Ted Kennedy is offering up a history lesson in a new book, “America Back on Track,” that defends the indefensible appeasement policies he and his party have made the cornerstone of their national security platform since 1972.
Now I admit I haven’t read Kennedy’s book. And I never will. There is nothing of value to be learned from reading a book ghostwritten by someone hired and guided by the drunken, brain-addled, womanizing, immoral swine from the state of Massachusetts. I know all I need to know about this book by reading about it in the Boston Globe.
For all Ted Kennedy knows about national security and history, he may as well have written a book about how to save drowning women.
Once again, he claims that Saddam Hussein could have been dealt with through “diplomacy” rather than war. That is the gist of his treatise against “preventive war.” And he uses as an illustration the way his brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, defused the Cuban missile crisis and avoided World War III.
Here’s the truth about the Cuban missile crisis that you won’t read in Kennedy’s book.
After President Kennedy took office in 1961, he began planning a limited invasion of Cuba for the purpose of overthrowing Fidel Castro, who had seized power two years earlier. Kennedy planned to rely mostly on anti-Castro Cubans based in Miami. He promised them air support for their campaign.
On April 17, 1961, Kennedy dispatched a Central Intelligence Agency-trained force of about 1,300 in what would become known as the Bay of Pigs invasion. When the would-be liberators met stiff opposition, Kennedy refused to send the promised air support – leaving his allies to be picked off on the beaches.
It was a foreign policy disaster that shook the Kennedy administration. Not only had it failed to achieve its objectives, it had demonstrated to Nikita Khrushchev in the Soviet Kremlin that Kennedy was weak, a vacillator, indecisive.
It was that weakness in failing to achieve a victory in the Bay of Pigs that prompted Khrushchev a year later to move Soviet nuclear missiles to Cuba – 90 miles from the United States.
“The Massachusetts Democrat writes that his brothers were right to resist advice urging them to launch a pre-emptive strike on Fidel Castro when missiles aimed at the United States were discovered in Cuba in 1962,” explains the Boston Globe story. “They correctly argued that ‘a first strike was inconsistent with American values,’ and would be a ‘Pearl Harbor in reverse,’ he writes.”
Well, just a year earlier Kennedy evidently hadn’t seen it that way. He had launched an attack on Castro’s Cuba before it had Soviet nuclear missiles pointed at the United States. No, that wasn’t the reason Kennedy didn’t attack. He didn’t attack because he feared it would risk a nuclear war with the Soviet Union.
And Teddy’s wrong about the way the crisis was resolved, too. It wasn’t just through diplomacy – which would never have worked. President Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of Cuba and ordered our sailors to board or destroy any Soviet ship that tried to break it.
But the Cuban missile crisis was ended peacefully. In fact, more people were killed in Ted Kennedy’s car seven years later than were killed in the Cuban missile crisis when the world stood on the brink of nuclear war.
Teddy’s brothers did end up making concessions to the Soviets – promising to pull missiles out of Turkey in exchange for the removal of missiles from Cuba.
But look more deeply at the moral relativism at the core of Kennedy’s thesis – which is essentially the perception that guides the Democratic Party’s foreign policy and national security views: “The premeditated nature of preventive attacks and preventive wars makes them anathema to well-established international principles against aggression.”
That one sentence pretty well summarizes it. Call it “Chamberlainism,” if you will. Kennedy and the Democrats never learned the greatest lesson of the 20th century – that you cannot appease or wish away evil.
Kennedy’s book, by the way, comes out on the 45th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion – though the author and publisher don’t note that coincidence.