“Too Intelligent And Too Weak”

Well, perhaps “nothing here until Friday at the soonest” was overly pessimistic; I’ll squeeze in one brief item. Following on our post about the pros and cons of conversing with one’s enemies, here is a relevant item from the opinion page of today’s Times, about JFK’s unwisdom in agreeing to the Vienna summit of 1961, a decision that arguably led to the Berlin Wall, and the Cuban missile crisis.

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16 Comments

  1. bob koepp says

    When I read that opinion piece over my morning dose of caffeine, I suspected it might pop up here.

    For me, the moral of the story is that idealists (among whom I count myself) are always at risk of underestimating realists.

    Posted May 22, 2008 at 11:48 am | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    An interesting way of putting it, Bob.

    One might also say that it was the inherent falsity of the idealistic Utopianism underlying Bolshevism that forced its leaders to be so ruthless in enforcing it — and that kind-hearted Western liberal types are always at risk of underestimating the ruthless.

    Posted May 22, 2008 at 11:56 am | Permalink
  3. bob koepp says

    Malcolm – Well, idealistic utopianism might have been a feature of bolshevism in the time of Lenin, but he wasn’t even cold in his crypt when “idealism” acquired scare quotes.

    Posted May 22, 2008 at 12:12 pm | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    My point exactly; that was inevitable. The enforcement of classless economic equality in such systems can only be achieved by gross inequalities of power.

    Posted May 22, 2008 at 12:36 pm | Permalink
  5. JK says

    I’m not certain that anyone will want to read the likes of a Patrick Buchanan but: however one reads then interprets ones’ version of events is always open to debate.

    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=26606

    Posted May 22, 2008 at 1:32 pm | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says

    Actually, JK, I had linked to this article in yesterday’s post!

    Posted May 22, 2008 at 1:55 pm | Permalink
  7. JK says

    Sorry Malcolm,

    I have been of necessity caught up in things of recent occurrence which required extemporaneous writing/communications which I had not anticipated. I did not appreciate that while my input (not related directly to waka of recent vintage) was verboten. My input concerning another part of the world was.

    Forgive please, I was doing a very hasty “catch up” on what are my normal dailies.

    Posted May 22, 2008 at 4:17 pm | Permalink
  8. JK says

    Belay that order!

    Malcolm, I see that when demands are placed upon me and I cannot properly attend to your usual outstanding commentary, I should “cease and desist” from commenting. It seems we may (again) agree to disagree.

    Posted May 22, 2008 at 4:30 pm | Permalink
  9. Malcolm says

    As they say, JK, no worries!

    Posted May 22, 2008 at 4:32 pm | Permalink
  10. the one eyed man says

    There are several letters to the editor in today’s Times which challenge both the facts and conclusions of the op-ed piece earlier this week.

    Posted May 24, 2008 at 12:56 pm | Permalink
  11. Malcolm says

    Well, that’s no surprise — how dare anyone sully the memory of JFK, who could do no wrong, or question the wisdom of engaging in “dialogue”?

    I’m out of town, so haven’t seen the paper. I’ll take a look.

    Posted May 24, 2008 at 1:12 pm | Permalink
  12. the one eyed man says

    I don’t think Kennedy is above criticism — I don’t think anyone shies away from the fact that his administration was responsible for the Bay of Pigs, the bungled Cuban missile crisis, and our entry into Vietnam. His father and Richard Daley stole the election for him. He was a philanderer who was often on drugs.

    One of the letters today suggested that he was on amphetamines when he met Kruschev. (Note to self: when negotiating with world leaders, avoid controlled substances.)

    Posted May 24, 2008 at 1:26 pm | Permalink
  13. NOW PETE,

    LETS NOT DISPARAGE CONTROLED SUBSTANCES IN A BROAD GENERALIZATION… THE FIRST TIME I TRIPPED I KEPT SAYING “WE GOTTA GET THIS S—T TO NIXON!”

    EXPANDED CONSCIOUSNESS MAY BE A BI-PRODUCT OF SOME DRUG TAKING. SHAMANISM IS RIFE WITH TAILS OF WONDEROUS IMPOWERMENT WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ESOTERIC HERBAGE…
    I CAN EASILY SEE OUR WORLD LEADERS SHARING A SPLIFF AND GETTING TO THE POINT ABOUT WORLD PEACE WITH A GRIN…MAYBE OVER SOME SNACK FOODS AND CIGARS THAT HAVE BEEN MOISTENED…WELL WE WON’T GO THERE!

    IN ANY CASE GIVING PEACE A CHANCE STILL SEEMS A GOOD PLAN BY AND LARGE… JUST KEEP THE LAWYERS OUT OF IT -LOL-THEY MAY SHORT-CHANGE US ON THE CHANGES DUE…
    LOVE TO ALL-PAT

    Posted May 24, 2008 at 6:33 pm | Permalink
  14. Malcolm says

    Pat, what’s with the caps? No need to shout…

    Posted May 24, 2008 at 6:35 pm | Permalink
  15. the one eyed man says

    Disparage drugs? Moi?

    Pat: I remember seeing Nixon once on acid. The thing I can’t remember is whether it was me on acid or him.

    Posted May 24, 2008 at 7:16 pm | Permalink
  16. the caps were on from filling in the code letters/#’s…

    Posted May 25, 2008 at 3:09 pm | Permalink