The US and Iran have agreed to a deal, one that will ease sanctions and effectively remove all military options from the table. In return, Iran will promise…something (yet to be determined).
No surprises here. It sounds essentially like the deal Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton made with the North Koreans in 1994, after which the North Koreans went ahead and developed their nuclear weapons.
The Washington Post story reporting the deal included this astonishing comment:
“The Obama administration has been seeking to quickly finalize an agreement in the face of threats by Congress to impose additional economic sanctions on Iran.”
In other words, the threat of stricter sanctions on Iran put pressure on…Obama!
(I thought the whole idea was to put pressure on Iran. I guess I really don’t understand this negotiating business after all.)
The only remaining question is whether Kerry will carry an umbrella and wave a piece of paper when he arrives back in the US. Continue reading ‘This Is A Sad Day’
My friend David Smith is keeping the heat on Montana’s isolationist senators. Here is his latest letter.
WHERE ARE BAUCUS AND TESTER ON IRAN?
Last August, 76 of the 100 members of the US Senate sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to act resolutely to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons development. The letter stated:
“We believe there are four strategic elements necessary to achieve resolution of this issue: an explicit and continuing message that we will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapons capability, a sincere demonstration of openness to negotiations, the maintenance and toughening of sanctions, and a convincing threat of the use of force that Iran will believe. We must be prepared to act, and Iran must see that we are prepared.” (1)
Our Senators, Jon Tester and Max Baucus, were among the small minority that refused to sign the letter. Continue reading ‘Iran, Obama, Munich, and the US Senate’
Well, it seems to be the season for empty rhetoric and repetition of accusations posing as “negotiations”. That’s right…another round of Mideast Peace Talks. Israelis and Palestinians must sit in detention hall for a suitable period, proctored by the US State Department. It will of course lead nowhere, as such things always do.
Throughout my years as a union representative, I spent countless days sitting at bargaining tables engaged in negotiations for contracts and the resolution of conflicts. But my experience of negotiations had two essential differences with these periodic Mideast exercises in futility. Continue reading ‘Bring Back the “Clinton Parameters”!’
Published November 6, 2013
My friend Ben Finiti has posted some more of his theo-philosophical maunderings on his website benfiniti.com. They are worth a look, as always.
[Another philosophical gem by my pal Mr. Finiti. His full oeuvre can be found at benfiniti.com.]
Recently I have spent some time volunteering at our hospital’s cancer treatment center, where folks come as out-patients to receive their regular chemo-therapy. The patients and nurses are grateful, and we seem to make things a little easier. We help with ordering and serving lunch, fetching drinks, blankets, pillows, and things like that; what would be orderly work in the wards.
Most of the volunteers are themselves cancer survivors. I am not. And I got to thinking about the significance of that reality.
My wife is a cancer survivor – a very successful one. Twenty-eight years since her cancer, with no recurrence! But I know the fear of it never entirely leaves her. Her annual screening is always a time of some anxiety, for me as well as for her (though she hides hers well).
While working at the center, I had a thought: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” The 23rd Psalm. And I understood it, in a way I never had before. Continue reading ‘Visiting the Valley’
Published October 5, 2013
Around Easter, I wrote about the 30 Rock episode showing what life is like inside the bubble surrounding beautiful people…like our president.
Now, with his polling numbers falling and his pet press snarling, we are starting to see the bubble burst. What will it be like?
Tune in next week.
Published October 1, 2013
Tags: Iran, Israel, Netanyahu, Obama, UN
Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the UN and the world, decrying Iranian President Rouhani’s “charm offensive” as more deceit and stalling. This has been going on since the US and others first imposed sanctions on the Mullah’s regime, to get them to stop developing nuclear weapons in 1996 (in Bill Clinton’s first term!) Eighteen years of world protest and Iranian stalling!
Netanyahu demolished the Iranian claim that they are only planning “peaceful uses”; if so, he asked, why are they also building ICBM missiles capable of reaching New York?
In response, President Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney yesterday said:
“We believe that the Iranian leadership has very publicly…changed their approach to resolving this issue with the international community.”
The Iranian regime says it has changed; so our president believes them.
I am speechless.