In his year-end interview with Jim Lehrer, George W. Bush admitted that he was never truly concerned with the human cost of war.
JIM LEHRER: But the risk factors that you took into consideration in making the decision did not involve specific numbers that, oh my goodness, this could cost us this many lives? Or how about Iraqi lives? You said this week that 30,000 Iraqis have died.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes.
JIM LEHRER: Was that on the table when you made the decision?
PRESIDENT BUSH: I think, well, first of all, I said 30,000, that's because it's kind of the general talk. And I don't know if we know specifically how many died. Nor do I think you don't sit around in a planning session and say, gosh, I wonder how many-- how many people are going to die because of suicide bombers or because of politics or-- I know this, that when we went in we had a plan to target the guilty and spare the innocent and with our precision weaponry and a military that is a humane group of people that we did a good job of that.
But war is brutal, war is death, war is-- and I knew that going in. I just don't remember people, you know, trying to guess.
Well, forget about George Bush not caring about Black people. He doesn't care about people, period. He cares about serving his own interests, regardless of the cost to anyone else.
As a Commander-in-Chief (even a half a&s one) you darn well need to be thinking about the human costs of commiting troops to war.
Please allow me to read this particular excerpt from the book "Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis" by Robert F. Kennedy.
In the book, Robert F. Kennedy writes, in part:
"By Thursday night, there was a majority opinion in our group for a blockade......We explained our recommendations to the President.....The next morning, at our meeting at the State Department, there were sharp disagreements again. The strain and the hours without sleep were beginning to take their toll.....Each one of us was being asked to make a recommendation which would affect the future of all mankind, a recommendation which, if wrong and if accepted, could mean the destruction of the human race..." (Pages 34-35)
The point being that President Kennedy, and the men and women who surrounded him, understood the human implications of whatever action they might decide to take against the Soviet Union.
They realized it wasn't just about John F. Kennedy and Khruschchev. It was about American children. It was about children in the Soviet Union. It was about people, in general, and our survival as a race.
And that is why President Kennedy did not rush to a decision. He understood the threat, but also realized the need to make the RIGHT decision.
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