Tag Archives: Russia

House Republicans: Include “Buy America” Provision!


Press reports this week in Bloomberg and Salon state that House Republicans stripped a “Buy America” requirement out of their version of an infrastructure bill. The requirement stipulated the bill’s projects use iron and steel mined and produced in the United States; thus, it would greatly benefit American workers and the iron and steel industries.

The version passed by the Senate contained the “Buy America” requirement, so the two chambers will have to hash out a compromise.

The articles from both news outlets failed to explain the motivation for the House Republicans’ move. Both offered no comment from President-Elect Donald Trump nor even a mention they had asked but were not given comment or replied to, though both contained salvos from House Dems about Trump’s alleged silence. That’s deficient news reporting.

That said, I stand with the Dems on this one, as well as with Trump based on the statements he made during his quest for the presidency. I won’t condemn the House Republicans because I do not know yet their motivation. Perhaps they have spotted some hitch or glitch the Senate missed.

Make no mistake, though: I stand with the American worker and with our businesses and with our country. There can be little justification for steel bought from foreign countries, especially those with a track record of undercutting and hurting us: China and Russia. As a taxpayer, I am willing to pay more to keep my neighbors and fellow citizens employed, and the bill could contain a check on price gouging so native mercenary interests cannot plunder taxpayers.

So here’s a salvo across the bow of the House Republicans. I do not stand with you, necessarily, on your ideology or so-called “principles”. I believe in a rational maximum freedom defined by and directed to our common American interest, that which benefits the greatest number of American citizens in the most beneficial ways for the short and long terms.

I do not believe in an ivory tower ideal of maximum freedom of which only the wealthy and privileged and occasional lucky, hardworking peon can take advantage. When political, social, and economic freedom is maximized for all, the wealthy and privileged still enjoy the advantages they bring to the table. Those advantages must not negate the maximum freedom of the common citizen.

If citizens are truly free and fairly treated, as is their God-given right, the market will be free and fair.

The Iran Deal: There Are Two Doors, and There Is Nothing Behind Door No. 2


Proponents of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known commonly at the “Iran Deal” or the “Iran Nuclear Deal” claim we, the American people, have two choices: 1. Go to war with Iran or; 2. Accept the agreement crafted by the president’s secretary of state, John Kerry.

The either/or proffered by those proponents amounts to a scarecrow. If Americans want to avoid war and behave peacefully in the world theater, they will support this agreement; otherwise, they would be exercising belligerence, and who knows what catastrophe might result from that, a catastrophe that would hang around their necks like an albatross for years to come!

Whew! If that scarecrow were the real thing, I certainly would launch my ardent support of the Iran Deal!

Is that scenario true? Are there only two doors from which we may select an action? As importantly, what exactly is behind door No. 2?

Common sense should tell us other options exist, a better deal for one. When the proponents say, “That is the best we could do”, one has to examine whether that is true. Read the series of questions below and make up your own mind. Alternatively, sanctions can be diminished or increased. Diplomatic pressure applied. Even when the word “war” is thrown out, what exactly does it mean? Do the users of that word, deliberately left vague, mean a full-scale military conflict with the proverbial boots on the ground? Do they mean surgical or drone strikes? Do they mean a one-time effort to bomb and destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities?

The fundamental problem with the JCPOA is that Russia and Red China are part of the so-called “5+1”, the five permanent nations of the U.N. security council negotiating with representatives from Germany and the European Union alongside them and sitting across the table, Iran.

Americans want a different deal than the one negotiated with Iran. Russia and Red China do not. Their interests and goals diverge widely from ours. They want to unlock Iran from commercial and military restrictions that will benefit them while piling more stones in America’s shoes (Russia already has a weapons deal in place with Iran; check various news sources; and the Russians are sending men and materiel to Syria). We want a safe, peaceful world; they want to cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war. When the so-called “adjudication process” kicks in, as it will when Iran digs in its heels on some inspection or other issue, as it has done in the past, do you think we can count on Russia and Red China to do the right thing or the thing that is in their interests?

Consequently, one must ask, “Just what exactly is behind Door No. 2?” The answer: “Nothing.”

One has to question what our goals were? What were we, the United States, and the rest of the world besides Russia and Red China supposed to get? For what did we bargain?

Does the JCPOA guarantee that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons?


Does the JCPOA guarantee that Iran will be punished if it is found to abrogate the terms of the JCPOA or any related agreements?


Does the JCPOA guarantee tight inspections of Iranian facilities?


Does the JCPOA require that Iran allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect Iranian nuclear facilities or suspected nuclear facilities or areas anytime, anywhere without notice?


Does the JCPOA include a provision in which Iran forswears a first strike with nuclear or conventional weapons on any of the other signatory nations, including the U.S.?


Does the JCPOA require Iran to forswear the development of short-range, medium-range, and intercontinental ballistic missiles?


Does the JCPOA require that Iran forswear its belief in, encouragement of, and financial support for terrorism?


Does the JCPOA require Iran to acknowledge the right of all nations to exist, including the state of Israel?


Does the JCPOA prevent Iran from obtaining missile technology with which to launch nuclear weapons or from buying such missiles capable of delivering nuclear payloads, for instance, from Russia, Red China, or North Korea, etc.?


I could go on, but it is always better to read it for yourself, and carefully, especially the last section subheaded “Overall, what are the verification risks and uncertainties”. Here is a link to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, just one nonprofit think-tank evaluating the merits of the Iran Deal:


(A quick digression: I have been using Microsoft Edge, the company’s new browser, and it works wonderfully. I can hit the “read” button, which looks like an open book, and it displays the article alone without all the other stuff around it. I can mark it up or print it from there. I would like to be able to mark it up and then print it as a PDF. Work on it, Microsoft! But good job! To be fair, I think Firefox does the same thing now, and perhaps other browsers, too.)

So what does our America get out of this? Nothing. There’s just plain old nothing behind Door No. 2! In fact, we are supposed to help pay for the inspections!

That is what so many critics mean when they call the Iran Deal a bad deal. That is what Trump means, and perhaps others, when he says our negotiators are incompetent or stupid.

When you negotiate, you negotiate for something tangible, something you can take to the bank. We got nothing. Not only that, “verification” is dependent on non-Americans. While there are people from other nations who care about the situation, some will be unwilling to challenge the Iranians. They won’t view it as their fight.

Generally, Iran won’t allow any Americans into their country, much less nuclear inspectors. Of course, once Americans and often other foreigners are there, the Iranians often don’t let them leave. So they have taken four hostages. Does the JCPOA require that Iran free them from their persecution and imprisonment?

You know the answer.