Monday, April 17, 2017

North Korea "The Cuban Missile Crisis in slow motion."

Nice call, Robert Litwak! Lotta similarities. Um, some...How many?

The Cuban Missile Crisis was, when I was getting my poli sci degrees, the most studied high-stakes decision-making in history. Cuz JFK tape-recorded EXCOMM's meetings. I studied that fucking thing repeatedly in college and grad school. "Essence of Decision," Graham Alison, I still remember, still have that book. "Thirteen Days," ditto. The consensus of the scholarship at the time, maybe still is, I don't know, is that JFK had been absolutely masterful.

I'm pretty sure it wasn't until after MIT that I came to think: "No." And that's where I see the only similarity I see to the North Korean crisis. I've written about this before so I'll try not to bore with repetition. The real "essence" of decision-making in the CMC had to do with JFK feeling the need to demonstrate his manhood after Khrushchev had made him his bitch in Vienna in June 1961. JFK wore a hat as disguise the night after the meeting to visit Tom Wicker of the New York Times. "I have never been bullied like that," he told Wicker when he opened the door.

Kennedy felt he had been politically neutered by Khrushchev. Maybe Khrushchev thought he had neutered JFK, too, I don't remember now. I don't know what the "essence" of Khrushchev decision-making was in thinking he could sneak missiles into Cuba. Probably part of it was though that he thought he had cowed JFK into no response. He done fucked up, Khrushchev did. Of course the clandestine effort was detected by the Americans. What were those big fucking tube things under tarpaulin on those Soviet ships, fucking kielbasa sausages?

But Khrushchev did not know that JFK had not been cowed, he had been determined to readdress what he later called the "political balance of power" with Khrushchev. And did he ever, hoo doggie! Brought the world to within a "one in three" (JFK's own estimate) chance of general nuclear war just to show Khrushchev how big his dick was. Criminally reckless on Kennedy's part, I came to conclude.

So now we have an illegitimate, stupid-impulsive with short stumpy fingers and an impotent dick in the White House who has been humiliated by a short fat kid with a bad fade. Trump, in his ignorance, did not know "how hard" the North Korean issue was, and in his stupid impulsiveness said reckless, provocative things, tweeted them to the world, and you tweet and tweak a paranoid psychopath at your own risk, Stupid Donald. Thank God he has got McMaster and Cohen to talk him off the ledge. At least it appears they have. But if Trump has a little bit of JFK's intolerance for being punked in him, AND HE HAS A LOT MORE THAN JFK HAD! then we can see Robert Litwak's analogy more clearly and this will not go away, "It's going to be a long, cold winter," as JFK told Khrushchev in Vienna.