Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An Example For the World

   Bringing up the dirty aspects of the Bush administration often brings cries about old news.  In the sense that he is no longer the president it is.  But the unfinished legacy of war which he started goes on until this day so it isn't is still quite current.  The Obama administration decided to proceed with the policy of war in Iraq and Afganistan and lives are still being lost needlessly on both sides.  The legacy of death and destruction carries on with no foreseeable end. 
   Dick Cheney, who spearheaded candidate Bush's search for a running mate and found himself, was one of the most detestable figures in the crowd of many who worked in the Bush administration.  He has always been one of the most extremely cold actors who supported the most extreme policies that have earned the scorn of almost the entire world.  Unflinching in his forceful defiance of what is good and rational, he has no qualms about going on TV and speaking arrogantly about his support and direction of  actions that defy the collective conscience of humanity.
  He steps on the feet of former administration officials in the same arrogant manner that he stepped on the worries of the American people.  He says that he would do the same things that he did during his time as vice-president all over again if given the chance.  In his mind, he sees no wrong in torture, lying to the world to justify war, or maintaining secret prisons.  He leaves no apologies, none. 
   Knowing that he hadn't in the past cared too much for the truth, there is reason enough to wonder if what he has included in his new book is itself honest.  Colin Powell's former chief-of-staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, has already stated that the tales told by Cheney about his involvement in Powell's departure from the administration are not even remotely accurate.  Wilkerson describes Cheney's assertion that he himself had something to do with Powell leaving as "utter nonsense."  He says that from the beginning, Powell informed his inner team of his intentions of only serving one term.  Powell, in spite of the terrible mistakes he allowed himself to become a part of, suggested that the former vice-president & co. hadn't planned for anything after the fall of Bagdad.  This unnecessary tragedy should not have happened in the first place, but to think that they hadn't even planned enough to prepare for what they were causing is something that only made the situation worse.  It is scary thinking that such madmen were in control of the mightiest military machine the world has ever known. 
   Even former president Bush claims to have had sickening feelings upon learning that weapons of mass destruction weren't found in Iraq.  It is hard to fathom that he honestly didn't know this was the case beforehand, but at least he has the sense to recognize the disappointment of so many people who supported the war based on that very rationale.  Cheney though, still maintains that the United States did the right thing.  This delusional, arrogant man, according to Wilkerson is "the only person Cheney does not seem to find fault with is Cheney." 
   Isn't it time yet for this man, this cruel individual to be brought before the courts along with his cohorts?  Isn't it time for the good people of the United States to demand that he faces justice?  How long can these types of individuals be protected under the excuse that it is time to look to the future?  How can the United States pretend to want to learn from its mistakes if it isn't willing to face up to them?  When will the United States decide to set a good example, as it claims to be, for the world?

Since the video didn't work.....

   The constant attempts in the US media to portray Cuba as a repressive state consistently fall flat.  Given the coverage in the media gives to the capitalist countries' harsh responses to their own protesters, always in defense of the government, these attempts to blow out of proportion events in Cuba are amazingly silly.
   Given the utter failure of the video of the four women protest that was meant to show the harsh violence of the government, obviously showing the opposite as they were cheered by the cameraman and jeered by the regular people, could this be a set up? Could the media be withholding the video of this event? Are they waiting for many people to explain the probable incredulous nature of this article only to release a video later? If so, then the media should be applauded (at a later date) for their clever chosen release of information.
   Are we to believe, once again, the reports of the paid dissidents, whose job is to do just this, create stories for the media? Have these "well-known" dissidents not been provided with the cell phone cameras to catch this on video? What happened to the $20 million Washington just approved? Is it held up in the pockets of the usual suspects in Miami? Tamayo himself said that this story could not be independently confirmed? Strange statement from Tamayo. We are supposed to believe that these "reporters" in Cuba ARE independent  (in reality is a stretch)! But of course that, it could be an accidental admission on the part of Tamayo that these guys who send their "reports" to El Nuevo Herald, Radio Marti, and their Miami spokespersons aren't "independent" at all.
   Well was an article in the Miami Herald, and Mr. Tamayo is the author, so the headline is enough. Who cares about verifying the story. The foreign press in Havana, as he said, didn't report on this, but we should rest assured that it will get plenty of coverage (for a moment) in Miami.
   You can read the article I'm referring to by clicking on the link below.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/08/29/2380921/dissidents-say-police-used-tear.html#disqus_thread#ixzz1WX7UNv8e

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Bit of American History (About Human Rights)

   The US government almost constantly justifies its actions, whether it be sanctions or war, with the reason of human rights.  Although it is a noble issue, it is one that many find harder and harder to believe, and with good reason.  Here is a quote from Policy Planning Study 23, authored by George Keenan for the State Department in 1948.  Given our history of the years since then, one must scratch there heads a bit when we hear our government officials bring up their yearning for "human rights".

"we have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of the world's population... In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this disparity... To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming: and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives...We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we will have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by these idealistic slogans, the better."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Response to Mauricio Claver-Carone

This is my response to Mauricio Claver-Carone's editorial about the Cuban Adjustment Act in the Miami Herald on Aug. 21, 2011.:

The notion of "trickle down' as it meant in the wikileaks cable being compared to the "trickle down economics" of Reagan is laughable.

If the Act is to be repealed, then so be it. There should be equal treatment for people coming from different countries. Along with the Act, the wet-foot/ dry-foot policy should be eliminated also. It serves no logical reason other than to provide photo-ops used to bolster a phony argument about people trying to escape, and meanwhile we don't care to pretend the same about Hatians (for just one example).

Shamefully, Rivera isn't proposing this amendment based on any attempts at fairness. He simply follows a long history of those in Congress trying to make the Cuban people on the island suffer. This from a man who can't even report his own income correctly, yet expects to be considered "prestigious" by the people and his peers.

If the Act were to be repealed, I would oppose it being applied retroactively, which would show the mean spiritedness of these Miami extremists. Reneging on what the newer arrivals were offered wouldn't be fair and certainly wouldn't be appreciated by them.

The silliness about "sustaining their persecutors" is obvious nonsense and part of the tall tales coming from the usual suspects. Obviously they weren't persecuted as they travel back to the island with no problems whatsoever. That should blow that whole line of thought right out of the water.

Certainly it has become easier to travel and give a "cursory nod" to a relative, but taking a quick look at the lines of people travelling there will be enough to see that the incredible amounts of luggage being taken, doesn't seem like they are "cursory nods" but honest aid for families. Actually, I believe that the people staying at beach resorts often are the ones travelling at the expense of our "democracy programs", handing out a little cash to a few people willing to be employed at the service of the US and using a vacation on the taxpayers' expense as a cover for their nonsense.

Here Mr. Claver-Carone says that Obama's goal was commendable, yet in 2008 said his biggest mistake was allowing Cubans to do so whenever they want. He assumes the role of the judge who decides who and how often people should be able to visit family. It is to be expected from him and others who hide behind the rhetoric of caring for the Cuban people while constantly searching for ways to make Cubans on both sides more miserable.

Some call these people "wicked-minded". It is very possible. At best they are dishonest hypocrites, not at all interested in the Cuban people, while they themselves have made careers off of the situation between the two countries, being everything from lobbyists to politicians to even people who have blown up planes and seek shelter in the bowels of Miami. These are not and never will be the champions of the Cuban people.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/08/21/2366991/amend-the-cuban-adjustment-act.html#ixzz1Vt2barni

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Miami Herald's Crocodile Tears

  There was a recent article in the Miami Herald about a young lady who was denied entry to Cuba to visit her grandmother.  It is unfortunate that this young lady isn't able to visit, in this case apparently due to a decision by the Cuban government. What is striking are these crocodile tears shed by the powers of South Florida.

How many people were restricted from travelling to visit sick relatives on the island due to the Bush policy which restricted travel to Cuba once every three years? Along with the three year wait, family was redefined so as only to include parent, child, and sibling. Also done away with were trips for humanitarian purposes.

This young lady in the article, had Obama not expanded the definition of family to include all family, need not have even applied since "grandmother" wasn't included in "family". Ironically, this is the same policy that the editors of the Miami Herald suggested very recently we should go back to.

The proposals of Diaz-Balart, Rivera, and Rubio should be opposed. The unnecessary and spiteful separation of families should be opposed. If we question the decision of the Cuban government on this issue, we should certainly scrutinize the decisions of our own government. We can't affect Cuba's decision, but we are supposed to be able to utilize our "democracy" to make sure that our representatives actually represent us.

Hopefully, the hints at changing the policies in Cuba to something more fitting to today's circumstances are realized. Equally, hopefully the US doesn't choose to move backwards on this same issue. Mr. Lesnick is probably correct, that travel between the two countries will look a lot more like travel between the US and other countries in the hemisphere. To accomplish this, the crazy wet foot dry foot policy will need to either be eliminated or extended to others in this hemisphere. My guess is that there is a lot more political will to eliminate it as opposed to allowing all of the others who come without visas simply for economic reasons like most Cubans

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/08/14/2359558/many-cubans-living-abroad-cant.html#ixzz1VJtnfyjo

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mr. Montaner Shoots Blanks

   Since Mr. Carlos Montaner decided to use the term "shoot" in his title, I figured that might be an appropriate term to describe his lack of powerful ammunition in his pistol loaded with nonsense, the pistol being his opinion piece in today's Miami Herald.  The following is my response to him which is followed by a link to his silliness:

  Mr. Montaner,  In your eternal silliness, do you really think that a group located in Miami of all places, is in a position to cause President Correa a headache?
  You often pretend to believe in democracy, yet you stood by the people who removed Zelaya from his elected position.  You hold meetings in Miami, of course, with people like Lucio Gutierrez, who left office in a helicopter to get asylum in Brazil.  Also in attendance was the disgraced former colonel and director of intelligence of the armed forces, Mario Pazmino, who was removed for also working with the CIA.  Gustavo Lemus, the man who left Ecuador so not be prosecuted for covering up the murders of two people, was also meeting with your "prestigious" group.  Wasn't he one of the people who on the day of the coup that you say "never was" entered the Ecuadorian consulate with sympathizers of the coup?
  The director, is he still the director(?), of this silly non-profit is Carlos Sanchez Berzain.  Is he not a fugitive from Bolivian justice for his role in the "gas wars", which left 60+ dead and over 500 injured? 
Oh Mr. Montaner, I know you have your loyal followers, but surely you must be burning inside knowing that such a group of undesirables has really no credibility outside of the bubble of extremism.  This ill-named institute showers praise on such people as Armando Valladares and considers a friend the congresswoman who lobbied for the pardon of the maniac Orlando Bosch.
  Groups like these are of no use for the good people of the world, not even the good people who live in Miami. 
  By claiming that "GutiĆ©rrez is one of the most powerful political choices within the country and
one of the hopes of the democratic recovery for Ecuador", you only confirmed your willful ignorance on the very subject of democracy. 
  What Pesident Correa shot was not his foot, but a hole in the propagandist machine called the "free press" which has for so many years worked hard at printing half-truths and helped pull the wool over the eyes of so many people, until the day came when it was no longer possible, and the people decided to vote in their own interests to the dismay of the powerful elites who now scream foul in a chorus as they find themselves in a weakened position.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/08/08/2351559/ecuadors-correa-shoots-himself.html#ixzz1UfDgyDgf

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Responding to the Editorial Board of the Miami Herald

The editors of the Miami Herald have expressed the unsurprising view against the imprisonment of Alan Gross.  They have filled the opinion with ignorance and inaccuracies as they have tried to twist the unfortunate situations caused by the actions of Mr. Gross and USAID into reasons for restricting family visits and remittances once again.  By reading the comments that follow the article, it is clear that they have not convinced many of the readers of the Herald.
It's not "if" he was guilty, he was found guilty in Cuba which has its own laws and they apply to foreigners as well as residents.  Cuba's crime is not acting like Pakistan which released a CIA agent after he committed murder, probably because its dependence on American foreign aid.  "Democratic" Pakistan went on and did this against the popular opinion.  To the Pakistanis who were treated by Cuban doctors after the earthquake, those Cuban doctors probably smelled a lot better than their "elected" representatives.

There are groups trying to urge people in South Florida to get their citizenship for the very reason of being able to vote out these people who don't care to represent the residents of their respective districts.
The Cuban government can do anything possible under the sun and the majority of the press here will never suggest that it "smells like a rose."  It can educate poor Americans for free allowing them a chance to become doctors and still, they don't "smell like a rose."  They can have a nation with no homeless and our press can only point out that the quality of housing is poor.  They can provide free universal health care and all our press can point out is some pictures of dilapidated hospital rooms.
Our "free press" doesn't care to go beyond these facts and explain the difficulties that Cuba has faced over the years in obtaining certain medical equipment that is restricted by US laws.  The "free press" finds it difficult to point out anything about the problems in Cuba without trying to lay all blame at the feet of Castro, who himself and now his brother take responsibility for many of the mistakes that they have made.

If the route of trading Mr. Gross for the Cuban 5 is one that the US isn't interested in then there is nothing that we can do about it.  That is how our "democracy" works unfortunately.  Hopefully, those who are in positions to make those decisions will find the political courage to consider this option before it is too late for Mr. Gross' sick mother and daughter  to be with him again.  They are all pawns in this geopolitical stalemate and those grandstanding on the issue won't particularly be personally affected by the possible tragic personal outcomes of these real people.  

Silly editorials that choose to pretend a different reality serve no purpose than to act as a cheerleader for a particular side, in this case the extremists in South Florida.  This sham of an opinion is simply trying to argue for a return of the Bush policies in regards to remittances and family visits.  That policy did nothing to Cuba and did draw much criticism from the Cubans in this country.  If there was no Alan Gross this newspaper would be finding another excuse to support turning back the clock on our policies. 

That Sen. Rubio exclaims that the punishment is vastly disproportionate means absolutely nothing.  His opinion on the punishments handed out in Cuba have no value nor merritt when it comes to what Cuba decides to do as punishment.  This Senator possibly doesn't have a passport or if he does, doesn't care to understand what our own State Department has written inside of it.  The sixth item under important information says (and it is quite appropriate for a response to the Senator's nonsense) "6. Remember, while in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws.  Penalties for violating local laws, even if unknowingly, CAN BE MORE SEVERE THAN IN THE US FOR SIMILAR OFFENSES."  (My capital letters)

It is clear for anyone at the editorial board, in the senate, or anyone who is a passport holder. 

The notion that this is only a "crime" in Cuba is dishonest.  Surely it is a crime to receive aid and act as a contractor for an enemy state everywhere.  I don't know if Mr. Gross registered as a foreign agent in Cuba, which was one of the crimes that the Cuban 5 were convicted of, but I'm sure that he didn't as he entered the country with a tourist visa.  This willful ignorance by so many in our press should be more than enough to suspect that the "free press" is a mere mouthpiece for certain groups and cares little about actually reporting in an unbiased way.  There is much reason to question the ability of our press as much as we like to question the press in other countries.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/08/07/2347220/unjust-verdict-unjust-regime.html#comment-279619964#ixzz1ULchP7wh