3The 100 Nuclear Missiles Left in Cuba ... AFTER the Cuban Missile Crisis
Everyone who's passed freshman history knows the story of the Cuban missile crisis. Since that might not include you, and certainly doesn't include us, here's a recap that we just looked up and pretended to understand: Cuba was afraid that the U.S. was going to invade (which, in fairness to them, we had already done), so they asked Russia to install nukes across their country to launch against the U.S. if we ever attacked. Russia was thrilled to oblige. The U.S., not particularly keen on mass annihilation, was less so. We blockaded the nukes, and at the appropriately dramatic last minute, Russia and the U.S. worked out a deal where Russia would pull the missiles out of Cuba if we withdrew ours from Turkey and Italy.
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We got to keep our Florida missiles, though, which is all that keeps the crocodiles under control.
What you didn't know was that we didn't actually intercept all those missiles. After the Cuban missile crisis was officially "over," Russia still had 100 nuclear missiles in Cuba. Since the U.S. didn't know about them, and therefore hadn't technically included those hundred in the deal, the USSR decided that they could legally "give" them to Cuba. But when the Russian higher-ups visited Cuba to figure out the details, they quickly realized that Castro was balls-out-of-the-underwear crazy. During those first negotiations, Cuba had been left out completely. And, since they suffer from the nation equivalent of Short Man Syndrome, they were furious at the slight.
The Russians decided that if the missiles were left in Cuba, it would almost definitely lead to World War III. So they did what politicians do best: lie ridiculously. They told Castro that there was an unpublished Russian law that made it illegal to give missiles to Cuba permanently -- our legal department says it's a variant of the "never promise crazy a baby" statute -- and the Cuban missile crisis was averted.
For realsies this time.
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"We promise not to kill everything and everyone if you promise not to kill everything and everyone."
2France's Private War Against ... Hippies?
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In 1985, the French government had a problem: They wanted to irradiate the fuck out of some delicate ecosystems, but stupid "Greenpeace" was using stupid "boats" to stupid "protest" for the stupid "sanctity of life and the environment." Psh ... hippies, right? What's worse, the site was a French colony that was already thinking of rebelling, and the French didn't want to show any signs of weakness, lest they incur the dreaded wrath of ... the French. So they did what any reasonable country would do: They decided to blow up the Rainbow Warrior, which, from the name, you've already gone ahead and assumed was a love boat full of hippies, to scare/distract Greenpeace long enough for them to conduct the nuclear tests.
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"We tried infecting their sheets with pubic lice, but no one seemed to notice."
The mission was called Operation Satanique -- a name that should probably tip you off to the fact that you might be the crazy bad guys in this situation. When the Rainbow Warrior docked in New Zealand to do some tactical chillaxing, Operation Satanique was a go. The plan was to scare all of the crew off the boat with a small bomb, then, when they had evacuated, a second, larger bomb would actually sink the boat. It all went perfectly!
Except for everything.
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"I love it when a plan fails in every conceivable fashion."
The crew of the Rainbow Warrior returned after the first bomb went off to check out the damage, not assuming that lightning could strike twice. And you know what they say about "assuming" things ... it blows up boats in New Zealand. So when the second bomb went off, it actually hurt some folks, and killed Fernando Pereira, a photographer.
The French started frantically pulling agents from New Zealand, seeing as how their whole "ruin a hippie's boat party" plan had suddenly turned into "multinational murder and terrorism." But two French spies involved in the operation were detained and interrogated. The truth came out soon after, because, shockingly, you just can't seem to trust the fortitude of a French spy. The aftermath was about what you'd expect: France's president publicly apologized, the defense minister resigned in disgrace, they paid a shit-ton of cash to Greenpeace and France halted their horrific testing ...
For like 10 years. Then they went back and blew the holy shit out of the place anyway. Hey, what did you expect from the guys who brainstormed "Operation Satanic"?
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"We wanted to call it Operation Boatfuck, but that just sounded crude."