The 1960’s was known for the Civil Rights movement as the rights of all blacks in America protested to be equally and fairly treated as whites. Although the practice of slavery had been outlawed since the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln, blacks had been continued to be treated as second class citizens for nearly 100 years after. But the practice of protest movement in the 1960’s had been one of non-violence. From the Montgomery boycotts, Rosa Parks in her refusal to move to the back of the bus, and the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. regarding race equality were all supported by the power of non-violence protests. The protest model in which the great civil rights leader of the Indian independence movement, Mahatma Gandhi had believed. In contrast, protests today commonly involve scenes of rioters, looting homes and community businesses, destroying private property, burning cars and signs, tormenting and even killing innocent by standers, and the screaming and angry rage against law enforcement all characterize the protesters of 21st generation. If the true pioneers of civil rights leaders of the 1960’s were alive to see today’s generation of uncivil and barbaric protesters, I wonder how ashamed and disappointed they would be.
Reading the articles on the Watergate scandal during President Nixon’s second presidential term in 1972, would indicate that the only infamous highlight of Nixon’s presidential career was the impeachment hearings which ultimately led to his resignation as President of the U.S. But didn’t Nixon serve 4 years before the Watergate scandal? Indeed he did, and during his first term in office, Nixon implemented the lottery draft system to equalize all men to serve and not just the poor and minority, he introduced Vietnamization to have the South Vietnam help fight the Vietnam war with the support and training of the U.S., his foreign policy initiatives which included engaging in diplomatic talks with the Soviet Union and China during the tension Cold War era, and very importantly brought an end to the unpopular Vietnam War and withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam. Unfortunately, despite having some accomplishments during his presidency, the first and possibly the only fact by some people when asked about President Nixon, will be the Watergate incident.
I enjoyed the article on the rise of personal computers and the history of the internet. I grew up in the generation prior to the computers, and recall having a color monitor was huge progress. From Atari to 3-D animation, 256k memory to Terabyte, bulky desktop to razor thin tablets, car phones to smartphones. The advance in technology of personal computers in past 20 years is rather astounding and amazing to say the least. Now, I ponder in the next 20 years where technology will lead us. From ideas of virtual reality, self driving cars, flying cars, robot workers, maybe even colonization in other planets are not only within the possibility, but reality sooner than later. However, with such quick advancement in technology, I do fear one thing that may seem more of a paranoia seen in sci-fi movies, that is will humans ultimately be replaced? Maybe the idea seems far fetched at this point, but if society spends more time talking to cell phones and tablets than each other, maybe we are almost there.
After reading President George W. Bush address after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in New York City, I remember clearly the day the attack occurred. In his speech, the President does not request a declaration of war against any country, but denounces the attack on Islamic extremism. Since the 9/11 attack, the United States continues to be involved in the terrorist war in Middle East for the past 16 years. I find the demands requested by President Bush in the speech interesting…“Deliver to United States authorities all the leaders of al Qaeda who hide in your land. (Applause.) Release all foreign nationals, including American citizens, you have unjustly imprisoned. Protect foreign journalists, diplomats and aid workers in your country. Close immediately and permanently every terrorist training camp in Afghanistan, and hand over every terrorist, and every person in their support structure, to appropriate authorities. (Applause.) Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps, so we can make sure they are no longer operating.” Nearly 16 years later, I am not convinced any of these demands have been honored or voluntarily provided to the United States. Therefore, I am very skeptical that any resolution will come from the Islamic nations to cooperate or stop the threats of terrorists in the world, and have to wonder if we are fighting another Vietnam War with no finite ending.
The Vietnam War proved to be an unpopular and possibly an unnecessary war in U.S. history. The objective and the strategy of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam initially was to stop the threat of communism of North Vietnam into South Vietnam. However, what resulted was death of 20,000 more American soldiers in four years after President Nixon had a plan for U.S. to exit the Vietnam War. In addition, the U.S. had entered into Laos and Cambodia to fight what was supposedly to stop Ho Chi Minh and the North Vietnamese. In the final year of U.S. withdrawal in 1972, Vietnam ultimately fell to communism in 1975. Ironically, similar scenario seems to be occurring in Middle East today. Since the Operation Freedom and war on terrorism since 1992, the U.S. has been involved in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and other territories in Middle East. However, what exactly is the end objective for the involvement of the U.S.? Stop terrorism or interest of rich oil lands? If global terrorism is the objective, then it would seem the U.S. also would need to fight in Britain, France, Africa, Germany, Belgium, Syria, Australia, and every country around the globe where terrorist attacks have occurred in past 20 years. A fair argument could be had that the current era of U.S. involvement in any war is solely for political and economic interest.