Biden References 1962 Nuclear Crisis While Ignoring Its Lessons

In a rare mention of foreign policy on the campaign trail, President Biden told a Democratic fundraiser that risk of nuclear war is the highest since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Biden was referring to Russian President Putin’s threat to use tactical nukes should he determine that Russia faces destruction from the West. Biden stressed the point that low level tactical nukes used for battlefield success, most likely would lead to all out nuclear war….Armageddon.

One might surmise that Biden’s wisdom on that harrowing possibility would lead him to follow the lead of his long ago predecessor JFK. Faced with the possibility of all out nuclear war over Russian missiles in nearby Cuba, JFK ignored his generals demanding first strike on the Russian sites there and did something truly astonishing…he initiated negotiations with his Russian counterpart Khrushchev. Both sides got enough to save face and Mother Earth got to save humanity.

But no, Biden has been doing the opposite of JFK. He’s funneling tens of billions in weaponry to Ukraine to keep the war going in perpetuity…till the nukes start falling. He even torpedoed negotiations between Ukraine and Russia brokered by NATO ally Turkey that could have defused to march to Armageddon back in March.

Biden and I were both teenagers 60 years ago when we came within an eyelash of having no adulthood. Considering he’s the guy with his finger on the nuclear button, I wish he’d been the one of us who absorbed the lesson that negotiations are the only way to avoid nuclear war.

Walt Zlotow became involved in antiwar activities upon entering University of Chicago in 1963. He is current president of the West Suburban Peace Coalition based in the Chicago western suburbs. He blogs daily on antiwar and other issues at

6 thoughts on “Biden References 1962 Nuclear Crisis While Ignoring Its Lessons”

  1. “Russian President Putin’s threat to use tactical nukes should he determine that Russia faces destruction from the West.”

    Finally, someone who states Putin’s meaning properly without hyperbole about “nukes in Ukraine.” The only nukes that will ever be in Ukraine will be from the West, not Russia, who does not need them given their overwhelming conventional military capability, especially now that 300,000 additional Russian troops will be deployed, thus eliminating the alleged Ukrainian manpower advantage, which was never that big or that big a threat to Russia.

    However, one quibble. Russia might not just use “tactical” nukes if the US and/or NATO attacks Russia. Russia could well use strategic weapons, In fact,, as Andrei Martyanov repeatedly states, Russia can defeat NATO and the US without using nukes at all because it has conventional weapons which can be used strategically. As he also points out, the probability is that the US, seeing itself losing, will be the one to escalate to nukes, not Russia. This is why Biden’s and Liz Truss’ comments should concern everyone.

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