Presidents and Dictators



 

 

 Presidents and Dictators,

Grass and Flowers

 

Remembering World War II,

its Legacy,


and connecting some dots. . .

 

 

 

Lindsay House Publishing

 


 

 

W hen Joshua, Caleb and ten other men returned to their people to report on their spying trip, the Children of Israel rebelled, refusing to believe the positive report of Joshua and Caleb. Instead, they fearfully believed the negative report of the other ten men whom Moses sent to spy out the Promised Land.

 

God was angry and wanted to destroy them all. So Moses pleaded with God.    (Numbers 14:17-19) 

"But now, I pray, let the power of the Lord be great, just as You have declared,

 'The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.'

"Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness, just as You also have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now."


Nandiina

 

"It's really amazing," she said to herself, "how each plant differs from the next one. There are twenty-three of them, and each one has a different shape and way of growing."

The lady sat on the porch, her gaze moving from one potted plant to another, then back again. The nandina shrub in the big pot in front of her chair, had required complete cutting-back to bare stalks before it burst forth in the springtime with new growth. Now it was full and lovely!

The Japanese maple had needed a good pruning too. She smiled. remembering her nervousness as she removed each piece of  dead wood from the delicate little tree. Both the Japanese maple and the nandina were just hers on loan.


Japanese maple, new leaves

Japanese maple with new leaves


 Suddenly in her mind's eye, she saw a man walking down a hall.

He was tall and slender, with an air of purpose about him.

As she had come to know this man, he proved to have an agenda of his own.

He spoke out of both sides of his mouth, and what came out depended on who ever was listening.

He was the president of a small company which produced information

security items. The founding partners were Christian in orientation.

Some were true, others were professing and nominal.

The lady had a small amount of money to invest, and had decided

to become part of this company because of the integrity of one

of the partners. The company was called BEMA, an acronym for

Bulwark Electromagnetic Applications.

To the true Christian partners, BEMA was the Greek word

for the Judgment Seat of Christ. This gave them comfort and hope.

With time however, BEMA came to mean to the lady and her partners,

Betrayed by an Enemy Masquarading as an Ally.

The company was now bankrupt, since the president and

corporate counsel had stolen all the assets.


The lady's thoughts turned again.  She recalled some historical reading, and some family experiences. The "why factor" in any question still provoked her. The more she thought about the major personalities of history; their lives and circumstances, the more she was convinced that every event had a cause.

Cause and effect - (applying to the physical world), Sir Isaac Newton defined it as the third Law of Motion: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Truth be told, Newton was a biblical scholar as well as a scientist.  He therefore understood the relationship between sin and negative consequences, which the Bible calls "curses".

She mused: if this is true on a personal level, where our choices and our words bring us either blessings or curses, it must then be true on the stage of national and international events as well.  Since individuals who are highly placed politically make decisions, and commitments for those they represent.

A yellow flag went up inside of her as she considered THIS one!

Suppose an emperor, king or president was confident of his position, allowing his selfish nature with its pride and greed to make decisions for his nation and its people. Or suppose that women, wives (queens), mistresses, mothers or daughters, influenced the ruler through manipulating his emotions.

"But this is the stuff that historical drama is made of." She said to herself. Names came to mind: Rome's Emperor Nero, Alexander (the Great) of Greece, King  Herod of Judea, the Mongols' Genghis Khan, Richard III of England,  Louis XIV and Napoleon Bonaparte (both of France).


Marie de Medici

Catherine de Medici from Florence and niece of a pope, disciple of Machiavelli's teaching, became Queen of France. Then she was Regent for her underage sons when they were kings. Working later with Cardinal Richelieu, she planned the persecution and annihilation of France's Huguenots. These were the French Christians who practiced the reformed faith, renouncing the royally approved Roman Catholicism.


Catherine de Medici, Queen of France                                   Statue, Luxembourg Gardens, Paris



Lord Acton, a British historian and trusted adviser to Queen Victoria's Prime Minister, Disraeli, wrote:


    
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."  

 

 As she meditated on this a while, the lady's attention wandered to the cosmos flower.  This was the last one of the season, showing off its lavender hue, and gently waving in the breeze like a farewell blessing.


All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass.

The grass withers and the flower falls off,

But the word of the Lord endures forever.

1st Peter 1:24, 25


And so, thought the lady, the lessons of history are plain to see, but are we looking? They warn us of allowing corrupt people to hold power over our lives - but are we listening?

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Lord Acton, you nailed it!

The democratic process can be dangerous, as a candidate's image is designed and developed to harvest the most votes possible. Psychological and public relations consultants have major parts to play in any political campaign just as they do in the advertising and marketing of goods.

Only the results matter to many political operatives, not the honesty and integrity of the candidate and their campaign. The buyer must beware, and closely examine all the personal and public motives of a candidate. The winner of an election takes into his or her public office the financial backers and workers who worked for them during the campaign. They already have an agenda, and begin to carry it out as soon as they have legal authority.


Do we remember that Bill Clinton fired every one

of the federal judges in the nation,

the very first day he took office?


She began to consider her father's military career. It had spanned the economic depression of the 1930s, World War II, the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the United Nations and the Korean War.  It was in the last years of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's life that her father had been on General Eisenhower's staff, planning the D-Day allied invasion of Nazi Europe, and air support for the rest of the European war until victory was achieved.

His work was an integral part of the creation of NATO. He served under General Douglas MacArthur in the Pacific, helping defeat the Japanese, then helped begin the American occupation of Japan, and reforming of the Japanese nation. What fascinated the lady the most, was her growing understanding of the dynamics at the Big Three Conferences of World War II.

There in Yalta (Ukraine), Malta (an island south of Italy), and Tehran (Iran), Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin had met together, along with their high military staffs. They sought to reach agreement and plan strategy for defeat of the Nazi, Italian and Japanese military. As a member of General Eisenhower's planning staff, the lady's father was in attendance at all three conferences. At these meetings, the most dreadful and dangerous examples of Lord Acton's observation, that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, were realized.

As these thoughts passed through her mind,

the lady realized she was in a process

that could change her life forever-

and probably, the lives of many others.



 When Stalin came to these meetings, he had already been responsible for murder-by-the-millions of his own countrymen. It was not until later, in Khrushchev's time of leadership, that Stalin's murderous insanity was revealed to the Russian people. At the time of the Big Three Conferences, Stalin was at the head of the monstrous Soviet war machine which was pushing the Nazi army back to Germany. No doubt he was a formidable figure.

By contrast, Roosevelt was nearing the end of his life, was physically frail, and his judgment was seriously clouded by his poor health. He was also strongly influenced by left-leaning sympathizers.

As a result, and as told by Churchill in his memoirs, Roosevelt agreed to give Stalin everything that he demanded.

Although Churchill did not agree, Stalin walked away with all of Eastern Europe and half of Berlin. The poor Eastern Europeans who had suffered so terribly under Hitler's insanity, continued to suffer, but their masters now wore the face of the Soviet bear.

Roosevelt was a tired and sick man. His authority as president of the United States of America gave him the authority to speak for the millions of his countrymen. So, this one sick man put millions of European souls under the soviet boot...

The lady shuddered. 


Following is a review of Conrad Black's book:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom.

One might object that unlike Andrew Jackson, FDR is unforgettable; that he will forever be paired with the finest statesmen; above all, with Churchill and deGaulle, who made him a central figure in their war memoirs. Since these are indelible classics in the literature of great statesmanship, one might suppose that Roosevelt's place in historical memory would be impregnable, so long as these great memoirs are studied.

[Conrad] Black responds to this objection indirectly but with extraordinary care. He clearly gives pride of place to these most influential and widely read memoirs. He sees Churchill and deGaulle as the most intelligent and capable statesmen who wrote from first-hand experience of Roosevelt. But Black knows that he cannot invoke their judgment of FDR's greatness without also facing their criticism of his dire mistakes.

For in their respective memoirs, Churchill and deGaulle are sharply critical of FDR's wartime policies. Although in The Second World War he celebrated his warm friendship with Roosevelt, Churchill still managed to convey his reasoned condemnation of U.S. diplomacy from the Tehran Conference on: FDR's failure to present a united Allied front to Stalin and thus his surrender of the moral high ground; his willingness to side with Stalin on the elimination of Germany as a European state; his slowness to confront Communist subversion in Greece and Eastern Europe; and above all his failure to prepare Harry Truman to take over the presidency.

DeGaulle's criticisms in his war memoirs took a different but equally damning tack.

Among other things, he objected to Roosevelt's diplomatic dalliances with Vichy France; to his cunning policy of setting deGaulle and Churchill at loggerheads, the better to reorganize Europe as FDR saw fit; and to Roosevelt's overweening desire to dismantle the French and British colonial empires and erect some sort of international New Deal in their place.

 



The following is from Wikipedia:

United States of America, presidential election of 1944

Roosevelt, only 62 in 1944, was in declining health since at least 1940. The strain of his paralysis and the physical exertion needed to compensate for it for over 20 years had taken their toll, as had many years of stress and a lifetime of chain-smoking. He had high blood pressure and long-term heart disease.

Aware of the risk that Roosevelt would die during his fourth term, the party regulars insisted that Henry Wallace, who was seen as too pro-Soviet, be dropped as Vice President. After considering James F. Byrnes of South Carolina, and being turned down by Indiana goverernor, Henry F. Schricker, Roosevelt replaced Wallace with the little known Senator Harry S. Truman. In the 1944 election, Roosevelt and Truman won 53% of the vote and carried 36 states, against New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey.

Last days, death and memorial

The President left the Yalta Conference on February 12, 1945, and flew to Egypt and boarded the USS Quincy, operating on the Great Bitter Lake near the Suez Canal. Aboard Quincy, the next day he met with Farouk I, king of Egypt, and Haile Selassie, emperor of Ethiopia. On February 14, he held an historic meeting with King Abdul Aziz, the founder of Saudi Arabia, a meeting which holds profound significance in U.S.-Saudi relations even today. After a final meeting between Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Quincy steamed for Algiers, arriving February 18, at which time Roosevelt conferred with American ambassadors to Great Britain, France and Italy.


When he returned to the United States, he addressed Congress on March 1 about the Yalta Conference, and many were shocked to see how old, thin and frail he looked. He spoke while seated in the well of the House, an unprecedented concession to his physical incapacity. But mentally he was still in full command. "The Crimean Conference," he said firmly, "ought to spell the end of a system of unilateral action, the exclusive alliances, the spheres of influence, the balances of power, and all the other expedients that have been tried for centuries - and have always failed. We propose to substitute for all these, a universal organization in which all peace-loving nations will finally have a chance to join."

During March and early April 1945, he sent strongly worded messages to Stalin accusing him of breaking his Yalta commitments over Poland, Germany, prisoners of war and other issues. When Stalin accused the western Allies of plotting a separate peace with Hitler behind his back, Roosevelt replied: "I cannot avoid a feeling of bitter resentment towards your informers, whoever they are, for such vile misrepresentations of my actions or those of my trusted subordinates."

 On March 30, 1945, Roosevelt went to Warm Springs [Georgia] to rest before his anticipated appearance at the founding conference of the United Nations. On the afternoon of April 12, Roosevelt said, "I have a terrific headache" and was carried into his bedroom. The doctor diagnosed that he had suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage, and as Allen Drury once said "so ended an era, and so began another."

He died while sitting for a portrait painting by the artist Elizabeth Shoumatoff, resulting in the famous Unfinished Portrait of FDR. Lucy Mercer, his former mistress, was with him at the time of his death, and Shoumatoff, who maintained close friendships with both Roosevelt and Mercer, rushed her away to avoid negative publicity and implications of infidelity.

In his latter years at the White House, Roosevelt was increasingly overworked and his daughter Anna Roosevelt Boettiger,  had moved in to provide her father companionship and support. Anna had also arranged for her father to meet with the now widowed Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd. When Eleanor heard about her husband's death, she was also faced with the news that Anna had been arranging these meetings with Lucy and that Lucy had been with Franklin when he died.

Roosevelt's death was met with shock and grief across the U.S. and around the world. At a time when the press did not pry into the health or private lives of presidents, his declining health had not been known to the general public. Roosevelt had been president for more than 12 years, longer than any other person, and had led the country through some of its greatest crises to the impending defeat of Nazi Germany and to within sight of the defeat of Japan as well.

Roosevelt was interred in the town of his birth at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Historical Site, at Hyde Park, in Duchess County, New York.

Less than a month after his death, on May 8, 1945, came the moment Roosevelt fought for: V-E Day. President Harry Truman dedicated V-E Day and its celebrations to Roosevelt's memory, paying tribute to his commitment to ending the war in Europe.

 

The lady spoke softly to herself:

Such is the action of dominos, each causing the fall of the next. Such is the action of Cause and Effect. If wisdom and reality had prevailed, the politicians would not have pushed for Roosevelt's final reelection. May God have mercy and forgive us for allowing it to happen! But Americans did not know how sick their president really was. Media of the time did not report on the health and personal lives of presidents. On the other hand, Harry Truman would not likely have become president unless Roosevelt had been reelected..."A puzzlement" indeed!

The lady stopped short of sliding into discouragement from her musings. Her studies of Scripture and the experiences of strong intercessors gave her much hope. So she prayed, confessing the sins of her father and all his associates, including Roosevelt, the deceased president of the United States.

"Will this kind of prayer really help change things today and for the future?" she asked herself.  "Yes, I am sure it will!" In the 9th chapter of his book, the prophet Daniel prayed this way concerning the people, kings and judges of Israel.

"Oh Lord" she prayed, "forgive us and show us the truth, and how to cancel the curses that have come because of these things!"

She sighed, then smiled, for she knew that when enough believing, faithful people prayed like this, the prayer would be answered, because our Heavenly Father is a God of mercy.





          The following is an answer to this prayer:         

Prayer of Release




 

 


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