Cold War

229th Anniversary Of First Presidential Inauguration Of George Washington In 1789: A Moment To Reflect On The Dangers To The Presidency As An Institution

On this day, April 30, in 1789, George Washington was inaugurated, 57 days late, in lower Manhattan in New York City, as the first President of the United States, setting important standards for Presidential actions and behavior over the next two and more centuries.

Washington arrived late due to the need to plant the crops on his Virginia plantation, Mount Vernon, and traveled by horse from Virginia to NYC, being wined and dined along the way.

So Washington was the only President to serve two terms, but less than eight years, due to the loss of those 57 days in his first term, but his second term ending on March 4, 1797.

Two hundred years later, President George H. W. Bush commemorated the bicentennial of that event in New York City.

Now we have a President who challenges the institution of the Presidency in dangerous ways, and wishes he could be President for life, rather than the constitutional limit of two terms or ten years if succeeding during the last half of the term, as set up in the 22nd Amendment, passed through Congress in 1947, and ratified and going into effect in 1951, affecting all future Presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower onward.

Any person with rationality and knowledge of the history of America well knows that the threat of Donald Trump is real, and that the news media, the Congress, and the Judiciary must coordinate their efforts to remove him from office, as he has already done great damage to the institution of the Presidency.

We have not survived the Civil War, the Great Depression, the Cold War, and the danger of Richard Nixon, to allow ourselves to be undermined by the clear and present danger of Donald Trump!

The Outrageous Statement Of Donald Trump On Wanting To Be President For Life, As The President Of China: NO WAY EVER!

Over this past weekend, Donald Trump went one step further, a big step further, in his destruction of the traditions and accomplishments of America’s previous 43 Presidents.

Trump stated how much he admires the President Of China for becoming a person who did not have to gain approval anymore, and had declared himself President for life, effectively a totalitarian dictator, in the vein of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Tse Tung. Trump has already praised the leaders of the Philippines, Turkey, Egypt, and China earlier, and has not a word of criticism against Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who has clearly undermined our election system, a declaration of war by means of technology.

Trump envisions himself in this manner, and yet the Republican leadership in Congress, which should have reacted in denunciation immediately, has remained silent, making them guilty of collusion with a person who clearly has Fascist tendencies, and is a danger to all civilized nations, as well as the American people.

This is a man who, by starting a trade war with tariffs against the European Union, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and South Korea, is likely to lead us to another Great Depression, vastly increasing consumer prices, and destroying the ability of our nation to export goods overseas.

At the same time, he is clearly on the way to war with North Korea, including the possibility of nuclear war, which would kill millions, not only in North Korea, but in our allies, South Korea and Japan. And his goal to go to war against iran was emphasized today by visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu, who like Trump, is power hungry and corrupt to the extreme, and in danger of being removed, as much as Trump is.

So we could have two wars at the same time, against North Korea and Iran, and Trump’s Russian collusion is getting clearer, and means our national security is threatened.

Trump is a man that is unhinged and unstable to the extreme, and is capable of declaring martial law, and suspending the Constitution.

Trump has already violated human rights of immigrants, racial minorities, women, and gays and lesbians, and has destroyed consumer and worker rights, and done great damage to the environment, and he has no limits in his attack on the entire American tradition and accomplishments of presidents of both parties from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama.

Trump is a clear and present danger to all of us, including his irrational, clueless followers, and he MUST be removed from office rapidly, as the American people and nation are under direct threat from his maniacal behavior and actions.

Mass demonstrations and marches are now required, or else the history of this nation will be permanently damaged, and we have not survived the Civil War, Great Depression, Cold War, and some failed Presidents, and some dangerous Presidents such as Richard Nixon, to sit back and accept the dissolution of the American nation, the best hope of freedom loving people everywhere!

Most Significant Years Since 1945: 1968, 1989, 2001 And Now 2017

When historians look back at the year 2017, they will agree that this year of Donald Trump, and the tumult and disarray it has engendered, will make 2017 a path breaking year in American history.

Every year is significant in some way or other, but 2017 will join four other years since the end of World War II as a turning point year, with the inauguration of Donald Trump, and the tumultuous events leading to the possible removal of Trump sometime in 2018 or beyond, due to the criminal activities of the President and many of his cabinet officers.

1945, the end of World War II, the atomic bombing of Japan, the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the evolution of the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union, will always stand as an especially pivotal year.

1968, the year of assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, of the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War which caused the withdrawal of Lyndon B. Johnson from the Presidential race, the disarray and tumult in America over civil rights and Vietnam, the election of Richard Nixon, has long been considered an historic year.

1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe, the Tienanmen Square Massacre in China, and the inauguration of George H. W. Bush make that year historic.

2001, the year of the September 11 attacks which made us aware that we were no longer safe from worldwide terrorism, and the inauguration and crisis leadership short term of George W. Bush after a highly contested 2000 Presidential election, also always seen as a turning point year.

Trump Undermining Of NATO A Danger To Europe And The World: A Crisis Of Massive Proportions!

In 1949, as the Soviet Union exploded the atomic bomb, and the Cold War between the Russians and the West was in full swing, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed, with President Harry Truman committing American power to the defense of Western Europe, to keep it free from the spread of Communism.

After that, under Republican Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush; and under Democratic Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, the NATO alliance was our major priority.

But now, after the NATO summit, it is well understood that Donald Trump refuses to commit America to enforcement of Article 5, which states that if any of the nations in NATO are attacked, it is considered an attack on all of the nations in NATO, as the allies followed through on after September 11, with all of them committed to military engagement in Afghanistan.

The Trump love affair, or “bromance” with Vladimir Putin of Russia is alarming, and it is grounds for the impeachment of Donald Trump as a traitor to the United States and its national security and safety.

When German Chancellor Angela Merkel can say that Europe can no longer count on US backing, that is an alarm bell in the middle of the night, and is a shocking turn of events.

The leaders of the European nations—and particularly Great Britain, France, and Germany—realize they are dealing with a mentally unstable American President, who is totally unpredictable, and could, very easily, start a nuclear war. rather than engage in diplomacy.

They know that Donald Trump is, as the German media leader Der Spiegel has said, the most dangerous person in the world, because of his ignorance, lack of intelligence and knowledge, and reckless rhetoric and behavior.

It is time for action to be taken to remove Donald Trump from the Presidency as a danger to the nation and the world!

The Republican Party, Donald Trump, And Russia: Ronald Reagan Is Turning Over In His Grave!

The Republican Party is now faced with an incoming President who is cozy with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and whose National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, are also too close to the Russian dictator.

To have much of the Republican Party willing to accept this without complaint is an outrage, and a danger to national security.

Thank goodness for such Republicans as John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio for making clear they plan to put the feet of Rex Tillerson to the fire, and somehow, Michael Flynn, who also believes in conspiracy theories, but does not require Senate confirmation, must be prevented from serving Donald Trump in the White House, where his deleterious impact could be of great harm, outweighing that of Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

Ronald Reagan would be turning over in his grave, as Barack Obama said, if he knew what has happened, and so would Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and other dead Republicans, who made their careers on anti Soviet stands in the Cold War, including 1964 Republican Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater.

Yes, the Cold War is supposedly over, and Communism is gone, but is this true? Putin, after all, was part of the Soviet KGB Secret Police, and has blood on his hands, and has gained possibly the largest personal fortune of any human being on earth

We must deal with Russia, but to be naive about it, and give in to flattery, as Donald Trump has done and is doing, is alarming and dangerous to the national security of this nation.

Imagine the infamous Joseph McCarthy, the Red Scare villain of the 1950s, and how he would react to the craziness and lunacy of American foreign policy under a reckless, dangerous, unhinged Donald Trump!

Giant Historical Figure Fidel Castro Dies, A Transformative Figure, With Great Negative Impact On The World!

Fidel Castro of Cuba, the most significant figure in Latin America in the 20th Century, and one of the most vicious dictators of modern times, passed away at age 90 on Friday.

He left behind a legacy of a brutal dictatorship, which while making some improvements in health care and education, took away any semblance of civil liberties and civil rights, and imprisoned, tortured, and murdered dissidents in great numbers over more than a half century of rule.

Castro was the longest lasting leader of modern times, with only Queen Elizabeth II of England having come to office about seven years before Castro took over the capital of Cuba, Havana, on New Years Day 1959.

Who would have thought that someone who came to power on the island of Cuba, which had been a playground for wealthy Americans, under the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, at a time when this author was in high school, would last in power for a half century, and then be replaced by his younger brother, Raul Castro, a decade ago, and still rules?

Castro became the dire enemy of the Unites States, and Cuban exiles fleeing to Florida in 1959-1960 and again in 1980 (the Mariel Boat Lift) and constant escapes since then, have affected the history and politics of Florida and the Republican Party, with Cuban Americans flocking to support of the party after John F. Kennedy failed in his attempt to remove Castro from power in the Bay of Pigs Fiasco in April 1961. This made Cuban Americans the one Hispanic group that would refuse to support the Democratic Party, as many Cuban Americans saw JFK as a Communist for failing to succeed to remove Castro. This led to the most dangerous moment in the Cold War years, as Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Union’s leader, formed an alliance with Castro, who had declared himself a Communist, and installed Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, with the Cuban Missile Crisis bringing the world closer to the danger of a nuclear war than any other event in history before or since. Only with the cool headed leadership of JFK was nuclear war averted.

Castro was a maniacal figure, who also abused the rights of gays and lesbians in Cuba, and initiated aggression overseas by supporting national liberation movements in Latin America and Africa, and the people of Cuba suffered economically under his five decade rule. Few more influential and significant dictators have existed, and those he is often compared with–including Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Benito Mussolini–only lasted 25, 12 and 21 years compared to his 47 plus years.

The question is how Cuba will evolve now, with brother Raul Castro, age 85, having said he will leave power in February 2018, only 14 months away, and also how Donald Trump will react to the death of Fidel Castro, after Barack Obama had begun new relations with Cuba in 2015.

Paris Terror Attack Makes Clear Growing Threat To President And Presidential Candidates!

My new book on Presidential assassinations and threats has pointed out the constant and growing danger of assassination threats to our Presidents, including Barack Obama, and my recent op-ed in THE HILL on October 22 drew attention to the growing threat to Presidential candidates, with Donald Trump and Dr. Benjamin Carson now, after much delay, receiving Secret Service protection.  Hillary Clinton, as former First Lady, automatically receives such protection.

As I have pointed out, all Presidential candidates deserve at least some protection, with those doing better in attracting crowds and gaining in public opinion polls having more protection, which would now include Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Jeb Bush at the least.

The idea that the French President, Francois Hollande, was in danger at the soccer stadium at the time of the Paris terror attack last night, and had to be whisked out is alarming, and all Western European leaders, as well as those from Canada, Australia and the US are going to need  heightened protection in this age of terrorism gone overseas from the Middle East to the rest of the civilized world.

The western world is faced with a crisis that Pope Francis has called World War III, but without organized governments engaged in the terrorism, presenting a massive challenge as these terrorists are willing to commit suicide to achieve their goals, unlike the former Soviet Union, which was a constant threat during the Cold War, but also had leadership that wished to win, rather than sacrifice their lives.

So as a result, it was possible over time to overcome the Soviet threat, but in this age of terrorism, it is hard to see a resolution of this crisis no matter what the strategy is that is adopted.

We live in the most crucial time since World War II, and we need statesmanship and courage to meet the challenge!

70th Anniversary Of Hiroshima Atomic Bombing

Today, August 6, is the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, followed on August 9 by the bombing of Nagasaki, with the total loss of life estimated to be up to 250,000 human beings.

There had been firebombing of Dresden, Germany and Tokyo, Japan earlier, causing even more loss of life, but something about the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima and Nagasaki stood out as the ultimate destructive symbol.

The Atomic Age had begun, and ever since, the world has had to be concerned about the dangers of a nuclear war. First was the danger of conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War, most specifically in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, but generally a problem all along. Then the danger of nuclear proliferation with China, India, and Pakistan getting the bomb; and more recently the threat of North Korea and, presently, Iran, have led to alarm about the future.

Many praise President Harry Truman for utilizing the Atomic Bomb, as it saved many American and British, and possibly, homeland Japanese lives.

But others have seen what Truman did as immoral, unethical, and unconscionable.

This caused a controversy when the Smithsonian Institution canceled an exhibit in 1995 on the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombing, due to protests of veterans.

Now, there are very few veterans of the events of World War II in Asia still alive, and very few survivors of the atomic bombing left to testify on the effect on their lives, although there have been many oral histories and studies done of the subject.

This is a moment to pause and remember the victims; the sacrifices of our soldiers; and to pray that, hopefully, never again will any nation utilize nuclear weapons against any rival, as the monstrosity of nuclear war today is so much greater than the comparatively “small” bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Top Ten Transformational Presidents

The issue of “transformational” Presidents has revived lately, as it is clear that we are living through a “transformational” Presidency of Barack Obama, with still a year and a half to go in his tenure in the Oval Office.

With all of the controversy that surrounds Barack Obama, there is no doubt now that Obama has been a transformational President in so many ways.

So the question arises, who among our Presidents has been “transformational”? And in what order would Presidents on this list be ranked?

It seems clear that the top of the list would have to be George Washington, for having established standards and traditions that would be long lasting; and Abraham Lincoln, for keeping the Union together during the Civil War, and ending slavery.

Following Washington and Lincoln would be Franklin D. Roosevelt, who took America through the Great Depression and the Second World War, and changed the relationship of the federal government with the population of the nation, promoting a safety net that would help those most needy. He also created a large federal government that would never become smaller again, due to the Great Depression and the Second World War, and then the Cold War.

Once we go beyond Washington, Lincoln, and FDR, ranking gets much more difficult, but this author thinks the rest of the top ten would be as follows from number four to number ten:

Theodore Roosevelt, who would revive the Presidential office from slumber and use the “bully pulpit” to accomplish reform and federal government regulation of the economy, and started America’s role in world affairs.

Lyndon B. Johnson, who would promote the passage of massive reforms, including civil rights laws, Medicare, and a War on Poverty.

Woodrow Wilson, who would promote major reforms domestically and involvement in world affairs, taking America out of isolationism as a policy during the First World War.

Ronald Reagan, who changed the direction of the nation to Conservatism after a half century of Liberalism, and negotiated arms agreements with the Soviet Union, and helped to bring down the rival super power.

Barack Obama, who brought about health care coverage for most Americans; avoided a massive war; promoted social change in many areas; presided over a major revival of the economy only matched by FDR; and became a major environmental supporter.

Harry Truman, who responded to the Cold War with the Soviet Union in an effective way and determined the direction of foreign policy for a half century, and institutionalized the New Deal of FDR.

James K. Polk, who accomplished the great expansion of American territory by treaty with Great Britain and war with Mexico, creating the continental United States.

Notice that Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton do NOT make this list!

Commentary on this analysis is welcomed!

Huey Long, Joseph McCarthy, George Wallace, Donald Trump—The Art Of Demagoguery!

It is now clear that we have in our midst a true demagogue—a person who appeals to the insecurity and disillusionment of many Americans about the direction of their nation in domestic and foreign policy.

We have had this before, and it always ends in disaster and loss of reputation, without accomplishing anything beneficial in the short run or the long run.

We had Senator Huey Long of Louisiana in the early 1930s, who gained a following of millions, talked about “Every Man A King” in the midst of the Great Depression. He ended up being assassinated in 1935 while seeking the Presidency. This is covered in Chapter 7 of my forthcoming book, “Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama”, from Rowman Littlefield, to be published and available on August 15.

We had Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin in the early 1950s, when there was the ongoing Cold War with the Soviet Union, exploited as an issue, causing the destruction of the lives and reputations of millions of Americans without any justification. It ended up with the collapse and repudiation of the Red Scare, and the early death of McCarthy from alcoholism.

We had Governor George Wallace of Alabama, who divided the nation over racial integration and civil rights, and won five states in the Electoral College in the Presidential Election of 1968, and then was shot and paralyzed for life during the Presidential Election campaign of 1972. This tragedy, ironically, led to a reformed Wallace who changed his view on civil rights as a result of his own handicapped condition as a result of the assassination attempt. I cover this in Chapter 11 of my forthcoming book on August 15, which I have listed the title and publisher two paragraphs above this one.

Now we have Donald Trump, who is promoting racism and nativism, and since he is super wealthy, his ability to influence the public view is, in many ways, more dangerous than any of the above demagogues.

Just as with the others, Trump will fail in the long run, but will be very dangerous in the short run. Let us hope that his demise will not be brought about in the fashion that occurred for Huey Long and George Wallace! We wish him good health and long life, but want him out of the political fray, because he has nothing positive to offer America, just negativism and division!