Bob Kennedy personally dictated this manuscript in the fall of 1967 on the basis of his personal diaries and recollections but sadly never had an opportunity to rewrite or complete it. At the request of his executors, I have made a number of small corrections for the sake of clarity, structure, and grammar; but the manuscript is also incomplete in a more substantive way. It was Bob Kennedy’s intention to add a discussion of the basic ethical question involved: what, if any, circumstances or justification gives this government or any government the moral right to bring its people and possibly all people under the shadow of nuclear destruction? Brinkmanship and bluff are one thing, he mused, and the fact that President Kennedy was not paralysed by the obvious proportions of his decision deserved even further commendation; but the actual choice of whether, if ever, to destroy one’s own nation along with one’s enemy raised the profoundest humanitarian issues, which Senator Kennedy hoped to explore further in this manuscript. That he was cruelly prevented from doing so only increases our terrible sense of loss.
KeywordsUnited States Military Action National Security Council Offensive Weapon Military Confrontation
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