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Conservatives, I'd like a few moments of your time...

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brencat

Platinum Member
Feb 26, 2007
2,170
3
76
Craig & Sandorski...you two are completely mad. Reagan WON the cold war by challenging the soviets to an arms buildup -- one in which the USSR was wholely incapable of winning due to the bureaucracy and how it was set up -- until it finally collapsed from within. And not a shot was fired. If it were up to you two pacifists, some of the worst evils would now be threatening many more people on this earth.

To say that Carter was better than Reagan...I hope to God that was sarcasm because I can't think of a bigger pussy in the 20th century. He was a damn disgrace, and made our country a laughing stock what with allowing Americans to be held hostage for over a year! I often hear people say "Carter made a lot of bad decisions, but he was a really nice man." Well isn't that sweet...you dopes. I don't want a 'nice' president. I want someone who is effective and savvy, and who puts AMERICAN interests first each time and EVERY time.

You people are dangerous. And God willing, your kind will not be allowed to wield the reigns of power for very long.
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
62,149
14,361
136
Originally posted by: brencat
Craig & Sandorski...you two are completely mad. Reagan WON the cold war by challenging the soviets to an arms buildup -- one in which the USSR was wholely incapable of winning due to the bureaucracy and how it was set up -- until it finally collapsed from within. And not a shot was fired. If it were up to you two pacifists, some of the worst evils would now be threatening many more people on this earth.

To say that Carter was better than Reagan...I hope to God that was sarcasm because I can't think of a bigger pussy in the 20th century. He was a damn disgrace, and made our country a laughing stock what with allowing Americans to be held hostage for over a year!

You people are dangerous. And God willing, your kind will not be allowed to wield the reigns of power for very long.

You merely repeat the most simplistic pablum of the rightwing. I will grant that the meeting of the minds between gorbachev and Reagan was Reagan's greatest achievement, but not for the ridiculous faux reasons you apparently believe-

http://www.washingtonpost.com/.../A32927-2004Jun10.html
 

jpeyton

Moderator in SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones
Moderator
Aug 23, 2003
25,375
141
116
Anyone read the breaking news about McClellan agreeing that he would testify under oath before Congress about pre-war intelligence, Plame and the attorney firings?
 

brencat

Platinum Member
Feb 26, 2007
2,170
3
76
Originally posted by: Jhhnn
[You merely repeat the most simplistic pablum of the rightwing. I will grant that the meeting of the minds between gorbachev and Reagan was Reagan's greatest achievement, but not for the ridiculous faux reasons you apparently believe-

http://www.washingtonpost.com/.../A32927-2004Jun10.html
Do you think he would actually admit in a forum like that referenced in this 2004 article that the Soviets were beaten? You obviously are not familiar with Russian paranoia and a desire to never show weakness -- it's about 10x the level of the average U.S. citizen. I have seen it first hand in a few acquaintences and work colleagues over the years.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
2
0
Originally posted by: brencat
Originally posted by: Jhhnn
[You merely repeat the most simplistic pablum of the rightwing. I will grant that the meeting of the minds between gorbachev and Reagan was Reagan's greatest achievement, but not for the ridiculous faux reasons you apparently believe-

http://www.washingtonpost.com/.../A32927-2004Jun10.html
Do you think he would actually admit in a forum like that referenced in this 2004 article that the Soviets were beaten? You obviously are not familiar with Russian paranoia and a desire to never show weakness -- it's about 10x the level of the average U.S. citizen. I have seen it first hand in a few acquaintences and work colleagues over the years.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brencat, you should quit while you are behind, and in a previous post you said it best with a 3 word summation of your intellect, namely "I can't think." Admittedly an out of context low blow but valid none then less.

If you had read the link by that vicious peace monger Gorbachev, the telling remark was that no one one the cold war because each side had lost 10 trillion dollars pissed down a rat hole. But the Russians took that peace dividend, had to totally transform their economy as they lost most of their post WW2 gains, and its been a brutal 2 decades for the Russians. But now under Putin, the Russians are flush with cash thanks to abundant oil resources, and in far better economic shape than the USA.

As for that Russian paranoia you mention, its somewhat ingrained in their history. During WW2, the USA pissed and moaned that it got sucker punched at Pearl Harbor as we lost less
than 3000 people. When Hitler sucker punched the Russians, they lost something on the order of 50 million people. And Hitler was somewhat only the second coming of Napoleon.

But I think when the far in the future history books are written, Reagan will not be judged kindly and the image of Carter will regain better luster. But still, in charity to you and as Gorbachev mentioned, Reagan will still win some for the image over substance he projected, while GWB will be judged as having all the Reagan disadvantages and none of the charm.

But we still getting far afield of the original thread topic of McClennan v GWB&co. and the fact that neither Reagan or GWB can be called conservatives. When both practised a limited shelf life practice of spend and borrow. Leaving those that come after to repay the borrowing.



 

dmcowen674

No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
54,894
46
91
www.alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: brencat
Craig & Sandorski...you two are completely mad. Reagan WON the cold war by challenging the soviets to an arms buildup -- one in which the USSR was wholely incapable of winning due to the bureaucracy and how it was set up -- until it finally collapsed from within. And not a shot was fired. If it were up to you two pacifists, some of the worst evils would now be threatening many more people on this earth.

To say that Carter was better than Reagan...I hope to God that was sarcasm because I can't think of a bigger pussy in the 20th century. He was a damn disgrace, and made our country a laughing stock what with allowing Americans to be held hostage for over a year! I often hear people say "Carter made a lot of bad decisions, but he was a really nice man." Well isn't that sweet...you dopes. I don't want a 'nice' president. I want someone who is effective and savvy, and who puts AMERICAN interests first each time and EVERY time.

You people are dangerous. And God willing, your kind will not be allowed to wield the reigns of power for very long.
Two different extremes.

Carter was not the best example of Democrat and Bush is not the best example for Republican.

You seem to be endorsing Imperialsm however which is what Bush has done.

Reagan did not practice Imperialsm, for that I give him great credit and thanks.

Bush wrecked us and a lot more than Carter did with his extremism.

A shame you will not admit to it.
 

brencat

Platinum Member
Feb 26, 2007
2,170
3
76
Originally posted by: Lemon law
If you had read the link by that vicious peace monger Gorbachev, the telling remark was that no one one the cold war because each side had lost 10 trillion dollars pissed down a rat hole. But the Russians took that peace dividend, had to totally transform their economy as they lost most of their post WW2 gains, and its been a brutal 2 decades for the Russians. But now under Putin, the Russians are flush with cash thanks to abundant oil resources, and in far better economic shape than the USA.

When Hitler sucker punched the Russians, they lost something on the order of 50 million people. And Hitler was somewhat only the second coming of Napoleon.

But we still getting far afield of the original thread topic of McClennan v GWB&co. and the fact that neither Reagan or GWB can be called conservatives. When both practised a limited shelf life practice of spend and borrow. Leaving those that come after to repay the borrowing.
-- The Reagan era created close to 20 million new jobs (and highly skilled ones at that) relative to the 70s. Who cares how much money was pissed away? We had the economic growth to offset that and won the cold war. The Russians didn't. But I suppose you'd have rather given some of that money to social programs and welfare, right?

-- I'm not even going to respond to the claim that Russia is somehow in better economic shape than the USA. That's just stupid. The country gets 60+% of its export revenue from the energy sector, and a large portion of its overall GDP too. What's going to happen when oil/gas prices eventually fall?

-- 50 million dead in WW2 for Russia? Major exageration. It's more like 21 million (split up ~ 12 mil soldiers/conscripts, and the rest civilians (quite a few killed by Stalin himself)). Still, the Russians lost a lot of people I'll give you that -- something like 10% of their population.

-- Read my earlier post. I said if McClennan's book is a vehicle that expedites the house cleaning needed to ensure we never have another "conservative" administration like this one, I'm all for it.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
30,114
3,651
126
Originally posted by: sandorski
Yup. Reagan was a Faux Hero. Turns out Carter was the better of the 2.
When history can be so easily re-written like that, civil discourse is not what follows. Please understand where this divide leads.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
345
126
When Reagan moved our nation to one of huge borrowing, of course there is a short-term benefit, like someone who buys new things on a credit card has a short-term benefit.

As I understand it, today one in 3 of our dollars spent in the federal budget on discretionary spending goes to interest on the debt. And now the benefit is much less.

It's remarkable how the same people who can say the USSR fell because of its unsustainable economic problems can not see the need for big change for the US.

It's not enough that they say they're against the behavior of the Bush administration, when they keep voting for the same party that since Reagan has behaved this way.
 

naddicott

Senior member
Jul 3, 2002
793
0
76
The Reagan/Carter comparison varies depending on which sphere you're discussing. On national security, Reagan's projected strength may have had a better overall effect than Carter's calm demeanor, although the Egypt/Israel peace from the Camp David accord has lasted the test of time.

The most damning element of the Reagan administration, from a historical perspective, is the killing off of government efforts to develop better energy security / efficiency / conservation, which in the current day light would have been well worth continuing.

(source)
The Carter era. President Carter's National Energy Plan had two broad objectives: first, to reduce dependence on foreign oil; and, second, to develop renewable and inexhaustible sources of energy. The DOE proposed energy efficiency standards for new buildings, created the Solar Training Institute, and worked with General Motors to develop prototype electric cars and trucks.
...
The Reagan and Bush era. Early in his first term, Ronald Reagan sought to abolish the DOE. He cut hundreds of positions from enforcement divisions of the agency. Reagan's abolition attempt failed in Congress when a General Accounting Office study revealed that abolition of the DOE would not save any money. Reagan was still able to change the function significantly. The Reagan-era DOE placed a much stronger focus on nuclear weapons production, nuclear energy, and fossil fuels. The Reagan administration cut DOE funding for renewable energy and conservation programs by as much as 80 percent, while it pledged to speed the licensing process of new nuclear power plants. The Reagan-era DOE deregulated the gasoline market. Between 1981 and 1989 the DOE dramatically expanded its weapons production and testing activities. During the previous decade nuclear weapons had been tested once every two years. In the 1980s three nuclear tests were conducted each year. The DOE also began preparations to store high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
The S&L crisis also rests squarely on Reagan's deregulation, although the current mortgage crisis makes those events seem kind of minor.

I'd personally put Reagan somewhere in the middle of the pack, with GW Bush somewhere in the bottom 5.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,385
3,516
126
Originally posted by: Jaskalas
Originally posted by: sandorski
Yup. Reagan was a Faux Hero. Turns out Carter was the better of the 2.
When history can be so easily re-written like that, civil discourse is not what follows. Please understand where this divide leads.
No need to rewrite anything. Just look at what the 2 initiated and you'll see how both tie in to current events: 1) Oil/Energy issues 2) Terrorism/Mid-East Issues
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
345
126
Originally posted by: naddicott
The Reagan/Carter comparison varies depending on which sphere you're discussing. On national security, Reagan's projected strength may have had a better overall effect than Carter's calm demeanor, although the Egypt/Israel peace from the Camp David accord has lasted the test of time.
Was Reagan's 'projected strength' *really* good for the nation? It made a lot of Americans 'feel good', but was it really good?

It rested on the back of his policies that missed opportunities for arms control, backed terrible forces in other nations, encouraged a war with a million casualties, flaunted the rule of law and the power of congress in illegally funding the contra terrorists, got us into (and out of in an embarrassing retreat) Lebanon with Israel, wasted large sums on excessive weapons programs (which did not cause the fall of the USSR), hurt the image of the US as a nation of 'justice' and 'peace' in the eyes of much of the world, invaded Grenada, and more.

How harmful was Carter's 'weakness', really? I'll agree he had his problems with leadership. He was no JFK, who was able to bring the agenda of peace into a cold war culture.

Yet, how did the US do under Carter? So, some student revolutionaries in the chaotic aftermath of overthrowing a US-installed dictator in Iran held dozens of Americans for over a year, as the military failed in a rescue mission, and were eventually returned unharmed (unlike the 249 marines Reagan put in Lebanon, among others). That's the worst thing?

Praising Reagan in this area has a need for huge moral callousness, a willingness for any thousands or more around the world to be murdered for a 'fix' of 'feeling strong'.

He reduced the issues of foreign policy to a John Wayne-like sound-bite image, under which lied the move to America doing massive evil in the world.

You can argue we needed some of the 'strength' Reagan brought to the nation while condemning the bodies of countless innocents he put in the deal.

Reagan was a front man for forces of evil, a man who seemed to mean well in many ways but was incapable of preventing the means of evil in his own administration.

Unfortunately, the facts are little-known, and opinions are largely formed by the memory of the grandfatherly tone and the spin the right-wing noise machine has put out on him.

Better presidents than Reagan came to realize that the better situation for America is not as the user of force around the world, but as a moral leader and example.

I have, therefore, chosen this time and place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth too rarely perceived. And that is the most important topic on earth: peace. What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children -- not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.
- John Kennedy
Can you honestly tell me that the Republicans, that Reagan, were against a 'Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war'?

Much less that they saw peace as the 'most important issue', and 'not merely peace for Americans but peace for all'?

The people wrongfully killed around the world for the crass expression of American power under Reagan, rather than for 'need', would like to speak with you if you say yes.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
4
0
He was no JFK, who was able to bring the agenda of peace into a cold war culture.
Craig you need to get away from your liberal fantasy land view of JFK.

JFK approved the invasion of another country, Cuba.
He nearly started WW 3 with the Cuban Missile Crisis.
He increased the number of US troops in Vietnam from 800 to 16,300.
His administration backed a coup in Iraq.
He made a speech at the Berlin wall that was very similar to the one made by Reagan 25+ years later.
There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lasst sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin.
He spoke about the need for a strong military at his inauguration and against weakness.
We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.
He also cut taxes and spoke of tax cuts as a way to "stimulate economic growth"
The elimination of certain defects and inequities as proposed below will provide revenue gains to offset the tax reductions offered to stimulate the economy. Thus no net loss of revenue is involved in this set of proposals.
Finally, James Piereson, author of "Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism" said something really interesting:
Democrats and the liberals have been looking now for 45 years for someone to pick up the mantle of John F. Kennedy?someone who is optimistic about America and an attractive figure whom they can be proud of. But I?d suggest that the person who really picked up the mantle from John Kennedy was Ronald Reagan. It was Ronald Reagan who began to re-moralize the Cold War. It was Reagan who said, as JFK had said, that this was a struggle between freedom and tyranny
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
345
126
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
He was no JFK, who was able to bring the agenda of peace into a cold war culture.
Craig you need to get away from your liberal fantasy land view of JFK.

JFK approved the invasion of another country, Cuba.
He nearly started WW 3 with the Cuban Missile Crisis.
He increased the number of US troops in Vietnam from 800 to 16,300.
His administration backed a coup in Iraq.
He made a speech at the Berlin wall that was very similar to the one made by Reagan 25+ years later.
There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lasst sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin.
He spoke about the need for a strong military at his inauguration and against weakness.
We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.
He also cut taxes and spoke of tax cuts as a way to "stimulate economic growth"
The elimination of certain defects and inequities as proposed below will provide revenue gains to offset the tax reductions offered to stimulate the economy. Thus no net loss of revenue is involved in this set of proposals.
Finally, James Piereson, author of "Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism" said something really interesting:
Democrats and the liberals have been looking now for 45 years for someone to pick up the mantle of John F. Kennedy?someone who is optimistic about America and an attractive figure whom they can be proud of. But I?d suggest that the person who really picked up the mantle from John Kennedy was Ronald Reagan. It was Ronald Reagan who began to re-moralize the Cold War. It was Reagan who said, as JFK had said, that this was a struggle between freedom and tyranny
PJ, for all the flaws of your post, it's an opportunity to clear the air on some JFK issues, so it's at least got that.

As I've said, I've studied the JFK administration since over 20 years ago, so you are going to need to recognize that the one-sided cherry-picking you do isn't going to get you a lot.

I've long suggested to you that you have the very poor habit of a 'debater's points' approach to the message board, where you look for cherry-picked things that appear to agree with your opinion, and by throwing up as many as you can find, you try to 'win' the point. This is quite unhelpful and even destructive to any sincere discussion about the issues. Benjamin Franklin had a group of friend he discussed issues with and the one rule for joining was to not bring pre-determined conclusions but rather to be willing to follow the facts and logic wherever. You would not be invited, sadly. I'd like to see you listen to this constructive feedback I've given to you and try to listen more and be open to the idea you might be wrong. You would learn, and grow, and have more unassailable positions.

Now, for JFK. Your points are actually pretty fair as far as they go. Their problem isn't being false, but rather the error of omission of the larger picture with JFK.

You need to try to understand from the evidence how much he was for war and why, how much he was for peace and how and why, how much he was for various polices not neatly fitting into either; and unfortunately for you in sorting it out, unlike many simpler presidents and policies, he was not simple and his times were not simple, and the information you have to sort out is often superficially contradictory, leaving you with a difficult question - and one for which a cherry-picking approach is particularly harmful.

A post does not allow the time for really explaining a lot about Kennedy as is needed to rebut the points made briefly above (if you want a short version, try 'you're wrong').

But I'll make some points that I think are more than adequate for addressing the claims.

Things to recognize are that Kennedy took power at the height of the cold war, a time when the public was heady from having won WWII and become the world's leading power just within the last 15 years, and one in which the fear of the USSR was huge, with no shortage of crazy and paranoid right-wing groups, just barely after the era of McCarthyism, and the US wanted a 'strong' leader. Kennedy knew his political capital rested on that issue.

Kennedy, like many good politicians, knew how to 'act' as needed. FDR once told a leading actor of his time that he didn't know who the better actor was between the two of them, and expressed how he didn't see how anyone who was not good at acting could be president (a view agreed with later by Ronald Reagan, unsurprisingly). So am I just throwing out yet another complication and a device that allows any statement by Kennedy to be 're-interpreted' as acting? Not at all. But it is part of the picture that Kennedy as a great politician was well aware of the need to 'project an image' that may not always quite reflect his personal views, for political needs. And the image needed at that time in history for a US politician was 'strength against the communists'.

In fact, Kennedy's analysis of what was needed against the communists was far more complex than 'strength'. He was influenced, for example, by the book "The Guns of August" which painted a picture of WWI started unintentionally by miscalculation, and one of his greatest fears was of the same happening on his watch with nuclear consequences. He made such a point of it that Kruschev once bellowed at him, "Miscalculation! Miscalculation! Miscalculation! All I ever hear from your people and your news correspondents and your friends in Europe and every place else is that damned word, miscalculation!" Kennedy and Kruschev learning to dance with one another was done during their early years in office, with each misjudging the other at first, with great risks as a result, but growing to an understanding. There's a reason why the bellicose Kruschev who 'could not be worked with', the man of the shoe pounding in the UN and missile placement in Cuba, came to refer to Kennedy's historic American University address on peace as the greatest speech by a president in decades and to take the unprecedented act of playing it uncensored across the USSR.

Kennedy, as a man of peace in a culture of war, knew how to put peace as the agenda in ways that fit the expectation for 'strength'. Typical is his use of a favorite phrase, "The Strategy of Peace" - the word strategy being hawkish and 'strong', used for cover for the topic of peace. Again and again you will see this playing off of hawkish as cover for peaceful topics in his speeches, with growth as his political standing became more solid to where he could speak more directly about peace, as he did in the American University speech.

Read that speech, if you haven't, or better yet watch it,and get a sense of his thinking, how at odds it was with the cold war culture.

Kennedy was consistently at odds with his own advisers on issues of peace. Bobby Kennedy once later remarked that there were 13 people in the Cuban Missile Crisis team, and if 8 of them had been president there would have been nuclear war. They were often having to struggle against the militaristic people in power while preserving their own political capital.

Look at who they worked with, from Allen Dulles as the founder of the CIA and his people such as Dick Bissell head of the operational side of the CIA, to the Joint Chiefs of Staff who Kennedy called 'crazy sons of bitches' IIRC (the disrespect was mutual), to J. Edgar Hoover and others. Think about it. How abnormal was it to have a President with huge tensions with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to where he couldn't stand to talk to one, where he created a new 'liason' position for Maxwell Taylor to buffer him from them and reduce their influence, where he created the Defense Intelligence Agency to help him gain control over the Pentagon by abolishing the service intelligence forces (read the history of this in "House of War" by the son of the founder of the DIA), where the disrespect was strong and mutual as evidenced by secret recordings of each after they'd meet?

How abnormal was it for the President to say he'd like to cut the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter them into the wind, not a moment of frustration but an ongoing difference, after he'd gotten rid of the top people including founder Dulles and made no few enemies in the process, and him planning a major redesign of US intelligence agencies his second term led by brother Bobby? How abnormal was it to have the Attorney General and president's brother at war with the Founding Director of the FBI, powerful enough to blackmail the president, with the AG ordering the installation of a direct phone line to Hoover's desk to dominate him, infuriating Hoover who had the line yanked out without permission the day JFK was shot, and who Bobby described as sounding gleeful when he was the first to call and inform Bobby of the news?

How abnormal was it for the president to be using "back door" diplomacy for critical communications with leaders such as Kruschev (confusing the Soviets who tried to decipher the meaning), avoiding the bureaucracy, for the President to be sending secondary representatives, such as his trusted friend Sentate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield to Vietnam to tell him what's 'really going on' because he couldn't trust the information he was receiving (and responding warmly to Mansfield's messages wehad to get out)?

It was a complicated time and situation requiring a lot more careful review than the cherry-picking anecdotes approach.

But let's look at your anecdotes for a moment.

He 'invaded Cuba'. You are a master at putting layers of misleading into few words. You leave out the fact that he didn't wake up one morning and order Cuba invaded, rather he inherited the plan to invade Cuba from the Eisenhower administration. Let's review the facts for a moment of his situation.

Here he is, the 'new kid' in the White House, the youngest president ever following the widely revered Supreme Commander of WWII. Trying to build his image with the nation as 'strong', he's going to say 'no' to the plan from Eisenhower to liberate Cuba using Cuban forces? The Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously, the CIA, everyone told him that the mission was 'foolproof'. Had he said no, it'd have been leaked in no time that this new kid had rejected the plan by Eisenhower that was 'foolproof' - destroying his presidency early on.

How much did the nation care? The Gallup polls I've read from the period put Castro as the US public's #1 security concern. They were nuts about him at the time.

Kennedy was all but forced to allow the plan to proceed - and he paid. As it turns out, the CIA and others took a gamble that Kennedy, who had drawn firm lines against the invasion becoming a US operation if it went badly, that he'd have no choice but to give in and do just that, and so they exaggerated the likelihood the mission would work, expecting the President to be forced to use US forces to save it and do what they wanted, invade Cuba. He was quite right to get rid of them over that insubordination, and to stand strong.

That wasn't evidence of Kennedy being a hawk - it was evidence of him cautiously allowing a plan for Cubans to overthrow Castro.

Next, you say he nearly started WWIII over the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Again, you put huge misleading into few words. First, one major and direct cause of the Cuban Missile Crisis was Kruschev's misjudging Kennedy as 'weak', largely because of his youth and inexperience. So, he took a bold gamble. Now, there's a heck of a case to be made for the USSR in this. The US had nuclear Jupiter missiles - missiles JFK had reportedly ordered removed but which hadn't been - on the border of the USSR in Turkey. So, what was our justification for saying we can have them, but the USSR can't?

It was quite a political coup for Kennedy to use Kruschev's doing it secretly and lying about it to turn the world opinion against the USSR, instead of their defending themselves.

But the topic here is Kennedy's hawkishness, and Kennedy, led by his brother, was the dove in the process, dealing with a room of advisers almost entirely saying invasion was the only option. That was indeed the early decision, but Bobby began to question it and John began to switch as well, and it was their actions that avoided the invasion. What we learned later is that it also incaded nuclear war, because while the US was planning based on there not being any operational nukes, we learned decades later that the USSR had given dozens of tactical nukes to the local Soviet commanders for use against an invasion, with authorization to use them without any approval from Moscow.

It was a dangerous time, but you distort the message that most leaders would have led us to nuclear war while Kennedy didn't into a claim of JFK's hawkishness.

You refer to his increase in the number of military advisers in Vietnam (you misleadingly, call them 'troops' implying combat troops, when while they could get involved in combat at times, were explicitly not combat troops, a firm line Kennedy had drawn the military was not allowed to cross). If you would get informed on the topic of JFK and Vietnam - say, read the book "JFK and Vietnam" - you would understand how much he was a force against war there, constantly battling others trying to pressure him into war.

I won't try to cover the topic here, history says it's a waste and the book is there if you have any interest in the actual facts, not just your ideology.

In fact, that's probably enough on your specific points. Needless to say, you don't cover countless initiatives of Kennedy better reflecting his policies, from the peace corps to use peaceful means to expand US influence and reduce the risk of war, his strong support of diplomatic means (today attacked far and wide by the militaristic Republicans), his politically courageous efforts to support real moderate leaders in nations without being US puppets over the worst sorts of pro-US right-wing tyrants, to build support for the US by making us a nation actually in favor of independence for other nations, his bold reversal of the US's historic support of European colonization of third world nations, in particular creating a huge conflict with Portugal (and creating problems with other European nations) by opposing them in their war with a colony.

To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support -- to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective, to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak, and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.
- John Kennedy's Inagural Speech
Kennedy felt his greatest accomplishment had been the limited nuclear test ban treaty - a treaty as a first step towards peace, away from war, at a time when few were pursuing that.

No, *you* are the one who needs to revise your idea of Kennedy, where unable to paint him too badly and smear him, unwilling to deal with the truth, you try to co-opt him.

Kennedy was a strong case against your ideology, and you don't like that. Too bad. You should learn from the history, not play petty politics with it and deceive.

Kennedy was indeed a strong anti-communist - yet he was able to understand the revolutionaries among the poor around the world. Robert Kennedy spoke admiringly of Che Guevera and of the importance of being a revolutionary for the poor. Right-wingers would smear Obama today as weak on terrorism if he had said instead of Kennedy:

"If a free society cannot save the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."
- John Kennedy Inagural Speech
In the world he dealt with, Kennedy supported a strong military to deter our enemies who would take advantage of 'weakness'. And yet he constantly insisted that peace be pursued as well in ways you have not seen in any Republican leader since, and he was a president who was interested in eventually abolishing nuclear weapons in the world, hardly the policy of modern Republicans who I suspect would disagree 98% or more.

What's more important is not Kennedy's sharing in common with Republicans the policy of a strong deterrent, but his loneliness from them in alone pursuing peace.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
345
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
He also cut taxes and spoke of tax cuts as a way to "stimulate economic growth"
The elimination of certain defects and inequities as proposed below will provide revenue gains to offset the tax reductions offered to stimulate the economy. Thus no net loss of revenue is involved in this set of proposals.
I'm responding to this particular point in its own response, because it's on a different topic than JFK's hawkishness and because it deserves a clear response alone.

This post of yours goes beyond the misleading of the other points, and crosses the line to malicious attack on the truth - in part because I've informed you of these facts before.

Your claim that JFK's policy and statements are the same as the modern Republicans on tax policy is like saying that injecting someone with insulin to save them from a diabetic seizure is the same as injecting someone with insulin when it will kill them. It focuses on the superficial act without notig the crucial details and situation.

Your argument is that 'cutting taxes id cutting taxes', no difference.

However, in fact, when Kennedy did this, the top tax rate was 90%; he cut it to 75% IIRC.

While it is cutting the tax rate, it's *entirely different* than cutting it from, say, 35% to 20%.

A cut from 90% to 75% has different effects, it might well pay for itself with increased incentives, where a cut at lower rates might not - and has not, as Reaganites promised.

Kennedy's statements about the concept of cutting taxes from 90% to 75% are not about cutting them at lower levels, and it's dishonest for the right to quote him out of context.

I have a challenge for you. If you really want to try to ride on JFK's coattails and say you agree with him on tax policy, I challenge you to follow his policy and set the rate to 75%.

Point made?
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
2
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As Non Prof John in his usual clueless manner says-----Craig you need to get away from your liberal fantasy land view of JFK.

And my only response is to point out that both Reagan and GWB have been unmitigated disasters for the USA. And to say anything else is to expose the fantasy land inhabited by only the self deluded.

It only took 12 years to recover from the spend and borrow policies of Reagan, with GWB&co who have been far more stupid, it may take many decades. PJ please feel free to be a poster child for stupidity, but don't claim a single iota of credibility while you do so.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
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Craig, you need to come to grips with the fact that JFK was a hawk.

It was JFK that brought up the 'missile gap'
In early November 1957, the 40-year old senator from Massachusetts declared that "the nation was losing the satellite-missile race with the Soviet Union because of ... complacent miscalculations, penny-pinching, budget cutbacks, incredibly confused mismanagement, and wasteful rivalries and jealousies."
A few weeks later, in a speech in Chicago, Kennedy alleged that the United States was "behind, possibly as much as several years, in ... the development, perfection, and stockpiling of intermediate range ballistic missiles and long range ballistic missiles."
Also look at some of JFK's answers during his third debate with Nixon link
MR. MCGEE: Senator Kennedy, yesterday you used the words "trigger-happy" in referring to Vice President Richard Nixon's stand on defending the islands of Quemoy and Matsu. Last week on a program like this one, you said the next president would come face to face with a serious crisis in Berlin. So the question is: would you take military action to defend Berlin?

MR. KENNEDY: Mr. McGee, we have a contractual right to be in Berlin coming out of the conversations at Potsdam and of World War II. That has been reinforced by direct commitments of the president of the United States; it's been reinforced by a number of other nations under NATO. I've stated on many occasions that the United States must meet its commitment on Berlin. It is a commitment that we have to meet if we're going to protect the security of Western Europe. And therefore on this question I don't think that there is any doubt in the mind of any American; I hope there is not any doubt in the mind of any member of the community of West Berlin; I'm sure there isn't any doubt in the mind of the Russians. We will meet our commitments to maintain the freedom and independence of West Berlin.
and
MR. CATER: Senator Kennedy, last week you said that before we should hold another summit conference, that it was important that the United States build its strength. Modern weapons take quite a long time to build. What sort of prolonged period do you envisage before there can be a summit conference? And do you think that there can be any new initiatives on the grounds of nuclear disarmament uh - nuclear control or weapons control d- uh - during this period?

MR. KENNEDY: Well I think we should st- strengthen our conventional forces, and we should attempt in January, February, and March of next year to increase the airlift capacity of our conventional forces. Then I believe that we should move full time on our missile production, particularly on Minuteman and on Polaris. It may be a long period, but we must - we must get started immediately. Now on the question of disarmament, particularly nuclear disarmament, I must say that I feel that another effort should be made by a new Administration in January of 1961, to renew negotiations with the Soviet Union and see whether it's possible to come to some conclusion which will lessen the chances of contamination of the atmosphere, and also lessen the chances that other powers will begin to possess a nuclear capacity... (he goes on at length about stopping the spread of Nukes, click the link to read the rest if you wish.
Now can you imagine a Democrat today speaking like that?

I guess the best thing I can do is turn your question around
"Was Kennedy's 'projected strength' *really* good for the nation? It made a lot of Americans 'feel good', but was it really good?"
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,385
3,516
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Craig, you need to come to grips with the fact that JFK was a hawk.

It was JFK that brought up the 'missile gap'
In early November 1957, the 40-year old senator from Massachusetts declared that "the nation was losing the satellite-missile race with the Soviet Union because of ... complacent miscalculations, penny-pinching, budget cutbacks, incredibly confused mismanagement, and wasteful rivalries and jealousies."
A few weeks later, in a speech in Chicago, Kennedy alleged that the United States was "behind, possibly as much as several years, in ... the development, perfection, and stockpiling of intermediate range ballistic missiles and long range ballistic missiles."
Also look at some of JFK's answers during his third debate with Nixon link
MR. MCGEE: Senator Kennedy, yesterday you used the words "trigger-happy" in referring to Vice President Richard Nixon's stand on defending the islands of Quemoy and Matsu. Last week on a program like this one, you said the next president would come face to face with a serious crisis in Berlin. So the question is: would you take military action to defend Berlin?

MR. KENNEDY: Mr. McGee, we have a contractual right to be in Berlin coming out of the conversations at Potsdam and of World War II. That has been reinforced by direct commitments of the president of the United States; it's been reinforced by a number of other nations under NATO. I've stated on many occasions that the United States must meet its commitment on Berlin. It is a commitment that we have to meet if we're going to protect the security of Western Europe. And therefore on this question I don't think that there is any doubt in the mind of any American; I hope there is not any doubt in the mind of any member of the community of West Berlin; I'm sure there isn't any doubt in the mind of the Russians. We will meet our commitments to maintain the freedom and independence of West Berlin.
and
MR. CATER: Senator Kennedy, last week you said that before we should hold another summit conference, that it was important that the United States build its strength. Modern weapons take quite a long time to build. What sort of prolonged period do you envisage before there can be a summit conference? And do you think that there can be any new initiatives on the grounds of nuclear disarmament uh - nuclear control or weapons control d- uh - during this period?

MR. KENNEDY: Well I think we should st- strengthen our conventional forces, and we should attempt in January, February, and March of next year to increase the airlift capacity of our conventional forces. Then I believe that we should move full time on our missile production, particularly on Minuteman and on Polaris. It may be a long period, but we must - we must get started immediately. Now on the question of disarmament, particularly nuclear disarmament, I must say that I feel that another effort should be made by a new Administration in January of 1961, to renew negotiations with the Soviet Union and see whether it's possible to come to some conclusion which will lessen the chances of contamination of the atmosphere, and also lessen the chances that other powers will begin to possess a nuclear capacity... (he goes on at length about stopping the spread of Nukes, click the link to read the rest if you wish.
Now can you imagine a Democrat today speaking like that?

I guess the best thing I can do is turn your question around
"Was Kennedy's 'projected strength' *really* good for the nation? It made a lot of Americans 'feel good', but was it really good?"
A "hawk"? Interesting, when he chose non-military actions to solve both the Cuban Missile crisis and the Berlin blockade.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,385
3,516
126
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
The Berlin blockade took place LONG before Kennedy took office.
oops :eek:

Anyway, I don't really see how Kennedy can be called a "hawk". Perhaps a "realist", but a "hawk" is more likely to use a Military than just Equip it.
 

jackschmittusa

Diamond Member
Apr 16, 2003
5,972
1
0
ProfJohn

You really don't understand much about large scale military strategy do you?

The Soviets had intended to expand their world influence and territorial control on a grand scale. They had 2 options to do this, a conventional army of such size as to be considered unstoppable with conventional weapons, or a nuclear exchange that would take the U.S. out of the world stage.

The way to neutralize the nuclear threat was MAD. MAD would not work if we were perceived as weak in either our ability or willingness to utterly destroy the Soviets in a nuclear exchange. The "missile gap" was a legitimate concern (admittedly magnified by faulty intel). The fear was that the Soviets might see it as a reason to believe that they could prevail in a first strike scenario and act on it. For the strategy to work, we had to make sure the Soviets never doubted the "assured destruction" part.

To truly understand what Berlin meant in the equations of the time, think of it as a laboratory for assessing the possibilities for a conventional war. As long as we made it "the line in the sand", the prospects for an easy conventional incursion into Western Europe were unlikely. The Soviets constantly tested us in Berlin, looking for a window of opportunity to move on Western Europe. All of their experiments failed. A measure to limit the number and scale of these experiments was to always project an unwavering stance to resist Soviet expansion there. This is what Kennedy was doing. I would also conclude that the Soviets were convinced of his commitment.

So, your conclusion that Kennedy was a hawk from the examples you have presented simply reflect a limited understanding of the politics and military strategies of the time.
 

Bitek

Diamond Member
Aug 2, 2001
9,470
3,540
136
Originally posted by: JD50
Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY
Originally posted by: Tab
Originally posted by: brencat
I'm not sure the part of the article you highlighted is even relevant. The fact of the matter is that he wrote a book to make money now that his gov't career is long over. And I'm totally okay with this too. He appears to be credible too.

As one of the readers who posted feedback that follows the article mentioned -- "I would tell the truth as seriously as I would serve the president. He did both."

I think that's damn right. I am a conservative but I have NOT been happy with Bush and his band of free-spending Republican earmarkers in Congress for a long time. I'm all for getting this out in the open so we never have another "conservative" administration that acts like this one has.
There are many in the right-wing/conservative/GOP group that are claiming he's only released a "nasty" book in order to make money when infact he [Scott] accused Clark of doing the same thing in the 2004 elections.

I find it rather amusing.
Yeah, we find it rather amusing(hypocritical) that he's doing what he once denounced. And? I thought the left said McClellen was a liar but now he's telling the truth? I find that rather amusing too... so?
That is rather amusing. The left refused to believe a word that he said, but the second that he jumps over to their side they take his word as gospel....
"The sky is red"
-"no its not, its blue"
"Yes, it is red"
-"No, you're a liar!"
"Hahaha! It is blue! But I am also a liar!... Therefore the sky is really red! Bwhahahaha!"
-"Damn you and your circular logic! So it is red then, you may have won this time..."
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY