Saddam Hussein

Looking Back 17 Years To September 11, 2001, And This Day A Tuesday, Not To Happen Again Until 2029

It is hard to believe, but it has been 17 years since the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Today is a Tuesday, the actual day of the week of the attack, not to be repeated again until 2029.

America lost whatever innocence it had on that day, when we lost 3,000 innocent human beings, and then lost 4.500 in the unnecessary Iraq War, that was planned as an excuse to go after Saddam Hussein, as well as the endless war in Afghanistan, where we have lost 2,400.

Additionally, about 2,000 firefighters, police, and rescue workers involved in the recovery have died from inhaling dust at the World Trade Center site, and many more are dying of cancer, so soon, we will have more victims in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks domestically, than actually died on that day.

Sadly, Osama Bin Laden, although later tracked down and killed in 2011, has triumphed in dividing the nation into a polarized state, and taken away our freedom and sense of security, under attack not only from terrorists, but also from right wingers who want to destroy our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Their willing ally is President Donald Trump, who wishes to be President for life, and is systematically destroying our rule of law and constitutional order, without any intervention or opposition from the Republican party that nominated him. Now, he is being further assisted by the contested nomination of a Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh, who seems ready to back Trump in any legal action, and prevent prosecution of a President who has committed Treason, and engaged in collaboration with Vladimir Putin of Russia, to fix his election, despite losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.

America is in a constitutional crisis far greater than Watergate and Richard Nixon, with only the Civil War a greater event in its significance, and the crisis must be overcome by patriotic Americans who realize how dangerous Trump is, and MUST elect a Democratic Congress, and start the resistance to what Trump has been doing, in order to save everything decent that America represents.

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!

CNN Reminds Us Of “The Endless Election” Tonight At 9 PM

CNN tonight will have an hour presentation, reminding us of the Presidential Election of 2000, entitled “The Endless Election”.

Many Americans, younger than college age students, have no real memory or knowledge of this transformative election, in which, for the fourth time in American history, the loser of the national popular vote won the Electoral College and the Presidency.

George W. Bush joined John Quincy Adams in the Presidential Election of 1824; Rutherford B. Hayes in the Presidential Election of 1876; and Benjamin Harrison in the Presidential Election of 1888, in that unique circumstance and quirk of the Electoral College system set up by the Founding Fathers at the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

Bush turned out be a major disaster in many ways, including the September 11, 2001 attacks; the decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2003; Hurricane Katrina in 2005; and the Great  Recession of 2008-2009.

No one is saying all of these tragedies would have been avoided with a President Al Gore, but most observers agree that Bush will rank in the bottom ten of all Presidents for the long run.

The idea that “hanging chads” in Florida would cause a 36 day election crisis, until the Supreme Court controversially intervened on a straight party line vote to grant Bush the win in Florida by 537 popular votes, still is upsetting to many, and one has to wonder how the Al Gore contribution to the Presidency would have changed history, and affected America long term!

How Richard Nixon And Ronald Reagan Undermined Lyndon B. Johnson And Jimmy Carter In Presidential Elections Of 1968 And 1980

As one looks back at the 1968 and 1980 Presidential campaigns, evidence has emerged that Republican operatives were involved in manipulations to prevent resolution of the Vietnam War and the Iranian hostage crisis, in order to benefit Republican Presidential nominees Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and undermine their Democratic opponents, Vice President Hubert Humphrey and President Jimmy Carter.  It also prevented Lyndon B. Johnson from gaining an end to the Vietnam War during his administration.

In 1968, it is clear that Republicans behind the scenes worked with South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu to prevent any peace agreement between South Vietnam and North Vietnam, which, had it occurred, likely would have benefited Humphrey, who lost to Nixon in a close race in the popular vote.

In 1980, it is also clear that Republicans behind the scenes worked with the Iranian government of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to delay the release of the hostages taken by Iranian radicals on November 4, 1979, to after the election, which destroyed any chances of Jimmy Carter being reelected, with the Iranians willing to delay the release.

We know that Iran went to war with Iraq in the fall of 1980 during the hostage crisis, and the release of the hostages when Reagan became President was partly due to desire of the Iranians not to get engaged with a more aggressive President, but also led to the Iran-Contra affair during the Reagan Administration, the providing of arms to Iran to assist its war against Iraq and Saddam Hussein in the mid 1980s, something Reagan conveniently “forgot” or was “unaware of”!

America under Reagan was willing to deal with Iran behind the scenes and provide arms, with indications even before the Iran Contra Scandal became known, that arms sales were going on.

So “dirty tricks” by Republicans helped to defeat a Vice President who would have made a great President, and a sitting President, who only now is coming to be appreciated for his contributions!

 

The Modern Republican Myth About Ronald Reagan: He Could Not Be Nominated In 2016!

The modern Republican Party lives by a myth, a deification of the 40th President, Ronald Reagan.

Based on the mean spirit of the Republican Party today and their ignorance of history, Ronald Reagan could NOT be nominated for President in 2016.

Ronald Reagan signed abortion bills as California Governor.

Ronald Reagan had an “11th Commandment”, not attack fellow Republicans, and he was willing to work with a Congress controlled by the opposition Democrats.

Ronald Reagan raised taxes multiple times, in 1982, 1983, and 1986, and made it harder for middle class people, while benefiting the wealthy elite.

Ronald Reagan made a deal with Democratic Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neill to save Social Security, not destroy it.

Ronald Reagan signed an amnesty for three million undocumented or illegal immigrants in 1986.

Ronald Reagan tripled the national debt from about $900 million to $2.6 trillion in his eight years in office.

Ronald Reagan increased the federal bureaucracy by 325,000 workers, after saying he would cut the work force.

Ronald Reagan gave in to terrorism by withdrawing troops from Lebanon after the Beirut bombing of the Marine barracks killed 241 Americans in 1983.

Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union the “Evil Empire”, and then negotiated arms agreements with Mikhail Gorbachev.

Ronald Reagan worked with Saddam Hussein, and hailed the freedom fighters fighting Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, including a guerrilla fighter named Osama Bin Laden.

You can be sure that most Republican voters and most Republican officeholders either do not know the truth about Ronald Reagan, or do not care, but if Reagan was running for office now with these parts of his record in office, he could not be nominated!

 

 

25 Years Since The Middle East Crisis Which Led To Persian Gulf War Against Iraq, Led By President George H. W. Bush

It was 25 years ago this week that Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi dictator, invaded Kuwait and incited US intervention by January 1991, in what became the six week Persian Gulf War.

Iraq had even been supported by the United States during the Iran Iraq War in the 1980s, but it now became the major menace of the Middle East, and forced the United States to intervene, with the backing of Saudi Arabia, which feared it would be the next victim of Iraqi aggression.

So President George H. W. Bush created a United Nations coalition, and with the assistance of General Norman Schwarzkopf, Colin Powell, James Baker, and Dick Cheney, and others, the fear that it would be a long war turned out not to be the case.

The UN went into this war, the first since the Korean War, with the understanding that the goal was to force Iraq out of Kuwait, and nothing more, so Saddam Hussein was able to remain in power, cause more trouble, and lead to another Iraq War, which would go on for many years under his son George W. Bush, and be ended under Barack Obama.

The whole mess in the Middle East became much more complex as a result of all of these circumstances, and helped, as we look back, to the rise of ISIL (ISIS), with not only the continued disarray in Iraq, but also with the revolutions in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and the horrific civil war in Syria.

Despite all these circumstances, George H. W. Bush, now 91, is seen as having done the right thing a quarter century ago, and keeping the limits set up by the United Nations coalition that fought the war in true unity with the United States. It is still one of his greatest accomplishments as President.

25 Years Of The Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26, 1990): Signature Achievement Of George H. W. Bush!

Today marks 25 years since the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act, which has transformed the nation for those with mental and physical disabilities.

It is the signature achievement of President George H. W. Bush, who has lived to see the celebration of a quarter century since the enactment of one of the most important and far reaching civil rights laws in American history!

This accomplishment, along with the prosecution of the Persian Gulf War against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, will always stand out as the major achievements of the 41st President of the United States!

The ADA prohibits discrimination based upon disability. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for disabled employees, and to provide accessibility requirements on public accommodation.

There has been objections to the law from some religious groups, believe it or not, and from some business interests, but the law has been upheld in Supreme Court decisions over the past 25 years.

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, now retired, has been given the primary credit for promoting the legislation through Congress, but fortunately, a bipartisan group in the House of Representatives and the Senate were able to overcome opposition to the legislation, and enact it into law!

George H. W. Bush On His 91st Birthday!

George H. W. Bush, the 41st President, celebrates today his 91st birthday.

Often ignored since he left office, other than his two sons’ electoral victories as Governors of Texas and Florida; George W. Bush’s Presidency; and Jeb Bush’s nascent campaign for President, to be announced on June 15; the elder Bush looks so much better than his two sons at this point of history.

Bush followed Ronald Reagan and preceded Bill Clinton, two men of great oratorical ability and charismatic presence. Both of them are rated higher in Presidential polls of experts and scholars.

However, a new public opinion poll, rating popularity of former living Presidents, places the elder Bush and Bill Clinton in a statistical tie at 64 percent popularity, an amazing fact when one considers that the elder Bush lost reelection to Bill Clinton in 1992, with the second worst defeat of a sitting President for reelection in American history, only surpassing William Howard Taft in the 1912 election.

But as a former President ages, popularity rising is not unusual, and particularly after a President dies, as with Harry Truman.

More books are being published on George H. W. Bush in the last couple of years, and the volume of publication will continue to grow, as history looks kinder on the elder Bush.

We have had more than 22 years pass since his Presidency, and the elder Bush is remembered for:

Winning the Persian Gulf War against Saddam Hussein, and leading the United Nations coalition brilliantly.

Promoting the reunification of Germany, despite many people’s fears that Germany would become a threat to European stability.

Bringing about a dignified end to the Cold War in 1991, by dealing with the falling Mikhail Gorbachev, and his successor Boris Yeltsin in a way that promoted calm in the world.

Advocating a civil rights law for the disabled and handicapped, the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Demonstrating courage in promoting a tax increase after pledging not to raise taxes, as the national and international situation in 1990 required such action.

If Pat Buchanan had not opposed the elder Bush in the Republican primaries in 1992; and if Ross Perot had not run so strongly as an Independent candidate in the Presidential Election of 1992, winning 19 percent of the vote, the elder Bush would have won a second term, and we would not have had Bill or Hillary Clinton as important figures in American history and politics.

So at least, on his 91st Birthday, the elder Bush can feel happy that he has survived long enough to see his popularity soar to 64 percent; to see one son serve as President for eight years, and another son about to try to set a record of three members of the same family serve in the White House.

Imagine if Jeb Bush, somehow, were to become President in 2017. and the elder Bush were to survive another nineteen plus months, and former First Lady Barbara Bush, who just became 90 on June 8, were also to survive!

They would witness two sons becoming President of the United States, surpassing John Adams, who only saw one son, John Quincy Adams, make it to the White House.

Even if one does not like or admire the Bush Family, that would be some magnificent achievement, which would have to be celebrated!

Ronald Reagan: The Unvarnished Truth! Myth Versus Reality!

Ronald Reagan is treated as a saint by the conservative movement and the Republican Party, as a man and a President who could do no wrong, but the truth is otherwise.

Of course, no President and no human being is perfect, and all commit mistakes or show lack of sensitivity, but the point is that the 40th President’s image and historical record needs to come down to earth, on this, the 104th anniversary of his birth, and a quarter century after his leaving office.

So what should Americans and others know about Ronald Reagan, that is not general knowledge?

As California Governor and as President, the issue of mental illness was dealt with by cutting spending, and throwing mental patients onto the streets of America, creating a great increase in homeless population.

As head of the Screen Actors Guild in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Reagan cooperated with the House Unamerican Activities Committee investigation of Communists; worked with Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare; and was an FBI informant for J. Edgar Hoover, all to protect his own image and security as he had been a strong liberal Democrat, and supporter of the New Deal.

Reagan sold illegal arms to Iran, what became known as the Iran-Contra Scandal, as he worked to overthrow the government of Nicaragua, despite Congressional admonitions banning such activities.

Reagan backed the apartheid government of South Africa, despite its horrific violation of human rights, and vetoed a sanctions law, which was passed over his veto in 1986.

Reagan’s Presidency saw the greatest amount of scandals of all sizes, only surpassed by the administrations of Richard Nixon, Ulysses S. Grant, and Warren G. Harding in overall malfeasance.

Reagan’s record on the environment is regarded by scholars as the absolute worst of all Presidents since 1900, and a big letdown after Jimmy Carter, who had one of the top three performances on that issue in American history.

Reagan ignored the AIDS crisis until 1987, and ridiculed the “gay plague”, only taking any interest when young hemophiliac Ryan White, and actor Rock Hudson, were revealed to have the disease in 1985.

Reagan supported backing the groups which fought Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, including such future terrorists as Osama Bin Laden; and also gave support to Saddam Hussein of Iraq in war with Iran, while still supplying arms to Iran.

The high ethical and moral standard said to be part of Reagan’s persona has now been revealed to be inappropriate, as he has been shown to have cheated on his first wife, Jane Wyman, and to have had affairs with dozens of actresses, including Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Doris Day, among many others.

For a man who professed “family values”, Reagan and his wife Nancy ignored their children, Patti and Ron, Jr; and hardly saw their grandchild from Reagan stepson Michael; and hardly ever attended church services, although flirting with the Christian Coalition and Moral Majority of the Reverend Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

So the truth about Ronald Reagan is far from the myth that has been promoted!

The Ugly Month Of August This Year And In History

August is known as the month of the usually greatest heat, and this month is no exception, with the tremendous drought affecting the western half of the nation, especially California.

August is also the month of disastrous hurricanes, as with Andrew in 1992 and Katrina in 2005, as examples.

August is also the month of many wars and provocations, as with:

The British burning of the US Capitol and the White House during the War of 1812.

The outbreak of the First World War in Europe in 1914.

The signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact which led to the beginning of the Second World War in 1939.

The dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, ending World War II in Asia in 1945.

The falsely reported Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964, which led to the escalation of the war in Vietnam under Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in 1990, leading to the Persian Gulf War and the introduction of American troops on a permanent basis in a number of Muslim countries over the next quarter century, provoking a greater level of Islamic terrorism against America and Western Europe.

This August, we have seen racial tensions and division grow over recent killings by law enforcement authorities in St. Louis, Missouri and elsewhere, making us aware that the election of Barack Obama has NOT lessened the race issue in America, and has made us aware of the militarization of the police forces, with equipment returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And we have become fully aware, finally realizing the threat from ISIL (ISIS), after the death of journalist James Foley, and it forecasts an escalation of involvement in the Middle East, adding to the fuel already created by the Gaza War between Israel and the Hamas Palestinian terrorist group which controls the Gaza Strip.

So again, August keeps its horrible reputation as a month full of tragedy and disaster, although clearly, every month has its share of these, but August does seem to have more than its fair share!