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美国20世纪最伟大的100篇演讲JFK - Cuban Missile Crisis

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AmericanRhetoric.com


John F. Kennedy:
Cuban Missile Crisis Address

 

Delivered
22
October
1962

AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED:
Text
version below
transcribed
directly
from
audio

Good evening,
my fellow citizens:

This Government, as promised,
has maintained
the closest surveillance of the Soviet
military
buildup on the island of Cuba. Within
the past week, unmistakable evidence has established
the fact
that a series of offensive missile sites is now
in preparation on that imprisoned island.
The purpose of these bases can be none other than to provide a nuclear strike capability
against
the Western
Hemisphere.

Upon receiving the first preliminary hard
information of this nature last Tuesday morning at 9
A.M., I directed that our surveillance be stepped up.
And having now confirmed and completed
our evaluation of the evidence and our decision
on a course of action, this Government feels
obliged to report
this new crisis to
you
in fullest
detail.

The characteristics of these new missile sites indicate two distinct
types of installations.
Several of them include medium range ballistic missiles, capable of carrying a nuclear
warhead for a distance of more than 1,000 nautical
miles. Each of these missiles, in short, is
capable of striking Washington, D. C., the Panama Canal, Cape Canaveral, Mexico City, or any
other city in the southeastern
part of the United
States, in Central
America, or in the
Caribbean area.


Additional sites not yet completed appear to be designed for intermediate range ballistic
missiles capable
of traveling more than twice
as far and
thus capable of striking most of
the major cities in the Western Hemisphere, ranging as far north as Hudson
Bay, Canada, and
as far south as Lima, Peru. In addition, jet bombers, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, are
now being uncrated and assembled in Cuba, while the necessary air bases are being prepared.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
1



AmericanRhetoric.com


This urgent transformation of Cuba into an
important
strategic base by
the presence of
these large,
longrange,
and clearly offensive weapons of sudden mass destruction constitutes
an explicit
threat to
the peace and security of all
the Americas, in flagrant and
deliberate defiance of the Rio Pact of 1947, the traditions of this Nation and hemisphere, the
joint resolution of the 87th Congress, the Charter of the United Nations, and my own public
warnings to
the Soviets on September 4 and 13. This action also contradicts the repeated
assurances of Soviet spokesmen, both publicly and privately delivered, that the arms buildup
in Cuba would retain
its original defensive character, and that the Soviet Union
had
no need or
desire to station
strategic missiles. on
the territory of any other nation.

The size of this undertaking makes clear that it
has been planned for some months. Yet, only
last month, after I had made clear the distinction between any introduction of groundtoground
missiles and the existence of defensive antiaircraft
missiles, the Soviet
Government
publicly stated on
September 11 that, and I quote, "the armaments and military equipment
sent
to Cuba are designed exclusively for defensive purposes,"
that
there is, and I quote the
Soviet
Government, "there is no
need for the Soviet
Government
to shift its weapons for a
retaliatory blow to any other country, for instance Cuba," and that, and I quote their
government, "the Soviet
Union has so powerful
rockets to carry these nuclear warheads that
there is no
need to search for sites for them beyond the boundaries of the Soviet Union."


That statement was false.


Only last Thursday, as evidence of this rapid offensive buildup was already in my hand, Soviet
Foreign Minister Gromyko
told me in my office that he was instructed to
make it clear once
again, as he said his government had already done, that Soviet assistance to Cuba, and I
quote, "pursued solely the purpose of contributing to the defense capabilities of Cuba," that,
and I quote him, "training by Soviet specialists
of Cuban
nationals in handling defensive
armaments was by no
means offensive, and if it were otherwise," Mr.
Gromyko went on, "the
Soviet
Government would never become involved in rendering such assistance."


That statement also was false.


Neither the United States of America nor the world community of nations can tolerate
deliberate deception and offensive threats on
the part of any nation, large or small. We no
longer live in a world where only the actual firing of weapons represents a sufficient
challenge
to a nation's security to constitute maximum peril. Nuclear weapons are so destructive and
ballistic missiles are so swift, that any substantially increased possibility of their use or any
sudden change in their deployment may well be regarded as a definite threat
to peace.


For many years, both the Soviet Union and the United States, recognizing this fact, have
deployed strategic nuclear weapons with great care, never upsetting the precarious status quo
which
insured that these weapons would not be used in the absence of some vital challenge.
Our own strategic missiles have never been transferred to the territory of any other nation
under a cloak of secrecy and deception. and our history unlike
that of the Soviets since the
end of World War II demonstrates
that we have no desire to dominate or conquer any other
nation or impose our system upon
its people.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
2



AmericanRhetoric.com


Nevertheless, American citizens have become adjusted to
living daily on
the bull'seye
of
Soviet
missiles located inside the U.S.S.R. or in submarines.

In
that sense, missiles in Cuba add to an already clear and present danger although
it
should be noted the nations of Latin
America have never previously been
subjected to a
potential
nuclear threat. But
this secret, swift, extraordinary buildup of Communist
missiles
in
an area well known
to
have a special and historical relationship to the United States and the
nations of the Western
Hemisphere, in
violation
of Soviet assurances, and in defiance of
American and hemispheric policy this
sudden, clandestine decision
to station strategic
weapons for the first time outside of Soviet soil
is
a deliberately provocative and unjustified
change in the status quo which
cannot be accepted by this country, if our courage and our
commitments are ever to be trusted again by either friend or foe.

The 1930's taught us a clear lesson: aggressive
conduct, if allowed to go unchecked and
unchallenged, ultimately leads to war. This nation
is opposed to war. We are also true to our
word. Our unswerving objective, therefore, must be to prevent the use of these missiles
against
this or any other country, and to
secure
their withdrawal or elimination
from the
Western
Hemisphere.

Our policy has been one of patience and restraint, as befits a peaceful
and powerful nation
which
leads a worldwide alliance. We have been
determined not to be diverted from our
central concerns by mere irritants and fanatics.
But
now further action
is required, and it
is
under way. and these actions may only be the beginning. We will not prematurely or
unnecessarily risk the costs of worldwide nuclear war in which even the fruits of victory would
be ashes in our mouth. but
neither will we shrink from that risk at any time it must be faced.

Acting, therefore, in the defense of our own security and of the entire Western
Hemisphere,
and under the authority entrusted to me by the Constitution as endorsed by the Resolution of
the Congress, I
have directed that
the following initial steps be taken
immediately:

First: To halt this offensive buildup a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment
under shipment to Cuba
is being initiated.
All ships of any kind bound for Cuba
from whatever
nation or port will, if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, be turned back. This
quarantine will be extended, if needed, to other types of cargo and carriers. We are not at
this
time, however, denying the necessities of life as the Soviets attempted to do
in
their Berlin
blockade of 1948.

Second: I have directed the continued and increased close surveillance of Cuba and its
military buildup. The foreign ministers of the OAS [Organization of American
States], in their
communiqué' of October 6, rejected secrecy on
such
matters in
this hemisphere. Should these
offensive military preparations continue,
thus increasing the threat to the hemisphere, further
action will be justified. I have directed the Armed Forces to prepare for any eventualities. and
I trust
that in the interest of both
the Cuban people and the Soviet
technicians at
the sites,
the hazards to all concerned of continuing this threat will be recognized.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
3



AmericanRhetoric.com


Third: It shall be the policy of this Nation to
regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba
against any nation
in the Western
Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United
States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet
Union.

Fourth: As a necessary military precaution, I
have reinforced our base at
Guantanamo,
evacuated today the dependents of our personnel
there, and ordered additional
military units
to be on a standby alert basis.

Fifth: We are calling tonight for an
immediate meeting of the Organ[ization] of Consultation
under the Organization of American
States, to consider this threat
to hemispheric security and
to invoke articles 6 and 8 of the Rio
Treaty in support of all necessary action. The United
Nations Charter allows for regional
security arrangements, and the nations of this hemisphere
decided long ago against the military presence of outside powers. Our other allies around the
world have also been alerted.


Sixth: Under the Charter of the United Nations, we are asking tonight that an emergency
meeting of the Security Council be convoked without delay to
take action against
this latest
Soviet
threat to world peace. Our resolution will
call for the prompt dismantling and
withdrawal of all offensive weapons in Cuba, under the supervision of U.N. observers, before
the quarantine can be lifted.


Seventh and finally: I call
upon Chairman Khrushchev to
halt and eliminate this clandestine,
reckless, and provocative threat to world peace and to stable relations between our two
nations. I
call
upon him further to abandon this course of world domination, and to join in an
historic effort
to end the perilous arms race and
to transform the history of man. He has an
opportunity now
to move the world back from the abyss of destruction by returning to
his
government's own words that it had
no
need to
station missiles outside its own
territory, and
withdrawing these weapons from Cuba by refraining from any action which will widen or
deepen the present crisis, and then by participating in a search
for peaceful and permanent
solutions.

This Nation is prepared to present
its case against
the Soviet
threat to
peace, and our own
proposals for a peaceful world, at any time and in any forum in
the OAS, in the United
Nations, or in any other meeting that could be useful without
limiting our freedom of action.
We have in the past
made
strenuous efforts to limit
the spread of nuclear weapons. We have
proposed the elimination of all arms and military bases in a fair and effective disarmament
treaty. We are prepared to discuss new proposals for the removal of tensions on both sides,
including the possibilities of a genuinely independent Cuba, free to determine its own destiny.
We have no wish
to war with
the Soviet Union for
we are a peaceful people who desire to
live in peace with all other peoples.

But
it is difficult
to settle or even
discuss these problems in an atmosphere of intimidation.
That is why this latest
Soviet threat or
any other threat which
is made either independently
or in response to our actions this weekmust
and will be met with determination.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
4



AmericanRhetoric.com


Any hostile move anywhere in the world against the safety and freedom of peoples to whom
we are committed,
including in particular the brave people of West Berlin, will be met by
whatever action is needed.

Finally, I want
to say a few words to
the captive people of Cuba, to whom this speech is being
directly carried by special radio facilities. I speak to
you as a friend, as one who knows of your
deep attachment
to your fatherland, as one who shares your aspirations for liberty and justice
for all. And I
have watched and the American people have watched with deep sorrow how
your nationalist revolution was betrayed and
how your fatherland fell
under foreign
domination. Now your leaders are no
longer Cuban leaders inspired by Cuban
ideals. They are
puppets and agents of an international conspiracy which
has turned Cuba against your friends
and neighbors in the Americas, and turned it
into the first Latin
American
country to become a
target for nuclear war the
first Latin American country to have these weapons on its soil.

These new weapons are not
in your interest. They contribute nothing to your peace and wellbeing.
They can only undermine it. But this country has no wish to cause you
to suffer or to
impose any system upon you. We know
that
your lives and land are being used as pawns by
those who deny your freedom. Many times in the past, the Cuban people have risen to
throw
out
tyrants who destroyed their liberty. And I have no doubt
that
most Cubans today look
forward to
the time when
they will be truly free free
from foreign domination, free to
choose their own
leaders, free to select
their own system, free to own
their own
land, free to
speak and write and worship without fear or degradation. And then shall Cuba be welcomed
back to the society of free nations and to
the associations of this hemisphere.

My fellow
citizens, let
no one doubt
that this is a difficult and dangerous effort on which we
have set out. No one can foresee precisely what course it will take or what costs or casualties
will be incurred. Many months of sacrifice and selfdiscipline
lie ahead months
in which both
our patience and our will
be tested,
months in which many threats and denunciations will
keep
us aware of our dangers. But the greatest danger of all would be to do
nothing.


The path we have chosen
for the present
is full
of hazards, as all paths are. but
it is the one
most
consistent with our character and courage
as a nation and our commitments around the
world. The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path
we shall never choose, and that
is the path of surrender or submission.

Our goal
is not the victory of might, but
the vindication of right. not peace at the expense of
freedom, but both peace and freedom, here in this hemisphere, and, we hope, around the
world. God willing,
that goal will be achieved.


Thank you and good night.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Property
of AmericanRhetoric.com. . Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Page
5


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