Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Fri Feb 8 21:50:04 CST 2008

Feb. 8, 2008

         This may provide some much-needed perspective.  My posting this 
speech by President Kennedy does not mean I am a Democrat, nor does it mean 
I am a Republican.   It means I believe JFK said something worth hearing, 
and worthy of serious consideration.  Those wishing to excoriate me please 
do so by private e-mail.  Some here may not wish to read your excoriations.

Steven Dapra

President John F. Kennedy's University of Washington Speech
November 16, 1961


This speech delivered by President John F. Kennedy at the University of 
Washington in Seattle, Washington, came prior to the Cuban Missile Crisis 
of fall 1962. It reflects the flexible stance that United States foreign 
policy would take under the Kennedy administration.

"In 1961 the world relations of this country have become tangled and 
complex. One of our former allies has become our adversary and he has his 
own adversaries who are not our allies. . . .

"We increase our arms at a heavy cost, primarily to make certain that we 
will not have to use them. We must face up to the chance of war, if we are 
to maintain the peace. We must work with certain countries lacking in 
freedom in order to strengthen the cause of freedom. We find some who call 
themselves neutral who are our friends and sympathetic to us, and others 
who call themselves neutral who are unremittingly hostile to us. And as the 
most powerful defender of freedom on earth, we find ourselves unable to 
escape the responsibilities of freedom, and yet unable to exercise it 
without restraints imposed by the very freedoms we seek to protect.

"We cannot, as a free nation, compete with our adversaries in tactics of 
terror, assassination, false promises, counterfeit mobs and crises.

"We cannot, under the scrutiny of a free press arid public, tell different 
stories to different audiences, foreign and domestic, friendly and hostile.

"We cannot abandon the slow processes of consulting with our allies to 
match the swift expediencies of those who merely dictate to their satellites.

"We can neither abandon nor control the international organization in which 
we now cast less than one percent of the vote in the General Assembly.

"We possess weapons of tremendous power but they are least effective in 
combating the weapons most often used by freedom's foes: subversion, 
infiltration, guerrilla warfare, civil disorder . . . .

"We send arms to other peoples just as we send them the ideals of democracy 
in which we believe but we cannot send them the will to use those arms or 
to abide by those ideals.

"And while we believe not only in the force of arms but in the force of 
right and reason, we have learned that reason does not always appeal to 
unreasonable men, that it is not always true that "a soft answer turneth 
away wrath," and that right does not always make might.

"In short, we must face problems which do not lend themselves to easy or 
quick or permanent solutions. And we must face the fact that the United 
States is neither omnipotent nor omniscient, that we are only six percent 
of the world's population, that we cannot impose our will upon the other 
ninety-four percent of mankind, that we cannot right every wrong or reverse 
each adversity, and that therefore there cannot he an American solution to 
every world problem."


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