Gaza Strip

Killing Of Dozens And Wounding Of Thousands At Israeli-Palestinian Border Reprehensible, Ending Israeli Moral “High Ground”, And Promoting Endless Warfare

This author and blogger is Jewish, and has always been supportive of the nation state of Israel, now celebrating its 70th birthday, recognized by the United States and the United Nations on May 14, 1948.

Being supportive of the Israeli nation and wanting its success and survival, however, does not mean endorsement of the right wing government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu and its tactics.

It is also NOT endorsement of the decision of the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, taking the future status of the Holy City off the negotiation table with its Arab neighbors, the Palestinians.

War and constant tension has existed in the Middle East now in an unceasing manner, and it is acknowledged that there is no easy solution to the morass.

But Donald Trump made a major blunder in caving in to right wing religious demands of the Israeli government. It is also a disgrace that Israel’s government caves in to the born again Christians who see Jerusalem as their city, even though they harbor strong antisemitic beliefs, seeing Jews as going to hell if they do not accept Jesus Christ as their savior, conveniently forgetting that Jesus was Jewish.

To have extremist right wing pastors speak at the symbolic opening of the US Embassy yesterday was disgraceful and disgusting. To have Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner speak as dozens of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were murdered by Israeli soldiers, while thousands were wounded, creates a terrible image that will harm the United States and Israel for the long term.

Between the controversy over Jerusalem, and the unjustified breaking of the Iran agreement last week by Donald Trump, these events insure future warfare and people dying on both sides of the Middle East cauldron for the long haul.

One can condemn Hamas, the terrorist organization which runs the government of the Gaza Strip, and yet agree that their conditions are an open air prison, and the hatred built up insures the death of more Israelis over time.

Israel has the right to defend itself, but the tactics used yesterday make Israel look horrible on the international scene, and Jerusalem’s status should have been left to negotiation, not become the political football it has evolved into, due to the despicable leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump.

It also further isolates the United States in international affairs, as its allies are being alienated, in the name of reckless foreign policy.

A Half Century Since The Six Day War Of Israel Against Arab Nations In 1967

It is now a half century since the Six Day Arab-israeli War of June 5-10, 1967.

Israel was able to overcome Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, and gain control of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Desert, and the Golan Heights.

Israel has had to engage in war since, and lost territory to Egypt in the 18 day Yom Kippur war in October 1973.

It has also had to engage in conflict with the Palestinians and their engagement in terrorism and warfare over the past half century, with the creation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) after the Six Day War.

The Sinai Desert, the Gaza Strip, and parts of the West Bank have been returned, but much of the West Bank, along with the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem remain under Israeli control, and the tensions in the area remain high.

This author wrote a study of the US-Israeli relationship from Harry Truman to Donald Trump, worthy of your attention, with the publication recently on History News Network, and then republished by Newsweek, and both versions are on the right side of my blog.

44 Years Ago: Death Of Lyndon B. Johnson; Abortion Becomes Legal; End Of Engagement In Vietnam War–We Must Learn From These Events!

44 years ago, on January 22, former President Lyndon B. Johnson died at the age of 64, and the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in the case of Roe V. Wade, that women had a right to abortion in the first two trimesters.

44 years ago on January 23, announcement of an agreement to end US involvement in the Vietnam War was announced in Paris, therefore denying LBJ the ability to know of the peace agreement before his death, in a war that had forced him out of the Presidential race in 1968.

Looking back 44 years and to today in 2017, we can reflect that the Great Society of LBJ is under attack in a massive way, as is the New Deal of FDR. We are going backwards in so many ways under President Donald Trump.

Also, abortion rights are being taken away in many areas and by government policy, and the danger is that Roe V Wade could be reversed in a future Supreme Court decision, once a Trump appointed Justice is added to the Court. So women’s rights to control their own bodies will now face new restrictions, and will lead to more deaths, and abuses.

And our engagement in Vietnam, a massive mistake, has not been learned from, as now there are hints that Donald Trump is ready to send troops to fight ISIL (ISIS), committing us to a massive war in the Middle East, and with Trump asserting yesterday that America might just seize the oil of Iraq for ourselves, which would be a war crime, and a continuation of US imperialism overseas.

This is why we have intervened so much since World War II in other nations in the Middle East and in Asia, as well as Latin America.

And do not be surprised by a move to engage in war with Iran, in support of the right wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, and more warfare in the West Bank and Gaza Strip areas of the Palestinians.

This is not to endorse Iran, the Palestinians, or anyone else, but to point out, it looks as if we are on the way to another major military conflict, that will cost American lives and make tons of profit for the war industry. And we are likely to see a new generation of American military personnel who end up having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and are unlikely to gain proper medical treatment for that condition.

In many ways, America has learned nothing from our historical experiences, and we are reverting to past mistakes in domestic and foreign policy.

The Ugly Month Of August This Year And In History

August is known as the month of the usually greatest heat, and this month is no exception, with the tremendous drought affecting the western half of the nation, especially California.

August is also the month of disastrous hurricanes, as with Andrew in 1992 and Katrina in 2005, as examples.

August is also the month of many wars and provocations, as with:

The British burning of the US Capitol and the White House during the War of 1812.

The outbreak of the First World War in Europe in 1914.

The signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact which led to the beginning of the Second World War in 1939.

The dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, ending World War II in Asia in 1945.

The falsely reported Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964, which led to the escalation of the war in Vietnam under Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in 1990, leading to the Persian Gulf War and the introduction of American troops on a permanent basis in a number of Muslim countries over the next quarter century, provoking a greater level of Islamic terrorism against America and Western Europe.

This August, we have seen racial tensions and division grow over recent killings by law enforcement authorities in St. Louis, Missouri and elsewhere, making us aware that the election of Barack Obama has NOT lessened the race issue in America, and has made us aware of the militarization of the police forces, with equipment returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And we have become fully aware, finally realizing the threat from ISIL (ISIS), after the death of journalist James Foley, and it forecasts an escalation of involvement in the Middle East, adding to the fuel already created by the Gaza War between Israel and the Hamas Palestinian terrorist group which controls the Gaza Strip.

So again, August keeps its horrible reputation as a month full of tragedy and disaster, although clearly, every month has its share of these, but August does seem to have more than its fair share!

The Case For A Team Of John Kerry And Chuck Hagel As Barack Obama’s National Security Team

President Barack Obama has already faced problems with his thought to appoint UN Ambassador Susan Rice to the State Department, and she dropped out and allowed him to move toward the appointment of Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee, to be his Secretary of State, but not yet announced officially.

But now, his planned but unannounced appointment of former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska to be his Secretary of Defense in his second term as President is meeting resistance.

The point to be made is that any President should be able to choose his team, particularly a National Security team, that fits his desires, and therefore, automatically, the President should be given slack to pick who he wishes.

The opposition to Hagel comes from those in the Pentagon who do not like that Hagel has said in the past that there is waste in the Defense Department that can be cut, a statement which has absolute validity. It is clear that Hagel would widh to “clean house” if he came to the Pentagon, but that is good, and should not be a reason to deny him the post.

Also, the Pro Israel Lobby, and particulary AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), is against Hagel because he has, at times, in the US Senate, been critical of Israeli policy in the West Bank, building Jewish settlements.

While certainly AIPAC can have its views on any nominee, it should not be allowed to deny a President who he wants, and the important point, that is necessary to say again and again, is that under no circumstances will Barack Obama and his government ever allow any harm to Israel, and this was made very clear in the recent Gaza Strip events when the IRON DOME system provided and financed by the United States, saved Israel from greater attack. But our government cannot and should not feel that it can be dictated to by ANY foreign government or pressure group to have to agree one hundred percent on every action and statement of a foreign government!

Also, in favor of Hagel, as well as Kerry, is that both were Vietnam War veterans, and understand the horrors of war, and it is great to have two such men, both having served in the Senate, and possessing great principles and courage, to head our National Security team under President Obama in his second term.

So, hopefully, the soon announcement of the appointments of Kerry and Hagel will be forthcoming!