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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Isms are equally inadequate.

 Ernest Moniz, former U.S. energy secretary, knows more about nuclear energy than do I.  His assessment of the Iranian nuclear program is most disturbing.  “Any real progress (on an agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program) that might come in the future will almost certainly have to be part of a broader agreement” between Iran and the West.  It is my understanding that most knowledgable observers believe that Teheran already has everything that it needs, including both the materials and the knowhow, to build a limited number of nuclear weapons in a very short period of time.  Assuming Moniz is correct, what would be the nature of that “broader agreement” and how does one decide when to start negotiating it?  Here, in this country, the two political tribes have two different philosophies regarding the proper way in which to deal with Teheran.  I like neither, but flip-flopping back and forth between the two is utter madness.  I also note the complications imposed by our alliance with Israel in what amounts to a war that has been going on for millennia.  I am not here abandoning our cultural alliance with Judaism, only pointing out an inconvenient truth.

All of this is further complicated by the growing alliance between China, Russia and Iran which brings other momentous issues into the “broader agreement” that needs to be accomplished.  Foreign relations is indeed a ball of twine and we humans have managed to spill a mess of ugly goo all over the ball.  Teheran, Russia, and China have serious disagreements with one another, but they are subordinating those disagreements in an effort to focus their combined efforts on what they perceive to be their mutual enemy - us.   Think about it.  Both China and Russia have, and are, engaged in serious repression of Muslim populations and they are today in ever closer alliance with Teheran, which is one of the most ardent advocates of Islam in the entire world.  Meanwhile, our own alliances, inside and outside of our country, are fraying at the seems because our quibbling about the details is more important than our shared interests.  It all starts right here in the neighborhood, where we cancel each other, and percolates up the political ladder to the national level where we are actively trying to put the leaders of both of our major political tribes in jail.

You can not win a football game if half of the team wants to run left and the other half wants to pass right.  We need a quarterback, a plan, one hell of a lot of effort, and some discipline.  Unfortunately, we, you and I, do not now have any of it in a world where far too many idiots have their hands on nuclear weapons.  That is what is going to get us killed.  The road to getting ourselves out of this mess is, unfortunately, going to be a long one, and we are going to need enough discipline and patience to see the process through.  Discipline and patience are both in very short supply.  The final nail in the coffin is, ironically, the fact that we are a democracy composed of voters who refuse to think, preferring instead to knowingly hide in the make-believe world that we have created on our devices.  The technology that we are so stupidly proud of offers the escape from reality that is stifling thought and permitting the threat to mature dangerously.

Neither war nor appeasement is an acceptable solution.  The only solution is firm, unblinking opposition to aggression in all forms and genuine concern for the lives of every single person living on earth.  Neither cowards nor tyrants have solutions - even if they share nationality with you and me.  Isms are equally inadequate.

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