Showing posts with label Deal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Deal. Show all posts

January 20, 2019

Compromise = Winning

So this shutdown has really been an education in political dysfunction, bickering, and childish behavior. 

But when President Trump yesterday went on the air and provided a compromise solution whereby he gets funding for a 200 mile border wall/barrier and the Democrats get money for humanitarian relief at the border, high-tech sensors, and years of protection for 700,000 children that came to this country illegally (DACA) and another 300,000 for immigrants from designated countries that prevent their sage return (TPS)--it seems like everybody would come out a winner!

That's negotiation.  That's compromise.  That's diplomacy.  

When President Trump did this, I thought he really won the day, especially when the Democrats rejected his proposals and offered nothing in return or as an alternative. 

Even if the other side disagrees with the solution, they can and should offer what their version of a compromise/agreement would be and so on between the parties--this way, they can negotiate until both sides get to the magical compromise that everyone can agree to and live with. 

What I learned from this is that regardless of your political leanings, the side that shows flexibility and compromise and the desire to get something done, is the side that wins the argument, period. 

Those that want it all or are simply obstructionist and haters are the big losers in the debate. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 16, 2017

North Korea and Iran--No Time For Nuke Time

We are at a unbelievably critical moment in history. 

North Korea and Iran have nuclear weapons capability and are threatening and maniacal enough to use them. 

Negotiations, incentives, and phony deals have led to nothing but advancing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction with our enemies and their continued vows to kill us. 

As Iran vows to annihilate Israel and chants:


"Death to America"

North Korea vows a nuclear attack saying Washington will be:

"Engulfed in a sea of fire."

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 72a) teaches the principle of self-defense:


"If someone rises up to kill you, kill him first."

Preemption is justifiable if the threat is real and imminent. 

North Korea and Iranian threats are very real and getting ever more imminent as their capabilities increase--and if anything, they have been underestimated and underreported.

They have continued to build and test nukes and the missiles to deliver them to the U.S. and our allies, despite pleas as well as carrots and sticks to cease their menacing actions.

The prior administration's position of "strategic patience" has meant nothing but indecision and a do nothing approach as things get worse and not better.

Now, we have the opportunity to destroy the deadly nuke sites before these despotic regimes hit us and our population of nearly 320 million people with a nuke first strategy!

We are a peaceful nation that believes deeply in freedom and human rights, but we cannot live under constant threat of nuclear attack on our cities and allies. 

A preemptive strike is a very, very serious decision, but we cannot wait indefinitely and let ourselves become victims of the most horrific weapons and their destructive capabilities and aftermath. 

What do we do if North Korea and Iran refuse their endless pursuit weapons of mass destruction and their threats to use them on us?

Perhaps, this is soon to be a rhetorical question if not the most dire of all decisions to make and the time to make them. 

May G-d have mercy  on us--if ever their was a time, now is the time to pray and mean it.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

March 27, 2017

Loyalty To Others Vs. True To Yourself

So after the aborted Healthcare bill to replace failing Obamacare, President Trump tweeted about the alt-right's lack of support for the bill: 
"We learned a lot about loyalty [today]."

The Freedom Caucus refused to vote with the rest of the Republicans on the 7-year long awaited repeal and replace of Obamacare. 

Instead, they felt it didn't go farther enough to rescind everything from Obamacare they hated, and they chose to leave Obamacare as the solution for the foreseeable future, rather than get a replacement bill they felt was also subpar.

Whether this was smart or dumb, time will tell. 

- Smart - If down the road, they get a better replacement to Obamacare then what was being offered now. 

- Dumb - If rather than a better replacement, we end up either stuck with Obamacare indefinitely or get an even worse alternative later. 

It's a little like gambling Vegas--they decided to roll the dice again, rather than leave the table with their winnings. 

Sure, they could end up a bigger winner or they can lose it all, so we'll see. 

But there is another important question here:

What obligation did they have to be loyal and vote with their party vs. being loyal to their own conscience?

The Democrats have held the line better in terms of voting as block--and hence they have proved superior in many cases in wielding their share of power. 

In contrast, the Republicans have been more divided and hence, they can't get the votes they need to pass the legislation desired by the right--because somebodies are always holding out for a better deal. 

But Trump represents "The Art of the Deal,"--and a deal usually means negotiation, compromise, and that nobody gets everything they want.

So while everyone should vote and act their conscience, there is also something to be said for loyalty to the team effort. 

If everyone just holds out for what they want, then really that stoneheadedness will result in virtually nothing getting done. 

We've all got to give a little to get a little, as long as it doesn't violate our moral compass, core values, and faith. 

Loyalty also has to do with showing and acting with respect. 

And being disloyal to the team and leadership has ramifications.

Those who seemed as if they were being true to themselves and their constituents--may end up having really let themselves and the others down, and not just Trump and Ryan. 

Finally, loyalty is a two-way street, and I have a feeling Caesar is not yet done with the great treachery that was perhaps so callously inflicted on him and the greater national cause. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 18, 2016

Paint Can Art

Thought this was pretty cool art in Anthropologie in Washington, DC.

It was different paint cans attached to the wall in the store in a colorful display. 

To go with this paint theme, they also had paint brushes (dry of course, but they looked wet with colored paint) hanging from the ceiling. 

Anyway, in the back of the store, there was a beautiful new rug that I got for my daughter--it was a real find (and sort of looks like this paint display in terms of colors, but very refined and feminine for her with gorgeous flowers and a rich texture).  

Anyway, she loved it and I ended up getting a pretty good deal on it, so I was happy too. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

April 5, 2016

Have A Nice Doomsday

This was a photo of a photo I took at Washington Artworks this past weekend.

An anti-nuke demonstration outside the White House with signs that say:

"Live by the bomb, die by the bomb."

and 

"Ban all nuclear weapons or have a nice doomsday."

This was particularly interesting juxtaposed to the editorial in the Wall Street Journal yesterday by the UAE Ambassador to the U.S. who reflected on "one year after the Iran nuclear deal" and outright stated:

"Don't be fooled. The Iran--we have long known--hostile, expansionist, violent--is alive and well."

And he goes on to cite the multiple ballistic missile tests by Iran (October, November, and March), the firing of rockets by Iran dangerously close to a U.S. aircraft carrier (December), the detaining of US Navy sailors on their knees broadcast to the world (January), an $8 billion purchase by Iran of Russian fighter jets, planes, and helicopters (February), and the seizure of shipments by Iran of large weapons caches supporting terrorism around the world (February, March, and April) including just yesterday when the U.S. seized thousands of AK-47s and RPGs headed for Yemen. 

The editorial ends...

"Our hope for a new Iran should not cloud the reality that the old Iran is very much still with us--as dangerous and as disruptive as ever,"

Let's pray that our earnest yearnings for peace with Iran (and North Korea for that matter) does not end in the polar opposite...a "nice" nuke doomsday scenario by the leading state sponsor(s) of terrorism worldwide. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy from Washington Artworks)
Share/Save/Bookmark

July 26, 2015

What's So Funny About Non-Proliferation?



Here's what they are saying online in some satire on the Iranian Nuke WMD Deal.

The Spanish comedian is talking about something else (I don't know what), but the subtitles were dubbed to make the points about the issues with this deal. 

No disrespect intended to anyone, but the points illustrated are well made. 

Is this how we want the world to view us? 


We are hoping and praying for a real and verifiable peace.
Share/Save/Bookmark

July 25, 2015

The Mullahs With The Bomb...Tick, Tick, Tock!


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

July 19, 2015

Come Back In A Month!

This is the crux of the problem with the verification clause in the Iran Nuclear WMD Deal.

In a nutshell:

"Can I check your suspected site for dangerous nuclear WMD?"

"No!"

"Ok, I'll come back in 24 days."

"Great, thank you--have a nice day."

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Chaim Haberfeld, Facebook)
Share/Save/Bookmark

July 18, 2015

The "Real" Reason Behind The Iran Deal

So I've been giving this a lot of thought...

Why would the United States make a bad deal with Iran?

- Where Iran gets to keep their nuke infrastructure.

- Where they get restrictions for a mere 10-15 years and then presumably get the coveted BOMB.

- Where "managed access" for inspections has a ridiculous 24 days waiting time.

- Where the arms and ballistic missile embargo is lifted.

- Where Iran gets a windfall of $150 billion released to them for which they acknowledge they will tap for use to support terror worldwide. 

- Where Iran's leadership continues to chant "Death To America," burn our flag and President in effigy, hold Americans hostage, threaten us, and insist that their hatred and fight against us will go on. 

Are we going crazy?

No, there is actually a rational reason for all this.

So what's the reason--let me explain from my simple-minded thinking about all this (follow carefully)?

Iran is a Shiite nation. 

Shiite's make up only a small percentage of the Islamic world around 15% (or 200 million).

However, the Sunnis make up the other 1 billion Muslims.

The Sunnis are moving through terrorist movements such as ISIS, Al Qaeda,  Boko Haram, Hamas and more to create a Sunni Caliphate throughout the Middle East and North Africa (and maybe beyond). 

The Western world fears the terror and destruction that can come about from a Sunni Caliphate

Also, on 9/11, The U.S. was attacked by Al Qaeda (Sunnis) and where 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia (a Sunni Country). 

The answer is the enemy of my enemy is my friend...Iran. 

Iran is the largest Shiite Country with it's own ambitions for a Shiite Caliphate. 

Arming and funding Iran is a bulwark against the predominant Sunnis and their ambitions for power and hegemony. 

Notably, guess what?  Iraq is another country with a large Shiite population, like Iran. 

Hence, this is why the U.S. went into Iraq to dethrone Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, who was holding power over the Shiite population--now the Shiites there are in power. 

Voila, Shiites in Iran and neighboring Iraq empowered to fight Sunnis.

They mostly terrorize and murder each other instead of seriously battling the West.

Since 9/11, there has not been a major terrorist attack on the U.S.

And if Iran is on the road to the Bomb, and this sparks a nuclear arms race in the Middle East with Saudi Arabia etc., perhaps the thinking...maybe that's not such a bad thing after all.

Unfortunately, Israel who is threatened by a nuclear-armed Iran who explicitly wants to "annihilate" them is caught in the middle of all this.

But the West is more concerned with the Sunnis and Shiites battling it out, then with the fate of Israel, who we figure can be placated with some "compensation" armaments to protect themselves. 

But is that enough for a country where one nuclear missile hit can mean a second Holocaust? 

I am not a conspiracy theorist and never have been.

But this seems too easy. ;-)

(All Opinions My Own)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

March 5, 2015

What's Behind The Iran Deal?

The U.S. is driving forward toward a looming deadline for a deal with Iran, so they don't go nuclear (on us).

But with this deal, Iran does go nuclear!

The question then is who is this non-deal of a deal for?

Usually one makes a deal that is good for you, your team, your allies, your friends, your community--that's why you're making the deal...otherwise why bother?

In this case, no one has more to lose with a (very) bad deal than Iran's neighbors in the Middle East, so they are actually very good judges as to whether this is a good deal or not, right?

If it's a good deal that safeguards them, the region, and us--wouldn't they all be jumping up and down doing the Horah?

But they're not--and far from it!

PM Netanyahu was extremely clear and got 23 standing ovations in just a 40 minute speech explaining how kicking the thermonuclear can down the road ten years does not a non-proliferation agreement make with a homicidal terrorist regime like Iran. 

Similar, today again it is reported that "America's other key allies across the Middle East--such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates--are just as distraught."

And the same reason that they don't like this deal is why we shouldn't like this deal--because it doesn't accomplish the goal of safety and security for this region of the world or for us from dangerous Iran. 

In this case, where a no-nuke Iran was what was committed to, instead we are getting, at best, a temporary deal with Iran that leaves them their nuke infrastructure and capabilities, as well as the legitimacy to ultimately have their nukes and make us eat it too!

So perhaps it is understandable why Netanyahu came here to speak to the U.S. Congress about what this dangerous deal is turning into and means to the very country that has been threatened by Iran with extermination. 

And why a prominent Emirati political commentator said, "A lot of the Gulf countries [our traditional U.S. allies] feel they are being thrown under the bus."

Hmm, perhaps rather than playing right side/left side of the aisle politics, we should be asking some common sense questions:

1) Why would anyone and why would we in particular want a deal that doesn't accomplish the goal of stopping the terrorist Iranian regime from getting nuclear weapons of mass destruction?

2) Why would we desperately seek a deal that doesn't safeguard us, and our allies, and where the common refrain is that no deal is better than this deal?

3) Why would we be pushing to lift sanctions on Iran that has threatened us and our allies with everything from raping the President's daughter to sinking the U.S. Navy to annihilating Israel instead of clamping down on these terrorists?

You know the famous saying that when something smells fishy, it usually is.  

This deal makes no sense--and our allies in the Middle East know it, Congress knows it, and if you don't let partisan politics get in the way, we all know it. 

That means that as Iran is now aggressively spreading it's influence and forces across a contingent land sphere including Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, there is some ulterior motive at play here--should I draw you a map? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

February 25, 2015

Is This A Genuine Partner For WMD Peace?


Everyone was speculating why Iran was building a 202 meter long life-size replica of a Nimitz Class U.S. Aircraft Carrier in the Persian Gulf.

Well today (as we are hear of "progress" with Iranian nuclear talks), we got our answer, as the Iranian military took the opportunity and blew the mock U.S. aircraft carrier to smithereens!


The commander of Iran's Navy stated: "The Americans, and the entire world, knows that the American Navy is one of our targets and it will take us 50 seconds to destroy every US warship."


At the same time, Iran is mulling over the purchase of a powerful anti-aircraft missile system from Russia.


So now Iran is going toward an agreement for a possible lifting of western financial sanctions and a 10-year nuke capability, and we are trusting them that it is for peaceful purposes?


Many of our major Middle East allies are concerned including Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, and more, and so much so that an Iranian nuke capability may "spark a nuclear arms race."


Hmm...why the desperation for a deal with "Axis of Evil," Iran amidst ongoing hostility and threats from Iran towards "The Great Satan," America, and all the express concerns of our longtime friends and allies? 


Now we won't just have deadly terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIS to contend with across the region, but also a nuclear armed Iran--amidst regular threats to sink the U.S. Navy and annihilate Israel (and just 70 years after the Holocaust killed 6 million Jewish men, women, and children!).  


What have we learned about appeasement of dangerous foes and the unimaginable risks to millions of innocent lives around the world? ;-)

Share/Save/Bookmark

November 29, 2014

Soften The Hearts

This last year has shown some difficult negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran.

It seems as if the P5+1 have been doing everything possible to get Iran to stop pursuing dangerous WMD, but that the response is just forever, "No."

So the deadline for a deal was extended once again. 

Many are saying no deal is better than a bad deal--and that certainly makes sense. 

The key is for national and global security to take precedence over any deal for deal's sake.

Everyone desperately wants peace, but it should be a real and lasting and verifiable peace.

Most people are good and want peace, but there are always those extremists who have an irrational hatred and seek nothing but power and destruction, and they says things like they want to "annihilate Israel" or seek to build ICBMs that can reach Europe and America. 

Oh L-rd, please soften the hearts in Iran to agree to a real and lasting peace that safeguards us, and that brings prosperity and betterment to the world. 

Maybe this next extension will be the charm--let's hope and pray.

Note: The characters in the cartoon are fictional and do not intend any disrespect to anyone--simply the hope for a softening of hearts and minds of Iran's leaders, and with that the attainment of a real and verifiable peace with this next round of negotiations. 

All opinions my own.

Share/Save/Bookmark