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[i]Now, this may not change anything about that schedule but at least we ought to be clear, otherwise we shouldn't be spending this kind of money because I'm not that interested in space...[/i]
[i]And the second point is the fact that the Soviet Union has made this a test of the system. So that's why we're doing it.[/i]
[i]Apollo was a political decision to achieve a political goal, to demonstrate the technological and organizational power of the United States and thereby demonstrate that democratic capitalism was superior to Soviet-style communism as a form of societal organization.
There are other examples during this meeting of Kennedy's view of space as a demonstration of power in the Cold War. During the 21 November meeting, Webb told Kennedy, "And I have some feeling that you might not have been as successful on Cuba if we hadn't flown John Glenn and demonstrated we had a real overall technical capability here." Webb was referring to the recent Cuban Missile Crisis, during which the United States and the Soviet Union had reached the brink of war. The Soviets agreed to withdraw their nuclear-tipped missiles from Cuba in an action that many people perceived as a humiliating defeat and that ultimately led to the downfall of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.
Kennedy replied, "We agree. That's why we wanna put this program.... That's the dramatic evidence that we're preeminent in space."[/i]
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