The Ides Of March: Significant In The Past And The Present!

Today, March 15, marks the anniversary of the assassination of Julius Caesar in the Roman Republic in 44 BC, so well depicted by William Shakespeare.

But in America, it is marked by the speech of President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965, calling for the Voting Rights Act to stop discrimination in voting for African Americans in the South.

Ironically, 47 years later, we are seeing many states, primarily in the South and Midwest, trying to deny the right to vote for the elderly, college students, the poor, and minorities by onerous Voter ID requirements, in many cases for people who have voted for decades without trouble, but now are being told they cannot vote in this year’s Presidential election.

This is all designed by Republicans and conservatives in their effort to defeat President Barack Obama by any means they can find, because they do not have the issues to win the election without utilizing dishonesty. And yet they claim they are trying to prevent voter fraud, which is only a few cases in many millions, far less than even one thousandth of one percent in the past decade!

So the Obama Administration, through Attorney General Eric Holder, has brought lawsuits against South Carolina and Texas, as well as Arizona and Alabama on other issues of racial and ethnic discrimination related to voting and basic human rights. And many Midwestern and Southern states, other than those mentioned, are also setting out to abuse the Voting Rights Act, trying to take us back to the era of Jim Crow voter laws, that denied poor and minority voters their basic rights!

Also, today marks the beginning of what is seen as an end to our engagement in Afghanistan, as President Hamid Karzai is calling for Allied forces to retreat to bases, and remove themselves from Afghan villages. This is the reaction to the tragic massacre by one American soldier last week, the murder of 16 civilians, including nine children and three women and four men, as they slept in their village a mile away from an American military base; and the earlier burning of Korans by American soldiers, leading to the killing of several soldiers by Taliban terrorists.

America has been in Afghanistan more than a decade, and the war is leading to no improvement worth the continuation of the sacrifice of our troops, or those of our allies.

Afghanistan has been the doom of Alexander the Great in the ancient world; the British Empire in the 19th century; the Soviet Union in the late 20th century; and now the US and allied nations in the 21st century! It is time to expedite our exit, and just use drones and the air force against Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists. Making Afghanistan a democracy is, sadly, a lost cause!

So March 15 past and present has significant meanings we must not forget!