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The world is now closer to nuclear war than when the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred. History matters.
In 1961, the United States placed nuclear-armed Jupiter missiles on the Soviet Union’s border in Turkey. The Soviets reacted and in 1962 placed missiles in Cuba. The United States was outraged and threatened nuclear war because the Soviet Union had the audacity to do to America what America had done to them.
“You are troubled by Cuba. You say it bothers you because it’s 90 miles by sea from the coast of the United States of America. But Turkey is next to us; our sentinels patrol in both directions and see each other. Do you therefore consider that you have the right to demand the security of your own country and the withdrawal of the weapons which you call offensive, but do not grant us the same right? »
Fortunately, JFK had the wisdom to ignore his military advisers, telephoned Khrushchev and they agreed to remove the missiles from the borders of both countries. That the United States was the initial aggressor, and not the Soviet Union, was censored by American media at the time. It wasn’t until decades later that this intelligence was revealed in a 2013 issue of Atlantic magazine.
Break all promises made in 1990 to Soviet President Gorbachev by then US Secretary of State James Bakernot to move NATO “one inch” east if Germany were allowed to reunite, President Bill Clinton began to do so against the advice of the most experienced diplomats of the day. Jack Matlock, the last US ambassador to the Soviet Union before its dissolution, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
“I consider the [Clinton] The administration’s recommendation to welcome new members into NATO at this time is misguided. If it were to be approved by the United States Senate, it could well go down in history as the deepest strategic blunder since the end of the Cold War. Far from improving the security of the United States, its allies and nations wishing to join the Alliance, it may well encourage a chain of events that produces the most serious threat to the security of this nation since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
US now has missiles in Poland and Romania capable of hitting Moscow in 7 minutes (3-5 minutes if converted to hyper-sonic). After the US-orchestrated coup toppled Ukraine’s democratically elected president and friend of Russia in 2014, America began to arm Ukraine. Given America’s reaction to Soviet missiles in Cuba decades ago, why on earth would anyone think Russia would, or even should, react any differently. Like the American missiles in Turkey 60 years ago, it is the United States that is the aggressor, not Russia, and to say that Russia was not provoked in Ukraine is to deny everything do. Maybe Russia should hand over missiles to Cuba.
Russia did everything to avoid this war including proposals for negotiations sent to Biden and the US State Department in 2021. The US barely acknowledged receipt of Russia’s written concerns.
It’s easy to call Putin a thug, a gangster. It conveniently “justifies” the absence of any thoughtful consideration, “excuses” US culpability in the Ukraine crisis. But to think that the United States would act differently from Russia if Moscow placed missiles 3-7 minutes from Washington DC is ridiculous.
It’s time for American leaders to appeal to the wisdom and courage of JFK, call Putin and say:
“President Putin, we were wrong to break our promises, we were wrong to expand NATO and place missiles on your borders. For the sake of all humanity, we will put an end to this senseless escalation. Just as the Soviet Union dissolved the the Warsaw Pact after the fall of the Berlin Wall in the belief that Russia and Western Europe could now work cooperatively for the good of all, we will remove the missiles from your borders and bring NATO back to its promised limits in Germany or disband completely the organization. We would then like to work with Russia to rebuild Ukraine.
I know it’s pure fantasy, but I have this strange aversion to nuclear holocaust and I don’t know what else to do.