The Anti-Empire Report

Paying for the Follies of the Weak

Don’t tell my mother I work at the White House. She thinks I play the piano in a whore house.

The Republican presidential campaign has tried to make a big issue of Barack Obama at one time associating with Bill Ayers, a member of the 1960s Weathermen who engaged in political bombings. Governor Palin has accused Obama of “palling around with terrorists”, although Ayers’ association with the Weathermen during their period of carrying out anti-Vietnam War bombings in the United States took place when Obama was around 8-years-old. Contrast this with who President Ronald Reagan, so beloved by the Republican candidates, associated with. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was an Afghan warlord whose followers first gained attention by throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. This is how they spent their time when they were not screaming “Death to America.” CIA and State Department officials called Hekmatyar “scary,” “vicious,” “a fascist,” “definite dictatorship material.”1 None of this prevented the Reagan administration from inviting the man to the White House to meet with Reagan, and showering him with large amounts of aid to fight against the Soviet-supported government of Afghanistan.

Reagan’s successor, George H.W. Bush, palled around with characters almost as unsavory during his first campaign for the presidency in 1988. His campaign staff included a number of genuine pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic types from Eastern and Central Europe. Several of these worthies were leaders of the Republican campaign’s ethnic outreach arm, the Coalition of American Nationalities, despite the fact that their checkered past was not a big secret. One of them, Laszlo Pasztor (or Pastor) had served in the pro-Nazi Hungarian government’s embassy in Berlin during the Second World War. This had been revealed in a 1971 page-one story in the Washington Post.2 When this past was again brought up in September 1988, the Republicans were obliged to dump Pasztor and four others of his ilk from Bush’s campaign.3

And whom has John McCain been palling around with? Who has been co-chair of McCain’s New York campaign and a foreign policy adviser to McCain himself? None other than the illustrious unindicted war criminal and mass murderer Henry Kissinger, who must be very careful when he travels to Europe for there are committed and serious people in several countries there who will again try to have him arrested for the crimes against humanity he’s responsible for . . . Chile . . . Angola . . . East Timor . . . Vietnam . . . Laos . . . Cambodia . . .

By contrast, there is no evidence that Bill Ayers was involved in any Weathermen bombing that killed anyone; nor have I seen any evidence that on the very rare occasion that an anti-Vietnam War bombing in the United States resulted in a casualty that it could be ascribed to the Weathermen.

John McCain’s bombings certainly killed — some two dozen aerial attacks upon the people of Vietnam, people who had neither done nor threatened any harm to him or his country. What label do we give to such acts, to such a man? His level of violence is matched by his degree of hypocrisy. Speaking of Ayers, McCain asked: “How can you countenance someone who was engaged in bombings that could have or did kill innocent people?”4

In his 2001 memoir, Fugitive Days, Ayers writes: “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.” This is something very few Americans can accept, and I wouldn’t even make the attempt to persuade them. But I personally didn’t blame the Weathermen then, and I don’t blame them now. The Vietnam War was in its eighth year of barbarity. I and the rest of the army of the powerless needed a few points up there on the scoreboard against the lords of the national-security corporate state. A bombing, with a suitably war-criminal target — like the State Department or the Pentagon — and taking care to prevent any casualties, told the bastards that we were still out there, that their impunity was not total, that this is how it feels to be bombed. Armed propaganda. It told the public that there was something more serious going on than a town-hall difference of opinion that could be reasonably resolved by reasonable people discussing things in a reasonable manner. And like an unhappy child having a temper tantrum, we needed some instant gratification. We were struggling against the most powerful force in the world.

The Weathermen were on the right side of that war; John McCain on the wrong side.

And who has Sarah Palin herself been palling around with? John McCain, and the Alaska Independence Party, a secessionist party her husband belonged to for seven years. “My government is my worst enemy. I’m going to fight them with any means at hand,” Joe Vogler, who founded the party, once declared. Earlier this year Governor Palin shouted out to party members: ”Keep up the good work. And God bless you.”5

I do believe that secession of a state from the union is somewhat frowned upon by the powers that be, and if memory serves me, the last time it was seriously tried the government actually went to war. Who do these Alaskans think they are, the Kosovo gangsters whose secession from Serbia was immediately recognized by Washington?

This just in: John McCain (yes, the same one), as a congressman, met with General Augusto Pinochet in Chile in 1975, one of the world’s most notorious violators of human rights, credited with killing more than 3,000 civilians, jailing tens of thousands of others, and torturing a great many of them. McCain met with Pinochet apparently without any preconditions, which is what McCain has repeatedly criticized Obama for saying he would do with certain present-day foreign leaders whom McCain doesn’t like. At the time of the meeting, the US Justice Department was seeking the extradition of two close Pinochet associates for an act of terrorism in Washington, DC — the 1976 car-bomb assassination of former Chilean ambassador to the US, Orlando Letelier, a prominent critic of Pinochet, and his American assistant. McCain made no public or private statements critical of the dictatorship, nor did he meet with members of the democratic opposition in Chile. Senator Edward Kennedy arrived only 12 days after McCain in a highly public show of support for democracy, meeting with Catholic church and human rights leaders and large groups of opposition activists.6

The John McCains of America, in and out of Congress, would much sooner pal around with Augusto Pinochet than Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro or Bill Ayers.

The Bourgeois Triumphalism That Attended the Funeral of the USSR

Greed is a hot topic now. Stock brokers and others involved in the current financial crisis are angrily accused of being greedy. Time magazine declared that the nation’s current troubles were “the price of greed”. “Blame greed,” echoed the Chicago Tribune. But these establishment publications can’t be taken too seriously. Like other believers in the system, they’re convinced that greed is a built-in, valuable, and necessary feature of capitalism and capitalist man, that it’s indispensable for motivating entrepreneurs, and that it results in all manner of innovation and invention. During the years of the Cold War, this was a key element of the interminable discussions cum arguments between defenders of free enterprise and defenders of socialism; the arguments still continue, although most people now think that history has answered the question — capitalism has won. “The end of history,” leading conservative Francis Fukuyama called it in his well-received book in 1992. He asserted that we couldn’t expect to find a better way to organize society than the marriage of liberal democracy and market capitalism. Subsequent world movements such as anti-globalization and political Islam caused Fukuyama to have some second thoughts about whether history had actually come to an end. (He also came to renounce the war in Iraq, which he had initially embraced on the premise that it would bring the joys of liberal democracy and market capitalism to the benighted Iraqi people.)

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the boys of Capital have chortled in their martinis about the death of socialism. Until recently, the word had been banned from polite conversation (now achieving new notoriety as a term of political insult). And no one seems to notice that every socialist experiment of any significance in the twentieth century was either bombed, invaded, or overthrown; corrupted, perverted, or destabilized; or otherwise had life made impossible for it, by the United States. Not one socialist government or movement — from the Russian revolution to the Vietnamese communists to the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, from Communist China to Salvador Allende in Chile to the FMLN in Salvador — not one was permitted to rise or fall solely on its own merits; not one was left secure enough to drop its guard against the all-powerful enemy abroad and freely and fully relax control at home. It continues today with Washington’s attempts to subvert the governments of Venezuela and Bolivia, and, of course, still, forever, Cuba.

Imagine that the Wright brothers’ first experiments with flying machines had all failed because the automobile interests had sabotaged each test flight. And then, thanks to the auto companies’ propaganda, the good and god-fearing folk of the world looked upon this, took notice of the consequences, nodded their collective heads wisely, and intoned solemnly: Man shall never fly.

It’s widely assumed that the Soviet Union demise resulted from gross shortcomings intrinsic to its socialist system, that the economy somehow imploded from its inherent contradictions. But all the shortcomings and contradictions that could have been found in the Soviet system in 1990 could have as well been found in 1980, or 1970, or 1960. Unlike capitalism, whose volatility is legendary, as each day’s headlines remind us anew, the Soviet system with its government ownership of the means of production and its command economy, whatever its other defects, remained relatively stable and uniform. The question is thus: What happened in the late 1980s in the Soviet system to cause it to unravel? I believe that the best answer to the question lies in the person of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, who came to power in 1985.

Gorbachev’s long-time and ardent ambition was to model the Soviet Union after a West European social democracy and have the country accepted as such by the Europeans. That’s the principal reason he put an end to the Soviet military involvement in Afghanistan; and why he instituted his historic economic and political changes at home (with their unintended consequences), and relinquished control over Eastern Europe without resorting to military force. The war in Afghanistan certainly had its effects, financially and psychologically, upon the people of the Soviet Union, and is commonly cited as a major cause for the nation’s breakup. But the same can be said even more so of the effect of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq upon the American people, millions of whom have marched against the wars, yet none of this has led to an American withdrawal from either place; not even close. Superpowers should not be confused with democracies.

Ayn Rand’s Social Philosophy: Let the Strong Prevail, Let the Weak Pay for their Weakness

“I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms. . . . So the problem here is [that] something which looked to be a very solid edifice and, indeed, a critical pillar to market competition and free markets, did break down. And I think that, as I said, shocked me.”

A remarkable admission from Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, long-time opponent of government regulation of the corporate world, and friend and devoted follower of Ayn Rand, the selfishness guru who turned the emulation of two-year olds into a philosophy of life. “I have found a flaw,” said Greenspan, referring to his economic philosophy. “I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I have been very distressed by that fact.”7

Greenspan was induced into these admissions by tough questioning from congressmen at a hearing called in October to deal with the financial crisis. There was a time when Greenspan was looked upon as a guru by a largely unquestioning and unchallenging congress and media, no matter how dubious or obscure his pronouncements. He could have passed at times for Chauncey Gardener, the main character of the book and film Being There. Gardener, brought to life by Peter Sellers, was a simple man with very simple thoughts and behavior, who might have been considered to be borderline “retarded”, but fortuitous circumstances and the deference toward him by those of insufficient intellect and/or courage resulted in him being thought of as brilliant by people in high positions.

There was one noteworthy exception to this delicate treatment of Greenspan. In July 2003, Rep. Bernie Sanders of Vermont faced the Fed chairman across the table at a congressional hearing and said:

“Mr. Greenspan, I have long been concerned that you are way out of touch with the needs of the middle class and working families of our country, that you see your major function in your position as the need to represent the wealthy and large corporations … I think you just don’t know what’s going on in the real world. . . . You talk about an improving economy, while we have lost 3 million private sector jobs in the last two years. Long-term unemployment has more than tripled. . . . We have a $4 trillion national debt. 1.4 million Americans have lost their health insurance. Millions of seniors can’t afford prescription drugs. Middle class families can’t send their kids to college because they don’t have the money to do that.”

“Congressman”, Greenspan replied, “we have the highest standard of living in the world.”

“No, we do not,” insisted Sanders. “You go to Scandinavia, and you will find that people have a much higher standard of living, in terms of education, health care and decent paying jobs. Wrong, Mister.”

Not accustomed to having to defend his profundities, Greenspan could do no better than to counter with: “We have the highest standard of living for a country of our size.”8

This was quite a comedown from “in the world,” and inasmuch as the only countries of equal or larger population are China and India, with Indonesia being the fourth largest, Greenspan’s point is rather difficult to evaluate.

The idea that the United States has the highest standard of living in the world is one that is actually believed by numerous grownups in America, and most of them believe that this highest standard applies across the board. They’re only minimally conscious of the fact that whereas they’ve made extremely painful sacrifices to send a child to university, and they often simply can’t come up with enough money, and even if they can the child will be very heavily in debt for years afterward, in much of Western Europe university education is either free or eminently affordable; as it is in Cuba and was in Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

The same lack of awareness about superior conditions in other countries extends to health care, working hours, vacation time, maternity leave, childcare, unemployment insurance, and a host of other social and economic benefits.

In short, amongst the developed nations, the United States is the worst place to be a worker, to be sick, to seek a university education, to be a parent; or, in the land of two million incarcerated, to exercise certain rights or be a defendant in court.

To which the Chauncey Gardeners of America, including the one who used to sit in the Federal Reserve and the one presently sitting in the Oval Office, would say: “Duh! Whaddaya mean?”

The Rosenbergs As Heroes

John Gerassi, professor of political science at Queens College in New York City, recently wrote a letter to the New York Times:

To the Editor: NYT

In his “A Spy Confesses” (Week in Review 9/21), Sam Roberts claims that folks “fiercely loyal to the far left, believed that the Rosenbergs were not guilty . . .” I am and have always been, since my stint as a correspondent and editor in Latin America for Time and Newsweek, a “far leftist,” and I have never claimed the Rosenbergs were not guilty. Nor have any of my “far leftist” friends. What we always said, and what I repeat to my students every semester, is that “if they were guilty, they are this planet’s great heroes.” My explanation is quite simple: The US had a first-strike policy, the USSR did not (until Gorbachev). In 1952, the US military, and various intelligence services, calculated that a first strike on all Soviet silos would wipe out all but 6% of Russian atomic missiles (and, we now know, create enough radiation to kill us all). But those six percent would automatically be fired at US cities. The military then calculated what would happen if one made a direct hit on Denver (why they chose Denver and not New York or Washington was never explained). Their finding: 200,000 would die immediately, two million within a month. They concluded that it was not worth it. In other words, I tell my students, you were born and I am alive because the USSR had a deterrent against our “preventive” attack, not the other way around. And if it is true that the Rosenbergs helped the Soviets get that deterrent, they end up among the planet’s saviors.

– John Gerassi (moc.liamtohnull@issaregt)

It will not come as a great surprise to learn that the Times did not allow such thoughts to appear in their exalted pages.


  1. Tim Weiner, “Blank Check: The Pentagon’s Black Budget” (1990), p.149-50. []
  2. Washington Post, November 21, 1971. []
  3. Los Angeles Times, September 13, 1988, p.19. For further discussion of this issue, see Russ Bellant, “Old Nazis and the New Right: The Republican Party and Fascists,” Covert Action Information Bulletin (Washington, DC), #33, Winter 1990, p.27-31. []
  4. New York Times, October 3, 2008. []
  5. David Talbot, Salon.com, October 7, 2008. []
  6. John Dinges, The Huffington Post, October 24, 2008, based on a declassified US Embassy cable. []
  7. Washington Post, October 23, 2008. []
  8. House Financial Services Committee, July 15, 2003. []

William Blum is the author of: Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir, Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire. He can be reached at: bblum6@aol.com. Read other articles by William, or visit William's website.

13 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Ron Horn said on October 30th, 2008 at 9:54am #

    Great article, as always, by one of the most astute observers of US and international history and politics!

  2. Michael Kenny said on October 30th, 2008 at 10:04am #

    Mr Blum is right when he says that Gorbachev wanted to align the Soviet Union on Western Europe but he doesn’t go into why he wanted to do that.

    Communism died in Prague in 1968. After the repression of the Prague Spring, everybody, all over Europe, east and west, and most of all the young, my generation, realised that communism was just another form of fascism. Once the young turn their backs on anything, it is condemned to die of old age. Gorby was 37 in 1968. Thus, nearly 20 years before he came to power, Gorbachev and his generation realised that communism was a failure.

    The communist attempt to hijack the Portuguese revolution, which was ultimately blocked by the Catholic Church, gave people the idea as to how to overthrow the communist dictatorships and the obvious place to strike was the country where the Church was strongest: Poland!

    The supposed “stability”, i.e. the inability to evolve within the parameters of the system, was the very factor that brought about the downfall of the system! Civil society wanted change. The “end of history” mentality of the system didn’t allow for change. Ergo, the system had to go!

    The great blessing of all this is that communism was capitalism’s “crutch”. With communism gone, the same “end of history” mentality and its concomitant incapacity to adapt is bringing down US-dominated globalised, financialised capitalism. In its place, we in Europe at least will probably get the social democracy which comes naturally to most Europeans (including Gorbachev!).

  3. ron ridenour said on October 30th, 2008 at 1:59pm #

    Excellent piece, Bill. I can find nothing to disagree with you so I will simply offer praise, and one comment about the also excellent non-published letter about the Rosenbergs by John Gerassi. I have always meant the same as he about them: they were heroes regardless of their “guilt”. And, if they did pass on information to the Soviets that helped it become an atomic balance to the US of Amerikkka then they are the best heroes ever.

    I recall when ex-radical Ronald Radosh had his “The Rosenberg File: A search for the truth” published, in 1983–based largely on FBI sources–I was writing for In These Times from Denmark and Central America. I was appalled when editor James Weinstein wrote an editorial applauding the book’s finding that they were, indeed, “guilty” and thus traitors. He wrote, to the effect, that he had long thought they were but had protested the sentence of death, that is, murder. He was relieved now that the “truth” was out and he no longer had to feel any sense of support–something to that effect; my memory after 25 years fails me. But I clearly remember my anger and that I wrote to him in distress of his position and for applauding the turn-coat radical Radosh. I stopped writing for ITT, albeit it was one of very few more-decent-than not publications on the left.

    In solidarity, Ron

  4. Eddie said on October 30th, 2008 at 7:18pm #

    I don’t like revisionary history, I don’t like people who are informed and I don’t like people who lie. Which Blum’s practicing I’ll leave for others to judge. This is incorrect: “Governor Palin has accused Obama of “palling around with terrorists”, although Ayers’ association with the Weathermen during their period of carrying out anti-Vietnam War bombings in the United States took place when Obama was around 8-years-old. ”

    It is the Barack talking point, it is not true. Here are bombings Weather carried out via Third Estate:

    Marin County Courthouse bombed October 8, 1970 (Barack is nine)
    Traffic-court building in Queens bombed October 10, 1970
    Harvard Center for International Affairs is bombed October 14, 1970
    US Capitol building bombing March 1, 1971
    Office of California Prisons is bombed August 29, 1971 (when Barack is ten)
    NY Dept of Corrections (Albany, NY) is bombed September 17, 1971
    MIT bombed October 15, 1971
    Pentagon bombing comes in here on May 19, 1972
    103rd NYC Police Precinct bombed May 18, 1973 (Barack is now eleven)
    ITT NY headquarters is bombed September 28, 1973 (Barack is twelve)
    San Francisco Dept of Health, Education and Welfare is bombed March 6, 1974
    Office of Calif Attorney General bombed May 31, 1974
    Pittsburgh headquarters of Gulf Oil bombed June 17, 1974
    Anaconda Corp bombed September 11, 1974 (Barack is thirteen)
    The State Dept is bombed January 29, 1975
    NY’s Banco de Ponce is bombed June 16, 1975
    Kennecott Corporation is bombed September 1975 (Barack is fourteen)

    Also not true is that Weather was about ending the Vietnam War. Weather was about revolutionary change, revolutionary struggle. It is appalling to see so many on the left lie about what Weather stood for in order to elect Barack. It’s like stripping Emma Goldman of her history or watering her down. Accomplishments are accomplishments and history is history.

  5. Max Shields said on October 30th, 2008 at 7:34pm #

    Eddie,
    In general, I concur. This was, relative to the other pieces I’ve read from Blum, a very disappointing one.

    The whole issue is a duopoly red herring. First, while I do have an issue with you’re citing Obama’s age (it seems pedantic), I do think this is revisionist history. Judge the Weathermen and Ayers on their own “merits” which have absolutely nothing to do with Obama (there’s probably 6 degrees of separation between most of us and Adolf Hitler).

    Obama is, generally speaking a conservative Democrat. Ayers is whatever he’s become in the interim of the early 70′s and now (who cares other than the phony media and their mindless pundants and the Republican say-anything-got-to-get-elected-machine?).

    The whole issue is in accord with Obama being a socialist; and the equally ludicrous notion that pouring money into Wall Street is corporate socialism – that is an oxymoron which has nothing to do with socialism any more than poverty stricken rich people do.

    Instead of giving socialism a bad name by labeling Obama one, let’s just call Obama for what he is – a, perhaps, soon to be killer in the name of her majesties Manifest Destiny. And if not him the irksome McCain.

    The real issues are easy for most busy and uncomplicated people to figure out. As the song says: We don’t need a Weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.”

  6. Jason Paul Oberg said on October 30th, 2008 at 10:55pm #

    You know, the more I hear about Bill Ayers, the more I’m obliged to say: Good for him! Here was a man who believed in something and acted on it. If only we had people like this today. We’re way overdue for another 60′s. I sincerely believe that. In fact, considering the level of seething, pulsating evil we now have in the Pentagon, and in police stations, and in government and bureaucratic buildings nowadays, I say we’re in even greater need of people like Ayers now than in that time. In a time when the police were beating peaceful protesters to death in the streets regularly, not to mention what the blacks went through, why is everyone so up in arms about a guy who planted a few homemade wake-up calls in homebases for corruption and oppression? No wonder Americans are so willing to take a George Bush, a John McCain, a Barack Obama. We’ve been trained to sympathize with the enemy.

  7. Hylen Smurr said on October 31st, 2008 at 1:30pm #

    The McCain-Pinochet meeting was in 1985, not 1975 as you have it. Just a typo no doubt. Otherwise an excellent article. Keep up great work.

  8. Josie Michel-Brüning said on November 1st, 2008 at 7:01am #

    Appreciating this article as much as the others by William Blum – certainly my husband and I will quote it (translated into German) by letters to the editor, even if they will never be posted by German main stream press – I want to refer to Michael Kenny:
    “Communism died in Prague in 1968. After the repression of the Prague Spring, everybody, all over Europe, east and west, and most of all the young, my generation, realised that communism was just another form of fascism. Once the young turn their backs on anything, it is condemned to die of old age. Gorby was 37 in 1968. Thus, nearly 20 years before he came to power, Gorbachev and his generation realised that communism was a failure.”
    I can’t prove it by now, but, dear Michael, you can be sure, that there was an inteference between the spring in Prague (supported by the CIA then) and the kind of violence the military of the Soviet Union reacted on it.
    Apart from all failures communist leaders have committed, you cannot judge before regarding the interferences, the pressure they had to face by U.S. Super Power.
    I hope William Blum can prove it to you.
    Apart from that, from my point of view every “ism” or fanatically presented ideology is a failure.
    However, what is currently more important to me and many of my friends all over the world, we can’t trust in U.S. jurisdiction, the so called Common Law, to which justice seems to depend on what is “common” just now.
    The mentioned case of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg reminds us at the case of the “Cuban Five”. This violance of human and international rights is happening now. Their lawers are filing a petition to the Supreme Court by now. However, as all of us know, the Supreme has to be alarmed by public opinion for regarding a case at all.
    Please, dear Mr. Blum and all of you, inform your people about this case the world is looking at you.
    Sincerely, Josie

  9. heike said on November 1st, 2008 at 8:58am #

    Sorry, Genossin. Your unreconstructed DKP mental twists don’t hold water. “CIA supported Prague Spring.” You write incredible nonsense. Walter Ulbricht is dead and gone but his spirit still lives in your communist soul. Go look up the documents from 1968, many of which have been published, and try to find a single mention in the internal Soviet discussion about concern over “CIA interference.” You can’t. The Soviets did try a black operation by planting arms in western Bohemia and making it seem that the BND was cavorting with the Prague reformers. They were exposed by the CSSR minister of interior Josef Pavel. You insult the intelligence of millions of Czechs and Slovaks who wanted to live in a system that they controlled and where they would be as free to speak their minds as you are. The only pressure the Czechs and Slovaks faced was from the Soviet superpower, whose leaders conspired with local quislings to request the “Bruderliche Hilfe” behind the backs of the country’s own leadership. Actually, if anyone supported the Prague Spring, it was the reformist CPs of Western Europe (the DKP, a wholly owned subsidiary of the SED, was certainly not one of them)

    You also write utter nonsense about the cinco companeros. They were spies, plain and simply, sent by the DGI on a mission to the U.S called La Red Avispa.
    http://canf.org/2005/1es/historia/la-red-avispa-en-estados-unidos.htm

    I’d like to ask you what would happen to CIA spies sent to Cuba. They wouldn’t have to worry about visits by their spouses because they would have been sent to the wall without further ado. If you really cared about Cubans, you would direct your efforts to securing the freedom of Cubans who were sentenced to long prison terms because they dared to criticize El Barbudo or to demand freedoms in their country. And please, none of this scheiße about “they’re all CIA agents.”
    http://marcmasferrer.typepad.com/uncommon_sense/Group56.html

    AI has written extensively about the plight of prisoners of conscience in Cuba.
    http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?lang=e&id=ENGUSA20080317005

    If you haven’t seen it already, I suggest you watch “Das Leben Der Anderen,” which neatly sums up the hypocrisy of the Communist paradise which existed behind the Mauer in the “DDR.”

  10. Josie Michel-Brüning said on November 2nd, 2008 at 7:26am #

    Dear Heike,

    First of all: I am no “DKP-Genossin”. and I saw the film, “Das Leben der anderen”. Sorry for my poor English, but you can’t divide living into black and white: on one side the evil communists and on the other the good people. – Well, I am grown up and living still in Western Germany experiencing the local reality, for instance the reduction of social achievements after the Capitalism has won, learning by personal meetings with former citizens of the GDR, as well as DKP members living in Western Germany and learning by a lot of literature about former “Headquarters of the CIA” in Germany and elsewhere. Moreover, I don’t want to make conversation nor discuss with somebody aggressively defending prejudices and misinformations.
    The reason for my comment was the following:
    As it seems to me, the U.S. government cannot regard humanitarian reasons or international agreements, as for instance, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, nor their own constitution, if it comes to Cuba.
    Apart from that, Cuba complaint in 1999 3.478 dead people and 2.099 invalid people because of the terrorist attacks coming from U.S. territory carried out mainly by exile Cubans. That was why, the Cuban Five came into the USA – unarmed risking their lives, saving lives, not only those of their compatriots but also those of U.S. citizens.

    There is an U.S. law regarding the “defence of necessity”, but the U.S. government does not want to apply it to those “Cuban Spies” while neglecting the evidences, obviously, just because of revanchism and so called anti communism.
    They rather punished them repeatedly by arbitrary isolation confinements amounting to torture for overall 18 months and additionally, they still deny visitng rights for two wives of the Five, which is another kind of psychological torture, while neglecting their own constitution referring the protection of families, again. (s. http://www.freethefive.org )

    Apart from that: the first Christians were communist too, they condemned greed like Jesus did and wanted to share everything with each other.
    The Bush administration referred repeatedly to Christian believes, however, “You shall recognize them at their fruits.”, s. Matth. 7,16.

    Sincerely to all of you
    honestly seeking for truth, peace and justice
    those of “good will”
    Josie

  11. heike said on November 2nd, 2008 at 9:29am #

    You write and talk like a DKP Genossin does so why deny it? You use hypocritical double standards that deny the humanity of “dissident voices” in places like Cuba because its communist government is for you holy and untouchable. Why haven’t you written a single word in defense of the over 50 Cuban dissident voices rotting in that country’s jails? You hardly fit the bill for someone “honestly seeking for truth and justice.”

    Visiting rights for two of the wives were denied because they have committed acts of espionage against the U.S., which are grounds for making them ineligible for entry.

    Yes, communism has been responsible for millions of deaths in China, the USSR, and Eastern Europe. Why do you write that opposing these murderers is somehow immoral?

    You are clueless about what is going on in the world, a kind of Sarah Palin of the far Left with your ridiculous “it’s all a CIA plot” paranoia. You still haven’t answered my request for hard facts about “CIA support for the Prague Spring” because you simply have no facts. If you had the slightest morality, you would simply graciously admit you didn’t know a thing that you were talking about. YOU are truly the one who sees the world as black and white, so don’t accuse others of that sin!

    How many people were killed by your Cuban companeros because of the “armed struggle” against “capitalist imperialism”?

    Wenn Du kann nicht auf Englische schreiben, dann bitte schreib auf Deutsch!

  12. Josie Michel-Brüning said on November 3rd, 2008 at 3:56am #

    William Blum in 2001: “Cuba 1959 to present: Fidel Castro came to power at the beginning of 1959. A U.S. National Security Council meeting of 10 March 1959 included on its agenda the feasibility of bringing “another government to power in Cuba.” There followed 40 years of terrorist attacks, bombings, full-scale military invasion, sanctions, embargos, isolation, assassinations … Cuba had carried out The Unforgivable Revolution, a very serious threat of setting a “good example” in Latin America.
    The saddest part of this is that the world will never know what kind of society Cuba could have produced if left alone, if not constantly under the gun and the threat of invasion, if allowed to relax its control at home. The idealism, the vision, the talent, the internationalism were all there. But we’ll never know. And that of course was the idea.”
    I)n case of the “Cuban Five” you and your CANF fellow are producing martyrs.
    Espionage could never been proved by anybody, read the opinions auf the judges at http://www.freethefive.org .
    We are aware of the case since the very artcle about their arrested was posted by “Miami Herald” on September 14, 1998.

  13. heike said on November 3rd, 2008 at 7:41am #

    Sweetheart, you’re really digging the bottom of the barrel if you think Genosse Blum is some kind of objective source about anything. He is wrong on so many things, one could write a book about them.

    You waste my time because I have to do research for you that you’re incapable of doing on your own. From Irving Louis Horowitz, “Cuban Communism 1959-1995″ New York: Transaction Publishers, 1995.
    p.87:
    “It must now be agreed that the argument is critically flawed. The March 1959 decision never happened.”

    No matter how much lipstick you put on these DGI pigs, they are still pigs. Thanks hon, I have nothing to do with the CANF. Are you really nuts? Cuba under the constant threat of invasion? Who”‘s stopping Castro from “relaxing control at home”?

    Actually, Liebschen, your Cuban companeros are the ones who are trying to wreak havoc all over the world:

    http://cubapolidata.com/2008/08/19/cuban-espionage-threat-to-the-americas/

    And why do you lie in your website about the true nature of the Wasp Network? These guys were no boy scouts.

    http://www.america.gov/st/pubs-english/2008/June/20070712120209atlahtnevel0.7962915.html

    And if you are so enamored of the Miami Herald, I dare you to print this article on your website:

    http://www.cubastudygroup.org/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=3710&Month=7&Year=2008

    You still haven’t responded to my other points, including why you refuse to champion the cause of political prisoners in Cuba, or why you are so butt-headed in insisting that the Prague Spring was “supported by the CIA,” so you have lost your argument by default.