Re: (OPE-L) Re: dreams and nightmares

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Thu May 22 2003 - 04:25:08 EDT

Fred wrote:

>Hi Rakesh,
>I don't know how likely a US invasion is.  I hope not very likely.
>And it is our responsibility to make sure that it doesn't happen.
>But I can certainly understand why the Cubans think that a US invasion is
>very likely, and are therefore preoccupied with preparations for defense
>against an invasion.  You can see it in their faces - they are scared to

Well that part's of the problem; as we know, all kinds of freedoms
can be threatened when people are scared to death, and in the name of
national security. For example, due process can be attenuated, and
the resort to cruel and unusual punishment allowed.

>  We can afford to be wrong about an invasion, but the Cubans

Don't think it's that simple. Can the Cubans afford to do without due
process and without prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment?

Do you think it's not for any non Cuban to have an opinion about
whether too many rights and freedoms have been restricted as a result
of heightened sense of danger?

>If you were Cuban, with the decades of aggression by the US
>against Cuba,

right. Gore seemed as bellicose; Helms Burton was not vetoed by
Clinton; Reagan invaded Grenada, not Cuba. It's not clear to me what
exactly has changed in US policy, such that an invasion of Cuba is
only now at the top of the agenda and crack down now justified.

So the point would have to be that Bush II has fundamentally changed
the doctrinal basis of US foreign policy which makes an invasion of
Cuba now more likely than ever.

But I see neither the basis on which Bush would attempt an invasion
(WMD? UN resolution violations? support for terrorist networks even
as Castro executes hijackers?) nor the remotest possibility of

Again the ouster of Saddam could be attempted because he had only the
narrowest base of support, and still look at the trouble which Bush
has created for himself.

I just don't see Bush risking an invasion of Cuba, but I say this so
that someone can attempt to convince me otherwise. That is, can
convince me that the threat of an imminent invasion is not being
hyped in order to justify an attack on due process, prohibitions
against cruel and unusual punishment, press freedom and civil

It is also possible that the gains of the Cuban Revolution could be
sacrificed if people such as Mike Davis, Edward Said, Katha Pollitt,
Noam Chomsky, Saramago Galeano don't voice their opposition to
summary trials.

I just don't think things are as one-sided as you are making out.

>and now with the bellicose Bush administration who owe their
>stolen election to the Miami Cubans,

and to the disenfranchisment of US voters and to the Supreme Court
and to the Democratic Party which just stood idly by as the election
was stolen.
Are you saying that Bush will invade Cuba to return the favor of
those Miami Cubans even it would mean another embarrasing quagmire
for him? They're going to vote for him anyway.

>  and who are riding high after
>"victories" in Afghanastan and Iraq, wouldn't you assume the worst and
>prepare for the worst?

It could be that given how tied Bush's hands are in West Asia, the
threat of a US invasion of Cuba is now less severe.
I don't believe the hijackings were organized or allowed by the US in
order to create a situation which will justify a US invasion. I don't
see Bush invading on the behalf of hijackers! In all honesty, this
makes no sense to me.

Yours, Rakesh

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