Middle East

Republican Party History And Reputation Under Attack In Present Constitutional Crisis

The Republican Party was founded in 1854 in opposition to the expansion of slavery, and included many abolitionists within its midst.

The Republican Party became the Party of the Union, and under Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President, the Civil War was fought, and the Confederate States of America was defeated, and slavery was abolished.

The Republican Party then promoted citizenship and the right to vote for African Americans.

Then, the party lost its way and became the party of Big Business in the Gilded Age, and was engaged in widespread corruption.

But in the Progressive Era of the early 20th century, under President Theodore Roosevelt, and Congressional leaders such as Robert La Follette Sr. of Wisconsin and George Norris of Nebraska and many others, the party became one of reform oriented ideas.

Then, in the 1920s and through the years of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, the party became one of opposition to progressive ideas, with a few exceptions of leaders in Congress and in the states.

With the coming of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the rise of the liberal wing of the modern GOP, under Nelson Rockefeller, William Scranton, and George Romney. and many US Senators, the battle was fought against a takeover of the party by the extreme right, headed by Senator Barry Goldwater, but despite his defeat for the Presidency in 1964, the coming of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan ushered in conservative ideas, and the GOP became captive to the myth of Reagan.

The party became captive to a foreign policy of intervention in the Middle East, and promotion of massive tax cuts to the wealthy, and destruction of the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson and the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but were stopped in their quest by Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Now, however, the Republican Party has become more extremist under the most corrupt President in American history, much more than Richard Nixon.

Donald Trump is for the wealthy elite, and that is why the Republicans in Congress are overlooking the disaster occurring before our eyes daily.

The Republican Party history and reputation are under attack in the present constitutional crisis, while at the time of the Nixon constitutional crisis, many Republicans spoke up and led the struggle against the illegalities of the Watergate Scandal.

The future of the Republican Party is at stake, and this could be the time that we will look back on and realize that it led to the demise of the Republican Party as we know it!

Twenty Nine “Developed” Nations Have Universal Health Care Coverage, But America Refuses To Come Into The 21st Century On Health Care!

Twenty nine “developed” nations in the world have Universal Health Care Coverage, including the following:

In Europe, 21 nations, including:

Great Britain
France
Germany
Italy
Spain
Portugal
Netherlands
Belgium
Luxembourg
Norway
Sweden
Finland
Denmark
Iceland
Switzerland
Austria
Hungary
Poland
Czech Republic
Greece
Slovenia

Also, Turkey and Israel in the Middle East have Universal Health Coverage.

Additionally, in Asia and the Pacific, there are 4 nations which have such coverage.

Japan
South Korea
Australia
New Zealand

Also, Canada in North America and Chile in South America have such coverage.

So why does the United States NOT have it?

The power of the health insurance companies lobby is one factor, and the refusal of the Republican Party and the conservative movement to be willing to accept that health care coverage and the protection of life beyond the pregnancy stage should be a guaranteed part of government policy, through a national health care program that covers all Americans, including even undocumented immigrants, are the reasons.

It is time for America to come into the 21st century, and decide that health care is not a privilege, but a basic human right!

Trump Uses Military Force On Syria On 100th Anniversary Of America Declaring War On Germany, Austria Hungary, And Ottoman Turks In World War I

Donald Trump has employed military force on a Syrian airbase, the villain in using chemical warfare on civilians, including children and babies, in the midst of the Syrian Civil War, which has raged for six years now, with Russia being the major ally of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

In so doing, Trump has done something considered appropriate, but the question is what effect it will have on the Syrian Civil War, on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, as well as our other rivals in the world, including China, North Korea, and Iran.

The irony of Trump taking action as the Chinese President is visiting him in Palm Beach, Florida, is noticed, as Trump wants and expects Chinese help to deal with Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s ruthless dictator, who continues to lob missiles, and is seen as a growing nuclear threat.

One can expect rapid action by Trump on North Korea after the summit with China ends this weekend.

So we have another President who is able to use foreign policy and national security as an area that may be part of his legacy, and might also boost his horrific public opinion polling ratings.

But we have to wonder whether Trump will be measured in his response, as he seems to be at the moment on Syria, or will end up enmeshing us in massive troop commitments in the Middle East and in the Korean peninsula in endless wars with massive loss of life and treasure.

Ironically, this military action occurred precisely on the centennial anniversary of Congress declaring war on Germany, Austria Hungary, and the Ottoman Turks in the First World War, the beginning of America’s full engagement with the world. The past century has seen America engaged in seven major wars and innumerable military engagements short of full scale war.

So one has to wonder how the American people will react to new military adventures, that might even require the beginning of a military draft, for the first time since 1973.

The Growing Role Of Jared Kushner: Will It Make A Difference And Transform Donald Trump?

It is now clear that son in law Jared Kushner, and his wife, daughter Ivanka Trump, have a great and growing influence over Donald Trump, as the President is very loyal to family.

The question is whether it will make a difference and transform Donald Trump from a nasty, mean spirited right wing Republican, out to destroy the system, exactly what Stephen Bannon wants, or will move toward the center, and be able to appeal to moderate Republicans and some Democrats, as after all, Kushner was a Democrat in his politics that we know of, earlier in his life.

Kushner has been given great responsibility, to reorganize the federal government, as well as deal with the Middle East, and has also been engaged in traveling to Iraq this week, and the issue is whether he really has the qualifications and knowledge to be able to handle these responsibilities in a way that will lead to good results.

In other words, is Jared Kushner possibly the new Robert F. Kennedy, who had already had government experience before he became Attorney General under his brother, John F. Kennedy, and proved to be indispensable to his brother?

Is Jared Kushner the next Hillary Clinton, who took on health care reform unsuccessfully as First Lady under Bill Clinton, but was also one of the leading attorneys in America?

First impressions of Jared Kushner is that he is nothing special or impressive, more a spoiled rich kid who married into the right family, and had assets to start a New York City newspaper.

The future of America short term, and for the reputation of Donald Trump in history, may be based on the level of Jared Kushner’s success, which at the moment is much in doubt.

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.

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.

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.

70 Years Of American Foreign Policy Challenged By Donald Trump

It seems clear that Donald Trump, were he to become President, would totally upend American foreign policy, under both Republican and Democratic Presidents, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama.

His “love affair” with Russian leader Vladimir Putin is very dangerous, and will create instability in Europe, with the issue of the Baltic States being under threat, and undermining NATO in the process, which has been in effect since 1949.

His compliments of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un will destabilize South Korea and Japan.

His lack of understanding of the complex Middle East will cause more disarray in an area already in turmoil.

His lack of knowledge of foreign policy will cause other nations, particularly our allies, to believe that he a dangerous, unstable individual to lead the most powerful nation in the world.

His temper, and poor judgment, will lead to foreign interventions out of pique.

We cannot afford someone as Commander in Chief who lacks the respect of the military and the intelligence community.

Strength And Stamina: Hillary Has Proven It, Trump Has Not!

Donald Trump has kept on saying that Hillary Clinton has low energy and lacks strength and stamina, a totally ridiculous assertion.

Hillary Clinton traveled about one million miles in four years as Secretary of State, which required an amazing amount of stamina, strength, and energy. She gained the respect of foreign leaders all over the world, including in nations that look down upon women as leaders, as in the Middle East.

Hillary Clinton campaigned tirelessly as a Presidential candidate in 2008, and now again in 2016, and in her years in the US Senate from New York, she worked tirelessly to make life better for her constituents and for America.

Meanwhile, Trump has NOT traveled a million miles; never has learned about foreign policy and foreign cultures; and has had an easy life, barking orders and commands at his subordinates, and gaining an inflated view of his own knowledge and expertise, while his life experiences have been a story of disastrous bankruptcies, scandals, and broken marriages.

Trump does not have the moral and ethical standards we demand of our President, and the country would have to go insane to elect him, as he is the worst qualified person to be President in all of American history, bar none!