Writing

Piece 49 – Damn the Iran Deal, The West Should Not Give An Inch By. Raimondo Graziano

Damn the Iran Deal, The West Should Not Give An Inch

By. Raimondo Graziano

 

The United States has been known from time to time to wage wars based on the premise of regime change. That of toppling governments that do not align with the views of the United States based on the followings premises- antipathy toward democratic values that the West as a whole holds close to its heart, violent and virulent actions taken against the people of whatever nation it may be, and when the national security interests of the United States are jeopardized. In this The United States is acting on the right side of history, not only for it’s own sake but for the sake of the West as a global institution responsible for the longest sustained peace in history, democratization for the vast portions of the people of the world, and for the unleashing of sheer human potential.

As the first among equals, the United States holds the unique responsibility of ensuring peace across the world and the continued dominance of the West as the captain of the ship dubbed human history. With that stewardship comes harsh realities and sometimes even harsher choices. We have had leaders who would defer these responsibilities and we have had leaders who have stepped up. We have had leaders that have done both at the same time. In some cases their decisions have been for the better and others for the worse, far worse. Perhaps the harshest lesson we can learn from history is that appeasement in the face of a belligerent, anti-democratic actor can lead to utter catastrophe. I need only say Neville Chamberlain, our good friend from across the Atlantic, who spoke of “peace for our time” referring of course to the chancellor in Germany, Adolf Hitler. Appeasement is the way forward for those who haven’t the stomach for the necessary task of confronting aggression wherever it may be coming from.

Whether they are motivated by domestic politics, the specter of reelection, or simply fixated on legacy building. Who doesn’t like the still quiet of peace? It is something that everyone can readily get behind. However, peace at any cost is never the answer. Today we face a similar threat, though perhaps we wouldn’t like to admit it. Iran is a rogue actor in the Middle East and has funded numerous terrorist organizations throughout the region and around the world, they have leadership both within their armed forces and politically that speak enthusiastically about the demise of Israel and the West. They threaten and intimidate Europe with their medium and short range missiles, saying they can increase their ranges to put the whole of Europe at risk. They have been accused, with evidence of pursuing nuclear weapons and with their coziness to rogue organizations, this is recipe for calamity. It is probable that they have attacked oil refineries in the region, they have seized a British tanker and have refused to let it go, while the British have released their own, which was seized in the first place for violating sanctions rightfully slapped on them.

The JCPOA or the Iran Deal as it is referred to was a hardly fought diplomatic effort which in the end did not guarantee that the nation would not seek nuclear weapons, nor was their any provisions regaridng their human rights abuses or their funding of extremist groups – it simply put a cap for a number of years, and in return sanctions were lifted and their capital frozen from the sanctions, measuring in the hundred billion dollar range was released to them. Not to mention no addressing of the short range or medium range ballistic missiles. All in all it punted the issue down the road for some other administration to deal with while our esteemed politicans had praise heaped on them by the mainstream media for their efforts at securing peace. This was not peace, this was appeasement. Now the current administration has pulled out from the deal, rightfully. Iran has begun enrichment once more and has stepped up their dangerous and reckless behavior in the region once more using the Strait of Hormuz, where a large portion of the worlds oil supply moves through, hostage – using it as a bargaining chip or an overt threat more aptly put. They have effectively signaled their unwillingness to comply with the accord, and they stick to it in nothing but ink on paper. Lest they forget that the deal has other signatories, they care not for the deal or they would adhere to it regardless of the United States’ involvement.

The harshness of sanctions is the right path forward, a pressure campaign meant to cripple their capabilities to continue to sow discord throughout the world. Their behavior cannot go unchecked and it is the United States who has the heavy burden of leveling these actions, holding them accountable. This will give the United States no great honor or accolades from the international community nor support from our European allies who are poised to lose the most should Iran continue its belligerence. They would rather appease further and undermine the United States and its diplomatic efforts. Sanctions may be a harsh tool, but they are a diplomatic tool, a bludgeon, nonetheless. France today is offering an aid package to Iran to account for the lost revenue from oil Iran has suffered because of the sanctions. The aid package would effectively blunt the blows The United States needs to deliver to secure true and lasting peace. France, thinking itself the steward of the European Union, seeks to go the route of appeasement, just as Chamberlain, another steward of Europe, did nearly eighty one years ago. Less than one year later, the world was plunged in darkness. Damn the Iran Deal, let it whither and die the rightful death it deserves, the West should not give one single inch.

Old Howard Union

46 – In Support of Free, Fair, and Just Trade

Free trade holds the promise of bringing the nations of the world closer together in economic interdependence, and fosters peace among the peoples of the world. When we are one, the chance of conflict lessens – however free trade as it stands works to line the pockets of politicans, businesses and barons of industry rather than work for the workers. We need free trade to foster peace, fair trade to make the rights of workers uniform around the world, and just trade to uplift the peoples of the world from poverty.

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Show Notes

  1. https://www.mercatus.org/publication/benefits-free-trade-addressing-key-myths
  2. https://amp.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2018/03/14/why-is-free-trade-good
  3. https://www.intelligenteconomist.com/advantages-of-free-trade/
  4. https://www.fairtradefederation.org/fair-trade-free-trade/
  5. https://globein.com/blog/fair-trade-vs-free-trade/
Old Howard Union

44 – In Support of A European Army

The European Union is perhaps the greatest project in peace on a continent in history – the nations of Europe are inextricably linked in their history and have been in conflict for near all of it – the union today has guaranteed peace for near seventy years. Today, that order is under threat from within and without. A unified European identity can only be maintained, and the international order can only be preserved and strengthened through a unified European Army.

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Important readings.

  1. https://www.iiss.org/blogs/analysis/2019/01/macron-european-army-reality
  2. https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-army/2019/03/20/france-a-european-army-would-help-not-hurt-us-troops/
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/20/world/europe/germany-defense-spending-european-army.html
  4. https://www.ecfr.eu/amp-article/commentary_the_european_army_a_tale_of_wilful_misunderstanding
  5. https://globalriskinsights.com/2018/11/european-army-european-military/amp/
Old Howard Union

Issue Brief, 11 – Progressive Foreign Policy

Progressive foreign policy is something we rarely hear spoken about by major political candidates of the left, they tend to focus more so on domestic policy. However with recent developments the world over and an increasingly interdependent world, many progressives are asking the question – what is, or rather, what should progressive foreign policy look like.


Show Notes

Some important and informing links.

Writing

Piece 39 – Journalistic Integrity in the Modern Age By. Raimondo Graziano

Journalistic Integrity in the Modern Age

By. Raimondo Graziano

           Journalistic integrity and the freedom of the press are on the foremost pillars of our democracy – the means to critique, judge, and in some cases expose the policies, prejudices, and character of individuals in government or power, or agencies or foreign governments keeps these individuals accountable and held to a standard. A standard that the public looks to, and uses to make their beliefs and opinions solidified, backed with truth. In essence, the free press helps to bolster our democracy by keeping persons in power accountable and in check, and keeps the public informed whereas to galvanize support or erode trust. However, this only works when the press publishes unbiased truth – not opinions. It is up to the public to form their  opinions, and the duty of the press to present the facts. It is also the duty of the press to be prudent and exercise judgement in regards to what it is they choose to publish and push out to the public. Too often today, the press pushes forth a false narrative or chooses to compromise the national security of the nation. This is irresponsible and unprofessional. The case of this is no where clearer, or as near to clear, as in the case of Julian Assange.

          Assange has, and has always had a poltical agenda – self motivated and propelled by his own vision of the truth, and the facts. He, himself is a small piece of the entirety of the journalistic community in many regards – the pillars of a free press are paramount to a functioning democracy,  but when the press is motivated by profit, and by ideology the press is no longer free, yet – at the same time- as the people tout its greatness, and importance, they are too naive to see that the hands of power and control have shifted from nonpartisan purveyors of truth, to wealth driven capitalistic snakes – but the press as an institution remains untouchable to critique and criticism. Yet, a press no longer governed by truth, can still take aim at all manner of people, policies and the like.

           This itself distorts the public’s comprehension of what is true and what is not – eroding trust in all of our institutions! The press like Assange, may have started out in this country as something from a place of good intentions. But corruption has overrun his intentions, and infected the execution of the seeking of the truth; and the same can be said for the press – the press has become corrupted, and driven by ideology and it is ripping the fabric of our society apart. Dividing and conquering by keeping us separate from one another in perhaps the most trying century in history.  Assange and the press should be held to a higher standard. Those that divide, compromise our national security, and purposefully seek to polarize the public deserve to be firstly held to a specific, concrete standard and secondly if they cannot uphold such a simple request – they should be dealt with appropriately regarding those that seek to undermine unity in an already tenuous and fragile world.