Second World War

April 12, One Of Most Historic Days On Calendar: 1861, 1945, 1961

Every day on the calendar, historically, has had some interesting event occur, but April 12 is an unusually historic day worth remembering.

Three path breaking events occurred on April 12.

In 1861, the attack by South Carolina on the US fort, Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, occurred, the first shots of the Civil War.

In 1945, the greatest President of the 20th century, and the President who has had the greatest impact on us of any President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, died in Warm Springs, Georgia, thrusting Harry Truman into the Presidency at a time of great challenge, with the Second World War not yet ended, and the challenge to overcome Japan in Asia still ahead of us.

FDR did more for America domestically than any President, and much of what he accomplished is now under attack by the Trump Administration.

At the same time, Truman, despite questions about his competence to become our President, proved his ability to take on the responsibility, and is now rated 5th or 6th among all of our Presidents, while FDR is rated 2nd or 3rd greatest.

And in 1961, exactly a century after Fort Sumter, the Space Age began, as far as manned space exploration, with Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union being the first astronaut to orbit the earth, and now further space exploration is in the offing.

To have the Civil War start on this day; the promoter of the New Deal to cope with the Great Depression, and also the Second World War President, FDR, to die on this day; the accession to power of Harry Truman; and the inception of the Space Age—all on this day, makes April 12 a special day in the historical calendar!

Bully, Narcissistic Donald Trump And Tough Talk Toward North Korea: Reckless Rhetoric Threatens Massive Asian War We Are Not Prepared For!

April has arrived, and Bully, Narcissistic Donald Trump has showed how reckless and dangerous he is, as he promotes tough talk toward North Korea, rhetoric that threatens a massive Asian war that America is not prepared for.

Trump has no understanding of foreign policy or world affairs, and is rapidly antagonizing our friends in the world, as well as our enemies.

He has been insulting toward Great Britain, Germany, Australia, Mexico, Canada, and even China, whose leader he is hosting this Thursday and Friday at his estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

How that meeting with China will work out is problematical, as China has already made clear that it will not be intimidated by Trump in any sense.

Trump wants China to crack down on Kim Jong Un of North Korea, as if they are able to do such, but do not expect much movement in this direction.

Trump has now said that if China does not cooperate with America, that we will settle the North Korean issue ourselves.

Really? Does Trump know what he is saying? Has he forgotten the Korean War, the massive invasion of North Korea into South Korea in June 1950, leading to a three year stalemate that caused the deaths of 33,000 Americans?

Does he know that an invasion now by North Korea would threaten the millions of Koreans in South Korea who live in Seoul, about a hour from the 38th parallel?

And what about the 28,000 US soldiers in South Korea, and the threat that Japan might be under danger of North Korean attack as well, whether conventional or nuclear?

Yes, we must solve the North Korean mess, and hopefully without a massive commitment of US troops, and without a nuclear attack ordered by Trump, because he looks at nuclear weapons as something he has no issue using, when it has never happened except at the end of the Second World War against Japan at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

There is a sense of foreboding, that we are going to end up in a war that will drag on at heavy cost in finances and lives lost which are American and South Korean and Japanese, or a massive loss of life of civilians in North Korea with the use of nuclear weapons.

April The Month For Many American Wars Beginning, And Now Likelihood Of War Against North Korea Soon

When one examines American history, if we do not count wars against native Americans; interventions in Latin America; and the Filipino Insurrection from 1899-1902, we have had 12 wars in the nation’s historical experience.

Six of those wars began in April–The Revolutionary War, the Mexican American War, the Civil War, The Spanish American War, the First World War, and the escalation of the Vietnam War.

These events took place in 1775, 1846, 1861, 1898, 1917, and 1965.

Additionally, two wars began in March–the Second World War if one counts the Lend Lease Act of 1941 as the real beginning of naval engagement before Pearl harbor in December; and the Iraq War on March 20, 2003, the 14th anniversary of that tragic war being yesterday.

And also, two wars began in June—the War of 1812 and the Korean War in 1950.

So only two wars did not begin in the Spring months from early March to late June–the Persian Gulf War in January 1991 and the Afghanistan War in October 2001.

There is something about the Spring months, and particularly April, that seems, maybe coincidentally but maybe not, to be the time for wars to commence.

Based on recent warnings from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson while on a trip to Japan South Korea, and China, war could be coming very soon against Kim Jong Un of North Korea, maybe in April or shortly after, as concern about North Korean nuclear development being a growing threat to Seattle, Portland and San Francisco, as well as Hawaii, and also the threat to South Korea and Japan, is alarming.

Closing Down Mosques, Requiring Muslim ID Badges, Closing Down Cafes And Diners And Wherever Muslims Meet: Meet American Fascism And The Republican Party Of 2015!

The Republican Party of 2015 has gone so far to the Right that now it can be compared to Fascism in many ways!

Donald Trump asserts that all mosques in America should be shut down, which only incites anti Muslim hatred and endangers all Muslims in the United States.

What Trump forgets is the concept of the First Amendment and religious freedom!  Can one imagine if we had a politician say all Catholic Churches, all evangelical Christian churches, all mainline Establishment Protestant churches, or all Jewish synagogues should be shut down?  Would we ever allow or conceive of such action by any level of American government, which would make us no different than what Nazi Germany represented, as they shut down Jewish synagogues, and in fact, torched and desecrated them?  Have we gone mad as a nation, that we even have a Presidential candidate who can utter such bigotry and fascist tendencies, and sit by and ignore it?

Donald Trump also declares that we should require Muslim ID badges, reminding us of the branding of Jews with a yellow star in Nazi Germany, and are Americans ok with that, as if so, why not some day do that to other religious groups or ethnic minorities?  And he wants a database established to track all Muslims in America in their daily existence.

Marco Rubio wants us to close down cafes and diners and wherever Muslims meet, making him an American Fascist as much as Donald Trump!  Are we to arrest and imprison all Muslims in America as we did with Japanese Americans in World War II?

Are we to repeal the Bill of Rights and end freedom of assembly, along with freedom of religion, as well as freedom of speech?  Does anyone really think that shutting down public places where Muslims might congregate will prevent them from meeting underground?  Are we out to promote paranoia among Muslims in America, where the 99 percent who are NOT terrorist oriented will be motivated to defend themselves by joining groups that promote Al Qaeda or ISIL (ISIS)?

Are we going to allow those who advocate hate, such as Pam Geller, Franklin Graham, and others who promote Islamophobia, to undermine our nation and its basic values, and create a situation that will incite violence against anyone seen as Muslim?

Do we think such individuals would not be willing to defend themselves in a nation where there are so many firearms, many in the hands of mentally unstable individuals?  How do we gain a sense of peace and tranquility long term, when we are having demagogues advocating violence, warfare, and a native American Fascism?

All decent people MUST condemn Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, and all other Republicans who advocate similar Fascist ideas, as well as Pam Geller and Franklin Graham and others of their ilk! They undermine any hope of coexistence, as all they do is accomplish what the evil terrorist groups want the most–the dissolution of America and its values!

Anti Immigrant Hysteria: 1840s-1850s; 1870s-1880s; 1920s-1940s And Now! Do We Ever Learn?

Part of the ugly side of the history of America is its record of nativism and anti immigrant hysteria.

In the 1840s and 1850s, it was anti Catholic hysteria against the Irish and the German immigrants fleeing from poverty and political turmoil.  The “American” or Know Nothing Party was formed, had some members in Congress, and had former President Millard Fillmore (Whig) win the state of Maryland (heavily Catholic) in the Electoral College in the Presidential Election of 1856.

In the 1870s and 1880s, it was anti Asian hysteria, mostly Chinese at the time, and often led by Irish who had forgotten the prejudice and discrimination they had faced in an earlier generation,and it led to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, courageously vetoed by President Chester Alan Arthur but passed over his veto by a two thirds majority in the House of Representatives and Senate.

In the 1920s through the Second World War in the 1940s, it was anti “new” immigration, to stop the massive wave of Catholics and Eastern European Jews from coming to America, as well as anti Japanese prejudice, replacing the Chinese who had already been banned from migration to America since 1882.

This led to the horrors of Italians, Jews, and other southern and eastern Europeans denied admission to America during the time of the rise and triumph of Fascism in Italy under Benito Mussolini and Nazism under Adolf Hitler in Germany.

The result was the Holocaust, which America could have worked against by admission of refugees, but just like now, it was Republicans, some Democrats, and conservatives who lobbied against children and women and old people being admitted, due to racism and nativism.

It also led to the forced movement of Japanese Americans into internment camps during the Second World War, as an hysterical reaction to Pearl Harbor being attacked by Japan.

In more recent decades, we have seen growing anti Hispanic and anti Latino discrimination, and now against Muslim and Arab refugees, as if we have learned nothing from our past.

America has been a beacon of hope in a difficult world, and we must not lose our image that the Statue of Liberty represents, so we must salute and applaud President Barack Obama for coming out forcefully against Republican Governors and members of Congress, who are demonstrating the ugliest side of the American experience once again!

Hysteria And Panic Take Over Republicans: Their Loss Of Understanding The Symbolism Of The Statue Of Liberty!

The Republican Party is acting at its most mean spirited nature ever right now—wishing to bar all refugees from Syria, even 5 year old children and mothers, who are victims of one of the most horrible civil wars in modern history!

31 State Governors, almost all Republican, are trying to prevent any migration of refugees to their states, but that is illegal, as no one can prevent any migrant coming to the nation from settling wherever they choose, and to cut off all migration from Syria and the Middle East is outrageous bigotry, as many are saying only Christians and no Muslims should be allowed into the nation.

At the same time that we have thousands of gun deaths from domestic sources annually, now we are seeing hysteria and panic, and the belief that somehow, some terrorists will be admitted, when every day, we have domestic terrorists killing Americans, and nothing is done about that!

Of course, full vetting must be done of all migrants and refugees, but to shut the door completely is to deny the purposes of the Statue of Liberty and the so called “American Dream” that we keep on propagandizing.

Republicans and conservatives are forgetting that our land is founded on the basis of refugees and migrants escaping for a better life, and none of us who are not native American or African American would be here if not for an open mind over the generations toward people of all backgrounds escaping persecution and deprivation!

Barack Obama is right that we must not give up our principles, and must not repeat the horrible anti immigrant mentality that led to discrimination in past times against refugees and migrants of all racial and religious backgrounds, and caused the deaths of many, particularly in the time of pre World War II in Europe when Jews were denied admission and ended up dying in the Holocaust!

Paris Terror Attack Makes Clear Growing Threat To President And Presidential Candidates!

My new book on Presidential assassinations and threats has pointed out the constant and growing danger of assassination threats to our Presidents, including Barack Obama, and my recent op-ed in THE HILL on October 22 drew attention to the growing threat to Presidential candidates, with Donald Trump and Dr. Benjamin Carson now, after much delay, receiving Secret Service protection.  Hillary Clinton, as former First Lady, automatically receives such protection.

As I have pointed out, all Presidential candidates deserve at least some protection, with those doing better in attracting crowds and gaining in public opinion polls having more protection, which would now include Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Jeb Bush at the least.

The idea that the French President, Francois Hollande, was in danger at the soccer stadium at the time of the Paris terror attack last night, and had to be whisked out is alarming, and all Western European leaders, as well as those from Canada, Australia and the US are going to need  heightened protection in this age of terrorism gone overseas from the Middle East to the rest of the civilized world.

The western world is faced with a crisis that Pope Francis has called World War III, but without organized governments engaged in the terrorism, presenting a massive challenge as these terrorists are willing to commit suicide to achieve their goals, unlike the former Soviet Union, which was a constant threat during the Cold War, but also had leadership that wished to win, rather than sacrifice their lives.

So as a result, it was possible over time to overcome the Soviet threat, but in this age of terrorism, it is hard to see a resolution of this crisis no matter what the strategy is that is adopted.

We live in the most crucial time since World War II, and we need statesmanship and courage to meet the challenge!

Pope Francis: A Gift To The World And Supporter Of Progressive Causes Shared With Barack Obama!

Pope Francis has arrived in the United States, and will be here for six days, traveling to Washington, DC, New York City, and Philadelphia.

It is clear that Pope Francis is a gift to the world and a supporter of progressive causes that he often shares with President Barack Obama!

This Pope is, clearly, the best Pope in the sense of promoting reform, since the time of Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) and the Second Vatican Council.

Pope Francis has made enemies among conservative Catholics and evangelical right wing Christians, who do not pursue the true message of Jesus Christ, the promotion of the poor and the disabled and the sick.

Pope Francis has condemned predatory capitalism which has no concern as to its effect on the poor.

Pope Francis has spoken up on climate change and global warming, infuriating those in the conservative movement and the Republican Party who only think about profits, and reject science.

Pope Francis has attacked the growing income inequality in the world, a dangerous disease that threatens global stability.

Pope Francis has worked to resolve problems in the Catholic Church, and to have a more open mind on divorce, abortion, gay rights, and other controversial social issues, while not wholly backing all of these cultural changes.  But he has demonstrated greater tolerance of differences and opened up a sense of change, which is desperately needed in the Catholic Church, if it is to grow and prosper in the long term.

Pope Francis has engaged in bringing about the restoration of a relationship between the United States and Cuba, something long overdue.

Pope Francis has worked to help Syrian refugees, and generally to encourage immigration reform around the world, as to reject immigrants is against the American historical tradition, and worldwide would be the growth of another Holocaust, as Jews and other refugees suffered in the Second World War.

Pope Francis is a transformational Pope who, hopefully, will have a long range effect on the Catholic Church and the world.

Pope Francis has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is hoped that he will win it, as he richly deserves it!

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.

“Surprise” Presidential Nominees, And Often Winners, In American History

As we are about to enter August, the year before the Presidential Election Of 2016, we find two “surprise” candidates doing very well, if one is to judge by crowds and public opinion polls.

Whether Donald Trump and or Bernie Sanders have a real chance to be the nominees of the Republican and Democratic parties is impossible to know this far ahead.

But in American history, there have been many surprise nominees, and or winners of the Presidency.

The examples of this phenomenon follow—17 Presidents and 6 Presidential nominees in 23 Presidential elections:

In 1844, James K. Polk was nominated by the Democrats on the 9th ballot, and went on to defeat the better known and more famous Henry Clay.

In 1848, Mexican War General Zachary Taylor, with no political experience, and no stands on political issues, was nominated by the Whig Party, and elected over Lewis Cass and Free Soil Party nominee, former President Martin Van Buren.

In 1852, little known Franklin Pierce was nominated by the Democrats on the 49th ballot, and went on to defeat famous Mexican War General Winfield Scott.

In 1860, one term Congressman Abraham Lincoln, not in public office in 12 years, was the choice of the Republican Party, and defeated Stephen Douglas, John C. Breckinridge, and John Bell.

In 1868, Ulysses S. Grant, Civil War Union Army hero, with no political experience, was nominated by the Republicans, and defeated Horatio Seymour.

In 1872, the Democrats and a fringe group known as the “Liberal Republicans” nominated well known journalist Horace Greeley, who had never served in public office, losing to President Grant.

In 1892, former President Grover Cleveland, who had lost reelection in 1888 to Benjamin Harrison, came back and defeated Harrison, becoming the only President to win, lose, and then win, and therefore, being listed as the 22nd and 24th Presidents of the United States.

In 1896, a former Nebraska Congressman, only 36 years old, William Jennings Bryan, inspired the Democratic convention and was nominated for President, but lost to William McKinley.

In 1904, an unknown (except in New York) state court judge, Alton B. Parker, was the Democratic nominee against Theodore Roosevelt, but lost.

In 1912, President of Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson, nominated on the 46th ballot by the Democrats, defeated President William Howard Taft, former President Theodore Roosevelt (running on the Progressive Party line), and Socialist Eugene Debs.

In 1920, an obscure Senator with no special accomplishments or credentials, Warren G. Harding, was nominated by the Republicans, and defeated Democratic nominee James Cox.

In 1924, the Democrats were deadlocked at their convention for 103 ballots, and finally nominated corporate attorney John W. Davis, who lost to President Calvin Coolidge and Progressive Party nominee Robert LaFollette, Sr.

In 1928, the Democrats nominated the first Catholic Presidential candidate, Alfred E. Smith, but he lost to Republican nominee Herbert Hoover.

In 1932, the Democrats nominated Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had been judged as having “no particular qualifications” for the Presidency, and he went on to defeat President Herbert Hoover.

In 1940, the Republicans nominated a businessman with no political experience, Wendell Willkie, after he inspired their convention, but he lost to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1948, President Harry Truman shocked the political world by winning a full term over Republican Thomas E. Dewey, States Rights nominee Strom Thurmond, and Progressive Party nominee, former Vice President Henry A. Wallace. He had been shown to be way behind Dewey in every political poll taken that year.

In 1952, a World War II general, Dwight D. Eisenhower, never having been involved in politics, was finally convinced to run for President, and defeated Democratic nominee Adlai E. Stevenson.

IN 1960, the second Catholic nominee for President, John F. Kennedy, was able to overcome the religion barrier, and be elected over Republican Richard Nixon, the well known and experienced Vice President under Eisenhower.

In 1968, former defeated Presidential candidate Richard Nixon came back eight years after having lost, and he won the Presidency over Hubert Humphrey and American Independent Party nominee George Wallace.

In 1976, a one term Governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter, considered unknown to most and given little chance for the Democratic Presidential nomination, surprised everyone and was elected over President Gerald Ford.

In 1980, an aging two time candidate for President, Ronald Reagan, ended up winning the Republican nomination, and was elected over President Carter.

In 1992, despite a sex scandal, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton won the Democratic nomination, and was elected over President George H. W. Bush and Independent nominee Ross Perot, even with Bush having enjoyed a 91 percent public opinion poll rating during the Persian Gulf War 18 months earlier.

In 2008, an African American first term Senator, with an Islamic middle name of Hussein, Barack Obama, overcame former First Lady Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, and defeated Republican nominee John McCain for the Presidency.

So anything can happen in 2016, with further coverage of the upcoming election being resumed when the Iowa Caucuses take place on February 1.

Until then, this blogger will focus on the promotion of his new book on Presidential Assassinations and Threats. He will give information on the interviews that he will have on radio, tv/cable, the internet, and print media, so that my readers will have an opportunity to investigate my activities over the next six months.

When he has time, he will look at American political, diplomatic and constitutional history solely, as there is much fascinating material that can and should be discussed and analyzed. It will make a look at the future much more significant, as a result of the historical analysis of the Presidency, elections, political parties, the Congress, and the Supreme Court.