By Jerry Alatalo
“The power to destroy the world by the use of nuclear weapons is a power that cannot be used – we cannot accept the idea of such a monstrosity… The time has now come for the nations of the world to submit to the just requisition of their conduct by international law.”
No More War! 1958
– LINUS PAULING (1901-1994) American scientist, Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1954, Nobel Peace Prize 1962
ecause a Soviet naval officer on a diesel-powered submarine off the coasts of Cuba and Florida during the Cuban missile crisis said “no”, nuclear war between the United States and then Soviet Union was thankfully averted. “Dodging a bullet” fails to describe fully the supreme level of Earthly catastrophe which would have occurred had he joined with two fellow submarine officers, whose unanimous agreement was necessary to launch nuclear torpedoes at U.S. naval forces who discovered and surrounded them.
People can find the sobering, astonishing, historically important event recreated on film in the docudrama “The Man Who Saved the World” on YouTube and elsewhere on the internet. Those paying attention will notice worrisome similarities between the Cuban Missile Crisis of the early 1960’s of John Kennedy (1917-assassinated 1963) and Nikita Khrushchov (1894-1971) and 2016, of Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin. The phrases “nuclear war” and “World War 3” are appearing increasingly in published pieces by respected scholars and experts, so it’s perhaps instructive to hear Professor Danny Sheehan of University of California-Santa Cruz share his detailed, mostly unknown version of the utterly remarkable times, history and circumstances surrounding American President John F. Kennedy.
Unfortunately, in the over 50 years since the Cuban Missile Crisis humanity has yet to agree to abolish nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth, and civilization remains under threat of an unimaginable potentiality described by American General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) in an address on July 5, 1961: “Global war has become a Frankenstein’s monster threatening to destroy both sides… It contains now only the germ of a double suicide.”
During this lecture, Professor Sheehan describes how the same General MacArthur proposed detonation of 20-25 nuclear bombs on the border between Korea and China during the Korean War when MacArthur was chief of U.S. military operations in that misunderstood, under-reported conflict. Historical events like this, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and a surprising number of nuclear close calls makes it important for people to learn the facts, conditions and causes present in times when humanity faced nuclear annihilation – especially those not found in school history books, and quite possibly never entering the awareness of millions in their lifetimes.
The words of Spanish-born American philosopher George Santayana (1863-1952) are eternally relevant, and perhaps no more vital than today: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Mr. Sheehan, a graduate of Harvard Law and Divinity Schools and famous for his central legal roles during the Iran-Contra, Watergate, Karen Silkwood and other major trials, presents and discusses an organizational chart of persons and groups involved in essential, disturbing, central actions affecting history from World War 2 through 1963, culminating with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
One sees a relationship in the organization chart presented in Professor Sheehan’s lecture to the ongoing 2016 presidential race. One can imagine what a similar chart clarifying the groups and individuals affecting world events today would look like, especially the chart’s updating were Hillary Clinton’s $225,000 Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs speech transcripts to become published. One wonders if Ms. Clinton’s worldview more closely aligns with John Kennedy when he died – or if her political philosophy mirrors the powerful forces Kennedy opposed.
It’s beneficial for the American people to not only consider the worldview of Hillary Clinton compared to Kennedy’s at the time of his death, but to also consider the worldviews of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump as contrasted or aligned with Kennedy’s. Given the near unobstructed path of Clinton and Trump compared to the obstacles placed in front of Sanders since his announcement over a year ago, it seems fair to say the Kennedy worldview is closer to that of Sanders.
How many men, women and children are aware that Kennedy and Khrushchov conducted secret talks through letters delivered between Washington, D.C. and Moscow by American writer and peace advocate Norman Cousins (1912-1990), and that the two world leaders had agreed to abolish each nation’s nuclear weapons? Was it Kennedy’s decision to move toward nuclear disarmament which unleashed the rage of those who reacted by murdering him? For those who’ve delved into the Kennedy assassination it’s clear a number of forces and/or individuals held a variety of deeply held motivations for somehow stopping Kennedy’s planned actions as president.
For those whose awareness of the 1963 Kennedy assassination stops at high school history books describing Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin, Professor Sheehan’s lecture will certainly come as an eye opening, greatly surprising, perception-transforming experience. May understanding history’s greatest hard lessons result in taking history’s wisest actions today.
(Thank you to Romero Institute at YouTube)
For more lectures by Professor Sheehan visit: Romero Institute at YouTube