I've been in unfamiliar territory this week as I find myself approving of President Obama's decision to NOT start shooting and bombing "ISIS terrorists" in Iraq. The novelty here is the agreement with the president, and disagreement with most hosts and callers on talk radio. One notable exception is Jason Lewis, who says we have no business risking blood or treasure in the latest Iraq violence.
"Because Iran will if we don't" is no reason to insert ourselves in Iraq's civil war. Nor is "because Russia will if we don't" a reason to use force in Syria or Turkey. (We can have a conversation about Ukraine.)
Perhaps I'm following a recent trend of taking contrarian views without sufficient reflection and if so, I welcome those who may correct me. But first I want to warn you that my side includes Wednesday's "From the Right" editorialist on IBD's Ed page, Doug Bandow.
It is time for Washington to stop trying to micromanage other nations' affairs and to practice humility. This wouldn't be isolationism. America, and especially Americans, should be engaged in the world. But our government's expectations should be realistic, its ambitions bounded. American officials should abandon their persistent fantasy of reordering the world.
Obama's foreign policy may be feckless. But that's not its principal failing. As long as Washington tries to dominate and micromanage the world, it will end up harming U.S. interests.
Yes, that was from the right, a place not occupied by Neocons like McCain, Graham and Cheney.
The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program — a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium — reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.
The removal of 550 metric tons of "yellowcake" — the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment — was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam's nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions.
This is not the yellowcake you've been looking for.
"I'll tell you my impression. We really in this last election, when I say we...the Democrats, I think pushed it as far as we can to the end of the fleet, didn't say it, but we implied it. That if we won the Congressional elections, we could stop the war. Now anybody was a good student of Government would know that wasn't true. But you know, the temptation to want to win back the Congress, we sort of stretched the facts...and people ate it up."
Democrats lying about the war for electoral gain? You're kidding!
At what's believed to be the world's largest cemetery, where Shiite Muslims aspire to be buried and millions already have been, business isn't good.
A drop in violence around Iraq has cut burials in the huge Wadi al Salam cemetery here by at least one-third in the past six months, and that's cut the pay of thousands of workers who make their living digging graves, washing corpses or selling burial shrouds.
The Phoenicians supposedly invented the alphabet. However, for a vast number of years, we had virtually no evidence of their writing. Based on this absence of evidence, historians hypothesized about why the Phoenicians didn't keep written records. Thus when it was discovered that the Phoenicians did actually use their alphabet and that absence of evidence was due to the fact that the written records merely struggled to stand the test of time, the hypotheses of historians greatly changed. The lesson is that historians had succumbed to the problem of silent evidence. In other words, the absence of evidence is by no means evidence of absence.
In this light, the most intriguing story to me about the War in Iraq is that of the weapons of mass destruction. Prior to the invasion, there were many intelligence agencies and political figures who trumpeted Saddam's possession of WMDs. However, since the invasion the United States has failed to turn up any weapons of the magnitude described by President Bush and intelligence agencies across the globe. This lack of evidence has contributed to the shrinking support for the war and has even led many Democrats to claim that Bush lied.
Political posturing has created the belief that Democrats supposedly made a mistake in authorizing troops, but that President Bush lied. Alas, this is the world of politics. Elected officials must seize opportunities such as these to maintain power. The political posturing is not surprising and neither is the "conclusion" that Iraq did not have WMDs.
While it is not surprising that in the analysis of the war politicians, experts, and the general public have rejected claims that Iraq possessed WMDs, it does reveal a startling bias. It may be true that Saddam did not possess WMDs on the scale that intelligence communities had claimed or that said weapons did not exist. Regardless, one cannot claim that the weapons did not exist solely on the basis of a lack of evidence.
Perhaps the weapons existed and perhaps they did not. Like the discovery of Phoenician literature, the sudden appearance of WMDs would have a profound effect on the support for the war. This is by no means an attempt to justify the war. This post merely serves as a reminder that the most important lesson that any man can learn is that he possesses far less knowledge than he believes is the case.
I place great importance on the lessons of history. Unfortunately, having lived only since the early sixties (and having a mediocre public school education influenced by John Dewey) I wasn't aware of a counterinsurgency war in the fifties - fought by France and the Algerian government against Muslim extremists in that country - until today.
Arthur Herman, retired professor of History at George Mason and Georgetown Universities, explains on today's WSJ Ed page how the French ultimately defeated the combatants on foreign soil but were ultimately forced to surrender to them anyway.
What happened was this: while the French military had been concentrating on fighting the insurgency in the streets and mountains in Algeria, an intellectual and cultural insurgency at home, led by the French left and the media, had been scoring its own succession of victories.
Led by Jean-Paul Sartre, a campaign of denunciation got under way in which French forces were accused of being the equivalent of Nazis--an especially freighted charge coming only a decade and a half after World War II and the German occupation of France. Simone de Beauvoir, Sartre's companion, went so far as to say that the sight of a French army uniform had "the same effect on me that swastikas once did." Although many of the antiwar agitators were communists or leftist fellow travelers, their petitions and demonstrations included enough authentic heroes of the Resistance and eminent liberals like Francois Mauriac to bestow upon the movement a credible public image. The constant message it conveyed was that the true authors of violence in Algeria were not the FLN at all but the French, and that only when the latter departed would Algerians be able to sort out their destiny for themselves.
The French military and political leadership was completely blindsided by the attack. No amount of justification of the selective use of torture, not even the cancellation of the original authorization, could halt the criticism or stem the loss of public support for the war. Even as the FLN took to setting off bombs in France itself, leftist Catholic priests continued to raise funds for it, while those like Albert Camus who harbored doubts about the wisdom of handing victory to the terrorists were derided and silenced. The consensus that had informed French politics as late as 1956--namely, that abandoning Algeria was "unthinkable and unmentionable"--fell apart.
Divisions over Algeria doomed France's Fourth Republic. For its successor, the price of political survival was handing over Algeria to a totalitarian band that had lost the war on the battlefield but managed to win a stunning victory in France itself. The result was the massive flight of Algerian whites and, at home, a bloodbath as FLN terrorists put to death tens of thousands of Muslim Algerians who had been loyal to the French regime. Soldiers who had fought alongside the French were forced to swallow their medals before they were shot.
The "surge" is underway in Iraq. While long overdue it is, as Herman describes earlier in the piece, showing remarkable progress. [Read the whole thing.] But to avoid the same fate described above, America's domestic leaders need to initiate an intellectual surge on the home front. The survival of Iraqi patriots, and of America's ability to champion liberty anywhere in the world, hang in the balance.
The Senate failed to pass a non-binding chicken sh*t resolution on not supporting the surge in Iraq.
The Senate gridlocked on the Iraq war in a sharply worded showdown on Saturday as Republicans foiled a Democratic attempt to rebuke President Bush over his deployment of 21,500 additional combat troops.
The vote was 56-34. That was four short of the 60 needed to advance the measure, which is identical to a nonbinding resolution that Democrats pushed through the House on Friday.
"The Senate, on behalf of the American people, must make it clear to the commander in chief that he no longer has a rubber stamp in Iraq," said Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in the final moments before the vote.
A coalition of major terror groups operating in Iraq today announced a symbolic, non-binding ceasefire in response to House Democrats’ passage of a non-binding resolution rejecting President George Bush’s troop surge plan.
Al Qaeda in Iraq, the Shiite Mahdi army and representatives of a Sunni car-bomb cartel said they would continue to fully fund martyrdom operations, with help from their friends in Iran, Syria and elsewhere.
I got an email today from my Congressman Jim Gerlach where he writes...
Saying that it undermines the country’s support of troops fighting the War on Terror, Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-06) announced today that he will vote against a controversial resolution introduced by the House Democrat Majority that criticized the President’s call for a surge in U.S. military involvement in Iraq.
“I will vote against this resolution because I reject the status quo,” Rep. Gerlach said. “The Democrats’ resolution offers no new direction on Iraq. Their resolution doesn’t say that 20,000 additional troops are not enough – so we should send more. And it does not call for our troops to come home. Rather, by neither requesting more troops nor calling for our troops to return home, the Democrats are defending the status quo. The status quo is not an option and neither is defeat. While I don’t agree completely with the President’s plan, I believe we must fight harder and smarter because surrender in this case only serves to make our enemies stronger, and endangers the lives of American troops.”
I think the Democrats are going to pay for this non-binding resolution... The leftists are going to demand their pound of flesh, and a non-binder isn't enough. The Democrats in the House and Senate were hoping to take a position without having to really have it count.
The Republicans should have amended this thing to make it binding.
Anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr fled Iraq for Iran ahead of a security crackdown in Baghdad and the arrival of 21,500 U.S. soldiers sent by President Bush to quell sectarian violence, a senior U.S. official said Tuesday.
But there's not much time to waste for Democrats, for whom any discernable success of the muscular approach would be anathema:
The long-awaited floor debate on Iraq is the first since Democrats took control of Congress in the November midterm elections. It also comes as the war approaches the four-year mark with more than 3,100 U.S. troops dead.
Democrats made clear the nonbinding resolution was the beginning of a longer campaign to bring the Iraq war to an end.
"A vote of disapproval will set the stage for additional Iraq legislation, which will be coming to the House floor," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said.
I almost fell out of my chair Tuesday when I heard General David Petraeus tell a Senate Subcommittee, "That's correct"in reply to a question from, I think, McCain or Lieberman asking if those resolutions [proposed non-binding resolutions of no confidence in further offensive operations in Baghdad] would give encouragement to the enemy by exposing divisions among the American people. (I heard the statement first hand on the Rush Limbaugh program (taped delay) via C-Span3 and I've been desperately seeking a transcript ever since.)
Townhall.com's Mary Katherine Ham is in the same boat, so until we can get the unadulterated, unfiltered, unslanted version of what happened we'll just have to read between the lines of MSM accounts, as Mary Katherine has done.
Whither Patton, you ask? I can't exactly put my finger on what he said that inspired me to believe Pettraeus is a general's general (hence the desire for a transcript) but I think it was a bit like Patton's "Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way."
One person unwilling to get out of Petraeus' way was Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.):
His statement drew a sharp rebuke from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who said, "I very sincerely but wholeheartedly disagree," saying the point was to send a message to Iraqis.
With all due respect, Senator, the question was not, "Are those resolutions intended to give encouragement to the enemy," it was if they "would give" said encouragement. You can sincerely but wholeheartedly disagree, you can belabor your version of reality, you can even pound on the desk with your shoe, but none of this does anything to alter the facts.
Patton once said, "No good decision was made in a swivel chair." Now that the Senate has confirmed his appointment 81-0, Petraeus can stop wasting time with these people and spend it with his warriors instead. As a military scholar he is doubtless aware of Patton's creed: “I am a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight.” You fight in Iraq, General; we'll fight America's enemies in the U.S. Senate.
Key GOP senator opposes Bush's Iraq plan "Sen. John Warner, R-Virginia, is one of four principal sponsors of a compromise that would express the Senate's opposition to the additional deployment, but avoid calling it an "escalation" of the four-year-old war."
War stage set: Congress v Bush "And, with several Republicans advancing their own resolution opposing the president's troop deployment, Democrats are negotiating for a common wording that could lead to a bipartisan vote against the war."
All of this about-facing and navel gazing is nauseating, and unseemly for a stately body such as the United States Senate. But it does remind me of the way I felt back in 2003 when another group of surrender monkeys was wringing its hands. Here's what I said then and here's
what I say now.
Rep. John Murtha on Tuesday urged that a "responsible phased" withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq begin from within Saddam Hussein's palaces and said the United States should denounce any aspirations to build permanent military bases in the country.
"Historically, whether it was India, Algeria or Afghanistan, foreign occupations do not work and, in fact, incite civil unrest," said Murtha, D-Pa., before the Senate Foreign Relations committee, which is looking at options in Iraq.
It's too bad he missed "Germany" and "Japan." Strange, because his idea of redeploying to Okinawa, would have put American soldiers in bases in Japan.
We have bases all over the world, we'd be silly to not have bases in the Middle East. The Island of Diego Garcia, while closer than Okinawa, probably isn't big enough should problems arise.
Murtha said that for the United States to regain international credibility, the country must make it clear that it doesn't want permanent military bases in Iraq, and it must also close the Guantanamo detention facility and bulldoze the Abu Ghraib prison.
For symbolic reasons, he said, the withdrawal of U.S. forces should start from Saddam's palaces, where some U.S. troops operate, and then from Baghdad's heavily guarded Green Zone. That should be followed by a withdrawal from prime real estate in Iraq's major cities, factories and universities and then the entire country, Murtha said.
ABC News has learned that the "surge" Bush is expected to announce in a prime time speech tonight has already begun. Ninety advance troops from the 82nd Airborne Division arrived in Baghdad Wednesday.
An additional battalion of roughly 800 troops from the same division are expected to arrive in Baghdad Thursday. Eighty percent of the sectarian violence occurs within a 30-mile radius of Baghdad, so that is where most of the additional troops will be concentrated.
Whoa. 80% within a thirty mile radius? The way it's reported, I thought the whole country was going to shit.
The New York Times calls this a "rush" to execute the former national leader. By American standards, perhaps. The crimes his neck was stretched for were committed in 1982. He was arrested by US troops on December 13, 2003. It took three years for an Iraqi court to be established and to find him guilty. The Times' real problem here is not the time it took, but the finality of the verdict. "Surely there must be some doubt."
This execution marks a definitive end for the Saddam era. It is a good day for Iraq (and for America, whose finest delivered the tyrant to justice). It is not, however, the turning point for peace and harmony and goodness in the world, nor does it even "automatically create a new and better Iraq." But then, who ever said it would?
" . . . more than six people cannot agree on anything, three is better -- and one is perfect for a job that one can do. This is why parliamentary bodies all through history, when they accomplished anything, owed it to a few strong men who dominated the rest. Never fear, son, this Ad-Hoc Congress will do nothing . . . or if they do pass something through sheer fatigue, it will be so loaded with contradictions that it will have to be thrown out."
--Bernardo de la Paz, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, pg 162 [Robert A. Heinlein]
I've been waiting all week for someone to blog the celebrated Iraq Study Group report, for I have a comment I'd like to make about it. Alas, nobody has obliged on these pages. But with each passing day I've come to realize that the real blogging is taking place on the front pages of the major dailies. They took the slap dash 97 page report as their kernel and proceeded to concoct every sort of meaning from it in their headlines. Every one, that is, except for making the world safe for liberty. Well, here goes.
Let's start with part I, subpart D: Achieving Our Goals:
We agree with the goal of U.S. policy in Iraq, as stated by the President: an Iraq that can “govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself.” In our view, this definition entails an Iraq with a broadly representative government that maintains its territorial integrity, is at peace with its neighbors, denies terrorism a sanctuary,
and doesn’t brutalize its own people. Given the current situation in Iraq, achieving this goal will require much time and will depend primarily on the actions of the Iraqi people.
It is critically important to understand that, with Saddam gone, Iraq matters little in the present war between civilization and archaic totalitarianism. Re-read the passage above and replace "Iraq" with "America." An America that can govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself. [...] Given the current situation in America, achieving this goal will require much time and will depend primarily on the actions of the American people."
And where America represents civilization in this war, the seat of archaic totalitarianism today is... anyone? anyone? Bueller? That's right: Iran. Now re-read the passage above replacing "Iraq" with "Iran." In our view, this definition entails an Iran with a broadly representative government that maintains its territorial integrity, is at peace with its neighbors, denies terrorism a sanctuary, and doesn’t brutalize its own people.
Now, what actions of the American people can do anything to help Iraq "govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself?"
I think Sheldon Alberts of CanWest News Service really meant to say, "Iraq denigrated into a rat's nest" as the resemblence of the Iraq we see in western media spins further and further from the actual place where thousands of brave and patriotic Americans try mightily to separate the killers from the killees. Instead he wrote, as the headline no less, "Iraq denigrating into a rat's nest, general testifies." If the general actually said that we've no way of knowing since there's nothing approaching such a quote in Sheldon's piece carried on Canada.com.
Instead it's a stream of encouragements such as, "the situation could be bleak" and "I would not say we've turned the corner." Don't increase the number of soldiers deployed there, nor send them elsewhere before Iraqi forces are available to replace them. Instead, the general suggests, we should (ahem) stay the course.
(...) Abizaid said it was his ''professional opinion'' that Iraqis could restore calm if the U.S. rapidly accelerates training of the country's military forces.
Far be it for me to degenerate dear mister Alberts, however. That is his editor's job, is it not? (Or perhaps, his high school grammar teacher's.)
Hangman, hangman, hold it a little while,
I Think I see my friends coming, Riding a many mile.
Friends, you get some silver?
Did you get a little gold?
What did you bring me, my dear friends? Keep me from the Gallows Pole.
What did you bring me to keep me from the Gallows Pole?
I couldn't get no silver, I couldn't get no gold,
You know that we're too damn poor to keep you from the Gallows Pole.
Hangman, hangman, hold it a little while,
I think I see my brother coming, riding many a mile.
Brother, you get me some silver?
Did you get a little gold?
What did you bring me, my brother, to keep me from the Gallows Pole?
Brother, I brought you some silver, yeah.
I brought a little gold, I brought a little of everything
To keep you from the Gallows Pole.
Yes, I brought you to keep you from the Gallows Pole.
Hangman, hangman, turn your head awhile,
I think I see my sister coming, riding many mile, mile, mile.
Sister, I implore you, take him by the hand,
Take him to some shady bower, save me from the wrath of this man,
Please take him, save me from the wrath of this man, man.
Hangman, hangman, upon your face a smile,
Tell me that I'm free to ride,
Ride for many mile, mile, mile.
Oh yes, you got a fine sister, She warmed my blood from cold,
She warmed my blood to boiling hot to keep you from the Gallows Pole,
Your brother brought me silver, Your sister warmed my soul,
But now I laugh and pull so hard And see you swinging from the Gallows Pole
But now I laugh and pull so hard And see you swinging from the Gallows Pole
Swingin' on the gallows pole!
If President Bush continues to ask North Korea to "kneel," war "will be inevitable," and it would begin on the Korean Peninsula, North Korean Gen. Ri Chan Bok told "Good Morning America" anchor Diane Sawyer, in an exclusive interview inside North Korea.
If only we had a topical quotation from Hugo Chavez, Robert Mugabe or Fidel Castro, then we'd have a crazy trifecta.
A general who impliments policies of a government who's crazy to respect a religion that can't respect itself, or it's gays, or it's women, or religious minorities, or... or... or... ad nauseum.
The U.S. military spokesman says there has been a 22 percent jump in attacks during Ramadan and the drive to secure Baghdad has "not met our overall expectations."
The spike in violence during the Islamic holy month of fasting was "disheartening" and the Americans were working with Iraqi authorities to "refocus" security measures, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell said.
Note 1: Out of respect, weren't we supposed to scale back our military activities around Islamic holy days? I'm glad the other side got the message. As a reward, we should treat their prisoners nicely. Maybe they'll stop the beheadings.
Document ISGQ-2005-00026108.pdf dated July 25 2000 is a report from an Iraqi Intelligence officer to different Iraqi Intelligence Directorates talking about information provided to them from a trusted source that works in the Associated Press (AP). The information is about the formation a newly formed UN weapons inspectors team called UNMOVIC
Q: Last question. Do you plan to come back next year? The president is going to be in office till 2009 and our continued presence in Iraq seems fairly assured.
A: I hope he’s not in office till 2009, but this (anti-war presence in Crawford) is permanent. We’re going to start building a permanent structure soon. This may sound weird, but I’m going to live here. My residence is going to be a tree house. We’ve got some plans for amazing tree houses! This is a flood plain, so we have to build it. But the first structure we’re going to build is a camphouse with a great room and an industrial-type kitchen and an office and some bathrooms. So we’re planning on being permanent. It’s not just about George Bush, it’s about ending the occupation of Iraq and making sure it never happens again.
A tree house.
And this is someone we should consult for foreign policy decisions.
US and Iraqi forces have arrested the second most senior figure of al-Qaida in Iraq and killed 20 fellow militants.
"Hamid al-Suaidi led a group that kidnapped people. He ordered bombings and mortar attacks that killed a number of our armed forces and our citizens. Al-Qaida in Iraq is severely wounded," Rubaie [Iraq's national security advisor] said.
"After his arrest he gave critical and important information and we ended up killing 11 militants of the second tier of leaders and nine of the lower tier," Rubaie said of Suaidi.
I had to scroll through the "all 825 news articles" Google link to find one from Australia in order to avoid liberal media bias in the report. For example, the ITV [Britain] version that I took the photo from waited until the fifth of seven paragraphs before mentioning the captured man's name, and even then did it thusly:
Hours after an "embarrassed" US military again postponed a ceremony to hand command of Iraqi troops to the government, the national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie summoned reporters to a news conference to announce that Hamid Juma Faris al-Suaidi had been seized some days ago.
So after starting the story with, "Security officials [no mention of whose] claim [as it's apparently in dispute] to have arrested the second-in-command of the terror [what, no scare quotes?] group al-Qaeda in Iraq," they morphed this news item into a slanted report on the so-called occupation of Iraq by the US military. In the process they inplicity question Washington's sincerity to "let Americans go home."
If you still wonder why the majority public opinion is that things are going "badly" in Iraq, here's your answer.
The Bush administration briefed top lawmakers on a significant intelligence program only after a key Republican committee leader angrily complained of being left in the dark, House Intelligence Committee chairman Peter Hoekstra said yesterday.
Hoekstra, Republican of Michigan, would not describe the program but said it was significant enough that the administration should have briefed him and others voluntarily, without waiting for them to learn of it through government tipsters.
``There was at least one major -- what I consider significant -- activity that we had not been briefed on that we have now been briefed on," Hoekstra said on ``Fox News Sunday." ``Some people within the intelligence community brought to my attention some programs that they believed we had not been briefed on. They were right."
So here we have confirmation that Iraq continued to work on WMD, and that the new UNMOVIC inspections verified that. We had previously heard from the mainstream media that UNMOVIC only found that the Iraqis still refused to cooperate fully with the inspections, but this puts a little different light on the situation as the UN found it as they debated how to deal with Iraq. Even with Saddam actively pursuing WMD, as it turns out, they refused to take any action except to propose extended inspections.
Another point seems rather interesting here. The third paragraph seems to match up pretty well with the CIA/DIA description of the mobile laboratories discovered shortly after the invasion of Iraq.
Once again, it looks like Saddam's own documentation makes it clear that he had never stopped working on WMD programs. This time, it also shows that UNMOVIC and the UNSC knew it.
CENTER OF MANAGEMENT AND LAW / PRESIDENT
For that, we order Dr. Hazem Anwar Alnasery, assigned to the Health Department Center, and Dr Mothny Abas, president of the Central Health Testing Department, to be members of the Anthrax Operation Room. This order will not cancel the previous order assigned to Dr. Mostafa Fathee, president of the Central Health Testing Department and president of the Health Research Institute. Thanks.
Zohir Saeed Abd Elsalam
Maybe they were just fans of the band Anthrax, and the "Anthrax Operation Room" plotted ways of getting them to tour in Tikrit.
This eight-page document is a list of employees in various categories who received bonuses listed as "5,000"--dinars, I assume. Most of the categories are what you would expect: "Office of the General Director," "Finance," "Consultant Office," etc. Presumably the names under each of these headings are the employees in those departments who received bonuses.
But then we have these categories: "Chemical;" twelve employees got bonuses. "Nuclear;" nine employees got bonuses. "Missiles;" seven employees got bonuses. "Biological;" nine employees got bonuses. I suppose those words might mean something other than the obvious. But what?
The subject is how to evade the search for "non-conventional weapons and other chemical agents." The evasion includes moving Iraqi Intelligence documents, and substituting Department of Health employees for intelligence agents. Further, the Intelligence Service's "chemical materials and equipment" were relocated. This doesn't sound like they were just moving old munitions left over from the 1980s from place to place.
As much as one document can prove anything, this seems to demonstrate that Iraq was secretly producing and hiding chemical weapons as of September 1999.