Vietnam War

Donald Trump And Afghanistan: No More Interest In Reform, Only Killing, A Prescription For Disaster!

Donald Trump’s speech on Afghanistan last night was what this blogger expected: Trump the warmonger, a complete switch from his “isolationist” stand during his Presidential campaign.

It was very predictable, as again, Donald Trump proved to be what he has always been best at being, a massive liar and manipulator of the truth!

The man who was a draft dodger, on the basis of bone spurs in the 1960s, and said his “Vietnam” was avoiding sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) with women at that time of his life, now has become a war President, and is allowing his overly dominant military administration to “charge on” in Afghanistan, after 16 years, the most of any American war, and inability to resolve the matter.

Afghanistan caused the loss of Alexander the Great in ancient times; of the British Empire in the 19th century; and of the Soviet Union from 1979-1989.

It is a “hell hole” with no end, and already 2,400 Americans have died in that war, and the war has also cost an estimate of between $841 billion to $2 trillion dollars, a massive waste of money that has undermined the nation! And over 20,000 men and women have been wounded, many of them seriously, and mental issues have arisen among many of these veterans, and many others who were not physically harmed.

And to top it off, Trump has indicated there is no interest in trying to make life better for Afghan civilians, but rather just to kill terrorists!

That is a prescription for endless, constant war, and bitterness, and continued growth of terrorism for decades on end!

The Taliban control an estimated 35-60 percent of the nation, and opium production in the major province that produces the drug is 80 percent under their control.

The Afghan mentality is that you kill their relatives, for generations after, the goal will be revenge, so a war is unwinnable.

And Trump seems to be stirring up trouble with neighbor Pakistan, a Muslim nation with nuclear weapons, with his hostile rhetoric.

It seems as if Trump has decided to be a warmonger–continuing in Afghanistan, while fighting ISIL (ISIS), and stirring up China with threats of trade wars, while trying to deal with North Korea, without starting a new Korean War or using nuclear weapons on Kim Jong Un; and threatening to break the Iranian nuclear agreement; and also suggesting action in Venezuela; as well as trying to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, Syria, and Iraq.

All that Trump seems to be able to do is make money all of the time, while promoting American imperialism overseas, insuring engagement in more wars, and spending taxpayer money to glorify himself as a “tough guy” in international affairs, while avoiding diplomacy, and cutting the State Department budget by up to 40 percent, including NOT having many ambassadorial positions filled or even nominated after seven months in office!

Trump is a true proponent of unregulated capitalism and American militarism, precisely what has led to so much turmoil and suffering caused by the top few percent of the population who worship Wall Street and the Pentagon as the answer to all problems in America.

Meanwhile, the white and minority working class become the cannon fodder for Trump’s egotism and narcissism, as he continues to divide America, and has no concern about the tremendous damage he is causing, creating an atmosphere of civil anger and disrespect that has split America like no time since the 1960s, and in many ways, worse than that decade 50 years ago!

Donald Trump: The Liar Of All Liars, The Most In Presidential History!

It is true that it is part of human nature that all of us lie in our daily lives.

We lie when we do not want to be honest about someone’s clothes, appearance or our private thoughts about them, when we are in their presence.

We lie at work, to get along with fellow employees, and to avoid antagonizing our supervisors, as we wish to avoid tension, and danger to our livelihood.

We lie, when we try to influence our teachers and professors, hoping to gain a better grade in a class.

We lie when we deal with relatives in order to keep the peace.

We lie when we have friends we do not wish to lose over minor disagreements.

In many other situations, we lie, as we pursue romantic interests.

So it is “normal” to lie, but hopefully, none of this lying is serious lying that undermines our protection of ourselves in society.

Hopefully, we are not lying to the extent that others can see right through our lies, and where our moral and ethical standing is compromised to our detriment.

Hopefully, we are not lying where it causes harm or even more to anyone, in the name of our own ambition.

But then there is Donald Trump, who is, the liar of all liars, the most in Presidential history by far!

Dwight D. Eisenhower lied about the U-2 Spy Plane Incident in 1960.

Lyndon B. Johnson lied about the Vietnam War in 1967.

Richard Nixon lied about the Watergate Scandal in 1973-1974.

Bill Clinton lied about the Monica Lewinsky Affair in 1998.

George W. Bush lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction in 2003.

All of these lies were horrendous, and undermined the record and reputation of the Presidents involved.

But none of these Presidents lied so early in his term, and not at the rate of five lies per day as an average, as shown by an analysis done by the New York Times of the first six months.

Donald Trump has lied about just about everything imaginable, much of it where he knows that we know he is lying, but he is incorrigible.

Donald Trump has made an art of lying, and carries along with him one third of the American people, who seem not to care, or simply be ignorant enough that they do not understand he is lying.

And this lying is going on with no major crisis having yet arisen, but much going on internally which we do not know about, due to national security, but will undermine our nation once we become aware of what Trump and his advisers are perpetrating that will cost American lives, and make the lives of millions of others worsen dramatically, due to the disease of lying excessively.

With only 24 percent trusting him, and 73 percent not trusting him in the latest CNN poll, Donald Trump has lost all credibility.

Donald Trump has become a massive liar, the liar of all liars, a chronic and habitual liar, a disease that undermines any possibility of success in his Presidency.

July 20, 1969: Man Lands On The Moon To July 20, 2017: Six Months Of Disastrous Presidency Of Donald Trump–From Unity To Division!

Forty eight years ago, Americans landed on the moon, and Astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon, a moment of great rejoicing, and a time of unity and nationalism, even in the midst of the divisive Vietnam War. We had heroes, including Neil Armstrong, that we could be truly proud of.

Now, nearly a half century later, we have finished today six months of the most divisive, corrupt, and mean spirited Presidency, and it is dividing America down the middle in a way we nave not seen since Vietnam.

The disastrous Presidency of Donald Trump is based on pure salesmanship, the idea of PT Barnum, that a sucker is born every minute, and we have sixty or more million such suckers, who think Trump is like a God, and believe every lie and deception that he utilizes multiple times a day.

The refusal of millions of Americans to understand the danger America is in is shocking, and their willingness to believe any propaganda that comes out with fake information, and see educated people as those to be condemned in the name of prejudice and hatred of knowledge is detrimental to American survival,

One has to wonder how this crisis will end, as we are truly in a nightmare scenario that could lead, and likely will lead to a greater tragedy than at any time in the past century, as the situation is that dire!

George McGovern Birthday, What Would Have Been His 95th: A Moment To Remember

Senator George McGovern of South Dakota, the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee against President Richard Nixon, would have been 95 today, a moment to remember this great man, who passed away five years ago on October 21, 2012.

McGovern may have been an historic loser, winning only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia in his race against Nixon 45 years ago.

But McGovern was, in many ways, the most principled man ever to run for President.

He ran as an anti Vietnam War candidate, who had been a fighter pilot in World War II.

He ran as a person committed to the hungry, the poor, the disadvantaged in our society. He worked across the aisle with Bob Dole of Kansas to take action to help the most deprived in our society.

He ran as a principled and decent political leader who wanted to bring America back to its purpose, to promote equality, justice and compassion.

Americans instead voted for the most unprincipled and corrupt President in American history, until Donald Trump came along.

George McGovern was my idol, my hero, as a young man in graduate school, inspired by the fact that he had, like myself, pursued a PH. D. in American history, and had taught on the college level before entering politics.

What is it about America that too often they vote for the candidate who is far less principled, decent, and compassionate–as with Richard Nixon and Donald Trump as two examples?

Why is it that we have, as a nation, too often made the wrong choice?

This is something that will be repeated until the better side of our nature finally returns to the basic principles of America, and steers away from those who exploit our fears and insecurities and worsens the American condition!

49 Years Since Robert Kennedy’s Assassination: The Beginning Of The End Of The Triumph Of Liberalism In The 1960s

It is now 49 years since Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York was tragically assassinated in Los Angeles, where I am right now, in my first visit to the number two city in America.

RFK was seen as likely to win the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1968, and it is believed that he would have defeated former Vice President Richard Nixon in a close race, without being tied to the Vietnam War policy of Lyndon B. Johnson, which Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey had as an albatross around his neck, from which he was unable to escape.

It often seems as if RFK’s death marked a turning point to the right, from which America has never fully recovered, despite the best efforts of Barack Obama, the most liberal President since LBJ, but with the reality of a strong Republican opposition that helped to prevent much of his agenda.

Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, while certainly more “liberal” than any Republican President in the past half century, were unable, and also to a great extent, unwilling to go anywhere as far as Obama attempted.

So in a sense, America lost its liberal champion, which Ted Kennedy represented after his brother’s death, but due to his own Chappaquiddick scandal, was unable to promote, with one failed attempt in 1980 against President Carter.

RFK was certainly one of the most talented and creative politicians we have seen, and had a broad appeal, and his goals and aims to unite people of all backgrounds in promoting progressive change, remain the goal of Democrats as they look ahead to 2020, and wish to find the best Presidential nominee possible.

John F. Kennedy A Century Later, And 54 Years After His Tragic Death: His Legacy And What Might Have Been

Tomorrow, Memorial Day 2017, is the Centennial of the birth of John F. Kennedy.

It is nearly 54 years since his tragic death by assassination in Dallas, Texas.

The potential of what JFK could have accomplished is all speculation, impossible to know.

We know for sure that he was a dynamic leader with great goals for a nation, but under bitter attack from Southern Democrats and conservatives for his initiatives on civil rights, education, health care, the environment, and his unannounced plans for a War on Poverty.

We know that he was a fantastic orator, who appealed to our better nature, and our optimism.

We know that he was glamorous in his appearance, his wife, and his young children.

We know that he is looked back upon as an ideal time when America seemed to be moving forward, but was also entering a very difficult decade of turmoil and tumult, as his two successors, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, escalated a war in Vietnam that divided the nation in a way not seen since the Civil War.

But we also do not know that he would not have done the same thing, escalate the war in Vietnam.

And we also do not know that he would have won reelection, with the likely loss of Southern states that were crucial to a reelection victory.

If he had been running in 1964, would Senator Barry Goldwater, the right wing Republican who likely would have still been the nominee of his party, been able to win, when he lost in a massive landslide to Lyndon B. Johnson?

Or what if JFK was running, if somehow, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller had somehow overcome opposition within the Republican Party for being a “New York Liberal”, and been the GOP Presidential nominee, could Rockefeller have defeated JFK?

Would a living JFK been able to wage a War on Poverty; passage of Medicare; enactment of expanded federal aid to education: promoted environmental and consumer laws; and been able to gain two major Civil Rights laws, all accomplished by LBJ?

The tragedy is that we will never know what the future would have been with a President JFK beyond November 22, 1963!

Donald Trump, The Warmonger: ISIL, Syria, North Korea, Iran—The Military Training School 14-18 Year Old Bully Gone Mad!

Donald Trump was a bully as a kid and a teenager, and his misbehavior made his parents decide to send him to a military training school for his high school years from age 14 to 18, and Trump never matured beyond that stage.

As an adult, with a “gift” of one million dollars from his father, Donald Trump set out on a career of bullying people, harassing women, and demonstrating racism, misogyny, nativism, and willingness to cheat workers, contractors, and fellow businessmen, and possessing no moral compass or ethics.

Now he is the 45th President, and is showing he is a warmonger, a man who is determined to show the American imperialistic bent that became part of the 20th and early 21st century under most of his predecessors in the White House, and sacrificing generations of young Americans, most of them poor whites or minorities, who see the military as their last bastion of a chance for success in life.

America has not “won” a war since 1945, and has engaged in wars that have undermined the American reputation in the world, first in Korea, then in Vietnam, then in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with many interventions in nations we did not have a long term commitment of troops.

Donald Trump lives in his own parallel universe, however, and seems to think that being a warmonger against four adversaries at once is a smart idea, as he has now challenged ISIL (ISIS), Syria, North Korea, and Iran, along with using the MOAB (Mother Of All Bombs) in Afghanistan.

Thinking that he can wage four wars or more at once is a sign of maniacal behavior, of insane behavior, that will make our military cannon fodder for Donald Trump’s imperial ambitions.

It is something that should not be allowed to happen, as it will cause massive casualties and deaths to glorify a man who is dangerous to world stability and peace.

A Sobering Centennial: America Enters “The Great War” On April 6, 1917

It has been a century since America entered world affairs in a full sense, as on April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson spoke to Congress and asked for a declaration of war against the Imperial German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Ottoman Turkish Empire, and allied with Great Britain, France and Italy, in what was called “The Great War” at the time, and later World War I or the First World War.

The controversy over whether Wilson could have kept us out of the war has raged for a century, and his handling of the war effort, and the promotion of restriction on civil liberties during the war has remained highly contentious, and has caused Wilson to decline from Number 6 in the C Span Presidential poll of 2000, to Number 9 in the C Span Presidential poll of 2009, and now Number 11 in the C Span Presidential poll of 2017, all participated in by reputable scholars.

American sacrifices in war had been avoided, as America remained isolated from world affairs and foreign conflict until 1917, but in the last century, we have been in many major wars since then, including World War II, the Korean conflict, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the Afghanistan War, along with many other foreign interventions in Latin America and the Middle East.

No one can be anything but sober to realize that when Congress voted for war on April 6, 1917, it transformed America in a permanent way, helping to create the concept of an American Empire, and America as a world leader since the end of World War II.

And now, with Donald Trump, the whole history of American foreign relations is in flux, and we face many challenges and crises in international affairs, and the hope is that we will avoid further military conflicts in the future, but hard to believe that is the scenario under Donald Trump.

PBS will have a six hour presentation on The American Experience on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings April 10, 11, and 12 on America and The Great War, our nation’s engagement in the First World War, from many different perspectives, highly recommended to all who read this blog.

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.

44 Years Ago: Death Of Lyndon B. Johnson; Abortion Becomes Legal; End Of Engagement In Vietnam War–We Must Learn From These Events!

44 years ago, on January 22, former President Lyndon B. Johnson died at the age of 64, and the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in the case of Roe V. Wade, that women had a right to abortion in the first two trimesters.

44 years ago on January 23, announcement of an agreement to end US involvement in the Vietnam War was announced in Paris, therefore denying LBJ the ability to know of the peace agreement before his death, in a war that had forced him out of the Presidential race in 1968.

Looking back 44 years and to today in 2017, we can reflect that the Great Society of LBJ is under attack in a massive way, as is the New Deal of FDR. We are going backwards in so many ways under President Donald Trump.

Also, abortion rights are being taken away in many areas and by government policy, and the danger is that Roe V Wade could be reversed in a future Supreme Court decision, once a Trump appointed Justice is added to the Court. So women’s rights to control their own bodies will now face new restrictions, and will lead to more deaths, and abuses.

And our engagement in Vietnam, a massive mistake, has not been learned from, as now there are hints that Donald Trump is ready to send troops to fight ISIL (ISIS), committing us to a massive war in the Middle East, and with Trump asserting yesterday that America might just seize the oil of Iraq for ourselves, which would be a war crime, and a continuation of US imperialism overseas.

This is why we have intervened so much since World War II in other nations in the Middle East and in Asia, as well as Latin America.

And do not be surprised by a move to engage in war with Iran, in support of the right wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, and more warfare in the West Bank and Gaza Strip areas of the Palestinians.

This is not to endorse Iran, the Palestinians, or anyone else, but to point out, it looks as if we are on the way to another major military conflict, that will cost American lives and make tons of profit for the war industry. And we are likely to see a new generation of American military personnel who end up having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and are unlikely to gain proper medical treatment for that condition.

In many ways, America has learned nothing from our historical experiences, and we are reverting to past mistakes in domestic and foreign policy.