Cold War

November 9–Kristallnacht 1938 And Berlin Wall Collapses 1989

November 9 is a momentous day in world history, and specifically in German history.

In 1938, we had Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass), the beginning of widespread violence and arrest of Jews in Germany by the government of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.

This is often seen as the beginning of the Holocaust that led to six million Jews and seven million others being slaughtered in concentration camps during the ensuing World War II.

This event is even more significant after the tragic death of 1,400 Israelis on October 7 by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

November 9 in 1989 is a much more pleasant event, as the Berlin Wall was overcome by crowds beginning on that day, marking the end of the Cold War and the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, as well as the reunification of Germany in 1990, an event that is a great moment in history!

Joe Biden And Camp David Summit With South Korea And Japan Important Step For National Security And World Stability!

In a world in the 2020s, in many respects just as dangerous as a hundred years ago, the need for America to build up and strengthen foreign alliances to promote democracy and security is urgent!

We are fortunate that we have a President, Joe Biden, wise enough to recognize, just as Harry Truman did three quarters of a century ago, the need to build strong international alliances to protect the US and promote democracy against totalitarian governments.

In the last century, we had Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan as the threats in World War II, and then in the Cold War years, we had the Soviet Union to combat.

More recently, we have the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, and Iran as the leading rivals and threats to American national security and world stability.

So Joe Biden has wisely built up and expanded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) begun under President Harry Truman, and with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, making a strong commitment to the preservation of that nation’s independence from Russian dominance!

If Donald Trump or many Republican isolationists, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, were to win the White House in 2024, the security umbrella of NATO, with its 31 nations allied with the US, would be in danger of being destroyed, and would only encourage Vladimir Putin ever more in his aggressions, just like Adolf Hitler a century ago.

The news of the meeting of South Korea’s President and Japan’s Premier with President Biden at Camp David, Maryland, yesterday, is an indication of the desire to have closer relations with two key Asian allies, as a bulwark against China and North Korea, and is all to the good for the future of democracy preservation!

Camp David has been the location of historic summits, and adds stature to the commitment of the US to the support of two key Asian allies!

Lyndon B. Johnson And Medicare: 58th Anniversary!

It has been 58 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Medicare Act, a pathbreaking turning point in health care, after much resistance for a half century.

Theodore Roosevelt in 1912, as the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party Presidential nominee, was the first President to suggest health care should be a national commitment.

His distant cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, considered the issue, but had enough of a battle over Social Security being legislated into law in 1935, as part of his “New Deal”.

Harry Truman promoted, as part of his “Fair Deal”, the consideration of some sort of national health care, but it went awry in the divisive politics of the “Red Scare” and the Cold War.

John F. Kennedy also pushed the issue, but did not have the clout to get it past House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Wilbur Mills of Arkansas.

Lyndon B. Johnson pushed the issue of national health care as part of his “Great Society”, and got it done, and it has been a godsend to millions of elderly people and disabled people, and added to the following year by the adoption of Medicaid.

Most Republicans opposed it then and since, and continue to call it “Socialism”, and ten states, including Texas and Florida, refuse to expand Medicaid, denying the poor the care they need, and this by a party that claims to be “Pro Life”! 🙁

And Barack Obama, in promoting the Affordable Care Act or “ObamaCare”, expanded health care, and it continues to survive despire blistering Republican and conservative attacks!

So this is a time to salute LBJ, as the savior of the promotion of national health care!

May 8, 1945—VE Day And Harry Truman Birthday In White House

Today is the 77th Anniversary of VE Day, Victory in Europe over Nazi Germany in World War II, and also the birthday of President Harry Truman, who has ascended to the Presidency less than a month earlier, on April 12, 1945, upon the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Truman would go on to serve seven years and nine months, and take us through the end of the war against Japan, and the early days of the Cold War against the Soviet Union, and the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), all relevent to today when the Russian Federation is at war against Ukraine, and has committed horrendous war crimes.

The US and its NATO partners are doing everything possible to combat the Russian military action in Ukraine, and World War III could be coming soon, if Russia invades any NATO nation!

America’s Relation With World Conflict Began On This Day In 1917, And Now Facing New World Conflict!

On this day, April 6, 1917, 105 years ago, America left its isolationist heritage, and began its relation with world conflict, as Congress voted American entrance into World War I.

Woodrow Wilson had wished to keep America at peace, but war was forced upon him by the actions of Imperial Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm II.

After World War I, America went back into isolationism, but the rise of Nazism and Fascism forced America and its President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, into World War II in 1941, against Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan.

Isolationism would never fully revive again, as America entered the challenges of the Cold War against the Soviet Union from 1945-1991.

Once the Soviet Union collapsed, it was thought America was free of foreign conflict, but international terrorism woke us up in 2001.

And now, the Russian Federation and Vladimir Putin has begun waging war against Ukraine, including war crimes, massacre, and genocide.

It places the United Nations organization, the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the United States as a world leader to have to consider going into what might become World War III, a horrifying thought.

But it seems clearly, to this blogger and author, that ultimately, Vladimir Putin will not stop at Ukraine, but will very likely attack NATO nations, including the Baltic States (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania) and Poland at some point, and the US and NATO will need to respond to attacks on their allies.

Nuclear war is a possibility, horrendous thought, but in the end, a bully must be stopped, or he becomes a worst, more dangerous bully!

So it seems highly likely that Joe Biden will have to do what Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt did, take America into a world war!

As Trump Asks For Help From Putin To Slander Biden, Republicans Remain Silent!

The Republican Party has become a true party of treason and sedition, and not only because of their lack of concern about the January 6 Insurrection.

Donald Trump has appealed to Vladimir Putin to help him slander Joe Biden through unwarranted attacks on Hunter Biden, and Republicans enmasse, with a very few exceptions, remain silent.

And there are Republicans who support Putin, rather than Ukraine, and this includes Fox News Channel and other right wing channels, a true example of treason and sedition.

The Republican Party, the party of anti Soviet views throughout the years of the Cold War, has become complicit in support of the Russian Federation and its autocratic leader.

The Republican Party is backing autocracy against democracy, and denying basic human rights to people of color; women: gays, lesbians and transgenders; labor; immigrants; and the poor.

They have become a party of obscene, hateful, despicable behavior with no shame!

The Republican Party Of History Is Gone! 1854-2022!

The Republican Party of history once stood for human rights, civil rights, racial equality, in the age of Abraham Lincoln.

The Republican Party of history once stood for progressive reforms, in the age of Theodore Roosevelt, Robert LaFollette, Sr., and George Norris.

The Republican Party of history once stood for promoting internationalism and fighting the Cold War for democracy and against the threat of totalitarianism, in the age of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.

The Republican Party of history once stood for Civil Rights in the age of Senators and Congressmen who joined with Democrats to promote political and social reform.

The Republican Party of history had its elements which were evil and divisive, but the party overall stood for basic principles of decency while promoting conservatism and the concept of limited national government.

But now, the Republican Party has promoted massive give aways to the wealthy, while having no concern about the needs of the middle class and the poor.

But now, the Republican Party consorts with authoritarian regimes of the Left and the Right, including collaborating with Vladimir Putin to fix the Presidential Election of 2016, and to make concessions to the Russian Federation during the era of Donald Trump.

But now, the Republican Party has the craziest conceivable elements in its party, who promote sedition, treason, and attacks on the Constitution and the rule of law.

Only a small element of the 2021-2022 Republican Party is part of the mainstream of American politics, and they are outnumbered and attacked for their commitment to decency, honesty, and the tenets of American democracy. Plaudits to Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, Anthony Gonzalez, Peter Meijer, John Katko, Tom Rice, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney, Pat Toomey, and a small group of other courageous, principled Congressmen and Senators!

Donald Trump and his ilk, which include millions of ignorant, prejudiced white supremacists, antisemites, Islamophobes, racists, nativists and misogynists, represent a dire threat to the American republic, and must be combatted by every legal tool available, to allow America to reach its 250th anniversary in 2026 as a nation still keeping its values and heritage that are a model for democracy around the world in the 21st century!

Foreign Policy Rears Its Ugly Head For Joe Biden

Every President enters office wishing to deal with domestic policy and change.

But invariably, foreign policy rears its ugly head much too often!

Woodrow Wilson came to office in 1913, not expecting the First World War I to break out in 1914, and bring us into that war in 1917.

Franklin D. Roosevelt came to office in 1933, wishing to deal with the Great Depression, but also had to deal with the growing Fascist threat of Japan, Nazi Germany, and Fascist Italy, and eventually, entrance into World War II!

Harry Truman came to office in 1945 to end World War II, but had to deal with the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and send troops to Korea.

John F. Kennedy came to office in 1961, and had to deal with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Lyndon B. Johnson came to office in 1963, wanting to promote the Great Society, but also had to deal with the Vietnam War.

Every other President in modern times has had to face similar issues, and now, Joe Biden must deal with China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran as major headaches, as he tries to resolve the COVID 19 Pandemic Crisis!

Past Bipartisan Actions: Can This Happen Again As Joe Biden Hopes For, Or Is This A Mirage?

In the past, despite political party conflict on beliefs and principles, we saw bipartisan actions and crossing party lines to accomplish major goals.

Here are four examples of such situations since World War II where a President of one party and a Congressional leader of the opposition party cooperated, and brought along other votes from their party to back the President of the opposition party.

When Democratic President Harry Truman was in office, and the Cold War with the Soviet Union was evolving, Truman was able to gain key Republican support from the Republican Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 80th Congress, Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan, for the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan in 1947-1948.

When Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower was in office, he was able to work cooperatively with the Democratic leaders of both houses of Congress from 1955-1961 on many matters. Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn and Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson, both from Texas, worked across the party lines in many situations, particularly on the first Civil Rights Acts (1957 and 1960) since Reconstruction after the Civil War.

When Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson was in office, he was able to gain support of Republican Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois on gaining necessary support on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Medicare passage in 1965.

When Republican President Ronald Reagan was in office, he was able to come to an agreement with Democratic Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neill to protect Social Security long term by a bipartisan agreement in 1983.

Since the 1990s and the hardline partisanship of the Republican Party and then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in the Republican Revolution of 1994, we have seen unwillingness by that party to have any willingness to cross party lines, and his early efforts were also pursued by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell right up to the present!

So President Elect Joe Biden’s publicly expressed hopes for bipartisan actions in these disastrous times to be accomplished, is it a mirage? We shall find out soon!

75th Anniversary Of VE Day, And 136th Birthday Of President Harry Truman

Seventy five years ago today, the nightmare of World War II in Europe came to an end with the surrender of Nazi Germany, although the war against Japan continued for four more months until VJ Day on September 2, 1945.

President Harry Truman was in office only 26 days, and VE Day happened to be his 61st Birthday, so today we celebrate a humble man, who met the challenge of ending the war against Japan, and coping with the Cold War threat of the Soviet Union.

The only President since 1900 not to have attended or graduated college, still Harry Truman was a learned man, as he was a reader and interested in gaining knowledge. Unlike Donald Trump, who hates to read and has displayed evidence that he has no knowledge to speak of on any topic imaginable, including as a few: History, Science, Medicine, Math, Spelling, Economics, Foreign Policy, The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and common decency, empathy, compassion, and humanity!

Truman came in at a difficult time, with the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 12, 1945, and was a bit overwhelmed, but met the challenge, and demonstrated courage, guts, decisiveness, and principle.

One can be sure that if Harry Truman were alive, he would have choice curse words for the only other President who shares the first four letters of his last name.

Truman ranks as 5th or 6th in rankings of Presidents, while Trump is assured last place for the eternity, below James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson!