Cuba, All Over Again

Air Force Gen. John Jumper has announced that the American Empire’s idea of Iraqi "Democracy" includes four, huge, permanent Air Bases, with all of the troops, etc., that will be needed to protect such enormous facilities in perpetuity. Welcome to four new versions of Guantanamo, East, folks!

Probably, that won’t be in the new Constitution, but rather tacked on as a treaty, as we did in Cuba after 1898. Incredible, how the face of Empire changes so little over a century!

Eric Margolis suggests this is pretty much like the arch-Imperialist, Winston Churchill’s, British plans of the 1920s, when Iraq was carved out of the Ottoman Empire as oil was discovered, and the RAF took charge.

I would point out, it is also very much like America in 1768, when the British sent 10,000 troops to occupy us, until that “Standing Army” was chased out of Boston in 1776, and settled into New York City until 1783. It was such imperial shenanigans that caused Patrick Henry to utter, “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!”

The American historian, Mercy Otis Warren, writing her history in 1805, rightly called that October day in 1768, the real beginning of the American Revolution, and a “day” that would live “in infamy.” Good, ‘ol FDR later borrowed that phrase on December 8, 1941.

Many Americans, apparently, see no contradiction between mouthing the ideas and slogans of our own Revolution, while at the same time denying them to other peoples around the globe, all the while blathering on about bringing these people “Democracy.” Nothing like Empire coupled with hypocrisy! No wonder much of the world hates us.

This is also the kind of stuff Joe Stalin preached and practiced in Eastern Europe after WWII. He was happy to help all of those captive nations write constitutions modeled on the Soviet Constitution of 1936, a great sounding document, under which he killed millions of Russians.

Since our “new” policy is built on what we did in Cuba a century ago, don’t be surprised if this produces an Iraqi version of Fidel Castro somewhere down the line. The British policy, after all, produced Saddam Hussein, and the Insurgency now raging in Iraq, will probably simply continue.

While Fidel is a nasty dictator, he appears to be in charge, even in the face of even a Category 5 hurricane last year, when 1.5 million Cubans were safely evacuated, with no loss of life, and no looting, although 20,000 buildings were destroyed by the storm. Compare that to the fiasco today on our Gulf Coast, especially in New Orleans, in the wake of hurricane Katrina.

Maybe Bush can hire some of those “nation building” Cubans who gave us such a hard time in Grenada in the 1980s, and are now active in Venezuela, and other parts of Latin America. Whatever else Cuba is, it has a lower infant mortality rate than does the US, and, apparently, a greater sense of community.