SYNDICATED COLUMN: Thanks to Trump’s Perfidy, Iran is Now on a Higher Moral Plane Than the U.S.

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            President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the nuclear weapons deal that President Obama cut with Iran brings with it a number of negative ramifications.

First and foremost, this unilateral act of reckless brinkmanship increases the chance of war. That’s unconscionable. By the way, Iran isn’t like Afghanistan or Iraq: it’s a big, modern country, half the size of Europe, with a real military and an air force that can defend itself.

Second, like many of Trump’s actions, the pullout is a policy decision based on a lie: by every reliable metric, Iran was keeping up its end of the agreement.

Third, the American decision will hurt the Iranian economy. Sanctions make ordinary people suffer. And they will increase, not decrease, support for that country’s religious establishment and the sectors of the government it controls. Ask the people of Cuba if sanctions and economic deprivation lead to regime change.

But there is an aspect of this “I’m taking my toys and going back to my yard” action that may have even broader implications than war and peace, yet receiving short shrift by the American media: Trump just put Iran on a higher moral plane than the United States.

Honor matters.

That’s especially true in international diplomacy, the art of mitigating and resolving conflicts between nations that often don’t share a common language, much less cultural or religious attitudes. When a nation as powerful as the United States, which has done more to shape the postwar international order then any other country – there’s a reason that the United Nations is in New York — behaves dishonorably, it establishes a precedent whose repercussions will reverberate long after the crisis at hand is a distant memory.

A core principle within high-level dealmaking is that regime change does not erase treaty obligations. A revolution can overthrow a government or a shah, an ancien régime may wind up on the trash heap of history, but other nations expect each successor regime to honor deals signed by its predecessor. Border lines remain intact, embassies respected, peace deals honored. In the real world, of course, stuff happens, as when Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran during the 1979 Islamic revolution and held staffers hostage for over a year. Still, the ideal remains. And the duty to live up to that ideal falls hardest on the biggest and most powerful nations.

One important aspect in which the Islamic Republic of Iran has respected the international order has been its commitment to honor the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty even though it was ratified by a government it opposed and violently replaced, led by the deposed Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, in 1970.

Since the revolution the International Atomic Energy Commission has never found Iran in violation of the NPT. Iranian officials have repeatedly stated that the country does not want to develop nuclear weapons. In 2005 Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei even signed a fatwa banning the “production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons.” Most reasonable people believe the Iranians do not want nuclear weapons, only nuclear power.

Yet the West, led by the United States, has often accused the Iranians of using the pretext of nuclear power development and medical research as a cover for such a proscribed program. But positive proof of Iranian noncompliance — which admittedly would be difficult to obtain — has never been presented publicly. In 2014, Iran agreed to the Obama Administration’s “Joint Plan of Action,” which increased inspections and reduced the country’s stockpile of enriched uranium in exchange for gradual easing of economic sanctions.

Again, there is no reason to believe that Iran hasn’t kept its end of the deal.

Now here comes Donald Trump, killing the JPA for little apparent reason other than the fact that it was put into place, not by a previous government with a completely different political orientation as was the case for the NPT ratified by the Shah and maintained under the Islamic Republic, but merely a different president, a Democrat, Barack Obama.

Trump’s announcement was long on red herrings, pretzel logic and silly smears, and woefully short on evidence, much less proof, that there is any justification to gin up yet another crisis in the Middle East. Contrary to the facts, Trump even cited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s clownish presentation of obsolete 15-year-old Iranian documents as “definitive proof” that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons. Netanyahu’s bluster proved nothing of the sort.

Trump says he wants to make a new deal. But who can trust him, or the United States, if the terms of an agreement can be changed on the political whim or after the election of a new president? Credibility and trustworthiness are hardearned; fecklessness destroys in an instant what it takes decades or even centuries to build up.

Now we are facing the ludicrous request by the leaders of Great Britain, France, and Germany that Iran continue to keep up its end of the deal despite the #USexit. Germany and Britain urged Iran to “continue to meet its own obligations under the deal.”

Maybe they will. Maybe they won’t. Whatever happens next, though, the Iranians are not the ones tarnished by the dishonor of failing to adhere to an agreement negotiated by their own government.

(Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, is the author of “Francis: The People’s Pope.” You can support Ted’s hard-hitting political cartoons and columns and see his work first by sponsoring his work on Patreon.)

93 thoughts on “SYNDICATED COLUMN: Thanks to Trump’s Perfidy, Iran is Now on a Higher Moral Plane Than the U.S.

  1. Patrick Bateman: Howard, it’s Bateman, Patrick Bateman. You’re my lawyer so I think you should know: I’ve killed a lot of people. Some girls in the apartment uptown uh, some homeless people maybe 5 or 10 um an NYU girl I met in Central Park. I left her in a parking lot behind some donut shop. I killed Bethany, my old girlfriend, with a nail gun, and some man uh some old faggot with a dog last week. I killed another girl with a chainsaw, I had to, she almost got away and uh someone else there I can’t remember maybe a model, but she’s dead too. And Paul Allen. I killed Paul Allen with an axe in the face, his body is dissolving in a bathtub in Hell’s Kitchen. I don’t want to leave anything out here. I guess I’ve killed maybe 20 people, maybe 40. I have tapes of a lot of it, uh some of the girls have seen the tapes. I even, um… I ate some of their brains, and I tried to cook a little. Tonight I, uh, I just had to kill a LOT of people. And I’m not sure I’m gonna get away with it this time. I guess I’ll uh, I mean, ah, I guess I’m a pretty uh, I mean I guess I’m a pretty sick guy. So, if you get back tomorrow, I may show up at Harry’s Bar, so you know, keep your eyes open.

  2. @CH

    As in your comments about America’s Israel First foreign policy, you are misinformed. The Boers were the first settlers of the region known today as South Africa.

    The Bantu moved in because of what the Boers were able to achieve with the land.

    That is White Achievement; wherever whites go, achievement follows and so do people of other races.

      • @CH

        Why are you qualified to pop-analyze me?

        When facts are on my side, why is being a white supremacist a term of opprobrium?

        Africa is a failed continent and Africans are a failed people.

      • You don’t need to analyzed, your fears are right there on display for all to see. The more you post, the more obvious it gets.

        > why is being a white supremacist a term of opprobrium?

        Would you prefer “Bigot” ? “Racist”? “Neo-nazi scum” ?

        Facts are NOT on your side. You cherry pick your facts from a very small slice of history and say “We won” – if your measure of success is killing other people to enrich ourselves, then I guess we did win. But I look at the chaos we spread across the globe and I don’t call it winning. When people fly airplanes into buildings, I don’t call that winning. We’ve been at war this entire millennium, and I don’t call that winning. If we’re the leaders then the chaos in the middle east and the rest of Africa must be our fault.

        Civilization started in Africa while the Europeans were still rubbing blue mud on their bellies and howling at the moon. The Mongols were riding horses while the Europeans were still eating them.
        Persians invented algebra while the Romans were still counting on their fingers. The Chinese invented gunpowder while the height of military technology in Europe was a bow. The Aztecs practiced brain surgery and knew the earth orbits the sun – Cortez was an ignorant barbarian in comparison, but he was good at killing. The Europeans didn’t conquer America with their superior technology – it was their diseases. For that matter, the idea of ‘white’ is a modern invention – the first US settlers didn’t see themselves as “white” – they were Spanish, British, French, etc.

        Your ignorance could fill a book. Several of them, in fact. Luckily, they’ve already been written. Read one.

      • @CH

        Why do we apply a basket of slurs whites who love their kind?

        What words should we use for whites who loathe themselves?

        We brought civilization to the rest of the world and we’re still trying. The Indians didn’t even know what their Assam (tea) bushes were. The English taught them. Most of the world still doesn’t have a street address or a toilet. November 19 is National Toilet Day; maybe you will want to donate to the cause so that some Indian in Calcutta does not use the street as his bathroom.

        Human beings have always been at war; we are a violent species. Why do you blame whites for everything? Do you hate who you are?

        The nineteen, mostly Saudi, terrorists took advantage of our lax and unenforced laws, law and unenforced because people like you scream about enforcement.

        What civilization in Africa? Wakanda is not real.

        The Aztecs practiced heart surgery, too, didn’t they?

        The rest of the world should be sanctified and whites destroyed, isn’t that where you are going with this and are you not a traitor?

      • You seem to be operating under a whole host of misconceptions.

        > Why do we apply a basket of slurs whites who love their kind?

        There’s nothing wrong with loving your own kind, it’s the part about hating everyone else that’s the problem.

        > Why do you blame whites for everything?

        Why do you assume I do? I only blame whites for the atrocities that whites have perpetrated. That said, I do note that whites have perpetrated far more atrocities per capita than anyone else. Holocaust? Slavery? Bounties paid for Indian scalps? The only Atomic bombs ever dropped (on civilian targets no less)?

        > What words should we use for whites who loathe themselves?

        “American Teacher” ?

        Are you familiar with the term “false dichotomy”? Just because I love my neighbor it does not necessarily follow that I hate myself.

        > We brought civilization to the rest of the world and we’re still trying.

        Just ask the Iraqis and Iranians and Afghans and Syrians and Vietnamese and the Koreans about the civilization we brought them. Ask the Indians and Blacks on this continent. The Aztecs, Incans, Polynesians – we destroyed their civilizations in the name of The Prince of Peace.

        > The nineteen, mostly Saudi, terrorists …

        … practiced your moral values: i.e might makes right. If we hadn’t been so intent on ‘civilizing’ the rest of the world, the rest of the world wouldn’t be so intent on civilizing us back.

        > because people like you scream about enforcement.

        You mean like “equal justice under the law”? “All men are created equal” ? “Presumption of innocence”? “Freedom of religion” ? The Geneva Conventions?

        I wholeheartedly agree we should enforce those laws. If we practiced them 9/11 would have never happened in the first place. Iran would be a democracy, and the Palestinians would still be living on their own land. Afghanistan might have joined the twentieth century if we and the [white] Russians hadn’t decided to fight over who got to civilize them.

        In fact, most of the sectarian and regionalist fighting in the ME is a direct result of our attempts to ‘civilize’ them. Or rather, subjugate them. Nothing says civilization better than a brown person waiting on his white masters…)

        “It’s hard to convince people that you’re killing them for their own good.” – Molly Ivins

      • Okay, whites have generally better lactose tolerance that non-Europeans. Other than that they are pretty much the same as everyone else.

        History, human migration patterns, and pure dumb luck have put them / us on top. When the big wheel turns around again it will be somebody else on top – do you want those people to treat your descendants the same way you treat their ancestors today?

        Now, you say something that’s actually relevant to my post.

      • @CH

        You have what I would call Battered White Man’s Syndrome

        I am here to offer you help

        You cite accomplishments of different groups of people. Enlighten me, what group has accomplished as much as the Europeans and, in particular, talk to me about African accomplishments.

        Read Bernard Diaz del Castillo, the Spanish priest who travelled with Cortez, and wrote how other Indians wanted to be saved from the brutal Aztecs and their practice of human sacrifice. The wonderful Incas did that as well

        Whites have travelled the world eliminating the barbaric practices of others, Suttee, slavery…

      • > You have what I would call Battered White Man’s Syndrome

        Was it beer batter? I don’t remember that. I think I would have remembered that, especially the deep-frying part.

        Neither one of us has been battered in that other sense. The difference is that you believe that you have been; while I know damned good & well you haven’t.

        You’re afraid of anyone who is different than you are, you believe that you are somehow being harmed simply because such people exist. That’s no different than being afraid of clowns (other than the fact that coulrophobes are ashamed of their condition)

        re: Africa – Mesopotamia, Egypt, mathematics, astronomy, steel, agriculture, trade, metallurgy, tools, science, engineering, oceanic navigation…

        I’m done for the nonce. Should you wish to continue this conversation in the future, please start by addressing the atrocities I listed above. You know, the ones you’ve been evading for the last few hours.

      • @CH

        I can’t address everything right now, but suffice it to say that Egyptians are white and that 100 years ago they had more Caucasian blood than they do today.

        DNA from mummies tells us that they were Caucasians

        When I say Africa, I mean, of course, sub-Saharan Africa. Please, tell me about civilization in the Congo.

        And It’s Okay to be White. In fact, it’s great

      • @CH

        Ebola is on the loose in the Congo again.

        And guess who will go in with men and money to stop it?

        Whitey (and his suicidal altruism)

        Of course, one of the infected might sneak into the country and spread it as happened in 2014, but you won’t care about that. You’ll blame the spread of ebola on colonialism instead of eating bush meat.

      • @Tyler

        That comment was ill-fated

        Be careful about falling within my blast radius, Tyler

  3. Trump bash, blah, blah, blah.
    Can someone actually offer examples since the founding of the US when we did represent a “higher moral ground”?
    Did not Trump run on revoking this deal?
    So he would be acting as his voters wanted him to act.
    Unlike Obama.

    “This deal if I win will be a totally different deal. This will be a totally different deal.”
    Sources: A Iran Nuclear Deal Opposition Rally

    • Why does the United States always have to be on the high moral ground?

      Why don’t we just act in our interests, do what is best for us, and run the world the way we see fit?

      • > Why don’t we just act in our interests, do what is best for us, and run the world the way we see fit?

        I’m sorry – didn’t you say you were a Christian? Can you point out some bible verses where Jebus teaches that philosophy?

      • Jesus said render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and render to God what is God’s.

        He separated church and state (and don’t start quibbling over semantics. I know the church came after his resurrection.)

      • Did you not understand the question?

        You’re trying to justify your philosophy above, “Why don’t we just act in our interests, do what is best for us, and run the world the way we see fit?”

        That kinda crap is all over the Old Testament, but Jebus had a far, far, different philosophy.

      • CH

        Jesus embraced the kingdom of heaven. He was not politically engaged

      • Did you not understand the question?

        You’re trying to justify your philosophy above, “Why don’t we just act in our interests, do what is best for us, and run the world the way we see fit?”

        That kinda crap is all over the Old Testament, but Jebus had a far, far, different philosophy.

      • You should know by now that I consider evasion to be proof positive that not only am I on the right track; but that you know darn good an well that I am.

        Jesus was a pacifist who believed very strongly in playing nice with others. (pretty much the opposite of your philosophy)

        Reading Assignment: Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John. Better yet, the Jefferson Bible.

      • To AT,

        You ask “Why does the United States always have to be on the high moral ground?”

        The answer: the US does NOT “always have to be on the high(est) moral ground.”

        However, the US continuously and consciously CHOOSES to portray itself as residing, exclusively, on the highest of exceptional moral high ground as justification to commit the manipulation, abuse, misery and murder on those people and nations (the majority of them) it considers morally inferior over the rest of the globe.

        I expect you’ll write that on a large piece of poster board and hang it up in your classroom with the title: “Cosmic Hypocrisy.”

        Correction: hang up that poster in your bedroom. I fully expect that your students know the situation described above.

        Whatever is the truth of their alleged contempt for you, it is caused by their having to hear your repeated, proud apologetics for the monumental crimes of their exceptionally morally superior, if totally fraudulent, empire.

      • @CH

        Do not imagine that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but the sword.

        Guess who said that?

        Maybe you would like to take my Sunday School class?

      • @Falco

        I don’t apologize for the United States. I love the United States.

        I know that in 1953, the CIA, headed by Kermit Roosevelt, staged a coup that got rid of Mossadeq and brought the Shah to power. (One could argue that the Shah modernized Iran and made things better for women) SAVAK was not very nice.

        Guess what, Falco? I don’t care. I want U.S. policy at home and abroad to make things better for me and my wallet

        That’s what I teach the kids

        A couple of years ago I taught them about Ebola, you remember, that disease where you hemorrhage out? Here was the big question that I put up on my board:

        Would you stop the flights?

        That was a critical thinking question. Students figured out the answer on their own.

        It didn’t take prompting from me for students to realize that the high moral ground may be hazardous to your health

      • #CH and Falco

        Class,

        We should only concern ourselves with things that makes life better for ourselves.

        How’s that for a philosophy?

      • > We should only concern ourselves with things that makes life better for ourselves.

        I quoted the sermon on the mount to you just a little while ago. It cannot possibly be twisted to include your self-serving philosophy. So who’s right? You or Jesus?

        The sword he’s talking about in Luke 12:51 is metaphorical (look it up) Luke also quotes him on the whole turn-the-other-cheek thing. How can you possibly reconcile that and your misinterpretation without your head exploding?

        The answer, of course, is that you are a buffet christian. You pick and choose those pieces which fit your preconceived notions instead of trying to actually understand The Holy Writ.

        Try reading the bible instead of thumping on it. You might be surprised. (Especially by the rest of Luke 12, wherein Jesus talks about the virtues of the humble life; again the opposite of your philosophy quoted above)

      • @CH

        Maybe even the teachings of our good Lord can be open to debate.

        When I get to heaven, and as a practicing Catholic who has worn out the knees of many pairs of pants praying st the altar, I know that I will, I would ask Jesus just how much he expects me to sacrifice of the things of this world.

        “Nothing,” I would expect Jesus to say. “I died for your sins. Now go in peace and be a voluptuary.”

        Furthermore, Jesus said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” The Vietnamese are not my neighbors. Neither are the the Pakistanis. Certainly not the Hondurans. So I have no obligation to them.

        Incidentally, Crazy H, YOU cherry pick the comments of mine to which you respond.

        Are you a vegan? Do your dining habits cause untold suffering?

      • > Incidentally, Crazy H, YOU cherry pick the comments of mine to which you respond.

        You’re misusing the concept. “Cherry picking” refers to picking only facts which support your position while ignoring those that do not. e.g. quoting jebus out of context while ignoring the thousands of words he spoke contradicting your point.

        I respond to only a subset of your nonsense because I don’t want to waste any more time or bandwidth than necessary. If there is something *important* that I missed, then please repeat it, and I will point out where you’re wrong.

        Oh, hey didja notice we got a new pope? Crusades and Inquisitions are out, compassion and caring are in.

        https://www.thoughtco.com/pope-francis-on-racism-xenophobia-and-immigration-2834555

      • @CH

        Now you are evading the question.

        Of course, you are not vegan.

        Hypocrite, mon sembable, mon frere!

      • Evasion? No – ignoring irrelevancies. My eating habits neither serve prove or disprove the assertion that your selfishness is in line with Jesus’ teachings. (That’s what this conversation is about, remember?)

        I am not a vegan. Now that that’s settled, can you please quote bible verses where Jesus talks about how selfishness is a virtue?

        BTW, your definition of ‘neighbor’ is also out of alignment with Jesus’ teachings. Go re-read the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Start with Luke 10:29 “But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?”

      • @CH

        Being a vegan is central to where you stand on the issue of compassion. Compassion and empathy versus self-interest are the overarching themes of this discussion.

        Jesus didn’t know that there were Vietnamese, Pakistanis, and Hondurans. If there were Vietcong hiding in villages waiting to pick off his disciples, he might have done a Lt Calley.

        Ah, the Good Samaritan. He dropped the guy at a hotel, paid the bill, and left. He didn’t take the guy home with him. He didn’t come back and check up on him. There were limits to the Samaritan’s compassion.

        Jesus was sensible, help your NEIGHBOR, within limits.

        I agree, Crazy H, Christainity is misinterpreted. It does not mean becoming a martyr.

      • Fail.

        Your assignment was to find Jesus’ own words which justify your personal philosophy. i.e. ” act in our interests, do what is best for us, and run the world the way we see fit”

        The other kids turned their homework yesterday, you didn’t even bother to do the reading assignment. But don’t take my word for it, here’s the pope’s own interpretation. (He’s Infallible, doncha know?)

        https://aleteia.org/2016/04/27/pope-francis-ignoring-our-neighbors-suffering-means-ignoring-god/2/

      • CH

        And anyway, Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

        You hate yourself. The left has so brainwashed you that you don’t even know who you are.”

      • “Change a Life, Give a Bible…

        To a Muslim”

        WHAhahahahahahaha. I told myself I wouldn’t respond on this thread again, but this is just too good to pass up. The dramatic delivery just makes it better.

        Giving a bible to a Muslim would be redundant. They already consider the Torah and the Gospels to be part of their doctrine, right alongside the Quran.

      • @CH

        Try passing out a Bible in the Gaza Strip and see how long you live.

        Night, buddy.

  4. Trump just put Iran on a higher moral plane than the United States.

    That’s not setting the bar very high, Ted – nor is it strictly true : given the wars of aggression abroad that have been the US staple since the end of WW II and the US denouncement or violation (cf Chapters V-VII of the UNO Charter) of treaties to which it has been a part during this period, it is hardly Mr Trump that has placed that country on a lower moral plane that almost any other….

    Henri

    • Hippity hoppity mud flopper
      “given the wars of aggression abroad that have been the US staple since the end of WW II”

      You may wish to bone up on US History pre-WW2.
      Everything since the founding has been a war of aggression, whether in the US or outside.

      One of my favorite historical tidbits.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick%27s_Battalion

      The Saint Patrick’s Battalion (Spanish: Batallón de San Patricio), formed and led by John Riley, was a unit of 175 to several hundred immigrants (accounts vary) and expatriates of European descent who fought as part of the Mexican Army against the United States in the Mexican–American War of 1846–8. Most of the battalion’s members had deserted or defected from the United States Army. The Battalion served as an artillery unit for much of the war. Despite later being formally designated as two infantry companies, it still retained artillery pieces throughout the conflict. In many ways, the battalion acted as the sole Mexican counterbalance to the recent U.S. innovation of horse artillery. The “San Patricios” were responsible for the toughest battles encountered by the United States in its invasion of Mexico, with Ulysses S. Grant remarking that “Churubusco proved to be about the severest battle fought in the valley of Mexico”.[1]

      Composed primarily of Catholic Irish immigrants, the battalion also included Germans, Canadians, English, French, Italians, Poles, Scots, Spaniards, Swiss, and Mexicans, many of whom were members of the Catholic Church.[2] Disenfranchised Americans were in the ranks, including escaped slaves from the Southern United States.[3] Only a few members of the Saint Patrick’s Battalion were actual U.S. citizens. The Mexican government printed propaganda in different languages to entice immigrants in the U.S. army to switch sides and offered incentives to foreigners who would enlist in its army including granting them citizenship, paying higher wages than the U.S. Army, and generous land grants.[citation needed]

      The San Patricios are revered and honoured in Mexico and Ireland. Members of the Battalion are known to have deserted from U.S. Army regiments including; the 1st Artillery, the 2nd Artillery, the 3rd Artillery, the 4th Artillery, the 2nd Dragoons, the 2nd Infantry, the 3rd Infantry, the 4th Infantry, the 5th Infantry, the 6th Infantry, the 7th Infantry and the 8th Infantry.[4]

      For Mexicans of the generation that fought the Mexican–American War, and generations to come, the San Patricios were heroes who came to their aid in an hour of need. For US-Americans of that generation, the San Patricios were considered traitors.[5] Successive Mexican presidents have praised the San Patricios; Vicente Fox Quesada stated that “The affinities between Ireland and Mexico go back to the first years of our nation, when our country fought to preserve its national sovereignty… Then, a brave group of Irish soldiers… in a heroic gesture, decided to fight against the foreign ground invasion”,[6] and Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo stated “Members of the St. Patrick’s Battalion were executed for following their consciences. They were martyred for adhering to the highest ideals … we honor their memory. In the name of the people of Mexico, I salute today the people of Ireland and express my eternal gratitude”.[7]

      The great majority of these men were recent immigrants who had arrived at northeastern U.S. ports, part of the Irish diaspora then escaping the Great Irish Famine and extremely poor economic conditions in Ireland, part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland at the time. The U.S. Army often recruited Irishmen and other immigrants into military service shortly or sometimes immediately after arrival in America in coffin ships, with promises of salaries and land after the war.

      Numerous theories have been proposed as to their motives for desertion, including cultural alienation,[8][9] mistreatment of immigrant soldiers by nativist soldiers and senior officers,[10][9] brutal military discipline and dislike of service in the U.S. military,[9] being forced to attend Protestant church services and being unable to practice their Catholic religion freely[11] as well as religious ideological convictions,[9] the incentive of higher wages and land grants starting at 320 acres (1.3 km2) offered by Mexico,[12][9] and viewing the U.S. invasion of Mexico as unjust.[11][13]

      It is believed primary motivations were shared religion with the Mexicans and sympathy for the Mexican cause based on similarities between the situations in Mexico and Ireland. This hypothesis is based on evidence of the number of Irish Catholics in the Battalion, the letters of John Riley, and the field entries of senior officers.[14][15] Another hypothesis is that the members of the Saint Patrick’s Battalion had been unhappy with their treatment in the U.S. Army; this was the conviction of George Ballentine, an Englishman who served in the American army. Ballentine stated that while “there was a portion of truth” in the view—commonly assigned by officers—that the deserters joined the Mexican army due to their Catholicism, “I have good reason to believe, in fact in some cases I know, that harsh and unjust treatment by their officers operated far more strongly than any other consideration to produce the deplorable result [desertion],” describing how he found the punishments used for “trivial offensives” to be “revolting and disgusting”.[16] Another theory some historians hold is that the soldiers were attracted by the incentives offered by the Mexican government: safe passage throughout Mexico for deserters, generous land grants, and the offer of potential military commissions.[17] For poor people coming from famine conditions, economics was often an important incentive.[18]

      Mexican author José Raúl Conseco noted that many Irish lived in northern Texas, and were forced to move south due to regional insecurity. Mainly Irish settlers from San Patricio, Texas had previously sided with Mexican forces against Texan rebels at the Battle of Lipantitlán in the Texan Revolution.[19]

      Irish expatriates had a long tradition of serving in military forces of Catholic countries, for instance, serving with Spain and later France in groups of young men who had left Ireland during what would become known as the Flight of the Wild Geese in the 17th century. In addition, many Irish fought as soldiers in South American wars of independence.[c]

      • «You may wish to bone up on US History pre-WW2. Everything since the founding has been a war of aggression, whether in the US or outside.» On that we are agreed, my dear «[Stupid]WizardGlick», but only a fool with an IQ of 50 like yourself could interpret my confining the topic of my post to the post-WW II period, when, its European rivals gone (save for the Soviet Union), the US did bestride the little world like a Colossus, as a denial of this fact. But given your compulsive need to contest my point above, which you know to be true, it’s hardy surprising that you are reduced to egregiously misinterpreting what I wrote….

        Pitiful….

        Henri

      • Good Point, EWG

        I would add that war is also about resources. The next major conflagration may be over water.

        Another reason for the mass desertion may have been ethnic hatred of Anglos.

        The Irish who arrived on these shores in the nineteenth-century hated the English. Their vote helped put Lincoln in office. They also supported the Civil War, a conflict which many Yanks did not. In Northern cities, native men who were conscripted tried, many times successfully, to get medical deferments.

      • American Teacher

        The Irish and Scots were sold into slavery. Not indentured servitude but actual slavery.
        Mostly to the West Indies.
        Some intermarried with Black slaves.
        Thus many Irish surnames exist within the Black community.
        You can Google the whole ugly mess.
        That doesn’t even take into account the Barbary pirates. They ran slave raids along the European coast and sold those into middle eastern slavery.

    • Frogitty woggity

      Wasn’t Vietnam yet another failed French war?

      “The 1954 to 1959 phase of the Vietnam War was the era of the two nations. Coming after the First Indochina War, this period resulted in the military defeat of the French’

      • The French defeat at Điện Biên Phủ led to the accords at Geneva under which France agreed to withdraw from all of its colonies in Indochina ; alas, peace was not attained, as the US, which believed it could do so much better than the French, took over the latter’s attempt to revive colonialism in the region. It would seem, my dear «[Stupid]WizardGlick», that even a fool like yourself is aware of these facts, which, after all, are widely known. That you seem to believe that I was or am distressed at hearing of this defeat of French arms is merely yet another demonstration of the limits of understanding of those with an IQ of 50…. 😉

        Pitiful….

        Henri

      • Pond scum sipper

        You are just pissed because I knew how badly the French consistently fuck up.
        Algeria for example
        “Gradually, dissatisfaction among the Muslim population, which lacked political and economic status in the colonial system, gave rise to demands for greater political autonomy and eventually independence from France. In May 1945, the uprising against the occupying French forces was suppressed through what is now known as the Sétif and Guelma massacre. Tensions between the two population groups came to a head in 1954, when the first violent events of what was later called the Algerian War began. Historians have estimated that between 30,000 and 150,000 Harkis and their dependents were killed by the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) or by lynch mobs in Algeria.[62] The FLN used hit and run attacks in Algeria and France as part of its war, and the French conducted severe reprisals.
        The war led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Algerians and hundreds of thousands of injuries. Historians, like Alistair Horne and Raymond Aron, state that the actual number of Algerian Muslim war dead was far greater than the original FLN and official French estimates but was less than the 1 million deaths claimed by the Algerian government after independence. Horne estimated Algerian casualties during the span of eight years to be around 700,000.[63] The war uprooted more than 2 million Algerians.[64]
        The war against French rule concluded in 1962, when Algeria gained complete independence following the March 1962 Evian agreements and the July 1962 self-determination referendum.”

        “the US did bestride the little world like a Colossus”

        To be honest the Russians had more to do with winning WW2 than the US and Europe did.
        But the US bombed the shit out of everyone and had virtually no competition. China was coming off a series of revolutions then wars. Russia lost 20 million people, then the Stalin mismanagement.
        But the US could only maintain the advantage until the early 1970’s when things started to turn to shit again.
        Barely thirty years of industrial advantage.
        Today we see what happens when both China and Russia recover and finally find their footing.
        And that scares the piss out of TPTB one world advocates.
        I’m seeing a very hard fall for the US in the next twenty years. Various economic schemes have managed to merely keep it as a slow to medium speed decline.
        The center can not hold.

      • «You are just pissed because I knew how badly the French consistently fuck up.» My poor dear «[Stupid]WizardGlick», given your IQ of 50, it’s perhaps understandable that you can’t seem to grasp that the dismantling of the French colonial adventure, like that of the British colonial adventure, fills me with joy rather than sorrow. That which does render me sad is that the US colonial and neo-colonial adventure still, despite all the many setbacks it has suffered since its defeat in Korea in 1953, persists in waging its brutal wars of aggression abroad and carrying out its «sanctions» and its «regime changes». But perhaps our fatuous troll finds it too awkward to comment on these matters ?…

        Pitiful….

        Henri

      • Sad tiny slimebelly
        The French, including your beloved Granny Macron, knelt at Trumps feet and still support his policies.
        But and I think you would find sympathy here because they failed to fire their load.
        Luckily, once again you may use the same strategy, they maintained a backup.
        I’m sure many people tell you it is common and happens with everyone that they can’t fire a round so to speak.
        Thus need for the plan b Big Daddy Mugabe dildo.

        https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/04/18/france-turns-to-plan-b-when-missile-launch-fails-during-syria-airstrikes/
        When a French multimission frigate failed to fire its salvo of three naval cruise missiles during last weekend’s joint airstrike on Syria, the military drew on a backup plan.

        The frigate’s sister ship, the Languedoc, instead launched its naval cruise missiles at the three Syrian targets. The mission was the first time France fired its naval cruise missile, a weapon which up until then only the British and U.S. had fired against a threat.

        “The first salvo did not fire,” Army Col. Patrick Steiger, spokesman for the French Joint Chief of Staff, told Defense News on April 18.

        The launch by a backup ship is part of France’s standard “redundancy” approach, the spokesman said.

        From RT

        France took part last Friday night in the US-led missile attack against Syria over an alleged chemical weapons attack in the town of Douma. The French contribution to the “punishment” of the Syrian government for what may have well been a fabrication, was relatively small: three naval versions of MBDA’s Storm Shadow/SCALP cruise missiles and nine airborne missiles of the same model, launched by five Rafale fighter jets. Apparently, not everything went as planned.

      • «The French, including your beloved Granny Macron, knelt at Trumps feet and still support his policies.» Once again, my dear «[Stupid]WizardGick», the consequences of your abysmal IQ score are making themselves felt. Everyone knows that the current French government, not least the former Goldman Sachs employee Emmanuel Macron, is a loyal vassal to Washington – but then again, hardly more loyal than my own government, which isn’t even a (formal) NATO member. What you don’t seem to be able to grasp is that these undeniable facts, which, indeed, are most unfortunate, hardly reflect on me, given that I’m neither French nor a partisan of M Macron. But do please continue to post well-known information on Paris’ subordination to Washington, if that helps you «fire your load», which, understandably enough, seems to be your primary concern….

        Pitiful….

        Henri

  5. @pork, @lisa, @der Lehrer

    You know, you commenters are such hypocrites (note that you were spared, Crazy H).

    Instead of commenting on Ted’s piece, you use your time to kvetch about American Teacher. You should be ashamed of yourselves…but you won’t be because you are too full of yourselves.

    So I will comment on Ted’s piece.

    Reneging on the nuclear arms deal with Iran was an idiotic decision.

    But Israel is happy.

    • Apparently you are too dense to notice that my comments followed your own. Those comments also were “off-the-mark” and deserved rebuttal.

      • @der Lehrer

        I was forced to defend myself

        You were not forced to jump in.

        Let’s discuss Ted’s piece and the Iran Deal. Ted notes Bibi’s PowerPoint presentation. The foreign policy of the United States is to support Israel.

      • “I was forced to defend myself.”

        REALLY??? There was no “force” that I witnessed. I could also assert that I was “forced” to defend the teaching profession which does not deserve the besmirking you have endowed upon it. You could easily have directed the discussion back to Ted’s post without engaging than tangent.

        You love the attention Ted has allowed you to access. You are attempting to play both fields and distract from the real discussion while asking others to adhere to the topic. You have participated in that distraction and are now attempting to make it the fault of others who should also have a voice addressing it.

        You had a choice, and you chose to distract by redirecting the attention to yourself.

      • @der Lehrer

        You are aggravating

        You are having an argument about having an argument. Do you realize how stupid that is?

        I do hope that you go disappear back on Facebook

      • “Do you realize how stupid that is?”

        Do you realize how stupid it is to argue with someone who’s as stupid as I am? H-m-m-m? It makes you doubly so stupid.

      • uhhh, guys? You’re having a slappy-fight about how having a slappy-fight is silly.

        I, personally, believe that a slappy-fight should be outright hilarious or it’s not worth the effort.

      • @CH

        You and I are the only adults commenting on this site.

        Der lehrer is crying like a girl.

  6. I get annoyed by those who say Trump is our worst president ever. Sure, he talks and tweets covfefe every day, while every other president had every word checked and re-checked and re-re-checked by a team of experts, but I look at actions, not words. Clinton made a deal with Saddam to get rid of Iraqi WMD with inspections, so Clinton’s successor could force regime removal with no risk of WMD to US forces. Bush, jr made a deal with Muammar to get rid of Libyan WMD with inspections, so Bush, jr’s successor could force regime removal with no risk to the USAF. After that, Iran demanded a 6 nation deal, so it was Obama + 5 who convinced Iran to get rid of their nuclear stocks, with inspections, so Obama’s successor could force regime removal. Trump did not increase the chances of war, they’ve always been close to 100%. The London Times says it’s a slight risk, but Trump gave the EU and China a choice they hate: let the US dictate what they can do, or lose all access to the US market. The Times says that’s not a choice, they’ll have to comply, completely cutting off Iran from all imports and exports, completely crashing the Iranian economy and forcing Iran to accept any conditions Trump imposes. If Iran try to make any response other than complete capitulation, it means war, as intended since Bush, jr. Of course, Iran, as Mr Rall writes, is the strongest nation the US has faced since Vietnam. Trump plans an Obama-style air campaign, destroying all the military assets protecting the government, and Iran will all like Muammar. But Iran, unlike Iraq and Libya, might have a substantial air defence (according to Wikipedia). And Iran just might get the help that Saddam and Muammar never got. And then? https://bill-purkayastha.blogspot.se/2018/04/a-very-short-possible-farewell-note.html

  7. i appreciate this column as i do most of your columns but i won’t be sharing it on social media as i usually do. these “american teacher” atrocities you’ve given a public forum (and therefore your approval regardless of your denials) have left a bad taste in my mouth. i just can’t understand your real motivation other than getting “hits”. do you actually think this troll is representative of american teachers? instead of promoting his vile musings you should be reporting him. to let someone like this continue to teach children makes you an accessory to child abuse.

    • @pork

      You sloppy pig

      Don’ try to intimidate Mr Rall into not posting my work.

      Kids should get two hours of education a day. Boys should be put in the fields. Girls in garment factories

      Go eat cilantro

    • Regrettably, I agree. I continue to read and appreciate Ted’s columns and cartoons, but I ignore most of the ensuing “conversation,” which has been highjacked not only by “American Teacher” but a few other crackpots who have decided to make this their personal soapbox and rant about matters only tangentially related to the topic, if at all.

      • #lise

        Crackpot? You are on the education faculty of UCLA? Education schools, there’s the waste of taxpower dollars.

        It is too bad that you are not a trained rhetorician and cannot respond to my arguments in a logical manner.

        Incidentally, have you followed up with my moisturizing tips? Every woman over seventy needs to moisturize.
        I’m sure Lancome will give you free samples.

    • @pork –
      @lburanen –

      As you may have gathered from the few posts I’ve written recently, I share your assessment.

      I started visiting Ted’s site years ago because of the unique perspective that he epitomizes, an insight rarely seen elsewhere. Unfortunately, he has done himself a great disservice.

      Recent garbage that has appeared here reflects attitudes that I’ve witnessed over many years, exhibited by losers who have false depictions of their own self-worth and who do a great injustice to the true professionals who have chosen to become educators. It’s a pity such malcontents aren’t exiled from decent society.

      • @derlehrer

        No man may mock another man’s beliefs.

        Students Be Damned!

      • ‘Tis no one’s beliefs I mock. I disdain your attitude and lack of commitment and performance, the combination of which unjustly robs your minions of their rightful due.

      • @der Lehrer

        The assistant principal, whose coffee and breakfast I fetch every morning, rates my performance outstanding every year. I am afraid that hers is the only opinion that counts.

        Now, this comment section is for Ted’s piece.

        One thing that Ted did not touch upon is that ZOG does not respect international law.

        ZOG manufactures enemies for us to hate.

      • I fail to understand the audacity with which you assert to be an “American Teacher.” You are no teacher. By your own descriptions, you are at best a “Babysitter” who shirks the responsibility that has been entrusted to you while kissing butt and failing at your assigned duties. You are a leech on society and have no honor, certainly not the honor owed to actual teachers who are doing their job.

      • I, however, have no problem mocking another’s beliefs.

        😀 🙂 😀

        ZOG ranks somewhere between the Illuminati and Lizard People. The idea of *any* global shadow government, deep state, etc., is ludicrous. Instead, we have many factions squabbling amongst themselves – the idea of *cooperating* goes against their very nature.

        I have a non-standard theory (try not to look surprised) Israel isn’t playing the US – we’re playing them.

        We helped them steal the Palestinians’ land, we defended them and financed them and looked the other way while they committed atrocities against their neighbors.

        As a direct result – all of their neighbors hate them ever so muchly. If we withdrew our support today, they’d be gone tomorrow … and they know it.

        They have no choice but to be our best buddies in The Muddle East. We want another military base? No problem! A military seaport? Sure. Hey, let’s help them build nukes! That means we’ve got nukes close to [OPEC COUNTRY] while they don’t have any close to us.

        We can totally burn Israel and still come out ahead, while they have no choice but to fight on our side.

        FRIENDSHIP, n. A ship big enough to carry two in fair weather, but only one in foul.
        – Ambrose Bierce

      • @Crazy H

        We did not help them steal Palestinian land; we began supporting them after WWII out of pity. We only began bankrolling them in the 1960s.

        We play them??? We give them four billion in aid every year. Remember when we bombed Saddam’s nuclear reactor?

        Everything we do is a shot in the arm for Israel.

        And there are lizard people.

      • @der Lehrer

        Babysitter, slacker, brown noser, all true.

        I don’t need a good reputation here.

        What are you hiding, buddy?

      • First of all, I’m not your “buddy”! I find you despicable!

        Second, I have nothing to hide — unlike you, I earned my salary as a teacher.

      • > We give them four billion in aid every year.

        Along with sweet deals on military hardware, intelligence, and whatever benefit comes from being besties with the biggest bully on the playground.

        Today’s homework assignment:

        1) What do we get in return?

      • @der Lehrer

        Go back to Facebook, Buddy!

        This is now the land of American Teacher! And you’re on my turf.

    • I did ask our host whether AT is real – cuz he sounds like somebody at The Onion testing the limits of Poe’s Law. Ted sez he’s the real deal.

      Ted has this extremely liberal idea about censorship. Whenever some RWNJ loses his job for stark-raving homophobia Ted defends him to the hilt. I can respect that, even when I don’t agree with it. He walks his talk.

      MY GUESS – sans evidence – is that it’s on the up-and-up. Anti-American “Teacher” tried to call Ted’s bluff and it didn’t work.

      AT: Yeah, but you’d never let a real conservative post there.
      TR: Sure I would
      AT: Put your money where your mouth is
      TR: Okay, but you have to talk nice.

      ‘cuz AT talks nicer than I would otherwise expect. (That’s a pretty low bar as you might have inferred.)

      It’s a free country – you don’t have to read anything you don’t want to read. But doing so does provide you with more information than you would otherwise be exposed to.

      • @CH

        I can safely assure you that thousands of public school teachers think like I do. We are decent society..

        Whether these teachers would have my back or not is a different story.

      • @DeX

        Can we comment on Ted’s piece?

        We are heading for confrontation with Iran.

      • “The idea of *any* global shadow government, deep state, etc., is ludicrous. Instead, we have many factions squabbling amongst themselves – the idea of *cooperating* goes against their very nature.”

        Dude, I posted something similar recently.
        Did you rip me off?

      • @Wiz – in order to rip you off, I’d need to read your post in the first place. I don’t read those ten-page stream-of-consciousness rants.

        Short & sweet – or at least all on the same topic, and you’ll have more readers.

      • CrazyH

        Millennial, right can not concentrate more than a few seconds.
        Should I dumb things down for you to understand?
        I see others do.

  8. I must admit – Duh Donald has exceeded all my expectations. I honestly didn’t think anyone could fuck up the Muddle East any worse than his predecessors did.

    We’re protecting the poor widdle Syrian children we don’t let into the country, but if we blow them up that’s okay, just so long as nobody else blows them up. We moved the embassy in Israel for no better reason than to piss off the libtards at home. (Gosh, did anyone in the executive branch consider what the Palestinians would think?) We’re gonna restart the fire in Iran, oh, yeah, that’s worked out so well in the past.

    I’ve lost count of the number of countries we’ve bombed illegally – even assuming we’ve been told in the first place.

    I think they’re used to the idea of the US ME policy changing radically every four or eight years, but now it’s changing between the morning and evening tweetstorms.

  9. The US moral plane is genocide and slavery that “evolved” into chronic global mass murder.

    Your basic spineless jellyfish or insect operates on a MUCH higher moral plane.

    There is no need to further insult Iran as has His Hairness.

    • falco

      Maybe some pacific island nations, the really tiny ones, don’t fit your description. If you dig deep enough into any nation you uncover the same genocidal mass murdering tendencies.
      Right now isn’t South Africa killing whites?
      Where is the outrage?

      • EvilWizardGlick

        The Boers, who were the original settlers of that land, are being subject to genocide.

        Once the last white farmer has been murdered, South Africa will realize its mistake because it will no longer be able to feed itself.

      • “The Boers, who were the original settlers of that land, are being subject to genocide.”

        Weren’t they Dutch?
        South Africa is pretty fucked up. Winnie Mandala went from respected activist to sentenced murderess in a very short time.
        Shanty towns remain and the rich hide behind gates with private security.
        Can anyone point to a Black ruled nation that is not corrupt and violent as Chicago is?
        I do understand that TPTB want a destabilized Africa the same way they want one in the Middle East, once again Africa.
        Much easier to strip the resources.
        Remember when that Black activist chick called out Bono saying they wanted Black solutions to Black problems?

      • Forgot
        Weren’t the Boers treated like shit by the Brits during the Boer war?
        Lot’s of brutality against them.

      • > The Boers, who were the original settlers of that land, are being subject to genocide.

        Wait, what now? I’m no school teacher, but I’m pretty sure that the *original* settlers of that land were black. Is it any wonder that they objected to foreign devils making them second class citizens in their own home? (Let alone that whole slavery thing.)

        They had a functioning agricultural society prior to colonial times. The Boers destroyed it. That’s White Power, baby!

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