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Tom Rinaldo

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Member since: Mon Oct 20, 2003, 05:39 PM
Number of posts: 18,274

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Yes the Iran deal really comes down to War or Peace

It really is that simple in a world where most things rarely are that simple. There is nothing short of a full scale invasion and occupation of Iran from that can stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons if that nation is dead set on acquiring them. Not even successful air strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities can stop them from getting the bomb The latter could only delay that by at most a few years. Experts actually agree on that. In a nation as technologically advanced as Iran is that already has the knowledge needed to go nuclear, all that would be needed to rebuild their atomic weapons program in facilities deep enough to be invulnerable to attack would be the will to do so. And if either Israel or the U.S. launched air strikes against Iran's current facilities, sufficient will to do so would be assured.

The current Iranian nuclear freeze that this agreement will replace was extremely unstable. It rested on a foundation of wide international support for punishing sanctions that forced Iran to the bargaining table. By itself the United States quite simply lacked the economic leverage needed to force Iran there by ourselves. Iran has been living under U.S. sanctions for decades - Even continued support from our traditional European allies wouldn't be enough to checkmate Iran if Russian and/or China broke ranks. And it's not exactly like China, to say nothing of Putin's Russia, feels under any deep obligation to do United States foreign policy any favors.

If, in the eyes of the world outside of the American and Israeli Right media echo chamber, Iran agrees to a reasonable deal and the U.S. then backs out of it, international sanctions against Iran will soon be nothing but a historic footnote. Great Britain, France and Germany are fully on board with this deal. They need Iranian oil more than we do. Airbus wants to sell airliners to Iran. Our traditional allies won't sit back and let Russia and China eat their economic lunch in regards to Iran. Once the economic damn of sanctions against Iran begins to leak, its full structural failure is inevitable. So long as Iran seems willing to faithfully honor the terms of this international agreement - the era of sanctions diplomacy against Iran is over no matter what Republican presidential candidates might say to the contrary.

Frankly whether any other potential U.S. leader other than President Obama could have negotiated a better deal with Iran (and I seriously doubt that), be that Jeb Bush, Scott Walker or Donald Trump, is now totally moot. Sorry guys but you just weren't in office when the rubber finally met the road. The American people elected Barack Obama President, twice, not John McCain or Mitt Romney. And while a case can also be made that right wing, and Israeli, bluster against the historic accord with Iran had a perversely positive role to play in convincing Iran to agree to tougher American pushed terms rather than see the final agreement go down in flames in the U.S. Congress, further bluster no longer has any potentially constructive role to play. There no longer are any negotiations to influence, the deal has now been inked.

True, opposition to this deal with Iran does not equate directly with pushing for war with Iran. Rather it is one tiny and inevitable step removed from directly advocating war with Iran, a distinction that is an embarrassingly tiny fig leaf to attempt to hide behind. Without this historic arm limitation accord Iran will be free to resume work on any nuclear program of its own choosing, without external inspections, while mot of the economic sanctions against it splinter and fall away. What then? If it is unacceptable to live with the consequences of Iran being bound only to the terms of this agreement, will it become more acceptable to live with Iran being bound to no conditions whatsoever? Clearly not, and with the diplomatic initiative having now run it's full course, the "military option" will be the only one left to resort to.

Anyone who sincerely believes that "surgical air strikes", whether by Israel or the United States, can remove any Iranian nuclear threat without embroiling America in a bloody protracted conflict spilling way beyond Iranian borders, while simultaneously unleashing new waves of terrorist actions against us, is delusional. Benjamin Netanyahu for one is not in the slightest bit delusional. He seems convinced that Iran, sooner or later, will need to be confronted militarily, and given that he prefers sooner over later. He understands the full implications of what torpedoing this accord with Iran would mean, and he accepts a need for military conflict. Perhaps he hold outs slim hope that a strong show of military force against Iran would cause that regime to crumple or alternately back down. If he does than Netanyahu also is delusional.

Iran is not Syria, it is many times more populous and advanced, it has a long proud history as a nation that goes back millennia, not decades. Unlike the Syrian nuclear facilities that Israel once bombed, there is nothing hush hush domestically about their existence. They have been in the full international glare of ten thousand spotlights for years now. If Iran gets bombed because of that program AFTER making the concessions that America's closest European allies believe should be sufficient, all hell will break loose.

On tonight's final Grateful Dead Concert, and how and WHY to virtually be there...

So Janet and I decided to attend the final three Grateful Dead concerts (as in FINAL Grateful Dead concerts) through simulcast at the Bearsville Theater (near Woodstock NY). The last show is tonight and the Dead will probably be hitting the stage in less than 5 hours. Last night people were able to walk up and buy tickets for $7 (CHEAP!) - probably you can tonight also. If the idea of catching the simulcast at a public venue at all interests you, I unhesitatingly say DO IT! Yes it is on TV also with pay for view, but if other venues do what Bearsville did with a huge screen and pretty much full 360 degree sense surround quality sound - it makes all of the difference in the world to attend. Here is where to find live screening locations nation wide (I'll write a little bit about the shows in a sec) http://www.dead50.net/concert-venue-screenings/

The live video feed is Excellent and the audio feed includes a full helping of audience sound which makes it near impossible to not think the people you are hearing in Chicago aren't seated (or standing) all around you between songs - or when 65,000 can be heard singing a distant background chorus on many songs.

This show celebrates a 50 year culture altering musical career. That's equivalent to over one fifth of the entire history of the U.S.A. to put that in perspective (Yeah the Stones can claim even longer but they ain't Yanks). I avoided Garcia-less Dead shows until now but this weekend for me it's all about showing respect to the 4 surviving members of the Grateful Dead as they cap off that wonderful and intense long strange trip. But here's the thing. They are ON. Last night even the vocals usually rose to the occasion. Trey Anastasio, lead guitarist of Phish, is doing a superb job stepping into lead guitar, and he really is the right man to be there on stage with the Dead at the end. He is smiling from ear to ear doing it when he isn't lost making the acoustics of the moment. I'm not going to write a concert review or go over the set list, you can find that stuff online. There were a number of moments, last night more so than Friday, when the band ignited in spectacular form - equal to the best places they have collectively reached at any show I've ever seen them do - and I've seen a lot of them. The Grateful Dead are going out strong.

If you never had a chance to see them play in person - this comes pretty damn close to that, and really it is only seeing them in person that captures what they essentially uniquely are capable of pulling off. When a band dances on a tightrope wire non stop for 3 plus hours, not every step they take will be graceful, but collectively the experience can be dazzling. Members of The Grateful Dead are all superb musicians, so even if all or even most of their music is not right up your ally, it is remarkable to see them crafting that sound live. This is NOT an oldies show or an Oldies act. It is a vibrant band in full creative mode - and tonight is the LAST chance you will ever have of being part of that live experience. Emotions have been running high at these shows the last two nights, I can't imagine how it will be tonight for their truly final performance. Think about attending this now while you still may have time to do so. Once it is over history turns the last page of an epic volume.
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