April 5, 2006


Kennedy book blasts Bush, 'preventive war' (Rick Klein, April 5, 2006, Boston Globe)

In a forthcoming book, Senator Edward M. Kennedy invokes the leadership of his brothers during the Cuban missile crisis to launch a sharp new attack on President Bush, declaring that Bush should have followed the example of President John F. Kennedy and his attorney general, Robert F. Kennedy, in forging a diplomatic resolution to the standoff with Saddam Hussein.

The Massachusetts Democrat writes that his brothers were right to resist advice urging them to launch a preemptive strike on Fidel Castro when missiles aimed at the United States were discovered in Cuba in 1962.

Nevermind everything else, just consider that the Kennedys sentencved the people of Cuba to a system that has them earning about $3,000 per capita as compared to the $18,500 of neighboring Puerto Ricans. If you only look at the failure to regime change Cuba from the perspective of the Senator's own concern with economic justice it was pretty much a hate crime.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 5, 2006 4:59 PM

I think the Senator's position is that his brothers refused to start World War III. Personally I am grateful for that. As bad as the Castro regime is, it's still better than being a radioactive wasteland.

Posted by: Karen at April 5, 2006 6:19 PM

"economic justice" means if you can't make everybody rich, you should make everybody equal in their poverty. Of course the elites are exempted, they are born to rule.

Posted by: ic at April 5, 2006 6:20 PM


The Soviets couldn't launch WWIII at that point so would have done nothing about our regime changing Cuba. But it is unfair to blame the Kennedys entirely when we should have regime changed the USSR decades earlier.

Posted by: oj at April 5, 2006 6:26 PM

I was under the impression that the missile crisis was not a victory. Didn't we have to stand down missles in Turkey? Sounds like we were the ones who backed down, if true.

Posted by: jdkelly at April 5, 2006 6:35 PM

Per the Cuba/Puerto Rico comparison: Anyone know what their per capita incomes were in 1959? I suspect Cuba's was significantly higher, no?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at April 5, 2006 6:36 PM

Karen: the Soviets would have done NOTHING if we had crushed their missles within instants of their discovery and then invaded the island. Cuba WOULD BE FREE today. The Kennedys were the biggest out-of-their-depth IMBECILES to ever come down the pike; the Russians couldn't believe their luck (that is, until they met Jimmy Carter. And luck had nothing to do with him.)

oj - don't forget Senator Kennedy's selling the Vietnamese down the river. WITHOUT A FRICKING PADDLE. I eat Pho noodles every Monday in a restaurant filled with pictures of dead people who would be alive if it weren't for VERMIN TRAITORS like Ted Kennedy.

Posted by: Vin at April 5, 2006 7:17 PM

Vin, Don't forget that Khrushchev said he was so astonished at how dumb Kennedy was, he decided to engineer the Cuban Crisis Caper and get a little quid pro quo in the bargain.

Posted by: erp at April 5, 2006 7:24 PM

it's hard to know which kennedy is the dumbest:

1. the one who skied into a tree
2. the one who flew a plane into the ocean
3. the one who drove off a bridge

etc, etc, etc

Posted by: toe at April 5, 2006 7:32 PM

How about PT 109 boat commander who got a medal for running his ship around and getting his crew killed. That has to be the apogee of spin.

Posted by: erp at April 5, 2006 7:59 PM

And guarantee that we'd never attack Castro again.

Posted by: oj at April 5, 2006 8:19 PM

"... his brothers were right to resist advice urging them to launch a preemptive strike on Fidel Castro"
I guess Teddy didn't get the word on Operation Mongoose, begun in Nov. 1961 following the Bay of Pigs debacle, whose purpose was Anti-Castro guerrilla military and sabotage operations, attempted assassination of Cuban government officials including Castro, and psy-ops.

Posted by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 5, 2006 8:37 PM

Wasn't it Kennedy's reaction to the Berlin Wall, to do absolutely nothing in response, which encouraged Khrushchev to try his Cuba Caper?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 5, 2006 10:09 PM

Michael Beschloss's Crisis Years is especially good on how inept Kennedy was in handling the Soviets.

Posted by: oj at April 5, 2006 10:14 PM


Stuff happens in war. At least JFK was out there fighting the enemy, not medal-hunting like some.

JFK failed to kill Castro so Castro killed him. And then convened the conference that internationalized terrorism. The WOT started in Dallas. But JFK was not alone in failing to strike the death blow, which is a common failing endemic to civilized men.

LBJ pursued 'Nam half-heartedly--he didn't "kill the king". When Arafat killed RFK, Nixon didn't "kill the king"--look at all the suffering that failure caused. When Reagan failed to kill Khadaffy, we got Lockerbie. Bush Sr. didn't finish off Hussein--it nearly cost him his own life and left him free to sponsor terrorism for another decade. Clinton failed to kill bin Laden.

The old maxim is correct: When you go to kill the king, kill the king.

Posted by: Noel at April 5, 2006 10:42 PM

and now it looks like the bush curse is going to strike again with regard to iran. it's a wonder that family ever has kids.

Posted by: toe at April 6, 2006 12:59 AM

Raoul, You're right about the Berlin wall, but I couldn't remember the dates and am too lazy to Google it. Didn't NK say he built the wall after he found out how dumb Kennedy was.

Kennedy is such a hero, I sometimes am reluctant to expose the real Jack to the younger commenters here.

Noel, which enemy was that?

Posted by: erp at April 6, 2006 9:18 AM

JFK may have been unprepared for dealing with the Soviets, but at least his heart was in the right place, and his 1960 campaign was actually based on running to the right of Nixon on missile defense. But after his assassination, the Democrats used public sympathy to bludgeon the conservative right of the Republican Party and Barry Goldwater in 1964. The short-term result was an actual landslide for Lyndon, but the long-term result was enpowering the far left wing of the Democratic Party to believe far more of the country was with them than actually was the case.

Bobby Kennedy was trying to navigate the shoals between the far left's hatred of the Vietnam war (and the U.S. in general) in 1968 and the more moderate wing of the Democratic Party, and was doing so thanks in great part to the holdover sympathy for the Kennedys in 1968 when he was assassinated. Once that happened and Nixon won the election over Humphrey, the far-dimmer Teddy reflexively took up the banner as the leader of the Democrats in opposition, and pandered to the far left's hatred of all things both Nixon and conservative.

Teddy simply followed the path he thought would best get him to the White House through the new primary system (except that the drive off the bridge and the trip into the Mudd killed those chances). Had JFK lived and had to stand up to the Soviets while running for re-election in 1964 and then preserving his legacy through a second term, Teddy no doubt would have been a far more moderate senator, because to do otherwise would have meant trashing his own brother's reputation.

Posted by: John at April 6, 2006 9:40 AM

John, You made my case.

Kennedy is such a hero, I sometimes am reluctant to expose the real Jack to the younger commenters here.

Posted by: erp at April 6, 2006 10:40 AM


No, Ike had him briefed on the fallacy of the missile gap because he was biffing the issue so badly, but Kennedy continued to use it.

Posted by: oj at April 6, 2006 10:43 AM

OJ --

True, but the fact he ignored Ike and ran to Nixon's right on the issue was similar to what Clinton did in 1992, running to the right of GHWB. Nowadays, even when the Democrats see an opening to run to the right of Bush and gain the votes of the American public, they don't have either the skill or the stomach to pull it off.

(The JFK-WJC contrast comes when Clinton reneged on many of his campaign pledges immediately after the inaugural and the Democrats paid the price two years later; with JFK, even though he knew he was touting an issue that wasn't really an issue, when he was sworn in he didn't do a U-turn on the subject and suddenly morph into the peace-loving, I'll-never-send-major-troop-forces-to-Vietnam person Arthur Schlesinger and all the other Kennedy historians want people to believe he really was.)

Posted by: John at April 6, 2006 11:04 AM


Which is why Goldwater would have beaten him in '64.

Posted by: oj at April 6, 2006 11:59 AM


I refer to the Japastards. JFK made a lot of mistakes, but he was a patriot and an anti-communist. And compared to his modern party-members, a regular Curtis LeMay.

Posted by: Noel at April 6, 2006 9:18 PM

Noel, japastards? Don't know that term.

JFK was a rich playboy living on painkillers. If he ever thought about it, he might have been a patriot or an anti-communist, but there's no evidence that a thought ever entered his pretty head. The best that can be said about him is that he had good hair.

As has been said before on this blog, the world is such that satire is no longer possible.

Posted by: erp at April 6, 2006 11:51 PM

good hair ? the zapruder film clearly shows his toupee flying off.

Posted by: toe at April 7, 2006 12:04 PM

toe, not to be too gory, but that was the top of head.

Posted by: erp at April 7, 2006 4:46 PM