Jacob G. Hornberger
One of the things that the mainstream media has always ignored was President Kennedy’s rejection of the extreme anti-Russia animus that characterized the Pentagon and the CIA during the Cold War. In fact, for a long period of time, the media continued maintaining the official lie that President Lyndon Johnson had simply continued Kennedy’s policies after his assassination.
Nothing could be further from the truth, and given what is going on in Ukraine and, more important, given the extreme anti-Russia animus that has been coming out of the Pentagon and the CIA for decades, JFK’s rejection of such animus becomes more pronounced.
It’s true that during the Cold War, we were dealing with the Soviet Union rather than Russia. But the fact is that Russia was the principal member and the driving force within the Soviet Union. Moreover, don’t forget that the U.S. national-security establishment maintained that it was in Moscow that the supposed international communist conspiracy to take over the United States and the rest of the world was supposedly based.
Americans who thought that the defeat of Nazi Germany would bring them peace and harmony were sadly mistaken. Even before the war was over, there were some U.S. officials who were maintaining that Americans could not rest because, such officials said, America now faced a more dangerous, implacable foe than Nazi Germany. This new foe was “godless communism,” which was principally represented by Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union.
In fact, some people maintain that the real purpose of the U.S. atomic bombings of the civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was to send a message to the Soviets that U.S. officials had the power to incinerate the communist world.
To a secondary extent, the threat of “godless communism” was represented by Red China. To a tertiary extent, it was (and would be) represented by such third-world countries as North Korea, North Vietnam, Cuba, Iran, Guatemala, Chile, Nicaragua, and others.
In fact, it was the supposed threat from international “godless communism” that brought about the transformation of the federal government from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, a type of governmental structure that characterizes communist, totalitarian, and authoritarian regimes. This is when the U.S. government, through the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, acquired such omnipotent dark-side powers as assassination, torture, kidnapping, secret foreign prison and torture camps, indefinite detention, state secrets, mass secret surveillance, coups, and alliances with brutal dictatorships.
Godless communism, Russia, the Soviet Union, Red China, North Korea, North Vietnam, Cuba, and the other communist nations became America’s permanent official enemies. That’s what the Cold War was all about: facing down this supposedly grave threat to “national security” to prevent the United States from going communist. Throughout the Cold War, Americans were taught to have a deep-seated fear and hatred of all things Red.
That’s what the (undeclared) war in Korea was all about. That’s what the McCarthy hearings were all about. That’s what the (undeclared) war in Vietnam was all about. That’s what the regime-change operations in Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, Indonesi,and Chile were all about. That’s what the ever-increasing taxpayer-funded largess flooding into the coffers of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA was all about.
Kennedy came into office as a standard Cold Warrior. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, however, he achieved a breakthrough by coming to the realization that the national-security establishment’s extreme anti-Russia, anti-communist crusade was nothing more than a corrupt racket — and a highly dangerous one at that.
The Cuban Missile Crisis brought the Soviet Union and the United States to within an inch of all-out nuclear war, a war that would have killed untold millions of Americans and left most of the United States under decades of radiation. Those Americans who survived would undoubtedly have begun migrating to South America, assuming Latin Americans wouldn’t have closed their borders to them.
There is something important to note about the Cuban Missile Crisis, especially given the current crisis in Ukraine. It was the Pentagon and the CIA, not Russia and Cuba, that were responsible for bringing on the crisis in the first place.
Both the Pentagon and the CIA were convinced that a communist-controlled Cuba posed a grave threat to U.S. “national security,” notwithstanding the facts that Cuba had never attacked the United States and that it lacked the military capability to successfully invade and occupy the United States.
Immediately after Kennedy took office, the CIA exhorted him to approve the CIA’s plan to use Cuban exiles to invade Cuba and effect a regime-change operation, one that would replace Cuban leader Fidel Castro with another pro-U.S. dictator. JFK acceded to the plan.
The resulting disaster at the Bay of Pigs, where the CIA’s proxy army was captured or killed by Castro’s forces, did not dissuade the CIA in the least. After the disaster, the CIA, along with the Pentagon, supported a full-scale U.S. military invasion of Cuba. The Pentagon even submitted to Kennedy what is perhaps the most infamous plan in U.S. history — Operation Northwoods, which proposed a number of deadly and destructive false and fraudulent pretexts for invading Cuba. Ever since the plan was disclosed during the term of the Assassination Records Review Board in the 1990s, the mainstream press has scrupulously avoided addressing it, much less condemning it.
Kennedy rejected Operation Northwoods and the pressure that the Pentagon and the CIA were putting on him to invade Cuba. But the Cubans and the Soviets knew what was going on. That’s why the Soviets installed their nuclear missiles in Cuba — to deter U.S. officials from doing what the Pentagon and the CIA wanted to be done.
In other words, if the Pentagon and the CIA had not been continuously pressuring Kennedy to invade Cuba, there never would have been a Cuban Missile Crisis because there never would have been Soviet missiles installed in Cuba. Thus, what the mainstream media has always been loathe to acknowledge is that in the final analysis, it was the Pentagon and the CIA whose political machinations brought us to within an inch of all-out nuclear war.
Kennedy resolved the crisis by promising the Russians that he would not permit the Pentagon or the CIA to invade Cuba. He also promised to withdraw the Pentagon’s nuclear missiles in Turkey that were pointed at the Soviet Union. Unlike President Biden today, Kennedy fully understood why the Soviets would not want nuclear missiles pointed at them along their border, just as Kennedy, the Pentagon, and the CIA didn’t want Soviet missiles pointed at the U.S. stationed in Cuba.
The Pentagon and the CIA were livid over how JFK resolved the crisis. They considered the deal that he had made with the Soviets to be the “biggest defeat in U.S. history.” One member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff compared Kennedy’s handling of the crisis to Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler in Munich.
After the crisis, Kennedy achieved one of the most remarkable breakthroughs in history. He recognized the Cold War as nothing but a corrupt and dangerous racket. He vowed to bring it to an end and to establish a relationship of peaceful coexistence and harmony with the Soviet Union and the rest of the communist world.
That’s what his Peace Speech at American University was all about. In that speech, he acknowledged that the Soviets and Americans adhered to different ideologies but that there was no reason why they could not peacefully coexist with each other. The speech was broadcast all across Russia. That had never happened before.
In other words, with his Peace Speech, Kennedy was bringing an end to the official policy of extreme anti-Russia animus that has characterized the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA ever since the end of World War II. It should be noted that by this time, Kennedy held the entire U.S. national-security establishment in deep disdain. He had already fired the three top officials of the CIA and was doing everything he could to reduce its power. By the same token, he had absolutely no trust or confidence in his military establishment and its Cold War, anti-communist crusade.
Just five months later, Kennedy was assassinated. His vice-president, Lyndon Johnson, who was on the same Cold War, anti-communist crusade as the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, abandoned Kennedy’s new direction for America and plunged America into the Vietnam War, especially with the fraudulent Pentagon allegation of a supposed North Vietnamese attack on American warships in the Gulf of Tonkin.
The Pentagon’s and the CIA’s extreme anti-Russia mentality, along with corrupt political machinations, have continued to this day, along with the ever-increasing power, influence, and taxpayer-funded largess for the national-security branch of the federal government. Woe to any U.S. official, especially an American president, who proposes what Kennedy proposed — bringing an end to the national-security establishment’s corrupt Cold War crusade and establishing normal and friendly relations with Russia, China, Cuba, Korea, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and the rest of the communist world.
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