Leonid Brezhnev

A Trump-Kim Jong Un Summit Has Massive Capacity For Disaster!

The sudden news that Donald Trump has accepted an offer from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to meet at a summit is startling, and such a summit has a massive capacity for disaster.

A summit is never arranged quickly, as this proposed one is, just two months from now.

It requires months of planning, and meetings and understandings arranged by ambassadors, cabinet offices, and leading people in intelligence agencies.

It also requires the President to be versed in all of the details, including the history of that nation and its leader that he is about to engage with.

After a year of saber rattling by both Trump and Kim, the sudden change in attitude is disarming, as both Trump and Kim are totally mercurial and unpredictable.

It could be a ploy by Kim to take advantage of the ignorant, poorly educated Trump, and make our President look like a fool.

And to believe that Kim will give up his nuclear program is a pipe dream, which most assuredly, is not going to happen.

Trump is no diplomat, but he has the crazy belief in “The Art of The Deal”, but this is not real estate, and this is not “The Apprentice”.

Our whole national security and respectability in world affairs is at stake.

If any blunder is made, potentially millions of South Koreans and Japanese, as well as North Koreans, and American soldiers and other Americans living in South Korea and Japan, are endangered by a President who is totally unhinged and dangerous.

This is not Richard Nixon meeting Chou En Lai and Mao Tse Tung.

This is not Richard Nixon meeting Leonid Brezhnev.

This is not Dwight D. Eisenhower meeting Nikita Khrushchev.

This is not Ronald Reagan meeting Mikhail Gorbachev.

This is serious business, with two dangerous men and clashing egos meeting, with potential dire results for mankind!

Gerald Ford Presidency And Reputation Saved By Losing Election In 1976 To Jimmy Carter!

Just as we are commemorating the 90th birthday of former President Jimmy Carter, we have news from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and the National Archives, that Ford’s Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was plotting to have the US mount a full scale invasion of Fidel Castro’s Cuba, due to that nation’s military intervention in Angola, which infuriated Kissinger.

Appparently, the plan was to wait for the Presidential Election Of 1976 to be resolved, with the belief that Ford would defeat the former Georgia Governor, but that did not happen!

Carter’s victory led to a decision not to intervene in Cuba, and Henry Kissinger was retired as Secretary of State when Gerald Ford left the Presidency on January 20, 1977.

This was a lucky development for Ford, who apparently was preparing to support Kissinger’s invasion idea.

While some would have applauded the overthrow of Fidel Castro, the idea that this nation, unprovoked directly by Cuba, would have used military action, show recklessness, as there was no certainty how the Soviet Union of Leonid Brezhnev would have reacted, is startling. The Soviet Union in 1976 was a lot stronger militarily than it was in 1962!

We could have had another Cuban Missile Crisis, which brought us closer to World War III, again in 1976 or 1977!

Ford’s judgment was wrong on this, and the fact that Jimmy Carter, has saved Gerald Ford’s historical reputation by his defeat of Ford, is an amazing story!

Gerald Ford’s reputation in his brief Presidency has risen lately, but the revelation of this plot against Cuba, unprovoked, MIGHT bring down his reputation long term, which is regrettable.

But, literally, Jimmy Carter saved Gerald Ford from a massive mistake, by defeating him!

Richard Nixon (China) And Barack Obama (Iran): Why Not Try Diplomacy Before War?

Forty years ago, Richard Nixon, a Republican President, took a bold step and went to visit and negotiate with the government of the People’s Republic Of China, better known in America as Communist China or Red China.

We had had no negotiations or dealings with mainland China since 1949, had made a career of demonizing the leadership of that nation, and had made clear that we would defend the island of Taiwan (Nationalist China) at all costs. We had also fought Chinese troops in the Korean War, and had known of Chinese support of the North Vietnamese in the Vietnam War, and were still bombing near the Chinese border.

But with all that, Richard Nixon went to China, negotiated trade and travel and cultural exchanges, and opened up our country and China to the promotion of less fear and more diplomacy and understanding in the interests of international harmony and avoidance of war.

Many conservatives bitterly condemned Nixon for going to China, and reversing his own anti Communist stand of twenty five years standing. But Nixon went anyway, and this occurred in an election year. It was statesmanlike and showed Nixon to be a pragmatic man in foreign policy.

Today, in 2012, forty years later, we are on the brink of possible military conflict with Iran, with which we have not had real dealings since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the fall of the Shah of Iran from power. Iran has become a very belligerent state, heavy on rhetoric and threats, similar to what China was for 25 years. In the case of Iran, it is now 33 years since the two nations, in the midst of tensions and stress, have sat down and tried to negotiate differences.

It may seem as if there is very little hope for a breakthrough with a harsh enemy who wishes us ill, but remember that was the same mentality toward China, and even more so, toward the Soviet Union, during the Cold War years, but still Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and even Reagan all agreed to joint meetings, often in each other’s country, and made progress toward coexistence, and to avoid a direct confrontation that would benefit neither side.

So when the Republican candidates for President, conservative talk show hosts, and many others call for war on Iran, and think the idea of negotiations with Iran are fruitless, remember what Richard Nixon, the ultimate anti Communist did forty years ago this week. He went to the enemy and NEGOTIATED, and prevented any conflict with China, a dramatic and significant moment in world history!

It is time for Barack Obama to show courage and statesmanship, and since the Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he is ready for diplomatic talks, it is wise to take him up on it, and see if it can go anywhere. If it does not, and war results, at least we will be able to hold our heads high and say we TRIED! Is Ahmadinejad really any worse than Mao Tse Tung, Nikita Khrushchev Leonid Brezhnev, or Mikhail Gorbachev?

It is not cowardly to agree to talk and negotiate; it is cowardly to refuse to talk and negotiate, with the possibility of avoiding war that neither the United States citizens or Iranian citizens really want. And it would be better for Israel too, if war could be avoided which would likely have a very heavy toll on their citizens, in a country so small in population, it cannot afford to lose even one hundred people in an unnecessary war that MIGHT be avoidable!

The 87th Birthday of Jimmy Carter: A Look Back At His Much Maligned Presidency!

Today is the 87th birthday of former President Jimmy Carter, and it is proper to send good wishes to him!

By reaching the age of 87, and in good health, Carter becomes the seventh President to reach that advanced age, with former President George H. W. Bush having reached that pinnacle on June 12 of this year.

Other than the first Bush, only Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan (both 93), John Adams and Herbert Hoover (both 90) and Harry Truman (88) have lived longer.

Jimmy Carter has also had a longer retirement after his Presidency than anyone except Herbert Hoover, and will pass him in longevity in retirement in less than a year, on September 8, 2012.

Jimmy Carter has been much ridiculed, lambasted, and condemned by his critics, and this post is not an attempt to deny the weaknesses and mistakes of his Presidency. Carter has learned how to accept the reality that he is shown little respect for his virtues and accomplishments, with a lot of it due to his defeat for reelection in 1980 by the charismatic Ronald Reagan, who is often now seen as a deity in many circles. There is the reality that IF a President loses reelection, his reputation in history suffers dramatically, no matter what he had achieved in office.

But while there is much controversy over Carter’s Presidency, on his birthday, it is worth it to point out his major successes in office.

1. Carter was able to negotiate the impossible–an agreement between Egypt and Israel, the Camp David Accords, which brought peace, recognition, and security for Israel for the past third of a century.

2. Carter also negotiated the Panama Canal Treaty, much berated at the time, and causing loss of seats for the Democrats and assisting the conservative takeover, but in retrospect, one realizes that the treaty was not harmful and against our national security, but actually helped to improve relations with Latin America, and is now seen as non controversial a third of a century later.

3. Carter’s promotion of human rights as a major foreign policy goal was ridiculed by conservatives and Ronald Reagan, but later it turned out that future Presidents, all of them, utilized the concept in some form as part of their foreign policy goals.

4. Carter made us aware of the energy crisis, and the need to expand energy resources beyond oil, and while it has not been pursued as he emphasized by later Presidents, it is clear that Carter was correct in his emphasis on alternative sources of energy being essential for America’s future.

5. Jimmy Carter had the best one term environmental record of any President, greatly expanding national parks and forest land, and focusing on the environment as an issue in a very admirable manner.

6. Carter appointed more minorities to appointed positions than any President before him, and fully backed affirmative action, which became a controversy during his Presidency due to the Bakke case.

7. Three new cabinet agencies were started during his Presidency, although now under attack by conservatives in 2011–Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Energy.

8. Carter presided over the smallest increase in the national debt during his administration, attempting to have very tightly negotiated budgets, although all were with deficits.

9. Carter issued an executive order on his first day in office, granting amnesty to Vietnam draft evaders, which however caused a rift with military supporters who opposed this courageous act.

10. Carter negotiated the SALT 2 (Strategic Arms Limitation) Treaty with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, which was never ratified by the US Senate because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but its details were obeyed by both sides despite the rejection of the agreement in the Senate.

It would be easy to list the faults and shortcomings of Jimmy Carter, and as the years go by, and eventually Carter passes from the scene, there will be much more research done on him and his Presidency. When that happens, it is likely that a reassessment of Carter in a much more sympathetic manner, will occur.

For now, Mr. President, Happy Birthday and many more!