2021 Is Here

   It’s a new year!  The twisted, tortuous, brutal year of 2020 has finally drawn to a close which is a huge relief to people around the world.
   While we all hope that 2021 will be better than 2020, the reality is that it will take time.
   In the United States, COVID case numbers are scarily high with death tolls often reaching over 3000 in a 24 hour period. Many experts expect January to get particularly bad with a surge upon a surge occurring as the effects of people, who disregarded medical experts’ pleas to avoid big holiday gatherings, are felt.
   In addition to the COVID situation, Trump and his people are undermining American democracy with outrageously false claims about the election. While Trump’s attempts to steal the election away from the American people will fail, it appears he is going to try to hold as much power over the Republican Party, after he leaves office, as he can get away with. This is disturbing to say the least. Even though he will no longer be an elected official, he will likely try to control what Republicans (who are in elected positions) do by threatening to turn his followers against them. This is a form of authoritarianism that is dangerous and damaging to democracy.
   Thus, 2021 will not be a walk in the park. But hopefully, it’ll get better. Perhaps with time, some of the Republicans who have been going along with Trump’s outrageousness (even when they know he’s in the wrong) will finally grow a spine and turn away from him, but time will tell if that actually happens. Hopefully, the COVID vaccination program will pick up steam so that the majority of the population can get vaccinated as soon as possible, that way we can start reaching herd immunity. With herd immunity, we can begin getting life back to a more reasonable, enjoyable state.
   So, hang in there. People need to listen to medical experts and work together in combating COVID-19. We must stand up for our democratic values. People need to stop enabling Trump’s abhorrent, unAmerican behavior and recognize that the election was fair and that Trump legitimately lost. It’s time to put the toxic divisions and hate of the Trump years behind us and strive to help one another and work together in creating a better future.

I Suspect Taking Out Soleimani May Worsen Situation In Middle East

Let’s be clear about something. General Soleimani and Iran are not innocents here. Iran has been supporting terror groups for decades, and Soleimani has been a leader in that effort for years.
As commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Soleimani has been a key figure in working with paramilitary, militia, and terror groups in the Middle East. He has been involved with the Syrian/Iraqi conflicts and is responsible for the deaths of many people including American and Allied personnel. To be blunt, Soleimani has a lot of blood on his hands.
The United States has been monitoring him for years. Presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama apparently considered taking him out but decided against it due to the risk of inciting war with Iran.
Thing is, just because a person or place in a conflict may be a legitimate target, doesn’t mean actually taking them out is wise.
Being a high ranking Iranian General complicates the situation which is why previous presidents monitored Soleimani but did not try to remove him.
Trump’s doing so now has escalated already strained relations with Iran. The fact that Trump had already removed the US from the Iran Nuclear deal makes the situation even more precarious.
While the nuclear deal was not perfect to say the least, I do think it was the best option to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Now that America has taken out Soleimani, I suspect Iran will likely reinitialize it’s nuclear weapons program.
I fear that the Trump Administration’s actions with regards to Iran the last couple of years has increased the likelihood that Iran will become a nuclear power (a scary proposition).
I can’t help but wonder: why take out Soleimani now? Is it a coincidence that Trump ordered the attack with the Senate Impeachment Trial looming? Maybe, maybe not.
Even if it is a coincidence, I am concerned that the attack on Soleimani will likely worsen the situation with Iran (and the Middle East in general), not improve it.