FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bush’s Cuba Blunder

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:

Michael Colby is a Vermont writer and maple syrup producer. He’s the former editor of the Food & Water Journal, and the co-founder of Regeneration Vermont. He can be contacted at mcolbyvt@gmail.com.

Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
Michael Collins
The Affirmative Action Silo
Andrew Levine
Tipping Points
Geoff Dutton
Fair and Balanced Opinion at the New York Times
Ajamu Baraka
Cultural and Ideological Struggle in the US: a Final Comment on Ocasio-Cortez
David Rosen
The New McCarthyism: Is the Electric Chair Next for the Left?
Ken Levy
The McConnell Rule: Nasty, Brutish, and Unconstitutional
George Wuerthner
The Awful Truth About the Hammonds
Robert Fisk
Will Those Killed by NATO 19 Years Ago in Serbia Ever Get Justice?
Robert Hunziker
Three Climatic Monsters with Asteroid Impact
Ramzy Baroud
Europe’s Iron Curtain: The Refugee Crisis is about to Worsen
Nick Pemberton
A Letter For Scarlett JoManDaughter
Marilyn Garson
Netanyahu’s War on Transcendence 
Patrick Cockburn
Is ISIS About to Lose Its Last Stronghold in Syria?
Joseph Grosso
The Invisible Class: Workers in America
Kim Ives
Haiti’s Popular Uprising Calls for President Jovenel Moïse’s Removal
John Carroll Md
Dispatch From Haiti: Trump and Breastfeeding
Alycee Lane
On Heat Waves and Climate Resistance
Ed Meek
Dershowitz the Sophist
Howard Lisnoff
Liberal Massachusetts and Recreational Marijuana
Ike Nahem
Trump, Trade Wars, and the Class Struggle
Olivia Alperstein
Kavanaugh and the Supremes: It’s About Much More Than Abortion
Manuel E. Yepe
Korea After the Handshake
Robert Kosuth
Militarized Nationalism: Pernicious and Pervasive
Binoy Kampmark
Soft Brexits and Hard Realities: The Tory Revolt
Helena Norberg-Hodge
Localization: a Strategic Alternative to Globalized Authoritarianism
Kevin Zeese - Nils McCune
Correcting The Record: What Is Really Happening In Nicaragua?
Chris Wright
The American Oligarchy: A Review
Kweli Nzito
Imperial Gangster Nations: Peddling “Democracy” and Other Goodies to the Untutored
Christopher Brauchli
The Defenestration of Scott Pruitt
Ralph Nader
Universal Voting Dissolves the Obstacles Facing Voters
Ron Jacobs
Vermont: Can It Happen Here?
Thomas Knapp
Helsinki: How About a Fresh START?
Seth Sandronsky
A Fraught Century
Graham Peebles
Education and the Mental Health Epidemic
Bob Lord
How to Level the Playing Field for Workers in a Time of Waning Union Power
Saurav Sarkar
I Got Arrested This Summer (and So Should You)
Winslow Myers
President Trump’s Useful Idiocy
Kim C. Domenico
Outing the Dark Beast Hiding Behind Liberal Hope
CounterPunch News Service
First Big Strike Since Janus Ruling Hits Vermont Streets
Louis Proyect
Survival of the Fittest in the London Underground
David Yearsley
Ducks and Études
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail