Arabs

74 Years Since Pearl Harbor And New Challenge To The Homeland!

On this day in 1941, 74 years ago, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, sending America into World War II.

The number of veterans still alive today after 74 years is dwindling rapidly, just as we face, arguably, the greatest challenge to homeland security since then.

The question is, after the San Benardino Massacre of last week, caused by two Muslim terrorists living in California, what is the appropriate action to take, since the growing threat of Islamic terrorism has no real state boundaries, and there is no way to declare a world wide war against more than a billion Muslims, when the number of those supportive of or engaged in terrorism is miniscule, as compared to the number of Muslims in America and in the world at large.

One thing that cannot be allowed to occur is the mass of Muslims in America and overseas to be seen as the enemy, as that would lead to perpetual war and bloodshed without end, and to deny basic civil liberties to them!

Also, we cannot allow all Muslims and Arabs, and anyone who resembles them in appearance, to be singled out for violence, legal restrictions, and even internment in prison camps, as occurred to the Japanese American population in America from February 1942 to late 1945.

Fear and hysteria are being promoted by many Republicans, including many of their Presidential candidates, and that must be combated, as it is not a solution to victimize the vast numbers who have nothing to do with terrorism or violence!

Anti Immigrant Hysteria: 1840s-1850s; 1870s-1880s; 1920s-1940s And Now! Do We Ever Learn?

Part of the ugly side of the history of America is its record of nativism and anti immigrant hysteria.

In the 1840s and 1850s, it was anti Catholic hysteria against the Irish and the German immigrants fleeing from poverty and political turmoil.  The “American” or Know Nothing Party was formed, had some members in Congress, and had former President Millard Fillmore (Whig) win the state of Maryland (heavily Catholic) in the Electoral College in the Presidential Election of 1856.

In the 1870s and 1880s, it was anti Asian hysteria, mostly Chinese at the time, and often led by Irish who had forgotten the prejudice and discrimination they had faced in an earlier generation,and it led to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, courageously vetoed by President Chester Alan Arthur but passed over his veto by a two thirds majority in the House of Representatives and Senate.

In the 1920s through the Second World War in the 1940s, it was anti “new” immigration, to stop the massive wave of Catholics and Eastern European Jews from coming to America, as well as anti Japanese prejudice, replacing the Chinese who had already been banned from migration to America since 1882.

This led to the horrors of Italians, Jews, and other southern and eastern Europeans denied admission to America during the time of the rise and triumph of Fascism in Italy under Benito Mussolini and Nazism under Adolf Hitler in Germany.

The result was the Holocaust, which America could have worked against by admission of refugees, but just like now, it was Republicans, some Democrats, and conservatives who lobbied against children and women and old people being admitted, due to racism and nativism.

It also led to the forced movement of Japanese Americans into internment camps during the Second World War, as an hysterical reaction to Pearl Harbor being attacked by Japan.

In more recent decades, we have seen growing anti Hispanic and anti Latino discrimination, and now against Muslim and Arab refugees, as if we have learned nothing from our past.

America has been a beacon of hope in a difficult world, and we must not lose our image that the Statue of Liberty represents, so we must salute and applaud President Barack Obama for coming out forcefully against Republican Governors and members of Congress, who are demonstrating the ugliest side of the American experience once again!

There Is No Racism In America, Says Allen West? Really?

Former Florida Congressman Allen West, a right wing extremist African American who only served one two year term in Congress, but gets constant coverage and respect from Fox News Channel, and conservative talk radio hosts, says there is no racism in America!

Really, Allen West? Are you serious?

Conservative Talk Radio constantly spews racist comments, and so does Fox News Channel. Just listen to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and others of their ilk on radio and cable!

Barack Obama has been called all kinds of racist terms by both radio and cable extremists, joining the Ku Klux Klan, and all kinds of right wing extremist groups, including the Tea Party Movement activists inside and outside of the halls of Congress.

The small number of African Americans who engage in crime have been depicted as being all African Americans, particularly young men.

African American police officers have had all kinds of harassment from their fellow white comrades, on and off the job, because of their race.

Racial profiling is constant, and not just for African Americans, but also people of Muslim and Arab heritage, Latinos, and Asian Americans.

There is constant evidence of racism, despite the vehement denials of those who promote just that mentality on a daily basis. All these despicable elements doth protest too much as to their innocence, when there are tons of evidence daily as to the truth of the accusations of racism!

The amazement is that successful, wealthy African Americans, such as Allen West, Dr. Benjamin Carson, and Herman Cain, totally ignore reality, and have sold themselves out to the right wing establishment, having no concern about the lives and challenges of fellow African Americans who are not as successful and wealthy, and well connected, as they are.

How Allen West can live with himself is beyond morality and ethics. How Dr. Benjamin Carson and Herman Cain can live a lie as well is also beyond any understanding, how they have abandoned the truth of the history and the present reality of people of their own racial background. All of them are, indeed, promoting more racism, rather than fighting it!

A Century Ago Today, An Assassination Led To World War I, Which Still Reverberates Today!

Precisely one hundred years ago today, a political assassination led to the outbreak of World War I, which still reverberates today in so many ways!

The Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, along with his wife, were assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia, by Gavrilo Princip, a member of the Black Hand terrorist organization, which was out to prevent Habsburg influence over Bosnia, which was allied by ethnicity to Serbia nationalists, and had friendship and support with Czarist Russia.

The series of events that followed over the next five weeks led to general continental war in Europe, lasting more than four years, when most thought the war would be won by their side within months. Instead, we saw trench warfare, barbed wire separating the warring sides, and use of poison gas, with almost no progress toward victory on the “Western Front”, and total disaster for Czarist Russia in Eastern Europe against Germany and Austria-Hungary. It became known as the “Great War,” but it was only great in the massive loss of life of millions of people, and the upending of the traditional empires of European nations in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

World War I led to the following:

The rise of the Soviet Union and Communism, and the later Cold War, with the downfall and murder of the last Czar of Russia.

The end of the German Empire, but then the rise of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler within 14 years of the end of the war, and the eventual outbreak of a more disastrous war, World War II.

The rise of Fascist Italy under Benito Mussolini within four years of the end of the war.

The end of the Austro Hungarian Empire, and the rise of separate nations based on nationality in Eastern Europe.

The end of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, and the creation by Great Britain and France of artificial boundaries for the Arab peoples of the Middle East, leading to more disarray and conflict on a constant basis, and now unraveling after a century.

The decline and fall of the British Empire, French Empire, and other European empires in Africa and Asia over two generations, creating instability in both Africa and Asia, and the creation of new nations on both continents.

The rise of the United States as the greatest military power after World War II until the late 1960s, when the Vietnam War, followed by the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War, undermined and weakened the supremacy of the American nation.

The world and America will be commemorating the events of World War I over the next four and a half years, and a worthwhile tourist site would be the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, which the author has visited, and highly recommends to anyone wanting to understand the reality and the impact of this war, which transformed the world in so many ways!

The Discomfort Of Mitt Romney With The Outside World: A Danger For America’s Future

Mitt Romney showed great discomfort and awkwardness in his performance in the Foreign Policy debate held last night in Boca Raton, Florida.

He made it clear that he does not know the geography of the Middle East, when he said Syria was Iran’s connection to the Mediterranean Sea, forgetting or not knowing that Iraq lies between Iran and Syria.

He talked of Iran as if it was Arab, when Iran is Persian, an unbelievable misunderstanding.

He has talked of military action against Iran and Syria in the past, but now backed off on that.

He has made trade threats against China, even though he has invested in Chinese trade through Bain Capital.

He has called Russia the leading geopolitical threat to America, which brings back memories of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, which ended 20 years ago.

In a poll of 21 nations, public opinion polls demonstrate that all of them massively prefer Barack Obama as America’s leader for the next four years, as they feel uneasy about the lack of knowledge and interest of Mitt Romney in their nations’ futures, Ironically, only Pakistan prefers Romney, maybe due to the raid into Pakistan that gained the end of the life of Osama Bin Laden.

The outside world knows that Barack Obama, with the assistance of Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and others, has shown respect and concern for their nations, and has become overwhelmingly popular and respected, a great relief from the low esteem felt in other nations toward George W. Bush.

Mitt Romney only sees the outside world as a profit motive, and has never shown interest in anyplace except as one to make money, or proselytize his Mormon faith, as in France in the late 1960s, and yet it is France that has the highest support for Barack Obama of any of the 20 nations that prefer that Obama be elected to a second term.

We cannot afford an ignorant, poorly informed, and less than motivated person to become our President, as he could, too easily, be manipulated by foreign policy extremists who want new wars to advance their agenda of American dominance and promotion of corporate interests. Mitt Romney is the wrong person to be our Commander in Chief in the 21st century, and having a potential Vice President, Paul Ryan, who has no greater grasp or interest in foreign policy than he has, makes that conclusion even more powerful!

Is It “Good” Politics And “Good” Diplomacy” For Mitt Romney To Be So Outspoken Publicly Overseas? NO!

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is making controversy and creating turmoil as he continues on his foreign policy trip to convince Americans and the world that he is ready for the Presidency.

After his flubs in Great Britain, antagonizing our closest ally, he has now gone “off the bridge” in his speeches and comments in Israel.

While trying to demonstrate his strong support of Israel, and hope to wean away many Jewish voters in America from Barack Obama, Romney has managed to make things worse by his actions.

Stating that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel by the United States, when both Republican and Democratic Presidents without fail from Lyndon B. Johnson to Barack Obama have felt it unwise to do so, creates a new problem for Middle East negotiations, which should not have been brought up at all.

It is not an issue of whether the US should recognize Jerusalem as the capital, but since both parties and all Presidents have steered clear of it up to now, for a total of 45 years, a campaign trip is the wrong place to bring it up.

Also, Romney compared Israeli and Jewish achievements to the failures of the Palestinians, which are indeed true, but should have been left unsaid, as all it does is antagonize the Arabs, which still have to be dealt with if there is to be any chance of Middle East peace at any point in the future.

And comparing israel and the Palestinians to the US and Mexico or Chile and Ecuador as examples also, unnecessarily, can make those nations angry, and serves no purpose!

Mitt Romney is demonstrating his recklessness in speech, so one wonders about his potential recklessness in action, were he to become President of the United States in 2013!

The Greatest Danger Of All: Right Wing “Patriot” Groups Which Are Encouraged By Republican And Conservative Anti Obama Propaganda

The Southern Poverty Law Center does an annual report on the status of hate groups on the right, which represent a dire threat to American freedom and liberty.

In 2008, there were 149 groups, increasing in 2009 to 512, increasing again in 2010 to 824, and jumping to 1,274 in 2011. That is 755 percent growth in three years!

These “Patriot” groups emerged during the 1990s with the rise of domestic terrorism, including the attack in Oklahoma City in 1995. But the economic collapse of 2008, along with the growing minority groups in America, and the election of Barack Obama, further accelerated this right wing surge.

While we must be concerned about terrorism from abroad, in many respects our domestic terrorist threat is far greater, and these are not Arabs or Middle Easterners, but rather traditional white Americans who promote conspiracy theories about government taking away private guns, and planning concentration camps formed by FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency!

Militia groups also believe that Mexico is going to take back the American Southwest, and that the government will be unable to stop them on this matter, as crazy as that sounds!

With many Republicans and conservatives still spreading rumors and gossip about Barack Obama being from Kenya, and being a secret Muslim, they are actually abetting the instability of our nation in political, economic and social terms. Their recklessness is mind boggling!