Poor Babies

It’s been a great week for U.S. diplomacy, and naturally Republicans are outraged. And they’ve had a bad week for outrage. Last week when Iran took custody of U.S. sailors that were more than a mile within Iran’s territorial waters, the GOP presidential contenders barely had time to vent on Twitter about our weak and feckless President before the sailors were released. Unharmed. With all their stuff.

Of course, in Rightie World the sailors were not detained for being somewhere they weren’t supposed to be; they were kidnapped. Jazz Shaw wrote at Hot Air:

It’s a great time to be Iran, it seems. You can launch ballistic missile tests, kidnap and imprison western journalists or take American sailors hostage with guns held to their heads and the President of the United States will… allow you to import civilian aircraft and export locally produced goods. The dust hadn’t even settled from the Secretary of State thanking Iran for the release of ten American sailors when the White House announced that some of the first sanctions on Tehran were being lifted. …

Iran hasn’t taken any western journalists hostage this week; I think they’re referring to the Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, who was arrested on July 22, 2014, and also released this week.

… This bizarre and “nuanced” handling of sanctions – whether we’re talking about Iran, North Korea or anyone else – underscores the feckless nature of dancing with one’s enemies. So we have some sanctions which are specifically tied to their nuclear program, some associated with their ballistic missiles and others aimed at human rights abuses. (There apparently aren’t any for kidnapping American sailors.) As long as we’re dicing up the pie this way we can cancel some sanctions while leaving others in place?

I’ve been trying to grasp why that’s bad. And, of course, it’s not just “we.” This is a multinational deal.

FYI, earlier today, this happened:

The Obama administration announced Sunday that it was imposing new, more limited sanctions on some Iranian citizens and companies for violating United Nations resolutions against ballistic missile tests. The move came less than 24 hours after the White House lifted broader sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program.

The announcement, which was prepared several weeks ago but delayed by the Treasury Department, was made shortly after a Swiss plane carrying Americans freed by the Iranian authorities departed Tehran. The release of the Americans came a day after Iran and the United States concluded delicate negotiations on a prisoner exchange tied indirectly to the completion of a nuclear agreement.

The entire Right seems unable to grasp that military vessels or aircraft are not supposed to enter the territories of other nations without permission. It’s kind of a big no-no. I get the impression from this news article — somewhat reading between the lines — that the U.S. sailors just plain screwed the pooch.

 Fred Kaplan lambasted the GOP for excessive derp.

You might think the prisoner release would put the Republicans in an awkward position. They’ve been pushing Obama to get the Americans freed for months, and now, here they are, back home with their families. Donald Trump tried to resolve the cognitive dissonance by claiming personal credit for the release. “I’ve been hitting them hard, and I think I might’ve had something to do with it,” Trump said in a campaign stop on Saturday. (A minute later, though, he denounced the release anyway, saying it should have happened three or four years ago. How, he didn’t reveal.) …

…Sen. Marco Rubio wrote an op-ed for RedState, denouncing the whole complex of Iranian-American deals as “appeasement.” This is the stuff of rhetorical hot air. What territory or interests did the United States cede in any of these deals? Rubio, Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, and others denounce the $150 billion that Obama is “giving” to Iran as part of the nuclear deal—not acknowledging, in some cases perhaps not knowing, that the money (more like $100 billion, minus $50 billion that will instantly go to pay off debts) is Iran’s own assets, which were frozen in response to Iran’s nuclear program. Now that the program is largely dismantled, as required the assets are unfrozen. That’s what the nuclear deal—negotiated by the United States, Iran, and five other powers (England, France, Russia, China, and Germany)—was all about.

For its part of the deal, Iran was required not merely to freeze its nuclear program but to substantially roll it back. Specifically, it had to dismantle two-thirds of its centrifuges and 98 percent of its enriched uranium, to fill its Arak plutonium reactor with concrete, and, for verification, to allow international inspectors unprecedented access to its facilities. The big news this weekend, in this regard, is that the International Atomic Energy Agency—which monitors compliance with the deal—announced that, at this stage of the deal, Iran has fulfilled its end of the bargain, ahead of schedule.

That’s what triggered the lifting of economic sanctions. (Rubio wrote that the release “rewards bad behavior,” but in fact it rewards good behavior.)

Back to Jazz Shaw:

But it hasn’t even been a week since they had guns to the heads of our sailors and took possession of two of our naval vessels. We’re seriously turning around and rewarding them with rich new economic activities and billions of dollars in relief? The broad lifting of these sanctions not only makes us look weak, but has a wide ranging effect on the rest of the world. One aspect of this phenomenon was already seen this week as oil prices tanked further on the prospect of additional Iranian crude flooding the market.

Oh noes! The price of oil will go down more! Big Oil might have to stop deep-oil drilling and fracking and whatnot. I feel so bad.

Yes, it’s a great day indeed… to be an Iranian. Should we really expect any of our allies to put their faith in us today?

Ask England, France, Russia, China, and Germany how much faith they would have in us if we had broken the deal.

Seriously, righties live on another planet.

8 thoughts on “Poor Babies

  1. “rich new economic activities and billions of dollars in relief”

    This is the lie being tossed out by Israel and their Global corporate media enablers, its 100% bullshit. We are not giving Iran a penny we are letting them have access to their own money that has been under lock and key due to sanctions. Its difficult to get the truth about what is happening between the Obama administration and Iran, our corporate media is in on the lie have been since 1979.

  2. I don’t know about Righties living on another planet.
    It seems more like they’re on the satellite circling our Earth – but only if our Moon had the letter “r,” smack dab in the middle of it:
    They ARE morons, but this analogy fails, because the Moon has no “r” in it.

    So, it’s more likely that they live on our Earth, ony in an alternate Universe. One in which a horrible spell has been cast on all conservatives.

    The buildings and everything and everone else, looks, and acts, the same.
    But there are dark clouds above, and sorrounding, every thing.
    No rays of sunshine to brighten their dark and dismal outlook.
    As long as they don’t hold the keys to the Oval Office, and the majority of seats in both houses of Congress, they try with every effort of their beings, to make everone’s life and outlook, as dark and dismal as theirs.

    If “misery loves company” was an actual company – MLC Inc. – they would have all of the executive positions, and hold all of the shares.

    And they use hatred, fear, bigotry, and intolerance, to skew the outlooks of every person who doesn’t already see the country and world the same way that they do.

    And when they succeed in doing that, and have most of the control, they stop trying to skew the views of others, and instead, create policies and make laws which really do darken the world views of their fellow humans, making them as dismal as they themselves are.

    And when THAT happens, their dark sun shines on them, and they can finally smile the same smile that a snake has.
    And they have the same sense of happiness that a murderer has, when s/he looks at their handiwork: the lifeless, soulless, stiff body in front of them.

    And then, when misery is spread all across the country and the world, they are satisfied to the point of being jubilant – or what passes as being jubilant, in people as heartless, soulless, and humorless, as they are.
    When women weep, when children are hungry, when the poor are poorer, when the sick are sicker, when there are more homeless, when the elderly are pennyless and desperate, when the disabled are unable to join in society because of physical and/or mental handicaps, when minorities are afraid to speak and ask for justice and equality, when gay people have to appear to conform or else face the wrath of the intolerant, when people have hide thdir faith and feel that they have to bow their heads to Prophets and God (s) not of their choosing, when misery has so much damn company, that everyone is not just encompassed by misery, but feel it in the marrow of every bone, then, and only then, do conservatives experience what others used to know, as “happiness!”

    And at that point, conservatives can unfurl and salute their huge banner, which states, quite simply, the following phrase:


  3. And they’ve had a bad week for outrage. 🙂

    Yeah, I know! You’d think that Trey Gowdy would dispense a few morsels of outrage from his Benghazi stores to hold them over during an outrage shortage. After all, Trey’s got the mother lode.

  4. I’d shorten what Uncledad wrote above to “it’s difficult to get the truth about what is happening.” We’re a couple of decades into the information age and it seems that we are awash in misinformation and disinformation to the extent that sorting out the truth is an exhausting prospect. I remember an account of a psychological experiment done in the late 1950s, if I recall correctly. The results indicated that if given inadequate or contradictory information, they tended to “fill in the blanks,” drawing on their fears and anxiety. That certainly seems to describe our current situation. The propaganda game is rigged toward those who would exploit the darker side of our nature.

    On one level, of course the right wing pundits are just blowing hot air for political gain as they are paid to do. But, part of their vision of the formally great America involves their love for the exercise of raw military power, which, coincidentally, has been regarded as one of the defining characteristics of fascism. As usual, the end results, especially when they might be considered as a “win/win” situation, are inconsequential and leave them wholly unsatisfied. Conflict and altercation are not to be resolved, unless the resolution can be used to underscore the nature of the world order and to assert dominance. In short, they want to see rubble and ruin and the dead stacked like cordwood. They want their fix of the old “ultra violence.”

    Their concept of the great America also neatly projects the concept of individual privilege to the grand scale of the nation. The privileged individual dispenses compassion only when they choose. They have no responsibility to lead, to innovate or to improve. They take what they desire and do harm to their rivals. Donald Trump resonates with this vision. He is a kind of Randian hero, torn from the stultifying, leaden prose to form a plutocratic golem. He is the fantasy that follows the dream of loss and victimhood.

    Okay, it’s a little dramatic and florid. I have to entertain myself somehow.

  5. Ok Goatheard..ya had me jumping out of my chair yelling “fuck yeah”…it startled my dogs…they then yawned and went back to sleep…they are my best critics…

  6. “plutocratic golem”

    Wow had to go to the google machine for that one! Right on that’s Trump to a Tee!

  7. We are not giving Iran a penny we are letting them have access to their own money that has been under lock and key…

    This fits with their worldview, however. For instance, look at their rhetoric about wages: workers aren’t paid what they’ve earned, they’re given money by employers who apparently do so out of pure kindness.

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