Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?
-Henry David Thoreau
Trapped by the inexorable logic of the Cold War into taking the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation during the Cuban missile crisis, John F Kennedy was transformed from Cold Warrior to Soldier For Peace. His journey started when Kruschev reached out to him in the aftermath of the crisis, seeking to find common ground through a personal relationship. The two men came to understand that both were pawns in a deadly game whose rules were such that neither was able to dictate the moves. Kruschev was under constant pressure from the hardliners in the military and the Politburo, while JFK was following a foreign policy that was dictated by his predecessors and the corporate interests they ultimately served. Kennedy came to realize that only by changing the rules of the game would peace ever become possible.
In JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters, James Douglass describes in detail the course of his transformation. Kennedy publically attacked the CIA after being lured into the Bay of Pigsfiasco, firing its Director and decreasing funding. He took on the banks by issuing an Executive Order authorizing the government to create money at no interest. He angered the barons of the steel industry by cutting them out oflucrative contracts when they reneged on a deal on price limits. Defense contractors and the hawks in government and the military were aghast at his unilateral atmospheric test ban treaty and his order to withdraw from Vietnam. All of these actions put him in direct conflict with the military-industrial complex. The empire builders and war profiteers saw danger in the growing sense of hope in America that world peace was possible.
During his successful campaign to get Senate ratification of a test ban treatywith Russia, he gave a speech that every American schoolchild should learn. On June 10, 1963 at American University, he directly challenged the military-industrial complex by declaring his intention of ending the Cold War. This was no doubt a key factor in the decision by power brokers in the US that he was a threat to “national security,” which they define as the interests of international corporations that profit from war and which dictate foreign policy to this day. In a key passage in the address, he said:
“…let us not be blind to our differences-but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”
Though the speech received relatively little attention in the US media, it was broadcast endlessly in Russia. As Kennedy noted in the speech, having lost over 30 million soldiers and civilians in WWII, Russians had a keen appreciation of the true costs of all-out war. Although no living American had experienced war on their own soil, both sides had lived under a nuclear cloud so long that they shared a common relief in the prospect of calling a halt to the insanity of the arms race. This was in all likelihood why Kennedy was silenced in what the House Select Committee on Assassinations would later determine was “most probably” a conspiracy, one that has never been fully investigated. To this day, thousands of documents in the Kennedy files remain classified. Meanwhile, the CIA continued its efforts to rewrite the history of JFK's attempts to end the Cold War that began shortly after his assassination. Following the House committee's report, the New York Times forced the CIA to reveal a document outlining its strategy to marginalize anyone who challenged the official theory of his murder by labeling them "conspiracy nuts," an effective tactic that is used today with anyone who challenges the government's official conspiracy theory of 9/11.
The Cold War raged on for years, ending only when the Soviet Union collapsed from the burden of supporting a military necessary to defend itself from aggression by its former allies and other costs imposed by the expanding Anglo-American empire and its compliant partners, including former enemies Germany and Japan. Once the communist government was surrendered by Yeltsin, American crony capitalists moved in to split its assets with Russian oligarchs, expanding the Mafia-like organization of “democratic” states. Unbeknownst to most of the world at the time, Russia remained the implacable enemy of the Empire, which sought to surround it with NATO bases and missiles until the time was right to attack. That time appears to be coming, as the Anglo-American empire moves to Russia’s doorstep, having bought the loyalty of the leaders of the great majority of former Soviet republics.
America has become the sole military superpower, with the greatest concentration of wealth, weaponry and political influence in human history. It is carefully preparing the American public to accept an attack on Russia by staging provocations in Syria, Iraq, Ian and Lebanon while demonizing Putin for acting as any responsible leader would. When he refuses to take the bait, as in Ukraine and Syria, the CIA and its partner in the State Department manufactures stories of its aggression and imperial ambitions. Meanwhile, they use Saudi Arabia and its network of terrorists to undermine any nation that dares stand up to the Empire. As anyone who has been paying attention knows, the neocons and Israel are carrying out a longstanding plan to destabilize these nations. Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Sudan have fallen and Lebanon has been dangerously destabilized. The sights of the Empire are now fixed on Iran, the greatest remaining Soviet ally that is not already destabilized or under military siege.
China, whose economic rise has become dependent largely on investments by crony capitalists of the US and the West, has mostly stood on the sidelines as the Empire prepares to end the Russian threat to its hegemony once and for all. In its haste and hubris, the Empire has succeeded in making the oligarchy of the Chinese Communist Party finally awaken to the threat posed by the vipers who it has allowed to share their nest. The military buildup around China, the challenge to its interests in Africa and Asia and its increasing identification as the greatest threat to “American security interests” have made its leaders recognize at the 11th hour that it will be the next to fall if it does not stand with Russia to stem the expansion of the global empire of the international banking cartel. It has taken the first small steps toward weaning itself from Western capitalists by investing in the BRICS bank and making a massive deal for Russian natural gas that will help that nation weather the economic isolation of the West. It is a hopeful sign that Germany recognizes its interest in maintaining a trade relationship with Russia, despite the perfunctory protests of Angela Merkel against Russian “imperialism.”
It is far past time to finish the work that Kennedy began at the cost of his life. Americans, who are increasingly falling victim to the depredations of the banksters that control its government, must recognize that their interests are inextricably tied to those of the Russian people. The same is true for those around the world aspiring to economic justice and democracy. Every human at risk of being enslaved in a permanent fascist New World Order shares the same needs and aspirations. They can and must build a united international front against fascism and war if any of our children are to live free.
We are one People. We are all Russians now.