Thursday, December 02, 2010

Foreign Policy Cliff Note Version

For those who are willing to study history and heed its lessons, future disaters can be averted. The peril lies in those so wedded to their notions, no scrap of fact or evidence will dissuade them. They are the ones who bring the Sword of Damocles upon their head and the heads of their countrymen.

The Cuban missile crisis, while it illustrates the efficacy of a threat, demonstrates even more dramatically the terrible dangers which result from unheeded threats. The missile crisis brought us closer to nuclear war than we had been for a decade. And it came about because the Russians did not believe that we would not act if they placed missiles in Cuba. - pg 41. The American Threat. James L. Payne 1970.

Another unseen effect of our threats concerns the decisions of our allies and neutral countries. Our threat to oppose communist aggression encourages them to divert their resources away from the military sphere and into productive activities. ... If we betray this trust, one of the first things that is likely to happen is the spread of nuclear weapons. Nations, realizing that they live in a ruthless and disordered world, will each seek the means to defend themselves. - pg 42. Ibid

Let us send letters, one might advise, to Mao and the rest ... Once those letters are duly posted, the Cold War will have been settled in a peaceable and business-like way. As with almost all simple solutions to difficult problems, it has been tried and found wanting. ... And yet attempts at aggression continue. - pg 43. Ibid.

And that is just a few excerpts from a few pages of a book that runs 223 pages. If the Obama administration just heeded these, just think of where we would be in regards to North Korea and Iran? Would Obama have tried to intervene in the inner workings of Honduras? Who knows, but it is something to think on as the current administration fumbles through one policy gaffe to the next.


Ed Rasimus said...

Is this mis-quoted?
did not believe that we would not act
They did not believe that we WOULD act. When Kennedy (at the behest of LeMay) showed some gumption the crisis boiled over. The reason they didn't believe we would act was because the year before the feckless JFK had abandoned the fighters at the Bay of Pigs.

Now, there is the parallel for today. Watch the pacifist administration preach Kumbaya again and again then within two years you will believe that "they will not act". Witness Iran, N. Korea, and even the Karzai administration.

Teddy R. had it in a nutshell--speak softly and carry a huge bloody stick which you swing with justice on your side smiting those who would challenge you. Well, maybe those weren't his exact words.

Anna said...

Its not a misquote. It was because Khruschev misread Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs that the USSR put forward the idea of missiles in Cuba. Even though the Kennedy administration repeatedly stated placing such missiles would be opposed.

If Obama would learn from history we would not be in the situation we are presently in. Everyone including the nuts in Tehran and North Korea have read Obama as a new Chamberlain. And unlike Kennedy I don't think Obama is capable of learning any new tricks and places like Germany see that also. So we see everyone operating on their own on the simple assumption the US won't be there for them.