Nuclear War

Are We On The Brink Of A Nuclear War, Or Another Massive Infusion Of Troops In The Korean Peninsula, As In 1950?

Today is Easter, and any sensible person is on tenterhooks as we seem to be on the brink of a nuclear war, or another massive infusion of troops in the Korean Peninsula, due to the crazy North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, striving to be a threat to the United States mainland and to his Asian Pacific neighbors.

Kim Jong Un is unstable, unpredictable, mercurial, dangerous, reckless–but so is our President, Donald Trump.

Trump seems to be on an ego trip over his bombing of a Syrian airfield, and the MOAB (Mother Of All Bombs) dropped on an ISIL (ISIS) stronghold in Afghanistan in the past week.

Military leaders are running the show, while Trump says the North Korean issue will be settled one way or the other.

The ratcheting up of rhetoric on both sides is terrifying, and it means we have the possibility of all out war coming, either by use of nuclear weapons for the first time since World War II, or more likely, a massive infusion of American troops into the Korean Peninsula after an expected North Korean invasion of South Korea, and the raining down of missiles on Seoul, the capital of South Korea, with more than 10 million people, by the North Korean regime.

If a ground war develops, we could see massive loss of life on the part of South Koreans, and Japan is also in danger, as well as the 28,000 American troops already present in South Korea, the reminder that we have had troops in South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

So 64 years later, nearly two thirds of a century, we may be soon engaging in another major war, which could, if things do not go well, lead to the decision to restart the military draft of young Americans, even though there has been no draft since 1973, and only registration required since 1980.

There is no question of the threat of North Korea, but to have an unstable egomaniac in Donald Trump dealing with this, instead of the sane and experienced Hillary Clinton, is a true concern.

Donald Trump had said he wished to put “America First”, and not engage in foreign wars, and yet now, he seems likely to engage in a war with North Korea, that will not easily be won, along with hints of ground troops in Syria, causing a confrontation with Russia and Vladimir Putin.

We must recall that the Korean War was not won, but was simply a truce, and there are no simple answers to this crisis, but we can sense military leadership taking over from civilian leadership, as Trump allows Secretary of Defense James Mattis and National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster to make final decisions on intervention that could undermine the nature of our democracy for the long term.

Let us not forget that when we commit troops to foreign war, in an age of no draft, who are the victims? They are primarily poor whites, as well as racial minorities, who commit themselves to a military career as the best alternative of occupation in a nation that has a growing poverty level, and the rich getting ever richer while the middle class sinks.

Instead of spending another $50 billion on defense, we should be spending on domestic needs, as we already have a bigger defense budget than the next eight nations combined.

Donald Trump And North Korea

The latest reports about Donald Trump indicate plans to resolve the North Korean problem in an extreme way that could lead to nuclear war.

One plan is to send nuclear missiles to South Korea, upping the ante of possible nuclear war directly on the population of North Korea, but 25 million South Koreans within range of the North Korean army, the fourth largest military in the world.

Another plan is to remove Kim Jon Un from power altogether.

But while the latter possibility sounds good on the surface, and is comparative to the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011 under President Barack Obama’s administration, it is really NOT a similar scenario.

Osama bin Laden was not the leader of a government, an organized state.

Kim Jong Un, as crazy and dangerous as he is, IS the leader of a government, and the possibility of a massive invasion of South Korea, as in the Korean War of 1950-1953 is alarming.

Let us not forget that 33,000 Americans died in the Korean War, and a hundred thousand were wounded, and the war dragged on for three years and one month.

Let us also not forget that officially it is against international law to assassinate foreign leaders, although the United States has done that before, either directly or indirectly, as for instance in Chile in 1973, under Richard Nixon, as just one example.

The thought of the US using nuclear weapons, when the only time it occurred, was against Japan at Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II, is horrifying.

But there is no question of the complexity of the North Korean threat, which experts say within a few years could target Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the state of Hawaii, along with the threat to Japan and South Korea.

The question is whether we have a sane, balanced President to deal with this issue, and there is much doubt and trepidation about that.

Donald Trump: The Bully In International Affairs, Threatening Wars, And Harming Relationships With Our Long Time Allies

Donald Trump, in less than two weeks, has become the bully in international affairs, threatening wars with Iran, Mexico, China, and ISIL, while harming long term relationships with allies, including Germany, Great Britain, Canada, and Australia.

His foreign policy approach is totally shocking, and he is rapidly becoming the number one international menace, only being close to two “friends”, it seems, to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Yes, I said Netanyanu, who has often acted like a bully in his dealings with Barack Obama, and is cozying up to Donald Trump, in a manner that insures probably collaboration in a major war against Iran, as well as the Palestinians, events which will, if they occur, undermine the image of Israel among both non Jews and Jews in America.

The Jewish community has always been divided over the right wing government of Israel, and the fact that extremist right wing evangelicals ally with the government of Israel should be seen as dangerous and a warning sign, as these extremist Christian groups believe in a holy war against 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, when the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful, and are not ideologues or terrorists.

When one hears Donald Trump talk about violence and bloodshed of some religious fanatics, which is certainly true, he conveniently forgets the history and the present situation of extremist Christians, who have a very condemnatory history over two millenniums against Jews, Muslims, native Americans, and colonial populations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. One can also point out the mistreatment of women and gays by many extremist Christian religious groups.

Meanwhile, undermining our alliances with NATO and with a great ally such as Australia is a disaster in the making, which will leave us with no friends when a crisis arises.

There is only one answer—the quick, forced removal of Donald Trump from the Presidency, who could start a nuclear war on a whim!

Donald Trump Ups The Ante On Nuclear War, Abandoning Direction Since Ronald Reagan

A very worrisome development is the tweet from Donald Trump, indicating his plans to build up the nuclear weapons capacity of the the United States, defying policy since Ronald Reagan negotiated with Mikhail Gorbachev in the late 1980s.

The purpose has been to lower the danger of nuclear war, but now Trump, in reaction to Vladimir Putin’s reckless statement, has similarly reacted, upping the ante on the possibility of a reaction that could destroy the human race.

There has been concern all along that Donald Trump is too unhinged and careless, to be given the nuclear codes, since he is very thin skinned, and reacts badly to every criticism and attack, many of which he should simply ignore, but he does not have the ability to overlook anything said against him by anyone.

This is not a good Christmas and New Year’s gift to the nation or the world, and makes the upcoming inauguration on January 20, 2017, not one that will be widely celebrated in a nation where Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, won a massive popular victory nearing 3 million, more than 11 Presidents have won out of 44 in our history.

Giant Historical Figure Fidel Castro Dies, A Transformative Figure, With Great Negative Impact On The World!

Fidel Castro of Cuba, the most significant figure in Latin America in the 20th Century, and one of the most vicious dictators of modern times, passed away at age 90 on Friday.

He left behind a legacy of a brutal dictatorship, which while making some improvements in health care and education, took away any semblance of civil liberties and civil rights, and imprisoned, tortured, and murdered dissidents in great numbers over more than a half century of rule.

Castro was the longest lasting leader of modern times, with only Queen Elizabeth II of England having come to office about seven years before Castro took over the capital of Cuba, Havana, on New Years Day 1959.

Who would have thought that someone who came to power on the island of Cuba, which had been a playground for wealthy Americans, under the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, at a time when this author was in high school, would last in power for a half century, and then be replaced by his younger brother, Raul Castro, a decade ago, and still rules?

Castro became the dire enemy of the Unites States, and Cuban exiles fleeing to Florida in 1959-1960 and again in 1980 (the Mariel Boat Lift) and constant escapes since then, have affected the history and politics of Florida and the Republican Party, with Cuban Americans flocking to support of the party after John F. Kennedy failed in his attempt to remove Castro from power in the Bay of Pigs Fiasco in April 1961. This made Cuban Americans the one Hispanic group that would refuse to support the Democratic Party, as many Cuban Americans saw JFK as a Communist for failing to succeed to remove Castro. This led to the most dangerous moment in the Cold War years, as Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Union’s leader, formed an alliance with Castro, who had declared himself a Communist, and installed Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, with the Cuban Missile Crisis bringing the world closer to the danger of a nuclear war than any other event in history before or since. Only with the cool headed leadership of JFK was nuclear war averted.

Castro was a maniacal figure, who also abused the rights of gays and lesbians in Cuba, and initiated aggression overseas by supporting national liberation movements in Latin America and Africa, and the people of Cuba suffered economically under his five decade rule. Few more influential and significant dictators have existed, and those he is often compared with–including Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Benito Mussolini–only lasted 25, 12 and 21 years compared to his 47 plus years.

The question is how Cuba will evolve now, with brother Raul Castro, age 85, having said he will leave power in February 2018, only 14 months away, and also how Donald Trump will react to the death of Fidel Castro, after Barack Obama had begun new relations with Cuba in 2015.

Barack Obama Visit To Hiroshima Reminds Us Of Dangers Of Nuclear War, And Of Unstable Donald Trump Having Nuclear Codes!

Barack Obama’s visit today to Hiroshima, the site of the first atomic bomb attack on August 6, 1945, was a sobering moment.

Obama did not apologize for the attack initiated by the orders of President Harry Truman, but he spoke of the horrors of over 140,000 people dying from that event, and the aftermath of thousands dying from exposure to nuclear radiation there, and at Nagasaki three days later.

He spoke of the concern over the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the threat to the peace and tranquility of the world in the long term future.

While he did not say anything about Donald Trump at Hiroshima, it was clear there is, and should be, great concern over the thought of an unstable, egomaniacal, narcissistic Donald Trump ever having control of the nuclear codes, which would occur if he was elected President in November.

The world faces not only the threat of Kim Jong Un of North Korea and the Iranian government possibly breaking the agreement it has with the United States and five European powers about avoiding the development of nuclear weapons potential, but also that we could face a person in power who would be a threat to the entire world, or own potential future President!

70th Anniversary Of Hiroshima Atomic Bombing

Today, August 6, is the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, followed on August 9 by the bombing of Nagasaki, with the total loss of life estimated to be up to 250,000 human beings.

There had been firebombing of Dresden, Germany and Tokyo, Japan earlier, causing even more loss of life, but something about the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima and Nagasaki stood out as the ultimate destructive symbol.

The Atomic Age had begun, and ever since, the world has had to be concerned about the dangers of a nuclear war. First was the danger of conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War, most specifically in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, but generally a problem all along. Then the danger of nuclear proliferation with China, India, and Pakistan getting the bomb; and more recently the threat of North Korea and, presently, Iran, have led to alarm about the future.

Many praise President Harry Truman for utilizing the Atomic Bomb, as it saved many American and British, and possibly, homeland Japanese lives.

But others have seen what Truman did as immoral, unethical, and unconscionable.

This caused a controversy when the Smithsonian Institution canceled an exhibit in 1995 on the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombing, due to protests of veterans.

Now, there are very few veterans of the events of World War II in Asia still alive, and very few survivors of the atomic bombing left to testify on the effect on their lives, although there have been many oral histories and studies done of the subject.

This is a moment to pause and remember the victims; the sacrifices of our soldiers; and to pray that, hopefully, never again will any nation utilize nuclear weapons against any rival, as the monstrosity of nuclear war today is so much greater than the comparatively “small” bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The World In Chaos: Not Unlike Past History, So Keep Things In Perspective!

In the summer of 2014, the world seems in chaos, and for those of us who are alive, it seems as if these are the worst times in human history, but it is far from being so, and far from being unique!

Remember the Cold War Years of 1945-1991, when it often seemed as if nuclear war and total destruction would occur!

Ask those who lived through the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the rise of Fascism, Nazism, and Imperial Japan, and the total devastation of World War II, with the resultant mass loss of life!

Examine the turmoil and anarchy of World War I, and its dramatic effects on the world and America!

Study the period of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars during the quarter century from 1789-1815, and its effect on the nations of Europe and their colonies!

Investigate the turmoil of the wars between England and France, and the religious wars between Catholics and Protestants all over Europe in the year from 1500-1789!

Explore the Hundred Years War period, and the Crusades of the Medieval and Early Modern period of Europe and the Middle East!

Learn about the wars of ancient times in the Roman Republic and Empire; the Greek City States and the conquests of Alexander the Great; and the Egyptian Empire!

When one has studied and reflected on the historical record, one realizes that human history has been one of constant crisis, chaos, and often anarchy, and no less now than before!

So we face the crisis between Russia and Ukraine; the Middle East conflict between Israel and the Palestinians; the struggle for dominance in the Islamic world between Sunnis and Shiites; the nuclear threat of Iran; the Syrian Civil War; the Afghanistan War; the threat of Islamic extremism on nuclear power Pakistan; the disintegration of government and stability in Central America, leading to the migration of women and children to the American border in the American Southwest; the constant saber rattling of renegade North Korea; the growing influence and aggressiveness of China in its “neighborhood’; and the constant threat of terrorist acts anywhere and everywhere in the world of 2014!

No President can solve all of these problems, as no matter who resides in the White House, we are only able to do the best we can to react to events, as we do not shape them, but also with the need to recognize our limitations to shape the world in America’s image!

60th Anniversary Of Castro Revolution In Cuba: What Is The Future?

60 years ago on this day, Fidel Castro led a failed attempt to seize an army barracks, which is marked as the beginning of his revolutionary uprising against Fulgencio Batista, leading after five and a half years of struggle to his seizure of power in Havana on January 1, 1959.

Fidel Castro gave up power due to medical problems in 2006, after 47 plus years of leadership, but his brother Raul succeeded him, and the Castro dynasty is still in power in Cuba after 54 and a half years, and Fidel Castro will be 87 years of age nest month, and is reported in good health.

Fidel Castro, as evil a man as he is, will go down as the most significant Latin American government leader of the past century of history, with only Juan Peron of Argentina a weak second behind him.

The effect of Cuba on the international scene has been massive, considering the fact that Cuba never made a dent in world affairs before Castro, and we nearly had nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union 51 years ago, a year and a half after a failed American attempt to use Cuban exiles to overthrow him in the Bay of Pigs fiasco!

And our domestic politics has been profoundly affected by the loyalty of the few million Cuban Americans to the Republican Party, making them a distinct Hispanic group in their political behavior, particularly in Florida!

We have also seen three Cuban US Senators–Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Ted Cruz of Texas–who have a great impact in the US Senate, as well as a few in the House of Representatives. Menendez is the lone Cuban Democrat who has made it to a prominent position, Chairman of The Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The question is what will happen when Fidel and Raul Castro leave the scene, at least officially in 2018, according to the plans of Raul Castro to retire. How will Cuba evolve, and how will the United States react to change in Cuba? Will democracy develop in Cuba or come about by a new revolution, or will the Castro influence and Communism persist in Cuba?

This island, just 90 miles from the Florida Keys, will become the center of world politics again very soon, and what happens there will affect America domestically and in foreign affairs for the long term future, just as it has for the past six decades!

The Castro brothers have managed to survive in power through the terms of 11 Presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama! It is an amazing story just by that reality!

From JFK And The Cuban Missile Crisis To Barack Obama And Al Qaeda, Iraq, And Libya: Statesmanship Personified

49 years ago today, President John F. Kennedy informed the nation about the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Now, 49 years later, President Barack Obama was able to tell us in the past few months that leading Al Qaeda figures (Osama Bin Laden and Anwar al Awlaki) had been neutralized; that our involvement in the Iraq War is finally coming to an end by Christmas; and that Libya has finally been liberated from its war criminal despot, Moammar Gaddafi.

Is there a link between these two Presidents nearly a half century apart? Absolutely, as in both cases, we have seen wisdom, good judgment, and statesmanship, characteristics all too rare.

Kennedy decided NOT to launch a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union or a direct hit on missile bases in Cuba, but instead to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the greatest crisis of the nuclear age after starting a naval blockade.

Obama, often considered not ready for crisis leadership, has successfully overcome terrorist threats and eliminated leading terrorists; has brought about a final end to involvement in Iraq, a war we did not need to fight; and cooperated with NATO allies in liberating Libya, at a low cost of about $2 billion, and NO American casualties.

Both Presidents have demonstrated strong, assertive leadership in ways that should be emulated by future Presidents. When one engages in war, one must be careful and cautious, and recognize international cooperation promotes a better result than being a LONE RANGER, out to swagger and flaunt American power, without concern as to how the international community perceives the United States.

Hopefully, the age of George W. Bush is a bad memory that will not be repeated by future Presidents, but the lack of insights by the Republican Presidential field is troubling as a sign that we may be in danger of moving away from the statesmanship represented by these two Democratic Presidents, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama.

This is an issue that MUST become a major part of the Presidential Election of 2012, the qualifications and views of the Republican contenders to lead our nation into an uncertain future in international relations.

With foreign policy to be the center of the next presidential debate in November, it is time that the nation focus on and realize that economic policy is not the only consideration in the selection of the next President. We need a statesman on the level of JFK or Obama, and the prognosis to find such a person in the Republican field (outside of maybe Jon Huntsman) is NOT promising.