Iraq War

The Attack On Transgenders In The Military A Major Step Backward On Human Rights, And Must Be Resisted In Any Way Possible!

The decision of Donald Trump to declare that transgender individuals are not to be allowed to serve in the military is a major step backwards on human rights.

Transgender men and women have served in the military heroically in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they serve in the military in Israel, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and other advanced democracies with no troubles or complications.

This is simply an appeal to the bigoted Religious Right of Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, and other preachers who claim wrongly to speak for Jesus Christ, who would reject their prejudice and hypocrisy.

It is also an attempt to take attention off the failed Health Care attempts to destroy ObamaCare, and also to take people’s minds off the investigation of the Russian collusion of the Trump campaign and Presidency.

It undermines the great progress made on gay rights and gay marriage, and now, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions is arguing that gays and lesbians and transgenders should not be considered as covered under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a total outrage!

Leave it to the right wing whackos, and we might see a future situation where women’s rights to an abortion, and even interracial marriages, might be reversed by a right wing Supreme Court majority.

It is good to see that the military is not, at least at this point, obeying a tweet of our unstable President, and hopefully, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff will fight against it, and convince Trump that this will undermine military discipline and morale, and endanger the declared Transgenders already out in the military.

One can sadly expect more prejudice and discrimination against transgenders now in society, and some will die as a result.

Ironically, this bigoted, ignorant, and prejudiced statement by Trump occurred on the 69th anniversary of Harry Truman integrating the military in 1948, and one can be certain that if Truman were alive, he would have appropriate salty language visited upon Trump, and would probably wish to give Trump a swift kick in his rear end and in his private area as well, something million of Americans would cheer!

From 9-11 To 11-9: One American Tragedy To Another!

The 21st century began with the horrific attack on September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing nearly 3.000 civilians of many nations.

It ushered in a 15 year period of turmoil, division, and tremendous spending to fight terrorism and wage two unwinnable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It has led to persecution of Muslims in America, and promotion of nativism, racism, and antisemitism.

It has caused the two major political parties to fight each other in a way that prevents any cooperation on just about anything.

And then, in the midst of all this chaos and anxiety, along came a charlatan, a rookie in politics, a crooked businessman, a narcissist to the extreme, who was able to convince working class white males that he was their “Superman”, and would end terrorism, crime, and fight Wall Street, all fabrications.

So from the 9-11 tragedy, we went to 11-9, November 9, 2016, the declared victory of Donald Trump, who has caused more division and hatred than anyone in the past 15 years.

And he won due to the quirks of the Electoral College, having only one serious opponent who won electoral votes, but only winning 46 percent of all votes cast.

And November 9 is also the day in 1938 when we had Kristallnacht, the “Night of the Broken Glass”, when thousands of Jews became victims of a pogrom, as businesses and synagogues went up in flames and ushered in the beginning of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, which killed six million Jews by 1945.

With the rise of white supremacy, and characters such as Richard Spencer and David Duke backing Donald Trump’s attacks on Mexicans. Muslims, and all immigration under attack, one can sense that we might be moving toward Fascism, with only the scandals around Donald Trump giving us the hope that his agenda may be stalled and prevented permanently.

The Pure Ignorance And Stupidity Of Donald Trump Is Beyond Belief!

Donald Trump is supposed to be an intelligent man, but if one listens to much of what he says, one can come to the conclusion that he is extremely ignorant and stupid.

He claims to be smarter than everyone, and that his best advisor is who he looks at in the mirror.

So he tells us that climate change and global warming is a hoax.

He informs us that Korea was part of China.

He tells us that his First Hundred Days are the most accomplished of any President, forgetting Franklin D. Roosevelt.

He talks about Frederick Douglass as if he was still alive, although he died in 1895.

He informs us that ISIL (ISIS) is due to Barack Obama, although it is actually due to the Iraq War initiated by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

He claims that the unemployment rate and jobs report under him is fantastic, while repudiating similar figures in the last months in office of Barack Obama as fake statistics.

He says that Barack Obama left a mess, even though Obama created more jobs in his Presidency than any President, and left us with a tripling of the stock market and halved the unemployment rate when he came in, having inherited the worst economic conditions since Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression.

He lies about inauguration crowds, and the numbers at the New England Patriots White House event.

The man is a perpetual liar and deceiver of the facts, and yet has millions of clueless people still honoring him.

It is in many ways as if America elected a totally inept, unstable, ill informed leader, and yet not an issue to millions of gullible Americans, which says legions about them, and is a sign of the massive problems we face.

Alternative facts, which means pure right wing propaganda, is rampant, and millions of Americans are totally unaware of the realities of science and history, and simply believe what right wing media tells them.

Donald Trump, The Warmonger: ISIL, Syria, North Korea, Iran—The Military Training School 14-18 Year Old Bully Gone Mad!

Donald Trump was a bully as a kid and a teenager, and his misbehavior made his parents decide to send him to a military training school for his high school years from age 14 to 18, and Trump never matured beyond that stage.

As an adult, with a “gift” of one million dollars from his father, Donald Trump set out on a career of bullying people, harassing women, and demonstrating racism, misogyny, nativism, and willingness to cheat workers, contractors, and fellow businessmen, and possessing no moral compass or ethics.

Now he is the 45th President, and is showing he is a warmonger, a man who is determined to show the American imperialistic bent that became part of the 20th and early 21st century under most of his predecessors in the White House, and sacrificing generations of young Americans, most of them poor whites or minorities, who see the military as their last bastion of a chance for success in life.

America has not “won” a war since 1945, and has engaged in wars that have undermined the American reputation in the world, first in Korea, then in Vietnam, then in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with many interventions in nations we did not have a long term commitment of troops.

Donald Trump lives in his own parallel universe, however, and seems to think that being a warmonger against four adversaries at once is a smart idea, as he has now challenged ISIL (ISIS), Syria, North Korea, and Iran, along with using the MOAB (Mother Of All Bombs) in Afghanistan.

Thinking that he can wage four wars or more at once is a sign of maniacal behavior, of insane behavior, that will make our military cannon fodder for Donald Trump’s imperial ambitions.

It is something that should not be allowed to happen, as it will cause massive casualties and deaths to glorify a man who is dangerous to world stability and peace.

A Sobering Centennial: America Enters “The Great War” On April 6, 1917

It has been a century since America entered world affairs in a full sense, as on April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson spoke to Congress and asked for a declaration of war against the Imperial German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Ottoman Turkish Empire, and allied with Great Britain, France and Italy, in what was called “The Great War” at the time, and later World War I or the First World War.

The controversy over whether Wilson could have kept us out of the war has raged for a century, and his handling of the war effort, and the promotion of restriction on civil liberties during the war has remained highly contentious, and has caused Wilson to decline from Number 6 in the C Span Presidential poll of 2000, to Number 9 in the C Span Presidential poll of 2009, and now Number 11 in the C Span Presidential poll of 2017, all participated in by reputable scholars.

American sacrifices in war had been avoided, as America remained isolated from world affairs and foreign conflict until 1917, but in the last century, we have been in many major wars since then, including World War II, the Korean conflict, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the Afghanistan War, along with many other foreign interventions in Latin America and the Middle East.

No one can be anything but sober to realize that when Congress voted for war on April 6, 1917, it transformed America in a permanent way, helping to create the concept of an American Empire, and America as a world leader since the end of World War II.

And now, with Donald Trump, the whole history of American foreign relations is in flux, and we face many challenges and crises in international affairs, and the hope is that we will avoid further military conflicts in the future, but hard to believe that is the scenario under Donald Trump.

PBS will have a six hour presentation on The American Experience on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings April 10, 11, and 12 on America and The Great War, our nation’s engagement in the First World War, from many different perspectives, highly recommended to all who read this blog.

April The Month For Many American Wars Beginning, And Now Likelihood Of War Against North Korea Soon

When one examines American history, if we do not count wars against native Americans; interventions in Latin America; and the Filipino Insurrection from 1899-1902, we have had 12 wars in the nation’s historical experience.

Six of those wars began in April–The Revolutionary War, the Mexican American War, the Civil War, The Spanish American War, the First World War, and the escalation of the Vietnam War.

These events took place in 1775, 1846, 1861, 1898, 1917, and 1965.

Additionally, two wars began in March–the Second World War if one counts the Lend Lease Act of 1941 as the real beginning of naval engagement before Pearl harbor in December; and the Iraq War on March 20, 2003, the 14th anniversary of that tragic war being yesterday.

And also, two wars began in June—the War of 1812 and the Korean War in 1950.

So only two wars did not begin in the Spring months from early March to late June–the Persian Gulf War in January 1991 and the Afghanistan War in October 2001.

There is something about the Spring months, and particularly April, that seems, maybe coincidentally but maybe not, to be the time for wars to commence.

Based on recent warnings from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson while on a trip to Japan South Korea, and China, war could be coming very soon against Kim Jong Un of North Korea, maybe in April or shortly after, as concern about North Korean nuclear development being a growing threat to Seattle, Portland and San Francisco, as well as Hawaii, and also the threat to South Korea and Japan, is alarming.

Iraq War, “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, Began 14 Years Ago Today—And Now On To Likely War Against North Korea

14 years ago, Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Iraq War, began, leading to an eight year and nine month war, the longest war in American history except for the war in Afghanistan.

It also caused the death of close to 4,500 Americans and loss of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and the collapse of stable government, and the rise of ISIL (ISIS), leading to the horrific destruction and terrorism threat of the past three years.

It was a war based on falsehoods about “Weapons of Mass Destruction”, and undermined the reputation of President George W. Bush and his administration.

And now, there are strong hints that we are on the way to another major war against North Korea, with uncertainty whether that means nuclear war or a massive invasion.

And the effect on South Korea and Japan of the threat from North Korea is unnerving with their massive standing army, and what it means for US Troops in South Korea.

There is no debate about the dangers of North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong Un, but the question is what can or should be done about it.

The fact that we have a very unstable President in Donald Trump, with his recklessness in dealing with other nations in diplomacy, adds to the tension and nervousness about what is likely to occur soon.

It Is Clear America Will Go To War With Iran, And Soon, While Ignoring Russian Intervention In Ukraine

Here we are, 12 days since the inauguration of Donald Trump, and it is very clear America will go to war with Iran, and soon, while ignoring Russian intervention in Ukraine.

The fact that Michael Flynn, the unstable National Security Adviser, appeared in the Press Room to say Iran is “on notice” because of their testing of a missile, and the fact that Trump is going to meet in person with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on February 15, is evidence that we will see a bombing and possible ground invasion of a nation considered by many to be a major international problem, and a particular threat to Israel.

This is not meant to mean that the author admires the Iranian government, the evil theocracy that has run Iran since 1979, and it is not to say that Iran is not, at least in theory, a threat to Israel in the Middle East.

Yes, Iran has helped Palestinian terror groups and engaged in the war in Syria, nearing six tragic years in length with no end in sight.

However, six nations (the US, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China) signed an agreement with Iran on nuclear energy, hopefully to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, and it is not yet clear that Iran has broken the agreement.

So to step up the rhetoric so soon in the new administration reminds us of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney wanting to engage in war with Iraq, which was a total disaster that went on for eight years, and still has an American presence in the area on a small scale.

And while this is going on, right after Trump spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the weekend, now there is shelling and military action in southeast Ukraine, and the Trump government has nothing to say. It looks as if Russia will now invade Ukraine, and that Trump has decided to ignore it, and in fact, seemingly, is encouraging it.

So we will likely be in war soon, tragically, and see a likely high number of American casualties, and the pro Russian policy of Trump will cause a massive split in the Republican Party, and will lead ever further to a constitutional crisis. Trump is already displaying, in so many other ways, that he is mentally unhinged, and a danger to the American people at large, and much of the civilized world, particularly in Europe, is totally terrified about Russian expansionism and aggression.

This is what 80,000 people in three states has led to–a leader who is the most dangerous in all of American history, bar none.

Is Donald Trump On Road To Being International War Criminal By His Stated Views On Torture, Oil, And Punishment Of Terrorist Families?

It looks, at least by Donald Trump rhetoric that the 45th President of the United States is on the road to being an international war criminal, if he were to follow through on his stated views on torture, the oil of Iraq, and punishment of terrorist families.

It is clear that waterboarding and similar tortures utilized by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld a decade ago in the Iraq War was criminal activity against the Geneva Convention and international standards of proper behavior toward detainees in war.

The top people around Donald Trump–Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, have all stated their opposition to revival of this tactic, along with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

But that does not mean that Trump would not order it be done, but if so, all of these people should make clear to him that if he does so, that they will resign. Otherwise, they would also be war criminals.

Trump’s statement that America might invade Iraq again, and seize their oil, is also an international war crime, no different than the tactics of Adolf Hitler.

And his idea that the families of suspected or actual terrorists should be subject to punishment, including bombing their homes, and imprisonment and execution, is also, definitely, a war crime.

We have a megalomaniac, a dangerous, mentally unhinged President, who is disgracing us before the world community, and he needs to be arrested and sent to the Hague to the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague, the Netherlands, IF he follows through on any of these threats.

And being an international war criminal is enough grounds for his immediate removal by impeachment, and if the Republican Congress refused to do so, they would be accessories to war crimes.

The Positive Contributions Of The Barack Obama Presidency

So here we are on the last full day of the Barack Obama Presidency, which I have been writing about since August 2008, and just about daily since 2010.

Barack Obama has been an historic President, and will end up in the top ten of our 44 Presidents over time, if not immediately.

Barack Obama was the most pilloried President since Richard Nixon, but for no good reason, and a lot of it was based on pure racism, sorry to say, but the truth.

But Obama brought us a dignified, classy persona to the White House, as did his wife Michelle.

He gave us the biggest expansion of our health care system, and much of it will survive the Donald Trump and Republican onslaught in the end.

He gave us the concept of limited military involvement, after decades of too many interventions overseas, and ended our involvement in Iraq, and cut back dramatically on the unwinnable war in Afghanistan.

He gave us the possibility of ending the threat of Iran as a nuclear power, and opened up a new relationship with Cuba, after 55 years of ignoring reality.

He accomplished through the use of technology and drones the elimination of thousands of terrorists worldwide, and took the gamble to bring justice to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

He started moving the focus of American foreign policy to Asia and the Pacific, and kept good relations with America’s NATO allies, and kept Russia’s Vladimir Putin on edge. about how America would react toward his aggressive stands.

He made climate change worldwide a crucial focus, and participated in international agreements, and accepted science over conspiracy theories, and made us realize global warming was a danger to American national security.

He took an economy that was the worst since the Great Depression, what is called the Great Recession, and turned it around, with the greatest job growth over eight years in American history, the greatest stock market growth, and the greatest drop in the unemployment rate that has occurred in any administration.

He accomplished in health care what Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt to Franklin D. Roosevelt to Harry Truman to John F. Kennedy to Lyndon B. Johnson to Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton to George W. Bush had been unable to do.

He brought about the revival of the American auto industry, and advanced the rights of workers to overtime pay and increased minimum wage, and the rights of consumers through the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

He advanced women’s rights, including to equal pay, and gave DREAM kids a reprieve from possible deportation, and promoted the idea of universal pre school and community college education, and worked to try to deal with the student loan crisis.

He advocated fair treatment of Muslims in America, and became the champion of gay equality in the military, gay rights in society, and gay marriage and transgender rights.

He became a great advocate of the environment, adding to our national parks and national forests and endangered sites, and continued the tradition of earlier exceptional environmental Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton before him.

He utilized executive orders to expand the rights of the American people, and worked for legal and judicial reform, and appointed Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

He cared about the weak, the powerless, and the forgotten groups in American society, and set a good moral basis in his own life and that of his family, becoming a model for young people as to how a President should conduct himself.

He avoided lashing out at those who promoted bigotry, and also showed emotion after his failed attempts at immigration reform and gun safety legislation. He had real tears, emotions, and sincerity in the Oval Office, which has hardly ever seen that, and hard to think of any earlier President quite like Obama.

He also faced the greatest number of threats of any President since Abraham Lincoln, as delineated in my Assassinations book, and demonstrated great courage and equanimity in waking up every day, knowing he was a target for hate mongers who wished him and his family ill will.

And finally, he had two terms of office without any hint of a personal, or otherwise, major scandal!

So Barack Obama was a FINE MAN, a different spelling of this author’s and blogger’s last name, and he will rise in the Presidential rankings to the top ten, and likely higher in the middle of the top ten at some point in the future, as he was truly a transformational President!

Goodbye, President and Mrs Obama, we will miss you, and wish you many decades of good health, prosperity, and happiness, as you continue to contribute to American betterment! God bless you both!