Wednesday, January 19, 2011

France: WikiLeaks

Le Monde

Not quite the 
whole truth

"The world narrowly escaped nuclear war in October 1962. In the run-up to the mid-term elections, President Kennedy repeatedly asserted that Soviet offensive missiles would not be deployed in Cuba and would not be tolerated if they were. Moscow did not respond, not knowing whether these statements were merely intended to pander to voters or were a genuine warning. Secret exchanges subsequently made the parties’ intentions clear and they were able to defuse the crisis. The Americans let it be known that they might discreetly agree, later on, to one of Moscow’s demands and quietly withdraw the Nato missiles deployed in Turkey. On the Soviet side, Khrushchev privately informed Kennedy that a US pledge not to invade Cuba would enable him to order the removal of all missiles from the island without losing face (1).

"Will the WikiLeaks disclosures prompt diplomatic moves to avoid war, as in 1962, or prepare for it? Some leaks, it seems, are more troublesome than others. When Germany’s military authorities produced a fictitious Serbian plan, Operation Horseshoe, to justify the war in Kosovo, or when The New York Times passed on the Pentagon’s little white lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the White House did not call for sanctions."

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