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Chamberlain bloodied his illustrious career by solidifying an agreement with a devil.  Stalin, bloodied anyone who ever brought up the fact he too was double crossed by that same devil and it killed tens of millions.  Marshall negotiated a settlement after the devil was dead that has given us for the most part, global peace now for exactly 70 years.

Everything you hear on television and the Rick Jensen show right now, is opinions being expressed by whoever has one of the three views above.  If you are a trustworthy person, with a solid character, you support the future trusting and are for this agreement.  If you are a untrustworthy person, with a criminal record a mile long but just haven’t been caught yet, you support a distrusting future, and want to see this good smashed before it gets born.

When you make a deal with a devil, you never know whether he will abrogate or not… Marriages (the same) run about 50-50.  So one has a 50-50 chance with a diplomatic partner as well.

But, diplomatic agreements usually have a success rate in the high 90th percentile… They beat the odds and so the obvious next question is … why?

Diplomatic negotiations are not rushed into like marriages.  For the most part that alone explains the disparity… If marriages were negotiated like the Iran Nuclear Deal, there would probably be 50% less marriages in America today… “Oh, no, baby… I ain’t givin’ up that!!!!”  Instead diplomatic negotiations put everything on the table and are handled by the oldest and wisest who have seen everything before and therefor put it on the table.

No successful marriage is one party gets all.. Those quickly head for divorce.  Instead, successful marriages are options where the other party says, “I can live without that. so sure, I’ll agree to it in order if I can get this out of you instead….”

That is how things work… In marriage, and around the table…  In fact it is rare to get an agreement at all. which explains why so many marriages go forward on faith instead of solid “pre-nupts”… (especially among Republicans who always seem to be way too-in-a- hurry to get hitched.)

The idea that one side will negotiate everything away when they don’t have to, is purely ridiculous.  Like a smitten male giving total power of attorney to his spouse if she agrees to marry him… I don’t think to my knowledge, that that has ever happened… If so, the poor fool was too embarrassed at his stupidity to ever mention it again….

So…. when approaching an agreement, one must treat it as a very good start, if not a fait accompli.

But that is not what you hear if you listen to US corporate controlled US media.  That is exactly what you do hear if you listen to unbiased, uncensored, and unmanipulated global media.  This agreement gives both sides what they want…

Sanctions removed for the Iranians…  No nuclear bomb for the US and Europe.

If you listen to Iran, their hard liners are NOT arguing over the stoppage of Iranians from building the bomb.  They are arguing whether or not they can trust the US to lift and keep the sanctions lifted, if they go forward and dismantle their system…   And since we change presidential parties every 8 years and have the next change less than 2 years away, they have a valid point….

They also have clear concerns as does the entire rest of the world alerted to our spying capabilities, of the US planting evidence, or lying about readings to make an innocent Iran look guilty.   Considering what the US did to Iran in ’49, they have legitimate reason to worry so.  Considering how we invaded their neighbor over a chocolate -vanilla yellow cake and two trailers parked on an Iraqi base somewhere, then found we were absolutely wrong …. Is very ripe on their memory.  Considering how it quickly became transparent that our sole reason for invading their neighbor was to get hands on their oil,  they are rather wary of trusting anything the US says it will do…

In fact considering that one of the parties in this agreement was the United States, a nation which since 2000 (fifteen years) has had the insane sector of its citizenry running the Legislative branch for 11 of those 15 years. they certainly have a lot to mistrust from a nation who imposes draconian laws on their poor to fund their municipalities, and ignores grand theft on a national scale to those earning billions….

Why would anyone trust the United States?  What are they, ….. crazy?

But they did. They did because the agreement is solid enough to keep the US held in checks and balances, and if the US reneges on its part of this agreement, they can quickly restart their nuclear program and create the only safety any nation truly has… their own atomic weapons….

And the US said, “ok, yeah, if it stops nuclear weapons from expanding to more nations,  we can work to make this deal solid…”

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So what are the arguments here made by Republicans against it?

Number 1 (which they won’t tell you)   Your side gets a point for being successful.  We’re in competition, we can’t let you get that point… (gamemanship)….

Number 2 (which they also keep silent)   AIPAC gave us lots of money to block this in Congress… Lots of money.

Number 3  Israel is against it, and we hear of Israel in our Christmas songs (” Oh Come, Oh Come, Emanuel”). and on TV so being for Israel has to be good ’cause Christmas and TV are good… (Anyone know where Israel is, anyway?  It’s in Greece, right?) We got to support ‘dem Israelis… ‘Cause that’s where our grease comes from)..

Number 4   We can say no and renegotiate a better deal…   let’s analyze this… Says who, the Iranians?  No, not hardly, they have their own contingents trying to blow up this agreement as well. This is a one shot deal…  Has anyone ever been turned down for marriage and gone back and given the store away?  Maybe, but I have never heard of anyone being rejected and coming back to say… ok, I’ll do everything you want… just marry me…   They usually break the engagement, and relationship and hook up quickly with someone else… Isn’t that the way it’s played?  This idea that you can reject a deal and they will come back and take a worse situation, comes from fairy land…  Perhaps there is too much LSD in Congress’s water?

Number 5   All the Koch think tanks, including the Institute for Science and International Security say this agreement is porous.  Other think tanks outside the beltway and the Pentagon suppliers’ influence and money, discount this… It pays to see who funds and supports a think tank before you take their view verbatim…

To readily understand, flip the polarization… Imagine Iran was accusing us of the same items…   “That nuclear reactor you were building for 7 years between 95 and the Christiana Mall”…  We’d say.. “that was a flyover ramp, joining Rt 1 to I 95.”… (Pretty obvious now, but some of those abutments could have very well been a tunnel entrances when seen from space 5 years ago by someone intent on proving we were untrustworthy..) Or they’d say… “we need to tour your NSA building and Area 51, or we won’t agree to this deal”.. We’d say.. “no, the deal is off . We aren’t letting Iran’s agents into the NSA building or into our most secretive experimental air bases… ”

Number 6   This agreement can’t be verified if we are not allowed into their equivalent of the  NSA and Area 51… therefore until they allow us, we need to vote it down…   Well, this was said in the purest form of isolation one can image… For example, let us flip the scenario again: how could they see into each bank’s board of directors to know if they will keep up  or drop sanctions on their own by going rogue?  They can’t … But they can monitor when the money starts flowing… they know what is being held from them and if they have access they will know it..   In the same way, if we monitor what goes in and what come out, we can do the math and know whether they are cheating or not.. In fact this agreement was hammered out that way as would the US and Soviets have done so, saying since we can’t check your most secret bases, what methods are acceptable to both of us to verify both are following the agreements?  A way was found…  If the US and Soviet Union can verify each others’ most sensitive informations without compromising other security measures, then it stands that the US and Iran can certainly do the same.  Especially when those measurements are very accurate.

Number 7   Giving 24 days notice of inspection allows for cheating… Well… perhaps.. But so does an errant wife stopping by Wawa to empty trash out of her car before pulling into her driveway to greet her husband…  Even in prison one can find ways to cheat.  That is not a problem. The problem is making sure what you want happens. That is no bomb available to Iran or terrorists.   Again, the US would never agree to Iran, or North Korea, or Russia, or China, or Central African Republic (right Chris?) into our secret bases with no notice… “Sure, we are conducting our most secret test of new rocket technology, come on in!  Here, sit in our visitors chair as we launch it now…”   never happen here; only idiot Republicans could think it would happen there… (Gosh, where were they when they passed out brains?)

Number 8

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That is the prevailing argument among all those against the Iran deal that miraculously was agreed upon by the Iranian people and was accepted by American leadership.

Why are we removing sanctions to a Super-Bad country that doesn’t trust us?  After all, everyone trusts America; We are a righteous country. 

That is why our CIA along with the Brits overthrew Iran’s popularly elected president, Mossadegh in 1953.  It would be like China sending a commando team into the White House and killing Hillary Clinton in 2016 and installing S. B. Woo. (Finally, a Delawarean become president.)  We did it to Iran because we are a righteous country.

We then went on to support the violently repressive regime of the Pahlavi dynasty.  Would be the equivalent of China imposing Idi Amin on us.  We did it to Iran because we consider ourselves a righteous country.

After the Iranian revolution, the US supported the Iraqi regime of Sadaam Hussein in a disastrous war against Iran, going so far as to knowingly provide targeting information for the use of illegal chemical weapons by Iraq.  That would be like China giving Mexico and Canada targeting information to bomb our major cities  along our borders with anthrax. Of course we did it lovingly to them because as you know by now, we are a righteous country.

We also entered into a shooting war with the Iranian navy during the time leading up to the Gulf War.  AND then we cheered (there is video) when we shot down a passenger airliner carrying 290 passengers, dropping all of them into the Persian Gulf?  Of course.  We did it out of love; you know it; because we are a righteous country.

Today our closest ally in the region is led by a right-wing neo-con (Benjamin Netanyahu) who keeps saying he sees no option but to bomb Iran…. he is our closet ally because we love him; we are a righteous country.

Israel has a couple of hundred nukes and has started  several “preventive/pre-emptive wars” with first strikes against its neighbors in 1957, 1967 and 1982, not to mention targeted strikes on nuclear facilities in Iraq and Syria. We hold them as our closest ally because we love them; we are a righteous country….

Here at home, our right-wing is festooned with senior leaders who have both joked and threatened in all seriousness to bomb Iran.  Again, in all seriousness, …we only threaten because we are a righteous country……

We also managed to prosecute a disastrous war with Iran’s neighbor to the west (Iraq) which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.  Our stated goal:  regime change..  We were justified of course; we are a righteous countryand right makes might.

America is so good, one simply has to be the opposite, super-bad, to disagree with us..  If you don’t do what we say, you ARE the axis of evil. After all, America is a righteous country… There is no possible reason any nation could ever have to mistrust us…..

Yet despite this gigantic behemoth of mistrust existing between our two countries, the Obama administration was still able to hammer out a deal beneficial for both parties… That is far more of a miracle than the fact that some people out of an ancient Illuminati oath made with Netanyahu, are bent to undo it….

Truth is: we don’t need Israel; they’re nothing but trouble. Always have been; always will be.  Longterm peace in the Middle East solely depends on a moderate and engaging Iran!

In World War II there was a contingent primarily in Patton’s Third Army that wanted to turn on the Russians and fight them immediately after the surrender of the Nazis because they were terrible people and could not be trusted…

Likewise all during the cold war there were elements in the Pentagon in control of our nuclear weapons who insisted, that we must strike the USSR first without any provocation.   We had to wipe them out or they would do it to us because they were terrible people and could not be trusted…

Then, when the first George Bush stopped at the border of Kuwait and did not invade Iraq to capture Baghdad, the gunslingers were all calling it a grave mistake, stupid to the core, because we had them beat and should have captured their country. They called it treason, and demanded we nuke Baghdad.  The Iraqis were terrible people and could not be trusted.

And when news leaked out about Iran’s centrifuges, the US and Israel immediately called for the nuking of that alleged bomb making site…. and Cheney sent 2 nuclear carrying carriers into the Gulf of Sidra creating enough of a crises one General said he would REFUSE to follow Cheney’s order to nuke Iran.  Remember that?

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And if we had followed those tacks.

We would fought the Russians for years and they would win… Just like they won against Hitler by absorbing the army deep into it’s interior, cutting it off and killing it. Then pushing back to take all of Europe. There would be no US to stop them.  We would have to re-supply across an Ocean, they could simply use rail…  They would wind up with the German’s rocket technology; not us.

It called for turning on our friend after we had killed off our common enemy… Like who does that? (Outside of corporate?)

And if we’d unleashed a massive surprise attack, we would have missed significant silos; we know this from their post-collapse intelligence… They would have wiped out metropolitan America…  So we would have engaged nuclear Armageddon without provocation.  No winners. All losers. And for a false cause.

And had we gone all the way into Iraq in the First War, violating our own agreement with all our allies saying we’d stop at the border, well, we saw how long the occupation of the 2nd Iraq War lasted.  And that was a war we launched planned down to the tiniest detail; not by going in on the spur of the moment by the wing of our pants… Right now, all that blood; all that sacrifice of the 2nd Iraq War which we now know from people who’ve since left office, was just for oil.  And we still can’t get our hands on it…  (They sell to China).

And had we nuked the deserts of Iran…. we be living insided because of the strontium 90 embedded in our outdoors around the entire world… And the radical Islamic dictator would have been overwhelmingly re-elected and would be fighting us now. Plus the entire world (sans Israel and the US) would smuggle nuclear fissionable material into Iran or just sell them a bomb to provided parity and balance because that is the only way the US can be held in check….

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All of these fears had no truth of facts behind them. The wisdom of not following through with what looked like good common sense, can be seen today by stepping out your front door and looking around… No Strontium 90.  No collapsed economies from 60 continuous years of Soviet war. No more Soviet Union, which eventually collapsed because we befriended them and without our threat to coalesce around, they had no further use and disappeared.

We were wise to back down from war….

Children are alive today who would not be here if we’d attacked Russia.  Our economy would not be the number one in the world if we’d lost New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, New Orleans, St. Louis, Seattle,  and Newark, New Jersey.  We still have democracy which probably wouldn’t have lasted during a 60 year atomic war…

So, dealing with ones enemies is a good thing….

Which is why, we must give the Iran Deal a shot… Everyone knows that when you negotiate for a deal, you don’t send in your clowns.  You weigh your best options.  The deal is a step just as was Reykjavik… Remember all the gigantic hate the press heaped on Ronald Reagan, for … “negotiating with the Soviets”  because they were terrible people and couldn’t be trusted?

Those same people hold Reagan now up to hero status…

In business one always deals with one’s enemies.  That is because there is money involved and against money in business, nothing trumps.. Hatred?  One can put up with it if making money.  Mistrust?  One can put up with it if making money. Fear?  One can put up with it if making money.

Politics and treaties work the same way… We recognize we are different.  We realize that both of us benefit if the deal goes through; and both of us lose if the deal does not…

The naysayers like Chris Coons, are stuck on the silly notion that we can’t be seen to give up more they they do… We have to be the winners and give up absolutely nothing;  they have to be the losers and give up all.

That arrangement does not work in marriage.  That does not work in raising kids.  That does not work in running a business. And that does not work anywhere outside of fictional TV drama, where unfortunately our junior Senator from Delaware and those other Democrats in the thrall of AIPAC, heads all seems to be stuck.

We survived vis a vis against the Soviet Union. We survived vis a vis against Communist China.  We can survive vis a vis the really wonderful people of Iran…  Do you not even know how marvelous those very civilized people are?  Oh. you watch Fox News…. you big fool.

 

The plural of Vanilla Ice would be pronounced ….. Vanilla Ice’s (or ISIS)…
They ran out of Vanilla in the Syrian desert….

Tough group, aren’t they? If they walked down my street like this, I too would hide….

Throw this in Cheney’s face next time he or anyone associated with the word neocons opens their mouth….

Beside Biden’s this is one of the best predictions ever made of the Mid East……

Recently all of Delaware called out Chris Coons for supporting war with Iran.

He has now pulled his support from that piece of legislation..

  • Obama promised to veto that bill last night in his State of the Union.
  • Two others pulled out today as well: Sen. james Manchin (D-WV) and  Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)

“But he acknowledged that moving the bill now would interfere with a deal in place between Iran and six world powers, including the United States. Under that six-month deal, Iran has agreed to scale back its uranium enrichment in exchange for sanctions relief. Iranian leaders have already warned that congressional action involving new sanctions would sink the current deal, which would leave the U.S. with few options for resolving concerns with Iran other than going to war.

“I think, to the extent that we simply excite the distance and the tension between the Congress and administration on this, that doesn’t serve our shared view of making certain that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapons capability,” Coons said.”

It’s emotionally tough to go back on one’s word, when one realizes one has made a mistake.  However, It is intellectually stupid NOT to do so.

Hat’s off to Chris Coons for listening to the right angel whispering in his ear……

Chis Coons Off-The-Cuff and Unwise Decision

Courtesy of the Economist (since removed)

There is an old saying I’m fond of repeating….

It takes great courage to stand up to one’s enemies.  It takes even greater courage to stand up to one’s friend….

Chris Coons, Delaware’s Junior Senator who happens to be up for election this year, apparently lacks that amount of courage.  (The Senior Senator, with more experience, does not seem to lack that courage (maybe from all those flights in a C-135…))

The bill known as the Schumer-Kirk-Menendez Bill is a poison pill designed to break the sanctioned negotiations with Iran.  It was written, paid for, and lobbied by Israel.  It has only one purpose and one purpose only;  to put limitations on the President and Secretary of State in their negotiations over Iran’s non-proliferation….

(It is now dead btw.  It does not have enough votes to override a Presidential veto…)

Sadly it shows we have kooks in our Senate running our foreign affairs, and unfortunately for Delaware, one of ours is one…. By kooks, I mean people who sign on to a bill without reading it, (probably not one’s regular definition of kook).

But a kook he is….

Benefit for signing on?  A) money for campaigns and B) protection from the whacky Christian right (think O’Donnell)…  If the bill were dead in the water, if it were just for a show, I could see some sensibility in trying to look good to a certain “whacky” constituency.  After all, sad to say, that is political reality. One has to do, what one has to do….

But this bill would do severe damage.  This bill would allow the nuclear process of Iran to continue.  This bill would keep the sanctions in place, ensuring the nuclear process would indeed be the only option Iran would have at its disposal.

The “zero Iranian enrichment” option demanded by Netanyahu and his allies in the Senate is thus not only a non-starter in negotiating terms, but is not grounded in international law. One must assume that the AIPAC folks who wrote Kirk-Schumer-Menendez understood this, which is why they wrote their bill the way they did — not to “aid” Obama in negotiations as some senators often disingenuously claim, but to kill the negotiations.

We have been cold enemies with Iran a long time.  This negotiation is the equivalent of Ronald Reagan’s reaching out to Gorbachev earlier in our lifetimes.  Imagine if upon Ronnie’s return from Reykjavik, the US Congress bought and paid for by then Communist China, had passed a resolution saying that no thaw could occur until the Soviets dismantled everyone of their nuclear missiles and silos, and destroyed everyone of their Atomic submarines…. We’d still be at war with Russia.

That is the equivalent stupidity of what this piece of legislations does. AND CHRIS COONS SIGNED ON TO IT!  HAS HE LOST HIS FREAKING MIND?

Many of you may not remember but when Ronnie came back, there were a few hawks in the Senate who said exactly what I mentioned above.  BUT WE ALL KNEW THEY WERE KOOKS….

Like the pontifications of Ted Cruz today, nobody, nobody, nobody of any import, took them seriously.  Reagan was instead encouraged by the majority to go forward and meet with Gorbachev again…

Unlike those fine statesmen of the 80’s, our Senate is bought and paid for and according to Diane Feinstein, has apparently sworn to AIPAC put the cause of Israel above our own interests! And it is not to all of Israel’s interests they subscribe … it is strictly the war-mongering Conservative Hawks in Israel to whom they subscribe… Close to fifty percent of Israel is not Conservative!…. Simon Peres who recently passed, once led the other half of Israel, the half  which sees progress involving cooperation and diplomacy.  Israel’s Conservatives only get power when there is a crises involving war.  That is behind their drumbeat for war with Iran.  If in the middle of constant conflict, they can keep their hold of the Knesset. But once cooperation appears fruitful…. oops… out they go….

And so somehow they get Chris Coons to sign on to derailing the negotiations…. They got all the Republicans and a number of Democrats.  At one point they gloated they had 77, a veto proof majority….

The bill argues for the US to declare war on Iran, if Israel attacks it..

REALLY CHRIS COONS?  YOU SAID WE WRONGLY WENT TO IRAQ FOR 9/11. NOW YOU COMMIT US TO ANOTHER, VERY MAJOR, AND AGAINST A SMART ENEMY, A 1000 TIMES MORE POWERFUL THAN THE AFGHANISTAN TALIBAN, JUST IF ISRAEL SENDS A MISSION INTO IRAN?

The US, according to this provision, “should stand with Israel and provide…diplomatic, military, and economic support” should Israel launch a preventative war against Iran in what it deems to be self-defense. Though this language is in the nonbinding “Findings” section of the bill, its sense is to partially delegate to the government of Israel a decision that would take the United States to war with Iran. Senators report that AIPAC’s advocacy of the bill has been intensive, even by its usual standard.….

If Chris had not listened to AIPAC, and listened to Allan Loudell of WDEL he probably would have known that Iran is at the negotiation table because the Iranian people demand it, by voting for the one candidate who promised to try to end their isolation. They want to be on more friendly terms with the West. A more cooperative Iran could yield any number of real benefits, including help in stabilizing Afghanistan (which we will need on the way out), the possibility of tamping down the civil war in Syria, and perhaps above all as positive role model of a modernizing and democratizing Islamic state—something of clearly global historical significance. Not to mention economic benefits for U.S. companies…..

SO CHRIS COONS… WE HAVE A BREAK-THROUGH FOR PEACE WITH VERY TANGIBLE BENEFITS BECAUSE A DEMOCRATIC NATION THREW OUT THEIR TOTALITARIAN, AND WE GET LOCKED INTO GOING TO WAR IF THE CONSERVATIVES OF ISRAEL FEEL THE NEED TO CHALLENGE IRAN, THEN STEP BACK WHILE WE GO IN TO DO ALL THE FIGHTING?  AGAINST A DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED REGIME?

What was it I said above?   Yes.  ARE YOU FREAKING OUT OF YOUR MIND?

Lots of love back at you. Just don’t let it happen again, ok?

I’m a little late, but I wanted to mark down mostly for myself but sharing it as well, the accomplishments being made as a direct result of last year’s elections….  Some of the conclusions are superfluous, but are perceived to be a result of the election’s consequences, and since perception is nine tenths of reality, they too are a force with which to be reckoned..

Remember this is general and is being painted with a broad brush….

The economy is number one.  Some taxes were raised which boosted the economy almost immediately.  This has been the most consistent trend over the past year.  The economy has benefited the same people it benefited before. It has not seemed to help those who were not helped before.   If you are an investor, this has been a great year.  Stock Market has never been higher.

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The number of private sector jobs has consistently grown across 2013…..

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One of the marvelous trends is the fact that once the solid line is crossed in the year 2010, it never drops below…  That means we have consistently been growing private sector jobs… Since 2010 we have never had a negative month… one where we actually lost jobs.  However Unemployment has not fared so well.  Even though we are growing jobs, we still have a ways to go.  In one of the most amazing graphs… so amazing I’m rather surprise it has not been featured until now, one sees all employment across this century….

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What is fascinating is first, the constant rate of growth.  the pitch of the line never changes.   But what is freaky, is exactly how that pitch mirrors the employment growth of the Bush years…  Not even Republicans can fault George W. Bush’s employment growth up until 2007.  Obama’s rate mirrors his rate exactly.

It needs more quantified research, but initial speculation would be that since the tax rates were similar (The Bush Cuts were carried over) that factor pretty well determines the maximum rate at which our nation’s economy is able to grow.  Furthermore it shows us that if consistency prevails, and since it has for the past 10 years there is little likelihood it wouldn’t, then we will have grown into employment levels which we had just before the crash in fall of 2014……

So investors have done well; the middle class hasn’t.

Consumer spending is exactly the same level as of the first of the year.  It’s low was reached during the sequester fight (Jan 28) and its high, was on August 18th.  As for now, we are were we were Christmas Day 2012.

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Consumer Confidence is right where it was in January.  We had some peaks over summer, but he shutdown lowered us back to where the threat of a shutdown held us hostage as the year began…..

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Only since 2013 have we made progress on hammering down the deficit.  The national debt is still huge.  it will take multiple budget surpluses to whittle it down, and to achieve that, we need to again tax more than we spend.  But we are not spending a trillion dollars in deficits anymore. we are only over spending by 600 billion which may become less by years end than 2003’s deficit….

Budget Savings 2013

 

Enough economics.

On the world front:

  • We have a possible solution to Iran’s giving up on being a nuclear power.
  • We have Syria dismantling their chemical weapons.
  • We are on course to leave Afghanistan.
  • We have Iraq begging us to please, please come back.

All of these would have gone completely the opposite way if you remember what Romney was promising during the debates.

  • Attack Iran with shock and awe.
  • Attack Syria with shock and awe,
  • Attack Iraq with shock and awe… oh wait, that was Rumsfeld.  Instead, Iraq was that we should never leave, and we should also stay in Afghanistan indefinitely.  But we should have never gone into Libya. My goodness, can you image the shambles the world would be in if he had ever been elected?

Not to mention,  his pushing of tightening up the money supply.  Just the anticipation of such, sends our stock market into a panic.

Domestically we have weathered Benghazi, more a Republican talking point than anything important.  We worked through the IRS scandal which it was revealed to be a forward thinking sound policy and not a scandal after all..  Political groups friendly to the president were swept up in the nets as well.

The Common Core package fortunately seems to have stalled.  It was always a low priority, and with the drying up of TARP and Stimulus funding, it seems like most state’s enthusiasm is drying up as well.   The program does not seem to be able to get past the roadblock that the tests themselves create.  There is enough opposition  by enough parents so that this program maybe salvageable in part, but dead in the water as a whole.

It would be nice to have a viable program in its place.  One that aims to put an 11:1 student/teacher ratio in troubled public schools.

But, the most notable event and the one with the biggest blowout, was the revelations by one Edward Snowden which were made last July. America is collecting huge amounts of data.  Since then the leaks have only become worse.  Americans have compromised the entire Internet.  They have broken into banks, they have spied on foreign competitors, they have become a service offering  “information for hire…. ”  And although too early to tell, implications are that is may have been done secretly even keeping the president and his officers completely in the dark….

Which is really scary.  Cheney’s shadow government is alive and well……

If true, this is our greatest threat.  Simply because unlike the economy, unlike unemployment, unlike Syria, Iran, or Israel, unlike the Republican yellow journalistic scandals…. this one is against us.  It violates our Constitution.  It is against all we purport to be…..

One interesting parallel…. Long, long, long ago, the city state of Rome was also a viable democracy, and like us, it too expanded its empire across the known world…  Until Julius Caesar marched his armies into Rome, took over the reins as dictator, done in order to bypass the quagmire in which it’s Congress had become bogged down…  It was originally supposed to be a temporary solution….  For the next 400 odd years, Rome never went back… Instead one bad Caesar followed another, often at the point of a sword (there was no NRA back then)…

Looking the other way at a scandal of this proportion, especially if it was done as a rogue element of which the White House now even barely has a clue as to how deep it goes… and what is has been doing,  then we already have a Caesar, and whoever it is, they are not elected by us, We, The People….

This can be fixed quietly, internally, and we may never hear of its resolution.  Or it could get worse.  Much worse…

The final solution is to cut off the NSA from its unlimited sources of money…. Even shut it down, or better, let a more porous government agency, even that of the CIA take it over….

Spying on American citizens is simply put…. un American.  It has never been who we are.  We’ve always chose the other way.  It does not represent what we want ourselves to be….   Any person could spy on their neighbor if they wished.  Any person could hide in his neighbor’s bushes and watch them get undressed… Most of us would be so creeped out at just the idea, we would never, ever consider doing such a thing.

The fact that most of us would never consider something that creepy, has always been what has made Americans so special, so likable, and so loved the world around…. We were different from those Communists….  Well, not any more.

As each new NSA revelation comes out, one just can’t shake the creepy feeling that somewhere Voldermort,  somehow is pulling all the strings……

This took place early August. Was not recorded in American media. Was big news in the Mid East…

The arrival of Prince Bandar was secret, shuttled in and out of Russia without fanfare. The meeting went like this.

Bandar relayed the Saudi king’s greetings to Putin and the king’s emphasis on the importance of developing the bilateral relationship. He also told Putin that the king would bless any understanding reached during the visit. Bandar also said, however, that “any understanding we reach in this meeting will not only be a Saudi-Russian understanding, but will also be an American-Russian understanding. I have spoken with the Americans before the visit, and they pledged to commit to any understandings that we may reach, especially if we agree on the approach to the Syrian issue.”

Bandar: ““There are many common values ​​and goals that bring us together, most notably the fight against terrorism and extremism all over the world. Russia, the US, the EU and the Saudis agree on promoting and consolidating international peace and security. The terrorist threat is growing in light of the phenomena spawned by the Arab Spring. We have lost some regimes. And what we got in return were terrorist experiences, as evidenced by the experience of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the extremist groups in Libya. … As an example, I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us. These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.”

Putin: ““We know that you have supported the Chechen terrorist groups for a decade. And that support, which you have frankly talked about just now, is completely incompatible with the common objectives of fighting global terrorism that you mentioned. We are interested in developing friendly relations according to clear and strong principles.”

Then Bandar discussed the potential cooperation between the two countries if an understanding could be reached on a number of issues, especially Syria.

Bandar: “Let us examine how to put together a unified Russian-Saudi strategy on the subject of oil. The aim is to agree on the price of oil and production quantities that keep the price stable in global oil markets. … We understand Russia’s great interest in the oil and gas present in the Mediterranean Sea from Israel to Cyprus through Lebanon and Syria. And we understand the importance of the Russian gas pipeline to Europe. We are not interested in competing with that. We can cooperate in this area as well as in the areas of establishing refineries and petrochemical industries. The kingdom can provide large multi-billion-dollar investments in various fields in the Russian market. What’s important is to conclude political understandings on a number of issues, particularly Syria and Iran.”

Putin: “Your proposals about oil and gas, economic and investment cooperation deserve to be studied by the relevant ministries in both countries.”

Bandar covers the Syrian misunderstanding.

Bandar: “The Syrian regime is finished as far as we and the majority of the Syrian people are concerned. [The Syrian people] will not allow President Bashar al-Assad to remain at the helm. The key to the relations between our two countries starts by understanding our approach to the Syrian issue. So you have to stop giving [the Syrian regime] political support, especially at the UN Security Council, as well as military and economic support. And we guarantee you that Russia’s interests in Syria and on the Mediterranean coast will not be affected one bit. In the future, Syria will be ruled by a moderate and democratic regime that will be directly sponsored by us and that will have an interest in understanding Russia’s interests and role in the region.”

Putin: “Our stance on Assad will never change. We believe that the Syrian regime is the best speaker on behalf of the Syrian people, and not those liver eaters. During the Geneva I Conference, we agreed with the Americans on a package of understandings, and they agreed that the Syrian regime will be part of any settlement. Later on, they decided to renege on Geneva I. In all meetings of Russian and American experts, we reiterated our position. In his upcoming meeting with his American counterpart John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will stress the importance of making every possible effort to rapidly reach a political settlement to the Syrian crisis so as to prevent further bloodshed.”

On Egypt:

Bandar: “We said so directly to the Qataris and to the Turks. We rejected their unlimited support to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere. The Turks’ role today has become similar to Pakistan’s role in the Afghan war. We do not favor extremist religious regimes, and we wish to establish moderate regimes in the region. It is worthwhile to pay attention to and to follow up on Egypt’s experience. We will continue to support the [Egyptian] army, and we will support Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi because he is keen on having good relations with us and with you. And we suggest to you to be in contact with him, to support him and to give all the conditions for the success of this experiment. We are ready to hold arms deals with you in exchange for supporting these regimes, especially Egypt.”

Putin: “We are very concerned about Egypt. And we understand what the Egyptian army is doing. But we are very cautious in approaching what’s happening because we are afraid that things may slide toward an Egyptian civil war, which would be too costly for the Egyptians, the Arabs and the international community. I wanted to do a brief visit to Egypt. And the matter is still under discussion.”

On Iran:

Bandar: “About Iran’s role in the region, especially in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, Bahrain and other countries. We hope that the Russians would understand that Russia’s interests and the interests of the Gulf states are one in the face of Iranian greed and nuclear challenge.”

Putin: “We support the Iranian quest to obtain nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes. And we helped them develop their facilities in this direction. Of course, we will resume negotiations with them as part of the 5P+1 group. I will meet with President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the Central Asia summit and we will discuss a lot of bilateral, regional and international issues. We will inform him that Russia is completely opposed to the UN Security Council imposing new sanctions on Iran. We believe that the sanctions imposed against Iran and Iranians are unfair and that we will not repeat the experience again.”

Regarding Turkey.

Putin: “Turkey is also a neighboring country with which we have common interests. We are keen to develop our relations in various fields. During the Russian-Turkish meeting, we scrutinized the issues on which we agree and disagree. We found out that we have more converging than diverging views. I have already informed the Turks, and I will reiterate my stance before my friend Erdogan, that what is happening in Syria necessitates a different approach on their part. Turkey will not be immune to Syria’s bloodbath. The Turks ought to be more eager to find a political settlement to the Syrian crisis. We are certain that the political settlement in Syria is inevitable, and therefore they ought to reduce the extent of damage. Our disagreement with them on the Syrian issue does not undermine other understandings between us at the level of economic and investment cooperation. We have recently informed them that we are ready to cooperate with them to build two nuclear reactors. This issue will be on the agenda of the Turkish prime minister during his visit to Moscow in September.”

Concluding remarks.

Bandar: “In light of the course of the talks, things are likely to intensify, especially in the Syrian arena, although we appreciate the Russians’ understanding of Saudi Arabia’s position on Egypt as well as their readiness to support the Egyptian army despite their fears for Egypt’s future. The dispute over the approach to the Syrian issue leads to the conclusion that there is no escape from the military option, because it is the only currently available choice given that the political settlement ended in stalemate. We believe that the Geneva II Conference will be very difficult in light of this raging situation.”

More analysis can be found here….

Syrian Resistance FlagSyrian Flag We are a tired generation… We grew up with ‘Nam.  Which ever side we were on during the battle here in America over that police action, or war, looking back after it was done, …. we all knew it was wrong….

After that we thought all war was wrong, and unfortunately took some of that angst out on those who least deserved it:  those coming back from the steamy jungles of hell…..

Against our will a certain president soon sent Marines into Beirut;  what happened then reinforced our belief that an American war was unjustifiable and that all other means must be utilized to prevent American war from ever happening again….  Against our will, we propped up a Nicaragua dictator against some rebels.  Against our will, we sold arms to Iran to use for paying for our support for that Nicaragua dictator, since a Congress elected by the American people, flatly said no to supporting him in Nicaragua…  We found a way to do it anyway….

I remember Senator Rudman, (R-NH) saying at the hearing while addressing Oliver North,… “The American people have the RIGHT to be wrong.”

Oliver North had been insisting that even when Americans flatly say NO, one still must do what one deems is necessary, that whatever one deems necessary, is the highest moral truth.  “Sometimes one has to go above the law!”  was actually said by the defense at this hearing.  Only one good thing came out of those hearings:  we all were introduced to Fawn Hall.

But then…  The Brits quickly regained the Faulklands. Then came Grenada, which went off without a hitch.   Then Panama, which was successful and almost painless.  Then came General Schwartzkopf.  The 4th largest army in the world, was routed in hours, and in days, had been completely mopped up.  Then came the Balkans.  We were on a roll.  We’d finally nailed down the successful formula of how to win in battle.

Today we say Iraq is a failure.  But that was so not so just after the invasion.  Inside Baghdad, the pulling down of Saddam’s statue, the victory of capturing Saddam, the ability of us to hand out billions of American dollars, initially gave this campaign the luster of looking like another success story…

Until we tried to steal their oil.  The standard global rate of dividing oil revenues is that the US gets a 20% cut for the development, and Iraq would get to keep 80% because it is after all, their resource.  That is how we deal with Nigeria.

But Brenner announced that we’d flip that to pay for the war, and that Iraq would be allowed to keep 20% because we liked them so much, and we’d only, by our good graces, take 80% of the revenues. 24 hours after letting that cat out of the bag, the first IED went off under a US military vehicle…  Before week was out, the total was in the hundreds.

The luster was gone.  We were an invading army, something  we have not called ourselves since WWII.  We always saw ourselves as the policeman who leaves as soon as order is restored…

Afghanistan likewise, got worse.  Then Pakistan.  Then Yemen.  On the diplomatic front  instead of doing no harm, .. we could do no good.  Then Libya costs us an ambassador who was running guns through Turkey.  He shouldn’t have been there; it should have been a low level staffer with security clearance.

This baby boomer generation knows that war is wrong.  We know from experience. The only time it can be employed successfully, is a) when the whole world is united behind you, b)  you go in and get out, and c) you have a structure that stays in place long after you are gone.

The only time it goes badly… is every other scenario.

Which brings us to Syria.  Syria has no importance to anyone.  (They couldn’t even defend the militarily advantageous Golan Heights in ’67!)  Which is why we let the Russians have them.

People are going to die in Syria if a):  Assad wins, b):  the rebels win, or c):  no one wins. The only thing changing upon this wars outcome, is which side will be massacred at war’s end.  Hence the battle for survival over there now.

So by having the US intervene or not, we are choosing which side gets to kill the other after the hostilities die down.

The weakest argument for going in still left with standing, is that they used chemical weapons.  In WWI, the British, French, and Germans all used chemical weapons.   Are chemical weapons really worse than being burned alive?  Or asphyxiated as a bomb blast sucks all the oxygen out of your lungs and the room?  Or a milk jug sized piece of jagged metal shrapnel ripping and leaving a hole through your body?  Or a mine being stepped on?  I’m trying to think why chemical weapons are so much worse, except for the fact that we’ve been told” they are so much worse”?

A causality is a causality.

We understand “why” some say we should go into Syria.  Because if we do not respond to chemical weapons in a big way, someone else will become confident and use theirs.  There is only one way to keep the genie inside the bottle, and that is to never leave a opening for it to escape….

We also understand “why” one of our beloved School districts had a policy that suspended, and expelled those who brought weapons to school!  Not just guns, but knives too. After all, the argument for punishing Syria, applies to soon-to-become high school felons too.

But, there came a time when the response generated by a policy, actually became the crime,   You remember the little boy expelled who brought a cake to school, and his grandmother thoughtfully sent a knife knowing teachers usually don’t have utensils in their classrooms.  The teacher actually cut the cake, served it, thinking nothing of it.. it was someone higher up, reviewing the situation, who said, “wait, that can be interpreted as a breach of regulations.  Let’s make an example out of this little boy”.  He was suspended and could have been expelled, except it eventually became news and public outcry was solidly on his side.  The policy makers were laughed out of town.

Which is why, if you are making this decision, you need to stall.  Acting quickly and decisively is equivalent to acting on rumor and innuendo.   So what if Syria lied and shot the gas cannisters off?

Does a military strike create enough excellent good will to neutralize this bad act?

Ironically what is best for the US in this situation, is for Assad to stay in power, to have a zealous change in heart, to work closely with the USA to get his economy working, to becoming a partner in that region with the US, and to signing a treaty with Israel, as did the Egyptians many, many years ago…

What is worse for us, is if the jihadists win, push out the moderates and take over the reform movement (they always do), then go to war with Israel, Jordan and Turkey.  Making ourselves into the evil empire will only create more explosions everywhere, flare-ups which would not have occurred had we taken the Jedi way, and used the “Force” in our possession, to make events on the ground turn our way and happen in our favor….

Realistically such a rosy scenario probably can’t happen; but if it did, were this to come about, there would be no doubt: Obama would be lauded as the best president we’d ever see in our lifetimes.  The cost of failure is so low that it just might be worth the try.

The second point… which all us Viet-namers will well remember, is that you may win every engagement you participate in Syria, but you won’t win the war at home, and that… will suck all your energy away from all the good you plan to do before 2016.

It broke LBJ.  It broke Bush II.  Don’t let it break you….