I thought back to President Kennedy and his first year in office — 1961. In April, there was the CIA-backed, Kennedy-sanctioned, Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, in which Castro’s troops prevailed and for lack of air cover the invading rebel force was ravaged on the beach before it could even move inland. It was an unadulterated fiasco and full-fledged foreign policy debacle. In early June, President Kennedy traveled to Vienna for his first summit meeting with the Soviet Union’s Premier, Nikita Khrushchev, and got his head handed to him on a plate — a failed summit between the leaders of the two super-powers. And, only two months later, and predicated on Krushchev’s incorrect perception in Vienna that the new president was weak-kneed, the Berlin Wall went up in August, heightening Cold War tensions.
Did the New York Times excoriate JFK and lament that there were three more years in his term for the nation to suffer through? What do you think?
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