Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It appears Hillary and Obama have received an interesting endorsement.

Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro is tipping Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to team up and win the U.S. presidential election.Clinton leads Obama in the race to be the Democratic nominee for the November 2008 election, and Castro said they would make a winning combination.

"The word today is that an apparently unbeatable ticket could be Hillary for president and Obama as her running mate," he wrote in an editorial column on U.S. presidents published on Tuesday by Cuba's Communist Party newspaper, Granma.

He went on to praise Bill Clinton:

Castro said former President Bill Clinton was "really kind" when he bumped into him and the two men shook hands at a U.N. summit meeting in 2000. He also praised Clinton for sending elite police to "rescue" shipwrecked Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez from the home of his Miami relatives in 2000 to end an international custody battle.

He said his favorite U.S. president since 1959 was Jimmy Carter, another Democrat, because he was not an "accomplice" to efforts to violently overthrow the Cuban government.


Jimmy Carter was Castro's favorite, and Bill Clinton was praised for helping Castro "rescue" Elian Gonzalez. Really? Rescue him? That's not how I remember it, but then again communists do have their own version of history. Gonzalez was removed at gunpoint from the arms of his family, denied asylum, and deported back to a communist nation openly hostile towards the US. But, Castro is right, Clinton was very helpful in that matter. To so many on the Left, deporting immigrants is out of the question unless it means deporting back to a communist nation.

And Jimmy Carter is adored by Castro because he somewhat restored diplomatic ties between the two nations. Let's see, Cuba is a nation that attempted to build nuclear launch sites just 90 miles from our coastline without apologies and nearly brought the world to nuclear holocaust. And Mr Carter decides he wants to be friends with them again.

And now Castro seems to favor Hillary and Obama. To me, that says a lot.


The Loop Garoo Kid said...

Well, Doctor, everybody has their own version of history, including you. "Let's see, Cuba is a nation that attempted to build nuclear launch sites just 90 miles from our coastline without apologies and nearly brought the world to nuclear holoaust."

The last time I checked, Cuba was not a member of the nuclear community. In 1962, the USSR began to build missile bases in Cuba in response to the installation in 1961 of 15 Jupiter IRBMs (intermediate range ballistic missiles) in Izmir, Turkey by the U.S. The Jupiters were aimed @ western USSR cities including Moscow which was only 16 minutes away.

President Kennedy did not give these missiles high strategic value given that a US SSBN submarine provided a threat of equal magnitude from a greater distance. To end the crisis, the USSR agreed to remove its missiles from Cuba and the US agreed to remove our misssiles from Turkey. The latter was a secret agreement so the USSR lost both the strategic and propaganda battles.

Castro, however, was strengthened by the confrontation.

Let us start upon common ground. Communism is a failed ideology, the implemetation of which, has been responsible for millions of deaths and much of the evil the world has experienced in the last 85 or so years. The flagship of Communism, the USSR, lasted a mere 79 years and no longer exists. China, the other poster boy for Communism, remains a totalitarian state politically, although in my opinion, its economic system is not only capitalistic but also is so unregulated that it resembles a Libertarian state.

I believe that our post USSR policy toward Cuba has been an unmitigated failure. Since 1979, when the USSR, without whom Castro could not have fostered his failed economic state, stopped supporting Cuba, the US has attempted to isolate Cuba to punish Castro and to appease Cuba Americans, a powerful political group in FL, a key political state.

Instead, we should have been attempting to open up relations w/ Cuba. It is a market for many of our products, rice to name one. Not only that, but if we we gave them a taste of the benfits of our system, the failure of Communism would become apparent to them. I call this policy, the invitation to the party. Then, when Cuba wants to stay at the party, we negotiate for reform. If you want to sdaty at the party, you have to behave.

Instead, Castro is getting another crutch in the form of another jackanapes, Hugo Chavez, who also has failed to learn the lessons of history.

Elian "Gonzalez was removed at gunpoint from the arms of his family, denied asylum, and deported back to a communist country openly hostile to the U.S..."

In November 1999, Elian Gonzalez, who was not yet 6 years old, was taken by his mother and his mother's boyfriend from Cuba withoout the knowledge and permission of his father. Elian's mother perished in the crossing. Elian was released by the INS to his paternal great uncle and his first cousin, once removed (his great uncle's daughter) became his pricipal care giver.

Elian's father wanted him returned to Cuba and eventually that was accomplished. Yes, he was taken from his great uncle's household at gunpoint after his great uncle refused to return the boy to his father.

NB. Elian was picked up at sea by two fisherman and handed over to the Coast Guard. Had the fishermen
landed him on U.S. soli w/ "dry feet" he may have been able to make a case for asylum. The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta rejected several appeals of Elian's US relatives and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

Let's change the facts. Suppose Elian was born in the U.S. and his mother and mother's BF, w/o the knowledge or permission of his father, attempted to sail to Cuba, perishing en route. Next suppose that Elian's Cuban great uncle wanted him to enjoy growing up in a socialist paradise. What would be your position then w/ respect to the paretal rights of Elian's father? Would you object to him being removed from his great uncle's house at gunpoint by Cuban authorities and returned to his father in FL?


Dan Trabue said...

Wow. Excellent comments, loop.

John Washburn said...

If the roles were reversed, I would absolutely oppose Elian's uncle keeping him in Cuba. I am AGAINST children being raised under socialist dictatorships. The boy was better off here. His father was clearly under Castro's influence. You have described the events well, but that doesn't change the fact that we were dead wrong in sending him back and Clinton's administration no doubt played a role in that. This whole "he's better off with his father" crap is just that...crap. The kid is better off FREE. Any parent would say the same of their children. Elian was caught in a political mess, and I have no idea why the Dems were so adamant that we boot him back to Cuba. It was a shameful moment for our country, defend it however you want but it won't cover the shame. Everyone is entitled to liberty, even if it means one child at a time. But we boot him out while demanding open borders and asylum for millions of illegal immigrants who come from Mexico, a democratic nation. How do we justify these two positions? We don't. Elian Gonzalez was a victim of injustice. The Court of Appeals was wrong, the Supreme Court was wrong, Janet Reno was wrong. Again, I stand by my original statement, wondering why deportation is favored only when it involves shipping someone back to a communist nation.

I'm not sure why some people are so quick to come Castro's defense. By your words, it would seem that somehow the Cuban missile crisis was Kennedy's fault. I guess everyone is blameless but the US.

Attempting to reach out to a hostile nation is a futile task. Castro hates the US and would only use the moment as a chance to embarass. Carter was wrong, as history has shown Castro reject attempts at diplomacy. But still the Left absolutely loves this man, and Chavez is poised to replace him as one of the Left's favorites.

Dan Trabue said...

Again, I stand by my original statement, wondering why deportation is favored only when it involves shipping someone back to a communist nation...

This whole "he's better off with his father" crap is just that...crap. The kid is better off FREE.

I wonder, John, by your reasoning, should we then begin kidnapping children so that they might be "free," regardless of their parents' wishes? It seems you're saying parental rights, laws and rules be damned. We'll (conservatives, I suppose) decide what's best and what's best is that children be free.

Is that really your position? I doubt it, but that seems to be what you're indicating here. If so, where do you draw the line in doing what it takes to "free" children? I'm relatively sure you're not advocating that we begin a mass kidnapping program, but where DO you draw the line, if you're saying we should ignore parental rights?

I'll have to tell you that that sounds a bit scary.

The Loop Garoo Kid said...


I regret to advise that my response to your comments together w/ a long comment on a subject of mutual interest were lost, perhaps when I navigated too quickly away from the comment box.

I do not have the time to recreate them now, but I suggest that you go to and do a search on "Erica Corder."

The headline reads: "Valedictorian sues over 'Jesus speech' reprimend."


The Loop Garoo Kid said...

Well put Dan.

My own thought is, we have always considered ourselves a nation of laws. If we are to maintain that stance and the moral high ground that it presumes, then we should not apply the law selectively.

Your position seems to be: "The law is an ass; the heck w/ the law; do the right thing."

That is the path to anarchy. I agree that Elian Gonzalez was a political pawn. He was not a victim on injustice although you may consider him to be a victim of the legal process.

Certainly the Clinton administration was responsible. Bill Clinton was president and his administration was responsible for enforcing domestic statutes while implementing foreign policy. So you assume an untenable position when you assert that Janet Reno was wrong; the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong; the United States Supreme Court was wrong.
The law is not wrong. It is simply the law and if you disagree w/ it, work to change it.

Yes our borders are not secure. Yes we harbor millions of illegal aliens. So the problem lies not w/ the law but w/ its enforcement.

A few more points. I reread what I wrote, several times, I am completely unable to discern where I intimated that Presdient Kennedy was responsible for the Cuban missile crisis. How could you have arrived at that conclusion?

I hope I am wrong but I fear you may have bitten hook, line, and sinker into the: "Anyone who fails to achieve my level of jingoism is part of the hates America camp."

"The left absolutely loves this man [Castro]" I suppose if by the left you mean Hugo Chavez. I am compelled to agree w/ you though, I am sick of two terms. One is "the left" which seems to have become synonomous w/ "Anyone who is less extreme than I am."

Face it, the position you took w/ respect to Elian Gonzalez, as Dan pointed out, is extreme.

The other term is "MSM" which seems to mean any news outlet less extreme than Fox News.

Finally: "Attempting to reach out to hostile nation is a futile task." And the alternative is our current policy toward Cuba? If you think that has been a success, you are setting the bar pretty low.

So what is the alternative? Reaching out. The Bush administration, to keep Cuban-Americans in the Republican camp, cancelled even cultural exchanges notwithsatnding that Ry Cooder did more to improve Cuba-America relations than any elected or appointed official.

We had a window of opportunity between 1979 and the rise of Hugo Chavez. Now we will have to wait at least another generation for Venezuela to circle the drain and be unable to support the Cuban regime.

John Washburn said...

Dan, you're putting words in my mouth. Where did I advocate mass kidnapping? Come on! I draw the line at the point where a child who can't defend himseld is on American soil and his native communist nation demands his return. The boy had family here and would have been well-cared for. He should have been granted asylum. The justice system failed that boy.

If I were a resident of Cuba or North Korea and my child had a chance to live with an uncle in the US, I would want them here without question. I wonder if you or Loop felt the same way. That boy's father was under Castro's influence, so anything he said about wanting his son back was coming straight from Castro. I understand I don't have an argument in the fact that this was all carried out legally, but what I'm saying is that the legal system failed him. Gonzalez should have been granted asylum.

And was Elian given a chance to voice his preference? Do we not allow children this age to choose which parent they live with after divorce, or if the parents die? Why wouldn't Elian be given that chance?

Please don't try to say I am advocating anarchy or mass kidnapping because I disagree with the courts and the presidential administration. Instead, I would rather hear your position on whether or not we were right in how we dealt with this child and not just 'oh well, the law is the law'.

"In 1962, the USSR began to build missile bases in Cuba in response to the installation in 1961 of 15 Jupiter IRBMs (intermediate range ballistic missiles) in Izmir, Turkey by the U.S. The Jupiters were aimed @ western USSR cities including Moscow which was only 16 minutes away."

Loop, this can be read as your way of alluding to the possibility that the Cuban missile crisis wasn't the Soviet's fault. If I'm wrong then I apologize.

Dan Trabue said...

"Dan, you're putting words in my mouth. Where did I advocate mass kidnapping?"

Actually John, you're putting words in my mouth. I clearly said, "I'm relatively sure you're not advocating that we begin a mass kidnapping program..." I didn't think you were.

But you're advocating breaking laws and disregarding parental rights to have a child returned to him.

I have friends who've been to Cuba. It's not perfect, but neither is it hell. They do a lot of things wrong, but they also do some stuff right. Regardless, If I were a father in Cuba, yes, I'd want my son back and I'd be outraged if a foreign gov't would not enforce their own laws in an effort to keep my son away from me.

As a father, I'm a bit disturbed that you would advocate ignoring a father's desire to have his son back in his own home.

The Loop Garoo Kid said...


I just tried to write the history as it happened. I wasn't trying to assign blame.

If the legal system failed Elian, then the law in the form of the "dry foot" ploicy needs to be changed but that will make the Straits of Florida into a sailing regatta.

I agree that Elian's father was Castro's cat's paw but it is truly impossible for any of the three of us to say whether he is better off w/ his father in Cuba or his extended family here. The United States offers more opportunity but w/o knowing his father how can we judge competently where off he is better?

At the time, Elian was barely 6 years old, not even at the time of the crossing. In my state, a 6 year old cannot be negligence as a matter of law b/c he he/she lacks the competence to determine the outcome of his/her acts or ommissions. I don't think you can ask a 6 year old his preference w/ respect to custody. So no, although we allow teenagers to voice their preferences, we do not so allow 6 year olds.

There is an old saw in my profession: "Hard facts make bad law." Hard facts may not always result in the outcome we would like but once we state: "This is the law," if we do not follow it then why should we be able to claim the moral high ground.

In my opinion, the issues predented by the Terry Schiavo case were much more troubling.


John Washburn said...

Dan, as a father I would want my child to be free, even if that meant him/her not living with me. That's my personal feeling. You may disagree. But I would NEVER want my child to grow up in a communist country under any circumstances if I had a choice in the matter

Dan Trabue said...

You're making the assumption that all communist countries are hell. I've friends who've been to Cuba and as I noted earlier, it's doing a lot of things right, as well as a lot of things wrong.

I wouldn't want my kids raised in a country with so little respect for free speech as they have in Cuba, but neither would I want my child raised in a country where they have so little respect for the environment as we do here.

The point is, unless I just thought my child was unsafe, due to health conditions or tyranny, I would want my child to be with me. I don't think Cuba is that unsafe.


Loop Garoo, sir.

Good analysis of Kennedy/Khruschev
Cuban face-off. I thought we had a real hero in the making, not just a slick speech-writer for JFK.

Then, Cardinal Spellman advised him
to invest our troops into Vietnam!
"We must stop Athiestic Communism in South-east Asia", and 25,000 young "military advisors" were sent
off to Saigon! The Kennedy assassinated in Dallas!
It was Lyndon B. Johnson who multiplied the ugly tragedy by increasing the troop level to 550,000; the 10 year no-win, and 58,000 dead troopers followed. The Worst military blunder in our 230 years of history! But where's the
bitter vilification of Kennedy and
Johnson? Democrats give 'em a pass!

Anyone have a different version? Anyone care to 'spin it' as a Republican War? George W. Bush declared the "Worst President?" Oh, Yes? I think not!
See: Robert S. NcNamara's book, 'In Retrospect'. In the preface, Eight year Sec of Defense McNamara admitted "We Were Wrong, Terribly Wrong!" He should know. He directed that mind-numbing war from the Oval Office for nearly Eight Years. Or, would you prefer
Senator John Kerry's discredited notions?

Dan Trabue said...

Kennedy and Johnson's actions in Viet Nam WERE horrendous. They should be remembered poorly for it.

Yet, I have no doubt that, 25 years from now, there will be nearly universal agreement that W Bush was our worst president ever for his policy (or lack thereof) on many critical points.