Here We Go Again! Russian Military Bases in Cuba!
Opening phase of Cold WarTwo?
Remember the Cuban Missile Crisis? (October 15th, 1962 through October 28th, 1962) I do! Man… do I remember! Well, in case you don’t… allow me to jostle your memory a bit... or... inform you a bit. The Russkies decided to place their missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles off our southern shore that year. They had already begun building the launching pads, the whole nine yards, before we discovered (?) them. One of our spy planes, with which we did not fly over Cuba and spy on them, er…spotted them while, uh, not flying over Cuba. Anyway, we went toe to toe with the Russians (then known as the “Soviets”) for 13 days, or so, with a blockade of Cuba.
For two weeks the world was as close to an all out nuclear war as we have ever been… before or since. Army Reservists and National Guardsmen, were placed on “alert” to report for duty, immediately, to the nearest military post or base upon reception of a phone call with the orders. The entire US Armed Forces were put on highest alert and we were ready to go to war. It was a hair-raising time for the people of America. Every time a jet flew overhead everyone stopped what he or she was doing and looked skyward. Finally, when the Soviet ships, bearing their missile cargo, turned around, when coming face to face with US Navy Warships, the entire world exhaled as if we had been holding our collective breath for two weeks. In a manner of speaking … we had been.
So why am I bringing this up at this particular time? I mean, the Russians are our FRIENDS, right? Well, NO! The first rule of diplomacy should be: NEVER trust the Russians! You see, the Russians are so eaten up with their national paranoia and their super-sized national inferiority complex that you can never turn your back on them. Currently they are PO’ed at the US for wanting to place a missile shield, made up of interceptor missiles (emphasis on “interceptor”), in eastern Europe to protect friendly nations from incoming ballistic missiles from such rogue states as Iran… to name the rogue nation at the top of that list these days. The Russians see that, somehow, as a threat to THEM. Go figure!
So, what do they do? They decide to “poke the tiger with a stick”. The “stick” just happens to be nuclear bomber bases in Cuba! Yep! Same song, second verse! Plus, it is reliably reported that a refueling station for those bombers is being planned for Venezuela, as well.
The “Times Online” has an excellent report by Tony Halpin who filed his piece from his post in Moscow. It is titled: "Nuclear bomber base' raises fears of a new Cuban crisis”. We strongly recommend you read this article. You’ll find it at:
Now, I have to ask: What the hell happened to the “Monroe Doctrine”? Chances are you have never even heard of the Monroe Doctrine. Basically, it says, specifically to Russia: “Hands off the Western Hemesphere. That is the backyard of the US and you trespass at your peril”.
The Monroe Doctrine dates back to December 2nd, 1823… and… President James Monroe was its author. The Monroe Doctrine said that European powers were no longer to colonize or interfere with the affairs of the newly independent nations of the Americas. At that time in history, the United States planned to stay neutral in wars between European powers and their colonies. However, if later on, those types of wars were to occur in the Americas, the United States would consider such action as hostile.
President James Monroe first stated the doctrine during his seventh annual State of the Union Addtress to Congress. It was a defining moment in the foreign policy of the U.S.. Most recently, during the Cold War, the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine (added during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt) was invoked as a reason to intervene militarily in Latin America to stop the spread of Communism. (More about that later.)
At that time Russia had aspirations on the northwestern lands which would later become the northwestern United States. They had minor settlements and military forces stationed in what was called, in those days, the “Oregon Country”. We eventually tossed them out. But at the time, it WAS worrisome. So, in Monroe’s State of the Union message in December of 1823, President Monroe flatly told the European powers that colonization, by them, in the Western Hemisphere was over, done with, kaput! President Monroe just flatly told the European Powers that the US would stay out of their business and they had better stay out of ours… and if they found they simply HAD to meddle in our “area of influence” then, they’d better be ready to pay the price… which meant… the US military would make every effort to stop them.
The Monroe Doctrine covered the area of North America, Central America, South America, and the Carribbean Islands. Summed up, the Monroe Doctrine basically says that any, ANY, attempt at colonization in these countries, and Island nations, would be looked upon as a threat to the National Security of the United States of America and would be dealt with accordingly.
Much later in US history, President Teddy Roosevelt added his two cents worth with the memorable statement: “Speak softly and carry a big stick!” The "Roosevelt Corollary" was a hugely important amendment to the Monroe Doctrine by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904. Roosevelt's extension of the Monroe Doctrine set out the right of the United States to intervene to stabilize the economic affairs of small nations in the Caribbean and in Central America if they were unable to pay their international debts. At the time, the US feared “assured intervention” by the European powers, especially Britain and Germany. (These two European countries had loaned money to some of the countries within our sphere of influence and were never repaid.)
The catalyst of the new policy was Germany's aggressiveness in the “Venezuela Affair” of 1902-03. Suffice it to say... Germany, and it's allies, were threathening to invade Venezuela, and had already set up a naval blockade of Venezuela when Teddy Roosevelt sent in the US Navy to, uh, "practice" some war-time manuevers, at sea, more or less in sight of the German Armada. Roosevelt declared, "We cannot afford to let Europe get a foothold in our backyard, so we'll have to act as policemen for the West."
Jumping ahead a bit, Teddy's cousin, FDR, issued his “Good Neighbor Policy” which weakened the Monroe Doctrine, in our opinion, and opened the Western Hemisphere up to, shall we say, European Adventurism on the US’s side of the pond.
So, here we are, once again, in 2008, and Russia is set to test the resolve of the US to protect it’s immediate neighbors and, at the same time, insure the National Security of the United States.
This can only end badly. There is simply no way to tell Russia to “butt out” without offending them. They have the thinnest of thin skins. Saving face is almost a religion to the Russkies.
I have proposed a number of times that the US invade Cuba and liberate the Cuban people. We made a HUGE error in giving it up in the first place. By rights it ought to be a part of the United States, and eventually, I believe it will be.
In the meantime, though, we have to keep those Russian bombers off that island.
If the Russians are looking for a “trade-off”, as we agreed to in 1962 in order to end the Cuban Missile crisis, well, frankly, I cannot see President Bush agreeing to that kind of diplomatic blackmail. (President John Kennedy agreed to take down the batteries of missiles we had in Turkey if Khruschev would remove the Russian missiles and disassemble the missile bases in Cuba.) Taking into account the Russians see Obama, the “heir apparent” to the US Presidency, as a "wet behind the ears" youngster with no gravitas, at all, it is my belief this new crisis in Cuba will not end well. There may well be a military confrontation as those Bear Bombers skirt US Air space to land in Cuba. Yes, there are two other directions from which to approach Cuba by air but the Russkies don’t think like that. You will be kidding yourself if you do not think they will fly right down the Eastern Seaboard of the US to reach Cuba. They did it frequently during the Cold War. (I’m going to begin, today, referring to the previous Cold War as Cold War-One, or CW-1, for, in my humble opinion, we have entered the opening phases of Cold War Two.)
I say again, this can only end badly.
Longstreet’s commentaries can now be found at the following Conservative sites:
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