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Mon May 30, 2016, 11:40 AM

Hillary, Honduras and my late friend Berta

A woman holds up a poster with a photo of slain environmental leader Berta Caceres during a protest in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on March 16. Caceres reported receiving threats from security personnel with Desarrollos Energeticos SA — the company carrying out the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project that Caceres lead protests against — as well as an attempt by a company official to bribe her to call off the demonstrations, according to Billy Kyte, a senior campaigner on land and environmental defense at London-based Global Witness. (Fernando Antonio/AP)

Hillary, Honduras and my late friend Berta

By Porfirio Quintano
San Francisco Examiner on May 29, 2016 1:00 am

Just one year ago, I had a joyous reunion in San Francisco with a high school classmate from my native Honduras. Social justice campaigner Berta Caceres came to the Bay Area to receive the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for her leadership among indigenous people opposed to mining and the construction of hydroelectric dams that would destroy their communities.

Unfortunately, in a time when Honduras has grown ever more violent and repressive since its 2009 military coup, Berta’s continued activism and global recognition put a bullseye on her back. On March 3, she was killed by gunmen in her hometown of La Esperanza, not far from where I grew up before emigrating to the United States two decades ago.

This tragedy added Berta’s name to the long list of recent Honduran political martyrs — students, teachers, journalists, lawyers, LGBT community members, labor and peasant organizers and even top civilian investigators of drug trafficking and corruption. More than 100 environmental campaigners have been killed in the last five years. This carnage, along with escalating gang violence, has led many Hondurans to flee the country, often arriving in the U.S. as unaccompanied minors or mothers with small children.

The world learned recently that four people have been arrested and charged with Berta’s assassination. The suspects include a retired military officer, an army major and two men with close ties to Desarrollos Energeticos S.A., the controversial dam builder. As The New York Times reported, Berta’s family and friends “questioned whether the investigation would ultimately lead to those who planned and ordered the killing.”

Flush with tens of millions of our tax dollars for “security assistance,” the Honduran army and national police have acted with impunity since U.S.-trained generals overthrew Manuel Zelaya, the elected president of Honduras, seven years ago. As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton toed the White House line that this wasn’t really a “military coup” worthy of near unanimous condemnation by the Organization of American States. The U.S. was more concerned about maintaining its own military presence in Honduras than objecting to local human rights abuses that have increased ever since.



Porfirio Quintano works at California Pacific Medical Center and is a member of the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

Not just the rich. Not just the powerful. Not just the white. Democrats believe ALL people are created equal.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon May 30, 2016, 11:44 AM

1. Like To See Someone Ask Hillary On Network TV About This Situation... Then Agin...

Can ANYONE Believe what she would say?

MSNBC To the deniers... Watch THIS Video... It is not comforting to think that she may well be the Democratic Nominee...

Hillary really betrayed Andrea Mitchell... The entire context of this report was of a solemn nature... A Funeral so to speak...

Andrea Mitchell "I do not see this report as ...ANYTHING BUT... DEVASTATING!"

Chuck Todd "After this I don't think that she could get confirmed for Attorney General!"

Lots of FIBBING by Hillary here.. for more than a year!

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Response to CorporatistNation (Reply #1)

Mon May 30, 2016, 12:01 PM

2. US Contribution to Death of Honduran Activist Goes Unmentioned in US Coverage

Corporate McPravda are AWOL, to the detriment of Democracy and the lives of those who believe in it.

As Greg Grandin at The Nation explains:

Cáceres was a vocal and brave indigenous leader, an opponent of the 2009 Honduran coup that Hillary Clinton, as secretary of State, made possible. In The Nation, Dana Frank and I covered that coup as it unfolded. Later, as Clinton’s emails were released, others, such as Robert Naiman, Mark Weisbrot and Alex Main, revealed the central role she played in undercutting Manuel Zelaya, the deposed president, and undercutting the opposition movement demanding his restoration. In so doing, Clinton allied with the worst sectors of Honduran society. -- This photo of Honduran environmental activist Berta Caceres accompanied The Nation‘s expose of the US role in her death. (image: Goldman Environmental Prize)

US Contribution to Death of Honduran Activist Goes Unmentioned in US Coverage

By Adam Johnson
Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting/FAIR.org, March 4, 2016


The Honduran military abducted President Manuel Zelaya at gunpoint and flew him out of the country on June 28, 2009. While the coup unfolded before the international community, the United Nations, the EU and the Organization of American States rushed to condemn it. Fifteen House Democrats joined in, sending a letter to the Obama White House insisting that the State Department “fully acknowledge that a military coup has taken place and…follow through with the total suspension of non-humanitarian aid, as required by law.”

But Clinton’s State Department staunchly refused to do so, bucking the international community and implicitly recognizing the military takeover. Emails revealed last year by the State Department show that Clinton knew very well there was a military coup, but rejected cries by the international community to condemn it. As The Intercept’s Lee Fang reported, Clinton attempted to use her lobbyist friend Lanny Davis to open up back channels with Roberto Micheletti, the illegitimate interim ruler installed after the coup, effectively endorsing the new right-wing government that would go on to crack down on Cáceres and others activists.

In her memoirs, Clinton herself discloses she had no intention on restoring the elected President Zelaya to power. “In the subsequent days [after the coup] I spoke with my counterparts around the hemisphere, including Secretary Espinosa in Mexico. We strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras,” Clinton wrote, ??and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot.”

On September 28, State Department officials blocked the OAS from adopting a resolution that would have refused to recognize Honduran elections carried out under the dictatorship—giving the US’s final seal of approval to the military coup that began three months prior.

One wouldn’t know any of this reading US reports of Cáceres’ death. The coup, and its subsequent purging of environmental, LGBT and indigenous activists, is treated as an entirely local matter, reduced to the “cycle of violence” cliche often employed with destructive governments the United States helped usher into power.



Ha ha. It is to laugh at fascism.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon May 30, 2016, 12:15 PM

3. Painfully sad.

Thanks for the sunlight on this dark stain.

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Response to Melissa G (Reply #3)

Mon May 30, 2016, 12:22 PM

4. Honduras and Haiti are ripe for picking.

The truth can be hurtful...

Hillary Clinton’s Honduran Disgrace

By Matthew Rothschild
The Progressive, March 5, 2010

Hillary Clinton continues with her hawkish ways, making Obama’s foreign policy less distinguishable from Bush’s every day.

She just met with Honduran President Pepe Lobo, she’s notified Congress that the Obama administration is restoring aid to Honduras, and she’s urging Latin American nations to recognize the Lobo government in Tegucigalpa.

The democratic opposition in Honduras boycotted lobo’s election, since he’s allied with the forces that overthrew Manuel Zelaya last June.

But for the longest time, Hillary Clinton stubbornly refused to call the June takeover a “coup,” even though her boss, the president of the United States, immediately denounced it as such.


“Other countries of the region say that they want to wait a while,” she said on her Latin American trip. “I don’t know what they’re waiting for.”



...very painful...

Bill and Hillary Clinton: “Friends of Haiti?”

Marty Goodman
Black Agenda Report, Wed, 12/05/2012

Bill Clinton and Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are called “the Friends of Haiti.” Oh, really?

After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, President Obama appointed Bill Clinton as US envoy, partnering with the Katrina and Iraq criminal George Bush, Jr., a supporter of the 2004 CIA-backed military coup which overthrew the elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. After the earthquake, Bill headed relief agencies, while excluding Haitians themselves. The stated theme of the Clinton-Bush effort was to “build back better.” Today, Bill is the UN envoy and acknowledged guiding hand behind international relief efforts.

Both Bill and Hillary are promoters of the U.S. dominated World Bank low-wage sweatshop plan for Haiti, angrily dubbed “the American Plan” by Haitians. Last year, Hillary signed an agreement committing $124 million tax dollars to the building of the Caracol sweatshop assembly park in the north of Haiti. The agreement includes massive tax breaks for sweatshop bosses. Workers there are making the starvation wage of about $3.50 a day.

On Oct 22, 2012 Bill and Hillary were on hand for the inaugural ceremony in Caracol. Also there was Haitian President Michael Martelly, a pro-coup right-winger linked to Duvalier era thugs. Hillary praised Martelly as Haiti’s “chief dreamer and believer.” Martelly, once again, declared Haiti “open for business.”

The sweatshop park was launched with $3 million from the “Clinton Bush Haiti Fund,” set up by the two Obama appointees to spearhead so-called earthquake relief fundraising. One park occupant, Sae-A Trading, is a large textile company cited by the AFL-CIO for “acts of violence and intimidation” against workers in Guatemala.

“Last year, Hillary signed an agreement committing $124 million tax dollars to the building of the Caracol sweatshop assembly park in the north of Haiti.”

In 1993, during Bill Clinton’s administration, he appointed his close friend Ron Brown as Secretary of Commerce. In the early 1980s, Brown was a partner in the powerful Washington law firm of Patton, Boggs & Blow. Brown was a paid attorney and a lobbyist for Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier and his family. Brown was also personally linked to wealthy Haitian pro-Duvalier figures.



...but, not as hurtful as ignorance.

Thank you for caring, Melissa G!

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Response to Octafish (Reply #4)

Mon May 30, 2016, 12:47 PM

5. Yes, Ripe for the picking and pillaging

and Clinton's and their family (this time her brother) seem to be once again right in the questionable midst of it...


Tony Rodham’s involvement with the mine, which has become a source of controversy in Haiti because of concern about potential environmental damage and the belief that the project will primarily benefit foreign investors, was first revealed in publicity about an upcoming book on the Clintons by author Peter Schweizer.

In interviews with The Washington Post, both Rodham and the chief executive of Delaware-based VCS Mining said they were introduced at a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative — an offshoot of the Clinton Foundation that critics have long alleged invites a blurring of its charitable mission with the business interests of Bill and Hillary Clinton and their corporate donors.
VCS Mining has been taking samples via this piece of PVC pipe sticking out of the ground on a hillside in Morne Bossa, Haiti. (Andres Martinez Casares/For The Washington Post)

Asked whether he attends CGI meetings to explore personal business opportunities, Rodham responded, “No, I go to see old friends. But you never know what can happen.”

All sides deny that the Clintons had any role in Rodham’s appointment to the VCS advisory board.

I wonder if that last line should come with a sarcasm tag?

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Response to Melissa G (Reply #5)

Mon May 30, 2016, 12:51 PM

6. fairly low profile for the first brother in law/potential first brother


is he doing any campaigning?

I miss Billy Carter.

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Response to Melissa G (Reply #5)

Mon May 30, 2016, 02:31 PM

9. Holy golden bull of unlimited cash cow!

Stripping away the varnish:

Hillary Clinton’s Culture Of Corruption May Doom Candidacy

Investor's Business Daily
Editorial, March 5, 2015

Scandal: Hillary’s emails may be only the tip of an iceberg that could include Clinton Foundation donations to shield Boko Haram from being designated a terrorist group and her brother’s involvement in a Haitian gold mine.

We doubt Team Hillary was thrilled or her critics surprised Tuesday when the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security named Mrs. Clinton’s brother, Tony Rodham, in a report about a firm that allegedly received preferential treatment from the Obama administration.

The firm, Gulf Coast Funds Management, with Tony Rodham listed as its chief executive, allegedly benefited from what the report says was “politically motivated” intervention of then-United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Majorkas, whom president Obama promoted to be the No. 2 official at DHS even as he was under investigation.

Majorkas, according to the IG report, appeared to give “favoritism and special access” to politically connected Democrats who intervened in the application process for the EB-5 (Employee-Based Fifth Preference) visa program, which grants visas to wealthy foreigners who can invest up to $500,000 in U.S. business ventures.

Along with Hillary’s brother, Gulf Coast is also linked to now-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who served as chair of the Democratic National Committee when Hillary’s husband, Bill Clinton, was president. McAuliffe’s company was working with Gulf Coast, a firm that specialized in obtaining EB-5 visas for investors.



Golly. Easy to see why this doesn't get on GD-P much.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #9)

Mon May 30, 2016, 02:51 PM

10. Wow, Mcauliffe, also under FBI investigation, Rodham- so many inappropriate places & Boko Haram

How many of the more than 30,000 “personal” emails that Hillary deleted from her private account relate to these matters? Is that why she needed a private email server? We need to see that server. It might provide, er, a veritable gold mine of information.


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Response to Melissa G (Reply #5)

Mon May 30, 2016, 04:10 PM

15. Holy shit, Hillary’s brother is going to cash in on exploiting Honduras?

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon May 30, 2016, 01:07 PM

7. I don't think Hillary sees poor people as fellow human beings.


I think she has zero capacity for empathy.

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Response to senz (Reply #7)

Mon May 30, 2016, 01:25 PM

8. ''Mineral Extraction'' is among the most undemocratic of industries.

Two case studies from the Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary Graduate School of Business:

From his association with a former president, a Mr. Frank G. got a great deal in Kazakhstan:

After Mining Deal, Financier Donated to Clinton

The New York Times, JAN. 31, 2008


Upon landing on the first stop of a three-country philanthropic tour, the two men were whisked off to share a sumptuous midnight banquet with Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, whose 19-year stranglehold on the country has all but quashed political dissent.

Mr. Nazarbayev walked away from the table with a propaganda coup, after Mr. Clinton expressed enthusiastic support for the Kazakh leader’s bid to head an international organization that monitors elections and supports democracy. Mr. Clinton’s public declaration undercut both American foreign policy and sharp criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, Mr. Clinton’s wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

Within two days, corporate records show that Mr. Giustra also came up a winner when his company signed preliminary agreements giving it the right to buy into three uranium projects controlled by Kazakhstan’s state-owned uranium agency, Kazatomprom.

The monster deal stunned the mining industry, turning an unknown shell company into one of the world’s largest uranium producers in a transaction ultimately worth tens of millions of dollars to Mr. Giustra, analysts said.


Mr. Giustra foresaw a bull market in gold and began investing in mines in Argentina, Australia and Mexico. He turned a $20 million shell company into a powerhouse that, after a $2.4 billion merger with Goldcorp Inc., became Canada’s second-largest gold company.



From his association with a future president, George got a great deal in Bahrain.

Harken Energy And Insider Trading

by Stephen Pizzo
Mother Jones, September / October 1992


Harken Energy was formed in l973 by two oilmen who would benefit from a successful covert effort to destabilize Australia's Labor Party government (which had attempted to shut out foreign oil exploration). A decade later, Harken was sold to a new investment group headed by New York attorney Alan G. Quasha, a partner in the firm of Quasha, Wessely & Schneider. Quasha's father, a powerful attorney in the Philippines, had been a staunch supporter of then-president Ferdinand Marcos. William Quasha had also given legal advice to two top officials of the notorious Nugan Hand Bank in Australia, a CIA operation.

After the sale of Harken Energy in 1983, Alan Quasha became a director and chairman of the board. Under Quasha, Harken suddenly absorbed Junior's struggling Spectrum 7 in 1986. The merger immediately opened a financial horn of plenty and reversed Junior's fortunes. But like his brother Jeb, Junior seemed unconcerned about the characters who were becoming his benefactors. Harken's $25 million stock offering in 1987, for example, was underwritten by a Little Rock, Arkansas, brokerage house, Stephens, Inc., which placed the Harken stock offering with the London subsidiary of Union Bank -- a bank that had surfaced in the scandal that resulted in the downfall of the Australian Labor government in 1976 and, later, in the Nugan Hand Bank scandal. (It was also Union Bank, according to congressional hearings on international money laundering, that helped the now-notorious Bank of Credit and Commerce International skirt Panamanian money-laundering laws by flying cash out of the country in private jets, and that was used by Ferdinand Marcos to stash 325 tons of Philippine gold around the world.)


Suddenly, in January 1990, Harken Energy became the talk of the Texas oil industry. The company with no offshore-oil-drilling experience beat out a more-established international conglomerate, Amoco, in bagging the exclusive contract to drill in a promising new offshore oil field for the Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain. The deal had been arranged for Harken by two former Stephens, Inc., brokers. A company insider claims the president's son did not initiate the deal -- but feels that his presence in the firm helped with the Bahrainis. "Hell, that's why he's on the damn board," the insider says. "...You say, 'By the way, the president's son sits on our board.' You use that. There's nothing wrong with that."

Junior has told acquaintances conflicting stories about his own involvement in the deal. He first claimed that he had "recused" himself from the deal; "George said he left the room when Bahrain was being discussed 'because we can't even have the appearance of having anything to do with the government.' He was into a big rant about how unfair it was to be the president's son. He said, 'I was so scrupulous I was never in the room when it was discussed.'"

Junior alternately claimed, to reporters for the Wall Street Journal and D Magazine, that he had opposed the arrangement. But the company insider says, to the contrary, that Junior was excited about the Bahrain deal. "Like any member of the board, he was thrilled," the associate says. "His attitude was, 'Holy shit, what a great deal!'"



This is why We the People need to have a separation of Banking and State.

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Response to senz (Reply #7)

Mon May 30, 2016, 02:59 PM

12. I agree completely. Her 'people' are the corporations that fund her. nt.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon May 30, 2016, 02:58 PM

11. Thank you, Octafish.

Thinking of how this sort of horror has been going on for so long in LA (America's farm) and gotten away with makes me furious. Thanks so much for all the info.

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Response to polly7 (Reply #11)

Mon May 30, 2016, 06:07 PM

16. Anti-Colonialism is a big reason why I'm a Kennedy Democrat.

The wealth of Latin America, like that of the Middle East, belongs to the people who live there. If it were ours, we wouldn't have to steal it, claim it, or extract it for pennies on the dollar by bribery or extortion.

Caroline Kennedy Nominated to be Next U.S. Ambassador to Japan

Thurston Clarke, Penguin Press
JULY 31, 2013


In the case of Vietnam, Kennedy repeatedly refused to send U.S. combat units to assist South Vietnamese forces, repeatedly overruling advisors who wanted him to do just that. In 1962 National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy tried to change his mind, reminding him that his advisers had unanimously recommended sending combat units, and suggesting cabling Ambassador Frederick Nolting, Jr., that combat troops would be sent “when and if the U. S. military recommend it on persuasive military grounds.” Kennedy would not budge. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Maxwell Taylor concluded, “I don’t recall anyone who was strongly against , except one man and that was the President.” Kennedy may have had this in mind when he told reporters at a 1962 press conference, “Well, you know that old story about Abraham Lincoln and the Cabinet. He says, ‘All in favor say “aye,” ’ and the whole Cabinet voted ‘aye,’ and then, ‘All opposed no,’ and Lincoln voted ‘no,’ and he said, ‘the vote is no.’ ”

Kennedy’s reluctance to send combat troops stemmed from his own visit to Vietnam in 1951. He and his brother Bobby had arrived at a violent juncture in the struggle between the French colonial authorities and Viet Minh guerrillas led by Ho Chi Minh. A suicide bomber had killed a French general, antigrenade nets covered government ministries, and artillery flashes lit the horizon as they dined at a rooftop restaurant in Saigon with Edmund Gullion, then serving as the political counselor at the embassy. Kennedy asked Gullion what he had learned. “That in twenty years there will be no more colonies,” Gullion said. “We’re going nowhere out here. The French have lost. If we come in here and do the same thing we will lose, too, for the same reason. There’s no will or support for this kind of war back in Paris. The home front is lost. The same thing would happen to us.”



Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy on Indochina before the Senate, Washington, D.C., April 6, 1954 (one month before the fall of the French garrison at Dien Bien Phu

Mr. President, the time has come for the American people to be told the blunt truth about Indochina.

I am reluctant to make any statement which may be misinterpreted as unappreciative of the gallant French struggle at Dien Bien Phu and elsewhere; or as partisan criticism of our Secretary of State just prior to his participation in the delicate deliberations in Geneva. Nor, as one who is not a member of those committees of the Congress which have been briefed - if not consulted - on this matter, do I wish to appear impetuous or an alarmist in my evaluation of the situation. But the speeches of President Eisenhower, Secretary Dulles, and others have left too much unsaid, in my opinion - and what has been left unsaid is the heart of the problem that should concern every citizen. For if the American people are, for the fourth time in this century, to travel the long and tortuous road of war - particularly a war which we now realize would threaten the survival of civilization - then I believe we have a right - a right which we should have hitherto exercised - to inquire in detail into the nature of the struggle in which we may become engaged, and the alternative to such struggle. Without such clarification the general support and success of our policy is endangered.

Inasmuch as Secretary Dulles has rejected, with finality, any suggestion of bargaining on Indochina in exchange for recognition of Red China, those discussions in Geneva which concern that war may center around two basic alternatives:

The first is a negotiated peace, based either upon partition of the area between the forces of the Viet Minh and the French Union, possibly along the 16th parallel; or based upon a coalition government in which Ho Chi Minh is represented. Despite any wishful thinking to the contrary, it should be apparent that the popularity and prevalence of Ho Chi Minh and his following throughout Indochina would cause either partition or a coalition government to result in eventual domination by the Communists.

The second alternative is for the United States to persuade the French to continue their valiant and costly struggle; an alternative which, considering the current state of opinion in France, will be adopted only if the United States pledges increasing support. Secretary Dulles' statement that the "imposition in southeast Asia of the political system of Communist Russia and its Chinese Communist ally…should be met by united action" indicates that it is our policy to give such support; that we will, as observed by the New York Times last Wednesday, "fight if necessary to keep southeast Asia out of their hands"; and that we hope to win the support of the free countries of Asia for united action against communism in Indochina, in spite of the fact that such nations have pursued since the war's inception a policy of cold neutrality.

I think it is important that the Senate and the American people demonstrate their endorsement of Mr. Dulles' objectives, despite our difficulty in ascertaining the full significance of its key phrases.

Certainly, I, for one, favor a policy of a "united action" by many nations whenever necessary to achieve a military and political victory for the free world in that area, realizing full well that it may eventually require some commitment of our manpower.

[font color="red"]But to pour money, materiel, and men into the jungles of Indochina without at least a remote prospect of victory would be dangerously futile and self-destructive. Of course, all discussion of "united action" assumes that inevitability of such victory; but such assumptions are not unlike similar predictions of confidence which have lulled the American people for many years and which, if continued, would present an improper basis for determining the extent of American participation.
[/font color]

Permit me to review briefly some of the statements concerning the progress of the war in that area, and it will be understood why I say that either we have not frankly and fully faced the seriousness of the military situation, or our intelligence estimates and those of the French have been woefully defective.

In February of 1951, for example, the late Brig. Gen. Francis G. Brink, then head of the United States Military Advisory Group, in Indochina, told us of the favorable turn of events in that area as a result of new tactics designed by Gen. Jean de Lattre de Tassigny. In the fall of that same year, General De Lattre himself voiced optimism in his speech before the National Press Club here in Washington; and predicted victory, under certain conditions, in 18 months to 2 years, during his visit to France.

In June of 1952, American and French officials issued a joint communique in Washington expressing the two countries' joint determination to bring the battle to a successful end; and Secretary of State Acheson stated at his press conference that -

"The military situation appears to be developing favorably. ... Aggression has been checked and recent indications warrant the view that the tide is now moving in our favor. ... We can anticipate continued favorable developments."

In March 1953, the French officials again came to Washington, again issued statements predicting victory in Indochina, and again joined with the United States in a communique planning military action and United States support which would achieve their new goal of decisive military victory in 2 years.

In May of 1953, President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles told the Congress that our mutual security program for France and Indochina would help "reduce this Communist pressure to manageable proportions." In June an American military mission headed by General O'Daniel was sent to discuss with General Navarre in Indochina the manner in which United States aid "may best contribute to the advancement of the objective of defeating the Communist forces there"; and in the fall of last year General O'Daniel stated that he was "confident that the French-trained Vietnam Army when fully organized would prevail over the rebels."

In September of 1953, French and American officials again conferred, and, in announcing a new program of extensive American aid, again issued a joint communique restating the objective of "an early and victorious conclusion."

On December 2, 1953, Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs Walter S. Robertson told the Women's National Republican Club in New York - in words almost identical with those of Secretary of State Acheson 18 months earlier - that "In Indochina…we believe the tide now is turning." Later the same month Secretary of State Dulles state that military setbacks in the area had been exaggerated; and that he did not "believe that anything that has happened upsets appreciably the timetable of General Navarre's plan," which anticipated decisive military results by about March 1955.

In February of this year, Defense Secretary Wilson said that a French victory was "both possible and probable" and that the war was going "fully as well as we expected it to at this stage. I see no reason to think Indochina would be another Korea." Also in February of this year, Under Secretary of State Smith stated that:

"The military situation in Indochina is favorable. ... Contrary to some reports, the recent advances made by the Viet Minh are largely "real estate" operations. ... Tactically, the French position is solid and the officers in the field seem confident of their ability to deal with the situation."

Less than 2 weeks ago, Admiral Radford, Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff, stated that "the French are going to win." And finally, in a press conference some days prior to his speech to the Overseas Press Club in New York, Secretary of State Dulles stated that he did not "expect that there is going to be a Communist victory in Indochina"; that "in terms of Communist domination of Indochina, I do not accept that as a probability"; that "we have seen no reason to abandon the so-called Navarre plan," which meant decisive results only 1 year hence; and that the United States would provide whatever additional equipment was needed for victory over the Viet Minh; with the upper hand probably to be gained "by the end of the next fighting season."

Despite this series of optimistic reports about eventual victory, every Member of the Senate knows that such victory today appears to be desperately remote, to say the least, despite tremendous amounts of economic and material aid from the United States, and despite a deplorable loss of French Union manpower. The call for either negotiations or additional participation by other nations underscores the remoteness of such a final victory today, regardless of the outcome at Dien Bien Phu. It is, of course, for these reasons that many French are reluctant to continue the struggle without greater assistance; for to record the sapping effect which time and the enemy have had on their will and strength in that area is not to disparage their valor. If "united action" can achieve the necessary victory over the forces of communism, and thus preserve the security and freedom of all southeast Asia, then such united action is clearly called for. But if, on the other hand, the increase in our aid and the utilization of our troops would only result in further statements of confidence without ultimate victory over aggression, then now is the time when we must evaluate the conditions under which that pledge is made.

I am frankly of the belief that no amount of American military assistance in Indochina can conquer an enemy which is everywhere and at the same time nowhere, "an enemy of the people" which has the sympathy and covert support of the people. As succinctly stated by the report of the Judd Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in January of this year:

"Until political independence has been achieved, an effective fighting force from the associated states cannot be expected. ... The apathy of the local population to the menace of the Viet Minh communism disguised as nationalism is the most discouraging aspect of the situation. That can only be overcome through the grant of complete independence to each of the associated states. Only for such a cause as their own freedom will people make the heroic effort necessary to win this kind of struggle."

This is an analysis which is shared, if in some instances grudgingly, by most American observers. Moreover, without political independence for the associated states, the other Asiatic nations have made it clear that they regard this as a war of colonialism; and the "united action" which is said to be so desperately needed for victory in that area is likely to end up as unilateral action by our own country. Such intervention, without participation by the armed forces of the other nations of Asia, without the support of the great masses of the peoples of the associated states, with increasing reluctance and discouragement on the part of the French - and, I might add, with hordes of Chinese Communist troops poised just across the border in anticipation of our unilateral entry into their kind of battleground - such intervention, Mr. President, would be virtually impossible in the type of military situation which prevails in Indochina.

This is not a new point, of course. In November of 1951, I reported upon my return from the Far East as follows:

"In Indochina we have allied ourselves to the desperate effort of a French regime to hang on to the remnants of empire. There is no broad, general support of the native Vietnam Government among the people of that area. To check the southern drive of communism makes sense but not only through reliance on the force of arms. The task is rather to build strong native non-Communist sentiment within these areas and rely on that as a spearhead of defense rather than upon the legions of General de Lattre. To do this apart from and in defiance of innately nationalistic aims spells foredoomed failure."

In June of last year, I sought an amendment to the Mutual Security Act which would have provided for the distribution of American aid, to the extent feasible, in such a way as to encourage the freedom and independence desired by the people of the Associated States. My amendment was soundly defeated on the grounds that we should not pressure France into taking action on this delicate situation; and that the new French Government could be expected to make "a decision which would obviate the necessity of this kind of amendment or resolution." The distinguished majority leader (Mr. Knowlandz) assured us that "We will all work, in conjunction with our great ally, France, toward the freedom of the people of those states."

It is true that only 2 days later on July 3 the French Government issued a statement agreeing that -

"There is every reason to complete the independence of sovereignty of the Associated States of Indochina by insuring ... the transfer of the powers ... retained in the interests of the States themselves, because of the perilous circumstances resulting from the state of war."

In order to implement this agreement, Bao Dai arrived in Paris on August 27 calling for "complete independence for Vietnam."

I do not wish to weary the Senate with a long recital of the proceedings of the negotiations, except to say that as of today they have brought no important change in the treaty relationships between Vietnam and the French Republic. Today the talks appear to be at an impasse; and the return from Paris to Saigon of the Premier of Vietnam, Prince Buu Loc, is not a happy augury for their success. Thus the degree of control which the French retain in the area is approximately the same as I outlined last year:

Politically, French control was and is extensive and paramount. There is no popular assembly in Vietnam which represents the will of the people that can ratify the treaty relationship between Vietnam and the French. Although the Associated States are said to be "independent within the French Union," the French always have a permanent control in the high council and in the Assembly of the Union and the Government of France guides its actions. Under article 62 of the French Constitution, the French Government "coordinates" all of the resources of the members of the Union placed in common to guarantee its defense, under policies directed and prepared by the French Government. French Union subjects are given special legal exemptions, including the privilege of extraterritoriality. The French High Commissioner continues to exercise powers with respect to the internal security of the Associated States, and will have a similar mission even after the restoration of peace. When Vietnamese taxes affect French Union subjects, there must be consultation with the representatives of the countries concerned before they are imposed. The foreign policy of Vietnam must be coordinated with that of France, and the French must give consent to the sending of diplomatic missions to foreign countries. Inasmuch as the French did not develop experienced governmental administrators before World War II, they have guided to some degree actions within the local governments by requiring the Vietnamese Government to turn to them for foreign counselors and technicians.

Militarily, French control is nearly complete. The United States has in the past dealt primarily with the French military authority, and these in turn deal with the Associated States. Our equipment and aid is turned over to the French who will then arrange for its distribution according to their decision. The French are granted for a period of time without limit facilities for bases and garrisons.

Culturally, the French are directly in contact with the training of intellectual youths of Vietnam, inasmuch as France joined in the establishment of the university, installed a French rector, and provided that all instructions should be in French.

Economically, French control of the country's basic resources, transportation, trade, and economic life in general is extensive. In Vietnam, estimated French control is nearly 100 percent in the field of foreign commerce, international and coastal shipping, and rubber and other export products. The French control 66 percent of the rice export trade. Moreover, possession of property belonging to the French cannot be changed without permission of the French; and France shares the veto right under the PAU agreement on matters affecting France's export and import trade.

All of this flies in the face of repeated assurances to the American people by our own officials that complete independence has been or will be granted.

In February of 1951, for example, the American Minister to the Associated States, Donald Heath, told us that the French colonial regime had ended and that "all Indochinese Government services were turned over to the Indochinese States." This is untrue. In November of 1951, Assistant Secretary of State Dean Rusk again assured us that -

"The peoples of the Associated States are free to assume the extensive responsibility for their own affairs that has been accorded them by treaties with France."

Last year, the Department of States assured me that -

"France had granted such a full measure of control to the 3 states over their own affairs that ... these 3 countries became sovereign states."

In February of this year, Under Secretary of State Smith stated that the representatives of the Governments of Vietnam and of France would "meet in Paris to draw up the treaty which will complete Vietnamese independence." As I have said, those conversations began in July, and broke off 10 days ago. And again Secretary Dulles stated last week that -

"Their independence is not yet complete, but the French Government last July declared its intention to complete that independence, and negotiations to consummate that pledge are underway."

They are underway 9 months after the pledge was originally given.

I do not believe that the importance of the current breakdown of these negotiations has been made clear to the Senate or the people of the United States. Every year we are given three sets of assurances: First, that the independence of the Associated States is now complete; second, that the independence of the Associated States will soon be completed under steps "now" being undertaken; and, third, that military victory for the French Union forces in Indochina is assured, or is just around the corner, or lies 2 years off. But the stringent limitations upon the status of the Associated States as sovereign states remain; and the fact that military victory has not yet been achieved is largely the result of these limitations. Repeated failure of these prophecies has, however, in no way diminished the frequency of their reiteration, and they have caused this Nation to delay definitive action until now the opportunity for any desirable solution may well be past.

It is time, therefore, for us to face the stark reality of the difficult situation before us without the false hopes which predictions of military victory and assurances of complete independence have given us in the past. The hard truth of the matter is, first, that without the wholehearted support of the peoples of the Associated States, without a reliable and crusading native army with a dependable officer corps, a military victory, even with American support, in that area is difficult if not impossible, of achievement; and, second, that the support of the people of that area cannot be obtained without a change in the contractual relationships which presently exist between the Associated States and the French Union.

Instead of approaching a solution to this problem, as Secretary Dulles indicated, French and Vietnamese officials appear to be receding from it. The Vietnamese, whose own representatives lack full popular support, because of a lack of popular assembly in that country, recognizing that French opinion favoring a military withdrawal would become overwhelming if all ties were entirely broken, have sought 2 treaties: one giving the Vietnamese complete and genuine independence, and the other maintaining a tie with the French Union on the basis of equality, as in the British Commonwealth. But 9 months of negotiations have failed thus far to provide a formula for both independence and union which is acceptable to the parties currently in the government of each nation. The French Assembly on March 9 - and I believe this action did not receive the attention it deserved - substantially lessened the chances of such a solution, through the adoption of a tremendously far-reaching rider which declared that France would consider her obligations toward Indochinese states ended if they should revoke the clauses in the French Constitution that bind them to the French Union. In other words, Mr. President, the French Parliament indicated that France would no longer have any obligations toward the Associated States if the present ties which bind them to the French Union - ties which assure, because of the constitutional arrangement of the French Union, that the French Republic and its Government are always the dominant power in the union - were broken.

I realize that Secretary Dulles cannot force the French to adopt any course of action to which they are opposed; nor am I unaware of the likelihood of a French military withdrawal from Indochina, once its political and economic stake in that area is gone. But we must realize that the difficulties in the military situation which would result from a French withdrawal would not be greatly different from the difficulties which would prevail after the intervention of American troops without the support of the Indochinese or the other nations of Asia. The situation might be compared to what the situation would have been in Korea, if the Japanese had maintained possession of Korea, if a Communist group of Koreans were carrying on a war there with Japan - which had dominated that area for more than a century - and if we then went to the assistance of the Japanese, and put down the revolution of the native Koreans, even though they were Communists, and even though in taking that action we could not have the support of the non-Communist elements of country.

That is the type of situation, whether we like it or not, which is presented today in connection with our support of the French in Indochina, without the support of the native peoples of Indochina.

In Indochina, as in Korea, the battle against communism should be a battle, not for economic or political gain, but for the security of the free world, and for the values and institutions which are held dear in France and throughout the non-Communist world, as well as in the United States. It seems to me, therefore, that the dilemma which confronts us is not a hopeless one; that a victorious fight can be maintained by the French, with the support of this Nation and many other nations - and most important of all, the support of the Vietnamese and other peoples of the Associated States - once it is recognized that the defense of southeast Asia and the repelling of Communist aggression are the objectives of such a struggle, and not the maintenance of political relationships founded upon ancient colonialism. In such a struggle, the United States and other nations may properly be called upon to play their fullest part.

If, however, this is not to be the nature of the war; if the French persist in their refusal to grant the legitimate independence and freedom desired by the peoples of the Associated States; and if those peoples and the other peoples of Asia remain aloof from the conflict, as they have in the past, then it is my hope that Secretary Dulles, before pledging our assistance at Geneva, will recognize the futility of channeling American men and machines into that hopeless internecine struggle.

The facts and alternatives before us are unpleasant, Mr. President. But in a nation such as ours, it is only through the fullest and frankest appreciation of such facts and alternatives that any foreign policy can be effectively maintained. In an era of supersonic attack and atomic retaliation, extended public debate and education are of no avail, once such a policy must be implemented. The time to study, to doubt, to review, and revise is now, for upon our decisions now may well rest the peace and security of the world, and, indeed, the very continued existence of mankind. And if we cannot entrust this decision to the people, then, as Thomas Jefferson once said:

"If we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education."

SOURCE w/links to photocopies of unredacted comments: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Research-Aids/JFK-Speeches/United-States-Senate-Indochina_19540406.aspx


The US Government, under the leadership of President Eisenhower, with the overt support of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and the covert support of CIA Director Allen Dulles chose the path of war, supporting the French in their efforts of holding on to their colonial possession of Vietnam. Their efforts on behalf of France ended at Dien Bien Phu when the French forces surrendered on May 7, 1954 -- about one month after JFK's speech to the Senate above. Dulles had even offered to help France avoid defeat with atomic bombs.

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27243803

Dulles counseled Eisenhower to use the atomic bomb on the Vietnamese for the French! Operation VULTURE. Just a few.

Here's more on JFK and his Democratic approach to foreign policy -- radical compared to the "Money trumps peace" approach of the Imperialists Gen. Smedley Butler spoke of to the BFEE who kill nations that stand in their way in the present day.

JFK’s Embrace of Third World Nationalists

Exclusive: The intensive media coverage of the half-century anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s murder was long on hype and emotion but short on explaining how revolutionary JFK’s foreign policy was in his extraordinary support for Third World nationalists, as Jim DiEugenio explains.

By Jim DiEugenio
ConsortiumNews, Nov. 25, 2013

Most knowledgeable people understood that the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy would be marked by an extraordinary outpouring of media programming commemorating his life and death. But the volume probably exceeded expectations.

There were even programs aired that were not announced in advance, e.g., “The Assassination of President Kennedy” produced by Tom Hanks and his Playtone production company, which featured an aged and very ill-looking Vincent Bugliosi, author of Reclaiming History, one more defense of the Warren Commission’s report.

Perhaps the longest 50th anniversary program was the two-part, four-hour “JFK” on the PBS series “American Experience.” It was largely based on the work of historian Robert Dallek, who has written two books about Kennedy, An Unfinished Life and Camelot’s Court. Combined, the books amounted to over 1,100 pages of biography and analysis.

Although Dallek did much work on Kennedy’s medical records, there were some commentators who wondered if the historian was actually diligent enough in informing his readers about Kennedy’s policies, especially his foreign policy initiatives. In fact, in the introduction to the second book, Dallek suggests that he wrote the second tome because he couldn’t understand why an intervening poll showed President Kennedy as, far and away, the most admired of the last nine presidents. Dallek mused: Did I miss something?

Having read both of Dallek’s books, I would venture to say that, yes, he did miss something. Actually, more than just something. He missed a major part of the story that the general public – however vaguely, however inchoately – somehow does understand about President Kennedy. Namely this fact: There is as much a battle over who JFK was, as over the circumstances of his assassination.

Those two continuing controversies – who was Kennedy and who killed him – would lead some to ask if there may be a relationship between the two questions. In other words, was Kennedy killed because of the policies he tried to enact as president, particularly in the foreign policy sphere? However, in Dallek’s quest to discount this angle, he once wrote an article for Salon about Kennedy that was titled, “Why do we admire a President who did so little?”

But is that really the case? There is a growing body of scholarship that holds that, even though Kennedy was cut down after less than three years in office, he achieved quite a lot and was trying for even more. Authors like Irving Bernstein, Donald Gibson, Richard Mahoney, John Newman, James Bill, Philip Muehlenbeck and Robert Rakove have all tried to detail the serious achievements and goals Kennedy had while in office.

A Foreign Policy Revolution

Further, most of these authors have tried to demonstrate two foreign policy shifts that Kennedy set in motion but that his assassination reversed. The first were the series of changes that Kennedy made in the policies which preceded him, those of President Dwight Eisenhower and his foreign policy team, consisting largely of the Dulles brothers and Richard Nixon.

The second series of changes occurred after Kennedy was killed and Lyndon Johnson took office. These changes essentially returned to the status quo ante established by the Dulles brothers. Because the subject of Kennedy’s entire presidency would take a book to review, let us concentrate here just on a few segments of his foreign policy that still resonate today.

To understand the import of President Kennedy’s foreign policy ideas, one needs to contemplate the photo of Kennedy getting the news of the murder of Patrice Lumumba. The black African revolutionary leader of Congo was shot to death on Jan. 17, 1961, just three days before Kennedy was to take office, although his death was not confirmed for several weeks.

Eisenhower would not have reacted with the distress shown on Kennedy’s face because, as the Church Committee discovered, Lumumba’s murder was linked to the approval of a plan by Eisenhower and CIA Director Allen Dulles to eliminate him. (William Blum, The CIA: A Forgotten History, pgs. 175-176) Former CIA officer John Stockwell wrote in his book In Search of Enemies that he later talked to a CIA colleague who said it was his job to dispose of Lumumba’s body. (Stockwell, p. 50)

To fully understand the difference between how Kennedy viewed Africa and how Eisenhower, the Dulles brothers and later Lyndon Johnson did, one must appreciate why Eisenhower and his national security team felt it necessary to eliminate Lumumba. As Philip Muehlenbeck has noted in his book Betting on the Africans, Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles essentially ignored the tidal wave of decolonization that swept through Africa in the Fifties and Sixties. Nearly 30 new nations emerged in Africa during this time period.

Even though most of this transformation occurred while Eisenhower was president, the United States never voted against a European power over a colonial dispute in Africa. Neither did Dulles or Eisenhower criticize colonial rule by NATO allies. Not only did the White House appear to favor continued colonial domination, but with the nations already freed, they looked upon the emerging leaders with, too put it mildly, much condescension.

At an NSC meeting, Vice President Nixon claimed that, “some of these peoples of Africa have been out of the trees for only about fifty years.” (Muehlenbeck, p. 6) And, of course, John Foster Dulles saw this epochal anti-colonial struggle through the magnifying glass of the Cold War. As Muehlenbeck writes, “Dulles believed that Third World nationalism was a tool of Moscow’s creation rather than a natural outgrowth of the colonial experience.” (ibid, p. 6) Therefore, to Eisenhower and his team, Lumumba was a communist.

Kennedy’s Anti-Colonialism

To Kennedy, however, Lumumba was a nationalistic leader who was trying to guide his country to independence, both politically and economically. Lumumba wanted Congo to be free of economic exploitation from foreigners. Kennedy agreed with that idea. As his Under Secretary of State for Africa, G. Mennen Williams, succinctly stated, “What we want for the Africans is what the Africans want for themselves.” (ibid, p. 45) The Kennedy administration’s policy deliberately made European interests secondary.

The crisis in Congo was exacerbated by the fact that Congo’s Katanga province contained abundant natural resources, including gold, copper and uranium. Therefore, when the Belgians abruptly left, they ensured that their departure would leave behind enough tumult so that certain friends in Katanga, like Moise Tshombe, would ask for their return. The problem was that Prime Minister Lumumba had no desire to ask.

So, in July 1960, Lumumba went to Washington to seek help in kicking the Belgians out. When Lumumba arrived, Eisenhower remained on a golfing trip in Newport, Rhode Island. (Mahoney, JFK: Ordeal in Africa, p. 38) And, it was clear from Lumumba’s discussion with other officials that America was not going to help him expel the Belgians. Then, Lumumba turned to the Russians, who did supply military assistance. (ibid, p. 40)

This development played into the hands of CIA Director Allen Dulles, who declared that the “communist” Lumumba must be removed. He was killed on Jan. 17, 1961, apparently by a firing squad organized by Belgian officers and Katangan authorities (although his fate was covered up for several weeks).

There are some writers, like John Morton Blum and the late Jonathan Kwitny, who did not believe the timing of Lumumba’s murder to be a coincidence, just three days before Kennedy’s inauguration. It may have been done then because the CIA suspected that Kennedy would side with Lumumba, which, when his new plan for Congo was formulated, was clearly what JFK was going to do. (Mahoney, pgs. 65-67)

Kennedy decided to cooperate with Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold at the United Nations to try and save the country’s independence. Kennedy wanted to neutralize any East-West competition, to stop the creation of an economic puppet state in Katanga, and to free all political prisoners. Not knowing Lumumba was dead during the first weeks of his administration, Kennedy meant to restore Lumumba to power. If Lumumba’s death was accelerated to defeat an expected policy change by JFK, in practical terms, it was successful.

Who Was Gullion?

The man Kennedy chose to be his ambassador to Congo was Edmund Gullion, who was the one who had altered Kennedy’s consciousness about Third World nationalism. There are some writers who would maintain that perhaps no other person had as much influence on the evolution of Kennedy’s foreign policy thinking as did Gullion. Yet, Gullion’s name is not in the index to either of Dallek’s books on Kennedy.

Edmund Gullion entered the State Department in the late 1930s. His first assignment was to Marseilles, France, where he became fluent in the French language and was then transferred to French Indochina during France’s struggle to re-colonize the area after World War II.

Kennedy briefly met Gullion in Washington in the late 1940s when the aspiring young politician needed some information for a speech on foreign policy. In 1951, when the 34-year-old congressman flew into Saigon, he decided to look up Gullion. In the midst of France’s long and bloody war to take back Indochina, one that then had been going on for five years, Gullion’s point of view was unique among American diplomats and jarringly candid.

As Thurston Clarke described the rooftop restaurant meeting, Gullion told Kennedy that France could never win the war. Ho Chi Minh had inspired tens of thousands of Viet Minh to the point they would rather die than return to a state of French colonialism. France could never win a war of attrition like that, because the home front would not support it.

This meeting had an immediate impact on young Kennedy. When he returned home, he began making speeches that highlighted these thoughts which were underscored by the Viet Minh’s eventual defeat of the French colonial forces in 1954. In criticizing the U.S. Establishment’s view of these anti-colonial struggles, Kennedy did not play favorites. He criticized Democrats as well as Republicans who failed to see that the United States had to have a positive appeal to the Third World. There had to be something more than just anti-communism.

For instance, in a speech Kennedy gave during the 1956 presidential campaign for Adlai Stevenson, the then-Massachusetts senator said: “The Afro-Asian revolution of nationalism, the revolt against colonialism, the determination of people to control their national destinies. … In my opinion, the tragic failure of both Republican and Democratic administrations since World War II to comprehend the nature of this revolution, and its potentialities for good and evil, had reaped a bitter harvest today — and it is by rights and by necessity a major foreign policy campaign issue that has nothing to do with anti-communism.”

Stevenson’s office then sent a wire to Kennedy asking him not to make any more foreign policy speeches for the campaign. (Mahoney, p. 18) Considering that Stevenson was the darling of the liberal intellectual set, this handwringing may come as a surprise, but his campaign’s worries reflected the political realities of the day.

The Algerian War

In 1957, Kennedy found the perfect time and place to launch a rhetorical broadside against the orthodoxies of both parties on colonialism and anti-communism. By that time, France had inserted 500,000 troops into Algeria to thwart a bloody, terrifying and debilitating colonial war. But because the Algerians fought guerrilla-style, using snipers, explosives and hit-and-run tactics, the war degenerated into torture, atrocities and unmitigated horror.

When the grim facts on the ground were exposed in Paris, the Fourth Republic fell and World War II hero Charles DeGaulle returned to power. When Sen. Kennedy rose in the Senate to address the painful subject of Algeria, the war had been going on for three years. As yet, no high-profile U.S. politician had analyzed the issue with any depth or perspective for the public.

On July 2, 1957, Kennedy started the speech with an understanding tone, observing that many American leaders had chosen not to say anything since this was an internal French matter and France had been America’s first ally. Kennedy then switched gears, noting that a true friend of France would not stand by and watch France tear itself asunder in a futile war, one that would only delay the inevitable. He then got to his real point:

“Yet, did we not learn in Indochina … that we might have served both the French and our own causes infinitely better had we taken a more firm stand much earlier than we did? Did that tragic episode not teach us that, whether France likes it or not, admits it or not, or has our support or not, their overseas territories are sooner or later, one by one, inevitably going to break free and look with suspicion on the Western nations who impeded their steps to independence?”

I have read this fascinating speech several times, and there is one part of the speech that today stands out like a beacon in the night for today’s world. Kennedy understood the history of North Africa. That is, its conquest by the Ottoman Empire and the resultant fact that many, many native Algerians were Moslem. Therefore, he added the following:

“In these days, we can help fulfill a great and promising opportunity to show the world that a new nation, with an Arab heritage, can establish itself in the Western tradition and successfully withstand both the pull toward Arab feudalism and fanaticism and the pull toward Communist authoritarianism.”

This acute perception – that America needed to do everything possible to moderate emerging Arab nationalism so that it did not degenerate into “feudalism and fanaticism” – is something Kennedy would act upon once he gained the White House.

As historian Allan Nevins wrote, no speech by Sen. Kennedy had attracted more attention than this one, and much was negative. Naturally, those he criticized harshly attacked Kennedy: John Foster Dulles, Eisenhower and Nixon. But again, as in 1956, Stevenson and another fellow Democrat, former Secretary of State Dean Acheson, also attacked him. Kennedy’s staff collected the many newspaper editorials the speech generated: 90 of the 138 responses were negative. (Mahoney, p. 21)

The World’s Reaction

But the reaction abroad was different. Many commentators in France were impressed by Kennedy’s insights into the conflict. And in Africa, Kennedy became the man to see in Washington for visiting African dignitaries. The Algerian guerrillas hiding in the hills were exhilarated by Kennedy’s breadth of understanding of their dilemma. They listened excitedly as the results of the 1960 presidential election were tallied.

Many books and films have been written and produced about what Kennedy did while in office in the foreign policy sphere. Most books concerning his assassination deal almost exclusively with Vietnam and Cuba. In the second edition of Destiny Betrayed, I tried to make the argument that, to understand Kennedy’s view of the world, it was necessary to broaden the focus.

In fact, the first foreign policy crisis that Kennedy reviewed once in office was neither Cuba nor Vietnam. It was the conflict in Congo. And as we can see from his reaction to both African crises, Kennedy had learned his lessons from Gullion well, to the point that he was willing to endanger relations with European and NATO allies in order to support Third World nationalism.

But there was another case where Kennedy did the same, the giant island archipelago of Indonesia, which the Netherlands had colonized since the late 1500s. After World War II, a guerrilla war challenged a restoration of colonialism and Indonesia won its independence in 1949. But, as with Katanga in Congo, the Dutch decided to keep control of the eastern island of West Irian because of its wealth.

In 1958, the Dulles brothers tried to overthrow Achmed Sukarno, the nationalist president of Indonesia, but the coup attempt failed. The shoot-down of American pilot Allen Pope exposed the coup as being organized and run by the CIA. Sukarno kept Pope imprisoned after the change of administrations.

President Kennedy invited Sukarno to the U.S. for a state visit. He wanted to discuss the release of Pope, so he asked CIA Director Allen Dulles for the report on how Pope was captured. Dulles gave him a redacted copy. But even in this form, Kennedy discerned what had happened. He exclaimed, “No wonder Sukarno doesn’t like us very much. He has to sit down with people who tried to overthrow his government.” (DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, p. 33)

Because of Kennedy’s different view of the issues at hand, he was able to achieve a much improved relationship with Indonesia. He secured the release of Pope, put together a package of non-military aid for Indonesia, and finally, with the help of Robert Kennedy and veteran diplomat Ellsworth Bunker, West Irian was released by the Netherlands and eventually returned to Indonesia.

Embracing Nationalism

What is clear from these examples is that Kennedy was a proponent of nationalism: the belief that native peoples living in areas emerging from colonialism and imperialism should have control of their own natural resources. This concept challenged the system of European imperialism that the United States also joined after the Spanish-American War at the end of the 19th Century.

The Dulles brothers, with their strong ties to the Eastern Establishment and, through banker David Rockefeller, to the Council on Foreign Relations, had been a part of this imperial system. One way was through their service to giant American international conglomerates at the Wall Street law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell. John Foster Dulles had joined the firm in 1911 and became the managing partner at a relatively young age. Later, he brought his brother Allen into the firm where he made senior partner in just four years.

But, beyond that, the Dulles brothers were born into power. Their grandfather, through their mother, was John Watson Foster, Secretary of State under President Benjamin Harrison in 1892. Their uncle, Robert Lansing, served in that same office under President Woodrow Wilson.

After World War I, through Wall Street financier Bernard Baruch, the Dulles brothers gained entry to the Treaty of Versailles. There, from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, they were instrumental in setting up the mandate system in the Middle East. This made it easier for their corporate clients, which included the Rockefeller family trust, to set up oil exploration deals in these European-supervised principalities.

This is one reason the Dulles brothers favored the monarchical system in the Middle East. After all, if Arab nationalism advanced, it ran the risk of handing the oil riches of the Middle East to the people who lived there rather than to British and American petroleum companies.

The best-known example of the Dulles brothers’ strategy was the 1953 CIA-backed coup in Iran that ousted nationalist leader Mohammad Mosaddegh and returned the Shah — Mohammed Reza Pahlavi — to power. The Shah then amassed an appalling human rights record by deploying his CIA-trained security service, the SAVAK, against his political enemies.

As author James Bill notes in his book, The Eagle and the Lion, the Kennedy brothers disdained the Shah’s monarchical rule. At one stage, they commissioned a State Department paper on the costs and liabilities of returning Mosaddegh to power. To counter the negative image held by the Kennedys, the Shah launched a series of economic and social reforms called the White Revolution but they were unsuccessful.

After Kennedy’s death, the pressure on the Shah was relaxed due to the closeness of presidents like Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter to the Rockefellers. But history would see Kennedy as prescient for his 1957 warning about how neo-colonialism could lead to “fanaticism.” The prime example was the Iranian revolution that overthrew the Shah in 1979.

Working with Nasser

In contrast to the Eisenhower administration, President Kennedy had a much more favorable view of the nationalist leader of Egypt, Gamel Abdel Nasser, who held a special place in the geography of Middle East and African leaders. Because of the Suez Canal and his charismatic leadership of Arab nationalism and pan-Arab unity, Nasser emerged as a central figure in both regions.

Under Eisenhower, John Foster Dulles had poisoned the American relationship with Nasser by trying to pressure him into joining a U.S. military pact against the Soviet Union. Nasser replied that such an arrangement would cost him his standing with the Egyptian people. (Muehlenbeck, p. 10)

Keeping with his non-aligned status, Nasser also decided to recognize China’s communist government. John Foster Dulles – with his myopic “you’re either with us or against us” attitude – cut food shipments to Egypt and cancelled support for the Aswan Dam project.

This provoked Nasser’s occupation of the Suez Canal and the subsequent tripartite invasion of Sinai by England, France and Israel. But this blatant reassertion of European colonialism was too much for Eisenhower who joined with the USSR at the United Nations in demanding that the invaders leave. But much damage between Egypt and the West had already been done. The Russians stepped in to supply the necessary loans to construct Aswan.

The next chess move by Dulles looks even worse today than it did then. Realizing that these events had built up Nasser even further in the eyes of the Arab world, Dulles turned toward King Saud of Saudi Arabia and tried to use him as a counterweight to Nasser’s nationalism. Dulles arranged to have Saud do what Nasser would not: sign onto the Eisenhower Doctrine, a treaty which would, if needed, forcibly keep the Russians out of the Middle East.

Many saw this as a clever geopolitical tactic to keep Nasser in check. But it was perceived in the Middle East as Dulles allying himself with royalty and against nationalism. (ibid, p. 15) It was a repeat of what the Dulles brothers and Eisenhower had done in Iran in 1953.

Kennedy wanted to reverse this perception of the United States aligning itself with the old order. He told National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy that rebuilding the American relationship with Egypt would be a priority focus of his administration. He was determined that Egypt would stay non-aligned, but he also wanted to end the idea that the United States was close to the Saudis.

To Kennedy, charismatic and influential moderates like Nasser represented the best hope for American foreign policy in the Middle East. In a reference to what Dulles had done with the Aswan project, Kennedy said: “If we can learn the lessons of the past, if we can refrain from pressing our case so hard that the Arabs feel their neutrality and nationalism threatened, the Middle East can become an area of strength and hope.” (ibid, p. 124)

Repairing Egypt Ties

Kennedy tried to patch up the U.S.-Egypt relationship by doing something that seems rare today. He chose his ambassador to Egypt on pure merit, Dr. John S. Badeau, who headed the Near East Foundation and probably knew more about the history of Egypt than any American.

Badeau already knew Nasser and the Speaker of the National Assembly, Anwar El Sadat. This, plus the way Kennedy changed American policy in Congo, helped to tone down Nasser’s anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric. Kennedy then went further. After Syria left the United Arab Republic in 1961, Kennedy made hundreds of millions of dollars in loans to keep the Egyptian economy afloat.

In Kennedy’s view it was important for America to favor men like Nasser and Sadat over the monarchies of the Middle East because it was the nationalists, and not King Saud, who could capture the popular support of the public and channel it in a positive and progressive way. Or, as author Philip Muehlenbeck writes, “For Kennedy the Saudi monarchy was an archaic relic of the past and Nasser was the wave of the future.” (ibid, p. 133)

Like the Shah, Saud exemplified brutality, corruption and civil rights abuses. So, Kennedy did something symbolic to demonstrate the new U.S. attitude. In 1961, King Saud was in a Boston hospital for a medical condition. Kennedy did not visit him, even though the man was in his hometown. Instead, Kennedy went south to Palm Beach, Florida. After constant badgering from the State Department, Kennedy did visit Saud afterwards when he was in a convalescent home. But he couldn’t help registering his disgust by telling his companion in the car, “What am I doing calling on this guy?” (ibid, p. 134)

During the civil war in Yemen, Nasser backed Abdullah al-Sallal against the last Mutawakklite King of Yemen, Muhammad al-Badr. Saudi Arabia supported the king to stop the spread of Nasser’s influence and prevent the rise of nationalism. To demonstrate his alliance with Nasser over Saudi Arabia, Kennedy recognized al-Sallal, even though the leaders of England and Israel criticized Kennedy about it. (ibid, p. 135)

As historian Muehlenbeck notes, this conflict ended with a truce only because of the mutual trust and admiration between Kennedy and Nasser. Kennedy was so sympathetic to Nasser and Algerian leader Ahmed Ben Bella that the Senate passed an amendment limiting his aid to the two leaders.

Kennedy’s policies, at the very least, delayed the rise of anti-Americanism in the region. At best, they showed why future presidents should not forge ties to the reactionary monarchy in Saudi Arabia, which essentially has contributed to terrorist groups to preserve its power. Like no president before or since, Kennedy risked relations with traditional allies over the issue of nascent nationalism.

Portugal and Africa

Due to Prince Henry the Navigator’s success in expanding Portuguese interests into Africa in the 1400s, Portugal became the first country to develop the African slave trade and retained considerable colonial possessions in Africa over the next five centuries.

Just two months after Kennedy was inaugurated, Liberia sponsored a United Nations motion to begin a reform program so that Angola could gain its independence from Portugal. Kennedy had his UN representative Adlai Stevenson vote for Liberia and against Portugal, France and England.

Further underscoring this sea change in U.S. policy, American was now voting with the Soviet Union. Even the New York Times understood something big was afoot, calling it a “major shift” in traditional foreign policy by Kennedy. (ibid, p. 97)

Kennedy understood that he had to embrace anti-colonialism in order to compete with Russia in the non-aligned world. As he learned from Gullion in Vietnam, America could not be perceived as a counter-revolutionary country. If the U.S. went against the powerful emotions of nationalism, there would be little alternative but to support fascist dictators or even send in American combat troops, which Kennedy considered counter-productive and didn’t want to do.

Therefore, when the Angola vote was cast, Kennedy was trying to show the developing world that the USSR was not the only great power in the Caucasian world to oppose colonialism. (ibid, pgs. 97-98) In other words, for Kennedy, this was not just the right thing to do; it was the practical thing to do. And it was another clean break with Eisenhower and the Dulles brothers. The best they would do in these types of situations was to abstain from voting.

To say the Angola vote was not popular with Establishment forces is putting it mildly. Acheson again criticized Kennedy. Portuguese demonstrators in Lisbon stoned the U.S. embassy. But Kennedy understood that it would send a clear signal to the leaders of the developing world, a reversal of an earlier era of disdain for African nationalists. A few years before, when Julius Nyerere of Tanganyika went to New York to lobby for such a UN resolution, he was limited to a 24-hour visa and an eight-block travel radius.

But Kennedy went beyond just supporting a UN resolution. He offered to raise U.S. foreign aid to Portugal to $500 million per year for eight years if Portuguese President Antonio Salazar would free all of its African colonies. Since aid to Portugal was very minimal at the time, this was a staggering amount of money. Today it would be about $16 billion. After Salazar turned down the offer, Kennedy sent aid to the rebels in Angola and Mozambique. (ibid, pgs. 102,107)

Kennedy was even willing to risk relations with a major ally – France – over the issue of colonialism. In theory, French President DeGaulle had granted many of the former states of the French colonial empire freedom in 1960. But, after analysis, it was clear that DeGaulle planned to keep optimum influence in these states, a process called neocolonialism.

For instance, DeGaulle favored the states that would stay aligned with France with large amounts of aid. Those that decided to go their own way were given paltry sums. So, Kennedy targeted those countries ignored by DeGaulle, giving them more than $30 million by 1962. (ibid, p. 161) DeGaulle also backed the Belgian lackey Moise Tshombe in the Congo crisis.

Viewing these strategies as a continuation of European imperialism in Africa, Kennedy decided to compete with France, even if it meant weakening his relationship with DeGaulle. As Muelhenbeck notes, in November 1963, Kennedy commissioned a study of methods to compete with France and to formulate countermeasures designed to undermine the French grip in Africa.

Worrying About Laos

Before Eisenhower left office, he had two meetings with President-elect Kennedy. Contrary to what most might think, he did not tell Kennedy that the most looming and important foreign policy area was Vietnam, Congo or Cuba. He told him it was Laos. (Arthur Schlesinger, A Thousand Days, p. 163)

Eisenhower and his advisers painted the picture in stark Cold War terms, warning against any kind of coalition government that would include communist representation. The talk got so stark and martial that Kennedy ended up asking how long it would take to put a division of American troops into the area. (ibid)

On Jan. 3, 1961 Eisenhower said that “if the communists establish a strong position in Laos, the West is finished in the whole southeast Asian area.” (David Kaiser, American Tragedy, p. 32)

As historian David Kaiser later noted, the Eisenhower-Dulles definition of what a communist was often included people who, by objective standards, were actually neutralists. Later on, as Kennedy would show, if properly handled, these neutralists could actually become American allies.

But in the Dulles-Eisenhower Cold War meme – as with Egypt’s Nasser – you were either in the U.S. camp or against it. As Kaiser noted, it was this attitude that had left Indochina in such a highly agitated, militaristic state by the end of Eisenhower’s term in office. In fact, Eisenhower had approved war plans for Indochina as early as 1955. (ibid, p. 34)

The Dulles brothers never pursued a diplomatic resolution in Indochina, just as they never pressured France to the bargaining table in Algeria. Fitting their globalist and imperialist views, the Dulles brothers dismissed the idea of rapprochement over both large and small issues. All their energies seemed to be expended in political offensives and plans for war, hence this presentation to Kennedy on Laos.

But Kennedy did not take the advice. He reversed the policy again and parried an attempt to insert American troops by asking for estimates of how many men the North Vietnamese and Chinese could place into this conflict in their neighboring area. The estimates came back at 160,000 men within 30 days. (ibid, p. 40)

On the same day those estimates were returned, at his first press conference, Kennedy stated that he wished to establish in Laos “a peaceful country — an independent country not dominated by either side but concerned with the life of the people within the country.” (ibid)

Dissatisfied with the military option, Kennedy then went to the State Department and called upon Ambassador Winthrop Brown, who told the President that the Laotian army was simply not capable of fighting a civil war on its own. Kennedy asked him what he would propose instead. Brown said he would offer up a neutralist solution with a coalition government, noting that this is what U.S. allies in Europe favored. In fact, the allies thought that this was the only solution, and they felt the communist Pathet Lao should be included. (ibid)

Kennedy, who Isaiah Berlin once called the best listener he ever met, signaled to the Soviets a willingness to arrange a peaceful settlement. Kennedy would use the military option only as a bluff to strengthen his hand at the bargaining table. (ibid, p. 41) Although his military advisers continued to push for the introduction of combat troops, and even the use of atomic weapons, Kennedy continued to brush this advice aside.

In fact, Kennedy gave a press backgrounder where he himself argued against the military option from his 1951 experience with Gullion. Kennedy argued that if the Laotian government fell and the U.S. had to intervene, U.S. troops would likely be opposed by China and the Viet Minh. Kennedy added, “The French had 400,000 men and could not hold. I was in Hanoi in 1951 and saw for myself.” (ibid, p. 47)

After telling the Russians to get the Pathet Lao to stop their offensive in May of 1961, a truce was called. A conference was then convened in Geneva to hammer out conditions for a neutral Laos. By July 1962, a new government, including the Pathet Lao, was constructed.

Kennedy later explained his position to rival Richard Nixon: “I just don’t think we should get involved in Laos, particularly where we might find ourselves fighting millions of Chinese troops in the jungles. In any event, I don’t see how we can make any move in Laos, which is 5,000 miles away, if we don’t make a move in Cuba which is only 90 miles away.” (Schlesinger, p. 337)

Onward to Vietnam

So, there was a context of anti-colonialism and diplomacy in understanding President Kennedy’s resistance to the pressure from his military advisers when they pushed for sending combat troops to Vietnam. As with Laos, Kennedy bucked that advice and never dispatched combat troops, although he increased the number of U.S. military personnel advising the South Vietnamese army from about 900 under Eisenhower to about 16,000 by 1963.

The declassified files of the Assassination Records Review Board further illuminate this story of tension and intrigue over Vietnam policy, first highlighted to the American public by Oliver Stone’s 1991 film JFK. As it turned out, Kennedy was not just fighting his military advisers on the Vietnam issue. He was opposed by many of his civilian advisers, too.

In April 1962, Ambassador to India John Kenneth Galbraith volunteered to get a message to North Vietnam through Indian diplomats about a possible truce in return for a phased withdrawal of American forces. Almost everyone at senior levels of the Kennedy administration opposed Galbraith’s venture. The one man who liked the idea was Kennedy, who instructed Assistant Secretary of State Averell Harriman to follow up on the proposal.

Apparently, Kennedy did not understand that, although Harriman was in charge of the Laotian talks, he was not in favor of the same solution in Vietnam. Thus, Harriman subverted Kennedy’s intentions on this assignment. In the wire to Galbraith, Harriman struck out the wording of the language on de-escalation with a heavy pencil line. It was changed into a threat of American escalation in the war if North Vietnam refused to accept U.S. terms. When Harriman’s assistant tried to reword the cable to stay true to Kennedy’s intent, Harriman changed it back again. He then simply killed the telegram altogether. (Gareth Porter, Perils of Dominance, pgs. 158-59)

In 2005, Galbraith confirmed to Boston Globe reporter Bryan Bender that he never received any instructions about his proposal from President Kennedy.

By 1963, as confirmed by Assistant Defense Secretary Roswell Gilpatric and Defense Department analyst John McNaughton, Kennedy had decided that he was going to use Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara as his point man to go ahead and implement a withdrawal from Vietnam. McNamara’s instructions to begin planning the withdrawal of U.S. military personnel had been relayed to Saigon in summer 1962.

At a key meeting in Hawaii in May 1963, McNamara was presented with an update on the planning for the withdrawal. He deemed the plans too slow and asked them to be speeded up. (James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, pgs. 366-367) But the point was that the plan was in place. Kennedy activated it in October 1963 by signing National Security Action Memorandum 263, stating that the withdrawal would begin in December of 1963 and be completed in 1965.

In other words, Kennedy’s plan for a military withdrawal wasn’t just some vague notion or, as New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson recently wrote, a belief among his admirers “rooted as much in the romance of ‘what might have been’ as in the documented record.”

In a letter to the New York Times in response to Abramson’s JFK article, James K. Galbraith, a professor of government at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas and son of the late John Kenneth Galbraith, challenged Abramson’s characterization of Kennedy’s withdrawal plan.

Galbraith wrote, “The record shows that on Oct. 2 and 5, 1963, President Kennedy issued a formal decision to withdraw American forces from Vietnam. I documented this 10 years ago in Boston Review and Salon, and in 2007 in The New York Review of Books.

“The relevant documents include records of the Secretary of Defense conference in Honolulu in May 1963; tapes and transcripts of the decision meetings in the White House; and a memorandum from Gen. Maxwell Taylor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Oct. 4, 1963, which states: ‘All planning will be directed towards preparing RVN [South Vietnamese government] forces for the withdrawal of all U.S. special assistance units and personnel by the end of calendar year 1965.’”

Kennedy on Cuba

The last major area of foreign policy that Kennedy was changing was Cuba. After the Missile Crisis in October 1962, Kennedy and Fidel Castro opened up a back channel through three intermediaries: ABC reporter Lisa Howard, State Department employee William Attwood, and French journalist Jean Daniel.

This attempt at secret communication and a détente between the two countries was in high gear in the fall of 1963. In his last message relayed to Castro through Daniel, Kennedy made one of the most candid and bold statements ever to a communist head of state. He said to Castro, “In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries. That is perfectly clear.” (ibid, p. 74)

When Castro got this message, he was overjoyed. He exuberantly told Daniel that Kennedy would go down in history as the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln. Three days later, Castro got the news that Kennedy had been shot. He was thunderstruck. He put down the phone, sat down and repeated over and over, “This is bad news…this is bad news…this is bad news.”

A few moments later, a radio broadcast announced that Kennedy was dead. Castro stood up and said, “Everything is changed, everything is going to change.” (ibid, p. 75)

As it turned out, Castro was not just speaking for himself. It’s true that Lyndon Johnson did not continue the Cuban back-channel negotiations, and that promising diplomatic attempt died along with Kennedy. But Castro was probably not aware that all the ventures described above were about to change back, more or less, to where they were under Eisenhower.

Kennedy’s attempt to withdraw from Vietnam was first stopped, and then reversed in three months. With NSAM 288, in March 1964, President Johnson signed off on battle plans for a huge air war against North Vietnam. In other words, what Kennedy refused to do for three years, LBJ did in three months. Less than 18 months after Kennedy’s death, Johnson inserted combat troops into Vietnam, something Kennedy had never contemplated and specifically rejected eight specific times. This would result in the deaths of over 2 million Vietnamese and 58,000 Americans.

Johnson also reversed Kennedy’s policy in Congo. Kennedy had stopped the attempt of Katanga to secede through a UN special military mission. But by 1964, the CIA was unilaterally flying air sorties over the country to stop a leftist rebellion. White-supremacist and right-wing South Africans and Rhodesians were called on to join the Congolese army. The pretext was that the Chinese were fomenting a communist takeover.

This rightward tilt went unabated into 1965. By then, Josef Mobutu had gained complete power. In 1966, he installed himself as military dictator. The enormous mineral wealth of Congo would go to him and his wealthy foreign backers. (ibid, p. 373)

The same thing happened in Indonesia. Without Kennedy’s backing of Sukarno, the CIA began plotting a second coup attempt. A Dutch intelligence officer attached to NATO had predicted it less than a year earlier in December 1964. He said Indonesia was about to fall into the hands of the West like a rotten apple. (ibid, p. 375)

The coup began in October 1964 and ended with General Suharto, long known for his willingness to cooperate with colonizing countries like Japan and the Netherlands, becoming the country’s leader. Sukarno was placed under house arrest, never to return to power.

Suharto then led one of the bloodiest pogroms in modern history, targeting the PKI, the communist party in Indonesia, but also slaughtering many other Indonesians including ethnic Chinese. The death toll was about 500,000, with many of the victims decapitated and their bodies dumped into rivers.

Like Mobutu, Suharto became a long-ruling dictator (holding power for three decades) and becoming an incredibly wealthy man by selling out his country to foreign businesses. Again, unlike what Kennedy had envisioned, the wealth of Indonesia would not go to its citizens, but to Suharto, his cronies and foreign corporations.

This pattern repeated itself almost everywhere. Africa went back to being neglected. Kennedy’s truce in Laos was shattered as the country descended into a civil war that featured heroin trading by the CIA’s Air America fleet. U.S. policy toward the Middle East embraced the Shah of Iran and his oppressive policies, sowing the seeds for the first explosion of Moslem fundamentalism in 1979.

Mideast Blowback

Rather than Kennedy’s disdain for the corrupt and repressive Saudi monarchy, that leadership was dubbed “moderate” and given the label “Arab ally.” With Saudi Arabia’s oil wells and deep pockets, its power and wealth attracted the friendship and loyalty of influential Americans, including the dynastic Bush family and its closely associated Carlyle Group.

Meanwhile, as demonstrated by author Steve Coll and other investigators, the Saudis provided cover and funding for Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda terrorists. The fanaticism that Kennedy warned about in 1957 – if the United States did not break with European colonialism and neocolonialism – came back to inflict destruction on U.S. targets, including attacks on U.S. embassies in Africa and eventually on New York and Washington.

When Kennedy designed his foreign policy, he was very deliberate about his plan to move in a new direction. In 1957, he said the single most important test of America was the way it was going to separate itself from European imperialism. Though Kennedy often talked as a Cold War hardliner – during the 1960 campaign and the early days of his presidency – he was intent on creating a foreign policy that would shatter the confines of the Cold War.

Before the 1960 convention, Kennedy told adviser Harris Wofford that if Sen. Stuart Symington or Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson was the nominee, “we might as well elect Dulles or Acheson; it would be the same cold-war foreign policy all over again.” (Muelhenbeck, p. 37)

Under Secretary of State George Ball amplified this by saying, that after World War II, America was thought of as a status-quo power, while the Soviets were thought of as being on the side of the oppressed and revolution: “The Kennedy Doctrine challenged this approach. … If America failed to encourage the young revolutionaries in the new countries, they would inevitably turn toward the Soviet Union. … America should therefore, stop trying to sustain traditional societies and ally itself with the side of revolution.”

Authors such as Larry Sabato assert that Kennedy left no lasting legacy – and that is becoming the chic conventional take on his aborted presidency. What Sabato and these others fail to note is the remarkable changes Kennedy made in the Eisenhower/Dulles imperialist foreign policy in less than three years. They also ignore how fast the policies were snapped back by the old order operating through the CIA and President Johnson. If you don’t note these clear changes, then you can say they did not occur.

But the people Kennedy was aiming his policies at certainly understood what happened on Nov. 22, 1963. In Nairobi, Kenya, over 6,000 people crammed into a cathedral for a memorial service. The peasants of the Yucatan peninsula immediately started planting a Kennedy Memorial garden. Schools in Argentina were named after Kennedy. Nasser sunk into a deep depression and ordered Kennedy’s funeral shown four times on Egyptian television.

In the Third World, the public seemed to instantly know what had really happened and what was about to occur. A progressive and humane foreign policy was about to revert back to something oppressive and profit-oriented. A brief three-year glow of hope was ending.

Because of the laziness and corporate orientation of the mainstream media, it has taken many Americans 50 years to figure out what the rest of the world knew instantaneously. And – despite today’s conventional wisdom obsessing on Kennedy’s “shallowness” and “celebrity” – the discovery of what Kennedy truly represented to the rest of the world during his “thousand-day” presidency is beginning to register in America.

Jim DiEugenio is a researcher and writer on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and other mysteries of that era. His most recent book is Reclaiming Parkland.

SOURCE: https://consortiumnews.com/2013/11/25/jfks-embrace-of-third-world-nationalists/

FTR: Jim DiEugenio also is a great DUer.

Thank you for the kind words, polly7! So are you!

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon May 30, 2016, 03:01 PM

13. This is one of those inconvenient threads...

that all the Hillary supporters will avoid like the plague.

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Response to bobbobbins01 (Reply #13)

Mon May 30, 2016, 04:08 PM

14. USAID Funds Honduran Company Implicated in Berta Caceres Murder

USAID Funds Honduran Company Implicated in Berta Caceres Murder

Two of the five suspects arrested in connection with Berta Caceres' murder are linked to DESA, the company behind the dam project she fought to stop.

Telesur, May 29, 2016

Washington’s complicity in human rights abuses and repression of social movements in Honduras has come to the fore once again as an investigation published in Counterpunch revealed that the private Honduran energy company that murdered Indigenous activist Berta Caceres long resisted has signed a funding deal with a USAID partner just months before her high-profile assassination.

The company behind the controversial Agua Zarca hydroelectric project on Lenca land, Desarrollos Energeticos S.A., better known as DESA, signed a contract with USAID partner Fintrac in December 2015, less than three months before Caceres was murdered in her home on March 3.

According to Central America-based freelance journalist Gloria Jimenez, the funds were destined for a USAID agricultural assistance program in Western Honduras.

But Caceres’ Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Movements of Honduras, or COPINH, which has long fought against DESA’s Agua Zarca dam for its threats to the sacred Gualcarque River and lack of consent from local communities, has argued that despite the corporation’s promises, DESA takes much more than it gives back.

The Fintrac-DESA agreement was signed by Sergio Rodriguez, a DESA employee and suspect arrested in connection with Caceres' murder along with four others.

In a statement released after the arrests, DESA confirmed that Rodriguez worked for the company as the manager of its social and environmental issues division. DESA did not confirm any relation to suspect Douglas Bustillo, who elsewhere has been identified as the firm’s head of security.



Standing up for human rights was long dangerous in Honduras. For a brief while, though, there was Democracy and Justice and the People were able to speak their mind without fear of reprisals by the wealthy and powerful. That ended in 2009.

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