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Sun Oct 14, 2012, 01:14 PM

Warnings from the Cuban Missile Crisis - Why Who's President Matters

History demonstrates the importance of who serves as President of the United States:

[font size="1"]Message gone awry: A letter listing the names and nationalities of detained journalists is dropped from the ninth floor of The Capri hotel but lands on a guard outpost causing the arrest of two of North's friends.[/font size]

Warnings from the Cuban Missile Crisis

Exclusive: Amid the trivia of American politics, voters can forget that they are entrusting the winning candidate for President with the nuclear codes, the power to annihilate all life on the planet, a reality that reporter Don North witnessed up close a half century ago in the Cuban missile crisis.

By Don North
October 14, 2012

Saturday, Oct. 27, 1962, now known as “Black Saturday” was the day I arrived in Havana to report on the Cuban missile crisis, completely oblivious that 50 years later it would be considered “the most dangerous moment in human history,” the day we came closest to nuclear Armageddon.

My rendezvous with this existential crisis began on Oct. 22, in a New York bar where I had arranged to meet friends and incidentally to watch a TV address by President John F. Kennedy that was supposed to have something to do with Cuba. I had visited Cuba as a freelance journalist six months earlier and was fascinated by the country.

Kennedy’s TV address was a shocker. “Unmistakable evidence has established the fact that a series of offensive missile sites is now in preparation on that imprisoned island,” Kennedy said looking grim. A hush fell over the bar and waiters stopped serving to hear his words.


Declassified Soviet sources have confirmed the missile was not cleared to fire by the Kremlin. Furious, Krushchev ordered no further firings take place without his direct orders. In Washington, Air Force Gen. Curtis Le May ordered rocket-carrying fighters readied for an attack on the SAM site. The White House ordered Le May not to attack unless he had direct orders from the President.

“He chickened out again,” Le May growled. “How in hell do you get men to risk their lives when the SAMs are not attacked?”


On “Black Saturday,” Oct. 27, 1962, one sub B-59, commanded by Captain Valentin Savitsky, had been chased for two days. His batteries were low and he had not been able to communicate with Moscow. Temperatures in the sub reached as high as 140 degrees, food was spoiling in the refrigerators and water was low and rationed. Carbon dioxide levels were becoming critical and sailors were fainting from heat and exhaustion.

Submerged several hundred feet the sub came under repeated attack from the USS Randolph dropping practice depth charges. The explosions became deafening. There is no greater humiliation for a submarine captain than to be forced by the enemy to surface. Forty years later, a senior sub officer on B-59, Vadim Orlov, described the scene as Captain Sevitsky lost his temper.

“Savitsky became furious. He summoned the officer in charge of the nuclear torpedo, and ordered him to make it combat ready. ‘We’re going to blast them now,’ said Savitsky. ‘We will perish ourselves, but we will sink them all. We will not disgrace our Navy.” Fellow officers persuaded Savitsky to calm down and a decision was made to surface in the midst of four American destroyers.



PS: This is why I am a Democrat today. Thanks to JFK keeping a cool head and encouraging Krushchev to do the same, it's why all of us are here today.

PPS: This is why I support President Barack Obama for re-election. No offense Mitt, it's not even close.

PPPS to Moderators: ConsortiumNews allows DU to publish extended excerpts and entire articles, if needed.

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Warnings from the Cuban Missile Crisis - Why Who's President Matters (Original post)
Octafish Oct 2012 OP
H2O Man Oct 2012 #1
Octafish Oct 2012 #5
longship Oct 2012 #2
Octafish Oct 2012 #6
longship Oct 2012 #7
Octafish Oct 2012 #10
MinM Oct 2012 #17
Savannahmann Oct 2012 #3
Octafish Oct 2012 #8
longship Oct 2012 #12
Octafish Oct 2012 #18
Strelnikov_ Oct 2012 #4
Octafish Oct 2012 #9
longship Oct 2012 #14
MinM Oct 2012 #11
AverageJoe90 Oct 2012 #13
MinM Oct 2012 #15
Johonny Oct 2012 #16
Overseas Oct 2012 #19
MinM Oct 2012 #20
Octafish Oct 2012 #21

Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 01:19 PM

1. Recommended.

If one looks at the two US Presidents before or after JFK, and considers what the outcome would have been if any of those four was in power at the time, the outcome would have been tragic.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 15, 2012, 09:23 PM

5. Iron Bob

Agreed, H20 Man: This would be a very different planet today had another person been in the Oval Office in 1962. IMFO, civilization, wouldn't be here, but a lot of cockroaches would be.

About that time, Robert F. Kennedy in his just-released notes observed, via Timothy Naftali:

Just before President Kennedy made his Oct. 22, 1962 speech to the nation on the discovery of Soviet missiles in Cuba, for example, RFK made a point of noting the pressure that his brother faced from the Republicans in his administration, Treasury Secretary Douglas Dillon and others, to use force: “(C. Douglas) Dillon: ... Negotiations (with Khrushchev over removing the missiles in Cuba) will be fatal. Must go in [to Cuba] by end of next week. (CIA Director) John McCone thinks this also and says Eisenhower feels the same.” RFK also took notes at meetings for which we do not have tapes. At an ExComm meeting at Hyannis Port in late November, RFK noted JFK’s concern that political opponents would use any guarantee not to invade Cuba in future campaigns against Democrats. “… Problem is not agreeing not to invade but the problems + difficulties that a guarantee could cause in the next two or 6 years (1964 or 1968).”


Something else especially bothers me: The continuing efforts to paint RFK as a guy responsible for trying to assassinate Fidel Castro. The facts show it was CIA-FBI cuttout Robert Maheu who approached the Mafia in 1960, at the behest of Alan Dulles and the Eisenhower administration. The record also shows the Republicans in CIA, specifically Richard Helms and Desmond Fitzgerald, misrepresented their emissary to Rolando Cubela, the Cuban "defector" chosen to kill Castro, as being there in an official capacity on behalf of RFK. This examples aren't just disgusting examples of conservatives being conservative at the expense of liberals and the People; they are evidence of crimes on the part of the high priests of the secret, national security state.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 01:59 PM

2. Have "Thirteen Days" to view tonight.

I have seen it before but wanted to view it again this week.

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Response to longship (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 15, 2012, 09:31 PM

6. If you get a moment, please post your thoughts on the film, longship.

Those were perilous times. Thankfully, the generals paid attention to the civilians. Not that they didn't have their own preferred course of action.

The great DUer MinM provided an excellent overview of the film's accuracy, comparing dialogue with recently released tapes of White House meetings at the time:

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Response to Octafish (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 15, 2012, 10:28 PM

7. It is basically accurate, with some caveats.

The whole purpose of the movie was the release of the Soviet era documents by the Russian government. Costner was a producer.

Many conversations are compressed. Many are fictitious, especially the O'Donnell family backstory, of which I am not a big fan.

Regardless, it is an important flick because it tells a story which portrays just how close the USA and the USSR came to global nuclear war. As I wrote in a previous post, I was a paper boy at the time so I was totally aware if the situation. I was 14 years old at the time. Let me assure DUers who do not know, we were all scared shitless. In Detroit, we weren't in accurate range of the Cuban missiles. But the ICBMs in the USSR would have been, and Detroit would have been a primary target.

Those were two tense weeks. And we didn't even know how tense they really were.

This movie conveys that very well, in spite of some liberties. IMHO, that is forgivable. The worst thing about it is Costner's horrible accent and a somewhat lame back story. Other complaints are some continuity issues. If you ignore them, it is a gripping film.

The production values are great, especially the beautifully restored and colorized stock footage from the period.

Greenwood and Culp are damn good as JFK and RFK. Kevin Conway is fucking brilliant as General Curtis LeMay. The rest of the cast is pretty good, but no standouts. Maybe Dylan Baker channels Bob McNamara fairly well, too. The Walter Cronkite clips are a nice touch.

I recommend this flick because it tells the story as I remember it. It's scary because we were all fucking scared out of our wits.

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Response to longship (Reply #7)

Wed Oct 17, 2012, 10:56 AM

10. Thank you, longship! Excellent review of a history some want to see changed.

Changing a little quote from "the final failure" to "the prime failure" implies nuclear warfare is survivable. Well, maybe if you join Phil Zelikow, and his bosses Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, in a secure undisclosed radiation-proof hideout. But, for the rest of us, not so much.

What JFK Really Said

The author checked the Cuban-missile-crisis transcript in The Kennedy Tapes against the recorded words. He discovered "errors that undermine its reliability for historians, teachers, and general readers

by Sheldon M. Stern
The Atlantic, May 2000


An unforgettable moment in these unique historical records concerns JFK's apprehension that military action in Cuba might touch off the ultimate nightmare of nuclear war, which he grimly describes at a meeting on October 18 as "the final failure." Brian McGrory, of The Boston Globe, who listened to this tape with me in 1994, after it was declassified, used those words in the lead of his article on the newly released tapes. But when I checked the transcript recently, I was unable to find "the final failure." Certain that the editors must be right, since they had technically cleaner tapes, I listened again; there is no question that Kennedy says "the final failure." The editors, however, have transcribed it as "the prime failure."


The participants then discuss evidence that work on the missile sites is continuing. They debate whether to add petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL) to the list of quarantined materials immediately, or to wait twenty-four hours to see if talks proposed by UN Secretary-General U Thant produce a breakthrough. McGeorge Bundy, Kennedy's national security adviser, suggests that they "leave the timing until we've talked about the U Thant initiative." The inaccuracy in The Kennedy Tapes is especially bizarre in this case, with Bundy saying "leave the timing until we've talked about the attack thing." These last two examples—"the destroyers " and "the attack thing"—could easily leave a reader wondering what in the world these men were talking about. (Three days later, on October 29, U Thant was mentioned again. JFK asserts, "We want U Thant to know that Adlai is our voice." But The Kennedy Tapes transcribes this line as "We want you to know that Adlai is our voice."

October 27 saw the darkest moment in the crisis. An unconfirmed report was received at midday that a U-2 spy plane had been shot down over Cuba by a Soviet SAM missile, and the pilot killed. On the tape of the late-afternoon meeting Kennedy discusses whether to order an air strike on the SAM sites if the incident is repeated (a delay that produced consternation at the Pentagon). He declares that two options are on the table: begin conversations about Khrushchev's proposal to swap Soviet missiles in Cuba for U.S. missiles in Turkey, or reject discussions until the Cuban crisis is settled. Kennedy chooses the first, with the caveat that the Soviets must provide proof that they have ceased work on the missile sites. He repeatedly refers to "conversations" and "discussions" and concludes, "Obviously, they're not going to settle the Cuban question until they get some conversation on Cuba." Incredibly, The Kennedy Tapes substitutes "compensation" for "conversation." It's easy to imagine how Cold War veterans like Rusk, Bundy, and McCone would have reacted to any suggestion of compensation for the Soviets in Cuba.

On October 29, the day after Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles, the President and his advisers, relieved but not euphoric, conclude that surveillance and the quarantine will continue until the missiles have actually been removed. After a lull in the meeting, during which the conversation turns to college football, the President observes, "I imagine the Air Force must be a little mad," referring to the division of responsibility for aerial photography between the Air Force and the Joint Chiefs' photo-reconnaissance office. The Kennedy Tapes transcribes this as "I imagine the airports must be looking bad," which must leave many readers scratching their heads: the removal of the missiles had nothing to do with Cuban airports. Kennedy then ponders why, in the end, the Soviets decided to back down. He notes, "We had decided Saturday night to begin this air strike on Tuesday." No effort was made to conceal the military buildup in southern Florida, and Kennedy wonders if the impending strikes pushed the Russians to withdraw their missiles. The Kennedy Tapes, however, has JFK saying "We got the signs of life to begin this air strike on Tuesday," making his shrewd speculation unintelligible.

ONE particular error, among scores not cited above, seems to epitomize the problems with these transcripts. On the October 18 tape Dean Rusk argues that before taking military action in Cuba, the United States should consult Khrushchev, in the unlikely event that he would agree to remove the missiles. "But at least it will take that point out of the way," The Kennedy Tapes has Rusk saying, "and it's on the record." But Rusk actually said that this consultation would remove that point "for the historical record." The historical record is indeed the issue here.



Gee. With Zelikow around, no wonder Karl Rove bragged about being history's actor.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #6)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 09:07 AM

17. General Curtis LeMay: You're in a pretty bad fix, Mr. President...

President Kennedy: Well, maybe you haven't noticed: You're in it with me.

Thanks Octafish... and what a great line by JFK.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 02:33 PM

3. Interesting side note


The executive officer of B-59, the foxtrot submarine mentioned in the article, was Captain Vasili Arkhipov. Most people don't know this, but he was the Executive Officer of the K-19, the first operational "Hotel" class Soviet Submarine. That is the one which famously had a major Reactor failure, and nearly had a for real China Syndrome runaway.

I wonder if the transfer to the B-59 was a reward, away from the trouble prone nuclear submarines of the era, or a punishment? Either way, it put the right man, at the right place, just when he was needed.

I find it interesting, in both incidents, he acted to prevent Nuclear War, showing a great deal of intelligence and understanding of consequential events.

I kind of wish I had met that man. I would like to know if he considered it bad luck, or good luck, that he was able to influence the outcomes of two of the countless incidents that took the world to the brink nuclear war. I have a feeling that he considered it good luck that his voice of reason was able to influence the actions of others as often as it did.

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 02:24 PM

8. Thank you for the heads-up and background on Captain Arkhipov, Savannahmann!

Whether reward or punishment, we and all who've lived since that time owe him infinite thanks. A very, very brave man who understood what's at stake with radiation like few others could. It would be an honor for me, as well, to shake his hand and ask him his thoughts. From JohnstonArchive.net:

Date: 4 July 1961

Location: North Atlantic Ocean, aboard USSR ballistic missile submarine K-19

Type of event: submarine reactor accident


A reactor accident occurred on the USSR ballistic missile submarine K-19 while it was on exercises in the North Atlantic. The K-19 (hull number 901) was the lead ship of the Project 958 (Hotel I) class, launched 8 April 1959 and commissioned 12 November 1960; it carried three R-13 SLBMs. On 4 July 1961 a leak developed at an inaccessible part of the primary cooling circuit, causing a sudden pressure drop and triggering emergency systems. The crew improvised a system to supply coolant, involving prolonged exposure to radioactive steam and other gases in the reactor compartment. Eight crew members sustained doses of 5,000 to 6,000 rem; the rest of the crew sustained significant doses as well (at least 100 rem). A diesel submarine evacuated the crew, and the K-19 was towed back to the Kola Peninsula. For the eight crewmembers with fatal doses, time from exposure to death in days was 6, 6, 6, 8, 9, 11, 16, and 19. The remaining crew were hospitalized with radiation sickness until September. Replacement of the reactor compartment was completed from 1962 to 1964, and the two damaged reactors were dumped in Abrosimova Bay in the Kara Sea.

Consequences: 8 fatalities, at least 31 injuries.


Thanks also for reminding us that XOs are something else. Service as #1 is a great method for passing on experience. It's also a great way to weed out those who can't serve as Captain.

Point of pride: My granddad's brother served as XO aboard a U.S. submarine during WW II.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 12:08 AM

12. On which WWII boat did your granddad's brother serve?

My cousin served on the Kete, and perished with the rest of the crew off the shore of Japan. That, on its maiden war patrol. Nobody knows what happened to the Kete. It just disappeared, undoubtedly due to enemy action.

I have an interest in WWII submarine warfare, so it is possible that I've heard of your relative, especially if he served at the early period, the first two years (of which I am more interested).


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Response to longship (Reply #12)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 02:49 PM

18. An attorney, he was in the USNR at the beginning of the war helping make ships in Boston...

...from what I understand. I am sorry, I do not know the boat's name. I have asked my relations and am awaiting a reply.

I've used the GOOGLE with my great-uncle's name and used as many USN-related sites as I can find. Apart from Ancestry.com asking me for money, little new has turned up. If you know of any online resources, I'd be happy to try. I won't print his name on DU, as I want to remain anonymous. Please PM me and we'll make arrangements.

I don't remember whether my great-uncle was selected or volunteered for sea duty. I do remember hearing he served as XO in the Pacific. My grandfather, his brother, also told me two other brothers were in uniform -- one in the Army, seeing combat in the Pacific Theater, and another in the Navy, who served as a physician aboard a carrier (not certain if he saw combat). Now that I see that in print, I've got another question for the family. My grandfather's dad, a veteran of the Spanish-American war, was on the local Draft Board and made examples of four of five sons -- all who served as officers (one advanced the war effort as a banker).

My grandfather served in the Army, coastal artillery and later in an officer education program. His best friend, Captain Angel F. Espada, USA, was machine-gunned and killed by the NAZIs in France, leading his company after D-Day. My father told me about the good-bye party the day before he shipped out. He gave my dad a basketball as a present. The only time I ever saw my dad cry was when he related this story.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 02:36 PM

4. "I think a president must move as swiftly as is prudent to retaliate."

From 2007 debates.

Talkin heads say 'O' blew the following question.

Strelnikov say talkin heads blow.


South Carolina Democratic debate
April 26, 2007


Williams: Senator Obama, if, God forbid a thousand times, while we were gathered here tonight, we learned that two American cities have been hit simultaneously by terrorists and we further learned, beyond the shadow of a doubt it had been the work of Al Qaida, how would you change the U.S. military stance overseas as a result?

Obama: [span style="background:yellow"]Well, the first thing we'd have to do is make sure that we've got an effective emergency response, something that this administration failed to do when we had a hurricane in New Orleans.[/span]

And I think that we have to review how we operate in the event of not only a natural disaster, but also a terrorist attack.

[span style="background:yellow"]The second thing is to make sure that we've got good intelligence, a., to find out that we don't have other threats and attacks potentially out there, and b., to find out, do we have any intelligence on who might have carried it out so that we can take potentially some action to dismantle that network.[/span]

But what we can't do is then alienate the world community based on faulty intelligence, based on bluster and bombast. Instead, the next thing we would have to do, in addition to talking to the American people, is making sure that we are talking to the international community.

Because as already been stated, [span style="background:yellow"]we're not going to defeat terrorists on our own. We've got to strengthen our intelligence relationships with them, and they've got to feel a stake in our security[/span] by recognizing that we have mutual security interests at stake.

Williams: We are out of time, thank you.

. . .

Senator Clinton, same question.

Clinton: Well, again, having been a senator during 9/11, I understand very well the extraordinary horror of that kind of an attack and the impact that it has, far beyond those that are directly affected.

[span style="background:yellow"]I think a president must move as swiftly as is prudent to retaliate.

If we are attacked, and we can determine who is behind that attack, and if there are nations that supported or gave material aid to those who attacked us, I believe we should quickly respond.[/span]

Now, that doesn't mean we go looking for other fights. You know, I supported President Bush when he went after Al Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

And then when he decided to divert attention to Iraq, it was not a decision that I would have made, had I been president, because we still haven't found bin Laden. So let's focus on those who have attacked us and do everything we can to destroy them.

Williams: Out of time, Senator. Thank you.

Post-Democratic Candidates' Debate Coverage


Fineman: Authentic victory for Hillary.

Barack Obama, in some respects, was off his game. He was off his rhythm. He is good in one on one. His thought pauses...

Matthews: Was he frustrated by the fact there were eight people sharing 90 minutes?

Fineman: Yes, exactly. He’s not used to that.

[span style="background:yellow"]And he also blew the question initially on, what would you do if two American cities were bombed[/span] and we knew it was al Qaeda? What happened was, he got that question first. It was from out of the blue. He got it. [span style="background:yellow"]He didn’t answer it forcefully enough, in terms of retaliation and military force.[/span] Neither did John Edwards.

The people in the Clinton spin room couldn’t [span style="background:yellow"]they were hoping and praying that Hillary would also get that question. And she did. And she used the word retaliate.[/span] And Edwards excuse me and Obama spent the rest of the debate making up for what he knew was an inadequate inadequate answer on the question of military force.


So, if SPECTRE . . oops . . Al Queda attacks two US cities, per the MSNBC talking heads the CIC's first action should be to retaliate.

Not secure the situation, ensure adequate emergency relief measures are being taken, ensure that a strong defensive posture has been assumed, not open dialog with allies as to how best to work together to address any future threats.

Nope. To show you would be a tough CIC, the MSNBC talking heads say the correct answer is retaliate.

Flush the bombers, load em up with JDAMS of Freedom[sup]TM[/sup] and dammit just bomb somebody already. No good targets to bomb where Blofeld .. oops .. Osama is hiding, well fuck it, bomb some other country nobody likes (preferably one with oil).

I mean, shit, this approach of bomb first, ask questions later has worked so well over the last seven years . . .


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Response to Strelnikov_ (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 03:08 PM

9. Indeed: Nuke first, ask questions later would be the final mistake, Strelnikov.

From an unpublished article...


Lessons from the Cuban Missile Crisis


Robert S. McNamara and James G. Blight


4. The Lessons of October, 1962

While the world of 1962 is some ways increasingly remote, and the U.S.-Soviet Cold War in which it occurred has disappeared, many of the lessons of October 1962 are surprisingly relevant just now. Some may even be more relevant now than at any time since the crisis. We have identified four such lessons that we believe are distressingly pertinent to the world at the outset of the 21st century, especially the world of post-September 11, 2001.

First, recognize that their will be unintended consequences of our actions. Outcomes which may appear highly unlikely at the outset of a confrontation or conflict may become probable by its conclusion. It is essential, therefore, that policymakers take time to fully analyze, evaluate and debate all alternative courses of action. Differences of view among the president's advisers must be forced to the surface and fully explored.

Second, try to empathize with the mindset of your adversaries. Recognize that decisions to initiate action leading to highly undesirable outcomes is entirely possible by our opponents, especially when they misunderstand our objectives. Fidel Castro, and his Cuban and Soviet colleagues on the island of Cuba, believed they were acting rationally when in October 1962 they prepared for, and even sought the initiation of, nuclear war. They had concluded, wrongly but with some reason, that an American invasion was inevitable and that they were helpless without the "equalizers"--the nuclear weapons--and thus they would use them. While these decisions would, if implemented, have led to total devastation, the decisions themselves were the logical outcome of the perverse, desperate situation in which they found themselves, and which they had played an unwitting part in creating.


Third, we must try to empathize with our allies and the allies of our adversaries. In the current case, we must recognize that the U.S. is hated by some Arabs and other Muslims, and that this will affect the actions of our allies and our opponents. We must try to minimize unintended consequences of our actions by probing deeply the roots of such hatreds--by trying to see our actions as others see them.

Fourth and finally, recognize that the Cuban missile crisis demonstrated that human beings endeavoring to manage military operations are even more fallible than the rest of us are in our daily lives. We all make mistakes in our daily lives. The point is to try not to make the same mistake twice--to learn from our mistakes. But a mistake involving the use of nuclear weapons is likely to lead to unprecedented devastation, yielding little or no opportunity to learn from mistakes leading to the nuclear attacks. It was therefore concluded at January 1989 Moscow conference on the Cuban missile crisis that the indefinite combination of human fallibility and the existence of nuclear weapons will lead to the destruction of nations. On this basis, we believe that, with appropriate verification procedures in place, we must move to eliminate nuclear weapons.




The way of war, the march for empire, cannot continue forever. Thanks to Cheney and Rove outting CIA NOC agent Valerie Plame and exposing all of Brewster, Jennins & Associates, there may be more nukes around than resources to safeguard them. That's where the idea of a New Frontier -- the peaceful exploration of space -- came in. Today, more than ever, we could use more of the Vision Thing.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #9)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 12:33 AM

14. Another great subtext in the flick "Thirteen Days"

JFK talks about reading the WWI history The Guns of August. In the oval office, JFK, RFK, and Kenny O'Donnell are discussing a meeting of EXCOM in the oval office. It is obvious from the discussion that JFK is very worried about losing control of the situation. The military people are pushing for conflict, and JFK sees this as a disaster in the making.

For JFK, The Guns of August provides the metaphor on how not to handle the situation. It is a quite wonderful, and educational, scene.

Indeed, without these guys in power we may have had a world war that October or November. We were a mere hair's breadth away.

Another good sequence of scenes is the contribution of ABC News' John Scali, who was the go-between betwixt JFK and Kruschchev by way of Nikita's friend the head KGB spy in the USA!!! This eventually paved the way to the peaceful resolution of the whole crisis.

The story is most interesting, and Thirteen Days, in spite of its flaws, portrays the story quite accurately. As I wrote above, we were all scared shitless. Apparently rightly so.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Oct 17, 2012, 11:38 AM

11. Cuban Missile Crisis the Canadian Connection

Interesting read @ The Education Forum


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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 12:14 AM

13. Very good point, Octafish.


I have to agree 100%. What would happen, for instance, if Israel were to go Samson on Iran & Syria after losing, say, Tel Aviv and Haifa to nuclear bombs, Iranian or terrorist? If Mittens were in office, it'd be a diplomatic disaster of epic proportions.
On the other hand, I think Obama would be able to keep a cool head like JFK did, and assess the situation as calmly as possible. And that's why, I too, support Obama's re-election, the choice is crystal clear!

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 11:43 AM

15. The Cuban Missile Crisis at 50: America and Cuba Still Frozen in 1962

Good read from Time:
Latin America
The Cuban Missile Crisis at 50: America and Cuba Still Frozen in 1962
Raúl Castro's decision this week to let Cubans travel freely outside their communist island is a reminder of the jaded cold-war policies Washington and Havana adopted after the 1962 U.S.-Soviet standoff

By Tim Padgett | @TimPadgett2 | October 17, 2012

Then again, if this is a season of 50th anniversaries, it’s also a U.S. election season—a reminder that Washington is still terrified of conservative Cuban-American voters in the swing state of Florida. A reminder that Havana still hasn’t grown beyond its anti-yanqui dogma and paranoia. A reminder that both the U.S. and Cuba are still frozen in 1962, to the detriment of the Americas.

Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/10/17/the-cuban-missile-crisis-at-50-america-and-cuba-still-frozen-in-1962/

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 12:15 PM

16. Katrina taught many in this generation that

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 11:18 AM

19. K&R. Well said.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 12:46 PM

20. Presidential Elections and Armageddon

As with the Op, here's another excellent piece on the Cuban Missile Crisis, and how it remains as relevant now as it ever was, from ConsortiumNews.com:


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Response to MinM (Reply #20)

Sat Oct 27, 2012, 12:00 AM

21. Thank you, MinM! Dr. Dodge put it into words.

"We have the international institutions and diplomatic skills, models and best practices today to resolve conflict without war. What is needed is the collective will and leadership to take this stand. The future of the planet depends on it. The choice is ours."

Regarding that time: Going by what we've learned about Operation NORTHWOODS (PDF) and the various suggested first strike plans put before Kennedy by CIA Director Dulles and JCS Chairman Lemnitzer, as well as the first strike suggested by Sen. George Smathers, doesn't it seem like a big coincidence that the evidentiary trail of crumbs connected Oswald to was Cuba?

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