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Name: Bobby star0208
Gender: Male
Hometown: Florida
Home country: USA
Current location: Florida
Member since: Wed Aug 1, 2018, 03:45 PM
Number of posts: 5,364

About Me

Celebrating 50 year anniversary of my US citizenship this year in 2020! So lucky to be here!!

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Is Iran a Rational Actor? We're About to Find Out

Bobby Ghosh
BloombergJanuary 6, 2020
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Caveat emptor: Anybody who claims to know how Iran will respond to the killing of Qassem Soleimani is either a liar or a fool. The history of the Islamic Republic provides few meaningful pointers, because it has never been here before. None of its foreign enemies has taken out a figure of comparable importance to the Tehran regime.

No Iranian military commander of Soleimani’s standing was killed in the 1980-88 war with Iraq. The nuclear scientists assassinated — presumably by Israel — in the 2010s were important to the regime, but hardly as influential as the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ elite Quds Force.

The 1988 downing of Iran Air 655 by an American warship provoked similar outrage, but the military and political impact of Soleimani’s death exceeds even the collective weight of the 290 people killed on that aircraft. So it’s not safe to conclude that, because Iran never acted on solemn oaths of revenge then — “The criminal United States should know that the unlawfully shed blood in the disaster ... will be avenged in the same blood-spattered sky over the Persian Gulf” — that it will not do so now.

Its response to Soleimani’s death-by-drone will answer a question that has attended every discussion about Iran since 1979: is the Islamic Republic a rational actor?

Plenty of smart people — including military men such as General Martin Dempsey, former Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff — say it is. Other foreign-policy thinkers take the more nuanced view that Iran is rational without being reasonable: It has different priorities from those of its enemies, but its behavior is entirely logical in the context of those priorities.

My own view is that the regime has just one priority: its own perpetuation. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has demonstrated repeatedly in his three decades in charge that his sole objective is to preserve the peculiar form government that vests him with vast power over his people with little accountability. But his pursuit of that priority is as likely to be informed by ideology as it is by logic, as much by paranoia as it is by pragmatism.

Consider the regime’s visceral hostility toward Israel, with which Iran has no borders and no history of conflict — and, indeed, a record of mutually beneficial cooperation until the Islamic Republic chose to make it a bogeyman. A pragmatic Khamenei would, at the very least, ignore Israel; only ideology, and an imagined enmity, prevents this.


The one play which sealed Seahawks victory over Eagles...


My dream candidate exists - and her name is Elizabeth Warren

If I was going to invent a dream candidate, she would be grounded in small-town, rural or heartland America but able to hold her own in the citadels of power on the coasts. She would comfort the afflicted with the same passion with which she afflicts the comfortable, and she would understand the causes of those afflictions and have good ideas about how to remedy them. She would be moved by compassion but wouldn’t ask us to rely on compassion; she would have tangible strategies for widening our distribution of income, healthcare, education and opportunity, and she would be smart about the intersections of race, gender, class and the rest.

Warren doesn't just frighten billionaires – she scares the whole establishment
Robert Reich
Read more
She would have been around long enough to remember that since the 1980s the government has dismantled a lot of systems that made us more safe and more equal, and she’d be fresh enough to imagine new ways out of the consequences of that catastrophic dismantling. Also she would have to be funny and have big plans to address climate change. OK, she already exists, and I’m talking about Elizabeth Warren. She is, to me, a better candidate for president than I ever expected we’d have.

My dream candidate would’ve been a woman of color with all these qualities, and my dreamiest dream candidate would be a woman of color with Medusa hair who could turn the entire Republican Senate to stone with a glance, but Warren is who’s left in the race, and she is magnificent, and superheroes from Megan Rapinoe to Roxane Gay agree. Also, she pretty much turned Wells Fargo’s CEO into stone in a 2016 Senate banking committee hearing, more than a decade after she became one of the most outspoken experts telling Wall Street why it’s vicious and half a decade after she endorsed Occupy Wall Street. The strength of her candidacy is shown by how she’s made it to the front of the race despite misogyny from across the political spectrum, the wrath of the billionaires pouring money – and themselves – into the race, and the smears and distortions of the mainstream media.

Really I see her as a combination of three superpowers: wonkiness, radicalness and what for lack of a better term I would call Big Structural Mom Energy. The wonkiness is how she set new standards in primary campaigns with those famous plans – far more detailed, with the costs accounted for, than was usual before she arrived. The depth with which she understands the economic system – taxes, banks, bankruptcies, credit cards, home and student loans, redlining – is the depth with which she can change it.


Gen. Petraeus on Qasem Soleimani's killing: 'It's impossible to overstate the significance'

Q: Would you have recommended this course of action right now?

A: I'd hesitate to answer that just because I am not privy to the intelligence that was the foundation for the decision, which clearly was, as was announced, this was a defensive action, that Soleimani was going into the country to presumably approve further attacks. Without really being in the inner circle on that, I think it's very difficult to either second-guess or to even think through what the recommendation might have been.

Again, it is impossible to overstate the significance of this action. This is much more substantial than the killing of Osama bin Laden. It's even more substantial than the killing of Baghdadi.


pri.org has LEFT-CENTER BIAS
These media sources have a slight to moderate liberal bias. They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes) to favor liberal causes. These sources are generally trustworthy for information, but may require further investigation. See all Left-Center sources.

Factual Reporting: HIGH
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