Wednesday, November 4, 2015

US AND THE WORLD #1




The day after the elections was another day to cherish due to its weather. It could have been Indian summer except that designation for a period of 70 degrees days in the fall denotes a spell after a frost which we have not had. We will take it though.

The County and Assembly results were as predicted. New Jersey’s politically gerrymandered assembly districts make the vast majority to be foolproof safe for the party. Therefore there can be little change. As noted the Republicans lost three seats; the two from Monmouth County which could be a surprise, and one of the two in District 1. The other seat in that district was already held by a Democrat who was reelected.

Under the circumstances it is hard to attribute the results as an “anti-Christie vote”.

This day being what it was; it became ideal for another goof off day after needed errands were completed. Several hours were spent reading the Times and the WSJ. Most of the news was depressing; this world is a complete mess as is our present foreign policy.

We must not make the mistake of again retreating into isolationism, no matter what the risks and costs; both fiscal and human.

Once again we have erred in the deal with Iran. We have not learned from Munich. This is from, today’s (11/4/15)NY Times: “TEHRAN — Anyone who hoped that Iran’s nuclear agreement with the United States and other powers portended a new era of openness with the West has been jolted with a series of increasingly rude awakenings over the past few weeks.”

“Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, said the “Death to America” slogan is eternal. New anti-American billboards in Tehran include a mockery of the Iwo Jima flag-raising photograph that symbolized Marine sacrifice in World War II. And an Iranian knockoff version of K.F.C., the chicken chain widely associated with the United States, was summarily closed after two days”It seems that hard-liners, using the intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, have started rounding up journalists, activists and cultural figures, as a warning that the post nuclear-deal period cannot lead to further relaxation or political demands.

In recent days at least five prominent figures were arrested by the intelligence unit, among them Isa Saharkhiz, a well-known journalist and reformist, who was released from jail in 2013 after a conviction for his alleged involvement in the 2009 anti-government protests. On Sunday, Ehsan Mazandarani, the top editor of a reformist newspaper, Farhikhtegan, was arrested by the same unit, the semiofficial Tasnim news agency reported. On Tuesday, they arrested the well-known actress and newspaper columnist, Afarin Chitsaz, the Amadnews website reported.

Their most prominent targets are dual Iranian and American citizens, but on Tuesday, state television said Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese-American information technology expert who mysteriously disappeared here on Sept. 18, also had been seized.

Heralding the arrest as yet another capture of an “American spy,” state television said Mr. Zakka, the secretary general of the Arab Information and Communications Technology Organization, was a “treasure trove” because of “connections with intelligence and military bodies in the United States.”

Mr. Zakka had been invited to Iran with his family by the vice president for Women and Family Affairs, Shahindokht Molaverdi, to speak at a conference. Leaving his hotel in Tehran on Sept. 18, Mr. Zakka never arrived at the airport, his organization has said”
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This is one of the governments we are trusting and “dealing with”. Tomorrow I may post some comments from the Times about Secretary of State Kerry’s present trip to the former Soviet Republics of Central Asia

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