Obama Cites Kennedy’s Foolish Foreign Policy in Defending His Nuclear Deal With the Mullahs
Today Barack Obama went to American University to push his nuclear deal with the Iranian mullahs.
During his speech he praised John F. Kennedy’s foreign policy initiatives with the Soviet threat.
Fifty-two years ago, President Kennedy, at the height of the Cold War, addressed this same university on the subject of peace. The Berlin Wall had just been built. The Soviet Union had tested the most powerful weapons ever developed. China was on the verge of acquiring a nuclear bomb. Less than 20 years after the end of World War II, the prospect of nuclear war was all too real. With all of the threats that we face today, it’s hard to appreciate how much more dangerous the world was at that time.
In light of these mounting threats, a number of strategists here in the United States argued that we had to take military action against the Soviets, to hasten what they saw as inevitable confrontation. But the young President offered a different vision. Strength, in his view, included powerful armed forces and a willingness to stand up for our values around the world. But he rejected the prevailing attitude among some foreign policy circles that equated security with a perpetual war footing. Instead, he promised strong, principled American leadership on behalf of what he called a “practical” and “attainable peace” — a peace “based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions — on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements.”
Such wisdom would help guide our ship of state through some of the most perilous moments in human history. With Kennedy at the helm, the Cuban Missile Crisis was resolved peacefully.
Obama, who claims he is a student of history, seems to have forgotten that Kennedy was thoroughly embarrassed by Soviet leader Nikita Kruschchev.
Barack Obama insists that the Kennedy-Khrushchev meetings were a success but, he forgets who won.
When finished the Berlin Wall was approximately 155km (97 miles) in length around the circumference of former West Berlin. It became the site of over 900 shootings, causing 239 deaths and another 200 injuries.
In Portland on May 18, Obama cited John F. Kennedy’s 1961 summit with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna among the series of negotiations that led to America’s triumph over the Soviet Union in the Cold War. The Vienna summit, however, disproves Obama’s assertion regarding the unvarying value of meetings between enemy heads of state about as decisively as any historical episode can refute a thesis. In addition to poor judgment, Obama has demonstrated that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Kennedy first addressed the subject of a possible summit with the Soviet Union in the second Kennedy-Nixon debate. Unlike Obama, Kennedy expressly rejected a summit without preconditions. Indeed, Kennedy expressed his agreement with Nixon that he “would not meet Mr. Khrushchev unless there were some agreements at the secondary level–foreign ministers or ambassadors–which would indicate that the meeting would have some hope of success, or a useful exchange of ideas.” In the third debate, Kennedy suggested that the strengthening of American conventional and nuclear forces should precede any summit.
Once in office, Kennedy more or less discarded his previously expressed conditions for a summit. In a letter written in February and secretly delivered to Khrushchev in March 1961, Kennedy expressed his willingness to meet Khrushchev “before too long” for an informal exchange of views. After the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Kennedy sensed that discussions without an agenda or prior agreement might be disadvantageous to the United States. He let the matter drop, but Khrushchev accepted the invitation on May 4. The meeting was to occur in Vienna late that spring…
The parties reached no agreement on any set agenda or proposals prior to their meeting in Vienna on June 3 and 4. The meetings were therefore confined to the informal exchange of views referred to in Kennedy’s February letter. By all accounts, including Kennedy’s own, the meetings were a disaster. Khrushchev berated, belittled, and bullied Kennedy on subjects ranging from Communist ideology to the balance of power between the Soviet and Western blocs, to Laos, to “wars of national liberation,” to nuclear testing. He threw down the gauntlet on Berlin in particular, all but threatening war.
Scott Johnson concludes:
…What harm can possibly come of a meeting between enemies? There are many, like Obama, who say that no harm can come from talking. To paraphrase JFK’s June 1963 Berlin speech, let them come to study the Vienna conference.
39 days after the Vienna Meetings the Soviet Union erected the Berlin Wall.
Obama must have missed this.