A Real Profile in Courage

President Kennedy facing a Russian thug

West Berlin had a status all its own. Was it a member of NATO that we needed to safeguard by that treaty? Not really. But we had a president who was determined not to submit to a communist thug and instead stand behind the two and a half million citizens of West Berlin and not subject them to be taken over by the Soviet Union. When Kennedy said in his inauguration to we Americans that we needn’t ask what our country can do for us, rather we should ask what we can do for our country. He wasn’t phony. He meant every word, and he was truly a leader we could follow.

Our country entered into an agreement in Budapest, Hungary when the Soviet Union was breaking up that we would guarantee the independence of Ukraine. Some political commentators have since used some weasel words that we didn’t think we would ever be forced to honor that commitment at the time we made it. Is that what we’ve come down to? Those weasel mouthed people are not us, are they? Kennedy didn’t abandon the souls of Berlin because a Russian thug was brandishing his nuclear weapons at him. Kennedy was a courageous man, a Navy veteran who fought in the Pacific, who had the intestinal fortitude to honor his country’s word, nuclear threat or not.

Kennedy wouldn’t abandon two and a half million Berliners, but our government seems to be willing to dishonor its pledge to safeguard forty million Ukrainians. I feel ashamed. I wish we had a leader like Kennedy who would stand up and proclaim, “Ich bin ein Ukrainer.”

3 thoughts on “A Real Profile in Courage

  1. H.F. "Pete" Grimm III

    Right on point, Tom!  My proposal was to enforce a no-fly zone and then issue an ultimatum demanding withdrawal of Russian forces. NATO has the ability to command Ukrainian airspace quickly. Continuing to provide Stingers and anti-tank weapons is worthwhile but will not win the day if Putin is determined to destroy Ukraine. PeteG

    Pete and Camilla Grimm USMA 1969 https://www.academysafaris.com/ pete@academysafaris.com4111 East Madison St., Ste 69Seattle, WA 98112

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  2. Tom Ramos Post author

    Thank you again Pete. Yes, I am very sympathetic with your feelings to support Ukraine. There are huge risks aren’t there? It really brings home to me how courageous Kennedy was. I read in interviews of his national security staff that he looked white after his meeting with Khrushchev and he told them they were going to have a thermonuclear war within the year. Yet, he never wavered, he would not be dissuaded from doing what he knew he must do. What a hero.

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    1. johnizio

      Let my play President ( since the.position is vacant):
      – send NATO planes into Ukraine dropping food and medical supplies like the Berlin airlift.
      – give the Ukraines whatever they want: migs, anti missile systems, etc. Maybe fly the stuff in directly.
      – raise the U. S. nuclear readiness system a notch or two.
      – put some more nuke subs into the North Sea, or as close as we can get to Russia.
      – deploy significant U S troops to Ukraine border.
      – begin to add weapons to Taiwan.
      – tell China there will be severe sanctions if they aid Russia.
      – add Ukraine to NATO.
      – figure out how to get real news to Russian people.
      – determine most effective way to oust Putin and his lead generals.
      – close any loopholes in their sanctions.
      – U S performs a nuke test somewhere.
      I have more ( like eliminating 12 trillion dollare of U S debt to China because they caused COVID) but I feel better now. John F.

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