After the U.S. government’s post-Cold War encirclement of Russia, through NATO, succeeded in achieving a foreign-policy crisis in Ukraine, I repeatedly have said that it was entirely predictable that Russia would seize Crimea rather than permit it to come under U.S. control.
I argued: Imagine if Russia decided to set up military bases and missiles on Cuba. We all know how U.S. officials, along with their conservative supporters in the private sector, would respond.
It’s so predictable: They’d be screaming like banshees about how the Russians are coming to get us, thereby getting Americans all stirred up again with another “national security” crisis.
Well, it didn’t take long.
Consider longtime conservative Mary O’ Grady’s article entitled “Putin Restores a Cuban Beachhead” in the Wall Street Journal, the premier conservative newspaper in the United States.
A beachhead? Yes, a beachhead!
Yikes! A beachhead! I was pretty sure I knew what that word meant but I went ahead and looked it up anyway. It’s a place where the enemy intends to launch an attack! Since the article details how Russian Premier Vladimir Putin and the Castro regime are, once again, working together (as they did during the Cold War!), that beachhead can mean only one thing: The commies are coming (again)! Start rebuilding those bomb shelters! The Cold War is back on!
Of course, for the U.S. national security state, it never ended, as I pointed out in my recent article “The Cold War Never Ended for the U.S. National-Security State.”
That’s why NATO never went out of business after the Cold War supposedly ended and instead began absorbing former Warsaw Pact members and moving inexorably closer to Russia’s borders, where Ukraine was going to be one of the final dominoes to fall.
And don’t forget Korea, where U.S. officials still use U.S. troops as a sacrificial “tripwire” to ensure U.S. participation in a resumption of that country’s civil war. Notice that those U.S. troops weren’t brought home at the supposed end of the Cold War. That’s undoubtedly because those North Korean commies are still planning on invading California by the end of this century.
And then there is Cuba, “the island nation 90 miles away from American shores,” which has been the long-time obsession of the U.S. national-security state and American conservatives. Oh, they loved it when their dictator, Fulgencio Batista, was in power in Cuba. That’s because he was a puppet. He would do as he was told and, in return, he was given carte blanche to abuse and tyrannize the Cuban people to his heart’s content.
But when Castro ran Batista off the island and took power, he refused to bend his knee to the U.S. government, which spelled his doom.
Notice something important here: Cuba under Castro has never, ever attacked the United States or even intended to do so. Cuba has never initiated terrorist strikes against the United States. Cuba has never tried to assassinate any U.S. official.
Instead, it has always been the other way around. The U.S. government has always been the aggressor against Cuba. A brutal embargo that is intended to squeeze the lifeblood out of the Cuban people. A military invasion at the Bay of Pigs. Terrorist attacks on businesses within Cuba. Assassination attempts against Castro. And countless regime-change operations, which continue through the present date.
Question: Where in the Constitution, which American conservatives profess to love, are such actions on the part of the U.S. government authorized? There certainly never has been a war between Cuba and the United States. So, where does the U.S. government get the legal authority to be killing people in Cuba, destroying property there, and invading the country?
The answer: There isn’t any legal authority. It’s all about power. The idea is that Cuba wouldn’t dare to retaliate and so U.S. officials do it because they can.
U.S. officials would say that because Castro holds communist or socialist beliefs, that makes him and his country a legitimate target for assassination, terrorism, sabotage, invasions, and other regime-change operations.
Really? Where does it say that in the Constitution?
Since U.S. officials are not constrained by the Constitution and instead wield the unconstrained power to invade and terrorize a small Third World nation and assassinate its official, a nation that has never aggressed against the United States, then how, pray tell, does that make our system any different from the system of omnipotent government in Cuba?
Moreover, let’s not forget conservative hypocrisy. Aren’t conservatives, even while declaiming against socialism, among the biggest defenders of Social Security, Medicare, public schooling, welfare, income taxation, business regulation, and other socialist programs?
And don’t forget what forms the core of Castro’s socialism! You got it: All of those socialist programs that American conservatives love under the guise of what they proclaim is a “free-enterprise” system, one obviously undergirded by socialist programs.
Far more troubling is the emergence of Mr. Putin as a Latin American presence. Tyrants all over the region, starting with the Castros, admire his ruthlessness and skill in consolidating economic and political power. They want to emulate him. It’s a role model the region could do without.
That’s interesting because Putin and the Russians don’t think too highly about Barack Obama and his ruthlessness and skill in consolidating economic and political power. Come to think of it, neither do conservatives.
Isn’t it interesting that the U.S. government and the Russian government are doing the same thing? I’d say that that reveals much more about what the U.S. national-security state apparatus has done to our country than about what Putin has done to Russia.
Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
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