United Nations

Killing Of Dozens And Wounding Of Thousands At Israeli-Palestinian Border Reprehensible, Ending Israeli Moral “High Ground”, And Promoting Endless Warfare

This author and blogger is Jewish, and has always been supportive of the nation state of Israel, now celebrating its 70th birthday, recognized by the United States and the United Nations on May 14, 1948.

Being supportive of the Israeli nation and wanting its success and survival, however, does not mean endorsement of the right wing government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu and its tactics.

It is also NOT endorsement of the decision of the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, taking the future status of the Holy City off the negotiation table with its Arab neighbors, the Palestinians.

War and constant tension has existed in the Middle East now in an unceasing manner, and it is acknowledged that there is no easy solution to the morass.

But Donald Trump made a major blunder in caving in to right wing religious demands of the Israeli government. It is also a disgrace that Israel’s government caves in to the born again Christians who see Jerusalem as their city, even though they harbor strong antisemitic beliefs, seeing Jews as going to hell if they do not accept Jesus Christ as their savior, conveniently forgetting that Jesus was Jewish.

To have extremist right wing pastors speak at the symbolic opening of the US Embassy yesterday was disgraceful and disgusting. To have Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner speak as dozens of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were murdered by Israeli soldiers, while thousands were wounded, creates a terrible image that will harm the United States and Israel for the long term.

Between the controversy over Jerusalem, and the unjustified breaking of the Iran agreement last week by Donald Trump, these events insure future warfare and people dying on both sides of the Middle East cauldron for the long haul.

One can condemn Hamas, the terrorist organization which runs the government of the Gaza Strip, and yet agree that their conditions are an open air prison, and the hatred built up insures the death of more Israelis over time.

Israel has the right to defend itself, but the tactics used yesterday make Israel look horrible on the international scene, and Jerusalem’s status should have been left to negotiation, not become the political football it has evolved into, due to the despicable leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump.

It also further isolates the United States in international affairs, as its allies are being alienated, in the name of reckless foreign policy.

Presidents Who Served As US Ambassadors To Foreign Nations

This author and blogger has so far examined the history of Presidents serving as members of the House of Representatives and the US Senate, as State Governors, and as Cabinet Officers.

Now, let’s examine those 8 Presidents who served as US Ambassadors to foreign nations:

John Adams as Ambassador to Great Britain during the Continental Congress

Thomas Jefferson as Ambassador to France during the Continental Congress

James Monroe as Ambassador to France during the George Washington Presidency, and to Great Britain during the Thomas Jefferson Presidency

John Quincy Adams as Ambassador to the Netherlands during the George Washington and John Adams Presidencies; to Germany during the John Adams Presidency; to Russia and to Great Britain during the James Madison Presidency

Martin Van Buren as Ambassador to Great Britain during the Andrew Jackson Presidency

William Henry Harrison as Ambassador to Colombia during the John Quincy Adams Presidency

James Buchanan as Ambassador to Great Britain during the Franklin Pierce Presidency

George H. W. Bush as Ambassador to the United Nations during the Richard Nixon Presidency and as Chief of the US Liaison Office in China during the Gerald Ford Administration.

The most common Ambassadorship was to Great Britain, where five of the eight Presidents listed above served.

The Battle To Succeed Rex Tillerson As Secretary Of State: Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley, Bob Corker, Lindsey Graham

It is clear that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will not survive beyond the first month or two of 2018.

Tillerson has been the absolute worst Secretary of State in modern times, and maybe all time, totally unqualified, totally inexperienced, totally incompetent in defending the State Department and its diplomatic corps against attempts of Donald Trump to destroy our foreign policy, in the name of supporting Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

The fact that Tillerson was the head of Exxon, and received an award from Putin in 2015, does not help promote confidence in his leadership.

But at the same time, Tillerson has clearly opposed Trump on many issues, and even said he was a “F—– Moron”, although refusing to give credibility to that press report.

Tillerson has tried, in his own inefficient manner, to stop the destructive tendencies and rhetoric of his boss, often contradicting Trump, and working to prevent conflict and turmoil as much as he can, including promoting diplomacy with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

The question is who should replace him, and right now, it seems as if CIA head Mike Pompeo, previously a Republican Congressman from Kansas, is the front runner, but Pompeo has a very hard line view on many issues, which makes him far from desirable.

Also, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley may have a chance to get the job, but she has just lost credibility by her threats to UN members over their vote against US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. However, by showing loyalty to Donald Trump, she may have advanced her case to become the top diplomat, and one can hope that her action at the UN was more political than anything else, and that she would provide a comparatively more stable course in American diplomacy, and that Donald Trump might listen to her more than he does to Rex Tillerson.

Then, there are the wild cards of Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who has recently been highly critical of Trump, and who Trump has regularly denounced; and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a good friend of Arizona Senator John McCain, who has played golf a lot with Trump lately, and has curbed his criticism of Trump dramatically, as has Bob Corker, who has been backtracking in an amazing reversal this past few days.

Both Corker and Graham now seem totally unprincipled, but it could be a tactic to try and change Donald Trump’s view of the world, much like it might be the strategy of Nikki Haley.

In the new month or two, we shall see what transpires, and as always, coverage of Donald Trump is never boring!

Nikki Haley A Rare Gem Working For Donald Trump

United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, former South Carolina Governor, is one of a very few members of the Trump Administration, who in a time of great turmoil, could be said to have made a positive impression in her position.

Haley showed courage after the Charleston Massacre in her state in June 2015, in promoting the removal of the Confederate Flag from the State Capitol Grounds in Columbia, South Carolina.

She has come across as very effective in dealing with other nations at the United Nations, despite her earlier lack of foreign policy experience.

She speaks in a measured and intelligent tone, and works to calm tension regarding Donald Trump’s loose rhetoric, particularly about North Korea, and its leader Kim Jong Un.

She was considered for Vice President by Mitt Romney in 2012 and Donald Trump in 2016, and has managed to overcome the rudeness of Trump toward her, due to the fact that she did not support him in the South Carolina Presidential Primary.

Rumor has it that she might be elevated to Secretary of State by either Trump or if Vice President Mike Pence succeeds to the Presidency during this term, as many observers believe Rex Tillerson is unhappy, and will leave early in 2018.

She is already perceived as being the most likely woman who might run for President on the Republican party line in the future.

While this blogger and author has not agreed with everything she has said and done in her public life, she stands out as a bright shining star in the midst of one Trump disaster after another.

Trump Threatens Extermination Of 25 Million People in North Korea, And Plans Confrontation With Iran And Venezuela: A President Gone Mad!

Donald Trump spoke at the United Nations today, and sounded more warlike than any American President.

He seems to relish war and destruction, as he threatened the extermination of 25 million people in North Korea.

he also made clear that he intended to rip up the Iran Nuclear Agreement, which seems to be working for now, and which Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China all plan to continue to support, making Trump an international outlaw and a war criminal, if he intends to start war with that nation.

And on the sidelines, it is clear that Trump is threatening intervention in Venezuela as well.

Se Trump seems to be planning to add three potential wars or military conflicts to the problem of Afghanistan and the challenge of ISIS (ISIL) in the Middle East.

Trump is a warmonger, even though he avoided Vietnam War service due to a bone spur in his foot, a minor problem, but using his family influence to evade military service.

If Trump were to use nuclear weapons against North Korea, it would be considered a war crime, and would kill more people in North Korea, as well as the certainty of deaths in South Korea and Japan, along with American troops, families and expatriates who live in South Korea and Japan.

It is more clear than ever that the three military figures in the government–James Mattis, John Kelly, and H. R. McMaster–must go to Vice President Mike Pence, the cabinet members, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and promote immediate removal of Trump from the Presidency, as a menace to the nation and the world.

If tragedy happens, these military men, and the top leaders of the government, will have blood on their hands, and will destroy the image of America as a nation of human rights and decency.

The time for action is NOW, and the Mueller investigation needs to move at an ever more rapid pace as well, to bring this President down, and remove him from office!

Right Wing Conspiratorial Hysteria Over Barack Obama Has Been Proved Totally Wrong!

We are now entering the eighth and last year of the Barack Obama Presidency, with a new President to be inaugurated on January 20, 2017.

It is in many ways amazing how Obama has survived unprecedented verbal attacks for seven years, and the most threats to his life of any President since Abraham Lincoln.

His Republican opposition has been unrelenting in the promotion of right wing conspiratorial hysteria for the past seven years, and has had no shame in wishing upon him all of the most terrible tragedies and failures, rather than willingness to unite for the public good!

And right wing radio and Fox News Channel has been totally despicable in encouraging right wing lunatics, and inciting them to create a constant stress and threat on the 44th President of the United States.  They would not be happy until he was either forced from office or dead from an assassin, and there is still clear concern that our President faces endless threats at a time when the Secret Service has been found wanting, and in need of drastic updating, reform, and new leadership!

For any American to have believed the conspiracy theories and gloom and doom loaded on Barack Obama, it is instructive to look back at some of what has been predicted and has NOT happened!

  1. Barack Obama will cancel the elections of 2016 and rule by martial law, and put his enemies into FEMA camps.  This is totally laughable!
  2. Barack Obama will take everyone’s guns away.  Yeh, sure, instead we have more guns and gun ownership than ever before, and more deaths from guns than automobile accidents!
  3. Barack Obama will destroy the American economy, with the highest gas prices ever, dramatic increase in unemployment and inflation, the collapse of the stock market, and the promotion of the end of the capitalist system. Instead we have 5 percent unemployment, doubling of the stock market, low inflation, and capitalism is alive and well, thank you!
  4. Barack Obama is a Muslim who will advance the cause of the Muslim jihadists, and allow the downfall of Christianity in America. Yeh, sure, instead we have more Muslims killed by Obama’s drone usage than under George W. Bush, and Osama bin Laden was killed!
  5. Barack Obama will destroy the oil and coal industries in his  mad quest to promote the “phony” issue of climate change. Yeh, sure, the energy industries are making record profits!
  6. Barack Obama will destroy heterosexual America by his promotion of gay rights, same sex marriage, and transgender rights.  Laughable, but heterosexual marriage divorces are up, and more Americans have broken marriages than the total number of same sex marriages!
  7. Barack Obama will take away the civil liberties and civil rights of Americans through government snooping on the private lives of Americans. Yeh, sure, as the NSA is limited in its ability to fight terrorism by government restrictions put upon them!
  8. Barack Obama will undermine law and order in this country through promotion of the agenda of extremist African Americans demands.  Yeh, sure, the idea that Obama is a black radical because he speaks up about growing number of police killings of unarmed black men is laughable!
  9. Barack Obama will destroy the nation through open borders immigration of people from Mexico and Central America.  Yeh, sure, as Obama has had more deportations of illegal immigrants than under George W. Bush!
  10. Barack Obama will undermine the nation of Israel and refuse to support the security of that nation.  Yeh, sure, as Obama provided the IRON DOME system and has given Israel more foreign aid than any President of the United States before him!
  11. Barack Obama will promote the expansion and aggression of the Russians under Vladimir Putin.  Yeh, sure that is why Putin embraces Donald Trump, and has actually cooperated with the American government on Middle East issues, and knows NATO is working to protect Ukraine, due to the tough stand of Obama!
  12. Barack Obama will promote a one world government led by the United Nations.  This is totally ridiculous, not even worth commenting on, as totally delusional!

It is time for the ill informed and uneducated population of America to stop their ignorance, learn the truth, and start to show appreciation of the historic nature of Barack Obama in the Presidency, and to wish him well in his final year in the White House.  His ranking in history for his accomplishments, his dignity, his class, his compassion, his common sense, and his courage in the face of adversity will make him appreciated in the future in a way appropriate for his performance in office!

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.

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!

Who Should Have Been President? The Following List Of 12 Great Political Leaders

A high percentage of the 43 American Presidents are looked upon as having been inferior, disappointing, and in some cases, clearly unqualified to be President.

And then there is a list of both Presidential nominees, and also Presidential seekers, who are looked upon as those who SHOULD have been President, but never were.

First the list, which numbers 12,and then an explanation of each case.

Henry Clay
Daniel Webster
William Seward
Samuel Tilden
Charles Evans Hughes
Robert LaFollette Sr
Adlai Stevenson
Hubert Humphrey
Nelson Rockefeller
Bob Dole
Al Gore
Hillary Clinton

Two of the above (Clay and Webster) were Whigs; five of the above (Seward, Hughes, LaFollette, Sr., Rockefeller, and Dole) were Republicans; and the remaining five of the above (Tilden, Stevenson, Humphrey, Gore, and Clinton) were Democrats.

Henry Clay ran three times for President, in 1824, 1832, and 1844, and is regarded by many experts as the absolutely most outstanding Senator in all of American history, who made many contributions in government, including being Speaker of the House, an influential Senator (Kentucky) , and Secretary of State.

Daniel Webster is the other most outstanding Senator (Massachusetts) before the Civil War, and was seen as being as much of a statesman as Clay, and also served as Secretary of State.

William Seward lost the Presidential nomination to Abraham Lincoln, but was considered the leading Republican in his time as a Senator from New York, and also served as Secretary of State.

Samuel Tilden was the reform Governor of New York, who lost the Presidency despite a major lead, which in percentage, was greater than Al Gore, the other person who won the popular vote, but lost the election, and never became President.

Charles Evans Hughes was a giant figure in American government, as Progressive Governor of New York; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; Secretary of State; and then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Robert LaFollette Sr. was “Mr. Progressive”, the best state Governor (Wisconsin) in all of American history, and rated one of the top five Senators of all time, and actually tied Henry Clay in a scholarly poll as the best US Senator ever in American history.

Adlai Stevenson was a brilliant intellectual, who could not defeat President Eisenhower, but was regarded as an “egghead”, and served as Ambassador to the United Nations, years after he served as a Governor of Illinois.

Hubert Humphrey was one of the greatest Senators (Minnesota) to grace the upper chamber in American history, and introduced much of what became the Great Society, and he served as Vice President of the United States.

Nelson Rockefeller never was nominated for President, but was seen as a very capable and wise four term Governor of New York, one of the best in American history, served as Vice President, and having the potential to have been a great President, but could not gain the support of his party.

Bob Dole was a masterful Senator (Kansas) with a long career in Congress, and the ability to get things done, and regarded as the second greatest Senate Majority Leader, after Lyndon Johnson, in American history.

Al Gore won the Presidency in popular votes by more than a half million, but lost the contested state of Florida in a Supreme Court vote, based on party line, rather than the principle that the Court had no right to intervene in the state of Florida’s Supreme Court judgments. Gore served as Vice President, after service in the House of Representatives and the US Senate (Tennessee).

Hillary Clinton was one of the most outstanding First Ladies; Senator from New York; Secretary of State; and now had the opportunity, potentially, to come off this list, IF she is able to win the Presidency in 2016 and become our first woman President.

The nation would have been much better if any or all of these 12 political figures had gained the opportunity to serve in the White House!

Eleven Years Since Greatest Blunder In Modern American History: The Iraq War!

Eleven years ago today, America went to war in Iraq on the false premise that there were weapons of mass destruction there, which did not exist!

It is clear that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld KNEW that fact, but they convinced Colin Powell to speak before the United Nations on a lie that he was not privy to, took advantage of his far greater stature than any of them had!

The Iraq War led to 4,400 American dead, and over 30,000 wounded, with many losing limbs or part of their skull, and many having mental and emotional trauma which continues today!

It led to the longest war in American history, except for the Afghanistan War, which was put on the back burner, and still goes on today, making both wars total failures, but another 2,000 killed in that war.

It did not create a stable Iraq, but killed at least many hundreds of thousands in Iraq, if not a million or more.

We spent a lot of treasure, helping to double the national debt under the Bush-Cheney regime.

We allowed ourselves to engage in war with Iraq, when Iran was the much bigger threat, and remains so in 2014.

We also gave the excuse for Vladamir Putin of Russia to invade and take over Crimea, as allowed under international law, because, after all, we had claimed the right to invade a sovereign nation in a war of choice, a preemptive war, making us no better than past aggressors, who attacked without a direct provocation.

Many feel that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld are international outlaws, and it is clear that if it were possible to arrest them, they could be tried on human rights abuse at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, the Netherlands!

Of course, that will not happen in reality, but this is not something that should be overlooked as an example of what happens when the wrong people are put into power, particularly with the reality that George W. Bush did not win the popular vote in the Presidential Election of 2000, but won the court case that was decided on party line vote in the Supreme Court, a majority which had been picked by Republican Presidents!

History will not judge the Bush Presidency well, and no matter what the Republican Party of 2014 does to sweep the past under the rug, the truth will win out, and it will not be pretty!