Listening to the joint news conference in Helsinki as Donald J Trump and Valdimir Putin stood side by side in blossoming solidarity and friendship with our president taking Putin’s side continually against the facts and finding it impossible to render even the mildest of complaints against Putin’s evil actions, I heard a voice from the past play through my mind.
I heard the voice of Frankline Delano Roosevelt.
“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
And I thought –
Today, July 16, 2018 – a date which will live in infamy -the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the President of the United States of America, Donald J Trump.
Then our nation faced mortal danger from large, foreign military forces arrayed against us.
Now our nation faces mortal danger from a President and his domestic allies who work to destroy our Institutions, our world wide alliances, our inherited values of comity and humanity and our pre-eminent place among nations.
And today, instead of defending our country, Trump in the presence of a clear enemy of our country attacked it!
As I listened, Roosevelt’s words on that other day of “infamy” took on new meaning –
“Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.
I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.
Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.
With confidence in our armed forces – with the unbounded determination of our people – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God.”
Pray that the victory after December 7, 1941, will be joined by a victory after July 16, 2018 – that Donald J Trump and what Trumpism stands for will be excised from the fabric of our nation and that we will then have the same “new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth” which Abraham Lincoln wished for in 1863, at Gettysburg.
Lincoln’s wish was fulfilled.
But if Trump and Trumpism is not defeated, it may well be that this nation as we know it shall indeed perish from the earth.
Footnote – In 1945, July 16 produced another “day of infamy” if one considers that the weapon born that day within weeks had killed 120 thousand people instantly and eventually many tens of thousands more. And by now has multiplied in the stockpiles of many nations to the extent that if fully used it can kill us all.
That morning before dawn, J.Robert Oppenheimer and his fellow Los Alamos scientists, huddling in the New Mexico desert, suddenly saw a brilliant burst of light as if from the sun and heard the giant thunder clap of a mighty explosian.
It was not Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor speech that came to Oppenheimer’s mind.
He said what he thought of at that moment was Vishnu’s terrible line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”