November 4, 2016

Flotsam & Jetsam

Sam Smith - I have been trying to remember a time I have felt so scared for America as I do today. The closest I could come up with occurred in another fall - the October of 1962. As Wikipedia describes it:
The 1962 midterm elections were under way in the United States and the White House had denied charges that it was ignoring dangerous Soviet missiles 90 miles from Florida. These missile preparations were confirmed when an Air Force U-2 spy plane produced clear photographic evidence of medium-range (SS-4) and intermediate-range (R-14) ballistic missile facilities. The United States established a military blockade to prevent further missiles from entering Cuba. It announced that they would not permit offensive weapons to be delivered to Cuba and demanded that the weapons already in Cuba be dismantled and returned to the USSR.

After a long period of tense negotiations, an agreement was reached between President John F. Kennedy and Khrushchev. Publicly, the Soviets would dismantle their offensive weapons in Cuba and return them to the Soviet Union, subject to United Nations verification, in exchange for a U.S. public declaration and agreement never to invade Cuba again without direct provocation. Secretly, the United States also agreed that it would dismantle all U.S.-built Jupiter MRBMs, which were deployed in Turkey and Italy against the Soviet Union but were not known to the public.

When all offensive missiles and Ilyushin Il-28 light bombers had been withdrawn from Cuba, the blockade was formally ended on November 20, 1962. The negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union pointed out the necessity of a quick, clear, and direct communication line between Washington and Moscow. As a result, the Moscow–Washington hotline was established. A series of agreements sharply reduced U.S.–Soviet tensions during the following years.
I had become an officer in the Coast Guard a little more than a year earlier, what with the draft blowing down my neck and not wanting to be militarist.  I remember feeling stunned and scared that my efforts had come to naught, that we were on the verge of World War III, and I would be in it.

Fortunately, John F Kennedy rather than Donald Trump was our president, and sanity prevailed on both sides. In less than a month. But how would have Trump has handled the crisis? Certainly not with anything as unmanly as negotiations.

I was recently disturbed again when the US began threatening Russia's Cuba - Ukraine - and was reminded how unimportant talking things out has become in our foreign policy. In part, Trump is a product of a society and a government that has forgotten the lessons of the Cuban missile crisis and that's one more reason not to let Trump anywhere near the White House.


Anonymous said...

Yet it is Trump that is being vilified for stating during the debates that the United States should being talking to the Russians. This, while at the same time our administration as well as Hillary Clinton continue to rattle the sabers of war. It is her state department that initiated the nonsense with the Ukraine---or have you forgotten about Victoria Nuland's "Fuck the EU" comments?
Nuland's husband, neocon Robert Kagan, is positioned to figure prominently as a Clinton adviser. Jesus Christ, can't you recognize your intellectual disconnect?
What have we been warning about for the past year on these blogs---well before it was an issue of Clinton v Trump?
Hillary is the blatant Hawk. Hillary is the one who has already compiled a frightening and disgusting record as advocate of 'liberal intervention'. She's the one proposing an immediate 'no fly' zone for Syria. She's the one eho in debates has promised at least another year of this insanity in the Middle East. Holy Fuck, what can't you see? This is nothing like 1963. This is 2016 and it is the United States that stands as the true aggressor.
Time to retire Sam. Your curve ball no longer breaks and that fast ball has bleachers writ across the seams.

Anonymous said...

Here's what scares me, Sam

"AS HILLARY CLINTON puts together what she hopes will be a winning coalition in November, many progressives remain wary — but she has the war hawks firmly behind her.

“I would say all Republican foreign policy professionals are anti-Trump,” leading neoconservative Robert Kagan told a group gathered around him, groupie-style, at a “foreign policy professionals for Hillary” fundraiser I attended last week. “I would say that a majority of people in my circle will vote for Hillary.”

As the co-founder of the neoconservative think tank Project for the New American Century, Kagan played a leading role in pushing for America’s unilateral invasion of Iraq and insisted for years afterward that it had turned out great.

Despite the catastrophic effects of that war, Kagan insisted at last week’s fundraiser that U.S. foreign policy over the last 25 years has been “an extraordinary success.” "

Anonymous said...

This is what you're supporting Sam:
"But while Scowcroft hails from the GOP’s realist school of thought, a less-interventionist worldview that some liberals subscribe to, Kagan remains firmly in the neoconservative wing — an ideology centered around the use of military force, the forcible removal of dictators, and the importance of spreading democracy around the world."
"Let me add, finally, that I did not favor the invasion of Iraq primarily to bring democracy to Iraq or to push the broader Middle East in a more liberal direction, although I hope it may eventually do both. My reasons were and remain primarily strategic." Robert Kagan
"Essentially, Kagan is calling for a restoration of America’s “old role,” a resumption of its status and behavior as a superpower. And here is where his argument—founded on a long-bred reflex to go to war early in a crisis"

Anonymous said...

Trump builds towers, Clinton destroys countries.

There is no comparison.

He is probably the most progressive Republican presidential candidate since Eisenhower. She is probably the most corrupt presidential candidate ever, based on her record donations and vast evidence of her selling her office as Secretary of State. She is easily as warlike and unhinged as McCain.

greg gerritt said...

The mudslinging Trump Clinton campaign is a stain on America. Both are incompetent babbling monsters. I am voting for a candidate I can be proud of. jill sTein Greenparty.