En anden verden

john-f-kennedy

Det er snart 50 år siden John F. Kennedy blev myrdet. I en artikel i New Statesman giver de canadiske historikere James G Blight and Janet M Lang deres bud på hvad der var sket, hvis attentatet var mislykkedes, og det er interessant læsning. Blight og Lang er forfattere bag flere bøger om Kennedy-regeringen, senest en bog om Cuba-krisen, som vi nu har fået et langt bedre indblik i takket være nu frigivne dokumenter fra dengang for 51 år siden.

Vi tænker tit på Kennedy som en slags høg takket være den mislykkede Svinebugt-invasion og vel til dels også på grund af Cuba-krisen, men det er interessant hvor konsekvent han faktisk, efter hvad vi i dag, sagde nej til de militære interventioner, hans rådgivere slog til lyd for.

JFK’s well-documented record of his decisions on matters of war and peace is as astonishing as it is unambiguous. We now know that no American president was ever pressured more intensely or more often to take the US to war. His advisers lobbied him, attempted to intimidate him and schemed throughout his presidency to force him to authorise direct US military interventions.

The pressure was most intense over Cuba (twice, in April 1961 and October 1962), Laos (spring 1961), the Berlin Wall (summer and fall 1961) and in South Vietnam (twice, November 1961 and October 1963). In each case, Kennedy successfully resisted their pressure to intervene militarily even though, on each occasion, intervening would have been politically popular, at least initially.

Blight og Langs konklusion er denne:

If JFK had survived Dallas and served as US president until January 1969, the world would probably have become a safer, more peaceful place. It is even possible that the cold war would have been rolled back and headed for an amicable end by 1969. This conclusion has nothing to do with the myth of a Kennedy Camelot and everything to do with respect for the historical facts, as they have become available over the past quarter-century.

Min skepsis for amerikanske regeringer går vel aldrig over, men jeg ville alligevel hellere have haft at det havde været Kennedy og ikke Reagan, der i amerikansk mytologi havde fået rollen som præsidenten, der sluttede den kolde krig.

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