John F. Kennedy on War & Peace
Commercial air travel to Cuba was suspended. The world was on the brink of nuclear war for another 6 days, until Soviet premier Nikita Krushchev announced that the missiles would be removed.
Here was the background: At a White House meeting in Feb. 1962, when various covert action plans seemed to be going nowhere, Robert Kennedy ordered a stop to all such anti-Castro efforts. The Joint Chiefs decided the only option was to trick the American public and world opinion into a justifiable war.
When the document was presented that March, JFK [concluded] that there was virtually no possibility of our using overt force to take Cuba. So operation Northwoods remained secret for 35 years.
It seems that all through history, wars and takeovers are started with false flag operations: the Reichstag fire, the Chinese supposedly attacking Japan, the Gulf of Tonkin incident with Vietnam. The list goes on and on. History has a way of repeating itself, like that old cliche: if it works once, let's try it again.
When the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) official file from those years was declassified in 1997, it contained a memorandum of conference on May 6, 1963. That one and a follow-up memo from late October (less than a month before JFK was assassinated) clearly show we were starting to get out of Vietnam and leave matters in the hands of the South Vietnamese, where they belonged. Unfortunately, this is again a case of misleading the people for years, by keeping the true thoughts of John F. Kennedy out of the public realm.
On Aug. 2, as part of a squad of 15 such craft sent to intercept a Japanese convoy, PT 109 was rammed by an enemy destroyer and sliced in half. Two of the 13-man crew were killed. My brother exhorted the survivors to swim toward a flyspeck island, personally towing the badly burned engineer for 5 hours by clamping the man's lifeboat straps in his mouth. Jack then swam back out into the ocean to try and signal a passing boat. Unsuccessful, he swam back to his men half unconscious. The ordeal continued for a week, with Jack directing swims to larger islands. On Aug. 9, the party made contact via a message Jack had scraped into a coconut shell. (That coconut is now in the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.) The message made it to an American base, which sent a PT to rescue the men.
Each of these moves accelerated the collision course of Castro's regime with American security interests. Eisenhower had approved a CIA-drafted paper, "A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime" [which Jack inherited].
Jack, feeling his way through the opening weeks of his presidency, grew skeptical of the ever more ambitious and complex Cuba invasion plan: defections from Castro's army would follow; the population would rise up to embrace the invaders; and the hated regime would be ousted with minimal casualties. As history shows, the invasion was a failure.
On April 21, Pres. Kennedy stepped before the microphones at a press conference and accepted sole responsibility for the Bay of Pigs disaster.
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George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
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