Nikita Khrushchev

A Trump-Kim Jong Un Summit Has Massive Capacity For Disaster!

The sudden news that Donald Trump has accepted an offer from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to meet at a summit is startling, and such a summit has a massive capacity for disaster.

A summit is never arranged quickly, as this proposed one is, just two months from now.

It requires months of planning, and meetings and understandings arranged by ambassadors, cabinet offices, and leading people in intelligence agencies.

It also requires the President to be versed in all of the details, including the history of that nation and its leader that he is about to engage with.

After a year of saber rattling by both Trump and Kim, the sudden change in attitude is disarming, as both Trump and Kim are totally mercurial and unpredictable.

It could be a ploy by Kim to take advantage of the ignorant, poorly educated Trump, and make our President look like a fool.

And to believe that Kim will give up his nuclear program is a pipe dream, which most assuredly, is not going to happen.

Trump is no diplomat, but he has the crazy belief in “The Art of The Deal”, but this is not real estate, and this is not “The Apprentice”.

Our whole national security and respectability in world affairs is at stake.

If any blunder is made, potentially millions of South Koreans and Japanese, as well as North Koreans, and American soldiers and other Americans living in South Korea and Japan, are endangered by a President who is totally unhinged and dangerous.

This is not Richard Nixon meeting Chou En Lai and Mao Tse Tung.

This is not Richard Nixon meeting Leonid Brezhnev.

This is not Dwight D. Eisenhower meeting Nikita Khrushchev.

This is not Ronald Reagan meeting Mikhail Gorbachev.

This is serious business, with two dangerous men and clashing egos meeting, with potential dire results for mankind!

Giant Historical Figure Fidel Castro Dies, A Transformative Figure, With Great Negative Impact On The World!

Fidel Castro of Cuba, the most significant figure in Latin America in the 20th Century, and one of the most vicious dictators of modern times, passed away at age 90 on Friday.

He left behind a legacy of a brutal dictatorship, which while making some improvements in health care and education, took away any semblance of civil liberties and civil rights, and imprisoned, tortured, and murdered dissidents in great numbers over more than a half century of rule.

Castro was the longest lasting leader of modern times, with only Queen Elizabeth II of England having come to office about seven years before Castro took over the capital of Cuba, Havana, on New Years Day 1959.

Who would have thought that someone who came to power on the island of Cuba, which had been a playground for wealthy Americans, under the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, at a time when this author was in high school, would last in power for a half century, and then be replaced by his younger brother, Raul Castro, a decade ago, and still rules?

Castro became the dire enemy of the Unites States, and Cuban exiles fleeing to Florida in 1959-1960 and again in 1980 (the Mariel Boat Lift) and constant escapes since then, have affected the history and politics of Florida and the Republican Party, with Cuban Americans flocking to support of the party after John F. Kennedy failed in his attempt to remove Castro from power in the Bay of Pigs Fiasco in April 1961. This made Cuban Americans the one Hispanic group that would refuse to support the Democratic Party, as many Cuban Americans saw JFK as a Communist for failing to succeed to remove Castro. This led to the most dangerous moment in the Cold War years, as Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Union’s leader, formed an alliance with Castro, who had declared himself a Communist, and installed Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, with the Cuban Missile Crisis bringing the world closer to the danger of a nuclear war than any other event in history before or since. Only with the cool headed leadership of JFK was nuclear war averted.

Castro was a maniacal figure, who also abused the rights of gays and lesbians in Cuba, and initiated aggression overseas by supporting national liberation movements in Latin America and Africa, and the people of Cuba suffered economically under his five decade rule. Few more influential and significant dictators have existed, and those he is often compared with–including Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Benito Mussolini–only lasted 25, 12 and 21 years compared to his 47 plus years.

The question is how Cuba will evolve now, with brother Raul Castro, age 85, having said he will leave power in February 2018, only 14 months away, and also how Donald Trump will react to the death of Fidel Castro, after Barack Obama had begun new relations with Cuba in 2015.

The Barack Obama–Raul Castro Handshake: Much Ado Over Nothing!

While at the Nelson Mandela commemoration in South Africa, Barack Obama had an opportunity to meet dozens of world leaders, some of them from democracies, and some from dictatorships.

Unfortunately, dictatorships are much more common historically and in contemporary times, than are democracies.

Richard Nixon went to China and met Mao Tse Tung.

Dwight D. Eisenhower met Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at Camp David, and John F. Kennedy met Khrushchev in Vienna.

Ronald Reagan met Afghan freedom fighters, who later became involved in promoting terrorism, including September 11.

John McCain met Moammar Gaddafi of Libya, and shook his hand.

Donald Rumsfeld met Saddam Hussein of Iraq as a emissary from Ronald Reagan.

Also, many Presidents have bowed to royal leaders, including George W. Bush with the King of Saudi Arabia, and many Presidents with the Emperor of Japan and the Queen of England.

Never was such a big deal made of these handshakes or discussions, and even summits, until suddenly, Barack Obama became President!

When he met Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, it was the worst crime of the century to the right wing whackos!

Now, Obama shook the hand of Raul Castro, who has made it clear that he is leaving power in 2018, when he will be 87, and his brother Fidel Castro, will be 92, if either is still alive.

There will be a successor government in Cuba within a few years, and there is always the chance that Cuba could undergo change and reform, and in fact, already has developed capitalism and private property, as China, for instance, has done.

Has our government, under Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, refused to deal with “evil” governments? NO in the modern era, and we are talking with Iran and North Korea at times, so why not Cuba?

After 55 years, has the embargo on Cuba changed anything in that island nation? NO, as it unites the government with its population, who are the true victims of the American blockade!

Do we blockade trade and contact with other nations of much greater importance? The answer is NO, but apparently, we must cater to three million Cuban Americans, and their leadership in the Republican Party, when it benefits no one, and is a failed policy!

It is time for rapprochement with Cuba, so that we can have an effect on its future. This is the time to start such development of relations, and forget the lobbying of right wing groups and Marco Rubio, who have no interest in planning for the future without a Castro in power!

Statesmanship Requires Gambles To Avoid War: Obama In Company With Six Presidents!

Barack Obama is not the first President to gamble to avoid the danger of war.

He is being criticized for the six month agreement with Iran, a nation which has been hostile to the United States for 34 years.

But Harry Truman worked to overcome hate and hostility from nations we fought in World War II–Germany and Japan.

Dwight D. Eisenhower promoted a “thaw” in the Cold War by inviting Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to the United States in 1959.

John F. Kennedy promoted an alternative to war in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the Soviet Union in 1963,

Richard Nixon went to China to overcome a generation of mistrust and lack of communication in 1972.

Jimmy Carter arranged for Egypt and Israel to negotiate diplomatic recognition to overcome decades of mistrust and war in 1979.

Ronald Reagan negotiated missile agreements with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev in the late 1980s, helping to end the Cold War.

Statesmanship requires gambles to avoid war and overcome mistrust.

Barack Obama is on the same road as were Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Carter and Reagan.

This is good company to be in!

As Second Term Of Obama Commences, An Eisenhower Second Term Is Needed!

As the second term of Barack Obama begins, and with the record of mostly troubled second terms of Presidents, one can hope for an Eisenhower second term performance.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower presided over a second term which included:

Avoidance of war, including a summit meeting at Camp David with the Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev, something no one would have believed possible.

Promotion of human rights and social justice, with the intervention of the National Guard at Little Rock, Arkansas, advancing the Civil Rights Movement.

Advocacy of the advancement of science and education as a response to the Soviet Union orbiting Sputnik I in space.

Advancement of infrastructure by promotion of the interstate highway system, the greatest transportation advancement since the transcontinental railroad under Abraham Lincoln.

If these kinds of accomplishments are possible under Dwight D. Eisenhower, with an opposition Democratic Congress in both houses, it should be possible under Barack Obama, with a split Congress, a Republican House of Representatives and a Democratic Senate, working together for the public good!

Reelected Presidents And Foreign Policy

An interesting trend of reelected American Presidents is their tendency to become deeply involved in foreign policy matters. This is true since the dawn of America as a world leader in the time of Theodore Roosevelt.

The question is whether this is a planned strategy, or a simple reaction to events, or both.

After Theodore Roosevelt won his full term, having succeeded William McKinley after his assassination, TR became involved in aggressive policy making, criticizing Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany over Morocco at the Algeciras Conference of 1906, and taking leadership of relations with Japan.

Woodrow Wilson, after keeping us out of war in Europe, called for our entrance into World War I a month after his second inauguration, and then went to the Versailles Peace Conference after the war, and worked, unsuccessfully, to convince the US Senate to ratify the Versailles Treaty and membership in the League of Nations. He also committed troops, along with Great Britain, France, Italy, and Japan, to attempt an overthrow of the Soviet Union regime under Nikolai Lenin.

Calvin Coolidge, elected after succeeding Warren G. Harding in 1923, became involved in the promotion of the Kellogg Briand Pact in 1928, an attempt to outlaw war as an instrument of international policy.

Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the nation closer to dealing with the German Nazi, Italian Fascist, and the Imperial Japanese threat before and during the early part of the Second World War, and then took us into the war after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in his third term, and pushed for an alliance with the British and the Soviet Union during the war, and advocated the formation of the United Nations as the war was ending.

Harry Truman, after succeeding FDR upon his death in 1945, and winning his own election in 1948, helped to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, took America into the Korean War, and gave aid to the French in the Indochinese War.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his second term, engaged in diplomacy with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at Camp David in 1959 and secretly planned to overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Lyndon B. Johnson, after succeeding the assassinated John F, Kennedy in 1963, in his full term, escalated American involvement in Vietnam to a full scale war that divided the country, and invaded the Dominican Republic in 1965.

Richard Nixon, after being reelected, became engaged in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, saving the possibility of a Soviet intervention in the Middle East, and also arranged the overthrow of the Chilean President, Salvador Allende.

Ronald Reagan, in his second term, engaged in arms agreements with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev; bombed Libya over its claim of a 200 mile territorial limit; and supported overthrow of dictatorial regimes in Haiti and the Phillippines.

Bill Clinton, in his second term, brought about peace in Northern Ireland; became engaged in war against Serbia over Kosovo; and engaged in counter terrorism actions against Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists.

George W. Bush, in his second term, conducted a “surge” in Iraq, and promoted action against the HIV-AIDS epidemic in Africa.

The question is what Barack Obama will end up doing in the field of foreign policy, and whether he will initiate it, or react to events he cannot control.

The Beginnings Of The Cuban Missile Crisis 50 Years Ago: A Warning For The Future WIth Iran

On this day in 1962, President John F. Kennedy gave a speech in Chicago, and then rushed back to Washington, DC, telling his press secretary to give out a cover story that the President was “indisposed” and would be out of the public eye for a few days.

Kennedy had just found out about the installation of nuclear missiles in Cuba, put there by an agreement between Nikita Khrushchev, Prime Minister of the Soviet Union, and Cuba’s leader, Fidel Castro.

For the next 13 days, the world stood on the brink of nuclear war, the greatest crisis ever faced by a President, and Kennedy’s calm, cool leadership, along with tough bargaining, averted what could have become a nuclear holocaust.

This is something to keep in mind as we have neoconservatives, advisers to Mitt Romney, who regularly talk about attacking Iran, rather than using diplomacy and economic sanctions, and leaving an attack to a last resort.

This needs to be brought up in the Lynn University debate on foreign policy in Boca Raton, Florida, next week, if not brought up at the Hofstra University debate in Hempstead, New York, tomorrow night.

Barack Obama has been a cool, calm, decisive President in foreign policy, much like John F. Kennedy was 50 years ago.

Before we elect Mitt Romney, this factor needs to be considered, as Romney’s statements and views on Iran, and foreign policy in general, have been worrisome!

Richard Nixon (China) And Barack Obama (Iran): Why Not Try Diplomacy Before War?

Forty years ago, Richard Nixon, a Republican President, took a bold step and went to visit and negotiate with the government of the People’s Republic Of China, better known in America as Communist China or Red China.

We had had no negotiations or dealings with mainland China since 1949, had made a career of demonizing the leadership of that nation, and had made clear that we would defend the island of Taiwan (Nationalist China) at all costs. We had also fought Chinese troops in the Korean War, and had known of Chinese support of the North Vietnamese in the Vietnam War, and were still bombing near the Chinese border.

But with all that, Richard Nixon went to China, negotiated trade and travel and cultural exchanges, and opened up our country and China to the promotion of less fear and more diplomacy and understanding in the interests of international harmony and avoidance of war.

Many conservatives bitterly condemned Nixon for going to China, and reversing his own anti Communist stand of twenty five years standing. But Nixon went anyway, and this occurred in an election year. It was statesmanlike and showed Nixon to be a pragmatic man in foreign policy.

Today, in 2012, forty years later, we are on the brink of possible military conflict with Iran, with which we have not had real dealings since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the fall of the Shah of Iran from power. Iran has become a very belligerent state, heavy on rhetoric and threats, similar to what China was for 25 years. In the case of Iran, it is now 33 years since the two nations, in the midst of tensions and stress, have sat down and tried to negotiate differences.

It may seem as if there is very little hope for a breakthrough with a harsh enemy who wishes us ill, but remember that was the same mentality toward China, and even more so, toward the Soviet Union, during the Cold War years, but still Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and even Reagan all agreed to joint meetings, often in each other’s country, and made progress toward coexistence, and to avoid a direct confrontation that would benefit neither side.

So when the Republican candidates for President, conservative talk show hosts, and many others call for war on Iran, and think the idea of negotiations with Iran are fruitless, remember what Richard Nixon, the ultimate anti Communist did forty years ago this week. He went to the enemy and NEGOTIATED, and prevented any conflict with China, a dramatic and significant moment in world history!

It is time for Barack Obama to show courage and statesmanship, and since the Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he is ready for diplomatic talks, it is wise to take him up on it, and see if it can go anywhere. If it does not, and war results, at least we will be able to hold our heads high and say we TRIED! Is Ahmadinejad really any worse than Mao Tse Tung, Nikita Khrushchev Leonid Brezhnev, or Mikhail Gorbachev?

It is not cowardly to agree to talk and negotiate; it is cowardly to refuse to talk and negotiate, with the possibility of avoiding war that neither the United States citizens or Iranian citizens really want. And it would be better for Israel too, if war could be avoided which would likely have a very heavy toll on their citizens, in a country so small in population, it cannot afford to lose even one hundred people in an unnecessary war that MIGHT be avoidable!