112) The Latest Drivers Are American Presidents

If you can acknowledge the recurring cycle of events, then you must acknowledge that the powerful US Presidents fit perfectly into the pattern of the Horsemen. Promising peace and prosperity through political deals, they have led America and the world from one catastrophe to the next. The following is just a brief sampling.

George Washington during the Napoleonic Era

Abraham Lincoln in Bismarck’s Era

  • White Horse: led the country through the US Civil War, conviction, humility, oratory skills Freed the slaves.
  • Red Horse: The U.S. Army underwent an enormous expansion during the Civil War (1861–65), growing from 16,000 troops in December 1860 to 1,000,000 by 1865 plus another 500,000 Confederate troops at its height, resorting to conscription to maintain their vast armies. The Army Reorganization Act of 1866 provided for a standing army which saw almost constant combat in the Indian Wars, the Mexican American War, the Spanish American war, and the Philippine American War. When war came again in 1917, the U.S. Army was well prepared.
  • Black Horse: “Destruction, hunger, lawlessness and violence in the South, one million plus homeless African American refugees, white male population decimated by the war, governments in many places ceased to exist, cities in shambles, farms destroyed, new labor arrangements of tenant farming and sharecropping became a way for wealthy whites to continue dominating society and keep blacks repressed well beyond the Civil War, poor African Americans and some whites routinely convicted of vagrancy or other crimes then sentenced to prolonged periods of forced labor leased to mines and plantations cheaper than slaves (In Alabama, convict leasing constituted 73% of the state’s revenue in 1898), lasted for almost 60 years. Redeemers passed Black Codes that sidestepped the 14th Amendment by passing Jim Crow laws at the local and state levels. Paramilitary groups like the Ku Klux Klan used intimidation, threats and attacks on people and property to preserve white supremacy.”
  • Pale Horse: “The Civil War was America’s bloodiest conflict.  The unprecedented violence of battles such as Shiloh, Antietam, Stones River, and Gettysburg shocked citizens and international observers alike.  Nearly as many men died in captivity during the Civil War as were killed in the whole of the Vietnam War.  Hundreds of thousands died of disease.  Roughly 2% of the population, an estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives in the line of duty.  Taken as a percentage of today’s population, the toll would have risen as high as 6 million souls.” In addition, there were 50,000 civilian deaths during the war, the overall mortality rate for the South exceeded that of any country in World War I and all but the region between the Rhine and the Volga in World War II. The American Civil War produced carnage that was often thought to be reserved for the combination of technological proficiency and inhumanity characteristic of a later time.

Theodore Roosevelt In Bismarck’s Era (America presidents have shorter terms than European rulers)

  • White Horse: led the country into Imperialism throughout the 1890s, increasingly relying on its military and economic power to pursue foreign policy goals Freed workers from exploitation by Industrialists and began noble policy of furthering the Progressive agenda around the world.” Roosevelt believed that the United States had emerged as a world power, and he sought ways to assert America’s newly-eminent position abroad by involvement with European conflicts and strengthening ties with Great Britain.
  • Red Horse: through his successor Woodrow Wilson: Wilson was the first U.S. president to visit Europe also the first to claim the U.S. role of making the world “safe for democracy.” American involvement in World War I tipped the victory to the allied side and caused Britain and France to falsely declare the Germans guilty of starting the war, rub its nose in defeat with heavy war reparations, and grab German and its losing allies’ colonies overseas. Woodrow Wilson demanded that the German king, Kaiser Wilhelm II, abdicate. All of these post-war depredations paved the way for the rise of the hyper-nationalist and jingoistic Hitler.”
  • Black Horse: Before World War I, the global economy was growing robustly. There were no limits on immigration and no need for passports. Governments were small and kept their budgets balanced…after World War I countries imposed restrictions…protectionism set the stage for the Great Depression. Countries dropped the gold standard. Governments learned their people would submit to taxation and conscription if it meant protection from outside forces. The U.S. top tax rate rose from 7% in 1915 to 77% in 1918, rising above 90% in 1944. Lenin called the rise of government influence during the war as “wartime socialism.” He used it as the basis for the Soviet Union. The German government printed money to pay for the war. It increased the number of Deutschmarks in circulation from 13 billion to 60 billion. Germany’s sovereign debt went from 5 billion to 100 billion marks also printing money to meet the 132 billion marks of Treaty of Versailles’ reparations. As a result, Germany experienced hyperinflation. Production collapsed, leading to a shortage of goods, especially food with the price of everyday items doubling every 3.7 days. Sandwiched between the giddy 1920’s and World War II, the 1930s saw a huge disparity in the lifestyles of the common man and those considered High Society. on “Black Friday”, October 29, 1929 the stock market crashed. Within a year 5,000 banks collapsed and six-million workers lost their jobs. By 1933 more than 15-million people – one-quarter of the workforce – were unemployed. The Great Depression was partly caused by the great inequality between the rich who accounted for a third of all wealth and the poor who had no savings at all…For the vast majority the 1930s was a time of misery. But for many American dynastic families, parties helped to escape the reality on the street and the grander the better. While storefronts stood empty, the 47-storey Waldorf-Astoria Hotel opened in 1931 at a cost of $42 million ($600 million today)…The Ritz was another favored venue for extravagant celebrations…Barbara Hutton, grand-daughter of the dime-store magnate Frank W. Woolworth, made her debut there in 1933. Costing more than $60,000 ($1million today)…on the West Coast  even greater excesses were witnessed, at a time when most Americans could not afford to feed their family.
  • Pale Horse: Troops movement in WWI helped the spread of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Worldwide, one out of three or 500 million people got sick. Of those, 50 million died, some within hours. In the United States, one out of four got sick. Of those, 675,000 died.

Franklin D. Roosevelt & Harry Truman in Hitler’s Era Transfer Staging of World War from Europe to America

  • White Horse: strategically led America through WWII to take a world power from Great Britain and Germany. Conquered fear – of the Great Depression which he ended, of WWII which he won, and of world isolation which he overcame by making America the world leader by fighting and winning WWII.

American Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy

Red Horse:  The Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States and their respective allies, generally considered to span the 1947 Truman Doctrine to the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union, as each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. Thus America has been permanently fighting overseas wars since WWII, with the exception of a 3 years hiatus after the debacle of ending the Vietnam War, and two other 1 year pauses.

The Cold War

During World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union fought together as allies against the Axis powers. However…Americans had long been wary of Soviet communism and concerned about Russian leader Joseph Stalin’s tyrannical rule of his own country. For their part, the Soviets resented the Americans’…delayed entry into World War II, which resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of Russians. After the war ended, these grievances ripened into an overwhelming sense of mutual distrust and enmity…

In his famous “Long Telegram,” the diplomat George Kennan (1904-2005) explained the policy: The Soviet Union, he wrote, was “a political force committed fanatically…” America’s only choice was the “long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies…” This…would shape American foreign policy for the next four decades…

The containment strategy also provided the rationale for an unprecedented arms buildup in the United States. In 1950, a National Security Council Report…called for a four-fold increase in defense spending.

In particular, American officials encouraged the development of atomic weapons like the ones that had ended World War II. Thus began a deadly “arms race…”

Space exploration served as another dramatic arena for Cold War competition. On October 4, 1957, a Soviet R-7 intercontinental ballistic missile launched Sputnik (Russian for “traveling companion”), the world’s first artificial satellite and the first man-made object to be placed into the Earth’s orbit…In the United States, space was seen as the next frontier, a logical extension of the grand American tradition of exploration, and it was crucial not to lose too much ground to the Soviets. In addition, this demonstration of the overwhelming power of the R-7 missile–seemingly capable of delivering a nuclear warhead into U.S. air space–made gathering intelligence about Soviet military activities particularly urgent… 

what came to be known as the Space Race was underway. That same year, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a public order creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a federal agency dedicated to space exploration, as well as several programs seeking to exploit the military potential of space.

Presidents JFK, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan – Cold & Proxy Wars in Korean, Viet Nam, Afghanistan…

  • Black Horse: famine and poverty throughout the world touched by US wars.
    •  At the end of 2000, violent conflict and its aftermath had left nearly 24 million people in 28 developing and transition countries and territories food insecure and in need of humanitarian assistance.
    • In addition, some 35 million war-affected refugees and internally displaced persons showed high rates of malnutrition. Armed conflict leads to the destruction of crops, livestock, land, and water, and disrupts infrastructure, markets, and the human resources required for food production, distribution, and safe consumption.
    • Combatants frequently use hunger as a weapon: they use siege to cut off food supplies and productive capacities, starve opposing populations into submission, and hijack food aid intended for civilians. Even after wars have ceased, landmines continue to exact high costs in terms of human life, economic and social development and agricultural production. Safe removal of 60-70 million unexploded landmines from 70 poor countries could expand agricultural lands; by 88-200 percent in Afghanistan.
  • Pale Horse: deaths
    • Over 12 million people have been killed by American troops in The Korean War, The Vietnam War and wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Each of these three conflicts have something in common: they were wars fought in the name of making the world “safe for democracy.” A particular horror was the largest use of chemical weapons against civilians since World War II, the massive use of Agent Orange against Indochina where it continues to poison people today.  It may take Vietnam and Laos thousands of years to recover.  In the case of Iraq, American spy satellites helped Saddam Hussein use use poison gas against the troops of Iran.
    • Millions of people, both civilians and military personnel, lost their lives…where United States and Soviet Union proxy wars took place.
    • Because so many nuclear weapons were stockpiled during the Cold War, the chances of an intentional or accidental nuclear strike were dramatically increased.

The Soviet Union fought an increasingly frustrating war in Afghanistan throughout the 1980s while the Soviet economy faced the continuously escalating costs of the arms race. Dissent at home grew until the Berlin Wall came down in 1989-90, borders opened, and free elections ousted Communist regimes everywhere in eastern Europe. In late 1991 the Soviet Union itself dissolved into its component republics. With stunning speed, the Iron Curtain was lifted and the Cold War came to an end.

At the beginning of the Cold War, there were two superpowers, the U.S. and Russia. By the end of the Cold War, only one superpower remained, the U.S.

George W. Bush Rides the Next White Horse Into A New World Order

  • White Horse: led America through 9/11/2001 to become greatest military power in world history. Conquered fear of vulnerability against terrorism – “No president in the history of Gallup’s approval ratings has seen a higher rating than Bush did right after the attacks.” Two weeks afterward, nearly 9 in 10 Democrats and independents approved of the Republican president, with Democratic approval trailing Republicans by only 10 percentage points.
    • As much of the nation was just starting the day on the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 terrorists hijacked four East Coast flights, crashing three of the airplanes into targets in New York and Washington, D.C., with the fourth plane slamming into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers fought back. 
    • In the end, 2,977 people died…prompted President George W. Bush to declare a global “War on Terror” military campaign, in which he called on world leaders to join the U.S. in its response…Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists…” 

I’m not even discussing the possibility that 9/11 was an inside job for the purpose of rallying the American people behind their President. “A 2016 study from Chapman University in California, found more than half of Americans believe the government is concealing information about the 9/11 attacks.” Just saying, the resulting rallying of the American people behind their President’s declaration of war was spectacular.

Only a remnant of true believers recognize the works of darkness lurking behind the false savior on a white horse promising peace and security to his followers.

Cillizza: Herschel Walker was cheered by a social conservative crowd over the weekend, just days after he acknowledged he has four kids, [three by women he was not married to in addition to]…the one most people thought he had. What gives?

Du Mez: We really shouldn’t be surprised by this anymore…

in the case of White evangelicals, we’ve witnessed a dramatic reversal in the last few years in terms of how much personal morality matters when it comes to their support for political candidates. In 2011, just 30% of evangelicals believed that a person who commits an “immoral act” could behave ethically in a public role; in 2016, 72% thought this was possible [according to polling from PRRI/Brookings]. Walker is only the latest Republican man to reap the benefits of this situational morality...

For decades, conservative White evangelicals have championed a rugged, even ruthless “warrior” masculinity. Believing that “gender difference” was the foundation of a God-given social order, evangelicals taught that women and men were opposites. God filled men with testosterone so that they could fulfill their God-ordained role as leaders, as protectors and providers. Testosterone made them aggressive, and it gave them a God-given sex drive.

Within this framework, there was ready forgiveness for male sexual misconduct. It was up to women to avoid tempting men who were not their husbands and meet the sexual needs of men who were. When men went astray, there was always a woman to blame. For men, misdeeds could be written off as too much of a good thing or perhaps a necessary evil, as evidence of red-blooded masculinity that needed only to be channeled in redemptive directions.

Within evangelical communities, we see these values expressed in the way organizations too often turn a blind eye to abuse, blame victims, and defend abusers in the interest of propping up a larger cause – a man’s ministry, an institution’s mission, or the broader “witness of the church.”

In 2016, we heard precisely this rhetoric in defense of Donald Trump. Trump was a man’s man. He would not be cowed by political correctness, but would do what needed to be done. He represented “a John Wayne America,” an America where heroic men were not afraid to resort to violence when necessary in pursuit of a greater good. Evangelicals did not embrace Trump in spite of his rough edges, but because of them…

81% of White evangelicals…voted for Trump…

Donald Trump worked hard to maintain an acute level of threat among his base throughout his four years in office. He railed against immigrants and protestors and warned of various threats to “real Americans” and their children…

Even though the Christian scriptures are filled with teachings about turning the other cheek, loving one’s neighbors and one’s enemies, and although the Bible instructs Christians to cultivate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control, many conservative Christians have instead embraced an “us vs. them” mentality that requires a warrior masculinity. Good guys with guns need to protect their families, their faith, and their nation – by which they mean those deserving of protection, “real Americans,” Christian America.

We see evidence of this rhetoric from Christian pastors and worship leaders, throughout the Christian publishing industry, and even on the shelves of evangelical big-box retailer Hobby Lobby, where one can find wall plaques celebrating the Second Amendment, decorative guns to mount on walls, and charming décor warning, “If you don’t support our troops feel free to stand in front of them,” and, “WE DON’T CALL 911.” This goes beyond mere rhetoric. White evangelicals are more likely than other Americans to own a gun; they are bigger proponents of gun rights, more likely to carry a gun with them, and more likely than other Americans to feel safer with a gun in their household. Daniel Defense, a Christian family-owned gun manufacturer…advertised their assault weapons by pairing them with a Bible, a cross, and a young child…

A recent [PRRI] survey revealed that 60% of white evangelical Protestants believe the 2020 election was stolen, and that more than a quarter (26%) believe that “true American patriots may have to resort to violence to save our country.” With the fate of Christian America hanging in the balance, for many, the end will justify the means.

Presidents Bush Sr, Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama, Trump, Biden

  • The Red Horse

The War on Terror is a permanent state of war in which the US is directly involved. Our war on terror…will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.”“(1) the U.S. government’s deadly foreign policy of interventionism to kill “terrorists”would inevitably generate a constant supply of terrorists who would be seeking to retaliate; and (2) the U.S. national-security establishment would wield the omnipotent, non-reviewable power to determine who is a “terrorist” (or a “bad guy”), a power that would enable it to always have a steady supply of “terrorists” all over the world.” Today, the…Cold War and the war on terrorism have coalesced to ensure a permanent state of crisis and emergency and, of course, ever increasing budgets and power for the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA.”

The United States launched the war in Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks… Investigators determined the 9/11 attacks—in which terrorists hijacked four commercial airplanes, crashing two into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, one at the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., and one in a Pennsylvania field—were orchestrated by terrorists working from Afghanistan, which was under the control of the Taliban, an extremist Islamic movement. Leading the plot that killed more than 2,700 people was Osama bin Laden, leader of the Islamic militant group al Qaeda. It was believed the Taliban, which seized power in the country in 1996 following an occupation by the Soviet Union, was harboring bin Laden, a Saudi, in Afghanistan…

In his first few months of office, President Donald Trump authorized the Pentagon to make combat decisions in Afghanistan, and, on April 13, 2017, the United States dropped its most powerful non-nuclear bomb, called the “mother of all bombs,” on a remote ISIS cave complex.

In August 2017, Trump delivered a speech to American troops vowing “we will fight to win” in Afghanistan. “America’s enemies must never know our plans, or believe they can wait us out,” he said. “I will not say when we are going to attack, but attack we will.”

The Taliban continued to escalate its terrorist attacks…Still, the United States and Taliban signed a peace agreement on February 29, 2020, although Taliban attacks against Afghan forces continued, as did American airstrikes…

The fourth president in power during the war, President Joe Biden, in April 2021, set the symbolic deadline of September 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, as the date of full U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan…But By August 2021, the Taliban regaining power two weeks before the United States was set to withdraw all troops from the region. Overall, the conflict resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and a$2 trillion price

The conflict lasted two decades and spanned four U.S. presidencies, becoming the longest war in American history.

  • Black Horse:

the number of hungry people in the world is on the rise.In 2016, 815 million people were undernourished, an increase of 38 million people from 2015. Almost 500 million of the world’s hungry live in countries affected by conflict.

• The number of people who are acutely food-insecure (in need of emergency assistance) rose from 80 million in 2016 to 108 million in 2017—a 35 percent increase in a single year.

• Over 65 million people are currently displaced because of violence, conflict and persecution—more than any other time since World War II.

• Increased migration and the spilling of conflicts beyond borders has led to a proliferation of, and interest in, “fragile states”—states defined by “the absence or breakdown of a social contract between people and their government.”

• By 2030, between half and two-thirds of the world’s poor are expected to live in states classified as fragile. While a decade ago most fragile states were low-income countries, today almost half are middle-income countries.

Meanwhile, the international system of governance, as defined by the nation state, is evolving. A main “weapon” of modern conflict is information, allowing non-state actors to undermine traditional nation states in more consequential ways, attacking their legitimacy rather than their military power. Non-traditional security threats—like food insecurity—can serve as drivers of recruitment for non-state actors, furthering destabilization. Such threats cannot be addressed through military responses alone.

Many political and military leaders, acknowledging this new reality, have recognized the importance of “smart power” in the form of foreign assistance, especially food assistance and agricultural development. “Show me a nation that cannot feed itself,” remarked Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), “and I’ll show you a nation in chaos.”

American investigative journalist Alfred Henry Lewis (1855-1914) famously said, “There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy.” …What he means is that hunger dispels the illusions of a polite society and unleashes the desperate animal-like nature that lurks inside all human beings. A starving man trying to feed his starving children will at some point abandon all law and order, doing anything necessary to keep himself and his children alive, including engaging in robbery, assault and murder.

  • Pale Horse: Death on a massive scale

 “A series of new reports document an alarming escalation of civilian casualties caused by U.S. operations in Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia — and with it, a pattern of U.S. denial about the scale of the problem. The result is a global war on terror that persists in killing and injuring civilians — including children — in ever rising numbers.

ISIS claimed the city of Raqqa, in north-central Syria, as the capital of its so-called “caliphate” in January 2014…But it was the U.S.-led bombing campaigns in Raqqa for which civilians and their city paid the highest price…The assault was relentless. “One U.S. military official boasted about firing 30,000 artillery rounds during the campaign — the equivalent of a strike every six minutes, for four months straight — surpassing the amount of artillery used in any conflict since the Viet Nam war,” the report…documented 1,600 civilians killed by U.S.-led airstrikes on the city, limiting their count mostly to those the organization and its partners were able to reasonably verify on the ground. “Raqqa’s soaring civilian death toll is unsurprising,” the report concludes, “given the Coalition’s relentless barrage of munitions that were inaccurate to the point of being indiscriminate when used near civilians…”

in Afghanistan…more civilians had been killed by U.S. and U.S.-backed forces than by the Taliban or ISIS….Eighteen years of war and occupation haven’t eliminated the Taliban — while the U.S.-backed Afghan government fades under a morass of corruption and incompetence...

The largely invisible U.S. war on Somalia…have included Special Forces and other ground troops hunting for al-Qaeda, al-Shabab and other militant organizations. Beginning under the Obama administration, the main focus has been an air war carried out largely by drones…“The toll from bombs, drone strikes and firefights is only the tip of the iceberg.

Not included are the hundreds of thousands killed in war zones around the world by U.S.-imposed economic sanctions, by hunger stemming from food system disruption, and by disease resulting from the bombing of water treatment facilitieshospitals and clinicsAnd they are being killed by the very soldiers and pilots, bombers, National Security Councils, congressional war-funders, parliaments, prime ministers and presidents who claim to be liberating them.” “Around 90% of all deaths in war are civilians.

All these [four horsemen events] are [just] the beginning of sorrows.”

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