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Friday, April 03, 2015

The Historic Announcement in dealing with Iran.

The Iranian framework deal was historic. Many people have debated for a long time and now the framework deal is finished. Now, the final deal’s dateline is in June 30, 2015. This was announced on early April of 2015. The P5 plus one (which is Germany) finalized this preliminary deal. There was long bargaining and the U.S. twice threatened to quit the talks. If a final agreement is made, then it would represent a big shift in U.S./Iranian relations. This could cause the U.S. to work more closely with Iran with certain events of the Middle East. The deal places strong restrictions on Iran. People want the deal as a way for them to prevent war inside of Iran, which would be terrible for the Middle East. The four pages of the agreements have sweeping concessions to America. They are agreed upon by the clerical bourgeois regime of Iran. Some of the concessions involve Iran submitting to the most intrusive International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection ever devised. IAEA inspectors will have carte blanche to enter any site or facility in Iran that they deem “suspicious” in perpetuity. It will greatly curtail Iran’s capacity to enrich uranium and its existing stockpile of enriched uranium. For the next 10 years, Iran will be allowed to operate just 5,060 of its 19,000 centrifuges and those it does operate must be “first-generation,” i.e., extremely slow. Iran’s civil nuclear infrastructure will be dismantled. Iran wants the sanctions to end, but the agreement will make sure that other actions are taken if the sanctions were to end. Like usual, reactionary neoconservative Republicans and reactionary politicians like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu want to possibly bomb Iran if Iran refuses to submit to even more restrictions. This deal,” proclaimed Netanyahu, “would legitimize Iran’s nuclear program, bolster Iran’s economy, and increase Iran’s aggression and terror throughout the Middle East and beyond.” The Republican Party leadership was also quick to denounce the agreement. Illinois Senator Mark Kirk claimed, “Neville Chamberlain got a better deal from Adolf Hitler,” while Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton termed yesterday’s agreement “a list of dangerous concessions that will put Iran on the path to nuclear weapons.” Cotton authored an “open letter” signed by 47 Senators to Iran that claimed any deal entered into by the Obama administration could be repudiated by Congress or a future president. There are debates about the possible military dimensions (or PMDs) of the nuclear program of Iran. Also, the President has been talking with Israel and Saudi Arabia to assure them that they will continue to be allies of America. Iran’s government is also claiming victory. Foreign Minister Zarif said the agreement demonstrated that the Iranian people “will never bow to pressure.” The reality is that the Iranian bourgeoisie, reeling under the sanctions’ devastating impact on Iran’s economy and terrified of a challenge from the working class, is desperate for a rapprochement with US and European imperialism. It is hypocritical for the West to lecture Iran on aggression when the West has consistently violated international law and used military aggression in the four corners of the Earth. Iran was once ruled by the U.S. backed Shah dictatorship until the 1979 Iranian Revolution existed. The West supported Iraq during the Iraq-Iran war. Therefore, President Obama and his domestic critics want to increase the U.S. hegemony over the Middle East and all over the globe (The White House hopes that a deal with oil rich Iran can bring Iran into Washington’s orbit, so it can balance the West’s adversaries of Russia including China). They disagree on the tactics to use it. So, Iran shouldn’t be bombed and diplomacy is great. Yet, Iran should not be made into a Western client state. Iran should have its independence and it should be free.

The Civil War lasted for over 4 years. It existed from April 12, 1861 to May 9, 1865 (by declaration). Even the compromising ex-President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Abraham Lincoln’s 1861 inaugural address wanted his administration to not provoke or initiate a civil war. Still, Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territories claimed by the Confederacy. A peace conference on February of 1861 failed for both sides to find a compromise. So, both sides prepared for war. The Confederates wanted European countries like Great Britain to help them out, but European nations never directly intervened in the Civil War militarily except with Russia’s blockade and other actions by other countries. After Fort Sumter, President Abraham Lincoln called for every Union state to provide troops to retake the fort. Lincoln controlled by the Border States by arresting state legislators and suspending habeas corpus. This ignored the ruling of the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice that such suspension was unconstitutional. Lincoln formed a naval blockade in the Atlantic Ocean. This action was crucial in crippling the Southern economy. It was one reason out of many on why the Union ultimately won the war (which was a good thing. The Confederacy was an evil empire). There was the Eastern Theater which was inconclusive from 1861-1862. During the early stages of the Civil War, the Confederacy had many early victories. During the autumn of 1862, the Confederate campaign came into Maryland (an Union state).

Later, the Confederates retreated at the Battle of Antietam, which dissuaded British intervention. To the west, by the summer 1864, the Union destroyed the Confederate river naval ships. Soon, the Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River.  Robert E. Lee’s Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg. Lincoln soon issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which banned slavery in Confederate territories. Afterwards, the Union forces increased their motivation to end slavery as a war goal. Western successes led to Ulysses S. Grant’s command of all Union armies in 1864. In the Western Theater, William T. Sherman drove east to capture Atlanta and marched to the sea. He destroyed Confederate infrastructure along the way too. The Union used their resources and manpower to attack the Confederacy in all directions. This led to the protracted Siege of Petersburg. The besieged Confederate army eventually abandoned Richmond. They regrouped at Appomattox Court House. They were surrounded by union forces. This allowed Robert E. Lee to surrender to General Grant on April 9, 1865. All Confederate generals surrender by that summer. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in April 15, 1865. The American Civil War was one of the first true industrial wars. There was massive usage of railroads, steamships, and mass produced weapons. There was the mobilization of factories, mines, shipyards, banks, etc. About 750,000 soldiers died in the Civil War including thousands of civilians.

Black American culture is beautiful and diverse. Colorism is the antithesis of true, progressive black American culture. Black culture deals with jazz, gospel, sports, oratory, spiritual leaders, political activists, poetry, food, etc. I also feel that I, as a black American, can learn a lot from black Africans and vice versa. Learning wisdom is a lifelong process. The more that I learn about Africa and other black people in the Diaspora, the more spiritually strong that I feel as a black human being. The beauty of Africa and African culture is inspiring indeed. The more we learn about each other, the more common ground and solutions that we can establish as one black African people. At the end of the day, we are one people and we are all part of the human family. Dark Girls is a very sad, melancholy documentary, but it was necessary one as a means for dark skinned Sisters to express their stories. In that sense, change can come. Another point is to be mentioned too: We, as black Americans, experience the legacy of the Maafa, slavery, Jim Crow, etc. So, when we black Americans express passion on this issue, it is not a personal jab on Africans. It is just our way of being adamant in describing our views on race (and standing up for our human rights). This debate will continue. There should be a balance between the artists' right to promote their content and the customers' right to have the choice to buy whatever music that he or she wants to. Tidal came in response in part, because many artists didn't like the free musical downloads from many years ago. Also, record labels and corporate power structures (not the customers or even entities like Pandora or Spotify) have to do with how some artists are not truly compensated for their art. I found out Tidal charges more if people want greater quality. If people don't like Tidal, they don't have to buy it. Yet, Tidal may or may not change the wheel in my view since the Tidal deal is not going against the corporate bosses per se (who orchestrated many of the bad music deals in the first place. Many of these artists, who support Tidal, are multimillionaires while numerous independent artists struggle because of corporate forces).

Her comments (from Grace Gealey) are interesting. She is right that many light skinned people have experienced discrimination and racism. Yet, she ignores the truth that dark skinned people have suffered much more colorism than light skinned people in America, the Caribbean, and throughout the Earth. There is no comparison. The documentary “Dark Girls” shows the truth is very excellent detail about black people (with dark skin hues) have gone through a lot of oppression in the modern world society. Colorism is definitely found in the Caribbean. Many lighter Haitian, Jamaican, etc. political leaders have greater privileges than other Haitians, Jamaicans of darker skin complexions. Grace has to realize that colorism is found even in the Cayman Islands and it’s a problem that must be solved comprehensively. Many men, who are color struck, believe in the lie that lighter skinned black women are superior physically, so they could express those wrongheaded prejudices. We have to be real and keep it real. Grace Gealey has to keep it totally real and express the truth about how light skinned people are promoted more in the entertainment/music world than black people of darker skin hues (throughout the Earth). In Brazil, Afro-Brazilians are protesting the unfair representation of black images in Brazil. There are Afro-Colombians standing up for their liberation too. That means that we are in a fight for our freedom. Regardless of our hues as black people, we face one common enemy (which is the system of white supremacy) and we want the solution of justice. True unity (not selfish individualism & not egoism) must be advanced. I do believe that it seems to permeate every aspect of Black culture in America (even when that is not true), because America is one center of Western culture. Many black Americans are viewed by some people as representative for all black people globally. We, as black Americans, are scrutinized a lot. So, in many cases, some may minimize the evils of colorism in other places of the world while solely focusing on colorism in America. Yet, colorism is not found in every aspect of Black culture in America. The civil rights movement and the Black Power movement of the 1950's to the early 1970's was all about saying Black is Beautiful. That statement is revolutionary and the black American movements for revolutionary change inspired the South African anti-apartheid movement and other movements for social change in general.

By Timothy

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