The following year brought the Cuban missile crisis, another sequel to Khrushchev’s reading of Kennedy’s weakness. Close as the Cuban missile crisis brought the two sides to war, however, it was perhaps not the most consequential effect of Khrushchev’s reading of Kennedy’s weakness. Persuaded that he needed further to demonstrate “fearlessness and backbone,” in the words of William Manchester, Kennedy observed to Reston that the only place where the Communists were challenging the West in a shooting war was in Southeast Asia. Summarizing Kennedy’s own evaluation of the aftermath of the Vienna conference in his 2003 biography of Kennedy, Robert Dallek writes that Kennedy “now needed to convince Khrushchev that he could not be pushed around, and the best place currently to make U.S. power credible seemed to be in Vietnam.”
In short, the Vienna conference resolved no issue between the United States and the Soviet Union. On the contrary, if anything, it precipitated crises that were resolved through the display and use of military force.
What harm can possibly come of a meeting between enemies? There are many, like Obama, who say that no harm can come from talking. To paraphrase JFK’s June 1963 Berlin speech, let them come to study the Vienna conference.
It has become obvious in a very short period of time that Senator Obama attended some very fine schools and learned almost nothing of American history. He has, however, hung out with radicals for the past few decades, and their view of America and its history has sunk in, leaving Obama not only gaffe-prone, but wholly unprepared to be the Commander-in-Chief. He’s a product of his years and years in the Chicago machine with its nonsensical view of why things are the way they are and how the county and the economy works. This takes us back to the Rev. Wright and Obama’s two decades of listening to and reading the pastor’s worldview, and before that to his college years in California and New York, and working as a “community organizer” in Chicago. Senator Obama has lived his entire life in places where the distorted history of left-wing radicalism prevailed, and the consequences of this long immersion in pseudo-history and pseudo-economics are easy to see and will be disqualifying for most voters.
Obama’s success at Harvard Law has persuaded most credential-driven MSMers that he is very, very smart, but a facility with the ways of law school and law exam test taking do not an educated man make. Because legal education values certain skills, success at it says almost nothing about a law student’s wisdom or grasp of history. What is becoming obvious is that Senator Obama simply doesn’t know a lot of what we take for granted in presidential nominees –an understanding of how America came to be and why it is so special, so exceptional.