Gulf War

The Destruction Of The “Special” Friendship, Relationship, And Alliance Between The US And Great Britain For A Century

Ever since the beginning of the 20th century, the United States and Great Britain have had a “special” relationship and friendship, and became allies in 1917 when the US went into World War I.

Theodore Roosevelt was very close to Great Britain in the first decade of the 20th century, and Woodrow Wilson was a known “Anglophile” in his writings and scholarship during his years as a professor and university president before he ran for public office.

While the alliance during World War I did not survive in the 1920s and 1930s isolationist period, we were still friendly toward our former mother country.

Then in World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill became great allies and friends, as both nations fought against Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan.

After World War II, the United States became the leader of the free world democracies, and allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the British fought in the Korean War, the Gulf War, and in the War on Terror after September 11 in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While the British did not send troops into the Vietnam War, they have always been perceived as our closest friends in the world, alongside Canada.

But now, Donald Trump has openly criticized the British government and its leader Theresa May, and Trump is the most unpopular American President ever in modern times by every measure.

This is a very sad situation, and it is clear that we have just witnessed the destruction of this special friendship, relationship, and alliance between the US and Great Britain.

A Massive Loss Of Quality Journalism In Just Two Days: Brian Williams, Jon Stewart, Bob Simon!

American journalism has suffered a tremendous loss in just two days—the six month suspension of Brian Williams from NBC News; the announcement that Jon Stewart, the brilliant anchor of the Daily Show on Comedy Channel is leaving later this year; and the tragic death of Bob Simon of CBS News and Sixty Minutes in an automobile accident.

In a time when quality journalism is hard to find, and we have so many ignorant, stupid, biased so called “journalists” on Fox News Channel who lie on a regular basis, it is tragic that Brian Williams, a good guy, well liked by many, has been dealt a six month suspension without pay, and yet based on so far only one confirmed blunder.

It is also sad that Jon Stewart, the best comedian in the business, is leaving his path breaking show that was the major way most young people received their news of the day, and Stewart was brilliant in exposing the hypocrisy of politicians on an everyday basis for 16 plus years.

And worst of all is the tragic death of Bob Simon, a true professional, who worked for CBS for nearly 50 years, and was always highly admired for his vast experiences in news gathering. He survived captivity in the Gulf War, the fall of Saigon, and Middle East conflict, to end up dying in an accident on the West Side Highway in New York City.

All three will, of course, be trashed by the right wing, because all three were liberals, who really cared about people and would not be afraid to expose the truth about what was going on in the nation and overseas.

But no attacks by anyone at Fox News Channel in particular, and conservative talk radio as well, will take away from the reality that these are a few of the very small number of quality journalists still working, at a time when propaganda, hate, and deception are the norm much too often!

89th Birthday Of President George H. W. Bush: His Stature Has Risen!

Today is the 89th birthday of former President George H. W. Bush, the 41st President, and we almost lost him at the end of 2012, when he was in the hospital for a long time, and it seemed as if he was not going to make it through bronchitis and other ills.

The fact that the senior Bush was a moderate Republican, who took us through the Gulf War; had the courage to raise taxes, even though it helped to defeat him in 1992; and promoted the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, one of the most important civil rights laws in our history; all this helps to add to his stature as we look back after twenty plus years since he lost reelection to Bill Clinton.

While Bush will never make it to the top third of our Presidents, he has gained respect and recognition as a President who, even with faults and shortcomings in office, contributed in important ways to the advancement of the United States, both domestic and foreign, so today is a day to salute the 41st President and wish him many more years of enjoying his children and grandchildren, and the appreciation of the American people for a job done with full commitment to his nation!

It is wonderful that longevity has become a norm, not only in society in general, but among Presidents, as now Bush is the fifth longest lived President, after Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, both of whom reached 93 years of age; and John Adams and Herbert Hoover, who both reached 90. And on October 1, Jimmy Carter will also reach the age of 89, and is in far better health than Bush is at this time. Both Bush and Carter have already surpassed Harry Truman, who died at age 88 and seven and a half months.

Why Barack Obama In 2012 Is NOT George H. W. Bush In 1992, NOR Jimmy Carter In 1980!

With exactly four months to go until the Presidential Election of 2012, the job figures this month, showing a slowing of the economy, very little job growth, and a steady 8.2 percent unemployment rate, makes it clear that Barack Obama will not be able to bring the numbers under 8 percent before the election, and will have the highest unemployment rate of a President seeking re-election since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936.

So there are the hysterical political followers who fear that Obama is about to lose the election to Mitt Romney, but that is not going to happen!

Obama is compared to George H. W. Bush in 1992 and Jimmy Carter in 1980, with both of them losing, but the situations are VERY different!

Bush lacked any charisma, was running against a charismatic opponent, Bill Clinton, and had a serious, strong third party candidate in Ross Perot, which helped to cause his loss in the election. He also had accomplished very little beyond the Gulf War victory, and the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Jimmy Carter in 1980 was also lacking in charisma, was running against a very charismatic candidate, Ronald Reagan, who was able to unify people with his speaking skills, and faced the Iranian hostage crisis, and super high inflation due to the second Arab Oil Embargo, and also faced a third candidate in the Presidential race, Independent John Anderson.

Obama has tons of charisma; while Mitt Romney has absolutely NONE, not even being well liked as a personality as Clinton and Reagan were; and Obama faces no third party or independent challenger.

Obama is personally popular, which Bush and Carter were not, based on public opinion polls.

But having said that, it is clear that what Obama must do is take parts of three former Democratic Presidents, and make it part of his campaign.

Obama must give the GOP “hell” as Harry Truman did in 1948, and must push job plans and education and infrastructure spending by calling Congress into special session in September after the ocnventions, as Truman did, even though Truman knew and we know no such legislation will pass, but still put the Republicans on the defensive!

Obama must act like Franklin D. Roosevelt by saying he welcomes the hate of the GOP, since they refuse to work with him, and drop the “nice guy” image!

And Obama must take on a Lyndon B. Johnson image, that he will push and prod Congress by constant news conferences and speeches on the essential need for massive changes in America!

In taking on ideas of Truman, FDR, and LBJ, Obama would stir the enthusiasm of progressives and liberals, and the groups that might be lazy about voting, and would also draw many of the independents who would realize we have a President who really CARES about average Americans, as Truman, FDR and LBj demonstrated, and contrast it with Mitt Romney, who has made it clear he has no care or concern for more than the one percent at the top of our society!

The Wartime Presidency: One Out Of Every Three Presidents!

America has had 43 Presidents, and a total of 14, or one third, have been wartime Presidents.

Some inherited wars, as Theodore Roosevelt and the Filipino Insurrection of 1899-1902; Harry Truman and World War II; Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Korean War; Richard Nixon and the Vietnam War; and Barack Obama and the Iraq War and Afghanistan War.

Others took us to war, believing it was necessary and unavoidable, including James Madison and the War of 1812; James K. Polk and the Mexican War; Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War; William McKinley and the Spanish American War; McKinley and the Filipino Insurrection; Woodrow Wilson and World War I; Franklin D. Roosevelt and World War II; Harry Truman and the Korean War; Lyndon B. Johnson and the Vietnam War; George H. W. Bush and the Gulf War; and George W. Bush and the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War.

Of these 14 wartime Presidents, one was a Democratic Republican (James Madison); seven were Republicans (Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower; Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush); and six were Democrats (James K. Polk, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Barack Obama).

One Term Presidencies: Seven Significant Leaders Not Appreciated

Tomorrow marks one year to the inauguration of the next President of the United States, and the question arises whether Barack Obama will become another one term President.

Historically, those who have been one term Presidents and lost re-election have tended to go down in history as “losers”, “failures”, and as “insignificant” in American history.

But nothing could be further from the truth. Consider the following cases:

John Adams–one of the most significant Founding Fathers in the Revolution and Federalist Eras, but defeated by Thomas Jefferson in the first political party struggle.

John Quincy Adams–brilliant in diplomacy before his Presidency as one of our greatest Secretaries of State, and exceptional as a Congressman for nearly 18 years after his Presidency, fighting against the evil of slavery, but losing to Andrew Jackson.

William Howard Taft–much underrated President who also served later as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but losing to Woodrow Wilson, and even ending up behind his promoter, Theodore Roosevelt, who ran on a third party line, the Progressive Party, the greatest third party performance in American history.

Herbert Hoover–acknowledged as great humanitarian as aide to Woodrow Wilson during World War I, and as Secretary of Commerce under Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge, but paralyzed by the Great Depression and slow to react to the massive crisis it presented.

Jimmy Carter–Despite major accomplishments in office, particularly in foreign policy, lost reelection to Ronald Reagan because of the Iranian hostage crisis, but pursued commitment to fighting disease and promoted diplomacy and free elections after his Presidency, and won the Nobel Peace Prize.

George H. W. Bush–very talented as Ambassador to China, United Nations Ambassador, and head of the Central Intelligence Agency before his Presidency, but despite his victory in the Gulf War, he was defeated due to the economic recession and the third party candidacy of Ross Perot, and lost to Bill Clinton.

Another one term President who chose NOT to run for re-election, of course, had a very successful term of office. James K. Polk gained the Oregon Treaty with Great Britain, giving America the Pacific Northwest states, and waged war with Mexico, gaining California and the Southwest states. Worn out by his labors, he chose not to run, and died 103 days after retirement, the shortest retirement period of any President in American history.

So the whole concept that one term Presidents do not matter is shown to be totally incorrect.

The Month Of August: A Crisis Month In History For The American Presidency!

Now that we have seen the month of August slip into history, it is worthwhile to look back and notice how significant the month is in Presidential history, how it is often a crisis month!

Examples include:

August 24, 1814–Great Britain invaded and burned the nation’s capitol, Washington, DC during the War of 1812, sending President James Madison and Congress fleeing to nearby Baltimore. This was the only invasion of American territory until Pearl Harbor in 1941.

August 4, 1914–World War I began in full swing, as all of the major European powers had finally declared war a week after the initial declaration. This alarmed President Woodrow Wilson issued a declaration that the United States would remain “neutral in thought, as well as action”, a statement which could not be upheld as the war progressed into a long term stalemate, leading to US entrance in 1917.

August 6 and 9, 1945–Newly inaugurated President Harry Truman, in office less than four months after the sudden death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, unleashes the atomic bomb over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, leading to the end of World War II.

August 13, 1961–The Soviet Union begins the construction of the Berlin Wall, separating East Berlin from West Berlin, during the first year of the administration of President John F. Kennedy. It will remain a symbol of oppression until its destruction in November 1989.

August 4, 1964–The Tonkin Gulf Incident is reported during the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson, a supposed attack on US Navy ships in the Gulf of Tonkin by North Vietnamese patrol boats. This led to Johnson’s request of a resolution allowing the use of force to react to the reported aggression, and was the first step in the escalation of the war in Vietnam to a full scale conflict.

August 9, 1974–President Richard Nixon resigned from office, the first President to take such action, due to the “smoking gun” tape that showed his involvement in a coverup of the Watergate scandal. President Gerald Ford succeeded him in office, and later pardoned Nixon from prosecution, allowing Nixon to evade punishment, including being removed from office in an impeachment trial had he stayed in office.

August 2, 1990–Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, invaded its oil rich neighbor, Kuwait, alarming Saudi Arabia and other Arab and oil nations, and led to US involvement, in unison with a United Nations coalition, to force Iraq out of Kuwait, but also putting US troops for the first time in the Middle East, and inciting Muslims who became involved in terrorism through participation with Al Qaeda under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden,

August 2011–President Barack Obama faced the crisis of the Debt Ceiling, which led to a lowering of the credit rating of the United States by Standard and Poor’s and a stock market crisis. Additionally, the Atlantic Coast Earthquake and Hurricane Irene became major crises, along with the final steps toward the removal of Moammar Gaddafi from power in Libya after a five month effort by the US, with backing of NATO allies, the United Nations, and the Arab League.

So there has to be a sign of relief that the ugly month of August has again passed into history!

The Republicans, Barack Obama, And The 2016, NOT 2012, Presidential Election!

All of America is focused on the 2012 Presidential Election, as the Republicans compete over who should oppose President Barack Obama for re-election.

There are a lot of people who seem to think that Barack Obama will be easy to defeat, because of the high unemployment rate, which will be the highest for a President running for re-election since the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

But these are not ordinary times, and the thought that Barack Obama is going down the road of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush is a false premise!

Remember that Ford, Carter and Bush I all had strong primary challenges, with Ford having to deal with Ronald Reagan, Carter with Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown, and Bush I with Pat Buchanan in the primaries and Ross Perot in the general election.

Also remember that none of those three Presidents had a record of domestic accomplishments that Barack Obama has!

Also remember that none of those three had the charisma or oratorical ability of Barack Obama!

Also realize that Obama has foreign policy accomplishments in the fight against terrorism, unmatched by any of those three, except briefly with the Gulf War under George H. W. Bush!

Although there are those competing for the Presidency in the Republican Party, actually, on the sidelines, there are others who desire the job, but either are not ready yet to run for the office, or are smart enough to realize that the odds of ultimately defeating Obama are long, so better to wait to 2016, when Obama would be finishing his two terms of office, if he is reelected.

It is a gamble, of course, to sit back and wait, but likely a good gamble, and if it is an open Presidential election, the odds of success for the Republicans grows by 2016.

So who is sitting on the sidelines, salivating for the Presidency, and secretly hoping no Republican is elected in 2012?

In no special order, here is a list of ambitious Republicans:

1. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey
2. Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin
3. Former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida
4. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida
5.Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts
6. Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia
7. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin
8. Governor Rick Scott of Florida
9. Governor John Kasich of Ohio
10.Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina

Notice particularly THREE Floridians who have ambitions–Bush, Rubio and Scott, and realize the fact that Florida will have 29 electoral votes, the fourth largest number, as Florida is the fourth largest state.

So, particularly among Republicans in Florida, there are those who secretly hope that 2016 will be an open election, and are willing to sit back and wait for just that reason!

Split In The Republican Party On Foreign Interventions! Mitt Romney And Jon Huntsman Open A Debate!

The Republican Party has been a warlike, hawkish party for the past two decades since the Gulf War, with Congressman Ron Paul of Texas being a rare critic.

When Paul was competing for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2008, he was ridiculed in debates by Rudy Guiliani and other GOP candidates as loony and unrealistic about America’s role in the world.

But as we near ten years in Afghanistan and soon withdraw our forces from Iraq and wonder about the Libyan intervention, nearing three months with no resolution, we are starting to see chinks in the armor of the war wing of the Republican Party.

Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are always looking to bomb and intervene in another Muslim country, and most Republicans in Congress have refused up to now to realize the heavy financial cost of constant military intervention, particularly at a time of record deficits and the growing dispute over raising the debt limit.

But now, at least two Presidential candidates, the two most likely to go all the way to the nomination, are expressing doubts about continuation of the war in Afghanistan, and the need to reconsider military spending in some form. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman have taken a courageous stand in this regard, but this has led at least Lindsey Graham to call Mitt Romney another Jimmy Carter, of all things!

IF either Romney or Huntsman become the GOP nominee against Barack Obama next year, there could be an opening for Obama to start moving to end the involvement in Afghanistan.

And if real discussion of defense and military cuts could move forward, it would change the economic outlook dramatically, and allow some relief on such issues as education, health care, and the environment taking all the hits in spending cuts!

The Senate Advocates Of Intervention In Muslim Lands: Enough Already!

Yesterday, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina advocated future intervention to stop the massacres going on in Syria.

Graham, along with Senators John McCain of Arizona and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, continue to travel in the Middle East and to advocate military intervention in Muslim lands.

As if intervention in Iraq, Aghanistan and Libya are not enough, President Obama has authorized drones and bombings be utilized in Pakistan and Yemen.

But whatever Obama does, which many wonder if not already too much intervention, these three Senators want extended military intervention in even more nations.

We can mourn the loss of life and the horrors of the Assad regime in Syria, but every country we intervene in only adds to Muslim hatred of America, and increases the desire of young Muslims in the Middle East and Asia to join Al Qaeda or the Taliban.

America cannot afford such military intervention, whether with the goal of improving relations with the Muslim world which does not occur, or in financial terms.

America is broke financially by these overseas interventions, and we are losing our young men and women to a cause that cannot be won by bombings and troops on the ground.

If we could only understand that we would be outraged by Muslim intervention in American territory, maybe we could see the mindset of the Muslim nations, who want us to get out of their lands, which we started to occupy in the Gulf War of 1991, the turning point for bad relations with that religious group and their populations.

So, Senator Graham, and Senators McCain and Lieberman, enough of your war mongering, and let’s bring the boys and girls home, and defend our own nation, and reinvest in our infrastructure and our education and health care instead of throwing money down a toilet!