JFK’s Different Direction for America Got Him Killed

It has become an established part of American life that the American people must bear a deep enmity toward Russia. If anyone dares to say anything good about Russia, the wrath of the national-security-state god and its loyal followers will come crashing down on him. Unless America somehow changes direction, this national policy of hatred of Russia is likely to last for years, if not decades.

This anti-Russia mentality is nothing new. We can go all the way back to the post-World War II period and find it there as well. In fact, both hatred and fear of Russia (and the entire Soviet Union) became the central feature of American life after the war and has continued ever since.

One irony in this was that the Soviet Union had been a partner and ally of the United States during the war. Both nations had worked together to defeat Nazi Germany. President Roosevelt even had friendly meetings with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, in which he agreed that Russia could control Eastern European countries after the war.

After the war, however, Russia and the Soviet Union became Public Enemy Number 1. Every American was expected to hate and fear them. In fact, hatred and fear of Russia became the justification for the conversion of the federal government from a limited-government republic to a national-security state. That’s when the federal government — or, to be more precise — the national-security branch of the government — acquired omnipotent, totalitarian-like powers, such as assassination, torture, and indefinite detention.

The reason for all this hatred and fear of Russia was that Russia was controlled by a communist regime. The belief was that there was an international communist conspiracy to take over the world, especially the United States — a conspiracy that was supposedly based in Moscow. To question this notion was akin to heresy among the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, which are the principal parts of the national-security establishment.

What makes John F. Kennedy’s short tenure as president so remarkable is that he dared to challenge this deep anti-Russia paradigm for America. Not surprisingly, Kennedy’s challenge  of the existing paradigm infuriated the national-security establishment. More important, they considered it to be a grave threat to “national security,” a threat that had to be dealt with. 

By the time that Kennedy openly expressed his opposition to the anti-Russia paradigm and his determination to move America in a different direction, he was already embroiled in an all-out war with the national-security establishment.

His war with the CIA began immediately after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. When the CIA presented its plan to invade Cuba to Kennedy, it assured him that no U.S. air support would be necessary. It was a lie — a knowing, intentional, and deliberate lie. The CIA knew that the invasion could not succeed without the air support. It figured that once Kennedy had signed off on the invasion, he would have no choice but to provide whatever assistance would be necessary to ensure the success of the operation. In other words, the CIA was playing, maneuvering, and manipulating the president of the United States.

After the invasion went down to defeat, Kennedy declared war on the CIA. He was determined to destroy this malignant agency. As part of his war, he fired the much revered CIA director, Allen Dulles, who would later be appointed by President Lyndon Johnson to conduct an “independent” investigation into Kennedy’s assassination. For its part, the CIA also declared war on Kennedy. It considered him a coward, an incompetent, and a traitor who was going to deliver America into the hands of the Russians.

Later came the Cuban Missile Crisis, which caused Kennedy to have the same mindset toward the military establishment that he had toward the CIA. The military urged Kennedy to bomb and invade Cuba, which would have inevitably led to all-out nuclear war. Kennedy instead entered into a deal with the Soviets in which he promised that he would not permit the Pentagon and the CIA to invade Cuba again. For their part, the Pentagon and the CIA considered the deal to be the worst defeat in U.S. history. They were convinced that leaving Cuba in the hands of the Reds necessarily meant a Red takeover of the United States. Like the CIA, the military establishment was convinced that Kennedy was a coward, an incompetent, and a traitor.

It’s also worth mentioning that prior to the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy rejected the military’s Operation Northwoods. That was going to be a deadly false-flag operation that would be used to justify an invasion of Cuba. He also rejected the military’s proposal for a first-strike surprise nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, about which Kennedy indignantly remarked, “And we call ourselves the human race.”

By the time that Kennedy arrived at American University on June 1963 to deliver what has become known as his Peace Speech, he and the national-security establishment were embroiled in an all-out war for the future direction of America.

In his Peace Speech, Kennedy threw the gauntlet down to his enemies within the national-security establishment. Consider the following statement in that speech: “What kind of a peace do I mean? What kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war.”

That part was directed at the Pentagon. A “Pax Americana enforced by American weapons of war” was precisely what the Pentagon wanted. In fact, it is what it still wants.

And then consider what he said about the Russians: 

And second, let us reexamine our attitude toward the Soviet Union.… No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue. As Americans, we find communism profoundly repugnant as a negation of personal freedom and dignity. But we can still hail the Russian people for their many achievements in science and space, in economic and industrial growth, in culture and in acts of courage.

Among the many traits the peoples of our two countries have in common, none is stronger than our mutual abhorrence of war. Almost unique among the major world powers, we have never been at war with each other. And no nation in the history of battle ever suffered more than the Soviet Union in the Second World War. At least 20 million lost their lives. Countless millions of homes and families were burned or sacked. A third of the nation’s territory, including nearly two-thirds of its industrial base, was turned into a wasteland, a loss equivalent to the destruction of this country east of Chicago.

That was considered heresy. 

And then Kennedy committed the cardinal sin of questioning the Cold War, which was the guiding star for the national-security establishment and its ever-growing army of voracious “defense” contractors who were feeding at the public trough.

Third, let us reexamine our attitude toward the cold war, remembering that we are not engaged in a debate, seeking to pile up debating points….This will require a new effort to achieve world law, a new context for world discussions. It will require increased understanding between the Soviets and ourselves.

The war was on. Over the vehement objections of the military and the CIA, Kennedy got a nuclear test-ban treaty signed with the Soviets. He ordered a withdrawal of troops from Vietnam, again over the fierce opposition of the military and the CIA. He proposed a joint trip to the moon with the Russians, which necessarily meant sharing rocket technology with the Reds. He established a friendly relationship with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev and was personally negotiating with him prior to his assassination. On the day he was assassinated, he had an emissary having lunch with Fidel Castro, with the aim of normalizing relations with Cuba, which the Pentagon and the CIA believed was a communist dagger pointed at America’s throat.

In the eyes of the national-security establishment, Kennedy had become a grave threat to “national security.” He had to be dealt with if America was to be saved. That happened on November 22, 1963. The national-security establishment’s vision for America — “a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war” — prevailed over Kennedy’s vision for America, which is why we are where we are today.

Reprinted with permission from The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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