No,—not the offer as shown in the Godfather by Michael Corleone or by his father!!.. .We may remember this master of drama and art, The Godfather: a genius mafia/crime film by Francis Ford Coppola in the 70ties and 90 ties… Many of us have seen this, either in the cinema or on TV or on DVD…
However, what does it benefit a man when he gains the world and loses his soul? That is the question being raised.. After killing all his enemies who betrayed him, Michael Corleone died as a lost man, full of guilt. He wanted his family out of the Mafia scene, but one revenge did lead to the other and in a last attempt, sucked in again, after losing his first wife, his second wife,- he finally lost his beloved daughter Mary. The last played by Sofia Coppola.
It’s a drama with similarities in some families, communities, countries and even the world. The world where, at times, we keep our enemies close. To destroy them when we seek our chance.
The hypocrisy is everywhere and the menace of violence almost anywhere.
Just one comment was interesting, when an US Senator visited the Corleone family:
Senator Pat Geary: I despise your masquerade, the dishonest way you pose yourself. You and your whole fucking family…Michael Corleone: We’re both part of the same hypocrisy, Senator, but never think it applies to my family…
See the film yourself if you haven’t seen it, as it is notthe subject today.
It may howeverillustrate something. We can win the world but lose our soul. We can howbeit take part in the drama of this world as actors. Actors who have the chance to rehearse well before our actions, or go down the hill as failed culprits due to the disease of dedicated negligence and failure to get our act together. An act which can be played out differently than some Shakespearean drama’s. Different than some drama’s on this planet at present, where evil indeed needs to be destructed, and where we have to play a part at home and in our communities. But you know, for all this, educationis the key. Not only the education for a trade or whatever you name it, but the education on the greater needs for humanity. And the last is the deeper learning. The learning we have to do in sustained ways, often the learning at the centre of our heart.
I will do you an offer you can’t refuse. It’s a different one, a greater one. It’s an offer where nothing is too big, no distance too great.
Time can’t stand in its way and there is no obstacle it can’t overcome. And you don’t even need to go to the movie for this, as you can make the movie play in your own brain, in your own heart.
In your own soul, if you wish. In that particular spot where there is no distance or barriers or obstacles.
You know, ..nobody can take this away from you! In this area lies your greatest freedom. And with this freedom you may get at times both the weirdest, – but also the greatest revelations at night during your dreams.
You know – but this aside – that only a tiny fraction of our brains is used? ..That our reserve capacity being not used is far greater than what can be applied at the moment… Are we able to explore this reserve capacity with a view to a better state of humanity?
If the desire for this is huge, indeedno distance is too big or any barriers too large. The last when the dream (your dream!) is amazing. The last when the wanting for all this is stunning and the love and gratitude for the movie in your ownmind astounding… But you need to allowit happening!.. YOU need to allow this happening in your whole body mind and spirit.
Does that make sense?
Look, Michael Corleone pictured the world as he wanted it in his mind, he laid the foundation like his father did. The desire went on and on in his mind, and so did the killings, – master minded, breathtaking and awful. When we allow the good stuff going on and on in our mind, allow the dreams which never were, repeating itself time after time and day after day, we can come up with something far better.
We can achieve together more than on our own. And then: together we can do better at home, at work and at the stage show of this world. And in our country, or in our community!
An offer you can’t refuse, isn’t it?.. Sounds attractive isn’t it?
What do you think?
If we want to live and lead a better life we need to create a sense of hope, a sense of excitement and confidence. A sense of achievement as such as well. And all this starts in our own mind, if we allow it happening, if we allow our creativity being guided by what we feel is hope . By what we feel is real excitement and achievement. Creating
authentic confidence for ourselves.
Sounds easy isn’t it?
Not that easy for most of us as we may feel trapped as Michael Corleone felt trapped through the culture of his family and the expectations perhaps, but we have a free will, trapped as we can be at times.
Imprisoned as we may feel at times.
However, in our spirit we may feel without fear. And we may play without stress in the movie we create ourselves in our own being, in our inspiration. It is then what we may evenfeel into our bones, where moreover we feel this in our spirit, – where we likewise believe it…
Where we shall hold this close to our heart. So good as it can be!
An offer you can’t refuse, an offer which makes or breaks us in the way we deal with it. Which makes or breaks us in the way we live.
Deal with it, live with it, – in reverberating leadership both to ourselves where it affects our aims, where we have to be proactive and not refrain from the action we need to take. But as a result as well, – all this to the people on which we may have a positive impact, the people we love both at home and in the world. It applies as well to the people even who drive us “nuts”. But also to the people we may despise of what they inflict.
– So what do we need to do???..
What we have to do is to lead, to invent and to guide. To lead , to invent , and to guide . Why? .. Because it sounds good and as it is good. Because if you focus on results you will not make a difference, but if you focus on a moving change you will get results, as long it is related with the right goals. As long it is related with the right issues and the right things in our day-to-day life, as this is what matters.
This is what matters most. And if I say what matters most , this is perhaps for all of us what matters most. You know, our kids are eaten up by criminal syndicates who bring in larger proportions drugs in our country. Not drugs which are enjoyable but drugs which make the mind screwed. It kills people like bullets kill people. And one may say it does not affect me in person, but it happens almost right at our doorstep, right in our street or neighbourhood, – where people are getting killed that way. People get so screwed in their brains that they are unable to learn anymore. I don’t mean the academic stuff, but the learning from the heart and how we have to relate to each other.
You know, some die slowly, over years… Some die instantly, in seconds… And the worst thing perhaps is when the spirit dies when people are alive, as those people may get very dangerous and intolerant to others. Like extremism, like terror and others.
And every time when a human being dies, a human being with a good intend, there is taken away something from his or her family as well.
When people die , there is likewise taken away something from their community. And if it is eg a President killed by a bullet, something as well is taken away from the country, – apart from his or her family, apart from his or her community.
The fragile tapestry of families, communities, and countries are hanging in the balance if no greater force is going to stop today’s youngsters being eaten up through the evil of drug dealing and trafficking… The evil of people smuggling and paedophile networks. The evil of sex trafficking, – or soldier trafficking with kids in wars… we can’t comprehend they exist.
We can’t comprehend they exist!
This is on offer, still, in our world and far more… Yes?.. And you can refuse this, isn’t it?
For sure we are not in control about all this,.But what I mean is you can refuse to take part in the nasty stuff which is invading our culture. Increasingly invading our civilization if we don’t keep close watch… Including, also, – the risk of growing racism and accelerating intolerance as we see this happening again… What we see in the film like “The Godfather” is that violence breeds more violence and we don’t need to look at movies to detect that our world is full of it, – and sometimes very subtle.
Even there where we live.
At the end of the day God made us from the same substance, and it has never been the aim to allow the slow destruction of this vulnerable and mortal fabric of life, – by war or hunger, by climate change or any other …self-inflicted evil perhaps.
We live in a time where this tapestry of life, painfully and clumsily woven at times, is getting more endangered than ever before. We are living in a time where neo-fascism may flare up in countries where we don’t expect this at the moment.
A time where violence is rising and common humanity is ignored.
We see civilian slaughter in far-off lands. People of all shades of sanity may acquire knives or guns whilst the ignorance and misunderstanding is increasing, – and the barriers for violence reduced.. We see domestic violence on the increase, likewise the institutional violence in churches and in schools.
The indifference and slow decay…you know.
Do you know?
I have no answers on all this and this is not the aim. The aim is more to accept in our own selves the offer we can’t escape. And this is to look privately what we can do. Which means not to teach to hate and to fear. Which means eg not to judge people on their colour or beliefs. Which means as well not to threaten the freedom of others, if they don’t threaten you.
Each country has unalike hardships and different aims, ideals if any, – made or designed by the traditions of their history and the level of understanding of their times. It is however not about the diversity of our goals but the closeness we have in our desires, our struggles and hope for the future. The youngsters of this world whose minds are neither screwed up by drugs, – or by emotional and/or sexual abuse. You know, they have a clear awareness what is at stake. But also those who suffer with clear minds. Sometimes in their sleep , as Aeschylus once wrote differently, falls bit by bit the agony on their hearts, – and in despair against their will may arise, wisdom through the amazing grace of God.
Some people are more aware of this than others, which is fine..
Yes, young people with the right sensitivity, likewise adults with the right responsiveness, knowthat law enforcement has to tear down crime syndicates dealing with drugs, sex trafficking etc., to save the younger generation and their sanity. They are aware as well that we neither can tolerate climate change by non-activity, nor the intolerance of those who are violent extremists or racists.
If we allow all this, all what we see already, – we allow our heart to be fooled. We allow humanity bending down the wrong direction, we are crippling the ability of our kids to do the serious lifting when they are adults. Why? Because the ability to learn from humanity in sustained ways has been lost by the ignorance of our time .
I am going to finalise this story. But remember, – it’s fun to see light and we better live in the light than in darkness.
Embracing normal human rights where those rights are an obligation to protect, will ensure that the flag of liberty and freedom keeps flying. A flag with the colours of true responsibility as well.
As this is light.
Responsibility to make the right and many forward moving decisions.
As this is light.
So, which moving forward decisions are we going to make in 2016 now at the end of this year? Is this a question you can refuse to ask yourself? Is this an offer and an obligation you can decline? ..An obligation amidst the injustices everywhere and anywhere?
John F Kennedy once said: “Lets go for the Moon”. Lets go for it…And true, less than 9 years after his assassination Neil Armstrong became the first to step on the Moon. Don’t forget the tremendous team effort!!
I would say: Lets continue to go for this planet, let’s go for ourselves and our own enlargement in person and spirit, – that we may shine as the Moon shines,- under the light of the Sun.
As this is light.
Lets go for the questions which part or which one is our own domain of care, which we can share. Which we can improve.
You know, devoted hearts are never a waste, – and walking with destiny, with passion for all of this, – can be a grace.
As this is light.
Those things are told so that you may have harmony and encouragement this pending New Year. A year with grave concerns pending again. But it will not be the settlement of the grave or being the slave of a poor mind or conscious, – but the goodwill and the type of mindfulness which brings the present to the future.
As this is light.
A future where we can respond with wisdom and kindness, rather than habit and reactivity.
A deal you can’t refuse, isn’t it?
So let’s find first the final justice in ourselves, – and bring it out in both words and silence, in both action and not acting. The last e.g . when not acting or responding to insults is the best way to do.
As this is light.
Are we able to refuse this?
Are we able to refuse to try to make both more gentle the lives of others and ourselves?
Do we have a better bargain perhaps than this?
As the actor Al Pacino in his role of Michael Corleone once said, and I translate it the way as I see: we are all part of the same hypocrisy if for the sake of unity in ourselves we turn a blind eye on what is going on around us and in this world. That is not mindfulness, that is duplicity. The same hypocrisy as shown at many levels in society. The same deception often found at organizational levels of many political and even sacred institutions and foundations. We know this, we see this. “It is easy to fool the eye, but it is hard to fool the heart…”
When evil men and powers plot, fine people must design and organize.
As this is light.
When evil men and powers bomb and burn and take the life out of our kids, good men should raise and bind.
As this is light.
When evil groups or men shout repugnant or sickening words, – great people must undertake the splendour of real connections and affection.
As this is real light.
Our lifetime is too short and the endeavours are too great, – and so we too have to make sure, within our domain of care, to let our best possible qualities flourish and to show our best possible courage and determination. The remedy lies in our own soul and if trillions of energies and daring are combined this way on this globe, we can say: We can change the world a little bit, in our strong connections in which we face the future. We can change the high tide of insanity for a high tide in humanity.
As this is the best light.
This is the offer we can’t refuse, isn’t it?
And with this in mind, – I wish you all an awesome 2016 , and more than this, – even better than this! .. Just embrace the future as a never ending story with everything you have, to make more gentle this generation and future generations!!!
“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labours of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.” – Albert Einstein
“Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which can’t be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little.” – Plutarch
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” – Melody Beattie
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. – Maya Angelou
We shall overcome one day in ourselves, with gratitude to our past, our present and our future. Gratitude to those who made our life and circumstances possible. Gratitude to our friends and opponents who made us what we are now or what we have been, – who shaped our response, – those who were “our teachers” in both the right and the wrong things.
We may overcome ourselves within the things we cherish, within the positives amidst negatives, – the last being different for all of us. Different for us as individuals, different for us as a class or group as well, whether we are part of a city, state or country.
The Freedom Fighters in the US shaped the future for equal rights among black and whites. This shaping of the future was not without violence and cruelty. Non-violent struggle did overcome racial segregation, like it did overcome apartheid in South Africa with similar forces in action elsewhere many years later. Again however, not without violence and cruelty. People beaten, shot, disappearing, often at young age, – by their opponents. But they did overcome, marching up to freedom. Freedom land as a way of achieving, not the final goal, but a way. A way with violence to be avoided, – where possible. At least by not provoking this violence. What we give we tend to receive. If we answer all violence with violence it makes us all blind and there are smarter ways, – ways being less destructive and more effective to bend sweltering injustice into a strapping justice of different sorts. It is the way of violence to be avoided within all reasonable dimensions.
Julian Bond, civil rights activist
Like the US was trying to control the status quo in the 196o ties, South Africa was trying to defend the rights of minorities by compromising the rights of majorities. Many countries are still doing the same. But the non-violence movement has been neither restricted to the US nor South Africa. And still we benefit from such a movement, and the movement needs to grow as it is the only way forward to overcome man made institutional and other dangers being difficult to control. If man made dangers can’t be controlled by reason anymore, we are at risk of being controlled by defeatist perceptions regarding those dangers, with the risk those perceptions take over at a cost of man made opportunities we have. The power of a non violence movement need to be able then to show greater leverage than the power of senseless massacres or decisions to go this direction.
Where the choice is made to make peaceful revolution impossible, the alternative however of a violent uprising is inevitable.
Peaceful change with the least possible violence is the way to overcome. A movement which should grow from Syria to North Korea, from oppressive regimes in South America to similar regimes in Asian countries. But the means by which the movement for change now tries to break through is by no means the same or fitting the Gandhi/Martin Luther King or Mandela legacy, – seems to evolve more dangerous even and perhaps more deadly. Often leaders now responsible for venom being injected to paralyze it’s people in fear, and not to speak out anymore.
Bloodshed and massacres do not seem to stop and the question is what sort of good may come out of all of this and what sort of “reason” people or countries may come up with , without making situations at various places more explosive. Whilst some people may feel gratitude for both the past, the present and the future, the question as well what sort of “gratitude” people may have at places in the most difficult circumstance one can imagine, – situations like we can only recognize from war’s we have been able to leave behind. The gratitude to live for some might be replaced by the gratitude to die for others, which is the worst of all gratitude as the last gratitude we should have is the gratitude to live. And this is the preferred gratitude we should be able to share and to contribute to, if at all possible.
The last is what we may think. But people are able to take this away from other people by the venom of hate, by the brutality of their violence, by the starvation of people. Some of them will “overcome” but not all of them. Some of them may see the new day but not all of them. Some of them may feel peace but others may have lost all peace, all gratitude, and don’t feel human anymore as their humanity has been compromised and violated on the altar of merciless torture and abuse.
It is this almost complex manifestation in nature as well, that life often comes at a cost of other life, – whilst as human beings by nature we have the gift by choice. The last in general to change the dynamics of hate and destruction into the dynamics of a reasonable peace. Not an ideal peace perhaps. However, combined with more justice, at least the most desired option within the reasoning of our human options. As long as we have such a desire and imagine the implications in the best possible ways, – we may attract positive outcomes if those ripples of hope are shared at the best possible frequencies of our human dimensions. With this shared gift we can change and “overcome”.
Liberation is only possible by ordinary people doing extra ordinary things by non-violence. The power of ordinary people can keep a dream alive, can move governments if so required, is able to resolve some of the dangers of war and all-out violence. Is even able to “move” people who lost their dreams as due to even an overload of prosperity. The other way around, – so to say, as people can “sleep in” through prosperity, being blind for what is going around. However, whilst the broader movement of non-violent action resisting what persists along the lines of injustice of various kind, the question is whether the non violent approach as a starting point is always possible to be continued under all circumstances as part of the process of liberation?
If we look at history the answer is simply: No! Without violence it was not possible to remove Hitler and his followers. Without violence it was not possible e.g during WW2 to protect the Jews in various countries like e.g. the Netherlands, where resistance groups had to target Gestapo Officers responsible for the transportation of Jews to concentration camps, and likewise had to target collaborators who worked with the Gestapo. Without the perseverance of Brittain and the support of the US Hitler’s “Third Reich” would have had free play. It is just an example. And there are far more and other examples as well. However non-violent action to bring required change is the most favorable and most honorable way to add to peaceful dynamics which may last. Perseverance is more prevailing than persistent violence
Let’s be grateful that despite tears, pain, hardship and even death, – history showed the growing seeds of forces turning against evil and overcome destructive powers. Therefore, still we can say “we shall overcome” even if we are not allowed to see the promised land, – we shall overcome.
Even with our confined days on this earth we have the choice to try to reduce destruction and improve life and the circumstances of those who needless suffer as due to the choices of evil powers, the last which should not to be tolerated in our times. Powers which are due to be eliminated as due to the risks they impose on humanity.
Time is slow for those in need. Time is slower for those who are desperate and time stands still almost when people lose their loved one’s in ongoing violence. Violence eg in Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Gaza and other areas…
Protecting of self-interest when under threat as a country is one thing. However, this should be reasonable and within proportions. Being the captives of perceived national security threats and not being able to reach out to the voices of crippled people under the brutal forces of any military powers or secret police at times, – is hard to tolerate in a world which has been faced with so much pathological violence before. And whilst time may be slow, here time is of the essence to resist this, as morbid powers are not allowed to take over.
History did teach us many lessons in what works and also things which do not work, and we can be grateful for this. However the highest appreciation is not utter words only but to live by those lessons, to live the gratitude for those lessons and to pay tribute to those in history who did contribute to more justice and gratitude and peace for our times and all times, – even when there are still areas on this planet where this is not felt at all.
Our obligation is not an obligation to pay lip service only.
We live in a world with increasing injustice, the last even within institutions, – a venom if not eradicated!
Though we are limited in our endeavours, we shall overcome one day, . as long as our dreams do last, . as long as our unaffected efforts do not rest, . as long as our mind conceives and believes, our gratitude does not cease, and we as people are able to fulfil, . in a way which lifts the burdens in and around us and makes us free.
Let us raise again in this dream, as to never forget, …as this is the reality of life where all men are created equal, – but most being surely more unequal through the far stretching differences and circumstances of life, – the last for certain not always by choice.
Therefore, – again, and more than ever before: resist in truth what is wrong, and persist in truth what is good whilst protecting live as worthy as possible.
We may have fallen with our feet trodden beneath the dust, but we shall rise up again. Reminding ourselves that our lives depend on the labour of others and that we have to give in the same measure as we received, taking things day by day and step by step, – knowing that endurance is more powerful than ferocity.
Knowing as well that there is a place and time for the fullness of real gratitude, and that amidst the corners of history’s shame we shall overcome one day, as the wall’s of hatred and prejudice have been broken then, – and mercy may prevail for our time and all times!
is an edited version on
Review JFK Assassination 2011: An issue for both Democrats and Republicans. on June 9, 2011, – with more available information now.
Today 50 years ago was the State funeral of President John F. Kennedy, – the 35th US President.
After 50 years we remember President John Fitzgerald Kennedy for the things he left in both the memories of many, – and history. Assessing him we have to recognise some errors but his large accomplishments were undeniable, – likewise his enthusiasm, his youth and his forward-looking approach in easing the tensions with the Soviet Union and Peace in general.
He played a unique role in his short time as US President.
It is fair to say he saved the world from a nuclear disaster dealing in his own way with the Cuba crisis in 1962, – ignoring the suggested hard-line approach.
He was an inspiration for a whole generation in his time and 50 years afterwards vivid memories have been shared all over the United States.
What happened in Dallas in terms of major crime with ongoing criminally negligent investigations in the past, can’t be allowed to happen again.
Whilst this was allowed to happen without real reliable investigation and many things being left not aimed to be disclosed, – it may happen again in different identities.
This is one of the reasons the JFK assassination can’t be put to rest as yet.
With the JFK assassination the US made a significant historical change with e.g. immediately afterwards an increase in the war activities in Vietnam and more bombs being dropped over there than during the second world war in Europe. After the JFK assassination a highly controversial Lyndon Johnson took over as US President with close connection with the notorious FBI Chief Herbert Hoover and various others. If the JFK assassination would not have taken place LBJ would have been replaced as Vice-President as due to his own history of corruption. Hence the full background dynamics being important to be revealed, – including the forces behind this assassination. The Vietnam war became a massive drama and created significant unrest in the US.
When Robert F Kennedy in 1968 decided to run for the US Presidency as part of the movement against the war in Vietnam and as part of a growing need for social justice he was assassinated in June by likely the same undercurrents in US society who wanted to continue the war in Vietnam.
Boris Yaro’s photograph of Robert F. Kennedy lying wounded on the floor immediately after the shooting. Kneeling beside him is 17-year-old Juan Romero, who was shaking Kennedy’s hand when Sirhan Sirhan fired the shots.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The FBI did contribute then to various unrest and violence outside the Democratic Convention in Chicago, with brutal force against anti Vietnam war demonstrations, adding as such to a climate of major social unrest after the murders of both Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.
All this helped to get the notorious Richard Nixon to become US President who worked with the military establishment to favour and carry out massive bombardments with chemical warfare in North Vietnam.
After it proved that he ordered the Watergate burglary he had to step down to avoid both impeachment and further criminal prosecution. His first Vice President Spiro Agnew had to step down as due to fraudulent activities and a new Vice – President was nominated before Nixon had to resign from office.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This new Vice-President was Gerald Ford. Ford was called in Congress once “The CIA Man”. The last was not a surprise. Gerald Ford has been closely connected with the Warren Commission and leaked all confidential information to Herbert Hoover. The mission of the Warren Commission was to satisfy the public with an investigation into the JFK assassination, but to mislead all US citizens about the truth regarding CIA involvement. Most of the participants of this Warren Commission were very compliant and if there was any doubt, Gerald Ford made sure that Herbert Hoover from the FBI was informed as Hoover had ways to change people’s mind. Hoover had secret files about almost anybody.
FBI and CIA were not always friendly with each other, but agreed however on the assassination of JFK together with the new President (LBJ) that the truth should be concealed at any cost, which happened up until now.
Various witnesses disappeared at the time or were killed, evidence disappeared or was tampered and/or did not reach the Warren Commission.
When Gerald Ford took over from Richard Nixon he knew that further investigations in the Watergate scandal would open a can of worms leading to CIA connections being closely associated with the JFK assassination (some of the Watergate burglars were connected with the JFK assassination), – hence Richard Nixon got a full pardon.
Any further investigation would incriminate both Nixon and Ford and so the change of events after the 22nd of November in Dallas continued to scar various governments.
It went on to President Herbert Walker Bush, who has been Vice-President under President Reagan and President after the Reagan administration. Bush senior (a lot younger then) was present during a CIA briefing the day after the assassination in Dallas. Being later on CIA Director he had full insight in related state secrets. The war in Vietnam finished at the end of April 1975, but all Administrations after JFK – apart from the Carter Administration – had dark secrets with the CIA. Never disclosed in full to Congress.
The background powers (due to be reduced under the Kennedy Administration) increased in strength and influence after the JFK assassination.
The first Iraq war under Bush senior was justified as there was a UN mandate and Iraq did invade Kuwait. Bush stopped this war when the UN mandate was completed.
President Clinton took over as US President from Herbert Walker Bush but the power of the CIA during the Reagan/Bush years had grown so much that he could not speak up against the Iran Contra scandal, when he was Governor in Arkansan. Under Federal Management one of the airports in Arkansas was used for getting drugs into the country, whilst the profits and military support went to the contra’s in the dirty war in Nicaragua. Bill Clinton was aware then what was happening and did neither share concern at Congressional level on behalf of the Democratic Party and his conscious, nor did he respond to – or support – a public request for independent investigations in Arkansas then. And so Clinton – like some of his predecessors – was already compromised before even entering the White House.
When George W Bush became President the background powers in the US had more or less free play as Dick Cheney the Vice-President (who served under earlier Administrations) and the Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (who served as well under earlier Administrations) were joint allies, – both in the stand down of security during 9/11, the controlled demolitions, and the cover up with a heavily delayed establishment of the “9/11 Commission”. The last having the Government mission to allow an investigation, but to mislead the public as well. However as the Warren Commission did after the JFK assassination, also “the 9/11 Commission’s” conclusions left many unanswered questions whilst 2 wars for the wrong reasons were started with many abuses of human rights.
At present both George Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney can’t enter Switzerland without the risk of being arrested and standing trial for what they have to answer for in line with Swiss law. However not in the US. In the US they get protection as no further investigations have been supported despite many high ranking officials like ex FBI Division Chief Ted Gunderson and e.g. Major General Albert Stubblebine (the last being ex Commanding General of the US Army Intelligence) reflected on 9/11 being an internal job, – facilitated by the CIA to provide the US President an excuse to go to war.
It goes that far that if the past Administration would have be denied protection by President Obama, the current President would have found himself on a collision course with the CIA and the Pentagon from the beginning of his Administration, – with the 22nd of November 1963 not unlikely due to be repeated.
President Obama did chose to leave the past behind and concentrate on the future whilst more pressing problems were at stake in 2009, including a terrible financial situation of the United States. Apart from this an “Imperfect Union” , widespread divisions and significant security issues pending. He balanced well amidst all this with a stable forward looking view on his anticipated policies for the future.
History changed however forever after the assassination of JFK, as the background powers in the US were allowed to grow at exceptional levels without too much resistance. People being President were already compromised at times before they even became President and had to work with both the CIA and the Pentagon, not rarely on the conditions of those Agencies or Organisations.
President Obama did not only take over the budget deficit from his predecessor, he took also over a CIA and Pentagon being more strongly established than President Truman ever contemplated when he warned for those excessive powers. Only in the right hands those powers can work for the real benefit of the US, but in the wrong hands they may inflict disaster at world level. Hence President Obama had to balance wisely, with courtesy, diplomacy and using his level of influence for the benefit indeed of a better Union. It proved to be difficult enough with the right wing part of the Republican party being as obstructive as it could be.
With the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy the US Government was in retrospect in a wider sense responsible for perverting the course of justice in a major crime against both the US and the deepest foundations of the Constitution, – which determines where the balance of power should be.
They could walk away from it. Never being convicted, as they were able to be protected by the law they compromised. The FBI Chief Hoover made sure protection was in place for those who worked with him. This was possible in the United States of America. It will be still possible in the US as the US has no sufficient accountability systems on board within this domain to prevent those things, – if they would ever occur again in a variety of scenario’s.
Both the CIA and the FBI have a lot of good people doing their job with conviction and integrity and there have been many people at the highest levels of the CIA and the Military Establishment asking for renewed investigations in e.g. the 9/11 drama, – as things simply did not add up and this incident with all its mysterious demolitions and the Pentagon being more likely attacked by a missile etc went too far. The background powers were even now prepared to allow and escalate a terror attack on US ground, whilst with premeditated controlled demolitions of some WTC buildings a drama was created to mislead public opinion afterwards and allow the US to go to war in an area ready for a US war after the CIA “work up” during the Clinton Administration since 1992.
It is clear that when the order to kill comes from “higher levels”, those who are responsible are often able to walk away, as long as they stick to the conduct of silence.
This is the reason we have to go back to the JFK assassination, back to the facts as they were and learn from it, – because this assassination was an “internal Pearl Harbour” against both the US Constitution, the law and everything where the US is supposed to stand for. The enemy was within the systems of Government and not outside.
This is an issue for both US Republicans and Democrats to resolve as part of effective legislation perhaps, but finally as well as part of a realistic historical view on US Government dynamics during and after the JFK assassination.
The freedom of information act in the US did show various new information on lots of issues in the US, including e.g. more documents about the assassination of President John F Kennedy on the 22nd of November 1963 in Dallas.
Enough material is available now to change the perception on JFK’s death and the circumstances leading to it, – however much of the available information has been in part redacted, changed over time, and some most secret documents not being released as yet.
FBI files created by former FBI Chief J Edgar Hoover do contain information with various degree of reliability as his files were at times used to compromise his own opponents or the opponents of those persons he had a good working relation with.
Despite many publications already over the last 50 years, it would seem that some recent records have not been put together as yet, – and the aim of this article is to give a fresh review on what actually happened in Dallas, including the dynamics leading to it.
It is not that important for the purpose of this article who fired the real shots from the various directions.
More important however are the forces behind the assassination of this popular President, who was perceived as a danger by different groups and people at the same time. As will be illustrated, this created as such an opportunity to help to develop a monster plot with the help of fugitive undercurrents, which existed at the core of America’s democracy. Hence what is known about it and still on classified files are not likely to be released, not even in 2017.
The US – in retrospect – allowed JFK to be killed without any full and proper investigations after the assassination, with most justice systems deliberately failing at the same time, and officials including media misleading the public. It did affect the heart of the US as a democracy 50 years ago, but events in US politics continued to affect the heart of the US as a democracy, in various ways for decades after the 22nd of November 1963.
Today with all modern (adapted) technology being available, together with the option by choice to reopen the investigations based on non revealed ARRB files (transcripts, memoranda, hearings etc) after the final (not conclusive) ARRB Report (which is filed in 1998 at the JFK Collection at the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park,Maryland), – renewed investigation is an option for a democracy which does respect itself in terms of lasting justice.
Based on well documented wiretaps of mobsters before and after the JFK assassination, the House Assassination Committee concluded 16 years after the Dallas crimes: “There is solid evidence….that Hoffa, Marcello and Trafficante – 3 of the most important targets for criminal prosecution by the Kennedy Administration – had discussions with their subordinates about murdering President Kennedy.”
For certain the mob was a beneficiary for the assassination, but there were more. The organised crime drive in particular from the Attorney general Robert Kennedy prompted certainly a plan to strike back. In the first instance it would be an assassination on Robert Kennedy but the plan shifted later to the President.
The information about the JFK assassination till so far provides really more direction, – on how high-ranking American Government officials (including President Lyndon B. Johnson) dealt with matters after that fateful day in Dallas in 1963. However there is more to this to be discussed.
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE EARLY DAYS OF JFK’s PRESIDENCY?
Three days after the Bay of Pig crisis at the early start of his Presidency, – Kennedy ( being insufficient informed by both the CIA and the Pentagon Generals) started a Cuban Study Group (leaded by General Maxwell Taylor) to “direct special attention to the lessons which can be learnt from those events in Cuba.” It sounds trivial but “The Cuba study group” was a significant creation of the Kennedy Presidency and whilst receiving little notice at the time, it was the source of utter CIA discontent after Allen Dulles as head of the CIA was fired by the President, – following his failures within the CIA to advise him in line with correct procedure about the pending Bay of Pig invasion in Cuba, including its viability. The Bay of Pig invasion in Cuba was a profound disaster for various reasons. Kennedy took responsibility for this.
Both the Kennedy’s and the CIA/Pentagon started a collision course as due to profound different perceptions on the military future of the US, – besides various personal animosities which played at a different level than the animosities with the mob. The introduction of Robert Kennedy in various security meetings as requested by the President, and RFK’s high level of assertiveness with some controversial Generals did not go always very well.
JFK ignored during the Cuban missile crisis (which brought the world close to nuclear disaster), – military advise to attack Cuba and with restraint and a last-minute deal with the Soviets on US missiles in Turkey, – he avoided an all out nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union. The Pentagon advised to attack Cuba, indicating this was the best course of action, however in retrospect nuclear missiles were already installed in Cuba and Russian commanders were under the instruction to fire those nuclear missiles in case of a US attack on Cuba. The Pentagon’s advise at the time was that there were only missile installations and no missiles as yet, – this illustrating how the intelligence worked at the time. JFK’s reservations about his military advisers increased and vice versa.
Again against Military & CIA advise JFK wanted to ease the tensions with the Soviet Union to avoid war. He knew the dangers of war and being ready though to go to war if there was really no other rational option anymore, war was for him really the last resort, – whilst war actually seemed to be the priority choice of some hard-liners within the Pentagon. Some of those hardliners proposed a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the Soviets, which got JFK really more worried about the Pentagon than a surprise attack from the Soviet leader at the time.
JFK’s “Peace speech” reflected his ability to humanize the Soviet Union, whilst his “Berlin speech” showed his profound dismay with the political system. Both JFK’s Peace speech and his speech about “Secret Organisations” in the US did indicate the direction this President wanted to follow, – besides the politics of transparency. This stunned both the CIA and the Pentagon
Fidel Castro in Cuba (a close ally of the Soviets) remained however a significant obstacle (already since the Eisenhower Administration), and a secret joint mission of both the CIA and the Mafia (the last with connections in Cuba) were close of being executed at the end of 1963. The mission was to kill Castro. Robert Kennedy was involved in those plans, but tried however to stop Mafia involvement on the 7th of May 1962 during a briefing from CIA officials.
The Church Committee in 1975 reported that after this CIA briefing and discussion with Robert Kennedy, – the CIA with William Harvey continued to work closely with at least Rosselli to arrange the assassination of Castro. This is significant as it is clear as with other Presidents there was no full control over the CIA. The mob including Sam Giancana John Rosselli and Trafficantes had certain cooperative roles with the CIA (those roles being established for quite some time already) – long before the Kennedy Administration.
President Kennedy was aware of the potential use of Giancana, whilst having an affair with his mistress (Exner). The last did not put him in an easy position with the FBI Director Hoover, who was aware of this. This apart from the fact that Kennedy’s affair with Exner was taking a high risk to be compromised.
JFK planned for the future to recognise Cuba, assuming if “they would buy toasters and dishwashers” – at some stage they would throw Castro out themselves. Obviously he did not accept nuclear missiles in Cuba directed at any city in the US, – but he preferred to ease at least some of the tensions about Cuba in his second term in office, if he would win the 1964 elections.
He preferred a pragmatic approach and not increasing tensions, – again against hard-liners within the CIA and the Pentagon who started to perceive JFK as a security risk for the US, – especially as President Kennedy had little desire to escalate matters in Vietnam..
Under the Eisenhower Administration the CIA had already directives to coöperate with the mafia to overthrow Castro and under the Kennedy administration the CIA developed plans to gun down Castro in Cuba with the help of the Mafia. The Mafia had a strong interest in a Cuba without Castro for different reasons. The Church Committee discovered some aid plots involving the CIA from 1960 to 1965 to assassinate Fidel Castro.
In 1960 President elect John F Kennedy was told by the CIA’s deputy Director, Richard Bisell, about the plot to kill Castro. This included mob help from Giancana, who has been asked by Frank Sinatra to help the Kennedy campaign in Illinois during the 1960 elections. Joseph Kennedy,sr would possibly seem to have asked the mob to help somehow as well but did not make any deals. Reportedly Frank Sinatra actually made a deal (without Joseph Kennedy being directly involved), assuming that he did do the right thing for the Kennedy’s. He did indicate even that JFK (once elected) would leave the mob as much as possible alone. However this did not happen.
Meanwhile the mob felt utterly betrayed by both the President and his brother (the Attorney General), – as they anticipated protection once JFK was elected President. Once in office, Robert Kennedy in his function of Attorney General (on behalf of his brother) started the most intensive crusade against organised crime in US history. The Kennedy’s had even before the 1960 elections involvement in vigorously anti- crime dealings as documented in the hearings with Jimmy Hoffa – the boss of the Teamsters – when JFK was Senator of Massachusetts. As matters evolved in the White House, they (the mob and Jimmy Hoffa) increasingly hated both the Kennedy brothers, and with Jimmy Hoffa (an old RFK enemy) they waited for the right timing for revenge. Giancana cursed Kennedy indicating that he went out of his way to help him to win the election, whilst his brother (“Bobby”) was targeting the mob. The last with great embarrassment for Giancana personally in respect to the other Mafia families.
On the one hand it seemed to the mob that the Kennedy Administration (with the President even having an affair with Giancana’s mistress, hearing Mafia secrets perhaps) were tolerating perhaps CIA mob connections to assassinate Castro, – whilst on the other hand being tough on organised crime. They really could not take this.
With Robert Kennedy in the final analysis trying to stop those long existing connections, – this may have really infuriated both the CIA and the mob again, who felt both let down by the Kennedy’s anyway. Exner (Giancana’s mistress) once said: “They hated Bobby!”
Frank Ragano (Tampa mob lawyer) once reflected on a chilling conversation between his clients Trafficante, Jimmy Hoffa and Carlos Marcello. The three of them have been under scrutiny as a result of Robert Kennedy’s organised crime drive and had strong motives for revenge and survival. They considered what would happen if anything would happen to Bobby and they agreed that the President would go after his enemies with added determination. The other option was “if something would happen to the President”, – Hoffa asked. “Lyndon Johnson would get rid of Bobby”, – one of Hoffa’s lawyers reflected.
OTHER BENEFICIARIES OF JFK ‘s ASSASSINATION?
Obviously Robert Kennedy was in a profound state of shock after the death of his brother. He had not only to deal with his own grief, the grief of the Kennedy family, – but he became aware that he has been on a collision course for which he felt he was in part to blame.
When Robert was assassinated in 1968 he went to his grave likely believing that there was a real connection between his organised crime drive and his brother’s assassination, – which proved not to be true. The forces were far more stronger and complex than the Mafia on its own. During the Kennedy Administration the spirit of the “cold war environment” was that within the CIA anything was allowed to overthrow Castro and to oppose the Soviets. Within this context a further collusion of interest evolved between more beneficiary’s of President Kennedy’s death. With close connections between the CIA and those in Cuba feeling hostile to Castro – ( the CIA, the mob and anti Castro people feeling betrayed by Kennedy due to him aborting the Bay of Pig invasion with no further support from the air) – further dynamics were evolving, with both the CIA and the FBI (Hoover) developing increasing resentments against JFK. The CIA and FBI not always friendly with each other recognised some common ground on JFK and his brother. Those groups had already positive connections with Vice – President Lyndon Johnson. However also with former vice -President Nixon. ( As a matter of interest Jack Ruby who killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of JFK, – has been working for Richard Nixon since 1947). The question was how the CIA and the Military would be involved. – or was it the other way around? The last is an interesting question and the final answer will be somehow documented in the record still being on file.
JFK’s intentions to ease the tensions with the Soviet Union and a leaked memo that he was prepared to withdraw from Vietnam – on top of earlier evidence in which he showed to follow a line of action independent from his military advisers (in close consultation with his brother RFK), – seemed to turn the tide really against him. In the public arena his speeches reflected directions of peace and opposition against activities of so-called “secret societies”. What Truman said in private about the CIA and the military, – Kennedy brought in public what both the CIA and secret organisations (e.g “Skull and Bones”) never wanted to hear. What was going to happen if this President was going to be re elected again in 1964, with such strong ties with his influential brother???
JFK’s direction was clearly against the hardliners within both the CIA and the Pentagon. Whilst both the Pentagon and the CIA were strongly in favour to increase the war efforts in Vietnam, President Kennedy – supporting those efforts initially (as he did with the Bay of Pigs, based on wrong advise), – became increasingly aware that this was not the desired direction for the future. When a secret document leaked that he wanted to withdraw from Vietnam he added only to increasing animosity with some Pentagon Generals, – besides the CIA. The mob was quite willing to coöperate with both the CIA and others to do “the job” in Dallas (they had good coöperation with the CIA anyway about Cuba) and 3 different assassination scenario’s seemed to have been in place that day if the attempt on Daley Plaza would fail. The CIA and the mob were in agreement “to sort JFK out”, each for different reasons. Alan Dulles, despite being fired as CIA boss, still had close connections with some hardliners within the CIA and there was still real animosity. A profound difference in perception on the strategic military direction of the US was at the heart of this animosity, despite the fact that Kennedy was able to deal with the Pentagon more favourably than at the beginning of his Presidency. After all, the outcome of the Cuba crisis gave him some credit from at least a few within the Pentagon. The views on the future remained however most antagonistic. It was at a time as well that JFK was not too keen to have Johnson as his running-mate for the 1964 elections as due to past corruption scandals of LBJ and various other things to be leaked to LIFE magazine by RFK.
The fact that the President had such a close bond with his brother ( the Attorney general), even where it came to military operations, indicated for the Pentagon that this President (despite being prepared to listen) would do it his own way. The CIA had similar perceptions.
Under President Truman the insidious power of the CIA became quite clear and both Truman and President Eisenhower warned for this as part of Constitutional fears for criminal peace time operations (the CIA often being side tracked from its original assignment). The CIA evolved into an operational and at times a policy making arm of the Government. Kennedy being aware and warned for those dangers by his predecessors, wanted to change this situation eventually, – being supported by his brother. JFK reportedly planned to dismantle the CIA and the Federal Reserve whilst being ready to expose their illicit operations, – the last being most significant, but most dangerous!
Robert Kennedy not being convinced that CIA protection for the President would be always effective had contemplated on facilitating a private guard, – disconnected from the CIA, as the tensions were clearly felt. Some dangers were felt, however not that obvious as yet.
Beyond all those issues, JFK was really able to reach outside the traditional and existing cold war perceptions of the US establishment, looking at the bigger picture to survive on this planet with a more global perspective, – whilst the CIA & the Pentagon under no circumstances wanted to buy into this, if required at all costs.
The question is how would above groups could work together. There was one more (but most significant!) beneficiary of the assassination of the President. Robert Kennedy opposed Lyndon Johnson for various reasons and both the Kennedy’s wanted to replace Lyndon Johnson as Vice President. As mentioned. In the 1960 LBJ was just a practical choice for JFK in the run up to the 1960 elections. The relationship between LBJ and the Kennedy brothers was at times strained and in particular the Vice President’s relationship with Robert Kennedy were at times close to “explosive”. Lyndon Johnson had profound fears for going to jail about a potential exposure of the Bobby Baker scandal and Robert Kennedy fed extremely damaging information to LIFE magazine to show Lyndon Johnson’s corruption that would blow him “out of the water, once and for all”.
The Kennedy’s and LIFE magazine were – before JFK’s Dallas trip – only days away from politically executing Lyndon Johnson, – with his history of corruptions whilst running the Senate as a Majority leader, with LBJ still having an adviser with close Mafia connections in place. The Vice Presidential ticket in 1964 was most likely to go to either Gerry Sanford of North Carolina or George Smathers of Florida. LBJ was most aware of this!
Bobby Baker was Lyndon Johnson’s secretary and political adviser from the early 50ties until 1962, – however at the time with close connections with mobster Giancana in various business entities, – as discovered by Robert Kennedy. Robert Kennedy also found out that that Baker was also involved in procuring women for President Kennedy, the last having a well documented interest for females (at times most risky liaisons), – with an added risk for further black-mail from the FBI Director Hoover.
Whilst working for LBJ in the White House, Baker continued to have close connections with Giancana and an associate of Jimmy Hoffa, – together with Clint Murchison. Not the best people to connect with if your boss is US Vice-President. It is clear how close the mob was to both Baker and via Baker, – to LBJ. LBJ received a pay off of $100000,= cash in a suitcase as due to his role in securing Fort Worth TFX contract (witnessed by Don B. Reynolds), which was needless to say both corrupt and highly controversial in his place.
After LBJ became President one of the first things was to contract B.Everett Jordan to prevent this information being published and a smear campaign was organised to damage Reynolds, – strongly assisted by FBI Chief Hoover who had developed a file about him. It is clear in retrospect that LBJ was under massive threat before the Kennedy assassination of his corruption being exposed by RFK. As Jimmy Hoffa’s lawyer noted in a conversation mentioned earlier, the problem would not be solved by taking Robert Kennedy out of the picture.
LBJ was for Government Agencies an ideal candidate for a Kennedy succession if Government Agencies together with the mob could settle “the matter” on the 22 nd of November 1963 in Dallas at 12.30 pm. The timing was right as it would not be in LBJ’s interest to have the Bobby Baker scandal and his corruption leaked to the press. The last would indeed blow the light out of his political career. For the Vice President’s protection he needed not to be fully aware of all the in’s and out’s but his full help with the cover up afterwards was enough. LBJ had already “dirty hands”, as reportedly he has murdered a number of people in Texas (eg Henry Marchall in June 1961 ) to cover up his corruption scandals and at the background it would seem he set the scene at Dealy Plaza with others.
LBJ and Hoover had dinner at Murchison’s mansion shortly before the assassination. After this meeting LBJ told his mistress Madelyn Brown that the Kennedy’s “will never embarrass me again”. Some close associates of LBJ in 2006 (many years later) reflected similar suspicion’s of LBJ’s involvement in the JFK assassination.
In the 1980ties Billie Sol Estes – a close associate of LBJ – (just released from prison in 1983) , began confessing the murder on Henry Marshall on the orders of LBJ. The authorities never re investigated the Henry Marchall case, but it was clear that there was a risk that Henry Marchall would have “blown the whistle” at a most inconvenient moment in LBJ’s political career. Reportedly LBJ had a personal “hitman”. Reportedly as well he was ready now for “the clean up” of the Kennedy Administration with the required background support from various areas. Obviously organised crime was required to cover up the operation and both the FBI and the CIA were more than helpful with this and vice versa. Many witnesses (some 72) disappeared or were found dead after poisoning or “an accident”. LBJ was already a heavily corrupted man when he became President, and the truth about the Kennedy assassination would not serve any of his interests, neither the interests of the people he worked with in both the CIA and the FBI.
There are more stunning links.
George Herbert Bush (later President) worked for the CIA in 1963 and was pictured on Dealy Plaza as one of the “crime spotters”. Richard Nixon joined Hoover on the night of the 22st of November 1963, – the day before Kennedy arrived in Dallas. There is FBI evidence that former President George H. Bush was the recipient of a full CIA briefing on the day after the assassination of JFK, in his younger years. FBI Director Hoover wrote a memo referring to the Bush,sr briefing, and the night before JFK was assassinated both Hoover met with others at the Dallas house of Texas oil baron Collin J “Clint” Murchison,jr as far as reports of the retired army brigadier General William Penn Jones concerned. Hoover like LBJ were most aware of what was going to happen, – likewise Richard Nixon. Never ever would Nixon later on as President allow further Watergate investigations as E Howard Hunt with a few other CIA man were both involved in the Watergate burglary and the JFK assassination.
All this information is on file and available on internet research. As earlier reflected some of the finer details are not disclosed as yet and are not due to be disclosed as they are still considered to be top secret.
Edgar J Hoover (the FBI Chief) was a close friend and neighbour of Vice – President Lyndon Johnson, – besides being a respected friend of Richard Nixon. Traditionally Hoover gathered as much as possible controversial information about any potentially threatening incumbant President and in this case he had a file on the Kennedy’s to maintain his extremely powerful position within the FBI. He was despised by both Kennedy’s and Hoover hated in particular Robert Kennedy, the Attorney General (his boss at the time) , – but for certain JFK as well. His file could potentially destroy the Kennedy Presidency hence the Kennedy’s had to put up with him. No President was able to remove Hoover as Hoover proved to be a master in creating controversial material. Besides this Hoover was on the verge of war with the Kennedy’s about their support for the equal rights movement after the lessons from the “Freedom Riders” from Nashville in 1961 in Alabama. Police inflicted repugnant violence in the police state of Alabama, with the FBI supporting the Ku Klux Clan. Whilst the Attorney General Robert Kennedy queried perhaps the wisdom of the Freedom Riders for their endeavours at that particular time, – supported however by his brother the US President – he did sent Federal Troops in to protect those people. It proved that Hoover ignored his boss and no FBI protection was provided at all, despite promises.
(At the time of RFK’s death later on in 1968, RFK was the representative for social change in the US, for the last even more hated as well by Hoover.)
As one can see, the decision to take President John Fitzgerald Kennedy out of the picture evolved into a joint effort of various high-ranking groups and persons collaborating at the same time. Similar the disappearing of many witnesses was the effort of the same collaborating persons and groups as well, – after the Dallas crime took place. Those who gave the orders are still protected by US law, not to be release documents incriminating the highest US officials.
Never ever was the world allowed to know what happened, – but as one can see the assassination was a Coupe d’ Etat, with a cover up of massive proportions – to be even continued under President Nixon , President Ford and Presidents following. LBJ in retrospect blamed Castro from Cuba organising the crime, whilst admitting in 1971 that he never believed in Oswald acting alone. Before he died in the 70ties, – LBJ claimed that the JFK assassination was likely retaliation from Castro on a potential assassination in which both the CIA and the mob would be involved, and that Robert Kennedy has been involved in this anti Castro plot. In 1969 he claimed indirectly in an interview with Walter Cronkey that there could have been international connections. President Gerald Ford however (member at the time of the Warren Commission) – just before he died in 2006 – reflected in his memoirs that the CIA was involved, which leaves besides all the other things only one conclusion about LBJ’s inconsistent reflections, and him as a person.
Robert Kennedy in agony at times about various questions he had, – asked Johnson at some stage: “Why did you kill my brother?”- Robert Kennedy knew the secrets of the Kennedy Administration, he had suspicions on both the CIA and the Mafia as well. However he was not sure as yet. After resigning as Attorney General in the Johnson Administration (FBI Chief Hoover totally ignored him), RFK became elected and was “allowed” to be the Senator for New York where he would be of no harm to the LBJ Administration.
RFK accepted the outcome of the Warren Communion as he had little choice, being both aware of the background powers and the potential of further (anti) Kennedy smear campaigns. Besides this he was profoundly and for quite some time in despair about the death of his brother.
Robert Kennedy however was under close watch, in particular when he decided to run for the Presidential elections in 1968, – opposing both the sitting President Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam war. If he would prove to win California in the primaries he would most likely get the Democratic nomination and being elected US President after Johnson, defeating Nixon in his second efforts against a Kennedy. For certain RFK would have decided to withdraw from Vietnam and change the CIA, being aware of the dangers of the CIA. Besides this he would have endeavoured a different direction for the United States, as his grief had made him more compassionate for the less privileged groups in and outside the US.
With Bobby Kennedy being nationally an increasing popular Presidential candidate he did sign in a way his own death sentence. Both the FBI Chief Hoover and the same undercurrents in the CIA with mob connections involved in the murder of his brother, did not allow a second Kennedy to be President, – and for certain not Robert Francis Kennedy! President Johnson felt again profoundly under threat of Robert Kennedy. It was beyond any doubt that no RFK could be allowed in the White House, by all “ruling parties” (including Nixon at the background, supported by Hoover). Besides a different direction for the US, for certain RFK would be able to unravel the Coup d’Etat as it took place in Dallas the 22nd of November 1963. This would neither be in Hoovers interest, nor in the interest of the CIA, nor in the interest of Nixon or LBJ or any other party involved in the JFK assassination less than 5 years before. It will be interesting to know which reflections are stored in the secret US files incriminating those people who gave the orders. For certain the CIA connection has been established already, but it is unclear where the instructions came from.
A smartly constructed CIA conspiracy ended Robert Kennedy’s race for the White House in Los Angeles, June 1968. Various bullets were fired. Martin Luther King,jr was just assassinated a couple of months before by likely the same undercurrents with FBI involvement as well. Hoover hated MLK, including the movement against the war in Vietnam. All this created massive unrest at all corners of the US, – besides sadness after 2 assassinations in a row. Within this climate of unrest it was not that difficult for Nixon to be elected after Robert Kennedy’s assassination in 1968 and President Nixon intensified the war in Vietnam. FBI Chief Hoover was a close ally of the Nixon Administration, – feeding Nixon with all sorts of wired taped material of conversations between people which could provoke potential damage if used. Henry Kissinger, who reportedly served as a dual agent for both Germany and Russia during the second world war, became Secretary of State under the Nixon Administration. When Nixon had to resign over the Watergate scandal, Gerald Ford took over as the 38th President of the US. The first thing he did – and I repeat saying this – was a Presidential Pardon for Richard Nixon, as such avoiding further investigation into the Watergate affair and preventing further revelations about further connection in the Kennedy assassination as well. The New York Times stated that Nixon’s pardon was ” a profoundly unwise, divisive, and unjust act”. In one stroke it had destroyed the new President’s “credibility as a man of judgement, candour and competence.”
Regarding Gerald Ford’s involvement in the Warren Commission in 1963-1964, – Ford said far later that the CIA destroyed or kept from investigations critical secrets about the 1963 Dallas assassination of President Kennedy. He said as well that the aim was to prevent “certain classified and potentially damaging operations in danger of being exposed.” It was the CIA’s purpose “to hide or destroy some information which can easily being interpreted as collusion in JFK’s assassination.” In other words some information has been destroyed. Before Gerald Ford died he published his memoirs in which he stated that the CIA was involved and he knew.
It is more than likely that the US military establishment including the CIA, the FBI, various of the highest Government Officials and some politicians were involved in the JFK assassination. It is not entirely clear who gave the orders and how they were executed in detail.
An FBI memo released in 2008 -again- reflected that Gerald Ford secretly provided the FBI with information about 2 members of the Warren Commission who doubted both the FBI and the Warren Commission’s conclusions about the assassination. The position of the FBI was that there was only one gun man firing from the Texas Book depository. It proved in 1978 that Ford in 1963 volunteered to advise the FBI about the full contents of all the deliberations in the Warren Commission, provided that his comments with the FBI was kept confidential. This condition was agreed with Edgar Hoover. It proved as well that Ford had strong ties with both the FBI and Hoover. The later President Ford as a member of the Warren Commission in 1963/1964, had full insight in the deliberate failures of the Warren Commission and played a most controversial role with the FBI whilst assisting the cover up and supporting the Warren Commission’s findings. Ford at the time had close connections with the CIA as well and was likely fully aware – later on – that there was far more to Watergate which could incriminate again highest Government officials if e.g Howard Hunt (one of the Watergate burglars) would be put in a position to break the “code of silence”. Hunt made revelations on his deathbed on his and LBJ’s involvement in the JFK assassination and if Gerald Ford would not have given Richard Nixon a Presidential Pardon, Ford as past member of the Warren Commission could be subject for impeachment as well.
Before his poisoning death Frank Sturgess told the San Fransisco Chronicle in May 1977: ” The reason we burglarized Watergate was because Nixon was interested in stopping news leaking related to the photo’s of our role in the assassination of President John F Kennedy.” Additional assassination photo’s would seem to have been available, besides assassination footage taken from a helicopter which would proof that the story about Oswald was fabricated to support the lone – gunman and magic bullet theory. When Nixon stepped down many years later as US President over the Watergate scandal to avoid impeachment and further investigations, it was (this needs to be repeated) President Gerald Ford – who has been a controversial member of the Warren Commission in 1963- who gave Nixon a “general pardon” avoiding as such any further investigations. Gerald Ford has been publicly praised as well for his courage to leave “Watergate” behind, whilst this was clearly not an act of courage. It was again a “cover-up” and just a reflection how the “system” worked in those days, how in a row people could get the top job in the White House whilst being corrupted beforehand. This was possible in the United States of America, this is still possible in the US and only few people know.
Both JFK and RFK did not get the chance to change the “currents” towards more justice within the political systems of the US, hence the significance of their deaths, including the corrupting powers which followed. Powers working closely together with the massive war machinery of the Pentagon at the background and CIA covert operations of immense proportions. People like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld appearing in various Bush Administrations. The Bush (Skull & Bones) and CIA links have been always very close. It may be questioned which oath was more important, the oath to Skull and Bones or the oath to the Constitution. George W Bush called the Constitution once a piece of paper only. What he inflicted or at the end was responsible for will be for decades top secret.
To come back to the original theme:
FBI Chief Hoover died in 1972 whilst President Nixon was in power. Gerald Ford took over the Vice Presidency from Spiro Agnew (who took bribes) in 1973, – one year after Hoover died in office. Hoover was fully aware of the Nixon dealings. Gerald Ford had no Presidential ambitions when he became US Vice President under Nixon, but with his CIA background and past relationships with Hoover, – any secrets would be secured if he had to take over from Nixon.
What happened at Dealey Plaza in Dallas on the 22nd of November 1963 was actually as follows:
An alleged change in the motorcade route was instructed at the last minute by LBJ and the CIA. When the Kennedy motorcade turned into Elmstreet, closing in on Dealey Plaza, CIA protection officers to protect the President’s car were called back. As far as video footage concerned one of them reacted utterly surprised but they had to follow orders. Kennedy’s car reduced speed and was not protected at all, – whilst LBJ’s car had full CIA protection. The famous Zapruder footage of which fragments were confiscated by the FBI, revealed years later that the President’s head and upper torso moved profoundly backwards after the last fatal shot, indicating that one bullet was fired from the front – right area, – Jackie Kennedy’s head turned just nearly in front of JFK’s face on impact of the fatal last bullet. She would have been killed if the bullet came from behind. After the first bullet the Presidential car reduced its anyway reduced speed further, allowing (?coincidence) the last bullet being to be fool proof. The exploding impact of this last bullet was of such nature that it opened almost completely the right upper site of JFK’s scalp, – leaving blood and brain material on the first (following) FBI police motor on the left hand site. Kennedy died on the spot after this last bullet and for him there was no further physical agony anymore. More than 3 shots were fired and at least 1 came from the back. Arriving at the Parkland Hospital, the President’s car was carefully and immediately cleaned by the FBI when the President was rushed into the emergency treatment room. Cleaning a crime scene by the FBI was most unusual for usual FBI protocol, but with Hoover in the background anything was possible. The autopsy report was falsified and the brains of the President appeared to be missing later on.
THE WARREN COMMISSION
The Warren Commission presents its report to President Johnson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Warren Commission was established on the 29th of November 1963 by President LBJ and he selected a group of so-called “wise man” to investigate the assassination of JFK. The 808 page final report was presented on the 24th of September 1964 and was made public 3 days later. The conclusion was that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the killing of Kennedy and wounding the Texas Governor John Connally, besides the fact that Jack Ruby acted alone in the murder of Oswald. (There are reports Nixon ordered his employee Jack Ruby to kill Oswald, but this is subject to further prove.)
The Warren Commission which has the nickname of “The Alan Dulles Commission” (because he controlled it) proved to be an utterly failure, – like many years later the “9/11 Commission” proved to be a failure. The 3 hardcore cover up participants of the Warren Commission were the 3 Council on Foreign Relation members: Alan Dulles (Former CIA Chief and fired by JFK), John McCloy ( “Chairman of the American establishment” – mixing at the highest levels of intelligence and business, besides being close to the Kennedy hating Texas business élite) and Gerald Ford (later US President). Gerald Ford was -as reflected earlier- secretly reporting the contents of the Warren Commission deliberations to Hoover and the FBI and Newsweek called -I repeat- Gerald Ford in 1970 “The CIA man in Congress”. Ford served later on under President Nixon as Vice-President and Nixon reportedly called “The Warren Commission” the biggest hoax in US history. I will repeat the last one later on in context.
The Warren Commission report is indeed an illustration of many inconsistencies, exclusions of evidence, changing stories or changes made to witness testimonies, oversights and errors. Some witnesses to either the events connected to the JFK assassination or to the assassination itself were intimidated or threatened. A suspicious large number of people connected with the investigations of the JFK assassination died. There was a pattern of deaths around the various government investigations, both during and after the Warren Commission sessions, – besides both around the times the New Orléans District Attorney Jim Garrison started his own investigation. The pattern continued whilst the Senate Intelligence Committee looked into the potential involvement of US Intelligence Agencies in the 1970ties and when the House Select Committee on assassinations was starting up its investigations later on. All those deaths for certain were desired by those not willing to be confronted to become the truth of the JFK assassination to become public, as it would shake up the entire Government and the image in the world.
Though quite a number of classified documents were released during the mid to late 1990ties, some significant records are not scheduled to be released until 2017. This was initially 2029 and not unlikely part of it will remain that way. A Government hiding those things for sure has to hide something.
Never ever lost the US a President who compromised himself with either clandestine CIA operations or CIA inflicted terror as long as the cover up systems were in place. In 1963 the US however lost a President who despite some personal flaws had the courage to decide a more independent direction from the 2 most powerful Agencies in the US, – for the benefit of the US and the world. He was entitled to do so based on fair his fair judgement on the operations of those Agencies in those days. Needless to say that if Nixon would have been President and not JFK during the Cuba crisis, the US would have most likely attacked Cuba and the world would have been lost within the fires of nuclear destruction.
POSSIBLE CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
-The last words have not been spoken about this but a few comments are justified, just to summarise a few issues:
1.>>The JFK assassination with all the cover up’s and elimination of witnesses etc, the dark operations of both CIA & FBI, the links with the mob at high levels, US Presidents being involved in an enduring cover up with LBJ reportedly even directly involved in the assassination preparation, – do show the fragility of the US as a democracy.
The systems of Government with the background powers of both the CIA and Pentagon have despite warnings from earlier Presidents never changed and still put the US potentially at risk, as illustrated e.g. during the last Bush Administration. Will touch base on the last later.
2.>>>As long as systems of US Government continue to have connections with furtive undercurrents, – real democracy in the US could be potentially in danger. Secret operations do not only take place outside the US, – but within the US as well.
3.>>>The independence of a US President can be taken away by both the impact of the CIA and the Pentagon. Full oversight is not always possible. All CIA and military activities of any kind need to be fully authorised by the US President, – being disclosed as well to Congress. Any activities not being disclosed to both President and Congress (the last perhaps with a delay of 3 months) need to be considered as a breach of law and/or Constitution. The same applies for the FBI.
4.>>>When a President should be impeached it is up to the House of Representatives and the Senate to decide as such. Under no circumstances in the US “a Coupe d’Etat” as happened in 1963 should be allowed, – neither by the CIA nor by any other Government Agency and/or related or unrelated.
5.>>>Members of secret societies may have or will have at some stage a profound conflict of interest if serving in any Government – or related body. Representatives of any Government institution or related body, should neither by law nor in the normal practice of duty have connections with either secret societies or the mafia and/or related crime organisations. If connections proven such people have to resign from office. The point is that an oath to secret societies seems to supersede the oath to the Constitution, – as e.g. reflected during the Bush Administration.
In case the President is maintaining such relationships, the normal rules for Congress and the House of Representatives are due to prepare impeachment procedures considering the nature and seriousness of the offense.
5.>>>In the “unforeseen case” a President would be assassinated, neither the course of justice nor the hearing of witnesses (without intimidation) should be compromised in any circumstances.
OF NOTE REGARDING THE JFK ASSASSINATION:
Also here the last words are not spoken.
1.>>>There has been a sinister cover up by various groups and highest ranking government officials to cover the truth re the JFK assassination in Dallas. Former CIA agent and Watergate figure E. Howard Hunt before his death in 2007 (in his autobiography) implicated LBJ in the JFK assassination. Hunt claimed that LBJ organised the assassination at the background with the help of the CIA, who has been angered by Kennedy’s actions as President. It has been claimed that Nixon thought that LBJ ordered the assassination, but again this is subject to evidence.
LBJ mistress (Madelyn Brown) did also implicate LBJ with the assassination of JFK. In 1997 she claimed that LBJ along with Hunt started to plan an assassination as early as 1960. Brown claimed that the conspiracy involved dozens of persons, including the leadership of the FBI. Both the Mafia and well known politicians have been involved, – with journalists being helpful in various ways. Similar suspicions have been echoed by a number of Johnson’s associates in the 2006 documentary “Evidence of revision.”
2.>>>Regarding the autopsy report Douglas Horn – the Assassination Record Review Board Chief analyst for military records – said that he was “90-95% certain” that the photographs in the National Archives are not of President Kennedy’s brains. Dr Gerry Aguilar together with Dr Cyril Wecht wrote in the 1999 “Consortium News”: According to Horn’s findings, the second brain – which showed an exit wound in the front – replaced Kennedy’s real brain – which revealed greater damage to the rear, consistent with an exit wound and thus evidence from a shot in the front.
3.>>>Emiritis Professor of history David Wrone (Wisconsin University – Stephen’s Point), after examining the Zapruder film in 2003, concluded that the shot(s) that killed JFK came from the the grassy knoll at Dealy Plaza. From 3 different angles, three shots were fired, non of them from the window of Lee Harvey Oswald at the Texas Book Depository.
The wooden fence atop the grassy knoll, and the Triple Underpass with the highway sign, which at the time of the assassination read “Fort Worth Turnpike Keep Right” in the Zapruder film. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
1.>>>RFK has been assassinated because the same people being in place responsible for the JFK assassination would not allow an RFK Presidency, with implications on discovery of the truth, a shake up within the CIA systems, withdrawal from Vietnam, and with a “no pardon” for LBJ, Hoover, Allan Dulles, Gerald Ford, the CIA and others. Not only this but his true sense of required social reforms were not accepted by those who wanted the status quo to be continued with Nixon.
CONCLUDING IN GENERAL:
Final conclusions are not possible as yet
1.>>>Potential dangerous US dynamics are still there and could strike again at any time in the future. As long as a US President stays within reason of the established frame work of both FBI, the CIA and the Pentagon he is on safe grounds, – however if he is braking with old traditions and existing connections – even if they are controversial or corrupt (depending on the dynamics and undercurrents), – then even a US President again would be at potential risk of being assassinated, even if there are no constitutional grounds for impeachment. The cover up’s of the Warren Commission with all the participants, including the joint dealings of both the FBI, CIA and the Mafia on the 22nd of November 1963, – were not only unconstitutional but they were high treason to the US, hence all efforts were put in place to wipe out all potential witness and destroy or tamper most of the crucial evidence. It proved that all involved high-ranking government officials and furtive undercurrents were stronger than the US Constitution (or those who were supposed to protect this) in their joint efforts to mislead the public in the aftermath of this horrendous crime.
2.>>>The complications of the CIA and Pentagon being a disproportionate power in the US has never been resolved, likewise the undercurrents being involved in various actions both at US homeland and abroad, – despite historical warnings from both Truman and Eisenhower.
Dallas 1963 proved that even for a popular and powerful US President, – neither personal safety nor Presidential protection rules will be secured if Government Agencies conspire (e.g. with the mob) to end a US President.
3.>>>In the more recent past there are still many unanswered questions as well about e.g. the 9/11 drama including the vertical collapse of Building 7 -(WTC7) , – which did show a controlled demolition with the destruction of lots of investigative CIA material. See nr 8 again for more detail as repeating certain facts may help to see the complexities.
The building was of a very sound structure and this particular collapse had nothing to do with the obvious bin Laden’s terrorist attack in Lower Manhattan. The attack was reportedly used to provoke a drama far worse to aid the US to retaliate both in Iraq and Afghanistan with public support.
4.>>>The CIA has been called on several occasions the military wing of the Council of Foreign Relations. It has however never been as such formally established, but it seems close to the practical reality if legislation is not being implemented to cut the powers of this organisation.
>>>Still the Warren Commission’s findings have never been “formally rejected” by the US Government and the United States Government allowed one of it’s finest Presidents to be killed without any proper & independent investigation, – regardless the outcome!
>>>The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in 1976 on the assassinations of JFK, MLK and the shooting of Governor George Wallace, believed that the conspiracy was neither organized by organized crime nor by anti- Castro groups but could not rule out members of those groups working together. The HSCA conducted its work mostly in secret and much of the evidence (again) was sealed for 50 years under Congressional rules.
>>>In 1992 Congress created the Assassination Records Review Board with a last report on the 30th of September 1998, the day ARRB went out of existence. The ARRB was supposed perhaps to renew US citizens trust in their government, but the scope of the mission was limited. T. Jeremy Gunn was the Executive Director and General Counsel of the ARRB. The Board from its final 236 – page report concluded that still aggressive efforts were required to pursue more information and the general concern was that still “critical records may have been withheld” from its vigorous efforts to come closer to the truth. By law this Agency was required to close its doors.
The ARRB did not re-investigate the JFK assassination (as this was not the aim), however in its search for further records it did conduct many interviews revealing new links and insights into various government operations which many federal agencies would prefer to keep out of the public’s eyes.
The ARRB had deficiencies as well by e.g. not subpoena Thomas Evan Robinson. He was one of the JFK embalmers and handwritten notes of a May 26,1992 conversation with Certified Legal Investigator Joe West were found in Joe West’s Investigator’s Notebook following West’s death in 1993. The transcript of those notes do provide further evidence that the autopsy report of JFK was falsified, adding to the conclusion that the conspiracy in the cover up was very widespread. In 1997 the ARRB interviewed the government employee who developed JFK’s autopsy photographs after his murder and she disputed each picture from the set of autopsy photo’s in the National Archives.
The ARRB documents show the planned phase withdrawal of American Forces from Vietnam by President Kennedy and the fact that the plan was immediately reversed after his assassination.
Though the ARRB did do a thorough job, the report does not reflect any of the stunning revelations contained in various declassified files under their review. Copies of the release of the grand jury records and the prosecution files were only available for public inspection from 9 am to 5 pm on the 12th of June 1998 at the Public Reading Room at the ARRB, 600 E Street, NW,Second Floor Washington, DC.20530. Thereafter the records were transferred to the JFK Collection at the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland.
Still the assassination on President J.F. Kennedy “officially” remained shrouded in both mystery and secrecy, compounded by series of Governments penchant for secrecy. Generally spoken government secrecy has been harmful for both the confidence and truthfulness of federal agencies. The ARRB needless to say was a firm step in the right direction, but there was still lack of access as agencies still considered release of further records too sensitive to open to the public.
Less than 50 years after the JFK assassination systems of government and/or agencies still prevent renewed investigations in the JFK assassination. It seems a step by step approach in which every decade perhaps more truth is allowed to be revealed, however not everything will be made public. Not even after 2017.
The powers behind the Executive Branch of the US Government are so powerful that it almost seems they are more powerful than the Presidency itself.
8.Within context it would seem that the US Military and Intelligence Apparatus could not allow the JFK presidency to be continued. Hence the dramatic intervention in Dallas on the 22nd of November 1963. This truth needed to continue to be concealed as it would compromise any trust in future US Governments and it’s Agencies.
Just before he died former US President Gerald Ford reflected in his memoirs that the CIA was involved in the JFK assassination, but he never went in detail on the extend of this involvement. This has been mentioned before but it is revealing
Former President Nixon on one of the “Watergate tapes” stated that the Warren Commission report was “the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated”. He did not went into detail why he questioned the report. Obviously not in the presence tape recordings.
Hence full disclosure and new independent investigation in the JFK assassination is required to show the dangers which are a threat to the US as a democracy. Like the Zapruder Film again showed that the last fatal shot came from a total different direction than the Warren Commission claimed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0tZFkVhN00
WTC7 again did contain many case files for ongoing investigations. Some three to four thousand files were destroyed. WTC 7 housed many private tenants including e.g. the CIA, the SEC, the IRS, the EEOC and the US Secret Service.
This article once more is not about 9/11 but about the issue that the truth about major (and likely Government related) criminal events in US history are kept away from public knowledge, and this includes the JFK assassination. No country or Government serves itself by accepting major crimes from the past by misleading the public it needs to serve.
In 2013 there was the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination and a whole nation came together to remember the far-reaching events in Dallas on the 22nd of November 1963.
President John F Kennedy once said:
“The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.”
Abraham Lincoln once reflected: > “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves”.
It was just 100 years later that JFK concluded: >”A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehoods in an open market is a nation afraid of its people.”<
“Love is the soul of genius”, – as one would say. Without heart no genius. The way the US Constitution has been applied in both the 9/11 drama and the JFK assassination showed neither love, nor genius, nor even “heart”. The “show” for those who did know and still do know more, has been going on until almost even 50 years after Dallas and still it does not seem to stop.
Some countries prefer to live with certain lies, even when it affects the application of the Constitution in major crimes from the relatively past. Even in the days when the future looks better under the Obama Administration.
However not dealing with the past has the risk of repetitive events in the future under different US Presidential Administrations.
Facing the facts with love for the historical US truth may enhance the Constitution and “The Union” rather than compromising it.
Whilst there are many things far more important and pressing in the present, the past should not be forgotten. Fifty years down the line people in the US may even know more, – however without the powers to change things for the better as that opportunity then has gone.
Courage not served is both courage and truth forgotten!
“I have not seen anywhere else in the world a gun lobby that has the same level of influence on its own government as the NRA does in the United States.” –Andrew Feinstein.
“I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of insidious forces working from within.” – Douglas MacArthur.
“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all” – John F. Kennedy
The topic for today is the importance of both increased national and international security and the nature of leadership we need in a changing world. However the focus will be on the first one, with an example of things starting at home in the US. Both with proper legislation and law enforcement within the domain and control of US Congress. The US here is just an example and different examples do exist all over the world.
When times are economical challenging, foreign policy matters are rarely the topic of discussion. But in recent weeks issues on both foreign policy and security worked their way up within the public domain of attention.
During the crisis with North Korea in which China played for certain a role of influence for the better, – we had first the Boston Marathon bombings with the related questions about terrorist connections. This is relatively a new element that from areas where you don’t expect it, people find their way on US ground and evolve in personalities able to prepare bombs with the intention to kill indiscriminately. And so they did, as others may do again anywhere. Both inside the US and outside the US.
Whilst the airliner plot over the Atlantic and World Trade Centre attacks are unlikely to happen anymore in the identity as they evolved, – the prospect of terror from a different kind seems to be more of an issue in the future.
It is terror of a different kind than 9/11. But it is the terror on top of increased gun violence in the US anyway, and from both sides of the spectrum there is easy access to guns, assault weapons and other tools to inflict destruction.
It’s a warning that dynamics in society are changing and that we need to be mindful of the fact that we are simply not ready for this.
Proper legislation in line with the spirit of our time and similar law enforcement need to be in place. This being prepared in a proactive way by anticipation on the dynamics in society.
Within those recent dynamics in the US the civil war in Syria did break the news with a high index of suspicion of chemical warfare being used against the opposition in Syria. This followed by an Israeli bombing near Damascus to prevent the transport of missiles and chemical weapons close to the borders of Israel.
At the same time Congressional hearings in the US provided more detail about what happened in Libya when the US ambassador Christopher Stevens and other Americans were murdered during a terrorist attack. Lacking the total picture, some Republicans claim that the White House should be held responsible for either insufficient protection or misleading information. It would seem that the dynamics within the domain of some Republican members of US Congress go that far that they would like any effort to try to impeach President Obama on this issue, if they could. A reflection of a “House Divided” where some members of this honourable branch of Government lost touch with both reality and the priorities of this country.
It illustrates the dangerous paradox in this country, the downfall of democracy when Congress is misaligned on some major topics and obstructive elements are able to block progress against the will of the majority of voters.
This is not new and it may happen anywhere in countries with democracies. It might be considered as the play game of democracy but in some events it’s a dangerous play game setting the tone for more little fruitful dynamics in society…
Whilst not proven perhaps, there is more chance a society at peace or stable in itself at times of peace, – will sustain the disharmony at times of no peace better than the kind of society already divided in itself.
It illustrates somehow as well the sad thing that people often tend to stick together in crisis only, but go their own way when there are no dangers on the horizon.
We live however in a world where simple escalating events may lead to massive drama’s all around.
For this reason the topic to be discussed today is an interesting one as the perceptions about leadership, democracy and security are almost as different as the dimensions about security and leadership on its own. Issues about eg Israeli’s and Palestinian security have different perceptions all around the world. History shows that people can make a difference within certain positions.
Interestingly we had recently 2 US Presidential candidates with different perceptions and personalities. The person who started his US Presidency in 2009 was able to continue in 2013. The perceptions of one leader and the choices being made on behalf of international security may define the outcome of many future dynamics. Likewise within the US, US Congress may define the outcome on other dynamics.
It’s a matter of leadership and being proactive, with inclusive views.
The nature of fast growing and increasing economic and financial interdependence of countries around the world, with all sorts of growing interactions, – need a far stricter international security than ever before. It all starts in home land activities, to get grip on those things we don’t want, those things being disruptive for our well-being in the countries where we live, – the things affecting national security. An issue for all of us, wherever we may live.
Speaking about security at a challenging time in US history, we only need to look back some 150 years ago.
A time where US Congress and legislative issues paved the way for the dynamics leading to the US civil war in the 18th Century.
President Lincoln would not have been the person history remembers if he would not have been challenged after his Presidential election to lead his country through one of the most difficult times in US history.
He was the unexpected President exposed to the worst, which through a combination of circumstances made him the best!
Some would say that the American civil war in those day was a security and a significant emancipation issue for the US as a Union.
Emancipation still to be remembered, still to be remembered by those members of the Republican Party who are unable to see that emancipation and inclusive progresses are ongoing issues in history. Running behind the important social and political events of time will catch up with those who have to deal with the implications in the future. History learns that not being proactive comes at a cost.
Being true what he said in his inauguration, President Lincoln did not allow a minority to disintegrate the Union, – but he preserved the Union, by which he followed through with his planned declaration of Emancipation to end slavery.
He succeeded as part of the Republican movement at the time to create the next endeavour in US history, keeping the right balance on the required issues of national security in his days.
Whilst generally Southern Democrats were obstacles for Emancipation in the 1860 ties, – Northern Republicans are generally stumbling blocks for 21st Century US progress. Both with exceptions within each party in the days of President Lincoln and today. True is that the Republicans were the driving force for progress one and half century ago.
Republicans should take this on board.
The last still in a most divided America.
Congressional choices long ago by overturning the so-called Missouri compromise which intended to restrict slavery, played part in the evolving drama in the 1860ties, before it actually happened.
Today we jump a fair bit in time. To illustrate that divisions can go one way or the other but unresolved within the required legislation will lead to all sorts of processes in society hard to contain.
Also an issue subject to Congressional choice. The choice either being proactive or reactive.
It is not long ago the National Rifle Association moved to block a UN treaty on gun control. The NRF serves strongly the interest of both national and international arms deals, with a high level of influence in US Congress. Clear is that US Congress has been willing to serve the power position of the NRA by simply not approving Presidential proposals to revise gun legislation. The majority however of US voters wants a change in the current legislation on gun control as increasing gun violence disrupts a nation and may compromise eventually national security, the last because the current legislation is not aligned with changing dynamics in US society with more gun related violence and deaths, – both at the cost of children and adults.
Whilst some 700000 people died during the American civil war at the time of President Lincoln,- more even died as a result of unlawful gun use in the US over various decades.
The downfall of a democracy is that a minority may act against the will of the constitutional rights of voters. Voters to have their voice properly represented in the legislation a country deserves. It is true that the ignorance of a few voters – in the words of John F Kennedy – may impair the security of all. In some cases the security of a Republic.
Congressional ignorance on the issue of gun control may disregard national security interest where it comes to the protection of US citizens. Voters want to reduce the risk of more generalised and increasing gun violence in the US as the extremes will come together in the context of changing social dynamics. The last as part of increased globalisation. Congress is not allowing those facts to be considered within the concept of national interest and as such tolerating the death toll of existing gun violence, – eventually debilitating the US ability to keep control in own house. Getting worse when the forces of external terrorism meet existing dynamics in US society with more or less free access to unrestricted guns and assault rifles, enabling massacres at large scale.
A matter of national security.
Congressional choices may define future dynamics whilst the US President is almost powerless to change this at a time this being required.
It’s a matter of poorly understood national security of the United States of America. The dynamics of society turning into increasing and senseless massacres, – the last often caused by ill minded and mentally disrupted people from which the statistics say they are only on the increase. Meanwhile US Congress allowing to be influenced more by NRA interest, and not taking the dynamics in society or the wishes of voters on board.
Douglas MacArthur within a different context reflected once his concern for his own great Nation; “not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within”.
He was right in one sense, but today the danger comes from 2 directions, – both from threats within and without, and with the current Congressional attitude towards increased gun control as is today, – this is a potential menace to the security of the Union.
Lincoln would have turned away from this, – if he could! It is a matter of emancipation, constitutional emancipation.
Where history changed with new dilemma’s to be sorted, – the ask of true leadership is more profoundly needed all over the world.
But it all starts at home to have the required legislation and law enforcement in place.
We are faced with different dilemma’s this century.
True leadership is required today when the proper balance gets disrupted with lots of things being at stake. And often as it proved in history it falls back on people with a distinct personality and attitude, – bright in their assessment and determined in their actions.
The last applies for US Congress as well. An honest and fair assessment being required, both based on the choice of people being represented and the dynamics in society.
If we speak about the issue of security in a broader sense:
Not only increased globalization is asking for stricter national and international security, but also a new political economy with shifting influence from west to east and a population growth hardly possible to sustain, – with an increased unstable relationship between our fragile global civilisation and an increased depletion of our resources.
The last will become vital in the future.
Hence from an international perspective, international security in the Asia-Pacific region can’t be allowed to be compromised by nuclear dictators as eg in North Korea.
Similarly US security can’t be compromised by increasing gun violence inflicted by more people turning their hatred on society, with the same easy access to guns and rifles because Congressional legislation did not follow the trend in society.
Rifles and gun’s being far more advanced than when the Constitution was written. Dynamics within society and international far more different than they have ever been. The US more at edge than ever before.
The issues of both national and international security are getting more important as more things can go wrong at the same time with wider implications faster speed and greater destruction and disruption.
Without the right tools, the right brains and the best possible assessment, – we lose both momentum and direction for a more stable world.
And again it all starts at home.
If we look at the Middle East, the situation in Syria is a prime example of major dangers and the potential of an escalating conflict. Civilisation and reason totally lost.
There have been dangers and evils in the past, so will there be evils and dangers in the future and we need to recognise them at an early stage.
I hope the desired emancipation on gun control and the required restrictions on gun related violence will not take an other 50 years in the US. It would be a massive drain on society, both for victims and their families, but also for those who have to work in authority within the given restrictions of incomplete gun legislation.
People in the police force have families as well.
Fortunately there is no room for racial hatred anymore, but whilst the last belongs largely to the past new issues of friction and potential hatred arise at the spectrum of social development, – with mixture of cultures and religions, and increased travel from various countries around the world.
Being multicultural in one sense is good and has the potential to bring the goodness of different nations together. The downfall could be when people from poverty stricken area’s in today’s world travel at different countries, – with at times the narrow and restricted perception of only blind hatred. Receiving in some occasions terrorist training in their homeland of origin, with a mission to destruct and destroy.
Alqaida has eg booklets designed to help terrorists overseas to make bombs and strike and kill in various ways. The target quite often seems to be the US and its allies.
We might be horrified to know of what is possible to happen, – but most of us get horrified when it happens. Whilst we need to love our neighbour as ourselves, we have to denounce the persons and groups inflicting violence and terrorism. Similar with countries deliberately exporting this sort of people or ideology to be held accountable in line with international law, – the last subject for renewal and change at various levels to combat the dangers of our time.
But again it starts at home.
Insufficient restrictions on international nuclear control and allowing more countries to have access to nuclear weapons by lack of internal law enforcement is asking for more dictators or other countries “pulling the trigger”, – like allowing more people in the US to have access to lethal rifles and other dangerous guns, – is asking for a more unstable society, – creating a situation with potential “mass pulling of triggers” where the US army may have to act against its own citizens at times of national unrest.
It seems correct that the Bush Administration prepared for FEMA concentration camps in case of social unrest. More important is that the triggers for social unrest never escalate in the use of massive gun violence in one society, – just for the sake of civilisation and protection of citizens. The law simply needs to be adapted to prevent an almost unlimited access is some States.
Again a matter of Congressional choice, but it would not seem they see it this way with some members of this establishment even devoted to get the Obama Administration down on what happened in Benghazi, Libya. Not being able to take the long view but using the short-sighted view to debilitate proper Governance at a time this being required makes jurisdiction stagnant.
Just an illustration how members of Congress can add to a “House divided” by not getting the priorities right.
It happened in the past, with US civil war just 150 years ago. It is for some part up to Congress to prevent this ever happening again by reducing increasing gun violence in a similar divided nation on different issues by proper legislation in line with the spirit of time.
With eg the Boston bombing just recently behind, an alleged terrorist rail plot being foiled in Canada, sarin – gas being possibly used in Syria, and North Korea “one click away” from pushing the launch button of firing ballistic missiles, – it is clear that changing international patterns are evolving into more risk involving scenario’s waiting to become reality. both national and international.
This is what I mean when I say that at some stage the extremes are coming together, both from outside the country and inside the country.
At the end of the day the means to have control is largely a matter of the right legislation being in place with the proper law enforcement and the proper people right for our time. This both applies at the arena of national and international politics.
National Security starts at home and coming back on the US, Congress should act in favour of increased gun control.
A matter of civilised and effective legislation to support both national security and the safety of US citizens.
On the extremes outside – and within the context of international security and coöperation against terrorism – it is encouraging that President Putin from Russia emphasised the need for increased international intelligence coöperation, as prevention at an early stage is the better substitute.
G8 summit in Ireland, June 17, 2013
Some nations posses the power to abolish any form of human poverty but also any form of human live. Both a matter of responsibility and choice, – a matter actually of priority to support any extended nuclear freeze proposals, and contain the current level of nuclear experience where it comes to the development of new weapons of mass destruction.
Whilst most nations appreciate the responsibilities on this and have already reduced their nuclear arsenals, new powers arise with the wish to have those weapons as well, – and with a clear intent to either use them or apply international blackmail.
Those countries are an issue of serious concern. They need to be stopped at the earliest possible stage through reason and if reason and sanctions do not help, through force if so required, – in line with international coöperation by those nations committed to stop the dangers to multiply.
The UN plays a central role.
International security on this is based on the practical choice not to allow any new country to develop those weapons, – regardless the question whether it is good or wrong that other countries do already have those weapons. It is clear that with increasing countries having access to nuclear or chemical weapons it is getting more difficult to keep the world secure.
Same applies with providing at times even more unpredictable people an almost free access to fire arms, – as such creating increasing difficulties to prevent massacres of any kind as result of gun violence, the last with a potential domino effect.
Stable we can make it through more succesful partnerships on the issues we face in the 21st century. US Congress is not much familiar with succesful partnerships on this issue of restricting gun violence.
Science is able to unleash the powers of destruction by human choice, unless we prevent humankind and powers to make this choice, – by restricting at least the powers who are able to destruct each other. Most of them who are nuclear now do realise that the choice of such destruction means self-destruction, involving all humanity.
Likewise science provides terrorists the means to unleash powers of more limited destruction, both by senseless shootings or bomb blasts at areas of their choice. However the means by which terrorists are able to apply this destruction in the future is by no means sure and increased international coöperation is required to recognise at an early stage the features of certain persons and groups committed to terror
Whether terror is provoked or inflicted by guns or bombs makes in essence not much difference when we consider the lethal outcome on both children and adults. School shootings where people die are as terrible as disrupted sport events where people are killed through the hands of terrorists using bombs. Those tools need to be be banned from the street with the restriction (if the Constitution can’t be changed as yet) of gun’s being controlled, registered and only in the hands of mindful people, – and assault rifles being excluded in any case for “civil use”.
We live in a world insufficient prepared for terrorism, – which does not mean we have to learn to live with terrorism as if this would be our fate.
Both National and International security starts at home in our own countries with the things we can control, with proper legislation and law enforcement on issues being required in the context of changes in society, changes in the way children are brought up and the way they become adults, apart from the changes related with globalization and the technology which brings people down from different countries.
Whilst it is hard to change or control the mindset to take lives for no reason, it is easier to control or limit the means by which we are able to do this.
This applies both to guns and nuclear weapons, – and it all starts at home where we are privileged to make choices on restricting the tools and dynamics of violence.
US Congress should reconsider the issue of effective gun legislation for the benefit of a more secure society where people are becoming slowly less at risk of violence as due to unlawful use of bullets, – regardless whether those bullets come from US citizens or people who travel from overseas to inflict violence for the reason of hatred against US society.
Waiting for escalating gun violence in the future, wherever it comes from, is pointless. The warnings are there, written already in the hearts of many people who lost loved ones in this repetitive cycle of non-required violence, – waiting to get worse only.
We have neither right to inflict suffering nor death on another human being unless there is an unavoidable necessity for it and any culture or country which endorses the right to bear arms amongst it citizens has blood on the law provision it provides on this and will pay at later date a price being higher than initially intended at the time those laws were made.
The clause on the right to bear arms in the US Constitution is a serious defect considering the time spirit of the 21st Century and lays the foundation of the potential destruction of it’s culture through internal destructive forces, – if not adapted.
“Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose”
…We thought about it and we spoke about it for many years already and It has gone through our minds, perhaps someway for ages.
Not for everybody but for some.
Often we did see the examples in day to day life and we admired them wishing it could be our own, – less often we did read about it, in the papers or in some books perhaps, – besides from what we were able to see on TV, in documentaries or on DVD‘s
Do you remember the question going through your heart and mind as well?
Did we fail at times that we were running low and progress was slow, did we fail at the times we forgot about it as things seemed well, and there was perhaps no reason to ask again, – or to raise again the issue of character and courage?
We like to be of good character or want to be seen as such. We like to have courage and faith but there are moments we fail in both courage and good character. Not that those incidents give a fair assessment on the total of our actions, – but simply the fact is that we are never always good in character, or always good in showing courage.
Is this an “open door”?
Yes, – it is, as trying to get to the bottom of the question of character and courage a fair assessment is required.
We like to be true to ourselves as well, but not always are we true to our real self. As I said once, freedom and choice are indivisible and need to be earned and conquered each day,each week and each month, – and the sum of those efforts may work in favour of both our character and our courage. Both courage and character are indivisible as well, – like so many things are related or interrelated.
Whilst the secret of happiness is perhaps freedom, using the gift of choice the greatest potential, – the secret of freedom is courage. The last implying being able to make the right choice under any circumstances.
A matter of character as well.
For sure any of us will have our weak moments as long as we raise when the storm sets in, – even when the storm imposes a strain or challenge on our position or principles, – when it imposes a risk for ourselves, our future and other things perhaps. When the storm comes the leaves may fly away as long as the tree stands firm, and when the storm settles, like so many storms, – the tree may start a new season as no storm will leave nature unmoved. It’s part of life, – it depends how we are grounded, being firm in our convictions or weak in our principles.
There are many small actions of character and courage, often shown when “we feel like it” or were “in the frame of mind” to do so.
Those actions are neither dramatic or huge as the actions of those leaders who at the right frame of mind, at both the right place and the right time in history, were able to turn events in favour of greater change for humanity, – nor are they as dramatic as the courage of the last moments when we are facing death.
Speaking about the very last, – this crossed my mind when a young woman in her 40ties got cancer. Her family around her and her older sister were there when her time came. They had their memories, laughter and sadness, but when she died it could be seen that she went back to her own Creator. She took her death with peace as she knew she went back where we all came from, despite the agony and pain at times. When this happens in your family, losing loved ones at young age, – you realise there are only a few things in life which really matter. It’s a small thing only to have been able in life to enjoy the sun, a small thing to have lived light in the spring, – to have both loved and done when we “leave our footprints on the sands of time.” And even those footprints will be wiped away as time evolves and little will be remembered, unless we showed both great love and courage. In this it’s all about the courage to love , the courage to live and the courage to leave a legacy, – besides the courage to face death when the last is facing us.
So courage again, in general, is important, – but the courage to love as well, the compassion of doing the things being both right and good at every point of testing. The courage to live life in such away as if every day could be the last one. This takes besides having a mental alertness to have courage, both in the simple things but in particular at times of adversity, at times meeting the facts of life, at times when it is required to go straight at things without dodging them. It means as well we have to pick up or seize the vital issue in a complex matter, without getting wounded by running away from it.
Long before he became US President, John F Kennedy did write a book about “Profiles in Courage“. A study of men in the historical and political arena of the US where they stood firm on their principles at times of challenge in either the US Senate or the House of Representatives (apart from some other area’s), – at times when crucial decisions were due to be made and the balance between conscious and public opinion or “public favour” were tense, at times when both the public and colleagues were hostile.
Courage is not about the past, it is about the future, – and therefore the examples of courage are so important.
So many examples!
The soldiers who save their mates at the battlefield at risk for their own lives, the people fighting for human rights and going into areas and questioning the areas of controversy at risk for their lives, the courage to stand up when it is required for either a good cause or in a speech when the real issues need to be challenged. But also the people who stand out to help those at times of disaster, – bushfires, massive flooding and earthquakes etc, – all often not without risk for own life.
The “New Frontiers” of Kennedy were neither East nor West, neither South nor North, – but in his own time as US President where he fronted the facts as they were. At the level of President Obama we find an untroubled spirit who tends to look at things in the face as how he meet them, and know them for what they are, – dealing with them at the right time and place.
Courage, – the combination of bravery at times, integrity more at times, – based on principles. And life is the arena where we are tested on those virtues, each of us at times under excessive pressure, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation and constant in praying, – for those who pray within the silence of our Creator.
This is one of the dimensions of courage.
As Bob Greene once said: “You need to know what life you want (as well as what life you don’t want), then you have to muster up the will and the drive to go after it.”
This is courage as well.
Courage is like a diamond, “unbreakable”, with a hardness and the sort of light dispensing, – allowing to show people the various dimension of the light it reflects. As a gemstone it is a highly valued commodity, but courage in human life is an essential commodity, – not as highly traded perhaps but being graded as the one and only virtue at each testing point in life’s endeavours.
As the Roman poet Horace once wrote more than 2000 years ago: “Tomorrow we take our course once more over the mighty seas.”
It takes courage to do this, it takes courage to be the housewife with 4 children and going every day over the mighty seas of friction and care for loved ones, when the income is low and the prices are high.
Courage is “grace under pressure” as Ernest Hemingway once said, but it takes courage to raise the sails if the winds of grace are blowing, – and they don’t blow every day. At times it is easier said than done when the oil of daily life is going through our troubled sea of thoughts, as life may face some of us this way, – preventing to keep our mind smooth and equable.
Tough times can come when we are at our weakest point, and raising up to be the “unbreakable diamond” we want to be may arise at the worst possible times, as we may be discouraged as human beings as due to ongoing misery, – as due to staring at the water without being able to cross the sea.
Blessed are those who keep our hopes up in those circumstances.
The circumstances when we can’t get into the mountain ranges as due to the desert where human feet can’t go, – as due to the ends of unknown seas when neither wind nor sails are the tools we normally use to find direction. Human life has those circumstances where there is neither boat nor sails, neither the morning breeze at a blue ocean nor the sight of a destiny.
Perhaps it was once there, but for some it has gone from their sight, – those being depressed under the most horrendous circumstances of both poverty and abuse, – deprived from education and diminished in self-destructive perceptions.
That’s life, – a mixture of both tragedy and triumph, both with implications and expectations, both with dangers and failures all around.
But still, as once the 3rd US President said: “One man with courage is a majority.”
From that point it is true that the courage of “one man standing up for an ideal” as Robert Kennedy once said, standing up to improve the lot of others, others who suffer the implications of injustice, – is an act of courage as well.
The courage of helping those with neither hope nor courage. The courage to send forth the implications of peace, against oppression and resistance. The courage to build up a current in which people can raise their tiny sails on restless boats, – to cross the barriers and waters they have to cross to build a life for their own, both with value and dignity.
“The world is a lost place” as some would say, – however not for those who judge themselves on the contributions they have to make, and the goals they have to shape, – to improve the lot of others.
And then when we have to face death ourselves as part of an eternal cycle, – the question is not how much money we made. The question is whether we tried “to love our neighbour as ourselves” and whether we made a genuine effort to improve the lot of those who really needed this.
Indeed, when we are going back from where we came, the only one Creator, – our time has gone, our attitude has gone, both our joy and abundance have gone, – but what stays in the twilight of memory, in the actions of people we had an impact on, is whether our private chart during our discovery on both the earth and the sea did contain the light of spring: that we have loved and done, that have done and loved.
This is what takes courage, – courage in sustained ways, but also the courage of the diamond with that single strong reflection which holds everything together, – by sharing it freely from our heart and spirit, in whatever life asks us to do in all those things we need to do.
This is a question of courage and character, a question of encouragement or discouragement, – the question or ask to be a sparkling light as we have the privilege of a free choice to be this way.
This is what matters most, the question of character and courage, – the matter of grace under pressure and the ability to make the right distinctions when the heat is on, – all this with wisdom and perseverance.
“You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’” —George Bernard Shaw
Being asked at some stage why this blog had the pretentious title; “We dream about things that never were and say: why not?”, – I refer back to one of the plays of George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) “Back to Methuselah“, which actually is a series of five plays on its own.
In “Back to Methuselah” the above quote is used by The Serpent to Eve in the Garden of Eden. The play was performed for the first time in New York City at the Garrick Theatre in 1922 and entailed for the time a most interesting science fiction fantasy which took three nights to do.
The former US Senator and assassinated Presidential Candidate Robert F Kennedy (1968) borrowed this quote and said it differently: “Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?”
Kennedy and Martin Luther King were the people at the forefront for change in the United States during the Vietnam War. Martin Luther King was assassinated just a couple of months before Robert Kennedy was killed.
The movement for change came to a standstill, the Vietnam War escalated, – social issues to be developed in the US were put on hold. The last until the movement for change embodied in President Barack Obama evolved into a new episode in US history, at a time crucial for various developments in the world.
If the further movement for change on issues of human rights, on Peace and International Stability requires to get stronger, and if the quote in above fiction play (from Bernard Shaw) is being allowed to embody a stronger emphasis, then the “I” part in the quote needs to be changed in the “We” part.
We are all strongly interdependent and if the “dream” in whatever entity resonates as a ripple effect across the generations, like the waves are coming and going but (!) always coming in terms of new energy, “We” may create a movement eventually which breaks the obstacles for Peace and stability, the obstacles to reduce poverty and keep the ingredients to protect this small planet against climate changes and other disruptions of various nature.
We dream of things that never were and say: “Why not?”, reflects a shift in perception so to say. A shift in thinking where new and better options are explored, new ways discovered. Where the creativity from the right part of the brain takes over the reactive activity from the left side of the brain, the last where those activities are not balanced in the actions of people. Actions which are not right and call for change. Actions which require passion and creative thought for peace and development.
Where conscious activities take over the activities from the mind, as it is not the mind which dictates the outcome of the future, the first determines then the outcome of our common activities.
Obviously we can do this as people in breaking with the past where this is required and at times we do this by choice, – using this gift we all have.
At the end it is not “I” it is “We”!
There is no pretentious aim in the title of this blog, – as it is not about “me”, it is about “We” as a people, “We” as people, “We” embodied in the future with plenty of issues to be resolved. “We” who bear both the seeds of potential and defeat.
Defeat we had, potential we need.
Far too often we see the scary demeanour of empty confidence and coolness in this world.
People who both often speak too noisy with overbearing pride. People often who build their lives at a cost of others, –the last not rarely with intolerance and suppression. We see this in families, our communities, in organisations where people are still able to manage from inflated principles, – and finally we see this in our country and many countries around us.
Often in “the culture” as well of our political systems, – whether they are democratic or the opposite.
The more suppression there is the more violence it may create, with violence creating retaliation and retaliation creating more violence, – whether this is the violence in our demeanour or the violence of a society.
Again and too often we see the sickness of not rarely whole societies, – with true respect for those who turn against it. And too often as well again we see the sickness of the souls of those people with the kind of sickness we are neither able to remove nor to heal.
What we can remove however is the hidden sickness of our own souls and shine as brightly as we can, – knowing that we don’t live in a perfect world. But the last thing which remains by free choice is trying to take away some part of the misery of humanity and this world, when it comes our way drop by drop and piece by piece, – either by coincidence or by choice.
In the final analysis as human beings, – we have the last choice. And again this is not about “Me or I”, but it is about “We”, – where the sum of our individual activities do help to call the trumpet of our collective activities. The last in alignment with a massive human orchestra, directed perhaps by those conductors representing global efforts in favour of increasing international coöperation on the issues of our time.
This part is not seeing things and standing by only, – and wondering “why?”. This is part of the active process of “Dreaming things that never were and say: Why not?” A creative and proactive activity, an ongoing movement for change where only “we” as a people can make this change.
In the broader sense of the word it is a team effort of gigantic proportions, which does not fail when one of the leaders would be assassinated, but where the group activity would make sure that the anti-movement would be eliminated by the proper law enforcement which would be the fruit of our collective endeavours, – and the movement would endure, regardless death, which surrounds us day by day.
Whilst the reality of this world may make many of us pessimistic, – the power of being hopeful and believing in the potential goodness of human nature and going beyond the realities of ignorance and violence, – provides us with the seeds to “Dream things which never were and say: “Why not?”
So let us go forth therefore unto keeping the human spirit alive, against all odds.
Let us go forth into the field where we are able to touch the lives of others who walk in “the dark”, whether they are rich or poor, – whether they represent countries in regression or under repression. As both in our communities we are able to offer the peace which helps people to move forward and inevitably among countries as well, – we are able to support those who need guidance. Not the support of weapons, which only give destruction and not the provision of hope, – but the support to inhabit this planet within the range of our human destiny where forces against its survival can be controlled by the rational end of the human spirit.
The last to be shared with the vigilant efforts within our families, communities and finally between countries, – where law enforcement on peace, human rights and the protection of our environment is not impossible.
Not even impossible in times where annihilation still is possible, – when people can’t do without this enforcement on peaceful efforts to settle disputes of any kind.
Therefore we need to continue to dream things that never were and continue to say, – as acting we must: “Why not?” Each time and in each generation those efforts need to be renewed. Each time and in each generation new identities need to be evolved to combat the danger of evil spirits and evil movements, – whether it is organised crime or human trafficking, whether it applies to countries who foo the world or people who represent terrorist activities.
Where non-violence needs to be the universal aim, – violence can’t be always prevented as ready we need to be to combat the risks of greater destructions.
Never ever we will live in a perfect world. Never ever will there be an enduring peace as there is always the risk of conflict. But “We” as a people need to dream things to create the antidote for the evils of humanity, – which is an active process starting at the base of our own conscience in all our day to day activities where we have to make choices, where we have to make choices to make things better or bitter.
Therefore we have to dream things which never were and say” Why not?” Not because the people have to do it for us, but we have to do it for the people, for those who deserve our care and compassion.
Again lastly (I touched base on this before), the last responsibility we have as people is to remove the hidden sickness of our own souls. Either the sickness from the past or the present, which manifest itself in small and often unnoticed deeds. It’s a process of personal growth which means we need to leave certain things behind us and replace this by better things today and shine as such as brightly as we can.
After sustaining and surviving the most horrible experiments in 2nd WW concentration camps, – it is as Victor Frankl once said about choice.
Indeed, at the end we have a free choice.
They can take away everything from us, and even at the last moment we have the final choice as how to respond or not respond at all anymore.
So neither death nor life needs to face us in the things we don’t understand, as long we play our own part on this little planet.
At the end nothing is terminal, everything is transitional, – even where death separates us from our duties here on earth.
But the duties continue in hopefully endless generations to come, each with its specific problems where man made problems need to be resolved.
And finally therefore the “We” part in saying we dream things that never were and say “Why not?” is so important, because the power of our collective dreams for a better world in action creates a ripple effect which can’t be stopped, – neither today nor tomorrow!
>”Don’t sweat the small stuff when so much else matters.”<
Predictions are not always easy and sometimes impossible. We have one certainty and this is that not nothing is certain. Our agenda for tomorrow based on today or yesterday may well work out, but sometimes it may get disrupted by the unexpected and we have to deal with things as they face us. The day may end differently than we expected, despite a good start perhaps and despite the fact that we assumed everything would by all right.
The same applies to predictions on a New Year, we hope for the best but nothing is certain. Same applies to the weather forecast. We may have good grounds to say it will be a sunny day tomorrow and go to the beach, but we may have to change plans as it proves to be a rainy day with a thunderstorm after eg a very humid day. Let’s be happy that the forecast that the world would end on the 20th of December was nonsense, nobody is able to predict those things.
In other words we may have our intentions but we are not sure whether they come true. Hence what I have to say about 2013 is based on assumptions, based on trends and certain facts perhaps but knowing as well that everything can be changed by the unexpected. In other words and if you like, read what is written below for your pleasure only. It is written by a country Physician, – so be on your guard as Physicians are not supposed to know anything about the future, not to speak about international developments. However what is said is not too difficult and perhaps we all know about it already. Besides this there is no pretension to be complete on those things as completeness on those things as far beyond our abilities.
2012 was for sure not the most dramatic year fortunately. As I said the world did not come to an end and for some this was a bonus, if they were aware of those predictions. Still there have been plenty of issues in 2012 with the seeds of events setting the scene for 2013. This includes eg the launch of a long-range rocket in North Korea, a country with just a new young leader.We had the conflict between Israel and Gaza, or actually as well the non – coöperation from Israel towards a new Palestinian State next door with still clearly significant Hamas impact and the potential of new rocket attacks from East Jerusalem, – if again a conflict situation. Hamas still being supported by Iran, not particularly Israels biggest ally so to say. We all know this. Nothing new. There has been always friction in this area.. Even in the Old Testament there were many reflections on struggle and endless fights. The problem now is that we have different means to start war’s. It’s a bit scary at times. Iran’s nuclear ambitions within this context are only adding oil on fear.
The ongoing civil war in Syria with endless killings and with the remote risk of escalation is an other example, and sadly spoken there is no reference for life at all in Syria (its leaders).. The only thing which is positive after the international community being tight into “non action” is that Russia is getting a bit over Syria with its troubles as well, which may aid international coöperation to end this pointless conflict, – based on a dictator hanging in for power. It’s a terrible example.
There are the current tensions between China and Japan about an absolute insignificant rock in the ocean, which means apparently enough for those countries to send Navy vessels to this direction. And we all hope that no idiot will start to sink a ship in this breeding conflict as little things can have major implications. However feel assured, neither the Chinese nor the Japanese are idiots, they need to show to their own people that they take this issue serious. However one may ask for what reason. One miscalculation or error in judgement may ruin plans. Interestingly Kennedy during the missile Cuba crisis in 1962 was at the end more concerned about his own Generals than about the leader of the Soviet Union at the time. Gives an indication perhaps that playing with fire may give unexpectedly a fire and sometimes a big one.
The continuation of Obama’s Presidency in 2013 may cause him more grey hairs, but his team approach will help to set the tone of international developments where both wisdom action and restraint are more balanced when the election outcome would have been differently. History has not always been that lucky.
Syrian dictator Assad still being in office with all the ongoing massacres will drive him into increasing isolation.Hopefully it is just a matter of time that international approval will help to stop the needless killings and extreme violence in this troubled country.The whole Middle East area is already troubled enough.
Needless to say that the Middle East will be most challenging in 2013, more so than in 2012. This since civilization festered area with religious hatred and conflict for certain will not easily find a harmonious solution for all parties involved. The most practical interim solution will be straight on US – Iran discussions to test Iran’s willingness to coöperate in multi part talks to restrict/reduce the chance of an escalating war without end.The emhasis should be to end all terror related violence as only this will encourage Israel to help the Palestinians into the developments needed with the protection of all people in the Israel/Gaza region.It is just wait and see whether it will go this direction, but it would be wise to include Iran subject to prove of genuine intentions to keep friendly relations with all neighbours in the area, including full safety guarantees for Israel.
It is amazing to see that the Euro crisis has been able to drag on for another year without a final conclusion. In December 2012 Greece is still in the Eurozone and different European countries are struggling with various intensity to stay straight, so to say. Unemployment ratio is increasing likewise the closure or reduction of various businesses. For many the belief in the Euro future is bleak with Germany however insisting that the Euro should survive. Needless to say that a potential fall of the Euro will have lots of implications for the people of Europe, but also for the nations with strong Euro connections.
Leadership changes took place in various countries during 2012 and generally spoken not much change can be expected immediately after those transitions. However, the leadership changes in both North Korea,China, Russia, Japan and other States will set the agenda for changing dynamics in 2013, with the inclusion at least of a stable and trustworthy foreign policy approach of the US under the same President with a good successor of Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State. John Kerry is a foreign policy expert and an impressive elder statesman in the US Senate. He will not need much “in-house training” to aid US foreign policy on critical issues in 2013.
The most important issue perhaps of being resolved at present is unfortunately financial . If both the US and Europe are unable to solve their issues with the required political will, it will enhance the weakening of the “western hemisphere” in almost every dimension. Fiscal cliffs or not, the balance between outgoing’s and innings need to be right. The current US deficit and the Federal Reserve printing heaps of money not backed by any “golden standard” or “oil” is asking for trouble down the line with the risk of a massive new recession.Utterly complex matters within the US not fully controlled need to be be managed or controlled by vigorous new legislation. Gun control is important and a public topic at present but the system of financial self-regulation is vital for the US to continue to exist in the way it does and not go down the road as the Roman empire once did. Some countries perhaps would be delighted with a reduction of US power, but the risk of a significant reduction of US power could destabilise the world and President’s Obama’s second term will be vital to face and deal with the issues as they are.The potential foreshadow of social unrest and increasing violence as a result of a possible second recession makes gun control even more significant to protect US citizens against itself. The potential destruction of the US not necessarily may come from the outside but can come from the inside and the years ahead are critical for the US. Inflation and possible recession are going hand in hand if no firm control on the Federal Reserve, but the powers behind this are significant and dealing with this is a risk for the US President. However what needs to be done needs to be done. At the end of the day it is all people’s work translated into energy, rewarded by money, – which is decreasing in value by the private control of creating money by the Federal Reserve. Man made problems can be resolved by men, only if the political will to support the required directions resonates through various legislative branches in both Europe and the US.Without any predictions being possible it is wait and see how the dynamis in this area will evolve in 2013, knowing that any international conflict could ruin the efforts of each country to solve its balance between spending and cutting costs in a way which protects those who have worked hard for their money, but also those who live from their superannuation, those who are disabled and fragile in society, the elderly and the children included. “Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.” as was once said by Nathan Pyle, – however I doubt this for 2013 (in no uncertain terms).. Increasing costs for food and energy against reduced value of our money is harmful wherever we may live on this world, and still the majority of people can’t afford it anymore and live below any reasonable standard of living.
Various countries in the Middle East will face the problem of opposing Islamist groups taking responsibility of taking Government as many Islamists have their own political frictions with the potential of increasing sectarian conflicts in the years laying ahead. Initial peaceful countries could turn quickly into new areas of intense conflict.
The US has renewed interest in the Asian Pacific for both economical and security reasons after withdrawing from both Iraq and eventually in 2014 from Afghanistan, but the vacuüm created will have both Iran’s and India’s interest to have their perceived deserved share of influence. Also an area of different dynamics with an uncertain outcome at this stage after US withdrawal by the end of 2014.
It is anticipated that US dependence on oil exporting countries is going to reduce in quite sustained ways with significant “US dollar” issues. There is a tendency already of increasing countries less relying on the value of the US dollar with as final result (forgetting about a few other issues) that the US impact on foreign international policy may reduce in value and strength..
President Obama shortly in his second term will have greater influence to balance the critical important relationships between the US and China. The new President Xi from China needs to get agreement and support for a different set of policies in a rebalancing act on the Chines economy and the demands of some 350 million middle class people. The facts behind the conflict between Japan and China in the East Chines sea could be well that the Chinese government can’t afford to look weak. It is clear that the US has been worried about China for some time and it is not hoped that Japan might be forced to act in a very trivial conflict with apart from this the still contentious issues around Taiwan.
As we all know, words from leaders may lead to action and both feeding empty rhetoric and false sentiments besides fear, are unhelpful to balance the required coöperation between Washington and Beijing.Tha call for action goes together for the call for great care on both sides. Again note that it has been an international interest to have President Obama reelected as US “Commander-in-Chief”, even though a number of US citizens feel different about this.
Iran has been faced with various sanctions in 2012 together with increased inflation and unemployment.The desire of Iran to go nuclear and have potential weapons of mass destruction is going at a significant cost for Iran.It’s standing in the region as due to the Arab uprising is not as strong as it was before.It’s ally Syria is fully involved in a civil war and Israels insistence on a preëmptive attack may seem to have diminished somewhat, waiting what a second Obama term will deliver in terms of security for Israel. The question remains whether containment of a nuclear Iran is possible. Israel will still reconsider its options and in terms of US foreign policy it would be wise to test Iran on its willingness to have serious discussions on security matters in the Middle East area, including its place about Israel. If Israels security is without any doubt accepted it is neither in Israel’s interest nor intention to start a preëmptive war with Iran, but also this is a wait and see matter as how dynamics will evolve. Needless to say again that this is an area of both great concern and importance and proactive management from the US Administration is a need to keep the right balance as from other countries this can’t be expected, unfortunately. It’s a critical issue in US foreign policy in the Middle East and it would be hoped that John Kerry will be granted with a new US mission to explore the potential coöperation with Iran to balance US vital security interest in Israel, without a major Middle East war.
Climate change and the implications of Climate change, the protection against terrorism of any kind will remain high on the international agenda, likewise and hopefully increasingly the protection of human rights. The last often an issue of international lip service and a need being recognised but not often materialised where it proves to be required, including the issue of increasing human trafficking. Also in this domain we have to wait and see how international coöperation will work out, but at least a stable world will contribute and a world with increasing conflict will compromise, – any form of human rights! Hence the importance of the 2013 agenda that some countries are going to deal seriously with their own financial affairs as what we can learn from history is that the great depression of the 1930ties was one of the triggers of the second word war.
America’s stronghold as an economic power has been compromised in the past and it is by far nor sure this will be sorted in the future. A sudden recession or an unexpeced and escalating conflict could ruin each potential to overcome its problems if both leaders in Europe and the US are unable to get the required support to control internal economical dynamics not being sufficiently managed in the past. Fruitful international relationships are of ongoing importance, which will be really the challenge of 2013 with a new generation of leaders in vital countries of potential conflict.
Far more to say about 2013, but let’s leave this to the experts with more insight information about existing background dynamics. What often seems true on the surface is different from the inside, with the knowledge reaching this inside.
“Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was civis Romanus sum (“I am a Roman citizen“). Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is “Ich bin ein Berliner!”… All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words “Ich bin ein Berliner!” – John F Kennedy
– Many years past and the world faced many changes and dangers!
– Now, for almost half a century after this speech – after the agony from the past, after the agony of war – Germany may assist in keeping Europe together in the way it was intended to work in the positive.
Efforts this time not only in Europe as a whole, but in the United States as well, – apart from other countries.
From the streets of Amsterdam to the halls of power in Paris the eyes are in part again on Berlin.
Not this time Berlin being the victim or an aggressor, but Germany being a major financial power in Europe to lead this continent out of the biggest financial crisis since World War II.
European leaders are close to panic over a debt situation that could take down the entire global economy. An other recession in the US could even bring President Obama’s re-election in 2012 at risk.
The leaders of both France and Germany this week agreed on a new fiscal pact that will assist and prevent another debt crisis.
During the entire crisis, Angela Merkel has worked diligently and closely with the French President Nicolas Sarkozy and other nations which share the Euro. Sarkozy however, the other strong leader in Europe, is not performing as expected in the polls for the pending elections next year and proved in the weeks past to be willing and follow the German Chancellor’s perceptions and example on the European crisis.
Sarkozy is happy with the concept of German’s idea of countries ceasing control of significant part of their budgets to a central authority if so required, at the cost of some national sovereignty.
It is true that more stability is required with sanctions if EU countries allow or commit to spending not in their budget at a final cost for other countries.
Much of this crisis has been inflicted by irresponsible financial behaviour. Government leaders from the 17 euro zone nations should meet at least monthly to discuss ways to boost economic growth as the Euro needs to be saved including the European Union.
The last being required as otherwise the repercussions could be most dramatic with social unrest in various countries being the result.
“The crisis requires an extra commitment towards unity and a Europe that will not repeat the mistakes of the past,” – said Sarkozy, speaking with Merkel at a press conference.
The unity in the US was once an issue for different reasons but where unity in Europe can’t be maintained for other reasons it would open the door to potential chaos and possibly violence.
The Berlin-engineered action plan for tackling Europe’s crisis, including vigorous rules to keep national budgets under control is vital to be implemented and accepted at the next European Union summit, as it reflects a valuable strategy to keep both the Union and the Euro intact, – learning from reckless financial behaviour in the past for which citizens can’t be held responsible.
Governments have an obligation to meet the commitments to voters and looking both after welfare of State and citizens. The current situation requires as well an incentive on greater consumer spending, increasing taxes for the higher income groups and keeping interest rates low.
As the difference between rich and poor is increasing in some European states, those states are at risk of more social unrest as e.g. reflected in the UK not too long ago, – the last for issues not related with the current EU situation.
However if the EU and the Euro do collapse as a result of past political and financial failures, the social dynamics in various European countries will change for the worst.
Hence the courage of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel at this time of crisis in Europe being applauded for taking a leading role, with significant financial experts in Germany.
The EU leaders are having to debate revising EU treaties and other measures to strengthen both the economical and political integration in Europe and I am sure they will get there over the hurdles in the years to come, as the problem resolving ability from both France and in particular Germany in this attempt with the leadership being shown – reflects favourably on the qualities being available, despite the crisis not being resolved as yet.
– It shows that in an interdependent world both recourses and leadership requirements are vital for sustaining major crisis, – and let’s be happy that Germany now is at the forefront of one of the most positive post-war endeavours, – which might turn out this time to be a blessing for both Europe, the US and possibly all financial markets.
As can be seen dynamics do change with positive engagement, a lesson to be learnt and so valuable for international dynamics.
– This does not take away that times can be difficult and complex, but nobody could have crossed the Ocean if they would have been able to escape the ship in the storm. – Escaping the ship by storm is still a risk in the years ahead, but the dangers in an international economy with potential new recession in the US round about 2013 is an issue where all parties being involved need to weather the storm and eliminate the internal risks to destabilise the boat.
Not doing this could have “Titanic proportions” for the Western hemisphere. Our problems are made by man and can be resolved by man, willing to take this vital task on board and willing to counteract the obstacles, – with a united will to weather the storm. Reason and spirit have done this in the past, – reason and spirit may do this in the future. –
“In my time I have seen truth that was anything under the sun but just, and I have seen justice using tools and instruments I wouldn’t want to touch with a ten-foot fence rail” – William Faulkner (Knight’s Gambit 1949)
Justice, balance of power and peace
Former Prime Minister Paul Keating said the other day that China must be welcomed into the world as a shared partner and a vital economic power, not a military or political challenge to be contained. He made a speech in November 2004 in Beijing in which he stated that he believed that China would become an economic competitor of the United States, but not a strategic competitor, and its military growth was unlikely to be about force projection.
Keating still thinks “the rise of China is one of the great events of all economic and human history and I think this will be overwhelmingly a positive thing for the region and the world”.
Whilst the White House and the Pentagon have different views, Australia seems now verbally part of the US containment policy as part of a well prepared Presidential visit to Australia.
The US perception is that the model from China based on communism and the ruling of a committee is doomed to fail and President Obama is speaking about this in the Australian Parliament. President Obama says: “With our new focus on this region …. We’re here to stay. … History’s on the side of the free. … By upholding core principles, we partner with democracies.”
The speech is basically saying that the United States is back and some would say we can’t help thinking that the commentary was somehow about the old Soviet Union.
It should be clear that China is not the old Soviet Union and trying to contain China with new military alliances could well prove to be an error of judgement. This speech should have been held in Washington and not in the Australian Parliament.
Like the US needs space and being ready to defend it, China is entitled on space as well as long as the occupation of this space is not based on domination. China proves already in Africa to increase space and to make sure there is a supply of recourses for China, but all this is based on sound economic principles and a win win situation for countries being involved. As long it continues this way other countries have the benefit of China s as well, which is positive.
Containment of China unprovoked could lead to conflict. China need to be able to emerge, not as a dominating power but as a power contributing to both its own welfare and the welfare of other nations. Similar the US needs to play a role in the Asia-Pacific area, but based on the same principles and in concert with other powers, to watch and maintain stability and coöperation in this vital area.
The US position should not be based on inflated cold war sentiments being dominant some decades ago, within their stance against Communism in the former Soviet Union.
Let’s face it, apart from human rights issues which will be addressed in China for the better in the future, China never exposed real threat in foreign policy and their issues with the Chinese Sea are not much different from what the US feel as their entitlements close to their borders. Like the US, China is not free from injustice but on foreign policy “let’s not sweat the small stuff” as was once reflected in an interesting booklet, and let us “seek to understand first”.
The world and the US are justified concerned about the movements from both Iran and North Korea and allowing those countries getting away with nuclear military expansion would be the same mistake as was allowing Germany to rearm itself after the 1st world war. In a broader sense the US itself after the second world war has been involved in various conflicts until recently where the legitimate question could be raised why matters were not dealt with differently as those conflicts did cost millions of lives, – all for some part due to CIA and Pentagon driven policy. The freedom in the US goes that far that when a US President is not alignment with Pentagon and/or CIA policy he may be assassinated like happened with President John F Kennedy in November 1963. The result was a dramatic escalation of US military involvement in Vietnam at a cost of millions of lives and like Australia followed US footsteps in both Iraq and Afghanistan, it followed US footsteps in Vietnam without ever realising that those choices in essence were ill contemplated, based on dependence and not interdependence.
The Pentagon at the time of former President G.W.Bush has been working on a new China war plan with the most advanced weapons being ready for use in case of conflict. The US announced only this week the creation of “the Air Sea Battle Office”, which is precisely designed how to work out how to counteract China’s growing missile dominance, its dominance in the region with fighter aircraft, new versions of fighter aircraft and warships.
Some realism is right. Whilst not being in favour for any arms race, any country is running a defence policy. The US is doing the same. What we see evolving requires the need to prevent domination of any country, the Pentagon policies included. Hence we need a region accommodating China without building a military structure around it. The US would not like it when other countries would do this at the disadvantage of the US. China likewise does not like this at the disadvantage of China. Australia again without much realistic consideration is again following the footsteps of the US-based on dependence. “Australia’s dependence on a major power lies deep in our national psyche” said Malcolm Fraseronce.
Within context countries like Iran and North Korea impose a far greater danger than China and trying to contain China will only improve the chance on conflict among superpowers on those potential dangerous nations,- which is simply stupidity in the worst possible way. China has enormous leverage on those countries and seeking support and coöperation from China as an ally and not a country requiring to be contained in the dogmatic views of the Pentagon, would make the world a safer place.
If we look at history we may hope that any US President is fully in charge of the Pentagon and it’s generals and President Obama’s message in the Australian Parliament is considerably coated with Pentagon policy, brilliantly delivered however but to be watched carefully on the implications for the region. Australia did swallow the rhetoric against China without taking the long-term view.The point is that there is already the 7th US fleet in the Pacific with bases in Okinawa and Guam, but the new message is that the US is getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan and that they are coming here. There are many Republicans in the US talking about “knocking China over” and whilst President Obama is far more moderate he represents a country showing extreme dynamics. US Congress is a reflection of at times dysfunctional Republican behaviour and taking the long view I don’t think Australia should be dragged into policies of the Pentagon which were not always that fruitful in the past. On foreign policy matters we can’t complain about China till so far where as US foreign policy could have been dealt with clearly differently on various occasions. There was once a Pacific war and we don’t need a new one! China is Australia’s biggest trading partner and China reflects an emerging power with no evidence of desiring to dominate the world as they know history. They represent a country where despite human rights issues some one and a half billion of people have been dragged out of poverty and by no means should this country be compared with the former USSR. Obviously nothing is fool-proof in history but this applies to the US as well and whilst Australia is an important ally of the US, good intentions in this area are always subject to proof and if Obama’s rhetoric will be followed by strongly driven Pentagon policies in the Asian Pacific region we may need to be perhaps on our guard of the US as well because an increase of US military activity in history was not rarely followed by US inflicted war down the line, – at times.
Pentagon and CIA policies are stronger than US Presidents at times, even in the US as a democracy. Whilst President Johnson could not coop anymore with his own inflicted escalation of the Vietnam war, he resigned in 1968. The most succesful Presidential candidate opposing the Vietnam war (Robert Kennedy) was assassinated by the military wing of the Pentagon (the CIA) and this provided a more Pentagon friendly candidate, Richard Nixon, the chance to be elected US President and continue Pentagon driven policy.
The reflections of Australian foreign minister Kevin Rudd on the recent 7.30 News report were more of a hardline response to China and for a person with such a claimed insight knowledge of China this was not a demonstration of wise and insightful diplomacy as Australia as a middle power did change position after Obama’s visit, as it would seem.
As a middle power Australia should be more independent in it’s role in the Pacific as the “core values” of the US did not always seem what it could and should have been, and foreign policy of China till so far did show greater stability than what the US did if we count the wars over the last decades and the millions of deaths in military conflict. Democracy can be the core value but history did prove that democracy was neither perfect nor always carried by people who had high standards of integrity and a broader view.
Kevin Rudd said: “We’re not going to have any national security policy dictated by any other external power.” However the exemption seems the US and the Pentagon. Kevin Rudd represents Australian policy when he later says: “That’s a sovereign matter for Australia. We don’t seek to dictate what the Chinese about their national security policy.”
Australia would be wise not to allow their own national security to be dictated by either the US or China. The difference is that China till so far made no efforts to instruct Australia on issues of national security but the US did.
For the region applies that Australia as a middle power needs to play in concert with other powers and not co creating an alliance to contain a super power like China, which neither provoked Australia in any way nor provoked any other country in any significant way.
This means that it is in Australia’s interest to have both productive and friendly relations with the US and China, providing leverage and an example in better communication when those 2 super powers may get carried away with different opinions.
Whilst safe with President Obama, the US under some Republican Presidents was not always the country defending the core values of both Democracy and human rights. It would seem that there are too many ideas what the core values of a democracy should be. The majority vote at a particular time in history is not always the right choice and does not always show the right action as being clearly demonstrated in US Congress.
The development of Australia as a great middle power continuing to play the role being required, as happened in the 1980s and ’90s did include foreign policy like APEC and it’s leaders’ meeting, the ASEAN regional forum, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Canberra Commission for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, the Cairns Group etc. This should not be thrown away by a Pentagon dominated foreign policy in Australia.
Neither that we have foresight in how power will evolve in the United States Government in the years lying ahead, nor do we have foresight how power will evolve in China, but as a great middle power Australia has an obligation to maintain a pleasant and peaceful co-existence with surrounding states and a close military alliance with the US to contain China whilst not being provoked as a nation will not pay any dividend to Australia and is compromising the role Australia could play as a middle power, and as such the foreign policy of Australia at present (if not revised) could prove to be a floored one by principle and on principle with little insight in historical dynamics.
The policy of containment of China at this stage in history is wrong and without proper base, guided actually by US rhetoric and Australia should have known better. Former US Vice President Al Gore did describe in his book “The Assault On Reason” the US dynamics when George W Bush ordered forces to invade Iraq, the damage being done to the US as a democracy as Bush played the public with a fear of terrorism campaign whilst the US Senate stand mute then, like it stayed mute on various other occasions including political assassinations.
Australia should not allow “assault on reason” within the Asia-Pacific area and whilst the dynamics in Australian Parliament may show at times doubt on reason both in terms of style and quality, as a country we need to be stronger than this.
The answer to this problem is that what could have been done differently yesterday can be corrected tomorrow and only fools don’t change their mind in the course of history. New beginnings depend on endings and to make them in the right way the right time and for the right reason!
His life was marked by tragedy and somehow recklessness perhaps in his early years, but change within himself later in life made him become one of the greatest Senators in US history. He went through personal lessons of resilience and agonising redemption, realising that he had to face his own shortcomings., – which he did.
We have to make sometimes very personal choices in life and whatever triggered his change, he started to reshape his life in his late 50’s making him from the age of 59 until his death a most fascinating leader – showing that leadership starts with self-control and responsible decisions. However not only this. If we are fortunate enough in life to find someone who loves us for what we are, we may be able to multiply affection and love by giving of what we once received.
Good leaders are just human beings as well, the last at times forgotten by the public and media.
The assassination of his 2 older brothers contributed to his first years of struggle and (hidden) heartbreak, – “Teddy” now representing his “legendary” family following events in 1968. However he really found a new voice whilst standing up for those not too well off in American society, showing to be a key figure amidst liberal principles.
Edward Moore Kennedy (February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009) was the Democratic US Senator for Massachusetts, serving almost 47 years. He was the second most senior US Senator when he died and the third or fourth longest-serving member of this college, being perhaps one of the most positive and powerful legislator’s in American history.
Kennedy’s New York Times obituary described him: “He was a Rabelaisian figure in the Senate and in life, instantly recognizable by his shock of white hair, his florid, oversize face, his booming Boston brogue, his powerful but pained stride. He was a celebrity, sometimes a self-parody, a hearty friend, an implacable foe, a man of large faith and large flaws, a melancholy character who persevered, drank deeply and sang loudly. He was a Kennedy.”
Following his failed presidential bid, Kennedy became one of the most influential members of the Democratic Party, and was later in the 1990’s called a “Democratic icon”as well as “The Lion of the Senate“.Kennedy and his Senate staff wrote more than 2000 bills and more than 300 were enacted into law. Kennedy supported another 550 bills becoming law after 1973. Kennedy was most effective in dealing with Republican senators and administrations, sometimes even at the irritation of some Democrats.During the G.W. Bush administration, almost every bipartisan bill being signed had significant involvement from Kennedy. A late 2000s survey of Republican senators ranked Kennedy first among Democrats in bipartisanship, which should be an example for the Republicans (in 2011). Kennedy was committed to the principle “never let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” and would agree to pass legislation he viewed as incomplete or imperfect with the goal of improving it down the road. Somehow different we see this with President Barack Obama as well. As long as it works for the better progress, often a good compromise is required. In April 2006, Kennedy was selected by Time as one of “America’s 10 Best Senators”; the magazine discussed that he had “amassed a titanic record of legislation affecting the lives of almost every man, woman and child in the country” and that “by the late 1990s, the liberal icon had become such a prodigious cross-aisle dealer that Republican leaders began pressuring party colleagues not to sponsor bills with him”.Even the Republican presidential nominee John McCain said in May 2008: …”[Kennedy] is a legendary lawmaker and I have the highest respect for him. When we have worked together, he has been a skillful, fair and generous partner.” At the time of Kennedy’s death, sociologist and Nation board member Norman Birnbaum wrote that Kennedy had come to be viewed as the “voice” and “conscience” of progressive America ( American progressivism). He worked on major issues of our time including civil rights, healthcare, the war in Vietnam, Watergate, and the quest for peace in Northern Ireland.
Kennedy’s passion was at times most powerful and contagious. Besides this he was able to disagree on issues without making it personal. He was therefore greatly admired across the political spectrum.
What can we learn from him in terms of leadership, – without subdividing the issues too much?
1. “Stick- to – itiveness” and give it the very best performance.
Whilst his performance at the start of his political career was a learning curve and subject for improvement he won his Senate seat for the first time during the Presidency of his brother, Jack Kennedy. He was perhaps in a fortunate position but for certain was he not “a celebrity Senator”. He proved this after each re-election, especially when he began performing for his constituents and collaborating with his colleagues.
He had an unwavering tenacity and perseverance which did include in a steady pace mastering the details, studying and learning amidst changing issues.Kennedy rolled up his sleeves and earned his place, even through rough and threatening times. He continued planning , timing and cultivating a degree of patience. The reward for his “stick-to-itiveness” was that he knew he stayed the course by following “True Compass”
When Mitt Romney challenged Kennedy for his Senate seat in 1994, the crucial moment of their debate — which probably made Kennedy win the re-election — involved Kennedy pressing Romney for the specifics on his health care plan, with Romney forced to admit that he hadn’t worked out all the details. “Well that’s what you have to do with legislation,” the Senator replied. Kennedy knew the job. His career rewards followed from his service and perseverance to master the details to be required for progressive change.
Ted Kennedy faced various public crises which could have destroyed him, yet he proved to be resilient and able to learn. He restored confidence in his leadership. The still-mysterious incident at Chappaquiddick where a young woman drowned nearly ended his career. Whilst showing at that particular time no courage and ducking accountability he bounced back by redoubling his efforts to do his job well. Even fumbling during an important interview during his bid for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1980, he recovered by applying more energy and passion to his work in the Senate. He was not perfect but he learned from his mistakes and became a better human being, persistent and committed as he was. Besides this he never claimed victory for himself but was generously able to share credit
2.Find a purpose recognised by yourself as a very strong one.
Kennedy reached a stage of mind to feel that his live belonged to the community and his newly found values did suspend part of his ego. He rejoiced in burning up for the values he stood for before handing the responsibility for his course to the next generation. Ted Kennedy believed in public service as the best profession and in government to help all citizens getting their chance for a better quality of life. Once he found his voice and his core mission after overcoming some misery from the past his position and “Compass” were clear and often he spoke for the people who could not speak for themselves. The goals were so important that he was willing to work with political opponents in the Senate to reach agreement on measures that served the people.He supported President Bush’s “No Child Left Behind legislation” for school reform. The cause of children less privileged was that important to him that he rather would compromise and get a bit done whilst the alternative was no action at all. He took action by calling on higher principles which did resonate with principle centred members of the other party. He proved that his ability to compromise for a better outcome was a strength rather a weakness, the last based on ongoing efforts to build strong relations across the political spectrum. With at times an emotional appeal for what he thought to be right he was able to get the more intellectual minded on board from the other party. His emotional bank account on the Senate floor had a large surplus, he was well liked and well trusted on his views.
– 3.Never forget family & friends.
The hard-working Ted Kennedy was at heart a family man. After the assassination of his brothers he was the stronghold and the father for many amidst the larger Kennedy family, keeping people together, encouraging close to lost children, playing touch-football at the family compound in Hyannis Port and arranging family outings to historic sites,- apart from sailing away from the pier in Hyannis Port through the waters of Nantucket at the Cape. In spirit his late brother President John F Kennedy and Robert F Kennedy were always close to him and the love for his extended family guided him through tough times in his life. He was a role model for some of the Kennedy children and helped them with their own belief system and the power of the words: “I can” and “I will”.
He did neither always agree with family nor friends but he was able to agree to disagree without losing his affection or staying amicable. Whilst being able to continue to be friendly and loving he was able to work together with a range of people, based on trust. He understood the power of being considerate and friendly.
Did Ted Kennedy add value to life? Yes he did! He stood for the people who had no voice, trying through legislation to improve the living conditions of fellow citizens for many in his country. He made no major paradigm shift as eg Gandhi did with the perception of “non violence ” (under all circumstances). However Teddy Kennedy tried to mobilise the available recourses in the US Senate to help change at various levels. He stood by his principles but was prepared to listen and seek compromise for the better. He was a trustworthy icon in the US Senate working with an excellent team supporting him to work the required changes for the better. He was not free of mistakes and made a few but made good on them by getting a better person and sticking to his compass, which always directed him back to the original course of action. He had a mission, imagination and was both persistent and committed to give it the best performance, – at some stage not for his ego anymore but for the benefit of others. He did own up to his mistakes and learnt from them with a faith to allow eventually the higher power in himself taking over.
With his belief system Involving the will of giving and with his own trials and errors in life, he showed us: “Together we can, together we will!”