But there was another factor that Kennedy considered when he stepped into the shoes of the Russians in an attempt to understand the crisis and arrive at a mutually agreeable peaceful resolution of it. Ever since Kennedy became president, both the CIA and the Pentagon were hell-bent on achieving regime change in Cuba. That’s what the CIA’s invasion at Cuba’s Bay of Pigs in 1961 was all about. After it failed, the Pentagon began incessantly pressuring Kennedy to initiate a full-scale military invasion of the island. The Pentagon even came up with a fraudulent false-flag operation named Operation Northwoods to provide Kennedy with an excuse to invade Cuba. To his everlasting credit, Kennedy rejected it.
Kennedy figured out that the reason the Cubans wanted those nuclear weapons was to deter the Pentagon and the CIA from invading Cuba again. If the deterrence failed, Cuban officials wanted the nuclear weapons as a way to fight back against a vastly more powerful army.
What mainstream journalists and commentators fail to realize is that in the long state of hostilities between the United States and Cuba, it has always been the United States — specifically the Pentagon and the CIA — that has been the aggressor. Given such, Cuba had every right in the world to defend itself from what Martin Luther King described as the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world.”
When Kennedy came to the realization that it was the obsessive quest of the Pentagon and the CIA to invade Cuba that had provoked the Cuban Missile Crisis, he figured a way out of the crisis. He simply promised Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev that he would never permit the Pentagon and the CIA to bomb or invade Cuba again. His promise worked. The Soviets removed their nuclear missiles from Cuba and took them home.
Except for one thing. At the last minute, Khrushchev asked Kennedy to remove U.S. nuclear missiles from Turkey that were pointed at the Soviet Union. Yes, you read that right. While it was opposing Soviet missiles in Cuba that were pointed at the United States, the Pentagon had its nuclear missiles in Turkey that were pointed at Russia.
Kennedy understood Khrushchev’s point, and he agreed with it. He promised the Russian leader that he would remove the nuclear missiles in Turkey within six months.
Needless to say, most Americans were relieved and pleased with Kennedy’s resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Not so, however, the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They were livid. Kennedy had effectively left Cuba permanently in communist control, something that the Pentagon considered to be a grave threat to “national security.” As I point out in my book An Encounter with Evil: The Abraham Zapruder Story, the JCS considered Kennedy’s resolution of the crisis to be the biggest defeat in U.S. history. They considered Kennedy to be a “weak sister” when it came to confronting the communists. They considered him to be a coward and, even worse, a traitor for making nice with Russia.Understanding the Pentagon’s Provocation of Russia – The Future of Freedom Foundation