COMMENTARY by DANIEL T. ZANOZA
COMMENTARY by DANIEL T. ZANOZA
For the Sake of Us All by Daniel T. Zanoza
It cannot be refuted or denied, but it can be ignored. For whatever the reason, there have been times in American history where the U.S. government participated in the spreading of disinformation or lies. For example, until this day, many believe both Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt knew the Japanese were about to attack Pearl Harbor. Indeed, the conventional wisdom at the time was either Midway Island or Pearl Harbor, Hawaii would be targeted by the Japanese war machine.
It is important to remember most Americans believed the country should follow a policy of isolation. It was a problem of the Europeans and the Orient. Therefore, U.S. interests would be best served if we simply stayed out of a war that many felt was not our business.
Those who argue against the idea Roosevelt and Churchill knew we would come under attack at any moment from the Japanese, have little solid ground to stand on. Indeed, American Armed Forces in the Pacific were told to expect an attack on either Midway or Pearl. But after the day that will live in infamy, individuals like Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and General Walter Short were appointed to be the fall guys in the light of history. But they were responsible for the December 7th 1941 disaster only if what happened on that day were scrutinized under a very dim light.
Roosevelt and Churchill might be given a pass for their actions which led to the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans during the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor--if one truly believes, without this conspiracy, Japan and Germany might have grown so powerful they would have been unstoppable if America had not gone to war when it did. Roosevelt believed, in the opinion of many, only such an attack would galvanize American support that would lead the country into World War II.
In contrast, events like the downing of TWA Flight 800 on July 17, 1996 and the crash of Airbus A300-600 in Queens, New York on November 12, 2001 may have been covered up for different reasons. Imagine, it's almost two months to the day after two jetliners were purposely flown into the World Trade Center, causing one of the greatest disasters in American history. It had to be another act of terrorism, didn't it? Well, as I wrote in parts 1 and 2 of this series, the key to finding the truth about any event is to watch the media. I'm not saying the mainstream press always reports the truth. I simply know, if the media is shying away from something, there is a good chance there is a reason why.
The Airbus flight, which crashed into the Rockaway neighborhood in Queens, New York, seemed to be a sure act of terror to most Americans. After all, how could it happen again in America's most populous city. Was it a coincidence or had Osama Bin Laden struck again? If you depended on information dispensed solely by the media, the possibility of terrorism was soon being downplayed. In fact, there was little mention that the downing of Airbus Flight 587 out of JFK International Airport could have been a terrorist act. The media ran from the subject and quickly featured eyewitnesses who said they saw the engine fall off of the plane shortly before its demise. The eyewitness reports did not match what the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) ultimately claimed had occurred leading to the Airbus crash. According to the NTSB, an experienced co-pilot erratically manipulated the aircraft's rudder. These actions, allegedly, led to the failure of five bolts which helped to affix the vertical stabilizer to the aircraft and this, in turn, put too much stress on the plane's tail, causing it to fall off.
In essence, the government placed all the blame on one man, even though they admitted the co-pilot had gone through a similar situation before and was warned about inappropriately manipulating the Airbus rudder.
It was a nice, cozy, little package. There was nothing to fix on similar airplanes. If the co-pilot had acted in a different manner, Airbus Flight 587 would have never crashed into the Queens neighborhood.
However, there is another scenario which could have taken place on November 12th of 2001. Is it possible terrorists may have, once again, entered the cockpit, taking over control of the Airbus? Of course it is. And could the plane have crashed because of an inexperienced pilot hell bent on destruction? Or could this have been a Flight 93 type scenario where a cockpit struggle may have caused the Airbus to go into erratic flight, hence leading to the vertical stabilizer breaking free from the aircraft? Again, the answer to this question is a resounding "yes!" There were no witnesses left alive to tell us what happened on Airbus Flight 587. Therefore, the sole possessors of information concerning what happened on that aircraft was the government.
On July 17, 1996, Flight 800 was cut in two by a devastating explosion over the Atlantic, after departing JFK. This time literally hundreds of individuals swore they saw a ground to air missile strike the airliner which carried 230 passengers and crew. Here the media could not disregard the possibility of a terrorist act. Just too many witnesses. But every time the mainstream media talked about the crash of Flight 800, the primary focus was on mechanical failure. Next, the press paid some attention to the possibility a bomb brought the cross-Atlantic flight down to the sea and only begrudgingly did the media consider Flight 800 was a victim of a ground to air missile attack, intentional or otherwise.
I say otherwise because it soon became common knowledge a U.S. missile cruiser was in the area of the Flight 800 tragedy. Was it possible an errant launch of an American missile took down Flight 800 or were the deaths of 230 people caused by terrorists who fired a missile at the aircraft from an offshore platform?
I quickly came to the conclusion, if it were anything but mechanical failure, the American public would never hear about it. And even though traces of explosives were detected among the plane's wreckage, the crash supposedly was due to a spark near one of its fuel tanks.
Now, were all Boeing 747's grounded until the problem was corrected? No. Why weren't the planes grounded? Was it because the FBI and the NTSB knew mechanical failure was not the cause for the crash of Flight 800? From that date on, passengers were presumably told to roll the dice when boarding a Boeing 747 and, if they made it to their destination in one piece, it was a good day.
Why would the government cover-up these possible acts of terror? The answer is simple. Economics. If Airbus Flight 587 were in fact another victim of a terrorist attack, Americans' trust in the aviation industry would have been totally destroyed. After all, it is only during the last two years the number of those flying has reached pre 9/11 numbers. If Airbus Flight 587 could be brought down by terrorists just months after the horrors of 9/11, it might have taken the commercial aviation industry many more years to recover, if at all. The subsequent impact this would have had on America's economy would be incalculable. Therefore, wouldn't keeping another terrorist attack on a commercial flight secret be a good thing in the minds of some?
The same can be said about Flight 800, but with one caveat. What would have happened if Flight 800 had been the target of an errant sea to air missile fired from an American war ship? The ramifications of this scenario would have been devastating to the military, the current administration and to the airline industry. There is no way this information would have been released to the public. Yet there is no way the Navy could say, "it couldn't happen."
For a moment, let us harken back to July 3, 1988. The U.S. Navy warship Vincennes mistakenly fired a missile at an Iranian commercial airliner, killing 290 innocent people in the Persian Gulf. It was a terrible accident, but just the same, it happened. However, this time, the U.S. Navy could not deny the incident, due to international attention. Is this what happened on a steamy night in July of 1996? We will probably never know.
Conspiracies take shape for many different reasons. Some are enacted with good intentions in mind. However, to say it all happened as the book said it did, is folly.
Part 1: Could Conspiracies, Including the Kennedy Assassination and Others, Survive in Time of Internet? http://rffm.typepad.com/republicans_for_fair_medi/2008/04/could-conspirac.html
Part 2: Could They Have Killed Kennedy In The Age Of Internet Technology? http://rffm.typepad.com/republicans_for_fair_medi/2008/05/part-2-conspira.html
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After the verdict in the O.J. Simpson trial came in, Americans heard a new phrase. The term "jury nullification" explained how a jury comprised mostly of African-Americans could let a black man go free, even though there was overwhelming evidence pointing to his guilt. Imagine if there was a videotape of Simpson brutally slaying his wife Nicole and Ron Goldman. Many believe, even with such evidence, the jury still would have found the former football star innocent of the murders.
The same can be said about the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Even though there was a film of Kennedy taking the killing shot, the American public was told not to believe their eyes. It was similar to a mid-1960's movie starring Walter Matthau and Robert Morse, titled "A Guide for the Married Man". Morse played a character who was adroit at cheating on his wife and he was teaching Matthau how to have an extramarital affair without getting caught. One of the major lessons Matthau had to learn was; if ever found in a compromising position, do one simple thing...deny, deny, deny.
That has been the modus operandi for those who have defended the findings of the Warren Commission for over 45 years and they use a simple mantra to back up their logic. They say, if there were a conspiracy, no one could have kept quiet for this long. Could you call this "conspiracy nullification" or did they ascribe to the time-tested method of deny, deny, deny? There have been many people who claimed Kennedy was a victim of a coup d'état on November 22, 1963. The problem is no one has been willing to listen--besides over 70% of the American public.
But, for a moment, let's concentrate on the title of this series, "Could Conspiracies, Including the Kennedy Assassination and Others, Survive in Time of Internet?" Therefore, pretend we have a time machine that allows us to go back to November 22, 1963. The Internet has existed in some form since the 1980's. Today many cell phones have the ability to take not only pictures, but have camcorders which allows users to record events as they unfold. What would have happened, if this technology existed on that fateful day?
To begin, thousands of those in Dealey Plaza would have been recording what, to them, was a special moment in history, although they did not know just how special that moment was. Then, shots suddenly ring out. Mayhem rules the scene, as hundreds or even thousands pull out their cell phones and begin to record the events unfolding before them.
There are not only detailed pictures and videos of the presidential motorcade, but there are thousands of images possessed by witnesses which depict the scene from all different vantage points. There are those who take pictures that can be digitally-enhanced of the Texas School Book Depository from top to bottom. There are those whose cameras are focused on the presidential motorcade as Kennedy is first struck in the neck and then takes the fatal head shot. There are photos of the hill and the fence which would be a perfect point of concealment for possible conspirators.
In this media-obsessed society, citizens run home and put their images on the Internet for the world to see. Indeed, even if the FBI attempted to confiscate cameras, as they did on November 22, 1963, many have already transmitted their photos and videos to their home computers and those of friends to guarantee their safety. In this world, possible conspirators may have been spotted behind the wooden fence which borders Dealey Plaza from the railroad yard which lies just beyond. Another hundred witnesses may have caught a killer firing from a curbside drainage grade, where many believe the fatal shot, which virtually blew the 35th President's head apart, came from. It would have been a situation conspirators could not have controlled. However, the conspirators would have known this and, if our imaginary trip back through time were reality, Kennedy would not have been targeted in Dealey Plaza on that day.
But let's say the conspirators went through with their plot any way. Before long, those who believed things weren't kosher would have been setting up blogs and web sites, questioning what happened to the President. The chatter would have been at a din. Journalists, like Bob Schieffer and Dan Rather would have been forced to address the possibility of a conspiracy, rather than dismissing it at hand. Perhaps Oswald would have been seen in a completely different light. Some may have found Oswald was indeed working covertly for the FBI or CIA in an attempt to uncover the plot against the President, as many suggest.
It is possible Oswald's relationship with individuals like the mysterious character David Ferrie would have become public knowledge. Questions would have been asked about how an individual, who supposedly defected to Russia, could be moving freely around Dallas and, in fact, working in a building which just happened to lie along the route of Kennedy's motorcade. Information may have surfaced regarding the fact Oswald spoke nearly-fluent Russian to the point where Marina, his wife, upon first meeting him did not recognize he was an American.
Gun enthusiasts would have gotten into the act as well. They quickly would have researched what was allegedly the killing weapon--an antiquated Mannlicher-Carcano rifle made in Italy--which Oswald allegedly obtained through a mail order catalogue. Would gun enthusiasts have pointed out the bolt-action relic would have been probably the worst possible weapon to use for the job? Remember, there were many veterans of World War II around who were well-educated in the use of firearms and their capabilities.
And then there's the e-mail chatter...millions of communications from forensics scientists, former members of the Secret Service, members of the Dallas Police force, brain surgeons, ballistic experts, crime scene analysts and those dreaded simulations. Besides questions from average Americans, the press would have been forced to entertain the question of conspiracy.
The new President of the United States would have been faced with some very different scenarios as well, in his attempt to blame the killing on Oswald. Lyndon Baines Johnson's appeal to the media to downplay the possibility of a conspiracy for the sake of world peace would have fallen on deaf ears of media executives, like Bill Paley of CBS.
The same scenario would have been played out over and over, during the weekend's events and afterwards. Would the Warren Commission have been willing to essentially ignore vital evidence regarding Kennedy's assassination? Would the fact key witnesses in the conspiracy were being killed by the dozens been kept a secret from the American people? Would then-Warren commission counsel Arlen Specter have had the nerve to come up with the single-bullet theory--which without proves a conspiracy took the life of John Fitzgerald Kennedy?
We have only touched on the assassination itself. After Jack Ruby silenced Oswald, e-mails would have deluged the Internet with reports from those who knew Mr. Ruby when he was a small-time outfit wanna be in Chicago.
Unfortunately, at the time, innovators in the military and gifted scientists were just dreaming of the impact micro-circuitry would have on the world. There were no cell phones in Dealey Plaza the day the world was changed. We were left with grainy films of perhaps one of the most important moments in American history. But we can dream, can't we? And with those dreams, can come a different perspective on how the killing of a president was achieved before the eyes of the American people.
CAPTIONS FOR PHOTOS:
Left: John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States
Middle: Second from left, the mysterious David Ferrie, possible co-conspirator in Kennedy assassination
Right: Jack Ruby silences alleged Kennedy assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.
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Conspiracy Sunday by Daniel T. Zanoza
AUTHOR'S NOTE: For a number of weeks, RFFM.org will write a series of columns on the conspiracies which have helped to form the world we live in today. From the killers themselves to the media's role in conspiracies, RFFM.org will attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff. There will be no discussions of flying saucers, USO's (unidentified submerged objects) or the like in this series. RFFM.org encourages readers to submit intelligent comments about the existence of conspiracies and, who knows, perhaps one of the real killers of JFK might actually write in.
Now, before I start receiving weird comments about strange things, let me make one thing perfectly clear. I don't believe aliens landed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. I don't believe thousands of people are being abducted by little gray men every year and I don't believe President George Bush knew that two of the most important buildings in the financial world would be attacked on 9/11 and didn't do anything about it. Folks, that would be the last place a capitalist nation would have destroyed.
However, I think it's almost a certainty that John F. Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy that took his life on November 22, 1963. I also believe the killings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were collaborative efforts. Then, there are unanswered questions about the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995; Flight 800--which blew apart over the Atlantic Ocean in 1996; and the crash of an Airbus in Queens, New York that went down in November of 2001.
Though over 70% of the American public agrees with me regarding the killing of JFK and has questions about the other events I brought up above, I'm sure there is already someone out there calling me a "conspiracy nut". You see, those who have been assigned to defend the company line have used the "conspiracy nut" phenomenon to explain away all these monumental occurrences. Indeed, those who believe Sirhan Sirhan had an accomplice with him on that dreadful night in Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel in 1968 are grouped together with those who claim they have been impregnated by little men with watermelon-sized heads from outer space.
It's part of the modus operandi used by conspiracy debunkers. We are either mistaken or we're crazy. And have you heard this one? Those who believe in conspiracies have a need to fill a psychological void within themselves. "They just can't believe one man could have killed such an important individual," say the skeptics. "These people can't be blamed for their delusion. It's just a natural reaction to a horrific experience."
After hearing this baloney more times than I can count, I've come to the conclusion conspiracy debunkers are crazier than those who think they have been taken to the Crab Nebula and beyond in a cylindrical-shaped object. Either that or they have received fair compensation for an extraordinary inability to deny facts and accept poppycock.
In fact, have you noticed something? All the assassinations of the 20th century have a common theme. It's as though there is a playbook somewhere which must be followed to the "T" no matter how ridiculous that scenario may be.
World War 1 began when Archduke Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in Sarajevo by a lone anarchist. Remember that theme. A lone mad man who changes the world all by his itty bitty self. The same play book was used when Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak was knocked off by Giuseppe Zangara ... you guessed it, another anarchist who missed the President of the United States with an errant shot that hit the Chicago Mayor who just happened to be fighting Al Capone's mob in an attempt to institute reform.
Could you just hear it? Somewhere, conspirators were saying, "they're buying this line." So, they pulled out the same old story in Dallas, Texas. The loner, Lee Harvey Oswald, somehow squeezed off three shots at the President of the United States. "It was an easy shot," conspiracy debunkers claim. Except for the fact Oswald was shooting at the leader of the Free World. Do you think there was any pressure involved with that situation? It's like a two foot putt and, if you miss it, you die.
But the quickest way to notice that something is fishy in Denmark is by watching the press. When the media runs away from a certain angle to a story, while everyone else thinks that story makes sense, there's usually something up.
I remember coming across a 10 year anniversary issue from the Chicago Tribune which commemorated the Kennedy assassination. It was an actual copy of a late edition of the Chicago Tribune from November 22nd, 23rd and 24th of 1963 As hard as I looked at the combined coverage of Kennedy and Oswald's killing, there was no mention of a possible conspiracy in the entire newspaper. Even though every person with an ounce of common sense knew the jig was up when Jack Ruby stuck his pistol in Oswald's gut and pulled the trigger as NBC covered the event live. At one point, Ruby claimed he killed Oswald to save Jackie Kennedy from going through the hardship of a trial. Yeah right and the check's in the mail.
The obvious story was Jack Rubenstein, a Dallas strip club owner, who once was a small time mob wanna be in Chicago, fulfilled a very dirty, but necessary job and he did it quite well. As Oswald was loaded into the ambulance to be taken to Dallas' Parkland Memorial Hospital, even I as a ten year old knew we wouldn't see Mr. Oswald again, at least not in this life time. By the way, Parkland was the same hospital John Kennedy was taken to after the miraculous single bullet wiped out half of those sitting in the presidential limousine.
It was a very neat package, wasn't it? That is until a small business owner named Abraham Zapruder brought a remarkable piece of film to Time magazine. Good thing Mr. Zapruder didn't share his film with the FBI or the Dallas Police Department because, like many other pieces of film that were confiscated that fateful day in Dealey Plaza, Mr. Zapruder would have never seen his footage again.
Countless witnesses who took shots of Dealey Plaza on that sunny Friday afternoon, sacrificed their cameras to ... I don't know what or who they were sacrificed to. But they didn't get their cameras or film back and you can take whatever you'd like from that bit of information. However, by the time the FBI and other interested governmental parties got their hands on Mr. Zapruder's piece of cinematic gold, the government couldn't confirm how many copies were made of Zapruder's historical masterpiece. So, in 1968, Geraldo Rivera, of all people, introduced the Zapruder film to the American public.
Well, there it was. Absolute proof of a conspiracy that took the life of the 35th President of the United States was shown on television coast to coast. It was irrefutable. Kennedy's head went back and to the left...back and to the left...back and to the left. It was a famous phrase used by Oliver Stone in his classic docudrama "JFK" and Stone certainly sounded like he hit the target, pardon the pun.
"Nope, our eyes were deceiving us," said Gerald Posner, a member of a group of conspiracy debunkers who published book after book explaining why our eyes had deceived us.
Literally thousands of books have been written about the Kennedy assassination, some credible, some not explaining why we were not seeing what we saw on the Zapruder film But Posner always seemed to find a publisher when his books sold a small fraction of those who wrote about a conspiracy that took place regarding the murder of Kennedy. I wonder if Posner had another funding source because, if he didn't, his meager book sales should have left him looking for another job long ago, but maybe that was Posner's job all along.
The American public was told: The fact the President's head snapped backwards from a bullet which blew away the front right part of his brain was a natural occurrence. And, the impression I received from the whole thing was, if we didn't like this explanation, it was essentially too bad. In fact, Hollywood made a movie titled "Executive Action" released in 1973, directed by David Miller and starring Burt Lancaster and Robert Ryan which probably described the plot to kill Kennedy to a "T". You see those who are sent out to debunk a conspiracy must look like they are being transparent. However, in some situations, these individuals know they are beyond reach of the American people and they shove it in our face, like one of those shaving cream pies Soupy Sales used to toss around.
During the next few weeks, I will discuss conspiracies and how they have worked to change the world we live in. If you want to find more detailed information on issues like the Kennedy assassination for example, authors Mark Lane and Professor G. Robert Blakey are two great suggestions for openers.
But, in this series, I will look at the conspiracy playbook, including some of the alleged "killers" who changed the world, if you believe the powers that be. Then, I will discuss the media's role in conspiracies. How can a conspiracy to kill the President of the United States be kept secret for 45 years? Well, it hasn't been kept a secret at all and that's part of the beauty--or the horror--of it. Who is to blame for conspiracies? In other words, who has the power and the ability to conceal the facts behind tragedies which have altered the course of time. And, finally, what would happen if the American people knew will be looked at in a future installment.
If the men in black suits don't come to take me away, look for Part 2 of this series next Sunday. In the meantime, don't let the bed bugs bite, don't take any wooden nickels and never trust anyone over 30 or maybe never trust anyone under 30. Excuse me, I think I hear a helicopter above my home. No paranoia here.
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EDITOR'S NOTE: William Bence wrote this column for RFFM.org nearly three years ago. However, it contains information all Americans should know about the radical Islam. It is a must read.
Bence writes Europe can look back at history, in order to deal with Islamic extremists. European secularism has left that continent vulnerable to the influences of radical Islam. Author states European turn-back to Christian and cultural roots may be best defense versus Islamic-style fascism.
RFFM.org Guest Commentary by William Bence *
Hamas and Hezbollah are waging war on Israel right now and, as usual, the Europeans are decrying Israel’s efforts to defend itself. There are demands for cease-fire, talks and calls for peace. Europeans seem to be oblivious to the fact Islamo-Fascist organizations like Hamas are dedicated to the absolute destruction of Jews. In fact, that goal is a part of the Hamas charter. It is a basic tenet of Jihad ideology, written into their constitution. Many Europeans, callous to the plight of the Jews and averse to the sometimes necessary waging of war, may be under the delusion the realization of Israel’s demise would actually bring peace to the Middle East. But as long as Europeans can blame the Jewish state for problems in the region, they don’t have to face the very real Islamo-Fascist threat to themselves. Europeans need to take a look at what else is in the Hamas charter.
Weekly Standard Executive Editor Fred Barnes says Hamas is committed to the conquest of all lands EVER under Muslim control. Again, this is a basic tenet of Jihad ideology. The world is divided into the lands of Muslims and the rest are the lands of "Jews, Crusaders and Infidels" (to use the Al Qaeda chief’s words). Not only do these latter lands need to be brought under submission to Islam, it is an affront to Allah that any Muslim land should be occupied by non-Muslims. Therefore, Hamas has an "Israel First" stratagem for war. Europe is next. Islamo-Fascists have a long memory, using a faulty version of history, and a fantastical vision of the "Caliphate" of old.
Isolationists and pacifists in this country readily agree the Jihadis are offended by the presence of Western troops in their lands. They seem to think that if the West were to withdraw its troops from the Arabian Peninsula all of this Jihadi unrest would die down. This view is naïve. Westerners tend to look back only a short way into history and see a time when the Muslim world was largely subdued by Western Imperialism. But that is only a relative blip from the 1700’s until now. For centuries before, Islamic powers were a constant threat to Western Civilization. Crusades, the Reconquista and, a few centuries later, Imperialism, were largely efforts to push back and contain the Muslim threat. The Jihadi remembers well, however, large swaths of Europe (much of Spain, parts of Italy, the Balkans, Greece, Southern Ukraine and Southern Russia) were once Muslim lands. And he fervently believes that it is the will of Allah they be reclaimed AND extended.
Can Islamo-Fascist ideology ever do anything more than terror-bomb Europe? What Muslim power could emerge to conquer Europe in the way Hamas and Hezbollah wish to do with Israel? In the current war, Hamas and Hezbollah are extensions of Syria and Iran and a large Palestinian Muslim population, mostly sympathetic to Jihad, exists on the borders of Israel. Given the dynamism of Muslim populations in Europe and the demographic decline of Europeans, one can foresee a similar development possibly shaping in the region's future. Spain was rocked by Al Qaeda attacks which ushered in a Socialist regime, thus facilitating Spain’s continued demographic and cultural decline. Studies after the London subway bombing revealed a remarkable number of British-born Muslims are sympathetic to Jihadist goals. Muslim riots in France spread to the Low Countries, Denmark and Germany. The press was reticent to identify the attacks and fire-bombings as "Muslim" riots, preferring instead to label them "immigrant," "minority," or "of North African descent," etc. The press also largely failed to mention the rioters attacked synagogues and churches, indicating there was a nationalist type of hatred for the European heritage. That is Islamo-Fascism.
Possibly one of the most telling events, with portents of things to come, occurred in Denmark during the riots. There Danish police prepared to restore order to a Muslim neighborhood. They were faced off by the rioters--Muslim men who shouted "this is our land." Is it possible that as Muslim communities reject the radically secular, post-modern, suicidal culture of the Europeans and continue to grow, Jihad ideologues will soon come to claim European lands for Islam that were never historically under Muslim control? Norway has already permitted aspects of Sharia law to be used for Muslim communities living there, a prospect that places women and children under rules antithetical to Western ideals. A similar initiative was narrowly defeated in Canada which suffers the same European demographic and cultural decline. The multiculturalist expectation the immigrants would naturally adopt liberal secularist ways doesn’t seem to be happening. European nations that were never part of Muslim conquests are today the subject of Islamic colonialism. It is a process (amply documented by historian Bat Ye’or) advanced by Arab states and adhered to by European multiculturalists (who seem to love every heritage, but their own).
Shifts in power and societal transformations through ideas usually occur over generations. Europeans are understandably apprehensive about the failure to assimilate Muslims, many of whom seem prone to the appeal of Jihad ideology. But secular Europeans have abandoned any sort of transcendent vision, the kind necessary to sustain a vigorous civilization, and have little to offer the immigrants other than state welfarism and hedonism. Compared to this, too many immigrants may choose Islamo-Fascism to provide them greater meaning and purpose.
There are hopeful signs of resurgent interest in Christian spirituality among Europeans. Perhaps this represents a greater appreciation for the Judeo-Christian legacy. In some European countries, notably Poland, there are conservative political victories and effective pro-life and pro-family resistance to the culture of death policies imposed by the European Union. Just as Poland’s King Jan arrived in time to help Christian armies, in an historic reversal, which drove back the Turkish invasion from Central Europe in 1683 and just as Poland became the starting point for the movement that crumbled Soviet imperialism in the 1980’s, perhaps the Polish nation will be one source for a new spiritual revitalization of Europe.
Meanwhile, Europe’s scapegoating of Israel, in order to deflect Jihad attacks from without and placate Muslim populations within, is loser policy. It is also a collectively unconscious desire to ignore the reality of Islamo-Fascist designs on Europe. Today, Israel seeks to vanquish its immediate enemies. Europeans should hope that Israel will succeed. The Israelis have made every reasonable (and even unreasonable) effort for peace, using Euro-style appeasement. Setting back Hezbollah for the next generation, which is the goal of Israel, should be seen as being in the best interest of Europeans because, at some level of success, in the future, Islamo-Fascism will menace Europe in a far more significant way than it already has. The presence of Muslim colonies throughout Europe, combined with global Jihad ideology, may one day provide the justification for territorial claims and Jihad war in all European lands.
* William Bence hosts the WCRA Morning Show on News Talk AM 1090 in Effingham, Illinois
Mr. Bence can be contacted via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest commentaries do not necessarily reflect the views of RFFM.org
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Commentary by Daniel T. Zanoza, Executive Director
Perhaps the greatest historic misnomer today regards the presidency of John F. Kennedy. Historic revisionists say Kennedy had a successful administration--even though he had little or no experience in foreign affairs.
In reality, the Kennedy presidency possibly represented the most dangerous period in American history. From its inception, Kennedy quickly learned the world was not a place of cordial state dinners and visions of Camelot.
One of Kennedy's first important duties included a summit meeting held in Europe with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Kennedy entered the meeting with the rambunctious Communist Party leader with an air of confidence. But the summit meeting turned into a disaster for the 43 year-old President and he left a beaten man who, in the midst of a very hot Cold War, had ratcheted up the possibility for confrontation between the two world powers to the highest level since World War II.
However, Kennedy's inexperience became even more evident during the Bay of Pigs fiasco where the island of Cuba was invaded by CIA-aided Cuban nationals. It was another day of infamy for the United States as Kennedy called off CIA air cover for the pro-American invading Cubans and many of them were captured or killed on beaches just 90 miles from the coast of Florida.
By this time, the Soviet Union knew they were dealing with a political novice. Kennedy might have been well-honed in the skills of America's wheelings and dealings in smoke-filled back rooms, but his acumen regarding the hard real world was grossly lacking and the wrong people knew it. Khrushchev quickly took advantage of Kennedy's naiveté and installed strategic missiles which had the potential of attacking American cities from the island of Cuba. In just two short years, Kennedy's inexperience had put the world on the brink of World War III.
Historians all agree Khrushchev would have never taken such provocative steps if Eisenhower or Truman were still in the White House. But the Soviet Prime Minister saw weakness and he took advantage of it.
There have been many stories on the subject of the Cuban missile crisis. In essence, the situation was resolved because Kennedy agreed to pull American-manned Jupiter missiles out of Turkey. In return, Fidel Castro dismantled the missile sites in Cuba and Kennedy was portrayed as a hero to the American public when, in reality, his lack of knowledge regarding foreign affairs could have wiped out mankind.
That is why it is extremely dangerous when some say Barack Hussein Obama's lack of experience will not be a factor in his ability to lead our nation. But, in this case, Obama lacks experience in domestic issues and foreign affairs as well.
It is possible America finds itself in a world that is more dangerous today than the one which met John F. Kennedy in January of 1961 when he took office. China is building up its military at an exponential rate and it still has its sites on Taiwan. Some say the Chinese are waiting for a time to call America's bluff regarding our nation's treaty with Taiwan and when that comes would a Barack Obama have what it takes to deal with the situation? Russia--under Vladimir Putin--is also flexing its muscles and many military experts believe the former Cold War is heating up once again. Then, of course, there is America's war against terror.
These are all daunting challenges waiting to face the next President of the Unites States. Will that man or woman be up to the task? Or will the Unites States essentially roll the dice on its future? Is Barack Obama the answer and, more important, can Americans afford not to ask that question?
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Time to give Hooker the boot: "Fighting Joe" over stays his welcome
How slow of a news day does it have to be for Fox News, ABC & CBS News, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and hundreds of newspapers, blogs and media outlets across the country to pick up a story from a tiny, one horse town nestled in the Black Hills?
The town of Whitewood, South Dakota, has a population of 844 (2000 census) and one controversial street name. The Rapid City (South Dakota) Journal broke the story by reporting the Reverend David Baer "is out to save the town of Whitewood's honor from the shame of a street named Hooker."
The paper's editorial staff showed their bias when they opined, "We think Whitewater must be a wonderful place to live if its biggest civic problem is a street named Hooker. The pastor who wants to change it, however, does give us a slight pause about attending church services there." Me thinks said editor has never graced a pew in any church where morality was preached.
The Journal's story was picked up by the wire services and spread faster than the flu on a cold, wet day. All accounts seemed to find amusement in Baer's "quest." Many seemed almost gleeful as they lambasted the Reverend and several sarcastically claimed the inspiration for the name change came "in a message from God."
I am ashamed to admit that I too was tempted to walk in the footsteps of the misguided and poke fun at the Reverend Baer until I had the opportunity to speak with him. I found him to be a most sincere man. He is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America ELCA) in Whitewood. The church's membership is 224 (Baptized) with an average attendance of 80--almost 10% of the town. Our conversation ranged from concerns with liberalization of the ELCA church in the Chicago region (which was the reason my family and I left for a more Biblically-based church) to Martin Luther's teachings to society's morality being slowly chipped away.
I also learned the a little bit of the history of Whitewater. The town was plotted by the Chicago & North Western Rail Road in 1877 and east-west streets were named after Union Generals, including Brigadier General Joseph Hooker. Baer acknowledged the general's name is used in the proper context, nestled among Grant, Sherman, Meade, and even Custer Streets, but feels the name, because of its negative connotations, "doesn't quite lend itself to a family atmosphere."
"Hooker Street is maybe ten blocks long--not big city blocks--with fifteen houses at best. Most people in town have a P.O. Box and only one family receives their mail on Hooker Street." He said changing the name "wasn't really a big deal because the street already changes names to South Street about half way through town." He proposes changing it all to South Street.
Curious as to why the railroad would give a street a name with such an obvious double meaning, I did some research and found there were more than 1,300 generals in the Union Army, yet only a handful have been honored by having streets named after them; Grant and Sheridan, both victorious heroes, grab the lions share. (2) I also found asphalt tributes to Hooker in Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; Allston, Massachusetts; Washington, Missouri; Poughkeepsie, New York; Knoxville, Tennessee; Martinsville, Virginia; Jackson, Mississippi; and Weiland, Ontario, Canada. There is even an entire town in Oklahoma named Hooker (population 1,788).
My interest piqued, I set out to learn more about the individual for whom the street in question is named. In his Personal Memoirs President Ulysses S. Grant described Major General Joseph Hooker as "a dangerous man... not subordinate to his superiors. "Fighting Joe" (1) Hooker (1814-1879) is best remembered among Civil War buffs for his impotent boast, "May God have mercy on General Lee for I shall have none." Pride came before the fall and Hooker was knocked senseless by a near miss from a cannon ball while his regiment got thoroughly trashed by the Confederate icon at Chancellorsville.
Nothing that I can find in his biography makes him street-worthy anywhere but, perhaps, his hometown. Hadley, Massachusetts (which sadly chose instead to honor him with Hooker School). There seems to be no logical reason why so many cites, villages and Podunk towns have honored a man who could, at best, be called an average army officer, unless it was done as an inside joke. Is it possible that Civil War veterans, well knowing the rumors of "Hooker's Brigade," pulled a fast one on the unknowing civilians by slipping his name in with better known generals? Can't you almost hear their ribald laughter when naive town folk set down roots on Hooker Street?
It is worth knowing that Hooker was guilty by association. The almost quaint, by today's immoral standards, euphemism hooker has falsely been attributed to the general. Legend claims a band of prostitutes that followed his division was derisively referred to as "Hooker's Brigade." Truth be told, the term hooker was used in print as early as 1845, years before Hooker became a public figure. (Norman Ellsworth Eliason's Tarheel Talk; a Historical Study of the English Language in North Carolina to 1860, published in 1956). It was just his bad luck to have the same moniker which causes such titillation amongst teenage boys and today's media.
But as Shakespeare said, "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," and thus the Hooker name lives on among respectable citizens. A search of public records disclosed 145 individuals with the surname Hooker own real estate in the six county Chicago area, none of whom seems to be beating down the courthouse door to change their tainted surname. (My search of public records also uncovered one family named Hitler living in Chicago). To the contrary, several Hookers have brought glory and respect upon, or in spite of, their controversial name: Johnny Lee Hooker (1917-2001) oft called the World's Greatest Blues Singer; Hooker Furniture (founded by Clyde Hooker, Jr. in 1924 (3); Hooker Chemical; Hooker Headers; and more fishing services with the word hooker in their name than I could snag with a gill net.
And last, but certainly not least, let's not forget that the pride of the Starship Enterprise, Captain James T. Kirk a/k/a William Shatner gave up his fazer for a revolver and became a TV-series police officer named T.J. Hooker (1982-1986).
Does their success mitigate the negative connotations associated with a street named after a long dead man about whom few know little--other than the legend of soiled doves following his army?
What if, instead, it was a rural southern town that had a street re-calling an African-American slur which was left over from the Jim Crow days? Would we rally behind them and we say keep it for old times sake? Or would we say we now know better?
So, why all the fuss about a tiny town in one of our less populous states changing a name? Shouldn't we instead launch a nationwide campaign to stamp out the curious legacy of a second rate general?
In conclusion, I can only wonder how the media would have responded if Oprah had demanded Chicago's Hooker Street be changed because the double entendre is demeaning to women. I imagine they would be falling over each other to praise her enlightenment and compassion. Who knows, maybe the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton have enough of their "ho" outrage left over to join the fight.
(1) The nickname "Fighting Joe", which the general never liked, resulted from the deletion of a dash in a journalistic dispatch that was discussing the Peninsula Campaign and "Fighting" was thereafter linked to his name.
(2) Neither, however, made the list of 76 most common street names in the United States. Lincoln made number twenty six with 4,044 streets names in his honor. The top ten are: 2nd (10,866 streets), 3rd, 1st, 4th, Park, 5th, Main, 6th, Oak and 7th. Hooker also failed to make the cut.
(3) Hooker Furniture's core values are "integrity, listening, caring, innovation, service, responsibility, citizenship, and honesty."
Caption for photo: General Joe Hooker
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Commentary by Arlene Sawicki, Illinois
Just in time to shed light on the controversy caused by one atheist, freshman student council member at Buffalo Grove High School (Illinois) who suggested that the song "God Bless America" is not appropriate to be played over the PA system for their upcoming homecoming events, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is distributing an informational letter outlining the rights of student to express their religious faith in a public school setting. http://www.aclj.org/media/pdf/SYATPLetter.pdf
This ACLJ letter focuses on the annual "See You at the Pole" event scheduled for September 26th, but also applies to free speech guidelines for any form of student-led and student-initiated movement to express their religious beliefs on campus.
To quote the ACLJ letter:
"Student prayer is a protected form of speech that cannot be banned by school officials, including prayer at 'See You at the Pole' events. A school official who refuses to allow students the right to pray on their campus is engaging in censorship in violation of the First Amendment. "
And to clarify the issue of having the nationally revered song "God Bless America" played on the school's PA system, the letter states:
"However, where student groups that meet for non-religious activities are permitted to advertise or announce their meetings—for example, by advertising in a student newspaper, making announcements on a student activities bulletin board or public address system, or handing out leaflets—school authorities may not discriminate against groups who meet to pray. School authorities may disclaim sponsorship of non-curricular groups and events, provided they administer such disclaimers in a manner that neither favors nor disfavors groups that meet to engage in prayer or religious speech."
Unfortunately, in today's neo-pagan secular climate, those hostile to any public display of religious expression attempt to disseminate false information and frivolous challenges to the First Amendment rights of public school students. It is because parents, students and teachers are not adequately informed as to First Amendment religious speech protections that these biased and blatant violations occur.
The ACLJ suggests that every parent download the letter and present it to their children's public school teachers and administrators. They also provide a Legal Helpline Phone Number, should any challenge arise.
Legal Helpline Phone: 757-226-2489
Legal Helpline Fax: 757-226-2836
The ACLJ states:
"At a time when there is so much uncertainty on public school campuses, we want to ensure that everyone understands the constitutional rights afforded to students who want to pray and express their faith."