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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 15, 2012/ 29 Tishrei, 5773

When two men confronted each other from afar as civilization hung in the balance

By David Shribman




JewishWorldReview.com | There was a time when nuclear war was a threat and not a theory, when Americans faced the very real prospect of a massive missile attack on their soil, when the two postwar superpowers were poised for war -- a brisk, brutal war that would have endangered if not ended the lives of tens of millions of people. It was 50 years ago this week, and it is one of the very few half-century anniversaries that doesn't grow faint or quaint with the telling. It was the real deal, and it was utterly terrifying.

No one who was not alive then can quite comprehend the danger and the fear that infused those 13 days in October, when life and civilization themselves seemed in the balance, and were. They are among the most studied 13 days in history, picked apart by scholars, subjected to revision and revisionism, for the missiles of October 1962, never fired, posed as much of a threat as the guns of August 1914.

More than a million people died in the Battle of the Somme in 1916, with 60,000 British soldiers perishing on the first day alone. Many times that many were in peril in the battle of the strategists 46 years later.

Today, 50 years on, the episode remains shrouded in unknowns, full of questions never answered.

To what extent were the missiles in Cuba a mere sideshow to the struggle in Berlin? Did Nikita Khrushchev dispatch the missiles as a counterpoint to American missiles in Turkey? What internal Kremlin politics were at work? Did Khrushchev move on Cuba because he sensed President John F. Kennedy's apparent weakness at the Vienna summit? Why didn't Kennedy gain a long-term political benefit from his handling of the crisis, and why was he embarrassed in the so-called Skybolt Crisis, today remembered by almost no one, after having outmaneuvered Khrushchev in the crisis that mattered?

No definitive answers to these questions have emerged, even though the Cuban Missile Crisis is the subject of an untold number of academic conclaves and has become a veritable cottage industry at Harvard.

The appearance of missiles in Cuba was a startling development, disrupting the midterm congressional campaigns of 1962, paralyzing the entire Kennedy administration and positing the direct Soviet-American confrontation that Cold War diplomats had sought to avoid in Europe and Asia. The two nations truly were, as Secretary of State Dean Rusk put it in an unforgettable phrase, "eyeball to eyeball," and it wasn't clear until the end that the other guy would blink.

The discovery of those missiles prompted an extraordinary nationally televised presidential address, in which Kennedy threatened "a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union" for any missile launched from Cuba, announced a "strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba" and demanded the removal of the missiles.

Khrushchev's answer: "Imagine, Mr. President, what if we were to present to you such an ultimatum as you have presented to us by your actions. How would you react to it? I think you would be outraged at such a move on our part. And this we would understand."

Two days later Khrushchev wrote Kennedy: "You are worried over Cuba. You say that it worries you because it lies at a distance of 90 miles across the sea from the shores of the United States. However, Turkey lies next to us. Our sentinels are pacing up and down and watching each other. Do you believe that you have the right to demand security for your country and the removal of such weapons that you qualify as offensive, while not recognizing this right for us?"

But on the U.S. side of the world, claims of moral or strategic equivalence held no water.

The introduction of missiles in Cuba was seen as a violation of the Monroe Doctrine and was by any measure an expression of aggressive intent or perhaps a potential platform for nuclear blackmail. No administration could tolerate it, and the Kennedy administration didn't.

The crisis produced a kaleidoscope of unforgettable images: The primitive U-2 surveillance pictures. The huddling of advisers in the ExComm, the inner circle that managed the crisis. U.S. ambassador Adlai Stevenson describing missile photos to a hushed United Nations audience. The Soviet ships turning back in the Caribbean.

In the end, the missiles in Turkey also were removed, but that was part of a secret agreement and it wasn't for six months that the last Jupiter left Turkey. A month and a half later, Kennedy delivered his American University address outlining his vision for world peace:

"Among the many traits the peoples of our two countries have in common, none is stronger than our mutual abhorrence of war," the president said of the United States and the Soviet Union. "Almost unique among the major world powers, we have never been at war with each other."

The speech won praise from Khrushchev himself, and 10 days later the hotline was established between Moscow and Washington.

"During the crisis, with the nation directly threatened, Americans had rallied around the flag," David G. Coleman, a University of Virginia historian who heads the Presidential Recordings Program in Charlottesville, writes in "The Fourteenth Day," a new book on the crisis and its aftermath. "Kennedy himself carefully avoided any talk of 'winning' the crisis -- and forbade his staff from talking in such terms -- but in the eyes of much of the American public, and indeed the world, that was precisely what he had done."

The world, having changed utterly, was about to change some more.

Just more than a year after the crisis, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. On Oct 14, 1964, precisely two years after the U-2 flight took the first pictures of the missiles in Cuba, Khrushchev was ousted from power.

The new world order was far from orderly, led by two men -- Lyndon B. Johnson and Leonid Brezhnev -- who could not have been more different from each other or from their predecessors. Troubles in Vietnam and a crisis in Czechoslovakia would soon follow, leaving tragedy in their wake -- but it is left to us, 50 years after the fact, to remember the missiles of October, and the tragedy that was averted.

Comment by clicking here.

David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Previously:



10/08/12 If you look at the election a certain way, things don't seem so terrible
10/01/12 Debating the debates
09/24/12 Pessimists R Us
08/20/12 Obama remains a puzzle even as he asks the American people for a second chance
08/13/12 With Ryan, Romney upends the conversation
08/06/12 The real Romney remains hidden behind other people's opinions
07/30/12 What summer is for: How August can matter, and how Romney might use it
07/23/12 The Independent son of independent Maine promises to shake up Washington
07/16/12 The Rambler American
07/09/12 The Telstar revolution: Fifty years ago, a 3-foot orb was sent aloft and spawned a new era in communications
07/02/12 It's got only four electoral votes, but Romney and Obama will be fighting for them
06/25/12 A little noted rebellion over a lonely stretch of land helps tell the American story
06/18/12 You're nothing special: Luck is what you make of it . . . and what it makes of you
06/11/12 Anybody can talk authoritatively about the presidential election. Here's how
06/04/12 Candidates love to ally themselves with admired presidents, in sometimes unexpected ways
05/29/12 Americans aren't in a new burst of patriotism but they are in a new burst of appreciation for the military
05/21/12 Inside out: Almost nothing about this year's presidential election conforms to conventional analysis
05/14/12 Lugar grew into an elder statesman, which is why he'll be leaving the Senate
05/07/12 50 years later, MacArthur's farewell to arms continues to inspire
04/30/12 The likability factor: We're going to find out how important it is in these troubled times
04/23/12 Romney's four battles: With the nomination essentially in hand, he must turn to new challenges
04/16/12 For GOPers, expect the frustration to build, not abate
04/09/12 The political battles you cannot see
04/02/12 Romney's roadmap: Doing better in Democratic states may complicate his fall campaign
03/26/12 Romney struggles with same GOP forces his father faced long ago
03/19/12 The writer and the president
03/12/12 Romney could learn from his rivals after Super Tuesday
03/05/12 The GOP race continues, and Republicans continue to grouse about their choices
02/27/12 The turnout threat: when voters vamoose
02/20/12 The Winter's Tale: Republicans are engaged in a 'problem play,' full of psychological, and real, drama
02/13/12 Which Ike to like?
02/08/12 A tale of two elections: Voters today are making their most profound choice since 1912
01/30/12 Whither the GOP establishment?
01/23/12 The Democratic coalition is breaking up
01/09/12 The verdict that wasn't
01/02/12 These are the keys to who will persist
12/19/11 Another Gingrich rebellion
12/12/11 A defining fight for the GOP
12/05/11 A distinct lack of enthusiasm
11/28/11 For GOPers, the winds are beginning to pick up, the horizon is darkening
11/21/11 Today's polarized politics . . . blame FDR and the political scientists
11/11/11The sporting life
11/07/11 Ron Paul, true believer
10/31/11 Why Cain isn't able
10/10/11 GOP starting over
10/03/11 The Forgotten War of 1812
09/26/11 The way we live now
09/19/11 The crisis this time
09/11/11 But what will it mean?
09/05/11 A horse race column: Who might win the GOP nomination and how it might unfold
08/29/11 The vacuum calls
08/22/11 Passion and politics: How Barack Obama and Mitt Romney got crowded into the same dangerous corner
08/15/11 Eleanor's little village
08/08/11 The agony of August
08/01/11 The politics of the impossible: What a country this might be if the political class served the broad interests of the majority
07/25/11 Pennant fever grips 'Burgh
07/18/11 Exemplar of an era
07/11/11 On summer
07/04/11 The soul of the party
06/27/11 What the Secretary said
06/20/11 Romney has big advantages over his rivals, but they will be coming after him
06/06/11 One question each
05/30/11 The 14-week challenge
05/23/11 Delay tactics
05/16/11 Republicans are waiting
05/09/11 Bin Laden is dead. What does it mean?
05/02/11 From nobodies to nominees
04/25/11 The founders left slavery for future generations to settle, and we still haven't fully come to terms with it
04/18/11 From audacious to cautious
04/11/11 Dreaming of space
12/12/10 The GOP takes control
12/06/10 DECEMBER 7
11/29/10 GOP presidential hopefuls already are lining up local supporters in what is now a red state
11/22/10 Burning down the House
11/15/10 Institutions of higher learning are finally beginning to teach important lifeskills
11/04/10 The war has just begun
11/01/10 Echoes of a speech 40 years ago this week still resonate today
10/25/10 50 years ago America chose between two men who were dramatically different --- and eerily similar





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