Bombs and drones aren't the only way to resolve a conflict.

Bombs and drones aren't the only way to resolve a conflict.

On Sunday, major world powers reached an agreement to scale back the Iranian nuclear program.  In exchange, our nation and others will slightly lift some of the sanctions against Iran, but embargoes against Iranian banks and oil will remain in place.  The interim deal was reached in Geneva, where the US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia crafted the diplomatic agreement.  The deal calls for halting the installation of any additional centrifuges in Iran, and diluting that nation's stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium.  

Shortly after it was announced, President Obama addressed the nation, saying “Ultimately, only diplomacy can bring about a durable solution to the challenges posed by Iran's nuclear program.”  He added, “Today, we have a real opportunity to achieve a comprehensive, peaceful settlement, and I believe we must test it.”  However, almost immediately, members of both parties in Congress expressed skepticism about the deal.  Republican Senator John Cornyn tweeted, “It's amazing what [the White House] will do to distract attention to Obamacare.” Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer said that a “fairer agreement would have coupled a reduction in sanctions with a proportionate reduction in Iranian nuclear capability.”  

Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu weighed in on the deal, calling it a “historic mistake.”  However, it should be noted that many of the people criticizing this deal also said that diplomatic efforts in Syria would have no effect.  However, those efforts have led to the dismantling of Syria's chemical weapons machinery, and the ongoing destruction of their chemical weapons stockpile.  

Despite what some believe, bombs and drones are not the only way to resolve international conflict, and this deal with Iran could keep our service men and women out of another senseless war.  Negotiation doesn't make world leaders weak, it proves once and again that diplomacy is one of the best ways to resolve international conflicts. 

Comments

Kend
Kend's picture
As a Canadian I am proud to

As a Canadian I am proud to say we did not sign the agreement. We don't shake hands with the devil. If Iran wants us to lift sanctions Iran can show some good will like letting women drive or they could stop killing women for being raped. I know this one is way out there but maybe freedom of religion.

Mark Saulys
Mark Saulys's picture
     It's not only way out

     It's not only way out there, Kend, it's imperial (by the way, I have a reply for you on Friday's blog).  Trying to force your way of life on another culture is, by definition, imperial, no matter how well intended it may seem.

      Anyway, it's absurdly self righteous.  Should someone else, perhaps a coalition of parties ostensibly oh so concerned about your moral character (never mind if you morally disagree with them) - but really, maybe (probably) only after your oil (ultimately imperialism is always about that, oil or some other natural resource they want to steal; the moral argument is just to get less materially avaricious fools behind it) - impose sanctions on Canada because of something they disapprove of in your country?

       Really!

 

Global
Global's picture
Mark, it sounds like you are

Mark, it sounds like you are describing Obamacare.  It was pretty much forced on a huge section of the population that did not want it for the so called moral argument.   And it to will steal and impose penalties etc... Almost imperialistic.   But I do love the way you write and make your arguments.  No kidding, if you ever write an article or book I would love to read it and understand your perspective.

chuckle8
chuckle8's picture
Global -- What is your

Global -- What is your definition of a huge section?  Are you saying collecting taxes to pay for the commons is like imperialism?

Global
Global's picture
Let's see Chuckie, it was

Let's see Chuckie, it was legislation rammed through entirely by one party.  And I suspect that the loss of democrat majority rule in the House of Representatives was due to this power over reach. That would constitute a large section of The voting population that really was not all in for Obamacare.  Just making a philosophical comparison to Mark's definition of imperialism.

Kend
Kend's picture
Mark i am not trying to force

Mark i am not trying to force my way of life on anyone. They can keep beating there young girls over there if they choose I just don't want anything to do with them if they do. Except of course if they do it over here.

I am with Global you are forcing people to buy a insurance, solar panels, wind powered turbines by using there tax dollars. No body forces you to buy oil or gas. you can walk or ride a bike drive a electric car if you choose.

Howard Laverne ...
Howard Laverne Stewart's picture
  It would save money and

  It would save money and effort if we payed them to do away with Nukes.

 A Lot of countrys use the US nuclear arsenal as a nuclear umbrella, thus saving their treasure.

 It is a waste of resources simply because the Iranian government are not American allys.

Hopefully somehow the Iranian government becomes amiable and will tolerate infidels.

I think a lot of this was brought on by our behavior in installing the Shah and so forth.

N Z Sarah
N Z Sarah's picture
How many nuclear warheads and

How many nuclear warheads and military devices does the USA have at home and around the world?I do not see them as peace keepers. They are trying to take over my country with the TPPA. New Zealand is nuclear free, but how long will that last if they bring it off.

JohnLemessurier
JohnLemessurier's picture
"Even Israeli Prime Minister

"Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu weighed in on the deal, calling it a 'historic mistake'???”  If Israel is against it then it must be good.

ScottFromOz
Thom said, "bombs and drones

Thom said, "bombs and drones are not the only way to resolve international conflict".

Ah yes Thom, quite right. Unfortunately they are the MOST PROFITABLE way of resolving conflict and that is the world we live in today, one oriented towards profit above ALL else.

If we talked away all the conflict in the world, what would the military industrial complex do for a crust? What would the country do with all the money we saved? How would we employ all the people we didn't kill?

No, this simply wouldn't work in today's world!

chuckle8
chuckle8's picture
Global  -- Rammed through?

Global  -- Rammed through?  Loss of majority rule was due to maniputation by the power brokers of the republican party.  The democrats in the house represent 1.5 million more people.  Such organization as  redflag.org (sp?) bragged about how they manipulated the outcome of the 2010 election.

Thom keeps asking for any law the republicans have passed since Reagan that helped the 99% more than the 1%.  So far no one has come up with an answer.  Every law to support the 99% has to be passed by one party -- the democratic party.  One republican voted for the ACA and that party beat up on him.

 

Mark Saulys
Mark Saulys's picture
     Thanks Global, I

     Thanks Global, I appreciate that.  

     Obamacare is what it is because he tried to accommodate the mighty insurance lobby.  He couldn't beat 'em so he joined 'em.  The insurance lobby is what makes single payer "not politically viable" as the politicians say.  I like what Ralph Nader said about that, to paraphrase, roughly - How is something the majority of Americans want 'not politically viable'? -  Shows people vote with dollar bills in this country.

     As far as the imperialism argument, I think it's sometimes more than a little specious.  For example, the promise that people can keep their current insurance and then it's eliminated because it doesn't meet new requirements of coverage, they then only have to go on the exchange and find an as good, if not better, plan.  Then right wing "libertarians" effectively ask, "But what if they don't want a better plan?"  There are some things you can know are good for people without "deciding for people what's good for them", as it were.

     Take unions, for example, "right to work" - as though somebody would rather not have a negotiator for better pay and conditions or an advocate when having trouble with the boss with the inevitable result of better pay, conditions and job security.  

     You gotta not fall for the Big Business PR or Propaganda.  They'll repackage and sell you anything, your own self destruction.  Always use your own mind and "follow the money" when you wanna figure out who to believe.  

 

Mark Saulys
Mark Saulys's picture
       The problem with

 

     The problem with Iranian nukes, Pakistani nukes and other Islamic nukes is the Israeli nukes (which they absurdly deny having but everybody knows they have) and the egregious human rights abuses - primarily of muslims - in Israel amounting to apartheid or worse and unconditional U.S. support for this regime.  It would do a lot to stop the arms races, terrorism and a lot of other things if the U.S. would stop supporting such abuses.

Mark Saulys
Mark Saulys's picture
     We don't wanna be doing

     We don't wanna be doing Israel's foreign policy.  We support them more than enough other ways.

Mark Saulys
Mark Saulys's picture
`     It's a  dilemna, Kend,

`     It's a  dilemna, Kend, you want a universal standard for human rights but you don't wanna force your will on another society and tell them how to run their culture.  It is, in fact, a violation of their human rights to appoint yourself their boss and to define, let alone enforce, a universal standard of human rights.  There needs to be a better way.  In the past the U.S. and European powers tried to force "savages" under their dominion to oppress their women as part of the imperial "civilizing" process, e.g., with Native Americans.  What if, someday, some other power, perhaps the Chinese, did, in fact, try to force their idea of morality on us via sanctions and other means?

     Applying that to Obamacare, solar panels and wind turbines, however, is specious at best.  It's only PR and propaganda for partisan Republicans, certain business vested interests and the fossil fuel industry, the people who hire you to shill for them, Kend.  The fossil fuel industry effectively forces us to rely exclusively on it and that is harming us.  Anyway, what we democratically decide to mandate - regardless of the sore losers of the process that didn't get everything they wanted - as a society is a lot different from one society forcing its will and idea of morality on another.   Most people would like Obamacare if they hadn't been lied to.

Mark Saulys
Mark Saulys's picture
     Rammed through? No.  It

     Rammed through? No.  It was painstakingly negotiated.  That one party passed it was just resultant of nascent Republican obstructionism.  Democrats reached out to Republicans and got Olympia Snowe to vote for the draft but Republican leadership made her regret it.  Minority leader of the Senate Mitch McConnel was afraid of the bill getting the imprimatur of bipartisanship and kept the Republican senators on a tight leash.  

     That one party passed it is not the fault of  Democrats or Democrats' partisanship it was quite the opposite.  It was already the Republicans putting partisanship and politics over the well being of the nation and but for the 2 Independents voting with the Democrats it would have been another, earlier instance of Republican obstructionism and filibuster.   

     In the House all 178 Republicans voted against, seeking an obstructionism they were not yet capable of, with 34 Democrats.  Whose fault is it that it was passed by one party?  Democrats'?  Hell no!  Democrats don't vote in lockstep putting partisan politics over the good of the country (like the Republicans do), they vote their conscience.  I remember as early as 1994 when the Republican National Committee issuing an edict to all Republican legislators of both houses that if they didn't vote against Bill Clinton's crime bill they would be cut off of any campaign funds, got all Republicans, without exception, to vote against a Democratic Presidents' bill.  Then too was started the practice of voting against bills that were universally considered a good idea because they didn't want Democrats getting the credit for them.   That is not something you see Democrats do ever.

Global
Global's picture
Sorry Mark, not convinced.

Sorry Mark, not convinced.  Your characterization of obstructionism I call representative government.  And my term ramming it through still applies when one party has to negotiate the bill in secret with no republicans present, then change the rules of the senate to get it passed with just a majority vote.  And yes, having all the democrats lie to the face of everybody in this country about the results of this bill.  I think that is morally reprehensible and every representative who voted for this should be voted out of office for being a liar or just too stupid to understand their own legislation.  But I don't expect any liberal or socialist in this arena to understand this.  

chuckle8
chuckle8's picture
Global -- What negotiating in

Global -- What negotiating in secret are you talking about?  They did not change the rules of the senate or house.  The adhered to the rules and passed what was available rather than make minor improvements which would have allowed a filibuster by senators representing about 35% of the people.

DAnneMarc
DAnneMarc's picture
Global wrote:Sorry Mark, not

Global wrote:
Sorry Mark, not convinced.  Your characterization of obstructionism I call representative government.

Global ~ Really? Then what you call Imperialism you should also call the Republican party. If you will remember Barack Obama won the nomination and the presidency in 2008 on the platform of Single-payer health care for all. I remember every single speech he gave holding up the golden universal health care card that we would all receive. The result--he won both the nomination of the party and the office of President of the United States in a landslide victory. I remember the celebration. No recounts needed here.

Fast forward to his first term. President Obama meets a wall of opposition for Single-payer from the insurance company lobbyists and the Republican party. There is your "representative" government--paid for lobbyists. The republican party therefore becomes a tool of these lobbyists in aiding and abetting in the "obstructing" of the will of the people through Imperialistic means. Therefore, we have the ACA. Not what we asked for but rather the birth child of Republican  and Corporate Imperialistic obstructionism. 

Therefore Global, if you want to know whom to blame for Obamacare, look no further than your own party.

As far as what Mark Sualys said, he is 100% right and said it very well at that. I agree.

chuckle8
chuckle8's picture
DAnneMarc and Mark S -- Very

DAnneMarc and Mark S -- Very well said by both of you.

Aliceinwonderland
Aliceinwonderland's picture
   Mark S says, "... but you

   Mark S says, "... but you don't wanna force your will on another society and tell them how to run their culture" and "It is, in fact, a violation of their human rights to appoint yourself their boss and to define, let alone enforce, a universal standard of human rights.  There needs to be a better way."  

   You've done a fine job illustrating your point with examples.  And I agree... nothing to argue with, far as that goes!  But I will say this, comrades: I've a huge problem with the way my gender gets treated in certain cultures.  I'm talking about cultures where women have no legal rights, are denied an education, denied the most basic level and means of personal autonomy; where they can be beaten and raped on a regular basis, without consequence to the abusers, and their lives are completely expendable; need I go on?  

   Cultural autonomy & integrity are fine, Mark, but abuse is where I draw the line.  I'm sure there are plenty of people quick to argue that "abuse" is some sort of subjective term, that different people have different concepts of what "abuse" is... and blah-blah-blah.  But nobody can convince me that kind of shit (battering, rape, denial of legal rights and personal autonomy) ain't abuse.  Personally, I don't give a flip what cultural or religious tradition is used to "justify" or rationalize the abuse.  Because it still is abuse.  Hardly conducive to anything positive, let alone a civilized world. 

   Perhaps a compromise might be reached, such as  a universal right to food, water, clean air, clothing, shelter, healthcare, education; plus a few "negative rights" such as a right to not be tortured, beaten or raped... or subjected to war; how 'bout that?! If upheld, such universal standards would be a huge improvement for the quality of life experienced by countless millions, worldwide.  I doubt I'll see it in my lifetime, but I can dream can't I?  (SIGH)   - Aliceinwonderland    

DAnneMarc
DAnneMarc's picture
Aliceinwonderland wrote:But I

Aliceinwonderland wrote:
But I will say this, comrades: I've a huge problem with the way my gender gets treated in certain cultures.

Aliceinwonderland ~ Very true! Well said! I share your concerns. However, it is important that we stick to the prime directive of non interference. National sovereignty must be respected no matter what the circumstances. Sorry to borrow that directive from Star Trek however it applies nicely into any situation of violation of sovereignty.

In addition, the United States is in no position to dictate civil rights to anyone. Up until the later part of the last century women were treated horribly here. Minorities even worse. Two centuries ago women were tortured and burned by over zealous Church officials who wanted to rob them of their property. Today we attacked the government of Iraq and overthrow one of the only countries in the region that had the highest report card grade for respecting the rights of women. We also supported the government of Saudi Arabia. Palindromedary spent years in that country and can testify to the horrors he witnessed there against women.

My first point is that women's rights are a very important issue. Nevertheless it should remain a domestic issue. We still have a long way to go in this country until women and minorities achieve the equal rights and opportunities that they deserve. It is here we should worry about that issue and let other nations take care of their own problems. It is our success that is the greatest and best way that we can inspire, influence and shame other cultures into imitation of our example.

My final point is that I agree with Mark Saulys. The treatment of women mentioned by Kend is another Red Herring. Simply, it has nothing to do with the international issues that are being resolved. We must concentrate on nuclear war prevention and not allow domestic problems to cloud our thinking. Were we to try to accomplish too much at once, we would fail at accomplishing anything at all. The lives of the citizens of the middle east take precedent over the rights of the individual. There is no such thing as a perfect society; and, if we were to claim to be such it would not be too difficult for the Iranians to pick any of the plethora of human rights abuses that the United States is currently guilty of to blow off any potential deal. In a nut shell, people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

I share your concern over those poor women who live under such tragic conditions. Yet as long as we have men and women being tortured in Gitmo, and killed arbitrarily all over the globe, any attempt to criticize other societies is only going to elicit laughter. We must focus on getting our own house in order before we can ever hope to influence the houses next door. Nevertheless, I share your hope for the future. I too hope and pray we both can see those rights become reality in our lifetimes. Please continue to dream; and, thanks for sharing that dream with us.

Aliceinwonderland
Aliceinwonderland's picture
   Marc, I agree with about

   Marc, I agree with about 90% of your response.  However you seem to assume that I'm suggesting the USA set those universal standards and enforce them.  No way!  You're damn right; we've no moral high ground.  Crimes against humanity committed in our names could fill a book.  Our "leaders" have some gall defining "morality" for other nations or cultures to abide by.  To have any legitimate claim to such authority, it would have to be an entity like the UN (hopefully more effective, with more clout!), representing all nations worldwide.  In order to qualify for membership, a nation need only exist.  It would have to be democratic, at least as I envision it, with each country having equal say regardless of size.

   I can't help but wince whenever I hear the abuse of women tagged as a "domestic" problem.  It is not confined to families and life in the home; it is also very public, is multicultural and multinational and has a long, ugly history.  I know you don't mean it this way, Marc, so don't take it personally, what I'm about to say...  but to me the word "domestic" sounds too narrow in this context, thus trivializing and minimizing the issue.

   I don't mean to turn this into a long discussion about sexism.  I've made my point and am satisfied with that...  -  Aliceinwonderland  

DAnneMarc
DAnneMarc's picture
Aliceinwonderland wrote: I

Aliceinwonderland wrote:
 I can't help but wince whenever I hear the abuse of women tagged as a "domestic" problem.

Aliceinwonderland ~ I see what you mean. "Domestic" problem was a rather bad choice of words. I should have said "national" problem. "Domestic" has too many other connotations.

However, I really like your suggestion of establishing international human rights through the U.N. I forgot about mentioning that institution. In fact, that would be the only way to properly enforce human rights on another nation from an external authority. All member nations would agree to that central authority--and to the rights guaranteed within--in order to join the organization and enjoy it's benefits. 

Aliceinwonderland wrote:
To have any legitimate claim to such authority, it would have to be an entity like the UN (hopefully more effective, with more clout!), representing all nations worldwide.  In order to qualify for membership, a nation need only exist.  It would have to be democratic, at least as I envision it, with each country having equal say regardless of size.

Now when you say "It would have to be democratic..." if referring to member nations, I don't agree with that. Any nation that agrees to the fundamental terms of the central authority of the U.N. should be welcome to join. If the U.N. is ever going to be effective in fighting world wide discrimination it is going to have to refrain from committing discrimination itself. Also, the U.N. is more effective with more member nations. One thing the U.N. is going to have to practice as well as it preaches is that diversity is normal and healthy; and, acceptance, toleration, and equality of that diversity is always in the best interest of everyone.

However, if you meant that the U.N. itself would have to be Democratic, we are in full agreement.

Aliceinwonderland
Aliceinwonderland's picture
   Marc,  you've

   Marc,  you've misunderstood my premise.  Admittedly, I could've worded it a little more precisely.  I didn't mean that only democratic countries should be able to join.  I said a nation need only exist to qualify for inclusion; that this worldwide governing entity would have to be a democracy representing all member nations regardless of how each nation governs itself. So actually, we are in agreement.

   If I decide to run for prez in 2016, I'll take you as my running mate.  You can be vice prez.  Whuddia think?  - AIW 

DAnneMarc
DAnneMarc's picture
Aliceinwonderland wrote: If I

Aliceinwonderland wrote:
 If I decide to run for prez in 2016, I'll take you as my running mate.  You can be vice prez.  Whuddia think?  - AIW

Aliceinwonderland ~ I would be honored! Please, count me in!

Mark Saulys
Mark Saulys's picture
     The PPACA was negotiated

     The PPACA was negotiated in secret?  I seem to remember hearing about the negotiations on Thom's program and elsewhere as they were happening.  In fact, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate of the Finance Committee and other committees met 31 times to negotiate the bill and it was only after the individual mandate was added that the Senate Republicans vowed to filibuster it and the Democrats went ahead without them.  You've been hearing some falsehoods.

     The Democrats did not change the rules to pass it with a simple majority, it passed with a veto proof majority of 60 -39 with 58 Democrats 2 independents for, 39 Republicans against, one RTepublican not voting.

     When did the Democrats "lie to the face" of America?

   The Democrats should have changed the rules.  Should tell Alice's senator if he wants Mr Smith back in Washington he can keep talking like Mr Smith when he wants to filibuster.