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New Look at Missile Crisis

November 15, 1985

Bernstein's article is a neat bit of reporting of the Soviet viewpoint. With statements like "too often American Presidents, along with many American citizens, have preferred confrontation" (versus statesmanship) the Soviets don't need a propaganda machine--we do it for them. Would Bernstein have us believe that the Soviets' obviously aggressive establishment of a military base 90 miles from our shore was not a confrontation?

Bernstein would like us to believe that the Soviet missiles in Cuba did not (and therefore does not) "constitute an imminent military threat to the United States." Can he conjure up some other explanation for the move? Of course he can't. The history of Cuba's exportation of Marxism, insurrections, propaganda, and arms for dissidents in Central and South America is adequate testimony to the purpose of the Soviet invasion of the Western Hemisphere.

One might also reflect on the nature of the recently declassified documents regarding the minutes of the White House missile crisis meetings. It is not unexpected for all possible approaches to be aired in such cases. To ignore them would be naive and tantamount to neglect. It may also be noted that the final U.S. policy to quarantine offensive weapons in Cuba was unanimously backed by the Organization of American States and had the full support of our Congress.

In retrospect, the decision of President Kennedy may not have been an over-reaction but rather an under-reaction. In some respects we lost the battle. Wasn't it through "negotiations" that we made a number of concessions to both the Soviets and Fidel Castro? Isn't it obvious that the Soviet base in Cuba has been a thorn in our side ever since?

CLARENCE GUSTAVSON

Torrance

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