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  •  The Unspeakable (2+ / 0-)
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    KayCeSF, atana

    We all need to read this book by William Douglass.

    It is on one level, about why JFK was assassinated, by the military industrial complex, for moving in a direction towards peace and away from war.  

    On another level it is about the darkness at the heart of the American heart.  The term "unspeakable" was coined by Thomas Merton in 1961 and 2.  

    By that time, he had been moved to write letters to anyone he could find an address for who might have some influence in Washington, Hollywood, the Vatican, in letters, in entertainment, etc.  

    He saw the unspeakable as a place at the center of things that was void of content, where delusions and lies had real substance and could substitute for truth for the sake of convenience, wealth and power.  He saw that Kennedy was in an absurdly impossible position as President and that he could be pushed by the military into nuclear war.  Indeed,
    the CIA and the Joint Chiefs and other players tried repeatedly to force Kennedy into hugely embarrassing circumstances that would make him  have to intitiate a war.

    What was not known until fairly recently was that Kennedy initiated correspondence with Khruschev asking for his help in partnership to turn the tide away from the generals and for world peace.  Khruschev and Kennedy wrote many letters back and forth and had discussions through intermediaries, all of which was kept top secret because the generals were already really angry with the President.  

    But this correspondence caused the Cuban Missile Crisis to be averted, thus saving the world from a virtually certain nuclear was, and it led to the first Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and arms reduction talks that have continued off and on ever since.  

    Kennedy saw war up close and personal in the South Pacific during WWII, and came very close to death himself.  He saw the deaths of others and he saw the insanity of the way the military has to conduct itself in wartime.  

    He started out his Congressional career by campaigning for the proposition that we must work to end all war.  But he quickly realized that a more pragmatic approach was to be a cold warrior par excellence.  

    Kennedy made a journey which brought him face to face with the unspeakable.  Merton predicted in 1962 that if he moved towards peace as President that he would embrace his true greatness, but that he would almost certainly be assassinated as a result.  

    I think this book is possibly the most important book out there on Kennedy, although I haven't read all of them.  I think that, because the author addresses the larger issue of the military industrial complex and its role in forcing the President and as much of Congress as it can into embracing war, it takes us on the journey that Kennedy took.  

    I would think that for Democratic legislators, operating as if this history did not exist is a very dangerous game.  

    The war urge that is powerfully present in those most eager to ruthlessly wield power over others no matter the cost, has to be resisted or it will absolutely dominate everything.  

    Perhaps we should send copies of this book to these people, with a companion copy of Profiles in Courage.  

    But then, how do you make people go on this journey to discover what must be discovered?

    How do you make people have the courage to face up to it?

    The example of JFK contains that question because he knew what he was facing and he saw the urgency in it and went out and prepared to withdraw troops from Vietnam and made the American University Speech anyway.  

    It isn't easy for people in politics to face the prospect of having to give their lives for what they believe in.  

    When you see people taking a more convenient line, you may be seeing courage fail.  The tragedy of 1963 continues in each such failure.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 10:19:38 AM PST

    •  Yes, Johnson was willing to give the generals (0+ / 0-)

      their big war -- but he held out against their desire to use nuclear weapons against Hanoi. In the end, though, he was so disgusted he just threw in the towel.

      The generals were absolutely determined to have a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. They were sure we could "win" it, in the sense that in the aftermath the US could reemerge as the sole superpower in the world. Eisenhower had control over them, but Kennedy and Johnson did not.

      Now that we are the sole superpower in the world, the generals still want big wars, but are being fed a diet of drone attacks, lily pads, and Information Dominance. They are really, really hungry and they do not like all this talk of peace with Iran.

    •  The author is James, not William, Douglass... (0+ / 0-)

      ...and his book states unequivocably that the CIA planned and carried out the assassination of JFK.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 12:28:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good point on the author (0+ / 0-)

        Yes he points the finger at the CIA, but also the Joint Chiefs and big business as well.  

        Merton's concept goes beyond specific culprits or trigger men to the darker aspect of our culture that is still with us, still acts on the President whether it is a compliant person like Bush or one more aware of the challenge of putting one foot in front of the other like Obama.  

        It acts on us.  I know a lot of grass roots Democrats who one can feel are afraid to confront the unspeakable at the local level.  A lot of people put their heads down after JFK, MLK, RFK and the others.  

        One can hope that there are more and more Kennedy's out there who will have the courage as the outlines of the future we face come more into view.

        hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

        by Stuart Heady on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 04:53:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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