Mr. Kim Does Not Go To Washington (and the plot thickens)

When President Trump jumped at the chance to have a summit meeting with Kim Jung-Un, predicting it would bring a lasting, de-nuclearized peace to Korea and a Nobel Peace Prize to him – “everyone’s saying I deserve the Nobel Peace Prize,” Trump twittered – not everyone was predicting either.

I wrote a blog titled “Mr. Kim Goes to Washington” in which I said unlike the time Jimmy Stewart (Mr. Smith) went to Washington whose movie ended just fine, this idea of an instant summit with Kim had just the opposite potential.

It wasn’t that I’m so smart. Much more informed experts on the Korea problem predicted the same. It was that the Kim family does not give up power and hostility toward the South and the United States in a flash of traveling on the “Road to Damascus” but instead it seemed obvious that young Kim was “playing” Donald J Trump, seeking the lifting of sanctions and U S Billions while perhaps promising to give up nukes in some staged, lengthy process. After all, the Kims had promised to do that four times before only to break the promise.

And I reminded readers that tigers do not change their stripes and leopards do not change their spots – this young Kim who learned from his grandfather and his father, who, once come to power had his Uncle killed and his half brother murdered had not turned into a democrat despite the smiles and clinking of champagne glasses with the President of South Korea.

Then, when Kim journeyed to China twice to confer with President Xi it was clear the two were agreeing on the strategy of exactly how to “play” Trump. not on how to give in to him. Just look at how Xi is “playing” Trump on Trade.

Trump had been demanding that North Korea agree at the summit to de-nuclearize immediately. In return, Kim had made it clear he has no intention of giving up his nuclear weapons “presto presto.” He and his colleagues lashed out at Trump over Trump’s demands. So Trump, brought to the realization that his Nobel prize had slipped away still born and he was looking like a “patsy” to his base, cancelled the summit blaming the cancellation solely on Kim.

In a letter to Kim, he said in part: “Based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I believe it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting…Please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”

Trump, the bully, has always tried to get the best of people by blustering and threatening and it often works. But in the game of International Diplomacy with nations that in today’s world are not without power of their own (and smarts) that usually doesn’t work.

Look at Trump’s record with North Korea. First he threatens to destroy the entire Country with “fire and fury” and calls Kim names. Then, when Kim offers to meet and smiles and clinks the champagne glasses, Trump impetuously jumps at the offer and labels Kim sincere and says he is “nice.” Moreover, it apparently did not occur to Trump that by demanding in advance of pre-summit negotiations that Kim give up his nukes immediately, the answer would be “no.”

One of the North’s statements Trump disliked the most was one from a close aide of Kim’s that came Thursday morning which called Vice President Pence a “political dummy” for making “ignorant and stupid” remarks. Now that would be highly defamatory except that truth is a defense against a charge of defamation.

Pence had further angered the North by referring in a television interview to the strategy that convinced Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to give up his nuclear weapons. Subsequently Gaddafi was killed in an uprising of this own people. Now certainly that was a reassuring example to use on dictator Kim.

But one shouldn’t blame Pence too much since he knows next to nothing about foreign policy. No, Pence was parroting the view of John Bolton, the new hard core, ultra nationalistic White House National Security Advisor who has assumed the role of the administration’s Darth Vadar. Bolton has been recommending the “Libyan” strategy to use on Kim.

So now it’s back to Trump the Original Korean expert. After the cancellation, Trump warned North Korea that the U S military is “ready if necessary” to take action if the North engages in a “foolish or reckless act,” adding that South Korea and Japan are willing to shoulder the costs (if not, maybe he can get the Mexicans to pay for it).

But Trump also sounded wistful when he also said he hoped North Korea would change its position and the summit would get back on track.

Of course, that is always possible. In the North/Chinese strategy to “play” Donald J Trump, Kim could always make “nice” again, flatter Trump in some way and having proved he can get the upper hand maneuver Trump back into a summit where the President of the United States loses his (our)shirt.

You say, but surely Trump has learned from this episode and next time will with expert help from seasoned American diplomats prepare the table so as to avoid traps set and/or an embarrassing public failure.

Are you kidding?

Remember tigers don’t change their strips and leopards don’t change their spots. That applies to Kim.

But it also applies to Donald J Trump.

Which would leave us in an even more dangerous position as against North Korean belligerence than we were in before Trump was elected President.

But then, what else is new.

The U S and Iran: From Ajax to Trump

The results of our United States policy toward Iran in modern times was forecast long ago. Actually, about 2,750 years ago by Hosea, a prophet of the Kingdom of Israel.

Of course Hosea knew nothing of us, or of our times. His words were directed toward his own people when he warned them if they did not repent of their sins….well… this was his warning: “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7 King James Version).”

So let us see how we have “sowed” the relations between the United State and Iran and consider the “whirlwind” we have reaped and may reap again thanks to Donald J Trump, a truly ignorant and dangerous man as he has proved yet again today.

In the early 1950s, an Iranian reform politician came to power as the Prime Minister of Iran, first by appointment and then through a democratic election of the Iranian people. His name was Mohammed Mosaddegh.

Talk about Reform.

Mosaddegh introduced Social Security, Unemployment compensation, sick benefits for workers and more (think Franklin Roosevelt)but his biggest reform was the Nationalization of the Iranian oil industry. Iran had lots of high priced oil but the Iranian people weren’t getting the profits. No,a British oil company with a long lease got the lion’s share of the profits. Until Mosaddegh acted on the post World War II view that the earth’s natural resources belonged to the Country in which they were located, not to Belgium or Portugal, or Britain.

The British Oil company and the British Government were furious and set about reversing the situation. By offering a new lease that gave the major profits to Iran?

Oh, no, by devising a plan to overthrow Mosaddegh with the aid of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and get their “profits” back. But the British needed help and guess from where they got it.

From the United States Government headed by President Eisenhower and more specifically, from the U S Central Intelligence Agency. Yes, the CIA was in charge of the operation to overthrow Masaddegh which was code-named Ajax

Ajax consisted of mis-information about Mosaddegh (today we just say “lies”), destabilization of the Prime Minister’s reforms (think whittling down the Affordable Care Act), pay-offs to Mosaddegh’s political opponents and whatever else might work to destroy the Prime Minister’s popularity with the Iranian people.

Ajax, whose CIA action officer in this was Kermit Roosevelt (his father had been a Reformer named Theodore) worked brilliantly. Finally by August 1953, Mosaddegh had been so dis-credited that the Shah felt bold enough to dismiss him and install a government that promptly gave the British back the oil. Many of Mosaddegh’s main supporters were executed. He, himself, was kept under house arrest until he died.

Now, you ask why when the charismatic Ayatollah Khomeini made a revolution that overthrew the Shah and we then gave the exiled Shah medical treatment the Iranian people seized our Embassy and chanting “death to the great Satan (us)” shouted their hatred of the United States to the world.

Ah, Ajax, we certainly “reaped” that one. But let us move on.

It is true that Iran under Khomeini and later has followed a course of hatred in the mid-east that had nothing to do with the United States. Iran is an implacable and perhaps mortal enemy of Israel. It has aided and encouraged attacks on Israel. And in Iraq and Syria has sowed its own ill wind.

And it is true, the Iran of today must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.

Which brings us to the present “sowing” by that master tiller of the soil Donald J Trump.

Trump has now pulled the United States out of an agreement meant to slow down the Iranian effort to build atomic weapons, an agreement signed by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany),and the European Union.

Despite the pleas of the other Countries who had signed the agreement, Trump promised not only to pull out but to immediately impose punishing sanctions again and to the extent possible get other countries to respect and enforce the sanctions.

After an arduous two years plus of negotiation, Iran had agreed to the following.

-Beginning in 2015, it would not move forward in any way toward building a nuclear weapon

-Iran agreed to dismantle most of its centrifuges used to produce nuclear fuel reducing the number from 20,000 to 5,060

Iran agreed to give up and send out of the Country 98% of its’ stockpile of uranium, reducing the amount held to 660 pounds.

-Iran agreed to inspections of its major nuclear facilities by International IAEA inspectors who say that so far Iran has not violated the agreement.

-At the end of the fifteen years, in 2030, Iran would be free to restart a nuclear program but only for peaceful uses of atomic energy.

In return for this agreement, Iran got punishing sanctions lifted and it’s money that had been frozen in foreign banks returned. When Trump implies (says) that U S taxpayers have now given Iran billions of dollars that is simply not true (surprise, surprise), Iran is getting its own money back.

Alright, the agreement itself does not strip Iran forever from being able to pursue atomic weapons but when that Country was working “pell mell” to build atomic weapons now, fifteen years is a long time and many changes in geo politics that would be favorable to the U S and the other countries that signed the agreement can occur.

To say that the agreement is “flawed” and not perfect is correct but the “flaws” are minor compared to the overall accomplishment and if Trump had been willing the other Countries were ready to help strengthen the Agreement.

Instead, Trump simply tore it up, saying: “We cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement.”

However, we could have delayed it for a significant period of time. But not now.

Our allies are busily trying to build support for a strengthening, not abrogation, of the Agreement. And Iran has said it will talk, negotiate, for about two weeks but if the Agreement is not restored it will feel free to resume work on atomic weapons.

Trump, of course, believes his forceful, tough action will make Iran quake and come to the table willing to give it all up.

In a “pigs eye,” but then most bullies think they can force others to do what they want. And if Iran won’t be bullied, what then? Does Donald J Trump have a plan? To send in the U S marines?
To drop bombs on Teheran? To force other nations to withhold food and medical supplies to the Iranian people and starve them into submission? Oh, that would make us popular around the world.

No, the son of Ajax is come again and I fear the Whirlwind could follow.

But Trump remains defiant and cock-sure of his action, saying today that the Agreement he has shredded was “a great embarrassment to me as a citizen and all citizens of the United States.”

No, President Trump, you are the embarrassment to us all.

May your reign of ignorance and terror end soon.

PS – By the way, of course we know why Trump hates this Agreement so – it was negotiated by the Obama Administration.

Comedy, Humor – Michelle Wolf???

Was Michelle Wolf “funny?” Was she there at the White House Correspondent’s Association Dinner last Saturday night as a comedian, or what?

She was hired to be funny (I suppose) – and, clearly, in the Washington atmosphere of today, to poke “fun” at the warring tribes that make up our body politics.

The oldest Press Dinner -the Gridion Club – has a working rule: that in “poking fun” at politicans and the like, the Girdion “singes but never burns.” That is, put on a good-natured ribbing of the politiicans, the powerful, the Washingto “elite’ but nothing that suggests “going in for the kill!”

In a modern sense, comedy (from the Greek: κωμῳδία, kōmōidía) refers to any discourse or work generally intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, television, film, stand-up comedy, or any other medium of entertainment” (Wikipedia).

So, I ask again, was Michelle Wolf humorous, funny?

NO, she was almost never “funny” in a sense that both Republicans and Democrats, Trump Supporters and Trump haters,everyone could laugh at her jokes(?).

She played to a divided room with a vengence. No “bring us together” for Michelle.

Those who laughed at her “nothing off limits” assault on All Things Trump were simply giving vent to their dislike of him. And those who sat silent were simply suppressing their resentment at her attack on him and his. Yes, a few in the middle – a precious few – simply goaned at what was supposed to be a joke but lacked any humor no matter who the listener.

Michell Wolf, in commenting on the furor her “act” has caused says there is nothing, not one word, one “joke” that she regrets.

“I wouldn’t change a single word that I said. I’m very happy with what I said, and I’m glad I stuck to my guns,” she told Terry Gross. She added that before her performance, a friend handed her a note that said: “Be true to yourself. Never apologize. Burn it to the ground.”

Ah, yes, Michelle, “Burn it to the ground…Never apologize.”

Did you see your moment in the Washington Sun as a test of your courage, of your womanhood?

You knew you were not talking to a single issue room in which only poltical partsans of one side were present. You knew you were being watched outside the room by millions of Americans with sharply divergent views.

Morever, you knew your venue was that of a group of journalists who are fighting to retain the respect and trust of a pubic being pulled hard by an Administration and its supporters bent on destroying America’s free press.

So, how did you see your mission, what did you think the Association had hired you to do?

Clearly, you came to “whip it on, tell it like it is, pin the infidels to the ground” and humiliate them through “humor” as a punishment for their wicked ways.

You saw yourself as Tomas de Torquemada not as a comedian hired to make eveyone laugh.

I understand the temptation.

In these “blogs” of mine, I’ve been super critical of Donald J. Trump, of who he is, what he stands for, how he is adversely affecting our Country, it’s people, and the World. I’ve tried not to call him vulgar names but, Michelle, I understand how you feel. He and his band of selfish thugs must be turned back lest we lose all that is good about America.

But I’m not delivering my diatribes against Trump under the guise of comedy before the White House Correspondent’s Association.

Speak on, Michelle. Take to the stump, speak from the stage of your nightclub, write to your friends and twitter to your followers. But if you have no use for subtely as in Swift’s Modest Proposal for ending the Irish potato famine do not cloak your feelings to a general audience as “humor” or “comedy.”

And demonstrate a modicum of humility,as in “in retrospect I could have made the same point about Sarah Huckebee Sanders without stripping her of every last shred of decency and humanity.”

People will like you more if there is a sense of compassion in your work. But, perhaps, more important to your cause, you will be more effective in persuading others to your message.

Preaching to the choir which will tell you “Oh, you were wonderful, you were so great” may be momentarily satisfying but the choir alone never converted a sinner, never built a church.

I’m not askng you to be Bob Hope or Don Rickles or Lucille Ball or Gilda Radner or other of the past, great non-political comedians. Be sharp in your politicl humor when the occassion is right if you must.

I’m just asking you as a self-described comedian to remember your first and most important priority:

Above all, be funny!

Where’s the Outrage?

In today’s Washington Post, the Post’s Digital Opinions Editor James Downie wrote a piece under the headline: Trump was outrageous in Michigan. So where’s the outrage?

Downie outlined how on the same night as the White House Correspondent’s dinner Donald J Trump held a rally in Michigan at which he made mis-statements, uttered vulgar denounciations of his enemies, played one of his favorite ethnic cards “Latinos” and once again further demonstrated his total unfitness for the Office which, unfortunately, he holds.

Downie then pointed out that Trump’s speech resulted in minisclue news converage as compared to the White House Correnspondent’s dinner and Downie asked with obvious diaspproval of the neglect of Trump’s performance:”Trump was Outrageous in Michigan. So were’s the outrage?”

Here’s the link to Downie’s full piece:

https://wapo.st/2HE7OC7?tid=ss_mail&utm_term=.3703a8b38d84

And here’s my response to Downie.

James, you’re right to seize on the disparity between the two news converages but wrong to worry that it matters. I believe my own experience over the life of the Trump presidency explains why.

The “outrage” is there, alive and well, seething, ready and waiting for events that will demonstrate (such as elections) to its potency.

Once upon a time (how long ago was that) I leapt forward with each new “outrage” visited on us by this Egomaniacal Vulgarian Ignoramus. The new ones came daily, sometimes hourly and I thought “no, not “this,” not after that” and the mind reeled and staggered with the effort to keep up without insanity setting in. And then I finally realized my “outrage” bucket was full, like my voicemail that uncleared could not accept another message.

Consider if a criminal is caught and the evidence is at hand to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the individual has murdered one hundred people. And someone rushes in shouting “Look, we’ve found another body – and this same person is responsible!”

So what, one can only shrug. Does the 101st body finally produce the “outrage?”

No, James, do not fear. A mighty surge of “outrage” is waiting to be loosed, erasing the Johnstown flood from the history books.

Months ago I blogged that Justice was closing in on Trump, that the forces of Law and Justice were coming toward him with “ramming speed.” I had momentarily forgotten history, the history of Watergate a story, an event I covered for ABC News. At times it would appear that Richard M. Nixon was about to be undone, cornered. And then it would appear he had slipped the noose. The back and forth, cutting and filling continued apace. And one day it all came together and all came crashing down on the “crook.”

Of course there are differences between than and now, him and this one. But the System is working and whatever setbacks in the effort to bring Donald J Trump to the payment block for the crimes, legal or societal and institutional he has committed, in the end he will have to pay the price.

Remember this, James, and savor it when the time comes:

“Outrage” like “revenge” is best served cold.

Mr. Kim Goes to Washington

Kim Jong-un is on his way to Washington, a reformed man who has awakened to the desperate needs of his people and is determined to give up the losing ways of his family.

Whereas, like his father and grandfather he had been steadfastly adhering to a policy of confrontation fueled by threats and murders, Mr. Kim has come out of the shadows and walked, nay trotted, into the sunlight of reunion, fellowship and peace.

Never mind that he had his Uncle put to death, his half brother murdered in an airport, American student Otto Warmbier tortured in a North Korean prison cell before releasing him to die in America, never mind all the threats of nuclear destruction of his neighbors and, of course, the United States. All that has been erased with the clink of Champaign glasses and wide smiles of good natured fellowship.

“I know the Americans are inherently disposed against us, but when they talk with us, they will see that I am not the kind of person who would shoot nuclear weapons to the south, over the Pacific or at the United States,” Mr. Kim was quoted as telling South Korea’s president. Only recently Mr. Kim was making such threats including to explode a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific but we must understand he is a changed man.

Meanwhile, all Mr. Kim will ask is the lifting of economic sanctions imposed by the world community on his nation, a few billion (actually, perhaps many billions) of American aid for his impovrished country and its people, a peace treaty to officially end the long Korean war and the promise by the United States not to invade his Country.

That agreed to when the historic meeting between the North Korean dictator and the American president occurs, it is said Mr. Kim will make good on his promise to end his nuclear program and give up his nuclear devices although, naturally, the process of doing that will take place in “stages” and over a period of time.

Skeptics will note that North Korea signed agreements to end its nuclear program in 1992, 1994, 2005 and to an extent in 2012.

And broke every one of them.

But this time it is different. Mr. Kim is not his father or grandfather and younger and bolder wants something new and better for his people. He even dreams of reunification with the South.

Under a democratic system wherein the president of the reunified Country is elected (which might mean Mr. Kim no longer holds power)? We swoon with the thought.

Further, Mr. Kim will be dealing with an American president of unprecedented ability to make “deals” that last and work. If others argue that Donald J Trump is an ignorant, unpredictable and impulsive business and deal-making failure, well, Mr. Kim does not know that.

As President Trump’s fans tell us, Mr. Kim has come to this new understanding because he fears the mighty wrath of President Trump and is cowed by the thought of engaging with him. Certainly, Mr. Kim understands he could never get the best of Donald J Trump (certainly the banks never did) and therefore will not even try.

Well what can I say?

I can say that things that seem too good to be true are usually not true.

I can say that Leopards do not change their spots and tigers do not change their stripes.

I can say that a pell mell rush to cut the Korean Gordian knot with Trump’s sword is a “fools errand” and a dangerous one to boot.

And, of course, I can say that I could be wrong.

Finally, I can say I’d feel a whole lot better if it were Jimmy Stewart making this new trip to Washington.

His first one turned not just fine!

John J Pershing Rides Again!

Yes, dear friends, once again U S troops must be sent to our border with Mexico to repel the unwashed brown skinned hordes who are surging in caravans (along with their women, children and unborn fetuses) toward our land, our very own pristine perfect white America.

If only John J Pershing were here to command them.

He knows the territory.

In March of 1916, General Pershing led his troops to the Mexican border, then (testing the air and wisely outlining an escape route if that became necessary) crossed the border into Mexico in pursuit of the bandit Francisco Villa, known to his friends and enemies alike as “Pauncho.”

Actually, the bandit’s birth name was Jose Doroteo Arango Arambula but when asked for his name can you blame the man for answering simply “Pauncho.”

Earlier that month “Pauncho” and his men invaded the United States and just over the border in the New Mexico Territory set upon the little town and army post of Columbus. Ten civilians and eight U S soliders were killed (perhaps some 60+ of Pauncho’s men were also killed).

I cetainly agree this naked agression and murder of our citizens could not go unanswered and unpunished. It was right of President Wilson to order General Pershing to bring Pauncho and his men to justice.

The U S expedition stayed in Mexico for eleven months looking for Pauncho.

They didn’t find him.

And in February of 1917, General Pershing and his troops returned to the United States, not becuse of their inability to find Pauncho but because General Pershing and his men were needed in France to help the Allies defeat the Germans in World War I.

In 1920, Pauncho was given a Villa in Mexico because of his help in the Revolution. However, in July of 1923, while riding in his Dodge Roadster seven assassins fired bullets into the automobile, four of which projectiles found their way into Pauncho’s head, a fatal entrance. However, before Pauncho died he asked the lone survivor in the automobile to tell the public he had said something before he died. He did not have time to say what that something might have been…but perhaps it was…

“Yah, yah, Yankees, you cannot win by messing with the Mexicans.”

Words to live by!

And now, I ask forgiveness for making light of Donald J Trump’s demand that U S troops be sent to the Mexican border once again. If I thought that would serve some useful national purpose (other than further antagonizing Mexico which is not “useful” and holding off his “base” which is growing restive at his inability to build a Wall and impose other promised cruelties) I would refrain from making fun of it.

Actually, our current president’s off-the-cuff emotional decisions are nothing to laugh about.

But crying doesn’t help and we must all do something to see this nightmare through and retain our sanity.

If only HE were sane.

Stormy Daniels – Much Ado About Nothing

Kudos to 60 Minutes and to Anderson Cooper and his producers who did a “bang up” job of handling a difficult subject in the most professional manner – I know, I’ve been there.

But if someone thinks Ms. Daniels story will in any way affect Donald J Trump’s future – or the effort by many of us to see him gone from the Oval Office – I certainly didn’t see the evidence for that in tonights’ 60 Minutes Interview.

In the world of Real Politics, and with apologies to William Shakespere for the reference, Stormy Daniels story amounts to “Much Ado About Nothing.”

Oh, I believe her and her most able attorney – clearly any reasonable person would conclude she is telling the truth about a 2006 one time consensual sexual act with the married man Donald J Trump and the Trump people who tried to cover it up.

Trump’s lawyer’s claim that his personal payment of $130-thousand dollars to Daniels was done simply out of “frienship” for Trump to spare him the trouble of having to deal with a false accuation and not meant as “hush money” to silence something that in fact happened is simply not going to be believed by anyone with two grains of sense.

But here’s the rub, like it or not.

There was a time when the revelation that a married man in public life would be driven from his ambition to high office by the disclosure of sexual pecadillos was a given.

Former Senator Gary Hart will tell you about that time in 1987. Even Elliott Spitzer will tell you about that time in 2008. The Honarable Judge Roy Moore in 2017 doesn’t count; I said “consenting adults.”

And disclosure of a sexual indescretion can still be a problem for some, depending not on the fact itself but on the attendant circumstances.

But after Bill Clinton survived Jennifer Flowers, Paula Jones and later Monica Lewinsky, well, the real politics of such things changed markedly and rapidly.

Many do not like that change which no longer cares very much if at all about sexual indescretions; I don’t personally like that change.

But the change is a fact. Sexual peccadilloes between consenting adults regardless of marital status is no longer a sure political game changer.

As to the 130-thousand dollar payment and the trouble Trump’s lawyer may be in for violationg the legal limits of campaign giving, well in this struggle of Trump & his merry band of selfish thugs and enablers against the rest of us, that, as the old expression goes, doesn’t amount to “diddly squat.”

A final note about tonight’s Stormy Daniels 60-minutes Interview.

She did not come across as a likeable person.

Give her all the benefit of not having been schooled in public presentation or the handy cap of being a porn star (an occupation still not accepted by a majority of Americans as laudable), she didn’t give us reasons from listening and watching her to want to be on her side.

The facts, yes, the emotion of why we like or don’t like someone, no.

When she said she came out of the bathroom and found Donald J trump sitting on the bed ready to go and she thought she had gotten herself into something she really didn’t want to do, well,

Laugh Out Loud!

Oh well, there are several other women just “itching” to tell their story about an alleged affair with Donald J Trump, so let’s stay tuned.

Down Eros Up Mars

Now come the Hawks – Bolton, Pompeo, Haspel. Elevated by the “child king” to persue his “America First” policy even if it takes military force to do it.

Down Eros Up Mars!

What a stirring scene that was in the movie Ben Hur when Judah and Messala threw their javelines at the cross beam shouting Down Eros Up Mars.

Here’s the link:

http://fw.to/2x585OM

Well, we’ve seen this movie in real life before when the God of Love gives way to the God of War and the results have been disastrous!

In the immediate aftermath of World War II the United States was indeed the Colossus of the World, the most powerful Country of all time, possessing weapons that could “bomb them back to the Stone age” as Air Force General Curtis LeMay suggested as a way to bring North Vietnam to heel.

Fortunately for us and the world, our immediate post World War II leaders embraced Eros more than Mars.

But the Hawks kept pushing, not in the reactive sense as when Truman used American military force to prevent North Korea’s takover of the South but in the sense of a first use.

Herman Kahn, A Rand Corporation analyst of the Cold war with the Soviet Union, predicted we might lose millions of people if it came to a thermonuclear exchange with the Soviets, but he predicted we would win!

And the Hawks thought it a good idea.

Dwight Eisenhower didn’t

And, when he was urged by the Joint Chiefs to aid the French effort to regain their Vietnam colony with US military force even though it might be necessary to use the atomic bomb “Ike” said No.

But the Hawks were always flying.

During the thirteen days of the Cuban Missile crisis of 1962, the majority of Kennedy’s “wise men” were in favor of bombing Soviet missile sites in Cuba. Fortunately, their choice to hurl Mar’s javeline was not the policy Kennedy chose. And the world was spared the real potential of testing the Rand prediction.

But two of the most prominent of Kennedy’s Hawkish advisors – Defense Secretary McNamara and Chairman of the Joint Chief’s Taylor – were kept in place by Lyndon Johnson who, despite his early fears of plunging into Vietnman full tilt, went along with the Hawks until he was trapped. And the Country has not fully recovered since.

Reagan, first feared as a “cowboy” who might embrace Mars turned out to be most cautious when it came to actually using military force. When 241 US Marines sent to Lebanon as part of a UN peace keeping force were killed by a truck bomber, Reagan and his principal advisors rejected the Hawk’s cry of “give ’em a touch of U S steel,” instead he wisely withdrew the balance of U S forces from a region that had become a human “snake pit.”

Bush # 41 (George Herbert Walker) summonded Mars to repel Iraqi aggression against Kuwait and forstall Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia and then after accomplishing those ojectives obeyed restrictions imposed by both the U N and the U S Congress on continuing military action.

The Hawks squawk about that “timidity” in following the rule of law to this very day.

But the Hawk’s time was coming when two men collided -Bush # 43 (George W) and Osama bin Laden. The summoning of Mars in the immediate hunt for bin Laden morphed into two wars that linger still.

Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld along with a coterie of fellow Hawks in and out of government began the process of “nation building” in Afganistan (still underway and forever failing)and the Invasion of Iraq, the terrible consequeces of which are still playing out in the middle east.

And now, and now comes Trump and his new band of Hawks threatening war with North Korea and Iran (for starters).

Down Eros Up Mars.

But when Judah the Jew whose people were held in bondage and Mesalla the Roman Tribune threw their javelins there was no question of which side would win – Rome ruled the world. Sort of like the United States did right after World War II.

But today, Xi’s China possesses nuclear ballistic submarines and Putin’s Russia can quickly re-target its intercontinental nuclear missiles to American cities. The potential for deadly cyber warfare against power grids and other modern national structures also looms large.

Maybe you think these and other new world powers will stand aside if we throw the Javelin.

Do we really want to find out?

Ramming Speed

The Tuesday morning massacre was followed by the Tuesday evening massacre, the first a harbinger of more bad times to come the second a promise of better times to follow.

Now, the watchword is Ramming Speed!

The morning brought news that Rex Tillerson had been fired by Donald J Trump from his post as Secretary of State. Tillerson had many faults to answer for but the trait that got him fired was no fault but a badge of honor – he refused to be a sycophant, a puppet for Trump.

Every president wants and is entitled to have around him (“her” someday) people who believe in the president’s “vision” and help carry it out. But smart presidents welcome and are greatly aided by people who argue another view, point out dangers in a course of action and curb the presidential tendency to use power to shoot from the hip.

Tillerson warned against war with North Korea, argued against withdrawing from the Paris Environmental Accords and the Iranian Nuclear Treaty, pushed for free trade and in other ways tried to speak truth to power. Yes, he was ineffective for the most part but now gone, even the small part is squashed.

And now Trump, moving to drive out any remaining in-house obstacles to his impulse to act the Sampson to the pillars of our democracy, wants Pompeo the tea party yes-man at State, Haspel the smiling torturer at CIA with his sights set on changes at the Veterans Administration and particularly the troublesome Justice Department.

As Trump moves to a one-man rule, Pray that Mattis retains some ability to tame the savage impulses that drive this man to harm the Country and so many people within its borders.

Until the fruit of the Tuesday evening massacre strikes him.

Make no mistake, what happened in the rock solid 18th Congressional District of Pennsylvania was a massacre of Trumpism and a harbinger of better times ahead.

Here was a District that Trump carried in 2016 by 19 points; Tuesday night no matter who finally is declared the winner by a few hundred votes Trump lost it all. Lost many of the voters who took a chance on him and now, with eyes wide open, see the vulgar con-man that he is and want none of it.

Lost the ability to brag that he can do anything he wants, even shoot somebody, and not lose a single vote. There will always be a hard core base that doesn’t know or doesn’t care what he does, but the fear that such a base could keep him and his selfish gang in power is gone.

However, complacency now would be fatal for the movement to rid the Country of this man and his gang of enablers. There are no laurels today which allow resting. Every one of us must never stop aiding the anti-trump forces – money, time and calling out each and every abuse of power and each and every hurt done to people in this country.

The time for Battle Speed is over.

Until Trumpism is totally wiped out it’s Heart and Soul at

Ramming Speed!

Cry Wolf – Democracy Is Dying

Those of us of a “certain age” grew up in a time when the World’s Democracies had defeated the forces of despotism in a bloody war that killed sixty million people.

Freedom was the watchword of the day. The nineteenth century poet Alfred Lord Tennyson’s vision of a Universal Organization to eliminate war, a “…Parliament of man, the Federation of the world” was at hand.

Today, look around; Democracy is dying and Despotism is flourishing – In Putin’s Russia, in Erdogan’s Turkey, in Duterte’s Phillipines, in Xi’s China, in Modi’s India, in Hungary, Poland, Myanmar, Venezuela, Peru, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, a dozen other African Countries.

And in Donald J Trump’s America?

Fortunately,the fixtures of our Republic, it’s Instituitions and the majority of it’s people have been strong enough to turn back the full force of Trump’s Assault on the Bill of Rights and on our Constituional Separation as he dreams of dictatorial power.

But it’s time to Cry Wolf.

Despotism is not yet on us but creeping up and the time to stop it is now.

There is no denying that Trump with his divisivness and vulgarity is changing our culture, our agreed sense of who we are as a people, even to an alarming extent the fierceness of our allegiance to our democracy.

Consider that is a recent poll of Millennials, fewer than one in three said they thought democracy was important. If we can not convince the leaders of tomorrow that democracy and individual freedom are important the Country is truly lost.

Yes. It is time to Cry Wolf. History teaches us that despotism does not arrive in a sudden flash, it comes creeping step by step.

Aristotle observed that “Republics decline into democracies and democracies degerante into dispotisms.” He was certainly right about Athens,the so-called “Cradle of Democracy.”

The Roman Senate’s enlighted gpvernance degenerated into hundreds of years of despotic rule (read Gibbons)

Barbara Tuchman, the historian who chronicaled the idiotic slide into World War I warned that “Every successful revolution puts on in time the robes of the tryant it has deposed.”

And it was Thomas Jefferson,author of our magnificent Declaration of Independence, who asked “What country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.”

I urge you to read an excellent article by Brian Klass titled: “Of course it can happen here: Trump’s no despot — but he’s no friend to democracy.” With the subtitle: “I study dictators, and Trump’s attacks on our democratic checks and balances are chillingly familiar.” I have tried to attach the link but the publisher has embedded a “stop” device that prevents it. However, simply google the article as I have described it and you can read it just fine.

When our Continental Congress had finished writing a Constitution for this country A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”

Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Cry Wolf and let’s keep it!