Saudi Arabia

Donald Trump Dealt Defeat On Muslim Immigration Ban: Victory For The Constitution And American Democracy!

Donald Trump has been dealt a stinging defeat by a three member 9th Circuit Appeals Court, with one judge appointed by George W. Bush, one by Jimmy Carter, and one by Barack Obama, and this after a district judge, appointed by George W. Bush, had put a hold on Trump’s Executive Order establishing a travel ban, which is really a Muslim ban from seven nations, none of which have sent terrorists to America, while Saudi Arabia, as an example, has sent the 9 11 terrorists, but was not on the list.

It is clear that any nation that is Muslim but which Trump has business dealings with will never be on the list. This has caused tremendous consternation, inconvenience, and personal torment for many decent people who have been blocked from entering the United States for no good reason, but Trump has no empathy or compassion, and is clearly making a grab for dictatorial power.

This is a dangerous attempt to acquire absolute power, and it must be stopped cold by the Supreme Court, which it seems, assuredly, will happen.

This judicial intervention is a victory for the Constitution and American democracy!

Trump is a Fascist, a danger to our Constitution and our civil rights and civil liberties, and massive marches are continuing, and Republicans are getting the Town Hall treatment that Tea Party people gave Democrats right after Barack Obama was inaugurated.

It now seems possible that the Republicans, who cannot come up with a solution to ObamaCare, and are endangering so many of our accomplishments in the years from FDR through LBJ and beyond, could lose seats, and maybe control, if this discontent with them and Trump continues to evolve.

The country needs to stop this far right extremism desperately!

Donald Trump After One Week: Totally Unstable, Incomprehensible, Unpredictable, And Danger To The Reputation Of The Presidency

Donald Trump has been in office just one week, and it has been a week of horrors!

A case could be made that he has taken extreme actions with his executive orders, and that he should be subjected to impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors.

How is this so?

He has endangered the health and well being of 20 million people, who are in danger of losing their health care.

He has set out to destroy all environmental advancements of previous administrations, and to take away the rights of native Americans for a safe water supply, and seems ready to prevent any action on the imminent threat of climate change on the American future.

He is undermining US-Mexican relations with his promotion of immediate action on a Mexican Wall, and threatening action against Mexico to pay for a wall that they do not support or want.

He has issued a blanket ban on seven nations’ nationals entering the United States, including people with green cards and proper vetting on their way to the US, in airports and prevented from entering the nation, even when many endangered their own lives to help the US effort against Al Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS). Innocent people are being mistreated, and religious persecution against Muslims is being promoted, and yet from Islamic nations, including Saudi Arabia, are allowed in. Realize it was Saudi nationals who caused September 11, but Trump has business interests in those nations, so bribery is going on.

He has consorted with Vladimir Putin of Russia, who clearly interfered in the US Presidential election, and Trump is ready to end US Sanctions placed on Russia for seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, endangering NATO, the European Union, and military security of all of Europe.

He has broken the Immigration Law of 1965 which bans discrimination against immigrants of any national origin, or of picking on any religion and victimizing them.

He has threatened basic civil liberties and civil rights of all Americans, violating the First Amendment.

He is promoting a war of one religion against another, and white supremacy.

He is moving toward massive deportation, unprecedented in numbers, in American history.

He has engaged in behavior that marks him as totally unstable, incomprehensible, unpredictable, and a danger to the reputation of the Presidency.

He can be seen as a Fascist demagogue who is setting out to destroy historical tradition and accomplishments, and he must be stopped!

He has engaged in abuse of power, bribery, treason, obstruction of justice, and perjury for his endless statements that are lies and deceitful, and should face impeachment.

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.

A President For Peace, And A Congress For War: Reminiscences Of The War Of 1812 Two Hundred Years Later

Tow hundred years ago, we had a President, who was very intelligent, and wanted to avoid war with a major power, which was actually the most powerful nation on earth.

James Madison wished to avoid conflict with Great Britain, arguably more of a threat than Barack Obama faces with the danger of war with Iran.

James Madison had a “War Hawk” Congress, headed by Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, and others who wanted war, and thought they could take control of Canada away from Great Britain.

The result was a disastrous war, which luckily, Great Britain chose to end, once they had defeated Napoleon Bonaparte in Europe.

Now Barack Obama has been able to bring about, through Secretary of State John Kerry, an agreement with the potential for a prevention of a nuclear Iran for the next fifteen years, an agreement that the six major powers have joined in, and would support enforcement if Iran breaks the agreement.

The complication is that Israel wants to prevent the agreement and go to war, a war that would become a disaster without any definite way forward toward victory, as what would be victory in the first place? And it might antagonize the Sunni Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, which is much more of a totalitarian dictatorship, and much more backward in the way they treat their population, than Iran. But are we in America to be dictated to by Saudi Arabia or Israel in making our foreign policy, when we have always been there for both nations in any crisis?

Barack Obama now faces a “war” party, the Republicans, who are hell bent on another war, which would cause massive casualties, an addition of another trillion in the national debt, and more veterans expenses when we do not provide adequately for our veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan and earlier wars now in 2015!

Leave it to John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio et al to force us into another war that we can ill afford or want! They fail to realize that Iran is a much larger nation territorially and population wise than Iraq, Afghanistan, or Vietnam was when we engaged in those wars. And their young population is heavily pro-American, and the potential for change in Iran’s government, while hard to imagine, is clearly on the horizon, as it was in the Soviet Union, but if the hawks win their way, we will turn the entire population of that nation against America and the West long term, rather than the 36 years of hostility that have existed between Iran and America since 1979.

The alternative of war is always available if needed, but better to try to avoid war and accomplish the goal of controlling Iran through diplomacy and international cooperation of other nations, than go it alone and drag America into a war that no sane person should want!

The Wartime Presidency: From James Madison To Barack Obama

Now that it seems evident that America is to be engaged in a long drawn-out war against ISIL (ISIS), it means that we can expect the war to last possibly a generation, 20 years, and affect every Presidential election from 2016 through at least 2032.  It will also transform the Congress, and change the direction of American history, and it comes at a terrible time, as we have greater inequities economically now than even in the Gilded Age of the late 19th century.

But national security and defense always trump anything else, inevitably and necessarily!

So Barack Obama, who came into office determined to end the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars started by George W. Bush, is to be the promoter of a new war, against his desire.

So this is a good time to reflect on how many Presidents have chosen or been forced  to wage war!

James Madison reluctantly took America through the War of 1812, often depicted as “The Sorry Little War”, which led to the burning of the US Capitol and the White House by the invading British forces.

James K. Polk willingly took us through the Mexican War, leading to the acquisition of the American Southwest and California.

Abraham Lincoln took us into the Civil War, believing there was no alternative to “preserve the Union”.

William McKinley was convinced that the Spanish American War was a moral cause, and it led to the development of the “American Empire” in an age of expansionism and imperialism.  He also waged war to force the Philippines to accept American overlordship, after being “liberated” by the United States from Spanish control.

Theodore Roosevelt continued the fight against the Filipino revolutionaries, in what was well hidden for years and not taught in schools below the college level,, but was known to history as the Filipino Insurrection.

Woodrow Wilson took us into the First World War, after trying to avoid direct involvement for more than two years.

Franklin D. Roosevelt took us into the Second World War against Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan,  after isolationists bitterly opposed  such entrance, but forced by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor,  Hawaii.

Harry Truman continued our engagement in the Second World War, and used the atomic bomb against Japan, but also took us into the Korean War.

Dwight D. Eisenhower continued US involvement in the Korean War for the fist six month of his Presidency.

John F. Kennedy escalated our involvement in Vietnam, from 2,000 “advisers”under Eisenhower,  to over 16,500 Green Beret Special Forces by the time he was assassinated.

Lyndon B. Johnson massively escalated our involvement in Vietnam, reaching a grand total of 549.500 troops in 1968.

Richard Nixon continued the Vietnam War for four long years, causing a massive split in the nation, not seen since the Civil War.

George H. W. Bush took us into the Persian Gulf War, to force Iraq’s Saddam Hussein from keeping control of Kuwait, and being a threat to Saudi Arabia.

George W. Bush took us into war in Iraq and also in Afghanistan, and they became the longest wars in American history.

Barack Obama inherited both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, and ended our involvement in Iraq, and is soon to end involvement in Afghanistan.  But now the war against ISIL (ISIS) is forecast to last a generation!

So 15 Presidents were commanders in chief in wartime, and this does not include invasions or bombings,  or undeclared naval wars, or wars against Native Americans!

The ISIL (ISIS) Threat To The Western World Is Real! Far Greater Than The Soviet Union During The Cold War!

The horrible news emerging that a Western journalist, who had been captured two years ago, has been beheaded, with the disgusting video broadcast with a threat to the United States and the Western world, is yet another alarm bell in the night, warning of the successful spread of the worst Islamic terrorist group in existence, ISIL, also known as ISIS.

This terrorist group has taken over portions of Iraq and Syria, and has declared a Caliphate. It has declared war on Shiite Muslims, including those in Iraq and, most notably in Iran, as well as against Christians, Jews, and all minority religious groups in the Fertile Crescent, and by implication against Saudi Arabia and other Sunni nations that oppose their wave of vicious terrorism. Even Al Qaeda, which brought about September 11, has denounced them and their tactics, including mass murder, rape of women, beheading of children, and destruction of mosques and historic sites.

This is organized insanity, with a threat to the United States and the Western world unmatched in danger since World War II and Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Those that would say the Soviet Union during the Cold War was an equal threat forget that Communism was not based on religion, and in fact, was atheistic, and that the Russians wanted to triumph, but were not suicidal as many of these Islamic terrorist are. So when they saw they could not win, despite much stress and tensions, they stepped back from the brink of destructive war, as in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

Imagine that we could see the Cold War as not as dangerous as Islamic terrorism in the second decade of the 21st century, but this threat from ISIL (ISIS) requires that America do something they cannot imagine, after being sick of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That is, the Western world must unite against this dire threat, and it will require military action, and it makes one wonder how we are going to afford it, and also deal with domestic needs!

It is enough to make one scream, that we cannot seem to avoid war and military operations overseas, and this author was opposed to the war in Vietnam, the war in Iraq, and had doubts about the war in Afghanistan, while supporting the Persian Gulf War against Saddam Hussein.

But what choice do we have, as it is estimated that 100 Americans have gone over to fight for ISIL (ISIS), and maybe a thousand Europeans have done the same, and these trained terrorists can likely return to their home countries and wage war on Western civilization! The US and the European nations are in dire danger, with these terrorists ready to sacrifice themselves in their cause, reminding us of the Kamikaze pilots of Japan in the waning days of World War II!

So it will be necessary for President Obama to abandon his view that we can and must avoid conflict with ground troops in the Middle East, and accept the reality that this time, whatever the past criticisms, we MUST intervene with other nations and fight the ISIL (ISIS) group, as if we do not, there is more certainty of their infiltration of American and European nations to the detriment of all decent people!

Foreign Policy And The Republican Party: Time For Jon Huntsman, NOT Rand Paul Nor Dick Cheney Viewpoint!

Foreign policy is tearing the Republican Party into factions, nothing really new, as the same situation arose in the time of World War II and the Cold War.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is calling for a return to military options in the Iraq mess, with much of the nation being take over by Sunni Muslims, establishing Sharia Law and slaughtering Shiite Muslims, and also endangering Iraq’s neighbors, including Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and alarming Shiite Iran.

This whole mess was caused by the US intervention in Iraq in 2003, based on false premises promoted by Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives, who want a similar intervention now to overcome ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), a group even rejected by Al Qaeda as too violent and extremist!

This is a nightmare in the making, and also threatens Israel, and is bound to lead to a wider war in the Middle East very soon, as it is believed ISIS is not content to gain control of Iraq.

So along comes Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, often called an isolationist, who is against any intervention in the Middle East, and blames the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney administration for the present mess, rather than Barack Obama for having withdrawn all military forces at the end of 2011. But Rand Paul is seen by many as having no clue to foreign policy issues.

So one might wonder: Where can Republicans turn to for a rational, reasonable, intelligent foreign policy, not based on the advice of neoconservatives and Dick Cheney, but also not isolationist like Rand Paul?

The answer is former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, who has the ONLY extensive foreign policy experience of any potential GOP nominee for President in 2016. No one is paying attention, because Huntsman is seen as not conservative enough, not Tea Party backed, not sufficiently anti Obama.

The only hope for the Republicans in 2016, however, is for them to overcome their divisions, and unite around Jon Huntsman as the only legitimate nominee, who is sensible, sane, and also able to deal with “real world” situations in the world, without the extreme reaction of the neoconservatives and Dick Cheney, or the isolationism of Rand Paul!

But will the GOP be smart enough to realize this? The betting odds are, sadly for them, and for the nation, NO!

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!

America’s Defense Budget More Than 13 Other Nations Combined!

America’s defense budget is over $600 billion per year, more than the next 13 nations combined, and one can be sure that the intelligence agencies, all 16 of them, are not included in this total, as their budgets, and in many cases their actual existence, are a deep dark secret!

China, by comparison spends one sixth of our defense budget annually, about $100 billion, for a nation with four times the population of the United States.

The other countries on the list include Russia, Great Britain, Japan, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, India, Brazil, South Korea, Australia, Iran, and Italy.

The military budget is far higher than it was during the Cold War, and too much is being spent on nuclear weapons, and weapons systems that will never, in reality, be used.

But the Pentagon budget has long been one of massive cost overruns, and corruption by corporations that produce our war goods, and meanwhile the one half of one percent spent on “welfare” is being targeted for massive cuts by the Paul Ryan GOP Budget!

It is time for smart spending on defense, not massive waste at the cost of basic decency for our poorest citizens in a country that likes to think it is the most advanced in the world, but yet is too ready to sacrifice “social spending” in the name of mindless defense spending!

The Barack Obama–Raul Castro Handshake: Much Ado Over Nothing!

While at the Nelson Mandela commemoration in South Africa, Barack Obama had an opportunity to meet dozens of world leaders, some of them from democracies, and some from dictatorships.

Unfortunately, dictatorships are much more common historically and in contemporary times, than are democracies.

Richard Nixon went to China and met Mao Tse Tung.

Dwight D. Eisenhower met Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at Camp David, and John F. Kennedy met Khrushchev in Vienna.

Ronald Reagan met Afghan freedom fighters, who later became involved in promoting terrorism, including September 11.

John McCain met Moammar Gaddafi of Libya, and shook his hand.

Donald Rumsfeld met Saddam Hussein of Iraq as a emissary from Ronald Reagan.

Also, many Presidents have bowed to royal leaders, including George W. Bush with the King of Saudi Arabia, and many Presidents with the Emperor of Japan and the Queen of England.

Never was such a big deal made of these handshakes or discussions, and even summits, until suddenly, Barack Obama became President!

When he met Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, it was the worst crime of the century to the right wing whackos!

Now, Obama shook the hand of Raul Castro, who has made it clear that he is leaving power in 2018, when he will be 87, and his brother Fidel Castro, will be 92, if either is still alive.

There will be a successor government in Cuba within a few years, and there is always the chance that Cuba could undergo change and reform, and in fact, already has developed capitalism and private property, as China, for instance, has done.

Has our government, under Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, refused to deal with “evil” governments? NO in the modern era, and we are talking with Iran and North Korea at times, so why not Cuba?

After 55 years, has the embargo on Cuba changed anything in that island nation? NO, as it unites the government with its population, who are the true victims of the American blockade!

Do we blockade trade and contact with other nations of much greater importance? The answer is NO, but apparently, we must cater to three million Cuban Americans, and their leadership in the Republican Party, when it benefits no one, and is a failed policy!

It is time for rapprochement with Cuba, so that we can have an effect on its future. This is the time to start such development of relations, and forget the lobbying of right wing groups and Marco Rubio, who have no interest in planning for the future without a Castro in power!