The patrol torpedo boat PT-109 commanded by Lieutenant John F Kennedy sunk 78 years ago, on August 2nd 1943, after being rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. This incident gave Kennedy lifelong back problems and a war hero status because of the bravery he showed to save his surviving crew. The disaster was also one of the foundations for his political career.
As I face the tremendous uncertainties of life in a society which is trashing the legacy of freedom from World War Two, JFK is one of the heroes whose legacy I cherish.
As he said, “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”
“The only thing new on this earth is the history you don’t know.” – Harry Truman
The Marshall Plan is famous as an act of extraordinary generosity from America which restored prosperity to a war ravaged Europe.
It was signed into law by President Truman on the 3rd of April 1948.
The plan was conceived and put in place after the damage was done and the situation had been fully assessed.
Now we see people in a health crisis calling it a war and spending enormous sums of money to prevent as yet unknown damage and simultaneously ceasing the economic activities which could generate the income to pay for what is being spent.
Does that order of doing things and that way of speaking of things make any sense?
What makes more sense to me as words for reflection by all of us now are these words of George C Marshall himself:
“The only way human beings can win a war is to prevent it.”
“A political problem thought of in military terms eventually becomes a military problem.”
The more I reflect on The Greatest Generation, the more I believe this modern world still has a lot to learn.
Woodrow Wilson is considered a father of globalism. His own presidency did not end well.
He was elected as America’s 28th president (POTUS 28) in 1912 on a platform called The New Freedom advocating limited government.
In 1916, Wilson won a second term with the campaign slogans, “He kept us out of war.” and “America First”. He swept the South and the West (except Oregon) but lost the Northeast and most of the Midwest.
In the space of five months, by April 2nd 1917, German attacks on American and international shipping lead POTUS 28 to ask Congress to declare war on Germany, saying:
“The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make.”
The declaration passed 373 to 50 in The House and 82 to 6 in The Senate.
In 1919, Wilson spoke words about World War One heroes, which make for an interesting comparison with the following generation’s achievements in World War Two, “The Americans who went to Europe to die are a unique breed…. (They) crossed the seas to a foreign land to fight for a cause which they did not pretend was peculiarly their own, which they knew was the cause of humanity and mankind. These Americans gave the greatest of all gifts, the gift of life and the gift of spirit.”—speech at Suresnes Cemetery, May 30, 1919.
Wilson’s presidency ended with the President himself in poor health (but still hoping for a third term), the treaty of Versailles (making World War Two inevitable), American GDP falling and a constitutional amendment imposing nationwide Prohibition.
In 1945, my dad served under General Douglas MacArthur for freedom and democracy.
Perhaps the proudest acheivement of my lifetime is the grassroots celebration of WW2 which I created at a national heritage waterhole in Indonesia where General MacArthur built his wife a bathroom.
One of the great lessons of World War Two is that the true defence of freedom requires enormous discipline.
No one with sense who has seen the artistic masterpeice, which is your State Of The Union speech this year, can doubt your commitment to understanding World War Two and your care for your people.
I repeat, I salute that work of art as a masterpiece.
Right now, as a person living in a nation whose future safety from totalitarianism still relies on American strength, I respectfully ask you to be very careful how quickly you make new spending promises.
In the 1940’s, nazism in Europe helped caused the collapse of British, French and Dutch colonial power in Southeast Asia.
Japanese imperialism quickly filled the power vacuum till American leadership and industry saved the free world.
All the peoples of the free world still need you to be strong, fair and generous within reason.
God Bless You, Mr President, and God Bless Freedom.
For all its shortcomings, this art display, along with my other Indonesian art displays, has probably been the crowning achievement of what was my life as an Austral-Indonesian Word Artist.
When I tried to share this in what is now for me the police state of Victoria, I was stripped of my civic, human, and democratic rights. Such is life for far too many men in modern Australia and right across the Western World. We are far too often not allowed to have the life we should have anymore.
Attention: Stephen Wall, CEO, Maribyrnong City Council
Today is the 74th anniversary of the start of the Second Battle of Balikpapan, the last major Battle in World War 2 (WW2). My father landed on that city’s beach back then and saw his fellow Australians die for a freedom which I more recently wished to celebrate in Maribyrnong. But instead of celebrating the allied victory over fascism in 1945 with you and your team, I now condemn you for your negligent failure to defend democratic rights and freedom of speech in accordance with your responsibility as CEO for the daily running of the Maribyrnong government.
In 2015 one of your councillors dismissed my efforts to lobby
her on WW2 commemoration as “harassment”. When I complained to you, you wrote
to me early in the morning on May 27 that year: “I am sorry that you have felt
distressed and I look forward to speaking with you soon.” and repeated later in
the morning: “I can assure you we will speak once I have had a chance to speak
with Cr. Carter.” Despite many emails from me in the intervening four years about
the events that followed you have never communicated with me again. Why did you break that promise?
In the time since then, my civic and human rights to freedom of speech and to participate in local government via elected representatives have been trashed by your team leaving me unable to survive in Australia.
Furthermore, not one of my many attempts to discuss my situation in Maribyrnong with you and your team has been fully addressed. To his credit, Martin Zakharov has attempted to address some of the issues and has admitted the unnecessary unfairness of what was done, but the fundamental questions raised about your team’s police state action against me remain unanswered.
German musician and round the world cyclist Philipp Zey describes my decision to leave Australia like this: “I met Geoff Fox in Indonesia and spent time with him in Australia. He has chosen not to suffer but to seek to live in honor, peace and respect.”
I cannot live under a government that panders to a misandry which listens to women but my male story of many fathers’ sacrifice got criminalised by the police.
I will not live in a municipality where people make money out of suicide.
I cannot live where the simple act of trying to resolve problems by discussion is ignored.
I cannot live without freedom of speech which means both being heard and getting a response.
In short, as my Indonesian friends love to say, “Merdeka
atau Mati” (Freedom or Death.)
If you had done the job you promised to do on May 27, 2015, maybe my faith in living in the country of my birth would not have been destroyed.
Shame on you.
Geoff Fox, refugee, Jawa, Indonesia, 1st July, 2019
Mr Morrison, I renounce my citizenship of the Commonwealth Of Australia.
In 2015 and 2016 my efforts to celebrate the victory over fascism in WW2 by advocating for environmentalist military heritage tree planting in Maribyrnong were labelled harassment from within the Australian Labor Party in Maribyrnong and police action was taken against me. This action violated human rights of mine under Articles 5, 8, 9, 12, 19 and 21 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
In the three years since then my efforts to get what happened addressed or even properly discussed have failed. As a result I have spent far too much of this time crippled by suicidal ideation. I do not believe I can survive in Australia.
So I now renounce my Australian citizenship, in accordance with my right under Article 15 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights to change my nationality. I am 62 years old, wounded and vulnerable. Please do not throw obstacles in the way of my finding a better life elsewhere. Please help make my transition to another country as easy as possible if you can. Also please do whatever you can to see that no Australian suffers again what I have suffered.
My father faced Japanese bullets on the beach at Balikpapan in 1945 for a better Australia than the one in which I see no future for myself.
Geoff Fox, formerly of Maribyrnong, Australia, 19th June, 2019.
(Explanatory Postscript added May 14 2021: This renunciation was made under Indonesian law in Indonesia. In immigration detention there I was treated well enough by the Indonesian detention centre staff but bullied by the Australian Consul-General from Surabaya on what was supposed to be a welfare visit. His arrogance and emotional viciousness were just like Victoria Police and the ALP at their misandrist worst. The doctrine of Terra Nullius is emotionally alive and kicking people like me in too much of Australian governments and so called justice.)
Mayor Zakharov, why was my initial lobbying related to the future of this site labelled as “harassment”? Why did police come round to my home ready to arrest me in 2016 two days after I warned the labeller that I would extend and renew my formal complaints about her if she did not engage in dialogue with me to seek a resolution? Why did police come back to my home two weeks later and arrest me on the basis of the same warrant for the “crime” of sending too many electronic messages? When I asked the senior sergeant “How any electronic messages is too many?” he couldn’t tell me. Can you?
One Australian artist, who also wants to see the Explosives Factory Maribyrnong site preserved as a National Park, writes, “I think Geoff Fox is a victim of a terrible injustice.”
Jordan on the Screen from the UK writes: “This makes me angry because the cause was truly noble. An honest request to honour our Heroes yet a politician responded with explicit and implicit denigration of Geoff Fox. These people really are the Devil’s backside.”
Do you, Mayor Zakharov, understand how traumatic it has been for me to be arrested for creative patriotism?
I am still in a state of shock.
Geoff Fox, Maribyrnong, 26th May (slight revision 12/07/21), 2019