link to wrongkindofgreen.org "Rebuilding?" Really?

      Expletives deleted.

  • Is Mahmoud Abbas right that Israel is Guilty of War Crimes, Genocide in Gaza?
    • So: it's established that the Israelites, while beating their breasts at how abused they as relatives of former victims are, have committed mar crimes and other violations of " international law."

      So, other than give a speech, what is Arafat's successor going th DO about it? Sign off on more settlement invasion?

  • Can Iraq Convince its Sunnis to Fight Extremists?
    • So the Ayatollahs can field 100,000 troops who are any better at asymmetric combat than "the world's greatest military?" Able to " clean out ISIS"? Even if the residual national and tribal attachments were not a problem? What a conundrum: the only thing we humans do consistently over the long haul is "make war," and am I the only one who thinks that all this murderous and costly idiocy is the catalyst, the fomenter, of one serial stupidity (albeit profitable for a few, and of service to exploitative extractors of externality-loaded "wealth") after another? I guess there's no getting the War Train off the Main Line, is there?

    • So: Who are the "optimistic politicians" who are pushing the idea that there is still an entity called "Iraq"? And gee, what personal stakes do they have, what will they gain, from " defeat of the IS extremist group"? More Maliki-quality central government?

  • Hidden Camera Reveals Chilling Life Under ISIS Control
    • What strike me, in this small sample, is how the GUNmen riding around being tough and building their sad identities and enforcing (and expanding and extending with idiot enthusiasm and growing intensity) the rules that their mafia leaders put up on the wall where "some pigs are more equal than others," and sound like a bunch of what are politely called "marginal personalities." Likely are the types who were picked last for the pickup soccer teams, and of course unable to find decent work. Not hard to find a lot of similar types in various backwaters of our own Blessed Homeland, only a small reduction in the elements of social control away from playing the same game. Not surprising, as noted elsewhere here, that these losers-with-AKs are drawn to the Flame of ISISILIQatarianism...

      And in that same vein, our Vast Empire That Really Isn't Trying To Dominate The Whole World has this marvelously hypocritical and tone-deaf exhortation to offer to the Security Counsel yesterday:

      "This is a vision of the world in which might makes right," he said, "a world in which one nation's borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed."

      Obama made clear that the United States would act only if surrounded by a broad coalition. He dwelled on his success in signing up five Arab nations to take part in the airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria, casting it as a historic moment in which the Sunni Arab world was united to fight the scourge of Sunni extremism. link to tampabay.com

      Yeah, and if one is wilfully blind to the crap that our Empire does, and cheerleads for the Home Team no matter what crap they pull in the name of "our Sacred National Interests," one can ignore that Obama the Orator is criticizing Evil Russia in that little snippet of text...

  • Apocalypse Now, Iraq Edition
    • Yeah, sounds real tough. Obama now is headlined as "mobilizing the planet!" Well, maybe the dark tentacled creature that is the Global Interoperable Network-Centric Bedazzlespace which he and his drone- driving, all-of-the-above energy "policy," planet-EATING cronies have carefully fed and blooded since he assumed the Imperial Purple. Big tough language, that hippie-punching. Bombing and kicking in more doors and making more widows and bereft parents sure seems like more patent, arrant idiocy, even wrapped up in new @xis-©f-€vil lingo, "containing and degrading and pursuing to the gates of Hell." Any indication of any reasonable sort, other than measured... sonorous... cadenced... diction that PBO or any of his generals or admirals, living high and secure inside their bubble are capable of undoing and healing and repairing any of the imperial kleptocratic idiocy? Other than bald assertions of hoped- for but invisible "competence," even? Please forgive me if I mistook the tenor of your comment.

  • Syrian regime Propaganda coup as Israel Downs Syrian Plane over Golan
    • So we've got mostly US-made jets whizzing through the airspace of the area formerly known as the nation states of Syria, Iraq, etc., and our Imperial President is all about how this is such a fine example of how the Arabs and the United Nations are tackling that pesky world-threatening ISIS thingie. Some have asked what part the GCC people are actually playing in the bombardment-after-notice of formerly sovereign Syrian, etc. territory. Here's a Saudi princeling and the PR release and photos of his supposed sortie-flying:

      ABU DHABI // The son of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince was among the pilots who carried out attacks against ISIL militants in northern Syria this week.

      Photographs released by the official Saudi Press Agency yesterday showed eight Saudi air force pilots at an undisclosed location after returning from the mission.

      The pilots included Prince Khaled bin Salman, son of Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

      Dressed in flight suits, the beaming pilots posed for a group photo in front of a fighter jet parked in an airplane hanger. Two of the pilots were also seen sitting in a two-man fighter jet, and there were additional shots of the pilots examining helmets and other equipment in a dressing room.

      The fighter jet was marked with the crossed swords ensign of the Royal Saudi Air Force.

      “My sons, the pilots, fulfilled their obligation toward their religion, their homeland and their king,” SPA quoted Crown Prince Salman as saying.

      He was “proud of the professionalism and bravery” of the Saudi air force men, he said. link to thenational.ae

      But wait! There's more! "UAE joins airstrikes on ISIL bases in Syria"! link to thenational.ae

      See? PROOF of the great alliance! against the New ISIS of Evil! Please to carefully follow the Narrative on your handouts...

  • 13 Years after US started Bombing it, Afghanistan Still Unstable
    • My guess is that like so many other areas of the planet, short of climate collapse or the triumph of Ebola or similar disaster, the map demarcation identified as "Afghanistan" is not ever going to have "peace," as that is roughly understood. Not while the tribal and sept and family structures, overlain by larger units of competition and vengeance and corruption, like warlord demesnes, drug districts and that thing laughingly called "national government" and its "national army" and "national police force," and of course the state-security structures and "contractor connections" and all the other bits and pieces of such dys-organization as humans can manage.

      And that is without regard to the little quantum jumps in violence and disassociation that the ISI and Pak Army elements and "coalition" and CIA and whatever the Russian and Chinese and British, etc., sneaky-petes can manage to induce as part of their Gamesmanship. From what I read of the area, loyalties and commensalities and arrangements are and will always be in flux, and where everyone (male, at least, and able to carry them) has weapons ready to hand, and a haughty and touchy sense of "pride," and ambition and aggression, occasions for conflict and abuse and oppression will always be immanent. Context?

      link to blog.foreignpolicy.com
      link to presstv.com
      link to pajhwok.com
      link to thefiscaltimes.com
      link to telegraph.co.uk
      ...and so much, much more.

      The faded, corporate-gutted US Empire and its War Department and contractors are just the latest
      clumsy, heavy-booted, idiotic bit player in a very long running drama. "We" can at least take pride in having been manipulated more effectively than prior occupants, and having dumped way more treasure and blood into the ever-avid soil...

    • Maybe it's time to stop pretending that the "international order" can be based any longer on the mythical framing of "nation-states?" The Karzai and al-Abadi and and even our own Empire with its real structure of corporate clout (including the docked tail called the UK) are scarcely the stuff of Bismarckian realpolitik any more. So much of what is screwing up the planet and many locales is the sham attempt to maintain the fictions, while backstage, the Elites ripp all the rest of the wealth out of the planet...

  • Shock & Awe In Syria: It never Works
    • There seems to be some significant debate on that point. The Joint Force Bombers and PNAC types are all brave and convinced about the promethean efficacy of Air Power -- others, not so much:

      Kosovo and the Great Air Power Debate
      Journal Article, International Security, volume 24, issue 4, pages 5-38
      Spring 2000
      OVERVIEW
      In the first of two articles on the 1999 war over Kosovo, Daniel Byman and Matthew Waxman of the RAND Corporation seek to dispel the notion that NATO air attacks alone brought Serbia to the negotiating table. They argue instead that air power worked synergistically with other factors—including the threat of a NATO ground assault, declining Russian support for the Serb cause, and the role of the Kosovo Liberation Army—in ending the conflict. More generally, Byman and Waxman maintain that the current debate over the role of air power as an instrument of coercion is "fundamentally flawed." Noting that the outcome of this debate could have broad policy implications, the authors suggest that instead of asking if air power alone can coerce an adversary to surrender, political and military leaders, as well as theoreticians, should ask: "How can [air power] contribute to successful coercion, and under what circumstances are its contributions most effective?"
      link to belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu

      So maybe you aren't claiming that air strikes did it all, and given the collateral damage one might ask what all that zoom-and-blast actually accomplished in terms of creating stability and comity, "going forward?" Any more than bombs and missiles, dropped and launched with the hopeful expectation of blowing up something "important," munitions which so often go astray, and patently just blow shit up/build nothing, have a prayer of bettering bad situations that will eventually require political and social resolutions (often delayed and damaged by the bomb-bomb-bombs themselves.) What is with the belief and age-old practice that holds that flattening buildings, and using explosives to blow up tanks and APCs and "troop concentrations" is any kind of way to run a railroad? Granted that war-making seems to be the only longitudinal behavioral marker that distinguishes us from lesser beasts...

      Bear in mind that Bomberdroners and all the other Players, including well-paid white-paper generators like RAND, and ground forces and strategic forces and paramilitaries and jackals and "conractors," are all ambitious careerists seeking to justify their slice of the nation's wealth, and pre-eminence or at least co-coolness in the panoply of Warmaking idiocy.

    • Maybe "we," whoever "we" are, are waiting for Ebola to run its course, hopefully while being able to keep the infected critters out of our Sacred Homeland (except for demonstration projects like infected caregivers, and what could possibly go wrong with importing nice parcels of viruses because "we" have such a great track record of keeping the pathogens under control). Then there would be a tabula rasa to g'wan in and take whatever our corps want in the way of extractables, without having to play games with petty local potentates to buy "legal, legitimate" ripoff chits and have excuses to crush local complainants...

    • "Bombing positions in Syria in the absence of an allied ground force is highly unlikely to be decisive in and of itself." Irony? Since when have "coalition" or even "allied" ground forces even with lots of "air" managed to be "decisive" in 4th gen "whatever you call theme?" Fun for the Blue Force Warfighters, but a very expensive fool's "mission..." "This time it'll be different!!!!" Maybe use our new nukes?

  • NYC Climate Demo: Top 5 Massive Rallies that had no Effect
    • It's sure worked pretty good for the "conservatives" who have just been busily "conserving" the substance of life as it used to be... working busily away at the local level and in the Koch-houses in state capitals, packing the school boards and other places where the smaller cams attached to the levers of real power are pivoted...

    • M. L. King had the same goal, and the same fate. We ordinary people need to start providing some better security for our saints...

    • I would include the Bonus March, but obviously that had one effect, catalyzing the resolve of the Elite to keep mopes from successfully petitioning for redress of grievances... link to ushistory.org

      Naw, stuff like that couldn't wouldn't never happened here...

  • Iraq: Are Sunni Arabs of Kirkuk Province Turning on ISIL?
    • Other than the nominal religious identity of the dudes of IS, and the advantages of telecommunications and really potent weapons like AKs, how are these creatures and their ascendancy any different in the effects on ordinary people than prior Hordes and occupiers? As in the "conquest of the Incas" or in the US proper, the treatment of a Native Americans or blacks in Jim Crow South? As just a couple of random examples from a very long catalog of human interactions?

      For the sake of ordinary people in Iraq and Syria, we can hope that this batch of violent opportunists gets disassociated soon. But it's hardly a unique phenom. It is interesting that the abusive and repressive Gulf State feudalists who helped birth and feed the beast are now crying "existential threat to their own intended abuses... Reality sometimes trumps Narrative, when the dissonance gets too cognitive, despite the best efforts of Power.

  • Changing US-Iran Relations: Kerry: Iran has a Role in Defeating ISIL Militants
    • It's coherent -- just follow the money. The shifting-alliances stuff is often just window dressing to cover the shifting advantages of various corporate players and of course a military thingie that needs a place to practice and "deployments" to justify "procurements" of weapons systems that in the field, in 4th gen space, are big FAILS.

  • Is Israel's Far-Right Government Inciting against the Israeli Left?
    • Hey, the US imperial government does and has done this crap since even before J. "I'm not cross dresser gay" Edgar Hoover. Easier for the charming Israelites to do it, the caseload is smaller...

      Ask, e.g., Fred Hampton and Mark Clark-- oh, wait, you can't, they are dead... Along with M. L. King, and his message about vulture capitalism.

  • Shiite Militias of Iraq Reject US Return, Threaten to Attack US Forces
    • One little oindex of what the "main tug of power" is, out of the mouth of one of the " really smart" architects of imperial idiocy himself:

      Some of the U.S. Army's sharpest minds warned young combat leaders of what they should expect as America enters a new chapter in its war with Islamic extremists.

      Seasoned leaders such as retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal met with young Army officers and sergeants at Fort Benning, Ga., just hours before President Obama outlined his strategy for destroying the extremist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

      "We are at a period where our enemies respect us, but they don't fear us," McChrystal told his audience at the 2014 Maneuver Conference Wednesday. McChrystal is the former commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan.

      "The specter of American power is no longer enough to get somebody just not to do something." From that General Idiot (ret.) Stan McChrystal. link to m.military.com

      The limits of power have been insanely exceeded. Of course, like with the Israelis, we always have all those Rapture-ready nukularweapons...

    • Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...

      Whatcha gonna do, you Beltway idiots? You ain't in any way ready to go to war against the who!e world! Too bad you paid so little attention to the lessons you were supposed to learn in kindergarten...

  • The Next Conflict in Iraq? Will the Kurds try to Annex Kirkuk Permanently?
    • “I think in the end the land will belong to the forces that liberate it,” Naqshbandi concludes.

      "Liberate"? Is that the correct verb, except in some odd Narrative? It's just another bit of human conquest, re-conquest, all that jazz..

  • Should US policy toward ISIL be Containment?
    • ...and the CinC/Emperor was down here at MacDill Joint Base today, just a quick turnaround visit, here at the home of SOCOM and where all the really cool SpecOps stuff gets run out of. He was "rallying the Troops," who gave in that air-conditioned huge hangar a thunderous response to Obama's promise that "we have the tools, we have the talent, It's Killer time!" and how there is no place for any of them ISISILIQ Terrarists to hide from the Righteous Wrath of the Great iAmerica!

      Has that dude ever been over the terrain, even looked at it from Google Earthspace, tried to understand how 4th Gen works and does definitely NOT for idiot Empires using vastly expensive weapons at the end of a huge, corrupt procurement/deployment/logistics pipelines to try to swat mosquitoes or little swarms of annoying rats? especially where the Empire's provisioners and spies are also handing out the weapons and training for asymmetric conflict (ooooh, ssshh, don't call it *war,* that might wake the idiot public that's paying for it) to "moderates" that only exist as either lesser gunmen who can't even hold on to their weapons, lose them or abandon them to REAL GUNMEN who know urban combat and are feeling damn successful at running their extortion and kidnapping and execution racket, or are adept at posing with a__holes like McCain, who appears to have taken on a hatred of the nation and military that failed to rescue or ransom his lily-white a__ when he managed to get himself shot down and captured all those years ago. When they put away their black flags and unwind those head covers, how you gonna even figure out who is who? or is it another Phoenix Program screw-up?

      And the Troops here in SOCOM City cheered at the smug lie that there won't be any US GI boots on the ground, whatever that now means -- maybe, undoubtedly, some of them will very shortly learn that "boots on the ground" WILL happen, and then that double meaning comes into play, like this: link to google.com

      Wrong tools, wrong mission, wrong tasks. You don't "defeat" or "degrade" or "destroy" a Flexible Horde like ISISILIQ with either dumb-_ss GIs kicking in doors, shooting up the landscape, Hellfire-ing to the Gates of Hell, or "surgical bombing," or propping up pseudo-democratic "leaders. And what is the image the Emperor has in his head of what the ME, and also the future of the planet, are supposed to look like? And what's in the secret warped heads of his advisers and general-grade officers and "diplomats" and spooks? Anything that us ordinary people would like to be living through, or under? Paying for, and ultimately dying for, like the "all of the above energy policy" and the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, remember that? and now Wall Street has run up some $2 quadrillion in derivative bets, and their markers are all still payable by you, me, US, not them?

      Professor Cole probably has some very good notions of what actually OUGHT to be done. We can hope somebody will listen to him and other intelligent voices.

      So many slings, spears and arrows aimed at the hearts and guts of the ordinary people. So hard to even try to keep track of them all.

  • I refuse to serve – the lonely conscience of Israel’s refuseniks
    • "All's fair in love and war..." Ooooh, wait a minnit -- I din't know the Israelis were at war with us! They are supposed to be our staunchest ally in the area! And a Democracy to boot! Except for the people there who aren't allowed to vote! And have no rights as citizens! They ain't supposed to be manipulating their staunchest ally, or spying on us! What kind of suckers are we?

      Thanks, MK, adding to the context...

      How many potentially fatal parasites can the ol' US body politic sustain? Israel, the MIC and all its parts, Wall Street and what that includes, the Koch et al. re-feudalization enterprise, add your own favorite... Do we all HAVE to slide down into the same black pit that's swallowed all those previous Empires? Does greed and arrogance trump the simple needs of the most of us?

    • Thew most interesting and important part of this article was the highlighting of the IDF's "Unit 8200," which spies on American presidents and other officials, grabs their "secret phone calls:" and other signals intelligence, coerces and blackmails Palestinians and no doubt Israelis too, including "missions" for the personal advantage of Israeli politicians, like our own CIA and NSA and good old J. Edgar Hoover FBI. link to theguardian.com Makes you wonder at what point US rulers will finally have had enough of the "Freier" treatment and cut off the giant chaos-engendering suck that is Likudianism. They are "not nice people."

  • Turkey's Caution on ISIL War: "It's far away for them but very close to us"
    • Byzantine complexity was one thing, when the weapons were a little less deadly and us humans had not so badly abused the planet we were given, destroying much of its resilience and extracting far more than our needs.

      Now, added to the mix are the kinds of careless idiots that populate the US Imperial Capital. Busily trying to play in a game where shifting alliances and false loyalties and all the ancient long-practiced tricks of "statecraft" and "politics' in the old Middle-Far-Near East are beyond their comprehension and beyond the tools they unlimber to try to control outcomes (though a few oligarchs like Cheney successfully move the levers and dials to line their own pockets, and we are pretty good at destroying actual democracy and creating disorder.) Looking, as "we" do to the more competent players, like useful, clumsy, well-armed, but naive mercenaries (appropriated for and led by self-serving bureaucratic careerists and "supported" by a huge growing armaments industry) that are so easy to manipulate and deceive (Bibi and Sisi and Hamid and all that crowd, you know who you are).

      Do I have it right that the Turkish press is even more under the Ruler's thumb than our own media lap dogs? As I read through the posted piece, and go back to the source ("TurkeyAgenda") and look at what's published there, e.g., link to turkeyagenda.com, is it not the case that this is just the kind of propaganda that comes out of the slippery mouths of people like Josh "You can believe every thing I say" Earnest, link to politico.com and certain columnists for the WaPo and New York Times (the latter at least maybe repenting for cheer-leading us into striking the Iraq Tarbaby -- the NYT editors are maybe having doubts about "this time, second verse": link to nytimes.com, and link to nytimes.com -- and other Chicken Hawks and War Wimps too: link to huffingtonpost.com And of course this is no hit on Dr. Cole's work, that also appears there.

      So what game is Erdogan actually playing? Or more properly, how many different games? What face is he showing? Where the hell do ordinary people, who have but a tiny bit of influence on direction and are so easily misled and misdirected by tugs on their fears and connections and loyalties and identities, turn to figure out what's really in play and whether they can do a damn thing about keeping their ruling-idiot "betters," who are "better" than them only by skills at kleptocracy and killing and power-gaining, from draining and killing them and their planet, all free from any consequences?

      All of this is possible only because ordinary people get up every morning to work to make the wealth that "our betters" are taking ever more of, in a race to the very bottom -- link to globalchange.umich.edu And it presupposes that there will continue to be a game board to play on. Neither assumption may prove accurate.

  • Must Muslim Americans Condemn ISIL? Must Turkish Jews Condemn Gaza War?
    • So few words, so little grasp.

    • Yeah, condemn ISIL, but recognize the processes that let the thugs who have grown this grand criminal enterprise have a fertile ground to grow in. And then what is the remedy for this disease? Bombing is never "precision," despite the hype, and that is just plowing more fields in which the ugly murderous identities of disaffected gunmen can sprout. I would say this is a job for Elliot Ness, but his success was actually minimal, and the Mob still prospers today even after some kingpins were "taken down." Same with the trillions of dollars and all those operatives (so many of whom become corrupt themselves) in the War on Drugs. We should be a little concerned that some of our children find their identity in aligning with and even joining in the killing and domination... Why is that?

      Evaluate the problems honestly, then try to sort through the tool box for something that will actually end up making stability and decency for ordinary people, for a change...

  • Remember Pres. Obama Saying ISIL Campaign like Yemen? Here's Yemen
    • Per the long set of videos behind and including the one in the post, at least it looks like there might be a path to "reconciliation" into nation-state status of the tribally divided groups, who at least so far are still on "yellow card" (nice soccer tie-in) level of discord. All it needs is a strong leader who would pick up the portfolio to cut the corruption and beating-down of protest (making martyrs is SO stupid), and invite the two sides (with apparently some young optimistic leadership, or at least highlighted speakers) to "reason together." Not Sunni-Shia, at least. And NOT IRAQ OR SYRIA EITHER.

      Stay out of it, Boss Man Obama, if you can, or care to...

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