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Robert Burrows

"JFK wasn't the hero..."

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On the 56th anniversary of JFK's murder, the Washington Post published this letter to the editor:


JFK wasn’t the hero of the Cuban missile crisis


As I recall, to avoid having Soviet missiles within 90 miles of Florida, President John F. Kennedy triggered the Cuban missile crisis by threatening to board Soviet vessels carrying nuclear-tipped missiles to Cuba. Then, he avoided disaster by agreeing to give up our missiles in Turkey in exchange for the Soviets not putting their missiles in Cuba. But just a few years later, Soviet submarines with nuclear-tipped missiles were off all our coasts. Yet, the roof did not fall in.

So, Kennedy won a temporary reprieve from having missiles near one U.S. coast by permanently giving up our right to base nuclear missiles in Turkey. Is running such a huge risk for such a paltry result really a sign of “extraordinary diplomacy”?

David Karro, Falls Church

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