We observe on Nov. 22 the 60th anniversary of the last man of actual courage to prove that courage as President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. “When, in 1962, U.S. President John F. Kennedy was pressured by hardliners within his own administration to launch a military invasion of Cuba ‘in defense of America,’ after the Soviet Union had placed ballistic missiles there—missiles which, unknown to Americans at the time, were armed with nuclear warheads—he refused, and saved the world from nuclear war, perhaps at the cost of his own life.” That’s how the proof is stated in the invitation to the International Peace Coalition’s “Emergency Forum: No More War Crimes! Economic Development, Not Depopulation!” set for Nov. 26.
“Let us examine our attitude toward peace itself,” President Kennedy had said on June 10, 1963, in a speech heard round the world, but almost ignored by American media. “Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it unreal. … No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.”
No one with such courage has occupied the White House since, while the United States has fought or provided the weapons for war after war after war, many of them disasters, up to today’s NATO war against Russia and Israel’s rising mass killing of Gaza’s Palestinians. That Gaza war may “pause” for a few days for prisoner exchange and humanitarian aid, but that is not enough, as LaRouche candidate for U.S. Senate from New York Diane Sare says in a statement just below: It must stop. There must be a peace with the economic development of the region and its people, all of its people.
The pressure on Israel’s Netanyahu government for a mere “pause” has resulted not only from the Israeli people, but from great pressure on U.S. President Joe Biden from the voters of his own Democratic Party, resulting from the intolerable events in Gaza; and the pressure of Americans demonstrating against war for the first time in decades. This is being catalyzed by the constant work of the International Peace Coalition’s participants and by Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s Schiller Institute.
Now the expanding group of nations known as the BRICS are acting, as we describe below, with China’s lead in calling for an international peace conference preceded by a ceasefire, and international cooperation in rushing aid and taking actions to prevent the conflict from spreading in Southwest Asia. Other diplomatic measures are being taken to try to unblock the UN Security Council.
The most vital problem is to move the United States to “First: Let us examine our attitude toward peace itself,” as President Kennedy demanded, despite the lack of a President of presidential caliber for 60 years. It takes the courage JFK showed to change the relations among nations and peoples, and that takes not only refusing war, but practicing human and economic development.