Military-Industrial Complex

Will Donald Trump Be A Wartime President?

In the midst of tension over Syria using chemical warfare against civilians in their civil war and Trump ordering the bombing of an airfield in Syria, and the growing North Korean threat, and with Donald Trump a novice at dealing with foreign policy, the idea that Trump might be a wartime President is becoming a more serious thought.

Trump had said he wanted to avoid involvement in other nations’ affairs when he ran for President, and to concentrate on America, but his rhetoric and tactics have stirred controversy which might lead to potential warfare with Russia, China, Iran, and ISIL (ISIS), without much planning as to how to conduct such military actions. Also, not much thought has been put to how to avoid such conflict.

Trump certainly is aware that he can gain some additional American support temporarily if the nation engages in war, but at the expense of alienating large percentages of the American people long term, who do not desire to see further loss of life and treasure if it can be avoided.

Trump’s lack of experience with diplomacy, and his tendency to “shoot from the hip” on Twitter and in public statements, may lead to unexpected and tragic results.

The military-industrial complex that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against in his Farewell Address in January 1961 is still at full strength, and the fact that so many former generals are key advisers is a warning that in many ways, we are under the control of the military mindset, emboldened by Donald Trump’s egotism and maniacal behavior.

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey: Dramatic Rise Of Dwight D. Eisenhower And Ulysses S. Grant Since First Poll In 2000

The C Span 2017 Presidential Survey demonstrates the dramatic rise of two war heroes in our two major wars: Dwight D. Eisenhower in World War II, and Ulysses S. Grant in the Civil War.

Both were Republican Presidents with low historical esteem as Presidents, particularly Grant, but both suffering from long term negative images in the White House.

But Ike, as Eisenhower was affectionately known, has soared from 9 in 2000 to 8 in 2009 to 5 in 2017, surpassing Harry Truman, who dropped slightly from 5 in 2000 and 2009 to 6 in 2017.

And Grant, who was 33 in 2000, soared amazingly to 23 in 2009 and now 22 in 2017.

Ike was well liked, but thought of as a weak, lackadaisical President when he left office in 1961, more remembered at the time for playing golf than anything else.

People thought of the fact that Ike “allowed” the Soviet Union to go into space first in 1957; and that the U-2 Spy Plane Incident in 1960 complicated relations with the Soviet Union, and ignored the many accomplishments of the 34th President.

Since then, his stock has risen with the understanding of his handling of the Little Rock Crisis in 1957; his ability to work with leaders of the opposition Democrats (Sam Rayburn and Lyndon B. Johnson) who controlled Congress for 6 of his 8 years; his acceptance of the New Deal programs of FDR; his creation of a federal commitment to health, education and welfare through the HEW Department in his first year; his promotion of the interstate highway system as a followup to Abraham Lincoln’s transcontinental railroad; his signing the first two Civil Rights laws since Reconstruction; the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Defense Education Act in reaction to Sputnik; his refusal to escalate to major involvement in Vietnam and warning his successors, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, to avoid the morass that occurred; and his path breaking Farewell Address, warning of a military industrial complex endangering American democracy and American foreign policy.

Grant was thought of historically as a great General in the Civil War, gaining the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in Virginia to end the Civil War, but as President best remembered for his liquor problems, making him a certifiable alcoholic; massive scandals around his Presidency, typified by the Credit Mobilier Scandals; two Vice Presidents (Schuyler Colfax and Henry Wilson) involved in corruption; and economic hard times leading to the worst economic downturn (the Panic of 1873) until that time, with a massive depression that undermined the majority party outside the South, the Republican Party, and led to the contested Election of 1876.

But in recent years, there has been recognition of Grant promoting racial equality through backing of Congressional Reconstruction in the South and the support of the 15th Amendment and laws against the Ku Klux Klan and additional Civil Rights legislation; promotion of an Indian peace policy very different from earlier and later times; his around the world tour after his Presidency adding to his stature; his amazing Memoirs, written as he was dying of cancer, and still considered a classic work, unsurpassed by any other President; and the deep mourning and honoring of Grant in death, including the commemoration of Grant’s Tomb in New York City in 1897. No one even in 2017 is rating him in the top 20 Presidents, but his rise from very low to middle status is quite an accomplishment, although it is hard to imagine him rising any further.

The question arises whether modern Presidents, including Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Richard Nixon, who have fallen in recent times in the Presidential polls, will yet arise and pass Grant, and knock him down below them in the future. Historians are constantly changing their perceptions of our Chief Executives, and it will continue into the long term future.

Ike’s Farewell Address Being Ignored By Republican Party And Donald Trump 56 Years Later

On this day in 1961, with three days left in office, Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his greatest speech in his Farewell Address, warning America about the dangers of the Military-Industrial Complex.

56 years later, the Republican Party and Donald Trump are totally ignoring this warning, and setting America back to the Gilded Age in domestic policy making, and a dangerous isolationism in foreign policy, alienating all of our NATO allies, and creating an unstable world by the lunatic ideas of a man many are calling Trumpolini!

We are moving into very difficult and tumultuous times, and yet 11 million more people voted against Donald Trump than for him, when one counts the 3 million more votes for Hillary Clinton, and the total of 8 million more votes for third party and independent candidates.

Our Electoral College system has put America into a constitutional crisis, with no idea how it will end.

Progressives must commit themselves to fight endlessly against the extremist right wing government, Fascist in many ways, that is about to take over our government.

We will need to be vigilant about our Bill of Rights, and refuse to sit back and allow horrible actions that are against our entire historical tradition.

The Farewell Address Of Barack Obama: Likely To Be One Of Best And Most Influential In American History

Barack Obama will give the 35th Farewell Address this evening in Chicago, where his career began.

All Presidents, except the eight Presidents who died in office, have given farewell addresses, although Richard Nixon’s final speech was awkward, and not really a Farewell Address.

Grover Cleveland had the chance to do it twice due to two nonconsecutive terms of office.

Most Farewell Addresses have been unmemorable, and one has to wonder what Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy might have said had they lived to retire from the Presidency.

But three Farewell Addresses in particular stand out.

George Washington (speaking out against political parties, and support of avoiding foreign entanglements).

Dwight D. Eisenhower (warning against the Military Industrial Complex dominating).

Jimmy Carter (speaking of the need to deal with the energy crisis, warning of the dangers of nuclear proliferation, and calling for continued pursuit of human rights around the world).

No one would ever say that Washington, Eisenhower, and Carter were great public speakers, but they all spoke words that have reverberated ever since.

Expect tonight that Barack Obama, who is a great public speaker, and has uttered many great speeches, will give a Farewell Address memorable for the ages, as he moves toward being part of history in ten days!

Trump’s Pledge To “Drain The Swamp”? Trump Has More Wall Street Corporate Types And Military Leaders Than Any President Since Eisenhower!

Donald Trump pledged to “drain the swamp” of corporate people having influence on government, and this is the first of his pledges that has been totally ignored.

His Secretary of the Treasury (Steve Mnuchin); Secretary of Commerce (Wilbur Ross); Secretary of State (Rex Tillerson); and Chief Strategist (Stephen K. Bannon) are all from Wall Street or from a leading corporation in the case of Tillerson (Exxon Mobil).

Additionally, he has more military people, including those who are not retired for long, and require special legislative approval to serve—Secretary of Defense (James Mattis); Secretary of Homeland Security (John Kelly); and National Security Adviser (Michael Flynn).

So this is more than ever the “Military-Industrial Complex” that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against in his Farewell Address in January 1961.

This is a danger to American democracy, as the wealthy one percent not only dominate this administration, but also, more than ever, members of Congress, who are overall wealthier than any previous Congress in American history.

Where is the concern for the average middle class or poor American?

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders: Too Good To Be True!

If there is one United States Senator who is truly committed in a full sense to the advancement of the average American, to the working people of America, it is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Sanders, 73 years old and white haired, is a democratic Socialist, and that last word will scare many clueless and ignorant people away from him, thinking he is a dangerous radical, which could not be further from the truth.

Sanders, a Jewish guy from Brooklyn, New York, who moved to Burlington, Vermont, and became its mayor in the 1980s, and then went on to Congress in 1991, has the distinction of being the longest serving Independent member of Congress in its entire history.

Serving in the US House of Representatives for 16 years from 1991-2007, he is now in his second term as a United States Senator, and has won each race for either house of Congress easily over Democrats and Republicans in a state that used to be strongly Republican over the long run of history.

Sanders runs his races on a “dime”, very little campaign funding, but the people of his state KNOW he is truly committed to their advancement, and has always attacked powerful corporations, political corruption, and the military industrial complex.

Sanders is fully committed and genuine in his desire for the advancement of women, minorities, immigrants, gays and lesbians, labor and the environment. He allows no special interests to influence him, and he is a purely authentic politician, and there are very few others in Congress or in government at any level.

He has been considering running for President, but reluctant to ask for financial support, and can only get it or will only accept it from the so called “little” people, and is reluctant to trash his potential opponents in the Democratic Party, including Hillary Clinton.

Therefore, he is uncertain about running, and wonders if his message of progressive principles could gain any headway, and that is a tragedy for America, as Bernie Sanders is precisely what and who we need to deal with the sickness that is American democracy in 2015.

The nation would be blessed by a Bernie Sanders Presidential candidacy, and by the very long shot that he might win, which would be a miracle beyond belief!

53 Years Since Eisenhower “Military-Industrial Complex” Farewell Address

On this day in 1961, three days before leaving the Presidency, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the last military career President we have had, warned of the dangers of the “Military-Industrial Complex” interfering with the basic civil liberties of our nation, and undermining our sense of privacy from government intrusion.

Tragically, that “Military-Industrial Complex” warning has come true, as we have seen surveillance programs by the National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency, on all citizens, due to the fight against terrorism since September 11, 2001.

Barack Obama, who criticized the early stages of this intrusion under George W. Bush, has doubled down on what Bush has done, and expanded it, although today, he is giving a speech offering limitations on such intrusions, without giving up the right and authority of the federal government to continue to do what they have been doing, which was revealed by Edward Snowden.

So the issue of liberty versus security continues to be a divisive issue, which will have a deleterious effect on the legacy and historical image of Barack Obama, with the possibility that, in the long term, he will be given slack by scholars, much like Abraham Lincoln has been treated by many experts, in his violations of civil liberties during the Civil War, 150 years ago, a time when our nation was in equal, if not greater, danger!

Hatred Of JFK Much More In Reality Than Recalled Today

As we come up to the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, it is easy to imagine that JFK was popular, and that the country was united around him.

In reality, there was a lot of hate of our 35th President.

Southern segregationists were furious with him for having taken a strong civil rights stand.

Kennedy was still being attacked for his Catholic faith by many evangelical Christians, who even today do not show any respect for the Pope and the Vatican.

Corporations were furious with JFK for having taken a strong stand against the steel industry price increases in 1962, and the oil industry in Texas was particularly condemnatory of him.

Organized crime was angry with the pursuit of the Mafia by Attorney General Robert Kennedy.

Cuban exiles were angry with JFK over the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion, and unhappy with the survival of Fidel Castro after the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

There was discontent within the FBI and CIA, as to the handling of issues by the Kennedy White House, which was challenging the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower talked about in his Farewell Address, after JFK had allowed himself to be influenced early on by these agencies and their agendas.

This is not to say that JFK was killed due to these opposition forces and hatred, but the point is that the nation was not one of unity around Kennedy, and he faced a daunting task to be reelected.

America was not a nation that was united anymore then, than it is now. We remember JFK fondly more for his tragic death than his ability to unite the American people and various interest groups.

The Military Industrial Complex, The Republican Party, And Hypocrisy!

The Republican Party has always been the major promoter of the Military Industrial Complex, condemned by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his Farewell Address in 1961, but pursued and courted by Republican Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George Bush over the last 45 years of American history.

And Dick Cheney, Vice President under the second Bush, personifies the MIC perfectly!

But now we see Cheney’s daughter, Liz Cheney, who already has thrown her lesbian sister, Mary Cheney, “under the bus” to win bigot votes in Wyoming’s Senate primary, even opposing her own dad and mom on acceptance of gay marriage and their daughter, also coming out against Barack Obama conducting a military strike against Syria for its chemical warfare action against civilians on August 21!

Imagine a Cheney taking such a stand–unbelievable!

But it looks as if most Republicans will vote in Congress against such action, overlooking chemical warfare, which is banned by international treaty of 1925, taking place in Syria.

But then Ronald Reagan overlooked chemical warfare by Saddam Hussein in his nation of Iraq, and against Iran in the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. with the supplies sold for profit with the knowledge of the Reagan Administration!

So the GOP has shown evidence of not caring about war crimes now twice, by Iraq in the 1980s and Syria now!

The Republican Party, therefore, is hypocritical and morally bankrupt, while Barack Obama is principled and a believer in enforcing international law against war crimes!

So what the GOP is doing will undermine its future long term, and it makes one wish to vomit over the lack of principle and common decency in the party, once proud of Lincoln, TR, and Ike!

Bill Maher On Ronald Reagan Two Weeks Ago: Right On The Mark!

Comedian Bill Maher is famous, and infamous, for stating outrageous opinions, and sometimes, he states opinions through humor that one can find unacceptable, or disagree with.

But other times, he is right on the mark, and such case occurred two weeks ago, when he dared to challenge the mythology around President Ronald Reagan.

The Republican Party and conservatives tend to worship the ground that Ronald Reagan walked on, and while interpretations of Reagan will continue to evolve, both positive and negative, what Maher had to say about Reagan in a negative way, makes a lot of sense!

Maher said that Reagan, by his comments and his actions, fit the following profile:

That Reagan was the forerunner of the Tea Party Movement, that he was anti government, that he believed in busting unions, that he was anti abortion, that he was insensitive to gays on the issue of AIDS, that he was anti intellectual, that he cut the taxes of wealthy people while raising taxes on the average middle class person, that he worshiped the military industrial complex, that he believed Medicare was Socialism and that senior citizens were waiting for handouts on the program, that he promoted states rights, that he spread the myth of the welfare queen in Chicago who was black, and that minorities were waiting for the government to support their needs, described the New Deal as Fascism, said that unemployment compensation was a prepaid vacation for freeloaders, that he had no concern for the poor, that he said trees cause pollution, that he promoted hate of government, and that he is the man most responsible for our decline since the high point of the economy and wages in 1973!

Can anyone deny that all of the above is true and factual, based on what Reagan said and did, in and out of the Presidency?