Look What "Jumper"ed Out of the Black Box? Cuba, All Over Again?
Mr. Marina is Professor Emeritus in History at Florida Atlantic University, a Research Fellow of the Independent Institute, Oakland, CA, and Exec. Dir. of the Marina-Huerta Educational Foundation. He lives in Asheville, NC.
Air Force Gen. John Jumper has announced that the American Empire's idea of Iraqi "Democracy" includes four, huge, permanent Air Bases, with all of the troops, etc., that will be needed to protect such enormous facilities in perpetuity. Welcome to four new versions of Guantanamo, East, folks!
Probably, that won't be in the new Constitution, but rather tacked on as a treaty, as we did in Cuba after 1898. Incredible, how the face of Empire changes so little over a century!
Eric Margolis suggests this is pretty much like the arch-Imperialist, Winston Churchill's, British plans of the 1920s, when Iraq was carved out of the Ottoman Empire as oil was discovered, and the RAF took charge.
I would point out, it is also very much like America in 1768, when the British sent 10,000 troops to occupy us, until that"Standing Army" was chased out of Boston in 1776, and settled into New York City until 1783. It was such imperial shenanigans that caused Patrick Henry to utter,"Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!"
The American historian, Mercy Otis Warren, writing her history in 1805, rightly called that October day in 1768, the real beginning of the American Revolution, and a"day" that would live"in infamy." Good, 'ol FDR later borrowed that phrase on December 8, 1941.
Many Americans, apparently, see no contradiction between mouthing the ideas and slogans of our own Revolution, while at the same time denying them to other peoples around the globe, all the while blathering on about bringing these people"Democracy." Nothing like Empire coupled with hypocrisy! No wonder much of the world hates us.
This is also the kind of stuff Joe Stalin preached and practiced in Eastern Europe after WWII. He was happy to help all of those captive nations write constitutions modeled on the Soviet Constitution of 1936, a great sounding document, under which he killed millions of Russians.
Since our"new" policy is built on what we did in Cuba a century ago, don't be surprised if this produces an Iraqi version of Fidel Castro somewhere down the line. The British policy, after all, produced Saddam Hussein, and the Insurgency now raging in Iraq, will probably simply continue.
While Fidel is a nasty dictator, he appears to be in charge, even in the face of even a Category 5 hurricane last year, when 1.5 million Cubans were safely evacuated, with no loss of life, and no looting, although 20,000 buildings were destroyed by the storm. Compare that to the fiasco today on our Gulf Coast, especially in New Orleans, in the wake of hurricane Katrina.
Maybe Bush can hire some of those"nation building" Cubans who gave us such a hard time in Grenada in the 1980s, and are now active in Venezuela, and other parts of Latin America. Whatever else Cuba is, it has a lower infant mortality rate than does the US, and, apparently, a greater sense of community.
Misho - 11/2/2005
The best blog!
Lynn Max Cheatum - 10/4/2005
Professor Marina brought us a positive description of the effectiveness of Fidel Castro in the waning years of his leadership of Cuba. Such reporting has not been evident in the media I have read in many years. Thanks for publishing it.
P.S. I would like permission to reprint it in the nonprofit bimonthly magazine I edit. OK?
John Lederer - 9/23/2005
Steven R Alvarado - 9/20/2005
Only in Fidel's house.
Kyle Shanks - 9/20/2005
Is there anything to loot in Cuba?
Steven R Alvarado - 9/20/2005
In light of the fact that Great Britain was the most progessive of nations throughout most of the modern era I believe that they can claim to be exceptional.
Michael Beatty - 9/20/2005
I liked Professor Marina's comment that "Many Americans, apparently, see no contradiction between mouthing the ideas and slogans of our own Revolution, while at the same time denying them to other peoples around the globe, all the while blathering on about bringing these people "Democracy." Nothing like Empire coupled with hypocrisy! . . ."
This is nothing more exciting that American Exceptionalism, the sociopolitical notion that the rules by which we bind other nations/cultures/civilisations don't apply to us - or U.S, for that matter. There should be no surprise that the U.S. would be so eager to assert on our own behalf, an exception to the rules of the community of nations - this country was settled primarily by Englishmen, our political tradition is thoroughly English, and the English first propounded a theory of exceptionalism in the 15th Century.
So we can agree that the "noted" Ms. Cohnis is the one who should be scolded for using comments by Castro. You only repeat them.
wmarina - 9/20/2005
I called Fidel "nasty," but if you bothered to read the link by a noted jurist, you would see I was using that as a source, not Castro.
Steven R Alvarado - 9/19/2005
Let's see, you quote Fidel Castro as a "reliable" source. Makes one think about the credibility of all your other souces.
John Lederer - 9/18/2005
This is the only thing I could find that was close and it sure doesn't say what Mr. Marina says. Is there another quote?:
"U.S. general says Iraqis will need longtime support from Air Force
BY: ERIC SCHMITT, New York Times*
WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 - The Air Force's top general said Monday that American warplanes would have to support Iraq's fledgling security forces well after American ground troops eventually withdraw from the country.
Gen. John P. Jumper, who is to step down this week as the Air Force chief of staff, predicted that American fighter and reconnaissance aircraft would continue flying missions over Iraq for a long time, until Iraqi forces are capable of fighting insurgents on their own.
"As I see the transition into the hands of the Iraqi military, I will continue to see the need for them to require the support from the air until they're able to set up their own ability to support themselves," General Jumper told reporters at the Pentagon. "And that's going to take a while, even after some future withdrawal of ground forces."
In an interview earlier this month, General Jumper was even more explicit when asked about the Air Force's future in Iraq. "We will continue with a rotational presence of some type in that area more or less indefinitely," he said. "We have interests in that part of the world and an interest in staying in touch with the militaries over there."
American and other allied combat aircraft, including remotely piloted Predator drones, now fly about 50 close-air support and armed reconnaissance missions every day. Iraq's tiny air force consists of just a few cargo and reconnaissance planes; the main allied effort has been to rebuild the Iraqi ground forces.
A small number of the American planes are in Iraq, and if they remain there, they would have to be protected, probably by United States ground forces. But many American warplanes also fly missions over Iraq from other countries in the region."
John Lederer - 9/18/2005
It would be nice to have a source for a quote of the Jumper statement other than left wing Eric Margolis, particulary since Margolis ' rendition has much of Margolis and little of Jumper.
Brian Radzinsky - 9/5/2005
I probably should have been more specific about the liberation as a goal. Indeed, it was never made out to be. Only after the fact was it portrayed as a sort of added bonus.
However, I still maintain that establishing bases was seen as if not a goal, then a definite incentive for taking Afghanistan. Just because the Bush administration states one thing as a goal doesn't mean it necessarily is the only, or even the real, goal. Iraq was said to be about finding WMD yet the Downing Street memos and other sources suggest otherwise.
Mark Brady - 9/5/2005
At the time the Bush administration stated that the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was undertaken to remove the Taliban and specifically to capture Osama Bin Laden. That's quite apart from any ulterior motives like establishing a U.S. military presence in the region and any subsequent justifications like "liberating" the Afghans from Islamic fundamentalism.
Brian Radzinsky - 9/5/2005
Installing military bases has long been a secondary military goal. Afghanistan, as it's now being confirmed, was as much about "liberation" as it was about installing military bases to project US power along the Central Asian and Chinese borders.