Iran: The New Superpower?

“We have not seen concrete evidence that Tehran has an ongoing nuclear weapons program”

Chief Mohamed El Baradei of  the International Atomic Energy Agency as he addressed the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in an article on Iran’s nuclear program.

Last week, United Nations inspectors met with Iranian leaders to hash out a deal to negotiate and resume peace keeping talks and also allow Iran to maintain their current nuclear program.
Iran’s nuclear program raised lots of questions due to a report presented by the U.N. suggesting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad allowed production of plans to make bomb-grade uranium at site in Qom, Iran. Over the last six years, the US and some of the U.N. treaty nations have questioned Iran’s intent for the use of uranium enriched products; including alternative power and energy resources, as a means to decrease the world’s dependence on oil and gas. According to former Bush administration officials in the CIA and other high ranking classified agencies while serving in office, alleged Iran ceased operations of this facility around 2003. When the G8 conducted their global meetings in Pittsburgh this past September, the U.N. had published a report indicating President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad allowed this activity to manifest.

In a surprising and non-confrontational outcome, Iran has accepted the terms of the United Nations agreement; allowing them to continue with their nuclear program. But there’s a caveat. First, U.N.’s inspectors must visit the military base near Qom, Iran and investigate and tour the country’s nuclear hotspot. Two, allow Iran to place only 3,000 centrifuge machines in the plant, a number small enough provide fuel to a civilian power plant. According to last Saturday’s Washington Post article written by Joby Warrick, he states “intelligence analysts calculated that it would take Qom’s high-end centrifuges at least 20 years to produce enough low-enriched uranium to meet the needs of a typical 1,000 megawatt nuclear power reactor for a year.” This is just enough to allow Iran to create up to three bombs’ worth of weapons-grade fuel, according to U.N. officials.

With all the hoopla and world media hype surrounding President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s nuclear program, Chief Mohamed El Baradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency  addressed the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. El Baradei adds, “in many ways, I think the threat has been hyped. Yes, there’s concern about Iran’s future intentions and Iran needs to be more transparent with the IAEA and the international community … But the idea that we’ll wake up tomorrow and Iran will have a nuclear weapon is an idea that isn’t supported by the facts as we have seen them so far.” As the week progressed, the media took to this a major accomplishment, yet the Middle East is still witnessing and experiencing some to worst bloodshed of innocent lives in Afghanistan. President Ahmadinejad’s nuclear problem has shifted globally to President Karzied’s Afghan election snafu and illegal opium trafficking.

There’s never been actual documentation Iran has wanted to create atomic weapons. It seems other countries like North Korea, Pakistan, Syria, Israel, Russia, and Libya have and had nuclear reactors using uranium enriched products. It’s known fact France and China, allies of the United States, are Iran’s biggest supplier of uranium. Somehow, the press continues to sleep on this issue. Yet, the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership last week announced, “is working to set up a framework to supply countries with fuel for their civilian atomic power plants. The program would eliminate the need to develop uranium-processing facilities that could also provide weapons-grade material.”(Bloomberg News article Iran May Qualify for Nuclear Fuel Supply Plan, Poneman Says (Oct. 24 ) The GNEP countries include the US, Russia, France, and China to supply nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes.

I don’t understand how our allies have been supplying our “so-called” enemy, but want Iran to befriend the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. There’s a saying “politics makes strange bedfellows” and the US is now trying to befriend a country that’s had a history of resenting us. For decades the world has viewed and seen Iran as harborers of terrorists and extremely difficult in trying to restore peace and sanctions in the Middle East. Now the U.N. has come to an agreement that would allow Iran to maintain their nuclear operations. This is only a ploy to keep the US and the U.N. treaty nations to “butt-in” to Iran’s business affairs. Again, the U.S. continues to befriend, yet keep other countries to move forward in becoming a player on the world front. Iran finally figured out how to use their nuclear program as a mark of producing alternative energy. This is a hard pill to chew on the world and corporate front. The Iranian nuclear weapon hype was much to do about nothing. We can’t point and pressure Iran to water down their program when our allies are supplying them their dirt. Something to think about.

The Revolution Will Be Televised,

Brian Pace

The Pace Report


Obama’s Early Desert!

“I understand about winning elections, because that’s what we do.” “But it should be a competition of good ideas, not erecting barriers to solving the problems of a great nation.”

Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine last Wednesday after voting on the historic healthcare policy.

The last two weeks have seen some of the most progressive and interesting developments in Washington and around the globe.

In a Bill passed by the Energy and Commerce Committee, comprehensive health care is almost here. In a 31-28 vote on Friday, the ECC has come up with a plan to merge two other healthcare plans already on the floor before it goes to chamber. With both the Senate and House in tact, the  “all out war” is about to begin on the rights to a public option plan.
The ECC’s plan is estimated to cost lower than the House’s original plan by $100 billion over a decade. Also, businesses with payrolls below $500,000 will be exempt from having to provide health coverage to employees.

Even though this looks good on paper, the surprise came from Republican Senator Olympia Snowe’s (Maine) groundbreaking vote with the Democrats. Snowe was the first to part ways with her loving G.O.P constitutes. When she voted with the Democrats, her take was that a public option alternative be a similar to a Medicare type program for small businesses or employers who can’t afford or provide health insurance.

According to 57 members of the House Progressive Caucus letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday; feel the new bill will call for all government run public options be reimbursed by contracts and discussions with the insurance industry. Also, cuts to the legislation’s senior programs would financially put programs like Medicare and other social programs in jeopardy for the next generation.

So for the next year, both the House and Senate will be in the driver’s seat in adopting and creating a comprehensive program that both you and I will have to pay for. What does this mean for the common, everyday person? One, since it will be mandatory we have health insurance, if  you choose not to get covered, we’ll be fined and charged a fee by the government. The House calls this a “penalty tax.” Two, the competition will now increase the HMO and insurance health game. Employers who are currently offering health insurance will get break both in their taxes as well as the employees. All workers will eventually get covered, but the choices for coverage will be endless. So, that means the government once again, will create a “insurance czar” to monitor and better regulate the insurance industry. Yes, government will get bigger and we’ll get caught, as always, paying for the bill! I believe we need more insurance and oversight commissions to further regulate the new competition. This will curb the latest trend of insurance companies dropping and practicing discriminatory practices that forbid people getting coverage.

Finally, since I was so boggled down last week, I didn’t have time to write on the Obama Nobel Prize award. So, I think I can somewhat tie this in with the whole healthcare debacle.

The commission that voted on President Obama’s nomination for the prize, voted two weeks before he was elected to office. So, the award was based on his efforts to try to unite and bring peace with America’s friends and foes globally. Since all of the controversy has died down, the President still is under the gun. Not just here, but abroad. The Nobel Prize was awarded way too early in his political career. This country, along with the House and Senate, are fighting for their lives. Healthcare expenses and insurance liabilities are at an all-time high. The war in Afghanistan is mounting for a troop increase costing America over a billion dollars a day. Finally, the economy, although the dow has increased to over 10,000 this past week, still sees homeowners filing for bankruptcy at the highest rate in three years. I’m not even going to hit the latest unemployment numbers.

In my eyes, I’ve seen the President do nothing! Don’t get me wrong, I love the Obama’s. President Obama represents the next generation of sleek and savvy politicians that have hit DC since John F. Kennedy and Jesse Jackson. Jr. But, I haven’t seen him put his foot down to Iran, when the world leaders have the President’s back and has the highest approval ratings to do so! I haven’t seen him aggressive towards Wall Street and greedy CEO’s that continue to bleed our bailout dollars. Yet, Washington continues to slap the wrist on our already failed FDIC and SIPC that have allowed the Enrons, Countrywide and Rock Financials, Bernie Madoffs, and Jeff Skillings ruin the economy and people’s American dream.

I’m not being critical of President Obama, but to give him this award for accomplishing nothing, is a bit much. Come on people, he’s only been in office less than 10 months, and the world is treating him like he’s a god! Let’s support President Obama and his family and let him accomplish his vision. Not give him his desert before he’s even eaten his dinner!

The Revolution Will Be Televised,

Brian Pace
The Pace Report

Black on Black Crime: The New Gang Warfare

While the Obama’s were trying to convince the International Olympic Committee on bringing the 2016 Olympic games to Chicago; nationally, the county was focused on one of the most horrific child murders that permeated both the internet and television throughout the week. Sixteen year old Derrion Albert, an honor student who attended Christian Fenger Academy High school on Chicago’s South Side, was attacked and beat to death by four teens ranging from 19 to 16, allegedly over a gang-related shooting that took place earlier during the day from rival gang members.

Albert was trying to break up a fight with one of his friends who was agitated by one of the rival gangs. He tried to pull his friend away but Derrion was struck by a railroad tie, a rectangular piece of wood used as a base for railroad tracks, according to Chicago Police Department records. As Derrion tried to get up, Silvanus Shannon, 19; admitted jumping on young Derrion’s head. Lying on the ground helpless and unconscious; three of the other youths continued to beat the young man to death.

Last Friday, Kevin Miller, was gunned down Friday in Cambria Heights, Queens. Miller was a freshman at the Humanities and the Arts Magnet High School. He and his friend happened to walk in front of a nearby car wash after school and was caught in the middle of a gun fight instantly shooting Miller in the head.

According to a USA Today article last year “Since September, 20 Chicago Public Schools students have been killed, 18 by gunfire. Last school year, 24 of the more than 30 students killed were shot to death, compared with between 10 and 15 fatal shootings in the years before.” (”Chicago battles rise in teen deaths” 3/27/2008)

Last summer, as I walked the streets of Harlem, I’ve noticed the lack of leadership from our Black males and females. Kids continue to emulate the music and visual images that have drifted to the streets. Young kids calling each other “bitches and dawgs” is so common that even the elders have become complacent in addressing discipline. I remember a time when my best friends parents would beat me if I got out of line. Respect was the key in my church and in the schools.

Nat Hentoff’s article from Village Voice (August 12, 2008) stated “In this city, only 32 percent of black males graduated from high school on schedule in 2006, in contrast to 57 percent of white males. Because of that, New York City public schools ranked 54th out of 63 of the nation’s largest school districts surveyed in a new national report, “Given Half A Chance: The 50-State Report on Public Education and Black Males” by the Massachusetts-based Schott Foundation for Public Education.” What’s even more crazy, is how these statistics continue to taint the Black male’s image and nothing is being done.

Here’s my take on both of these senseless and unapologetic murders. First, the person who shot the video of Derrion Albert needs to have their head examined. For a juvenile to have his head knocked open with a railroad tie and be left for dead while your shooting, that’s grounds for insanity! Come on, this was wrong and if that had been their child, then the outcome would’ve been a bit different. I’m a bit miffed and surprised how the police didn’t investigate the person who shot the video! My first question would’ve been, “why didn’t you call the police?” In my opinion, the videographer should be tried along with the four juveniles.

The City of Detroit have laws and ordinances supporting jail time and fines for parents of juveniles that commit crimes. Even the Detroit Public Schools will arrest parents and place their children in child protection services if they miss over 10 days of school. Since the laws were implemented, petty crimes have dropped drastically. Chicago has had a high number of child murders for the last five years. The parents aren’t accountable for these kids actions. If your child isn’t being disciplined at home, then the streets are their safe haven putting you at risk. Gang membership increases and you continue to lose more future leaders like Derrion. A lot of the problems I see and experience first hand from mentoring teens myself, is the lack of strong male disciplinarians. I don’t like the idea of kids going to jail or juvenile, but if you have kids, you need to raise them. So, the legal system needs to learn a lesson from the Detroit’s, Atlanta’s, and Baltimore’s of the country that have begun holding parents accountable.

Finally, mentoring needs to increase in the Black community. I spend many Saturday mornings and afternoons during the school year involved with the Blue Nile Program at my church in Harlem. It’s a rites of passage program for both males and females in New York. We train students how to respect themselves and learn basic African rituals and history. What I find that’s most powerful about mentoring is I can at least work with a child that won’t be another statistic. I’m doing my part to prevent more Derrion Alberts and Kevin Millers from becoming street casualties. If each of you do your part, then we can get regain our community again.

The Revolution Will Be Televised,

Brian Pace
The Pace Report