Posts Tagged Human Rights

HOW DID THE HORRIBLE MISTAKE, WHICH WAS VIETNAM, HAPPEN?

NOTE:  Following France’s devastating loss at Dien Bien Phu, in July 1954, Viet Nam was partitioned at the 17th parallel. When the Geneva Agreements were signed, many Roman Catholics fled south, and elections were supposed to be held within two years, unifying all of Vietnam. South Vietnamese President Bo Diem’ however, never agreed to hold them

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In 2044 B. C., Chinese People began building dikes, roads and engaged in primitive farming in the Red River Valley of Vietnam.  Throughout history, Vietnam embodied much of Chinese culture, including Buddhism.  The country has always ben an agricultural nation.

During the 20th Century, Vietnam was ruled by China for 1,000 years.  Whenever there was a change in Dynasty, however, the Vietnamese fought for their freedom, but China always re-gained its control. And then, the French colonials ran Vietnam for two hundred years.

Unlike the Chinese rule, which was mostly territorial expansion, the French plundered the agricultural resources by making the locals work for them, and treated the Vietnamese People awfully.  The British and the Dutch were equally harsh in how they plundered the natural resources, and treated the locals in other parts of Asia.

During World War II, the American O. S. S. (Office of Strategic Services), which later became the C. I. A., was involved in sorting out the instigators from prisoners in the various Prisoner of War Camps.  Most OSS agents sent dispatches back to Washington, stressing that the Colonials should not return.

Mao Zedung, in China, Ho Chi Minh, in Vietnam, Sukarno, in Indonesia, etc., were all beloved by their citizenry, and they wanted them to lead.  As one Vietnamese man said:  We hated the Japanese; however, we knew that they would leave.  But, if we allowed the French to return, they would never leave.  Those sentiments were how the other Western Colonials behaved, as well.

President Dwight Eisenhower felt compelled to stand with the Western nations, who had been our Allies throughout WWII.  From then on, America was regarded as just another of the various Colonials, who were expecting to return to their plundering ways.

You might recall the “Domino Theory”, which was a key part of the basic rationale as to why America engaged in the Vietnam War, to begin with.  President Eisenhower gave a press conference in early 1954, just about the time that the Viet Minh, fighting for Vietnamese independence, were about to conquer the French at Dien Bien Phu.

“Ike” suggested that the four countries of Indochina—Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam were like dominoes, lined-up in a row.  And, once once fell to Communism, the rest would also fall, in turn.  After the Paris Peace talks for Vietnam, one of the Vietnamese representatives shot that theory down, however, when he pointed-out that Vietnam fought China for a thousand years.  Would we allow them in now?

With the 1954 Partition of Vietnam, most of the Roman Catholic minority fled south, from the North and the Central portions of the country.  This was a major problem for the Saigon government gaining the support of the People, 90% of whom were Bhuddist.  President Diem only admitted Catholics into his government, as well as the upper levels of his military.

To make matters worse, Diem had ordered his military not to fight; because, he said casualties made him “lose face.” Actually, he wanted the full force to be available, at all times, to rush back and defend him, in case of an attempted coup.  The Vietnamese Army preferred to just call in air and artillery strikes; however, they often killed more civilians, than than Viet Cong, the local guerrillas.

When the SeniorAmerican Advisors told the generals in Saigon that the Vietnamese Military refused to fight, regardless of how much they coerced them, they were ignored. And American junior Generals and Colonels, who tried to report what Washington didn’t want to hear, they were sometimes sent back to the Pentagon and forced to retire.

Washington and the American Saigon Command knew what news they wanted to hear: America and its Vietnamese allies would turn the corner:  with another 100,000 of our combat troops or another $10 billion would help; perhaps an additional six months; etc. And the Diem government was only too happy to tell it.  When I was there, in 1967 and ’68, there were more than 500,000 American GIs in the country.

Around that time, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, specially Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LaMay, kept recommending that we bomb the North back to the Stone Age by targeting railroads; bridges; industrial plants, etc.  Common sense, however, would have suggested that agricultural nations would have very little industrial infrastructure to bomb.  The industrious North Vietnamese People had a solution for the bombs that were raining down on them—make bomb shelters out of the craters.

Perhaps the best example of what America failing to understand Vietnam was the ”Protective Hamlets” strategy.  Whole villages were destroyed, and the farmers were re-located to small hamlets, generally miles away rom their land.  The peasants were let out in the morning so they could work their farms, and return to the hamlets in the evening.  There were two major problems, however, with that solution.

Some of the farms were so far from their land, that the farmers had to walk as far as ten miles, each way, carrying their tools to and from work.  Also, a major part of Buddhism is ancestor worship; but, with the burial mounds are back at the farm, the ancestors are left behind each day.  That’s why we were not “Winning the Hearts and Minds” of the majority Buddhists, and this idea, in effect, was sending them over fight for the Viet Cong.

Additionally, as with most non-industrial countries, the government of South Vietnam was rife with corruption. America financed the Saigon Government; but, Diem and his key associates made sure to send sizable portions those funds to their offshore bank accounts.

We were in Vietnam under false pretenses, and the troops seemed to have been kept their for political reasons.  Previously, the VC or the North Vietnamese always attacked in small hit-and-run ambushes.  Over Tet, the Lunar New Year holiday, of late January 1968, Secretary of Defense Robert Mc Namara was convinced that the attacks would be limited to the  Khe Sanh Marine base and the large city of Da Nang, both of which were in the north of South Vietnam.  As it turned out, the local VC and the North Vietnamese Army attacked the South at many locations, and with sizable force. From that day forward, the war in Vietnam was recognized as being not winnable.

Newly-elected President Richard Nixon, however, decided to keep the war going until January 1973, in case he needed the extra push. How many innocent soldiers, marines, airmen or sailors were killed during those additional five years—just in case Nixon needed the extra political push.

NOTE:   It truly breaks my heart when I think of the more than 58,000 (mostly) young Americans who died in that senseless war, which we had no reason to be in, in the first place.  I have a few friends that I know were killed; but, how many did I know in Naval ROTC that died; boot camp, language school at Monterrey, CA and Infantry OCS, where some young Lieutenants lead from the front, but left their minds behind. But, the total of 58,000+ killed in a senseless war, even 50 years later is still just too difficult to fathom.

If you are in Washington, near the Mall, visit the Vietnam Memorial, either at sun-up or at dusk.  I believe that you will find it a very emotional experience.  Perhaps it is the only war memorial that can be truly viewed as an anti-war memorial. Also, the names of those killed, which are listed on it, have grown over time.

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KEN BURNS LINK:   The following link, about the showing of select clips a The Kennedy Center from Ken Burns’ series, followed by a panel discussion–with a number of present and former Congressional and Administration members–from The Washington Post, is a great introduction to the topic of Vietnam:

 The Daily 202: McCain and Kerry outline lessons from Vietnam after watching new Ken Burns documentary
  September 13

With Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve

THE BIG IDEA: Hundreds of Washington insiders gathered last night in the Kennedy Center Opera House for an advance screening of Ken Burns’s new documentary on Vietnam.

Before he showed half a dozen choice clips from his 10-part, 18-hour film, which premieres Sunday, the director asked everyone who served in the military during the war to stand so they could be recognized.

John McCain and John Kerry were among those who rose, along with other famous veterans like Bob Kerrey and Mike Mullen.

Burns then asked anyone who protested Vietnam to also stand. Dozens did.

“I couldn’t tell the difference,” the director said, referring to the two groups.

The veterans, including McCain, joined the audience in applauding the antiwar demonstrators.

That moment set a tone of reconciliation and harmony for a discussion about one of the darkest and most divisive chapters in American history.

— Forty-two years after the fall of Saigon, McCain believes “it is the right time to take notes.” “There has to be a period of time after a conflict where the passion cools,” he said during a panel that followed the screening. “Maybe we can look back at the Vietnam conflict and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes that we did before.”

“Their leaders didn’t lead, whether they were military or civilian,” said the Arizona Republican, who spent 5½ years as a prisoner of war after getting shot down on a bombing mission over Hanoi in 1967. “By telling the American people one thing, which was not true, about the progress in the war and the body counts, it caused a wave of pessimism to go across this country, which bolstered the antiwar movement. We can learn lessons today because the world is in such turmoil: Tell the American people the truth!

McCain said he visits the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as often as he can to take in the names of the more than 58,000 Americans who died. “Depends on the weather,” he said. “Sometimes once a week. Sometimes once every couple of weeks. I try to go very early in the morning or when it’s near sunset. … It’s really an incredibly emotional experience. … These young men died because of inadequate or corrupt leadership.”

As chairman of the Armed Services Committee, McCain is managing the defense reauthorization bill on the Senate floor this week. Whenever troops go into combat, he explained, it is essential that the country decides “what victory means” and, then, “do not forget it!”

“We need to be able to have leaders who will lead and who will be able to give (the troops) a path to victory so that we will not sacrifice them ever again in a lost cause,” McCain said.

Kerry, who captained a swift boat in Vietnam before returning home to protest the war, echoed similar themes and alluded to the Trump administration’s credibility gap.

“Vietnam has always stood out to me a stunning failure of leadership,” said the former secretary of state. “We were operating without facts back then. In today’s world, it’s (also) really hard to figure out what the facts are. And people won’t honor facts. You know what they are, but you have your ‘alternative facts.’”

The 73-year-old spoke of feeling betrayed by “the best and the brightest” who he had looked up to in the American government. He singled out Robert McNamara, who was secretary of defense under John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

“I thought I had felt all the anger I could feel about the war, but I hadn’t until I read ‘A Bright Shining Lie’ by Neil Sheehan,” Kerry said, referring to the classic book that came out in 1988. “All the way up the chain of command, people were just putting in gobbledygook information, and lives were being lost based on those lies and those distortions.”

Martha Raddatz of ABC News, who moderated the discussion, asked Kerry how society can learn “the right lessons” from Vietnam. “A lot of people don’t,” he replied. “It’s that simple.”

The five-term Massachusetts senator said that war should always be “a choice of last resort” after diplomatic options have been exhausted. He spoke of the need to have an endgame before going in. “So many missed opportunities,” Kerry said, shaking his head. “I hope never again will any generation have to face a moment like we did.”

Kerry explained that his combat experience as a young man has been “tricky” at times, and that he tried to not let it overly color his approach to the world during his tenure at Foggy Bottom. “I wanted to make sure I wasn’t a captive of Vietnam,” he said. “Not everything is Vietnam!”

— By sparking new conversations, Burns and his co-director, Lynn Novick, hope to heal old wounds. Famous for his in-depth explorations of the Civil War and World War II, the director highlighted additional parallels between Vietnam and the present moment: “Mass demonstrations taking place all across the country against the administration … A president certain the news media is lying … Asymmetrical warfare that taxes the might of the United States military … A country divided in half … Huge document drops of stolen, classified material into the public sphere … Accusations that a political campaign reached out to a foreign power during a national election to affect the outcome.”

“So much of the division that we experience today, the hyper-partisanship that besets us, we think the seeds of that were sown in Vietnam,” Burns said.

— Kerry recounted his work with McCain in the 1990s to normalize relations with Vietnam, which grew out a conversation they had during an all-night flight on a CODEL to the Middle East. “We decided consciously to work on this because we felt very, very deeply that the country was still at war with itself, and that we needed to move forward in the relationship with Vietnam in order to be able to move forward with the relationship here at home,” Kerry said. “We wanted to be able to talk about Vietnam as a country, not as a war.”

As the 2004 Democratic nominee for president spoke, the 2008 Republican nominee interjected to say that Bill Clinton deserves credit for backing them up at a time (before he got reelected) when it was not politically easy.

— Former defense secretary Chuck Hagel, who enlisted to fight in Vietnam and received two Purple Hearts as an infantryman, praised the documentary for humanizing the war. “We too often don’t humanize the mechanics of war,” the former Nebraska Republican senator lamented. “We say, ‘Well, we’re going to send six or seven divisions or three battalions or squadrons of planes.’ But what does that mean to the men and women who are fighting and dying? … As secretary of defense, I saw that from many years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. The same was true for Vietnam.”

NOTE:  Two books, which I have on my Recommended Public Affairs Tab, which are arguably the two best on Vietnam, are as follows:

The Brightest and the Best, by David Halbersham.

Perhaps the most widely acclaimed book on Vietnam, I believe, along with Bright and Shining Lie, by Neil Sheehan, tell two sides of what until then, was our longest war.  The two books, however, relate it from different perspectives.  While Sheehan recounts the war mostly as related to him by subordinate officers in Vietnam, Halberstram portrays it mostly from the political perspective, back on Washington.  

Both reported that America was losing the war, and the generals only wanted to receive good news from the field.  Many lies and omissions were also bandied about in Washington, as President Lyndon B. Johnson placed more emphasis on his Great Society, and running for President in his own right.  Read both, if you can!

A Bright Shining Lie, by Neil Sheehan.
This is the most exquisite, well-written and comprehensive (790 pages) book that I have read about Vietnam, or any war! It won the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction in 1989.

Sheehan made numerous trips to South Vietnam, oftentimes going out with combat troops on missions; because that is where wars or fought! Our War was mismanaged at the highest civilian and military levels; because, no one understood the culture, nor was flexible enough to consider more relevant ideas and strategies. Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon used the War for their own political purposes.

Additionally, America didn’t understand the Saigon Elite, and the string of unpopular puppet governments that we helped establish. Each of those South Vietnamese governments had two primary concerns: use the Army to prevent an overthrow; and manage both the civilian and military bureaucracy for their own corrupt enrichment.

 

 

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GOP POLITICS TRUMPS HUMAN PAIN AND MISERY, ENDANGERING LIVES!

The Secretary of Homeland Security, and the FEMA Administrator have been to Puerto Rico, and Donald Trump is scheduled to go next Tuesday.  House Speaker Paul Ryan said that he is waiting for information from the White House.  Even our Cuban-American GOP Senator Marco Rubio, who has spent most of his life in flood-prone Miami-Dade County, wanted to wait 48-to-72 hours.  Rubio represents one million Puerto Ricans in Florida and, no doubt, many more will be coming soon.  So, what is everyone waiting for?

Puerto Rico, and let’s not forget the U. S. Virgin Islands, are both fully part of America. Hillary Clinton pled with Trump to send the Hospital Ship Comfort to provide necessary medical care, and yet it still sits in Norfolk, VA.  The Comfort and one aircraft carrier would be a good initial start. The carrier could bring tons of supplies, thousands of sailors and Marines to assist with the clean-up, and desalinate tens of thousands of gallons of drinking water each day.

One of our major Military Commands, SOUTHCOM, is located near Miami International Airport.  Surely, it could deploy a division (20,000 men and women) to provide manpower.  A general or admiral could be assigned to command the troops on the ground, and coordinate with the Governor, local governments and FEMA.  Navy SeaBees and Army combat engineers could help with the Infrastructure.  Provide military transport for civilian doctors, nurses and engineers who wish to volunteer!

Several years ago, a monster Category 5 cyclone (hurricane) devastated an impoverished island, with 100,000 residents, in the Philippines.  The situation was similar, and that nation lacks the infrastructure that the U. S. has.  Within a couple of days, a U. S. Hospital Ship and an aircraft carrier were already beginning to provide the supplies and assistance noted above.  A number of ships from other nations were there too, delivering aid in any way possible.  This is what I find so incredulous that America cannot provide aid and assistance to American Citizens, located just 1,000 miles from Miami.

The 1920 Jones Act, which requires that goods can only be shipped to Puerto Rico on U. S. vessels is an anachronism, reminiscent of the days of Colonialism.  When Trump was asked why he hasn’t rescinded it, he said that the shipping industry wouldn’t like it.  So, when do the shippers—who profit from this obscene act—make laws in America?  Sure, other nations might wish to send help as well!

I can’t imagine that Donald Trump, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio haven’t seen the horror and devastation of hurricanes, and other natural disasters before.  Don’t they ever watch the coverage on TV?  What does any human being need, for starters: How about: clean water; food; shelter; medical assistance, etc.  Then, these many, many homeless people will need help in rebuilding their lives; although it might be hard to get over being ignored by their country in this, their time of need.  Let me compare a few states that have met with significant disasters over the past twelve years:

Consider how the Republican majority Congress has played politics with tragedy:

  • There have been several deadly AmTrak wrecks near Philadelphia, possibly due to Congress’ failure to fund required safety updates. Then in 2012, Congress was slow in appropriating emergency funding for the Northeast after Hurricane Sandy, since most of the states in the Region vote Democratic.
  • Following massive hurricanes in Louisiana (Katrina), Texas (Harvey) and Florida (Irma), all states that tend to vote Republican, emergency appropriations were accelerated through congress. The Democrats joined in the appropriation.
  • Perhaps the fact that Puerto Rico tends to vote overwhelmingly for the Democrats, just might be behind all of the GOP foot-dragging.

Our Republican President and GOP majority Congress have been telling us about what they are going to do for our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico, while the Democrats are pleading for action.  Does it take a rocket scientists to understand what their basic needs are, especially the large proportion of senior citizens and children?  Send the basic necessities, plus manpower NOW; and then you can go back and do all the talking that you want!

THE CAVALRY HAS BEGUN TO ARIVE!  As reported in the linked article from The Daily Beast, the U. S. Army has sent an advanced contingent, a General will command the effort, and up to 20,000 Active, and 40,000 National Guard will eventually be in place.

NOTE:  On Sunday, October 8, the Governor of Puerto Rico announced that only six percent of Puerto Ricans now have electric power.  Also today, the Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that it has filtered-out the Mayor of San Juan.  

How can that be, when she is the only Leader with a microphone who is calling Trump and his Regime out for what they truly are–incompetent, uncaring and totally delusional, except when it’s in Donald Trump’s best interest!  Apparently, the Daily Beast story, about the Cavalry arriving, was just more of Donald Trump’s Fake News!

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DEFEATING THE NAZIS: A STORY ABOUT AMERICAN COMMITMENT, IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE!

Danny Westneat is a columnist for the Seattle Times.  This column is a wonderfully written story about a husband and wife team–he a Soldier, and she a Riveter (fastening B-29 wings)–who are members of “Our Greatest Generation.”  And, as the Matz’ question, with Donald Trump, do we truly have the commitment to insure that the Supremacists, Neo-Nazis and other Hate Groups do not succeed this time?  In essence, Silence is NOT golden!

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‘Greatest generation’ is fading, but it’s still got choice words for our own

Remember the greatest generation? The ones that beat back the Nazis?
Recently I sat down with two of them, to talk about everyday persistence, about stability, about things that abide.

But we weren’t five minutes in when it veered in the exact opposite direction — to the rise of neo-Nazis in the news today, the demagoguery of a certain president and to an eerily familiar chill.

“I remember back in the ’30s and ’40s, it was like people were hypnotized,” says Wilma Matz, 93. “I worry all the time it might be happening again.”

Numerically speaking, Wilma and Harold Matz are rarer around here than the endangered northern spotted owl.

At 95, Harold is a World War II vet, a medical technician who pulled the maimed off the line of the war’s bloodiest fight, the Battle of the Bulge.

All but 3 percent of his 16 million mates who beat back fascism are gone. The greatest generation has dwindled to just 0.2 percent of the American population.

Even rarer, Wilma was a Rosie the Riveter. She drove fasteners into the wings of B-29 bombers for Boeing in the 1940s, one of 300,000 bandana-wearing women who came out of housewifery to take over the nation’s airplane-factory work. Only about 10,000 Rosies are still alive today.

Then there’s this: As of Wednesday, the couple has been married 75 years. Fewer than 0.1 percent of all marriages in America are so enduring.

“It’s like they hit the trifecta,” says their daughter, Laura Matz.

When I caught up with them in their Normandy Park apartment, though, they couldn’t help contrasting their own stability with the turbulent state of the news today.

Harold was telling how they had to hand-haul thousands of wounded Allied soldiers out of the Battle of the Bulge on the border of Belgium and Germany, when he interrupted himself.

“This president today, if he’d been the president back then, we would have lost the war in the first three months,” he said.
Ouch. Why?

“No steadiness, no resolve,” he said.

Wilma said she’s been appalled that any American leader would wink and nod at Neo-Nazis, considering the lengths her generation went to fight it.

“I don’t know if he really means it — he seems to say whatever pops into his head — but this country sacrificed a great deal back then,” she said. “It feels like that’s been forgotten. It’s hard to describe what it was like. It was all hands on deck.”

When Harold was shipped to Europe in the fall of 1943, she, just 19, immediately signed up to help build bomber parts at a temporary Boeing war factory in Chehalis. At the peak of production, more than 70 percent of the workers there were women. It was her first job.

“I often maintain she did more to beat the Nazis than I did,” laughed Harold, who went on to become a chiropractor in Des Moines after the war.

Recently Tim Egan of The New York Times called these last living fascism fighters, quiet people like Harold and Wilma living out their years in senior homes, our “real American heritage.” As opposed to the statues and symbols people are fighting over today.

His point is that the monument fight is for phony patriots. We have among us a few “living memorials” to the best American story. The one where we were unambiguously on the right side of history.

It turns out it was about living old values. Such as persistence.

Speaking of which: What’s the secret to staying married for an incredible 75 years?
“I like to have someone to sleep next to,” Harold shrugs.

Wilma just rolls her eyes, and smiles. When you’ve beaten the Great Depression and the Nazis and made it three-quarters of a century together, no way a bad joke is going to get between you and the finish line.

 

 

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THE TRUMP QUESTIONS SHIFT—FROM INCOMPETENCE TO INSTABILITY

Donald Trump has threatened to shut-down the Government, by Vetoing the Debt-Ceiling increase if his Wall is not funded through the FY2018 Federal Budget.  Those are two unrelated, idiotic ideas, but in two totally different Bills.  Where did Donald study Government: Trump University?

Both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell do not want to be blamed for a shut-down since—when their party controls both Houses of Congress, and the White House—they would have no one to blame.  And, such shut-downs never accomplish anything!  But, let’s consider what the inter-action is between the Budget and the National Debt and whether the Debt Ceiling is even necessary.

The Budget, as passed by Congress, cites how much the Nation is expected to spend, broken-down by Department, throughout the coming fiscal year (starting October 1). The Treasury Department monitors the respective in-flows and out-flows, making adjustments, as required, within existing Law.

Depending upon whether the actual Net Cash Flow is higher or lower than expected, the Treasury will either Pay-Down existing U. S. Treasury securities, if there is a Surplus, or sell more bonds when the Net Cash Flow is in a Deficit.  The Debt-Ceiling, established in 1913, is truly an anachronism, and serves mostly as a political football, since Total Spending can be controlled through the Budget Process!

Donald Trump has lately been lashing-out at Senators on both sides, and he has especially been attacking the Intelligence Community.  Even his own Republican Party in Congress has passed an Economic Sanctions Bill, in response to Russia’s interference in our Presidential Election.

The vote in both Houses, on the sanctions,  would easily overcome a Presidential Veto.  Similar Veto-proof legislation has been passed to make it virtually impossible for Trump to fire Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.  And, Senator Charles Grassley has also stated that he would not hold Confirmation Hearings, in the event Trump might need to replace a fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

More recently, Donald Trump has been at odds with a majority of Americans, as he sought to give support to White-Supremacists, Neo-Nazis and other Hate Groups, after a deadly rally in Charlottesville, Va..  Surprisingly, each of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—the heads of the four armed services—Tweeted their condemnation of Hatred and Racism.  Citizens of most countries tend to support their militaries; because, they are perceived as the apolitical representatives of The People.

Recently, the discussion has shifted from Trump’s ideological viewpoints and disruptive management style, toward his irrational behavior and temperamental mood swings.  It has risen to the point that Donald Trump has allegedly asked the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the NSA to push-back against the FBI, which leads the Russian Collusion Investigation against his campaign.  They both refused!

James Clapper, who had served as President Barack Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, and in every administration since Jack Kennedy, has recently come under fire from Donald Trump.  Based on watching various speeches, as different as night-from-day, Clapper has questioned whether Trump is fit for the job. Furthermore, Mr. Clapper wonders about the insanity of Trump having access to the Nuclear Codes!

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YES, THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH ARE AT WAR

Lesson 1: History repeats itself.

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HOWEVER SUBLIMINAL THE RACISM, DONALD TRUMP PROVIDES THE SPARK!

Throughout history, mankind has been resentful of others.  Back in pre-History, various Hominoid species fought each other for supremacy.  Slavery came to America some 400 years ago as White men assumed to own Africans, brought forcibly to the Colonies.

Over the years since, various ethnic groups, peoples of other religions or beliefs arrived, and more recently, people of different orientations emerged.  Women had demanded equality!  Rather than accept, assimilate and take advantage of these changes, many Americans have preferred to maintain the established order—the status quo!

Enter the demagogue to provide that spark, hell-bent on instigating the “Divide and Conquer” strategy.  Adolf Hitler took that approach in 1930s Germany when he attacked, in succession: the Communists; the Socialists; the Trade Unionists; the Jews…and then, they came for “Me”.  The point of German Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöller’s eloquent poem “First they came…” was the cowardice of German intellectuals to speak-out, as the Nazi’s purged each successive target group, and thus conquered the entire population by dividing it.

Donald Trump has been using the very same Divide and Conquer strategy, that Hitler did some 80-85 years before, when he announced his candidacy, in June of 2015.  After making vague comments about ISIS, China and Japan, he laid into Mexico.  “They’re bringing drugs.  They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.  And some, I assume, are good people.”  How nice of Donald too acknowledge that not all Mexicans are bad!

After Mexico and the Mexican People, Donald Trump directed his hate-speech at ISIS, Syrians and the Middle East, seemingly tossing them all together as if to suggest that all Muslims are terrorists!  Notice the biased logic?  And of course, as he supports law enforcement, regardless of videos of violent action taken predominantly against Blacks, Donald Trump’s divisiveness is ever-vigilant, and always provocative.

Among Donald Trump’s questionable comments and actions, once he moved into the White House, was his appointment of Steve Bannon, as a Councillor to the President, and his Chief Strategist.  To the horror of many, Trump had also appointed Bannon as a permanent member of the National Security Council, which he has since rescinded.  Before joining the Trump Regime, Bannon had been the Executive Chairman of the Breitbart News website, which he had declared to be “the platform for the Alt-Right“ in 2016.

Besides spewing his own racist hate speech throughout his short political career, by positioning Bannon as one of his chief advisors, Donald Trump has brought a key symbol of White Supremacism into the White House with him!  In fact, Steve Bannon seems to be one of just a very small number of Donald’s trusted Advisors, along with First Daughter Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law Jared Kushner.  No wonder the Hate Groups feel empowered!

Yesterday, when referring to the removal of statues of Confederate generals, Donald Trump suggested that: “(You) can’t change history, only learn from it.”  Unfortunately, Donald’s historical studies haven’t seemed to have progressed beyond “Hitler, Adolf!”

Question for Donald Trump:  You have vowed to eliminate the various Islamic terrorists groups, which are intent on harming us, just because we differ from them.  Well tell me: How do you differentiate ISIS, al-Qaeda and those other groups from the very White Supremacist elements in America, who also wish to cause harm to Americans who differ from them?  Can you explain that, Mr. Trump?

NOTE:  One of my more popular posts, “Who’s the Puppet Master behind Donald Trump’s Shadow_Government?”, written back in March, had suggested that Steve Bannon was, indeed, the Puppet Master, pulling the day-to-day strings behind Donald Trump’s Regime.  I still believe that!

 

 

 

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WAS PUTIN’S “FAKE NEWS” END-GAME SOLELY TO PUT TRUMP IN THE WHITE HOUSE, OR SOMETHING EVEN MORE DEVIOUS?

As a socialist fighting in the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell developed a better understanding of Totalitarianism, than he had before.  While the Right was waging war against the Left, he realized that the Stalinists and Trotskyites were likewise trying to eliminate each other.  Eventually, he concluded that, whoever wins—whether Fascist or Socialist— will ultimately assume whatever group the wished to overthrow.

Orwell’s epiphany, as such, began to materialize in the first of his two major novels, Animal Farm.  The pigs led the upraising of the animals, and as they took over Mr. Jones’ Farm, Napoleon, the porcine leader, claimed that, “All animals are equal!”  Eventually, as the pigs moved into the farm house, and began acting more like humans, Napoleon then added: “but some animals are more equal than others,” to the mantra!

Recuperating from a serious neck wound and tuberculosis, back in London, George Orwell started to realize that even the most reputable of newspapers, the Times, reported on battles in Spain, which were never fought, and while omitting others where many were killed!  He then began to believe that even the press had managed the news, so as not to print anything that would offend Adolf Hitler; because, British aristocracy and the Intelligentsia preferred appeasement, to war.  Way back then, in the 1930s, Orwell dubbed his discovery, “Fake News!”

Managing the news, had been a primary component of Orwell’s second great novel, 1984, as he described the on-going evolution of “Big Brother” actually owning, managing, and disseminating the news, as is the case today in China, Russia, and several other socialist governments.  Whereas China has focused mostly on controlling its domestic media, Russia, however, appears to have risen to another level—using external thought control as a political weapon.

Europe has known of Russia’s various attempts for several years, both to sway elections and to splinter continental cooperation—specifically through the European Union and NATO.  I cannot say whether Putin’s cyber-warriors had a hand in the Brexit vote; which, might just have been due to frustration with Brussels, or the Independent nature of Great Britain.  But, the rest of the E. U., at least for now, has remained together, and willing to reconcile their differences.

The success or failure of thought control, I can only assume, might be dependent upon the basic human rights of the target country.  Countries with a strong tradition of free speech, the press and assembly, as well as a good public education, are harder to “reeducate!” The Trump Regime, however, in its dissemination of alternative facts, fake news and lies, appears to be playing into the hands of Vladimir Putin’s cyber-controllers.

Since Inauguration Day (January 29), the White House seems intent on:  discrediting any information that comes from reputable media sources; attacking journalists, corporate media outlets, and anyone with opposing points of view; dumbing-down the Public School System through charters and vouchers, which would revert back to the “Segregated and Unequal” Era of some 60 years ago; and Trump’s deemphasizing the value of factual content and individual curiosity.  In fact, Donald Trump boasts that he doesn’t even read!

I have no idea as to whether Donald Trump’s Team did, in fact, collude with the Russians. The Great America, which he claims that only he can build, just portrays an idiot’s style of demagoguery, and it possibly—purposely or not—lays the ground for a Russian cyber-invasion.  The beauty of any form of cyber-warfare is much more cost-efficient, since troops and equipment don’t need to be transported.  Also, consider that our whole system of knowledge—books, education, media—can be easily controlled or edited, on-line.

The 2016 Presidential Election needs to be Invalidated, and all nominations made by Trump must be revoked.  Impeachment or Resignation would be insufficient—especially if there was collusion with the Russians, or manipulations by them—because those actions would merely cut-off the head—and leave the corpus in-tact.  Recently, the Regime has asked for the Voting History of every American! Can the Thought Police and Book-Burners, from Orwell’s 1984, be far behind?

The Trump-Republicans have gone along with much of Donald Trump’s attacks on our very Democracy, possibly because he seems willing to sign their Draconian legislation into Law.  But, what happens when the GOP in Congress transforms to whatever Trump, or perhaps Vladimir Putin, has in mind?  With control of all three Branches of Government, Trump’s Party would be the most likely targets.  Back in the early 1930s, no one thought that Naziism would arise within Germany, but it did!

 

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