Obama Campaign Targets the Uninformed

The debate over Barrack Obama’s promise to meet with the leaders of nations who sponsor international terror continues. Yesterday Obama said:

“If George Bush and John McCain have a problem with direct diplomacy led by the president of the United States then they can explain why they have a problem with John F. Kennedy because that’s what he did with Kruschev…”

For someone who thinks he’s ready to be President, Obama appears appallingly ignorant of recent presidential history.

Or, perhaps he is deliberately targeting for deception, those voters who don’t have the time or inclination to refresh their memories.

As a matter of historical fact, President Kennedy’s diplomatic efforts with Soviet Premier Khruschev were a failure. Kennedy khruschev_kennedy.jpgmet with Khrushchev at the Vienna Summit in June 1961, his 5th month in office. Khrushchev conceded nothing and no agreements were reached. In fact, Khrushchev threatened to cut off American and West German access to West Berlin. The Kennedy-Khruschev Summit marked the beginning of a period of deterioration in American-Soviet relations.

Only two months later, the Soviets began construction of the Berlin Wall that divided that city for three decades.

A year later, in October, 1962 President Kennedy was given high altitude photos taken from U2 spy planes flying over Cuba that showed Soviet soldiers installing missiles with nuclear warheads. This in spite of the fact that Khruschev had promised that he would not locate offensive weapons in Cuba. Kennedy had naively believed he would keep his word.

President Kennedy assembled a group of senior advisors called “XComm” to help him deal with the Cuban missile threat and set up secret tape recorders to record XComm meetings and deliberations. Kennedy was recorded blaming himself for the crisis because he had publically warned the Soviets that if they ever placed any offensive weapons in Cuba “the gravest issues would arise.” On the tape he is heard saying, “…I should have said that we don’t care.” In other words, he regretted not being in a position to just shrug off the installation of nuclear missiles aimed at the US, only 90 miles from Miami.

On Monday, October 22, President Kennedy gave a televised speech to the nation. He revealed the secret Soviet missile project in Cuba, annonuced a “quarantine,” or naval blockade of Cuba to prevent any more Soviet arms from being delivered, and threatened to bomb Cuba if the missiles were not removed. For several days America lived with the very real possibility of imminent nuclear war.

Finally, the Soviets blinked. On October 27 they began dismantling the missiles in exchange for Kennedy’s promise not to invade Cuba, a promise he had already given several times. So, in reality Khruschev got nothing –  no concession.

In summary, Kennedy’s diplomacy was a disaster! It’s hard to imagine a worse outcome. But the use of force, the naval blockade and the threat of bombing did change Soviet behavior.

So which is it? Is Obama making references to historical events he has knows nothing about? Or, is he hoping his audience is ignorant and will believe whatever he says?

You can ask The Obama Campaign here

1 Comment so far

  1. theclassiclib on May 24th, 2008

    Obama IS the uninformed!