Tag: John F. Kennedy

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Yemen as Vietnam or Afghanistan

A scene from the North Yemen Civil War of the 1960s.

With U.S. intelligence help, Saudi Arabia has launched air strikes into Yemen and wants Egypt and Pakistan to invade, threatening to turn a long-simmering civil war into a regional conflict, a scenario that reminded retired U.S. diplomat William R. Polk of…

Ben Bradlee’s Not Such ‘A Good Life’ – Part 2

The Washington Post's Ben Bradlee in his later years. (Photo credit: Washington Post)

Special Report: In recent years, the Washington Post’s emergence as a neocon propaganda sheet has struck some as a betrayal of the Post’s earlier reputation as a serious newspaper. But many of the paper’s current tendencies can be traced back to…

Ben Bradlee’s Not Such ‘A Good Life’

Longtime Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee.

Special Report: Washington Post’s editor Ben Bradlee, whose memoir was entitled “A Good Life,” is remembered by many as a tough-talking, street-smart journalist. But that reputation was more image than truth as the real Bradlee was an Establishment insider who…

Needed: Leaders Like JFK and Khrushchev

President John F. Kennedy addressing the nation regarding the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Three days ago, former U.S. diplomat William R. Polk, who served President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, warned that the West was risking a similar crisis in reverse by pressing NATO forces aggressively onto Russia’s…

A Disappointing ‘Selma’ Film

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Exclusive: At a moment when voting and other civil rights are under attack in America, a new movie “Selma” recounts the struggle, led by Martin Luther King Jr., to secure the African-American right to vote. But the film falls short…

Why JFK Still Matters

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Since John F. Kennedy’s death, there’s been little presidential rhetoric that was not either bombastic and self-serving Reagan’s “tear down this wall” or cringingly dishonest Nixon’s “I am not a crook” or Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with…

Standing in an Adversary’s Shoes

President John F. Kennedy addressing the nation regarding the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Americans are notoriously disinterested in history, preferring to focus on the present and often reacting to the latest crisis. But the past can teach important lessons including the need to understand an adversary’s perspective and to avoid unnecessary conflicts, as ex-U.S. diplomat…

How Neocons Constrain Obama’s Message

President Barack Obama touches the Marshall Plaque at Michie Stadium upon arrival for the United States Military Academy at West Point commencement in West Point, N.Y., May 28, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: President Obama said that just because the U.S. military is “the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail” a wise observation but he then confused his foreign policy speech by pandering to neocon narratives on crises in Ukraine and elsewhere,…

Can Obama Speak Strongly for Peace?

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

From the Archive: President Obama is preparing a speech to address neocon charges that he’s shown “weakness” toward U.S. adversaries, but the greater challenge would be for him to tell the people why cooperation with those adversaries is vital for real peace, as…

Can Obama Speak Strongly for Peace?

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

From the Archive: During the Cold War, two presidents delivered honest warnings to Americans, Eisenhower on the “military-industrial complex” and Kennedy on how “we all inhabit this small planet.” Now Ukraine presents a challenge to President Obama to speak out for peace, as Robert…