Middle East Terrorism

Major Republican Opposition To Trump On Abandonment Of Kurds To Turkish Dictatorship Desire To Exterminate Them

Donald Trump has opened up a major revolt in the Republican Party by his decision to abandon the Kurds, who helped defeat ISIS, and allowing the Turkish dictatorship to mount an assault, with the purpose of “ethnic cleansing” of a nationality, which has long wanted its own nationhood, but is considered by the Turks to be a terrorist group. However, thousands of Kurds died fighting ISIS alongside the international coalition led by the United States.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Lindsey Graham, House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ben Sasse, Senator Rob Portman, Senator Patrick Toomey, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Christian Broadcasting Network evangelical Pat Robertson, and innumerable others denounced Trump. They said he was undermining national security, and creating the likelihood of revived ISIS terrorism in the future.

Trump is proving how he has no concept of how to deal with foreign policy, and is most interested in pleasing dictators as with Turkey, a nation which should not be favored in assessments of the Middle East.

Whether this anger and growing split on the Kurds will cause any real opposition to Trump on other issues, and on the impending impeachment, seems highly unlikely, but Trump clearly is undermining Republican fear of antagonizing him.

Modern Presidents Who Were Peace Oriented Or Anti Military Engagement In Their Time In Office

Modern American Presidents who have taken us to war or promoted American intervention or expansion gain a lot more attention, and are more looked upon as role models, than those who attempt to avoid war, oppose expansion and promote peace where possible.

As one examines our 19  Presidents since 1901, the following six stand out as either peace oriented or anti military engagement as a major motivation:

Warren G. Harding—promoted the Washington Naval Agreement of 1921-1922.

Calvin Coolidge—promoted the Kellogg Briand Pact of 1928

Herbert Hoover—promoted the Stimson Doctrine of 1932

Jimmy Carter—promoted diplomacy over war, and refused to use force, except an attempt to rescue hostages in Iran in 1980

Bill Clinton—promoted diplomacy over war, and avoided commitment of troops in the Balkans in 1995 and 1998

Barack Obama—ended war in Iraq and dramatically cut military forces in Afghanistan, and avoided commitment of troops to fight terrorism in the Middle East.

For these standards and principles, the three Republican Presidents of the 1920s have been portrayed as weak and ineffective, but not only for foreign and military policy, but also domestic policy.

Many critics have portrayed Carter and Obama as weak and ineffective in foreign and military policy, as much as Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover, but Bill Clinton has managed to survive some criticisms of his foreign and military policies, although now his wife Hillary Clinton is being bitterly attacked in that regard in the present competition for the Presidential Election of 2016, and some of those criticisms have started to cause a reassessment of Bill Clinton’s Presidency.

However, in the long run, the image of  the three Democratic Presidents—Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama— as Commanders In Chief, will be likely to rise as time goes by and passions cool!

 

 

1968 Political Turmoil Over Vietnam Now Being Repeated Over Middle East Terrorism Threat In 2016

In 1968, the nation was bitterly divided over the war in Vietnam, and a major Presidential candidate, Robert F. Kennedy, became a victim of the turmoil over that, but also of the Middle East conflict, with the Six Day War of 1967 provoking the assassination of RFK by a Palestinian Arab immigrant, who happened to be Christian, but is often perceived as the beginning of the issue of Middle East terrorism come to America’s home front.

After the Paris terror attack by ISIL (ISIS), it is clear that we are going to become a major target for similar kinds of attacks in public places, and also, it has often been wonderment that we have not had suicide bombers in this country, and it is likely we will experience that as well.

The danger is that fear and reality will lead America to elect an extremist right wing candidate, such as Donald Trump or Ted Cruz to the Presidency, which would undermine American democracy and our basic civil liberties.

Ironically, the terrorists will have won if we end up going hysterical, and allow the domestic reforms and civil liberties advancements, which have been the hallmark of the past century, to be lost in the desire for security!

Do not be shocked that we might see a real threat to the life of the President or some Presidential candidate over the next year to the election, and it might be from Middle East terrorism, or could be from a right wing National Rifle Association fanatic who decides he must eliminate someone who is seen as the danger to the future of “traditional values” in an America under siege!

The Secret Service needs, immediately, more membership, more training, more preparation for what is likely to come!

The History Of Foreign Policy Crises At Election Time

It is nothing new to have foreign policy crises at election time in American history, whether Presidential elections or midterm Congressional elections!

Examples include:

Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Election of 1940, after Great Britain was being bombed by the Germans, and France had fallen to the Nazis.

Harry Truman in the Election of 1948, facing the Berlin Blockade Crisis with the Soviet Union.

Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Election of 1956, facing the Hungarian invasion by the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies, and the Suez Crisis in the Middle East.

John F. Kennedy facing the Cuban Missile Crisis in the midterm election of 1962.

Lyndon B. Johnson facing opposition growing in the Vietnam War after the Tet Offensive, and the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union and its allies, in the Election of 1968.

Jimmy Carter facing the Afghanistan invasion by the Soviet Union, and the Iran Hostage Crisis, in the Election of 1980.

George H. W. Bush facing the Kuwaiti invasion by Iraq in the midterm election of 1990, leading to the Persian Gulf War.

George W. Bush facing the War on Terror, and the invasion of Afghanistan, and planned invasion of Iraq, in the midterm election of 2002.

And now, Barack Obama facing the Russian intervention in Ukraine, and the growing threat of ISIL (ISIS) in the Middle East, in the midterm election of 2014.

Joe Biden View Of Iraq Correct: Three States, Not One!

Vice President Joe Biden, as a US Senator and Presidential candidate in 2008, projected that the best future for Iraq was for the three warring, contending groups to become separate states, as the Iraq created by the British and French after World War I was unsustainable.

Biden was ridiculed and attacked for his statement and view, but it now looks more than ever, with sectarian violence among the Shiite and Sunni Muslims, along with the national ambitions of the Kurdish people in the Northern part of Iraq, that the best hope might well be a three state solution.

The only problem now is that extremist terrorist groups in Iraq and neighboring Syria, where a civil war has raged for more than three years, endangers not only such a scenario, but also the whole Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and Israel, as well as American interests.

Since the Shiite and Sunni branches of Islam have been at war for more than a thousand years in the Middle East, the best that can be hoped for is such a three state solution, with the hope that the extremism and terrorism can be contained and lessened.

This is all the outgrowth of the unnecessary, unwise, inexcusable war initiated by the George W. Bush–Dick Cheney–Donald Rumsfeld administration on Saddam Hussein, who despite his horrible regime, was not a direct threat to the United States.

Now the Biden idea, with a quelling of the terrorism aspect, is the best hope for the future, so let us salute Joe Biden for, once again, more than one realizes, being perceptive in foreign policy.

We could do far worse than Joe Biden as our potential 45th President of the United States, as the man has great knowledge, vision, and perceptions that make sense in foreign policy!

How Christmas Day Changed The Course Of American History, In 1861 And 1991!

Christmas Day has long been celebrated as a special day, but in terms of American history, two particular Christmas Days have had a dramatic effect on our future.

In 1861, on Christmas Day, as the Civil War was entering its second year, it seemed as if the United States was about to go to war with Great Britain, due to the Trent Affair, the seizure of two Confederate agents, James Mason and John Slidell, from a British ship by the crew of an American ship, the San Jacinto.

Instead, the cabinet of President Abraham Lincoln agreed that it was better to release the two Confederate agents, as fighting a two front war against the South and Great Britain would be a losing proposition. It would have made it more likely that the Confederate States of America would have won its independence, and the United States might have been occupied by Great Britain, and transformed our history in a tragic fashion.

Also, in 1991, on Christmas Day, the Soviet Union’s leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, declared the end of the 74 year experiment in Communist dictatorship, and the breakup of the Soviet Union into separate nations, with the largest being the Russian Federation led by Boris Yeltsin.

This was a courageous act by Gorbachev, and was the final end of the nearly fifty year Cold War, seemingly allowing peace in the world, and America without a major competing nation for world leadership.

Unfortunately, the optimism would not last, as Middle East terrorism became the new challenge for the United States and the Western world, in many ways a greater threat than Communism had been.

But both Christmas Days, 1861 and 1991, 150 years ago and 20 years ago respectively, had a massive impact on our history!