Skip to comments.So When did the Cuban Missile Crisis become Kennedy’s “Victory?”
Posted on 10/25/2013 10:21:04 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
That Khrushchev swept the floor with Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis was mainstream conservative conclusion throughout much of the Cold War. Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater, for instance, represented opposite poles of the Republican establishment of their time.
"We locked Castro's communism into Latin America and threw away the key to its removal," growled Barry Goldwater about the JFKs Missile Crisis solution.
"Kennedy pulled defeat out of the jaws of victory, complained Richard Nixon. "Then gave the Soviets squatters rights in our backyard."
Generals Curtis Le May and Maxwell Taylor represented opposite poles of the military establishment.
"The biggest defeat in our nation's history!" bellowed Air Force chief Curtis Lemay while whacking his fist on his desk upon learning the details of the deal.
"We missed the big boat," complained Gen. Maxwell Taylor after learning of same.
"We've been had!" yelled then Navy chief George Anderson upon hearing on October 28, 1962, how JFK "solved" the missile crisis. Adm. Anderson was the man in charge of the very "blockade" against Cuba.
"It's a public relations fable that Khrushchev quailed before Kennedy," wrote Alexander Haig. "The legend of the eyeball to eyeball confrontation invented by Kennedy's men paid a handsome political dividend. But the Kennedy-Khrushchev deal was a deplorable error resulting in political havoc and human suffering through the America's."
William Buckley's National Review devoted several issues to exposing and denouncing Kennedy's appeasement. The magazine's popular "The Third World War" column by James Burnham roundly condemned Kennedy's Missile Crisis solution as "America's Defeat."
Even Democratic luminary Dean Acheson despaired: "This nation lacks leadership," he grumbled about the famous Ex-Comm meetings so glorified in the movie Thirteen Days. "The meetings were repetitive and without direction. Most members of Kennedy's team had no military or diplomatic experience whatsoever. The sessions were a waste of time."
But not for the Soviets. "We ended up getting exactly what we'd wanted all along," snickered Nikita Khrushchev in his diaries, security for Fidel Castros regime and American missiles removed from Turkey and Italy. Until today the U.S. has complied with her promise not to interfere with Castro and not to allow anyone else to interfere with Castro. After Kennedy's death, his successor Lyndon Johnson assured us that he would keep the promise not to invade Cuba."
In fact Khrushchev prepared to yank the missiles before any bullying by Kennedy. What! Khrushchev gasped on Oct. 28th 1962, as recalled by his son Sergei. Is he (Fidel Castro) proposing that we start a nuclear war? But that is insane!...Remove them (our missiles) as soon as possible! Before its too late. Before something terrible happens! commanded the Soviet premier.
So much for the gallant Knights of Camelot forcing the Russians retreat. In fact, the Castro brothers and Che Guevaras genocidal lust is what prompted the Butcher of Budapest to yank the missiles from their reach.
Considering the U.S. nuclear superiority over the Soviets at the time of the (so-called) Missile Crisis (five thousand nuclear warheads for us, three hundred for them) it's hard to imagine a President Nixon much less Reagan quaking in front of Khrushchev's transparent ruse a la Kennedy.
The genuine threat came --not from Moscowbut from the Castros and Che. If the missiles had remained, we would have fired them against the very heart of the U.S., including New York. The victory of socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims. (Che Guevara to Sam Russell of The London Daily Worker, November 1962.)
Of course I knew the missiles were nuclear- armed, responded Fidel Castro to Robert McNamara during a meeting in 1992. Thats precisely why I urged Khrushchev to launch them. And of course Cuba would have been utterly destroyed in the exchange.
Castro's regime's was granted new status. Let's call it MAP, or Mutually-Assured-Protection. Cuban freedom-fighters working from south Florida were suddenly rounded up for "violating U.S. neutrality laws." Some of these bewildered men were jailed, others "quarantined," prevented from leaving Dade County. The Coast Guard in Florida got 12 new boats and seven new planes to make sure Castro remained unmolested.
JFK's Missile Crisis solution also pledged that he immediately pull the rug out from under Cuba's in-house freedom fighters. Raul Castro himself admitted that at the time of the Missile Crisis his troops and their Soviet advisors were up against 179 different "bands of bandits" as he labeled the thousands of Cuban anti-Communist rebels then battling savagely and virtually alone in Cuba's countryside, with small arms shipments from their compatriots in south Florida as their only lifeline.
Kennedy's deal with Khrushchev cut this lifeline. This ferocious guerrilla war, waged 90 miles from America's shores, might have taken place on the planet Pluto for all you'll read about it in the mainstream media and all you'll learn about it from Kennedys court scribes, who scribbled Kennedys Missile-Crisis victory. To get an idea of the odds faced by those betrayed Cuban rebels, the desperation of their battle and the damage they wrought, you might revisit Tony Montana during the last 15 minutes of "Scarface."
I guess not getting nuked constitutes “Victory.”
He won at the Bay of Pigs, too!
I read Humberto’s article earlier. OMG! LOL! You mean came-alot was a lie? Who’d a thunk it? Sadly, fact is stranger than fiction and even when presented with facts, the hard core libs remain in a state of denial.
As a young boy delivering newspapers during this time, my gut kept telling me that something was wrong with Kennedy, that he was handling everything wrong.
His presidency seemed to go from one mistake to another.
I don’t really care it was years ago.
My husband was preparing to be called up and he didn’t have to go.
With a couple of babies that was enough for me.
The day he was shot.
And how many were killed on our ships when they were told to stand down while being strafed?
Death is a good career move.
His Bay of Pigs was bigger than D-Day!
While we are rewriting history can I be King of Scots?
The loss was before the Crisis, at the failure of the Administration to recognize that Castro et. al. were going to impose a Communist regime, instead of lapping up the propaganda about a “democracy” in Cuba.
If you want to see JFK being deified at freerepublic then check out this fan boy thread.
JFK is not perfect, and neither was he the best president of the 20th century ( Reagan was IMHO ).
He made a lot of mistakes. However, let’s give credit where credit is due... HE CUT TAXES ( BY A LOT ). *THAT* is a conservative policy and I am a fan of what he did on that issue in particular.
There was no victory. They called it a victory because Kennedy was able to appease the Russians with no real consequences. And the following elections were great for the democrats.
But at the time, people were outside the White House with signs saying things like “Don’t chicken out this time, Jack!” (referring to the Bay of Pigs, where he went along with Adlai Stevenson’s promise to the Russian ambassador that we wouldn’t use air cover. And our guys literally ran out of ammunition on the beaches and were slaughtered)
Bobby Kennedy quietly pulled our missiles out of West Germany as part of the deal. The Russians saw mush and escalated in Vietnam, Central America, South America, Europe and Africa resulting in the debacle of the 70’s,
When Reagan put the missles back into West Germany and pointed them directly at the Kremlin, it was clear to the Russians that the game was over, and it was the beginning of the end. Despite the Nuclear Freeze and all that, Reagan would not be deterred and there is no more Soviet Union.
Quite the varying commentary in the responses to the post.
“Considering the U.S. nuclear superiority over the Soviets at the time of the (so-called) Missile Crisis (five thousand nuclear warheads for us, three hundred for them) it’s hard to imagine a President Nixon much less Reagan quaking in front of Khrushchev’s transparent ruse a la Kennedy.”
It doesn’t work like that, no matter how much this Cuban author wants it to. The Russian officers sitting on those tactical nukes actually had launch authority if we attacked.
So 5000 vs 300 becomes meaningless if 4 or 5 of those 300 hit the eastern US, and then of course THAT leads to a general exchange.
Kennedy had deep flaws, but still was FAR more conservative than any GOP candidate in the last 6 elections. Disliking his is fine, but beating him up for not starting a full out war in Cuba is deranged.
Long before the Clintons and Obamas came along the Kennedys mastered the art of spin. The Cuban Missile Crisis, in accordance with Kennedy mythology, is commonly spun as a “victory” for the US. In reality it was quid pro quo. The Soviets agreed to pull their missiles from Cuba and we agreed to pull our Jupiter missiles out of Turkey. It is nothing more than Kennedy mythology and drama to suggest we were on the brink of nuclear war.
The instant we agreed to pull our missile out of Turkey?
In hindsight, I was have just given the Russkies the whole country.
If it hadn’t been for JFK’s incompetence — there would have been a “Cuban Missile Crisis.”
And then he destroyed the country with the Immigration Bill, it just took a bit longer.
“The loss was before the Crisis, at the failure of the Administration to recognize that Castro et. al. were going to impose a Communist regime, instead of lapping up the propaganda about a democracy in Cuba.”
The “administration”? Are your referring to Eisenhower administration? You do know that Castro became the leader there in 1959, came up, visted DC, and went safely home, right?
By 1960 his thin veil was gone and he was in full pro-soviet mode. By the time JFK was elected in 1960, he had already nationalized US owned businesses in Cuba, and fully embraced the Soviets.
And please show us any instance of JFK lapping up propaganda that Castro was building a democracy in Cuba. Simply didn’t happen that way.
Dislike JFK for his moral failings, fair. But it’s retarded to pretend he was a Castro apologist.
My brother was marine on an aircraft carrier off of Cuba waiting for the order to deploy. What was found out later, the Soviets had nuclear tipped artillery with permission to fire if invaded.
“And then he destroyed the country with the Immigration Bill, it just took a bit longer.”
Very bright. That was Teddy Kennedy and the 1965 immigration bill. JFK had been dead a few years by then.
I think another concession to the Soviets was dismantling our Civil Defense programs. That started right about the time of the aftermath of the Crisis.
I read a book about the event, and the book said there were three main memos or documents spelling out who was to do what. Two had been declassified and was discussed in the book, but the third was still classified. The book was published, I think, in 198?
JFK stole the 1960 election, which led to the end of America, I’m just not a big fan of that personally.
Why didn’t Nixon go to court the way Al Gore did?
JFK’s immigration law was passed in his memory, JFK had been obsessed with bringing in replacements for the American voters, for some time.
However, if there is one man who can take the most credit for the 1965 act, it is John F. Kennedy. Kennedy seems to have inherited the resentment his father Joseph felt as an outsider in Bostons WASP aristocracy. He voted against the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952, and supported various refugee acts throughout the 1950s. In 1958 he wrote a book, A Nation of Immigrants, which attacked the quota system as illogical and without purpose, and the book served as Kennedys blueprint for immigration reform after he became president in 1960.
In the summer of 1963, Kennedy sent Congress a proposal calling for the elimination of the national origins quota system. He wanted immigrants admitted on the basis of family reunification and needed skills, without regard to national origin.
After his assassination in November, his brother Robert took up the cause of immigration reform, calling it JFKs legacy. In the forward to a revised edition of A Nation of Immigrants, issued in 1964 to gain support for the new law, he wrote, I know of no cause which President Kennedy championed more warmly than the improvement of our immigration policies. Sold as a memorial to JFK, there was very little opposition to what became known as the Immigration Act of 1965.
Somebody made Nixon an offer he couldn't refuse.
This is the first you have heard of this?
The story line has been set and carved in stone: Young President faces down tough commie Premier while the whole shakes with fear. right, the stuff of books and PBS specials.
I was taught it was a brilliant victory, in 1982. The schools have been brainwashing for a long time.
“Why didnt Nixon go to court the way Al Gore did?”
Nixon was a decent man and wouldn’t put the nation through that is why. Probably one of the most unfairly demonized men in US history.
And Kevin Costner movies.
He said a court ordered recount would be too damaging to the country. You have to remember, back then, people actually loved the country.
I think I read the same book. It was about the COG - Continuation of Government in the event of a nuclear war. The redacted part was the weapons effects results.
IMHO we should have let Lemay flatten Cuba, and flattened the USSR if they used nukes. The Mark 15 multi-megaton bombs we were deploying back then, combined with our huge advantage in delivery systems means we would have won.
The Russians were emboldened to place missiles in Cuba after JFK turned chicken sh!t at the Bay of Pigs. Once he demonstrated his cowardice the Russians made their move.
And we are in for a whole month of it.
and American missiles removed from Turkey and Italy.
Italy yes, Turkey no.
TUSLOG DET 67 was an Honest John nuclear missile site in 1976. Guess how I know...?
1965 - The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (Hart-Celler Act, INS, Act of 1965, Pub.L. 89236) abolished the National Origins Formula that had been in place in the U.S. since the Emergency Quota Act of 1921. It was proposed by U.S. Representative Emanuel Celler (D-NY: His paternal grandparents and maternal grandmother were German Jews. This was the culminating moment in Celler's 41-year fight to overcome restriction on immigration to the U.S. based on national origin.), co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Philip Hart (D-MI) and heavily supported by U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA). The Hart-Celler Act replaced the EQA with a preference system that focused on immigrants' skills and family relationships with citizens or U.S. residents. It marked a radical break from the immigration policies of the past. The law as it stood then excluded Asians and Africans and preferred northern and western Europeans over southern and eastern ones. At the height of the civil rights movement of the 1960s the law was seen as an embarrassment by, among others, POTUS #35 JFK, who called the then-quota-system "nearly intolerable". Some historians thought that JFK saw a chance for retaliation in response to the anti-Irish Catholic bigotry by WASPs he encountered as a younger man. After Kennedy's assassination, POTUS #36 LBJ signed the bill at the foot of the Statue of Liberty as a symbolic gesture. In order to convince the American populace - the majority of who were opposed to the act - of the legislation's merits, its liberal proponents assured that passage would not influence America's culture significantly. POTUS #36 LBJ called the bill "not revolutionary", SoS Dean Rusk estimated only a few thousand Indian immigrants over the next 5 years, and other politicians, including Senator Ted Kennedy, hastened to reassure the populace that the demographic mix would not be affected; these assertions would later prove wildly inaccurate.
The Cuban Missile Crisis was the ultimate “October surprise.” It happened days before the 1962 midterm elections, and the Democrats did better than the party in power usually does in the off-year elections.
"We ended up getting exactly what we'd wanted all along," snickered Nikita Khrushchev in his diaries, security for Fidel Castros regime and American missiles removed from Turkey and Italy. Until today the U.S. has complied with her promise not to interfere with Castro and not to allow anyone else to interfere with Castro. After Kennedy's death, his successor Lyndon Johnson assured us that he would keep the promise not to invade Cuba." In fact Khrushchev prepared to yank the missiles before any bullying by Kennedy. What! Khrushchev gasped on Oct. 28th 1962, as recalled by his son Sergei.Uh, no.
"Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament" published posthumously in 1974, touched only briefly on the Robert Kennedy-Dobrynin meeting, but included the flat statement (on p. 512) that "President Kennedy said that in exchange for the withdrawl of our missiles, he would remove American missiles from Turkey and Italy," although he described this "pledge" as "symbolic" since the rockets "were already obsolete." [The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962: Anatomy of a Controversy, "Anatoly F. Dobrynin's Meeting With Robert F. Kennedy, Saturday, 27 October 1962", by Jim Hershberg]Khrushchev lost his job as a consequence of his disastrous handling of the Missile Crisis, but that led to even more confronational leadership in Breschnev, which was the main downside of the affair. During the height of the crisis, Castro ordered the use of a Soviet guided missile to shoot down a U2 spy plane during overflight of Cuba, destroying the plane and killing the pilot. That was an escalation that brought the two main powers to the brink of war, and motivated, ultimately, their agreement for the removal of the missiles.
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