John F. Kennedy and the New Pacific Community, 1961–63 by Timothy P. Maga

By Timothy P. Maga

Charismatic and devoted, John F. Kennedy is still essentially the most respected, and so much disliked, folks Presidents. devoted to altering 'the glance' of the yankee Presidency, Kennedy used to be additionally pledged to altering the character folks international policy-making. Victory within the chilly conflict was once attainable, he acknowledged, and the best problem to that victory was once within the Asian/Pacific quarter. luck there could sign the top of the communist as opposed to capitalist disagreement. the United States 'can do it', he vowed. This publication describes the Kennedy administration's determined efforts to accomplish the very unlikely dream: an American chilly warfare victory all through Asia and the Pacific.

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But, a successful direction also depended upon the Kennedy administration's perception of AsianIPacifie developments. In the case of Micronesia, Kennedy had viewed the islands as a politieaVcultural whole. Statehood was their destiny, and no further conclusions were necessary. Kennedy had proven the old politieal dictum that perceptions of the truth in politics can be more important than truth itself. The dietum was applied to Australia as weH. Kennedy's perception of Australian polities, and what America must do to influence them, did nothing for warm Australian-Ameriean relations.

Coinciding with the Kennedy cabinet's New Pacific Community discussions, Flores's suggestion was weIl-taken. Flores, the publisher-editor of the Guam Daily News and Territorial Sun, had been appointed Governor by President Eisenhower shortly before the 1960 eleetion. He was the first Guamanian to hold the post and he stood as a symbol to anyone who favored decolonization of the Ameriean Pacifie. On 21 January 1961, Flores sent a message of praise to the newly inaugurated President, reminding hirn that his eloquent inaugural promise to extend "new frontiers" of peace and progress must inc1ude Mieronesia.

In any event, a 1961 general election was inevitable. The Kennedy administration expected a Menzies victory, but they did not anticipate Menzies's bowing to the new nationalist opinion in Australia. "Australian Pride" in rapid postwar economic development was now more important than American connections, and Menzies hoped to keep his coalition alive a little longer by courting such sentiments. 11 The State Department described Menzies as "a strong friend of the Uni ted States and a fervent Anglophile.

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