Talking and Spending Without Relief



By Harry M. Covert

For the first time in a few days I wasn’t awakened in the early morning hours at 2:30, 2:45 and 3 o’clock by missile alerts from the latest iPhone APP. I don’t know what APP stands for but it works, at least until the battery runs out of juice. I figured that finally the bombings from Gaza to Israel had stopped and all was well in that part of the world. I was certainly wrong this time. The phone was simply dead and the adapter cord wouldn’t recharge. Once the computer technicians discovered cracker crumbs had somehow plugged up the connection and the charge increased, the alerts resumed much to my chagrin. The situation grows more serious every hour.

       What really startles me is, with the exception of the cable news shows, there is no public outcry about the Arab-Israeli war or the Ukraine situation. Maybe the population is becoming somewhat isolationist again? Obviously there is lots of war weariness out there. That’s understandable.

So dealing with the daytime heat I put my nose into an honest-to-goodness paper book and then consulted the electronic reader. For a short while I resorted to the days of yesteryear and wondered what some leaders had to say about world affairs. I didn’t include Mr. Clinton. I was reminded of a comment from a retired Lynchburg, Va., sheriff, Lawrence Simpson: “Always remember when violators and criminals start talking, they’re lying.” Perhaps this is somewhat cynical but it holds true with world leaders, especially those who just can’t stand playing second and third fiddle to Americans.


Sir Winston Churchill didn’t ignore the Russians 70 years ago. “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.” He must have considered Vladimir Putin who seems to have bluffed and rebuffed his way these days, Europeans hostage and Americans, too. Some folks use to call Joe Stalin “Uncle Joe.” No one would want an uncle like him, one of the world’s most notorious killers and of his own people. He said, “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.” To that, he added, “Death is the solution to all problems. No man – no problem.”

The “troubles” under way are exactly wars even though folks don’t want to describe them that way. They are wars — good versus evil. The same holds true of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and those of Korea and Vietnam.

No amount of sweetness and light is going to change the horrendous events going on in Israel and Ukraine. It’s that simple. One of my prized possessions is a cross-stitched framed wall hanging always in my office: “When all else fails, grab the problem by the throat.”

It always seems to be the American role to take the lead. Something is amiss today. It is nice to talk but missiles and shootings continue big time, killing and destroying, and, dollars keep floating to the world trouble spots. Talking and spending, the soul of the USofA?

Let’s recall the words of President Ronald Reagan, “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.” Can somebody flying out of Maryland’s Joint Base Andrews pay attention please?


Rockets’ Red Glare


By Harry M. Covert

For the past week, I’ve been inundated with instant rocket reports slamming into Israel. The iPhone rings every few seconds that another town has been hit. No, these attacks haven’t been in the continental United States.

Thankfully, political opponents pro and con haven’t resorted to sneaky spasms, I mean sending destructive munitions into Pennsylvania or Constitution avenues or other sections where partisanship is bubbling and bubbling.. The ability of handheld computers to report each time a rocket is instantly fired is quite an attention getter. Oh yes, these rockets are being fired from Gaza into the towns and cities in the State of Israel. Imagine the result if such attacks occurred on American soil?

What relevance does the war – the constant fighting — have to do with us? Plenty. Almost every resident has a friend or family member in the Middle East and around the world. The rocket alert continues to blast every three or four seconds. It’s difficult to ignore them. I sincerely hope that some truce can be made immediately. Unfortunately centuries old hatred still reigns. Beep, beep and more beeps. More landings, even during recent lulls they call temporary truces.

The deadly bombs coming from guerrillas make no sense. No one likes to admit it but American Christians, primarily Evangelicals, support Israel and its right to their homeland, surrounded by enemies who want to destroy it. The land was mandated to Israel in 1948.

Most Christians and people of faith believe the words from Genesis where God said, “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will   curse.” I am one of the believers. Following the Nazi crimes of World War II, Jews from all over the world flooded to Israel to build their homeland. They have certainly done that and under extreme conditions, always looking over their shoulders. Within the last three minutes of this writing, attacks have landed in Rishon LeZion, Ashdod, Shaar Hanegev, Eshkol, Ashkelon.

My admiration for Israel’s secret services, Mossad, has always been high. After such devastation in human misery of the concentration camps, the world should never forget and never allow such killings to reoccur. Israel won’t and should not.

If Hamas wants to have peace, they should stop the rockets.

For years I have tried to figure a way to recall this story. I began in the newspaper business in my hometown. On Wednesday afternoons once the sports pages had gone to press, I helped a veteran editor collect all of the church news for Thursday.


One afternoon a man, dressed in short-sleeve shirt and khaki pants brought in the neatly typed news of the local orthodox synagogue. As an 18-year-old rookie trying to grow up, I noticed blue numbers on the man’s left arm. In ignorance, I asked what the tattoo meant. Instantly, my older colleagues were startled. Several yelled “shut up” and “sit down.”

The man from Adath Jeshurun Synagogue merely smiled and shook hands with this boy.

In seconds, my education increased. I became heavily interested in history. It has sunk in, too.

Ignorance is not bliss. It can be most embarrassing. The learning process is usually rapid, particularly in an old-time newsroom. One of the most troubling things about politics throughout the nation today is simply that hatefulness has become so welcomed and prevalent.

Look at events in Israel, Palestine and throughout that area of the world. Tragic. We can only cry. The nation has a blessed spot in the world.

Alexis de Tocqueville put it this way, “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” I trust the latter is still taught in schools, beginning in kindergarten and continuing through high schools.◄◄