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Showing posts with label Iran. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iran. Show all posts

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Assassination - Editorial, The Week in Review


Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
01.01.2020

Assassination


We have arrived at this, foreign policy by political murder.

I will not pretend that the United States hasn’t always employed this tool to carry out its agenda, we have been in the assassination game for quite some time, from the beginning in fact. This is not anything to be proud of even though it is something we must acknowledge.

This ass assassination is different. It is in the open, it is public.

It hearkens back to when George W. Bush and Dick Cheney attempted to normalize torture. We had to acknowledge that the United States tortures people, we always have, and it is no good.

Torture is a criminal act, so is assassination, even in a time of war these things are criminal, they must remain criminal, when they are discovered those responsible must be held accountable.

If we turn the corner and move toward accepting these things as a normal way of conducting our international affairs, we are doomed.

Donald Trump and his ilk are lazy and feckless, they want what they want and they want it now. They are no interested in developing constituencies, in building consensus, in forging alliances or long term cooperative effort.

They just want to hurry to the end, cheat and lie, violate our standards, breach the norms, and throw ethics out the window.

Their vision of the social order is not just, there is no compact, there is only might makes right.

The reason why we do not assassinate the leadership of those we face on the battlefield, is so that we have someone to make peace with when the battle is over. If we eliminate the leadership of our adversaries we cannot engage in meaningful negotiations, agreements cannot be arrived at, or if they are arrived at they cannot be enforced.

Donald Trump has brought us to another low, he has made our relationship with the Iranians much more dangerous. American’s will be killed because of what he has done, it he cannot say that his actions have protected anyone.

Assassination is a shameful thing, those who are justifying it are behaving shamefully, the shame does not belong to Donald Trump alone. It belongs to all of us.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Impeachment - Editorial, The Week in Review


Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
11.02.2019

Impeachment


It is about time, and not soon enough. The impeachment of the orange tyrant has begun.

I am grateful for it.

All people of good conscious must get support it. Donald Trump’s criminal pursuit of the presidency began before the 2016 election, and he has continued his criminal enterprise throughout his tenure in office.

The American people must demand his impeachment and removal from office, and his disqualification from seeking the office in the future.

Listen!

This is not a court of law, we are in the court of common sense, the people and our representatives in Congress and the Senate must act to protect to protect the country and the constitution from the corrupt machinations of an impulsive, illiterate madman.

Speak up, make yourself heard, tell the pundits in the media, the news anchors and analysts, tell everyone who speaks and writes on public affairs that we have had enough.

We cannot fret about the political fortunes of our preferred political parties, we cannot give any weight to those who tell us “let the voters decide.” We cannot let this man remain in office one day longer than we have to. On any given day Donald Trump’s rash and impulsive character has the potential to do irrevocable harm to the country, the American people, and our allies. Witness the pain and suffering he has visited on our allies the Syrian Kurds, as proof of this claim.

He sold them out.

He sold them out to benefit Turkey and Russia, and by extension murderous Regime of Bashar al Assad in Syria and his benefactors in Iran. The man cannot be trusted to make decisions on behalf of the broader interest of the American people. He only sees his future economic interests at play, his Twin Trump Towers in Turkey, his long standing desire to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

It did not and still does not matter to Trump that our allies the Kurds are being subjected to ethnic cleansing by the Turks, squeezed between them and Russians, having to turn to Syria for help. It does not matter that two weeks before he sold them out our Kurdish allies provided us with the intelligence that allowed us to take out the leader of ISIS. The Fake and Corrupt President has no loyalty to anyone or anything but his own narrow self-interest.

Impeach him, remove him now, disqualify from holding any federal office.

He employed illegal extortion and bribery tactics against our ally Ukraine, he did it to benefit his 2020 presidential campaign, and his benefactor Vladimir Putin, the Russian dictator. Donald Trump will do worse if we do not hold him accountable.

It is the duty of all American patriots to stand against him.

Every single day the man is profiting illegally from his office, taking money from both State governments and foreign powers, in violation of the emoluments clause of the constitution.

He has been exercising an abusive and criminal influence over every branch of his government from the first day he took office, lying to the American people directly, and through his political appointees in government.

We cannot trust anything he says.

Impeach him now.

Censure all of his allies in and out of government, those feckless apologists and cowards who pretend that the things he is do are normal and okay; vote them out of office.

Get rid of them, they are no good.

This is a time for all American people to act. To be outraged. Our republic is in danger of going off the rails.

America, we deserve better than this.

We cannot suffer a man who courts the support of dictators, strong-men, and tyrants around the world, who asks them time and time again to interfere in our democracy, we cannot allow him to destroy our republic.

He is not worth your support! Drop him like a bad habit! Let’s move on!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Trump, Putin and the Ayatollah - Editorial, The Week in Review


Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
05.18.2019

Trump, Putin and the Ayatollah

Difficult, the future is to see.

National Security Advisor, John Bolton has a long history of advocating for robust military intervention in Iran. He has a strong hand in shaping our military policy, if we are not careful a man like him can get us involved in a conflict that the majority of us do not want.

John Bolton believes that the United States should have an unfettered hand in exercising its military power; Iran, Syria, Venezuela, North Korea, Yemen, the Taiwan Straits, he advocates for an aggressive pursuit of what he perceives our interest to be.

When it comes to our military stance against Iran he echoes the interests of allies like the Netanyahu government of Israel, or the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These are relationships that Donald Trump is keenly interested in protecting, in advancing because of this you might think that the National Security Advisor would have a free hand in his efforts to get us engaged in conflict with Iran.

But for some reason he has been rebuked by Trump.

T-Rump has softened our approach with North Korea, against the recommendation of his National Security team. T-Rump has pulled us back from John Bolton’s more aggressive posture against the Maduro regime in Venezuela, and he has pulled us back from John Bolton’s adventurism in Iran.

I am not suggesting that the interference T-rump has been running against the National Security Advisor is based on any kind of firm policy position.

I am just noting that it has happened, and I am offering an explanation as to why.

The explanation is Vladimir Putin.

Putin supports the Maduro regime, and though the United States does not, T-Rump will not go head-on against Putin’s wishes.

Putin wanted us out of Syria, and so we left, leaving the Russians, who support the murderous Assad regime, and the Iranians, Assad’s long term allies, to fill the Vacuum.

In the same way T-Rump has bent over backwards to treat another ally of the Russian’s, North Korea, as if they were not the most wicked, most dangerous, most evil-totalitarian regime on the planet. T-Rump tell us that he and Kim Jong Un are in love.

Because of Putin’s long standing relationship with the Iranians you can be sure that T-Rump will not actually allow an invasion of that country to occur. The Russian’s don’t want that to happen, and so neither does he.

Now, I am not sure if I have this right. I think T-Rump would break any alliances, violate any treaty, subvert any pact, commit any crime to stay in power; as long as he sees something to be in his political interests he would even go against Putin, but right now that is a long way off.

Right now, Putin has no desire to see us invade Iran, and that explains why T-Rump rebuked John Bolton this week. Putin said no dice, let the ayatollah be.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Is it Too Much to Expect Dignity? - Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

02.13.2016

Is It Too Much to Expect Dignity?

            It is the year 2016. I am almost forty-seven years old, and I am deeply saddened by the state of politics in our country.

I was in the fifth grade, it was 1979. I was ten that year (eleven by the time it was over), when I came to political awareness. The big thing in the news that year was the revolution in Iran; more than sixty American citizens taken hostage, held for four hundred and forty-four days, held until January 20th, 1981, inauguration day, and the ascendency of Ronald Reagan.

Those events, that election; they jolted me into a place where I knew that politics were important, the news (no matter how poor it is), the news is important. I got a paper route that year.

For whatever reason (I cannot remember) I was home from school the day Ronald Reagan was sworn in. I remember watching it, and watching the release of the hostages live on T.V.. I remember the front page of the evening paper and the electoral landslide it depicted with forty-nine states going for Reagan and only one, Minnesota, my state, which like me, had chosen Carter.

I have memories of political events from earlier in my life. I remember when Jimmy carter won the presidency and took office. I remember the departure of Nixon. I remember newscasts from and about the Vietnam war, but it was in the years ’79 – ’80 that I became a close study of our great national dialog.

 In 1994 something changed. Democratic President Bill Clinton had been in office for two years. I had just gotten out of the Navy. There was a revolution in congress and the Republicans took control of both houses. They had a leader named Newt Gingrich, he had a thing called “The Contract for American,” an ambitious legislative agenda promoting republican values. This was the beginning of the coarsening of our political life.

The political talk coming from the heirs of that republican movement has become so coarsened that it is, to me, unrecognizable from the way in which I was raised to view public office, and public service, and the duty to comport oneself in public with dignity.

Right now, the “Front Runner” for the nomination of the Republican Party is Donald Trump, a man who has used called his opponents “pussies,” has said to his followers that he is going to tell immigrant workers from Mexico to “go fuck themselves.” He has said of people that criticize him that they are “full of shit.” He has said these things, repeated these things while at the podium, in front of crowds of thousands of people, while being telecast across the world, and his supporters cheer him on.

This is the saddest thing about the election. That man’s supporters cheer him on. They love the fact that he says hateful, hurtful and disgusting things.

Is it too much to ask for some dignity?

Carter and Reagan never spoke of one another like that, to one another like that. Neither did Reagan and Mondale when they ran against each other, nor did Bush speak that way of his opponents Dukakis and Clinton, and Clinton did not speak that way of Bush or Dole. IN fact, Bill Clinton, and George Bush Senior became good friends and worked together on many projects when they were each done with the job of being president.

The disgusting behavior currently on display is being leveled by republicans at republicans. There is a deep lack of respect, as if the entire notion of what it means to have good manners has been forgotten.

It makes me sad.

Donald Trump, the republican front runner, he hides his ill manners behind the rally cry that he is against “political correctness.” As if the task of being a gentleman had something to do with politics and not just good manners.

America, can we please just reject him on the grounds that he is crude; not because he brings up difficult political issues, trying to enforce our adherence to civil standards, and public policy through vehicles of peer pressure and shame (which are totally legitimate tactics). That is what political correctness is. Reject him because he is foul mouthed, ill mannered, and full of hate.


Reject Donald Trump because he has no dignity, he cannot bring dignity to the office of the presidency, he will tear it down, as a result he will tear us down.    

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Deal with Iran - Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

01.23.2015

The Deal with Iran

The United States of America; our government did something good this week. We entered into a fundamentally new, and different relationship with the nation of Iran. Iran which has been our “enemy” for these past thirty-seven, the theocracy of Iran, Iran took our people hostage in 1979 and held them for four hundred and forty-four days, Iran who leaders refer to America as the Great Satan, Iran who we name as the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism, Iran whose people gather to shout in ritual “death to America” and “death to Israel” our ally; we struck a bargain with Iran, and we are keeping it.

The United States of America, together with the United Nations asked the Iranians to give up their program to develop atomic weapons. Their pursuit of those weapons had brought severe economic sanctions to the Iranian people, locking them out of trade and commerce, and locking us into a mode of antagonism with their government that to many observers seemed intractable.
In the United States Congress there was united opposition among republicans, together with some opposition among democrats, those office holders did not even want us to talk to Iran, let alone make a deal.

Our ally Israel lobbied vigorously against the deal once the structure was in place. Their prime minister came to America and spoke directly to congress urging them to oppose it, threatening unilateral military action against Iran, and cheered on by the bellicose right wing in our country.
Nevertheless, the wheels turned, diplomacy prevailed, the bargain was made, and the initial terms of the agreement were met by Iran, this week. Allowing the United States and all of those other nations who came with us to the bargaining table to announce an end to those sanctions, providing relief to the Iranian people, freeing billions of their assets, and creating a basis for future cooperation between them and us.

The first fruits of that new relationship came the first day, as the Iranians released a number of United States Citizens from prison, allowing them to return home, and we did the same for them. This exchange of prisoners was not formally built into the agreement on nuclear weapons, but most people believe that it was “baked in.”

What is best about this deal, as far as I am concerned is the prospect of having normal relations with Iran. “Normalizing” relations is a long term goal, no one our government will even use those words, but with these steps we are moving in that direction, whereas one year ago, we were still drifting apart.

This is what we should all hold in mind. Iran is Persia. All of the Iranians I have ever met refer to themselves as Persians. Persia is a civilization stretching back in time for thousands of years, they are cultured, they are modern, they have split the atom…of all of the nations in that region, they are our natural ally, more so than most of the Arab states, more so than the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose tribal societies are so corrupt they may as well be lawless.

The Islamic militants that we are struggling with in the Levant come from that lawless Arabian culture. There backward interpretations of the Qur’an come from the fundamentalist madrasas funded and operated, exported to the Muslim world by the House of Saud.

This is not to say that the Iranians are free from the coercive forces of rightwing militant fundamentalism, they are not, they are a theocracy. The United States is not free from the forces of rightwing militant fundamentalism, there are many in our country who believe we are a “Christian” nation, and that have a sacred obligation to wage war on the enemies of Israel (as they perceive them to be), or the enemies of Christ (as they perceive them to be), even though Jesus himself had no enemies.


What Iran does have, is a society and a culture that is thousands of years old, that is rooted in law, and order, and science and technology, which is something that our other, so-called allies in the region are not.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

January 19th

The news is coming out of the television-background noise-chatter.

Presidential politics, and a new relationship with Iran, ancient Persia…warm coffee on my desk in a tall, yellow painted mug. My gray and white, tawny, tabby cat is watching me, as she usually does this time of day; 4:00 am, when I am sitting at my desk; writing. I lean back in my chair, and reach for my hoodie. It is chilly in the room, and I need an extra layer. As the radiators come to life, hissing and spitting steam. The house had just hit the low point in the heating cycle. It is below zero in the January morning. The thermostat told the furnace to turn to turn on; such small devices, with so few moving parts, that you can hardly call them machines. They sense the temperature, and trigger a flow of electrons along a thin copper wire, sending them down into into the basement, to the gas main, where the flow of gas is increased in the giant, asbestos covered octopus. The flame comes to life and the water in the boiler-boils, steam rises up through expanding clanking pipes, whistling through the valves.


Kitty is always interested in the sound of the house warming up. She turns away from me.