Humberto Fontova: Rush is Wrong (on JFK)

Roundup: Talking About History

[Humberto Fontova is the author of four books including Exposing the Real Che Guevara.Visit]

As a muscular counterpoint to Obama's weasel-words in Berlin last month, the Rush Limbaugh show featured excerpts from JFK's famous Berlin speech from 1963: “And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin....Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free.“

“At the Brandenburg Gate in 1963, John F. Kennedy tells the communists their days are numbered, “ gushed Rush. “There's not a Democrat alive who would make that speech today anywhere. Democrats today are appeasers. Did you hear any appeasement here?“

We didn't HEAR any, Rush, but we sure SAW plenty during Kennedy's administration―in fact according to his own Joint Chief's of Staff , President John F. Kennedy was responsible for (at the time) “the biggest defeat in America's history.”

In fact, John F. Kennedy with tireless help from media toadies more obsequious than any today, elevated political charade to a level Obama and his staffers can only envision in their sweetest dreams. This was made possible of course, because no alternative media (much less a Rush Limbaugh) existed in 1960-63. Indeed, the very JFK fable that swayed Rush last week might have never gotten its wings if Rush himself had been on the airwaves in 1962 and helped strangle it in the crib.

That very Berlin wall went up (and stayed up) as a direct consequence of JFK's appeasement. The Berlin Wall was raised and the Castro regime was entrenched because Kennedy snubbed Eisenhower's advice and shrank when challenged by the Butcher of Budapest.

“Help the Cubans to the utmost,” Eisenhower counseled his successor while handing over the reins. “We cannot let Castro's government go on.”

"We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty," Kennedy had just talked-the- talk during his inauguration speech. So here's another muscular Kennedy oration scoffing at appeasement, Rush.

Well, three months later came time to walk-the-walk: the Bay of Pigs invasion. As we all know, JFK's inaugural oration proved a fairy tale and Ike's advice a tragic joke The Bay of Pigs became the proverbial “fiasco” rather than the liberation had Nixon won in 1960. A chastened JFK quickly returned to Eisenhower's knee, rationalizing his lie to America and his back-stab to Cubans by saying he had feared Soviet reactions in Europe had he held the line (i.e. kept his word) in Cuba.

Ike, somehow controlling his temper, explained that JFK had it exactly ack-basswards: “This failure (appeasement) at the Bay of Pigs will embolden the Soviets,” he patiently explained to the new president who Khrushchev had recently unnerved and humiliated (and sized up expertly) at the Vienna Summit.

The Soviets brazenly built the Berlin Wall exactly 4 months after Kennedy's talk with Eisenhower. Ten months after that, the Soviets started shipping nuclear missiles to Cuba. When those missiles were removed from Cuba 4 months later, Camelot's media auxiliaries and subsidiaries (the mainstream media of the time) cranked into high gear. Spielberg's Dreamworks could hardly confect a more dazzling fable than the one they spread to a gaping world about JFK “standing up to the Russians.” But Republicans and conservatives of the time penetrated the farce and angrily denounced it.

"We've been had!” yelled then Navy chief George Anderson upon hearing on October 26, 1962, how JFK "solved" the missile crisis. Adm. Anderson was the man in charge of the very "blockade" against Cuba.

"The biggest defeat in our nation's history!" bellowed Joint Chief's of Staff member and Air Force chief Curtis Lemay, while whacking his fist on his desk.

"We locked Castro's communism into Latin America and threw away the key to its removal," growled Barry Goldwater over JFK's appeasement. "I would help Cuban exiles OPENLY. I’d give them the guns and ammunition to blast Castro out of his island stronghold now defended with Soviet arms."

"Kennedy pulled defeat out of the jaws of victory,” wrote Richard Nixon. "Then gave the Soviets squatters rights in our backyard."

William Buckley's National Review devoted several issues to exposing and denouncing Kennedy's appeasement . The magazine's "The Third World War" column condemned Kennedy's Missile Crisis solution as "America's defeat."

Even prominent Democrats of the time condemned Kennedy's appeasement: "This nation lacks leadership," despaired Dean Acheson.

In his diaries Nikita Khrushchev confirmed the cause of the conservative ire while gloating about his trouncing of Kennedy. “We ended up getting exactly what we'd wanted all along," he wrote. "Security for Fidel Castro’s regime and American missiles removed from Turkey. Until today the U.S. has complied with her promise not to interfere with Castro and not to allow anyone else to interfere with Castro. After Kennedy's death, his successor Lyndon Johnson assured us that he would keep the promise not to invade Cuba."

Then the Soviet Premier twisted the knife: “"It would have been ridiculous for us to go to war over Cuba,” he wrote, “for a country 12,000 miles away. For us, war was unthinkable.“ So his threats that so rattled the Knights of Camelot were pure bluff.

Considering the U.S. Nuclear superiority over the Soviets at the time (five thousand nuclear warheads for us, three hundred for them) it's hard to imagine a president Nixon—much less Reagan—quaking in front of Khrushchev's transparent ruse a la JFK.

Castro's Stalinist regime's was granted new status. Let's call it MAP, or “mutually-assured-protection,” assured by the two most powerful countries on earth, including the one whose president declared freedom “indivisible.”

JFK's solution also pledged that he immediately pull the rug out from under Cuba's in-house freedom fighters. Raul Castro himself admitted that at the time of the Missile Crisis his troops and their Soviet advisors were up against 179 different "bands of bandits" as he labeled the thousands of Cuban anti-Communist rebels then battling savagely and virtually alone in Cuba's countryside, with small arms shipments from their compatriots in south Florida as their only lifeline.

Kennedy's deal with Khrushchev cut this lifeline. The Cuban freedom-fighters working from South Florida were suddenly rounded up for "violating U.S. Neutrality laws." The Coast Guard in Florida got 12 new boats and seven new planes to make sure Castro and his Soviet patrons remained utterly unmolested as they consolidated Stalinism 90 miles from U.S. shores. Think about it: here's the U.S. Coast Guard and Border patrol working 'round the clock arresting Hispanics in the U.S. who are desperate to return to their native country.

This ferocious guerrilla war, waged 90 miles from America's shores, might have taken place on the planet Pluto for all you'll read about it in the MSM and all you'll learn about it from those illustrious Ivy-League Academics. To get an idea of the odds faced by those betrayed rural rebels, the desperation of their battle and the damage they wrought, you might revisit Tony Montana during the last 15 minutes of "Scarface."

Most of these thousands of fighters died as Tony Montana died. Surrender wasn't an option. When their bullets ran out, their lives ran out.

“Wimps-- that's right,wimps,” oinks Michael Moore n his book “Downsize This!” about the few of these men who survived the communist massacres and made it to Florida.

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Arnold Shcherban - 9/2/2008

With the same logic and validity for R.R. Hamilton one can substitute Goebells.

R.R. Hamilton - 9/2/2008

For "Cuba" and "Castro" you could substitute "Germany" and Hitler, couldn't you?

Michael Calder - 8/28/2008

"Had the needs of the people of Cuba been met in the pre-Castro period- their need for housing, education, jobs and above all, for a democratic responsibility in the fulfillment of their own hopes, there would have been no Castro, no missiles in Cuba."

Special Message to Congress on World Defense and Assistance,April 2, 1963

Raul A Garcia - 8/26/2008

Ms.Paul, go buy a Che t-shirt. Castro has destroyed my nation and pauperized its people and been brutal to them. It is not your country but was mine once. It is your pipe-dream and ignorance and obvious swallowing of all the propaganda that endears you to that Stalinist regime that still holds its people hostage.

Raul A Garcia - 8/26/2008

History should not be learned from a few Hollywood films- that is dangerous and simplifies history- the way the Marxists have done with it. The release of the papers during the Missile crisis reveal the insanity of Castro whom Nikita had to restrain. Castro has aided and abetted almost every terrorist group in the past fifty years, precisely against U.S. interests. In Angola, thousands of Cubans died in that intervention. Blacks and women are still out of the real power structure in Cuba. In time he will fall, Cuba will be free and schoolchildren will no longer have to be indoctrinated and will be free to critize anyone they choose.

Raul A Garcia - 8/26/2008

The whole Cuban "revolution" has been a process of myth-making and brainwashing- in that regard it has succeeded but gladly, M. Fontova and many others will revise this charade. All are now poor in Cuba and have been for decades. I repeat my statement that I will only return to topple the statues of the false prophets. There are more prostitutes now that even before- the Canadian man who was boasting before me a few years ago how he had procured the services of one for a "really good price" on his junket to Cuba I told to leave my midst or I would deck him to the floor. All governments here, Democratic and Republican, have equally failed in dealing with that ruthless dictator whom you love so much. I want to remind you that grain sales and other foodstuffs from the U.S. to Cuba have increased exponentially in recent years. I want the best for the Cuban people and that can only be achieved without the Castros, their apparatchniks, and that failed system of misery now almost fifty years old. Stop spouting the same liberal jive as if you know what is best for the Cuban people.Oliver Stone, Ted Turner, Gabriel Garcia Marquez have all groveled at the feet of the killer and so many here in the U.S. are totally ignorant of the real happenings for the past five decades.By the way, my parents were both teachers and we were lower middle class and we lost our freedom and our country, most precious of all.

Lorraine Paul - 8/25/2008

Mr Garcia, are you saying that Cubans were better off under the Mafia-owned former dictators of Cuba?

If so, your credibility, and that of Mr Fontova is badly damaged.

As for the Scarface that Mr Fontova appears to laud. He was a drug-runner, murderer, and, if my memoray of the film serves me right, had an unhealthy interest in his sister.

Reagan and Nixon would have handled the situation no differently to what Kennedy did. It was the only sane solution. Tell me where in the world, since the success of the revolution, has the Cuban leadership harmed the peoples of the United States?

Gentleman, it is time you dragged yourselves into the reality of the world as it is today, rather than a pipe-dream of what you or your family may have lost with the downfall of the corrupt Batista regime.

R.R. Hamilton - 8/24/2008

Good article and necessary antidote for those poisoned by the notion of JFK as an anti-Communist hero.

The line about what would Reagan or even Nixon have done is a great one.

Raul A Garcia - 8/23/2008

Bravo Fontova! I am overweary of the drivel uttered by the left and the pseudo-left in this country for so many years about this. Moore can go to Cuba and retire! All people everywhere will need a much better history of that period. I will return to the land of my birth only to help overturn the statues of the oppressors and false prophets.

Bill Heuisler - 8/23/2008

Mr. Fontova,
As one of those freedom fighters arrested for Violating the Neutrality Act in 1965, I applaud your article and marvel at your historical accuracy. Thank you.
Bill Heuisler