Quote [61] – America (past), Cuba

With some trepidation, I argued [during the Cuban missile crisis] that, whatever validity the military and political arguments were for an attack in preference to a blockade, America’s traditions and history would not permit such a course of action.  Whatever military reasons he and other could marshal, they were nevertheless, in the last analysis, advocating a surprise attack by a large nation against a very small one.  This I said, could not be undertaken by the U.S if we were to maintain out moral position at home and around the globe.  Our struggle against communism throughout the world was for far more than physical survival – it had as its essence our heritage and our idealism, and these we must not destroy Make gentle the life of this world
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Quote [60] – American Values vs Military Force (past)

America was a great force in the world, with immense prestige, long before we became a great military power.  That power has come to us and we cannot renounce it, but neither can we afford to forget that the real constructive force in the world comes not from bombs but from imaginative idea, warm sympathies ad a generous spirit..

Over the years, an understanding of what America really stands for is going to count far more than missiles, aircraft carriers, and supersonic bombers

Make gentle the life of this world

Quote [59] – Equality, The Individual & Life Satisfaction

“On this generation of Americans falls the full burden of proving to the world that we really mean it when we say all men are created equal before the law.  All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t.  And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.

But all our great cooperative efforts will come to little if they do not succeed in restoring importance to the lives of individual men.  Long ago the Greeks defined happiness as ‘the exercise of vital powers along line of excellence in a life affording them scope.’  The fulfilment of that objective is increasingly difficult in the face of the giant organisations and massive bureaucracies of the age.  Still it is what we must seek, helping men and communities to mark off a corner of the word in which to move, to stretch mind and body in the effort ‘not only to equal or resemble, but to excel,’ which John Adams told us would forever be ‘the great spring of human action’ – and which was our goal for ourselves and one another in our compact two short centuries ago.”

Archibald MacLeish

Make gentle the life of this world