The Marxist movement that tormented the human race for 100 years – 1917 to 2017 – was a Western bourgeoisie revolt against itself.
Almost all its leading idealists came from middle-class well-educated families. (Stalin was an exception.)
Its victims were multitudes of vulnerable individuals in frail societies.
Its last desperate heave for enduring power was the successful campaign of the Democratic Party to get Barack Obama elected to the presidency of the United States.
But America is not a frail society. The people are not poor, helpless, vulnerable. They have been made strong by 240 years of constitutionally protected liberty and property-owning free market capitalism.
Obama weakened America militarily and put it into heavy debt, but he is being constitutionally replaced by a patriotic capitalist, and there is nowhere for the Marxist movement to go now except into oblivion.
There will still be idealists of collectivism, chiefly in the academies, for some years to come. Communist regimes linger on in a few sad places – North Korea, Cuba. But it is unlikely that there will be new regimes of that sort.
Here’s Milton Friedman explaining, kindly and politely but inarguably, how collectivism is bad for people and freedom is good for them:
Barack Obama thinks that his presidency has been a great success. That if he could have stood for a third term, he would certainly have been elected again.
And yet he is not entirely comfortable in his mind that he has accomplished everything he intended to while he had all that power.
We can reproduce the list if his top four aims with a fair chance of accuracy:
The empowerment of Iran. Okay, done that. Tick it off.
Compulsory health insurance as a step towards a national health service (“Obamacare”). Tick.
The emptying of Guantanamo prison for prisoners of war and terrorists (“Gitmo”) and its closure. Gosh! Not achieved. Try again. Not many prisoners left. Can I do it before January 19? Let them go, let them go, let them go!
The final settlement of the Israel-Palestine problem, to be accomplished to the advantage of the Palestinians, and to the severe disadvantage of Israel, possibly facilitating its ultimate extinction. TICK.
The deal with Iran may be torn up by Trump? My State Department will stop that happening.
Obamacare will be repealed? I doubt it.
Gitmo still open. Damn!
Israel f***ed. Yay!
Now carve my head on Mount Rushmore.
Ben Shapiro writes at Townhall:
President Barack Obama likes to see himself as a moral leader. “The arc of the moral universe is long”, Obama likes to say, quoting Martin Luther King Jr, “but it bends toward justice”. According to Obama, Obama is a genteel representative of decency and good grace, a man pointing America toward a broader vision, a fellow questing for social justice and contextual consideration.
In reality, he’s a narcissistic fool. And like Burgess Meredith’s character in The Twilight Zone, he will be left standing in the ruins, bewailing the fates that abandoned him, leaving no worshipful admirers upon whom to lean.
Obama’s legacy is one of failure all around the world. He leaves office with a genocide in Syria on his record – a genocide he pledged to prevent, then tolerated and finally lamented, mourning the fates while blithely ignoring his own cowardice. Libya, meanwhile, remains a full-scale disaster area, with tens of thousands of refugees from that failed campaign swamping Europe, along with those fleeing Syria, and his leftist European allies paying the political price.
Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, stands on the brink of a nuclear dawn, its pockets filled with billions of dollars, its minions ascendant from Tehran to Aleppo to Beirut. Obama made that happen with nearly a decade of appeasement and a willingness to abandon freedom-minded Iranians to the tender mercies of the mullahs.
Meanwhile, Russia has only expanded its reach and influence, invading the sovereign nation of Ukraine and seizing Crimea to the deafening silence of the Obama administration. Russia has flexed its muscle in Kaliningrad, where it has stocked missiles, and in Syria, where it has assured Syrian President Bashar Assad’s continued dominance.
China has grown its sphere of influence across the South China Sea, putting American allies from Taiwan and Japan to the Philippines directly under its thumb. Thanks to Obama’s military cuts, China believes that it can bully American allies into embracing Chinese supremacy in international waters – and it may be right. Simultaneously, Obama continues to drive America into debt, and the Chinese are large buyers of that outstanding debt.
The communist Cubans have been re-enshrined; so have the socialist Venezuelan authorities. The Islamic State group remains an international threat, and western capitals have been struck by Islamic terror time and again, to Obama’s teeth-gnashing and general inaction.
Not so sure about that teeth-gnashing. Does Obama give a damn about Islamic terrorism?
But at least Obama is truly putting his focus where it’s necessary: on declaring that our only ally in the Middle East, Israel, has no historic claim to its own existence and threatening Jews with sanctions for building bathrooms in East Jerusalem.
Right. The sarcasm is necessary. Exasperation is hard to express adequately.
Obama came into office amidst grand promises to restore America’s place in the world.
Did he? If so, he saw its place as lower, not higher. We seem to remember that he desired – perhaps not saying so in exactly these words – to bring America down a peg or two.
Unless our place is the outhouse, he’s failed. But at least he feels good about his accomplishments, even if thousands have died – and thousands more will die – in order to ensure his moral stature in his own mind.
A collectivist plot hatched at Evil HQ, aka the UN, is being surreptitiously implemented throughout the United States.
Everyone needs to know about it.
It is called Agenda 2030.
Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh writes at Canada Free Press:
As we cheer the election of a new President, the highly successful entrepreneur and businessman Donald Trump, having averted the advance of global communism and global citizenship, we must not forget the massive damage that has already occurred in our country and around the globe, involving the much debunked manufactured global warming turned into a profitable climate change industry worth trillions, accomplished through the non-stop work and indoctrination of the United Nations Agenda 2030, an onerous plan which has infiltrated every aspect of our society, limiting our freedoms and controlling every facet of our lives under the guise of “sustainable development”.
One month after the establishment of the United Nations, UNESCO was created by its first director, Julian Huxley. UNESCO’s first task was to teach the world’s school teachers how to indoctrinate their students to become citizens of the world. Judging by the amount of global citizenship preparedness advertised by colleges and universities in the U.S. today, UNESCO has been highly successful. Their materials on the topic of Toward World Understanding, brainwashed many generations in schools around the globe that “nationalism was bad, and had to be replaced with the idea of world citizenship”. (UNESCO Publication 356)
The effort to transform our children into global citizens mutated into the International Baccalaureate Program, an expensive and highly secretive curriculum from Switzerland, supported and paid for by local taxpayers. Parents thought that it was a superior education to our public schools when in reality it is just another attempt to indoctrinate them into global citizens, devoid of national pride, American history, and turning them into full supporters of global governance.
The relentless global governance promoters are convinced that their social engineering philosophy of collectivism is far superior to our free market capitalism. They are not dissuaded by the monumental failures of Cuba, Venezuela, Soviet Union, North Korea, China, Eastern European countries, and other nations forced to survive on the idea of “daddy government knows best”.
With its final goal of a “global neighborhood” (Our Global Neighborhood, 1995), the government-managed society rejects the idea of private property and does not think that controlling the use of private property constitutes taking, despite the existence of our 5th Amendment which requires that government justly compensate owners for the taking of their private property.
The final barrier in the United Nations completion of this global neighborhood is the voluntary funding for the United Nations. The ideas of creating a global tax and a global currency have been introduced numerous times. In 2010, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revealed its plan to create a global currency.
“International rules, institutions and practices that limit the behavior of people in the United States come from international entities such as the UN, UNESCO, UNEP, UNDP, WTO, ISO and other alphabet bureaucracies,” which creep into domestic policy via non-governmental organization (NGOs) lobbyists who advocate for global governance, politicians, federal employees, and delegates to U.N. meetings. Most in Congress support and promote the principle of global governance but their constituents have no idea what that means.
Why is global governance bad? Our system of freedom and self-governance cannot co-exist in a world governed by the United Nations’ tin pot dictatorships. They believe that “government is the source of individual rights, and can give or deny those rights to individuals or organizations as the government deems necessary”, in the interest of the collective. …
We are at the crossroads of global governance, enabled by the voluntary participation of developed nations, particularly the United States, which has dragged its citizens into agreements, initiatives, and partnerships, whereby the voters were never consulted about such partnerships and initiatives, they were only subjected to the Vision of the globalists, pushed forward by elected politicians’ voluntary membership in the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). …
Plans that erode our individual freedoms and national sovereignty start at the local level with promises and euphemisms that are relevant to a particular locality and sound benign enough to the busy American, preoccupied with making a living and supporting his/her family.
The visioning process starts at the local level by a local planning agency (an NGO) or ICLEI itself with a federal grant attached to it. ICLEI was created in 1990 “to advance the concept of sustainable development”, the lynchpin of U.N. Agenda 21 of 1992 and now U.N. Agenda 2030.
Yes, Agenda 2030 morphed out of Agenda 21. We have expounded, and expostulated about, Agenda 21 in these posts: Beware “Agenda 21”, June 24, 2011; Agenda 21: the “smart growth” conspiracy, November 21, 2011; Three eees for environmental equalizing economics, December 4, 2011; Dark city, May 31, 2012; Destroying American wealth and sovereignty by diktat, June 6, 2012; The mystic UN and Agenda 21, August 3, 2012; Pleistocene Park, August 11, 2012; The death of nations, September 18, 2012; Home sweet closet, December 7, 2012; Getting rid of mother, January 30, 2013; Teaching submission to world government, April 14, 2013; Be alarmed, April 6, 2014; Your tiny home is frozen, July 14, 2014; Agenda 21 grinds slowly but exceeding small, December 7, 2014.
This is how the plot is being carried out:
Once the grant is in place, a facilitator is appointed to lead the visioning process of the local community. Participants are initially chosen carefully in order to support the plan. One local elected official is also included while the community knows nothing about it until the end of the process. The group may call itself “Yourtown 2030” and will put forth their pre-planned ideas of what your town should look like in 2030 in order to have a “sustainable community” and “smart development”. Anything else [it is implied] is catastrophic for the community.
Any objections are eliminated by advertising a “consensus”. The goals chosen by this visioning are usually recommendations taken from U.N. Agenda 21 or the President’s Council on Sustainable Development documents.
Next comes the plan of action which includes “bike paths, walkways, greenbelts, conservation areas, high-density areas, mixed-use housing, five minute walk or bike to work , shopping, and play, urban boundary zones”, and other buzz-words from the sustainable development vocabulary.
As the plan is near completion, the group starts feeding information to the press in the local media. Public events are held that gloat over the righteous sustainable development and sustainable communities. The elected official on board with the visioning plan is “expected to convince the majority of the governing board to adopt the plan of action”.
Glossies will be printed and mailed out to the population, convincing the community that their visioning plan will make the community better in the 21st century if they protect the environment by reducing their carbon footprint, their commute, their car use, their suburban living, and other activities that make life fun and free, but, the world will be a better place for all.
The elements of the plan are never really publicly debated before elected officials, and, it is too late to oppose it once it is so heavily publicized. The private landowners are usually never consulted, nor are the taxpayers. Many times, once the plan has been adopted and implementation has begun, the community starts feeling the pain of the visioning plan. Local comprehensive land use plans are often so restrictive, the farmers can no longer use their pastures, their lakes, their land, their water to grow food, or plant crops.
Dr. Paugh goes on to describe in detail how the collectivizing plan is being implemented step by step in the area where she lives, Woodbridge, Va. (Go here for the official account of what is happening there, but please read Dr. Paugh’s account first.) Watch out for the same thing being done in your district. (It is being done in ours.)
Finally, she reminds us what this is really all about:
The American Planning Association, one of the main vectors of sustainable development change in this country, has a host of definitions and requirements for any inhabited place in the country as to how the Strong Neighborhood Initiative (SNI) should be implemented according to a specific blueprint designed years ago by the U.N. Agenda 21 planners in Rio.
The neighborhoods must “promote or protect air and water quality, protect groundwater resources, and respond to the growing threat of climate change”, a threat that is not real. “Green infrastructure” must be used, such as “local tree cover mitigating heat gain”. Communities must “utilize measures or practices to protect or enhance local biodiversity and the environment”.
At the end of the day, none of these plans are really about improving the lives of the people, they are about herding humans into small areas where they are more easily controlled by the government.
If this is not stopped by the new Republican government, one of the worst evils President Obama has allowed to be done will live long after him.
Post Script: The UN must be destroyed!
The Marxist Left and its fellow-travelers are mourning the death of Fidel Castro. It would be good if they realized that his death marks the moment when their appalling creed started to die. The last possible new Marxist regime was perhaps – in the hopes of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and their followers – to be the United States, and even the Whole World (“to save it from climate change”). But they lost their grip on power just when they thought they had it for keeps. And as they stood bewildered, wondering how it had happened, Fidel Castro croaked.
At present there are still lots of Marxists in the world to eulogize the dead tyrant of Cuba.
Among the mourning parties are the Greens.
Jeremy Lott writes at the Washington Examiner:
Green Party perennial presidential hopeful Jill Stein praised former Cuban strongman Fidel Castro on Saturday, as encomiums by many left-of-center politicians continued to roll in following his death.
“Fidel Castro was a symbol of the struggle for justice in the shadow of empire. Presente!” Stein wrote on Twitter Saturday afternoon. The verb form of the word literally means “present.” The way Stein used it was something like a military salute (“present arms!”) but for Latin American leftist radicals. …
Castro’s death Friday, she told [Paste Magazine], “feels like the passing of an era of incredible struggle against empire right across the water — whether you live in Haiti or in Cuba or even much of the rest of South America, there’s been a real struggle for social justice and it’s been very difficult. Cuba was in many ways the face of that movement, which continues to this day”.
In praising Castro, Stein joined former Democratic presidential candidate Jesse Jackson, British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, and many others with progressive pedigrees in heaping praise on the Marxist ruler who has a great deal of blood on his hands.
Just how much blood is a matter of some dispute.
“In our country there have never been death squads – not a single disappearance, no political assassinations, not one person tortured,” Fidel Castro himself insisted in 2001.
However, countless people fled the country over several decades for some reason and many of them have stories to tell.
According to the Cuba Archive, which tries to document the atrocities of the Fidel regime, on his watch at least 3,116 people were killed by firing squad and 1,116 people were executed in other extrajudicial killings. All told, they chalk up an admittedly far from complete death toll of over 7,000 Cubans on his watch.
Far from complete is right. (More on that below.)
Russian President Vladimir Putin remembered Castro as a “strong and wise man” according to a statement released by the Kremlin.
“He embodied high ideals of a politician, citizen and patriot, and was sincerely convinced of the rightness of the cause, to which he gave his whole life,” the Russian leader wrote. “His memory will live forever in the hearts of Russian citizens.”
And this is part of the pablum issued by out-going President Obama:
For nearly six decades, the relationship between the United States and Cuba was marked by discord and profound political disagreements. During my presidency, we have worked hard to put the past behind us, pursuing a future in which the relationship between our two countries is defined not by our differences but by the many things that we share as neighbors and friends – bonds of family, culture, commerce, and common humanity.
The past is always behind us. Thing is, what parts of it provide lessons we need to learn?
Paul Kengor writes at Western Journalism:
How many people were killed by Fidel and his communist dystopia? Unfortunately, no one truly knows … No one knows how many poor souls he tossed into his jails, from political dissidents to priests to homosexuals. Fidel’s prison-state has never permitted human-rights observers … Many sources have tried to pin down numbers and have generated some common estimates:
The Black Book of Communism, the seminal Harvard University Press work, which specialized in trying to get accurate data on the enormous volume of deaths produced by communist tyrants, states that in the 1960s alone, when Fidel and his brother Raul (Cuba’s current leader) established their complete control, with the help of their murdering buddy Che Guevara, an estimated 30,000 people were arrested in Cuba for political reasons and 7,000 to 10,000 were believed to have been executed. Even then, that was merely the start.
From the late 1950s to the late 1990s, it’s estimated that Castro killed between 15,000 to 18,000 people, whether victims of long-term imprisonment or outright execution by bullets.
That is a lot of people for a small island. And it isn’t all. Cuba is a surreal island of no boats, where boats are banned — because people with boats flee. Thus, untold numbers of citizens have attempted the treacherous nearly 100-mile swim to Florida in shark-infested waters. An estimated 100,000 have risked the journey. Of those, perhaps as many as 30,000 to 40,000 died from drowning. As they bob for breath, the Castro government sends military helicopters to drop large bags of sand on them from above. …
So, Fidel Castro is responsible for a lot of death.
Nowhere near enough to satisfy his appetite for it.
But here, too, these numbers do not capture the level of Fidel’s brutal madness. Consider the actual millions he badly wanted to kill, especially here in America.
If Fidel Castro had his way in October 1962, the United States would have been leveled by atomic bombs and so would little Cuba, which would’ve ceased to exist. The fact is that Fidel recommended to Nikita Khrushchev that Cuba and the USSR together launch an all-out nuclear attack upon the United States, literally igniting Armageddon.
This is no secret. Castro admitted it. In an open forum discussing the Cuban Missile Crisis 30 years later, Castro told Robert McNamara, JFK’s secretary of defense: “Bob, I did recommend they [the nuclear missiles] were to be used.”
“Bob”, eh? The Communist tyrant of Cuba and Kennedy’s Secretary of Defense came to be on first name terms?
In total, said McNamara, there were 162 Soviet missiles on the island. The firing of those missiles alone would have led to (according to McNamara) at least 80 million dead Americans, which would have been half the population, plus added tens of millions of casualties.
That, however, is a conservative estimate, given that 162 missiles was far the sum total that would have been subsequently launched. The United States in turn would have launched on Cuba, and also on the USSR. President Kennedy made that commitment clear in his nationally televised speech on October 22, 1962: “It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.” In response, of course, the Soviets would have automatically launched on America from Soviet soil. Even then, the fireworks would just be starting: Under the terms of their NATO and Warsaw Pact charters, the territories of Western and Eastern Europe would also erupt.
Once the smoke cleared, hundreds of millions to possibly over a billion people could have perished, with Western civilization in its death throes. If Fidel Castro had gotten his way, he would have precipitated the greatest slaughter in human history. (Che Guevara also wanted to launch the nukes.)
The Soviets were horrified. Their ambassador to Cuba, Alexander Alekseyev, was so stunned at what Castro told him that he stood frozen, speechless, crushed. Without waiting for an answer from the numb ambassador, Castro started writing his feelings on paper, which Alekseyev saw as a kind of “last testament, a farewell”.
Fidel was ready to go — go up in a giant mushroom cloud for Marxism. As McNamara learned, this was Fidel’s big chance to die as a “martyr” for Marxism-Leninism. He was ready to “pull the temple down on his head”.
A shocked Nikita Khrushchev realized he was dealing with madmen. Khrushchev’s son Sergei, in his three-volume biography of his father, said that the Soviet general secretary huddled with top officials in the “code room” of the Foreign Ministry late on a Sunday night and repeatedly ordered, “Remove them, and as quickly as possible”.
Remove the Soviet missiles from Cuba, he presumably meant; not the “madmen” from power, which would have been even better.
Khrushchev urged Andrei Gromyko to instantly get in touch with Washington in order “to save the world from those pushing us toward war”.
As for Fidel, he was “furious” with Khrushchev. “Castro was mortally offended,” recorded Sergei. “He had not managed to engage in a fight with the Americans. He had made up his mind to die a hero, and to have it end that way.” He had been ready to “die beautifully,” as one Soviet official put it. Denied his glorious opportunity, he now considered Khrushchev “a traitor”.
Thankfully, the world averted nuclear war, through the leadership of Khrushchev and Kennedy, and no thanks to bloodthirsty lunatics like Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, who were ready to blow up the world in the name of their Marxist-Leninist nightmare.
In the name of their Marxist-Leninist religion, rather. To them it was no nightmare. To them, vast destruction, the laying waste of continents, the obliteration of cities, the death of all living things, was a glorious dream.
Enough social justice in it for you, Jill Stein?
But for the sane: whose voice among the voices that are heard by multitudes has said what needs to be said?
President-elect Donald Trump:
Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights. While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve. Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty.”
And Vice President-elect Mike Pence tweeted: “The tyrant Castro is dead. New hope dawns.”
The year 2017 approaches, and with it the centennial of the Russian revolution that first brought Marxists to totalitarian power.
For the last hundred years Marxism has been destroying human life, liberty and happiness on a vast scale. Far from ushering in paradise on earth as the Marxists proclaimed they would do, they used power wherever they acquired it to create earthly hells.
By reasonable reckoning, 23 Communist regimes had killed (at least) 149,469,610 people by 2006. R. J. Rummel, who was professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii, is the authority most cited for the statistics of deaths caused by Communist governments by means of executions, deliberate mass starvation, and forced labor. For mass slaughter of this sort, he invented the word “democide“.
In one of his papers titled How Many Did Communist Regimes Murder?, Professor Rummel wrote:
How can we understand all this killing by communists? It is the marriage of an absolutist ideology with absolute power. Communists believed that they knew the truth, absolutely. They believed that they knew through Marxism what would bring about the greatest human welfare and happiness. And they believed that power, the dictatorship of the proletariat, must be used to tear down the old feudal or capitalist order and rebuild society and culture to realize this utopia. Nothing must stand in the way of its achievement. Government – the Communist Party – was thus above any law. All institutions, cultural norms, traditions, and sentiments were expendable. And the people were as though lumber and bricks, to be used in building the new world.
To many communists, the cause of a communist utopia was such as to justify all the deaths. The irony of this is that communism in practice, even after decades of total control, did not improve the lot of the average person, but usually made their living conditions worse than before the revolution. It is not by chance that the greatest famines have occurred within the Soviet Union (about 5,000,000 dead during 1921-23 and 7,000,000 from 1932-3) and communist China (about 27,000,000 dead from 1959-61). In total almost 55,000,000 people died in various communist famines and associated diseases, a little over 10,000,000 of them from democidal famine. This is as though the total population of Turkey, Iran, or Thailand had been completely wiped out. And that something like 35,000,000 people fled communist countries as refugees, as though the countries of Argentina or Columbia had been totally emptied of all their people, was an unparalleled vote against the utopian pretensions of Marxism-Leninism. …
But communists could not be wrong. After all, their knowledge was scientific, based on historical materialism, an understanding of the dialectical process in nature and human society, and a materialist (and thus realistic) view of nature. Marx has shown empirically where society has been and why, and he and his interpreters proved that it was destined for a communist end. No one could prevent this, but only stand in the way and delay it at the cost of more human misery. Those who disagreed with this world view and even with some of the proper interpretations of Marx and Lenin were, without a scintilla of doubt, wrong. After all, did not Marx or Lenin or Stalin or Mao say that. . . . In other words, communism was like a fanatical religion. It had its revealed text and chief interpreters. It had its priests and their ritualistic prose with all the answers. It had a heaven, and the proper behavior to reach it. It had its appeal to faith. And it had its crusade against nonbelievers. …
[A]t the extreme of totalitarian power we have the greatest extreme of democide. Communist governments have almost without exception wielded the most absolute power and their greatest killing (such as during Stalin’s reign or the height of Mao’s power) has taken place when they have been in their own history most totalitarian. As most communist governments underwent increasing liberalization and a loosening of centralized power in the 1960s through the 1980s, the pace of killing dropped off sharply.
Communism has been the greatest social engineering experiment we have ever seen. It failed utterly and in doing so it killed over 100,000,000 men, women, and children, not to mention the near 30,000,000 of its subjects that died in its often aggressive wars and the rebellions it provoked. But there is a larger lesson to be learned from this horrendous sacrifice to one ideology. That is that no one can be trusted with power. The more power the center has to impose the beliefs of an ideological or religious elite or impose the whims of a dictator, the more likely human lives are to be sacrificed.
We contend that the recent death of Fidel Castro, the Communist dictator of Cuba, marks the end of the terrible Marxist era. Cuba will continue for a while yet to be under the cruel Communist regime he established. And North Korea is still under Communist dictatorship. But no new such regimes are arising. Democracy is replacing dictatorships in South America. And with the defeat in 2016 of a second* Alinskyite presidential candidate nominated by the Democratic Party of the United States, the grip of Marxist ideology through government is loosening everywhere and – we contend – unlikely to strengthen again.
It is still, however, dominant in the academies of the Western World. What can be done about that rottenness in higher education?
With this question, Robert Conquest, one of the greatest historians of Communist Russia, was concerned. In a review of his book Reflections on a Ravaged Century in the American Spectator Online, Josh London wrote:
The clearest picture to emerge from these pages is that the history of Communism is, at its simplest, little more than the history of an all-out assault on society by a series of conspiratorial cliques. These groups have, invariably, been led by excruciatingly cruel dictators who were revoltingly drunk on their own foolish ideology and power. …
Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek pointed out over fifty years ago that “Socialism has never and nowhere been at first a working-class movement. It is by no means an obvious remedy for an obvious evil which the interests of that class will necessarily demand. It is a construction of theorists, deriving from certain tendencies of abstract thought with which for a long time only the intellectuals were familiar; and it required long efforts by the intellectuals before the working classes could be persuaded to adopt it as their programme.” Though unquoted by Conquest, Hayek’s insight is exactly what worries him most about the 20th century and the prospects of life in the 21st century. Conquest’s work in this section constitutes an inquiry into the intellectual’s temperament and, in particular, the intellectual ingenuity required to go on believing when all is lost.
There follows an excellent and absorbing chapter on what is happening in education: A great many just swipes are taken at the academic intelligentsia who subvert it. Conquest reviews the rise of pseudo-science, and the application of quantitative methods and measurements in social science. Conquest also laments the influence of half-baked, trashy European ideas in Western, specifically American, academic thought: “At a recent seminar on the much resented influx of certain American movies in France, my old friend Alain Besancon remarked that a hundred soft-porn products of Hollywood did less harm in his country than a single French philosopher had done in the United States.” …
[Robert Conquest] laments the academic unwillingness to be seen to criticize colleagues or step outside of the many and varied leftist solidarities rampant throughout academia. …
As Conquest’s essays demonstrate, we, the victors of the Cold War, have thrown away a great part of what should have been a victory for Western values. The Cold War has been won, but the ideas that produced Communism still go marching on in their well-organized, corrupting way, even though the people advocating them are a minority.
The Historian Edward Gibbon once wrote that “There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times.” Yet, standing from his vantage point at the end of the 20th century, surveying the history of the last 100 years, Conquest is probably right to end his book, as he soberly does, with a warning. Although we are now living through an exceptionally optimistic historical moment, he reminds us that the “past is full of eras of progress that ended in darkness.” We should not fool ourselves: “The power of fanaticism and of misunderstanding is by no means extinct.”
Nor will it ever be as long as humanity exists. Chriss W. Street, writing at Breitbart, warns that the Marxist aim of imposing Communism on the whole world is still being pursued with fanatical resolve:
Donald Trump winning the presidency based on his promise to torpedo globalism came exactly 27 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and represents the second leg down for “World Socialism”.
Although U.S. history books declare capitalist United States the victor in World War II, it was World Socialism that ended up dominating most of the globe. [The] Soviet Union and China carved out massive communist states, India adopted extreme socialism, and communist insurgencies were ascendant in Southeast Asia, Africa and South America.
Socialist governments controlled Western Europe and the idea that the state should play some kind of role in economic life was not seen as strange or unusual. Socialists differed on just how extensive the role of the state should be, but all agreed that “natural monopolies” like the railroad, phone service, health and electricity should be nationalized.
Paul Samuelson’s Economics was the top selling U.S. economics textbook from the 1960s through the 1980s. It proclaimed world socialism’s more efficient use of resources would allow the Soviet Union’s Gross National Product to pass the U.S. economy by 1984.
But mainstream economists failed to recognize that President Ronald Reagan’s policies of doubling down on capitalism through tax cuts and strangling the regulatory state in the 1980s would end the West’s inflationary spiral that had allowed communist resource-based economies to flourish. After the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, Russia was forced into a U.S. bailout and China adopted “Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics”.
But rather than accept a permanent home in the “dustbin of history”, socialists in Western Europe passed the Maastricht Treaty, which formed the 27 nation European Union. Meanwhile, Democrat President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement and gave Most Favored Nation status to China.
Robert Wolfe, in the book SocialistGlobalization, calls this “internationalist movement”, a system of planning and production that transcends the boundaries of the individual nation-states:
The goal of socialist globalization should be the treatment of the entire world as a single economic unit within which the provision of necessary goods and services would be maximized and the [alleged man-made] damage to the environment minimized.
Leftist economist Joseph Stiglitz in January 2015 announced that “The American Century” had ended and “The Chinese Century” had begun, following the ‘World Bank’s International Comparison Program’ declaring China’s gross national product surpassed the U.S in 2014.
Stiglitz stated that the “rise of China also shines a harsh spotlight on the American model, due to capitalist economic and political “systemic deficiencies — that are corrupt”. He demanded that America must “pivot” to accept that the economic interests of China and the U.S. are now “intricately intertwined” in the new global order.
China would boast that it played a “crucial role” in formulating a new global development pact called “Agenda 2030,” which was signed by 193 members of the United Nations on September 28, 2015. The world socialist and corporatist pact aimed at re-engineering civilization through that imposition of 17 “Sustainable Development Goals” and setting 169 accompanying targets in what was referred to as a “Great Leap Forward”.
China said that to “combat inequality domestically is simply not enough — international socialism is needed to battle inequality even among countries”.
But, like us, the writer thinks that the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency marks a turning-point; that the zealots for international socialism are aware that their path to world domination, for so long all too smooth, could now be made impassable.
The election of Donald Trump now represents an existential threat to World Socialism across the planet.
Socialists know that when President Reagan went rogue with his muscular capitalist policies, communism quickly imploded. Trump has already torn up the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have internationalized the law covering $28 trillion in trade and investment, about 40 percent of global GDP.
Trump seems determined to destroy “Socialist Globalization” with the same capitalist tax cuts and regulatory relief that President Reagan used to destroy communism.
Though not yet dead, Marxism/Communism/International Socialism has had its day. Its era is over. It will not go quietly. It will howl, it will grumble, it will whimper – but it will go. Perhaps as a minority secular religion it will linger, but as a power in the world it is done.
The Marxist professoriate remains to be muzzled. Agenda 2030 must not only be stopped, but the damage it has already done (under the name originally given to it by its parent the UN, “Agenda 21”) needs to be reversed. The prophets of doom by human beings overheating the planet need to be discouraged to the point of despair, because they are using “climate change” as a pretext for imposing world socialist government. But the Age of Marx is over.
That does not mean that “the power of fanaticism” – to use Robert Conquest’s words – is “extinct”. As we have said, it never will be.
We face another enemy of mankind. Islam.
As Marxism was to the last century, Islam will be to this century. Islam is an equally crippling totalitarian ideology, another mass killer and bringer of darkness.
Will a new era of American greatness save the world from it?
Footnote: * Barack Obama was the first Alinskyite to stand – in his case successfully! – for election to the US presidency.
It’s not easy to find obituaries of Fidel Castro that do not include some praise of the monster. Such is the parlous condition of the Fourth Estate. He deserves only excoriating condemnation.
We did, however, find this just assessment at Investor’s Business Daily:
With Fidel Castro’s death at 90, the encomiums are rolling in, especially from what remains of the American Big Media. But in fact, Castro during his 58 years of dictatorship was an evil man, a communist who tortured, killed and imprisoned with no remorse, a tyrant who tore a once-beautiful country apart and sent its finest citizens into exile.
Yet, the media might as well have been going around with black arm bands following Castro’s death.
He was the “George Washington of his country,” said Jim Avila of ABC’s “Nightline”. He “will be revered” for bringing education, social services and health care to Cubans, gushed MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. CNN’s Martin Savidge hailed Castro for “racial integration”.
Elsewhere, in print, The New York Times recounted how he “dominated his country with strength and symbolism” — another way of saying he ruled through oppression and relentless propaganda.
Of course, all of these things are the kinds of lies and euphemisms used by left-leaning journalists to cover up for Castro’s many crimes against humanity. And it’s not limited to these few recent examples.
ABC’s talk-queen Barbara Walters had what amounted to a middle-aged school-girl crush on Fidel. Film maker Oliver Stone … revered Fidel’s macho swagger and made a much-derided documentary about him, Comandante. And Michael Moore, in his film Sicko, swallowed Cuba’s propaganda about its health care system hook, line and sinker.
We could go on. The list is long.
What you won’t hear from any of these media mavens is that, at his death, Fidel Castro leaves a Cuba far worse off in almost [?] every way than the one he took over in 1958. His brother, Raul, who is 85, has been the actual power in the country since Castro fell seriously ill in 2006. Cuba has improved under him, but not much.
After taking power in 1958, the then-youthful revolutionary Fidel vowed that no Cuban mother would “shed a tear” over violence from then on. But once he consolidated power after defeating Cuba’s then-leader Fulgencio Batista, Fidel Castro set out on a course of extraordinary revolutionary violence.
He murdered thousands upon thousands. The late R.J. Rummel, a University of Hawaii professor who tracked mass-killings by governments around the world, estimated as many as 141,000 people were murdered by the Castro regime. And that was just through 1987. Since then, of course, thousands more have been killed.
Genocide Watch says it “holds the Castro regime responsible for the death of thousands of people (executed and died trying to flee the regime).” Both Belgium and Castro’s homeland, Spain, have leveled genocide charges against the Jefe Maximo.
Sadly, Castro’s Cuba isn’t at all unusual for Communist regimes, as noted by Rummel. “Clearly, of all regimes, communist ones have been by far the greatest killer,” he said.
What’s especially galling is the suggestion — present in almost every story on Castro’s demise — that he took an impoverished, oppressed nation and turned it into a kind of socialist paradise, with education, social services and health care for all.
This is an utter and complete lie. …
Cuba has the worst economy in Latin America, outside Haiti and Nicaragua. …
[It depended on] massive subsidies from the former Soviet Union, which traded badly needed oil to Cuba for sugar at highly favorable exchange rates. …
Before the revolution, Cuba had the 13th-lowest infant mortality rate in the world. It was lower than France, Belgium and West Germany. Today, it ranks about 40th. That still looks respectable, until you consider how it was accomplished: Cuba has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. At the first sign of any trouble when a woman is carrying a baby, it is aborted – regardless of the parents’ wishes.
That’s why their infant mortality rate isn’t even worse.
But surely health care for all is a major accomplishment, right?
No. As has been noted in many other places, Cuba has three separate health care systems. One for paying customers from places like the U.S., who go to Cuba for discount treatments of cosmetic surgery and the like.
There’s another for Cuba’s ruling Communist elite, also a good system. This is the health care system visiting journalists are taken to see, and that they later glowingly report on.
But there’s still another system for the rest — the average Cubans. It is abysmal, and even that might understate how bad it is.
“Cubans are not even allowed to visit those (elite) facilities,” according to the Web site The Real Cuba. “Cubans who require medical attention must go to other hospitals, that lack the most minimum requirements needed to take care of their patients.”
It goes on: “In addition, most of these facilities are filthy and patients have to bring their own towels, bed sheets, pillows, or they would have to lay down on dirty bare mattresses stained with blood and other body fluids.”
As for doctors, well, they make an average of about $25 to $35 a month. Many have to work second jobs to make ends meet, using substandard equipment. Drug shortages are rife. As a result, one of Cuba’s ongoing problems is that doctors leave as soon as they can for other countries, where they can make a decent living.
The country has over 30,000 doctors working overseas officially. Why? Out of kindness? No. The Castro regime earns an estimated $2.5 billion a year in hard currency from doctors working elsewhere, which means Cuba’s poor must go without decent care or access to doctors.
As for “universal literacy,” please. Primary and secondary schools are little more than Marxist indoctrination centers, where students are taught only what the state wants them to know. That’s how they keep people quiet.
As for Cuba’s higher education, “universities are training centers for bureaucrats, totally disconnected from the needs of today’s world. To enter the best careers and the best universities, people must be related to the bureaucratic elites, and also demonstrate a deep ideological conviction,” notes Colombian journalist Vanesa Vallejo, of the PanAm Post, a Latin American news site.
Nor is it “free.” In fact, those who graduate from college must work for a number of years for the government at a substandard wage of $9 a month. They are in effect slave labor. As with most “free” things the socialists offer, the price is very high and nonnegotiable.
In sum, Castro took a healthy country and made it sick. Those who glorify him deserve the scorn they get for propagating such a longstanding lie.
“A less megalomaniacal ruler would have considered (Cuba’s pre-revolution economy) a golden goose landing in his lap,” wrote Humberto Fontova, a Cuban exile and author of Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant. “But Castro wrung its neck. He deliberately and methodically wrecked Latin America’s premier economy.”
How about race relations? By Cuba’s own estimates, roughly 36% of the country is black or “mixed.” Other estimates put it much higher, as high as 50%.
Nonetheless, a study five years ago by the online journal Socialism and Democracy found “black and mixed populations, on average, are concentrated in the worst housing conditions” and tend to work in lower-paying, manual-labor jobs.
We’ll save for a later date Castro’s many crimes and 58 years of silent war against the U.S., his allowing Soviet nuclear missiles on his soil in order to threaten the U.S., his repeated intervention in other countries, his assassinations, and his obscene theft of hundreds of millions of dollars of Cubans’ wealth to line his own pockets.
Suffice it to say, as Castro departs the scene for the last time, he leaves a Cuba far worse off in almost every way than the one he took over in 1958.
Donald Trump, with his impeccable anti-PC skills, summed it up about right, calling Castro a “brutal dictator”.
“Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights,” Trump said in the statement. Exactly right.
Fidel’s brother, Raul, who is 85, has been the actual power in the country since Castro fell seriously ill in 2006. He’s done little better.
So, for now, though Fidel is dead, there is little hope of change.
Obama over. Hillary out. Merkel, Juncker, Hollande soon to go. Maduro done for. FIDEL CASTRO DEAD.
It’s over. The terrible century of Socialist idealism in practice, whether just depressingly as in the United States under Obama, or with totalitarian horror elsewhere under Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, is coming to its end.
There are still a few Socialists in power – to mourn the death of the Monster of Cuba. Instead of abominating him as he deserves and condemning his cruel tyranny, they will heap praise on him.
As does the prime minister of Canada:
Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro:
November 26, 2016
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro:
“It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President.
“Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.
“While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”.
“I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Raúl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.
“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”
This punchinello must fall – and will of course.
The Left has nowhere to go but into oblivion. It has proved its own ideas to be disastrously wrong over and over again. It is utterly discredited.
Hundreds of cheers for the death of Fidel Castro!
Fabiola Santiago writes at the Miami Herald:
During the six decades of the Castro brothers totalitarian rule, more than two million Cubans fled their beloved island …
One of Castro’s most heinous crimes was the massacre of 41 men, women and children attempting to flee Cuba on a tugboat on July 13, 1994. Cuban authorities sprayed the vessel with water hoses, rammed and sank it. This is not something I read. I interviewed survivors at the Guantanamo Cuban refugee camps months later. The Cuban Coast Guard refused to rescue the drowning, they told me.
There were so many other crimes and human rights abuses, largely ignored or benignly viewed by a world that gave Castro the benefit of the doubt, and only slapped him on the wrist occasionally at some forums like the United Nations.
Fidel Castro, myth and legend to the international left, has died without being brought to justice for his crimes against his people — the passing of the torch and title of president to his brother in 2006 challenged only by brave dissidents who are beaten and detained daily. The Castros have installed their children and grandchildren in government roles, an indication they plan to sustain the family dynasty beyond Raúl’s promised retirement in 2018.
There’s joy, excitement — and hope — at the news of Fidel Castro’s death at 90. I’m skeptical. Castro didn’t govern alone. He had accomplices. …
Still, it won’t be the same without the patriarch. With his death, it feels as if an evil curse — the heaviest of weights — has been lifted on a nation whose children are scattered all over the world. The bogeyman is gone.
At the break of morning, the streets of Havana were deserted. People were told to stay inside, refrain from playing music, close their doors.
Miami never went to sleep, some of the arteries that run through its Cuban heart closed so that people could express the accumulation of 58 years of loss and separation, of disillusionment and never-ending hope.
Cuba sí, Castro no more.
There will be no farewell comandante from us, only a good riddance.
CELEBRATING THE DEATH OF FIDEL CASTRO IN MIAMI
Here is President-elect Trump’s official statement on the death of Fidel Castro. It deserves applause:
“Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights. While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve. Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty. I join the many Cuban Americans who supported me so greatly in the presidential campaign, including the Brigade 2506 Veterans Association that endorsed me, with the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.”
Donald Trump has said that South Korea, Germany, and Japan should pay for the US troops stationed on their soil.
Bad enough that Americans pay for the defense of allies.
But America also gives money to its enemies; most notably to Pakistan, which, though classed as an ally, is in fact an enemy.
As far back as 2011, Americans were informed that Pakistan was helping the Taliban, the Islamic terrorist organization in Afghanistan with which they had been at war since October 2001.
Pakistan’s security service provides weapons and training to Taliban insurgents fighting U.S. and British troops in Afghanistan, despite official denials, Taliban commanders say, in allegations that could worsen tensions between Pakistan and the United States.
A number of middle-ranking Taliban commanders revealed the extent of Pakistani support in interviews for a BBC Two documentary series, Secret Pakistan …
A former head of Afghan intelligence also told the program that Afghanistan gave Pakistan’s former president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, information in 2006 that Osama bin Laden was hiding in northern Pakistan close to where the former al Qaeda leader was eventually killed by U.S. special forces in May.
Admiral Mike Mullen, then the top U.S. military officer, accused Pakistani intelligence last month of backing violence against U.S. targets including the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. He said the Haqqani network, an Afghan militant group blamed for the September 13 embassy attack, was a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).
Pakistan denies the U.S. allegations.
One Taliban commander, Mullah Qaseem, told the BBC the important things for a fighter were supplies and a hiding place.
“Pakistan plays a significant role. First they support us by providing a place to hide which is really important. Secondly they provide us with weapons,” he said …
Other Taliban commanders described how they and their fighters were, and are, trained in a network of camps on Pakistani soil.
According to a commander using the name Mullah Azizullah, the experts running the training are either members of the ISI or have close links to it.
“They are all the ISI’s men. They are the ones who run the training. First they train us about bombs; then they give us practical guidance,” he said.
Another Taliban fighter, known as Commander Najib, said al Qaeda trainers also operated in the camps, talent spotting possible suicide bombers.
“I was in the camp for a month … They were giving us practical training in whatever weapons we specialized in … Suicide bombers were taken to a different section and were kept apart from us. Those who were taught to be suicide bombers were there,” he said.
And, of course, Pakistan was hiding Osama bin Laden from American revenge for 9/11 – though of course the Pakistani government denied it.
A former head of Afghan intelligence told the BBC Afghan officials gave Musharraf information in 2006 suggesting bin Laden was hiding in Mansehra, a town just 12 miles from Abbottabad, where bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in May, but that the information was not acted upon.
Amrullah Saleh, head of Afghan intelligence from 2004 to 2010, said Syed Akbar, a Pakistani believed to be smuggling guns to the Taliban, told Afghan intelligence he had escorted bin Laden from one location to another.
“The information we had was suggesting Mansehra was the town where bin Laden was hiding … It happens after so many years that bin Laden was about 12 miles from that location,” he said.
Saleh and Afghan President Hamid Karzai took the evidence to Musharraf who, according to Saleh, reacted angrily.
“He (Musharraf) banged the table and looked at President Karzai and said, ‘Am I president of a banana republic? If not, then how can you tell me bin Laden is hiding in a settled area of Pakistan’. I said ‘Well, this is the information so you can go and check it.’,” said Saleh …
Nothing has changed. Pakistan continues to train, equip, and protect the Taliban.
But, we learn from an article by Joe Pappalardo at Townhall, the Republican dominated US Senate intends to give that treacherous Muslim state yet more aid – to “compensate” it for “helping” the US in the war against the Taliban:
A proposal for a new fund to pay Pakistan for its assistance in the war on terror has received approval from the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.
Senator John McCain, committee chairman, introduced the funding bid as part of the Senate’s 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which was passed on May 18. If Pakistan can meet all of the bill’s conditions, the new fund will grant the nation $800 million in compensation.
This new fund replaces the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) from 2013, and solely focuses on Pakistan. The CSF paid Pakistan for its support of the U.S. and Coalition forces in Afghanistan. To date, Pakistan has received $3.1 billion, but the old fund will expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
The reimbursement fund will still require Pakistan to maintain communication lines to Afghanistan, and if Pakistan does not act against the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Haqqani network, the U.S. will withhold $300 million.
Committee members noted that removing Afghanistan operations from the fund’s objectives was timely because U.S. involvement in Afghanistan had decreased. Most U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been withdrawn, and the coalition forces will soon do the same, lawmakers said.
The House of Representatives, which also has a Republican majority, is just as keen to reward Pakistan:
The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that also aims to reimburse Pakistan. However, it does not replace the CSF and offers $900 million with $450 million tied to acting against the Haqqani network.
The new bill marks a shift to a focus on Pakistan’s national security, which has become a major interest for America’s own national security.
Q: How exactly does America’s national security depend on the security of Pakistan?
The committee said continuing to use the CSF would hinder any U.S. support of Pakistan’s anti-terrorism efforts.
Q: What “anti-terrorism efforts” by Pakistan would those be?
If the recklessness with which the US gives aid to Pakistan looks to you like insanity, you will find your suspicions confirmed when you know that your tax money also goes to aid the extremely wealthy Islamic tyranny of Saudi Arabia, which works night and day to impose Islam upon America and the whole of the Western world.
And the insanity doesn’t stop there.
In the years when the US was supposed to have no ties whatsoever with Communist Cuba – yes! Your tax dollars were going there too.
And while you are still gaping in disbelief, there’s one more enemy you need to know you were aiding – Iran.
You will find Cuba and Iran listed as recipients of US aid here. The list makes interesting reading.
Barack Hussein Obama is sympathetic to Communist regimes because he was raised from infancy to be a Communist and has continued throughout his life to like Communism.
As a young adult he was trained in the “community organizing” school of Communist radical Saul Alinsky.
In 1986, at the age of twenty-three … Obama was hired by the Alinsky team “to organize residents on the South Side [of Chicago] while learning and applying Alinsky’s philosopy of street-level democracy”.
So David Horowitz writes in his book Radicals*. The chapter titled A Radical Machiavelli outlines the whole story of Obama’s rise to power, diligently following the Alinsky way in order to use power for the radical transformation of America.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention that Obama chooses to make friends with Communist dictators – notably, this month, with the blood-drenched Castro Brothers who are still ruling Cuba.
They weren’t very eager to entertain him. No Castro or his deputy met the president of the United States at the airport when he landed. Raul Castro took him to a ball game, where Obama cheered delightedly (soon after he’d been informed that jihadis had bombed America’s NATO ally Belgium, causing massive loss of life and injury). Later he danced the tango. And he made a speech.
What did he say?
We quote from an article by Carlos Eire at PowerLine:
A classic example of Obamaspeak, this boilerplate speech consisted of four essential elements: some truths (few in number), several myths (plentiful), many platitudes (even more plentiful), and a string of lies (all braided with the myths and platitudes). …
Nowhere in this speech do the Castro brothers show up. Nowhere are their many crimes against humanity mentioned. Nowhere is any blame laid on them for enslaving and ruining “the Cuban people” or for poisoning relations with the United States. In their place, another abstraction shows up to play the part of the villain: “ideology”.
As he has done countless times before, Obama inserts himself in history as the ultimate slayer of the “Cold War” dragon, which is always drawn by him as a caricature, a fairy monster of sorts with no teeth and no fire in his breath, whose scales are fluffy and whose wings are as diaphanous as all abstract thoughts. “Ideology” in Obamaspeak, is no real threat to life and limb, no powerful enslaving force, but an illusory phantom from some distant past …
To ensure that his Cuban audience recognized his power to dispel this toothless abstraction, Obama [told] them: “From the beginning of my time in office, I’ve urged the people of the Americas to leave behind the ideological battles of the past.”
Never mind the Castro brothers, or the tens of thousands of Cubans murdered by them, the hundreds of thousands imprisoned and tortured, or the two million driven into exile, or the nuclear missiles they pointed at the United States, or the soldiers and spies they’ve sent all over the world, or the terrorists they have sponsored. …
Anywhere you look, it is easy to spot platitudinous metaphors and abstractions in this Obamaesque tapestry. There are so many of them, in fact, that they are hard to tally. So let’s just mention the more disturbing ones.
“In many ways, the United States and Cuba are like two brothers who’ve been estranged for many years,” he said, “even as we share the same blood.”
What blood? As it turns out, the closest Obama came to identifying that blood was to babble on about superficial similarities between Cuban and American culture, especially in the realms of music and sports.
Obama also spoke of “hope” repeatedly. He even had the nerve to tell Cubans of “hope that is rooted in the future that you can choose and that you can shape, and that you can build for your country.”
What hope, as long as the Castro dynasty is in control? What is this amorphous “hope” or this amorphous “future”? What of this “choosing” and “shaping”? How is that to happen when there is no civil society in Cuba, no rule of law, no chance to express oneself freely, no private property, no free market economy? …
The biggest lies in the speech have to do with history, and all of these falsehoods come straight from the Castro regime’s Ministry of Truth …
In Obama’s thinly disguised Marxist narrative there is a constant dialectic between an imperialist power (the United States) and an unjustly exploited subaltern (Cuba), and in this poisoned relationship, the United States is responsible for most of Cuba’s ills.
The exploitation, said Obama, began with the Spanish-American War: “The blue waters beneath Air Force One once carried American battleships to this island — to liberate, but also to exert control over Cuba.”
After that, with “control” over Cuba, the United States could not help but behave very badly. “Before 1959,” said Obama, “ some Americans saw Cuba as something to exploit, ignored poverty, enabled corruption.”
This is pure Castroite propaganda, which all Cubans born after 1959 have had force-fed to them as “history”. And in this false “history”, of course, it is always assumed that the Castro are the heroes who rescued Cubans from all of the exploitation.
That an American president should parrot such lies tells us a lot about the character of such a president, and the real-world value of his speech to the enslaved Cuban people. …
One of the biggest [lies] is the claim that the so-called embargo “was not working” and that it was “hurting the Cuban people”. This could be seen as the linchpin of Obama’s argument for “normalizing” relations. It sounds reasonable. But the truth is that the embargo was not put into place to force the collapse of the Castro regime, but to contain the damage it could do to the United States and its allies. And as far as that goal was concerned, the so-called embargo was indeed working.
As to the claim that the embargo hurt the Cuban people, nothing could be further from the truth. What really impoverished the Cuban people and made them destitute was the insane economic policies of the Castro regime. Cuba has been trading with every other country in the world while the embargo has been in place, and for the past decade and a half the island has been visited by tens of millions of non-American tourists. Yet, despite the opportunities made possible by such exchanges, poverty, deprivation, and repression continued to be the lot of all Cubans.
This lie about the “embargo” forms the basis for another equally heinous one, the claim that “the United States of America is normalizing relations with the Cuban people”. …
There is no real “normalization” going on insofar as the lives of Cubans are concerned. In fact, repression has increased and the economy has worsened since Obama began warming up to the Castro regime in December 2014. Secondly, the so-called “normalization” process does not involve “the Cuban people” at all, but only the Castro regime, that is, Raul Castro, his geriatric military junta, and his slightly younger oligarchs.
Obama also lied about the changes supposedly taking place in Cuba, such as the economic improvements brought about by self-employment, which are highlighted with a series of bogus feel-good stories about cuentapropistas or entrepreneurs. Every Cuban knows that the self-employment ruse is one of the biggest lies of all, and no ticket to prosperity or freedom, because the Castro regime owns absolutely everything on the island. …
The speech reaches a crescendo with the invocation of the term “reconciliation” …
What makes the use of this term incorrect in the case of Cuba – and what makes all talk of “reconciliation” a lie – is that genuine reconciliation involves penance and an admission of guilt on the part of wrongdoers. Those guilty of the worst sins in recent Cuban history – the Castro brothers and their supporters – have not only refused to admit their guilt, but actually remain in power and refuse to stop abusing the human rights of the Cuban people.
Until those who rule Cuba step aside and admit their guilt – and until those at the top ranks are tried in a court of justice for their many crimes against humanity – there can be no genuine “reconciliation” in Cuba.
To speak of “reconciliation” as the payoff of Obama’s many concessions to the Castro regime is akin to speaking of “reconciliation” between a rapist and his victim while the rapist continues to rape his victim repeatedly, with no remorse and no end in sight.
Finally, to sum up his own vapid, narcissistic, and self-aggrandizing rhetoric, Obama closed the speech with a Spanish rendition of his 2008 campaign slogan, si se puede (yes, it’s possible, or yes we can).
Yes, sure. Tell that to the Ladies in White, Obama, please, as they are beaten and arrested every Sunday. Tell that to the political prisoners who rot in tiny cells. Tell that to the Cuban schoolchildren who are fed lies and propaganda disguised as “education” and who have no hope of ever earning more than twenty dollars a month as adults. Tell that to the mother whose son or daughter just drowned while trying to flee on a flimsy raft from the hell that is Castro’s Cuba.
Tell them, please, how anything is possible other than what the Castro regime deigns to dole out to them.
Until there are no more masters and no more slaves, there can be no end to slavery.
For Obama to fling his campaign slogan “yes we can” to Cubans is no different from some Northern abolitionist visiting a Southern plantation to tell the slaves to ignore their chains and think happy thoughts.
To employ that recycled slogan in Cuba was downright shameful, and a very fitting end to a very disgraceful speech.
*Radicals: Portraits of a Destructive Passion by David Horowitz, Regnery, 2012. (Our quotation comes from p. 181.)
With all the excitement over who will be the next president, the man in the office is getting little or no attention, even from his toadies in the media.
Victor Davis Hanson turns his thoughts to him, and sees him as the lamest of lame ducks.
He writes at PJ Media:
President Obama is boxed in a state of paralysis — more so than typical lame-duck presidents.
His hard-left politics have insidiously eroded the Democratic Party, which has lost both houses of Congress and the vast majority of the state legislatures, state elected offices, and governorships. Obama has redefined the black vote, as a necessary, no-margin-of-error 95% bloc majority to offset his similar creation of an increasingly monolithic 65% bloc white vote. We are no longer individual voters, but, in Chicago-politics style, merely faceless “Latinos”, “Asians”, “African-Americans”, “gays”, “women”, and now “whites”.
Obama issues a new initiative — and the nation snoozes. He wastes the day on the golf links — and the nation snoozes. He smear his critics, invites a rapper to the White House whose latest album cover has a dead white judge lying in front of the White House — and the nation snoozes. He cozies up to America’s enemies and snubs our friends — and the nation snoozes. For the nth time, he blusters about closing down Guantanamo — and the nation snoozes. He opens the border even wider to welcome in more illegal aliens and future constituents — and the nation snoozes. Lame duckestry means not even being able to wake up your opponents.
There is so far no Obama legacy, except the creation of Donald Trump, a $20 trillion debt and zero interest rates …
Almost every major bureaucracy is awash in scandal or charges of incompetence. The common theme of the disasters at the GSA, EPA, ICE, IRS, NASA, Secret Service, and VA is ideological subversion and ingrained hostility to meritocracy. Would anyone be surprised that another government official pled the 5th, created fake email personas, resigned at 5 PM on a Friday afternoon, declared a foremost mission Muslim outreach, or withheld subpoenaed documents?
Obamacare, borne of rank partisanship and serial mendacity, can survive until 2017 only by bailouts and executive-order manipulations. We now call health care affordable by ignoring the new astronomical deductibles: we pay premiums of $6,000 a year and forget that an annual $4,000 “deductible” ensures no one thinks the real cost is $10,000. Is that a small price to pay to ensure granny has contraceptive coverage?
Americans shrug that Obama has left the world abroad a far scarier place. Libya has been destroyed. We can see in Iraq what Obama would have done to South Korea had he been in Eisenhower’s shoes. Syria’s death toll is nearing Saddam Hussein’s. We gave up our golden special relationship with Israel for one of dross with an Islamist and roundly disliked Turkey that, logically, now dislikes us.
What was astonishing about Obama’s empty red lines that finished off any lingering sense of U.S. credibility and deterrence in the Middle East was that after issuing such threats and then ignoring them, Obama then blamed the UN and the U.S. Congress for setting them!
But then again, he blamed congressional Republicans for opposing the Iran deal and compared House members to Iranian theocrat hardliners, in a way his team earlier had compared them to suicide bombers. …
In a tragic sort of way, Obama has reminded us how savage is human nature, by demonstrating that a vicious thug like Putin won more of an amoral world’s respect for his savagery than a whining Obama earned pity for his diffidence.
While the Middle East is aflame, China is marking out new atolls to control, like toll pirates of the 17th century, European-Asian sea traffic. Russia is eyeing neighbors, unsure only whether gratuitously embarrassing Obama is worth the hassle of another annexation. Is the solution to global tensions really a trip to Cuba or shutting down Guantanamo by executive order? When Castro soon harangues Obama in Havana for his country’ sins, will he, as he did after Daniel Ortega’s April 2009 dressing down in Trinidad, sheepishly reply with, “I’m grateful that President Castro did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old”?
Obama cannot address the massive debt he has run up. He cannot address entitlement reform. He has neither the imagination to offer solutions, nor the disposition to share accomplishment with any other than himself — even if he had the political clout to compromise and reach consensus.
For the next nine months the Obama presidency will be mostly teeth-gnashing and petulance. He will offer executive orders and do his best to incite division and rancor from a somnolent public, the more the better to please his hard-core base, and to pave the way for a lucrative (and iconic) post-presidency among leftwing foundations, universities, non-profits, foreign governments, sports, Hollywood, Goldman Sachs progressives, and the media.
But at least Obama … transformed racial relations? Not really. Perhaps no single individual has done more to erode racial reconciliation than did Barack Obama. The racialism of the 2008 campaign — the nativist clingers of Pennsylvania, his “typical white person” grandmother who did so much to ensure his own upper-middle-class prep-school existence, the savage anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism of consigliore Rev. “audacity of hope” Wright, the childish calls to “get in their faces” and “bring a gun to a knife fight” – really was the foundation for the next eight years of Trayvon Martin as the lost Obama son, the Ferguson mythologies, racism explains all opposition to Obama, the beer summit, “punish our enemies”, and Eric Holder’s “nation of cowards” and “my people”.
Obama’s racial legacy is the strange phenomenon of whiny, wealthy black elites — whether a Skip Gates, Spike Lee, Melissa Harris-Perry, Will Smith, or Chris Rock — acting hurt and oppressed if rewards to elites such as themselves are not doled out on the basis of racial percentages. … America is now supposed to work on a strict 13 percent racial spoils system, everywhere except in non-disparate impact professional sports or federal employment. …
Cairo-speech mythohistories pass for foreign policy. Euphemisms about terrorism only empower radical Islam. The mythologies of Ferguson are canonized at the UN. All that can be said for all this and more is that our enemies were put off guard and confused that a president of the United States seemed so intent on deprecating his own country and traditions, and thus could think Obama’s sermonizing might really be some elaborate hoax, con, or Trojan Horse.
Nothing in the last eight years is sustainable or can be emulated.
Race relations will change after Obama for the simple reason that if they were to continue on his segregationist trajectory we would quite soon end up like Bosnia or Beirut.
Fiscal policy will change, because if we followed Obama’s all “by his lonesome” Bank of China credit-card binge borrowing of another $10 trillion in the next eight years, the country would implode.
Monetary policy will change because eight more years of zero interest would wipe out the age-old idea of the wisdom of saving money altogether. Government policy will change because the bureaucracy cannot endure legions of more Lois Lerners, Lisa Jacksons, Kathleen Sebeliuses, Hilda Solises, or Eric Holders.
Health care will change after Obama, because if Obamacare were to persist, the entire country would turn to cash-only concierge medicine.
Foreign policy will change after Obama, because to persist with his policies would lead to four or five major theater wars, a nuclear Middle East, Russia in the Baltic states, and Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan as client states of China.
Immigration will change, because to follow Obama’s open borders policy is to arbitrarily declare federal law null and void, and to establish the roots of a new third world country, neither American nor Mexican, along the border, but inside the United States.
The media will change after Obama because it is about to be enshrined as an embarrassing government Ministry of Truth. It cannot again proclaim that the next president is the smartest person in the history of the presidency, a veritable god, a wizard that can lower the seas and cool the planet or send tingles down our legs or make us wish to press our pants just like the commander in chief. At some point, journalists will get back to sniping that the next president should know that there are not 57 states, that “corpseman” is not the proper pronunciation, that the trilled politically correct name for the Falklands is not the Maldives, and that presidents do not normally make fun of the Special Olympics.
We are witnessing the lamest of the lame-duck presidencies, with the power neither to act nor inspire — nor even to shock or surprise.