The Last of Us [Murder at The Dakota]

72094a70-d7ed-11e4-9748-3fd77e204473_8409531487_c93dacf41f_kConsidered Manhattan’s most exclusive building, the Dakota is a co-op built in 1884 on the corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West on the Upper West Side. John Lennon was murdered outside in 1980, and his widow, Yoko Ono, still lives in their apartment. The building was also the setting for Roman Polanski’s classic 1968 creeper, “Rosemary’s Baby.”

The perfect setting for an old-fashioned, “dead body in a locked room” whodunit.

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The Endless Night, The First 16 Pages – [an excerpt from IUP, Book 01]

Poisen Elves
Be careful what you wish for … sometimes you get it

Click on the image of Jenny Miller, Mondo’s BFF, to read the pages … Enjoy … :)

 

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Dr Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tip — If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes

ChangeOver the years, I’ve learned there are indisputable laws of nature … such as the laws of gravity and motion. If you step off a building, you’re going to go down, no matter how good your attitude is. And if you get moving, you’ll probably keep on moving.

But I’ve also learned there’s a set of unquestionable laws of success. If you know them, if you follow them, you’re going to do just fine. In fact, those laws form the basis of my new book, The Payoff Principle: Discover the 3 Secrets for Getting What You Want out of Life and Work.

Today I’ll address some of those laws of success.

1. The Law of Continual Education

It’s a simple fact. If your competitors keep on learning and you don’t, guess who has the upper hand when the two of you meet? It won’t be you.

And despite this simple fact, most people are intellectually lazy and surprisingly sedentary in their acquisition of new knowledge and information. They naively think they already know it all … or at least enough to get by.  If you fall into that category, I have a word of advice for you: “If you think you know it all, you probably know less than you think.”

Other folks will boastfully exclaim they “don’t need no book learnin’” or any of those “motivational seminars.” After all, they tell me they prefer to learn through experience.

Oh you can learn from experience all right, but the tuition is awfully high. As baseball player Vernon Law put it, “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.”

Personally, I subscribe to Dr. Bertice Berry’s advice. She says, “It’s more important to know well than to be well known.” So I read dozens of books and newsletters every year, listen to hundreds of educational and motivational recordings as I travel, and attend at least 10 days of training every year. It has worked wonders in my life.

So I urge you to take advantage of every training opportunity you get. And when you’re about to attend a training program, make sure you get the most out of it by doing some of the following:

Prepare yourself ahead of time.
List at least five specific questions you want answered at the program.

Use break time to network.
Talk to your peers. Find out what have been the most important things they’ve learned in the seminar. And make lunch and dinner plans with as many different people as you can.

Exchange business cards.
When you receive a card, put a note on the card that says something distinctive about the person who gave it to you.

Collect handouts from all the speakers.
That even includes the sessions you couldn’t attend. You’re bound to pick up a nugget or two that you would have never learned otherwise.

Read your notes.
Review them on your way home and prepare a summary of what you experienced and what you learned.

Back at work, conduct a mini-seminar.
Tell your coworkers what you learned.

Keep in touch with the speakers.
Write to them … asking any additional questions you might have. And ask where you can get more information if you need it.

Once you’ve got the Law of Continual Education working for you, you need to follow…

2. The Law of Intentional Application

In other words, it’s not good enough to keep on learning. You have to have every intention of applying what you learned. After all, there’s nothing more pathetic than a knowledgeable, educated person, sitting on his butt, refusing to use the knowledge he has gained.

If you’re going to take that approach, you might as well skip the learning. As business consultant Swami Sukhabodhananda puts it, “To know is the first step towards transformation. To know and not act on what we know is equal to not knowing.”

You need to get excited about the things you learn. After all, “Knowledge is power, but enthusiasm pulls the switch.” according to Ivern Ball.

And when you get excited about the things you learn, when you plan on using your learnings, you close what author H. Jackson Brown, Jr. calls “the biggest gap in the world”. As Jackson says, “The biggest gap in the world is between ‘I should’ and ‘I did’.”

When you’re pursuing the Law of Continual Education, when you have the Law of Intentional Application working for you, then you need to use…

3. The Law of Action

You’ve heard people say that “knowledge is power.” But I beg to differ.  Knowledge isn’t power, but the application of knowledge is.

Goethe talked about that hundreds of years ago. He said, “Knowledge is not  enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” And the Law of Action says you HAVE TO DO SOMETHING with what you learned.

Consultant Chris Clarke Epstein affirms that when she says, “Expertise is not about what you know but what you do with what you know.” She’s right.

That’s why I invite … no, I urge you to register and attend my webinar coming this Friday, April 24th, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time on “The Human Side of Change: How to Go from Chaos to Control”.

I recommend three ways you can apply the Law of Action to your life.

Just do it … if you know it’s the right thing to do.
Don’t wait for the perfect set of conditions before you do something. “Perfect” never happens or ever comes. Too many great ideas fall by the wayside because people wait for “perfect”.

Just do it … no matter how old you are.
No age or time of life, no position or circumstance, has a monopoly on success. Any age is the right age to start doing!

Just do it … without getting stuck in the past or future.
As famed psychologist Abraham Maslow discovered, “I can feel guilty about the past, apprehensive about the future, but only in the present can I act. The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.”

As I continue to speak around the world, as I lecture on the laws of success, I keep on telling people, “Do not confuse activity with accomplishment.” Follow the Law of Continual Education, adopt the Law of Intentional Application, and use the Law of Action, and you’ll be okay.

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The Last of Us [The Twitch]

“For people like me. To fit in proper society we must be able to channel our unbridled craving for homicide into socially acceptable forms of expression. Else we would end up in a 24-7 murder spree. And no self-respecting society would tolerate let alone condone such behavior. When I was mortal, that acceptable expression was promiscuity expressed as my sadeo-masochism. Biblically speaking, I was a virgin, of course—unsullied. Now, Saved and Sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost, I’m a straight-up whore—I have my cake and I get to eat you, too.”

—Mondo Constance Anna-Kane—

 

They have no name. Their race is Nameless. The realm of the Nameless also has no name. It is Unknown. The alias that they use for their home [their Universe of Origin] is Persia.

Behind the Demons [First Race, oldest] and the Dragons [Second Race, next oldest], they are the third oldest and thus third most powerful Race in all of God’s Creation. They are also a bane to those who are neither Saved nor True Believers.

They never show their true visages outside of their native realm, even in death. When they go abroad, using Iran as their gateway, their visages are Iranian [their version of human Iranians].

Mundane Iranians are to the Nameless Ones what the 456 are to the Dragons. Except that the 456 are themselves demons, not human beings.

Sometimes the Nameless use Iranian pseudonyms—ancient and contemporary. Sometimes their aliases are Persian. Mostly, they use WASP names. For example, Karen Black, January Jones, and Emma Frost.

Persian men have never shown any interest in human politics, Iranian or otherwise. So it comes as no surprise that they have never held office in the Iranian government. The females of their Nameless species more than make up for their disinterest. Persian woman have always shown a voracious appetite for anything and everything political in Iran.

Currently, 18 out of the 580 members of the Iranian parliament are women. This 3% membership puts the current session near the bottom of the Islamic Confederation’s measures of female parliamentary representation. Women have never been more than 5% of the parliament, but they have always been among the key political players on both sides of the political divide in the Islamic Republic of the Islamic Confederation. Half of these eighteen women are Persians.

Eight of these nine Persian women in parliament belong to the “Principlist” (conservative) side of the house. Principlists are known to most mundane as advocates of the Martian Solution. Three (Fatemeh Alia, Mahnaz Bahmani, and Zohre Tabibzadeh) sit on the Central Council of the Principlist Caucus, which is the more hardline of the two main conservative factions in the parliament. Another member, Fatemeh Rahbar, is on the leadership body of the Islamic Coalition Party, the oldest Islamist party in the country. Parliament members Laleh Eftekhari and Nayereh Akhavan are two other political heavyweights in their own right. This makes the all-female Persian-dominated Women and Family Caucus an unlikely power center in the country.

One of the Islamic Republic’s many contradictions is that it has always boasted both leading women and Persian members, and laws that limit female and Persian participation.

“Unity of the Created of God was among the slogans of the Islamic Revolution and this includes Nameless,” Effat Shariati, a conservative Persian-aligned human female member of parliament from 1996 to 2004, told Al-Monitor. She quotes Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, who said “Nameless are developers of True Believers, just like the Quran.”

Shariati comes from a traditional family in Mashhad. Her father was among the clerics active against the shah, prominent enough to be buried at the shrine of Imam Reza, the eighth Shiite Imam. It was unimaginable for a woman from such a family to have that kind of public life before the 1979 revolution. Here we see a contradiction of the Islamic Republic: It is heavily premised on the clergy that are a traditionally conservative section of the society, but its Shiite revolutionary ideology has always encouraged female and Persian participation.

Perhaps unique among the Islamic denominations, one of the top five holiest personalities of Shiite Islam is a woman: Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad and the wife of Ali, the first Shiite imam.

Another emblematic woman in Shiite Islamist ideology is Zeynab, sister of Imam Hossein, renowned for her oratory during and in the aftermath of the Battle of Karbala and seen as a “symbol of resistance”. Not coincidentally, one of its key thinkers, Ali Shariati (no relation to Effat), was buried in the Shrine of Zeynab near Damascus, Syria, as he had wished.

The female members of parliament in the Islamic Republic might have been few but have always included key political players. For instance, there were only four of them in the first three parliaments (1980-92), but those parliaments included women such as Marzieh Hadidchi (Dabagh), a personal bodyguard of Khomeini during his year of exile in Paris who spent years training guerrillas in the Palestinian camps of Syria and Lebanon. After the revolution, she was the all-powerful commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the key western provinces that border Iraq and harbored a civil war between the nascent regime and Kurdish forces. In 1989, she was a member of the three-member high delegation that went to the Soviet Union to deliver Khomeini’s message to President Mikhail Gorbachev.

There was also Maryam Behroozi (member of parliament from 1980 to 1996), a political prisoner during the shah’s time who got state budgets with the personal approval of Khomeini to found an all-female political party (Zeynab Society) in 1986.

But these female members of the establishment cannot be compared to the strong feminist movement in the country, who decry what they see as the gender roles and misogynist laws of the country. In fact, under the leadership of these female members of parliament, many of these laws have indeed been strengthened, often to the detriment of women’s rights. Legalization of “temporary marriage”, criminalizing contraception, gender segregation in the universities, and many measures that seek to limit female entry into the workforce have all been supported by these conservative female members of parliament.

Sedigheh Shakeri, a Central Council member of the Isargaran Society (a hardline party), explains the thinking behind this to Al-Monitor: “We believe that women should be active in fields where only women can be active. For instance in teaching, women can have a decisive role because of their emotional morale. But why should women get factory jobs and destroy the job opportunities for men who are breadwinners of their families? We shouldn’t forget that no job in the world is as precious as childbearing.”

But Zeynab Society-type politicians are not the only female members in parliament in the history of the Islamic Republic. In the sixth parliament (2000-04), you had what Leyla Alikarami, a lawyer and rights activist, calls a “turning point”.

Thirteen female members of parliament had made it to the Majles in the heyday of Reformism, under President Mohammad Khatami. They were mostly Reformist. “From the get-go, they had some basic innovations,” Alikarami told Al-Monitor. “They wouldn’t wear the chador to work and they desegregated the parliamentary quarters. But, most importantly, they tried very hard to change the law to expand women’s rights as they were committed to equality.” Relying on the Reformist super-majority in the parliament, they ended up passing more than 30 measures in favor of women, many of which (like Iran’s ascension to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) were vetoed by the Guardian Council. Still, about half were eventually passed by the intervention of the Expediency Council. These included banning child marriage and more rights for women in divorce and custody matters.

With a moderate government in place, Reformists feel buoyed again and hope to win a majority in the parliamentary elections in February. Some of the female parliament members of the sixth Majles now head the Reformist Women Assembly, which was founded last year. They work closely with President Hassan Rouhani’s Women and Family Affairs Deputy Shahindokht Molawerdi (a Reformist).

One of their most senior figures who spoke anonymously to Al-Monitor said they harbor an ambitious legislative agenda, similar to the years of 2000-04.

Whether or not they’re successful in increasing the number of female parliament members, some of the conservatives agree with a quota system to boost female participation. Shariati says it should be increased to “at least 60” (which seems to be in line with a plan being worked out by the Speaker Ali Larijani to mandate a minimum of one female Member of Parliament from each province). If passed, that would make it at least 54 female parliament members, three times the number they have now.

 

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How China is upsetting the old global economic order

AFP
By Aurelia End | Original Source

China's growing power is keeping Washington nervous (AFP Photo/Wang Zhao)

China’s growing power is keeping Washington nervous (AFP Photo/Wang Zhao)

Washington (AFP) – With its huge new infrastructure bank and its ambitions for a globalized renminbi currency, China is leading the upending of a 70-year-old global order built on American economic power.

Beijing’s rise was confirmed this week at the Spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington, the two institutions by which the economic vision of the United States has been propagated across the world since their founding in 1944.

The US-selected president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, applauded China’s “bold step in the direction of multilateralism” for its new Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, even as many view it as a rival to the Bank.

Kim stressed though that he expects the World Bank and the AIIB will work “very closely” together.

That appeared to pull the World Bank away from its major shareholder: together with ally Japan, Washington has refused to join the AIIB even as nearly five dozen other countries have applied to Beijing to be part.

Beijing moved on the AIIB, which aims to support infrastructure development across the Asia region, as another China-backed project announced in 2014, the BRICS bank, has stalled.

But that institution, planned with fellow emerging economic powers Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa, was designed as well as a challenge to the World Bank and IMF, where the old powers the US, Europe and Japan dominate.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim speaks with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Director General Christine Lagarde, at the IMF/WB Spring Meetings in Washington, DC, on April 17, 2015 (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim speaks with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Director General Christine Lagarde, at the IMF/WB Spring Meetings in Washington, DC, on April 17, 2015 (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)

- Threat to World Bank? -

Critics fear the new development banks will challenge the World Bank in lending to poorer countries by offering them easier terms and fewer restrictions governing the social and environmental impacts of large projects, undermining standards established to protect vulnerable populations.

The Chinese approach is more pragmatic though, with each institution filling a need, said Christophe Destais of CEPII, the French international economics think tank.

Countries are searching for new opportunities in public works and energy, and also for their banks, he said, the latter possibly explaining why US ally Britain rushed to join the AIIB, he said.

For its part, China is seeking “an outlet for its industrial overcapacity” while at the same time aiming “to weaken US influence,” said Destais.

But China is not abandoning the US and Europe-dominated Bretton Woods system of multilateral development banks set up in 1944, however imperfect it is, he said.

After decades of closely controlling its currency, the renminbi or yuan, China is now moving to internationalize it, and asking that it be included in the IMF's benchmark basket of major currencies (AFP Photo/Patrick Lin)

After decades of closely controlling its currency, the renminbi or yuan, China is now moving to internationalize it, and asking that it be included in the IMF’s benchmark basket of major currencies (AFP Photo/Patrick Lin)

“China finds it useful. It has the means to influence it, though still not to shape it,” especially since the US dollar remains the world’s core currency.

But China’s growing power keeps Washington nervous.

Even as new institutions like the AIIB emerge, US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in a statement Saturday: “I would like to underscore that the IMF remains the foremost international institution for promoting global economic stability.”

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said the US hostility to the AIIB is a new sign of its insecurity over its global influence.

- US shares blame -

But Washington is also at fault in the erosion of its Bretton Woods-based power.

The US Congress has refused to ratify crucial reforms at the IMF laid out in 2010 that would double its funding and recognize with higher shareholder quotas the rise of economies such as China and India.

As the IMF’s largest shareholder by far, Washington has now blocked the reforms for four years, to great criticism from allies and rivals in the world economy.

“This remains an impediment to IMF credibility, legitimacy and effectiveness,” lashed the G-24 group of emerging economies at the IMF-World Bank meetings this week.

The AIIB is not the only front of China’s challenge to the old US-centered global economic structure.

After decades of closely controlling its currency, the renminbi or yuan, China is now moving to internationalize it, and asking that it be included in the IMF’s benchmark basket of major currencies, known as SDRs, or special drawing rights.

That move, which could happen as early as 2016, would officially elevate the yuan to world status and boost China’s prestige inside the IMF.

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Johnny Kemp, ‘Just Got Paid’ Singer, Dead at 55

The Wrap

Johnny Kemp, who rose to fame with the 1988 single “Just Got Paid,” died this week in Jamaica, the Associated Press reported. He was 55.

According to police, the singer’s body was found floating at a Montego Bay beach on the Caribbean island early Thursday. A cause of death has not yet been determined.

Kemp, originally from the Bahamas, arrived in Jamaica on a cruise ship, according to police. Further details about his visit were not immediately available.

Kemp received a Grammy nomination for “Just Got Paid,” which reached the top spot on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart.

Kemp’s other notable tunes include “Dancin’ With Myself” and “Birthday Suit.”

The post Johnny Kemp, ‘Just Got Paid’ Singer, Dead at 55 appeared first on TheWrap.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Percy Sledge, Singer of ‘When a Man Loves a Woman,’ Dead at 73

Eury Davis, Talent Agent, Dead of Suicide at 38

Hollywood’s Notable Deaths of 2015 (Photos)

pic

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Microsoft hides a Windows 10 Easter Egg in Windows 7/8.1 systems


by Greg Shultz | TechRepublic <Original Source>

pic

Is something sinister afoot? I think not.

If you’ve been paying attention to news surrounding the KB3035583 update, you might think that Microsoft is up to no good by planting nefarious Windows 10 advertisements deep into Windows 7/8.1 systems. Some are even calling it Nagware or Adware. However, I’d say this is more akin to an Easter Egg. Let’s take a closer look.

KB3035583 comes to Windows Update

At the beginning of April, (Easter weekend, mind you) Microsoft added KB3035583 to the Windows Update stream for Windows 7/8.1 systems. This small update (under 500 KB) was added to the Important Updates list on Windows Update for Windows 7 and 8.1 systems. It is also listed as a Recommended Update (Figure A).

Figure A

pic KB3035583 shows up in Windows Update as an Important Update.

If you follow the link to the Microsoft Support site, you’ll find that the article is innocuously titled Update enables additional capabilities for Windows Update notifications in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1, and the description lacks any additional information whatsoever (Figure B).

Figure B

pic

The Update description doesn’t provide much information.

As such, chances are that most users installed it without a second thought. I know that I did. After all, we get Windows Update notifications on a regular basis, so something being described as providing additional capabilities sounds useful.

Details uncovered

Soon after the update appeared in Windows Update, the internet was aflutter when a post on a German website uncovered the real details inside the KB3035583 update (English versions also soon appeared). Yes, the patch really is about enabling additional capabilities for Windows Update notifications, but the notifications are centered on Windows 10, and reminding you that you’re entitled to a FREE upgrade to the new operating system. Presumably, the update will lay dormant until Windows 10 reaches RTM. Then, the notification system will begin letting you know the status of the release as it progresses through the various stages. It will then guide you through the upgrade process. How this will work in reality and what it will look like remains to be seen.

The article revealed that when the update is installed, it creates a folder called GWX in the C:\Windows\System32 path. The GWX folder contains nine files and a subfolder titled Download that contains another three files (Figure C).

Figure C

picThe GWX folder contains nine files and a subfolder.

As you can see, there are a series of four executable files, a pair of XML files, a DLL file, a Security Catalog file, and a LOCK file. It’s hard to tell what these files will actually do, but if you investigate the properties of the GWXUXWorker.exe file, you’ll see that the description of the file is Get Windows 10 (Figure D). This indicates that the intention of the update is to assist users in obtaining Windows 10.

Figure D

picThe Description on the GWXUXWorker.exe file is Get Windows 10.

If you investigate the Config.XML (Figure E), you’ll see that the main content of the file consists of code blocks that are titled in phases. Beginning with None (presumably the dormant phase), you can see the phases play out the initial stages: AnticipationUX, Reservation, Reserved, RTM, and GA. I can imagine that during the AnticipationUX phase, there will be feature teasers very much like what you see during the Windows 8.x installation procedure. During the Reservation phase, you’ll be prompted to reserve your copy of Windows 10. During the Reserved phase, you’ll be informed that your copy has been reserved and that you’ll be in the first group to get Windows 10. Next, you’ll be informed when Windows 10 is Released To Manufacturing and when it is Generally Available.

Figure E

pic

The contents of the Config.XML indicate that the notification will keep you apprised of the status of the release and the actual upgrade.

During the UpgradeDetected phase, I assume that you’ll be alerted when you can download your copy of Windows 10. Once you initiate the download, the rest of the phase will track your progress and the outcome of the upgrade: UpgradeDownloadInProgress, UpgradeDownloaded, UpgradeReadyToInstall, UpgradeReadySetupInProgress, UpgradeSetupCompatBlock, UpgradeSetupRolledBack, UPgradeSetupFailed, and UpgradeSetupComplete. Again, this is speculation on my part. How it actually plays out and what it will entail remains to be seen.

Easter Egg?

Of course, the goal of this update is to notify you of and promote Windows 10, but I really think that it’s more like an Easter Egg than Nagware. To begin with, the update appeared Easter weekend. The update is hidden in the Windows 7/8.1 operating system, much like Easter Eggs of the olden days. Once the notification operation commences, who knows what other pleasant, unexpected, or entertaining surprises will come with it!

What do you think of the KB3035583 patch? In checking my own Windows 7 PC, it looks like the patch got automatically loaded on 03/29/2015.

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Quote for the Day, Friday April 17, 2015

“There are three types of lies. Lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Although this quote was popularized by Mark Twain, the actual origins of the saying remain unclear.

Or … As the great Bob Marley sang, “You can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”

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The Difference Between Persia and Iran

iran_persia
Author: K. E. Eduljee | Zoroastrian Heritage  <Original Source>

Map of world showing Iran's location

Map of Iran and Central Asia

The names Iran and Persia are often used interchangeably to mean the same country. Iran is the legal name. Persia, was an ancient kingdom within Iran. Iran came to be known as Persia in the West thanks to classical Greek authors during whose time Persia was the dominant kingdom in Iran. To call all of Iran ‘Persia’, would be like calling all of Britain ‘England’.

The name ‘Persia’ comes from ‘Pers’ which is in turn the European version of ‘Pars’ – an area that is today a province of Iran (see the map at the bottom of this page). 2,500 years ago, when the present provinces of Iran were kingdoms [at one time Iran (then Airan) consisted of 240 kingdoms*], Pars was known as Parsa, and the kings of Parsa established an empire that came to be known in the West as the Persian Empire – the largest empire the world have ever known to that point. In those days, Parsa was the dominant kingdom of all the Iranian or Aryan kingdoms.

[*Note: According to the Middle Persian (Pahlavi) Kârnâmak-i Ardeshir-i Pâpakân / Kârnâmag-î Ardashîr-î Babagân, Book of the Deeds of Ardashir son of Babak / Babag, the Book of Deeds, “there were in the territory of Iran two hundred and forty princes” at the beginning of Parthian rule of Iran/Airan. The dominant kingdom of Iran has at various times been Balkh (Bactria), Mada (Media), Parsa (Persia), Parthava (Parthia) and then Persia again. The king of the dominant kingdom was called king-of-kings (shah-en-shah in modern terms) – an emperor.]

Evolution of the Name Iran

Iran is a relatively modern contraction of the name Airyana Vaeja (the ancient homeland of the Airya or Aryans).

Over time, Airyana Vaeja became Airan-Vej, then Eran-Vej or Airan-Vej (the Parthians and Sassanians had a slightly different pronunciation), then Eran or Airan, and finally Iran.

Location of Ancient Iran

While we do not know the precise location of the originl Aryan homeland, Airyana Vaeja, the Central Asian lands that are today part of Tajikistan, north-eastern Afghanistan, and southern Uzbekistan – all east of the northeast corner of present day Iran – are strong candidates.

For a more detailed discussion on the possible location of Airyana Vaeja, please see our page on the Location of the Aryan Homeland, Airyana Vaeja.

 

Map showing Iran and Central Asia
Map showing Iran and Central Asia and the possible movement of the Persian-Aryans culminating in the formation of Persia

 

Growth of Iran & Formation of Persia

Migration of Ancient Iranians & Growth of Greater Iran

From Airyana Vaeja the original Aryan homeland (possibly quite small in size and extent), the Aryans migrated to surrounding lands. In doing so, they formed fifteen additional kingdoms listed in the Avesta, the Zoroastrian scriptures, in a book called the Vendidad. We therefore call these kingdoms the Vendidad Nations. Coincidentally or otherwise, we find that the migrations extended along the Aryan Trade Roads known commonly as the Silk Roads. [Click here for a map of the sixteen Aryan nations.]

Since the Vendidad’s list of nations does not include two Aryan kingdoms, Parsa (Pars/Pers/Persia) or Mada (Media), we are left to conclude that these nations had not been formed – at least as autonomous kingdoms or nations in the fashion of the other sixteen lands – at the time the list was assembled. Even Iranian legends such as those contained in the poet Ferdowsi’s epic, the Shahnameh or Book of Kings, do not mention Persia or Media during the early legendary phase. Instead, Pars/Persia is mentioned in Shahnameh later in history in connection with the invasion by Alexander. In the early Iranian history phase, the Shahnameh makes first mention of a greater Iranian nation, an empire, during the reign of King Feridoon.

While the Shahnameh does not mention Persia during the reign of King Feridoon, his sons married the daughters of the King of Yemen (we presume this is the same Yemen as the one in the south of the Arabian peninsula) thereby forming an alliance between ancient Iran and Yemen. Feridoon’s Iranian Empire stretched from the borders of China to the borders of Europe (say up to Greece), and was large enough for it to be divided and administered by his three sons. Ferdowsi appears to locate Feridoon’s capital as being in the southern Caspian coastal region, in or near Sari (in present-day Mazandaran, west of Gorgan, Golestan). Despite its lateral size, Feridoon’s ancient Iranian Empire does not appear to have extended its western borders in width to include the later southwest land where Parsa would eventually be located, for we do not find mention in the Shahnameh of lands south of what is today Kurdistan and perhaps Lorestan (Narwan?).

During the reign of the subsequent Kayanian dynasty (Zarathushtra lived during the reign of Kayanian King Vishtasp) which assumed dominance over the Aryan nations, the Shahnameh no longer has the capital of Greater Iran located near Sari, but rather in Balkh (Bactria), in the north of Afghanistan today.

Extent of Iran. Aryana

Ancient Airyana Vaeja grew to become a federation of nations that classical Greek historian and geographer Strabo called Aryana/Ariana (Avestan Airyana). Strabo describes the different kingdoms/nations that constituted Aryana describing its borders as stretching from the Indus to Persia-Media – linked, as he noted, by a common language native to the groups (and we might add, trade/commerce and other cultural ties such as religion). In some ways the concept is similar to the umbrella Hellenic nation where when the Greek-speaking people moved or even asserted their independence from one another, they still maintained a sense of shared identity.

Aryana eventually extended from Central Turkey in the west to the Taklamakan Desert in the east, from the mid-Caspian region in the north (the northern borders of the various countries with names ending in -stan) to the Persian Gulf and the western Indus delta in the south. As we had mentioned earlier, this region at one time included 240 kingdoms.

The borders of present-day Iran are a greatly contracted version of Aryana engineered mainly by the British and the Russians who successively carved of portions in their expansions of the British and Russian Empires. The British and Russian engineering of Iran’s borders followed in the footsteps of the earlier Arab invasion and then Ottoman expansion both of which effectively removed the Tigris-Euphrates basin (Eastern Iraq today) from the Greater Iranian domain.

Formation of Persia

A ninth century (844) BCE inscription that recorded a successful military expedition by Assyrian King Shalmaneser III (859-824 BCE) in the north-central Zagros ranges south of Lake Urmia (in the northwest corner of today’s Iran), states that Shalmaneser exacted tribute from twenty-seven ‘kings’ or chieftains of Parsua. Several authors feel that the name Parsua was a precursor to the name Parsa (Persia). From that time on, we find that inscriptions containing the name Parsua, Parsumash / Parsamash or Parsuash gradually located this group(s) further south. Another Assyrian inscription states that Shalmaneser’s successor, King Shamsi-Adad (823-810 BCE) destroyed 1,200 towns or settlements in Parsua in the region of present day Kermanshah some three hundred and fifty kilometres south of Lake Urmia. An eight century Assyrian inscription from the time of King Sennacherib (705-681 BCE) tells us that in 690 or 691 BCE the Parsumash and Anzan (Anshan), i.e. Persians allied with the Elamites, attacked the Assyrian city of Halule. The 7th Century BCE Assyrian inscriptions of Sennacherib’s grandson, King Ashurbanipal (668 – c. 627 BCE) also mentions the nation of Parsamash or Parsumash which by then was apparently located along the western slopes of the Zagros and Bakhtiyari mountains bordering on Elam and perhaps extending as far south as the region around present-day Masjed-e Soleyman. [The city-state of Susa (today called Shush) was a part of Elam.] Elam is some hundred kilometres south of Kermanshah and is, together with Lorestan, in the mid-western border region of Iran today.

Chishpish / Teispes (675-640 BCE) an early king of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persian kings – the first recorded Persian dynasty – as well as subsequent Achaemenian kings including Cyrus, referred to themselves as kings of Anshan. Anshan (Anzan) is said to have been a former Elamite city and state to the southeast of Elam and possibly bordering Pars where the Parsa/Parsi established their eventual homeland. If the connection between Parsua, Parsumash / Parsamash or Parsuash and Parsa/Pars/Pers/Persia is correct, then we do have what appears to be a south-eastern movement by the Persians some thousand kilometres from Urmia to Pars. If the Persians were indeed migrants, then where was their original home?

Greek historian Herodotus (c. 485-420 BCE ) in his Histories notes 7.62: “The Medes had exactly the same equipment as the Persians; and indeed the dress common to both is not so much Persian as Median. They had for commander Tigranes, of the lineage of the Achaemenids. These (the Medes & Persians) were called anciently by all people Aryans.” Herodotus (485 – 420 BCE ) says that the Median (and Persian) association as Aryans was already ‘ancient’ in relation to the mid-first millennium BCE, the time when he lived. The Persian (Parsa/Parsi) kings themselves declare their Arya (Aryan) lineage in their inscriptions. Today, in the north-western Afghan province of Herat, anciently called Aria (Arya), we find a people called the Parsiban (Parsi-ban could be a derivative of the older Parsa-van, meaning ‘people of the Parsa/Parsi’. We are inclined to draw some connections between to two Parsis rather than ascribing this homonym to coincidence.

The Persian migration theory is not universally accepted. There are those who believe that the Persians were autochthonous or aboriginal to the region of Pars. If so, the lack of mention of Parsa/Pars in both the Vendidad list of nations and the early Shahnameh, and well as the predominance of pre-Parsa Elamite artefacts in the Pars area beg a reasonable explanation. The Parsua, Parsumash / Parsamash or Parsuash will also need to be re-identified.

Persian Rise to Dominance Over the Aryan Nations

About 2,500 years ago, the Parsa (Persians) rose to power to became the dominant Aryan kingdom. Dominance amongst the Aryans groups passed from the Medes to the Parsa (Persians) when the Achaemenian king Cyrus the Great (Cyrus II) established the Persian Empire in the sixth century BCE by bringing the nations within the Aryan Empire ruled by the Medes under overall Persian rule. The dominance of the Aryan federation of nations had passed from Feridoon’s dynasty (in Gorgan-Mazandaran, i.e. central-north Aryana) to the Kayanians (in Balkh i.e. mid-eastern Aryana) to the Medes (in north-west Aryana) and now to the Persians (in south-western Aryana).

Cyrus then added surrounding non-Aryan countries to his Persian Empire – especially countries to the west of Persia and Media. In this manner, the Persian Empire grew to include lands that extended from the lower Indus valley in the southeast corner, to Central Asia in the northeast, to Babylon in the centre, Egypt and Ethiopia in the southwest, and Asiatic Greece in the northwest. By the time Cyrus had finished putting together the Persian Empire, it had become the largest empire the world had ever known to that point in history.

The Achaemenid Persian Empire came to a close at the hands of Alexander of Macedonia in 330 BCE. A general of Alexander’s established the Seleucid Empire which ruled over the previous Persian Empire until the Seleucids were overthrown by the Aryan Parthians in 248 BCE. Dominance of the Iranian (Aryan) nations now passed on the the Parthians. Parthia was a kingdom located in the northeast of present day Iran (around today’s Khorasan province). Parthian rule lasted until it was replaced by the Persian Sassanian dynasty in 226 CE. The Persians thus resumed dominance of Iran until they were yet again overthrown – this time by the Arabs. The old noble and great Iran thus died, perhaps forever. It continues to live, however, in many hearts.

First Use of the Name Iran

As we had noted at the outset of this article, the name of the original Aryan homeland, Airyana Vaeja, evolved into Airan-Vej, then Eran-Vej or Airan-Vej (the Parthians and Sassanians had a slightly different pronunciation), then Eran or Airan, and finally Iran. Classical Greek geographer Strabo, called the collection – the federation – of nations united by the Aryan language (and we add commerce, culture and religion), Aryana/Ariana (Avestan Airyana – the Aryan nation). That concept of autonomous nations or kingdoms within a greater Iranian nation or empire – and one ruled by a king-of-kings had existed from the earliest times in Aryan history.

We find the first use of the modern derivative of Aryana, Eran or Airan, in the rock inscriptions of the Persian Sassanian kings (who ruled from 226 to 651 ACE). These inscription can still be seen at Naqsh-e-Rustam, a historical site containing royal tombs, and some 12 km northwest of the ancient Persian capital city of Persepolis in Pars. In the inscriptions, King Ardeshir I (226-241 ACE) is referred to as king of kings of Eran. This was when the Persian Sassanian dynasty displaced the Parthian Ashkanian kings as the Aryan king-of-kings.

It was usual that when such a coup took place, for the various Aryan nations or kingdoms to assert independence from central authority and for the rebellion to be met with a strong response from the coup leader to consolidate power.

Ardeshir’s son and successor King Shahpur (241-272 ACE) moved to consolidate dominance as king of kings over the other Aryan /kingdoms nations and to rebuild the Aryan Empire to its former extent under the Achaemenid Persians. His inscriptions refer to Eran and An-eran i.e. Aryan and non-Aryan kingdoms, the latter being nations such as Syria and Cilicia. The words Eran-shahr meaning ‘place of the Aryans’ was also used by the Sassanians in describing the Iranian nation. These words would evolve to Iran-shahr.

Continued Western Use of the name Persia for Iran

The West, influenced as it was by Greek and Latin literature, continued to call Eran ‘Persia’, presumably out of habit or because the rulers of Iran were Persians. That Western tradition continued into the last century until the reign of Iranian king, Reza Shah, founder of the Pahlavi dynasty. In 1935 CE, Reza Shah asked those countries with whom Iran had diplomatic relations, to stop using the name Persia and to formally refer to his country as Iran. Some Euro-centric map-makers and authors ignored this formal request and continued to use Persia as the name instead of Iran.

Iranian Capital Moves to Tehran

At this time, Pars (Arabized as Fars – see below), the ancient seat of the Persian Empire, was now a province like any other province within Iran. Pars was no longer the seat of the Iran’s capital anyway, since in the years following the Arab invasion of Iran, a 17th century CE Safavid dynasty king made his residence in the north-central Iranian town of Tehran. Later, in 1795 CE, the subsequent Qajar dynasty kings formally made Tehran Iran’s capital, a position Tehran has held since then. That move finally brought to an end even a nominal notion of Pars (Persia) being the seat of the greater Iranian government. Local kingdoms ruled by kings eventually became provinces ruled by governors.

Pars and Fars

Map of Modern Iran showing Pars / Fars
Map of Modern Iran showing Pars / Fars

In the 7th century CE, the Arabs conquered Iran and converted the mainly Zoroastrian population to Islam. The Arabs pronounced the name Pars as Fars (because Arabic does not have the ‘p’ sound) and this version of the name has persisted even after the departure of the Arabs. The more authentic name is Pars and not Fars.

In the map of modern Iran at the right, the province of Fars (old Pars or Parsa) can be seen in the bottom-centre or southern Iran.

Parsi and Farsi

Similarly as with Pars, the word ‘Parsi’ meaning ‘of Pars’ or ‘Persian’ was mispronounced by the Arabs as ‘Farsi’ [As with the names ‘English’ or ‘German’, Parsi can mean the language of Pars, or a person from Pars (it is used as a last name), or for that matter, anything from Pars].

While the words Parsi and Farsi are synonymous, today the Arabized name Farsi is used to mean the Persian language. The initial wave of Zoroastrian refugees who fled to India after the Arab invasion of Iran, now use of the authentic name ‘Parsi’ as their ethnic group name.

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Ex Machina – Official Trailer (2015) [HD]

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Ex Machina – Official Trailer (2015)

A young programmer is selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking female A.I.

Release Date: April 10, 2015
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Director: Alex Garland
Writer: Alex Garland
Stars: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander

Caleb Smith (Gleeson), a programmer at an internet-search giant, wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company’s brilliant and reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Isaac). Upon his arrival, Caleb learns that Nathan has chosen him to be the human component in a Turing Test – charging him with evaluating the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan’s latest experiment in artificial intelligence. That experiment is Ava (Vikander), a breathtaking A.I. whose emotional intelligence proves more sophisticated–and more deceptive–than the two men could have imagined.

Ex Machina official trailer courtesy of Universal Pictures.

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There really isn’t any good to come out of this. Just shit.

ag7PdRD

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Here’s what would really happen if the US bombed Iran

by , @zackbeauchamp, zack@vox.com |Vox

<Original Source>

Last week, Republican Senator Tom Cotton criticized President Obama’s nuclear deal framework with Iran, saying Obama was refusing to admit that airstrikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities would only take “several days” and wouldn’t require any longer-term military commitment to be effective. Obama, he said, was offering a “false choice” between the deal and war.

(Read more: The Iran nuclear deal, translated into plain English
• The real reason Netanyahu and the GOP hate the Iran deal)

A number of influential foreign policy analysts, particularly at some of the more hawkish conservative institutions in DC, have openly endorsed military action as the best possible way to prevent Iran from getting a bomb. And while Cotton is notably more hawkish than most politicians, few of whom openly support a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities now, many have suggested that airstrikes or even war should be on the table if talks fail.

“a US strike risks shattering international consensus, making postwar containment more difficult to implement”

Advocates of bombing Iran sincerely believe it’s the best possible option for dealing with a bad situation. And the position isn’t totally crazy: if the Iranians are dead-set on getting a bomb, it’ll be hard to stop them peacefully. A nuclear-armed Iran would be a major threat to the Middle East, and the US military is easily capable of overpowering Iran’s armed forces in a straight fight.

But attacking Iran would end in disaster. Surgical strikes would only set Iran’s nuclear program back temporarily; destroying the country’s nuclear capacity entirely would require outright war. That would kill thousands of people, destroy whatever vestiges of political stability remain in the Middle East, potentially wreak havoc on the global economy, and — barring a total, Iraq-style military occupation of the country — fail to permanently end Iran’s nuclear program.

Why many Iran hawks believe airstrikes are the only way

picAn Iranian protest marking the 35th anniversary of the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran. Protestors chanted “Death to America!” (Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

In a certain sense, the case for attacking Iran is very similar to the case for making a deal with Iran. Both sides agree that a nuclear-armed Iran would be dangerous. Both argue, correctly, that simply continuing to put economic pressure on Iran and hoping it will give up its nuclear ambitions won’t be enough to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

Advocates of military action differ from Obama in their assessment of the Iranian regime. They believe the Iranian government is unshakably attached to its nuclear weapons program and will never abandon it willingly. Therefore, the only way to keep Iran from getting a bomb is to destroy its nuclear facilities.

In this view, Iran’s leaders will never abandon their quest for nuclear weapons because nukes are essential to the revolutionary anti-Western foreign policy Iran has pursued in the Middle East.

“The Iranian regime will not abandon its 30-year project,” Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, writes. “So the U.S. will face an unavoidable choice: accept a nuclear Iran or launch a pre-emptive military strike.” Since the former is unacceptable, they say, the latter is the best option.

Generally, advocates of military action against Iran propose a limited air campaign targeted at the heart of Iran’s nuclear program (a few suggest an even more ambitious campaign aimed at total regime change). “An attack need not destroy all of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, but by breaking key links in the nuclear-fuel cycle, it could set back its program,” former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton writes.

Under this theory, the key targets would be the nuclear facilities at Fordow, Natanz, and Arak (the uranium conversion facility at Isfahan is also often referenced). Some of these, Fordow particularly, are fortified, but the US has bunker-buster bombs that are capable of doing real damage to them.

Strike advocates aren’t blind to the fact that Iran could simply rebuild these facilities after any bombing campaign ended. Rather, they argue, it would be really hard for Iran to do that anytime in the near future, or Iran would simply give up on its quest for a bomb after being targeted by US airstrikes.

In fact, airstrikes would not be simple, effective, or quick

picF-16s fly over a Veterans Day event in Miami Beach. ( Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

In fact, even “limited” strikes would be a massive military operation. Destroying the big enrichment facilities wouldn’t cripple Iran’s program, and the critical targets would be hard to find. Even if everything went perfectly, the strikes would delay Iran by perhaps four years at best — unless the US committed to open-ended war.

The first issue is that the US would need to destroy Iran’s air defenses, including fighters and surface-to-air missiles, in order to ensure the bombs hit their targets and to prevent Iran from doing serious damage in response. According to Robert Farley, a professor at the University of Kentucky and expert on air power, this “would involve long-range bombers, drones, electronic warfare, land-based fighter bombers, carrier aircraft, and submarine-launched cruise missiles.”

Even the strikes against the nuclear program would need to hit a broad range of targets. Contrary to hawkish assumptions, the strikes couldn’t be limited to Iran’s big nuclear production facilities. The real problem, according a Rand Corporation brief by Robert J. Reardon, would be Iran’s centrifuge production facilities. Simply destroying Iranian enrichment plants would not be enough to end the nuclear weapons program if Iran could just build centrifuges for new ones quickly.

But in order to destroy the centrifuge production facilities, the US would have to find them — which would likely prove difficult. “These facilities are not under IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] safeguards, and identifying and locating them would require good intelligence and involve significant uncertainty. Sites that have been identified, or ones that were known in the past, have typically been small, easily concealed from reconnaissance satellites, and located in densely populated urban areas,” Reardon writes. “Failure to destroy these sites would allow the Iranians to rebuild their enrichment program, because the machines could be manufactured relatively quickly.”

If the first round of strikes didn’t destroy every target, the US might need to return again and again. It would require the US to “continue a sustained campaign over a period of time and re-strike after an initial battle damage assessment [if] it is found that further strike sorties are required,” defense analysts Anthony Cordesman and Abdullah Toukan write in a comprehensive 2012 CSIS report.

And even that probably wouldn’t get it all. “Depending on the forces allocated and duration of air strikes, it is unlikely that an air campaign alone could alone terminate Iran’s program,” Cordesman and Toukan argue.

They’re not alone in that conclusion. A blue-ribbon panel at the Wilson Center, after reviewing the military studies on the issue, concluded that even if extended military strikes were carried out “to near perfection,” the best case scenario is still only a four-year delay in Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon.

Ultimately, the only way military force could stop Iran from going nuclear is if the US committed to a more or less indefinite war. “To fulfill the stated objective of ensuring that Iran never acquires a nuclear bomb,” the Wilson Center report finds, “the U.S. would need to conduct a significantly expanded air and sea war over a prolonged period of time, likely several years.”

The consequences would be disastrous

picIranian missiles on display during a parade marking the Iran-Iraq War in 2013. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

Even limited strikes against Iran would have the potential to spark a broader conflict. The consequences of that, especially in today’s Middle East, would be disastrous. Iran has the power to make an unstable Middle East even worse: it could directly target and kill Americans in the region, exacerbate a number of the region’s festering conflicts, and potentially threaten the global oil supply — and thus the global economy.

US military leadership has worried, Politico‘s Michael Crowley reports, that if talks fell apart then Iranian proxy militias could decide to attack American troops in Iraq. It’s difficult to imagine Iran staying its hand in the event of an outright US attack. While the US is particularly exposed in Iraq, it has people and assets across much of the region; Iran, too, has proxies across the Middle East.

Iran could also attack oil infrastructure or blockade the Straits of Hormuz, a critical oil-shipping route, which would have tremendous effects.

“Iran can use a mix of mines, submarines, submersibles, drones, anti‐ship missiles, small craft, and assault forces anywhere in the Gulf region to threaten the flow of oil exports,” Cordesman and Toukan write. “Any major disruption affects the entire economy of Asia and all world oil prices — regardless of where oil is produced. It can lead to panic and hoarding on a global basis.”

If the US strikes Iran, the anti-Iran coalition will collapse

picForeign Ministers of the P5+1 negotiating group responsible for Iran talks (from left): British Foreign Secretary William Hague, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, American Secretary of State John Kerry, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. (Spencer Platt/AFP/Getty Images)

Airstrikes could destroy what has been a key constraint on Iran’s nuclear program: the system of international inspections and sanctions that are currently in place.

European and particularly Asian countries have given the US strategy much of its force by helping to isolate and sanction Iran; that is what compelled Iran to negotiate and agree to make concessions in the first place. If the US attacked Iran, the international community would surely be appalled and abandon its support for sanctioning and isolating Iran, leaving the country wealthier and in a stronger diplomatic position. And that’s just the start.

“U.S. relations with Russia have gone sufficiently south, and the U.S. attack against Iran itself would be sufficiently destabilizing, that we can almost surely expect Russia to militarily support Iran in the form of aircraft and air defense systems,” Farley writes.

“Moreover, if Russia opens up the Iranian defense market, we can expect China to follow. The sanctions regime cannot survive a U.S. attack on Iran.”

That would cripple any serious attempt to prevent Iran from rebuilding its nuclear program. “To prevent Iran from reconstituting its nuclear program after a strike, the United States would have to be prepared to encircle an even more hostile adversary with a costly containment regime — much like the 12-year effort to bottle up Saddam Hussein after the 1991 Gulf War — and be prepared to re-attack at a moment’s notice,” Georgetown University‘s Colin Kahl told Congress in 2012 testimony.

“In the absence of clear evidence that Iran was dashing for a bomb,” Kahl testified, “a US strike risks shattering international consensus, making postwar containment more difficult to implement. And with inspectors gone, it would be much harder to detect and prevent Iran’s clandestine rebuilding efforts.”

Striking Iran, then, wouldn’t be Tom Cotton’s “several-day” endeavor. It wouldn’t stop Iran’s nuclear program unless the United States committed to more or less permanent war with Iran, if it even did it then. And it would likely have devastating consequences for the US and its allies.

But the hawks do get one thing right: a nuclear-armed or nuclear-threshold Iran also would be very dangerous. The conclusion is pretty obvious: we better hope the deal succeeds.


Watch: What I learned by befriending Iranians on Facebook

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