• choicelady : Good night, KT – whatever you do, it will be wonderful. Yup – see you on the thread AND in the funny papers! Good night!

  • KillgoreTrout : Wow, it’s been a great night. Lots of good, intellectual discourse. As Murph said, its great to be among people who can who can discuss issues without vitriol. Truly a unique spot in the blogosphere. I’ve got to start the music thread. Not sure what the theme will be. Thanks so much for doing such a great job as host. See ya in the funny papers.

  • choicelady : KT – I have to be up to march in the Pride Parade tomorrow. They want us there at 9 for some reason. So if it’s OK with you, we will shut her down?

  • choicelady : KT – NO! It’s 1:15 there! Yikes!

  • KillgoreTrout : Well Murph, we weren’t in any position to assume there weren’t warheads there.

  • choicelady : Good night and sweet dreams, Murph. KT – where are you at this point? It’s 12:15 your time. Want to close it out? I’ll pick up the glasses and vaccum. No need for you to do anything at all. But don’t tell my husband – he’ll be jealous.

  • MurphTheSurf3 : Yes to bed. I will leave my response to your last comment CL until another time.

  • KillgoreTrout : Exactly CL. The right viewed kennedy as being “soft on communism.” They thought he’d give the whole ballgame away. The day he was killed in Dallas, there were posters and handbills accusing Kennedy of being a communists. Sound familiar.

  • choicelady : Murph – go to bed!

  • choicelady : Murph- I thought that’s what I remembered of your expertise. These are all areas I don’t know well, so I bring into this what I’ve done OUTSIDE the study of government – the alternative universe of shadow governments, secret pacts, more open but still not well known deals driven by the private sector. The antipathy to government began with FDR of course, but it grew by leaps and bounds among the ruling class people driving the economy, and the hate toward JFK was profound. Oddly – it was LESS so against LBJ since he cranked up the war machine and made them stinking rich. Coming at this from studying the corporate power structure and its machinations, I think I see the actions and rage against JFK quite differently. I don’t know if you recall Bill Domhoff who wrote “Who Rules America” and other similar (oh hell virtually identical) books about all this, but he was my advisor in grad school. While his work was kind of limited intellectually, it set me on a course of inquiry that I’ve never given up – and that has been the reason I do believe there have been cabals and covert actions outside legitimate government. Maybe that’s why I’m so devoted to public policy – I will NOT let the SOBs win all the time!

  • MurphTheSurf3 : KT- yes photos of the missiles and launch installations but the nuclear warheads? another story.

  • KillgoreTrout : Murph, there were photos of these installations, clearly showing a presence of missile launching installations. I don’t know how anybody could have been mistaken about that.

  • MurphTheSurf3 : OMG…it is midnight and my body is going to curse me in a few hours……thank s for the discussion…..a lways good to exchange views and even to disagree when the company one is in can do this without being disagreeable. Well done.

  • choicelady : KT – I can’t recall who told me this recently, but there was a false alarm on the West Coast with an HOURS LONG ‘duck and cover’ in the schools. Yup – that’d be a game changer in young people’s lives. It did contribute to the nihilism of our generation indeed.

  • KillgoreTrout : Murph, there is no doubt that the US was fighting a war for a democracy that didn’t really exist. That is what made the Vietnam war such a total sham.

  • choicelady : I do agree with all you’ve said, and I have no illusions it was going to be a radical transformation from nuclear silos to grain filled ones! He was a man of his time. But he began making changes such as the test ban treaty that at least in appearance would radically alter the status quo AT HOME. It might not have taken much to rattle the cages of the entrenched powers in fear of what he MIGHT do.

  • MurphTheSurf3 : KT- here is an interesting idea….investig ation into the Cuban Missile Crisis based in Cuban sources and using KGB archives indicates there may have been no nukes in Cuba or destined for Cuba because Krushchev and his generals did not trust Castro. And recall that whether this was a gambit or not, what provoked it was the Bay of Pigs and our Missiles in Turkey.

  • KillgoreTrout : I once told my mom that it is no wonder the children of the 60s went so berserk. All the very real threats you mentioned were enough to make any young generation a bit crazy. Remember the civil defense drills, duck and cover? It’s no small wonder that our generation was so into living in the moment. Nobody knew that it wouldn’t be our last moment.

  • MurphTheSurf3 : CL…My field of history is contemporary U.S. (basically 1900 to the present) with specializing in political and social history. Most of my teaching was in this area.

  • KillgoreTrout : I don’t see how the danger of Soviet, intermediate thermonuclear weapons at our door step could be blown out of proportion. Eighty million American lives were at stake, just from the missile installations in Cuba alone. Washington was in range of these weapons. I just don’t see how the gravity of the situation could have been blown out of proportion!

  • MurphTheSurf3 : CL…the Missile Crisis shook JFK to the core. The June ’63 speech at American University announced the development of the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and his decision to unilaterally suspend all atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons as long as all other nations would do the same. Kruschev responded positively to it and it led to a Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. As to dismantling the rest of the cold war apparatus? Not much beyond that. Mutually Assured Destruction remained the primary deterrent. Eastern Europe remained walled off from Western Europe. Nato faced down the Warsaw Pact. South America remained a powder keg. And fear of the spreading communist influence led JFK to double the budget request for the Military Assistance Command Vietnam and quadruple the Foreign Assistance Act of 1962 request when it was recertified, to provide “…military assistance to countries which are on the rim of the Communist world and under direct attack.”AND…. his administration “encouraged” the coup that toppled Diem in order to set up a military junta.

  • choicelady : KT -forgot the U2. Those were just troubling days, weren’t they? I actually hated the 60s – every bit of them -except the Beatles of course. I was so scared so often. From the murders of the civil rights workers to nuclear holocaust, the world just seemed so scary.

  • KillgoreTrout : Murph, the chilling thing is, that both Krushev and kennedy knew that they were dangerously close to setting off Armeggedon. They knew the monumental risks involved. Niether party could be seen as weak. Kennedy took a huge risk, but I think, deep down, he knew Krushev would not initiate global destruction. You are right that one SOB who didn’t get the word, could have doomed us all. The U2 that was shot down, had to be ignored to prevent further escalation.

  • choicelady : Murph – I do recall the lagging economy in the early 60s. Did that have a role in Kennedy’s focus on foreign policy to deflect our attention? I think I recall we had a short but surprising recession c. 1961? He peeved the steel companies no end though I no longer can recall how or why. It was very complicated to me as a young teen and hasn’t grown a whole lot less opaque since.

  • choicelady : Murph – I’d never heard that analysis before. All very thought provoking! Contemporary political history is NOT my strong suit at all. I have done collateral work on the growth of the transnational corporations and the power behind them, but actual governance? Nope.

  • MurphTheSurf3 : KT and Choice- last thought Again his administration was very young and it had been bogged down in one emergency after another. Frankly, without the missile crisis it is likely that Dem losses in the House would have been significant and the gains in the Senate would have been unlikely. There are those who say that the crisis was ramped up as a means of turning around a souring electorate. Again, we will never know. Like Obama, he had lots of ideas and plans.

  • choicelady : KT – but look at the backlash. It is so sad to see how little some sectors have changed.

  • choicelady : KT – I do not dispute that analysis, especially on civil rights.

  • KillgoreTrout : Obama is also president in a time where the country has advanced beyond what the country was like in the early 60s.

  • choicelady : Murph – I’m sorry, I don’t think I know what kind of history you taught? Was this period something you’ve researched? I DO pay attention to all you say no matter what!

  • KillgoreTrout : CL, I have a great regard for president Obama. It’s just that Kennedy’s brilliance and courage was snuffed out before his presidency had the opportunity to make some great change. He certainlly did with his contributions to civil rights, in which Jounson got most of the glory for.