Older Americans remember well the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The then Soviet Union had placed nuclear armed missiles on the island nation mere minutes from being able to destroy most major American cities, including Washington D.C. and New York. As a sovereign nation, Cuba, like Ukraine today, had every legal right to have Soviet missiles placed within its borders.

Of course, these Soviet missiles were an existential threat to the U.S. and President John F. Kennedy was left in an impossible situation. No matter the international legalities, under no circumstances was America going to allow the missiles to remain in Cuba. The U.S. military prepared to attack the island and Russian ships delivering additional arms to Cuba were blockaded by American ships. The potential for nuclear Armageddon and the end of all life on Earth was imminent. American officials involved at the time said simple dumb luck prevented the ultimate disaster. But there was more involved.

Throughout the crisis the channels of communication between Moscow and Washington were kept open. President Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev talked directly throughout the 13-day standoff. In the end, Khruschev had the wisdom to accept that removing the missiles from Cuba posed no existential treat to the Soviet Union, and it wasn’t worth risking the future of humanity over the issue. Khruschev also had the moral standing to require the U.S. to agree publicly that if the Soviets removed the missiles, America would not attack Cuba. Khruschev protected the Cubans and prevented the great loss of life that would have occurred there.

Let us now move on to the current crisis in Ukraine and the historical background that led up to it. It has long been known that in 1990 meetings between Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, it was agreed that if the Soviet Union would allow the Berlin Wall to be torn down with the reunification of east and west Germany, NATO would not expand “one inch to the east.” Government documents declassified in 2017 through George Washington University show that these terms were agreed to by several European heads of state.

Although the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991, it was understood by Russia that the terms of the Berlin wall agreement still held. Russian leadership at the time was hopeful there would finally be a lasting peace, cooperation, and unity across the Eurasia continent to the benefit of all. Tragically, this was not to be. America had already begun its imperialist march toward a unipolar, U.S. dominated world. The end of the Soviet Union was seen as an opportunity to exert this dominance over resource rich Russia.

Ignoring the advice of the most experienced U.S. diplomats of the time, George F. Kennan, and Jack Matlock, who stated clearly that “expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold-war era,” in 1994 President Bill Clinton broke the U.S. promise not to expand NATO. Although Russia repeatedly voiced its concerns about NATO, and NATO weaponry, moving ever closer to its borders, subsequent U.S. administrations followed suit.

Despite the objections of France, Germany, and other NATO members, in 2008 President George W. Bush openly vowed Ukraine and Georgia, with over 1000 miles of border with Russia, would become part of NATO. In 2014, under President Barack Obama, the U.S. orchestrated the Maidan Coup in Ukraine which overthrew the constitutionally elected, Russia friendly President  Viktor Yanukovich, who had promised to keep Ukraine neutral and out of NATO, and replaced him with corrupt, neo-Nazi, U.S. protege Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

The U.S. now has missiles in Poland and Romania that are 5-7 minutes from striking Moscow, St Petersburg, and other major urban areas. After the Maidan coup, the U.S. began sending major arms to Ukraine, trained Ukrainian troops, and was planning to place military divisions and arms directly on Russia’s borders.

Whether or not U.S. leadership or western media wish to admit it, America placed President Vladimir Putin of Russia in exactly the same position as the Soviet Union had placed John F. Kennedy 60 years ago. Like Kennedy, Putin could not tolerate an existential threat that could wipe out his nation’s major cities in minutes. They key difference between Cuba 60 years ago and Ukraine today, is the difference between Nikita Khruschev and Joe Biden. Khruschev had the morals and wisdom to protect Cuba and walk away from Armageddon. Joe Biden is sacrificing thousands upon thousands of innocent Ukrainians while leading humanity to nuclear extinction.

Please – take the time to read the articles below by Media Benjamin and Nicholas Davies in the Progressive Magazine, and by Michael Brenner, Professor of International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. The future of humanity may well depend on Americans understanding what happened in Ukraine and how far we are being misled by western media: