Eastern Europe

The Growing Danger To Ukraine (After Loss Of Crimea), Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, And Poland Of Invasion By Russia, With No Donald Trump Response

It is now clear that Donald Trump’s “Bromance” with Vladimir Putin, only increased by his decision to invite Putin to the White House this fall, is putting NATO and Eastern Europe under great strain and stress.

Trump’s constant attacks on NATO are a sign that he may refuse to come to the aid of Eastern European nations which are part of NATO, along with Ukraine (not a part of NATO), which already has lost its Crimean area to Russia in 2014.

Greatly endangered are Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, all part of the old Soviet Union, and Poland, which has always been unfortunate, as they were victims of Nazi Germany, and then the Soviet Union, until the Cold War ended, and they were liberated in the early 1990s.

Even Montenegro, a small area of the old Yugoslavia, has come under verbal attack from Donald Trump, and could face a threat.

Meanwhile, all of these nations have contributed to and fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, but now Trump seems unwilling to insure their safety, and that the US would come to their defense in case of a Russian attempt to seize control.

It is clear that Vladimir Putin is manipulating Donald Trump, and that he has something secret, either financial or sexual, on Trump, which would explain the President’s weird behavior, and his moves to undermine NATO and the European Union, as well as our relationships with our neighbors, Canada and Mexico, as well as Japan and South Korea in Asia.

12 New Indictments Indication Of Russian Interference In 2016 Presidential Election, But Donald Trump Still Plans To Meet Vladimir Putin On July 16

Donald Trump is due to meet Vladimir Putin tomorrow in Helsinki, Finland.

No one will be in the room with him, other than a translator.

Twelve new indictments of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election have been issued by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but Trump dismisses them as part of a “witch hunt”, and is not listening to his national security and intelligence advisers who tell him NOT to meet Putin.

Putin is a skilled, intelligent charmer, who will flatter Trump, and the issue of Russian indictments, even if mentioned, which is unlikely, will be brushed aside.

We are in the most dangerous summitry ever since World War II, even more than with Kim Jong Un of North Korea, as Putin is out to destroy NATO and become the “friend” of Trump, who has such a need to make a friend of a person who is a KGB agent, and Putin is likely to gain acceptance of his invasion of Crimea in 2014.

This is a warning to the Eastern European nations of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, and also to Ukraine, that they are likely to become victims of Russian aggression, with Trump excusing it, and refusing to back NATO.

We will never know until actions are taken by Putin what secret deals will be made in private by Trump, with his advisers in the dark about it as much as everyone else.

The damage Trump has done continues to escalate, and international affairs is in disastrous disarray.

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.

Marines In 43 Countries, And Military In 100 Or More Other Nations: Absolutely Crazy And Self Defeating!

The tragic events in Niger, where four Special Forces troops were ambushed and killed by terrorist forces, has revealed a secret that even members of Congress on the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate were not aware of.

We have been engaged in operations in that central African nation and others on that continent, beyond those in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Central Asia, and also in Latin America and in South and East Asia.

In other words, we now know we have US Marines in 43 nations, at least, and military presence and possibly more, in at least 100 other nations.

This means we are having influence in three of every four nations of the world, all with the goal of protecting American national security and defenses in an age of world wide terrorism by Al Qaeda, ISIS (ISIL), Boko Haram, Al-Shabab, and other similar terrorist groups.

So besides the issues of Russia, China, Iran, North Vietnam, and the Middle East morass, including Syria and Iraq, we have to be concerned about insurgency in the Philippines; about pending warfare in Iraq of not just Shiite and Sunni Muslims but also the Kurdish minority; and danger of a Spanish Civil War of Catalonia (its capital in Barcelona) and the Spanish Central government; and instability in Eastern Europe in nations once thought to be finally democratic, but instead becoming extremist right wing, including Hungary, Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic

At least 43 American military have died under the watch of Donald Trump, and over 10,000 civilians have been killed due to our troops.

This policy of American engagement all over the world is absolutely crazy and self defeating, and only enriches military contractors, while sacrificing lives of our young men and women.

It is a self defeating situation, in which the wealthy benefit, and the rest of us are victims, in one way or another.

Diplomatic Relations With Unfriendly Governments: Soviet Union, People’s Republic Of China, Vietnam, Cuba, And Now Issue Of Iran

When it comes to the issue of foreign policy and international relations, the controversy over whether the United States should have diplomatic relations and embassies in nations that are our rivals, our opponents, is a constant debating point.

Clearly, when the United States is at war with a foreign government, diplomatic relations cease.

Also, if a foreign government chooses to break off diplomatic relations on its own, then clearly there will be no diplomatic relations.

But other than these situations, the idea that, somehow, refusing to deal with an unfriendly government is beneficial does not ring true!

There are always good reasons to have a diplomatic channel, a way to relate to and deal with a hostile foreign government, if for no other reason, to allow discussion of contentious issues that may arise, including hostages, military and naval challenges, and providing for humanitarian interventions when there are natural disasters.

After all, even if governments do not get along, the people of the United States need not see other nations’ people as enemies!

And failure to recognize changes of government never works in our behalf, as witness our long diplomatic isolation of the Soviet Union from 1917-1933; of the People’s Republic of China from 1949 to 1979 (although Richard Nixon visited China in 1972 and started trade, cultural and tourism contacts); of Vietnam (from 1975 when the Vietnam War finally ended until 1995); and now of Cuba from 1961 to this month.

It turns out the diplomatic isolation of Cuba lasted 54 years, way beyond the 16 years of the Soviet Union; the 30 years of China; and the 20 years of Vietnam.

Nothing was accomplished by the diplomatic isolation of Cuba, and while the government of that nation is a dictatorship, as with Russia, China, and Vietnam, we cannot decide that a dictatorship, as reprehensible as it is, can be, somehow, made to change by ignoring them and refusing to deal with them.

If we were to use that as a guide, that a nation was run as a dictatorship and therefore we would not deal with that nation, then we would have to suspend diplomatic relations with most of the world’s 193 nations.

But we have dealt with brutal dictatorships regularly in Latin America, Asia and Africa, as well as Eastern Europe.

We could wish the world was like us; Canada; Australia; New Zealand; and Western European nations; Japan; and selected nations in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, but we must deal with the world as it is, not the way we wish it was!

So, the issue of Iran, a hostile nation engaged in trouble making in the Middle East; calling for the extermination of Israel; calling the United States “the devil”; and gaining nuclear energy information rapidly, cannot be ignored.

It is better to deal with Iran, as much as they are willing, as the people of the nation are clearly not in support of their theocratic Islamic regime, and we are not going to gain by a war with Iran, a large nation with large population, which, if we went to war, the effect would be to unite the nation in nationalistic fervor to defend the homeland.

The answer is, if possible, not only to get the nuclear deal negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry to be ratified, but also to attempt to ameliorate the danger and threat of Iran through further diplomatic engagement!

A Century Ago, Full Scale Outbreak Of “The Great War”, And Woodrow Wilson’s Neutrality Declaration!

A century ago, with Great Britain and France joining the war in Eastern Europe, which had begun on July 28, “The Great War”, World War I, was in full swing!

The event shocked President Woodrow Wilson, who declared American neutrality, and stated that America would be “neutral in thought, as well as action”, a statement not easily enforced, as how could one prevent partisanship on the events going on, as to which side should win, and whether American should join the war “to save democracy?”

So the debate goes on ever since, with many blaming President Wilson for us entering the war in April 1917, and some stating the whole interventionist foreign policy of America dates from that event, and sees Wilson as the perpetrator, indirectly, of every “sin” America has been engaged in since 1914!

Others have seen Wilson as the great idealist, who wanted to make the world safe for democracy, and supports his goals of ending war and starting the ill fated League of Nations.

Others have argued over the years for isolationism in world affairs, that this is the only way to keep America safe from foreign wars, and loss of life on a massive scale.

The historical reputation of Woodrow Wilson has gone through ups and downs over the past century, and continues to be heatedly debated even in 2014!

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!

Many Significant Anniversaries In 2014

As we enter the year 2014, we are reminded that many significant anniversaries, that have affected America and the world at large, are being celebrated this year.

In 1689, 325 years ago, we had the Glorious Revolution in England, which ended absolute monarchy and established the rule of Parliament, and the promotion of the English Bill of Rights, all of which would become the model for the American Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution.

In 1789, 225 years ago, we had the French Revolution’s beginning, with its promotion of the concepts of liberty and equality, and it would affect the concept of revolutions in other nations over time, and also advocate the concept of popular sovereignty and democracy.

In 1914, 100 years ago, we saw the beginnings of the First World War, which would kill over 8 million people, bring about America’s first major international engagement, and lead to the rise of Communism in the Soviet Union, Fascism in Italy, and Nazism in Germany, all leading to World War II.

In 1939, 75 years ago, we had the beginnings of a war that caused even greater loss of life and property damage, World War II, and would see the horrors of the Holocaust, and the rise of America to leadership of the free world against the Soviet menace, and the beginnings of the Cold War.

In 1989, 25 years ago, we would see the end of the half century Cold War between the Soviet Union and the Western democracies, led by the United States, with the Berlin Wall symbol, which had been built in 1961, suddenly coming to a dramatic end, and the liberation of the Eastern European nations which had been part of the Soviet Empire, followed by the fall of the Soviet Union itself in 1991.

We will see a lot of attention paid to these anniversaries this year, particularly the First World War, the Second World War, and the Cold War, as they have shaped so much of world history and American history in the past century!

Commemoration Of Two Events On November 9: One Wonderful, One Tragic!

Today, November 9, marks two events, both in Germany, which changed the world–one in a positive way, the other in a very tragic way!

On this day in 1989, the Berlin Wall, which symbolized the horrors of Communism, came down spontaneously in East Germany, leading to the downfall of the Soviet Union two years later, and the end of the Cold War between Russia and the United States led alliance of NATO.

The collapse of the wall gave the world hope for a peaceful future, no one being aware that the Persian Gulf War just over a year later helped to lead to the new age of terrorism, which had already begun, but accelerated after US forces were stationed in Saudi Arabia, the home of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in the Islamic faith.

Fifty one years earlier, in 1938, in Nazi Germany, we had the tragedy of Kristallnacht, the Night of the Broken Glass, when the Nazis unleashed an attack on Jewish citizens and property, including synagogues ransacked and set on fire, along with businesses, shops, and the destruction of cemeteries, and the arrest of thousands and the death of many Jews in a vicious manner. This is now seen as the beginning of the Holocaust, and sadly, while there was condemnation of the actions on November 9 and 10, the international community did little more than condemn verbally.

So the later date marked the end of Communism in Eastern Europe, while the first marked the growing menace of Nazism and anti Semitism, and the horrors of anti Semitism are still a reality in the world today!

A Day Of Historic Proportions: Egypt’s Revolution Triumphs!

Today is a day of celebration for Egypt, the Middle East, and the whole world.

The peaceful overthrow of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak in a democratic non violent revolution is a cause for euphoria, and it gives a warning to the other Middle East autocracies, and dictatorship everywhere, including Iran and North Korea. It is a followup of the liberation of Eastern Europe in 1989, symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The power of social media, which cannot be easily controlled or monitored, is a method by which the masses can express their desires and lead to removal of despots. No one could have imagined the impact of Facebook and Twitter on the events that transpired in Egypt. Imagine, that in 18 days, Egypt transformed, and a thirty year dictatorship collapsed.

Egypt has now experienced two events of massive proportions that took 18 days to develop–this present revolution, and the Yom Kippur War where Anwar Sadat defeated Israel and took some land back in 1973 from the earlier 1967 Six Day War, but yet moved toward American friendship soon after and eventually to a peace agreement with Israel, including recognition of Israel, and a joint Nobel Peace Prize for Sadat and Israel’s leader, Menachem Begin.

This is also a moment to salute President Barack Obama, who handled this historic crisis deftly, supporting the masses of Egypt and pressuring Mubarak in private, while using carefully crafted language in public. No one could have handled this crisis better, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates did a fantastic job in assisting him and others to deal with this transforming event. This will go down as one of his greatest triumphs in the Presidency!

Even better, Barack Obama comes across as a hero to ordinary Egyptians, and by his open minded attitude to the Muslim world, he makes us a safer nation, but with full awareness that there are radical Muslim enemies who wish this nation ill, but diplomacy is essential if there is ever to be a potential for long term peace in the 21st century world!