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JFK on colonialism


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This brief clip from his UN speech in Sept 61 couldn’t demonstrate any clearer how extraordinary JFK’s foreign policy outlook was:

https://twitter.com/Bezosbucks/status/1464683415651893252?s=20

I have to admit when he said ‘my nation was once a colony,’ I immediately thought ‘Ireland,’ whose history and culture he knew well and I’ve always believed was the key factor in his entire outlook on government.

I grew up in an Irish Catholic family with grandparents on both sides from the old sod. My namesake relation was an IRA general that was critical in kicking the British out. The infamy of British rule in Ireland was legend and ever-present in my upbringing.

Here’s the complete speech:

https://www.jfklibrary.org/archives/other-resources/john-f-kennedy-speeches/united-nations-19610925

Edited by Michaleen Kilroy
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I never really thought about the Irish aspect in terms of colonialism.  From Jim DiEugenios work I was aware of JFK's thoughts on Lumumba and  the Congo and Sukarno and Indonesia.   It makes sense from his family history.   As well as his disinclination to go further into Vietnam.

Edited by Ron Bulman
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In the long version of the film, we go into this much further and deeper.

The Irish angle was important to Kennedy.  He told Nehru that face to face when he was trying to lecture him on the evils of colonialism.

He said words to the effect: No one has to lecture me on that subject, I come from a race of people who were colonized for 800 years.

 

Edited by James DiEugenio
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3 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

In the long version of the film, we go into this much further and deeper.

The Irish angle was important to Kennedy.  He told Nehru that face to face when he was trying to lecture him on the evils of colonialism.

He said words to the effect: No one has to lecture me on that subject, I came from a race of people who were colonized for 800 years.

That is so cool to hear, Jim.

Over the years I’ve read in several places where JFK knew his Irish history well and loved a good rebel song at family gatherings.

To the elders in my family, he was a ‘good lad’ - a sensible Irishman who broke through the previously exclusive Anglo Protestant presidency. An Irish immigrant descendant made good in America.

Edited by Michaleen Kilroy
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Great post, Michaleen. 

Imagine the incalculable amount of human carnage that would have been avoided, and (less importantly) the trillions of dollars saved, had the US followed a non-interventionist foreign policy from 1963 to today. 

Why is the JFKA important? 

Of course, by itself the JFKA is hugely important.

But as importantly, the national-security foreign-policy apparatus is still in play and more powerful than ever.  I am a devout patriot...but when did sacralizing a mercenary military-Deep State become the norm? 

 

 

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