to Kennedy, Robert McNamara pushed for the blockade as it applied limited pressure,which could be increased as the circumstances warranted.
In the end however, it wasRobert Kennedy himself who was the most vehemently opposed to air strikes. He writes,“ I could not accept the idea that the United States would rain bombs on Cuba killingthousands and thousands of civilians in a surprise attack.”
By placing himself as a strong proponent for the blockade and opposed to air strikes, Kennedy in effect credits himself with convincing the President a blockade was the best way to go. It must be rememberedthat this book was published as Kennedy was launching his campaign for President; heneeded to portray himself in a flattering light. When talking about the embargo, Kennedyalso frames it in a way that made it seem like the United States was doing a favour toCuba and the Soviet Union. The quarantine of the island was taking the moral highground and The United States had every right to invade the island if they so wished.Henry M. Patcher published his book,
, in 1963 just a year after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Unlike Kennedy’s memoirs, Patcher spends some timediscussing Khrushchev’s motives for putting weapons in Cuba. Despite his attempts tounderstand Khrushchev’s motives, he constantly reverts back to the idea that Khrushchevwas unstable, irrational and wanted a showdown with the United States.
“The missiles were supposed to make the Americans uncomfortable, to dampen their enthusiasm for collective security… Khrushchev was moving toward a showdown at theend of the year and Castro was merely a pawn.”
Patcher makes little effort to understand Khrushchev’s motives for putting missiles inCuba in the context of The Bay of Pigs invasion and CIA covert operations. Patcher’s book dedicates more time to praising President Kennedy’s crisis management skills than
Henry Maximillian Patcher,
(New York: Praeger, 1963), 26.Wilson 3