- The Washington Times
Monday, May 30, 2022

NEWS AND OPINION:

Let’s pause to remember Rolling Thunder, the nonprofit charity and interest group that organized an annual event for over three decades in Washington to draw attention to issues of concern for veterans and the families of fallen or missing military personnel from all wars.

Rolling Thunder — the name — is appropriate. The annual event drew upwards of 500,000 motorcycles, with some estimates ranging as high as a million. It rolled, and it was thunderous.


The organization, however, has moved on to a new mission which has gone beyond the historic streets of the nation’s capital.

“We had a very good run this year — and it was a nationwide event,” said Artie Muller, who co-founded Rolling Thunder in 1987 with fellow veteran Ray Manzo, and later incorporated it as a nonprofit charity with a trademarked name. He remains the executive director of the group.

“Our mission is still focused on those missing in action, prisoners of war and helping those veterans who need a hand,” Mr. Muller said in an interview with The Washington Times.

Now he hopes to take that mission to all 50 states through the organization’s many local and regional chapters.

“As far as Washington, D.C. goes, we’re all glad we’re out of there, because we feel it was time of a change and a move. We all feel that taking our mission and our message nationwide through our many chapters — we have over 80 around the country — with an event in their own state would get the word out,” Mr. Muller said.

Indeed, those patriotic events took place over Memorial Day weekend, staged by those local chapters in their own cities, towns and neighborhoods.

This newly emerged outreach could prove to be a personal and more effective experience for the membership than a single large event — and one with greater reach, Mr. Muller reasons.

“It’s more important that the chapters and other organizations join to together to let everyone know that veterans still need that helping hand — and that we have a lot of Americans who were left behind after past wars. Working together, they can get more of this information to the public. Just being in Washington D.C. for 32 years didn’t reach out to all 50 states. And that’s what we want to do now — to take our mission and our message out nationwide,” Mr. Muller said.

A CONVERSATION OF NOTE

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Society ­— a nonprofit organization that preserves the legacy of the World War II predecessor to the CIA, the U.S. Special Operations Command, and the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research — offers a series of intriguing public conversations about the clandestine world.

Past participants have included retired Adm. William McRaven, a former commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, plus former Defense Secretaries James Mattis, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta.

“Our next conversation  — ‘The Digital World: Killing Espionage and Saving Intelligence?’ — will take place June 16th between Sue Gordon, former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and Ellen McCarthy, former director of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the successor to the OSS Research and Analysis Branch — its ‘chairborne division’ — and the oldest civilian component of the intelligence community,” Charles Pinck, president of the OSS Society, advises Inside the Beltway.

The registration link is at http://gordonmccarthy.eventbrite.com,

He also pointed out the ceremonies that were held on Memorial Day in the Tarn region of France honoring the memory of two members of OSS Operational Group PAT and French personnel who were killed in action.

To honor them, French Special Forces and U.S. Special Operations Command personnel jumped into the same drop zone used by PAT.

ON THE RADAR

A new book titled “The Bodies of Others: The New Authoritarians, COVID-19 and The War Against the Human” by Naomi Wolf arrives Tuesday.

“Big Tech and Big Pharma to the CCP and our oligarchical elites seized upon two years of COVID-19 panic in sinister new ways, to not only undermine our nation but to fundamentally reorient human relations, to put all human interactions behind a digital paywall,” publisher All Seasons Press advises Inside the Beltway.

Both book and author will be celebrated at a very swell affair in a very nice hotel not far from the White House.

All Seasons Press, incidentally, is a discerning New York-based publisher focussed on the work of conservative writers.

PROMISING NEWS FOR THE GOP

Here’s some straightforward news for the Republican Party — which now has a six-percentage point lead in its bid to recapture control of Congress.

A Rasmussen Reports survey finds that, if the elections for Congress were held today, 47% of likely U.S. voters would choose the Republican candidate, 41% would vote for the Democrat. Another 4% of voters would pick for “some other candidate,” 7% were unsure.

The survey of 2,500 U.S. likely voters was conducted May 22-26.

“The Republican lead on the congressional ballot is due both to greater GOP partisan intensity and an 11-point advantage among independents. While 87% of Republican voters say they would vote for their own party’s congressional candidate, only 81% of Democrats would vote for the Democratic candidate. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 42% would vote Republican and 31% would vote Democrat, while 12% would vote for some other candidate and 15% are undecided,” the pollster said in an analysis.

“The Republican advantage is strongest among entrepreneurs and retirees, who favor the GOP by a 15-percentage point margin. Less than six months away from the congressional midterms, Republicans are more fired up than Democrats about voting this November,” the analysis noted.

POLL DU JOUR

64% of adults in 27 countries say their country is “on the wrong track.”

• 34% overall cite inflation, 31% cite poverty, and 27% cite both employment and crime.

• 24% cite political corruption, 19% name health care, 16% COVID-19, and 15% climate change.

• 14% cite both education challenges and military conflict between nations, and 11% cite immigration controls.

• 9% cite both environmental threats and moral decline, and 8% terrorism.

• 7% cite rise of extremism, 6% social challenges, and 2% access to credit.

SOURCE: An Ipsos global poll of 19,505 adults in 27 participating counties conducted from April 22 to May 6 and released May 26. Respondents could cite multiple problems.

Correction: A previous version of this column misidentified OSS Society president Charles Pinck.

• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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