Isolationism

82nd Anniversary Of Pearl Harbor Attack: Never To Forget!

Today, December 7, is the 82nd Anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which brought America into World War II.

There are still alive some veterans of that dastardly attack on a Sunday morning, which woke up America to the threats and the dangers from overseas, and proved that having two “great oceans” did not mean we were protected without a strong defense!

The attack woke up America, which again needs to be woken up, due to the opposition that exists to the US aiding Ukraine in its war against its Russian invader.

Just as the isolationists of the 1930s were wrong, so are the isolationists of the present, who live with their heads in the sand, thinking a Russian seizure of all of Ukraine is no threat to the rest of Europe, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The battle over Ukraine aid now raging on Capitol Hill is a reminder how many Americans do not learn from history!

Six Months To Midterm Elections: Time To Emphasize The Danger Of Republican Extremists!

In six months, the Midterm Congressional and Gubernatorial Elections of 2022 will occur.

Polls indicate disillusionment with Joe Biden and the Democratic Party, due to inflation and its effects, and the fact that there is stalemate with the evenly divided Senate and the small Democratic edge in the House of Representatives.

There is concern felt about the danger of Republican extremism in the states and on the Congressional level.

The party has allowed itself to promote policies that victimize women, people of color, immigrants, gays and transgender individuals.

They are promoting censorship and declaring war on public education and libraries in the name of advocacy of Christian values in a nation based on separation of church and state.

There is a strong strain of pro Russian, pro Vladimir Putin, support and a growing isolationist spirit, which endangers the alliances of the United States in international relations, most notably the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The cancer of Donald Trump still infuses the party rhetoric and obsequious support of a man who still contends that the election was stolen, and attempts are being pursued to insure limitations on voting and on control of election machinery for the upcoming Presidential Election of 2024.

American democracy and basic common decency, humanity, empathy and compassion are under attack, and the Democrats must pursue an aggressive counter reaction to the evils represented by an opposition party which is authoritarian oriented, and Fascist in nature!

The whole future of the American nation is at stake, if the Republican Party, as now constituted, wins control of state and national governments, as likely it will be a point of no return!

So Joe Biden and all Democrats must go on the offensive and make clear the dangers of Republican extremism!

Joe Biden Becomes A Wartime President, Will Change The Equation On His Presidency!

Sadly, but unavoidably, Joe Biden has become a wartime President, which will change the equation on his Presidency.

In the midst of so many issues and controversies facing the 46th President, the issue of foreign policy and war has reared its ugly head.

Joe Biden and NATO must meet the Russian Federation threat of Vladimir Putin, with his invasion of Ukraine, before it becomes a further invasion of NATO nations, such as Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, or Poland.

This situation will have a dramatic effect on so many areas, beyond international affairs, as it is likely to have a deleterious effect on the economy, and will likely cause new debate about the old isolationist arguments of the past.

The danger of a real third World War is omnipresent, and the national security of America, as well as their NATO partners, is under threat.

And sadly, the conservative right wing is amazingly pro Russian, mind boggling to have Fox News Channel and its despicable talk show hosts embracing Putin, and showing no concern over the future of Ukraine.

So the Republican Party faces a crossroads on this matter, as to whether they are prepared to embrace this extremist viewpoint favoring Russia.

It will be a major factor in the politics of 2022 and 2024!

Six And A Half Months To Most Crucial Presidential Election Since 1940

We are facing this November the fifth most crucial Presidential election in American history.

Every Presidential election matters, of course, and in the midst of each campaign, there are those who will think it is the most important event ever to occur.

But in reality, the number of times that an election has been truly “crucial” is limited to what this author and blogger believes are only a few times.

Those few elections that have been crucial to the extreme would include, chronologically the following:

Election of 1860, a four way race, with the Civil War seen as on the horizon, and Abraham Lincoln winning with only 39.8 percent of the vote, over Stephen Douglas, John C. Breckinridge, and John Bell.

Election of 1864, in which Lincoln defeated former General George McClellan, at a crucial time in the Civil War.

Election of 1932, in which the nation was at its lowest economic point in history, with the failure of Herbert Hoover, and the alternative of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal.

Election of 1940, when America faced the danger of Fascism in the world, but isolationism reigned, and Franklin D. Roosevelt faced a businessman with no government experience, Wendell Willkie, as the world was engaged in World War II.

Now, in 2020, we face a CoronaVirus Pandemic; a collapsed economy worse than any time since the Great Depression; and a crazed, dangerous President who should have been removed from office for abuse of power, and instead is, effectively, taking the nation over the brink of the cliff that it is facing at this time!

So just as Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt came to the rescue, each of them twice, now Joe Biden and his female running mate face the challenge of the greatest crisis in 80 years, and we have to hope he can gather the strength, courage, and decisiveness of Lincoln, FDR, and other great Presidents, including Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama in difficult moments in their Presidencies!

America In World Affairs Since First World War Entrance 101 Years Ago!

America has been actively engaged in world affairs now for a century, finally abandoning isolationism in the first week of April 1917, when President Woodrow Wilson delivered a war message to Congress on April 2, followed by four days of heated debate, and then a declaration of war on April 6.

While America reverted to isolationism in the 1920s and 1930s, it failed, and once we entered World War II, the die was cast that we would always play a major role in world affairs, but not without controversy.

Since World War II, America has engaged in five wars–Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf against Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iraq, with none of those wars leading to victory, although at least, the boundary line in the Korean War was restored by 1953.

But we lost in Vietnam, and have not accomplished our goals in Afghanistan and Iraq, although the brief Persian Gulf War was won in six weeks, but the problem of Saddam Hussein reared its ugly head a decade later.

We have also been involved in many invasions, unofficial interventions, and many cases where we had troops without the knowledge of the American people, and often even leaders of Congress.

Secret wars have gone on and are going on right now, and under Donald Trump, we might very well end up sending troops to North Asia to fight North Korea and to the Middle East to fight Iran.

We now have the most militaristic government without any controls under Donald Trump, with his top aides now being extremely militaristic and warlike.

And war will likely reinforce the Trump supporters, and could, conceivably, cause public opinion gains that could help the Republicans keep control of Congress, and keep the White House in Republican hands in 2020!

We are at a very delicate time, with instability of our nation’s relationship with our allies around the world, and his “bromance” with Russia and Vladimir Putin, along with Trump’s “tariff wars” likely to provoke one crisis after another.

This is our situation as the 101st anniversary of our engagement in World War I is upon us three days from now!

Former Presidents George W. Bush And Barack Obama Come Out Against Trump, And Bush, Sr., Bill Clinton, And Jimmy Carter Are Also Opponents

Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both made speeches on Thursday, denouncing the policies and mentality of the Trump Presidency, but without mentioning his name.

Bush has never criticized his successor, Barack Obama, but he is clearly, along with his brother Jeb, and his parents George HW and Barbara Bush, willing to speak out against the nativism, nationalism, isolationism, and xenophobia of Donald Trump.

Obama has avoided direct attacks, but spoke in a similar vein as Bush.

Their opposition has been joined with utterances by Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and indirectly by the elder Bushes.

So all five living former Presidents have become critics of a man who has strongly attacked all of them.

And all five former Presidents are co-sponsors of a hurricane relief concert for the benefit of the victims in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. All five will be attending the Texas A & M concert this evening, and that will make for a rare photo of five living former Presidents, which has only been accomplished three times before–1861-1862 during the Civil War and the early Presidency of Abraham Lincoln; 1993-1994 in the first year of the Bill Clinton Presidency; and 2001-2004 during the second Bush Administration.

Additionally, all five former living Presidents will be with their wives, five former First Ladies—Rosalyn Carter, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama, an amazing development, since both the older Bush and Carter are now 93, and their wives are 92 and 90, respectively.

They are adding to their stature, as responsible and statesmanlike, something that Donald Trump is incapable of accomplishing.

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 Rejects The Paris Climate Deal, A Tragedy Long Term For America And The World!

Donald Trump has just done the most disastrous long term action so far in his Presidency. by rejecting the Paris Climate Deal!

His own daughter, Ivanka, could not get through to him, and neither could Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; thousands of climate scientists; and hundreds of corporations, including Shell Oil and Exxon Oil, where Tillerson was once its leader.

It is a smack in the face to the entire world, with 195 countries having agreed to it, and only Syria and Nicaragua not taking part, and in the case of Nicaragua, they rejected the deal as too weak and wanted a stronger deal. So only a nation in the midst of a long civil war has refused to cooperate, as millions are dying, being wounded, or fleeing for their lives in that tragic war in Syria.

Trump is rejecting science, and allowing Scott Pruitt, his despicable head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and White House Advisor Stephen Bannon, to control his decision.

Trump will be condemned in history for this dastardly act, and his super nationalistic view reeks of Fascism, and it must be bitterly opposed by marches and demonstrations, and the push to defeat every Republican in Congress who supports what Trump has done.

Trump is showing no concern for future generations, and we will see over this century the eventual flooding of such cities as New York City, Boston, Miami, and New Orleans, and his legacy will be that he helped to cause this to occur.

Politicians go to doctors for medical treatment, for their expertise, so why not have politicians leave it to scientists to warn us what we must do to prevent climate change and global warming from destroying the nation and the world?

Imagine if Franklin D. Roosevelt had rejected the advice of Albert Einstein about nuclear weapons in 1939, because after all, one cannot see the atom visually!

America has given up world leadership, and will pay long term for our isolationism, and whatever can be done to reverse this crazy decision legally and politically over the next few years must be done!

How selfish and self serving can a President be? And Trump says the world will laugh at us if we do not rescind the Paris agreement, as the world is taking advantage of us, when in fact, the world is laughing at his stupidity and ignorance precisely because he has made this despicable decision!

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.

First Thoughts After The Inauguration: How Nasty, Mean Spirited, And Lacking In Compassion Donald Trump Really Is!

I had said I was taking a day off from commentary, and will write in greater detail tomorrow, but I felt a need to comment just before midnight on Inauguration Day, so here goes!

Donald Trump in just 12 hours has made clear just how nasty, mean spirited, and lacking in compassion he really is!

He claims that he is in the White House for the average American, but he has painted a picture of America which is very dark, very pessimistic, and very lacking in truth.

He claims there is a “carnage” that has gone on, even though Barack Obama presided over more employment gains than any President in history, and starting from a economic disaster known as the Great Recession, and in danger of falling further into another Great Depression!

He claims concern for mothers and children in the “ghettos” in the cities, but has never once indicated what he will do.

He declares “America First” without any understanding of the history of that term.

He has no knowledge or understanding of history or science, as he declares war on the environment, with lack of concern for our children and grandchildren by putting profits ahead of health and safety in the future.

He is basically telling our allies in Europe and Asia to go to hell, and promoting isolationism, protectionism, super nationalism bordering on Fascism.

He talks about America being great again, when it already is, but is willing to destroy all progress accomplished under his predecessor, who he spent five years destroying, and now will put the final nails in the 44th President’s legacy.

He says he cares about the “forgotten people”, but he is taking steps to harm these same people, including many who voted for him.

How can this man sleep at night, have no conscience, and be almost gleeful at destroying all of the great social and economic progress from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama?

It as if the devil is in him, Satan in a way, a man with no ethics, morals, or scruples.

One has to believe in divine retribution in the next world, or “what goes around, comes around”–Karma!