For Hillary supporters, things seemed to have gotten a bit breezy this past week. A friend with a Bernie bumper sticker received a serious dose of road rage yesterday. She feared for her life. She went home and wrote about it on Facebook, wondering why and how we have gotten to this point in our culture.
This was also the week that the President sent kudos the way of Henry Kissinger. That became a “road rage” moment for me. For 45 years, I have been consistent in my dislike and ongoing critique of him, and to say I am disappointed in a President I genuinely like, and to Hillary for praising Kissinger, is an understatement. I come by this sentiment honestly, having witnessed one of the more covert aspects of American foreign policy of the last century, during the Kissinger years while serving in the Navy. The cruise our Destroyer took to Africa and the Indian Ocean theater gave me an up close and personal look at Luanda, Angola in December 1969. It lifted the lid on U.S. covert support for three wars of liberation taking place against NATO ally Portugal, at a time when the official line was there was no U.S. involvement in any of that fighting, whatsoever. The facts speak otherwise, and they explain the actions that Kissinger would take toward Angola in the years after my visit, including his plan to start a civil war in Portugal in 1974, after a fascist government there was overthrown. The coup in Lisbon meant that Portugal would be granting independence to their African colonies; a prospect that sent Kissinger over the edge.*
Over the decades, our State Department has spoken a good game about African independence, self-reliance, and equal trade partnerships, but all of that remains a pipe dream, as Secretaries of State have continued to play the same tired neo-colonial cards across the entire African continent. Is it too much for me to expect something new and exciting from the first woman running for President?
When thinking about Angola, for Hillary to praise Henry says to me nothing will change in this country’s approach. Currently the Angolan government jumps to the tune of oil company money, power, and influence; abandoning any notion of being a progressive left-wing government for the people. Oil has poisoned the country’s soul, and government hacks continue to hold positions that some have held since their civil war started more than a quarter of a century ago; a civil war that didn’t have to occur. In recent emails and FB posts I have written:
“I guess the millions who died in an unnecessary civil war in Angola can just be written off as “collateral damage” by someone who had every tool at his disposal to stop that fighting before it began.” Our “super diplomat” Kissinger. (Fighting started in the Angolan civil war between Eastern and Western-backed forces as the U.S.-Soviet Soyuz Space Mission circled the earth at the height of “Détente”).
Or, to be a little more detailed: (With Hillary) “We are in for Part Two of the Kissinger Doctrine in a post cold war world, where the old rules do not apply. This time all of the forces with any clout are capitalistic. For me, that can only mean no backing down, no room for compromises, and mutually-assured destruction. …. This is why I harp on Kissinger’s batshit crazy moment, when he wanted to start a CIVIL WAR in Portugal after the people there FINALLY rid themselves of a fascist dictatorship. After all of Kissinger’s fun and games in Vietnam, Cambodia, East Timor, and Chile, the outburst over Portugal best identifies what a mad man he really was, and why all voters should think long and hard before they vote in November for anyone who kisses Kissinger’s feet.”
Well… My friends who support Hillary to the end, who received the summary of my sentiments this week were without a doubt the ones providing the most shocking reactions. One person wrote that I was to stop sending email (in my attempt to continue dialogue between friends), or to wake-up before I find Trump in the White House (when what I want is clear, precise descriptions from Hillary on foreign policy goals; particularly as to how they relate to places like Sub-Saharan Africa, Iran, and the rest of the Middle East).
I am getting nasty responses from people whom I have known for years, who in their blind allegiance to Hillary have thrown caution out the window. They have bought it all, without specifics being laid out by their one and only candidate, and instead thumb their noses at an old friend, just asking questions and posing scenarios worth thinking about.
It is one thing to be assaulted by a motorist on the highway because they hate the candidate displayed on your car’s bumper sticker. But it’s quite another to be told to stop emailing, be insulted, ignored, and written-off by those you have considered to be in your spiritual, intellectual, and/or political camp for years and decades. This kind of gut-wrenching activity took place in 1912 and 1968, so this isn’t new under the American sun. But this time it has this terminal feel to it that leaves me stunned, especially when I am not strongly supporting any candidate as much as following what is being said (and not said) by each of them.
To me the “insignificant” platform matters a lot more than what many believe, because it is a document people can hold up as a reminder. It can help to serve as a way to conduct an actual job performance evaluation of the President to see how true they really were to stated goals, and to explain why there were shortcomings beyond their control. The platform gives people a measuring stick, letting us know if the candidate is worthy of re-election. It is why the continued candidacy of Bernie is paramount; to hammer away at a platform that means something for the future. That is one big reason I hope he stays in the race, through California.
As for old friendships? Only time will tell. Perhaps this toxic red tide of intolerance for different opinions and open discussion (within our inner circles) will be washed away …. but maybe only if certain candidates don’t lose in November. Of course, people like me see better ways for their candidate to conduct themselves so they are assured a victory at the finish line, but right now any suggestions are met with nothing but suspicion and attacks one would expect from an adversary. One thing is certain: The Democratic National Committee’s logo this year should be a deer in the headlights.
Yes Jim Morrison, Strange Days Are Upon Us.
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