World Trade Center

Three Days Away, Hurricane Irma Overcome, So Return To Political Reality

Three days away due to Hurricane Irma, with no problems, just inconvenience of loss of electricity, phones, internet, and very little damage, considering the intensity of the storm.

So now we are back to political reality, and this blogger will resume his coverage and interpretation of political and historical events which affect our present and our future.

Most important today is the 16th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and proper commemoration is in order.

But tomorrow, the future of this nation remains one of uncertainty with the erratic and weird leadership of Donald Trump, who now seems to be setting out to declare war on the Republican Party, which was taken hostage by him in 2016, and his sudden, momentary “affair” with the Democrats, who have not one ounce of trust in him, but will work with him if there is any temporary benefit to them.

This issue of Trump and the Republicans, and Trump and the Democrats, will be discussed further in future days.

From 9-11 To 11-9: One American Tragedy To Another!

The 21st century began with the horrific attack on September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing nearly 3.000 civilians of many nations.

It ushered in a 15 year period of turmoil, division, and tremendous spending to fight terrorism and wage two unwinnable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It has led to persecution of Muslims in America, and promotion of nativism, racism, and antisemitism.

It has caused the two major political parties to fight each other in a way that prevents any cooperation on just about anything.

And then, in the midst of all this chaos and anxiety, along came a charlatan, a rookie in politics, a crooked businessman, a narcissist to the extreme, who was able to convince working class white males that he was their “Superman”, and would end terrorism, crime, and fight Wall Street, all fabrications.

So from the 9-11 tragedy, we went to 11-9, November 9, 2016, the declared victory of Donald Trump, who has caused more division and hatred than anyone in the past 15 years.

And he won due to the quirks of the Electoral College, having only one serious opponent who won electoral votes, but only winning 46 percent of all votes cast.

And November 9 is also the day in 1938 when we had Kristallnacht, the “Night of the Broken Glass”, when thousands of Jews became victims of a pogrom, as businesses and synagogues went up in flames and ushered in the beginning of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, which killed six million Jews by 1945.

With the rise of white supremacy, and characters such as Richard Spencer and David Duke backing Donald Trump’s attacks on Mexicans. Muslims, and all immigration under attack, one can sense that we might be moving toward Fascism, with only the scandals around Donald Trump giving us the hope that his agenda may be stalled and prevented permanently.

Afghanistan War 2001-2017: $800 Billion, And 2,249 Americans Killed In A Quagmire That Is Unwinnable With Troops!

Fareed Zakaria spoke today on his CNN show about the Afghanistan War, which began on October 7, 2001, after the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

We still have more than 8,000 troops engaged in a war that never has really ended, and it is the longest war in American history.

About $800 billion has been spent fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda, but one cannot say that the war has been won, or will ever be won.

2,249 Americans have paid the ultimate price, in a quagmire that is unwinnable with troops, by any sensible measure of success.

The Soviet Union collapsed by 1991, partly due to the invasion of Afghanistan that went on from December 1979 February 1989.

The British tried to gain control of Afghanistan as part of the British Empire and failed, and the same for Alexander the Great in ancient times.

The loss of life and treasure is enough, and the US should stop their ground war in Afghanistan, and utilize drones as the only worthwhile investment, since the government of Afghanistan is hopelessly corrupt and unable to win the war, with no one really knowing what “winning” means in any case!

Donald Trump, The Conspiracy Theorist, With Innumerable “Skeletons” In His Closet!

Donald Trump is a master of conspiracy theories, including:

Muslims in Hew Jersey applauded the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

Barack Obama was not born in the United States, and is a Muslim. (The Birther Conspiracy)

Mexico is conspiring against the US, and sending drug gangs and criminals into the US.

Ted Crux’s father, Rafael Cruz, conspired with Lee Harvey Oswald to assassinate John F. Kennedy.

Vince Foster, an aide to the Clintons, did not commit suicide in 1993, but instead was murdered on order of the Clintons, as he had dangerous information on their activities.

Hillary Clinton “enabled” Bill Clinton to commit abuse on numerous women, and set out to destroy those women’s lives in the aftermath.

These and other conspiracy theories are the work of right wing extremists who will stop at nothing to defame the Clintons and President Obama.

Meanwhile, Trump has numerous “skeletons” in his closet, but is outraged at any investigation of them, and uses reports on his “skeletons” as the excuse for his vicious personal attacks on the Clintons, Obama, Muslims, and Mexicans, along with innumerable personal attacks on everyone else imaginable!

The First Terrorist Attack: Columbus, New Mexico (Pancho Villa) March 9, 1916!

Most who study American history know of the British attack on Washington, DC on August 24, 1814, during the War of 1812.

They know of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941, leading to World War II entrance.

Of course, they know of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, leading to the War on Terrorism.

But almost no one knows of the attack on Columbus, New Mexico, on March 9, 1916 by Mexican bandits led by rogue Pancho Villa, during the period known as the Mexican Revolution.

This attack led to the burning of this town on the Mexican border by several hundred Mexican guerrillas, and the deaths of 17 Americans.

President Woodrow Wilson sent in General John J. Pershing to hunt down Pancho Villa and the guerrillas, but this “Punitive Expedition”, lasting from March 14, 1916 to February 7, 1917 failed to accomplish its mission, and the American troops were withdrawn, after months of protests from the Mexican government about the invasion into their sovereign territory.

This was one of the many undeclared wars in American history, and was unable to fulfill its objective, the capture or killing of Villa, who was later killed by one of his followers in 1923.

So yesterday was the centennial anniversary of this tragic event!

In Crisis Moments, Should An American President Resign, As Reckless Republicans Are Suggesting? Of Course Not!

Think of how many times a crisis has arisen in American history during an administration of innumerable Presidents!

Should James Madison have resigned as he fled the capital as the British invaded Washington, DC  in August 1814 during the War of 1812?

Should Abraham Lincoln have resigned when various times in the Civil War the Confederacy won major military battles from 1861-1863?

Should Franklin D. Roosevelt have resigned when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941?

Should John F. Kennedy have resigned when Russian missiles were discovered in Cuba in 1962?

Should Ronald Reagan have resigned after the loss of 252 Marines in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983, due to Islamic terrorism?

Should George W. Bush have resigned after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by Al Qaeda?

In these and innumerable other situations, of course the answer is NO!

But now, suddenly, reckless Republicans want Barack Obama to resign due to the Paris terror attacks, which they blame Obama for, even though ISIL (ISIS) is the outgrowth of the disastrous and unnecessary Iraq War waged by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

This demand for resignation occurred after “Jihadi John”, who slaughtered foreign hostages by knife, including Americans; and a leading figure in ISIL (ISIS) in Libya, were killed by American air strikes, but before the tragic Paris terror attacks, as if the Republicans have s simple answer to the threat of Islamic terrorism!

So in a crisis moment, the nation should rally around the President, as is typical in most cases historically.  But even when not unifying around the President, no leader should bow to political attacks, and instead go to work and face the crises that arise, as so many Presidents have done throughout American history!

200th Anniversary Of British Attack On Washington DC During War Of 1812!

Today is the 200th Anniversary of the British attack on Washington DC during the War of 1812, one of the three times that our homeland has been directly attacked!

The second was the Japanese attack on the US naval base on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, and the third was the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, leading to the war in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda, and the full development of the War on Terror!

The attack on the nation’s capital led to the burning of the White House and the US Capitol, and the fleeing of Congress to Baltimore, and the saving of the George Washington portrait in the White House by servants of President James Madison. The Library of Congress lost its 3,000 volume collection, and later bought the Thomas Jefferson private collection to replace it.

This was a low moment in the War of 1812, but thankfully, the British left DC after 26 hours, and within months, a truce and peace treaty (Treaty of Ghent) was signed, and the war was over. Also, fortunately, a heavy summer thunderstorm helped to put out the fire in the Capital and the White House, and therefore, less damage was done than might have been otherwise!

The thought that our government center had been attacked was hard to accept, and since the terrorists on September 11 intended to attack the Capitol and/or the White House, and only were stopped by the courageous passengers of United Airlines Flight 93, who brought down a plane in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, that horrible situation was prevented, but the attack on the Pentagon, right over the DC line in Virginia was a strong enough warning of the threats that still existed then, and still do today with the growing danger of ISIL (ISIS)!

Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Louie Gohmert (Three House Republican Wingnuts) Remake History!

The three leading House Republican wingnuts–Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Steve King of Iowa, and Louie Gohmert of Texas– were in Egypt last week, hailing the military coup against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

And in the process of backing dictatorship, the three loonies made a statement about the 12th Anniversary of September 11 that is totally false and misleading.

They said the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which Morsi emerged, and won a democratic election, the first in modern Egyptian history, were responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon!

The facts are, and even intelligent, sane Republicans know this, that it was Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden who were responsible for that dastardly deed!

Labeling all Muslims as guilty of a horrible deed is what we call scapegoating, and only makes the ability of the world to learn to coexist, since there is no way to eliminate any religion, no matter how objectionable to people of other faiths, so much more difficult!

These members of Congress bring the dignity of the House of Representatives and the Republican Party to a new, all time low!

Sandy Hook Elementary School Another In A Long Line Of Tragedies That Will Never End Unless There Is Effective Gun Control Legislation!

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut is just the latest in a long line of gun tragedies, while the gun industry and the National Rifle Association, in the mad dash for capitalistic profit, resist ANY regulation of those who are able to obtain weapons, including assault rifles that no one needs!

If it is not elementary school children in Connecticut; or patrons in a movie theater in Colorado; or worshipers in a church in Wisconsin; or shoppers in a mall in Oregon; or constituents of a Congresswoman in Arizona, it may very well be a President of the United States, or a United States Senator, or a rock musician, or an actor, or an athlete who in some way triggers mental illness in some crackpot who wants fame, and makes for new gun victims!

Of course, no gun legislation will prevent all murders, but with 11,000 murders per year because of gun violence, more than any nation in the world, we cannot sit by and just “tsk tsk”, and do nothing!

We need effective gun regulation, and background checks of people before they can purchase weapons legally, and banning of all assault weapons. We can also decide that people cannot carry guns into bars, onto college campuses, into public schools, into hospitals, into government buildings, and prosecute anyone who endangers others by his or her recklessness!

We have to teach our children that guns are not fun, or not just to be used for target practice, and to stop glorifying hunting of birds and animals, as that is worshiping and glorifying death!

We must promote protection, but not think that everyone being strapped with a gun is going to promote safety in all public places, as just the opposite is true!

And this has nothing to do with God, as in the name of God, we have seen loads of bloodshed and death and warfare in human history, and religion has done more to promote hate and division, because of those fanatics believing their religious beliefs justify such crimes!

We are on the road to civil war, if we do not control the level of violence that we claim cannot be controlled, throw up our hands, and just keep on counting corpses!

For some gun nuts, only when they lose their own loved ones will they finally “get it”, and we need our government leaders to stop fighting politically, and look at gun violence as just as needy of a response as when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001!

Eleven Years Since September 11: What It Has Done To America

Eleven years ago, on a bright, sunny New York morning, just as today it is in New York, and on the same day of the week, Tuesday, America was struck by Al Qaeda and forces backed by Osama Bin Laden, causing the deaths of about 3,000 people at the World Trade Center, along with those slaughtered at the Pentagon in suburban Virginia, and those on the plane bound for the US Capitol or the White House, and forced into a crash by its courageous passengers in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

This is a day of commemoration and mourning for the loss of life, plus the deaths of over 6,000 Americans in unsuccessful wars in Afghanistan and Iraq since then, and the nearly 50,000 young men and women wounded, many of them severely, as a result of those wars.

We also mourn the loss of innocence that we had, that somehow, as the super power of the world, we were immune from such a shocking attack, and the sense of insecurity that it brought upon all of us.

Our lives have been transformed in so many ways that we can never reverse, and we can say that we have become ever more divided in the years since, politically, economically, and socially, and that we have a divided America more so now than ever since the Civil War and Reconstruction period in the middle to late 19th century.

We are a more stratified society economically, and we have become, more than ever, a nation of the coastlines versus the massive interior, a nation of blue versus red in political terms, and our country is rapidly changing in a way that worries us about the future, as to whether there is the potential for internal violence in the future, that might make the terrorism of September 11 seem like something minor, as compared to what could happen between the sections of the nation, the religious groups, the racial groups, the age groups, the gender groups, and the cultural groups that make America a complex nation in the 21st century.

Imagine going back to the year 2000, before the divisive Presidential Election of 2000, at a time when most Americans had never heard of Osama Bin Laden; when the World Trade Center dominated the Manhattan skyline; when there was no Facebook, Twitter, or Steve Jobs technology; when unemployment was only 3.9 percent; when the national debt was only $5.7 trillion; when gasoline was only $1.79 a gallon; and when the previous year, the biggest controversy was Bill Clinton’s sex life and his impeachment trial.

As America was entering the new century, we were extremely naive, worrying more about the effects of “Y2K” on computers, than the reality of what we were going to face in the first decade of the 21st century, which has worsened the outlook for America’s future in a dramatic way.

Oh, for the “good old days!”