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denem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 10:39 AM
Original message
Obama's 'Missile Crisis'
Edited on Fri Nov-13-09 11:32 AM by denem
November, 1961.

Army General Maxwell Taylor is proposing to dispatch combat troops to Vietnam.

Under Secretary of State, George Ball "(Mr. President) within five years well have three hundred thousand men in the paddies and jungles (of Vietnam) and never find them again..."

"Well, George, you're supposed one of the smartest guys in town, but you're crazier than hell. That just isnt going to happen."
John F. Kennedy.

There were 1,500 'advisers' in Vietnam at the time. My cousin was drafted in 1969. 1,500 troops. Blink. Must be cigarette smoke or something. Palin doesn't blink.

October 26, 1962.

A day in the life of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Soviet Premier Khrushchev has offered to dismantle the nuclear capable missiles stationed in Cuba on the condition Cuba is not invaded, in exchange for the United States withdrawing their missiles in Turkey.

U2 fights, getting pictures of the sites, are being shot down day after day. This day is one of those days.

General Taylor reports that the JCS wants an air strike no later than Monday morning unless there is irrefutable evidence that the missiles are being dismantled. (14:08)

RFK responds, "Gosh, I'm surprised!" resulting in a great deal of laughter. (14:36)

McNamara recommends more surveillance flights Monday morning with proper cover. If attacked, he insists, "we must attack back." (18:45)

News arrives that a U-2 has been shot down and the pilot killed. "This is much of an escalation by them, isn't it?," JFK concludes. How can we put more U-2 pilots over Cuba, he asks, unless "we take out all the SAM sites." (30:09)

JFK reopens the discussion of trading the missiles in Turkey. McNamara insists that the case should be made that this is not so much a trade as a way of preventing a Soviet military attack on a NATO member nation. (52:58)

McNamara says that if reconnaissance flights are fired upon tomorrow that means air strikes and "almost certainly an invasion." (59:03)

(Apparently JFK is no longer in the room at this point in the discussion.)

Vice President Lyndon Johnson responds: "If you're willing to give up your missiles in Turkey - why don't you...make the trade there and save all the invasion, lives and everything else?" (1:02:10)

George Ball also argues for making the trade openly with the USSR to avoid "enormous casualties and a great, great risk of escalation." (1:03:35)

McNamara: "Max (General Taylor) is going back to work out the surveillance plan for tomorrow with the Chiefs as to how much cover we need and so on. We're just going to get shot up sure as hell. There's no question about it. We're going to have to go in and shoot." (1:07:15)

McCone responds: "I'd take these Turkish things out right now" but also tell Khrushchev firmly that if they fire at our planes again "in we come." (1:08:22)

McNamara denounces Khrushchev Oct 26 letter: "Hell, that's no offer. There's not a damned thing in it that's an offer. You read that message carefully. He didn't propose to take the missiles out....It's twelve pages of fluff." (1:09:30)

LBJ questions the value of the surveillance flights: "I've been afraid of these damned flyers ever since they mentioned them...some crazy Russian captain...might just pull a trigger. Looks like we 're playing Fourth of July over there. I'm scared of that and I don't see what you get for that photograph. ...

Psychologically you scare them. Well hell, its like the fellow always telling me in Congress, 'Go on and put the monkey on his back.' Every time I tried to put a monkey on somebody's else's back, I got one. If you're going to try to psychologically scare them...you're liable to get your bottom shot at." (1:33:00)
http://www.hpol.org/jfk/cuban /


The Cuban Missile Crisis was the Kennedy Administration's finest moment. JFK and RFK bunted every ball, each constantly misguided recommendation, from the Defense Secretary and the JCS. They were critical, concentrated and correct.

13 months later, JFK was dead, and Lyndon Johnson, the man who had asked "why don't you... save all the invasion, lives and everything else?", made the critical error of keeping on Robert McNamara as Secretary of Defense.

November 2009.

The JCS wants 40,000 more troops minimum, and is prepared to leak to press. "Gosh, I'm surprised!", but there's no laughter.

This is Obama's 'Missile Crisis', a time for fearlessness, when the advice of the JCS and Secretary Gates, is just that, advice. The Kennedy Administration took their eyes off the ball in Vietnam. In '62, with McNamara and Taylor running the show, Agent Orange was falling on the jungles of Vietnam.

Not this time. Over to you Mr. President.
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uponit7771 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. knr
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. Well done! K&R!
:kick:

:patriot:
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denem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. "We're going to have to go in and shoot" "almost certainly an invasion"
Edited on Fri Nov-13-09 01:21 PM by denem
It's astounding isn't it, to hear McNamara talk about bringing on WWIII. And LBJ! So much good old fashioned horse sense from a man who was led down the path of folly.
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Agreed
LBJ so coveted political favor that he ignored his own common sense.

I don't think the majority of Americans understand how close we came, and WHY and HOW it was all avoided.

Obama is doing the right thing... this is truly change. If I were a praying person...
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
5. Hell No!
They might try to market it as that, but it ain't gonna happen.
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denem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I think you misunderstand. Afghanistan demands similar concentrated, critical
Edited on Fri Nov-13-09 01:17 PM by denem
consideration of strategy that the Kennedy Administration showed in the "Missile Crisis". In contrast foggy, non-decisions about Vietnam, left the nation vulnerable. When JFK had departed, McNamara lived to fight another day. He didn't get WWIII, but hell, America's greatest military disaster since 1812 wasn't a bad consolation prize.
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I'm saying this cannot be Obama's Missile Crisis
two different era, two different personalities.

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denem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. And I'm saying Afghanistan deserves to the be treated just as seriously.
Edited on Fri Nov-13-09 01:48 PM by denem
The purpose of the article was to compare and contrast the difference between the Kennedy Administration's approach to the Cuban Crisis - questioning and rejecting emphatic Defense and JCS advice, and their 'OK go with it' handling of Vietnam.

I'm not getting where you are coming from.
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Afghanistan is a drug infested, corrupted region
led by a corrupt leader who has his brother running drugs supported by the CIA and his cousin
running other rackets, why should US troops loose their lives over this infestation? just so
some General can play war games? c'mon now...besides, tax payers money is being used to fund
these rogue players and special forces just so they can continue killing US troops.

We are talking about a corrupt Government, as we've seen with their election, this is a government
that CANNOT be trusted. We should get the hell out now, isolate them and protect the Pakistan/Afghanistan
border just so there is no raids on their nuclear arsenals, can't trust them (Pakistanis) as well, as Seymour Hersh
said, these guys are playing Americans as fiddles.


Enough!!


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denem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Oh for Heaven's sake. The OP is about an Administration's APPROACH
Edited on Fri Nov-13-09 02:39 PM by denem
to decision making. Afghanistan is not Cuba is not Vietnam DOH. It's 'unwinnable', DOH. You don't blithely accept JCS troop requests: DOH DOH DOH. Hint: Quote LBJ in 1968.
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Phx_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. ROLF. What a great response from JFK!
"Well, George, you're supposed one of the smartest guys in town, but you're crazier than hell. That just isnt going to happen." John F. Kennedy.

In other words, go fuck yourself George.
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denem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Bittersweet : "That just isnt going to happen"
No, it would not have happened on Jack's watch.
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denem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
13. ...
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denem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-14-09 06:37 AM
Response to Original message
14. ...
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