Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Obama's Profile in Courage Moment

By Ray McGovern
November 24, 2009

“It took a lot of courage on Kennedy’s part to defy the Pentagon, defy the military — and do the right thing,” said Col. Larry Wilkerson, USA (ret.), according to Robert Dreyfuss in his recent Rolling Stone article “The Generals’ Revolt.”

Read on.

1 comment:

democratic core said...

Arguably, the much more significant, and disastrously-wrong, decision by the "bright lad" JFK occurred at the very beginning of his Presidency, when he acquiesced in the Bay of Pigs invasion but cut off US air support, leading to the worst of both worlds - US complicity in an act of aggression against Cuba that failed. It seems quite likely that the perception of JFK as incompetent and indecisive, but nevertheless susceptible to pressure to follow reckless military advice, led to the Soviet actions in placing missiles in Cuba, both as a means of obtaining a strategic advantage against the US and defending Cuba. JFK's decision to reject the advice of the US military to invade Cuba to remove the missiles entailed a significant gamble on his part, which was correct only in hindsight. JFK chose to impose a quarantine at sea rathern than launch an invasion. The Joint Chiefs had recommended against a quarantine because they believed that the Soviets would simply ignore it. This would put the US in the position of either failing to enforce the quarantine, which would further confirm the perception that JFK was incompetent, or lead to a confrontation at sea, to which the Soviets could have responded with a missile launch. Fortunately, Khrushchev proved to be a good deal more intelligent than he was given credit for, and he was probably the one who displayed the more significant "profile in courage" in taking on the Soviet military. No confrontation took place and the crisis was averted with face-saving gestures, which essentially confirmed MAD as a workable doctrine. The trouble with drawing "lessons" from history, is that it is often difficult to know which lesson is the right one to learn.