Not Even Past: Dan Ellsberg vs. New Madmen’s Theories of Cold War & Press Suppression, by Danny Sjursen

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.

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