What’s with all the Reagan love?

I’ve met two former Surgeons General in my life.

I met Joycelyn Elders very briefly when she visited the clinic where I was working.  (The same one, incidentally, where I worked with the recipient of the most expensive baby gift I’ve ever bought.)  I may have exchanged a whole half dozen words with her, but she seemed very nice.

Ostensibly, my interaction with C. Everett Koop was more meaningful.  The university in the town where I grew up has an annual lecture series, in which a prominent individual is invited to speak and admission is free.  Among the notables I remember seeing were Tip O’Neill (I got to shake his hand) and Colin Powell (before he became Secretary of State); Margaret Thatcher came one year, but I wasn’t living close enough at that point to attend.  And Dr. Koop was another speaker I remember.

I say “ostensibly” because, while I can recall hearing him speak and even asking him a question, I don’t have any memory of what he said, or even what I asked.  It was around the time I was thinking of attending medical school, and I have a vague sense that I may have asked if he had any tips for one such as me, but really I don’t have any meaningful recollection.  I actually remember my fleeting interaction with Dr. Elders more clearly.

Dr. Koop’s tenure as Surgeon General was during a period when I was too young to pay much attention to the national news.  Even so, I certainly remember the advent of the warnings about cigarette smoking and the related messages that appeared on packets of smokes due to his efforts.  Since I (somewhat sheepishly) couldn’t tell you the name of the current Surgeon General if you paid me, it says something about Dr. Koop’s impact on the country that his visage and message penetrated the perceptions of a middle schooler.  (Okay, fine.  So maybe I wasn’t a typical middle schooler.  I thought “Bloom County” was wildly hilarious, even though I understood only a fraction of the jokes.  Even so, I think Dr. Koop’s prominence in the national attention is inarguable.)

As I read the Times obituary after Dr. Koop’s passing earlier this week, I learned much more about the man.

His nomination in 1981 met a wall of opposition from women’s groups and liberal politicians, who complained President Ronald Reagan selected Koop, a pediatric surgeon and evangelical Christian from Philadelphia, only because of his conservative views, especially his staunch opposition to abortion.

Soon, though, he was a hero to AIDS activists, who chanted “Koop, Koop” at his appearances but booed other officials. And when he left his post in 1989, he left behind a landscape where AIDS was a top research and educational priority, smoking was considered a public health hazard, and access to abortion remained largely intact.

Koop, who turned his once-obscure post into a bully pulpit for seven years during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and who surprised both ends of the political spectrum by setting aside his conservative personal views on issues such as homosexuality and abortion to keep his focus sharply medical, died Monday at his home in Hanover, N.H. He was 96.

I had no idea he was a conservative evangelical Christian.  That I was ignorant redounds to his credit.

But Koop, a devout Presbyterian, was confirmed after he told a Senate panel he would not use the surgeon general’s post to promote his religious ideology. He kept his word.

In 1986, he issued a frank report on AIDS, urging the use of condoms for “safe sex” and advocating sex education as early as third grade.

He also maneuvered around uncooperative Reagan administration officials in 1988 to send an educational AIDS pamphlet to more than 100 million U.S. households, the largest public health mailing ever.

Koop personally opposed homosexuality and believed sex should be saved for marriage. But he insisted that Americans, especially young people, must not die because they were deprived of explicit information about how HIV was transmitted.

Koop further angered conservatives by refusing to issue a report requested by the Reagan White House, saying he could not find enough scientific evidence to determine whether abortion has harmful psychological effects on women.

No doubt Dr. Koop would have personally disapproved of my unashamed and unrepentant gayness.  That does not mar my respect for him in the least.  I have no desire to dictate the personal religious beliefs of anyone, and if he believed homosexuality is a sin it was his right to do so.  That he put those beliefs aside to do the right thing for people at risk of infection with HIV, and that he put his personal opposition to abortion aside and reported the medical information as he understood it wins him my sincere admiration.

But the facts of his tenure raised a question with me — why is it that conservatives (so-called “social conservatives” in this case) fall all over themselves lionizing Ronald Reagan?

A little while back I co-authored a position paper for a professional society of which I was a member.  The paper was about “abstinence-only” sex education for adolescents, which we opposed.  (I’d link to it, but I feel compelled to at least gesture in the direction of preserving my pseudonym.)  Teaching kids to wait until marriage and nothing more leaves those who can’t quite hold out until their wedding night (which is to say, a whole lot of them) vulnerable to unintended pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections.  Unfortunately, this is the preferred approach to sex ed for many social conservatives.

With this in mind, I wonder at the love that is continually showered on Ronald Reagan by these very same people.  To hear them tell it, he’s basically worthy of being swapped into the Trinity in place of the Holy Ghost.  But contrast his relationship with Koop to that of Bill Clinton’s with Dr. Elders.

The latter was summarily canned after saying a few impolitic words about masturbation at a conference about AIDS.  Shortly after having the temerity to suggest that masturbation would be a perfectly reasonable thing to include in sex ed (and after previously displaying the effrontery to suggest that there might be merit in studying drug legalization) she was given the heave-ho.  But Reagan kept Koop around (albeit with an administration that didn’t cooperate with him much) for two full terms despite the incredibly high-profile stances he took in opposition to the socially conservative one.  For heaven’s sake, he advocated teaching sex ed as early as third grade!  Can you imagine any prominent conservative tolerating that in a hypothetical GOP administration these days?  Mitt Romney would have tossed him under a bus faster than you can say “pander” three times.

What gives?  Why is it that the people who seem ready to chisel the faces off Mount Rushmore and replace them with Reagan in four views apparently overlook who he really was in office?  When did he ascend to being contemporary conservatism’s patron saint?  How did this happen?

In any case, rest in peace Dr. Koop.  You may not have approved of me, but I approve of you and what you did.  Thank you for doing right by people who needed your candor and courage.  I am grateful for your service to the country, and that you were allowed to do it by a president not nearly so ideologically pure as his present acolytes would care to admit.

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.


  1. What I remember about his stand on AIDS was The New Republic running an editorial with the heading “We Were Wrong” (in opposing his nomination). Michael Kinsley was the editor then, and he probably wrote it. It was a great editorial, just admitted that the mag had assumed he’d be just another religious bigot but that they were wrong, that Koop did put his medical duties ahead of his personal views.

  2. He was wrong. I give him credit for admitting it.

    But I still despise him, down to the bottoms of my toes. I have two younger brothers, both gay. The elder of the two was infected with AIDS from a blood transfusion in 1984. He’s doing well, we’ll celebrate his marriage to his partner of 25.5 years at the end of March. That he and his husband-to-be have been together so long despite my brother’s illness is a testament to their love.

    The younger brother contracted AIDS through normal sexual activity. He and I have a similar allergy to some of the magnesium compounds used to distribute ingredient in pills evenly. He died; not of AIDS, but from an allergic reaction to the bases of the medicines he took to help him live with AIDS. (He was participating in a clinical trial for people with such allergies, too.)

    In both cases — the problems of blood supply, the dangers of unprotected sex, I feel like Koop new the right thing to do, and didn’t. And during the time he failed to do the right thing, both my brothers were infected, one lost. Yeah, he fessed up. The Christian thing to do is forgive.

    I am not a Christian. I cannot forgive his failure.

    • In both cases — the problems of blood supply, the dangers of unprotected sex, I feel like Koop new the right thing to do, and didn’t.

      Can you provide more detail here? (Please, please, please don’t read that as anything other than a sincere desire for more detail, not snark). I certainly understand criticism of Reagan’s handling of the AIDS crisis, but can you flesh out what you think Koop knew and when, and what you think he should have done differently at the time?

      And I am so sorry for your loss, even all this time later.

      • When the AIDS epidemic first erupted, it was pretty vile. I remember the first time I heard of it, from my husband, “it’s just gay men who have, on average, over a thousand sexual encounters a year with different partners.” This was the public notion. Koop wanted to talk to the American people about it, to say this wasn’t true, that it needed a massive research effort, Reagan said no because he didn’t want to start a public panic.

        I remember watching a news broadcast where Koop confessed to this. I wanted to kill him. I’ve searched youtube for that broadcast in the past, and could not find it. But he knew keeping silent meant needless spreading of AIDS, and he kept silent. His public confessions were to ease his guilt.

        • I see your perspective, though I would be curious to know more about the particulars. One of these days I’m going to read “And the Band Played On,” which I understand makes pretty much everyone look bad at the start of the AIDS crisis. While I’m in no position to offer any excuses for any silence on Koop’s part or anyone else’s, it does appear that he did more than almost anyone else in the Reagan administration to address the disease, which I still find admirable.

          • Admirable?

            Imagine, you’ve just got your kids down to sleep after a rambunctious day. You notice some unusual smoke coming from your neighbors house, but no flames. You say something about it to your spouse, the response is, “We don’t want to wake the kids, I’m sure it’s nothing.” And you agree, don’t call 911. Then a bit later, you notice flames, so you finally call 911. Only a few members of the family die from smoke inhalation, the rest get out of the burning house. Were you heroic to finally make the call?

            That, to me, is basically what Koop did.

          • I guess my admiration, which persists, is informed by my own experience of being gay, and being raised in an evangelical Christian church while AIDS was just breaking into the national consciousness. Having heard repeatedly, implicitly and explicitly, that AIDS was God’s fit punishment for gay people, and that gay people were out to spread it maliciously to as many people as they could, learning that Koop was himself an evangelical Christian and put those beliefs aside to do his job to help and protect those vulnerable to the disease… I’m sorry, I can’t help but admire that.

            However, my history is not your history, and my losses are not your losses. I would not try to explain away your anger. If you can’t forgive Koop for his part in the initial failures to address the crisis, then who am I to tell you to feel differently?

  3. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and FDR and a bunch of other pivotal leaders were in reality a good deal more ambiguous than the legends about them. Reagan was, for good or ill (most likely a blend of both) a pivotal President like these people. So it makes some sense that he become an icon.

    And the point of an icon is that it be a focus for common veneration. The truth or accuracy of the veneration is not nearly so important as the fact that everybody in the tribe venerates it.

    • The hagiography itself doesn’t bother me. The championing of positions that are demonstrably contrary to what their purported ideal would have done/did makes me crazy.

      • I wonder how many people that venerate Reagan are actually, deep down in their bones, anti-CIA-selling-crack-on-the-streets-of-LA.
        But I’m not so sure Reagan was really pro-diddle-your-grandma-at-the-airport. Makes no sense for him to have an airport named after him.

          • I guess I’m a bit older than you, Doc.
            I remember the Reagan years on somewhat unkind terms.

            But I guess I don’t care so much for the national security crowd.
            I would prefer to see all of America a bit more insecure.

          • . . . and then I realized belatedly (as many such realizations are), the short answer is:

          • Thanks for interpreting.

            And don’t get me wrong. I’m not pronouncing on whether or not Reagan was a good president. Assuming my politics then would have been roughly analogous to my politics now, I probably would have loathed him. (Lord knows I detested his successor’s son.)

            All I’m saying is that the current GOP selling point on everything seems to be “say ‘Reagan’ a lot” and act like he parted the Berlin Wall by waving a staff at it while opposing a bunch of Democratic policies in his name, whereas in real life he:
            1) raised taxes, and
            2) tolerated a Surgeon General who championed policies that would make Rick Santorum’s head explode.

          • I’m kinda disappointed that Clinton didn’t stand behind Elders the way that he did Reno.
            Elders would have been a much better stand to take the heat on.
            The closest connection to Reno & the AG’s office that I care for is Reno 911.
            If it’s any closer than that, forget it.

            But yeah, I get your point about the Reagan fawners.
            I saw a really cool interview a few years back on This Week with Christiane Amanpour with Mike Pence & David Stockman on. She set Pence up really good.
            Pence was going on about how Reagan inspired him to get into politics (after blabbing the standard issue blab on policy dumbassery a bit), and then she got Stockman to chew him up after that.
            I think Charlie Brown typically comes off as having more grace than Pence in that interview.

            And I can’t figure out why the people of Indiana ever thought seriously about electing him governor.
            Unless it was to get him out of Washington and into retirement sooner.

            Some things I just don’t understand.

    • The best thing I can say about Reagan is: He didn’t manage to kill us all.
      The worst thing I can say about Reagan is: It wasn’t for lack of trying.

  4. I’m under the impression that the fallout of Vietnam had the country in quite a blue funk. We had a lot of our illusions shaken, if not shattered. In addition, we had the nuclear war of Damocles hanging over our heads as we had a staring contest with the USSR and, for a lot of points in the 70’s, we wondered if they weren’t just going to eventually win and we should just blink and get it over and done with.

    Reagan was pretty optimistic. Then he went on to win the cold war. Or, at least, be the guy who was sitting in the chair when the USSR decided to fold (even if it was Herbert Walker who was sitting in the chair when the actual folding happened).

    Now, of course, there were a lot more things going on and a lot more things happened and Reagan had about as much to do with them as Obama has to do with what the country is doing now. His rhetoric, however, was soaring.

    And it was a breath of fresh air after the funk we had to deal with in the decade prior.

    • Yet this points to another critical difference between Reagan and modern conservatism – gone is the sunny disposition and soaring rhetoric. In its place is victimhood and self-pity, and gutter rhetoric.

      • Yeah, and right after Ford falling down the steps of the plane and Billy Beer.
        Reagan made the place look like My Three Sons.

      • Modern science has largely succeeded in its efforts to eradicate the dignity gene from the American populace. Narcissism is winning out the battle to succeed dignity’s former prominence.

        • It is perhaps not coincidental that my dignity went missing at the same time as did my pants. Perhaps my dignity was in a pocket.

      • Not that there’s any shortage of that on the left, or in any number of apolitical contexts. It’s the zeitgeist. Sooner or later the pendulum will swing back.

    • This is a nice narrative. I wonder what you’ll think about whoever voices the same basic thing about Obama in thirty years.

      • I like to think that I gave away the answer to that question in the antepenultimate sentence.

        • Really, that’s all you’ll think: “Yes, this is all right-on, especially since the speaker makes a pro-forma acknowledgment that the rosy story he’s telling isn’t really the *whole* story”?

          If you say so.

          • I read Jaybirds comment as describing a position, not endorsing it. On that basis, I suspect Jaybird+30’s reaction will be “well, that’s what I’d expect”.

          • I will say that I wish that Obama was a fresher breath of air than he is proving to be.

            I remember Clinton being in office and the Democrats defending every little thing and taking the fight to the Republicans tooth and nail and then the Marc Rich pardon happened and… suddenly… the Democrats deflated. Clinton somehow transformed from The Standard Bearer to The Best Republican President In Decades.

            Then I saw a mirror image of the same thing happen with Dubya. The man could do no wrong.. until somewhere around 2007 when he somehow morphed into The Best Democrat(ic) President In Decades.

            I have no idea what Obama’s legacy will be… but I’ll tell you this: it won’t surprise me a bit if the same goddamn thing happens yet again.

    • His rhetoric, however, was soaring.

      And it was a breath of fresh air after the funk we had to deal with in the decade prior.

      Ah yes–the old optimism argument. My graduate advisor once suggested that the symbol of the Reagan administration should have been the smiley face, that insipid yellow figure with two slashes for eyes and a big old shit-eating grin. I can remember, during Reagan’s re-election campaign, the puff piece film shown at the Republican convention, “Morning in America.” It featured a lot of pictures of sun rising over corn fields and shiny white faces (this was before the Republicans thought that displays of faux diversity might help the party’s image). Even I found the film appealing, if false.

      Carter was more realistic about the problems the country faced and still faces, but budget-busting Reagan was optimistic and made us feel good about ourselves and that was what mattered. Meh.

    • To me, Vietnam seemed like ages ago.

      It was the juncture of other things:

      Rapidly inflating oil/gas prices, this is the era of the Ford Pinto and it’s amazing ability to explode, the era when little Japanese cars began taking over the roads, displacing the Big Three;

      The ongoing woes if industrial pollution — the Clean Air/Water acts where just being implemented, they were expensive, and we hadn’t seen real results yet. To meet the requirements of pollution controls, many industries began refitting, and in the process, began replacing people with machines, so there was growing blue-collar job insecurity;

      National security fears after the debacle of the Iran hostage crises, and the bungled rescue attempt, this combined with fears of getting into another war after Vietnam;

      High interest rates (as high as 17/18%), making homeownership on a single income out of reach. Women had to go to work, but there wasn’t the infrastructure for family in place, latch key kids were common, divorce rates were increasing, there were no laws/rules about child support, and poverty for children was increasing rapidly.

      Finally, after a decade of sex and drugs and rock and roll, we were losing our icons; Hendrix, Bonham, Joplin, Morrison. The promise of the Age of Aquarius was revealed, and there were serpents in the garden.

      My first vote for president was Jimmy Carter; he lost to Reagan. My take is that folk wanted to turn back the clock, go back to the ’50’s instead of actually deal with these problems. Ironically, for some of our biggest issues today — particularly climate change — it was amongst our greatest of mistakes as a nation.

    • There were other ways of looking at that situation. Here was mine:

      Our war(s) in SE Asia were certainly not limited to Vietnam. We’d picked up the cudgels for the French, sucked into someone else’s civil war. We really never wanted a solution for Vietnam — or Laos — or Cambodia — or anywhere else for that matter. We were only propping up a hugely corrupt regime which never had the support of the people — we’re doing the same in Afghanistan and Iraq today.

      Are you in a blue funk because we’re leaving Afghanistan or Iraq? Nobody is.

      The nuclear arms race was never as dangerous in practice as it was in theory. Sure, say what you want to about nuclear holocaust, I’ll stipulate to anything you want to say about it in theory. But in the real world, the delivery weapons systems were never as reliable as all that. Every time we came up with a new delivery package, the USSR built the solution to stop it. The Foxbat was a big steel contraption built for one purpose, to get high enough up to shoot down the B1 bomber. That’s was its sole mission.

      The nuclear arms race was a Lawnmower and Dandelions problem. The dandelions evolved to bloom below the lawnmower blade height. Our enemies evolved. We didn’t. Now the enemy is a faceless jihaadi off in the weeds somewhere. Having learned fish-all from the Cold War, we have, once again, evolved a hi-cost, hi-tek solution to a lo-cost, lo-tek problem.

      Our enemies are winning the numbers game. We spend trillions, they spend pennies. Every time we send a Big Army patrol outside the wire, armed to the teeth with multi-million dollar weapons systems, becomes a Shoot Me Please parade. We are willing to spend 68,000 USD on a weapon to kill a man halfway around the world — and that’s just the cost of the Hellfire missile — do you have any conception of how much peace 68,000 USD would buy if we just dumped it out of a bomb bay?

      Reagan was the oldest, and until Bush43, the stupidest president we’ve ever had in office. Bush43 was sposta be the New Reagan, remember? He succeeded in every way. Bush43 was an optimist, too. See, stupid people are always optimists.

      Bertrand Russell once said: The essence of the liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment. This is the way opinions are held in science, as opposed to the way in which they are held in theology. Reagan is still held up as a Conservative icon because he was so sure of himself, so internally guided — so completely ignorant of his world — Reagan brought us closer to the nuclear apocalypse than any other president. I was around for when it happened.

      And it wasn’t Reagan’s rhetoric. It was Joshua Gilder’s writing, most of it. Off script, Reagan was feeble, snarky, good for a one-liner every so often, but a deeply ignorant man. He had the courage of his convictions, a very short list indeed. And he wasn’t a good man. He cheated on one of the sweetest women in Hollywood, Jane Wyman, thus alienating his children from him.

      Nobody really understood Ronald Reagan. I don’t think even Nancy understood him all that well. From what I’ve been able to gather about him, from various biographies, Ronald Reagan’s internal self-image was always the lifeguard he once was as a young man. A boy once drowned on Reagan’s watch: these things happen. It wasn’t Reagan’s fault. But it marked him, as such incidents mark us all. Reagan became an actor, then a willing stooge and career-wrecker for the McCarthy Era harum-scarum. Reagan was never well-liked in Hollywood thereafter. As a politician, he traded arms for hostages and repeatedly lied about it. He should have been impeached.

        • The Cuban missile crisis had nothing on the Reagan Era Pershing II crisis. I can tell you for a fact Reagan brought us closer than anyone else: I’ll even give you the date: 11 Feb 83. I was on alert all that week.

          • Kennedy said “We will attack you tomorrow.” In my mind that’s a bit closer than anything that happened in ’83 (wasn’t the Able Archer exercise in November of that year?) which was indeed pretty damn hairy.

          • The most dangerous threat is the one which isn’t issued, almost always an inadvertent threat, one not immediately realised to be one. The USA created a situation which very nearly went sideways in Feb 83. I’m not sure I can go into details, even now. Even if I did, I was just a little guy and wasn’t privy to the strategic picture. But let me tell you, Feb 83 was Very Very Scary. And it was something which came down Straight From The Top.

          • While I’m not Reagan’s biggest fan, it seems to me that after that period he was heavily marked by the experience and began to take arms reduction seriously after.

          • That’s a cogent observation, Nob. Everyone shat his britches in Feb 83. An that whole summer was awful. We’d all go up to the border and make sick jokes about goats being tied out on stakes, bait for the leopards.

            Sept 83, well, the shootdown of KAL 007, everyone knows about that — both the Americans and Soviets had been so badly scared in February, there was a lot of pushback from within both the Soviet and NATO military communities, strange liaisons started appearing, making sure the other side understood — hey, we’re just guys in uniform, no different than you, we can’t allow each other to be giving each other the willies — a strange sort of détente on both sides. I suspect that sentiment went up the food chain into the political process.

            I still think Warsaw Pact was more afraid of NATO than we were of them, at any point. Pershing II was a serious affront to stability in Europe.

          • Blaise,
            yeah, russia’s always been way more paranoid about being invaded than you’d expect.
            … maybe it was the Mongols?

          • That seems right Nob, though Blaise’s “everyone” is an overstatement, seeing how unpopular Reagan’s arms reduction efforts were with the hawks (Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc.).

          • I remember watching the USAREUR TV station when Reagan was calling the USSR the Evil Empire. Everyone just froze up. This did not look good. Lots of quiet discussions in the squad room about that. See, you’re not supposed to talk politics in the military, so this was kept very quiet and respectful. And the officers were involved in those discussions, which was almost unheard of: E grade and O grade kept a certain distance from each other. Mutual respect, politeness, it was a pretty good unit, our officers were for the most part thoughtful men.

            When you join the Army, you’re obliged to make out a will. Or I was anyway. One of the outcomes of those discussions was a lot of rewriting of wills. Every alert was a big deal. We’d draw weapons and load up and go rumbling out to Clusterfuck Woods, living in dread of being issued live ammo. If we weren’t issued live ammo, life was good. The balloon hadn’t gone up. Yet.

            Interesting times.

          • This is pure gold:
            do you have any conception of how much peace 68,000 USD would buy if we just dumped it out of a bomb bay?

      • Are you in a blue funk because we’re leaving Afghanistan or Iraq? Nobody is.

        Here’s a major difference, if you ask me:

        I don’t think that we, as a country, will have to process Afghanistan or Iraq the way we processed Vietnam. I mean, start rattling off Vietnam movies. I got to ten in that many seconds and god only knows how many Academy Awards we have between the good ones… The Deer Hunter, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now, Good Morning, Vietnam. And that’s not even counting the films like First Blood or Jacob’s Ladder or even weird stuff like Missing In Action.

        Vietnam did some weird stuff… stuff I don’t see Afghanistan or Iraq doing.

        Sure, there have been a handful of movies about the war in Afghanistan and Iraq… but all of them put together didn’t even make half as much as one of those movies I mentioned up there. The closest we’ve come is something like Zero Dark Thirty which… well. I haven’t seen it.

        But it doesn’t strike me as being similar to the Vietnam movies.

        We needed to process Vietnam in a way that Afghanistan and Iraq do not need to be processed.

        • Here’s the difference:

          Vietnam was a draft war; we conscripted people who did not want to be there.

          Gulf War I, Afghanistan, and Iraq fought with an ‘all volunteer’ army; most particularly, there were no rich kids here who didn’t want to be, though there were plenty of kids who were poor and wanted to go to college or were poor and got in trouble and couldn’t afford a lawyer and a judge gave them a choice of jail or volunteering. I’ve seen a couple of those kids home in coffins.

          • There are some exceptions for the current wars, say, the people who didn’t expect National Guard duty to turn into multiple rotations overseas.

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