A troubling paradox in world leaders is their apparent love for their own children while showing callous disregard for the lives of children and other innocents at the receiving end of their bombs and bullets, as Philip A Farruggio observes.
By Philip A Farruggio
Adolf Hitler never had any children, but most historians reveal how much he apparently loved the little ones … IF they were of pure Aryan blood. He also loved, they say, his dog Blondi, appropriately being a German Shepherd.
Most, if not all, of the top Nazis in his regime were devoted family men. One wonders if Heinrich Himmler, after his trips to the concentration camps to view the half-starved, pajama-wearing inmates, and of course the gassing and incineration system he supervised, came home to his lovely daughter Gudrun, whom he affectionately called Puppi (Dolly).
Did his deputy Reinhardt Heydrich find time to play with his children — Heider, Silke and Marti — after he planned the operation of the “Final Solution” for Himmler? As to the man who kept the “Cattle Cars” rolling on schedule to and from the myriad of concentration camps, did Adolf Eichmann sit his young ones — Klaus, Horst and Dieter — on his knees and read them bedtime stories? The historians tell us that all of these men were devoted and caring fathers, and in Hitler’s case, was looked upon as “Uncle Adolf.”
We know from our American historians that Richard Nixon loved Trisha and Julie, his devoted daughters. Did he spend a quiet Christmas eve and Christmas day with them while his Operation Linebacker II (Dec. 18-29, 1972) sent the heaviest in decades B-52 bomber assault upon Hanoi? Did he exchange wonderful gifts with the girls while thousands of civilians were killed during the raids, the most since World War Two?
Fast forward to the 1980s and the “great” inspiration of fearless President Ronald Reagan. Behind his excuses and later with U.S. weapons and training, the ultra-right-wing Salvadoran death squads were murdering anyone, including priests (such as Archbishop Oscar Romero) and nuns who showed dissent. Yet, Ronnie had time to spend time with his children — Michael, Christine, Patti, Maureen and Ron Jr. He was, from many accounts, a good dad.
So supposedly was Poppy Bush, the first President Bush. He must have spent lots of time with his five children, even when he ordered the bombing of Iraq during “Desert Storm” (August 1990-February 1991), which included obliterating a bomb shelter containing scores of women and children.
President George H.W. Bush also ordered U.S. airstrikes that annihilated defeated Iraqi soldiers as they retreated (the slaughter justified, in part, because he wanted to vanquish America’s anti-war sentiments, the so-called “Vietnam Syndrome”).
Another Kind of Syndrome
As for the U.S. military, would “Poppy” like it if his sons or daughter came down with “Gulf War Syndrome” (a very different kind of “syndrome,” i.e, debilitating and even fatal health ailments)? This condition, according to many scientific experts, was most likely caused by the U.S. forces detonating chemical weapons and the clouds of residue “blowing back” on U.S. troops.
William Jefferson Clinton became President in 1993, continuing the economic sanctions against Iraq. We know how much Bill and his wife Hillary loved their only child, Chelsea. Most likely, as with many parents of an only-child, she was spoiled in a loving way. Well, the harsh U.S.-led sanctions against Iraq left many Iraqis half-starved and sickly. So much so that thousands, perhaps tens, even hundreds of thousands died during Clinton’s eight years in office.
Clinton’s United Nations Ambassador and later Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright was asked in 1996 by reporter Leslie Stahl: “We have heard that half a million children have died. That’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And you know, is the price worth it?” Albright’s response: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price, we think the price is worth it.”
In 2003, George W. Bush ordered — or rather was told by his handlers to sign off on — an immoral (and illegal) pre-emptive attack on another country. As the embedded and servile mainstream media cheered the “shock and awe” bombing of Iraq, Bush Jr. most likely was doting on his twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara. After all, it doesn’t matter how many of other people’s loved ones, including young children, our bombs and depleted uranium weapons destroy, it’s our family values that matter, isn’t it?
Finally, we come to our last two presidents. We know both of them love their children. President Obama obviously loved his girls more than he did the children of Libya. He allowed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to convince him to sign off on another bombing campaign of another country that wasn’t threatening the United States, this time Libya.
Obama must have been proud, as he shot some hoops at the White House, with how the U.S. contributed to the destruction of one of Africa’s wealthiest and – in many ways – most progressive nations. Did he sit with his girls to watch the deadly chaos that he caused, with Secretary Clinton topping it off her celebration of Muammar Gaddafi’s grisly murder by quipping: “We came, we saw, he died.” Did Obama teach his daughters how much of the chaos in Syria was exacerbated by what his administration did in Libya and then by arming “rebels” who fought side by side with Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups?
Then, Obama gave way to Donald Trump, who may know as little about world affairs as Bush Jr. did. Yet, we do know how much this man has doted on his children, giving his Ivanka the leg-up to become a mega-millionaire. She is claimed to be his close adviser as well – and a devoted mother to her three children.
Ivanka reportedly urged his April 6 missile strike in Syria because she saw images of children apparently dying from chemical exposure, although President Trump’s rush to judgment – blaming the incident on the Syria government – led him to unleash 59 Tomahawk missiles, including some that veered off course and reportedly killed a number of Syrian civilians, including children.
A few days later, Trump dropped the largest conventional ordnance known to mankind, the so-called “Mother of All Bombs,” on a target in Afghanistan.
Just like the other aforementioned presidents, Trump will – in the end – do what the “Deep State” actors allow him or tell him to do. That is the real family that these men belong to.
Philip A Farruggio is a son and grandson of Brooklyn longshoremen – and a freelance columnist since 2001, with over 300 of his work posted on sites such as Information Clearing House, Nation of Change, World News Trust, Op Ed News, Dissident Voice, Counterpunch, Activist Post, Sleuth Journal, Truthout and many others. His blog can be read in full on World News Trust., whereupon he writes a great deal on the need to cut military spending drastically and send the savings back to save our cities. Philip has a internet interview show, ‘ It’s the Empire… Stupid’ with producer Chuck Gregory, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org