Make yourself at home.
Grab a hot cup (or cold bottle) of your favorite beverage and take a look around.
This October 28 wil mark the 41st anniversary of the end of the Cuban missile crisis.
The world breathed a collective sigh of relief after two superpowers headed off a potential nuclear confrontation.
President John F. Kennedy was praised for his diplomatic skills in averting a nuclear war.
I am very much afraid that our current President has no such diplomatic skill...and this is a far more dangerous time in which we live.
In 1962, the two superpowers found a new appreciation of the danger of nuclear weapons, which led to arms-control accords.
We are now a lone superpower.
We have a President who is not interested in honoring or creating accords.
He seems to have no knowlege or remembrance of the reasons we entered those accords.
We have a President who makes unsophisticated and one-sided demands of his allies as well as his enemies.
If we continue on this path...with this leader unwilling to employ respectful diplomacy...the animosity toward our nation and the people of our nation will be so strong that we will eventually be weakened and/or pulled down to an ugly and unrecognizable version of what was once a great and influential member of an international community.
While I'm away, consider the words of James G. Blight and Philip Brenner one year ago in their article entitled
"Cuban Missile Crisis: The Lessons for Iraq"
Think about all that has occurred this past year...and what we might be saying one year from today.
"...So one lesson we can learn by looking at Cuba's experience during the 1962 missile crisis is that our approach to weaker powers is fraught with danger and is not likely to achieve the results we seek. The United States tends to expect a weaker power will cower when the superpower roars, but in fact American efforts to intimidate are more likely to produce the opposite effect. Intimidation emboldens the small power, and however irrational the resulting behavior may seem to us, a weaker power may resort to unimaginable acts as a last line of defense. The Central Intelligence Agency recently came to the same conclusion in its assessment that Saddam Hussein would become "much less constrained" if faced with an attack led by the United States.
Ultimately, what Cuba demanded from the United States in 1962 is the same attitude that American allies have been furiously urging the United States to adopt in general and toward Iraq in particular: that the lone superpower act like a "normal" country and accord others the same rights to survival and sovereignty that the United States demands for itself. The allies have implored the United States to engage Iraq diplomatically and to rely on the United Nations and established international legal principles, which recognize that all nations -- great and small powers alike -- should be treated equally.
Is Iraq "another Cuba"? Not exactly. There are many differences between the two cases. But we believe a key similarity between them has received too little attention from those advocating pre-emptive action against Baghdad. It is this: The inability (or unwillingness) of the United States to empathize with those who feel the threat of annihilation -- people who may be willing to fight to the last man, woman, and child and even to use unthinkable weapons -- increases the likelihood that such weapons will be used, with all the horror and uncertainty that would follow.
We now know that the hawks advising Kennedy in October 1962 were dead wrong to recommend attacking Cuba with what they (mistakenly) believed would be an "acceptable" cost and risk. Might those advocating a pre-emptive strike on Iraq also be wrong in their assessment of the likely consequences?
Based on our reading of Cuba's mind-set 40 years ago, we believe it is worth considering that the hawks might also be wrong about Saddam Hussein and Iraq today. It just may be that the events of October 1962 constitute, if not a crisis for all seasons, at least a cautionary tale with disturbing relevance to the season that is upon us."