Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! CounterPunch is entirely supported by our readers. Your donations pay for our small staff, tiny office, writers, designers, techies, bandwidth and servers. We don’t owe anything to advertisers, foundations, one-percenters or political parties. You are our only safety net. Please make a tax-deductible donation today.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bush’s Cuba Blunder

by Michael Colby

When it comes to what the Bush administration dubs “rogue states,” its foreign policy goals look something like this: fabricate the evidence and then rattle the war sabers.

Take, for example, the current situation with Cuba. In yet another move to appease its far-right base of supporters, the Bush team blundered big-time last week by letting loose with the unsubstantiated assertion that Fidel Castro’s Cuba was developing biological weaponry for both themselves and other “rogue states.”

The Bush administration official delivering this accusation was John Bolton, the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. And, not surprisingly, Bolton made his unsubstantiated accusations in a speech before the Heritage Foundation, an ultra-conservative research group. While the collective hearts of the Heritage Foundation members fluttered with excitement by Bolton’s speech, the world community got yet another look into the Bush team’s sloppy foreign policy decision making. Appeasing your base of supporters is one thing, but fabricating evidence and shoveling it out for the world to see is brazenly reckless, particularly in a world made fragile by lunatics, fanatics, and lies.

Interestingly, it was former president Jimmy Carter who pulled the plug on this bit of Cuban propaganda. While in Cuba this week Carter made it clear that he was given no evidence that the Bush administration’s accusation had any validity whatsoever.

“There were absolutely no such allegations made or questions raised,” Carter said to an audience in Cuba regarding his discussions with the Bush State Department. “I asked them myself on more than one occasion if there was any evidence that Cuba has been involved in sharing any information with any country on earth that could be used for terrorist purposes. And the answer from our experts on intelligence was no.”

Even Secretary of State Colin Powell felt compelled to backpedal a bit from Undersecretary Bolton’s assertions. “We didn’t say it actually had some weapons,” Powell said, “but it has the capacity and capability to conduct such research.”

Carter has taken a beating from the right on television and radio news and talk programs over the last couple of days as a result of his trip to Cuba. The right wing loves its political boogeymen and Castro has played that role for them for decades, no matter that much of the venom spewed about Castro is far from the realm of truth. Anti-communists seem to die a lot slower than communism did.

It’s also interesting to note that, once again, Powell is out of the loop with his own State Department when it comes to the Bush administration’s propaganda wars against “rogue states.” Powell, as you’ll recall, has been the lone voice of near-reason with the Bush team1s red-hot rhetoric with regards to Hussein. When the right-wing ideologues were beginning to beat the drums of war against Iraq late last year it was Powell who provided the wet blanket by pointing out the holes and dangers in the arguments of those wanting to rush into another Gulf war. Now, with those same ideologues beating up their favorite enemy commie, Castro, Powell is once again forced to tippy-toe through some dangerous propaganda.

Finally, let’s not forget that George W. has apparently learned a lot from his dad, who sat atop an administration emitting wholesale fabrications when the target de jour was Iraq. During that Bush administration it was stories about babies being pulled from incubators, as well as the standard accusations of chemical and biological weapons, that whipped the nation into a frenzy and effectively made Saddam Hussein public enemy number one. By the time the public learned that the incubator stories were largely fabrications concocted by high-priced Washington lobbying firms, the American people either didn1t care or didn1t want to be bothered by the truth.

Bush is playing a dangerous game of foreign policy politics, a game that undermines U.S. credibility, foments more hostility toward us, and panders to the right wing in the short term while threatening world security in the long term. I’d like to say that Bush should know better but, then again, he is the president who championed his sophomoric “Bush Doctrine” which idiotically paints the world in two convenient shades: white if you’re with us, and black if you’re against us.

Michael Colby is the editor of Wild Matters. He can be contacted at mcolby@wildmatters.org.

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
September 30, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Henry Giroux
Thinking Dangerously in the Age of Normalized Ignorance
Stanley L. Cohen
Israel and Academic Freedom: a Closed Book
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Can Russia Learn From Brazil’s Fate? 
Andrew Levine
A Putrid Election: the Horserace as Farce
Mike Whitney
The Biggest Heist in Human History
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Sick Blue Line
Rob Urie
The Twilight of the Leisure Class
Vijay Prashad
In a Hall of Mirrors: Fear and Dislike at the Polls
Alexander Cockburn
The Man Who Built Clinton World
John Wight
Who Will Save Us From America?
Pepe Escobar
Afghanistan; It’s the Heroin, Stupid
W. T. Whitney
When Women’s Lives Don’t Matter
Julian Vigo
“Ooops, I Did It Again”: How the BBC Funnels Stories for Financial Gain
Howard Lisnoff
What was Missing From The Nation’s Interview with Bernie Sanders
Jeremy Brecher
Dakota Access Pipeline and the Future of American Labor
Binoy Kampmark
Pictures Left Incomplete: MH17 and the Joint Investigation Team
Andrew Kahn
Nader Gave Us Bush? Hillary Could Give Us Trump
Steve Horn
Obama Weakens Endangered Species Act
Dave Lindorff
US Propaganda Campaign to Demonize Russia in Full Gear over One-Sided Dutch/Aussie Report on Flight 17 Downing
John W. Whitehead
Uncomfortable Truths You Won’t Hear From the Presidential Candidates
Ramzy Baroud
Shimon Peres: Israel’s Nuclear Man
Brandon Jordan
The Battle for Mercosur
Murray Dobbin
A Globalization Wake-Up Call
Jesse Ventura
Corrupted Science: the DEA and Marijuana
Richard W. Behan
Installing a President by Force: Hillary Clinton and Our Moribund Democracy
Andrew Stewart
The Democratic Plot to Privatize Social Security
Daniel Borgstrom
On the Streets of Oakland, Expressing Solidarity with Charlotte
Marjorie Cohn
President Obama: ‘Patron’ of the Israeli Occupation
Norman Pollack
The “Self-Hating” Jew: A Critique
David Rosen
The Living Body & the Ecological Crisis
Joseph Natoli
Thoughtcrimes and Stupidspeak: Our Assault Against Words
Ron Jacobs
A Cycle of Death Underscored by Greed and a Lust for Power
Uri Avnery
Abu Mazen’s Balance Sheet
Kim Nicolini
Long Drive Home
Louisa Willcox
Tribes Make History with Signing of Grizzly Bear Treaty
Art Martin
The Matrix Around the Next Bend: Facebook, Augmented Reality and the Podification of the Populace
Andre Vltchek
Failures of the Western Left
Ishmael Reed
Millennialism or Extinctionism?
Frances Madeson
Why It’s Time to Create a Cabinet-Level Dept. of Native Affairs
Laura Finley
Presidential Debate Recommendations
José Negroni
Mass Firings on Broadway Lead Singers to Push Back
Leticia Cortez
Entering the Historical Dissonance Surrounding Desafinados
Robert J. Burrowes
Gandhi: ‘My Life is My Message’
Charles R. Larson
Queen Lear? Deborah Levy’s “Hot Milk”
David Yearsley
Bring on the Nibelungen: If Wagner Scored the Debates
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail
[i]
[i]
[i]
[i]