JFK's bloodstained Undelivered speech he was to give at the Dallas Trademart at 12:30 PM on 11/22/63, the moment he was assassinated. The speech was kept in his suit jacket pocket. [Thanks to SMU's web site on the JFK assassination]
"That strength will never be used in pursuit of aggressive ambitions -- it will always be used in pursuit of peace. It will never be used to promote provocations -- it will always be used to promote the peaceful settlement of disputes. We in this country, in this generation, are -- by destiny rather than choice – (are) the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of 'peace on earth, good will toward men.' That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: 'except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.'" - From JFK's Undelivered Speech
THE UNSPOKEN SPEECH: TEXT
Remarks prepared for delivery at the Dallas Trade Mart
by President John F. Kennedy,
by President John F. Kennedy,
I am honored to have this invitation to address the annual meeting of the Dallas Citizens Council, joined by the members of the Dallas Assembly -- and pleased to have this opportunity to salute the
of the Southwest. Graduate
It is fitting that these two symbols of
progress are united in the sponsorship of this meeting. For they represent the
best qualities, I am told, of leadership and learning in this city -- and
leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. The advancement of
learning depends on community leadership for financial and political support
and the products of that learning, in turn, are essential to the leadership's
hopes for continued progress and prosperity. It is not a coincidence that those
communities possessing the best in research and graduate facilities -- from MIT
to Cal Tech -- tend to attract the new and growing industries. I congratulate
those of you here in Dallas who have recognized these basic facts through the
creation of the unique and forward-looking Dallas . Graduate
This link between leadership and learning is not only essential at the community level. It is even more indispensable in world affairs. Ignorance and misinformation can handicap the progress of a city or a company, but they can, if allowed to prevail in foreign policy, handicap this country's security. In a world of complex and continuing problems, in a world full of frustrations and irritations,
leadership must be guided by the lights of learning and reason or else those
who confuse rhetoric with reality and the plausible with the possible will gain
the popular ascendancy with their seemingly swift and simple solutions to every
world problem. America
There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility. Those voices are inevitable.
But today other voices are heard in the land -- voices preaching doctrines wholly unrelated to reality, wholly unsuited to the sixties, doctrines which apparently assume that words will suffice without weapons, that vituperation is as good as victory and that peace is a sign of weakness. At a time when the national debt is steadily being reduced in terms of its burden on our economy, they see that debt as the greatest single threat to our security. At a time when we are steadily reducing the number of Federal employees serving every thousand citizens, they fear those supposed hordes of civil servants far more than the actual hordes of opposing armies.
We cannot expect that everyone, to use the phrase of a decade ago, will "talk sense to the American people." But we can hope that fewer people will listen to nonsense. And the notion that this Nation is headed for defeat through deficit, or that strength is but a matter of slogans, is nothing but just plain nonsense.
I want to discuss with you today the status of our strength and our security because this question clearly calls for the most responsible qualities of leadership and the most enlightened products of scholarship. For this Nation's strength and security are not easily or cheaply obtained, nor are they quickly and simply explained. There are many kinds of strength and no one kind will suffice. Overwhelming nuclear strength cannot stop a guerrilla war. Formal pacts of alliance cannot stop internal subversion. Displays of material wealth cannot stop the disillusionment of diplomats subjected to discrimination.
Above all, words alone are not enough. The
is a peaceful nation. And where our
strength and determination are clear, our words need merely to convey
conviction, not belligerence. If we are strong, our strength will speak for
itself. If we are weak, words will be of no help. United
I realize that this Nation often tends to identify turning-points in world affairs with the major addresses which preceded them. But it was not the Monroe Doctrine that kept all
away from this hemisphere -- it was the strength of the British fleet and the
width of the Atlantic Ocean. It was not General
Marshall's speech at Harvard which kept communism out of Western
Europe -- it was the strength and stability made possible by our
military and economic assistance.
In this administration also it has been necessary at times to issue specific warnings -- warnings that we could not stand by and watch the Communists conquer
by force, or intervene in the Laos ,
or swallow Congo West Berlin, or maintain offensive missiles
on . But
while our goals were at least temporarily obtained in these and other
instances, our successful defense of freedom was due not to the words we used,
but to the strength we stood ready to use on behalf of the principles we stand
ready to defend. Cuba
This strength is composed of many different elements, ranging from the most massive deterrents to the most subtle influences. And all types of strength are needed -- no one kind could do the job alone. Let us take a moment, therefore, to review this Nation's progress in each major area of strength.
First, as Secretary McNamara made clear in his address last Monday, the strategic nuclear power of the United States has been so greatly modernized and expanded in the last 1,000 days, by the rapid production and deployment of the most modern missile systems, that any and all potential aggressors are clearly confronted now with the impossibility of strategic victory -- and the certainty of total destruction -- if by reckless attack they should ever force upon us the necessity of a strategic reply.
In less than 3 years, we have increased by 50 percent the number of Polaris submarines scheduled to be in force by the next fiscal year, increased by more than 70 percent our total Polaris purchase program, increased by more than 75 percent our Minuteman purchase program, increased by 50 percent the portion of our strategic bombers on 15-minute alert, and increased by too percent the total number of nuclear weapons available in our strategic alert forces. Our security is further enhanced by the steps we have taken regarding these weapons to improve the speed and certainty of their response, their readiness at all times to respond, their ability to survive an attack, and their ability to be carefully controlled and directed through secure command operations.
But the lessons of the last decade have taught us that freedom cannot be defended by strategic nuclear power alone. We have, therefore, in the last 3 years accelerated the development and deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, and increased by 60 percent the tactical nuclear forces deployed in
Europe or any other continent
rely on nuclear forces alone, whether they are strategic or tactical. We have
radically improved the readiness of our conventional forces -- increased by 45
percent the number of combat ready Army divisions, increased by 100 percent the
procurement of modern Army weapons and equipment, increased by 100 percent our
ship construction, conversion, and modernization program, increased by 100
percent our procurement of tactical aircraft, increased by 30 percent the
number of tactical air squadrons, and increased the strength of the Marines. As
last month's "Operation Big Lift" -- which originated here in Texas
-- showed so clearly, this Nation is prepared as never before to move
substantial numbers of men in surprisingly little time to advanced positions
anywhere in the world. We have increased by 175 percent the procurement of
airlift aircraft, and we have already achieved a 75 percent increase in our
existing strategic airlift capability. Finally, moving beyond the traditional
roles of our military forces, we have achieved an increase of nearly 600
percent in our special forces -- those forces that are prepared to work with
our allies and friends against the guerrillas, saboteurs, insurgents and
assassins who threaten freedom in a less direct but equally dangerous manner.
But American military might should not and need not stand alone against the ambitions of international communism. Our security and strength, in the last analysis, directly depend on the security and strength of others, and that is why our military and economic assistance plays such a key role in enabling those who live on the periphery of the Communist world to maintain their independence of choice. Our assistance to these nations can be painful, risky and costly, as is true in
today. But we dare not weary of the task. For our assistance makes possible the
stationing of 3-5 million allied troops along the Communist frontier at one-tenth
the cost of maintaining a comparable number of American soldiers. A successful
Communist breakthrough in these areas, necessitating direct intervention, would cost us several
times as much as our entire foreign aid program, and might cost us heavily in
American lives as well. United
About 70 percent of our military assistance goes to nine key countries located on or near the borders of the Communist bloc -- nine countries confronted directly or indirectly with the threat of Communist aggression -- Viet-Nam, Free China, Korea, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Greece, Turkey, and Iran. No one of these countries possesses on its own the resources to maintain the forces which our own Chiefs of Staff think needed in the common interest. Reducing our efforts to train, equip, and assist their armies can only encourage Communist penetration and require in time the increased overseas deployment of American combat forces. And reducing the economic help needed to bolster these nations that undertake to help defend freedom can have the same disastrous result. In short, the $50 billion we spend each year on our own defense could well be ineffective without the $4 billion required for military and economic assistance.
Our foreign aid program is not growing in size, it is, on the contrary, smaller now than in previous years. It has had its weaknesses, but we have undertaken to correct them. And the proper way of treating weaknesses is to replace them with strength, not to increase those weaknesses by emasculating essential programs. Dollar for dollar, in or out of government, there is no better form of investment in our national security than our much-abused foreign aid program. We cannot afford to lose it. We can afford to maintain it. We can surely afford, for example, to do as much for our 19 needy neighbors of
Latin America as the Communist bloc is
sending to the
alone. island of Cuba
I have spoken of strength largely in terms of the deterrence and resistance of aggression and attack. But, in today's world, freedom can be lost without a shot being fired, by ballots as well as bullets. The success of our leadership is dependent upon respect for our mission in the world as well as our missiles -- on a clearer recognition of the virtues of freedom as well as the evils of tyranny.
That is why our Information Agency has doubled the shortwave broadcasting power of the Voice of America and increased the number of broadcasting hours by 30 percent, increased Spanish language broadcasting to Cuba and Latin America from I to 9 hours a day, increased seven-fold to more than 3-5 million copies the number of American books being translated and published for Latin American readers, and taken a host of other steps to carry our message of truth and freedom to all the far corners of the earth.
And that is also why we have regained the initiative in the exploration of outer space, making an annual effort greater than the combined total of all space activities undertaken during the fifties, launching more than 130 vehicles into earth orbit, putting into actual operation valuable weather and communications satellites, and making it clear to all that the United States of America has no intention of finishing second in space.
This effort is expensive -- but it pays its own way, for freedom and for
For there is no longer any fear in the free world that a Communist lead in
space will become a permanent assertion of supremacy and the basis of military
superiority. There is no longer any doubt about the strength and skill of
American science, American industry, American education, and the American free
enterprise system. In short, our national space effort represents a great gain
in, and a great resource of, our national strength -- and both America
and Texans are contributing greatly to this strength. Texas
Finally, it should be clear by now that a nation can be no stronger abroad than she is at home. Only an
which practices what it preaches about equal rights and social justice will be
respected by those whose choice affects our future. Only an America
which has fully educated its citizens is fully capable of tackling the complex
problems and perceiving the hidden dangers of the world in which we live. And
only an America
which is growing and prospering economically can sustain the worldwide defenses
of freedom, while demonstrating to all concerned the opportunities of our
system and society. America
It is clear, therefore, that we are strengthening our security as well as our economy by our recent record increases in national income and output -- by surging ahead of most of Western Europe in the rate of business expansion and the margin of corporate profits, by maintaining a more stable level of prices than almost any of our overseas competitors, and by cutting personal and corporate income taxes by some $11 billion, as I have proposed, to assure this Nation of the longest and strongest expansion in our peacetime economic history.
This Nation's total output -- which 3 years ago was at the $500 billion mark -- will soon pass $600 billion, for a record rise of over $100 billion in 3 years. For the first time in history we have 70 million men and women at work. For the first time in history average factory earnings have exceeded $100 a week. For the first time in history corporation profits after taxes -- which have risen 43 percent in less than 3 years -- have an annual level of $27.4 billion.
My friends and fellow citizens: I cite these facts and figures to make it clear that
today is stronger than ever before. Our adversaries have not abandoned their
ambitions, our dangers have not diminished, our vigilance cannot be relaxed.
But now we have the military, the scientific, and the economic strength to do
whatever must be done for the preservation and promotion of freedom. America
That strength will never be used in pursuit of aggressive ambitions -- it will always be used in pursuit of peace. It will never be used to promote provocations -- it will always be used to promote the peaceful settlement of disputes.
We in this country, in this generation, are -- by destiny rather than choice -- the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of "peace on earth, good will toward men." That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: "except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."
Courtesy of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library,