Missile Crisis Memories

Friday, July 03, 2009

Transcript

The Cuban Missile Crisis was one of the most politically tense moments of the Kennedy presidency, and one of the most memorable media moments of the Cold War. In an interview which originally aired in 2002, Fred Kaplan talked about how the media covered the Missile Crisis then, and how we interpret that coverage today.

Comments [3]

Mel Liles from Stockbridge, GA

This brings back my own recollection of helping my mother (I was 12) stack canned water in our linen closet as if to think that after an all-out nuclear war with the Russians, we would hole up in the hallway for a few days before re-emerging to resume normal activity. Everybody and his brother were selling bomb shelters, too. We seemed to have no notion that the lucky ones would be killed in the first blast and that the "survivors" would envy the dead. We were all very naive and easily led in any direction. This crisis led to a more complete adoption of the concept of proxy wars after it demonstrated that having U.S. and Soviet nuclear forces in such proximity was far too dangerous.

Jul. 08 2009 11:00 AM
Christopher T. Wood from Boston, MA

It's not an issue of a President being surrounded by 'smart' advisors, its having advisors who are not political hacks with a conclusion who are interested creating a rationale.

Jul. 05 2009 01:56 PM
Bretislav Friedrich from Berlin, Germany

Thanks for (re)raising the issue again. Two points: (1) it was not mentioned in the program (as far as I could hear) that there was a secret (non-public) supplement to the deal between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., namely that the American obligation under the deal to withdraw its missiles from Turkey will not be publicized; (2) by the time the U.S. had made the deal with Russia, the U.S. Navy was about to deploy submarine-launched ballistic missiles in Turkey's territorial waters and elsewhere, thereby fully restoring the U.S. capability to hit major Soviet targets at close range.

The Soviets adhered to the deal in most (if not all) of its aspects. The Americans, on the other hand, had betrayed it already at the time of the signing.

I believe that this aspects should be also included in history's draft.

Bretislav Friedrich.

Jul. 05 2009 06:09 AM

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