Myanmar

Presidents And Dictatorships: Double Standard Of Critics Of Obama Change Of Cuban Policy

Presidents of the United States deal with reality, not what they might wish was so.

America has had diplomatic relations with all sorts of terrible people who govern the world’s nations over time.

Latin American dictatorships, including those of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba; Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic; the Duvalier dynasty, father and son, in Haiti; Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua; and military dictatorships in all of the South American nations at different times, have been accepted by American Presidents.

Our Presidents have dealt with Asian dictatorships, including China beginning with Richard Nixon; and with Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Vietnam, South Korea for decades, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan and the former Soviet Republics, now independent, but almost all of them dictatorships.

We have dealt with the Arab nations of the Middle East and with Iran under the Shah, despite their harsh dictatorships.

We have had dealings with African dictatorships of all stripes, including South Africa under Apartheid; and the brutal governments of much of the continent.

Somehow, Cuba has been seen differently, when the governments of many of the world’s nations has been far worse in their oppression than Fidel and Raul Castro.

This is not saying that Fidel and Raul Castro cannot, rightfully, be condemned for their human rights violations, but if human rights was the guide, we would not have any diplomatic relations or trade with 80 percent of the world!

When Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and the two Presidents Bush have embraced, and even endorsed, dictators, it was always seen as no big deal, but when Barack Obama opens up to Cuba after 54 years, it is perceived as a crime of massive proportions, while we willingly accepted the previous harsh dictatorship in Cuba of Batista and his henchmen!

Hypocrisy anyone?

The Obama Doctrine: Uphold Values Of Human Life By Intervening To Stop Massacres Overseas!

President Obama tonight gave a speech at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, DC, justifying American intervention in Libya as part of an international force to prevent a massacre of civilians in that civil war.

Obama called it a basic principle of the United States that we should oppose all violations of human rights when it involves the likelihood of mass murder by a deranged dictator who does not value human life, and is only too willing to conduct mass operations against civilians in large numbers.

This is a direct contradiction of what the United States did in the past: failure by Woodrow Wilson to intervene in the Armenian Massacre by Turkey in 1915 during World War I; failure by Franklin D. Roosevelt to step in during the mass Holocaust by Nazi Germany against Jews, gypsies, and others during World War II; refusal by Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter to intervene during the holocaust in Cambodia in the late 1970s; and failure by Bill Clinton to step in during the massacre that went on in Rwanda in 1994.

All of the above are seen as moral failures by the United States and the world, but this new doctrine, while admirable and principled, does bring up the issue of how the United States and NATO are supposed to afford the cost of constant interventions all over the world!

What if similar massacres are imminent in Syria, Iran, and other unfriendly nations in the Middle East? Why should not the United States step into the situation in the Sudan, the Ivory Coast, the Congo Republic, Zimbabwe, Myanmar and elsewhere?

Are we to be selective in where the US and NATO intervene? And what about the deaths in Bahrain, where the US Naval Command in the Middle East is situated, and in Yemen, where there are dangers of Al Qaeda influences that could affect world wide terrorism?

And how in the world are we to afford more defense and war spending long run, as we cut ruthlessly into education, health care, and other public services all over the country? How much longer can we tolerate the worsening of our every day lives and commit ourselves to reforming the world of its evils?

It is hard NOT to agree with the purposes of the Obama Doctrine in theory, but in practice, it seems impossible and a losing proposition politically for Barack Obama to seem to commit us to never ending intervention in the name of human rights and decency!

This is a torment for those of us who consider ourselves progressives and liberals, as even the best intentions cannot be fulfilled within the budget constraints the country faces in the short run and the long run!