Disingenuous political talk and tomfoolery

First Published: 2006-06-30

For anyone in doubt, the message of the "Anti-American Radical Left" appears to be alive and well in the Bahamas. For evidence of this one needs only to have read Andrew Allen's column in The Tribune of May 22nd "We need to have an embassy in Cuba."

The author attacked Hubert Ingraham for saying that if elected, he would downgrade the new Bahamian Embassy in Havana to a consular office. He characterized Hubert Ingraham's comments as being "disingenuous political talk", "political tomfoolery" and "Uncle Tommery."

The basis for these charges was that the Bahamas has recreational, educational and commercial business with Cuba that justifies an embassy rather than a consular office. Mr. Allen does this without supplying any cost/benefit analysis of the alternatives. Perhaps this is too much to expect.

But the author goes beyond this and accuses Mr. Ingraham of acting as a lackey of the U.S. in the long standing Cuban/U.S. conflict. Let's examine his argument.

The author advances two "fundamental truths." The first is the allegation that the U.S. cannot criticize Cuba because it is retaining "un-convicted people" at Guantanamo Bay. This is not a "fundamental truth" but a gross distortion.

The United States is at war with Islamic Radicals; and it has taken prisoners that it will keep until hostilities have ceased. This is how war is conducted.

Today's Islamic Radicals want to:

* "Impose Islamic law – Sharia – on the entire world as the necessary condition of its purification and redemption" (1)

Sharia is very complex and has varied historically and geographically in its interpretation and application. One source describes it as "a universal declaration of the freedom of man from servitude to other men and from servitude to his own desires, which is also a form of human servitude; it is a declaration that sovereignty belongs to God alone." (2)

Today's militant Islamic fundamentalists trace their origins to the 1920s. This movement was re-defined by the Ayatollah Khomeini after the fall of the Shah, by Osama bin Laden after the defeat of Russia in Afghanistan and by Yasser Arafat with the "Infitada" following his rejection of the Oslo peace accords. Those accords would have normalized relations between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

* Use the "power of the state and violent means to eliminate private property and thereby usher in the millennium." (3) Literally, the radicals believe that the defeat of America and capitalism will eliminate the need for Islamic fanatics to be Islamic and fanatic. This is the counterpart to the old Communist dream that the destruction of capitalistic institutions by any means possible would produce a Socialist Utopia.

* Identify the United States as the Grand Satan…the source of all that is "wrong" in the world. Hence, the attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001. The latter was staged by nineteen 15th Century styled "assassins" intending to incinerate 50,000 innocent civilians. They committed suicide to advance the Muslim cause and secure their own eternal life with 72 virgins in Allah's garden.

And…consistent with such purpose, conspiracy theories have flourished ever since in the Arab media stating that Arabs and Muslims were not involved in the attack on the World Trade Center. Rather the "U.S. government and/or Jews/Israel are the true culprits." While it should be no surprise that a militant and fundamentalist state like Iran promotes such a lie, Egypt and Saudi Arabia also publicly support it. (4)

There has been no indication whatsoever that the Islamic Radicals have had a change of heart or that the war is over. Thus Andrew Allen's first "fundamental truth" is a callous suggestion of American wrong doing, an example of "disingenuous political talk and tomfoolery."

The second "fundamental truth" stated by Mr. Allen is that "we cannot judge Cuba on Human Rights" because we do not know "how Cuba would treat its citizens if it were not subjected to an ongoing campaign of U.S. intimidation, destabilization and blockade. It has simply never had an opportunity to show its real character."

In 1959 well before the U.S. showed any animosity toward Cuba, Fidel Castro described his guiding principles in a colorful way…he claimed to be a watermelon, green on the outside and red on the inside. Today Cuba and North Korea are the two remaining "Stalinist dictatorships" in the world with all the repressive institutions and governance associated with such dictatorships. The rights and freedoms enunciated in the thirty articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948 were denied by Fidel Castro in 1959 and 46 years later nothing has changed.

Andrew Allen's second "fundamental truth" is sheer speculation…another example of "disingenuous political talk and tomfoolery."

But…Andrew Allen is an articulate and educated Bahamian. This leads one to speculate on what is going on. Simply put…Andrew's "fundamental truths" suggest that he embraces the new anti-American radicalism that is rampant in the world.

A good example of this radicalism is the U.N. World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance that met in South Africa ten days before the 9/11 attacks. (5) This conference of Governments and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) mounted a concerted attack on three democracies, the United States, Great Britain and Israel. This attack was led by Yasser Arafat, Fidel Castro and representatives from Iran, Iraq and the Arab league.

The three democracies…they alone…were condemned for "alleged racism, historical involvement in slavery and colonialism."

Slavery existed for the entire period of recorded history and was eliminated in the 19th and 20th centuries…even in the Arab world…largely by the direct efforts of Great Britain.

The United States is condemned because the civil rights of slaves and women were not secured at the time of the nation's founding. That is true; but the implementation at that time would have made the union of the 13 states impossible. Nationhood took precedence. The critical confrontation on racial equality occurred with the Civil War (1861-65) at a cost of 600,000 lives and in the civil rights legislation a century later. In contrast, the persistence of slavery and genocide in Africa 50 years after the end of colonialism went unmentioned at the UN Conference.

Furthermore, the anti-Semitism both inside and outside the Conference became so intense that Colin Powell, the U.S. representative, withdrew from the conference. However, the U.S. NGOs did not; the most notable of these were the ALCU and the NAACP. Yes…the "Anti-American Radical Left" is at work both within and outside the United States. It is a strange alliance of anti-Americanism mixed with varying amounts of anti-corporatism, anti-capitalism and anti-globalism. It is "nihilism", a destructive force without a constructive component.

Andrew Allen described the predicament that the Bahamas faces…a very small country wedged between two contending larger countries. The above analysis suggests that Hubert Ingraham was not engaging in "disingenuous political talk and tomfoolery." Assuming that a consular office is necessary and can handle the present diplomatic workload, it would appear that he was simply proposing the more prudent alternative.

The Nassau Institute

(1) David Horowitz, Unholy Alliance, Regenery, 2004, page 124.

(2) Paul Berman, Terror and Liberalism, W. W. Norton & Company, 2003.

(3) Horowitz, page 129.

(4) The Middle East Media Research Center, Special Report – No. 33, Three Years Later – The Arab and Iranian Media Commemorate 9/11, September 9, 2004, page 1.

(5) Horowitz, page 147.

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