Essay On Rfk's 13 Days

888 words - 4 pages

Thirteen Days is an autobiography written by Robert F. Kennedy. It is based upon the memories of RFK during the Cuban missile crisis. He vividly recalls the thirteen days between October 16 and October 28, 1962. Within these thirteen days, havoc and stress faced the White House, especially to Senator RFK and his brother, President John F. Kennedy. The story is about the handling of the crisis by one brother and the personal account of the other. The two worked together to keep America and the world safe.
The story focuses on the conflict between the two giant atomic nations, the United States and the Soviet Union. On October 16, 1962, the U.S. had suspicion that Russia was placing missiles and atomic weapons in Cuba. It also seemed as if the Russian's were constructing a large naval shipyard and a base for submarines. The two Kennedy's at first thought it was just a football field, but when U-2 planes got more detailed pictures the two were outraged! The photos indicated that the missiles were being directed at certain American cities. It was estimated that within five minutes of them being fired, eighty million Americans would be dead! RFK later finds out that Russia sent these weapons to Cuba because they thought the U.S. was interested in overthrowing the Cuban government. In response to this rumor, the Soviets wished to help Cuba protect itself.
Soviet chairman, Nikita Khrushchev, guaranteed President Kennedy that there was nothing going on in Cuba. The U.S. was not fooled with Khrushchev's act and began to discuss the ideas of a quarantine or a military attack. RFK and Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, became the blockade's strongest advocates. They did not accept the idea of the U.S. raining bombs on Cuba, killing thousands of civilians. Most of the other advisors eventually agreed a blockade would be best. A suggestion was made to make a deal with the Soviets: if they withdrew their missiles from Cuba, then we would withdraw our missiles from Turkey and Italy and give up our naval base at Guantanamo Bay. RFK and others did not support this idea, and President Kennedy made his decision in favor of the blockade.
Immense work and painstaking planning followed JFK's approval. Missile crews were placed on maximum alert and troops were moved into Florida. Bomber forcers were ordered into the air fully loaded with atomic weapons. The President also ordered preparations to proceed for a possible blockade of Berlin, the United Nations...

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