Jack Kelly gives Barack Obama a history lesson in the wake of the senator's remark regarding non-ordnance communication with America's enemies :
I trust the American people to understand that it is not weakness, but wisdom to talk not just to our friends, but to our enemies, like Roosevelt did, and Kennedy did, and Truman did.Kelly points out the obvious
That he made this statement, and that it passed without comment by the journalists covering his speech indicates either breathtaking ignorance of history on the part of both, or deceit.and then goes on to remind us that neither FDR nor Truman met with the leaders of Nazi Germany, fascist Italy or Imperial Japan before the United States' entrance into World War II (or at all), that Truman had to use "non-verbal communication" to convince Japan to surrender and that Truman did not meet with North Korea's Kim Il-Sung before the outbreak of the Korean War. Even more interesting is that Kelly points out that while Senator Obama is correct that JFK met with our enemies (USSR's Khrushchev) before the outbreak of a Hot War, that it was the meeting and JFK's flighty persona which probably caused the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Elie Abel, who wrote a history of the Cuban missile crisis (The Missiles of October), said the crisis had its genesis in that summit.But another supposition which Kelly makes is that, perhaps, Senator Obama is thinking of Josef Stalin's meetings with both FDR and Winston Churchill, most famously at Yalta.
"There is reason to believe that Khrushchev took Kennedy's measure in June 1961 and decided this was a young man who would shrink from hard decisions," Mr. Abel wrote. "There is no evidence to support the belief that Khrushchev ever questioned America's power. He questioned only the president's readiness to use it. As he once told Robert Frost, he came to believe that Americans are 'too liberal to fight.'"
That view was supported by New York Times columnist James Reston, who traveled to Vienna with President Kennedy: "Khrushchev had studied the events of the Bay of Pigs," Mr. Reston wrote. "He would have understood if Kennedy had left Castro alone or destroyed him, but when Kennedy was rash enough to strike at Cuba but not bold enough to finish the job, Khrushchev decided he was dealing with an inexperienced young leader who could be intimidated and blackmailed."
But Stalin was then a U.S. ally, though one of whom we should have been more wary than FDR and Truman were. Few historians think the agreements reached at Yalta and Potsdam, which in effect consigned Eastern Europe to slavery, are diplomatic models we ought to follow. Even fewer Eastern Europeans think so.The thought that Obama might have made this particular mistake is jaw-dropping.
This sort of history is old hat for me since I lived in the midst of its aftermath and I don't get surprised (anymore) or think less of the average person when he/she demonstrates a lack in this area of factual knowledge. Public schools have sucked for a long time; therefore anyone so educated and who is interested in this area of history--or most others--has to actively seek out the knowledge for self.
But didn't Senator Obama attend private secondary schools during the American portion of his education? And, in order to receive an undergraduate degree from Ivy-covered Columbia University in political science with a specialization in international relations, aren't scholars of that august institution required to take a US history class or two? (Heck, one would think that even Leftists and Socialists would attain at least a working knowledge of the history of the countries which are/were their ideology made flesh--the late USSR, especially the Stalinist version, and North Korea.)
The Cold War--under whose heading the Korean War and the Cuban Missile Crisis fall--was a direct result of World War II. Both wars were actively engaged in by the US. As I said, I make allowance for the average Joe's lack of knowledge there. But when a highly and "well" educated person says that he wants to be president but doesn't know these bare bones of recent US history I have to take a step back.
Obama isn’t merely saying that he’ll reinstitute diplomatic relations with Iran, which would emulate our relations with the Nazis and the Japanese prior to Pearl Harbor. Obama wants to have meetings without preconditions with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has publicly spoken of his desire to annihilate a key ally of the US, as well as Hugo Chavez, Raul Castro, and any number of thugs and tyrants. When did FDR, Truman, and Kennedy do that? Answer: never.BTW, one wonders whether the good senator remembers why we have no diplomatic relations with Iran.
1979. Hmmm...who was president then and will the good senator follow his lead?