Sunday, August 09, 2015

Truest statement of the week

It's appropriate to wonder what a “movement” really is these days. Maybe movements nowadays are really brands, to be evoked and stoked by marketers and creators when needed. But it's hard to imagine a brand transferring the power from the wealthy to the poor. It's hard to imagine a brand being accountable to its membership, even if you could be a member of a brand. And it's impossible for a brand to prefigure, to get us ready to imagine and become the kind of people we'll need to be to build the new world after capitalism.

-- Bruce A. Dixon, "Where's the #BlackLivesMatter Critique of the Black Misleadership Class, or Obama or Hillary?" (Black Agenda Report).

Truest statement of the week II

Needless to say, if the best part of your political career occurred before your political career, there may be a problem with your political career. Such is the case with Clinton’s. According to a new Gallup poll, more voters view her unfavorably than favorably, giving Clinton her worst net favorable score since 2007.

--  Windsor Mann, "Hillary Clinton's personality deficit disorder" (USA Today).

A note to our readers

Hey --


First, we thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?

Another truest for Bruce Dixon.
And someone else earns their first truest. 

When C.I. noted that last week, even we were taken aback.  Where has the press coverage been?  So for this editorial, we're repeating this basic fact over and over.
Amy Goodman's blatant lying never ends.  But it damn well should, as Ava and C.I. point out.
If this had happened under Bully Boy Bush, you better believe it wouldn't be forgotten.

Sunni lives apparently don't matter.

And this is among the all time big stupids.
Oh, Aimee Allison, really?
What we listened to.
Repost from Great Britain's Socialist Worker. 
Press release from Senator Charles Schumer.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.

And that's what we ended up with.


-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: How many US troops have died in the Iraq War in the last 12 months?


Leo Shane III (Military Times) reported Thursday, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

Leo Shane III (Military Times) reported Thursday, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

Leo Shane III (Military Times) reported Thursday, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

Leo Shane III (Military Times) reported Thursday, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

Leo Shane III (Military Times) reported Thursday, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

Leo Shane III (Military Times) reported Thursday, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

Leo Shane III (Military Times) reported Thursday, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

Leo Shane III (Military Times) reported Thursday, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

Leo Shane III (Military Times) reported Thursday, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

Leo Shane III (Military Times) reported Thursday, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

Leo Shane III (Military Times) reported Thursday, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

Leo Shane III (Military Times) reported Thursday, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

Leo Shane III (Military Times) reported Thursday, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

Leo Shane III (Military Times) reported Thursday, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

Leo Shane III (Military Times) reported Thursday, "About 3,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, and seven have lost their lives in connection to the new military operations there."

Media: If it will kill off Amy Goodman, let Pacifica die

Pacifica Radio is yet again in trouble.

Pacifica Radio Archives

As has been the sad reality for some time now, the trouble comes not for breaking any news, not for investigative journalism, but for having wasted too much money -- and wasted it on bad radio.

The two of us have donated frequently to Pacifica over the years.  We stopped in 2008 when Pacifica Radio lied to its audience, abused its audience and betrayed the trust and ethics public radio is supposed to operate under.

We're referring to the debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that Pacifica announced they'd air -- only they couldn't.

So instead, they aired 'analysis' of it that would feature your questions left on their message board.

The 'analysis' -- we reported on this in "Radio: Panhandle Media" -- was as fake as anything Fox News could ever be accused of doing.

For those who missed it, Hillary would carry California in the primary.  But, for some reason, the California-based broadcast featured only Barack supporters.  They'd all endorsed him before the broadcast.  A fact that Pacifica failed to tell you and presented multiple 'analysts' as objective observers.

Our report angered KPFA and we heard about it.

We "lied" about the message board, we were told.

We asked where?

And they insisted that we "lied" and that, sadly, there was a malfunction that wiped out the listener comments.

When?  After the debate?


It disappeared after we called the crap out.

How strange.

But what's stranger is that KPFA can't read.

If they could, they'd have realized pulling down the comments wouldn't disappear them.

That's because we copied them the night of the debate.

And we'd published them in the same edition calling out the 'analysis' of the debate (see "KPFA Blog from their debate coverage").

Prior to learning that (a) we had a copy and (b) that we had already published them, KPFA higher ups were using terms like "libel."

Confronted with the reality that they were cheap whores and liars, "libel" was never uttered again.

Barack Obama revealed the worst of KPFA, the worst of Pacifica.

You had the dreadful Aimee Allison defending Barack's use of drones to kill civilians in Pakistan. Which followed her KPFA crimes which included, but were not limited to, calling for book burning on air (The New Yorker was the 'book' in question).

When an, at best, centrist War Hawk occupied the White House, Pacifica Radio should have been in overdrive setting a left agenda for the country.

Instead they ran interference for Barack.

Over and over, they offered excuses, over and over they were unethical.

And that's true of no one as much as Amy Goodman who ended last week proving just how far she'd go to lie.

Ten leading Republican presidential candidates faced off in the first debate of the 2016 presidential election Thursday night. Fox News invited 10 candidates to take part: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Scott Walker. Some analysts described the debate as the Roger Ailes primary, since the head of Fox News had so much say in who participated in the prime-time event. Seven other Republican presidential candidates who didn’t make the cut participated in another debate earlier in the evening. Fox News said it calculated its top 10 list by averaging five national polls, a process which came under fire from polling agencies earlier this week.

That is how she ended Friday's show.

While it is true that liars like Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and Jon Stewart on Comedy Central had offered those critiques, they were baseless critiques.

As Alex Griswold (Mediate) noted on Wednesday:

Maddow pointed out that Fox News promised to use the five most recent nationally-recognized polls. However, Fox News omitted an NBC/WSJ poll, despite being the fifth-most-recent respected national poll. Instead, the network included an earlier poll from Quinnipiac. The result was that former Texas Gov. Rick Perry was not tied for tenth place with John Kasich, and instead finished eleventh, relegating himself to the earlier non-primetime debate. Maddow claimed that “it appears that what they did is just kick out the poll results that would make it look too close,” and accused the network of moving the goal-post.
But Maddow is wrong on at least one point: It’s actually not true that Fox News “arbitrarily” ignored a poll they should have included, as the network itself announced hours before Maddow went on the air.
One of the standards that Fox used was that polls had to “[mirror] the ballot by reading all candidate names in random order and without honorifics.” The NBC/WSJ poll did not. As Fox News wrote (again, hours before Maddow went on the air):
We did not include the highly-respected NBC/WSJ poll, which is the fifth most recent poll, only because it did not meet our criterion that the poll read the names of each Republican candidate in the vote question. We would note, however, even though their ballot question included Perry but did not name Kasich, the unaided “Kasich” response tied the aided “Perry” response. In short, their results are consistent with the results of the other polls in our review, and consistent with the resulting placement in the Fox News debate.
This isn’t some arbitrary selection criteria Fox conjured out of thin air. By listing Perry and not Kasich, the NBC/WSJ poll put Kasich at a distinct disadvantage in the polling, and he still tied. If Perry had actually won in that poll, Kasich would have rightfully howled that Fox went with a poll that discriminated against another candidate.

Furthermore, a political scientist wrote for The Hill on Tuesday that Maddow’s and Jon Stewart‘s criticisms of the “arbitrary” Fox decisions were based on a “totally mistaken” understanding of margin of error. On Monday, the stat-heads at FiveThirtyEight defended Fox’s polling decisions by writing that “There’s no perfect way to sort the candidates for a debate primary.”

Yet two days later, on Friday, Goodman was offering "some" criticism by "some" without noting the realities or the facts.

She's just a cheap liar.

And she who criticizes Fox News for who they put on the air as a GOP candidate is the same lying bitch who pimps Jill Stein as the Green Party's 2016 presidential candidate when the primary hasn't been held and Jill is far from the only candidate.

She has a lot of nerve.

And she drains Pacifica Radio.

$650,000 a year she demands from Pacifica to air her program.

Her program that was Pacifica Radio's program until she demanded control of it and a board member being paid by Goodman's attorney signed off on the deal which gave Goodman control of the show and all of its archives.

Every few months, another liar comes forward insisting Pacifica must be saved via money.

Earlier this year, it was the liar Ernesto Aguilar (writing at Truth-Out).


The program director for KPFT.

Program director?

What is that?

Someone who goes through the Columbia Records and Tapes catalogue picking out albums to order?

We're aware, aren't we, that outside of music, all KPFT can really claim is a once a week LGBT show.  In fairness, Queer Voices is one of the best LGBT programs airing over the airwaves in the United States.

But what else does program director Ernesto offer?

A lot of syndicated programs that can be heard elsewhere including online.

That's the real story of Pacifica Radio.

There's another story to it: The rise of Pacifica.

Forgotten now but from 2003 through 2006, Pacifica actually mattered.

It was calling out the Iraq War, it was featuring coverage of war resisters, it was calling out government spying, it actually mattered.

And as a result, it actually had listeners.

And, surprise, surprise, when programming that actually mattered was airing, listeners were happy to donate.

It's the story the Pacifica Radio defenders never tell.

Because it indicts the current crap that they air, alleged public affairs programming that exist to churn out the vote for the Democratic Party.

For those who've forgotten, Goodman and others insisted in the 90s that this was what Mary Frances Berry, Chair of Pacifica, was trying to do.

And Goodman and others insisted they were opposed to that.  They launched a long and public battle that only ended in November 2001.

They said they were saving Pacifica from becoming a mouth piece for the Democratic Party.

But that's all it is now.

Yes, ridiculous Ralph Nader has a program.

It's one that treats the ongoing Iraq War as a past issue that ended long ago.

Ridiculous Ralph Nader also uses his program to promote Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign for the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential nomination.

Where's Cindy Sheehan's Pacifica Radio program?

They can give programs to hairy-backed Dave Zirin, Ralph Nader and assorted other men.

But not to Cindy who also refuses to sing from The Cult of St Barack hymnal.

Amy Goodman's a fake and a fraud.

If Pacifica going under means the death of her bad program, Pacifica can't go under soon enough.

The Gulf Coast Disaster

Working It For BP

That's Isaiah's  The World Today Just Nuts "Working It For BP" from June 6, 2010.

Have you forgotten the Gulf Coast Disaster?

Barack Obama probably hopes you have.

And probably hopes you've forgotten his big lie, "It turns out the oil rigs today generally don't cause oil spills."

Black Agenda Report hasn't forgotten.

Last week, Bruce A. Dixon offered:

The bad news is that when the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the largest known gas and oil spill in history occurred, the Obama administration actively colluded with oil companies to lie to the public concealing the volume and extent of the leak.  President Obama had the US Navy and Coast Guard ban civilian overflights of the spill area, and local police agencies bar civilian access to affected shorelines apparently to prevent independent experts from assessing the extent of damage and the speed at which the poisonous discharge was settling on the sea floor.  The Obama Justice Department even protected British Petroleum by declaring that damage awards could only be assessed against BP's holdings in the US Gulf rather than against its global assets on six continents and oceans across the planet.  And although the president's party controlled both houses of Congress for another six
months, President Obama and his party sponsored not one piece of legislation, not one administrative rule to rein in the plundering and polluting activities of Big Oil.

That was the response.

And while a few people can rightly note that they spoke out (Peter Fonda and Harry Shearer among them), the bulk of America remained silent then and now.

It was a key moment in Barack's first term and, as with so many other key moments, he clearly failed to do what was required.

The Tweets the world looks away from

In Iraq, 'new' Iraq, Sunnis continue to be targeted.

The world press collectively turns its head.

Few want to be bothered with reality.

But it is out there.

  • It's the reality in plain sight that the world press works overtime to render invisible.

    We Hate Stupidity


    And too often, stupidity is all that Ms. magazine's blog has to offer.

    Last week, brainless blogger Carter Sherman raved over Bryan Fuller who produces the violence porn series Hannibal (which NBC thankfully cancelled this summer).

    She was thrilled because Bryan Fuller drew the line at rape.

    He'd write episodes revolving around murder and torture and cannibalism but he's just not interested in rape.

    Carter's gush included:

    “I don’t want to do rape stories on the show because I don’t find them entertaining. I think that they’re exploitative,” Fuller told BuddyTV in 2014. “I just feel very strongly as a feminist and somebody who likes women. I just can’t derive any sort of entertainment pleasure from it.”
    Last Saturday’s episode, “The Great Red Dragon,” reveals just how deeply this attitude is embedded in the show’s DNA. In the novel Red Dragon, a serial killer nicknamed the Tooth Fairy rapes his women victims’ near-dead (and dead) bodies. While Hannibal implies that this violation occurs, the show doesn’t linger on the details—in fact, only eager-eyed viewers likely notice that a sexual assault happened at all. Instead, Hannibal treats the women’s bodies with respect and grace. It emphasizes who the women were in life, how they mattered to the people who loved them. It doesn’t reduce them to their genitals.

    Nor does the violence porn treat rape like anything other than a whispered aside.

    For the record, rape is a crime.

    It is an act of violence.

    Bryan Fuller has no willies over other violence.

    Maybe he's kidding himself about why he avoids portraying rape?

    Just like he kids himself that doing yet another male dominated show is what a feminist would create?

    Rape is rendered invisible -- the only violent crime that is -- and Ms. magazine thinks that's feminism?

    Do they not realize how many women it took to get rape treated as a serious crime?

    And now they applaud it being reduced to an offscreen whisper, a minor detail, not even a plot point?

    Shame on them.

    Well look what the dogs drug in

    At The Daily Beast, you can find an article about how Democrats feel about Hillary Clinton and what stands out to us is this:

    “Democrats need a leader that can bring together races and nationalities, especially now and especially to win. That starts at the top of the campaign, and Hillary Clinton will need to demonstrate that level of commitment to set the right tone and strategy going forward” said Aimee Allison, senior VP at PowerPAC+, a group founded by major Democratic donor Steve Phillips to build the “political power of the multiracial majority.”

    Oh, you dirty, little whore.

    The Clown Face of Evil

    Aimee Allison, the whore who endorsed Barack Obama's use of drones was far from her alleged peace roots but lookie-lookie now at alleged Green Party member now safe in the moneyed bordello of the Democratic Party.

    Shake that tired ass, Aimee, maybe someone will give you a five dollar bill for a half-and-half.

    This edition's playlist


    2)  The Mamas and the Papas' The Papas & The Mamas.

    3) Ben Harper and Ellen Harper's Childhood Home.

    4)  Stevie Nicks' 24 Karat Gold Songs From The Vault.

    5) Carly Simon's Playing Possum.

    6) Tori AmosUnrepentant Geraldines.

    7) Ben Harper's Both Sides of the Gun.

    8) Cass Elliot's The Complete Cass Elliot SoloCollection 1968 - 1971.

    9) Rolling Stone's A Bigger Bang.

    10) Stevie Wonders' Talking Book.

    Masses come to Jeremy Corbyn rallies

    This is a repost from Great Britain's Socialist Worker:

    Masses come to Jeremy Corbyn rallies

    by Nick Clark and Judith Orr

    Supporters welcome Jeremy Corbyn MP into the Camden Centre in central London on Monday evening
    Supporters welcome Jeremy Corbyn MP into the Camden Centre in central London on Monday evening (Pic: Socialist Worker )

    Some 2,000 people turned out for a rally to elect Jeremy Corbyn leader of the Labour Party in central London on Monday of this week.

    Almost an hour before the rally was due to start a queue of people stretched right around the Camden Centre, where it was being held.

    The massive event followed rallies of some 1,500 people in Liverpool 1,000 in Birmingham and hundreds more in towns and cities around Britain.

    The idea that thousands of people might cram into Labour Party meetings in search of a political alternative would have been almost unimaginable just a few months ago.

    But Corbyn’s campaign has tapped into the deep seated anger and desire for some kind of change felt by hundreds of thousands of people.

    Many of those at the rallies said they had come because Corbyn represented something different to mainstream politics.

    Viktor was at a London rally. He told Socialist Worker, “I’m 21 and I’ve never voted. This is the first political event I’ve ever been to.

    “It’s refreshing to see a politician that actually seems to care.”

    Danielle said, “My family has always been Labour.

    “But over the last few years I’ve been voting Green or even Lib Dem when the whole Cleggmania fiasco was going on. But Corbyn really seems to be bringing Labour back to what it was.”
    Corbyn spoke to Socialist Worker after one rally. He said, “This groundswell of support has come from hope.

    “It’s like the Stop the War movement in 2003. That was a movement against the Iraq war. But this is a groundswell that’s for something.

    “It’s for the kind of society that people want to live in. This is a movement that isn’t going to go away.”

    The rallies do have the feel of a movement. Many of those around Corbyn’s campaign were on the anti-Tory protests that exploded all around the country after the election in May.

    Danielle said, “I’m going to protest at the Tory Party conference. And I was on the big anti-austerity march in June.”

    Around 500 people were left on the street outside the Camden rally, even after two overflow rooms were filled.


    Corbyn spoke to them from on top of a fire engine provided by the FBU union.

    He has has won the support of the majority of the trade unions and his campaign gains more popularity every time the right attack it.

    Britain’s second biggest union, Unison, along with transport union TSSA and the communications union the CWU also voted to back his campaign last week.

    CWU general secretary Dave Ward referred to Blairites in the Labour Party as a “virus” and declared “Jeremy Corbyn is the antidote.”

    Corbyn has also won the most constituency Labour Parties—152. Andy Burnham won 111, Yvette Cooper finished on 106 and Liz Kendall won a mere 18.

    Corbyn is now pitching his campaign to beat the Tories in 2020 in response to those who dismiss him as a vote-loser for Labour. 

    Burnham accused Corbyn supporters of playing “a dangerous game”.

    The right have held their grip on the Labour Party for over two decades. They are dismayed to see it apparently being shattered in only a matter of weeks.

    Corbyn’s campaign is generating an enthusiasm for politics that looks a lot like the Yes campaign in Scotland.

    But there the political alternative people looked to was outside Labour. Corbyn’s campaign sees it focused inside the party.

    He wants people to “stay together to defend what we’ve got” after the election. But he has already stated that he would include Blairite opponents in any shadow cabinet.

    But many of the thousands of Corbyn campaigners won’t want to be limited by a project that looks to maintaining the unity within the Labour Party.

    The lessons of Syriza in Greece show the problems of simply looking to win change through parliament.

    We need to organise to make the most of the potential for this mood to be translated into a fightback and mass protests against the Tories in workplaces and on the streets.

    Senator Schumer's position on the Iran deal



    Senator Charles Schumer's office issued the following yesterday:


    My Position on the Iran Deal

    Every several years or so a legislator is called upon to cast a momentous vote in which the stakes are high and both sides of the issue are vociferous in their views.

    Over the years, I have learned that the best way to treat such decisions is to study the issue carefully, hear the full, unfiltered explanation of those for and against, and then, without regard to pressure, politics or party, make a decision solely based on the merits.

    I have spent the last three weeks doing just that: carefully studying the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, reading and re-reading the agreement and its annexes, questioning dozens of proponents and opponents, and seeking answers to questions that go beyond the text of the agreement but will have real consequences that must be considered.

    Advocates on both sides have strong cases for their point of view that cannot simply be dismissed. This has made evaluating the agreement a difficult and deliberate endeavor, and after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval.

    While we have come to different conclusions, I give tremendous credit to President Obama for his work on this issue. The President, Secretary Kerry and their team have spent painstaking months and years pushing Iran to come to an agreement. Iran would not have come to the table without the President’s persistent efforts to convince the Europeans, the Russians, and the Chinese to join in the sanctions. In addition, it was the President’s far-sighted focus that led our nation to accelerate development of the Massive Ordinance Penetrator (MOP), the best military deterrent and antidote to a nuclear Iran. So whichever side one comes down on in this agreement, all fair-minded Americans should acknowledge the President’s strong achievements in combatting and containing Iran.
    In making my decision, I examined this deal in three parts: nuclear restrictions on Iran in the first ten years, nuclear restrictions on Iran after ten years, and non-nuclear components and consequences of a deal. In each case I have asked: are we better off with the agreement or without it?

    In the first ten years of the deal, there are serious weaknesses in the agreement. First, inspections are not “anywhere, anytime”; the 24-day delay before we can inspect is troubling. While inspectors would likely be able to detect radioactive isotopes at a site after 24 days, that delay would enable Iran to escape detection of any illicit building and improving of possible military dimensions (PMD) – the tools that go into building a bomb but don’t emit radioactivity.

    Furthermore, even when we detect radioactivity at a site where Iran is illicitly advancing its bomb-making capability, the 24-day delay would hinder our ability to determine precisely what was being done at that site.

    Even more troubling is the fact that the U.S. cannot demand inspections unilaterally. By requiring the majority of the 8-member Joint Commission, and assuming that China, Russia, and Iran will not cooperate, inspections would require the votes of all three European members of the P5+1 as well as the EU representative. It is reasonable to fear that, once the Europeans become entangled in lucrative economic relations with Iran, they may well be inclined not to rock the boat by voting to allow inspections.

    Additionally, the “snapback” provisions in the agreement seem cumbersome and difficult to use. While the U.S. could unilaterally cause snapback of all sanctions, there will be instances where it would be more appropriate to snapback some but not all of the sanctions, because the violation is significant but not severe. A partial snapback of multilateral sanctions could be difficult to obtain, because the U.S. would require the cooperation of other nations. If the U.S. insists on snapback of all the provisions, which it can do unilaterally, and the Europeans, Russians, or Chinese feel that is too severe a punishment, they may not comply.

    Those who argue for the agreement say it is better to have an imperfect deal than to have nothing; that without the agreement, there would be no inspections, no snapback. When you consider only this portion of the deal – nuclear restrictions for the first ten years – that line of thinking is plausible, but even for this part of the agreement, the weaknesses mentioned above make this argument less compelling.

    Second, we must evaluate how this deal would restrict Iran’s nuclear development after ten years.
    Supporters argue that after ten years, a future President would be in no weaker a position than we are today to prevent Iran from racing to the bomb. That argument discounts the current sanctions regime. After fifteen years of relief from sanctions, Iran would be stronger financially and better able to advance a robust nuclear program. Even more importantly, the agreement would allow Iran, after ten to fifteen years, to be a nuclear threshold state with the blessing of the world community. Iran would have a green light to be as close, if not closer to possessing a nuclear weapon than it is today. And the ability to thwart Iran if it is intent on becoming a nuclear power would have less moral and economic force.

    If Iran’s true intent is to get a nuclear weapon, under this agreement, it must simply exercise patience. After ten years, it can be very close to achieving that goal, and, unlike its current unsanctioned pursuit of a nuclear weapon, Iran’s nuclear program will be codified in an agreement signed by the United States and other nations. To me, after ten years, if Iran is the same nation as it is today, we will be worse off with this agreement than without it.

    In addition, we must consider the non-nuclear elements of the agreement. This aspect of the deal gives me the most pause. For years, Iran has used military force and terrorism to expand its influence in the Middle East, actively supporting military or terrorist actions in Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, and Gaza. That is why the U.S. has labeled Iran as one of only three nations in the world who are “state sponsors of terrorism.” Under this agreement, Iran would receive at least $50 billion dollars in the near future and would undoubtedly use some of that money to redouble its efforts to create even more trouble in the Middle East, and, perhaps, beyond.

    To reduce the pain of sanctions, the Supreme Leader had to lean left and bend to the moderates in his country. It seems logical that to counterbalance, he will lean right and give the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and the hardliners resources so that they can pursue their number one goal: strengthening Iran’s armed forces and pursuing even more harmful military and terrorist actions.

    Finally, the hardliners can use the freed-up funds to build an ICBM on their own as soon as sanctions are lifted (and then augment their ICBM capabilities in 8 years after the ban on importing ballistic weaponry is lifted), threatening the United States. Restrictions should have been put in place limiting how Iran could use its new resources.

    When it comes to the non-nuclear aspects of the deal, I think there is a strong case that we are better off without an agreement than with one.

    Using the proponents’ overall standard – which is not whether the agreement is ideal, but whether we are better with or without it – it seems to me, when it comes to the nuclear aspects of the agreement within ten years, we might be slightly better off with it. However, when it comes to the nuclear aspects after ten years and the non-nuclear aspects, we would be better off without it.

    Ultimately, in my view, whether one supports or opposes the resolution of disapproval depends on how one thinks Iran will behave under this agreement.

    If one thinks Iran will moderate, that contact with the West and a decrease in economic and political isolation will soften Iran’s hardline positions, one should approve the agreement.  After all, a moderate Iran is less likely to exploit holes in the inspection and sanctions regime, is less likely to seek to become a threshold nuclear power after ten years, and is more likely to use its newfound resources for domestic growth, not international adventurism.

    But if one feels that Iranian leaders will not moderate and their unstated but very real goal is to get relief from the onerous sanctions, while still retaining their nuclear ambitions and their ability to increase belligerent activities in the Middle East and elsewhere, then one should conclude that it would be better not to approve this agreement.

    Admittedly, no one can tell with certainty which way Iran will go. It is true that Iran has a large number of people who want their government to decrease its isolation from the world and focus on economic advancement at home. But it is also true that this desire has been evident in Iran for thirty-five years, yet the Iranian leaders have held a tight and undiminished grip on Iran, successfully maintaining their brutal, theocratic dictatorship with little threat. Who’s to say this dictatorship will not prevail for another ten, twenty, or thirty years?

    To me, the very real risk that Iran will not moderate and will, instead, use the agreement to pursue its nefarious goals is too great.

    Therefore, I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power. Better to keep U.S. sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations, and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be.

    For all of these reasons, I believe the vote to disapprove is the right one.


     This piece is written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub, Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.

    "Planned Parenthood" -- most requested highlight by readers of this site.

     "Curse of Chuckie" -- Isaiah dips into the archives.

    "The sexless Tom Cruise" -- Elaine on the movies.

     "Is Prince a f**king idiot again?" -- Kat covers music.

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