The Iran Deal

First a bit of history of the region for those who only watched “The 300” and Fox News and think they have a fully understanding of Iran.

Prior to 1935 the region we know of today as Iran was called Persia. This region is known for the oldest known civilizations in the world dating back over 10,000 years. From the 10th Century through the 7th Century BC the Persian tribes of the area coalesced into part of the Assyrian Empire. During the first half of the 5th Century BC the region was embroiled in the Greco-Persian Wars of which a small part is the basis of the fictional account portrayed in “The 300.” During this time, the predecessors of Iran actually controlled 44% of the entire World’s population, to include exiled Jews from Israel (something worth noting). At no time in history or since has one empire controlled so much of the world’s population.

Towards the end of the Greco-Persian wars, the Persians began to withdraw from Western territories in Europe. In 334 BC Alexander the Great invaded and conquered Persia and the people were under the control of Hellenistic Seleucid Empire in much the same way the Greeks controlled Egypt via the Ptolemy line, ending with Cleopatra. All from when the European Greeks controlled much of the known world to include present day Iran.

In the centuries that followed, the Romans took control following the Roman Parthian Wars. The region was never stable and eventually fell under the control of the Eastern Roman Empire known as the Byzantine Empire. Because the Europeans fighting in the region exhausted themselves over the following 700 years, invading Muslim Arabs took control of the region. In the 7th Century AD the Iranians converted to Islam. However after 200 years, semi-independent Iranian Kingdoms began to coalesce and the Arabic culture was replaced by a revived Persian culture creating a Persian bureaucracy for the region.

An “Islamic Golden Age” for the region began in the 10th and 11th Centuries. Persian literature, philosophy, medicine, science blossomed while Europe was deep in their “Dark Ages.” However in 1219 through 1221 the region was invaded by the Mongols, and three-fourths of the population in the Iranian Plateau were massacred. The population didn’t recover to pre Mongol size until the 20th Century.

From 1501 through 1979 several Iranian/Persian Dynasties came and went. Battles with the Ottomans, Russians and other cultures continued through the centuries leading to the recent history of the region which must be noted because it directly relates to what the views of the Iranian People are today towards the West.

Following years of British and Russian Empire Building, Iran’s first National Parliament was created in 1906. Their Constitution gave formal recognition to Iran’s three religious minorities; Christians, Zoroastrians, and Jews. All three actually have recognition in the Iranian Constitution to this very day.

In 1911 the Russians invaded and occupied Northern Iran, During World War 1 the British invaded and occupied Iran until 1921. In 1921 Reza Kahn, Iranian Prime Minister became Shah and remained in power until 1941 when he had to abdicate due to the British returning and taking control of the region. In fact both the British and Soviets occupied Iran during this period.

Eventually in 1951 the Iranians elected Mohammed Mosaddegh as Prime Minister. He was extremely popular especially since he nationalized the Iranian Oil Fields to benefit of the people of Iran. Iran’s democratic government fell in 1953 when a joint Anglo-American covert operation overthrew Mosaddegh and installed a new Shah to take control of Iran and more importantly her oil fields to the benefit of Western Oil interests.

In the decades that followed, the Shah became more tyrannical and westernized. The Iranian people were subjected to totalitarian rule. Religious fundamentalists were imprisoned, killed or exiled to include Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who opposed the secular, westernized and brutal regime of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

The people of Iran under this regime grew to be more and more anti-western. In 1979 the Shah was forced to abdicate, the Ayatollah returned, the American Embassy was overran and Americans were held for 444 days. This started over 30 years no diplomatic relations between the United States and Iran.

During those years, the United States sold neighboring Iraq and their leader, this guy name Saddam Hussein chemical weapons that he used when he invaded Iran. That war didn’t go well for either nation and it did not go unnoticed that the United States backed Iraq to the Iranians.

Also, many ignore that while we backed Iraq, the Reagan administration were selling weapons to Iran. Go figure.

Then a real odd thing happened. We decided we didn’t like Hussein and we invaded Iraq. The result of that invasion totally destabilized the region resulting in a stronger Iran, followed by Iranian influence in Iraq and what we have today.

Essentially, we created the current Iranian regime by installing the brutal Shah regime and we strengthened the Iranian regime by taking out the only regional power who held them in check. This is our mess.

Now as to be expected when religious zealots are involved in government, there’s a lot of hatred to be expected and this is true for the Iranian Government. Even though they still recognize and protect in their constitution Christians and Jews, they have very anti-Israeli rhetoric from their leaders. So you can expect Israel to be suspicious and fearful of the Iranians.

Further, due to the history of the region going back especially to 1953 between Iran and the United States, you can expect Iran to be suspicious of the United States and since 1979 the United States to be suspicious of Iran. Despite the fact that Israel is already armed with a nuclear deterrent force, they fear Iranian nukes being developed.

By the way, it was the United States Government that began the Iranian Nuclear program prior to 1979 under the Nixon administration.

Now here are some brief facts leading up to the current development of the Iran Deal that as of this rant 52% on the American public are opposed to (most likely due to misleading rhetoric from the right).

  • We have frozen Iranian assets since 1979.
  • We have imposed economic sanctions against Iran since 1979.
  • These sanctions were never sufficient enough to get Iran to the negotiating table because other major powers continued to deal with Iran during this time.
  • Upon taking office and with the assistance of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama for the first time was able to get strict international sanctions imposed on Iran. Both Russia and China joined in on these sanctions.
  • This got the Iranians to the negotiating table.

The Iranians do not trust us, we don’t trust them and the current deal recognizes and deals with that mistrust.

Removing of sanctions will not begin until the Iranians demonstrate they have begun to dismantle their nuclear bomb program.

If they are caught violating anything in the agreement, the international sanctions are immediately reinstated to include the sanctions from Russia and China.

Inspections are guaranteed and there is no easy or quick way to cover up nuclear research.

If we break the deal as our neocons, AIPAC and Likud demand, Russia and China will pull out and the international sanctions are weaken. We can’t sanction Iran alone.

This deal effectively stops them from getting a bomb for 10 years and during that time, maybe we can start dialoguing and create better agreements and understanding of our two nations.

If we instead go to war, the Iranians will get their bomb much faster and matters will be far worse than they are now.

Here is the text of the deal:

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2165388-iran-deal-text.html

Despite mutual mistrust and bad history, the only way to resolve the matter short of war (which would prolong the problem at a cost that would dwarf the Iraq debacle) is to begin to take a leap of faith and work with each other with mutual respect and common goal of peace.

The only people who stand to gain from this deal not being pursued are those who profit from war, namely the very same people like Dick Cheney and Benjamin Netanyahu who got this nation into war with Iraq which made Iran stronger.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

One final note to the people who are airing ads against the Iranian deal citing that Iran has violated over 20 international agreements. They aren’t the only ones:

List of Israeli Violations of UN Security Council Resolutions:

http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/01/27/rogue-state-israeli-violations-of-u-n-security-council-resolutions/

Simple Math Doesn’t Apply in Presidential Elections Maddow

Although I will watch Rachel Maddow from time to time, I know I irritate many of my followers on Twitter because I generally do not like her as a political pundit. I know many of my followers are enthralled with her intelligence and style and I don’t fault anyone who feels that way. However, for myself I don’t share that much adulation for her. I never quite forgave her for her punditry in 2010 that I thought was dismissive of President Obama for not giving her all she wanted and as a result possibly reduced left wing turnout in that midterm resulting in the GOP taking the House. What’s more, I’m not all that crazy about her style. I accept she’s a progressive and is certainly left leaning; however, she often bores me to tears with her 15 minute introduction for a five minute interview or spot. She strikes me as someone who likes the sound of her own voice. Whether that person be liberal, conservative or moderate I think if you’re going to be a pundit presenting a salient point, get right to it. Maddow tends to repeat the same point over and over again just rephrasing the point she already made before getting to the final gist of her story. 

Recently I was listening to her trying to dismiss the whole concept that Donald Trump could be a spoiler in the 2016 election by making a comparison to what she described as a false narrative from the Republicans and Bush Sr. people that Ross Perot was a spoiler responsible for Bill Clinton beating him in that race. Although she took over ten minute to describe her reasoning, I’ll do it in one simple paragraph. 

Nationally, Perot had 19% of the vote. Exit interviews nationally showed that of his voters, 38% would have voted for Clinton, 38% would have voted for Bush and the rest wouldn’t have voted at all. Taking those numbers into consideration there is no way Perot took enough votes away from Bush to allow Clinton to win. 

Well, election results aren’t that simple. The major flaw in her reasoning is that she’s making her assumption on a national level. In this country, each state and the District of Columbia based on their popular vote have a certain number of Electoral College votes to send to DC to elect the president. In 1992 the winner of each state and the District of Columbia sent all their Electoral College votes to the man who won. In 1992 (nationally) Bill Clinton took 43.01% of the popular vote earning 370 Electoral College votes, George Bush took 37.45% of the popular vote earning 168 Electoral College votes and Ross Perot took 18.91% earning 0 Electoral College votes. 

You can’t rely on the popular vote, exit polling or national percentiles to determine who wins the Presidency. Ask President Gore. 

When you break the vote down to the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the percentiles for all three vary significantly. Further, there is no accounting for individual exit polling examining what each Perot voter would have done had he not been on the ballot. Some very key states had Clinton and Bush very close to each other with the Perot vote also making a significant impact. In fact in Maine (that went to Clinton) Perot came in second place. 

I looked at the numbers and found thirteen states that went to Clinton where the margin between him and Bush were not only close, the percentile of votes for Perot were high enough that if just over half of them had gone toward Bush Sr., he could have narrowly won those states. The states were:

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Georgia

Kentucky

Maine

Michigan

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

Ohio

Oregon

Wisconsin  

Had all these states gone to Bush instead of Clinton, 124 Electoral College votes would have changed hands resulting in Bush getting 292 votes to Clinton’s 246 and Bush winning a second term. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1992

Now of course this depends on how the Perot voters would have responded in each of those thirteen states. However I guarantee that how they would have responded would have varied in each state and not necessarily according to the national exit polling of 38% Bush, 38% Clinton and the rest not voting at all. It is conceivable that were it not for Perot, George H W Bush would have had a second term. 

I’m glad that Clinton won but I also recognize Ross Perot very well could have had an impact on this win. To not give him credit for this is disingenuous and serves no purpose if we want to live in reality. For the same reason, I also believe that Trump running as a Third Party Candidate will guarantee the White House to whomever the Democratic Nominee is, unless it’s Jim Webb. 

Finally, reading this takes less time than listening to Rachel droning on and on over something she is most likely wrong on.

Are Real Estate Tycoons Responsible for Violent Crime?

Now hear me out. In this rant I’m using the research methodology, logic and same anecdotal data to prove a point that Republican Candidate Donald Trump and his followers (Trump’s Chumps) are using to say that immigration from the Southern Border is responsible for the crime rate in this nation.

oreilly-watters-world-sanctuary-city

Trump has made it clear that he “knows” the Mexican Government is sending their rapists and murderers across the border. He cites the case of San Francisco resident Kate Steinle who was shot and killed by undocumented immigrant Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez who is a convicted felon and has been deported to Mexico five times. Donald Trump is citing this incident as proof the border is unsecured and blames that on Ms. Steinle’s murder. In Los Angeles he held a presser with family members of victims killed by undocumented immigrants that he calls “illegals”. He and his Trump Chumps are quick to use this anecdotal data to support their cause theories as ironclad proof.

Three things to consider:

1) The family of Kate Steinle don’t want her name used as a rallying point of hate towards anyone.

2) Anecdotal data proves nothing, it’s merely story telling done in such a way the intellectually lazy develop a causal effect.

3) All the actual data and studies regarding crime and immigration proves an opposite correlation to what Trump and his Chumps are trying to portray.

In 2014 the Pew Research Center completed and released a validated study regarding immigration and crime in this nation. Some interesting facts (that were validated) came out:

1) Despite claims from the Republican Party, 59% of immigrants deported back to their country of origin have criminal records, so mostly those caught and convicted of State and Federal crimes are deported, most after serving their sentences or being placed on probation.

FT-2014-03-17-immigrants-crime-01

2) Border arrests and deportations have increased under Obama over those of his predecessors in office to include George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.

3) First generation immigrants (documented or otherwise) have a significantly lower per capita crime rate than the national average. In fact, it’s lower than native born Americans.

4) The crime rate of first generation immigrants has had no discernible impact, positive or negative towards the overall crime rate of the United States. In short, it’s a non-factor, no correlation could be determined or verified. It doesn’t exist.

FT_13_10_07_Prevalence-of-Crime

Pew Research Center: 

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/10/15/crime-rises-among-second-generation-immigrants-as-they-assimilate/

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/03/18/in-2013-59-of-deported-immigrants-convicted-of-a-crime/

But no matter, don’t let facts, validated research and data get in the way, we’re talking the logic of spectacularly successful and always right Donald Trump and his research and validation protocols. So taking that in mind I propose the following analysis of where violent crime actually exists in this country.

crime-durst

Robert Alan Durst is the son of Real Estate mogul Seymour Durst from New York. His brother Douglas Durst is currently the head of the Durst development and Real Estate Empire having taken it from Robert. Robert has been accused and is currently on trial for murder spanning three States in this country. He is suspected in the disappearance and possible murder of his wife in Connecticut, admitted to killing and dismembering body of Morris Black in Louisiana, and is currently on trial for first degree murder in the death of Susan Berman in California. He has also been arrested and charged on numerous weapons offenses.

The Durst family is estimated to be worth well in excess of four billion dollars. So what do we have here?

A narcissistic billionaire New Yorker with ties to Real Estate who’s implicated in the murders of three people across the country. I propose based on Donald Trump’s logic that Robert Durst is representative of all billionaire New York Real Estate moguls and as a nation we need to be on the lookout for them because they are murderers.

untitled

By the way, Donald Trump is a New York Real Estate Billionaire narcissist.

I rest my case.