Learning from British history.

Frankness and honesty may divide, but polite fiction certainly will

Edward R. Murrow

There’s a new kind of patriotism that emanates from the White House that includes the pardoning of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and even more recently that of a Naval Seal which are acts that defy both the failure to honor the Constitution (in the case of Arpaio) and extremely insensitive actions that harm the reputation of the United States military.  This is Trump’s Justice.  There are much more critical times to defy those norms and an explanation will be forthcoming.  There sure is a hell of a lot of fiction going on in the current White House.  And I am well known for detailing just how a bad group of people in the military in France might have been pardoned by a French Trump to protect the military over a Jew.  America has gone beyond “polite fiction.”

There was a time when Americans defied the law as the British were about to fall to Hitler.  Americans in Britain enlisted in helping the British even though they could easily lose their citizenship.  Some indirectly swore allegiance to the King of England which would have nullified their citizenship if they had sworn allegiance to the king.  The British found a flexible way to permit the latter by invoking another title used by the king.  Americans going to Canada to help in Britain’s struggle were being blocked by the F.B.I. at the border.  All of this was taking place at a time when it was known that Americans (including African Americans) had served with Republicans in Spain against Franco’s Fascists. 

The Americans who served in Britain were considered great heroes by the people there.  Their deeds were recorded by the BBC and shown all over the United States and they were considered heroes as well in America even though they challenged existing laws and policies.  Edward R. Murrow was also a great celebrity for reporting that news on the radio as he interviewed those Americans.  And this was the America of America First as well which was being reported.  The latter supported Nazi victory and that victory would result in horrific policies against Jews and others everywhere. 

Globalism was alive in Britain as American businessmen enlisted there to help Britain and its people, men who had been living there.  Globalism was alive as Americans who lost relatives in Holland and Belgium enlisted.  And the American opposition worked its will in London as Joe Kennedy strongly advised them that as pilots in the British Air Force they were “jeopardizing U.S. neutrality” which did not deter these men even as they were ordered back to America on the next ship by the ambassador.  These were great moments where decisive decisions were made just as we have seen throughout all the history of progress toward human rights that has been accomplished.  Britain had a right to exist and our government was clearly moving slowly to defend that right. 

I have actually combined my readings of Britain under Winston Churchill with the recent reports about Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party’s dealings with anti-Semitism in Britain.  I can see that the Labour Party and Trump’s supporters share something in common, but we have to look much more deeply to fully understand.  When Corbyn says “All Lives Matter” it reminds me of the conservatives anywhere who cannot say “Black Lives Matter” and “Puerto Rican Lives Matter” and other things about Palestinians, Jews, Israelis, etc.  Mike Gapes who left the Labour Party actually stated months ago that the Labour Party appears to many to be “racist and anti-Semitic.”  And we see similar divisions in America as Kamala Harris battles Pete Buttigieg injecting the more historical pain of slavery, Jim Crow, and discrimination against Gay Rights in front of millions of viewers.

 Both countries really operate their politics as coalitions and not parties.  And a candidate that wins national leadership merely holds the party together.  And that impacts on performance.

Those divisions extend into local and state politics where they shouldn’t be.  That is where divergent views often cause things to boil over at the national level.  Each state should not be free to do what it wants as it is just another form of pre-Civil War politics that gave us “free” and “slave” states.  Many issues should finally be taken off the table and the focus of the nation would be more laser-like and that’s how the Labour Party could get back to fighting for the people in Britain. 

I gave out a warning about Congresswoman Omar immediately after her tweet concerning Jews and financial control of America.  Has she complied with my request as I provided her staff with my article in Jewish Business News?  I dunno.  That does not give anyone a license to menace and cause harm to the congresswoman over things she is innocent of or to threaten her for her poor judgement. 

What I know is that we have all kinds of pot stirrers of hate.  Congressman Steve King, a Repugnican, just aided the Holocaust deniers with a posting according to what I read.  Where is Trump’s leadership?  Even much of what I have read about Churchill suggests that a much better man could have been driving the British engine during World War II. 

In Steven J. Ross’s book Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood And America we learn that there were British spies who were expelled from the United State, but before being expelled those members of British Intelligence handed a list of Japanese spies to Joe Roos and Roos handed the list to the F.B.I. the day after Pearl Harbor.  This showed the deficiency in the F.B.I. office in Los Angeles as two Jews were able to provide information that the agents could not.  It also sheds light on Churchill who must have known about this and did not share it with Roosevelt.  Leon Lewis was the former ADL director and organizer of this effort to fight against those fascists in Los Angeles.

The information shown above makes me think of the things that I know about the treatment of our immigrants, particularly the undocumented ones.  Have even those people in Congress done enough to explain things to the American people?  I doubt it because that is always the problem.  Not enough was done to help the Jews at that time in history, because the focus was on defeating Hitler or winning the war.  I attended a meeting on Long Island where Congressmen Pete King spoke and said that doing D.A.C.A. and the T.P.S. for Salvadorans were easy compared to the overall picture of immigration reform.  He stated that the children who were protected under D.A.C.A.  came here with their parents when they were little and should be protected and the adults who came under the T.P.S. were invited by the United States, but both lost their protections due to Trump and his nationalism. 

The question remains what did Congressman King do after telling US that in a Jewish Community Council meeting and why didn’t that very same council call another meeting later on when it indicated that it would do so during the meeting?  This is all part of the fabric of helping people which shows how people end up falling through the cracks of politics everywhere. 

Those undocumented immigrants have lived in America for decades and they should have and could have had the immigration reform that was needed and much greater protections including the right to work.  This is the failure of the American people who should have recognized their need just as the Americans in London recognized the need of the Brits.  And I ask everyone how can those immigrants be “illegal” if they have rights that most people do not even know about that are respected even in court?  It is all part of the system of justice that we have put in place that others would deny and there are deniers around our nation that will pounce on people that they wish to victimize.  Those people are legal until the courts decide that they are not.   Even Donald Trump deserves justice or just this (justice) moment to resign.

Pete King has announced that he will not run again.  The so-called “King of Israel” should resign fast, and voters should reject Congressman Steve King the next time around. 

I can see that a conference of the Jews of Great Britain and Great America (you should know what is meant by that) could be very helpful in explaining to everyone what is going wrong.  There probably are quick and wonderful solutions to share that are not known at this moment.  I just went through that at the local golf course.  I asked about a man I had not seen in months that the people in the clubhouse know and who have played rounds of golf with.  I was deluged with requests for information about the man (what he looked like, his height, etc.)  This went on for a couple of minutes and I said look you guys should know who he is and I’m sorry that I couldn’t remember his name.  Then one of the men said the only person he could think of was Vinnie.  And Vinnie it was.  Things could be so simple if we just do the right thing.  The right thing is to call a World Conference of Anti-Semitism now to discuss things better with more people involved.  If not now when?

Gil Winant was a great hero among the Brits and he was asked to speak at a strike of miners (coal miners) and this made national news.  And Winant was a strong progressive with a track record dating back as governor of New Hampshire.  His speech called for a greatly changed world after the war in which the merits of labor should be properly assessed and long remembered.  Think of Trump in 2016 and his effort to revive coal (which has barely happened).  He exploited that moment with false information which was anathema to men like Edward R. Murrow. 

And Trump continually promotes the sacrifice of the men in the military over all of US.  At that time in history with the great sacrifices made by great people in the British Isles, those sacrifices that affected all aspects of life were being ignored.  The strike in Northumberland happened after labor increased productivity and were given a pay cut.  The Daily Express published the headline “WINANT TALKS, STRIKE ENDS.”

His talk about ideals and not deals actually swung the workers as they expected a safety net to be created after the war.  Labour focused on this during the remaining years of war.

I should add that British leaders since the early twentieth century realized that Bolshevism could easily advance in their nation and that was discussed at the Paris peace talks in 1919.  Shortchanging the very important coal miners should not have taken place, but Churchill and others tolerated that well.  Coal at that time was king in England, badly needed to fight the war, provide energy in factories and homes, and part of the suspension of the rights of Englishmen. 

And now Trump is on his way to London and we should all protest the lies and fabrications.  Trump taking credit for people being paid more when among other things the $15 minimum wages movement has been successful in many places.  Trump froze the wages of federal employees and did other things to prevent people from getting jobs there.  He also helped produce $3 trillion more in the national debt by his policies.  He takes credit for being the great job creator and I read how the Americans fighting alongside the Brits were worried that the British were going to upstage all the American efforts in the war.  That is how Trump works the American people, which was unacceptable to Americans at war. In America today the question is being asked if Trump will sink and I say Sink that Bismarck. And right now it appears that Trump is intent on cutting food stamps for millions in America.

This came about in North Africa as Tunis fell to the Allies.  These “Allies” who had their own agendas based on hundreds of years of history were held together largely by Dwight Eisenhower who knew that a strong partnership had to be accomplished.  And if the British had made that last final push with Harold Alexander leading the British forces, this possibly would have weakened the fragile partnership.  Eisenhower, alerted to this problem, made sure that Americans played an important role in that final battle and things went well as far as that goes. 

On the other hand, the collaboration that was taking place with Vichy France in North Africa created a moral problem.  Edward R. Murrow spoke out about it as he asked “Are we fighting Nazis or sleeping with the enemy?”  Those French in North Africa were fighting US as bad intelligence had been provided by poorly trained agents or spies.  And then our troops had to cozy up to Admiral Darlan who had been involved in just about everything bad to Jews in France, people in Indochina attacked by Japan, opponents of Vichy, supplying Nazi troops, and firing on the Allies.  Amazing stuff!

At that time in history, Stalin was turning back the Germans, but some of that success was accomplished by the pulling away of some of Germany’s strength to apply to the North African campaign just mentioned.  Germany withdrew 150,000 troops and hundreds of bombers at that time.    This was also a time when the Americans who had been much less than satisfactory in fighting the war were supplied with “24,000 vehicles, a million tons of cargo, and some 84,000 troop reinforcements” I read in Citizens of London by Lynne Olson.

And in wrapping up this work, I must direct attention to the recent 60 Minutes program which provides a lot of information that was once done by the B.B.C. and Edward R. Murrow.  Leslie Stahl interviewed Jamie Dimon, one of the most powerful businessmen in the world as he heads J.P. Morgan Chase Bank.  He said that we should all work together instead of vilifying each other and he is optimistic about the economy. 

The financial crisis took place under his leadership and he should have been able to prevent much of it and that was not discussed.  I knew about some of the roots of that problem but I had no idea just how large it was.  I learned about the use of treasury notes as collateral for deals back in the 1980s.  The banks were bailed out and the average man got nothing and there was no Battle of Britain taking place.  Dimon says that he recognizes that there is a problem but where is the effort to right the wrong?  

Dimon points to forty percent of Americans who live on less than fifteen dollars an hour and that is unacceptable.  He reacts just as Churchill would have reacted to the same crisis as he skirts the issue and not really talking about it deeply.  He points out that we have “probably” not changed the minimum wage in ten years.  It’s all show when we know that people like Jamie Dimon have tremendous power that is not being used.   Dimon is a diamond in the hands of the wealthy who mislead the public.  Where are the solutions?

Could you imagine Neville Chamberlain leading England after the start of World War II?  Would you trust him?  Trust Toxic Trump?  He should have resigned. 

And about Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership of the Labour Party in England and is he fit to be a leader.  In historical readings I have read about David Ben Gurion attending an event with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.  There was a discussion during the early days of the State of Israel where one member of the government mentioned “concentration camps” in a context which was not the Holocaust  Yasser Arafat was escorted into Israel where he paid a visit to Yitzhak Rabin’s wife after the assassination of the prime minister.  Adolph Hitler visited a Jewish doctor in Linz, Austria after the take over of Austria by the Nazis and Hitler had friends that were one hundred percent Jewish.  Hitler didn’t support Zionism but he surely made it difficult for Jews to go anywhere but Palestine and the word was put out in Los Angeles in the 1930s to expel Jews and send them to Palestine. 

I want to know what Jewish people have asked Jeremy Corbyn to do about the anti-Semitism that is taking place in Britain.  We are all part of the solution.  When Congresswoman Omar was stirring the pot of anti-Semitism, I contacted her and Congresswoman Tlaib.  We want people to be fair and accurate.  And we want evidence and not hearsay or extreme opinion in politics.

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