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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Envious of JFK, Obama Seeks His Own Bay of Pigs Fiasco

Talking to a vaguely Democratic neighbor the other day about Syria, he mentioned something which I have long expected to hear as a DNC talking point, especially on the War Channel, AKA MSNBC: Obama the reincarnation of steely-eyed JFK during the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. I have seen a few stories (here, for example) trying to call up the ghosts of that crisis. I am sure, especially as Putin gets increasingly bombastic about Russia's reaction to an attack on Syria, we will see efforts by the DNC talking point machine to show Obama as a worthy successor to JFK and his "stare down" of Nikita Khrushchev over fifty years ago.

I agree that Obama's foreign policy in Syria can be compared to JFK's Cuba policy, but to an episode earlier than the Missile Crisis. I refer, of course, to JFK's disastrous handling of the Bay of Pigs. As I wrote on the fiftieth anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, contrary to the hagiographic accounts of JFK's handling of the event, it proved,
the classic leftist screw up that risked global disaster, produced a fifty-year disaster for the Cuban people, and ended up being twisted into political gain for a not very competent President of the USA. There would have been no October 1962 "crisis" had it not been for JFK's betrayal of the Cuban freedom fighters in April 1961. Had JFK carried out the Eisenhower plan instead of allowing the freedom fighters to be killed and captured, Castro would have been gone, there would have been no Soviet presence in Cuba, no October Missile Crisis, and very likely no wars in Central America.
Obama is going for another Bay of Pigs, to wit, a half-baked operation lacking in the essential resources needed to produce a favorable outcome for the United States. JFK sabotaged Eisenhower's stright-forward plan for eliminating Castro in favor of a convoluted, ill-supplied invasion by exiles that would not require American boots on the ground until victory was nearly assured. The Democrats seem to love these sort of half-measures because they look sophisticated. Some years ago, it was fashionable to read David Halberstram's classic 1972 The Best and The Brightest. His book, of course, told how the "smartest guys in the room" led the United States into disaster in Southeast Asia. They were convinced that they were, in Tom Wolfe's subsequent phrase, Masters of the Universe; that thanks to their Harvard degrees, and fluency with tecno jargon, they could wage modern limited war as though military conflict were an orchestra responding to the subtleties and delicate nuances of a brilliant conductor. A little more bombing here; a pause there; talk a little; increase the pressure as needed, etc., and that the opposition would come to the rational conclusion that there was no point in trying to match the resources and sheer brilliance of The Best and The Brightest. Didn't work. The subtleties and nuances were lost on a foe who wanted to win regardless of cost, and who knew that eventually the Americans and their Wiz Kids leaders would have to go home. They simply forgot or ignored Von Moltke's observation, adapted from Von Clausewitz, to the effect that, "No plan survives first contact."

It would seem that Obama wants his own little Bay of Pigs--OK, OK, let's be culturally appropriate, Gulf of Camels. He has no particular plan on how to deal with Assad except to launch a few missiles at some facilities, which by now are either empty, greatly fortified, or both. Assad knows that the full might of American firepower, an awesome spectacle, indeed, will not be unleashed on him. The odds are Assad will survive whatever Obama does to him, and be a hero in the eyes of the Arab world. Don't forget that Saddam appeared as such a hero even after the beating he took in the first Gulf War--he took the punch and remained standing, that's all that matters in the Middle East. Quite frankly, we should probably hope that is the result. If by some chance, Assad falls, wait until you see the jihadi loons who will replace him!


  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhZct1H4bxI&feature=youtu.be

    I personally recommend watching the whole thing.


    (You need to realize hillbillies/=classical music.)

    1. Not bad Arkie, the only culture one must beware of comes from either a petri dish or a progressive.

    2. Arkie, think you meant ≠, instead of /=. It's in ‘word, insert, then symbols, then more symbols’, which I then printed symbol, and copy, pasted into comment. I'm sure there is a more direct way, but just offerin'.

      I'm jus' wonderin', where in the world did Bhenghazi go, the IRS "slow torture" society, and the many rest of the offenses to American history and current day persons as well, not to consider the well-considered offenses against other sovereign nations, like war on Syria, for no acceptable, nor discernible reason, with body counts calculated courtesy of you tube and the rebs, by France, and victim or witness interviews and unverified sources that definitely assert that the reb's (of very deadly repute), called "free syrian army" threw at least some of the nerve gas, if not all, as a “false flag frame-up”, a kind of a “swatting” attack.

      Worse, video's of unverified veracity (authenticity), as in likely at least partly, maybe completely faked, illustrating the infamous word of the recent day--how shall I say--"phony"?

      Thus whether real or phony, this is neither the place nor time to make new war on another disinterested foreign nation that hates us anyway, either way.

      There might be a time to make war, but wait for it....wait for it..., Mr. Impatient imposter, oh so impatient in working to head off impeachment movements, and investigations, using our tax moneys, our planes, and lives to try to divert the peoples attention.

      No wonder many are referring to him as "a*****e, idiot", and worse, with amazingly widespread disrespect. He’s becoming a humiliating laughingstock, although a potentially deadly one, for foreigners and domestics alike, perhaps. The “amateur”, our very own “loose canon” just keeps shootin off, never caring, for our America.


    3. I'm jus' wonderin', where in the world did Bhenghazi go, the IRS "slow torture" society, and the many rest of the offenses to American history and current day persons as well, not to consider the well-considered offenses against other sovereign nations, like war on Syria, for no acceptable, nor discernible reason, with body counts calculated courtesy of you tube and the rebs, by France, and victim or witness interviews and unverified sources that definitely assert that the reb's (of very deadly repute), called "free syrian army" threw at least some of the nerve gas, if not all, as a “false flag frame-up”, a kind of a “swatting” attack.

      Good point[s] Jack.

      Though I "hate" being the turd in the punchbowl I'd venture, all this stuff's timing is mighty convenient being as it's arrived just in time for the Benghazi anniversary.


  2. And I have called Senators all week protesting this idea of letting our military be "pimped" out for Arab money or even entering the fracas.
    Our son was supposed to be home next week.....and a phone call with my daughter-in-law, produced a what should I tell them? I said, NOTHING yet!"
    Enough of this idiot's nonsense. The whole world made fun of him abroad. I suppose he will come home and all he can do is step on the necks of his own people so his Napoleon feelings can be again stirred and he can feel powerful again.
    Enough of this man on the stage......
    May America only elect EXPERIENCED SEASONED folks for office of POTUS next time....if there is a next time....

    1. I don't think the issue is "experienced seasoned folks" at all.

      The larger problem, I think, is that the Samantha Powers of the world want to exercise American power to ease suffering globally rather than to defend our national interest. The strategic template for the Syrian mess is the one we used in Libya, and before that in Somalia. I have trouble imagining that either Syria or Somalia are better off for our involvement, but we did manage to get a bunch of great soldiers killed in Mogadishu.

  3. I think I am going to get out my copy of Barbara Tuchman's "The March of Folly" and re-read, especially the last section.

    Once embarked on this disaster, I am certain that our current President will pursue it with a mixture of micro-managing the small stuff and neglecting the big. He will unhesitatingly throw blame for any miss-calculation or missed munitions on the military unit or commander directly responsible ... and when and if a large number of Americans die in this bungle, and he and his administration try to make a photo op at the ceremony at Andrews AFB in receiving their remains back to the US, I shouldn't be surprised if next of kin start spitting in their faces.

    Among the milbloggers and veterans that I know, this Syrian cluster**** appears to be as popular as (in expression lifted from the movie Top Secret!) a truckload of dead rats in a tampon factory.

    1. Excerpted from the ONION:

      Courage requires us to remain steadfast in our beliefs. It asks that we stand by the convictions we express and never give an inch, no matter what the cost. However off base, wrongheaded, or patently false a position we’ve staked out may be, courage . . . . [and]True valor [define] the moment in a conversation when you realize that what you’re saying is completely and utterly wrong, but you continue to say it over and over again anyway, only louder.

      Remind you of anyone we know?

    2. Damn good book isn't it Celia? All Tuchman's writings are good and easy to read, unlike some history writers.

  4. Chilling. I remember sweating out the Cuban Missile Crisis and asking everyone older than me what will happen.

  5. I full well remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. I was in high school in Camp Lejeune at the time and saw the entire base empty out as Marines were sent to Morehead City to board ships bound for S.Florida. We all understood just how close to war we were. Father after father came to my school to say goodbye to their sons and daughters because they knew they were going to war. It was a very frightening time.

  6. I had missed the part about Eisenhower having had a good plan to take out Castro, which JFK scrapped. Eisenhower was President when I started Kindergarten, and his picture was up in our classroom. Those were the good old days.

  7. I don't think that Mr. Obama really wants to do this thing. I believe that the whole point of punting the issue to Congress was to avoid taking personal responsibility for calling OFF the attack.

    1. If Congress says "no", John McCain will wear out his poker game. Or was it chess?

    2. Seconded JimK.

      It would appear to be dawning even onto the media (will wonders never cease) either a "somebody" or "somebodies" have for sure Cooked the books!

      (In an earlier comment I replied to some person [Kepha too] I didn't think it likely to be CIA or MI6 was 'complicit' and I still don't - more likely somebody who would normally have access maybe to the WH Rose Garden.

      Which brings me to thinking maybe a Park Service person ought to go have a look to see whether somebody might've switched out the species of plant!)


    3. Arkie, I'm not of the mind that the Syrian gassings were the work of either the CIA or MI6. I have no doubt that both Assad and the MB are capable of such work with little help, provided they have the weapon.

    4. I have no doubt that both Assad and the MB are capable of such work with little help, provided they have the weapon.

      Agreed Kepha. Do note what I'm pasting does include "there is disagreement" as is regularly and normally the case (as it should be) where analyses and notes are compared. Problem with the WH "evidence" is it's being presented as "unanimous consensus." Very rarely (read: Never) have I seen thorough analysis without dissent.

      For one thing, 'it would appear' most of the WH 'evidence' is based on videos uplinked to YouTube via the Rebels - I for one question the chain of custody.

      As for the agent, multiple experts in Feedback claimed it was sarin. An equal number of experts in Feedback disagreed and claimed it was some other agent. Almost all based their judgments on symptoms observed in videos posted by rebels or on second hand reports of medical examinations.

      Other videos posted to the web showed bags of chemicals with the label "made in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Factory for Chlorine and Alkalis" that were captured in rebel strongholds. The factory, known as SACHLO, is located in Riyadh and is hiring at this time.



    5. I'd add Kepha, even the "cheerleader's brochure" put together by the Congressional Research Service states, "the rebels have gas" - I read this some days ago and don't care to again - it's 40 pages.

      (I'm figuring the CRS report relies heavily on WH provided material.)



  8. I too remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. I was in training at Ft. Monmouth NJ. Remember listening to Kennedy's speech on my little transistor radio. First we got yellow fever shots, and then packed our gear to be ready to move out following a nuclear attack on New York City.
    Regarding the current crisis: reminds me of the Suez Crisis 1957. The British and French defied world opinion and overextended themselves in a Middle East adventure. The fallout was the effective end of their roles as major world powers.

  9. There is a good case that Obama's loose threat about a red line is being used by the Syrian rebel forces to drag the US into bombing Assad.

    UN Reveals Terrorists Not Government Used Sarin Gas
    === ===
    [edited]  U.N. human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin.

    The UN independent commission on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons said commission member Carla Del Ponte.
    === ===

    We are supposed to show our resolve by blowing up empty buildings, now cleared of expensive Syrian weapons. Amazingly, each cruise missile will cost $1.5 million, $4.5 million when sending three to each target. This is likely more than the value of the buildings we will destroy.

    The US produces collateral damage, killing men, women, and children who happen to be standing next to probable Al Qaeda members when we blow them up with drone strikes. This is supposedly fine, because no gas is used when we only kill five to thirty bystanders at a time.


  10. paul vincent zecchinoSeptember 7, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Well recall the missile crisis. Was in third grade, adults quite worried.

    Recall better the Bay of Pigs 'fiasco', Cuban friends who lived in Nassau, Bahams, straining thru static to see TV news.

    Dr. Mario Lazo's must-read "Dagger in the Heart", published 1968, outlines the betrayal of the Cuban people by NYSLIMES and jfk, who turned Eisenhower's plan for victory into a farce, and then donned his tophat & tails and went off to party, arrogantly dismissing admirals who tearfully begged him to send in reinforcements.

    JFK's brainsplat was the best thing for his image in the history books. Had he gone on to a second term, he'd have been in the same league as Mr. Peanuts and the present occupier.

    Even as kids, there were those of us who just couldn't stand him and wondered what was wrong with all the adults who literally worshipped this fake. He was such an obvious fake.

    "Ask naught..." blah blah blah in that utterly over the top Massachusetts accent.


    Paul Vincent Zecchino
    Manasoviet Key, Florida
    07 September, 2013

  11. I'd suggest that a Cuban missile crisis is more appropriate. Huffing and puffing JFK presented a complete win for the US and a humilating defeat for the Soviets. The truth was sordid but hidden from the US public. JFK guaranteed not to invade Cuba. To top this off in return for the withdrawal of non existant missiles, the US was forced to end the deployment of missiles in Turkey and Italy.

    By the way, the so called hidden missile bases were out in the open, a mistake the Soviets wouldn'tt have made, ever. The bomb me sign on them just is another indication they had the measure of the man they humilated at Berlin.

    Obama will do far, far worse.

  12. It could also easily become a Cuban missile crisis gone bad, if Russian arms, whether wielded by Syrians or by the Russian navy itself, sink an American ship. And what a great advertisement for the Russian arms industry that would be.

  13. Well, folks, this is the man who'd make us both loveable and respectable internationally, after the "fiasco" of Dubya Bush. Our relations with Russia are indeed on reset--including dangerous talk of aiding Syria if we launch a missile at a Syrian target. Moreover, it appears that China and Iran are on Syria's side here, too. In a brilliant stroke of genius, the Genius of the South Side (America's answer to Romania's late, unlamented Genius of the Carpathians) has gotten the larger chunk of the Eurasian land mass lined up against us.

    While I have no love for the Russian, Chinese, or Iranian regimes, I remain firmly opposed to a Syrian strike on the simple grounds that I don't believe we have any obligation whatsoever to provide air cover for al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood--especially while they're engaged in genocide. Maybe the killing off of Syria's Christians by Q and MB terrorists strikes a sympathetic chord with many in the O's administration. They probably think that if they had any 外卵 (even HRC and Sammy Powers probably want to show they have them), they'd do the same over here.

  14. I would consider the planned attack of Syria much worse than the Bay of Pigs, since the latter at least had a coherent goal that made sense!

    1. This is what happens when College Perfessers go to war. Talk about it, talk about it some more, use long words and indecipherable phrases to describe what is being proposed, simultaneously ignore all different points of view but one's own, yet shift the responsibility for the whole thing off to others. The action itself becomes it's own justification, no need for any larger goals or any measure of accountability for outcomes. Sarcastically put down the views of all others, as the perfesser is the smartest man in the room, and he has tenure, too, so the rest of us can go stick it. He will talk about it some more next week, inflate the importance of what he is trying to do, and probably finally take some desultory action that does nothing but incite anger from our adversaries, and then move on to the next item in the syllabus, whatever that happens to be. Those College Perfessers, such burdens they carry in our name! We are so unappreciative...

  15. I always find your work interesting, enjoyable, and (usually) instructive. But I do want to quibble with one point.

    "If by some chance, Assad falls, wait until you see the jihadi loons who will replace him!"

    No doubt true in this case. But a bad argument in general, for the following reason.

    Every time the U.S. (or a U.S. ally, you-know-who) considers getting rid of a bad guy, it is said in opposition that his successor will be worse.

    But the successor will know what happened to his predecessor. If this getting-rid-of-a-bad-guy were a pattern instead of a one-time spasm, the eventual incumbent bad guy left would modify his behavior. Out of a sincere commitment to the principle of Deuteronomy 30:19, if you know what I mean.

    1. You forget your history. Just look at Iran and Jimmy Carter's worst legacy of helping to depose the Shah.

    2. And recent history in Libya and in Egypt, before the recent military coup.

  16. This is a good analogy with the Bay of Pigs. JFK took full responsibility too.

    Owner Cel Financial Services
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  17. Ever Orwell -

    In "Shooting an Elephant" the story of how a 'foreigner' is asked to deal with a local problem (a rogue elephant that killed a coolie) concludes with what may be the summary of Obama's Syrian Adventure:

    " I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it [shoot the elephant] solely to avoid looking a fool."


  18. "He has no particular plan on how to deal with Assad except to launch a few missiles at some facilities, which by now are either empty, greatly fortified, or both."

    You forgot one thing. If the facilities were emptied, they were quickly filled by 'refugees' seeking refuge from the bombs in a 'bomb shelter'.

  19. Well, here we go. This morning, Kerry said Assad could hand over his CWs in a week's time. Russia ran with it. Assad agreed, almost immediately, to give his CW stash to the "international community," and the UN is delighted. What's not to like? Dems love weapons control -- because darn it, the bad guys obey good laws! -- and there's no "military solution" anyway.

    So your Bay-of-Pigs analogy was prescient. Tomorrow night Obama will address the country from the Oval thusly: "I stood firm in the face of evil and while Congress blinked, I persuaded Assad to stand down. My determination to save humanity allowed me to broker a diplomatic solution. The international community stands united against the use of chemical weapons . . . " blah blah blah.