Tag Archives: Soviet Union

Open Letter to CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield regarding her reference to Jewish terror attacks

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Dear Ashleigh,

It is shocking to me that I need to write a letter like this to someone who is supposed to be an intelligent journalist.  The reason I am even bothering is twofold.  First of all you are quite well known and subsequently with your relatively significant exposure people might actually listen to you.  Secondly, and maybe even more importantly, your comments are so indicative of a larger problem that I feel it necessary to use what you said as a tool to help inform the ignorant.

In what can only be described as so ridiculous it is borderline satirical, you compared Islamic Terrorism of today to Jewish terror attacks of the 1980s.  I could ask you just one question and my point might already be made.  How many Americans were taken by what you call Jewish terrorism?   If my research is correct, the JDL (Jewish Defense League) is responsible for the death of 7 people on U.S. soil between 1968 and 1985.  These 7 people were connected primarily to Soviet and Arab targets.  How many of these victims were American?  The answer is one.  Ironically the one American death was a Jewish woman named Iris Kones and her death contributed to turning many Jews against the JDL.   The rest were mostly citizens of the Soviet Union and Arab nations working in the various locations targeted in the attacks.  Since 1985 the JDL has not killed one person on American soil.  It is now considered a former terrorist organization, and offshoots of the group are banned in the State of Israel.  If you notice Ashleigh, nowhere in this letter am I making excuses for the violent actions of the JDL.  The right or wrong in what they have done is honestly irrelevant in this discussion and not something I wish to get into with you, but the cold hard facts alone show why your comparison is so unwarranted.

The other thing I know is that twice as many people were killed by 2 Islamic terrorists in San Bernardino in one day than were killed in 17 years by the JDL.  These 14 were killed for being American.  They were killed by people looking to change our entire way of life, and they were killed by people working to fulfill the desires of a terrorist organization already responsible for the murder of ten of thousands and maybe even hundreds of thousands of people.  Although founded by an Orthodox Rabbi and based partially in the belief of Israel’s biblical borders, the JDL never was an organization, even at its most violent, that looked to change the religion of others.  It never targeted people for worshiping in different ways, and its justification for violent attacks was preserving safety for Jews around the world and to free Jews from oppression, particularly in the Soviet Union, a nation at odds with the United States at the very same time.  Finally what might be most important to acknowledge is that the JDL never sought the destruction of the United States and other civilized countries.  It never pursued global domination and it never once threatened the overall population of any country.  It just wanted Jews to live in safety and freedom and used violence to further its cause.  I am not endorsing the violence, but to compare it to today’s Islamic extremism and the terrorist threat existing in America is dangerously ignorant.

I do not endorse Donald Trump’s plan to ban all Muslims from entering the country and understand that you said what you did in an attempt to underscore your criticism of his statement, but here is why it was so wrong.  In comparing the actions of a handful of Jews over 30 years ago to today’s Islamic terrorists, you actually dilute the seriousness of the threat the world is faced with today.  The actions of individuals targeting a specific group for a specific purpose, regardless of how right or wrong they might be, is not on par with a worldwide threat targeting innocent people all over the globe for the purpose of changing them over to their way of thinking. To make the comparison is not just unwise, it is irresponsible.  And indirectly guess what else it does?  The very same thing you were trying not to do. It helps Donald Trump.  It leads people to  believe that some in the media don’t understand the danger that exists and as a result Trump has the only real solutions to the problem.

Tell it like it truly is Ashleigh and maybe instead of hurting the overall situation you will actually help it.  Unfortunately all this did was potentially embolden the wrong people, and do what you as a reporter should never want to do.  It made you the story.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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The Nuclear Scenario

Nuclear_bombIt’s the topic we don’t often bring up, but it’s always somewhere in our minds.  With all that is happening in the world one might think it is just a matter of time till we see the use of some form of a nuclear weapon.  It’s a terrifying thought and quite frankly one that makes no normal person happy, regardless of where it would be used.  We can choose to ignore the subject, a decision I would understand because of how frightening it is to imagine, but what I am going to do in this piece is break down the numerous scenarios in which it could happen.

I’ll start with the 5 countries that are members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. They are the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China.  I believe the least likely of the  to be presented with an option in which to go nuclear is China.  Of the remaining 4, only Russia finds itself in a conflict close to home, but the fact that it is so close to home is the very reason not to use it.  The concerning thing about Russia has always been that after the break up of the Soviet Union there was a concern that weapons were scattered in various locations. That fear has dissipated somewhat with the control Vladimir Putin seems to have over the area, but that being said, Russia is the country on the list I see as most susceptible to terrorist infiltration.  The remaining three are all facing the potential threats of terrorist attacks by Islamic terrorists and should an attack be serious enough and the source identifiable, one can’t take a nuclear response off the table.  That is something all would be reluctant to do unless the attack on them was nuclear, and even then it would be uncertain.

There are four other countries that are nuclear powers, three declared and not members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and one which is not a declared nuclear power but widely known as being one. There are more scenarios here and they are all quite terrifying. The first two, India and Pakistan, are the ones that might be seen as most likely to use  a nuclear weapon on the other.  Although the tensions between the two have calmed somewhat over the years, these 2 countries still don’t like each other and have very different global interests.  I believe India would only consider doing so if forced into it  and I believe Pakistan under its current leadership would not use it.  But this is where it gets interesting.  The Taliban has a significant presence in Pakistan and with neighboring Afghanistan still unstable and dealing with its strong Taliban force, no one wants to even think about what would happen should Pakistan’s government be replaced with a government aligned with Islamic extremists, or even worse a Taliban government.  That would without doubt be a global game changer.

There are 2 countries left to speak of, one of which is the one undeclared nuclear power, Israel.  Israel, like the nations in the Non-Proliferation Treaty, will only go nuclear if absolutely necessary, meaning if it is a matter of survival.  Israel would not need nuclear weapons to wipe out Iran’s nuclear program and is more likely to keep Iran in check with the threat of reprisal should Iran get nuclear weapons and use one of its proxies to attack Israel.

I left North Korea for last.  This was not an accident.  It is unquestionably the most dangerous of all the nuclear powers.  Besides the fact that their dictator Kim Jong has repeatedly threatened the U.S., it’s believed that North Korea helped fund the building of Hamas’s terror tunnels from Gaza to Israel.  No one finds it hard to believe that Kim would have a problem providing Hamas or any other terrorist organization with a nuclear weapon.  Like Hamas, Kim Jong’s Korea doesn’t care about his own people so he would have no problem contributing to a genocide of another people.  I have no doubt Israel is watching him very closely.

The terrorism scenario is always out there of course, be it a conventional bomb or dirty bomb,  especially since there are groups that have declared their willingness and desire to cause devastation in large western cities, most notably New York City.

All this is conjecture, but with all the conflicts going on today anything can happen at any time.  Let’s hope this doesn’t.

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These things happened….

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These things happened,

The publishing of Ulysses by James Joyce;  The first swimmer crossed the English Channel; Calvin Coolidge became president; the first Winter Olympics took place; Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic Ocean; Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse; Herbert Hoover became president; the Stock Market crashed;Penicillin was discovered; the planet Pluto was discovered; Empire State Building was completed; Amelia Earhart crossed the Atlantic; Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Party became ruling party in Germany; Social security was established; Golden Gate Bridge was opened; Japan invaded China; Germany annexed Austria; World War II;  Japan attacked Pearl Harbor; Atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; 60 million people killed in World War II;  6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust; Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier; the State of Israel was founded; United Nations was formed;  NATO was formed; Korean War; Elvis Presley; Polio vaccine created;  Disneyland Opened; JFK became President; I was born; Cuban Missile Crisis; JFK assassinated; The Beatles; Vietnam War; Star Trek series; first Super Bowl; Apollo 11 landed on the moon; Terrorists Killed Israeli Athletes at Munich Olympics; Watergate scandal forced President Richard Nixon’s resignation; the movie Star Wars; John Paul II became Pope; Iranian Muslim revolution; CNN was formed; AIDS discovered; Personal Computers were invented; Soviet Union collapsed; Apartheid ended; Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa; 2 different Bush’s became Presidents; Bill Clinton became president; the Euro currency was formed; 3,000 killed in 9/11 attack in New York; Iraq War; the Internet was created; Holland lost 3 World cup finals; Justin and Kim got married.

These things happened, in the 92 years between the birth of these 2 people, my mother Sipora Groen and my youngest family member and great-niece Jara.

If this doesn’t give you hope nothing does.