John F. Kennedy would have been 88 years old on May 29. Were he still alive, I have no doubt that, with his customary idealism and commitment to country, he would still be offering advice to our current leaders in Washington. Based upon his words of more than 40 years ago, he might well offer the following:
To President Bush on Iraq, Iran, and North Korea: ''The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. This generation of Americans has had enough -- more than enough -- of war.'' (American University commencement, 1963)
To President Bush on stem-cell research: ''For those of us who are not expert . . . we must turn, in the last resort, to objective, disinterested scientists who bring a strong sense of public responsibility and public obligation.'' (National Academy of Sciences, 1961)
To Vice President Cheney on international organizations, alliances, and consultations: ''The United States is neither omnipotent nor omniscient. We are only 6 percent of the world's population. . . . We cannot impose our will upon the other 94 percent of mankind.'' (University of Washington, 1961)
To Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on terrorism: ''If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.'' (inaugural address, 1961)
To United Nations ambassador-designate John Bolton on diplomacy: ''Civility is not a sign of weakness. The U.N. [is] our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace.'' (inaugural address, 1961)
To Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on space: ''We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding. This new ocean must be a sea of peace, [not] a new terrifying theater of war.'' (Rice University, 1962)
To Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on judges: ''To maintain the constitutional principle, we should support Supreme Court decisions, even when we may not agree with them.'' (News conference, 1962)
To White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan on negative news media: ''It is never pleasant to be reading things that are not agreeable news, but it is an invaluable arm to the presidency as a check on what is going on . . . [e]ven though we never like it . . . and wish they didn't write it. . . . We could not do the job at all in a free society without a very, very active press.'' (Television interview, 1962)
To pastor-in-chief Pat Robertson on church-state separation: ''I believe in an America where no [clergyman] would tell his parishioners for whom to vote, where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the public acts of our officials, where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference. The presidency must not be the instrument of any one religious group.'' (Houston ministers, 1960)
To Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes on propaganda: ''The United States is a peaceful nation. Where our strength and determination are clear, our words need merely to convey conviction not belligerence.'' (undelivered Dallas speech, 1963)
How I miss his friendship. How our nation misses his wisdom.
Theodore C. Sorensen was special counsel to President Kennedy. This column first appeared in The Boston Globe.
DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13257 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (9 years 8 months 14 hours ago) and read 1589 times:
Having been a child when JFK was in office, (I was 9 when he was assinated), it is amazing that his words as noted in the inital post are still good advice. Too bad GWB doesn't study history or care about the ideas of others outside a small circle of close minded advisors and campaign contributors.
MxCtrlr From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 2485 posts, RR: 34
Reply 3, posted (9 years 8 months 13 hours ago) and read 1573 times:
Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 2): Forget it, man. Such words of wisdom fall on the deaf ears of this president, and those who blindly support all he has done to ruin the reputation and good name of this nation.
Still, the unenviable job of a true patriot is to sound the bell when the ship is losing its way. If we sit back and do nothing, then nothing will change (trite saying, I know, but quite accurate nonetheless). Apathy breeds complacency and that allows the current trend to swing too far to the right (or left), neither of which are a good thing.
Therefore, considering myself to be at least somewhat of a Patriot of the Union, I must spread the message even if it falls on deaf ears.
DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
Jaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 8 months 13 hours ago) and read 1530 times:
By the way Falcon, I wrote many articles/papers on the Vietnam conflict while I was doing a major in biology/minor in political science in college. What did you do? Make gate annoucements?!!
If you wrote "many" papers on the Vietnam conflict then you should know that the US first sent $ 20 million in aid to the French in Vietnam in 1950, then in 1956 began training South Vietnamese forces under SEATO as John Foster Dulles and Eisenhower didnt support the Geneva accords and thought it gave too much power to the communists. By 1959 there were 5,000 US troops in South Vietnam. Dulles wanted at least 20,000.
Kennedy actually screwed up badly in that he didnt listen to the conclusions of the 1961 Vietnam White Paper (commissioned by his own administration) that asked for a rapid rampup in US forces. In typical Kennedy fashion he went the moderate wishy washy route and sent only 2,000 more troops.
So much for your bogus contention that JFK and Johnson started the Vietnam conflict. At least when Falcon makes gate announcements, they're precise and he gets his passengers on their respective flights.
Texdravid From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1367 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1473 times:
Quoting Jaysit (Reply 4): If you wrote "many" papers on the Vietnam conflict then you should know that the US first sent $ 20 million in aid to the French in Vietnam in 1950, then in 1956 began training South Vietnamese forces under SEATO as John Foster Dulles and Eisenhower didnt support the Geneva accords and thought it gave too much power to the communists. By 1959 there were 5,000 US troops in South Vietnam. Dulles wanted at least 20,000.
If you know so much about the Vietnam war, you should know that there are actually two eras in the Indochina conflict. The first era, from WWII to 1954 was the French Indochina war. After their defeat, then Eisenhower did indeed send advisors to the area.
However, Kennedy, and then Johnson ramped up involvement and the final straw was the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in 1965 which is the date that most people, including historians date as the beginning of American involvement in combat.
Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon all were involved in Vietnam. Leave it to LBJ to bring the conflict from the advisory role into full-fledged conflict, and I might add, based on a bogus resolution, the Gulf of Tonkin resolution.
Quoting Jaysit (Reply 4): So much for your bogus contention that JFK and Johnson started the Vietnam conflict. At least when Falcon makes gate announcements, they're precise and he gets his passengers on their respective flights
So much for your simplistic and obviously slanted contention that I didn't know what I was talking about. But then again, you and Falcon among others are ALWAYS RIGHT, AREN'T YOU?!!
Logan22L From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1461 times:
Quoting Texdravid (Reply 6): you and Falcon among others are ALWAYS RIGHT, AREN'T YOU?!!
I think you confuse their passion and knowledge with arrogance. They are both on my RU list because I agree with their ideals and with the strength to which they stick to them. I don't agree with everything they say, but I admire their fervor (well, Falcon's got more than most), but in this day and age, with the turn that American Politics has taken, it's good to read some sage words from one of our last great presidents. Thanks Mxctrlr.
Hell, at this point, I'd take frickin' Ronald Reagan, and I NEVER thought I'd say that.