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Trump and North Korea


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North Korea just called Trump’s bluff. So what happens now?

 

"The U.S. is now in a difficult situation of Trump’s making. It will be highly costly, and possibly greatly damaging to the United States to deliver on Trump’s threat, even in its minimal form. There is furthermore a significant risk that a spiral of threat and counterthreat might lead to actual nuclear war, which would have devastating consequences.

 

Yet if Trump, as is more likely, fails to deliver on the threat, then Trump’s credibility, such as it is, will be badly damaged, as might the credibility of the United States in future standoffs. In particular, it will be even harder to influence North Korea’s behavior."

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/08/08/donald-trump-is-playing-a-dangerous-game-with-north-korea/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_mc-bluff-1120a%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.982d920edd06

you liberals are truly unbelievable...it is impossible to influence that fat ugly little psycho in any way!

 

he must be stopped and the threat neutralized. do you liberals honestly believe that can be accomplished with just talk?

 

you liberals have been high on the fumes of political correctness for far too long. this is the real world.

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you liberals are truly unbelievable...it is impossible to influence that fat ugly little psycho in any way!

 

he must be stopped and the threat neutralized. do you liberals honestly believe that can be accomplished with just talk?

 

you liberals have been high on the fumes of political correctness for far too long. this is the real world.

 

Trump: "If you threaten us you will be met with fire and fury and power like the world has never seen before"

(Sounds like a Trump red line)

NK Repsonse: Direct threat on the U.S. and insults to Trump.

(Trump's response?)

Face it.  He's an idiot who should stick to beauty pageants.

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right! obama was so cool he never backed up his red line. :lol:

 

That's a myth.  A deal was struck with the Russians and Syria for the destruction of all the chemical weapons.  We were told that happened.  I think you have to give Russia and the Syrians the benefit of the doubt on that before committing hundreds of thousands of American ground troops.

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you liberals are truly unbelievable...it is impossible to influence that fat ugly little psycho in any way!

 

he must be stopped and the threat neutralized. do you liberals honestly believe that can be accomplished with just talk?

 

you liberals have been high on the fumes of political correctness for far too long. this is the real world.

 

You Trumpies are truly unbelievable. It's impossible to get anything done with that ugly orange psycho in the White House.

 

He needs to be impeached and convicted before we all die, do you Trumpies know that if the psycho in the White House knew an iota of nuance in International Communications instead of spouting school yard bullyism, quite a lot could be done with just talk.

 

You Trumpies have been high on the on the fumes of a berserker mentality far to long. This is the real world and we have a president has no idea how deal to with it.

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Kim Jong un is more likely bluffing, he should know any attack will come with a possible nuclear response.  It will not be the 1950's again but utter annihilation and Trump won't care what Russia or China will think!

 

NK is a very small country and it's large army will account for nothing if it becomes ash.  I hope Kim see how critical his situation is.  

 

China has hinted they may take action against NK if they cross the line. Appears this is not only our problem after all.

 

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/790843/world-war-3-china-bomb-north-korea-kim-jong-un-nuclear-test

 

 

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For a while now, I have hesitated to do this, but here goes....

 

Yep, it's a long one...

 

THE 1962 CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS

I was just a kid in 1962, and just as many of the "adults" around me, knew little, and understood even less, about world politics and policies and their effect upon our everyday lives. So my personal memories and impressions from that time are from that limited, pre-adolescent perspective.

None-the-less the memories are still vivid enough to have occurred yesterday, and combined with what I do know today, are even more terrifying than the ignorance of that time. 

 

In 1962, the United States was the world's preeminent nuclear power, but the Soviet Union was playing catch-up, fast.

The "Cold War" was littered with the matches of "little" proxy wars, that had the potential of igniting a far greater conflagration that could possibly consume all of us. 

 

Our SAC bombers were in the sky 24/7 and flew to their "fail-safe point" near the edge of Soviet borders routinely.

Thanks to Sputnik, the Soviets fielded the first ICBM in 1958, but still had few missiles capable of reaching into our heartland from their homeland. Though our Minuteman strategic ballistic program was still in it's infancy, the Soviet's lagged behind the U.S. in almost every other area of nuclear capability. We had our mid-range Jupiter's deployed in Europe and Turkey, close enough to strike well within the Soviet homeland. And our ballistic subs (which well out numbered theirs)  routinely patrolled the waters off their shores, as did theirs off ours (and at that time international waters were only 12 miles off our coasts.)

The Soviet's embellished their nuclear capability, and the U.S. took them seriously, unaware that at the time we held a nuclear superiority in deliverable warheads of  7.5:1 (27,000 against their 3,600), as well as the technology required for more accurate delivery. Despite the numbers discrepancy this was still more than enough nuclear armament for each nation to more than destroy the other.

There was no direct line of communication between Moscow and Washington at the time, so the jingoistic sabre rattling from both sides carried more ill effect. Both sides employed embedded spies, and poured over each others media for any clue of what the other might be really thinking, or doing, or thinking about doing.

 

After ousting the Batista regime in 1959, Castro kicked U.S. capitalists out of Cuba and shut down the blooming mafia controlled casinos. This raised the retaliative ire of those who had invested heavily in the previous regimes lenient "U.S. business friendly" policies. The April 1961, Bay of Pigs "invasion" (as anemic as it was) demonstrated to Castro how hostile U.S. intentions were.

In August 1961, Khrushchev initiated construction of the Berlin Wall. Total control of Berlin had been on their radar since the end of the war.

In February 1962, the U.S. again expanded the trade embargo against Cuba, first established during the revolution in 1958.

In a  t i t -for-tat play, Khrushchev agreed with Castro in July to place mid-range nuclear missiles on Cuba, to both deter a future invasion of the island, and let the U.S. know how it felt to have a land based nuclear threat less than 100 miles off-shore. Construction on the missile bases promptly began that summer.

 

Kennedy was a young, untested president (at 43, our youngest ever elected). He was an even younger JG Lieutenant in WW2, and was now surrounded by military advisors who had been his former senior officers during the war. Most were staunch "anti-communists" and many were quite hubristic and belligerently hawkish. 

 

On September 11, the Soviet Union made a public statement warning that any U.S. attack on Cuba, or on Soviet ships that were carrying supplies to the island, would mean war.

While Kennedy "promised" the American people that "We" would not tolerate a Cuba capable of "striking" the United States.

That month Air Force General Curtis LeMay presented a pre-invasion bombing plan to Kennedy.

By late September, U.S. naval reconnaissance aircraft spotted Soviet ships bound for Cuba with "suspiciously large crates" on their decks.

While the Soviets continued to deny, or downplay any "offensive" build-up, on October 7, acting Cuban President Osvaldo Torrado, spoke at the United Nations General Assembly, stating:

"If... we are attacked, we will defend ourselves. I repeat, we have sufficient means with which to defend ourselves; we have indeed our inevitable weapons, the weapons, which we would have preferred not to acquire, and which we do not wish to employ."

 

On October 14, U.S. U-2 spy planes photographed the presence of a Soviet style missile construction site on the island. 
By the evening of Oct. 15, CIA analysts had confirmed the evidence, and early the next morning (Oct. 16) the President was notified.

Later that same day, Kennedy convened with the members of the National Security Council and Joint Chief's of Staff to discuss several possible courses of action.

 

The Responses considered included:

1) Do nothing (since U.S. vulnerability to Soviet missiles was nothing new).

2) Diplomacy (apply diplomatic pressure to get the Soviet Union to remove the missiles).

3) Propose covert demands that Castro either "break-off" the Soviet relationship or risk being invaded.

4) Naval Blockade (or Quarantine), to prevent any more missiles from landing in Cuba.

5) Air strike to destroy existing missile sites and infrastructure.

6) All out Invasion of Cuba with the overthrow of Castro.

 

All of the Joint Chief's unanimously agreed with both options 5 & 6. They believed and strongly advised the president that an immediate, all-out invasion of Cuba was the only solution. They felt certain that the Soviet's would not intervene or retaliate.
Kennedy, having previously acquiesced to their disastrous Bay of Pigs advisement, wasn't quite as quick to agree this time.
He authorized preparations, but temporarily overruled his advisors with a more cautious approach. Kennedy suppressed the knowledge about the missile site from the American people. He needed time to make a rational decision. His caution proved warranted.

 

Unbeknownst at that time, there were already several fully functional and armed sites ready to fire.
In addition to several "tactical" nukes designed for destruction of an invading fleet, the Soviet's had begun landing accurate, mid-range R-12 ballistic missiles capable of producing incredible damage, as early as the night of September 8. The R-12 was capable of carrying a thermonuclear, megaton-class (hydrogen bomb) warhead. Their proximity on Cuba placed the contiguous U.S. well within target range.  

And Castro, who was understandably paranoid, rightly believed that a U.S. invasion was imminent and had already stressed an immediate preemptive nuclear strike at the first sign of an attack.

 

NOTE: The Uranium atomic (fission) bomb that devastated Hiroshima detonated with an explosive force of approximately 15 kilotons (15,000 tons of TNT), while the Plutonium atomic ("implosion" type fission) bomb that wiped out Nagasaki exploded with an energy of approximately 20 kilotons (20,000 tons of TNT). By contrast the first thermonuclear (hydrogen) bomb test exploded with an energy of approximately 10 megatons (10 million tons of TNT), 500 times more powerful than the first and only (so far) nuclear bombs to  actually be used in war. 

 

By October 19, additional U-2 flights showed four more operational missile sites (of a total of nine Soviet planned) .

 

Kennedy was trapped by his own words and U.S. credibility was now on the line:

In Sept. Kennedy had explicitly promised the American people "... if Cuba should possess a capacity to carry out offensive actions against the United States... the United States would act."
Public acknowledgment of what he now knew would require him to act, or confirm to the Soviets and our allies that he was "weak." But yielding to the Joint Chief's wishes would likely preclude the option of any further diplomacy, and along with it, any opportunity to avoid a nuclear war. 

A more moderate, slower escalation was needed, one that could allow both sides an opportunity for compromise, while yet remaining outwardly strong in appearance. A strong but limited military action that left the U.S. with some sense of control. However a naval "blockade" was also an act of war.
Kennedy finally settled on the use of the term "quarantine" of offensive weapons, to differentiate from a blockade of all materials.
The line was thin, but if the Soviet's, who had their own ulterior aspirations and had also made blustery statements, chose to recognize the difference between the two terms, it would give them a reason to likewise avoid hasty action.  

 

Finally, after making his decision on how to respond, on the evening of October 22, Kennedy delivered a historical nationwide televised address on all of the major networks announcing the discovery of the missiles.

In it he said,
".... It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union. ..."

 

".....To halt this offensive buildup, a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba is being initiated. All ships of any kind bound for Cuba, from whatever nation or port, will, if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, be turned back. This quarantine will be extended, if needed, to other types of cargo and carriers. We are not at this time, however, denying the necessities of life as the Soviets attempted to do in their Berlin blockade of 1948. ...."

 

The day after this speech, on October 23, the bait was further laid.

In a not so secure, carefully composed cable, the U.S. Ambassadors in Turkey and NATO, were notified that the U.S. was  "considering making an offer to withdraw (what the U.S. knew to be nearly-obsolete) missiles from Italy and Turkey, in exchange for the Soviet withdrawal from Cuba."

On October 25, this information was further "leaked" to U.S. journalist Walter Lippmann, who proposed the same thing in his syndicated column.

 

While immediate world reaction to Kennedy's speech and the subsequent "leaks" was mixed, and some U.S. allies appeared incensed.

Tensions continued to escalate between the U.S. and U.S.S.R.

 

That same day, the U.S. requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, and the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson, confronted the Soviet Ambassador, Valerian Zorin, about confirming or denying the presence of offensive nuclear missiles in Cuba with a simple "Yes" or "No." When Zorin refused a direct answer, by saying "...you will have your answer in due course," Stevenson famously replied, "I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over." Whereupon Stevenson produced the irrefutable evidence of the presence of Soviet missiles on the isle of Cuba.

 

Kennedy needed Khrushchev to know that the U.S. was serious, without pushing things over the threshold.

The next day he upped the ante as high as he dared, without deliberately going to war.

 

If the Soviet's were looking for an excuse to attack, this could be it. If they weren't ready for world annihilation then they just might back down. It was the most deadly "game of chicken" the world had ever seen.

We were all held captive in the backseat of this runaway madness, and all that any of us could do was watch as it happened, prepare for "the end," and pray.

 

This was the first (and as yet, only) time in U.S. history, that SAC readiness level was raised to DEFCON 2 (the last step before nuclear war).

80 percent of SAC's planes were ready for immediate, 15 min launch with one eighth of SAC's 1,436 bombers continuously airborne. B-52s were sent to orbit points within striking distance of the Soviet Union. It was Fail Safe and Dr. Strangelove, for real, and nobody was laughing. 

All of our ICBM's were cocked and locked, some aimed at Cuba. And all of us were wondering if we'd ever live to see The Day After....

All of our ballistic subs were ready for On the Beach and Waltzing Matilda.

 

Knowing that Khrushchev was carefully watching all this, and being counseled by his advisors to respond in kind. Kennedy sent Khrushchev a telegram stating that
"The U.S. was forced into this action after receiving repeated assurances that no offensive missiles were being placed in Cuba, and when the assurances proved to be false, the deployment "required the responses I have announced.... I hope that your government will take necessary action to permit a restoration of the earlier situation."

 

As we all held our breath, afraid that each one would be our last, we watched and noticed as the Soviets didn't appear to make any careless moves. They did not not attempt to escalate to our level of alert, neither did they increase their air defense posture.

There was a brief moment of hope...

 

In the midst of this seeming chaos, "backdoor" diplomacy was occurring that none of us, knew anything about at the time.

Both sides were attempting to seek an alternate solution, through unorthodox, alternate means. Amidst a plethora of mixed messages and contradictory signals, knowing who to trust and who to not, was critical. 

It was finally determined that a letter received was authentic, it read:

 

"Mr. President, we and you ought not now to pull on the ends of the rope in which you have tied the knot of war, because the more the two of us pull, the tighter that knot will be tied. And a moment may come when that knot will be tied so tight that even he who tied it will not have the strength to untie it, and then it will be necessary to cut that knot, and what that would mean is not for me to explain to you, because you yourself understand perfectly of what terrible forces our countries dispose. Consequently, if there is no intention to tighten that knot and thereby to doom the world to the catastrophe of thermonuclear war, then let us not only relax the forces pulling on the ends of the rope, let us take measures to untie that knot. We are ready for this.

Letter From Chairman Khrushchev to President Kennedy, October 26, 1962"

 

In the meantime the Cuban military and several thousand Soviet "advisors" were getting ever more prepared for a U.S. invasion, and hawkish pressure was mounting on both sides to do something more...

 

There were many highly provocative close calls (some of which we would not become aware of for many years), anyone of which could have been the match to the powder keg...  a shot fired across the bow of a Soviet ship attempting to run the blockade, a submerged Soviet sub with nuclear tipped torpedoes whose intentions were unclear was grenaded by "signaling depth charges" from a U.S. destroyer, a U-2  "accidentally" violating Soviet air space was chased by Soviet MiGs, which were in turn pursued by F102 fighters armed with nuclear tipped air-to-air missiles....

We all sat, and watched with bated breath...

 

On the morning of Oct. 27, Radio Moscow broadcast a message from Khrushchev in which he proposed a "new" trade:
"The missiles on Cuba would be removed in exchange for the removal of the Jupiter missiles from Italy and Turkey."
It appeared that Khrushchev was accepting the initial "leaked" offer from October 23.

 

Later that morning another message arrived from Khrushchev.

It read in part:

"You are disturbed over Cuba. You say that this disturbs you because it is ninety-nine miles by sea from the coast of the United States of America. But... you have placed destructive missile weapons, which you call offensive, in Italy and Turkey, literally next to us.... I therefore make this proposal: We are willing to remove from Cuba the means which you regard as offensive.... Your representatives will make a declaration to the effect that the United States... will remove its analogous means from Turkey... and after that, persons entrusted by the United Nations Security Council could inspect on the spot the fulfillment of the pledges made."

 

Kennedy noted that the Jupiter missiles were deemed obsolete and due for replacement anyway. If the "public" Khrushchev required this open declaration to appease his critics, and save face, it would appear to be a "fair exchange."
It was the first step toward "untieing" the nuclear knot.

 

In the meantime a SAM launched from Cuba shot down a U-2, and later some navy low level reconnaissance aircraft were fired upon. A myriad of incidents such as these nearly derailed the U.S. - Soviet negotiations, and most certainly would have, if cooler heads on both sides were not at the helm.

 

But fortunately fate smiled upon us and by Oct 28, the "Crisis" appeared to have significantly cooled down.
The U.S. and Soviets had come to an agreement, and the blockade was officially ended on November 21, 1962.

 

Despite all the forces contrived against them, both Khrushchev and Kennedy had secretly managed to agree to the earlier proposed compromise, with both nuclear powers apparently getting something they wanted in return.
A "fair" trade?

We agreed to NOT invade Cuba, and lift the quarantine, the Soviets agreed to dismantle the missile bases there, while we would remove the nukes from Italy and Turkey.
A livable compromise that of course did not appease all parties. 

While Italy was content to have the nukes off their soil, Turkey was not. And Cuba felt betrayed by the Soviet Union, and would continue to distrust and fear us, while remaining a pariah to the United States for many decades to come.

Hawks on both sides felt their leadership gave up too much. And within two years Khrushchev would loose his seat as Premier of the U.S.S.R. in part because of precipitating the crisis in the first place, and in part because the part of the "deal" where the U.S. would remove it's nukes from Italy and Turkey was kept "secret," allowing the world's impression that we did that of our own volition, while the Soviets were "forced" to "back down" by removing their missiles.

 

One universally positive thing to come out of the "Crisis" is that both the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to find a better and much quicker way to communicate with each other and circumvent all of the confusing military gesticulations, thereby lowering the risk level of either side "accidentally" starting an "unintentional" nuclear war. 

In June 1963, a direct communication link between Washington and Moscow was established.

 

Aside from that the world was granted a temporary reprieve from human madness, and I doubt many would argue that not having a nuclear war was a "bad" thing.

At least we are still here to debate those merits.

 

Oh, I almost forgot the point that I was trying to make about the similarities and differences between Cuba then and North Korea now

 

It may not have been clear to us then, that were it not for two world leaders, Kennedy and Khrushchev (and a handful of others), that kept their heads, while everyone else seemed to be loosing theirs, that saved us, and the world, from a nuclear nightmare.

 

Can anyone imagine, if there had been lessor men in control of what might have happened?

 

What would happen today, if Trump wakes up one morning with an irritating hair up his  b u t t  and decides to issue an order to our military forces as commander and chief?
Would they follow it blindly, as trained to do?

Or stop to think about the consequences of actions that would likely very quickly escalate into a world wide inferno?

Refusing a "lawful" order from your commander is a crime. But following a criminal order can lead to much, much worse than just jail time.

BTW, a critical few actually did this in 1962, on both sides. They had been given the authority and orders to fire, but chose not to do so.

 

I think that before anyone is allowed to put their finger on a "nuclear button" that they must be thoroughly examined for any health and/or mental issues that could affect rational judgement, by strict qualified professionals that have divorced themselves from any political influence.

This is a two way street we're on, and two mad men on a collision course, or playing chicken with the rest of the world, do not add up to sanity.  

 

Also, as a side note.
Trial and error learning takes a long time.

Even the Soviets, with their vast spy network, took quite awhile before they could be on a parity with the United States in the nuclear age. I understand that there were other factors that contributed to the lag time, but the point is that no nation, no matter how "smart" can make the kind of rapid succession of technological strides, in such a short time, unless somebody is feeding them the information.

I may be thinking China here, or Russia, or some mercenary outfit in Britain or France. Heck even our own government is up for sale, so it could possibly be from anywhere.

But for a hypothetical China which has not aggressively pursued the ICBM route. Having a puppet do the testing for you makes some sort of sense.

 

China was the first nation to make a "No First Use (NFU)" policy, meaning they have "pledged" NOT to use nuclear weapons preemptively, but only as a Defensive Retaliation.

China's NFU pledge is "not to be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time or under any circumstances." They have reiterated this pledge again, and again, most recently in 2011.

They first made this pledge in 1964, shortly after they became the fifth member of the "nuclear club," behind the United States (1945), the USSR (1949), the UK (1952), and France (1960). 

 

Incidentally, these five are also the only "permanent" (non-rotating) members of the United Nations 15 member Security Council, whose primary purpose is the maintenance of world peace.
Any one of the “permanent five” can veto the sanctions of any other nation, including the other four permanent members.
To claim that an action is "sanctioned" by the UN a majority of all fifteen must agree, and if not in agreement, the permanent five must at least abstain from veto against it. Or the UN resolution cannot be passed.

 

China has also consistently called on the United States to adopt a no-first-use policy, and to reach an NFU agreement bilaterally with China, and to conclude an NFU agreement among the "big" five nuclear weapon states.
The United States has repeatedly refused these calls.

 

Not exactly sure what the motives for a hypothetical enabling China would be with North Korea.
But since we are persistent in our call, asking China to exert it's influence in reigning in their N. Korean neighbor whom they have supported for generations.

The thought came to mind that in this twisted world, to give them the reassurance that they have always sought with a bilateral NFU agreement might be cause enough.
Especially since any escalated military conflict in the region would indirectly (if not directly) affect them, as well as many others.

Just an additional thought...

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For a while now, I have hesitated to do this, but here goes....

 

Yep, it's a long one...

 

THE 1962 CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS

I was just a kid in 1962, and just as many of the "adults" around me, knew little, and understood even less, about world politics and policies and their effect upon our everyday lives. So my personal memories and impressions from that time are from that limited, pre-adolescent perspective.

None-the-less the memories are still vivid enough to have occurred yesterday, and combined with what I do know today, are even more terrifying than the ignorance of that time. 

 

In 1962, the United States was the world's preeminent nuclear power, but the Soviet Union was playing catch-up, fast.

The "Cold War" was littered with the matches of "little" proxy wars, that had the potential of igniting a far greater conflagration that could possibly consume all of us. 

 

Our SAC bombers were in the sky 24/7 and flew to their "fail-safe point" near the edge of Soviet borders routinely.

Thanks to Sputnik, the Soviets fielded the first ICBM in 1958, but still had few missiles capable of reaching into our heartland from their homeland. Though our Minuteman strategic ballistic program was still in it's infancy, the Soviet's lagged behind the U.S. in almost every other area of nuclear capability. We had our mid-range Jupiter's deployed in Europe and Turkey, close enough to strike well within the Soviet homeland. And our ballistic subs (which well out numbered theirs)  routinely patrolled the waters off their shores, as did theirs off ours (and at that time international waters were only 12 miles off our coasts.)

The Soviet's embellished their nuclear capability, and the U.S. took them seriously, unaware that at the time we held a nuclear superiority in deliverable warheads of  7.5:1 (27,000 against their 3,600), as well as the technology required for more accurate delivery. Despite the numbers discrepancy this was still more than enough nuclear armament for each nation to more than destroy the other.

There was no direct line of communication between Moscow and Washington at the time, so the jingoistic sabre rattling from both sides carried more ill effect. Both sides employed embedded spies, and poured over each others media for any clue of what the other might be really thinking, or doing, or thinking about doing.

 

After ousting the Batista regime in 1959, Castro kicked U.S. capitalists out of Cuba and shut down the blooming mafia controlled casinos. This raised the retaliative ire of those who had invested heavily in the previous regimes lenient "U.S. business friendly" policies. The April 1961, Bay of Pigs "invasion" (as anemic as it was) demonstrated to Castro how hostile U.S. intentions were.

In August 1961, Khrushchev initiated construction of the Berlin Wall. Total control of Berlin had been on their radar since the end of the war.

In February 1962, the U.S. again expanded the trade embargo against Cuba, first established during the revolution in 1958.

In a ****-for-tat play, Khrushchev agreed with Castro in July to place mid-range nuclear missiles on Cuba, to both deter a future invasion of the island, and let the U.S. know how it felt to have a land based nuclear threat less than 100 miles off-shore. Construction on the missile bases promptly began that summer.

 

Kennedy was a young, untested president (at 43, our youngest ever elected). He was an even younger JG Lieutenant in WW2, and was now surrounded by military advisors who had been his former senior officers during the war. Most were staunch "anti-communists" and many were quite hubristic and belligerently hawkish. 

 

On September 11, the Soviet Union made a public statement warning that any U.S. attack on Cuba, or on Soviet ships that were carrying supplies to the island, would mean war.

While Kennedy "promised" the American people that "We" would not tolerate a Cuba capable of "striking" the United States.

That month Air Force General Curtis LeMay presented a pre-invasion bombing plan to Kennedy.

By late September, U.S. naval reconnaissance aircraft spotted Soviet ships bound for Cuba with "suspiciously large crates" on their decks.

While the Soviets continued to deny, or downplay any "offensive" build-up, on October 7, acting Cuban President Osvaldo Torrado, spoke at the United Nations General Assembly, stating:

"If... we are attacked, we will defend ourselves. I repeat, we have sufficient means with which to defend ourselves; we have indeed our inevitable weapons, the weapons, which we would have preferred not to acquire, and which we do not wish to employ."

 

On October 14, U.S. U-2 spy planes photographed the presence of a Soviet style missile construction site on the island. 

By the evening of Oct. 15, CIA analysts had confirmed the evidence, and early the next morning (Oct. 16) the President was notified.

Later that same day, Kennedy convened with the members of the National Security Council and Joint Chief's of Staff to discuss several possible courses of action.

 

The Responses considered included:

1) Do nothing (since U.S. vulnerability to Soviet missiles was nothing new).

2) Diplomacy (apply diplomatic pressure to get the Soviet Union to remove the missiles).

3) Propose covert demands that Castro either "break-off" the Soviet relationship or risk being invaded.

4) Naval Blockade (or Quarantine), to prevent any more missiles from landing in Cuba.

5) Air strike to destroy existing missile sites and infrastructure.

6) All out Invasion of Cuba with the overthrow of Castro.

 

All of the Joint Chief's unanimously agreed with both options 5 & 6. They believed and strongly advised the president that an immediate, all-out invasion of Cuba was the only solution. They felt certain that the Soviet's would not intervene or retaliate.

Kennedy, having previously acquiesced to their disastrous Bay of Pigs advisement, wasn't quite as quick to agree this time.

He authorized preparations, but temporarily overruled his advisors with a more cautious approach. Kennedy suppressed the knowledge about the missile site from the American people. He needed time to make a rational decision. His caution proved warranted.

 

Unbeknownst at that time, there were already several fully functional and armed sites ready to fire.

In addition to several "tactical" nukes designed for destruction of an invading fleet, the Soviet's had begun landing accurate, mid-range R-12 ballistic missiles capable of producing incredible damage, as early as the night of September 8. The R-12 was capable of carrying a thermonuclear, megaton-class (hydrogen bomb) warhead. Their proximity on Cuba placed the contiguous U.S. well within target range.  

And Castro, who was understandably paranoid, rightly believed that a U.S. invasion was imminent and had already stressed an immediate preemptive nuclear strike at the first sign of an attack.

 

NOTE: The Uranium atomic (fission) bomb that devastated Hiroshima detonated with an explosive force of approximately 15 kilotons (15,000 tons of TNT), while the Plutonium atomic ("implosion" type fission) bomb that wiped out Nagasaki exploded with an energy of approximately 20 kilotons (20,000 tons of TNT). By contrast the first thermonuclear (hydrogen) bomb test exploded with an energy of approximately 10 megatons (10 million tons of TNT), 500 times more powerful than the first and only (so far) nuclear bombs to  actually be used in war. 

 

By October 19, additional U-2 flights showed four more operational missile sites (of a total of nine Soviet planned) .

 

Kennedy was trapped by his own words and U.S. credibility was now on the line:

In Sept. Kennedy had explicitly promised the American people "... if Cuba should possess a capacity to carry out offensive actions against the United States... the United States would act."

Public acknowledgment of what he now knew would require him to act, or confirm to the Soviets and our allies that he was "weak." But yielding to the Joint Chief's wishes would likely preclude the option of any further diplomacy, and along with it, any opportunity to avoid a nuclear war. 

A more moderate, slower escalation was needed, one that could allow both sides an opportunity for compromise, while yet remaining outwardly strong in appearance. A strong but limited military action that left the U.S. with some sense of control. However a naval "blockade" was also an act of war.

Kennedy finally settled on the use of the term "quarantine" of offensive weapons, to differentiate from a blockade of all materials.

The line was thin, but if the Soviet's, who had their own ulterior aspirations and had also made blustery statements, chose to recognize the difference between the two terms, it would give them a reason to likewise avoid hasty action.  

 

Finally, after making his decision on how to respond, on the evening of October 22, Kennedy delivered a historical nationwide televised address on all of the major networks announcing the discovery of the missiles.

In it he said,

".... It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union. ..."

 

".....To halt this offensive buildup, a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba is being initiated. All ships of any kind bound for Cuba, from whatever nation or port, will, if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, be turned back. This quarantine will be extended, if needed, to other types of cargo and carriers. We are not at this time, however, denying the necessities of life as the Soviets attempted to do in their Berlin blockade of 1948. ...."

 

The day after this speech, on October 23, the bait was further laid.

In a not so secure, carefully composed cable, the U.S. Ambassadors in Turkey and NATO, were notified that the U.S. was  "considering making an offer to withdraw (what the U.S. knew to be nearly-obsolete) missiles from Italy and Turkey, in exchange for the Soviet withdrawal from Cuba."

On October 25, this information was further "leaked" to U.S. journalist Walter Lippmann, who proposed the same thing in his syndicated column.

 

While immediate world reaction to Kennedy's speech and the subsequent "leaks" was mixed, and some U.S. allies appeared incensed.

Tensions continued to escalate between the U.S. and U.S.S.R.

 

That same day, the U.S. requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, and the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson, confronted the Soviet Ambassador, Valerian Zorin, about confirming or denying the presence of offensive nuclear missiles in Cuba with a simple "Yes" or "No." When Zorin refused a direct answer, by saying "...you will have your answer in due course," Stevenson famously replied, "I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over." Whereupon Stevenson produced the irrefutable evidence of the presence of Soviet missiles on the isle of Cuba.

 

Kennedy needed Khrushchev to know that the U.S. was serious, without pushing things over the threshold.

The next day he upped the ante as high as he dared, without deliberately going to war.

 

If the Soviet's were looking for an excuse to attack, this could be it. If they weren't ready for world annihilation then they just might back down. It was the most deadly "game of chicken" the world had ever seen.

We were all held captive in the backseat of this runaway madness, and all that any of us could do was watch as it happened, prepare for "the end," and pray.

 

This was the first (and as yet, only) time in U.S. history, that SAC readiness level was raised to DEFCON 2 (the last step before nuclear war).

80 percent of SAC's planes were ready for immediate, 15 min launch with one eighth of SAC's 1,436 bombers continuously airborne. B-52s were sent to orbit points within striking distance of the Soviet Union. It was Fail Safe and Dr. Strangelove, for real, and nobody was laughing. 

All of our ICBM's were cocked and locked, some aimed at Cuba. And all of us were wondering if we'd ever live to see The Day After....

All of our ballistic subs were ready for On the Beach and Waltzing Matilda.

 

Knowing that Khrushchev was carefully watching all this, and being counseled by his advisors to respond in kind. Kennedy sent Khrushchev a telegram stating that

"The U.S. was forced into this action after receiving repeated assurances that no offensive missiles were being placed in Cuba, and when the assurances proved to be false, the deployment "required the responses I have announced.... I hope that your government will take necessary action to permit a restoration of the earlier situation."

 

As we all held our breath, afraid that each one would be our last, we watched and noticed as the Soviets didn't appear to make any careless moves. They did not not attempt to escalate to our level of alert, neither did they increase their air defense posture.

There was a brief moment of hope...

 

In the midst of this seeming chaos, "backdoor" diplomacy was occurring that none of us, knew anything about at the time.

Both sides were attempting to seek an alternate solution, through unorthodox, alternate means. Amidst a plethora of mixed messages and contradictory signals, knowing who to trust and who to not, was critical. 

It was finally determined that a letter received was authentic, it read:

 

"Mr. President, we and you ought not now to pull on the ends of the rope in which you have tied the knot of war, because the more the two of us pull, the tighter that knot will be tied. And a moment may come when that knot will be tied so tight that even he who tied it will not have the strength to untie it, and then it will be necessary to cut that knot, and what that would mean is not for me to explain to you, because you yourself understand perfectly of what terrible forces our countries dispose. Consequently, if there is no intention to tighten that knot and thereby to doom the world to the catastrophe of thermonuclear war, then let us not only relax the forces pulling on the ends of the rope, let us take measures to untie that knot. We are ready for this.

Letter From Chairman Khrushchev to President Kennedy, October 26, 1962"

 

In the meantime the Cuban military and several thousand Soviet "advisors" were getting ever more prepared for a U.S. invasion, and hawkish pressure was mounting on both sides to do something more...

 

There were many highly provocative close calls (some of which we would not become aware of for many years), anyone of which could have been the match to the powder keg...  a shot fired across the bow of a Soviet ship attempting to run the blockade, a submerged Soviet sub with nuclear tipped torpedoes whose intentions were unclear was grenaded by "signaling depth charges" from a U.S. destroyer, a U-2  "accidentally" violating Soviet air space was chased by Soviet MiGs, which were in turn pursued by F102 fighters armed with nuclear tipped air-to-air missiles....

We all sat, and watched with bated breath...

 

On the morning of Oct. 27, Radio Moscow broadcast a message from Khrushchev in which he proposed a "new" trade:

"The missiles on Cuba would be removed in exchange for the removal of the Jupiter missiles from Italy and Turkey."

It appeared that Khrushchev was accepting the initial "leaked" offer from October 23.

 

Later that morning another message arrived from Khrushchev.

It read in part:

"You are disturbed over Cuba. You say that this disturbs you because it is ninety-nine miles by sea from the coast of the United States of America. But... you have placed destructive missile weapons, which you call offensive, in Italy and Turkey, literally next to us.... I therefore make this proposal: We are willing to remove from Cuba the means which you regard as offensive.... Your representatives will make a declaration to the effect that the United States... will remove its analogous means from Turkey... and after that, persons entrusted by the United Nations Security Council could inspect on the spot the fulfillment of the pledges made."

 

Kennedy noted that the Jupiter missiles were deemed obsolete and due for replacement anyway. If the "public" Khrushchev required this open declaration to appease his critics, and save face, it would appear to be a "fair exchange."

It was the first step toward "untieing" the nuclear knot.

 

In the meantime a SAM launched from Cuba shot down a U-2, and later some navy low level reconnaissance aircraft were fired upon. A myriad of incidents such as these nearly derailed the U.S. - Soviet negotiations, and most certainly would have, if cooler heads on both sides were not at the helm.

 

But fortunately fate smiled upon us and by Oct 28, the "Crisis" appeared to have significantly cooled down.

The U.S. and Soviets had come to an agreement, and the blockade was officially ended on November 21, 1962.

 

Despite all the forces contrived against them, both Khrushchev and Kennedy had secretly managed to agree to the earlier proposed compromise, with both nuclear powers apparently getting something they wanted in return.

A "fair" trade?

We agreed to NOT invade Cuba, and lift the quarantine, the Soviets agreed to dismantle the missile bases there, while we would remove the nukes from Italy and Turkey.

A livable compromise that of course did not appease all parties. 

While Italy was content to have the nukes off their soil, Turkey was not. And Cuba felt betrayed by the Soviet Union, and would continue to distrust and fear us, while remaining a pariah to the United States for many decades to come.

Hawks on both sides felt their leadership gave up too much. And within two years Khrushchev would loose his seat as Premier of the U.S.S.R. in part because of precipitating the crisis in the first place, and in part because the part of the "deal" where the U.S. would remove it's nukes from Italy and Turkey was kept "secret," allowing the world's impression that we did that of our own volition, while the Soviets were "forced" to "back down" by removing their missiles.

 

One universally positive thing to come out of the "Crisis" is that both the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to find a better and much quicker way to communicate with each other and circumvent all of the confusing military gesticulations, thereby lowering the risk level of either side "accidentally" starting an "unintentional" nuclear war. 

In June 1963, a direct communication link between Washington and Moscow was established.

 

Aside from that the world was granted a temporary reprieve from human madness, and I doubt many would argue that not having a nuclear war was a "bad" thing.

At least we are still here to debate those merits.

 

Oh, I almost forgot the point that I was trying to make about the similarities and differences between Cuba then and North Korea now

 

It may not have been clear to us then, that were it not for two world leaders, Kennedy, and Khrushchev, and a handful of others, that kept their heads, while everyone else seemed to be loosing theirs, that saved us, and the world, from a nuclear nightmare.

 

Can anyone imagine, if there had been lessor men in control of what might have happened?

What would happen today, if Trump wakes up one morning with an irritating hair up his b u t t and decides to issue an order to our military forces as commander and chief?

Would they follow it blindly, as trained to do?

Or stop to think about the consequences of actions that would likely very quickly escalate into a world wide inferno?

Refusing a "lawful" order from your commander is a crime. But following a criminal order can lead to much, much worse than just jail time.

BTW, a critical few actually did this in 1962, on both sides. They had been given the authority and orders to fire, but chose not to do so.

 

I think that before anyone is allowed to put their finger on a "nuclear button" that they must be thoroughly examined for any health and/or mental issues that could affect rational judgement, by strict qualified professionals that have divorced themselves from any political influence.

This is a two way street we're on, and two mad men on a collision course, or playing chicken with the rest of the world, do not add up to sanity.  

 

Also, as a side note.

Trial and error learning takes a long time.

Even the Soviets, even with their spy network, took quite awhile before they could be on a parity with the United States in the nuclear age. I understand that there were other factors that contributed to the lag time, but the point is that no nation, no matter how "smart" can make the kind of rapid succession of technological strides, in such a short time, unless somebody is feeding them the information.

I may be thinking China here, or Russia, or some mercenary outfit in Britain or France. Heck even our own government is up for sale, so it could possibly be from anywhere.

But for a hypothetical China which has not aggressively pursued the ICBM route. Having a puppet do the testing for you makes some sort of sense.

 

China was the first nation to make a "No First Use (NFU)" policy, meaning they have "pledged" NOT to use nuclear weapons preemptively, but only as a Defensive Retaliation.

China's NFU pledge is "not to be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time or under any circumstances." They have reiterated this pledge again, and again, most recently in 2011.

They made this pledge in 1964, shortly after they became the fifth member of the "nuclear club," behind the United States (1945), the USSR (1949), the UK (1952), and France (1960). 

 

Incidentally, these five are also the only "permanent" (non-rotating) members of the United Nations 15 member Security Council, whose primary purpose is the maintenance of world peace.

Any one of the “permanent five” can veto the sanctions of any other nation, including the other four permanent members.

To claim that an action is "sanctioned" by the UN a majority of all fifteen must agree, and if not in agreement, the permanent five must at least abstain from veto against it. Or the UN resolution cannot be passed.

 

China has also consistently called on the United States to adopt a no-first-use policy, and to reach an NFU agreement bilaterally with China, and to conclude an NFU agreement among the "big" five nuclear weapon states.

The United States has repeatedly refused these calls.

 

Not exactly sure what the motives for a hypothetical enabling China would be with North Korea.

But since we are persistent in our call, asking China to exert it's influence in reigning in their N. Korean neighbor whom they have supported for generations.

The thought came to mind that in this twisted world, to give them the reassurance that they have always sought with a bilateral NFU agreement might be cause enough.

Especially since any escalated military conflict in the region would indirectly (if not directly) affect them, as well as many others.

Just an additional thought...

yawn...

 

 

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No. It was a indirect and not fully serious reply to the question why there

supposedly are so many liberals on a movie site. I didn't make the connection

clear enough. I don't vote for the simple reason that one votes makes no

difference. My one vote wouldn't change a thing. Plus, I'm not big on standing

in lines. I guess I'm sort of a non-voting yellow dog Democrat. I'll skip the

aspirin and take two cocktails instead. I enjoy some of Wayne's and Eastwood's

movies, however much I disagree with their politics. 

 

Thanks for answering and I'm sorry I missed your "indirect and not fully serious reply" which apparently went right over my head as I think I took you too literally.  Enjoy your cocktails and the movies of your choice.

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ebnor1.jpg

 

 

 

Not a good analogy. Chess requires contemplation, patience, finesse, a refined intelligence and awareness of nuance. Trump is woefully bereft. Four moves ahead is not very inspiring, not with Trump. Four moves require three thoughtful ones first, Trump can't do that without throwing a tantrum.

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Not a good analogy. Chess requires contemplation, patience, finesse, a refined intelligence and awareness of nuance. Trump is woefully bereft. Four moves ahead is not very inspiring, not with Trump. Four moves require three thoughtful ones first, Trump can't do that without throwing a tantrum.

 

Those chess pieces must weigh 100 pounds. :P

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Thanks for answering and I'm sorry I missed your "indirect and not fully serious reply" which apparently went right over my head as I think I took you too literally.  Enjoy your cocktails and the movies of your choice.

Just one of those internet misunderstandings.

I will have a Bailey's Red River. 

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Kim Jong un is more likely bluffing, he should know any attack will come with a possible nuclear response.  It will not be the 1950's again but utter annihilation and Trump won't care what Russia or China will think!

 

NK is a very small country and it's large army will account for nothing if it becomes ash.  I hope Kim see how critical his situation is.  

 

China has hinted they may take action against NK if they cross the line. Appears this is not only our problem after all.

 

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/790843/world-war-3-china-bomb-north-korea-kim-jong-un-nuclear-test

 

 

triad.png

North Korea WILL launch nuclear weapons if they see an attack coming. While the western U.S. may not be hit, S.Korea will, maybe even Japan and Guam. Tens of thousands of Americans could be killed there, as well as hundreds of thousands others, if not more. Trump has been pushing this unhinged madman, in turn Madman Number One has accelerated his nuclear missle program in face of the growing threat from Madman Number Two. Insanity from all sides, including our insane president, boasting about the greatest power ever being unleashed.

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Trump, always 4 moves ahead...of the average five year old.

Why is there a little white ball on the top of the queen? Is

that supposed to represent VP Pence?

 

 

The Queen is throwing up.

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Trump, always 4 moves ahead...of the average five year old.

Why is there a little white ball on the top of the queen? Is

that supposed to represent VP Pence?

Yes, My Dear Watson--Pence can move in any direction and has all the options.

 

Hard to believe that the hayseed hick from Indiana is going to outscore the sophisticated Manhattan real estate mogul/ TV reality star from Queens.

 

But stranger things have been known to happen.

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Yes, My Dear Watson--Pence can move in any direction and has all the options.

 

Hard to believe that the hayseed hick from Indiana is going to outscore the sophisticated Manhattan real estate mogul/ TV reality star from Queens.

 

But stranger things have been known to happen.

Once you get into the strange world of politics, unusual things

do happen. I don't think too many people were really surprised

that Pence is already laying the groundwork just in case Trump

doesn't run in 2020, for whatever reason. The funniest thing was

his How dare you think such a thing response. 

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For a while now, I have hesitated to do this, but here goes....

 

Yep, it's a long one...

 

THE 1962 CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS

 

Another good movie about the Cuban missile crisis currently on some cable channels is 13 Days.

I deleted the post since it is so long, but a very good summary of what good leadership can accomplish vs. two morons.

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