Monday, July 13, 2015

Week of 07/13/2015

We Need To Walk From Iran Talks
There is a term called “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory”.  It’s when you have a sure thing on your hands, you’re about ready to win, and you do something phenomenally stupid to end up losing the whole thing.
I remember when my mom found her long-desired dream car.  It was during a time when she had some money to spend and she visited a dealership just for kicks.  As soon as she saw the convertible on the lot, she knew this was the car that she had always dreamed of driving.  It had everything she was looking for.  The right color, the right features, the right price, and pretty much the right everything.
So she went to the dealer and took it for a test drive.  It ran like a dream.  She told the guy she’d buy it on the spot.  He got the paperwork, they walked into the office, and he pulled out his calculator.
“What are you doing?” she asked him.
“Well we have to figure out the full price,” he replied.
“It’s on that piece of paper.  That’s the price I’m willing to pay.”
He started to talk about financing, and she said she will pay the whole thing in full with a bank check, but only for the price on the paper.  He tried to talk about extras.  She said she didn’t want any of it.  She was willing to drive the car off the lot that afternoon as it was.
But the dealer didn’t listen.  He was still fixated on adding extra things to it to pad his commission.
“How much are you willing to pay?” he asked her.
My mom told him $25000, which included the price of the vehicle, plus tax, tag, title, and all of the other normal costs.  He said “okay”.  But then he pulled out the calculator again to try to add to that.
That was when my mom turned to my father and said “Let’s go, we’re done here.”
My mom walked away from her dream vehicle because the dealer tried to screw her over with the price.  And she never regretted it.
That’s how you snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  It could’ve been the easiest sale the guy ever made, but his greed and his ego ruined it.
This is the situation the United States is in right now with Iran.
At stake is an agreement that would supposedly limit Iran’s nuclear ambitions to “energy-producing” only and not the “global-thermonuclear Armageddon” kind.  They agree to that and we (as in “the world” but it’s pretty much the U.S. right now) will eventually end the economic sanctions that have been placed on them for years.
The problem is that just when it seems like we’re about to come to an agreement, someone comes up to piss all over it.
First it was Israel.  The eternal warmongering leadership there were whining and kvetching about any kind of agreement would be worthless and how Iran shouldn’t be allowed to get so much as a pair of matches for fear that they will use those to torch Israel and the Western World to the ground.  Oh, and you need to blindly follow us and support us because we’re Israel and we’ll whine even louder on Fox News if we aren’t satisfied.
Then there’s the GOP, who wanted to remind the whole world that there’s this thing in our Constitution that required all treaties be ratified by Congress, which is (as of this article’s posting) currently controlled by the GOP.  And, of course, the GOP will do anything they can to hurt President Barack Obama, even and especially if it hurts America.
Well thank you for the civics lesson, GOP.  Why don’t you go back to your little flat-earth friends and keep on trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act and denying the existence of climate change?
But, you know what?  Even after our crazy allies and our crazy relatives had their pissing contests, the two sides stayed at the table and still hashed things out.  And that was good.  It looked like things were really starting to work.
Until Iran’s supreme leader, Supreme Extra-Guacamole Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stepped up to whiz all over the talks.
Remember Saddam Hussein and all of the talks prior to the Iraq War?  Yeah, I know it was almost fifteen years ago, but work with me here.  Every time Iraq agreed to whatever terms the U.S. put in, Saddam demanded... hell, he screamed like the little bitch that he was... that all of his sanctions be lifted.  Guess what?  Didn’t happen.  Then we bombed him out of power, send him hiding like a cockroach, dragged him from under his little rock, and then let his own people try him and put him to death.
Well, that’s what Iran’s supreme leader wants.  He wants every agreement tied into the immediate end of all sanctions against Iran.  No verification or confirmation of them living up to their side of the agreement.  Just lift all the sanctions right now and trust them that they’ll live up to their end of the deal.
And just when you think he couldn’t be even more of a dickhead, Khamenei is proclaiming that this is now non-negotiable.  And given how Iran’s constitutional theocratic government is set up, their extremists pretty much are the final word for that country.  It’s like giving ultimate veto power in the United States to Glenn Beck.
Well, even though this dickhead of a demand is putting a kibosh on the talks, Secretary of State John Kerry thinks that the talks should still go on.  So they’ve agreed to a delay... and another delay... and another delay.  And now we’re almost a half-a-month beyond the June 30th deadline for talks.
I’m sorry, Secretary Kerry, but it’s time for you to be the bad guy.  It’s time for you to walk away from the table if Iran doesn’t bend after Monday’s deadline.
Let’s get brutally honest here... Khamenei is being a dickhead because he believes the United States is weak.  The country that took down Saddam, that overthrew the Baath Party and gave power over Iraq to Shiites, that hunted down and killed Osama bin Laden, is still viewed by Iran’s extremist nutcases as being weak and easily manipulated.  And Secretary Kerry hasn’t given them reason to doubt that yet. 
So we agree to talks, we set a deadline, then push it back, and then push it back, and then push it back... and then what?  At some point the whole thing will just be worthless.  You’re just wasting your time and theirs just going through the motions.  You want real progress?  You need to be willing to walk away from the table.  You need to be able to say “Let’s go, we’re done here.”
Remember this well: the Iranian people are the ones with the most to gain from this.  It doesn’t hurt the United States or the other Western countries if the status quo goes on.  Hell, it doesn’t even hurt the Iranian leadership, because their extremists – just like our own power elite – thrive off of poverty, ignorance, and misery.  They need the masses poor and stupid and miserable because then the masses can be manipulated into hating whomever the power elite choose.  Why do you think they hate Israel so much?  It’s manufactured by the nutcases!  All so the masses don’t turn on them.
Look, even if you crank out an agreement, Secretary Kerry, you’re still going to piss people off.  Fox News will still blame Obama, because they’re Fox News and they’re regurgitating a script, and they’ll still accuse you and Obama of making the world a more dangerous place.  Hell, they’ll accuse you of doing that simply because they’re Fox News and they’re being told to follow that script.
If you walk away from the table, nothing really changes.  The sanctions stay in place.  Israel will still whine and kvetch because their warmongering extremists aren’t being coddled and gratified.  Fox News will still blame you and Obama, because they’re Fox News and they’re still regurgitating a script.  But the Iranian nutcases would know that there is a point that they can’t push beyond.  The power over the negotiations stay with the Western nations, where it belongs. Then it is Iran’s defeat, not that of the world.
It’s one thing to want progress.  To want to make a positive change.  But you can’t do that with people that refuse to change and have no reason to change.  That’s when you have to cut your losses and let them deal with the consequences on their end. 

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