by Greg Godels, published on Ziggy’s Blog, February 2, 2022
Cuba, a country with a population roughly the size of Paris, France, poses no threat to the United States, except in the minds of the deranged. Yet there is a remarkable number of “deranged” people populating the upper echelons of US government officialdom, the foreign policy academy, and the media.
Given that Cuba has a military largely armed with, at its best, late Soviet-era armaments, the idea of any military threat to the US is ludicrous.
Nor does Cuba have any binding mutual defense pact with any great power.
What Cuba does have is a citizenry organized and impassioned to defend the country’s integrity and independence.
So, we must conclude that the virulent hostility that the US government has shown since the revolution until today comes from tiny Cuba’s audacity, the audacity to insist upon its unflinching, uncompromising independence.
With a long and well documented history of obsessive US intervention in Cuban affairs– from the ludicrous to the outrageous– it should be clear that Cuba is a constantly irritating mote in its giant Northern neighbor’s eye.
From unending, James Bond-inspired assassination attempts on the revolution’s venerated leader, Fidel Castro Ruz, to criminal, false-flag operations jeopardizing, even potentially taking the lives of US citizens, as proposed by the US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (Operation Northwoods), the US has shown no restraint in seeking to remove that mote.
With very few exceptions, the US ruling class has been united and unabashed in its demented determination to overthrow the Cuban government. Well over half a century of a cruel, inhuman economic blockade attests to the perfidy of the US government, its office holders, and apologists.
When called out by public UN resolutions condemning the illegal blockade, most US allies vote against it; yet, none dare defy the US and break it– a shameful, disgusting stain on their cowardly leaders of every conventional political persuasion.
When we think that US policymakers have reached the limits of insane depravity toward Cuba, they reach beyond that limit. In 2017, the US government concocted the “Havana Syndrome,” a mysterious Flash Gordon-like death ray that Cuba uses to incapacitate only those who represent US interests, leaving others untouched.
While this absurd claim should evoke some doubts from even the most gullible, the US (and European) media pounced on the story like it was bloody red meat.
Even after headaches, dizziness, and anxiety “struck” stalwart US officials in such diverse and seemingly unrelated places as Peoples’ China, Russia, Taiwan, Austria, Poland, Georgia, Russia, Serbia, Colombia, Vietnam, Geneva, and Paris, the media and the State Department saw a deep conspiracy. A support group, Advocacy for Victims of Havana Syndrome was founded. A Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks Act was passed by our caring Congress and signed by President Biden in October.
For over five years of relentless fear-mongering, we have been led to believe that Cuba and possibly her malicious friends are in possession of a powerful new weapon that could distress the heroic efforts of US agents of imperialism.
But now we are told by a no-less-authoritative source than the Central Intelligence Agency that the “Havana Syndrome” was not likely caused by US foes. Quoting the noticeably disappointed Wall Street Journal, “Instead, the agency concluded that other medical conditions, stress or unexplained factors could be behind the ailments…”
Another fable of imperialism exposed, yet the fantasy will persist.
The same hysteria purveyors who have for decades abused tiny Cuba with serial lies are now turning their attention on giant Peoples’ China (PRC).
Recognizing that the PRC is today an economic rival and a relatively independent force with a significant military and its own foreign policy, the guardians of the empire have focused their security scrutiny on those of Chinese descent who are working and living in the US. One such unfortunate person, a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT and former head of his department, was arrested and accused of lying on an application for a US Department of Energy grant in 2017.
Gang Chen was charged in January, 2021 with failing to reveal information required on his Energy Department grant application and failing to report money received from Chinese institutions ($19 million!).
The problem with the FBI’s investigation and their xenophobic dragnet was that Professor Chen’s Energy Department application did NOT require him reveal the information allegedly withheld. Furthermore, the money allegedly received by Chen was in actuality a GRANT awarded to MIT from the PRC’s Southern University of Science and Technology.
Chen’s tragic story is part of a 2018 “China Initiative” undertaken by the US Department of Justice to ferret out spies, saboteurs, and other nefarious agents of People’s China bent on taking unfair advantage of the US, its research facilities, and universities. Implicit in the initiative is the understanding that the PRC is catching or overtaking the US in technological innovation, explicitly 5G networks. Thus was born a racist and nationalistic witch hunt of academics, students, and researchers of Chinese ethnicity.
Thousands have been investigated, with few convictions but lots of disrupted lives, discredited careers, and an experience “traumatic and deeply disillusioning” in the words of the exonerated Gang Chen. The US is finally dropping the charges after a year of public pillorying.
The unwarranted harassment of both Chinese Americans and Chinese nationals mirrors the anti-Communist witch hunts of the 1950s and the accompanying illegalities committed by the FBI, all in the service of bolstering a rabid anti-PRC foreign policy.
After five years of scandalizing Cuba’s good name and nearly four years of demonizing Chinese and Chinese American academics, US officials have recognized their folly. Of course, irreparable damage has been done.
To read the universally compliant US capitalist media, Russia has amassed 100,000 troops on the border of Ukraine and is waiting for the moment– frozen turf, a false-flag operation, an inadequate US response, a provocation, etc.– to cross the border and march on Kyiv. The figure of 100,000 appears constantly without even a cautious media challenge. Where does the number come from? What does it mean?
Russian intentions are never questioned by US talking heads. “Putin is evil” replaces serious analysis.
Russian interests in the confrontation are never explained. The betrayal of US, Western, and NATO promises to refrain from eastern expansion go unmentioned or derided. And aggressive moves by the Eastern European extreme nationalists– Poland and the Baltic states– are whitewashed as defensive.
The entire establishment– politicians, academics, think-tankers, NGO directors, newspaper editors and their toadies, celebrities, etc.– are united in predicting an imminent invasion of Ukraine by Russian hordes. All march in step with the State Department press releases crafted by the Russia-haters, Blinken and Nuland.
The feverish campaign reached its most absurd moment with the phone call from US President Biden to Ukraine President Zelensky warning of a fast-approaching barbarian invasion and the “sacking” of Kyiv. The next day, Zelensky asked the Western press to report Ukrainian calm and to tone down the imminent-war rhetoric.
Few in the West have noticed the President and State Department’s inconsistency. On the one hand, they project an Eastern European apocalypse and on the other hand, they propose no serious military deterrent on the part of the US or NATO. Instead, Biden’s administration harps on Trump-like sanctions aimed at the Russian economy and, not least of all, its energy sector.
If oil was a motivating factor in US foreign policy activism in the 1980s and 1990s, then natural gas is a decisive motivating factor today. Where the US was determined to secure oil resources in the past, energy independence and the fracking revolution motivate US policy makers to secure natural gas markets today.
In essence, the US is baiting the Russians into actions that will encourage the Europeans to reject their dependence upon cheap Russian natural gas. Instead, they want Europe to rely on expensive US liquified natural gas, a change that Europeans have, so far, resisted. War hysteria is meant to frighten the Europeans into rejecting the nearly completed Nord Stream pipeline and, instead, build costly liquified natural gas terminals to accept US gas. Thus, the underlying strategy is economic– a not-so-subtle bullying of Europe into aligning with US economic interests.
The goal is to restart the botched, over invested, badly managed fracking revolution that would now ride the tide of high energy prices.
The French and German leadership understand this gambit and have tactfully urged negotiation. The Germans, in particular, recognize the dangerous consequences for their economy. Their recent commitment to move away from nuclear energy and coal, leave their export-driven industries vulnerable to natural gas prices.
While visiting an Indian think tank, the German naval chief, Schönbach, recently spoke candidly of the confrontation in Eastern Europe, urging discussion and “respect” for President Putin. Though a voice of moderation and, no doubt, reflecting a broad section of European opinion, NATO hardliners forced his resignation.
Clearly, the Biden administration is fishing in troubled waters, exploiting unjustified fears of Russian aggression to advance narrow economic goals: natural gas sales and military-armament production and sales. Unfortunately, the dangers of violent confrontation are only multiplied by the boot-licking by many European leaders and the media. Much hinges on how the Russians weigh their options. They, too, have narrow interests, opportunists, and warmongers.
All wars based on lies end tragically.