30-minute weekly radio program for November 9, 2010. First of 2 parts.
In the early 1960s almost the whole of the U.S. "national security state" (Pentagon, spy agencies, National Security Council) very much wanted war with the Soviet Union. We would win this (nuclear) war, they reasoned, losing only 40 million lives, while the Soviet Union would lose perhaps 200 million and be destroyed. The U.S. would emerge as the world's sole superpower.
In October 1962, the CIA discovered a Russian-controlled nuclear-capable missile base in Cuba. The war-hawks immediately began braying that we must bomb the base. "Taking out" the base, they "reasoned," would have the additional good effect of starting the war with the Soviet Union that they so much wanted.
Only one American of any influence opposed the war-hawks: President John F. Kennedy. As he was on the brink of failing to prevent World War III, he begged for help from his nominal adversary--and secret pen-pal--Soviet Premier Nikita S.