Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Are Cubans Freer than Americans?

by Jacob G. Hornberger

The U.S. government’s policy toward Cuba is a textbook example of the malevolence and hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy.

In the wake of Fidel Castro’s resignation as Cuba’s president, U.S. officials, led by President Bush and members of Congress, appear all too ready to have the U.S. government “help” the Cuban people achieve democracy and freedom.

Now, doesn’t that notion suggest a love and concern for the welfare of the Cuban people?

Yet, look at the cruel, inhumane, and brutal economic embargo that the U.S. government has enforced against Cuba for decades. Year after year, U.S. officials have steadfastly enforced the embargo with the full knowledge of the horrific adverse effects it was having on the Cuban people. U.S. officials simply blamed the economic misery on Castro’s socialism, even while Castro blamed it on the embargo. The truth is that the Cuban people have been squeezed by both sides of the vise — Castro’s socialism and the U.S. embargo.

In calling for a change in direction in Cuba, U.S. officials suggest that Castro’s communist, totalitarian regime is a miserable place in which to live. That’s certainly true. But then what do U.S. officials do to people who escape Cuba? They attack them on the high seas with such weapons as water cannons, then they kidnap them, then they cooperate with Cuban communist coast guard officials, and then they repatriate the defenseless refugees back into the communist society that U.S. officials say is a miserable place in which to live.

Meanwhile, both Republicans and Democrats continue to tell us that sacrificing 60,000 American men in the Vietnam War was worth it to try to prevent the South Vietnamese from having to live under communist tyranny. Now, they say that it’s worth it to use U.S. force to repatriate people into communist tyranny in Cuba.

Oh, did I mention that there is no U.S. embargo against Vietnam today and that Americans are free to travel to Vietnam and trade with the Vietnamese communists?

U.S. officials, both Republican and Democrat, usually limit their criticisms to Castro’s political system rather than his socialist economic and educational systems.

Why is that?

The answer is simple: Castro’s economic and educational systems are no different, in principle, than those embraced by Republicans and Democrats. That makes them very uncomfortable because they’ve always felt that while Castro is a Cuban socialist, Republicans and Democrats have always been “American free-enterprisers.”

Consider the core element of Castro’s economic system: free, universal health care. Sound familiar? Isn’t that what Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama want? And the Republicans aren’t much better. Don’t they continue to be proud supporters of Medicare and Medicaid and don’t they have their own plans for more federal intervention into health care?

Consider the core element of Castro’s educational system: free public schooling for Cuban children. Can you show me even one U.S. official, either Republican or Democrat, who opposes free public schooling for American children?

Consider the secondary elements of Castro’s economic system: licensing for businesses, income taxation, equalization of wealth, drug laws, economic regulations, old-age retirement assistance, subsidies, a central bank, and government-issued paper money.

How many U.S. officials, either Republican or Democrat, oppose any of those programs here in the United States?

Consider these features of Castro’s legal system: kangaroo military tribunals, condemnation of independent criminal-defense attorneys, denigration of an independent judiciary, torture, denial of due process, arbitrary arrests, no restrictions on search and seizure, and indefinite incarceration. Why, those principles are a dream-come-true for U.S. officials, especially the Republican ones. Why would it surprise anyone that they established their torture camp in Cuba rather than the United States?

Americans view the embargo against Cuba only as an attack on the well-being of the Cuban people, but it is much more than that. It is also an attack on the freedom of the American people. If an American travels to Cuba and spends money there without the permission of U.S. officials, he will be criminally and civilly prosecuted by his own government. Doesn’t freedom entail the fundamental right to travel wherever you want and spend your money in any way you want?

While Cubans understand that the economic and educational systems under which they live are socialism, Americans honestly believe that their economic and educational systems, albeit the same, are “free enterprise.”

Given Goethe’s pithy observation, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believed they are free,” one cannot help but wonder whether the Cuban people, despite their misery and suffering, are actually freer than Americans.

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. Send him email.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Electing Our Dictator

The debate between Obama and Clinton over Iraq, along with the positions on Iraq taken by the Republican presidential candidates (except for Ron Paul) reflect what the presidential race is all about. It might not be politic to say so but the fact is that what Americans will be electing in November is not just a president but also a dictator

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Ron Paul Quotes

Ron Paul Quotes from RonPaulBlogs.com

“We can achieve much more in peace than we can ever achieve in these needless, unconstitutional, undeclared wars.”

“Don’t we know if we sacrifice security for liberty we lose both, that’s what is happening in this country today!”

“If you look at every problem we’re facing today its because for the lack of rule of law and the constitution.”

“We live way beyond our means, with a foreign policy we can’t afford and an entitlement system that we have encouraged.”

“With politicians like these, who needs terrorists?”

“NO! I’m saying that we should take our marching orders from our Constitution!”

“…[the neo-cons] said we’d be in-and-out in 3 months, it’d be ducksoup, and it wouldn’t cost a thing because the oil would pay for it.”

“When we make a mistake, it is up to the people through their representatives to correct the mistake, not continue the mistake.”

“We stood up to the Soviets when they had 40,000 nuclear weapons, and now we’re fretting about third-world countries with no Army, Navy, or Air Force, and we’re getting ready to go to war.”

“They don’t attack us because we are rich or free but becuase we have been over there.”

“I am just absolutely convinced that the best formula for giving us peace and preserving the American way of life is freedom, limited government, and minding our own business overseas.”

“When one gets in bed with government, one must expect the diseases it spreads.”

“The freedom message unites us all, it does not divide us.”

“I am an imperfect messenger, but the message is perfect.”

“There’s a risk I could win.”

“Terrorism is a tactic. You can’t have a war on a tactic”

“Freedom Is Popular!”

“Aggressive wars, income taxes, national IDs, domestic spying, torture regimes, secret prisons, Federal Reserve manipulation — we don’t have to take it any more.” — Ron Paul, Sept 27, 2007

Q and A
“I would start with the departments. . . the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security. . .”

On if he would abolish the IRS:
“Immediately!”

On the war on drugs:
“You wanna get rid of drug crime in this country? Fine, let’s just get rid of all the drug laws.”

On foreign policy:
“If we think we can do what we want around the world and not incite hatred then we have a problem. . .”

On Romney consulting lawyers for war:
“This idea of consulting lawyers absolutely baffles me– Why don’t we open the constitution and read it! You’re not allowed to go to war without a declaration!”

On the Iraq war:
“The only weapon of mass destruction in Iraq is the US military.”

On the Iraq war:
“We just marched in, we can just march out.”

So which one is your favorite? Do you have any more that you like?

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