A lot of useless ink has been spilled telling moviegoers how this movie didn't precisely and totally follow the historical record. The importance of this movie lies not in its detailed historical record--of which it is a basically true account--the point of the movie is that one past American president was willing and able to stand up to the capitalist militarists who wanted him to rush into a war that would have meant the death of countless Americans. The other important lesson we learn from this movie is how drastically different conditions now are in the United States, compared to the time of the presidency of John F. Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis. At that time, we were being led by a president who did not completely follow the dictates of the capitalist cabal, acted on his own initiative, and refused to allow the capitalist-militarist junta to trick us into a senseless war.
The movie should not be used as an excuse to lionize John F. Kennedy. He was a terribly flawed human being and among other errors allowed the Vietnamese war to continue for far too long. JFK did some remarkable things during his presidency--some of which are dramatized in this movie--the result of which was that he was assassinated by the militarist plutocracy that now rules this nation.
Global military spending this year will amount to over $4 million every minute of every day. And each minute of each day 22 children under the age of five will die from mainly preventable causes including a lack of adequate food, clean water, and access to basic medicines.
Since the presidency of John F. Kennedy, this nation has been ruled by the militarist plutocracy that assassinated him. The succeeding presidents have not dared to stand up against militarism, having been put into power by this fascist cabal.
Then And Now
The movie "Thirteen Days" reveals to Americans in 2012 how this country has been totally changed by its being taken over by a military dictatorship.
We find ourselves in the unenviable situation where our federal and state governments have been "bought and paid for" by large money interests. We ceased to be a genuine democracy some time ago; today the United States is undeniably a military dictatorship.
Given the state of mind of the American people at present, to be militarily prepared for genuine national defense initiatives requires at least a small "standing army" and a small military establishment to provide training and supply. The difficulty is that the puppet leaders in America create wars and "police actions" not in reference to genuine threats to our national interests but to funnel money from American tax-payers and from foreign imperialistic conquests (think Iraq and Libya) to "defense industry" fat-cats.
Our present military leaders are not being trained to think in terms of whether a military action is constitutionally legitimate or not. U.S. military personnel take as their oath of office the protection of the people of the United States, but few of our military leaders are able or willing to use their moral judgement to determine if civilian leaders are acting in a way consonant with that oath or not. Fortunately, there are some military leaders who are beginning to question the "defense industry" militarist hoax and to speak out for a legitimate role for the American military.
We must move the United States from the present militarist ideology foisted on it by its rulers to a state in which the well-being of the people is the primary goal. Given the situation of a highly-armed military, citizen militia movements are not the answer. We must use the bad examples of the militarist fiascos of Panama, Haiti, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya--and future military blunders (Syria, Iran?)--to make it clear that citizens and courageous military leaders must insist on ending the practice of supposedly "humanitarian" wars of any stripe. We must redefine our national priorities in terms of the people's needs and begin to replace capitalist militarism with cooperative commonwealth communities.