Middle East

American Jews Do NOT Have Dual Loyalties

American Jews do NOT have dual loyalties.

We are Americans first, not Israelis.

As an American Jew, I do not allow Israel or its leaders to influence my own views on that nation, and its relationship with the American government, and the whole Middle East cauldron.

And we can disagree with the Israeli government leaders and policies, as much as we can disagree with the American government leaders and policies.

So Benjamin Netanyahu is not our leader in the sense of support, anymore than Donald Trump is.

We can support the survival of Israel, and the advancement of America without supporting specific government leaders in both nations.

For Donald Trump to say otherwise, as he did before the Republican Jewish Coalition last weekend, is an outrage.

Two thirds of American Jews are Democrats, and most of them do not support the right wing policies of Benjamin Netanyahu.

All that Trump does by suggesting dual loyalties is to encourage antisemitism, and to promote anti Israel sentiments.

American Jews will be in the front line of criticism of extremist right wing policies by Netanyahu, as they are of extremist right wing policies by Trump.

Donald Trump Taking America On Road Of Total Diplomatic, Economic, Constitutional, and Environmental Disasters By His Egotistical Child Like Behavior: Time For Action Now!

As 2018 comes to an end in a few days, it is perfectly clear that President Donald Trump is taking America on the road of total diplomatic and economic disasters by his egotistical child like behavior.

Trump is endangering our friendship and alliance with such nations as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Israel by his reckless courting of the leaders of Russia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, his worship of their authoritarian leaders.

His lack of realism in American foreign policy is emboldening North Korea to continue to develop nuclear weapons; for Russia to develop new nuclear weapons as well; for Saudi Arabia and Turkey to wield power in the Middle East that endangers Israel’s security; and for the relationship with our neighbors, Canada and Mexico, to become the worst in a century.

His economic policies are leading us toward a Great Depression, and the destruction of our agricultural economy through the imposition of protectionist tariffs, which never benefit workers or consumers.

His authoritarian bent endangers the rule of law and obedience to the Constitution, and his failure to accept the environmental realities of global warming endanger the nation and the entire planet.

His lack of civility undermines what all parents should teach their children, to be respectful and tolerant toward the opposite gender, as well as people of all religions and nationalities.

The President is the worst role model imaginable, and the corruption and scandals surrounding his administration will soon be investigated in detail by the Democratic Party, and accountability will finally occur.

Trump Insisting On Border Wall, While Abandoning Commitment To Resistance To ISIS And Taliban In Middle East, The Much Greater Long Term Threat To National Security

Donald Trump is creating an economic and constitutional crisis in his stubborn insistence on a border wall, which will not insure the safety of the United States, and is a financial boondoggle.

Meanwhile, he is abandoning a commitment to resistance to two Muslim terrorist groups which are still major problems in the Middle East, ISIS and the Taliban, leaving it to other nations that have ill intent—Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the murderous regime in Syria—to resolve that issue, which, instead, will lead to the further growth of terrorism, which will spread around the globe.

This is a much greater long term threat to American national security, and one can sure that in the future, we will have some kind of major terrorist attack caused by ISIS and or the Taliban in a manner that will affect many Americans.

This, if it happens under the Trump Presidency, would be a perfect excuse for Trump to attempt to suspend the Constitution, declare martial law, and accomplish his underlying goal of creating an authoritarian dictatorship on a Fascist model.

This cannot be allowed to happen, and the new 116th Congress must resist Trump at all costs, and Republicans who have any morals or ethics or concern for our historical heritage of rule by law, must join with Democrats to insure the survival of our democratic system of government, at what is clearly now the greatest crisis since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, when, fortunately, we had a level headed and mentally stable President in charge.

The Temper Tantrum Of Donald Trump Must Face Democratic Discipline As A Lesson Of What Is Coming

The shutdown of the US government over the Christmas holidays is truly “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.

Donald Trump is showing just how much of a toddler’s behavior we have to deal with in the Oval Office, and he must face Democratic Party discipline and taught a lesson of what is coming.

Trump will not get his way, will not be allowed to waste taxpayer money in such a reckless way, when a proposed Mexico Wall will have no effect on national security, as there are other ways to protect the border in a more technological manner than a wall which cannot be accomplished in many areas of the 2,000 mile boundary between the US and Mexico.

Trump’s portrayal of the danger of terrorism at the border is preposterous on its face, and instead, he should be changing his plan to leave Syria and now Afghanistan abruptly, when the true terrorist threat of ISIS and the Taliban is being encouraged by Trump’s decision to take rash action on withdrawal of troops.

Leaving both Syria and Afghanistan is a dangerous move that not only affects US national security, and encourages a future Al Qaeda type attack on the American homeland, but also on Americans and other friendly nation nationals in the Middle East over the long haul, as just occurred with two young women slaughtered in Morocco in a brutal ISIS manner.

Withdrawal also encourages Russia, Iran, Turkey, and Syria’s mass murder dictator, and endangers Israel, as it allows expansion of Iranian influence. One can be critical of Israel’s government and its policies, but still be concerned at any threat to its security and survival.

Also, leaving Syria put the courageous Kurdish minority which has fought bravely alongside the US and other allied nations in the cross hairs of the Turkish government, which plans a blood bath to slaughter them, and prevent their establishment of their own nationhood, and this should not be allowed to happen.

If Trump is permitted to win this battle, then constitutional democracy in America and worldwide is threatened.

And Democrats and loyal Americans must make Trump’s Presidency a nightmare, which forces him to resign from office, or convince sensible Republicans that he must be told his time is up, a la what happened with Richard Nixon in 1974 at the end of the Watergate Scandal.

Trump must be taught his limits or the nation is endangered long term.

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.

Growing Danger Of Two Future Wars: North Korea And Iran

After 16 months in office, an unhinged President is bringing America more likely to two future wars–against North Korea and Iran–which will undermine America, with the prospect of the sacrifice of thousands, if not tens of thousands of American military personnel, along with the massive loss of life of civilians in East Asia and the Middle East.

It now seems clear that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is NOT going to give up nuclear weapons completely, as he well knows what happened to Libya and Iraq, when their leaders gave up their nuclear programs.

Kim Jong Un is manipulating an unstable Donald Trump, and is a lot smarter than our President, and this reality means the likelihood of our President using nuclear weapons against North Korea has grown.

Even if not nuclear weapons, the dangers of a conventional war would be disastrous to South Korea, Americans living in South Korea along with our military forces, and possibly Japan as well.

Meanwhile, breaking the Iran agreement when it is working, and in alienating Great Britain, France and Germany, all signatories to the agreement and not willing to abandon it, only increases the chances of war with Iran, a nation much larger in territory and population than Iraq.

So we are in gloomy times, and must hope that such dangers are somehow overcome.

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.

The Moment Of Reckoning Has Arrived: The Syria Crisis Enmeshed With Trump Domestic Crisis, Most Dangerous Moment Since Cuban Missile Crisis In 1962!

It is now almost 15 months since Donald Trump took the oath of office, and the nation has been fortunate that no major crisis had arisen.

But now, it has arrived, the Syria Crisis, enmeshed with Trump’s abuse of the Constitution, and the threat to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller and or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, with the raid on the offices, home, and hotel rooms of Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

The Republican Congress has been unwilling to pass legislation to prevent the firing of Mueller or Rosenstein. And Trump is threatening Russia and Iran over the Syrian use of chemical warfare, and Russia has interfered with American drones over Syria, so this is a massive crisis, which could lead to a major war in the Middle East with the US vs Russia.

Trump has made clear he will bomb Syria in a tweet this morning, after having said he would not give out military information before it occurs, and that has only ratcheted up the rhetoric and threats between Trump and Vladimir Putin’s government, and one wonders if it is just rhetoric, or whether direct conflict between the US and Russia is in the offing.

It is certainly proper that the US react to the chemical warfare by Syria, but the way it is being done is alarming, and signals a crisis which may get out of control.

The true test of how disastrous Donald Trump can be is now in the offing, and we all need to pray, even if not religious, as this is a major test of American leadership, and the protection of American values!

Donald Trump, Fox News Channel, The Evangelical Right, And The “Caravan”

For nearly three years, since Donald Trump announced his Presidential candidacy on June 16, 2015, he has, every day, demeaned himself by his utterances and actions, more every day.

So has Fox News Channel, becoming a propaganda machine for Donald Trump.

And so has the Evangelical Right, which has demonstrated how much they can distort and manipulate the true teachings of Jesus Christ.

Hypocrisy and corruption and a mean spirit has dominated, but now, hard to believe, these three forces have joined together to lower themselves to an even more disgraceful level.

They have promoted the myth of a “caravan” of about 1200 people who are migrating through Mexico, and it is alleged, are about to “invade” the United States with their evil intent, consisting of intentions of rape, murder, and terrorism.

Who makes up this caravan, in reality?

Large number of young children, their mothers, many elderly people make up the bulk of the group, and they are poor and deprived, escaping violence, bloodshed, and fear for their own safety, wanting a better life!

This is often, historically, the reality of immigrants throughout American history, and also, world history, people who are striving for opportunity, a new life, and to avoid death.

How could ANYONE be against such people, who have done nothing wrong, except to be born and living in nations that are death traps for so many, with so much human suffering, that they wish to find “a promised land”?

This is the story of the Jewish people escaping Egypt; the story of Irish and Italians and Jews and Polish and other parts of Europe escaping to America; of Muslims escaping bloodshed and persecution in the Middle East and Africa in coming to Europe in recent years; of people in Central America migrating northward; and of the constant quest for freedom and opportunity and a chance to live, throughout the history of the world!

This is the “American Dream”, how the ancestors of Donald Trump came to our shores; how the ancestors of Joseph P. Kennedy came to our shores; how the ancestors of all of us came to our shores! America is the nation of all nations!

But now we have a President, a news channel, and a religious group who are rejecting the basic tenets of organized religion, and particularly of Christianity, totally rejecting common decency, common humanity, common compassion, for those who are poor, deprived, and facing persecution and death!

The so called Pro Life movement is a farce, and Fox News has no morals or ethics, and Donald Trump is a disgrace to the Presidency and to human behavior, willing to lie and distort for his own advancement. He has no concern for the American people, and has shown he has no consideration about the damage he is doing daily.

It cannot be too soon to see this cancer excised from the Oval Office!

America In World Affairs Since First World War Entrance 101 Years Ago!

America has been actively engaged in world affairs now for a century, finally abandoning isolationism in the first week of April 1917, when President Woodrow Wilson delivered a war message to Congress on April 2, followed by four days of heated debate, and then a declaration of war on April 6.

While America reverted to isolationism in the 1920s and 1930s, it failed, and once we entered World War II, the die was cast that we would always play a major role in world affairs, but not without controversy.

Since World War II, America has engaged in five wars–Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf against Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iraq, with none of those wars leading to victory, although at least, the boundary line in the Korean War was restored by 1953.

But we lost in Vietnam, and have not accomplished our goals in Afghanistan and Iraq, although the brief Persian Gulf War was won in six weeks, but the problem of Saddam Hussein reared its ugly head a decade later.

We have also been involved in many invasions, unofficial interventions, and many cases where we had troops without the knowledge of the American people, and often even leaders of Congress.

Secret wars have gone on and are going on right now, and under Donald Trump, we might very well end up sending troops to North Asia to fight North Korea and to the Middle East to fight Iran.

We now have the most militaristic government without any controls under Donald Trump, with his top aides now being extremely militaristic and warlike.

And war will likely reinforce the Trump supporters, and could, conceivably, cause public opinion gains that could help the Republicans keep control of Congress, and keep the White House in Republican hands in 2020!

We are at a very delicate time, with instability of our nation’s relationship with our allies around the world, and his “bromance” with Russia and Vladimir Putin, along with Trump’s “tariff wars” likely to provoke one crisis after another.

This is our situation as the 101st anniversary of our engagement in World War I is upon us three days from now!