by William Skink
By showing what Allen Dulles did with the CIA, David Talbot builds a strong argument with The Devil’s Chessboard that Dulles was the perfect player to checkmate the king of Camelot with assassination.
I haven’t read deeply into the conspiracy lore regarding JFK’s public execution to say anything about how this account stacks up with other dives into the JFK rabbit hole, but I will say the historical context of the Dulles/CIA lens is very helpful, at least for me, in understanding the opposing forces that came to see removing Kennedy as a necessary evil in order to maintain a lucrative, aggressive position of non-appeasement to Communism.
The reason this topic won’t go away is because we never stopped living the consequence of what died with Kennedy, and that was the chance to avert the direction that has taken us to where we are today: terminal imperial overreach with no political path out.
If you had the stomach to watch the political debates Norman Pollack’s depiction of what he describes as Reptilian politics may resonate, especially if you are realistic about the stunted range of rhetoric when it comes to foreign policy. From the link:
As of this writing, the Democrats still have their upcoming debate, with Sanders by all reports spurting ahead of Clinton in Iowa and a presumed slugfest in the making. Yet, nothing has really changed, with respect to the fundamental question of the direction of US foreign policy, of determinative importance for the structuring and democratization of American society. Clinton has proven herself a trusted warhorse on national security, with intervention and regime change in her DNA, along with maintaining Obama’s Cold War policies of confrontation with China and Russia. As Secretary of State she did not question or even seek to moderate the Pacific-first strategy and related Trans-Pacific Partnership, nor lessen the EU-NATO potential engagement of forces via deployment to the Russian border, all other constants of foreign policy also left largely unchanged with respect to Iran, North Korea, and of course the Middle East, with one-sided preferential treatment of Israel. Sanders here has nothing to offer except more of the same, thus vitiating whatever possibilities of differences he has with her on domestic policy.
Domestic policy is important, but what does it say of a nation that provides better health care at home while destroying the lives of innocent peoples abroad? What does it say, of more stringent corporate regulation at home while actively pursuing market and financial penetration abroad—another false dichotomization of reality in which the forces of wealth-concentration are assisted and continue? Sanders seems a Left-Donald Trump in that he refuses to cut away from American imperialism, and on gun control, Hillary is right (although she is no better) in calling attention to his record. So, we await the Democratic debate, but I suggest that we remain faced with a constipated dialogue between the two major parties; not only are Cruz and Clinton snakelike in their conduct, boa constrictors squashing the life and vitality out of democracy, thereby removing the air from public policy capable of addressing vast inequalities of wealth and power, the continued exacerbation of climate change, and escalating hegemonic claims to global supervision of the political-economic order. Of Trump and Sanders, we can expect if not a carbon copy of their opponents, then replication of the systemic universe which has established ideological boundaries to human creativity in nation-building, leaving us the same problems of international conflict and a social order dependent on expansion to avert stagnation. Trump would militarize capitalism; Sanders would soften the impact. In all four cases, Cruz, Clinton, Trump, Sanders, varying degrees of the law of the jungle would apply, each in readiness to strike at prey deemed harmful to America, Bernie’s democratic socialism, to his credit, perhaps narrowing the target-list, but not changing the overall picture of America’s combative mental set.
Is anything capable of changing the overall picture of America’s combative mental set? Some would say that ship sailed half a century ago. After reading Talbot’s tome on Dulles, I would tend to agree.