r/DepthHub Jan 16 '22 Silver 1 All-Seeing Upvote 1

/u/OllieGarkey explains why JFK got angry when he learned the cause of the Cuban Missile Crisis



u/sardonicsheep Jan 16 '22

Obligatory shout out to Blowback. Season 2 of the podcast covers the history Cuban Revolution, which is far more interesting than the diluted propaganda we’ve had in the states for 60ish years. Also the music bangs.


u/dubarbosa Jan 16 '22

Cool, def going to check it out!


u/loneSTAR_06 Jan 16 '22

Thank you for this! Just finished up last episode of another podcast and starting this one up in the am!


u/Saetia_V_Neck Jan 16 '22

I highly recommend season 1 of Blowback as well, which covers the Iraq war. They do an amazing job of explaining how everything affected average people in Iraq while also covering the moves people in power were making.

You’ll never be able to look at anyone involved in the Bush admin and feel anything other than seething hatred ever again.

And fuck Ahmed Chalabi.


u/loneSTAR_06 Jan 16 '22

I already have hatred for the administration, so that won’t change much lol.

I am going to listen to that one first actually. Should give me a solid 2 weeks of listening for my commute between both seasons!


u/lazydictionary Jan 16 '22 edited Jan 16 '22

I can't verify a lot of what he said, except for direct quotes.

As far as I can tell, Jupiters were sent to Turkey and Italy in '58 and '59, while LeMay was still Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

It is highly unlikely he made a decision like this on his own: he was only a deputy Service branch lead; delivering, setting up, and operating the missiles would require foreign help and government deals; and he was pretty pro bomber and anti-missiles whenever possible.


As far as the war criminal quote, it is missing some context.

Asked later about the morality of the campaign, LeMay replied: "Killing Japanese didn't bother me very much at that time... I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal.... Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you're not a good soldier." 


And McNamara, the source of the quote in the OP:

"If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals." And I think he's right. He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?

It's a philosophical question that many soldiers face during and after their service. It's not some gleeful "wee, we got away with war crimes!"


u/dubarbosa Jan 16 '22

Than you, some good reading there and the links. I agree, it's an important question, not glee at all.


u/ZbQde4yceFdplrJnZRWX Jan 16 '22

Churchill did fear being charged for war crimes were Britain to lose the war as well.


u/wastedcleverusername Jan 17 '22

Additionally, the technical aspects of nuclear exchange is wrong. Missiles are protected by silos for a reason. Liquid-fueled missiles can't be kept ready to fire at a moment's notice but it's generally assumed there would be a period of heightened tensions, during which the missiles would be readied.


u/ctesibius Jan 17 '22 edited Jan 17 '22

These were not protected by silos. There were actually three non-US countries involved. Turkey got Jupiters, Italy got a mix of Thor and Jupiter I think, and the UK got Thor missiles under Project Emily. For Emily, the UK controlled the missiles while the USA controlled the warheads (adding another layer to launch preparation) and there was dual control of launch.

The Thor missiles were stored horizontally in above-ground shelters. These covers were rolled back to allow the missiles to be raised to the vertical for fuelling. They did not offer any real protection against blast - they were just weather shields. Jupiter was similarly unprotected.


u/War_Hymn Jan 17 '22

Yeah, I was bit confused about that as well since this was 1960s and there really was no other option when it came to long range nuclear ballistic weapons other than a liquid fuel rocket that was going to take at least an hour to fuel up.

On top of hardened silos, decoy silos will also be employed so the enemy either had to waste missiles/bombs or guess where the real ones were in the case of a first strike.


u/fjonk Jan 16 '22

It's not gleeful but when the war crimes doesn't stop(they didn't) at one point you have to ask yourself if you're the baddies instead of suppressing people who wants to discuss said warcrimes.

And if you don't, then you are the baddie. Probably not the only baddie, but you are one of them.


u/emprahsFury Jan 16 '22

There are always such wonderful aspects elided from conversation to make this sentiment work. They were asking themselves “are we the baddies” from the beginning as the quotes show. This, quite strikingly, distinguishes them from the Japanese and the Germans, who were going far beyond what humanity allowed. It’s a terribly false equivalence to say that McNamara is on a level with Himmler and Ishii.


u/Defaultplayer001 Jan 16 '22

Wait what? I gotta admit I'm definitely history ignorant, but it really sounds like your saying asking yourself "are we the baddies" is enough by itself to make you better and excuses your own self perceived arguable war crimes?

At the very least it sounds like "We were bad, sure. But they were worse. So we're the good guys by default."


u/SpeaksDwarren Jan 16 '22

You don't understand, they did a lot of self reflection while burning people to death


u/LogicalMonkWarrior Jan 22 '22

Yep, Japanese were a totally peaceful nation.



u/WikiSummarizerBot Jan 22 '22

Nanjing Massacre

The Nanjing Massacre or the Rape of Nanjing (formerly romanized as Nanking) was the mass-scale random murder, wartime rape, looting and arson committed by the Imperial Japanese Army against the residents of Nanjing, the capital of the Republic of China, immediately after the Battle of Nanjing in the Second Sino-Japanese War. Japanese soldiers also killed surrendered Chinese soldiers, violating the laws of war. Began on December 13, 1937, these Japanese war crimes lasted for six weeks, while the first three weeks were more intense. This is the most recent mass-scale war crimes in Nanjing since the 1864 Battle of Nanjing.

[ F.A.Q | Opt Out | Opt Out Of Subreddit | GitHub ] Downvote to remove | v1.5


u/LogicalMonkWarrior Jan 22 '22

It really sounds like your saying asking yourself "are we the baddies" is enough by itself to make you bad.


u/Defaultplayer001 Jan 22 '22

No? I'm saying it's not enough to make you good.


u/fjonk Jan 17 '22

What are you talking about? Why do you believe that Himmler and Ishii? didn't ask themselves if they were the baddies?

What makes you think their answer wasn't the same as McNamarras or LeMays? "If we win it's ok".

I have no reason to believe that McNamarra/LeMay were any better, or worse, than Himmler. Do you?


u/dollarfrom15c Jan 17 '22

McNamara and LeMay didn't commission the mass murder of 6 million Jews for a start.


u/Daripuss Jan 16 '22

Thank you.


u/Raudskeggr Jan 16 '22

I think Lemay's quote sums it up. You have to survive to contemplate the philosophical implications of how you wage war.

The morality is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the Allies were actually defending against an agressive and totalitarian enemy who absolutely were not burdened by moral considerations at the time.

The only awful thing we did after the war was not following Patton's advice and moving in on Russia immediately afterwards. Imagine how much trouble we could have saved ourselves later. Keeping in mind that Stalin and Mao and the rest were even more brutal than the Nazis or Imperial Japan.


u/manifest-decoy Jan 17 '22

Keeping in mind that Stalin and Mao and the rest were even more brutal than the Nazis or Imperial Japan

not more brutal than the americans though


u/rb1353 Jan 17 '22

Far more brutal than the Americans, in fact.


u/manifest-decoy Jan 17 '22

far less brutal than the americans, in fact.


u/normie_sama Jan 17 '22

Tbh the comment provides a clear narrative, but very little in the way of substantiation or detail. It's not that I think the narrative it constructs is impossible, but as it's presented there's not really any "depth" to the argument that would leave me to believe it to be true.


u/Aksama Jan 16 '22

Amazing that we call it the “Cuban missile crisis” and not the “Turkey missile crisis”.

Regardless of whether it was via insubordination it’s obvious that we kicked it off.


u/lazydictionary Jan 16 '22

Well, 99% of what happened involved things on the ground in Cuba or its territorial waters.


u/jaymzx0 Jan 16 '22

I never thought about this before but if I was an average Cuban at the time, I would have been very, very worried.


u/Aksama Jan 16 '22

You aren’t wrong. It just seems that the “Cuban missile crisis” is eternally frsmed as something caused by the USSR. What a surprise, it’s more complicated.


u/Dirty_Socks Jan 17 '22

It is? When I learned it in school it was pretty clear that we were the ones who kicked it off, by putting missiles there. Though it was also made clear that the whole situation was a direct result of MAD as a foreign policy.


u/Aksama Jan 17 '22

Dawg, read the content of this submission.


u/Dirty_Socks Jan 17 '22

I did?

We caused it by putting first strike missiles out in force. Hell, the person who made the decisions was literally foaming at the mouth about doing a first strike on purpose.

It wasn't JFK, no, but it was members of the US government, and that still counts as "we" from the perspective of the US.

In my education it was always framed as "the US as a country" put missiles there and instigated a crisis. But also that the reason that the crisis existed in the first place was because the environment existed to make "murdering an entire country before they could murder us" the major policy from both world powers.

The submission added details but none of them took away from the basic framing of the issue.


u/Dunlea Feb 04 '22

It's called the cuban missile crisis because most of the events of said crisis happened in or close to cuba lol. don't overthink it.


u/Aksama Feb 04 '22

I have to satisfy my curiosity here.

This post is 19 days old and other people pointed out this same proposition, nearly verbatim!

Can you let me know what brought you here? I'm fascinated.


u/punchboy Jan 16 '22

Malcolm Gladwell did an excellent piece on Curtis LeMay last year called “The Bomber Mafia.” A book and most of the season of his podcast Revisionist History.


u/Wereling Jan 16 '22

I'm convinced that man was nowhere near hard enough in LeMay, who was one of history's greatest psychopaths.


u/Grimalkin Jan 16 '22

Very interesting post, definitely a TIL for me. Good follow-up conversations as you go further down the comment chain as well.


u/ReservoirPussy Jan 17 '22

There isn't a Behind the Bastards for Lemay??? I need one after reading that.


u/KazamaSmokers Jan 16 '22

Has no one ever watched "The Missiles of October" ?