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John Foster Dulles Supports Barack Obama

We will be hearing a lot in the next few months about Barack Obama’s ignorance or naivete or general left-wing wimpiness on foreign policy. But yesterday, I got reassurance about Obama from a source who will be hard to dismiss. It was at Denver’s legendary Tattered Cover bookstore. A jovial, energetic middle-aged man comes and introduces himself to me. Says his name is John Dulles. Thinking that I was making a joke, I said, “Not John Foster Dulles?” But yes, that’s exactly who it was: not the ghost of the legendary Cold Warrior (Eisenhower’s secretary of state) but his grandson. And without even needing to be prompted, he apologized for those stupid mobile lounges.

It was too much to hope for that he might be an Obama delegate. In fact, he lives in Denver and was a representative to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, he says, until George W. Bush canned him. But he actually is a Democrat and a highly enthusiastic Obama supporter.

Unless, of course, the “John Foster Dulles” I met was actually “Clark Rockefeller."

By  | August 26, 2008; 12:30 AM ET
Categories:  Kinsley  
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Comments

Was part of this column missing? I'm just sayin'.. it seemed unfinished.

I'm glad to know that the grandson of Dulles supports Obama. But, you know what? I don't believe Obama needs to prove that he has foreign policy credentials. I think, rather, that McCain has proven that he, McCain, does NOT have foreign policy credentials.

So, in this case, I prefer the devil I don't know (Obama) to the devil I DO know (McCain.) John McCain will suck us deeper into foreign military adventures that we can't afford and won't be able to win. He will continue to cut taxes for the rich and drive the U.S. deeper into debt. He will increase the already huge chasm that separates the poor from the wealthy.

McCain will weaken America. Frankly, I don't care what Obama says; he is not John McCain, that's what matters to me.

Posted by: Ned | August 26, 2008 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
26 August 2008

John F. Kennedy had not much more experience in geopolitics when he got elected President than Barack Obama, but he proved to the whole world that he had the will and the good judgment to stand up to Nikita Khruschev in that perilous Cuban Missile Crisis.

Moreover, it was John F. Kennedy who vowed to send a man on the moon within a decade after he took office--and he did so!

Barack Obama, like John F. Kennedy has both will and good judgment. He has good managerial skills, as proven by his successful campaign juggernaut.

Moreover, he has Joseph Biden beside him, one who, except probably for Republican Richard Lugar, has no peer in the area of geopolitics in the U.S. Congress.

There will be good and desirable changes in both the international and domestic arenas in an Obama-Biden administration.

Mariano Patalinjug
MarPatalinjug@aol.com

Posted by: Mariano Patalinjug | August 26, 2008 4:57 AM | Report abuse

The Cuban Missile Crisis should not have even occured, and probably would not have occured, had not JFK, a charismatic and photgenic, but young, naive and inexperienced person in international politics, committed exactly the foreign policy blunder which Obama has advocated - a Summit Meeting with Khrushchev, the enemy's leader, without preconditions, shortly after his presidency started --and there, in person, revealed himself to the Russian leader as the very person Obama is-- charismatic & photogenic, but young, naive, inexperienced in international politics-- an American President who, unlike Eisenhower, Khrushchev judged could be rolled, and which failure of judgment, despite the rose-colored glasses of such revisionist amateur historians as Mariano, nearly brought about World War III.

Posted by: rconnor43 | August 26, 2008 6:27 AM | Report abuse

Don't bash Kinsley for his posts. They're an interesting take on the conventioneers themselves.

If you understand that most of what is being blogged and posted at this time are affectations of political items, with stupid or posturing angles, you'd realize that most of the stuff being posted from the convention is pointless, on-message, on-talking points drivel anyways.

It's better to get some unusual angle on the people or info than yet another dribbler-of-talking-point observation.

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 26, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with the concept that Kennedy's summit meeting with Krushchev brought about the Cuban Missile Crisis. There were 15 U.S. Jupiter IRBMs in Turkey aimed at Moscow. Cuba feared an imminent invasion. Russia took the next step with Operation Anadyr. To believe that the ensuing crisis was somehow the result of Kennedy's foreign affairs credentials is ludicrous. It was the culmination of escalating tensions that began long before Kennedy ever took office.

One would hope that analysts consult with historical facts before judging great leaders of our past with such ideas as "nearly brought about..." That statement is akin to saying Kennedy was "almost the worst President in history." That ignominy belongs to the 43rd President, a man who was not "almost" the worst President. President Bush wins that title hands down, unless, of course, you are wearing "rose colored glasses."

Posted by: Javier Perez | August 26, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Warrier???

Posted by: virginia baker | August 26, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

In a recent Mc cain ad he asks how many of us can say we are better off today than we were four years ago (paraphrasing)? The implication is very few. Need I say who was president during those last four years and what party he belongs to? By the way, McCain also belongs to that party.

Posted by: browneri | August 26, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

"The Cuban Missile Crisis should not have even occured, and probably would not have occured, had not JFK, a charismatic and photgenic, but young, naive and inexperienced person in international politics, committed exactly the foreign policy blunder which Obama has advocated - a Summit Meeting with Khrushchev, the enemy's leader, without preconditions...."

Posted by: rconnor43

A post that could use some common sense. What was the bottom line to the missile crisis? The missiles were publicly turned around, no harm, no foul. Compare that to the bottom line of the Iraq war, started by George "I won't talk (because I really can't)" Bush and abetted by Hillary "I won't apologize for my vote" Clinton. The bottom line is what counts, not the narrow opinion from your narrow mind.

Posted by: edwcorey | August 26, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

This is pretty shallow stuff. Don't your talking heads sometimes have something substantive to do and say?

Posted by: orray | August 26, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Yes, John Foster Dulles IV worked on the staff of the US Commission on Civil Rights for many years, as did I. And I am not at all surprised to find him supporting Barack Obama. I would actually be shocked if it were otherwise. John -- I hope you get in to the acceptance speech! Wish I were there....

Posted by: Suzanne | August 26, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

What a poor excuse for an article! Spend a little less time at the convension open bars and a bit more at the keyboard.

Posted by: Craig | August 26, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

One of the myths of the 20th century is that Kennedy appeared week at the Vienna summit, and Krushev took advantage of that. Recent scholarship has shown that the missiles were in Cuba or were on their way to Cuba before Vienna. It is one of those facts that is not true, but many wish were so.

Posted by: Max Edison | August 26, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

While discussing the Cuban Missile Crisis (or as the Soviets might call it, the Cuban & Turkish Missile Crisis), let us consider what really happened. Both Krushev & Kennedy realized that they were at the brink and they ignored their military advisers to start shooting. They both backed down.

Kennedy, having public opinion to worry about, needed to have the removal of the missiles in Turkey not appear to be Quid Pro Quo, which it was. So by public measure Krushev blinked, but in reality they both wisely backed down.

Posted by: cyberfool | August 26, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

We have all seen that experience in Washington is not necessarily a good thing. John McCain is a perfect example. After 26 years he has nothing to brag about. Not one accomplishment and easily duped into war. On the other hand Obama has very little experience in Washington but a great deal of experience in starting his life with very little and working his way to the American dream.

Posted by: Vince, Jupiter, Florida | August 26, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

We are at a point where we need to look at our illusions a bit. Like the Cuban Missile Crisis bought us to the brink of thermonuclear war over something nuclear missile submarines made irrelevant. Or going to the moon to beat Russia was just cold war overspending and paranoia, but for the first time we looked back at ourselves and saw how fragile we are.
Like we didn't let Georgia go but Russia did and then we pushed them into taking some of it back. That we are the vast military network all over the world not China. Or that Mexico may one day remember the Alamo and that some on Hawaii may have thought Pearl Harbor was just one occupier trying to take away from another. Like lots of our ancestors came to this pristine country from a polluted Europe and proceeded to do the same thing again here. Like we were starving so the Indians took pity and fed us then we went back to steal their food then snatched the whole country away from them and called them savages to boot. Taking Democracy to Iraq seems to be a similar snatch job. It may surprise some that some Japanese really don't know we won WWII or they were involved with atrocities in China. All cultures have blind spots and all of us will have to change that to survive globalization and the end of tribalism and nationalism. Let's get started! One thing works wonders, Honesty over Illusions.

Posted by: maxsmart | August 26, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I *like* the mobile lounges.

Posted by: kennedye | August 26, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

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