The US government likes enemies lists. The one commonality among its enemies is that they don’t do what the US government wants them to do. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:
Many American still long for the good old days when men were still manly and President George W. Bush was able to announce that there was a “new sheriff in town” pledged to wipe terrorism from the face of the earth. “You’re either with us or against us,” he growled and he backed up his warning of lethal retribution with an enemies list that he called the “axis of evil.”
The axis of evil identified in those days in the 2002 State of the Union Address consisted of Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Iraq, which had not yet been invaded and conquered by the American war machine, was number one on the list, with Saddam allegedly brandishing weapons of mass destruction deliverable by the feared transatlantic gliders that could easily strike the United States. Bush explained that “Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax and nerve gas and nuclear weapons for over a decade. This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens, leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections, then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.”
North Korea meanwhile was described as “A regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens” while Iran “aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people’s hope for freedom.”
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Media, Politics
Tagged Cuba, Iran, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Nicaragua, North Korea, President Trump, US Enemies, Venezuela
Got a cold? Lose your job? Blame the Russians. From Glenn Greenwald at theintercept.com:
NBC NEWS AND MSNBC SPECIALIZE in repeating and disseminating what U.S intelligence officials tell them to say and then calling that servitude “reporting.” Those two networks really are the all-but-official outlets for CIA messaging. And this status has led their brightest on-air stars to broadcast a series of extremely consequential stories that turned out to be humiliatingly wrong.
This stenographic and highly jingoistic practice of mindlessly reciting the whispered claims of anonymous “intelligence officials” is what notoriously led the New York Times and other leading U.S. media outlets to deceive the country into believing Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz’s fairy tales about Iraqi WMDs and Jeffrey Goldberg’s tales about Saddam’s alliance with Al Qaeda.
But while many of those outlets apologized for that behavior and vowed to avoid it in the future, NBC and MSNBC have committed themselves to it with greater vigor than ever, as evidenced by the increasing prominence of their national security reporter Ken Dilanian, whose entire career has been defined by repeating what the CIA tells him to say – and has thus been plagued by one embarrassing false story after the next.
Before you know it, we’ll have another Cuban Missile Crisis. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
Nostalgia seems to be very popular in Washington. While the neocons and Democratic Party hard-liners have succeeded in bringing back the Cold War with Russia, it looks like President Trump is determined to take us back to a replay of the Bay of Pigs!
In Miami on Friday, the president announced that he was slamming the door on one of President Obama’s few foreign policy successes: easing 50 years of US sanctions on Cuba. The nostalgia was so strong at Trump’s Friday speech that he even announced participants in the CIA’s disastrous 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in the audience!
President Trump said Friday that his new policy would be nothing short of “regime change” for Cuba. No easing of US sanctions on Cuba, he said, “until all political prisoners are freed, freedoms of assembly and expression are respected, all political parties are legalized, and free and internationally supervised elections are scheduled.”
Yes, this is the same Donald Trump who declared as president-elect in December that his incoming Administration would “pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments.” Now, in another flip-flop toward the neocons, President Trump is pursuing regime change in Cuba on the pretext of human rights violations.
While the Cuban government may not have a spotless record when it comes to human rights, this is the same President Trump who just weeks ago heaped praise on perhaps the world’s worst human rights abuser, Saudi Arabia. There, he even participated in a bizarre ceremony to open a global anti-extremism center in the home of state-sponsored extremism!
To continue reading: Trump Turns Back the Clock With Cold War Cuba U-Turn
From Ivan Eland at antiwar.com:
President Obama’s historic opening to Cuba has come under fire from Republican and even some Democratic hawks because Cuban President Raul Castro did not greet him at the airport and because the Cuban government arrested members of a dissident group while Obama’s plane was en route to the island. Those Cuban actions are a reflexive reaction because Obama’s visit is the biggest threat to communist rule there in decades.
The Cuban people likely would have thrown the Castro brothers out of power long ago if previous U.S. presidents had done what Obama is now doing. US hostility to Cuba has allowed the Castros to blame their external nemesis to the north for the abysmally backward state of their country caused by their own failed economic and social policies. Now, the Castros’ policies will need to stand on their own merit – or lack thereof – because they won’t have the United States to rhetorically kick around anymore.
Grandiose expectations by the American media and Obama’s Republican opponents about a rapid liberalization of the Cuban political and economic system as a trade for the US opening are as misplaced as they are arrogant. Yes Cuban human rights policies are abhorrent, yes the communist economic system oppresses and impoverishes Cubans unnecessarily, and yes the United States should keep an eye on the fate of Cuban dissidents and protest any mistreatment or injustice. However, continuing the harsh economic embargo in the hopes of remaking the country in the American image has proven a folly for more than a half century. Given the survival of the Castro regime through eleven US presidential administrations and their futile grinding economic sanctions and failed attempts to either overthrow or assassinate Fidel Castro, is it a wonder that Cuba has genuine concerns about its sovereignty? Maybe its time, as Obama said, to try something completely different.
To continue reading: Obama’s Historic Visit to Cuba Is the Right Policy
President Obama finally gets one right. From a New York Times article:
The United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and open an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half-century after the release of an American contractor held in prison for five years, President Obama announced on Wednesday.
In a deal negotiated during 18 months of secret talks hosted largely by Canada and encouraged by Pope Francis, who hosted a final meeting at the Vatican, Mr. Obama and President Raúl Castro of Cuba agreed in a telephone call to put aside decades of hostility to find a new relationship between the United States and the island nation just 90 miles off the American coast.
“We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries,” Mr. Obama said in a nationally televised statement from the White House. The deal will “begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas” and move beyond a “rigid policy that is rooted in events that took place before most of us were born.”
Senators Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio voiced their displeasure, but after 60 years and with a Castro still in power, maybe it’s time to try a different approach. Perhaps if Cuba and the US interact socially, politically, and economically, some good will come of it. Embargo proponents certainly cannot point to many successes during the last six decades. Sometimes you try something new not because you’re sure it will lead to a change for the better, but because it might and you know that what you’ve been doing hasn’t worked. What are the downside risks? Is the Cuban brand of communism any worse than of China, with whom we interact all the time?