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WHY IS MORLEY SUPPORTING ALFORD?

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WHY IS MORLEY SUPPORTING ALFORD?

Post by greg parker on Tue 21 Feb 2012, 1:51 pm

Jefferson Morley has jumped on the Alford bandwagon - which is rather unfortunate for his credibility.

Better Red Than Dead

Alford’s story matters because she spent time with JFK on perhaps the single most important day in his presidency. It came in late October 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The U.S. had discovered that the Soviet Union secretly installed nuclear missiles in Cuba to defend the revolutionary government of Fidel Castro. Most of JFK’s national security advisors — and all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — recommended JFK order the invasion of the island to destroy the missiles and overthrow the impudent Castro. JFK, a war hero, resisted. He accepted the lesser measure of a Naval blockade of the island while searching for a diplomatic solution.

Alford, back at school in Massachusetts, evokes the dread of those days when the world stood on the brink of nuclear war, an “atmosphere of deep concern in some quarters and outright hysteria in others. We were warned about a national shortage of bomb shelters. We were besieged with apocalyptic estimates of how many people would die in a nuclear exchange.” No doubt seeking diversion from the burdens of office, JFK invited her to Washington. (He’d sent Jackie Kennedy and his children out of town.)

When Alford arrived at the White House on Oct. 28, 1962, Dave Powers, JFK’s personal aide, told her that the president had just sent a message to Moscow asking, for the last time, that the missiles be removed. Many thought war would start within 48 hours.

“Normally, he would have put his presidential duties behind him, had a drink and done his best to lighten up the room,” Alford recalls. Instead, JFK paced, contemplating whether he would soon have to make a decision to send thousands, if not millions, of people to a violent death.

Then she writes:

At one point, after leaving the room to take another urgent phone call, he came back shaking his head and said to me, “I’d rather my children be red than dead.” It wasn’t a political statement or an attempt at levity. These were the words of a father who adored his children and couldn’t bear them being hurt.

If true, it’s a telling comment. JFK was echoing a popular slogan of the peace movement of the 1960s: “Better red than dead.” The idea was anathema to the American right but common on the left in Europe: It would be better to live under communism than to die in a nuclear war. At the climactic moment of the Cuban missile crisis, Alford says JFK voiced this sentiment.

Morley goes on to propose his reason for accepting that JFK did indeed, utter those words:

Some will say Alford’s story cannot be true because JFK was not a leftist but an anti-communist — but there’s nothing unusual about a politician having different views publicly and privately. Others may say Alford made up the story to sell books — as if an anecdote about JFK’s liberalism would entice readers interested in his libido. In the context of the crisis at hand, it is more plausible to think that the president was expressing an abhorrence of the nuclear terror that defined the Cold War and voicing a desire to escape its clutches as his advisors pressed for war.

I highly recommend that Morley (and Alford) listen to JFK's November 16, 1961 University of Washington speech.
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Aw3MwwJMf0631R6JLmAprQ.aspx

He makes clear in that speech that the "better red than dead/better dead than red" mindsets represented a dangerous false dichotomy.

Here is the relevant section of the speech, but I again urge Morley and Alford to listen to the audio.
There are two groups of these frustrated citizens, far apart in their views yet very much alike in their approach. On the one hand are those who urge upon us what I regard to be the pathway of surrender-appeasing our enemies, compromising our commitments, purchasing peace at any price, disavowing our arms, our friends, our obligations. If their view had prevailed, the world of free choice would be smaller today.

On the other hand are those who urge upon us what I regard to be the pathway of war: equating negotiations with appeasement and substituting rigidity for firmness. If their view had prevailed, we would be at war today, and in more than one place.

It is a curious fact that each of these extreme opposites resembles the other. Each believes that we have only two choices: appeasement or war, suicide or surrender, humiliation or holocaust, to be either Red or dead. Each side sees only "hard" and "soft" nations, hard and soft policies, hard and soft men. Each believes that any departure from its own course inevitably leads to the other: one group believes that any peaceful solution means appeasement; the other believes that any arms build-up means war. One group regards everyone else as warmongers, the other regards everyone else as appeasers. Neither side admits that its path will lead to disaster--but neither can tell us how or where to draw the line once we descend the slippery slopes of appeasement or constant intervention.

To suggest, given the above, that JFK chose one of those false dichotomies in a crisis when he had rightly declared that either extreme was dangerous, is a certain sign that Alford is flat out lying. Morley might be puzzled as to possible motive, but it's pretty clear to anyone not pretending to be an investigative reporter and who still has two firing brain cells.

What's happening with this woman is shameful. The proof is in the pudding. JFK did NOT rely on the "liberal" or the "GOP" way. He chose a third possible path to remedy, just as he outlined in his speech. She lied. And Morley should accept that fact.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

greg parker
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Posts: 3207
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Age: 56
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Re: WHY IS MORLEY SUPPORTING ALFORD?

Post by greg parker on Sat 07 Dec 2013, 10:01 am

Bump

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

greg parker
Admin

Posts: 3207
Join date: 2009-08-21
Age: 56
Location: Orange, NSW, Australia

View user profile http:// http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IXOA5ZK/ref=s9_simh_

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