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Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:04 PM

JFK's Speech Against Secrecy



18 replies, 2061 views

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply JFK's Speech Against Secrecy (Original post)
WillyT Nov 2012 OP
AsahinaKimi Nov 2012 #1
longship Nov 2012 #2
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #13
longship Nov 2012 #14
onwardsand upwards Nov 2012 #3
CountAllVotes Nov 2012 #4
onwardsand upwards Nov 2012 #5
CountAllVotes Nov 2012 #8
onwardsand upwards Nov 2012 #10
malthaussen Nov 2012 #16
onwardsand upwards Nov 2012 #18
pocoloco Nov 2012 #7
onwardsand upwards Nov 2012 #11
Coyotl Nov 2012 #15
onwardsand upwards Nov 2012 #17
mcgarry50 Nov 2012 #6
CountAllVotes Nov 2012 #9
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #12

Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:18 PM

1. I am not so sure

JFK would be happy entirely with today's world, if he were around. He would probably wonder why no one has colonized the moon, or built a space station. But I am sure there would be some things he would truly enjoy... and find it a totally different world from whence he came.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 06:30 PM

2. This is must view for DUers.

WillyT, happy to support your cross post. (My fingers may get tired if you do too many more... )

Here's another essential Presidential speech -- this one by FDR -- called the Four Freedoms. President Obama actually cited this one the other day. Would it only be that he would cite JFK's speech cited here by WillyT.

Here's FDR, 6 Jan 1941 in front of a joint session of Congress:


And our President wants to bring back the four freedoms.

The question remains is if he sees the same thing that JFK saw in those freedoms.

We will see. The two speeches go together like hand and glove.

Wonderful stuff here, WillyT.

Thank you for posting.

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Response to longship (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:47 PM

13. "our President wants to bring back the four freedoms"? Does it count that he is secretly negotating

 

another let's-send-even-more-American-jobs-to-foreign-countries "free-trade" agreement?

FDR's loyalty was to the United States as a whole, as was JFK's. They did not owe their loyalty to internationalists, and they did not the international super-rich by secretly negotiating and signing so-called "free-trade" agreements.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #13)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:03 AM

14. We will see what he meant.

I suggest that you call the White House switchboard and tell the president that you support his speech on the Four Freedoms.

I will do so in the morning. I hope other DUers will follow. It makes a difference. I believe that Barack Obama listens. Just mentioning FDR's four freedoms says as much.

Are you with me on this? Let's make this a DU action alert.

Best timing would be Monday morning.

What can I do to help?

Feel free to PM me. I am poor, but I have the will to help, and a little bandwidth on my iPhone here in the Manistee National Forest. At minimum I can post here and help promote a good cause.

Thanks, friend.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 06:48 PM

3. Hmmmm ...

For a progressive, JFK is a difficult figure. Like Obama, he was a man of flowery words but deadly deeds.

There's a temptation to romanticize his presidency (the Camelot thing), and to view his tragic death as a kind of martyrdom of a hero.

It must be remembered, though, that this was a man who escalated America's involvement in the violent suppression of Vietnamese and Cuban independence. He also nearly brought the entire world to an end by his belligerent reaction to the USSR's response to US missile placements in Turkey (i.e., placing similar missiles in Cuba).

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Response to onwardsand upwards (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:23 PM

4. JFK was the finest President America ever had IMO

and yes, you can go right on ahead an quote me on that one!

Tragic death? Ummm ... no the man was murdered in cold blood. That is beyond "tragic" FYI.

America will never see another JFK and to compare him to Pres. Obama is not even close.

He was a man of his time, a man that was needed at that time in history, and yes, I remember JFK quite well and I've never seen Americans so close and together as a people as when he was ASSASSINATED.




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Response to CountAllVotes (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:58 PM

5. Elaborate, please

Okay, I'm willing to listen.

What are the great achievements of his that made him the finest President America ever had?

If I were to pick a finest President, it would be FDR. He brought in the New Deal, which vastly improved the social contract between the US government and its people, and improved life in general for all Americans (except, perhaps, for the 0.1%, who are still trying to dismantle it). Also, among US Presidents, he's relatively innocent of covert operations to overthrow independent democracies and install compliant dictators. His wife, also, was instrumental in the creation of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- a massive (if underappreciated) achievement.

What did JFK do to top that? The stand on West Berlin ("Ich bin ein Berliner") was perhaps his best moment, but this was completely consistent with the Cold War stance of the US at the time. There was nothing really progressive about it, and there was no sense in which it challenged the moneyed powers of the time.

JFK's assassination was definitely horrific, and tragic, but was it any more so than the deaths that he was responsible for in Vietnam and Cuba?

But I'm still willing to listen ...

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Response to onwardsand upwards (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 08:59 PM

8. The Cuban Missle Crisis

Khrushchev had missiles lined up and ready to fire in Cuba as both Khrushchev and Castro agreed to place strategic nuclear missiles secretly in Cuba.

Pres. Kennedy managed to negotiate with Khrushchev and managed to to get him to pack up his damned nukes and leave after a few weeks of very tense negotiations which took place at Ft. Hood, Texas.

I guess you weren't in the military at the time, but I know someone that was and said person received a commendation from Pres. Kennedy for his service because he was extended because of this crisis and yes indeed, it was a crisis.

How many presidents today could pull something like this off?

Answer: None. They are too busy playing politics with the likes of Robme and * .

Pres. Obama has leadership abilities but he fights a racist nation always which is the sad reality of America today, not that it wasn't a sad reality in the 1960s. Pres. Kennedy was our first Irish Catholic president, not a person that was racially mixed.

That was enough already for many Americans at that time, but when it all came down, America together grieved as a Nation. They weren't calling him racist names. America knew what a sore loser was too at that time.

President Kennedy didn't let such sad sick realities ruin his mission to prevent a huge crisis that was would have made 911 look like child's play had it not been halted. We'd have had ourselves the nuclear crisis that would have created total chaos if we'd lived to speak of it.


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Response to CountAllVotes (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:05 PM

10. Thanks for this

It's worth noting, though, that it was JFK's brinkmanship that brought us to the brink.

In 1959, Cuba successfully managed to overthrow its horrendously brutal and corrupt, US-backed, dictator Fulgencio Batista. After receiving no support from the US (in fact, quite the opposite), the new Cuban regime turned to the USSR for help. The US responded with assassination attempts against the Cuban leadership and the failed Bay of Pigs coup attempt (under the JFK administration). Given this, I think it is quite reasonable to argue that Cuba had a good case for needing some serious deterrence against US (including JFK) aggression.

Shortly before the missiles were sent from the USSR, the US had placed similar missiles in Turkey -- only a heartbeat away from key "targets" in the USSR.

JFK's administration was directly responsible for the height of the tensions at the time, by its aggressive attitude towards the newly independent Cuba, its refusal to remove the missiles in Turkey, and, ultimately, for its military blockade of Cuba.

The deal that was made, in the end, was really JFK being forced to back down from this brinkmanship by removing the missiles from Turkey (which he did) and by promising not to try to invade Cuba again (which he also did).

Of course, that's not the story that gets told by the JFK mythologists or the US propaganda machine, who prefer to paint this as a picture of righteous machismo -- making the other side "blink".

Fortunately, the world survived JFK's ill-advised game of chicken, and he had the humanity to not blow us all to bits to have his way.

That doesn't make him a great President, though -- just not the worst leader in human history.

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Response to onwardsand upwards (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:26 AM

16. Very few Americans even know about the Turkish missiles

JFK was very concerned to not be perceived as backing down to the Commies in making what was, essentially, a quid-pro-quo deal.

I would note, however, that in discussing JFK's worth as President, we should keep in mind his achievements in civil rights, which were cut short by his death and largely implemented by LBJ. The Peace Corps wasn't a bad idea, either. But obviously, any "rating" of JFK vis-a-vis other presidents is going to be skewed by the fact that he simply didn't have much time in office.

One way in which JFK and Mr Obama are comparable is in how they captured the imagination of the voters (and interested spectators) with their powerful rhetoric. This is always problematic, though, for one must wonder: are they saying what they believe, or what they think we want to hear?

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #16)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:09 AM

18. Nicely put

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Response to onwardsand upwards (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 08:55 PM

7. Allow me to recommend a book that may help to supplement your

knowledge of the era of which you speak. One of the latest ones, and which
includes new information obtained via the FOIA is "JFK and the Unspeakable"
by James Douglas.....


...and a welcome to DU!

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Response to pocoloco (Reply #7)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:23 PM

11. Thanks for that, too!

Yes -- DU seems like a great place, with some really excellent links and commentaries.

It seemed particularly good in its earlier days. More recently (more or less coinciding with the change in the format, and the wind-up to the US election) it seems less "underground" and more "Democratic" -- with a capital D.

It's still worth spending some time on, though -- and its nice to feel welcome!

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Response to onwardsand upwards (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:25 AM

15. Depends on one's interpretations

Your "nearly brought the entire world to an end " is another's "saved the entire world" from a horrific history.

It is too easy to criticize anyone with a hypothetical that never happened, and it is often the repose of those who have no valid argument or are biased in the first instance.

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #15)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:51 AM

17. If you prefer ...

He saved the entire world from a crisis of his own making.

The crisis was not a "hypothetical that never happened", it was real.

Questioning the integrity of someone against whom you are arguing, instead of countering their arguments with facts and logic, is definitely "too easy".

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 08:33 PM

6. DU secrecy

 

maybe EarlG, Skinner, and Elad should should take note of this speech since i have not been allowed to email the great commentary on democratic underground to those i know would like what is written. I love the posts that are written on DU, I wish that more people would be allowed to read them, but I guess the DU heads like to keep this web page a secret. The information that comes cross DU is incredible but I cannot email that information, i guess I have to post a thousand OMG's in response to allow the great writing here to be read. Maybe just maybe.

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Response to mcgarry50 (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:02 PM

9. email the link

It is called click on the link and read ... not complicated nor secret best I know.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/101781980

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:41 PM

12. Thank you. This is one of the finest examples of the principles that were held by JFK.

 

It is too bad for us and ours that we have not had a political leader with his qualities since.

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