At the age of 90, Daniel Ellsberg is once again disclosing disturbing government documents to make broader points about US foreign policy. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:
Once upon a time, the United States of America – the world’s self-styled “beacon of democracy” – nearly nuked China’s then 600 millions worth of innocents. This, before Beijing even had any A-Bombs of its own. Well, that much we’ve known, in broad strokes – though, I fear, without the requisite resultant soul-searching – since historian Gordon Chang’s 1988 journal article (which I was assigned in graduate school en-route to West Point’s faculty): “JFK, China, and the Bomb.”
Chang’s peer-reviewed scholarly submission made waves – at least in academia – by disclosing the rather profound fact that the Kennedy administration apparently seriously considered colluding with even the Soviets to, per a later erudite authorial follow-up, “Strangle the Baby in the Cradle.” In other words, to coerce China into abandoning its nascent nuclear program – and if necessary destroy it (even with hydrogen bombs) – before Beijing could produce a viable weapon.
That was circa 1961-64. Ultimately, the Chinese did test their first bomb in October of the latter year. And you know what? Nothing much happened – little changed, America endured, the world didn’t end. If only those poor souls – and their no longer truly communist descendants – knew they came so close to being needlessly sacrificed, or never existing, on the altar of U.S. strategic absurdity.