Iranians are proud of their democratic elections, though we would hardly call them “democratic.” They’re rigged as much as possible against regime opponents. Still, moderates won a fairly decisive victory. It looks from early idications like Obama’s gamble is working. Don’t get me wrong, the levers of power are still in the hands of the hard-liners, but I’m not sure how long they can hang on. A good part of the youth of Iran is disaffected. Women are gaining ground. If you look closely, you can see a parallel in our policies toward Cuba and Iran. That’s my opinion. What do you think? Please comment.
Despite the attempts in last night’s GOP debate in Detroit to politicize Detroit’s problems, the history is quite diferent. Detroit’s decline was the result of business decisions going back to the 1950’s. A utomakers ignored threats on the horizon and continued business as usual. Japan climbed from the ashes partly by applying Edward Deming’s quality concepts. By the 1980’s, Detroit woke up, but its market share had already plummeted. During part of that time, Michigan had a solid conservative Governor, George Romney. Add to that the fact that Detroit never fully recovered from race riots following the assasination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the impact of Ralph Nader, who pointed out that some of the cars being produced were “not safe at any speed,” and it becomes clear that much more is at work than political ideology. This ideological obsession really keeps us in the dark as far as solving the problems American cities face. That’s my opinion. What do you think?
What should we do with the ninety-one prisoners still at Guantanamo? Bring them to the United States? Thirty-four are probably not a significant risk. But what about the others? I gave my opinion based on a Washington Post article, but what do you think?
Why and how do we have prisoners at Guantanamo? As part of the war on terrorism, President Bush issued an order that suspect terrorists are not entitled to the rights of the Geneva Convention. To try to get useful intelligence suspected terrorists were subject to renditions at black sites off the radar in places like Egypt. How much useful intelligence was gained is a matter of debate. The Gitmo prisoners end up in a “no man’s land” because of the lack of choices. What now? I’ll take that up next. What do you think?
The deadline for a decision on what to do with the Guantanamo prisoners has come. But why are we in Guantanamo in the first place? We have had a protectorate over Cuba since the Spanish American War. Our Guantanamo Bay base has unmistakable strategic importance. Even Castro’s Cuban Revolution didn’t change this. It is a secure military base, actually an ideal place for detaining potential terrorists.
It seems like everyone and his brother is running for President. In 1912 we had four different parties running. Teddy Roosevelt was the first ever to use the primaries to try to gain the nomination, and he managed to split the Republican Party and started the Bull Moose Party. In that election, Eugene Debs was a true Socialist riding the high tide of socialism in the U.S. In the volatile political environment of 1912, anything could happen, and the same is true today. What are your thoughts?
To put the North Korea’s ICBM’s and its purported underground test of a hydrogen bomb into context, it helps to review the background of the split between North and South Korea. I’ll talk next time about key similarities between North Korea and nations in the Middle East. I’m always interested in your comments.
There’s a lot of noise lately from North Korea. Execution of a General is nothing new, but we should pay attention to their reaction to sanctions in response to their recent ICBM launch. The escalation currently happening shows North Korea’s unpredictability and willingness to take actions that are to the detriment of the North Korean people. I don’t think we’ve heard the end of this? What do you think?
Saudia Arabia recently executed 47 Shia including a leading Shia cleric. Why did this happen? What are the implications? The public execution was a slap in the face to Iran. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia are busy protecting their interests in the Middle East. The ring of Shia-controlled territory in the fertile crescent from Lebanon to Iran presents a real collision for the Saudis. This has been a brewing contest for some time, but now it has become public.
Saudi Arabia, the head of the Sunni world, is in collision with the Shia Iranian regime and is trying to build a Sunni coalition. During WWI, the Hashomite family, which traces its descendancy from Mohammed, was the keeper of the holy places of Mecca and Medina and expected to retain this power. The Middle East would look much different today if the Hashomites had been able to stay in control, but the bedouin Saud family was able to force the Hashomites out. The Saud family is wedded to the strict Wahabi version of Islam, which gave birth to Al Quaeda and ISIS.