Thursday, August 20, 2015

Listen to the Bang-Bang, Lemmings

When I need to throw my mind into neutral and just unwind, I watch the western movie channel with the sound muted.  You don’t need sound to understand what’s going on, who are the good guys and who are the bad, who betrayed whom and who’s got the fastest draw.  Justice always triumphs. Very reassuring.

Especially in these times and in this country, where justice is just some antiquated concept kept barely alive by hopelessly naive liberals.

But a bad western is playing out in real time and the black hats are winning.  They seem to have all the gold and all the firepower.  All the white hats have is truth, science  and expertise.  You know, the nerds with eyeglasses and no iron on their hips, who couldn’t hit a whiskey barrel shooting a six-gun from three feet away.

That, as I see it, is where we stand on the agreement between six western nations  and Iran regarding the Islamic Republic’s use of atomic energy.

For years, Israel and its allies have ridden the range hurling threats and accusations at Iran.  

Here are a few facts about this range war:

Iran has signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.  This treaty — international law — guarantees its inalienable right to peaceful development of nuclear energy, and requires that it submit to inspections to verify that it is NOT attempting to build nuclear weapons.

Israel is NOT a signatory to this treaty, this international law.  Israel already HAS a stockpile of nuclear weapons, probably a big one, thanks to technology given to it by its best friend, the United States.  The size of Israel’s nuclear weapons stash is uncertain because Israel has never been inspected by the IAEA, the enforcement arm of the non-proliferation accords.

The IAEA, under two successive directors from neutral countries, has never found credible evidence that Iran is doing anything with its uranium enrichment program that would enable it to create a nuclear weapon.  Yet Israel and its cronies have continued to insist that Iran has a “nuclear weapons program” and  have imposed harsh economic sanctions on the country to force it to stop doing what it isn’t doing.

Finally Iran elected a more moderate president than it has had since it became a republic, and this guy —think John Wayne with a white flag tied to his rifle barrel, emerging from Fort Apache to face the Indian chief — said to the western powers , “let’s palaver.”

The Israeli leadership — think Gene Hackman as the  gunslinger who keeps taunting challengers to face him and then guns them down mercilessly — orchestrated choruses of distrust, conjured up false flag nonsense that the western media bought lock, stock and barrel and tried its best to put together an international posse to bomb Iran back to the stone age or beyond.

But Barack Obama, up to this point a gutless sheriff, caught a rare dose of iron in the spine and agreed to join a group of nations called the P5+1 in talks with Iran to try to hammer out a mutually acceptable accord that would end the economic sanctions on Iran and give the rest of the world reasonable assurance that Iran would never join the nuclear arms race.

By damn, they got one.  The UN ratified it.  Nations of the world are free to lift their economic sanctions on Iran, give Iranians access to their own funds which have been frozen in banks around the world, and do business with a market that despite years of sanctions, promises to be quite lucrative for western businesses.

But Gene Hackman, whose real name is Benjamin Netanyahu. doesn’t give in to softies.  His political party in the United States, called AIPAC, which owns the Republican party in the House and Senate, as well as all of its politicians who aspire to the presidency, has put together a war chest of many millions of dollars to finance a virtually unprecedented propaganda war against approval of the nuclear accord by the United States Congress.  By law, Barack Obama doesn’t need congressional approval, but having used up all the iron in his spine by deciding to go to the negotiating table in the first place, he agreed to let Congress “review” and vote on it anyway.  This enables windbags all over the right side of the American political spectrum — even witless and powerless flatulents like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes and Donald Trump — to prattle, pontificate and make dire prophecy.

The media eat it up.

Meanwhile endorsements of the Iran accord are pretty much ignored. 

But they come from the likes of Hans Blix, former chief inspector for the IAEA; the nonpartisan Arms Control Association whose panel of 75 nuclear nonproliferation specialists called it "a net-plus for nonproliferation,” and whosaid the agreement is ”strong, long-term, and verifiable" and  "advances the security interests" of the United States and its allies; a group of retired U.S. military generals and admirals who, in an August 11 open letter, called the agreement “the most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons;” most of the academics with expertise on Iran and the Middle East— anthropologists, historians, physicists, economists, etc.

Alas, it is oh, so very hard  to hear them over the bang-bang of all those armed-to-the-teeth black hats.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Tramping Out the Vintage

All the invocations of god in this week’s piece of absurd theater called the Republican presidential  “debates” remind a sane person of nothing more than that the invocation of fear is the best way to keep a population under control of its  reigning authorities.

To skip around randomly in humanity’s tortuous journey toward becoming civilized:

The “great” religions of history have kept their believers in line largely through fear of the “wrath of god.”  Never mind whose god.  The wrathful deities of that “peaceful” religion, Buddhism,  are enlightened beings who take on wrathful forms in order to lead sentient beings to enlightenment — that is, to a way of thinking that is  in line with its prophets, rule-makers, historians and propagandists.

The frightening wrath of the Christian god knows no mitigation.  From its earliest Old Testament manifestations (Romans 1:18-32) it threatened  its adherents with death for just about anything questioning its own mythology, which became a self-fulfilling prophecy during its Inquisition period.

The wrathful god of Israel punished his own people not once, but thrice, with kelalah,” the curse of exile, to keep them in line.  Today”s version of kelalah” enables Irsrael’s war-mongering government to threaten its people that they will be vaporized by nuclear bombs tomorrow if the P5+1 agreement is ratified by the United States. Oddly enough, it is Israel, not a signatory to the international nuclear non-proliferation agreement, that has a stockpile of nuclear weapons.  It is Iran, a signatory to the non-proliferation accord, which has been inspected repeatedly, that has none.

Today, even moderate Muslims  acknowledge, as does the journalist and philosopher Hamza Ali Abbasi ,that, “I fear Allah.”  He may balance that with a caution that Allah also wants us to love even those who disagree with us, but on the other side in the real world of today is ISIS. Sunni and Shiite pledge allegiance to the same Q’uran, yet slaughter one another in the most inhumane ways.  (Is there a “humane” way to slaughter? Never mind.)

The Christian hypocrisy of the most fear-mongering religionists since Torquemada, as the Republican clowns tried to out-god each other, made these things clear:

—Any nation that seriously considers Donald Trump to be a candidate to lead it has sunk beneath the minimum level of intelligence to be considered “civilized.”

—The other would-be presidents can be judged only by the degree to which they inspire fear.

—The fear most to be feared today is Iran.  If we take a step toward peace with it, we will all suffer fates worse than death. It is, you see, what it is.

—Gay marriage is to be feared greatly.  It will invoke the wrath of god against us, which, conjoined with peace with Iran, will consign us all to to the fires of hell.

—If we do not give up those silly things called civil rights, we will all be enslaved by Putin, decimated by an ayatollah and forced to worship non-Christian gods.

—It might be wise to reconsider those anchored-in-truth demeaning jokes about New Jersey.

—Jeb who?

Ah, me.  Drought-stricken New Mexico has had a lot of rain lately, much of it accompanied by awesome lightning shows.

Wrath of god, anyone?