It took 60 years but the US finally did something more dangerous to world survival than the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Last year marked 60 years since the US provoked Russia to sneak nuclear weapons into Cuba to protect it from further US invasion or assassination of Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Our humiliating loss at the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion did nothing to dampen America’s lust to oust the Castro government, returning Cuba to rapacious American capitalism and a Mafia playground, regardless of how many might die.
That triggered the Cuban Missile Crisis, which, for 13 days, kept this high school senior on the cusp of nuclear annihilation. But knowing that the US red line against Russia putting nukes just a few minutes from the mainland could trigger nuclear war, both the US and Russia employed negotiations, defusing the nuclear crisis in under 2 weeks.
Contrast the nuclear crisis of 1962 over Cuba to the nuclear crisis of 2022-23 over Ukraine. In 49 weeks, the US has totally rejected negotiations to end the Russo Ukraine war. Instead, we’ve funneled over $100 billion in weapons and other aid to keep it going indefinitely. Worse, we torpedoed Russian, Ukraine negotiations in the first weeks of the war, brokered by Turkey, that could have ended the war early on.
That would be akin to Russia rejecting US negotiations to end the Cuban crisis by steaming full speed through the US blockade to complete its nuclear installations there. Had that occurred, a nuclear dust up between the US and Russia was virtually certain. The fact both Russia and the US sought negotiations instead of war prevented nuclear annihilation 60 years ago.
Nineteen-year-old President Biden must surely remember his close brush with his and all of our early demise. Yet, he inherited an 8 yearlong provocation with Russia that he helped start as Vice President, that led to the inevitable Ukraine invasion under his administration last February.
After the invasion his conduct only worsened. Besides blowing up that early March negotiated settlement between Russia and Ukraine, he’s been inexorably ratcheting up weaponry right to, even likely over, Russia’s red line toward catastrophic blowback.
Starting with ammunition and assault weapons he’s moved up to Stinger anti-aircraft systems, Javelin anti-armor systems, M777 towed Howitzers, 122mm GRAD rockets, M142 multiple rocket launchers, or HIMARS, Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles, Patriot air defense batteries, National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS), M113 Armored Personnel Carriers, and 31 M1 Abrams tanks, the world’s most powerful.
Still under considerations from Biden’s weapons stockpile: armor-piercing depleted uranium (DU) ammunition and F-15 and F-16 fighter jets.
When Russia invaded, Biden promised America’s involvement would do nothing to provoke WWIII. Now it appears he’s doing and planning nearly everything to ensure that happens.
That is why US foreign policy today….is the worst in my lifetime.
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 www.heartlandprogressive.blogspot.com.