The Cuban missile crisis - when we had real leaders

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The Cuban missile crisis - when we had real leaders

I have just watched the movie Thirteen days, about the Cuban Missile crisis, and how the world came within 24 hours of nuclear war, and the end of everything we know.

Its an utterly gripping movie well acted and totally suspenseful. At one stage I find myself thinking "did we survive?".

It was sad to compare the situation then with the situation now, in Iraq. Kennedy did all he could to reign in his military, who were dying to go to war, even circumventing the hierarchy and talking to the pilots themselves, telling them, via his #2 man that they were not to say they were shot at.

If the military knew camera planes had been attacked, they would have retaliated attacking the bases, and WW3 would have been on.

If you think this is just movie licence portraying the military as 'bad guys' then read this.

The movie portrayed leaders who didn't want war, who wanted peace, and had the skills and ability to negotiate a way there, seemingly from the edge of disaster.

Sure the Russians started it, by moving nuclear weapons into Cuba, and lying in public about it. But diplomacy and cool thinking, saved the world. They would repeatedly go over the scenarios of what would happen in response to their actions.

"If we attack their ships, they retaliate by attacking our bases, we attack Cuba, then they attack Berlin, and then its all on".

Over the 13 days Kennedy slowly brought the world back from disaster.

Yet today we see a leader who seemingly can only see military solutions as the answer to everything.

And one who's shortsighted actions, and lying to the world (WMD?) brought about the situation in the first place. Its sad that such thinkers, as portrayed in the movie don't seem available today.

Boy we need another Kennedy in this world.

Watch the move and see how the Government should be run. You won't regret it, its great.
By netchicken: posted on 22-4-2007

The Cuban Missile Crisis was indeed one of the greatest vicotries for BOTH sides. When I was taught about it in school, it was put very simply as - they negotiated and found a peaceable conclusion. Small words for a much greater task. I think at that point the Commies truly understood that war could be imminent and our stance on their hucksterism was not mere posturing. Now, the situation is different, there is no "others" like there was the Soviet Union.

I should watch that movie.
By IAF: posted on 22-4-2007

What amazed me about the movie was how well it portrayed the situation. At the end Kennedy gave the Russians 24 hours to agree to their terms or war would start.

As they said in the movie, if you were the Russians and knew that in 24 hours you were going to war, what would you do?

Attack first.

So the American leadership went to bed not knowing if there would even be a new day.

As the Cuban based nuclear missiles only took 5 minutes to reach their targets, and there was no defence against them, there was nothing they could do.

They must have been scary times indeed.
By netchicken: posted on 22-4-2007

Yeah, "we" sure saw scary times then, and "we" could sure use a bteer leader, no doubt.

As a matter of fact, it'd be nice for some other nation to step up to the plate and spend its resources and assert its military in a manner that allows others the freedom to NOT be a Soviet satelite and, more currently, not have to be under Sharia law.

Any other nations have the cash, strength and desire to take our place? How about New Zealand? I for one am tired of the rest of the world acting as if they have the right to partial ownership of my country, willing to point out flaws and all but just don't have what it takes to take the torch from us and let us rest a bit.

I'd like to sit back and talk about how others' leaders just ain't cuttin' it, too.

By the way, the Soviets were a little different than the enemies of today. They were athiests and didn't want to die. Today's enemies believe that if they die fighting us they have a direct trip to Paradise. They also believe they can lie to us and it not be lying but merely positioning to win. Today's enemy is an ideology and not a sovereign government.
Today's war is not an entirely new war as it has been fought before and "we" won in the past. Remember the Crusades? The response to the previous global jihads? Seems the purely military response worked in the past. Am I saying it will work now? No, I am now, but what I am saying is that it is the only way we have beaten back the global jihads in the past and, while I am no fan of Bush, he is "my" president and I don't see anybody else doing anything that amounts to anything.
Well, other than Europe. They are taking the ant-victory approach of rolling over, wetting on themselves and allowing Islam to envelope strangle out their heritage. Personally, I don't see that as much of a plan.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 22-4-2007

I take your point with the "we" part.

However it wouldn't sound right if I said "youse guys boss sucks mate".

The leader of America, is partly the leader of the rest of the free world, if we like it or not (usually 'or not').

Whatever he does impacts on all our societies (for example the American dollar is falling to new lows, partly because of the war which screws up income from overseas).

Another example. Our own flight systems are getting screwed down to prevent "terrorists" from attacking us. Despite the fact that no terrorist in their right mind (assuming that is a possiblity) would attack us anyway.

In the case of the Cuban Missile crisis, Kennedy's actions help decide if we all lived or died. A friend who saw the movie with us was in London during the crisis. And even there people were just as scared as in America that they were all gong to die.

Therefore we have just as much stake in seeing that America has a good leader, as Americans.

That no other leader steps up to bat for the free world is illusory.

No other country can marshall the forces needed to do anything. Other leaders may be just as bright, just as capable, if not more so, but because they have less resources means they are not heard.

Don't forget the France was right when it claimed repeatedly that there were no WMD, when Bush was deliberatly lying. Our own leader came out against the war in Iraq quite strongly. Will history prove her right?

Besides when America determines to represent the 'free world' then it takes by defacto, the responsability for looking after it.

Also don't think that America is doing what it does purely out of the goodness of its hart for altruistic reasons. Its at the forefront of advancing its own agendas, polticial, financial, strageic, etc in its actions.

Mugabe, one of the most oppressive leaders in recent times, who is destroying his own country far worse than Saddam, remains in power because there is nothing to gain in America taking him out.
By netchicken: posted on 22-4-2007

Part of my rant is that no other country can take our role in the world no matter how brilliant the leadership might be. Due to that je ne c'est qua that made America what it is, we have to be what we are.
Personally, I'd rather take the role of complainer with no responsibility for a few decades. I'm tired of being the target. Let some other bunch have to worry with this crap.

Yes, as I have stated before (though not in this thread), Shrub really got his duckies out of their proper row when he went after Iraq, unless it was to subdue the murderous tyrant who EVERYONE thought was pursuing NBC weapons, including his own commanders, and then use that chunk of land as a launching base to crack Iran and Syria, and then turn around and do the ol' stomp -n- drag over the Saudis. Obviously he hasn't done this.

Let's not forget that Hussein was seen as a dangerous madman by the U.S. Democrats right up until Bush opened a can of whuparse on him, and let's not forget that other nations ALSO said Hussein is believed to be building up an NBC arsenal.

Remember, the nutbag used chemicals on on the Kurds in the past, and had it not been for the Israelis striking his nuclear facility in the early 80's things would have been a lot different, even back in the first Gulf War. As it turns out, we know he was pursuing special weapons and we know that his scientists kept telling him that they were on to some wonderful ideas in order to not be killed for letting him down. We also know he had chemical and biological weapons, what we don't know is where they are, but we never found out what was in that convoy that went across the border into Syria because WE never continued the Crusade and went across the border into Syria.

Yes, you are correct in that the Cold War was a situation we all shared, but the threat of a "nuclear winter" was a great lie, bigger than any lie told by Bush. Well, on par with, anyway.
The Nuclear Winter BS was trumped up to make the thought of warfare too disturbing to contemplate. It would not have happened. You would have been safe in New Zealand, for example. The Brits would have been toast along with us, true, but that is not global destruction.

True, Mugabe is still in pwer, but there is a little bit of a difference. He hasn't tried to assassinate a president and didn't have a top international terrorist who was hiding in his country killed for refusing to try and kill that same president. Those are just a couple for start. I can go longer but I am sure it is not necessary. There is more than simply nothing to gain.

You know, you have a point, Mugabe should be taken out. And you know what else? It wouldn't take American might to take him out of the picture. Hmmmm....anybody want to do a good deed for the world? Any takers?

Yeah, again the world is up to its armpits in trouble, this time from an ideology that is intent to spread Islam throughout the world, replacing every government and religion with Islam which is government, religion and lifestyle all rolled up into one entity. This is a more dire situation than the Cuban Missile Crisis. As a matter of fact, Europe has just about fallen. Any brilliant leaders want to step up with a plan to implement, please, do it! As far as affording it, that is no problem. The U.S. went into debt running the Soviets into the ground (We all benefited from that, right?) and this War on "Terror" is driving us deeper into debt. Trust me, we aren't the only ones who can go into debt!
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 22-4-2007

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