Perhaps President Trump thinks that by further destroying the freedom of the American people to travel and spend money in Cuba, he can ingratiate himself with the national-security establishment in the hopes they will lay off him with their Russia meddling investigation. Regardless, Trump’s actions are not only a classic throwback to the old Cold War, when the Pentagon and the CIA filled everyone with a deep fear of communism and the Soviet Union, they also demonstrate the rank hypocrisy that has infected U.S. interventionist foreign policy since the advent of the U.S. national-security state after World War II.
In a speech last week to a Cuban American crowd in Miami that could easily have been made scrimped from some old Cold War speech in 1965, Trump reminded the crowd that Cuba is ruled by a communist dictatorship, one that will not permit elections, suppresses free speech, incarcerates dissidents, and violates civil liberties. When the communist regime reforms, Trump told the crowd, then Americans will finally be free to travel to Cuba and spend money there.
Really? Then what about Vietnam? That’s a communist regime, one that, in fact, killed some 58,000 American men after the U.S. national-security state invaded that country to keep the United States and South Vietnam from going Red. That communist regime does all the things that the communist regime in Cuba does.
How come, then, the U.S. government has normal relations with the commies in Vietnam?
In fact, the hypocrisy is even worse than that. Take a look at this picture. It shows the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, saluting and paying respects to Vietnamese communist troops three years ago. Did you ever think you’d see the day when something like that would happen? I wonder how many U.S. soldiers who were sacrificed for nothing in Vietnam turned over in their graves when Dempsey did that.
What was Dempsey doing in Vietnam paying homage to communist troops? He was serving as a U.S. military diplomat, trying to establish closer ties between the Pentagon and the Vietnamese Reds. In fact, according to the article in which the photograph appeared, the U.S. government was even considering selling arms to the Vietnamese communist regime and engaging in in a military partnership with the commies.
The natural question arises: If communist tyranny in Cuba is justification for Trump’s renewal of hostilities against Cuba (and on the freedom of the American people), what gives with the lovey-dovey attitude toward the communist regime in Vietnam?
And let’s not forget: Vietnam is not the only totalitarian regime that the Pentagon, the CIA, and the rest of the national-security establishment respect, partner with, and support. Consider Egypt, which has long been governed by one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world, one that does the same things that Cuba’s communist regime does.
Why do the Pentagon and the CIA love Egypt’s dictatorship, supply it with weaponry, and make it a U.S. partner and ally? Two reasons: The big one is: The Egyptian regime will do the bidding of the U.S. government in international affairs. The smaller one is: The Egyptian regime is a right-wing military dictatorship and the Pentagon and the CIA have long loved right-wing military dictatorships.
The same holds true, of course for the U.S. government’s embrace of the dictatorships in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, and Bahrain, and many others.