Cold War

A New Relationship with Cuba May Be a Good Thing, Just Not Necessarily For Who You Think

Cuban Embargo

There are several arguments being bandied about regarding President Obama’s desire to normalize relations with our little Commie friend to the South, Cuba. And they run the gamut: some think it’s a sign of weak negotiating prowess and simply bad policy (we give more than we get, etc.); some think the embargo a failed prospect that should be, in the interests of the Cuban people, tossed to the wind, but that Congress should have been included in the decision; and others think it’s all just a swell idea and hurray because Cuba and the USA are about to be besties! (I’m sure there’s a selfie joke in there somewhere).

Congress, understandably, is pushing back — again, something that will likely be a common theme over the next two years — with Marco Rubio making as clear a statement as any I’ve heard on the matter:

“I anticipate I’ll be the chairman of the Western Hemisphere subcommittee on the Foreign Relations Committee” in the new Congress, Florida Senator Marco Rubio said in a press conference hours after the release of American prisoner Alan Gross from a Cuban prison was announced along with the administration’s plans to normalize relations with Cuba, including opening an embassy there.

The Domestic Cold War

Joel Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx. Previously he worked in Washington, D.C. in public policy for organizations such as the Leadership Institute, the Cato Institute, and the White House Office of Public Liaison. He studied Statesmanship at the undergraduate level and Global Affairs at the postgraduate level.

The battle lines are drawn. The great war between America’s government and her people fast approaches.

No, this isn’t some dystopian near-future science fiction scenario. This is present-day America we’re talking about. There’s a growing hostility between the U.S. government and certain incorrigible freedom-loving citizens, with the live-and-let-lives caught on the side of their more rowdy fellows, despite best efforts to bury their heads in the sand.

But where are all the battles? Where are the troops filling the streets? Where are the tanks rolling across the countryside, steamrolling all dissidents in their path? In waiting, that’s where. This isn’t a traditional armed conflict I’m predicting; at least, not yet. It’s a cold war. Each side is building up its record of hostile actions against the other, all stopping short of the point of no return.

First there’s the war over control of information. The degree to which the U.S government has pursued whistleblowers, leakers, and all those who would enforce transparency is worrisome, almost to the point of making the American people out to be some sort of sworn enemy. Almost. As the Bradley Manning trial showed, they will prudently stop short of making that overt declaration of war.

Problems with Involving Minors in Politics

Cross-posted from The Dangerous Servant

When I was six or seven years old, a new Nashville resident, I remember vividly going to the Nashville Fair Grounds with my parents to visit the flea market, and our family being approached by campaign volunteers for then-Mayoral candidate Phil Bredesen, a centrist Republican who never won on a Republican ticket until he switched parties years later. He would later become one of Nashville’s most popular Democratic mayors and one of Tennessee’s most popular Democratic governors; on a personal note, he played an instrumental role in bringing my beloved NHL expansion franchise Nashville Predators to the Music City in the late 1990s, and he and former First Lady Andrea Conte were vocal critics of Research in Motion CEO Jim Balsillie’s sneaky, manipulative coup to buy the Predators and relocate them to Hamilton, Ontario in the summer of 2007.

But I digress.

At the fair, we were given and wore white stickers and pin-on buttons that had depicted blue bones with a circle and diagonal bar around and over them; Bredesen’s opponent in that race was a man named Bill Boner.

Economic Depressions Don’t Exist Under Totalitarian Systems

So contends Lev Nazrozov. He writes:

Out-of-control predatory capitalists have perpetrated a worldwide economic depression. Capitalism’s degenerate character is now extraordinarily visible during this time of multiple crises.

On each side of the page there is a picture of a miserable emaciated proletarian who carries on his back a huge pack of money, with a bourgeois seated atop of the pack and smoking a cigar.

By simply allowing the government to dominate every sector of the polity, by embracing totalitarianism, we might be able to avoid the woes of economic recession? Historical study makes such a conclusion seem ridiculous. While totalitarian economies did not suffer from “depressions”, per se, one could argue that consumers and citizens lived under a system which continuously mimicked the effects of depression.

Postscript to Mark Thornton’s “The Economics of Housing Bubbles”

From an email by Professor Mark Thornton:

Some might find this useful. Misesian economics goes a long ways! -

Lech Kaczynski, A Martyr of Freedom

Solidarity

From the Heritage Foundation:

The death this morning of Polish president Lech Kaczynski and First Lady Kaczynska is a tragedy that will touch the heart of many Americans. President Kaczynski was a Polish patriot of the first order, whose life exemplifies the meaning of courage, sacrifice and commitment to his family, his country and the Polish people.

From his early days in the legendary Solidarity movement, President Kaczynski fought for the independence, sovereignty and self-determination of his country. And in the two decades since the fall of the Soviet Union, President Kaczynski has been at the forefront of his country’s transition from an impoverished and Soviet-dependent economy, to a bright and vibrant regional leader. Poland is now a key member of NATO and a serious player within the European Union. As Commander-in-Chief, President Kaczynski has also overseen deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan where Polish troops serve bravely alongside American and British servicemen and women in defense of liberty and freedom.

America is home to a large Polish Diaspora, who will feel President Kaczynski’s passing keenly. There were few others who worked as hard as he to maintain the Polish-American relationship, which President Kaczynski saw as integral to the future of his country. Tributes are pouring in from across the world, including a touching remembrance from The Prince of Wales who made a royal visit to Poland last month as guest of the President and First Lady. Americans will be looking to President Obama to strike an equally appropriate tone as Americans join with the world in mourning the passing of a Polish hero and patriot.

When Ted Kennedy Conspired With The Soviets

In May 1984, Senator Ted Kennedy conveyed a message to Yuri Andropov, the leader of the Soviet Union, through a long-time Kennedy friend and confidant:

Kennedy’s message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. “The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations,” the memorandum stated. “These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign.”

Kennedy made Andropov a couple of specific offers.

First he offered to visit Moscow. “The main purpose of the meeting, according to the senator, would be to arm Soviet officials with explanations regarding problems of nuclear disarmament so they may be better prepared and more convincing during appearances in the USA.” Kennedy would help the Soviets deal with Reagan by telling them how to brush up their propaganda.

What to Make of Russian Rearmament?

The new round of NATO expansion has placed Russia on the defensive again. The EU’s flirtations with Belarus are certainly annoying the hardliners in Moscow as well.  From Reuters:

“Attempts to expand the military infrastructure of Nato near the borders of our country are continuing,” Medvedev told an annual meeting with the Defence Ministry’s staff.

Russia has described plans by the previous US administration to grant Nato membership to ex-Soviet Ukraine and Georgia, and to deploy elements of a US missile shield in Eastern Europe, as a direct threat to its national security.

BBC: 1970s UK “Defenseless Against Soviets”

See Video

An interesting video reveals that during the late 1970s the United Kingdom was unprepared for any potential Soviet aggression.

US Navy Steams in Georgian Port

European press is reporting that the USS Mount Whitney, the 6th Fleet’s flagship, has docked at the Black Sea port of Pilo, Georgia - a move in the chess match of international relations considered to be a confrontational act. The port is actually garrisoned with a small number of Russian Soldiers, who while pose no potential threat to the US Mount Whitney, do increase the hostilities of the situation; this on the heels of Dick Cheney’s visit to Georgia, widely seen as a “spoking of the fires” trip. On top of this, there are allegations by the Russian Government that the US is shipping weapons into Georgia through Black Sea ports-

Russia’s leaders have accused previous US warships that docked at the port of Batumi, to the south, of delivering weapons to re-arm the smashed Georgian military — charges that Washington denied. - UK Times


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