George Bush, the Joint Chiefs and Me

When I was in third grade the Cuban Missile Crisis was going strong.  We were all scared that our middle-aged fathers would be called to war.  Even the teachers were nervous.  So on Parents' Day we were asked how we would solve the crisis. 

I said, "Why not paint the Cuban missiles with the American flag?  Then the Cubans would destroy them themselves."

Miss T. smiled indulgently.  "How would you get to them?"  she asked.

I didn't have an answer and sat down feeling defeated.

Forty plus years later, I have been vindicated by a kindred spirit of my devious third grade mind:

"President Bush said: 'The US was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach.'" .

This wasn't the first time the vibes I sent out into the universe in third grade got legs.  During the Bay of Pigs itself, the Joint Chiefs hatched a scheme known as Project Northwoods which involved attacking Americans and saying the Cubans did it.  But wouldn't you know, Kennedy nixed the plan.

While most people might think that these two plots, launched at the highest level of government, were hare-brained, as the former third grader who came up with them I have to say, "No they're  NOT YOU're hare-brained." 

Jenna Orkin
World Trade Center Environmental Organization