Tag Archives: Eisenhower

Is Afghanistan Mission In Jeopardy?

There are renewed cries from Republicans and Democrats like Senator Dianne Feinstein for dispatching the 40,000 troops requested by General McChrystal in order to complete the mission in Afghanistan. The underlying assumption of Congressmen who support this view is that we actually have a “mission” in that nation and we actually “know” how to accomplish the mission. What exactly is in “jeopardy?” The government of Afghanistan is controlled by corrupt men who engage in drugs, who use their power to make money, and who, frankly, don’t give a damn about the people of Afghanistan except for members of their own group. What is American forces were able to drive every single Taliban from the country, what then would be the state of Afghanistan?

It would be run by a different group of greedy fanatics who abuse women and see government as a bank which hands out money to certain depositors. Until the “mission” is clarified, sending 40,000 troops this year only means dispatching an additional 50,000 next year. The last general to say we should reduce military expenditures was President Dwight Eisenhower who understood when to use force. He refused to allow American troops to get involved in the failing French effort to retain Vietnam. Events proved Eisenhower to be correct.

Wither The Republican Party?

A hundred years ago, the Republican Party was led by Theodore Roosevelt whose progressive ideas today would undoubtedly lead to Republicans today castigating him as a “radical” or “socialist.” Theodore Roosevelt took on Big Business with his trust busting ideas, he originated the concept of conservation of our national resources, he believed in equal rights for Negroes and women, he supported labor unions, he urged transforming the Washington D.C. school system into a model for the nation, and he was the first president to actively seek to integrate immigrants into the American ethos. His famous Rough Riders was included immigrants from every ethnic group.

In the 1940s, the Republican party was led by Wendell Wilkie whose book, “One World” spoke of his desire for a world bound together. Thomas Dewey who twice ran for the presidency supported most New Deal laws and worked actively for equal rights for minorities. Senator Arthur Vandenberg led Senate Republicans in working with Roosevelt and Truman to become part of the United Nations. Even the great Republican Senator Robert Taft would today be branded by right wing kooks as a radical. During the 1950s, Dwight Eisenhower consolidated the New Deal and backed the Supreme Court in Brown vs. Board of Education. It was Eisenhower who warned about the “military/industrial complex” and was probably the only president in fifty years to cut the military budget.

Today, Senator Specter has left the party because the party has abandoned its conservative ideals and its concern for human rights. Its ongoing mantra is “cut taxes to help the wealthy.” Senator Vandenberg worked closely in a spirit of bipartisanship with Democrats as did Ronald Reagan on many international issues. But, today, the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt is controlled by Rush Limbaugh mentalities of pettiness and vicious hatred toward anyone who disagrees with their belief that wealthy people are the chosen ones of God. By the way, Teddy Roosevelt violently opposed any mixing of church and state.

So, what has happened to the Republican party? It is led by men with limited vision, outdated economic ideas, and a narrowness in terms of encompassing divergent people within the framework of the American nation. Republicans, ye have tarried too long, begone and rest in the dustbin of history with other relics of lost ideas.

I am certain Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower shed a tear every night as they gaze at the motley crew of ignorant hateful people who lead their party.

Soldier Ordered To Close Down Blog

A month before his deployment to Iraq, Matt Gallagher began a blog which he called, “Kaboom: A Soldier’s War Blog.” In June, Gallagher announced he had been ordered to cease offering his blog comments to the world. Someone was upset at his May 28 post which was entitled: “The Only Difference Between Suicide and Martyrdom is Press Coverage.” The post which detailed Gallagher turning down a promotion so he could stay with his platoon was not approved by his commander before being published. In his last post, he wrote: “It’s totally on me, as it was too much unfiltered truth. I’m a soldier first, and orders are orders. So it is.” Gallagher was was promoted to the rank of captain believes the important thing is getting Americans involved in thinking about the war regardless of whether they support it or not.

Captain Gallagher began the blog as a way of expressing his feelings and communicating with his family. During World War II, great war correspondents like Ernie Pyle were with the men in the front lines and wrote about their lives without glossing over the situation.(Pyle died in the front lines). Bill Mauldin used his wit and cartoons to lambast the military and its officers. When, a general wanted to shut him down, General Eisenhower forbid the action saying American troops needed someone who expressed their feelings. It is unfortunate in the 21st century we lack officers like Dwight Eisenhower who understood the importance of allowing men on the front line to express their emotions without fear of censorship.