Is Israel Doomed?

31 12 2015

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

I am forever reminded of what a prominent American—who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel, and who has written for the Wall Street Journal many times—told me several years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

WMDs come in many forms, such as deadly viruses, biological and chemical agents, and of course nuclear and nation-ending EMP attacks.[2]  Neither Israel’s military, its security forces nor its “Iron Dome” can protect against such threats.[3]

The Israeli Apartheid vis-à-vis the Palestinians may have sown the seeds of the tiny Jewish state’s destruction.  Indeed, one prominent Jew has asked about the treatment of Palestinians: “Is this how I wanted to be treated when I was a minority in another people’s country?”

Months and years from now, Benjamin Netanyahu and his ilk will confront the legacy of their crimes against the Palestinians, including an estimated 2,200 deaths in Gaza last year alone.  He has morphed into his ancestors’ Nazi oppressors. He must be tried by the International Criminal Court, and arrested whenever he sets foot outside of Israel.

Barack Obama and other world leaders “detest” him, just as the Rabins and Ariel Sharon hated him. Indeed, Leah Rabin blamed Netanyahu for her husband Yitzhak’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient.[4]

Each day that Netanyahu remains in power[5] brings Israel closer to its demise, and Jews globally closer to the first holocaust of the 21st Century—which may make the Nazi Holocaust of the last century seem like “child’s play.”  The human carnage might make even mass murderers like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung wince.[6]

The massacre and mindless slaughter of Jews—and especially Orthodox Jews—may be coming and might surpass anything that ISIS/ISIL or other global terrorist groups have done thus far.  The rape and enslavement of Jewish women—prior to their brutal torture and death—may make what the Soviets and Japanese did to German women[7] and Korean “comfort women”[8] pale by comparison.

The goal of Israel’s enemies would be to annihilate all Israelis, and then systematically focus on Jews around the world until they are exterminated.[9]  Today, Jews can be targeted globally and there is nothing that Israel or its vaulted Mossad can do to protect them.  This will only get dramatically worse.   Tragically, Jews are the most hated group of human beings on the planet, yet they respond out of fear and anger—and lash out with hatred toward others, including Islamophobia.[10]

American president—and the father of today’s Left—Franklin D. Roosevelt, turned away the MS St. Louis from docking at American ports, and consigned most of the Jewish refugees aboard to their deaths in Europe.[11]  The other anti-Semites in FDR’s administration knew of the Nazi concentration camps, yet did nothing about them.  Soon, the world may turn a “blind eye” to the fate of Israel and global Jewry.[12]

Like the Jews aboard the MS St. Louis, they may be truly on the last “Voyage of the Damned.”

© 2015, 2016, Timothy D. Naegele

Israel flag burning

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[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/documents/TimothyD.NaegeleResume.pdf). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal. Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com; see also Google search: Timothy D. Naegele

[2]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive”)

[3]  See, e.g.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Dome#Effects_on_Israeli_society

[4]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/ (“Israel’s Senseless Killings And War With Iran”)

[5]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/ (“Ariel Sharon Is Missed”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/the-madness-of-benjamin-netanyahu/ (“The Madness Of Benjamin Netanyahu”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/ (“Israel’s Senseless Killings And War With Iran”) (see also the comments beneath these articles)

[6]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin’s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao’s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”)

[7]  See id. (“[A]s the Soviets moved through Germany, they raped at least two million German women in what is now acknowledged as the largest case of mass rape in history”)

[8]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/#comment-7778 (“The Tragic Story of Comfort Women”)

[9]  As I have written:

Years ago when I was in Germany visiting friends, I was told by someone that the only thing wrong with Hitler was that he did not “finish the job” of killing all of the Jews.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do”)

[10]  Jews cowardly try to stifle debate at Web sites, and label anyone who does not agree with Netanyahu, AIPAC and the AIPAC-bought Republican lackeys in Congress as anti-Semites, which of course is absurd.

Labeling people as anti-Semites, much less on a wholesale basis, reverberates to the detriment of Jews, Israel and Israelis. Indeed, Jews are being urged to flee to Israel, as anti-Semitism spreads dramatically in Europe and globally.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7039 (“Is Night Falling Again For European Jews?“)

Netanyahu’s critics—Jews and non-Jews alike—are falsely labeled as “Israel haters,” “self-hating Jews” and anti-Semites.

Aside from the traitor Jonathan Pollard, no American should ever forget:

(A) The unprovoked Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, which killed 34 brave Americans and maimed many more (see http://www.gtr5.com); and

(B) The Iraq War, which Israel and its “neocon” surrogates pushed us into—which resulted in thousands of Americans killed or maimed, and vast economic treasures wasted.

And these are only the ones that are generally known.  No friend or ally does this.

Yet, the “Israel Firsters” will leap to its defense as always, claiming that anyone who criticizes the tiny country and its practices is an anti-Semite, including Jews themselves.

Perhaps their most “unhinged” vitriol is reserved for those who believe in Islam—even though Islam has 1.8 billion followers, while at most Judaism has 14 million followers.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/islamophobia-is-un-american/ (“Islamophobia Is Un-American”) (see also the comments beneath the article)

[11]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_St._Louis (“MS St. Louis“)

[12]  See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7039 (“Is Night Falling Again For European Jews?“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do”)





The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War

29 11 2015

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

The death of Russia’s brutal dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin, and the end of Russia, will comprise the final chapter of the Cold War—which began at the end of World War II, and lasted more than 70 years.

Lots of us have lived through that war since we were children.  Growing up a mile west of UCLA’s Westwood campus in Los Angeles, and attending elementary school not far away in the suburb of Brentwood, my classmates and I had to go through mock nuclear explosion drills and hide under our desks and shield our heads from “falling debris.”  I remember it well.

It is estimated that the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin was responsible for the deaths of more than 30 million men, women and children—his own countrymen—including millions during the collectivization of the Soviet farms in the 1930s.  As the Soviets moved through Germany and captured Berlin at the end of World War II, they raped at least two million German women in what is now acknowledged as the largest case of mass rape in history.[2]

To their credit, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush set their sights on destroying the Soviet Union; and it is gone, without a shot being fired.  After Soviet forces left Afghanistan in humiliation and defeat—and in body bags—the USSR imploded.  The Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain fell, and the rest is history.  Yet, the Cold War did not end.

Putin is a killer, and Stalin’s heir.[3]  After World War II, he came to prominence as a KGB operative in East Germany—or the DDR, as it was known before the collapse of Erich Honecker’s government—which was one of the most repressive regimes in the Soviet Union’s orbit, or the Evil Empire.  Following the USSR’s implosion, Putin and his thugs and cronies hijacked Russia’s incipient democracy, and have been exploiting it ever since.

Despite being a “public servant” all of his life, Putin has amassed a fortune estimated to be $70 billion; “Versailles” has been built for him already[4]; and his cronies have amassed billions of dollars too, and are living like kings outside of Russia.  The Russian people need to recover what Putin and his cronies have stolen from them, and then terminate all of them—like the last Czar and his family, and Italy’s Benito Mussolini.  Nothing less will suffice.

The world must never forget that Putin left the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing to launch his aggression against Georgia. Then, he left the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and launched his aggression against Crimea and the rest of Ukraine.  Also, the world must never forget that in addition to downing Malaysia Airlines Flight 17—and killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board—Putin killed Alexander Litvinenko and countless others.

Russia is crippled as a result of our economic sanctions and the fall of oil prices. By ratcheting up the sanctions even more—such as unilaterally denying Russia access to the SWIFT banking system—Putin and Russia will be in free fall, and in a death spiral from which they will not recover.  Putin’s “invasion” of Syria may prove to be quicksand for him, just as Afghanistan was for the Soviets.

Russia is weaker today than the former USSR before it collapsed.  It spans nine time zones and includes 160 ethnic groups that speak an estimated 100 languages. It is by no means monolithic, and may crumble “overnight.”  Once Putin is gone, Russia may be dismembered—never to rise again—with China taking part (e.g., Siberia, which it covets) and the rest becoming independent states like the former Yugoslavia.

Each of the new states will act in its own best interests, just as has been true in the former Yugoslavia, and among the countries that were spun off from the USSR—which have thrived as part of the West.  Putinism will not survive Putin.  It will suffer an ignominious death, like its namesake; and constitute a tragic watershed in history, like Adolf Hitler’s “Thousand Year Reich” and Nazism.

Let the celebrations begin.  The end is near . . .

© 2015, Timothy D. Naegele

Putin's death

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[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/documents/TimothyD.NaegeleResume.pdf). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal. Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com; see also Google search: Timothy D. Naegele

[2]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin’s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao’s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”)

[3]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ (“Russia’s Putin Is A Killer”)

[4]  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putin%27s_Palace





Are All Tea Partiers Wackos, Misfits And Extremists?

29 01 2012

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Many in the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd are over the top[2], and so too are members of the Tea Party movement.  The only difference is that the two groups occupy opposite—and extreme—ends of the American political spectrum.

After all of the fuss about the Tea Party, and in the wake of its political successes in the 2010 American elections, I decided to visit and follow (to some extent) one of its Web sites, the Tea Party Nation.  What I found were intelligent, thoughtful comments by many people.

However, the group also consists of way-out, over-the-top, intolerant, totally certifiable, card-carrying “wackos” and misfits.  Their acceptance of anyone who does not agree with them is somewhere between zero and minus-one.  They engage in personal attacks that are beyond the pale, and legally actionable; and they may be operating illegally.[3]

Former House Speaker and Georgia congressman Newt Gingrich has been their man; and if one goes to the Web site of the Tea Party Nation, one will come in contact with “Neanderthals” aplenty.  Originally I thought they were a combination of Independents and moderates, like yours truly, or “disenchanted” Republicans and Democrats. But no, they are over-the-top wackos who embrace Gingrich as if he was Ronald Reagan incarnate.

Character does matter, and Gingrich is “evil” personified, and despicable.  Why would any American in his or her right mind want this man as President of the United States?  Ronald Reagan was and is a national hero[4], yet Gingrich had the gall to spew insulting rhetoric at Reagan when he was alive.[5]  Gingrich is a pathetic, petty, raving Narcissistic demagogue.

I am an Independent and have been for almost 20 years, after being a Democrat and then a Republican. Today, Independents constitute approximately 35 percent of American voters, and they swing our elections.[6]  I disagree vehemently with Barack Obama regarding just about every issue, and have been outspoken in my criticism of him, as many Independents are.[7]

I did not vote for Obama in the last presidential election, and plan to vote against him this year too. However, I would give serious thought to voting for Obama, just to make sure that Gingrich never becomes our president.  If the Republicans nominate him, they run the risk of being ostracized, isolated, boycotted and marginalized nationwide.

Obama would win in a landslide and “bury” Gingrich politically—akin to George McGovern’s loss in 1972, albeit at least McGovern was an honorable man. It would be political suicide for the GOP, which would be decimated, thanks in large part to Tea Party extremists.

© 2012, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.,www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com; see also Google search:Timothy D. Naegele

[2] See, e.g.http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-01-28/occupy-oakland-protests/52852280/1 (“About 300 people were arrested Saturday during a chaotic day of Occupy protests that saw demonstrators break into [Oakland’s] City Hall and burn an American flag. . . .”)

[3] For example, after reading the gibberish about Gingrich at the Web site of the Tea Party Nation, I posted some provocative, semi-“tongue-in-cheek” comments that were purposely intended to elicit debate and arouse discusson:

Let’s hope that Gingrich “dies” politically, once and for all.  His win in South Carolina is a dark day for the Republican Party and for America.

Since his election win in South Carolina, I have been pondering how best to describe him.  He is a relatively “benign” version of Adolf Hitler.

I do not make that statement lightly. Gingrich is pure evil, like Hitler was. He must be driven out of American politics, before he pollutes it anymore.

As bad as Obama is, and he is terrible, Gingrich is far more sinister.

The first response was a personal attack by some woman who was trying to silence dissent and label as an “anti-Semite” anyone who disagrees with her, much less mentions Adolf Hitler:

Excuse me sir, do not use Hitler as a comparison to anyone. You are belittling the Holocaust and the memory of all those who were exterminated. You personally offensive and have very evil thoughts, sir.

Instead of being incensed by Gingrich’s treatment of his first two wives, she was taking aim at me.  I have encountered similar attacks and knee-jerk reactions before—and so have many other non-Jews and Jews alike—from those who seek to silence dissent through intimidation, fear, invective, division and discrimination.

See, e.g., http://www.amazon.com/review/R2KIT50GPQDUMR/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Thus, my response was as follows:

Thanks . . . for your comments.

They are totally absurd. I can say whatever I want to say. This is a free country, even though you may not realize that.

Trying to silence freedom of speech and intimidate people is Hitler-esque. Shame on you.

This was followed by messages from the “gate keeper” who runs the Tea Party Nation’s Web site, the first of which was entitled, “Hasta La Vista!”—and I was banned from the Web site:

Your comments have become offensive to many on this site. I have received dozens of complaints concerning your anti-Semitic rantings and use of invoking Adolph [sic] Hitler in comparison to Newt Gingrich. Further research shows you have a long history of inflammatory remarks similar to this.

This may be a country built on Free Speech, but this website is privately owned and we do not have to tolerate your type of nonsense.

Go crawl back in the hole in the ground that you came out of. You disgust me and most of the true patriots that participate here.

You are simply another liberal Paultard spreading your filth and hate and you are no longer welcome here.

Goodbye and good riddance!

I have never made anti-Semitic comments, much less at the Tea Party Nation or any other Web site; and in fact, I take umbrage at such comments.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin’s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao’s-chinese-holocaust/

Also, I am not a Liberal.  However, the next personal attacks by the Tea Party Nation’s “gate keeper” were equally outrageous:

You are nothing more than a Nazi. Are you typing with your sheets on?

There was no question that this person speaks for the Tea Party Nation because I then received a series of private e-mail messages from “the attorney for [the] Tea Party Nation” in Tennessee.  In the final analysis, she apologized for the last personal attacks made by the group’s “gate keeper,” but the apology was personal and the attorney made it very clear that she was not apologizing on behalf of the Tea Party Nation.

Next, I reviewed documents from the State of Tennessee, and learned:

1. The Tea Party Nation Corporation was chartered as a “For-Profit Corporation” on April 21, 2009, by Judson Phillips. Its principal officers were Judson and Sherry Phillips who were its president and secretary, respectively.

2. On October 5, 2011, “Articles of Dissolution” were filed with the State of Tennessee, which were signed by Judson and Sherry Phillips.

3. Neither the Tea Party Nation nor the Tea Party Nation Corporation is registered with the State of Tennessee today—or authorized to do business in Tennessee.

4.  Tennessee requires the registration of both domestic (i.e., Tennessee-chartered) and foreign corporations (i.e., corporations chartered in other States or countries); and under the laws of Tennessee, it is illegal if they fail to do so, yet continue to operate in the State.

The issue is whether the Tea Party Nation is operating illegally today.

[4] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/ronald-reagan-and-john-f-kennedy-a-question-of-character/ (“Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy: A Question of Character”)

[5] See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1965

[6] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ (“The Rise Of Independents”)

[7] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ (“Barack Obama Is A Lame-Duck President Who Will Not Be Reelected”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”) (see also the footnotes and all of the comments beneath both articles)





John F. Kennedy: The Most Despicable President In American History

4 10 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Gannett’s USA Today began publishing its daily newspapers in Washington, D.C., and I have always been proud of the publication and have praised it.  I believed it was one of the finest newspapers in the United States, if not the world; and I have been pleased with its success.  I have encouraged friends, business associates, and acquaintances to read it because of what I believed was objective reporting, or certainly very close to it.

However, I was rudely awakened by its recent series of articles about John F. Kennedy and his family, which were a travesty and a lie.[2] Sadly, USA Today has become a participant in the deliberate distortion of history.  There was not merely one isolated article about the Kennedys, but it was an unprecedented series—which made matters far worse and even more irresponsible.  Whoever approved the series should be fired immediately.  Wholesale distortions of history by a mainstream publication such as this one warrant and, in fact, demand nothing less.

John F. Kennedy was a fraud, pure and simple. When he died, his “image” was frozen in time, but the truth is grotesque. To lionize him like USA Today has done is a crime, and unconscionable.  The once-excellent and seemingly objective USA Today has reached new lows by publishing this series about Kennedy—which is the moral equivalent of running a praiseworthy series of articles about Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin.

USA Today failed to mention that John F. Kennedy was possibly the most morally corrupt and reckless president in American history, who came tragically close to bringing about a “nuclear winter” that might have destroyed the United States and other parts of the world.  Also, he plunged America into the Vietnam war.  USA Today’s entire series would fall like a “house of cards” if the truth about Kennedy and his family had been told, instead of repeating the factual distortions that have been spun since he was assassinated in Dallas.

There have been two outstanding books written about Kennedy and his life, and that of his family: American historian Thomas C. Reeves’ “A Question of Character: A Life of John F. Kennedy”[3] and Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour M. Hersh’s “The Dark Side of Camelot.”[4] First published in 1997, Hersh’s book is a companion to Reeves’ equally fine book, which was published in the same year.  To have two truly outstanding books introduced at the same time, on the same subject, is interesting unto itself.

Like Reeves, Hersh laid bare the myth of “Camelot” for all to see. The Kennedy family and its sycophants have attempted to perpetrate that myth since the day Kennedy was shot—as well as myths surrounding the entire family, which is surely the most dysfunctional family ever to achieve significant political power in American history. Indeed, after reading both books, one wonders whether there was anything decent or moral about the family, certainly the male Kennedys.

Unlike Reeves, Hersh does not mention Ted Kennedy’s culpability in the tragic death of Mary Jo Kopechne in 1969, just as she was about to celebrate her 29th birthday, and the ensuing Kennedy cover-up.  Similarly, Hersh makes scant mention of Marilyn Monroe, with whom both JFK and, after him, Bobby Kennedy had affairs, nor does Hersh discuss the possibility that she was murdered. Instead, he discusses JFK’s long-time relationship with Judith Campbell Exner, as well as his affair with an East German “prostitute” by the name of Ellen Rometsch.

Kennedy’s reckless affairs with women were only outdone by his irresponsible and dangerous relationships with mobsters such as Chicago crime boss Sam Giancana. These two character flaws merged when both Kennedy and Giancana had sexual liaisons with Exner, who was used as their go-between. Indeed, it is doubtful whether Kennedy would have become the president-elect in 1960 if the Mob had not helped him in Illinois and West Virginia—and Giancana claimed credit for that.  Kennedy was the son of a bootlegger, and the apple did not fall far from the tree, with respect to all three Kennedy brothers who entered national politics.

The thread that runs through the writing of Reeves and Hersh, and through JFK’s life, is utter recklessness—which not only endangered his life, but the lives of those with whom he came into contact, and every American. Perhaps the most vivid example is the “Cuban Missile Crisis” that Hersh documents in considerable detail, which might have been averted if JFK and Bobby had used their back-channel communications effectively with the Soviet Union’s Nikita Khrushchev and the Kremlin.

Instead, the two Kennedy brothers turned the crisis into a grand display of American military might—to further JFK’s political ambitions—which constituted recklessness that might have brought about a “nuclear winter.” Hersh states emphatically: “[Jack] Kennedy did not dare tell the full story of the Soviet missiles in Cuba, because it was his policies that brought the weapons there.”[5]

Those Americans who believed in JFK, as yours truly did[6]—and to a lesser extent in Bobby—were deceived and disillusioned with respect to almost every issue. The public perception bears almost no relationship to the actual facts. Indeed, thirty-four years after his death, the American people finally learned the truth about JFK (and his “hatchet man,” Bobby) from these two books and other sources. Even then, as Hersh describes in considerable detail, Kennedy operatives may have destroyed large amounts of historically-important documents.

Vast numbers of documents are still held by the Kennedy Library with respect to both JFK and Bobby, which have never been made available to the public.  This is a scandal unto itself.  Not the least of these are medical records about JFK’s health, which have only been reviewed by a handful of Kennedy “sycophant-like” writers.  Almost 50 years after Kennedy’s death, the full extent of his life-long medical problems is still being withheld from the American people and conservative scholars, and Reeves recounts many of those problems.

The failed “Bay of Pigs” invasion of Cuba, where Fidel Castro humiliated JFK and “the Kennedys,” led to almost 50 years of enslavement for the Cuban people, and repeated attempts by the two Kennedy brothers to have Castro assassinated. This fiasco has potential relevance today—with respect to the presidency of Barack Obama—because, as Hersh describes, there was a “prevailing sense that Kennedy could do no wrong.”[7] In fact, the Kennedy brothers ignored advice from the CIA and the military; and like Lyndon Johnson vis-à-vis later stages of the Vietnam war, they ran the “show” themselves and then tried to blame others when it failed colossally.

Ample mention has been made of JFK’s perpetual “thirst” for women.  Indeed, the three Kennedy brothers, Jack, Bobby and Ted, trashed what was sacred in their Catholic religion, such as the sanctity of marriages.  For them, nothing seemed sacred, ever.  Hersh uses statements from Secret Service agents to describe the president’s penchant for prostitutes, and how they and other women were “procured” by Dave Powers and some of Kennedy’s other “New Frontiersmen.” Jackie Kennedy’s travels were carefully monitored so that she would not return to find the president and women “frolicking” in the White House swimming pool or in the family quarters.

What went on in hotels and private homes, wherever JFK traveled, is described as well. The book also discusses JFK’s venereal disease(s)[8]; and the risks that he and Powers took by cavorting with women who had been waived through routine Secret Service checks without prior clearances, and who might have carried weapons, listening devices, drugs or something similar.

There is no question that Kennedy launched this nation into Vietnam; and his secretary of defense, Robert McNamara, was the architect of that lost war and the enormous suffering that it produced. Almost 60,000 brave Americans died, some of whom were my friends; and it impaled this nation’s honor on the horns of a tragedy that still haunts policy makers and citizens alike. What was not known generally until Hersh’s book is that JFK “had a chance in 1961 to disengage from an American involvement in South Vietnam.”[9] Instead, he chose to go to war, and to spend the blood of young Americans. Hersh states, again emphatically: “Whatever Jack Kennedy’s intentions were, Vietnam was his war, even after his death.”[10]

Hersh describes the constant pressure especially on CIA operatives, which was brought by JFK and Bobby, to have foreign leaders such as Castro killed.  Mob operatives were used with Bobby’s knowledge and involvement, even though as the U.S. Attorney General he was ostensibly prosecuting the Mob. The family patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy’s ties to the Mob are detailed, as well as his ruthlessness and penchant for women.  JFK’s first marriage to Durie Malcolm is also described, and his father’s efforts to expunge the record.

Hersh discusses how Bobby and Jackie believed that JFK was struck down by a “domestic conspiracy,” probably involving Mob boss Giancana or others.[11] However, Hersh states: “Robert Kennedy did nothing to pursue the truth behind his brother’s death [in 1963]. . . . The price of a full investigation was much too high: making public the truth about President Kennedy and the Kennedy family. It was this fear, certainly, that kept Robert Kennedy from testifying before the Warren Commission.”[12] Aside from prostitutes and other women, and close Mafioso ties and health issues, and the presidential election in 1960 that was stolen from Richard M. Nixon, Hersh details “cash payments” that JFK requested and received—which monies were ostensibly used to buy Ellen Rometsch’s “silence.”

A footnote in history, perhaps, but a very important one is that JFK hurt his back cavorting in a West Coast swimming pool. He was “forced to wear a stiff brace that stretched from his shoulders to his crotch.” As Hersh concludes: “The brace would keep the president upright for the bullets of Lee Harvey Oswald.”[13] Hence, JFK’s sexual escapades may have contributed to his tragic death.

Today, Kennedy is not someone to look up to, much less deify, as many of us thought when he was president. That conclusion was reached reluctantly by lots of Americans, years ago, with a sense of sadness rather than anger.  Like the potentate in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” the myth about Kennedy and his feet of clay have become clear for all to see with the passage of time.[14]

Greatness is often achieved in times of war, and Kennedy never won the war with Cuba, much less the Vietnam war that he started, nor did he win the Cold War—which Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush won.  Kennedy was a tragic Shakespearean figure who may be forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history, in no small part because of the question of character that both Reeves and Hersh described brilliantly in their terrific books.

USA Today’s series of articles extolling the virtues of Kennedy and his family are shameful, and constitute the gross distortion of history.  Indeed, they seem to represent yet another attempt by America’s discredited Left to glorify its politicians, regardless of how corrupt and immoral they may be.

Few young Americans even know who John F. Kennedy was—or care about him—because less than a handful of his positive accomplishments had any lasting significance.  Like former President William McKinley before him, the fact that an assassin cut short Kennedy’s life and presidency might be all that Americans recall about him 50 years from now.[15]

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2] See http://specials.usatoday.com/jfk/

[3] See http://www.amazon.com/Question-Character-Life-John-Kennedy/dp/0029259657/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0 and http://www.amazon.com/Question-Character-Life-John-Kennedy/product-reviews/0029259657/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending#R2SDUMI20EEA8Z

[4] See http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Side-Camelot-Seymour-Hersh/dp/0316359556 and http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Side-Camelot-Seymour-Hersh/product-reviews/0316359556/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending#R3Q8NBIYKP5W01

[5] See Seymour M. Hersh, “The Dark Side of Camelot,” p. 343.

[6] Although I was not old enough to vote for him, I was in the Los Angeles Coliseum and watched while he delivered his acceptance speech at the close of the Democrats’ convention in 1960.  Also, despite growing up in a “devoutly” Republican family, I registered to vote as a Democrat when I was able to do so, largely because of him.

After law school at Berkeley—where I had walked out of one of my classrooms to learn that he had been shot in Dallas—I spent two years at the Pentagon and had an excellent offer to return thereafter to a wonderful law firm in San Francisco, for which I had worked briefly before entering the Army.  Instead, I went to work on Capitol Hill, in no small part because of Kennedy and the call to government service that his words engendered (e.g., “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country”).

In short, Kennedy had changed the course of my life, which is why the truth about his life—and the fraud that was “Camelot”—needs to be exposed, not covered up or papered over as USA Today has done so irresponsibly.

[7] Id at  202.

[8] Id at 230.

[9] Id at 265.

[10] Id at 437.

I know an outstanding reporter with impeccable, world-class credentials who is based in Washington, D.C.  This person covered the Vietnam war and other wars up to and including the present day.  I admire and respect the person’s experience, opinions and judgment greatly.  In an e-mail message that I received on July 29, 2010, the person wrote:

Tim, [w]e won the Vietnam war – and Congress lost it.

Let me explain.

Last US soldier left Vietnam March 29, 1973.

Saigon fell April 15, 1975.

ARVN – South Vietnamese army – did very well on its own for two years with US military assistance, but no US soldiers, not even as advisers to ARVN.

Then Congress, in its infinite wisdom, cut off all further military aid to Saigon.

ARVN saw no point in continuing to fight, stabbed in the back by the US Congress.

Gen. Giap, in his memoirs, says Hanoi was taken by surprise by what Congress did because they thought that taking Saigon would not be within their reach for two more years.

So Giap improvised an offensive – and Saigon fell without a fight.

I have no reason to believe that this person’s assessment is inaccurate in any respect.  I will not disclose the person’s identity while he or she is alive, certainly without permission to do so.

[11] Id at 450.

[12] Id at 456.

[13] Id at 439.

[14] See, e.g., http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Emperor’s_New_Clothes

[15] See also Timothy D. Naegele, “Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy: A Question of Character”—https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/ronald-reagan-and-john-f-kennedy-a-question-of-character/





Russia’s Putin Is A Killer

9 02 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Russia’s dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin is every bit as sinister and evil as Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Mao Tse-tung.[2] He is a ruthless killer—of his own people and others, and of the human spirit.  Recently, he warned against despotism and chaos in Russia[3], which is equivalent to Hitler warning against the death camps, or Stalin and Mao warning against the ravages of communism.  Putin is the face of America’s enemies today, personified, as well as the enemy of free peoples everywhere.  He is responsible for the dismantling of Russia’s incipient democracy.[4] Despots like him are destroyed ultimately.  However, in the interim, the death and destruction they bring about are savage, barbaric and tragic.  Like a Mob boss, Putin is apt to die a cruel and horrible death, mirroring the cruelty that he and his ex-KGB lackeys have brought to so many in Russia and elsewhere.

He was born in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg; and he joined the KGB officially when he was 23, and rose through its ranks.  He came to prominence as a KGB operative in East Germany—or the DDR, as it was known before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Erich Honecker’s government—which was one of the most repressive regimes in the Soviet Union’s orbit, or the Evil Empire.  Russia has a brutal history, especially since the rise of communism; and Putin is a product of that system.  Stalin and Mao were the most ruthless killers of their own people[5], and that is Putin’s heritage.  He learned his craft well; and he must be viewed in this context, not as some Westernized Russian democrat, which he is not.  Under Putin, Stalin’s reputation has undergone a renaissance, despite being the killer of more than 30 million men, women and children who were his own countrymen.[6] Putin is Stalin’s heir.

Some people argue there is a “soft side” to Putin, and that he has been principled and acted in the best interests of Russia.  Indeed, it is argued that he fended off his ex-KGB lackeys in the selection of Dmitry Medvedev as Russia’s President, when Putin was ineligible to run for a third consecutive presidential term because of constitutionally-mandated term limits.  Stalin, Hitler and Mao had soft sides too.  Like Putin, they smiled and were shown in “photo ops” befriending children and women.  In reality, they were butchers just as Putin is.  Yes, the numbers of innocent people killed may differ among the four of them.  However, each one brutally repressed democratic forces, systematically killed their own countrymen and others, and decimated the human spirit.[7] When Putin was coming to power, I was told by an old friend on Capitol Hill that he was a “smoother version” of Stalin, and I will never forget those prescient and ominous words.

Russia is not a Third World country today, but it is close—and certainly it is no longer a superpower.  Based on its gross domestic product (GDP), it ranks behind Italy, Brazil, Spain and Canada; and it is less than nine percent the size of the United States.[8] Its military expenditures are 9.5 percent of the American spending[9]; and its antiquated Soviet-era conscript military was on display in Georgia.  Indeed, Putin left the Olympic games in Beijing and traveled to the Georgian border, where he directed the Kremlin’s cruel aggression against its vastly smaller neighbor.  Today, the U.S. military has no peers; and when arrayed against “paper tigers” and backlot bullies like Putin’s Russia, Americans can be proud of what George W. Bush accomplished.

He kept American safe and strong; however, there are serious questions whether Barack Obama is building on and not diminishing that strength.  The idea that the U.S. and Russia would agree in principle on a deal to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start) with a new agreement that would cut each side’s nuclear arsenal is absurd.[10] The Russians cannot be trusted; and Obama’s weakness is on display when he cuts any deals with Putin.  China must be America’s focus of attention, not the backwater country of Russia.  China must be included in any agreement, or else the cart is placed before the horse.  Also, Obama surrendered to Putin by scrapping Bush’s proposed antiballistic missile shield for Eastern Europe—in the Czech Republic and Poland—which emboldened Putin and sent the worst signals possible to our allies in “New Europe.”[11]

Those who “scold” Putin are subjected to harsh dictatorial rebukes, at the very least.[12] His treatment of others is strikingly similar to how Stalin, Hitler and Mao treated their adversaries.  Prison without trial—or “kangaroo trials”—has been commonplace.[13] More often than not, they disappear or are ruthlessly killed to send loud and clear messages to those who challenge the dictator, or otherwise might be considered “enemies of the state.”  Like Stalin before him, the full extent of Putin’s atrocities will never be known; and his “fingerprints” will not be found on the “murder weapons.”  However, make no mistake about it: none of it would have happened without him.

In addition to what has been described above, it is useful to catalog some of the more heinous crimes and horrors that have happened since he came to power, for which he is responsible directly or indirectly:

•  Russian apartment bombings in September 1999, which led the country into the Second Chechen War, and brought Putin to power.[14]

•  The assassination in London of former Russian state security officer Alexander Litvinenko who claimed, inter alia, that Putin ordered the Russian apartment bombings.[15]

•  The Dioxin poisoning of Victor Yushchenko, which left the Ukrainian President’s face greatly disfigured, jaundiced, bloated, and pockmarked.[16]

•  The brutal “Second Chechen War,” in which Russian troops entered Chechnya and took control over the country, with unofficial estimates ranging from 25,000 to 50,000 dead or having “disappeared.”[17]

•  A widespread crackdown on media freedoms, with Russian reporters being killed and muzzled—such as the shooting death of Anna Politkovskaya[18]—and media outlets being shut down.[19]

•  Miscellaneous jailings, killings and disappearances—including one of Putin’s mistresses.[20]

At some point in time, he will be eliminated and disappear from the pages of history, just like so many other two-bit, tinhorn despots before him.  Again, it is apt to happen violently, in an instant.  Regardless of how he departs, one can only hope that it happens soon—and his reign of terror and that of his ex-KGB lackeys ends, like it did for Stalin, Hitler, Mao and their thugs.  The sooner the better.[21]

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele

See alsoThe Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass), the first black senator since Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War.  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates (www.naegele.com).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years.  See, e.g.www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles

[2] See, e.g.http://www.naegele.com/documents/StalinMaoHolocausts.pdf

[3] See http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.4578e814909f0ad722594e6c798584f9.4c1&show_article=1

[4] See, e.g., http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-fg-russia-democracy24-2010jan24,0,3025105,full.story (“[A] democracy museum about Putin, the man whose ascent to power was marked by the loss of a free press, the unsolved killings of political critics and harsh crackdowns on antigovernment protests”)

[5] See, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/documents/StalinMaoHolocausts.pdf (“Aside from ordering the killing of those in the Soviet hierarchy, it is estimated that Stalin was responsible for the deaths of more than 30 million men, women and children—his own countrymen—including millions during the collectivization of the Soviet farms in the 1930s.  . . .  [A]s the Soviets moved through Germany, they raped at least two million German women in what is now acknowledged as the largest case of mass rape in history.”)

[6] See id.

[7] See, e.g., http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118463398015768385.html?mod=googlenews_wsj (“Russia has become, in the precise sense of the word, a fascist state.  It does not matter here, as the Kremlin’s apologists are so fond of pointing out, that Mr. Putin is wildly popular in Russia: Popularity is what competent despots get when they destroy independent media, stoke nationalistic fervor with military buildups and the cunning exploitation of the Church, and ride a wave of petrodollars to pay off the civil service and balance their budgets.  Nor does it matter that Mr. Putin hasn’t re-nationalized the ‘means of production’ outright; corporatism was at the heart of Hitler’s economic policy, too.”)

[8] See, e.g., https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2195.html (2009 est.) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29 (2009 est.)

[9] See, e.g., http://www.sipri.org/yearbook/2009/05/05A and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures#Chart_by_country_or_organization

[10] See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7013042.ece; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/

[11] See, e.g., http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/18/world/europe/18shield.html; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama; https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/barack-obama-america%E2%80%99s-second-emperor; https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start; http://www.philstockworld.com/2009/10/11/greenspan%E2%80%99s-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/

[12] See, e.g., http://www.kyivpost.com/news/russia/detail/58572/ (“Few Russians in positions of power dare to openly criticise Putin. . . .”); http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6145UJ20100205 (“Putin told the leaders [of his United Russia party] to warn voters of the consequences of voting for untried opposition parties.  United Russia must always explain that ‘proper and well organized leaders are always capable of solving any problems and that in the absence of such leaders, anarchy prevails,’ he said.”)

One of the “untried opposition parties” to which Putin was referring is former World Chess Champion—many people consider him the greatest chess player of all time—Garry Kasparov’s “The Other Russia,” a coalition that opposes Putin’s government.  See http://www.theotherrussia.org/ Indeed, Kasparov has vowed to “restore democracy” to Russia by toppling Putin, of whom he is an outspoken critic.

Kasparov has said: “An anti-democratic regime can be neither reformed nor modernized; it can only be dismantled.  All the hope that goes into finding a way to somehow reform or perfect the current system is in vain.  It’s impossible, because the essence of the system will remain the same.”  See http://www.theotherrussia.org/2010/02/03/kasparov-russias-european-choice/ He adds: “After a year and a half of [Dmitry] Medvedev’s tenure as president of Russia, Putin’s authoritarian regime has only become more severe.”  See id.

[13] See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Vladimir_Putin#Relations_with_.22oligarchs.22 (e.g., the criminal prosecution and imprisonment of Russia’s richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, president of Yukos oil company, as payback for his support of Putin’s opponents); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Khodorkovsky

[14] See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Vladimir_Putin#Domestic_terrorism_accusations (“The chain of command was as follows: Putin (former director of the secret service, future president) – Patrushev (Putin’s successor as director of the secret service) – secret service General German Ugryumov (director of the counter-terrorism department).  Maxim Lazovsky (the owner of Lanako, the company that employed the secret service agents behind the 1994-5 terrorist attacks) and Lieutenant-Colonel Abubakar were two secret service operatives directly responsible for the practical organization of the bombings.” [Yuri Felshtinsky and Vladimir Pribylovsky, “The Age of Assassins. The Rise and Rise of Vladimir Putin,” Gibson Square Books, London, 2008, p. 106]); see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Putin

[15] See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Vladimir_Putin#Domestic_terrorism_accusations; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blowing_up_Russia:_Terror_from_within and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lubyanka_Criminal_Group; see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Litvinenko

[16] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Yushchenko#Dioxin_poisoning (“On September 27, 2009 Yushchenko said in an interview . . . that the testimony of the three men who were at a dinner in 2004 at which he believes he was poisoned were staying in Russia.  Ukrainian prosecutors said Russia has refused to extradite one of the men, the former deputy chief of Ukraine’s security service, Volodymyr Satsyuk, because he holds both Russia and Ukrainian citizenship.”)

[17] See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Chechen_War; see also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chechnya#Human_rights (“In 2006 Human Rights Watch reported that pro-Moscow Chechen forces under the effective command of President Ramzan Kadyrov, as well as federal police personnel, used torture to get information about separatist forces.  ‘If you are detained in Chechnya, you face a real and immediate risk of torture.  And there is little chance that your torturer will be held accountable,’ said Holly Cartner, Director Europe and Central Asia division of HRW.”); http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2006/11/12/chechnya-research-shows-widespread-and-systematic-use-torture; see id. (“On July 1, 2009, Amnesty International released a detailed report covering the human rights violations committed by the Russian Federation against Chechnyan citizens.  Among the most prominent features was that those abused had no method of redress against assaults, ranging from kidnapping to torture, while those responsible were never held accountable.  This lead to the conclusion that Chechnya was being ruled without law, being run into further devastating destabilization.”); see http://www.naegele.com/documents/AmnestyInternational-RussianFederation-Rulewithoutlaw.pdf

[18] See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Vladimir_Putin#Allegations_of_political_assassinations_and_muzzling_of_reporters (“On October 7, 2006, Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist who ran a campaign exposing corruption in the Russian army and its conduct in Chechnya, and a strong critic of Putin and the FSB, whom she had accused of trying to set up a Soviet-style dictatorship, was killed.  She was shot dead in the elevator of her apartment building in Moscow.”); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Politkovskaya

The Federal Security Service—or FSB—is the main domestic security agency of the Russian Federation, and the successor agency of the dreaded Soviet-era Cheka, NKVD and KGB.

[19] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alina_Kabayeva#Marriage_controversy

[20] See, e.g., http://news.oneindia.in/2010/02/08/mumof-vladimir-putins-love-childvanishes.html (“The woman who gave birth to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s love child[, Russian gymnast, Alina Kabayeva,] is said to have vanished”); see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alina_Kabayeva#Marriage_controversy; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Putin#Family_and_personal_life

[21] See alsohttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/12/georgia (Obama adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski has described Putin as “following a course that is horrifyingly similar to that taken by Stalin and Hitler in the 1930s”)





The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust

6 02 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1][2]

Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung were the most ruthless killers of their own people in the 20th Century, and perhaps in the entire history of mankind.  They were responsible for the world’s deadliest holocausts—or the mass destruction of human beings—yet their victims have never been identified or honored.  It is time for the silent voices of those who died to be heard, and for these human tragedies of epic proportions to be recognized fully.

The famous Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal once spoke about the duty owed by survivors of the Nazi Holocaust to Jews and non-Jews alike to insure that other holocausts did not occur again, and of course he was correct.  Memorials have been erected to those who died at the hands of Adolf Hitler’s thugs.  However, those noncombatants who were killed by Japan prior to and during World War II, and by the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot in Cambodia, and in Africa and elsewhere are forgotten.

Saddam Hussein’s brutality with respect to the Kurds and Iranians, and those Kuwaitis whose fate has only been determined recently in shallow Iraqi graves, pales beside that of Stalin who was Hussein’s hero.  Aside from ordering the killing of those in the Soviet hierarchy, it is estimated that Stalin was responsible for the deaths of more than 30 million men, women and children—his own countrymen—including millions during the collectivization of the Soviet farms in the 1930s.

History has focused on Hitler’s rise to power during that period, and his atrocities in the Nazi death camps and on the battlefields of World War II.  Memorials have been erected to the fallen of many nations that brought an end to his cherished dream of a “Thousand Year Reich,” and to the Jews who were persecuted and systematically killed by the Nazis.  However, there are no memorials or tributes to those who perished under Stalin.

He was revered in the former Soviet Union for having defeated Hitler on his Eastern Front, and for the Red Army’s capture of Berlin—even though as the Soviets moved through Germany, they raped at least two million German women in what is now acknowledged as the largest case of mass rape in history.  As the truth about him became known following his death, a program of “de-Stalinization” was implemented.  However, never in the Soviet Union’s history were steps taken to honor fully those whose only crime was working on the land.  They were peasant farmers, most of them, but they stood in the way of “progress,” Soviet-style.  To increase agricultural production and to implement the multi-year plans that were being devised for their confiscated farms, which became state-owned lands, they were expendable—and liquidated.

For such a colossal crime to go “unnoticed” outside of the Soviet Union can only be explained by the gathering storm clouds of World War II, and the march of Germany and Japan, which focused the world’s attention elsewhere.  China and other parts of Asia came under attack and were later occupied by Japan, while Hitler marched into Poland and then conquered Europe.  Straddling the Atlantic and Pacific with Hitler in the East and Japan in the West, and still dealing with the Great Depression’s aftermath, the United States was preoccupied prior to World War II.  Also, there was a strong sense of isolationism—that America was an island, bounded by the Atlantic and Pacific—which militated against our involvement in the Soviet Union’s “internal affairs.”

China’s Mao Tse-tung was directly responsible for an estimated 30-40 million deaths between 1958 and 1960, as a result of what Mao’s regime hailed as the “Great Leap Forward.”  Like Stalin, Mao’s crimes involved Chinese peasants, many of whom died of hunger from man-made famines under collectivist orders that stripped them of all private possessions.  The Communist Party forbade them even to cook food at home; private fires were outlawed; and their harvests were taken by the state.  Those who dared to question Mao’s agricultural policies—which sought to maximize food output by dispossessing the nation’s most productive farmers—were tortured, sent to labor camps, or executed.

More than 60 million human beings are forgotten, seemingly having disappeared without a trace in the Soviet and Chinese Holocausts of the 20th Century, as if they never existed or were swallowed up by history.  Yet they did exist, and they might have produced descendants numbering in the hundreds of millions today.  One can only conjecture as to the contributions they would have made to mankind, which are forever lost like the contributions of those Jews, Gypsies and others who were killed in the Nazi Holocaust, and by Japan, and by Pol Pot, and in Africa.

Approximately 70 years have passed since this human tragedy of epic proportions occurred in the Soviet Union.  Approximately 25 years have passed since the comparable tragedy occurred in China.  It is time for the world to pay tribute to more than 60 million people who perished under Stalin and Mao.  While the precise numbers of the victims may never been known, each of us has a duty to honor their memories and take steps to insure that holocausts do not occur anywhere again.  China, Russia and the other former Soviet-bloc countries whose citizens numbered among the silent voices must take the lead, and other nations must join as well.

It is possible that relatives and people who knew those who died are still alive today, and can bear witness to what happened and give new meaning to their lives.  However, the likelihood of that being true diminishes with each passing day, and it is a race against the clock before they too are gone—certainly in the case of those who might remember victims of the Soviet Holocaust.  It is time for the silent voices to be heard again, so they are not forgotten, which would compound their catastrophic fate.

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass), the first black senator since Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War.  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates (www.naegele.com).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years.  See, e.g.www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles

[2] This article was published first at MensNewsDaily.com on August 9, 2005.  See http://www.naegele.com/documents/StalinMaoHolocausts.pdf

Because more than four years have passed, the number of relatives and other people who knew those who perished, and can bear witness to what happened and give new meaning to their lives, has continued to diminish.  It is even more of a race against the clock before they are gone too, which would compound the catastrophic fate of those who were victims of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust and Mao’s Chinese Holocaust.

Russia’s dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin is every bit as sinister and evil as Stalin, and it is unlikely that he will be of any help in such an effort.





Alexander the Great

17 01 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

In the pantheon of the greatest human beings who ever lived, in terms of influencing the history of the world, Jesus Christ “ranks” number one and Alexander the Great ranks number two, for similar albeit different reasons.  Both influenced history more than others, and died at essentially the same age, 33.  Jesus changed Man’s perception of his relationship to God and thereby “conquered” much of the world, while Alexander’s territorial conquests spread democracy and the assimilation of disparate cultures.  Both were remarkable leaders who possessed super-human qualities, including wisdom and fearlessness.

In a sense their lives were intertwined, for without the common language of Greek, Christianity might not have spread beyond Judea to become a world religion.  The Roman Empire and the long centuries of Byzantium are all said to be the fruits of Alexander’s achievements too.  In his short life, this young king and student of Aristotle conquered the known world as far as India to the east—”at the farthest end of Earth”—and changed the course of history.  Among the ages, he is a giant; a man who became a mythic god.

As a general, Alexander (or Alexander III of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.) is considered to be among the greatest the world has ever known.  His conquests dwarf those of other conquerors, such as Julius Caesar, Napoleon and Hitler.  He was recognized as pharaoh (or god incarnate) of Egypt; and his general Ptolemy founded the fabled Egyptian dynasty that ended with the death of Cleopatra (who was named for Alexander’s full sister[2]), the last of the Ptolemies.  Alexander’s wife, Roxane, is a story of love and alliances—and of their son, born posthumously, who succeeded him.

Even the taming of his great black stallion, Bucephalas—which his father Philip had proclaimed unmanageable to the youth of 12, and which became Alexander’s loyal companion during his campaigns on three continents, as far as India—has been immortalized in history and legend, and in movies such as Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Black Stallion.”  According to tradition, Alexander also solved the riddle of the “Gordian knot”—a rope knotted so intricately that whoever could undo it was to rule Asia—by cutting it with his sword.

Alexander’s numerous acts of both savagery and gallantry in war have been chronicled throughout recorded history, such that 2,300 years after his death he often appears more like a mythic figure than a man of flesh and blood.  His conquests ushered in what has been called the Hellenistic Age—or the “Golden Age”—dating from his death in 323 B.C. to 31 B.C. when Ptolemaic Egypt fell to Rome, a period in which the Greek culture and language spread through northern Africa and southwestern Asia, creating an era that has been described as the first giant step toward the establishment of an international culture.

At the time of his death, his empire stretched from Albania, the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, the Danube and the Black Sea in the north, through Asia Minor, Mesopotamia and what was the Persian Empire, to Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Punjab of India in the east, and encompassing strategic parts of present-day Libya, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

Born around July 20, 356, at Pella in Macedonia[3], west of what is now Thessaloniki in the rugged northern reaches of Greece—in the shadow of Mount Olympus, the home of the gods—he was the son of Philip II, king of Macedonia, and Olympias, daughter of the king of Epirus.  Philip was considered one of the most brilliant generals of his day[4], whose family had ruled Macedonia for more than 300 years.  Alexander is said to have owed much of his tactical genius to his father, although emotionally he is considered to have been closer to his strong-willed, proud and ruthless mother.  Philip was married at least seven times; and after his death, it is said that Olympias roasted his last and youngest wife alive.

From his mother, Alexander acquired a belief that he was a descendant of Achilles, the legendary hero of his beloved Iliad by Homer, whose code was upheld by warriors: Glory in war was life’s highest honor.  Plutarch, who wrote a biography of Alexander in the first century A.D., noted that “[h]e regarded the Iliad as a handbook of the art of war and took with him on his campaigns a text annotated by Aristotle which he always kept under his pillow together with a dagger.”  Alexander was groomed by Philip to inherit his kingdom; and Philip acquired Aristotle, a former student of Plato, who became Alexander’s tutor and taught him philosophy, medicine, and scientific investigation from age 13 to 16.  Also, Alexander was reared among his father’s hard-drinking professional soldiers, and hunters.

In 340, during his father’s attack on Byzantium, he was left in charge of Macedonia.  He defeated the Maedi, a Thracian people; and two years later, at the age of 18, he commanded the Companion Cavalry, Macedonia’s elite mounted unit, at the Battle of Chaeronea in which Philip decisively defeated an alliance of Athenian, Theban and other Greek forces.  Taking advantage of a break in the enemy line, Alexander is said to have displayed personal courage in leading the attack against Thebes’ legendary crack unit, the Sacred Band.[5]

A year later Philip divorced Olympias; and after a quarrel at a feast held to celebrate his father’s new marriage, Alexander and his mother fled to Epirus, and he subsequently went to Illyria. Shortly afterward, father and son were reconciled and Alexander returned to Macedonia, where he spent all but 11 years of his short life.  In 336, however, on Philip’s assassination by a bodyguard[6], Alexander at 20—supported by the army—installed himself on his father’s throne.

He at once executed those who were alleged to be behind Philip’s murder, along with all possible rivals and the faction that was opposed to him. He then marched south, recovered a wavering Thessaly, and at an assembly of the Greek League at Corinth was appointed generalissimo for the forthcoming invasion of Asia, already planned and initiated by Philip whose ultimate goal was to attack Persia, Greece’s old enemy across the Aegean Sea.

Before turning to Persia, whose wealth was needed if he was to maintain the army that Philip had built and pay off 500 talents that he owed—and following a rumor of his death that precipitated a revolt of Theban democrats—Alexander marched 240 miles in 14 days from Pelion (near modern Korçë, Albania) in Illyria to Thebes.  When the Thebans refused to surrender, he entered and razed their city to the ground; 6,000 were killed, and all survivors were sold into slavery; and the other Greek states were cowed by this savagery.

The Persian expedition and the Battle of Issus

In 334 B.C., Alexander crossed the Hellespont—the strait known today as the Dardanelles—to Asia Minor and set out for Troy, leaving Antipater, who had faithfully served his father, as his deputy in Europe with more than 13,000 men.  Alexander himself commanded more than 5,000 cavalry and 30,000 infantry, as he began his campaign against Persia whose empire extended from modern Turkey to Pakistan.

At the fall of Troy, Alexander and his closest companion, Hephaestion, paid tribute to the great Homeric warrior Achilles, by anointing altars at his alleged tomb with oil and offering sacrifices.  Indeed, it has been said that blood was the characteristic of Alexander’s whole campaign, and that there is nothing comparable in ancient history except Julius Caesar in Gaul.

He confronted the Persians first at the Granicus River (now the Kocabas), northeast of Troy, in May of 334.  The Persians were arrayed on high ground with approximately 15,000 cavalry and 16,000 infantry, a third of them Greek mercenaries.  The Persian plan to tempt Alexander across the river and kill him almost succeeded.  Alexander, ignoring the advice of his father’s general Parmenion to delay the attack, forged into the river and up the steep opposing bank to where the Persians waited.  However, in hand-to-hand combat, he and his men were able to break the enemy lines and surround the mercenaries of the Persian king, Darius III, and Alexander’s victory was complete.  The mercenaries were largely massacred, except for 2,000 survivors who were sent back to Macedonia in chains.

In addition to having his father’s Companion Cavalry, Alexander had the Macedonian phalanx that had been refined by Philip into a highly mobile unit of foot soldiers armed with wooden thrusting pikes up to 16 feet long.  It was the length of these pikes—as much as nine feet longer than the average spear—that protected Alexander’s men as they climbed the river bank from their vulnerable position below the Persians, according to one account.  This victory at Granicus exposed western Asia Minor to the Macedonians; most cities opened their gates; and in contrast to Macedonian policy in Greece, democracies were installed—on the condition that they were obedient to Alexander.

While the Persian forces fled inland, Alexander and his army marched triumphantly along the coast, liberating the region’s Greek cities from their Persian rulers.  By the winter of 334-333, Alexander conquered western Asia Minor.  Darius and his Persian army advanced northward, and intelligence on both sides was faulty.  Alexander was already encamped near modern Iskenderun, Turkey, when he learned in the fall of 333 that Darius was at Issus, north of Alexander’s position, near the present-day Turkish-Syrian border.  Turning, Alexander found Darius drawn up along the Pinarus River; and in the battle that followed, Alexander won a decisive victory.

Exhausted from a two-day march, Alexander’s men were outnumbered: a Macedonian force of about 50,000, to as many as 70,000 Persians.  Nonetheless, Alexander rallied his troops and led the charge into the Persian lines.  It is said that amidst the dust and savagery of battle, Alexander spotted Darius in his war chariot and made straight for him, followed by his cavalry.  Darius fled; the struggle turned into a Persian rout, leaving Darius’ family in Alexander’s hands; and on Alexander’s orders, the Persian king’s wife and daughters were not harmed.  Yet, at 23, Alexander had met the great King of Persia and defeated him.

Conquest of the Mediterranean coast and Egypt

From Issus, Alexander marched south along the Mediterranean coast, into Syria and Phoenicia, his object being to isolate the Persian fleet from its bases and destroy it as an effective fighting force.  City after city allied to Persia surrendered to him; and Alexander’s second in command, Parmenion, who had secured a foothold in Asia Minor during Philip’s lifetime, was sent ahead to secure Damascus and its rich booty including Darius’ war chest.  In response to a letter from Darius offering peace, Alexander replied arrogantly, recapitulating the historic wrongs of Greece by Persia and demanding unconditional surrender to himself as lord of Asia.

He met his first resistance at Tyre, an island city located a mile offshore, which was a strategic site because of its fabled sea power.  Alexander’s forces included a special engineering unit similar to the modern American Seabees, and they began constructing a causeway to the island.  While his siege of Tyre was in progress, Darius sent a new offer: he would pay a huge ransom of 10,000 talents for his family and cede all his lands west of the Euphrates.  “I would accept,” Parmenion is reported to have said, “were I Alexander”—”I too,” was the famous retort, “were I Parmenion.”

The storming of Tyre in July of 332 is considered to be Alexander’s greatest military achievement; however, it was attended with great carnage and the sale of the women and children into slavery.  It took Alexander seven months to conquer the city; and when his Macedonians triumphed, it is said of Tyre that 7,000 were slain outright, 2,000 young men were crucified, and 30,000 sold into slavery.  Leaving Parmenion in Syria, Alexander advanced south without opposition until he reached Gaza.  There, bitter resistance halted him for two months, and he sustained a serious shoulder wound during a sortie.[7]

In November of 332, after neutralizing Persian allies along the way, Alexander reached Egypt where the people welcomed him as their deliverer, and the Persian satrap wisely surrendered.  At Memphis, Alexander was crowned with the traditional double crown of the pharaohs; the native priests were placated, and their religion was encouraged.  He spent the winter organizing Egypt, where he employed Egyptian governors, keeping the army under a separate Macedonian command.  He founded Alexandria, one of the greatest cities of its time, near the western arm of the Nile on a site between the sea and Lake Mareotis, protected by the island of Pharos, and had it laid out by a Rhodian architect.  He is also said to have sent an expedition to discover the causes of the flooding of the Nile.

From Alexandria, he trekked inland to visit the famed Oracle of the god Ammon, in its lush oasis at Siwah.  Hoping to confirm his divine status and secure favorable omens for his invasion of Asia, the priest gave him the traditional salutation of a pharaoh, as the son of Ammon, a title that fueled his growing sense of invincibility.  It is said that throughout his campaigns, he made daily sacrifices to sway the gods.

His conquest of Egypt had completed his control of the whole eastern Mediterranean coast; and in July of 331, Alexander was on the Euphrates.  Instead of taking the direct route down the river to Babylon, he traveled across northern Mesopotamia toward the Tigris; and Darius, learning of this move from an advance force, marched up the Tigris to oppose him.  The decisive battle of the war was fought on the plain of Gaugamela, between Nineveh and Arbela.  Alexander pursued the defeated Persian forces for 35 miles to Arbela, but Darius escaped with his cavalry and Greek mercenaries into Media.

Alexander now occupied Babylon, city and province. Susa, the capital, also surrendered, releasing huge treasures amounting to 50,000 gold talents.  Here, Alexander established Darius’ family in comfort; and he pressed on into Persia proper.  At Persepolis, he ceremonially burned down the palace of Xerxes, as a symbol that the Panhellenic war of revenge was at an end.  In the spring of 330, Alexander marched north into Media and occupied its capital.  The Thessalians and Greek allies were sent home; and henceforth, it is said that he was waging a purely personal war.

Alexander’s views on the empire were changing.  He had come to envisage a joint ruling class consisting of Macedonians and Persians, and this served to augment the misunderstanding that now arose between his Macedonians and him.  Before continuing his pursuit of Darius, who had retreated into Bactria, he assembled all the Persian treasure and entrusted it to Harpalus; and Parmenion was also left behind in Media to control communications.   In midsummer 330, Alexander set out for the eastern provinces “at a high speed” via modern Rayy (near Tehran) and the Caspian Gates, where he learned that Bessus, the satrap of Bactria, had Darius stabbed and left him to die.  Alexander sent his body for burial with honors in the royal tombs at Persepolis.

Campaign eastward, to Central Asia

Darius’ death left no obstacle to Alexander’s claim to be “lord of Asia”—of the Persian Empire.  He also accepted the surrender of Darius’ Greek mercenaries.  His advance eastward was now rapid, and he founded Alexandria of the Arians (modern Herat).  At Phrada, he took steps to destroy Parmenion and his family as well.  Parmenion’s son, commander of the elite Companion Cavalry that Alexander had once commanded, was implicated in an alleged plot against Alexander’s life; he was condemned by the army, and executed; and a secret message was sent to Parmenion’s second in command, who obediently assassinated him.  This ruthless action excited widespread horror but strengthened Alexander’s position relative to his critics and those whom he regarded as his father’s men.  All of Parmenion’s adherents were now eliminated, and men close to Alexander were promoted.

From Phrada, Alexander pressed on during the winter of 330-329, over the mountains past the site of modern Kabul, Afghanistan, into the country of the Paropamisadae, where he founded Alexandria by the Caucasus.  Bessus was now in Bactria raising a national revolt with the usurped title of Great King.  Crossing the Hindu Kush northward over the Khawak Pass (11,650 feet), Alexander brought his army, despite food shortages, to Drapsaca.  Outflanked, Bessus fled and Alexander sent his general Ptolemy in pursuit; Bessus was captured, flogged, and sent to Balkh[8], where he was mutilated after the Persian manner (losing his nose and ears); and in due course he was publicly executed.

From modern Samarkand, Alexander advanced to the Jaxartes, the boundary of the Persian Empire.  There he broke the opposition of Scythian nomads by his use of catapults and, after defeating them in a battle on the north bank of the river, pursued them into the interior.  On the site of modern Leninabad (Khojent) on the Jaxartes, he founded a city, Alexandria Eschate, “the farthest.”  It took Alexander until the autumn of 328 to crush the most determined opponent he encountered in his campaigns.

Later in the same year, he attacked Oxyartes and the remaining barons who held out in the hills of modern Tadzhikistan.  Volunteers seized the crag on which Oxyartes had his stronghold, and among the captives was his daughter, Roxane.  In reconciliation Alexander married her, and the rest of his opponents were either won over or crushed.

At Maracanda (or modern Samarkand), an incident occurred that widened the breach between Alexander and many of his Macedonians.  He murdered Cleitus, one of his most trusted commanders, in a drunken quarrel, but his excessive display of remorse led the army to pass a decree convicting Cleitus posthumously of treason. The event marked a step in Alexander’s progress toward Eastern absolutism, and this growing attitude found its outward expression in his use of Persian royal dress.

Shortly afterward, at Balkh, he attempted to impose the Persian court ceremonial—involving prostration (or what has been described as a “courtly kiss”)—on the Greeks and Macedonians too; however, to them this custom, habitual for Persians entering the king’s presence, implied an act of worship toward a god and was intolerable before a man.  Even Callisthenes, historian and nephew of Aristotle, whose ostentatious flattery had perhaps encouraged Alexander to see himself in the role of a god, refused to abase himself.  Macedonian laughter caused the experiment to founder, and Alexander abandoned it.  Shortly afterward, however, Callisthenes was held to be privy to a conspiracy among the royal pages and was executed (or died in prison).

Invasion of India

In early summer of 327, Alexander left Bactria with a reinforced army under a reorganized command.  If Plutarch’s figure of 120,000 men has any reality, however, it must have included all kinds of auxiliary services, together with muleteers, camel drivers, medical corps, peddlers, entertainers, women, and children—the fighting strength perhaps stood at about 35,000.  Recrossing the Hindu Kush, Alexander divided his forces.  Half the army with the baggage, under Hephaestion and another Cavalry commander, was sent through the Khyber Pass, while Alexander himself led the rest through the hills to the north.  His advance was marked by the storming of the almost impregnable pinnacle of the modern Pir-Sar, a few miles west of the Indus and north of the Buner River, an impressive feat of siegecraft.

In the spring of 326, crossing the Indus, Alexander entered Taxila, whose ruler, Taxiles, furnished elephants and troops in return for aid against his rival Porus, who ruled the lands between the Hydaspes (modern Jhelum) and the modern Chenab.  In June, Alexander fought his last great battle on the left bank of the Hydaspes.  He founded two cities there, one of which was named Alexandria Nicaea, to celebrate his victory; and Porus became his ally.

Although Alexander gained a rajah and a new troop of elephants, he also lost a life-long friend.  It is said that Bucephalas was a man-eater and a unicorn, and that he was born of the same seed as his master, and that he whinnied and fawned with his front legs at the sight of the only man he ever trusted.  What we do know for certain is that not far from the defeat of Porus and the site of Bucephalas’ last river crossing, Alexander founded a second city and named it Bucephala, in memory of his beloved horse that died there about the age of 30.  The great black stallion had carried his master to the “eastern edge of the world,” and a funeral procession was organized, which Alexander led in person.

How much Alexander knew of India beyond the Hyphasis (probably the modern Beas) is uncertain; there is no conclusive proof that he had heard of the Ganges.  While he was anxious to press on, he had advanced to the Hyphasis when his army mutinied, refusing to go farther in the tropical rain; they were weary in body and spirit, and Coenus, one of Alexander’s four chief marshals, acted as their spokesman. On finding the army adamant, Alexander agreed to turn back.

On the Hyphasis, Alexander built a fleet of 800 to 1,000 ships.  Leaving Porus, he then proceeded down the river and into the Indus, with half his forces on shipboard and half marching in three columns down the two banks. Nearchus commanded the fleet; and the march was attended with much fighting and heavy, pitiless slaughter.  At the storming of one town near what is now called the Ravi River, Alexander received a severe wound that left him weakened.

On reaching the head of the Indus delta, he built a harbor and docks and explored both arms of the Indus.  He planned to lead part of his forces back by land, while the rest in perhaps 100 to 150 ships under the command of Nearchus made a voyage of exploration along the Persian Gulf.  Local opposition led the ships to set sail in September of 325, and they were held up for three weeks until they could pick up the northeast monsoon in late October.  In September, Alexander too set out along the coast through Gedrosia (modern Baluchistan), but he was soon compelled by mountainous country to turn inland, thus failing in his project to establish food depots for the fleet.

Craterus, a high-ranking officer, already had been sent off with the baggage and siege train, to rejoin the main army on the Amanis (modern Minab) River in Carmania. Alexander’s march through Gedrosia proved disastrous; waterless desert and shortage of food and fuel caused great suffering; and many, especially women and children, perished in a sudden monsoon flood while encamped.  At the Amanis, Alexander was rejoined by the fleet, which also had suffered losses.

Consolidation of the empire

Alexander now proceeded farther with the policy of replacing senior officials and executing defaulting governors, upon which he had already embarked before leaving India. Between 326 and 324, more than a third of his satraps were superseded and six were put to death; three generals in Media were accused of extortion, arrested, tried, and executed.  Whether the conduct that Alexander displayed against his governors represented exemplary punishment for gross maladministration during his absence, or merely the elimination of men he had come to distrust (as in the case of Parmenion), is debatable; however, ancient sources generally favorable to Alexander comment adversely on his savagery.

In the spring of 324, he was back in Susa, administrative center of the Persian Empire.  He found that his treasurer, Harpalus, had absconded with 6,000 mercenaries and 5,000 talents to Greece.  Arrested in Athens, he escaped and later was murdered in Crete.  At Susa, Alexander held a feast to celebrate his conquest of the Persian Empire, at which, in furtherance of his policy of fusing Macedonians and Persians into one master race, he and 80 of his officers took Persian wives.  He and Hephaestion married Darius’ daughters Barsine (also called Stateira) and Drypetis, respectively; and 10,000 of his soldiers with native wives were given generous dowries.

This policy of racial fusion brought increasing friction to Alexander’s relations with his Macedonians, who had no sympathy for his changed concept of the empire.  His determination to incorporate Persians on equal terms in the army and the administration of the provinces was bitterly resented.  This discontent was now fanned by the arrival of 30,000 native youths who had received Macedonian military training, and by the introduction of Orientals from various parts of the empire into the Companion Cavalry.  The issue came to a head when Alexander’s decision to send home Macedonian veterans under Craterus was interpreted as a move toward transferring the seat of power to Asia.

There was an open mutiny involving all but the royal bodyguard; however, when Alexander dismissed his whole army and enrolled Persians instead, the opposition broke down.  An emotional scene of reconciliation was followed by a vast banquet with 9,000 guests to celebrate the ending of the misunderstanding and the partnership in government of Macedonians and Persians—but not, as has been argued by some, the incorporation of all the subject peoples as partners in the commonwealth.  Ten thousand veterans were now sent back to Macedonia with gifts, and the crisis was ended.

In the autumn of 324, Hephaestion died and Alexander indulged in extravagant mourning for his closest friend.  He was given a royal funeral in Babylon with a pyre costing 10,000 talents.  It was probably in connection with a general order sent out to the Greeks, to honor Hephaestion as a hero, that Alexander linked the demand that he himself should be accorded divine honors.  Legend offered more than one example of men who, by their achievements, acquired divine status.

Alexander had on several occasions encouraged favorable comparison of his own accomplishments with those of Dionysus or Heracles.  He seemed to have become convinced of the reality of his own divinity and to have required its acceptance by others.  There is no reason to assume that his demand had any political background (divine status gave its possessor no particular rights in a Greek city); rather it has been said to be a symptom of his growing megalomania and emotional instability.  The cities complied, but often ironically—the Spartan decree read, “Since Alexander wishes to be a god, let him be a god.”

In the spring of 323, at Babylon, he received complimentary embassies from the Libyans and from the Bruttians, Etruscans, and Lucanians of Italy.  Representatives of the cities of Greece also came, garlanded as befitted Alexander’s divine status.  Following up Nearchus’ voyage, he now founded an Alexandria at the mouth of the Tigris and made plans to develop sea communications with India, for which an expedition along the Arabian coast was to be a preliminary.  He also dispatched an officer to explore the Caspian Sea.

Suddenly, in Babylon, while busy with plans to improve the irrigation of the Euphrates and to settle the coast of the Persian Gulf, Alexander was taken ill after a prolonged banquet and drinking bout.  Ten days later, on June 10 or 13, 323, he died before reaching the age of 33.  He had reigned for 12 years and eight months.  His body, diverted to Egypt by Ptolemy, its later king, was eventually placed in a golden coffin in Alexandria.  Both in Egypt and elsewhere in the Greek cities, he received divine honors.

No heir had been appointed to the throne, and his generals adopted his father’s half-witted illegitimate son, Philip Arrhidaeus, and Alexander’s posthumous son by Roxane, Alexander IV, as kings, sharing out the satrapies among themselves, after much bargaining.  Both kings were murdered, Arrhidaeus in 317 and Alexander IV in 310/309.  The provinces became independent kingdoms; and the generals, following Antigonus’ lead in 306, took the title of king.

Who was Alexander?

Like Napoleon, in physical terms, Alexander is said to have been short, perhaps not more than five feet tall; stockily built; and apparently unable to grow a full beard, thus setting a fashion of being clean-shaven.  He was said to be famously good-looking, with long curling hair and fair skin that, according to Plutarch, had “a ruddy tinge . . . especially upon his face and chest.”[9]

In his later years, Alexander’s aims seem to have been directed toward exploration, in particular of Arabia and the Caspian.  In the organization of his empire, he had been content in many spheres to improvise and adapt what he found.  His financial policy is an exception; it is clear that he set up a central organization with collectors perhaps independent of the local satraps.  That this proved a failure was partly due to weaknesses in the character of Harpalus, his chief treasurer.  But the establishment of a new coinage with a silver standard based on that of Athens in place of the old bimetallic system current both in Macedonia and in Persia helped trade everywhere and, combined with the release of vast amounts of bullion from the Persian treasuries, gave much-needed stimulation to the economy of the whole Mediterranean area.

Alexander’s founding of new cities—Plutarch writes of more than seventy—initiated a new chapter in Greek expansion.  No doubt many of the colonists, by no means volunteers, deserted these cities, and marriages with native women led to some dilution of Greek ways; however, the Greek (rather than Macedonian) influence remained strong in most of them.  Since the process was carried further by Alexander’s successors, the spread of Hellenic thought and customs over much of Asia as far as Bactria and India was one of the more striking effects of Alexander’s conquests.

His plans for racial fusion, on the other hand, were considered a failure. The Macedonians, leaders and men alike, rejected the idea; and in the later Seleucid Empire, the Greek and Macedonian element was clearly dominant.  How far Alexander would have succeeded in the difficult task of coordinating his vast dominions, had he lived, is hard to determine.  The only link between the many units that went to make up an empire more disparate than that of the Habsburgs, and far larger, was his own person; and his death came before he could tackle this problem.

What had held it all together was his own dynamic personality.  He combined an iron will, and ability to drive himself and his men to the utmost, with a supple and flexible mind.  He knew when to draw back and change his policy, though it is said that he did this reluctantly.  He was imaginative and not without romantic impulses—figures like Achilles, Heracles, and Dionysus were often on his mind.  He was swift in anger; and under the strain of his long campaigns, this side of his character grew more pronounced.

Ruthless, he had increasing recourse to terror, showing no hesitation in eliminating men whom he had ceased to trust, either with or without the pretense of a fair trial.  Years after his death, it is said that Cassander, son of Antipater, a regent of the Macedonian Empire under Alexander, could not pass his statue at Delphi without shuddering.  Yet he maintained the loyalty of his men, who followed him to the Hyphasis without complaining and continued to believe in him throughout all hardships.  Only when his whim would have taken them still farther into unknown India did he fail to get his way.

His military genius is undisputed, and he was blessed with the gift of leadership.  When he gave the command to attack, it is said that he knew his men would confidently do so.  Alexander himself led the cavalry charge at the Granicus, in a white-plumed helmet; and empathy for his men was part of the Macedonian warrior code.  Arrian, a Greek historian of the second-century A.D. whose account of Alexander’s campaigns is considered one of the best of ancient sources, wrote: “For the wounded he showed deep concern.  He visited them all and examined their wounds, asking each man how and in what circumstances his wound was received, and allowing him to tell his story and exaggerate as much as he pleased.”

In addition, Alexander showed unusual versatility both in the combination of different arms and in adapting his tactics to the challenge of enemies who commanded novel forms of warfare—the nomads, the Indian hill tribes, or Porus with his elephants. His strategy was skillful and imaginative, and he knew how to exploit the chances that arose in every battle and that might be decisive for victory or defeat.  He also drew the last advantage from victory by relentless pursuit.  His use of cavalry was so effective that it is said he rarely had to fall back upon his infantry to deliver a crushing blow.

Alexander’s short reign marks a decisive moment in the history of Europe and Asia.  His campaigns and his own personal interest in scientific investigation brought many advances in the knowledge of geography and natural history.  His career led to the moving of the great centers of civilization eastward, and initiated the new age of the Greek territorial monarchies.  It spread Hellenism in a vast colonizing wave throughout the Middle East and created, if not politically at least economically and culturally, a single world stretching from Gibraltar to the Punjab, open to trade and social intercourse and with a considerable overlay of common civilization.

. . .

Two thousand three hundred years ago, Alexander and his army began a 22,000-mile expedition from Greece to India, and conquered most of the known world before he was 30.  It was a turning point in history.  It is said that there was never a king before or since with exploits as vast as those of Alexander.  He was the world’s first authentic hero—a worldly genius who succeeded, whereas others before and after him failed.

He is one of a handful of men who, in striding across the pages of history, left the world marked forever by their presence.

This was the Age of Alexander . . . Alexander the Great!

____________

ALEXANDER THE GREAT

Timeline/Chronology

356 B.C. Birth of Alexander the Great (Alexander III) in Macedonia to Philip II, king of Macedonia, and his wife, Olympias

344 B.C. Alexander tames the giant horse Bucephalas (age 12)

343-340 B.C. Alexander is taught by Aristotle (ages 13-16)

340 B.C. Philip attacks Byzantium; Alexander is left in charge of Macedonia, and defeats the Maedi (age 16)

338 B.C. Philip II defeats combined Greek armies (consisting of Athenian, Theban and other Greek forces) at Chaironeia (or Chaeronea); Alexander commands the Companion Cavalry, Macedonia’s elite mounted unit, and displays personal courage in leading the attack against Thebes’ legendary crack unit, the Sacred Band (age 18)

336 B.C. First invasion of Asia; King Philip assassinated at Aigai; accession of Alexander to the Macedonian throne (age 20)

335 B.C. Alexander’s campaigns in Thrace and Illyria; the destruction of Thebes (age 21)

334 B.C. Alexander begins his invasion of the Persian Empire; the Battle of the Granicus River; the sieges of Miletus and Halicarnassus (age 22)

334-333 B.C. Conquest of southern Asia Minor; visit to Gordion near Ankara

333 B.C. The Battle of Issus (age 23)

332 B.C. The siege and capture of Tyre and Gaza (age 24)

332-1 B.C. Alexander conquers Egypt, founds Alexandria, and visits the Oracle of Ammon at the Siwah Oasis

331 B.C. The Battle of Gaugamela (age 25)

330 B.C. The burning of Persepolis; death of the Persian Great King Darius III; murders of Philotas and Parmenion (or Parmenio); the Hindu Kush and the “eastern edge of the world,” according to Aristotle; the pursuit of Bessus (age 26)

329-8 B.C. Campaigns in Bactria and Sogdia (or Sogdiana); the capture of Bessus; the murder of Cleitus; the Royal Pages’ Conspiracy, and the arrest and death of Callisthenes; the revolt and death of Spitamenes

327 B.C. Alexander marries Roxane (or Rhoxane); the invasion of India (age 29)

326-5 B.C. The Battle of the Hydaspes against Porus, during which Bucephalas is gravely wounded and dies (at about 30 years); the mutiny on the Hyphasis river; the voyage down the Indus; the campaign against the Malli (or Malloi), and the fortress of Multan

325 B.C. The march across the Gedrosian desert (age 31)

324 B.C. The mass marriage at Susa; the mutiny at Opis; the death of Hephaestion (or Hephaistion) (age 32)

June 10 or 13, 323 B.C. The death of Alexander the Great at Babylon (before the age of 33)

31 B.C. Rome overcomes the last of Alexander’s successor kingdoms with the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra

© 2010-2015, Timothy D. Naegele

Alexander


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass), the first black senator since Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War.  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates (www.naegele.com).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years.  See, e.g.www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles

This article was written as the basis for a movie script and film.

[2] Also, the last wife of Alexander’s father, King Philip II, was named Cleopatra.

[3] Macedonia was a large region of northern Greece, not to be confused with the former Yugoslavia, or the province of that name in present-day Greece.  In the Fourth Century B.C., it stretched to the north and covered much of the former Yugoslavia and parts of Bulgaria, to the east as far as Thrace and the Black Sea, in the south as far as Thessaly, and to the west across the Pindus mountains into modern Albania.

[4] He was considered to be an insightful leader, unrivaled by any except his famous son, Alexander.  In 359 B.C., at about the age of 23, Philip became king of Macedonia, which consisted of many clans.  He consolidated the kingdom, increased its wealth and status, and built a mighty army.  With shrewd diplomacy, alliances and brute force, he conquered much of Greece and headed the Greek League that was formed to invade Asia Minor; however, in 336, an assassin’s sword ended his life, leaving the invasion to his ambitious son, Alexander.

[5] As promising as his performance was, few would have guessed that he would conquer the known world to the east and change the course of history in the next 14 or so years.

[6] It has been written that the bodyguard might have been a former lover of Philip since—like most Greek upper-class men—Philip was considered to be bisexual.

[7] It is said that there is no basis for the tradition that he turned aside to visit Jerusalem.

[8] Also, this appears to be referred to as Bactra.

[9] It is also said that he held his head slightly to the left and had a “melting look” in his eyes, traits that have led some modern doctors to suggest that he suffered from a rare eye condition known as Brown’s syndrome.  If this diagnosis is accurate, the characteristic tilt of his head may have enabled him to see straight.