The Battle of Cuba
Fear, Lies and Pre-emptive Strikes
By George Papanastasiou
In the decades following an invasion of Cuba by the United States, historians would begin recounting the operation by rolling their eyes into the back of their heads. If it were to happen, it would leave the former mortally wounded and the latter in a dizzying state of shock. An invasion would be catastrophic for the same reasons that Vietnam was a catastrophe. And with all its eminence, affluence and power, the United States would end-up losing a lot more than it would ever gain.
The funny season is upon us once more. Election time in the US brings with it the usual rhetoric. Leaders become ‘dictators’, governments ‘regimes’ and entire countries and peoples ‘evil’. In a recent effort to impress the fundamentalist Christian Right, of which he is a part, George Bush raised the eyebrows of prominent Empire watchers and the Cuban government (themselves long accustomed to threats) by making these astounding comments: Fidel Castro is a “dictator” who’s “regime” has turned Cuba into a “major destination for sex tourism” because “sex tourism is a vital source of hard currency to keep his corrupt government afloat”. He then goes on to intimate that this includes the abuse of children. “We have put a strategy in place to hasten the day when no Cuban child is exploited to finance a failed revolution and every Cuban citizen will live in freedom.”
The insinuation of state abuses against children is a vile slander. Part of a timely escalation in the long running campaign of smears and lies against Cuba, but with some important distinctions. For one, there’s a mentally impotent Republican President at the helm. Failing in opinion polls, high on Jesus, haemorrhaging incompetence and in delusion and denial over Iraq, Bush is staring down the barrel of political oblivion. All seems lost. Unless of course, in desperation, Mr. “I’m a war President” decides to go to war. Again.
This should not sound ridiculous. I for one, stopped underestimating this president’s mindlessness long ago - he has proven more than capable of attacking sovereign nations without any justification. The man believes he was chosen by god to be president, and with that holy mandate in mind, is therefore entitled to take whatever steps necessary to hold on to office.
Still sceptical?? Weapons of mass destruction and Saddam - “He’s got ‘em” Bush said. One invasion and occupation later, no such weapons have eventuated. He hasn’t got ‘em. Never mind, according to Washington we were right to invade anyway. And as the fog slowly lifts, the whole picture becomes ever clearer. They repeated the lie of an “imminent threat” often enough in the general climate of fear and paranoia they helped cultivate post 9/11 – and the people believed it. Then, after forcing Iraq to disarm and stand exposed under threat of attack, they attacked with overwhelming force. Very clever.
However, one thing is for sure. The strategy won’t work twice. The lesson now learnt by countries like North Korea and Iran is simple: develop WMD’s quickly and stealthily and keep them in plain sight as a deterrent against attack. The United States isn’t interested in disarmament to neutralise threats. It needs disarmament to facilitate in invasions.
But the disarmament strategy doesn’t need revisiting. We now know it’s reason enough to invade a country and depose its leader based solely on the opinion that he is a bad man. This is a new strategy that’s easily adaptable to any country with the potential for developing WMD’s, and that’s almost every country on the planet. It is adaptable to any country that simply will not do as the United States desires.
Welcome to the new mad-dog approach to international relations: of fear, lies and pre-emptive strikes.
So when the focus is on Cuba and the threats come from the top, we must take notice.
To evangelise against human rights violations and the enslavement of the Cuban people, one would have to ignore the torture-camp that is Guantanamo Bay. One would have to ignore the deplorable condition of the poor of the United States. One would have to ignore the ongoing achievements in education, medicine and the arts of the Cuban revolution and the 4 decades of solidarity displayed by Cuba with the third-world, that has many hundreds of Cuban doctors saving lives in the darkest corners. And one would have to ignore the inherent contradictions of the ideology of greed, of capitalism’s total negation of freedom and human rights and of the debased notion of US-brand democracy that tolerates internal disagreement and dissent, but oppresses it internationally.