Saturday, June 5, 2010

He Who Ignores History Is Doomed To Repeat It

With the increasing volatility in the Middle East, the Korean Peninsula, Afghanistan, and Iraq, I would like to take this time to look back at a blog that I wrote about the "weakness" of JFK and how that same weakness is being played out today with Barack Obama. The blog I am referencing, written in March of 2008, long before Obama was even elected, was titled: Are We Ready For the Mistakes Of J.F.K., Again?
"We've seen it all before. In 1960, the electorate got behind a young, dynamic, and good-looking candidate named John F. Kennedy. His speeches moved this country. At that time, he was destined to be the "first" Catholic President. But aside from all that fluff, he had little experience; and in the world of foreign affairs, it showed.

One of the things that JFK gets praise for was the Cuban Missile Crisis. But, that crisis, in my mind and the minds of some historians, was a crisis of his own making. It came about because the then-Premier of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, saw weakness in John F. Kennedy. He saw weakness when Kennedy miserably failed to properly implement the Bay of Pigs invasion by not supporting that invasion with the proper military backup. The way Kennedy handled the post-Bay of Pigs Invasion negotiation for prisoners was also seen as being weak. Khrushchev saw even more weakness during the earliest meetings with Kennedy. And, that belief was never more evident when Nikita Khrushchev stated this now famous line: "We will bury you!" Khrushchev would never have put missiles in Cuba if he had thought Kennedy was strong. Much of the false memory of this event seems to imply that Kennedy, through his strength and determination, simply made Khrushchev back down and come to his knees. However, Khrushchev only conceded pulling the missiles out of Cuba after we agreed to remove our missiles from the borders of Turkey.

Like Kennedy, Barack Obama feels that we can "talk" to our enemies. Kennedy made this a centerpiece of his Administration when, in his Inaugural Address, he said: "Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate..." Barack Obama has quoted this famous line and made it clear that he, too, will talk to our enemies like Ahmadinejad of Iran. But, "talking" is seen by a dictatorial aggressor like Khrushchev and Ahmadinejad as a form of weakness. To an Ahmadinejad or a Khrushchev, "talks" with the mighty United States give them a sense of power; a sense of equality, or even, superiority. In their minds, the fact that the United States is "talking" to them must mean that the U.S. fears them. It's an adrenaline rush!

Just like Kennedy talking to Khrushchev while Khrushchev was preparing to put missiles into Cuba, you can expect the same kind of goings on from an Ahmadinejad or a Hugo Chavez or a Kim Jong Il, while Obama talks and talks his head off and tries to make nice with these, our enemies."
No matter what anyone thinks, Obama is a weak international and domestic leader. On the international front, he's being tested by the likes of Kim Jong Il. The same is true with Iran. Turkey and Brazil's alliance with Iran is another direct result of that perception of weakness. Because of this, we are now even weaker in our attempts to thwart Iran's ambitions to gain nuclear superiority in the Middle East. The same is true with Turkey's backing of the flotilla that is attempting to break Israel's Gaza Strip blockade of Hamas. The mere fact that Turkey is even backing this action shows that they believe that Israel has been abandoned by Obama; especially after the most recent put-down of Israel in the security council over Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. It was also apparent from how badly Obama treated Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in their last meeting at the White House.

With Obama, our friends are our enemies, and our enemies are taking us for a ride. Not only is this President repeating JFK's mistakes but, he is also a very bad replicant of the failed and foolish leadership of Jimmy Carter. I fear that, at any minute, we could see a major international conflict breakout. One that was totally spawned by Obama and his lack of international leadership and strength that should come with being the President of the most powerful county in the world.