Duck and Cover

Last night and tonight I’ve been watching one of my favorite movies – Thirteen Days. While there’s a lot of fiction in this story of the Cuban missile crisis, there’s also a lot of history.

A few years back – after seeing the movie the first time – I read Robert Kennedy’s book about the crisis. It brought more of the facts into focus – but much of the impact was the same. We – this country and the world – edged right up to the brink of nuclear war on those fateful days in 1962. Had anyone pulled the trigger, I wouldn’t be writing these words today.

Watching the movie again tonight, one appreciates the value of restraint. Of playing chess – and playing several steps ahead. Sometimes ignoring the “best advice” of others as they push their agendas.

It’s a crazy world out there. Discerning the right path in the face of evil is an almost impossible task. But, let’s hope that it’s still possible, that we still have the discrimination to understand and apply force when it’s appropriate – and when it’s not.

At a dinner earlier this week with a very good friend, we talked about Obama and his administration. We talked about the stresses and strains – but we agreed that we can’t possibly understand the full burdens he bears – the daily intelligence briefings, the face of evil. His Nobel speech this week was remarkable. What’s appropriate use of power? Not just from America – but from the world.

The responsibility is so enormous that we can’t fully comprehend it. We struggle to even understand it.

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