Latin America

The Negative Side Of The Presidency Of George H. W. Bush

As George H. W. Bush lies in state before his funeral on Wednesday and his burial on Thursday, praise and plaudits have been visited on the 41st President.

But as with all Presidents and all government leaders worldwide and historically, there is a negative side.

Among the shortcomings of the 41st President are the following in no particular order:

Bush ignored the AIDS Epidemic crisis, much like his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, allowing the Religious Right Wing to set the agenda on a hate campaign against gays and lesbians.

Bush switched his pro choice views on abortion by picking up the Reagan viewpoint on women, and sacrificing his beliefs, while his own wife Barbara quietly continued to support abortion rights.

Bush ran a nasty, dirty, and despicable campaign for President in 1988 against the Democratic nominee, Michael Dukakis, allowing falsehoods and distortions to be promoted, without any consideration of the damage his campaign manager Lee Atwater was engaged in.

Bush pursued a Mideast policy that led to long term disaster, and placing troops on a permanent basis in the Middle East led to September 11 and the Iraq War and Afghanistan War.

Bush as CIA head backed dictatorships in Latin America, particularly in Chile and Argentina.

Bush promoted a tough war on drugs, as Ronald Reagan had done, and it victimized people of color much more than whites, and caused prison terms that are now seen as a failed policy, that did not really get to the issue of how to treat those addicted to drugs.

Bush was involved in the Iran Contra Scandal under President Reagan, never fully explored, and ended up giving pardons to many who were part of that scandal, right before he left office in 1993.

Bush made a horrible appointment to the Supreme Court when he nominated Clarence Thomas in 1991, and the nation has been burdened with his influence for the past 27 years, including many potential future Supreme Court nominees who worked for Thomas, and are now being put on the Circuit Courts under President Donald Trump, setting up a future Court with even greater Thomas impact than just himself.

Bush also gave us the most ill qualified, incompetent Vice President in modern history, Dan Quayle, and when Bush had medical issues in office, it made the nation worry at the thought of a President Quayle.

These nine points mentioned above make an assessment of the ultimate historical significance of George H. W. Bush much more complicated than the fulsome praise now being promoted at the time of his passing.

Puerto Rican Migration To Florida In Two Months 200,000, Double Original Estimate: A Harbinger Of Florida Turning “Blue” In Future Presidential Elections

The effects of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico will change future Presidential elections, with the Democratic Party winning the state in future contests for the White House.

Puerto Rico is losing a substantial portion of its citizenry due to the slow and inadequate response on the island to this natural disaster by the Trump Administration.

Some Puerto Ricans, all of whom are citizens of the US, and can register to vote immediately, have migrated to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, but the vast majority, more than 200,00, double the original estimate, have moved to Florida, preferring warm weather.

Most have settled in Central Florida, in the Orlando and Tampa areas, with the Puerto Rican population having multiplied since the 2010 Census, while a lesser number have moved to South Florida.

As long as these citizens register and vote, the largest number will vote Democratic, and in close races for the White House, that can make a difference, and it could also, over time, affect state elections for Governor and other executive offices, as well as the state legislature.

When Florida becomes reliably “Blue”, it will add 29 electoral votes in the 2020 Presidential election, and more than that once reapportionment of seats based on the 2020 Census, and in time for the 2024 and 2028 Presidential elections.

And when the Hispanic vote of any part of Latin America becomes larger and reliably Democratic, except for Cuban Americans then Georgia, Arizona, and eventually Texas will be “Blue”, and the Republicans are doomed on the Presidential level.

Only by voter suppression and discrimination will the GOP have a chance to win, and one can be sure they will use every imaginable tactic to prevent Hispanic voting, so Democrats have to work incessantly to insure that Hispanics are not denied the right to vote, including law suits to stop this disgraceful tactic of the party that, more than ever, represents the Tea Party mentality.

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.

House Speaker Paul Ryan And Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch Are Right: Leave DACA In Place, Do NOT Victimize Young Immigrants!

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch are second and third in line to be President, under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947.

Both are clearly conservative Republicans, and yet both have called on President Donald Trump to leave DACA (Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals) in place for 800,000 young men and women who were given the right to remain in America by President Obama in 2012, despite the illegal status of their presence, when they were brought here by their parents from Mexico and other nations in Latin America.

These children (now young adults) should NOT be forced to face deportation to nations they have never known, and which in most cases, do not know the language or culture, or have relatives they know in those nations that their parents migrated from for opportunity for a better life.

These DACA young people are in many cases, in college or the military, and are not engaged in criminal activity, which would clearly eliminate them from the program if proven in a court of law.

Realistically, beyond the DACA kids, there is no rational way to deport millions upon millions of people who, while they may have come illegally, have not broken the law while in America.

These undocumented immigrants pay taxes, face discrimination by police officers who intimidate them in many cases, and do a multitude of jobs that no one else will take on, including working in agricultural fields, hotels, restaurants, and as maids and engaged in property upkeep and in child care duties, and cannot be replaced.

As always, immigrants work much harder than most Americans, in many cases two to three jobs under great stress, and do not complain in the spoiled way that many Americans engage in.

This is a nation of immigrants, and one can be sure that historically there were many undocumented immigrants who came here, and made contributions to the welfare and success of America, so the answer is NOT deporting anyone who is making a positive contribution, and instead having systematic immigration reform, as Paul Ryan and Orrin Hatch, and other Republicans, including Senators John McCain, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham and others, are advocating.

Hard To Believe: The Worst Week Of The Trump Presidency, And Every Week Is Worse Than The One Before!

Hard to believe, but this past week has been the worst week of the Trump Presidency and every week is worse than the one before!

Trump has gone after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the GOP Party Leader this week, alienating Republican Senators, and making for an awkward situation for McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, who is Trump’s Secretary of Transportation.

He has ratcheted up the possibility of nuclear war against North Korea if any danger comes to our territory of Guam, or the possibility of a conventional war which would bring great destruction and death to our ally, South Korea, where the capital, Seoul, is less than a hour from the Demilitarized Zone, and millions of people live, including hundreds of thousands of Americans, a few million foreigners, and 28,000 American soldiers and their dependents.

Trump has also brought up the possibility of military intervention in Venezuela, which is a major problem, but we do not worry about human rights in other nations around the world, and instead promote the image of America, the imperialist nation, throwing its weight around in Latin America.

The last thing we need is to have military intervention in northeast Asia and in South America, to add on to the wars in Afghanistan, and against ISIS (ISIL) in the Middle East, along with alienating China, which we need as a supporter to curb the ambitions of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

Trump is out of control in foreign policy, and foreign leaders are shocked at his loose language, and building up the tensions on the Korean peninsula, something never witnessed with any other American President. Our allies in Europe, and in Canada, Australia, Mexico, Japan and South Korea are not quite sure how Trump can be contained in his dangerous rhetoric and impulsive actions.

And Trump also has ignored the mosque bombing in Minnesota, refusing to condemn it, and now the right wing White Supremacists (Neo Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, Alt Right) have provoked violence at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, leading to the death of one person and nineteen injured, and Trump refusing to condemn these groups, and acting as if all sides in the debate over the statue of Robert E. Lee being removed are equal, when that is the furthest from the truth. To compare left wing groups to the right wing as equals is totally preposterous, but Trump continues to refuse to repudiate the right wing extremists who promote racism, antisemitism, nativism, and misogyny, including such hate mongers as David Duke and Richard Spencer.

All this adds up to the reality that Donald Trump has been a disastrous President, is getting worse by the week, and the move ahead by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to question those who have worked in the West Wing of the White House is a major move toward bringing closer the end of the Trump Presidency, as grounds for impeachment are growing.

Many Republicans and conservatives have repudiated Trump in various ways, and my article on History News Network, just published on August 6, and on the right side of this blog, details the growing opposition to Trump, and makes clear the dangers he faces as we finish Month 7 of the Trump Presidency!

The Most Massive Liar In American Presidential History? NOT Richard Nixon, But Rather Donald Trump, As NY Times Compilation Demonstrates!

Richard Nixon, in the afterlife, is celebrating big time!

Usually seen as a villain, a crook, and a liar, Richard Nixon now is witnessing his rise in rating, due to the reality that much of what he did in domestic, and even in foreign policy, has stood the test of time, while not whitewashing his illegalities and abuse of power.

But also, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum has done a great job of reassessing Nixon, and showing all aspects of the 37th President, both good and evil.

Nixon’s reputation, despite some real contributions, is permanently harmed by his wrongdoings and his psychological issues.

But after Donald Trump’s first five months, it is clear that Nixon will ALWAYS rank above Trump in historical rankings, and that Trump will be lodged in the “basement”, in last place, even behind such failures as President as James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, and Warren G. Harding.

There is no debate that NO President has been as massive a liar and one without any accomplishments that can been as positive, as with Donald Trump.

The New York Times has compiled all of the lies and false statements of Donald Trump, and they show that Trump lies and distorts the truth and undermines facts and reality more than any other President, with Nixon again being number 2 but way behind Trump!

Trump lies at least five times a day, and his spokesmen lie for him as well, and the truth on anything never crosses their lips, and statements that are issued.

Donald Trump is incapable of telling the truth, or admitting any mistakes or errors, and in so doing, he has created a parallel universe of followers who live in “alternative facts”, meaning lies and distortions of reality.

Donald Trump has no shame, and many would say that he is a psychopath and sociopath, who has dictatorial and authoritarian bent, and we all have to worry that a crisis will arise, and the worst, most ugly side of his personality will come out, and he will do great harm to our nation and its democracy.

Trump acts more like a third world corrupt leader from Latin America, Africa, or Asia, and is destroying the First Amendment with his constant attack on the news media, and his claim that they are the enemies of the American people.

This is unconscionable, and he will pay for it long term in the judgment of history, but the question is how we survive his maniacal, unstable behavior, meanwhile!

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.

Donald Trump: The Bully In International Affairs, Threatening Wars, And Harming Relationships With Our Long Time Allies

Donald Trump, in less than two weeks, has become the bully in international affairs, threatening wars with Iran, Mexico, China, and ISIL, while harming long term relationships with allies, including Germany, Great Britain, Canada, and Australia.

His foreign policy approach is totally shocking, and he is rapidly becoming the number one international menace, only being close to two “friends”, it seems, to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Yes, I said Netanyanu, who has often acted like a bully in his dealings with Barack Obama, and is cozying up to Donald Trump, in a manner that insures probably collaboration in a major war against Iran, as well as the Palestinians, events which will, if they occur, undermine the image of Israel among both non Jews and Jews in America.

The Jewish community has always been divided over the right wing government of Israel, and the fact that extremist right wing evangelicals ally with the government of Israel should be seen as dangerous and a warning sign, as these extremist Christian groups believe in a holy war against 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, when the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful, and are not ideologues or terrorists.

When one hears Donald Trump talk about violence and bloodshed of some religious fanatics, which is certainly true, he conveniently forgets the history and the present situation of extremist Christians, who have a very condemnatory history over two millenniums against Jews, Muslims, native Americans, and colonial populations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. One can also point out the mistreatment of women and gays by many extremist Christian religious groups.

Meanwhile, undermining our alliances with NATO and with a great ally such as Australia is a disaster in the making, which will leave us with no friends when a crisis arises.

There is only one answer—the quick, forced removal of Donald Trump from the Presidency, who could start a nuclear war on a whim!

The War Against Latino And Other Immigrants And Latino American Citizens Begins, Including Crisis With Mexico Over Proposed Wall

The war against Latino immigrants and Latino American citizens has begun, less than one week after Donald Trump took the oath of office.

We will see victimization of people from not only Mexico, but also Central America, South America, Caribbean Islands, and also from the Philippines, Vietnam, Korea, India, Pakistan, China, Japan, and other Asian nations, as well as Muslim nations all over the world.

Racism and nativism is in full swing, and the lady on the Statue of Liberty near Ellis Island is weeping, as we have now seen the worst attack on immigration and minorities from Latin America, Asia and the Middle East that we have had in our lifetime, except for those who were alive and remember the terrible victimization of Japanese American citizens and Japanese immigrants 75 years ago after Pearl Harbor, with 120,000 interned in camps.

Not only will the government now seemingly deport more immigrants and break up more families, but one can be sure that there are plans to intern Muslim Americans when and if a few Muslim terrorists strike in America.

Civil liberties, Civil Rights, and liberty and justice are being ignored as the Trump Fascist era begins, and the question is how to bring it to an end as soon as possible, since the possibility of a dictatorship and martial law is not something we can be assured will not happen at this delicate time.

And expect a possible low level war situation at the 2,000 mile long Mexico-US border, with the plan moving ahead to build a wall, and make Mexico pay for it, which the President of Mexico declared would not occur, leading to the cancellation of a meeting at the White House. Tension will certainly rise, and we are in the worst relationship since the 1920s with our neighbor to the south.

We do not need a new foreign policy and national security headache, but Donald Trump is insuring it with his reckless and dangerous decisions.

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.