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Cuba

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I frequently criticize the mainstream media for not writing about things that are boring and depressing. And yet, I found Israel’s pummeling of the Gaza Strip to be boring and depressing, so I’ve barely mentioned it, other than suggesting some technical defensive solutions that Israel could try to counter the not-terribly-frightening threat of Gaza-launched flying pipebombs that turned out to be, according to better-informed commenters, not terribly feasible.

In contrast, I wrote much about Israel’s fight with Hezbollah in 2006 because then there was a media mania for demanding that America take up the 51st State’s burden and go start a war with Iran to help out Israel.

We Americans appear to have made a lot of progress since 2006 in grasping that Israel is actually a foreign country, and that Israel has its own national interests which are by no means identical with our national interests. Of course, that hardly implies that the U.S. should be active on the side of Israel’s enemies, either.

I recognize that Israel faces a difficult strategic situation, and I’m not that motivated to either condemn or commend what it does, so long as it doesn’t drag the U.S. along with it. Now that there is some indication that Israeli influence over the U.S. is beginning to slip (thanks due to the ugliness of the Gaza attack, the embarrassment of Bernie Madoff, but no thanks to Obama’s appointments — Obama’s thinking on the Israeli Lobby’s power, like his thinking on much else is so 2007), I’m not in the mood to kick Israel when it’s down.

Realistically, U.S. policy will remain tilted in favor of Israel due to the power of the domestic Jewish lobby, just as U.S. policy has been tilted against Cuba due to the power of the domestic Cuban exile lobby. The important thing, more critical than our foreign policy, is that we here in America be free to publicly discuss why our foreign policy is biased toward Israel. That has been true regarding our bias against Cuba, but not, at least until very recently, regarding Israel.

Last summer, I outlined in VDARE.com a realist approach to thinking about America’s relationship with Israel in “The Cuban Compromise: A Sustainable Model for the Jewish Lobby,” which suggested that Americans should agree to Israel’s fundamental interests in the same manner as America has treated the Cuban exile lobby’s interests — allowing Israel to push around the Palestinians, and a guarantee of refugee status for Israelis in the U.S. if the worst should somehow happen to Israel; on the other hand, America would not fight Israel’s wars for it and, most importantly, Americans would be free to describe and criticize the power of the Jewish lobby.

I haven’t seen anything since that has caused me to change my mind.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Cuba, Israel 
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One theory for why states and cities are raising their high school graduation requirements (Los Angeles now requires passing Algebra II to graduate) is that they are hoping to persuade their dumber students to move somewhere less demanding, and keep people with dumb kids from moving to the state in the first place. For example, Arizona now has much easier high school graduation requirements than California, so it would be smart for families with not so bright kids to relocate, and it would be smart for Mexicans planning to sneak into America to choose Arizona, where their kids are more likely to become high school graduates, than California.

The theory isn’t very plausible, however, because there’s little evidence that California’s politicians and educators are smart enough to understand it.

You might, however, someday see politicians in, say, New Hampshire devising ways to get illegal immigrants to live in Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts even while working in NH.

That reminds me that I wouldn’t be surprised to see the following happen:

Imagine you were a fairly young man relatively high up in the rather geriatric Cuban Communist dictatorship. You are content to bide your time until Fidel and Raul are gone, but you intend to then emerge as the Deng of a prosperous post-Communist Cuba. And you intend to enjoy that role for a long time.

As you survey post-Communist transitions, you note the sad case of East Germany, where Communism badly dented the formerly famous Protestant work ethic, leaving economic malaise even two decades later.

Cuba is in even worse shape culturally and morally: huge subsidies and tiny wages mean that Cuba is now full of welfare bums and hustlers who won’t take jobs.

Think of how much easier everything would be for you as El Presidente of capitalist Cuba if you could just get rid of the bottom quarter of your population.

You aren’t a cruel man. You don’t wish the Cuban parasite class ill. You just want them to go be parasites on somebody else, somebody who is big, rich, and only 90 miles away.

Fidel made many mistakes, but he was a clever man, never more so than in 1980, when some political dissidents took refuge in a foreign embassy, hoping for asylum in America. Fidel made lemonade out of lemons by not only letting the political prisoners go, but by emptying his prisons of all the real criminals too, dumping them on Uncle Sam in the Mariel boatlift.

Could you pull off something like that anew? Could America be fooled twice?

Say you started rounding up all the welfare mothers and pimps as “anti-Communist wreckers.” The Cubans in Miami would soon be up in arms (it would help to schedule this right before a Presidential election). Finally, you could relent and let a million bums sail for America in a Dunkirk like exodus, where they would be granted asylum as soon as they landed. The Wall Street Journal would write rapturous editorials about it.

You really think Americans are smart enough not to fall for this trick twice?

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
 
• Tags: Cuba 
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From my new VDARE.com column:

The Cuban Compromise—A Sustainable Model for The Jewish Lobby

Steve Sailer

Two quotable quotes:

neoconservatives—people like Joe Lieberman and the crowd over at Commentary—plumped for this war, and now for an e ven more foolish assault on Iran, raised the question of divided loyalties: using U.S. military power, U.S. lives and money, to make the world safe for Israel.”

Joe Klein, Time, June 24, 2008

“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. … Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite [foreign nation]

—George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

(Links helpfully added by VDARE.COM).

As survivors of one of the great historical crimes of the mid-20th Century, this American ethnic group has gained a veto power over American foreign policy toward their historical homeland—with seriously detrimental impact on America’s reputation in that important part of the world.

Moreover, out of concern for their co-ethnics abroad, they have obtained strong influence over America’s immigration and refugee policy.

I’m talking, of course, about … Cuban-Americans!

Who’d you think I was talking about?

The best thing about Cuban political power in America is that you’re free to talk about it. (Well, at least outside of Miami.) Heck, Cubans want you to talk about how much clout they have. It makes them seem stronger than they may actually be.

Moreover, they are upfront about their motivations. If you say, duh.”

Do Cuban-Americans display

Well, first, let’s toss in all the caveats about the diversity within any ethnic group.

That said, the answer is, more or less: Sure.

(Cuban-Americans are seldom loyal to the present government of Cuba, of course. Instead, they tend to be loyal to their vision of the future government of Cuba.)

Is this pattern of Cubans promoting Cuban ethnic interests through our political system good for America as a whole? Probably not. But it has been so narrowly focused that it hasn’t been a disaster for the country.

American policy toward Cuba has been knuckleheaded, but less so than Castro’s policy toward Cuba. Only this year, for example, Fidel’s brother Raul finally allowed microwave ovens to be sold in Cuba—three decades after they went on sale in the free world!

The relevant point: any single foreign country, even one as nearby as Cuba, isn’t all that important to America’s national interest.

What is important is that our political and intellectual life not be sapped by a single ethnic group’s determination to promote its interests at any cost. The Cuban-Americans have played by the rules, at least on the national stage (as opposed to in Miami, where they’ve intimidated local critics). They’ve won on the trade embargo through reasonably open and transparent activism because they just care more about it than anybody else does.

Most importantly, Cubans don’t inflict on the national debate their intellectual paranoia about slippery slopes. Lenin said: must say B.” By this logic, nobody can be allowed to say A. Fortunately, Cubans aren’t obsessive or powerful enough to impose this kind of reasoning on the rest of the country.

For example, you can write subprime mortgage meltdown shows the need for more government regulation of the financial industry,” without fear of being shouted out of the Main Stream Media by all the Cubans in important positions in the business who worry that if anybody is allowed to say that in public, it will inevitably lead to the government expropriating the sugar plantations and banning the sale of microwave ovens.

Perhaps some anti-Castro Cubans would like to ban all criticism, no matter how tangential. But they don’t have the mojo to impose their taboos on the rest of American society.

Similarly, on immigration, Cuban-American political muscle has mostly been exerted to get special treatment for Cubans, rather than to open our borders in general.

[More]

By the way, if you want to be able to keep reading articles on VDARE.com like this that you can’t many other places, please help VDARE’s summer fundraising drive.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
 
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Currently, every Cuban who manages to set foot on American soil is eligible for refugee status. Is this American law contingent on Cuba not letting most people leave? Or is it still applicable if Raul Castro threw open the gates tomorrow and a few million Cubans headed for Florida?

Cuba has an enormous number of unemployed welfare bums. If a Cuban Deng took over intending to capitalize the place, it would be very tempting to do a Mariel boatlift and dump the bottom million or two Cubans on America.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Cuba, Immigration 
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Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, VDARE.com columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.


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