President Kennedy as the Saviour of the Western World After The Cuban Missile Crisis
On October 22 1962, President Kennedy informed the world, that the
Soviet Union was building missile bases in Cuba. Superpower
brinkmanship came close to exploding into nuclear war because of these
missiles. When Khrushchev finally backed down ,the crisis appeared to
have ended victoriously for Kennedy and America. American propaganda
took the opportunity to praise America's triumphant way of dealing
with the crisis and Kennedy's role of saving the Western World from
However recent research is critical of Kennedy's claim to be the
Savior of the Western World, because he was not alone in resolving the
situation, and Kennedy's negative attitude towards Cuba contributed in
beginning, endorsing and escalating the crisis.
American Media presented Kennedy's role in the Crisis as that of the
Savior of the Western world. American propaganda said that his
resolutness to soviet hostility had caused Khrushchev to remove soviet
missiles from Cuba.
A cartoon, drawn at the height of the cold war, presented the idea of
the Crisis as an old fashioned Western shoot out. The cartoon enhanced
Kennedy's reputation by presenting him as the good guy ,standing up to
evil but also undermined Khrushchev's reputation.
At Kennedy's funeral, a member of Excom remarked on Kennedy's 'Skill
and firmness that saved the world'. Sorenson stressed that 'If anyone
else had been president, it is likely the world would have been blown
The American media held this view of Kennedy being the savior of the
Western world because they had confidence in Kennedy. It was the
height of the cold war so the media presented Kennedy as strong and
resolute in an attempt to boost morale among the American nation and
to defuse tension giving the people a feeling that they were safe and
secure. The Cold war was a 'War of words' so the two countries were
constantly trying to 'Get one up on the other' and undermine the
Kennedy made every attempt during the crisis to prove to the American
people that he was reacting to a genuine threat and was treating it in
a way that was most probable to end in a nonviolent outcome.e.g
photographs of missile sites being built in Cuba.
Throughout the crisis, Kennedy chose the most tactful course of action
and the one least probable to escalate into nuclear war. Kennedy
decided to blockade Cuba rather than permitting military action
against Cuba. This decision kept open the chance of a peaceful outcome
to the Crisis. Also at the height of the crisis Kennedy received two
letters from Khrushchev, one aggressive and the other more appeasing.
Kennedy again made a good decision to ignore the more hostile of the
two letters and only respond to the more...