Monday, February 03, 2003

Chomsky address at World Social Forum
"The nature of the threats was dramatically underscored last October, at the summit meeting in Havana on the 40th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, attended by key participants from Russia, the US, and Cuba. Planners knew at the time that they had the fate of the world in their hands, but new information released at the Havana summit was truly startling. We learned that the world was saved from nuclear devastation by one Russian submarine captain, Vasily Arkhipov, who blocked an order to fire nuclear missiles when Russian submarines were attacked by US destroyers near Kennedy’s “quarantine” line. Had Arkhipov agreed, the nuclear launch would have almost certainly set off an interchange that could have “destroyed the Northern hemisphere,” as Eisenhower had warned.

"The dreadful revelation is particularly timely because of the circumstances: the roots of the missile crisis lay in international terrorism aimed at “regime change,” two concepts very much in the news today. US terrorist attacks against Cuba began shortly after Castro took power, and were sharply escalated by Kennedy, leading to a very plausible fear of invasion, as Robert McNamara has acknowledged. Kennedy resumed the terrorist war immediately after the crisis was over; terrorist actions against Cuba, based in the US, peaked in the late 1970s continued 20 years later. Putting aside any judgment about the behavior of the participants in the missile crisis, the new discoveries demonstrate with brilliant clarity the terrible and unanticipated risks of attacks on a “much weaker enemy” aimed at “regime change” – risks to survival, it is no exaggeration to say."

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