Latin America

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.

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.

Prediction That Four States Will Decide Presidential Election—Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida–Is That Legitimate?

Many political observers are saying that four states are the true battleground that will decide who is inaugurated President on January 20, 2017.

Those states are Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida.

The question is whether that belief is legitimate.

This blogger thinks it is much more complicated than those four states, and that two of them–Pennsylvania and Florida—are assured for the Democrats as it is.

Yes, it is true that Pennsylvania west of Philadelphia and east of Pittsburgh is often called “Alabama”, but Pennsylvania has been reliably “Blue” or Democratic for six straight elections from 1992 onward, and that is not likely to change. If “Alabama” really mattered as much as some think, then how did our African American President win the state both in 2008 and 2012? If anything, with the economy far better now than it was in 2008 and 2012, and with Barack Obama’s public opinion rating now at 58 percent, the highest since his first year in office (2009), Pennsylvania is assured to go “Blue” again. Remember, all that is needed is to win the most popular votes to win the electoral votes, not necessary to win a majority, but just a plurality.

Florida, despite being Republican in state elections, went for Barack Obama twice, and now there are many more Puerto Rican citizens who have moved from the island to central Florida in particular, due to the tough economic times in Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are citizens who just need to re-register at their new address, and the vast majority of them are Democrats, and therefore now lessen the Cuban influence on the state vote. And many younger Cubans are not automatically conservative or Republican as their elders are. With the I-4 corridor (Central Florida) becoming more likely Democratic, add much of South Florida to the equation (Broward and Palm Beach Counties), and the influence of North Florida and Miami-Dade County (where many immigrants turned citizens from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and other nations in Latin America have migrated and not generally Republicans) are therefore outweighed, and with the better public opinion ratings of Obama added to the mix, the odds are that Florida will go “Blue” again.

Ohio is more difficult, and history tells us that every elected Republican President has won Ohio, so this is truly the crucial state but with Hillary Clinton having the edge in most polls. And one must remember Hillary has a built in edge in “Blue” States, and does not have to win Ohio, while Donald Trump must win it or have no chance to win the White House.

North Carolina went for Obama in 2008 but went “Red” for Mitt Romney in 2012, but polls now indicate that Hillary is favored, but again is not essential for Hillary to win the Presidency.

I would say beyond these four states, there are the states of Georgia and Arizona and Utah, all “Red” states, that indicate close races, with the possibility that they could go “Blue” for this election, and possibly beyond, particularly true for Georgia and Arizona, due to the increase in Hispanic and Latino population and voters.

So Hillary Clinton still has an overwhelming advantage, with eight weeks out from Election Day, to win the Presidency.