I just learned a few weeks ago that one of my distant relatives from my Mother’s family tree was killed during the Civil War, near the Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania. After I heard that, I started thinking about the Arlington National Cemetery and all of the other Veteran’s Cemeteries. They remind us that several have put on the uniform and put their lives in danger so that others can have a chance at the American dream. The headstones in the cemetery usually designate their religion of choice. For me, when I visit the cemeteries, I first notice two things. I note when they were born and when they died. Most of the time, the age is under 30 years old. I always think about the realization that when I am having a bad day, some people don’t have a day at all.
When I think about it that way, driving home in a traffic jam doesn’t seem so bad at all.
Memorial Day is when we stop to remember our veterans and especially the courageous souls that gave their lives to support America and, more importantly, to prevent their battle buddies from getting killed on their missions. We honor those who came back but we should especially remember military men and women who gave everything and never returned. These people rest in several overseas cemeteries that honor our fallen. It is striking to see the number of service men and women buried in foreign lands, almost 125,000 souls resting in 25 burial cemeteries throughout world.
Congress established the American Battle Monuments Commission in 1923. The Executive Branch organization honors the service, achievement and sacrifice of the US Armed Forces. The commission establishes and maintains US military memorials, cemeteries and markers where the US Armed Forces has served since April 6, 1917.
Here is a list of the American Battle Monuments Commission cemeteries the organization maintains along with other pertinent information. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Battle_Monuments_Commission
I am a veteran and my wife is a veteran. My father is a Korean War veteran. Several of my family members are veterans. Several of my friends from all the services who served with me are no longer alive today. I miss them and I honor them every day. I honor and remember all of my Armed Forces brothers and sisters who gave their lives.
George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, published in 1949, has been reestablished as the go-to book for all things wrong with government privacy invasion and society’s ills. With government-funded security professionals scrutinizing some or all of the internet usage and phone conversations that are happening today, it does reflect the worst themes of 1984. Of course it is more complicated than the government watching over people. September 11, 2001, showed us that proper vigilance can go a long way toward keeping people safe from terrorists who want to prove a point by killing innocent people. Orwell’s novel remains a commentary on communist practices in the Soviet Union and modern relationships between governments, media and citizens throughout the world.
Some of the themes of 1984, nevertheless, seem to be blanketing our society as we live and work carrying our information devices. Smart Phone and internet monitoring are instances of privacy concerns. In spite of this fact, millions of people publicize their every move on Facebook, Twitter and any other social media. This fact makes it difficult to take the side of a person wronged by the invasion of privacy. People want privacy only on their terms. Like the movie star or celebrity who craves success but doesn’t want the paparazzi baggage that comes with it. If you want safety and security and still need your family and friends to know about last night’s pizza party, you have to compromise a little, maybe a lot.
Below is a 1984 to present comparison.
Invasion of Privacy-1984————————2014>
Phone Surveillance, internet tracking
GPS Trackers in Vehicles, Cameras on Streets and at traffic lights. Aerial Surveillance
Torture (Room 101)-1984———————–2014>
Pick a country
Advertising, college professors
Cult of personality1984————————-2014>
World Leaders, celebrities, musicians, talk show hosts, and televangelist
Tele-screens (two-way Monitors)-1984——2014>
Overhead surveillance, street cameras, two-way camera software
Class System (Proles, Outer Party)-1984——-2014>
The 1 Percent, Poor, Working Class, Blue Collar, Middle Class, the Power Elite, Educated Elite, Fortune 500 CEOs, Government Officials (Elected and Appointed)
Affordable Healthcare Act, (government catchphrases used as titles for legislation)
Ministry of Plenty (Food Supply)-1984———-2014>
Rising Oil Prices, Government Regulation, Inflation
Ministry of Peace (War)-1984——————-2014>
World Leaders and Defense Ministers
Ministry of Truth (News)-1984——————2014>
CEOs and managing editors of news organizations dictate the headlines and stories seen by consumers. Federal Communications Commission. Advertisers
Ministry of Love (Dissidents)-1984————-2014>
Whistle blowers usually pay a price
Making vices like alcohol and drugs (marijuana) available control the public and provide needed revenue.
If a show or story does not please a power player, they have monetary and power influences to make it disappear.
Controlling the Middle Class-1984—————2014>
Taxes, regulations and travel restrictions or religious and government organizations (Republican and Democratic Parties)
There are many ways to track a person today. It would be difficult to get lost when the hunter really wants to find you. Let me count the ways: GPS Device, Car Computers, Credit Cards, Smart Phone, Home Phone, Social Security Number, Driver’s License, Aerial Reconnaissance, Drones, and Toll Roads just to name a few.
Cars today have what is called a “Breaking Coach.” It tells you that you have driving skills. Don’t kid yourself. It is a way to determine how safe our driving habits are in case we are in an accident. Insurance companies and law enforcement officials really want to know this.
Your MAC (Media Access Control) address is a unique set of digits that identifies your particular computer or Network Interface Card, and with the IP (Internet Protocol) address, can determine your internet history. It’s a digital signature.
When you drive through a toll booth, a camera records your drive through and your license plate and if you have a toll sticker on your window it identifies that too.
Officials in several states are studying the feasibility of adding hardware to vehicles to track the number of miles a car travels on the highway to determine a road tax.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter what is real but what people think is real.
The list is long about what the majority of the population thinks is true about someone or some event that turns out to be nowhere near what the reality is. The perception doesn’t line up with reality.
Vietnam, Nixon, the Economy, the Depression, Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party, Liberals, Occupy Wall Street, Elections, Law Enforcement, and many others are subject to internet falsehoods and a long history of bad information being passed from one person to another.
For example, the reputation of Herbert Hoover as someone who didn’t care for the working man and never lifted a finger to help the struggling poor while being solely responsible for the Great Depression is way off the mark. This perception is mostly due to his policies in reaction to the great depression and the unfortunate name given to outdoor shanty towns, Hoovervilles. However, that perception couldn’t be further from the truth. As Food Administrator during World War I, he was responsible making sure enough food rations were sent over to Europe to keep the war effort rolling. After the war, Europe was left without enough food to feed its population for the winter. Hoover organized food shipments to Europe and sent food to Russia as late as 1921 so that millions of people could survive. Concerning the depression, He also warned President Calvin Coolidge in 1925 about the folly of excessive stock market speculation. He knew that practice would catch up to the health of the economy and it did in 1929. After the depression, he also took steps to try to end the depression such as moving construction projects ahead of schedule, cutting taxes, and increasing the funding for public works.
After, being treated like an outsider by his own party and the democrats for several years, one person invited in for his organizational skill and history of helping people in need. In fact, President Harry Truman invited former President Hoover to the White House to organize the war relief effort after World War II.
So, for someone who gets the majority of the blame for the great depression, it seems he was one of the first to warn us about Stock Market speculation that was a major cause of the crash. He was also more concerned with helping people in need than what is in generally perceived.
The phrase “perception is reality” is an expression used to convey the idea that how you look sometimes matters more than what you do. As Billy Crystal’s character said on SNL, “You look Maahvelous!” It got a laugh but with most first-rate comedy it has a ring of truth. The best dressed office worker who portrays confidence may get a first look when it comes to a promotion and a key position over someone who looks average but performs at a high level.
History is supposed to correct perceptions and publicize the greater truth. The following is a list of subjects with perceptions and realities listed. Is it better to look good than to feel good? I prefer both.
Accomplished several initiatives while POTUS, establish EPA and Dept, Natural Resources, improved relations with China and USSR. Ended Draft. Signed into law Title IX.
Ultra liberal, jaded urbanites, elite college intellectuals who consider themselves at the top of a class divided society
Although liberal candidates win a majority of the elections, places like NJ, and Massachusetts sometimes elect conservative candidates. Many northern states enjoy a vast rural areas.
Mostly rural. Uneducated, lazy populace, rejection of evolution in favor of religious dogma. A majority are bigots.
Technology Companies do business there. Many Northern professional transplants. Most accept evolution outright and a majority understand both views. There are just as many bigots, racists and segregationists in the North as in the South. Just as many opened minded progressives live in the South as in the North.
Overpaid and ineffective
A majority are effective, underpaid and forced to teach using local policies and to pass tests
Failed social and government experiment
True communism never practiced or implemented
Responsible for higher costs, cost money with little or no return
People are fine lawyers when they need one
Power Hungry government representatives out to harass populace
A majority of law enforcement professionals are subject to rules of engagement and internal investigations.
TSA Airport Security
Government reps who invade your privacy.
Security professionals assigned to do an impossible job following government protocols and rules.
Veterans and Active Military
Not intelligent enough to get a commercial job. Aggressive people who are blood thirsty. Damaged by war and can’t function in society.
More often than not, people in the military have some college education or a degree. People trained to make logical decisions in a split second. A majority of veterans have integrated within the work force.
This Blog Post
Today’s traditional broadcast and print media coverage of a particular topic is constantly challenged by the public’s use of social media. However, with PR firms, marketing representatives, and spokespeople, getting out in front of an issue or an event is just a matter of your story being told before someone else’s version. History shows that the victor gets to write its version of events. Sometimes it’s the truth and sometimes it’s just a shade of it.
A look back at transportation modes throughout history tells us that when using new technology is left to humanity, moving from one place to another can bring joy or pain. The horse could carry someone coming back to see their family or someone to conquer their homelands. A plane can bring needed supplies like the Berlin Airlift or drop bombs bringing devastation as the world saw at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Civilization has sought to contract space and time so now a person or country’s military can move across the globe in a few hours or days.
Driving across a country also gives the passenger a different perspective than say flying and looking down at the same landmark or land mass. Driving and stopping makes the experience more personal while flying and looking down presents someone with a spectacular view but distant.
Two perfect examples of two different personal experiences are flying over the Mississippi River or the Grand Canyon before landing at the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. The two land marks look awe-inspiring from your window seat in the airplane but seem are breathtaking when driving and seeing them up close, especially when you consider where you cross the Mississippi River. Let’s compare are primary ways to get from point A to Point B.
1856-First Railway bridge across the Mississippi completed between Rock Island, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa
1927-First solo nonstop transatlantic flight (Charles Lindbergh)
1825-Erie Canal Opens
1921-Italy constructed first limited access road (Auto Strada) 1932-German Bonn-Cologne Autobahn Constructed, 1922-First Blue Print for US National Highway System, 1956 The Federal Aid Highway Act allocating funds for extensive US Highway System.
1862-President Lincoln signs the Pacific Railway Act authorizing the construction of the first Transcontinental Railroad
1929-First blind flight using instruments. Took off and landed using instruments. (James Doolittle)
1811-First steamboat used on Mississippi River.
1938-1940-Merritt Parkway opened as first US fully controlled access parkway (Barrier Toll Plazas) from Hartford to New York City.
1952-First Jet Liner Service between London and Johannesburg, South Africa. (23 hours, 38 minutes)
2012-Oasis of the Seas, largest cruise ship in the world
Most people have a favorite way to get to their destination. What determines the final decision? A fellow traveler bases where to place his soul thinking about several factors–time, money, convenience and the fear of travelling by certain modes. Phobias can play an important role when travelling, sometimes more than funding. Beyond a person’s individual preferences, the comparison chart above shows that each form has benefited from the creativity, intelligence, courage, sacrifice and fortitude of many people to arrive where we are today.
Other Modes: Walk, Jog, Bicycle, Tricycle, Motorcycle, Scooter, roller-skate, inline skate, Skateboard, escalator, surfboard, swimming, snowmobile, four-wheeler, Riding Lawn Mower, Farm Tractor, Public Bus, Horse, Camel, Llama, Oxen, Donkey, Mule, space shuttle, space capsule, hang gliders, trolley cars.
From the moment you become aware of yourself as a human being, the truth begins to modify your behavior. What is the truth?
Control, or lack thereof. We realize at an early age during adolescent cognitive development that, although you may have control over when you close your eyes, your parents dictate when you crawl into bed.
As a person matures into an adult, they begin to understand that many people control their lives. Some of these are high school attendance times, sports practice times, who is first string and who isn’t, college fraternities, corporate hiring and maybe even when to retire. You can also choose to not follow the accepted rules or laws but these mavericks tend to be either shunned or made an example by being ostracized or incarcerated. Control means power and power is control. Some people get it through wealth and others get it by office or status. Some use one to get the other. When someone on the news programs mentions that an official or citizen speaks “Truth to Power.” What it really means is “Truth to a greater truth.” Certain Truths are flexible while everyone recognizes Power when it comes for payment.”
So, who has control and why? The Government and Religion. Those are two monoliths of control that many people do not try to fight against. If you do challenge them, you may win but the consequences and price may be enough to second guess your decision. The following is a study comparing these two bastions of control.
Many theories exist as to why people formed religious beliefs. A widely held concept states that religion helped people cope with fear and gave them a sense of control over their haphazard environment. When people began to realize that their lives were finite and that their sense of the earthly world would end, the practice of religion began to take shape and help people cope with what comes after. The daily tribal existence and group living depended on team work so that food and could be gathered, shelters built, and society fluent so that the clan or community could continue to thrive.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs begins with the Psychological, food, sleep, and health at the bottom. It then poses that safety is the next need, getting shelter away from the dangers of nature. The next couple of needs play into both government and religion but especially the spiritual side. The psychological need for belonging to a group and receiving love and affection is purely emotional and can be strong. The other important need but toward the point of the pyramid is self-esteem and esteem from others. The need for respect, value and approval from others plays into controlling people within the community. The last need at the point is self-actualization or achieving your maximum potential. Keeping these pyramid of needs in mind, a set of belief systems along with a priest, priestess, appointed or elected head of the belief system goes a long way toward controlling and keeping order.
With sets of rules to govern behavior, fertility and other aspects of tribal and community life, the control and power was firmly in place and remains to this day. As religion grew and power was taken by force or given by acceptance, religions came to understand that to deal with the other power base, government, other power tools had to be used, money and politics. So the merger and blurring of the religious and government lines is understandable. Many leaders have seen the corruption of both and have tried to separate them by trying to keep religion on one side of the community aisle and government systems on the other.
One observation about religion. For something that seems so personal, there are many who need to practice their belief system among large groups of like-minded people.
Government systems formed to provide services that the individual could not provide. They have been responsible for building roads, providing health care, providing security, developing educational institutions and funding science and medical advances.
There is a huge trade-off for these services. The power of the government to tax the citizens. In addition to that power, they also have the authority to punish individuals, corporations and other entities who don’t pay taxes. Governments inflict several forms of control over lives. For example, the permission to drive based on taxes, registration, license, and tolls. One truth also applies to governments, they almost always get larger and more bureaucratic as they develop. With more government comes more laws-federal, state and local. With more laws at each level, the public has less freedoms and less control.
What is the answer? Well, anarchy isn’t the solution. Restraint with laws and regulations while re-assessing government’s role in taxing and ruling over every aspect of our lives can be the way forward. It’s good to have some rules to govern and believe in but not at the expense of freedom and lack of control. A government’s job is to provide national security and provide essential services. It should not control every part of our lives. Think about that every time you drive on a toll road or cross a bridge with a toll.
Nuclear power has the ability to create energy, liberate countries from other energy sources like coal, oil, and water, and therefore pull a nation’s struggling economy forward after years of lagging behind other nations. In the process, the same nuclear power source can produce tension between players on the world stage as North Korea and Iran are doing today or force every global leader to deal with a disaster and the environmental fallout that leads to an energy policy debate about the viability of nuclear reactors. Nuclear energy has positives and negatives but the one point every one agrees with is that nuclear accidents are devastating to the environment and can wipeout entire city populations if the fallout isn’t controlled. As with any new technology, the process and procedures continually evolve. Engineers learn from design flaws and build systems that have better fail safes. Operator training improves as scientists and political leaders develop better ways to handle the unique challenges of running nuclear power centers.
The following is a comparison of how two disasters were handled. Research indicates that Chernobyl and Fukushima have both been labeled “Accidents”. I prefer to call Chernobyl a “Disaster” because several lives were lost. Fukushima should be labeled an “Accident” because no loss of life has been documented from it. The lives were lost due to the Tsunami. The chart below shows how the two governments handled the crisis, and more importantly, how much Japan may have learned from other nuclear problems, including the United States’ own nuclear accident, “Three Mile Island.”
Radioactive fallout-The Chernobyl accident released 10 times more material into the atmosphere than the Fukushima accident.
Immediate casualties-50 people died immediately from radiation poisoning that includes the first responders (fireman, helicopter pilots, soldiers and miners)
Immediate casualties-21 plant workers have been affected by radiation sickness. Several thousand people died from the Tsunami.
Long term casualties unofficially in the thousands, still assessing.
Long term casualties-No radiation linked deaths have been reported, still assessing
Environmental Impact-livestock, vegetation, top soil, the surrounding communities and fallout that was moved by the atmosphere to surrounding countries
Environmental Impact-More than 70,000 people have been evacuated within a 12 mile radius of the plant.
Health Impact-4,000 children and adolescents contracted thyroid cancer soon, 4 died.
Health Impact-Still being monitored.
Immediate Public Information-Information about the severity was withheld from the public for several days
Immediate Public Information-Public was informed and evacuated as soon as possible after Tsunami
IAEA Severity Level-7
IAEA Severity Level-Initially set at 5 and then raised to 7
Several years before area will be habitable
Several years before area will be habitable
There are websites devoted to the analyzing what went wrong and how the fallout from Chernobyl affected the surrounding towns. YouTube has several documentaries devoted to how the nuclear disaster was handled by the Soviet government. What is interesting about each accident is the way information was publicized to local towns and to the workers dealing with the problems. It is study in how risk and crisis communication affected the aftermath of each accident.
The Chernobyl disaster became more of disaster because officials did not tell primary people in government the severity of the problem. Therefore, they could not make decisions about moving people from the local area, specifically the town of Pripyat, near the Chernobyl plant where most of the reactor’s workers lived with their families. I took several days before the families were moved from the area. Six hundred workers answered the call or the order to clean up the nuclear debris after the explosion as well as pour sand and boron from the air by using helicopter flying over. All the while, pilots and other workers were absorbing massive amounts of radiation. According to the NRC, the Nuclear Regulatory Comission, 600 workers initially worked at the site immediately after the accident. Among those, 134 had radiation sickness. Of these, 28 died within the first four months of the disaster. In addition to the pilots who were hovering and flying over the reactor for long periods, miners were brought in to dig a tunnel underneath the reactor where a concrete sarcophagus would eventually be built. The miners were not told how much danger they were near when digging the tunnel right underneath the disabled reactor. The Chernobyl disaster is a testament to how people can answer the call. The Soviet era miners who are still alive to tell the story have commented in documentaries on the subject that who else would have been able to do it but us.
The Fukushima accident was caused by an Earthquake and the resulting Tsunami which caused the meltdown of three reactors from the loss of power to the generators. This is different from a power surge that caused the Chernobyl disaster. Two different paths of communication exist when accidents and natural disasters occur. One is crisis communication that originates from the government and local agencies through the use of corporate media to the citizens affected by the natural or man made disaster. The other is risk communication that relies on the layers of government and other agencies to pass on vital information so decisions can be made and the public alerted. The Soviet government failed on many levels pertaining to Chernobyl while the communication process from the Japanese government to various affected groups performed better during and after the Fukushima crisis. Informing the public and making the decision to move citizens within the danger zone out of the area is one aspect of the disaster that went relatively smoothly, considering the Japanese government was also dealing with the damage done by the Tsunami.
Nuclear power is here to stay. The challenge is to learn from the past while having enough imagination to think about future problems and put measures in place to prevent any accidents or disasters that may have dire consequences.
Bridges are, and will continue to be, the original information super highway. Whether spanning long distances or a few hundred feet in length, a bridge connects people, towns, cities, cultures, industry and commerce. There is something remarkable about crossing a wide river like the Mississippi to get to a destination. They are monuments to mankind’s ability, courage, and engineering skill. The following post features two well-known and visited bridges.
Steel shipped from East Coast ports through Panama Canal to West Coast
27 men lost their lives during construction
11 men lost their live during construction
THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE
The Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 1883 and connects Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York. The bridge’s main span is 1595.5 feet and was the longest suspension bridge when completed. John Roebling, a German immigrant, and bridge designer and engineer, began work on the project. He sustained an injury while conducting surveys resulting in an amputation that developed a tetanus infection that eventually killed him. His son, Washington Roebling, continued the project.
Unfortunately, Washington Roebling sustained a paralyzing injury himself due to decompression sickness soon after the construction phase began on Jan 3, 1870. What is fascinating about the construction is that Washington Roebling’s wife, Emily Warren, stepped in to act as a liaison during construction. Washington Roebling was incapacitated so Emily Warren communicated engineering plans to the staff building the bridge. Under Washington Roebling’s guidance Warren communicated strength calculations, catenary curves. bridge specifications, and cable construction designs. She assisted her husband for the next 11 years.
Roebling used airtight caissons that were made like massive wooden boxes. The wooden boxes were sent to the bottom using giant granite blocks. The
chamber was pressurized so that water and debris would be kept out. They didn’t know enough about how pressurized air affected a person’s internal organs upon ascending to the surface too quickly. This is what is known today as the “bends” when too much gas forms bubbles in the bloodstream. Many were killed or injured during this process. These workers were known as “sand-hogs” and earned $2 a day. However, despite the dangers, they stuck with the process. Once they cleared away the debris and reached the bedrock, they started the process of laying the granite for the towers that were used for the suspension cables.
Roebling built the bridge so that it would be six times stronger than needed. It is one reason the bridge is still standing today after so much vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
The Brooklyn Bridge was opened for use on May 24, 1883. On first day for crossing 1,800 vehicles and 150,300 people travelled between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Emily Warren Roebling was the first to cross the bridge. Emily Warren Roebling died of stomach cancer in 1903. Washington Roebling died on July 21, 1926. He fought the effects of caisson’s disease the remainder of his life..
THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
The Golden Gate Bridge spans the Golden Gate Strait and is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. The Golden Gate Bridge construction phase began on Jan.5, 1933 and was open to traffic on May 28, 1937. Pedestrians were able to cross on May 27, 1937. Ten different prime contractors and their subcontractors worked on the bridge construction. During the construction, 11 men lost their lives but 19 men were saved due to the project using safety nets. The men who were saved by falling into the nets are known as the “Halfway-to-Hell Club.”
According to historical documents, the steel used in the construction of the bridge was manufactured by Bethlehem Steel in plants in Trenton, New Jersey and Sparrows Point, Maryland and in plants in three Pennsylvania towns: Bethlehem, Pottstown, and Steelton. The steel was sent to Philadelphia and shipped through the Panama Canal to San Francisco.
The construction design relies on cable suspension that passes through two main towers. The weight of the roadway is hung from two cables that pass through the two main towers and are fixed in concrete at each end. Each cable is made of 27,572 strands of wire. There are 80,000 miles (129,000 km) of wire in the main cables.The bridge has approximately 1,200,000 total rivets.
Engineers working on the project used a “deflection theory” design that reduced stress by transmitting forces through suspension cables to the bridge towers. The project cost more than $35 million. The project was finished by April 1937 and came in $1.3 million under budget.
The color of the bridge is officially an orange vermillion or international orange. Since 1990 acrylic topcoats have been used for air-quality reasons. The program was completed in 1995 and it is maintained by 38 painters who re-paint the areas where it becomes eroded.
Both the Golden Gate and Brooklyn Bridges are majestic when viewing or crossing over them. The workers who died while making these structures deserve to be remembered. The talented engineers and hard-working construction people who completed the bridge also deserve a “job well done!” from each citizen who walks, rides or travels across these bridges.
What are your names of your favorite bridges? Leave a comment and let me know.
Certain people in history have tried to change the current political climate. They make an effort to reverse the trend and push the tide in another direction. Sometimes in their effort to change their corner of the world, they meet with resistance and hate and are killed along with their goals and ideas. Such is the case of Anwar Sadat and Yitzhak Rabin. Sadat was the leader and military hero of Egypt and Rabin the Prime Minister and Defense Minister of Israel. Both leaders played an important role in the formation of their country’s development and status in the world.
A military lieutenant, who obtained a Fatwa (an opinion) approving the assassination, cut down Sadat and several others on the stand during a victory parade on October 6, 1981.
A far right-wing religious Zionist who despised the Oslo Accords signing killed Rabin during a rally supporting the Oslo Accords on November 4, 1995.
Despite the best efforts of people who have a chance to make a difference, there are others who want to create disharmony.
Anwar Sadat served as President of Egypt for 11 years and during this time he moved away from the principle of Nasserism by promoting the multi-party government system and changing the economic policy. He was a member of the Free Officers Group that overthrew the Muhammed Ali Dynasty in 1952.
He assumed the Presidency in 1970 after Gamel Abdel Nasser. He led Egypt in the October War in 1973 against Israel. Afterwards he engaged in peace negotiations with Israel and signed the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1979. This earned him the Nobel Peace Prize. This led to Egypt and Sadat becoming unpopular within the Arab community and the Arab League, despite wide support among Egyptians.
Sadat was breaking away from pan-Arabism espoused by his predecessor, Nasser. In addition, he was moving away from the USSR as an influence and towards a more friendly relationship with the United States. All of these events led to Lieutenant Khalid Islambouli leading a charge toward the VIP stand during the annual victory parade and assassinating Sadat along with several others including a Cuban Ambassador and an Omani General on October 6, 1981.
Vice President Hosni Mubarak and four US military liaison officers were wounded in the barrage of gunfire. Islambouli was sentenced to death and executed in April 1982. Hosni Mubarak assumed the duties as President after the assassination. Sadat’s funeral was attended by three former Presidents (Ford, Carter, Nixon).
Yitzhak Rabin served two terms as Israeli Prime Minister, from 1974-1977 and 1992-1995, when he was assassinated. He did not finish his policies
during his second term due to a far right religious Zionist who was angry about Rabin’s peace negotiations. Yigel Amir, a law student, fired several shots at Rabin after a rally in support of the Oslo Accords at the Kings of Israel Square in Tel Aviv on November 4, 1995. Rabin died at the hospital less than an hour later.
Rabin was a fighter for Israeli statehood from the beginning. He rose to take command of the Heral Brigade in the military and served as an Israeli General. Under his command of the IDF, the Israeli gained significant ground against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria in the Six Day War in 1967. During his first term as Prime Minister, Rabin successfully ordered the rescue of hostages by an Israeli commando unit after an airline hijacking in Entebbe, Uganda, on July 4, 1976.
According to many theories, the assassin Amir had come to believe that Rabin was a rodef, meaning a “pursuer” who endangered Jewish lives. Amir believed he would be justified under Jewish lawby killing Rabin and removing a threat to the Jews. Apparently, this is a misinterpretation of the law. The law applies to removing a “pursuer” where they may be a threat to an individual. Moreover, the law does not apply to elected representatives because if a person removes the elected official, that person would have to remove each voter who elected the government official. The assassin acted under flawed logic and reasoning concerning Jewish law. Thinking about it, most assassination attempts begin under flawed logic to begin with, except in the cases of taking out someone who is evil personified such as Adolf Hitler.
Rabin was buried the day after the assassination on November 6, 1995, at the Mount Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem, where 80 heads of state attended the funeral. A monument to Rabin rests at the location of the assassination. The monument erected with broken rocks that represent the political destruction the assassination brought to the peace process.
In other notes concerning the assassination, Rabin’s pocket carried a blood-stained paper with the lyrics of an Israeli song “Shir Lashalom” (“Song for Peace”). The song was used at the rally and outlines the futility of bringing a dead person back to life. This means that peace should be foremost in everyone’s mind. The Knesset has set the 12th of Heshvan, the assassination date according to the Hebrew calendar, as the memorial day of Rabin. What is your opinion? Make a comment and I will respond.