Our media remembered President Kennedy, but not what he stood for in global affairs and what made him a communist target.
On Friday, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings unveiled a monument inscribed with the last words of a speech that Kennedy never got to deliver to businessmen at the Dallas Trade Mart. The words included: “We in this country, in this generation, are—by destiny rather than choice – the watchmen on the walls of world freedom.”
The speech was anti-communist and pro-freedom to its core. It would not be delivered by any liberal Democrat in this day and age.
Kennedy’s prepared remarks said, “I realize that this Nation often tends to identify turning-points in world affairs with the major addresses which preceded them. But it was not the Monroe Doctrine that kept all Europe away from this hemisphere—it was the strength of the British fleet and the width of the Atlantic Ocean. It was not General Marshall’s speech at Harvard which kept communism out of Western Europe—it was the strength and stability made possible by our military and economic assistance.”
Our media did not remind the American people that Kennedy was an anti-communist determined to stop communism’s advance around the world by making the U.S. into the strongest military power on earth. This was the main subject of the speech Kennedy never gave.
In his prepared remarks, he said the U.S. would not “watch the Communists conquer Laos by force, or intervene in the Congo, or swallow West Berlin, or maintain offensive missiles on Cuba. But while our goals were at least temporarily obtained in these and other instances, our successful defense of freedom was not due to the words we used, but to the strength we stood ready to use on behalf of the principles we stand ready to defend…”
Ominously, Kennedy, the victim of a communist assassin, spoke in the prepared remarks of “the guerrillas, saboteurs, insurgents and assassins who threaten freedom” in the world. It was a clear reference to Castro and communist efforts to take Latin America and Southeast Asia.
Much of the speech was about building up U.S. military strength, both conventional and nuclear forces. He said, “…the lessons of the last decade have taught us that freedom cannot be defended by strategic nuclear power alone. We have, therefore, in the last three years accelerated the development and deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, and increased by 60 percent the tactical nuclear forces deployed in Western Europe.” Kennedy understood the nature of the Soviet threat to Europe.
He went on: “But American military might should not and need not stand alone against the ambitions of international communism. Our security and strength, in the last analysis, directly depend on the security and strength of others, and that is why our military and economic assistance plays such a key role in enabling those who live on the periphery of the Communist world to maintain their independence of choice. Our assistance to these nations can be painful, risky, and costly, as is true in Southeast Asia today. But we dare not weary of the task. For our assistance makes possible the stationing of 3.5 million allied troops along the Communist frontier at one-tenth the cost of maintaining a comparable number of American soldiers. A successful Communist breakthrough in these area, necessitating direct United States intervention, would cost us several times as much as our entire foreign aid program, and might cost us heavily in American lives as well.”
The President explained that “About 70 percent of our military assistance goes to nine key countries located on or near the borders of the Communist-bloc—nine countries confronted directly or indirectly with the threat of Communistic aggression—Vietnam, Free China, Korea, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Greece, Turkey, and Iran. No one of these countries possesses on its own the resources to maintain the forces which our own Chiefs of Staff think needed in the common interest. Reducing our efforts to train, equip, and assist their armies can only encourage Communist penetration and require in time the increased overseas deployment of American combat forces.”
But on Friday night’s “NBC Nightly News,” Kennedy’s pro-military stance was completely ignored.
Curiously, anchor Brian Williams played a portion of a telephone call involving Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, who “feared a wider plot” in the murder of Kennedy. Johnson had said in the phone call, “What raced through my mind was if they had shot our president driving down there, who would they shoot next? And what, what was going on in Washington. And when would the missiles be coming?”
Who was “they?” Missiles from where? From the Soviet Union, of course. And “they” were the communists. Johnson knew the Soviets and their surrogates, the Cubans, were behind the assassination. For this reason, the foreign connections of Oswald were played down in the Warren Commission report. LBJ feared a world war.
Fifty years after communist Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy, our media still don’t want to be explicit about the assassin, his motives, and his backers. After all, Castro, one of their favorites, is still helping run Cuba.
Perhaps the truth is too discomforting to Democrats. After all, Kennedy was one of the last liberal anti-communists. Reminding the public about Kennedy’s commitment to freedom around the world might cause people to compare and contrast JFK’s pro-freedom message to the actions of the current Democratic President, Barack Obama, who, on the very day Kennedy was being remembered, was sending his Secretary of State to Geneva to make a deal with the anti-American terrorist regime in Iran.
Rather than build up U.S. nuclear forces, which are on the decline, Obama is seeking to allow most aspects of the Iranian nuclear program to proceed.
Can anyone imagine Obama saying, “We dare not weary of the task” of defending freedom? On the contrary, America is on the decline, while our enemies and adversaries are on the march.
Kennedy’s speech concluded, “We, in this country, in this generation, are—by destiny rather than by choice—the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of ‘peace on earth, good will toward men.’ That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: ‘except the Lord keep the city, the watchmen waketh but in vain.’”
A reader responded to the posting of this speech on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website by commenting, “If you didn’t know whose speech this was, you’d think it was written by Ronald Reagan. What Democrat politician would give such a speech today? If anyone gave that speech today, the left would label him a right-wing religious zealot and scream at him for not keeping the separation of church and state. Yet, the left still regards JFK as their ideal president. What must it be like to have such double standards coming from one brain?”
That is why the liberal media must constantly be challenged to tell the truth about JFK.
This commentary originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission.