After the Obama-Vatican Follies, U.S. security is worse off, and Cuba Libre is still only a cocktail

We now have another reason to be thankful for the presidency of Barack Obama. Not only has he taught us the danger to the republic of electing a violence-provoking racist and tyrant to the presidency, but, on Cuba, Obama — with his similarly hapless and delusional sidekick Pope Francis — has ensured the survival of the Castros’ rule and thereby has shown Americans that all of the bipartisan U.S. foreign-policy elite’s endlessly boring and intellectually bankrupt rhetoric about universal human rights is nothing more than intervention-justifying and war-causing cant.

And that demonstration is long past due. Foreign policy is always about America’s life-and-death material interests and should never have anything to do with morality. Whether a “moral,” and therefore interventionist, foreign policy is conducted in the name of secularism, freedom, democratization, human rights, humanitarian concerns, women’s rights, or any other kind of crackpot universal right the bipartisan interventionists dream up for the U.S. military to install overseas, it always yields the same things — war, defeat, dead and maimed Americans, and bankruptcy for the United States.

Cuba, of course, is a country that is wrecked, and, in and of itself, is no threat to the United States. The Castro brothers and their murderous apparatchiks have run its economy into the ground and have maintained what amounts to an island-wide prison for the Cuban people and a refuge for those individuals and nations opposed to the United States. It is emblematic of Obama’s deranged mind that he welcomes the continued maintenance of the Castros’ Cuba-wide prison/refuge, but is obsessed with closing the easy-going, well-appointed prison American citizens have paid for at Guantanamo to pamper those who have tried to kill them and will do so again as soon as Obama and Eric Holder can find a way to release them. Clearly, Obama, being an aspiring tyrant himself, has no qualms about helping out his fellow tyrants in Havana. After all, they have been at the tyranny business for a long time and so probably have a lot to teach Obama and the Democratic Party about the glories of eliminating liberty and enslaving people in a one-party state.

But the truth is that the de-Castroization of Cuba is the sole business and responsibility of the Cuban people, not of Americans. If Cubans cannot find a way to achieve their unshackling and then slowly and painfully murder the Castro brothers and their gang, and afterwards draw and quarter them, then that is their problem.

The negative rub of recognition for U.S. security, on the other hand, lies in the fact that Obama’s new policy comes in the face of the near-certainty that the Cuban regime currently hosts large Chinese and Russian SIGINT facilities that allow Moscow and Beijing to intercept U.S. government, business, and personnel communications inside the United States and from the United States to the outside world. So far as media reporting shows, Obama apparently did not demand that these facilities be closed in return for fulfilling his ardor to embrace and prolong another tyranny, like those he proudly joined in the renewed interventionist war in Iraq. One supposes that Obama figures there is no harm in Russian and Chinese tyrants listening to Americans and their activities and plans when his own lawless regime already is doing the same thing.

The most important point here is that the United States should never cut diplomatic relations with any country for so-called “moral reasons” and then impose sanctions on it. We must revert to the Founders’ policy of recognizing and dealing with any country whose government effectively controls its territory and does not cause more than the average amount of trouble in the relatively few areas of international relations that are pertinent to genuine U.S. security interests. By maintaining a diplomatic presence in a foreign country, the U.S. government is able to deal immediately and face-to-face with bilateral problems as they arise; it can gather intelligence about the host state far more effectively; it can work to suborn the country’s citizens to conduct treasonous activities that benefit America’s interests; and it is in a position to conduct covert operations against the host government if the president so orders. It is a matter of simple common sense to acknowledge that the United States benefits from having a small diplomatic presence in all countries, and a larger one in those who are real, potential, or imagined enemies. Not to have such a presence is to intentionally blind ourselves — as we did in Cuba for a half-century and as Obama did by ending the rendition and interrogation programs — and thereby threaten genuine national interests by opening the door to unexpected and unpleasant events.

Sanctions, too, should be avoided. They are, of course, acts of offensive war that strong powers impose only on weak powers that cannot respond in any equal manner; in realistic terms, sanctions rather than terrorist attacks are the preferred tools of cowards. Sanctions seldom if ever work, except if “working” is defined as causing a war and hurting the sanctioned population. Under a sanctions regime, the ruling elite of the targeted country is not hurt, but the average citizens that the U.S. government and its allies sobbingly claim to be helping by imposing sanctions become worse off. Western sanctions, for example, are said to have killed 600,000 Iraqis — mostly children — while Saddam and his colleagues continued to wallow in tyranny and debauchery. Faced with this issue, Secretary of State Albright said that Washington believed the impact of the Iraq sanctions was “worth it.” That statement pretty much speaks for itself, but it leaves one to continue to wonder why Democrats, and particularly female Democrats, glory in and boast about the murder of untold numbers of children at home and abroad.

Obama’s recognition of Cuba is worthless in terms of what he and Pope Francis call a “humanitarian concern” for the Cuban people. They will continue to suffer economically and will gain little or no liberty. Simultaneously, the Castros, their fellow thugs, and the businessmen they favor will thrive on the hard currency earned from expanded tourism and the export of such high-end luxury goods as cigars and rum. Obama’s recognition of Cuba would have been worthwhile, from the U.S.-interest perspective, if he had: (a) affected the immediate and permanent closure of any Russian and Chinese SIGINT sites that are now operating on the island; (b) made arrangements to halt the Cuban regime’s role in narcotics and people trafficking; and (c) if he had cleared the way for a substantial enough U.S. diplomatic/intelligence presence there to ensure the collection of first-hand information and to be able to help kill the Castro regime if a U.S. president finds it necessary to do so. Because it appears that he secured none of these things, Obama’s recognition of the Castros leaves U.S. national security as or more vulnerable than it was beforehand. It also will earn a courteous thank you note to Obama from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Ayman al-Zawahiri for once again showing the mujahideen and all of the Muslim world that America is always on the side of tyranny.

All in all, another typical day’s unrealistic and effeminate work for President Obama and Pope Francis, both of whom seem willing to risk the lives and welfare of their own and other peoples on the basis of a “hope” that things may improve for all. Although he lived and worked millennia ago, the Greek historian Thucydides warned against the actions of men like Obama and Pope Francis when he wrote that a nation ought never trust its security to “hope, which is the prop of the desperate …”

Author: Michael F. Scheuer

Michael F. Scheuer worked at the CIA as an intelligence officer for 22 years. He was the first chief of its Osama bin Laden unit, and helped create its rendition program, which he ran for 40 months. He is an American blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst.