The world was really dangerous in 1962

Published 8:19 pm Monday, July 12, 2004

By Staff
Arthur McLean
These are truly amazing times in which we live. Evil Dictator Saddam Hussein is back in Baghdad, but this time as a prisoner facing trial for his crimes. His band of cronies will also soon face trial in front of a judge.
And they will all receive a defense in front of that judge, serving under an independent, sovereign Iraqi government.
Had Saddam been deposed by any other force other than the United States, he would likely be already dead, assassinated by some combination of his opponents and his own people.
In Afghanistan, elections are already being planned less than three years after the Taliban was taken out of the picture.
Opponents of America's war on terror have claimed that the White House's policy decisions have made the world, and the United States, more dangerous than ever.
I beg to differ. It was before my time, but I know about a little something called the Cuban missile crisis.
In 1962, the Soviet Union managed to park about two-dozen nuclear warheads in Cuba, a few hundred miles from the coast of Florida.
They didn't ship suitcase bombs or dirty bombs to Cuba, these were real, live, nuclear warheads with yields higher than that of either of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima or Nagasaki.
Had the launch order ever been given, entire U.S. cities would have been vaporized within minutes.
Before those Cuban missiles reached their targets, however, the U.S. response would have been to launch thousands of its own nuclear missiles toward its Soviet enemies, assuring the annihilation of hundreds of cities in Soviet-block countries across the globe.
A second wave of Soviet missile strikes from Russia would have followed, wiping out nearly every other major population center in this nation.
People seem to forget just how close the fingers came to the launch buttons.
There hasn't been a terrorist attack in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly three years. And, God willing, there won't be one ever again.
Afghanistan is slowly coming into its own, and although Iraq is still a very dangerous and unruly place, there is more life erupting in all its forms than death.
No, the world is not a more dangerous place today. It is a freer place.
Arthur McLean is the Editor of the Atmore Advance.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox