The demand for Good News far exceeds the supply. That’s the finding of an unscientific sampling of opinion from readers of this blog.
So I was surprised to see that newspapers and other mainstream media have recently reported several cases of honest-to-goodness, big-time, Good News among nations. Two Good News breakthroughs this week alone!
- After years and years of tedious negotiations, the U.S. and six other nations reached a historic agreement with Iran to prevent that country from developing a nuclear weapon. In return, the U.S. and other nations will lift economic sanctions against Iran, sanctions that have caused real hardship for the Iranian people.
- After months of brinkmanship, Greece has given in to a deal with Germany and the rest of Europe that will keep Greece in the Euro zone and avert immediate financial default and economic chaos in Greece. Europe’s largest economies will provide yet another billion-dollar rescue to keep Greece afloat. In return, Greece has agreed to fast-track a new round of painful tax increases, budget cuts, and other austerity measures.
And more good news right here in the Western hemisphere! President Barack Obama recently decided to normalize relations with the island nation of Cuba. The U.S. and Cuba have been estranged from each other for nearly my entire lifetime (and I’m 67). Now, suddenly, unexpectedly, the two nations have reconciled, at least to the point of “normalizing relations.” They’re looking for embassy sites in Washington and Havana. Trade and tourism and family visits will be allowed, even encouraged. Economic benefits will flow to both countries, but most especially to Cuba.
To be sure, these breakthroughs have NOT been universally hailed as GOOD. It is quite possible that any of these forward movements could be knocked off the rails by opponents. Or they could have disastrous unintended consequences. There are no guarantees; only good reason for HOPE.
Recalcitrants and nay-sayers are everywhere; many have legitimate objections. But I’ll not enumerate them all because that might take the winds of Good New of out my sails. I believe that the great majority of the people in all nations involved see these world events as positive, qualifying to be cheered as Good News. It’s OK to have misgivings and still cheer for Good News. To accept Good News requires a measure of Hope and Trust.
In the case of these three steps forward among the family of nations, I confidently declare Good News based on a simple presumption. All the people of the world agree as follows:
PEACE = GOOD; FRIENDSHIP = GOOD
WAR = BAD; ENMITY = BAD
The agreements between U.S and Iran, Europe and Greece, U.S. and Cuba, all turn in the direction of friendship and peace. Some will disagree. Some will openly prefer enmity and even war. I will ignore them unless they present persuasive facts.
Case closed. Good news for Iran, Greece, Cuba.
What do you think? I tolerate differing opinions.
— John Hayden
Re: Iran, I agree with you. I have long harbored a suspicion that the present government of Iran predominantly wants the pissing contest to go away. Iran leaned toward a secular and cosmopolitan society under the Shah, who was himself the main liability in that era’s movement toward inclusion in the 20th century world. The West played king-maker and got shot in the foot. All this time later, things may shake out.
Greece, not so much. I really crave to see a giant Fuck You thrown back at the Eurozone powers, who may not be entirely responsible for Greece’s predicament (there is something in the Greek socio-political character that needs maturing) but have wasted no opportunity to exact profit.
Thank you, I agree. The nuclear pact with Iran is much easier for me to celebrate, although Republicans in Congress and politicians in Israel will disagree strongly. The Iran deal hopefully defuses the threat of nuclear war in that region for 15 years, at least, and offers hope for improved living conditions for the Iranian people.
Greece, on the other hand, is a sorry state of affairs all around. The Germans come out of this looking like cruel tyrants. The hard line of European nations against Greece tarnishes the image of capitalism and raises troubling questions about the fairness of the world financial system.
I suppose I included Greece as good news simply because the other course was so dangerous. A Greek default would likely result in economic chaos in Greece, possibly shaking the economic stability of the entire European Union. If economic turmoil engulfed Europe, it would most likely send the whole world into a new recession, or possibly a depression. (We’re about due for another recession no matter what happens, but a meltdown in Europe would hasten the recession and make it wider and deeper.)
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I hope all of these things are good news. I think you’re right, though, that any of them could have disastrous, unintended consequences. Especially the agreement with Iran. I would add a couple of things to your equation: False Peace = Bad; False Friendship = Bad. But you’re right, we need to have hope and trust.
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Good points, Dorothy. As you say, the agreement with Iran depends on Iran honoring its part of the deal. The old saying in these arms treaties is “Trust but verify.” The agreement with Iran provides for intrusive inspections and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear efforts. Hopefully, all will work as advertised.
Great to find Good news John.. 🙂 and Let us hope we are seeing our way forward to keeping peace treaties rather than annihilating each other..
As for Greece.. I feel its a temporary solution.. One all of the EU is going to face in the near future.. I am only a lay-person and can see the pit-falls of the EU.. Its a money Pit ..
I am so pleased though John you took up the challenge and sifted out these Good News Vibes..
Have a great weekend.
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Thanks Sue! The complexities of the European Union financial situation are way over my head. I can comprehend only some of the concepts, such as “debt forgiveness” and “austerity.”
It requires a large room to accommodate all the finance ministers of the European Union nations. They must have a ton of combined brainpower. I hope they use it to agree on some wise decisions for the future.
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