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The Washington Post’s Interventionist Mindset

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If you have ever yearned for a perfect example of the interventionist mindset that undergirds the mainstream media, the Washington Post provided it last Sunday in an editorial entitled “Failure in Cuba.” The editorial could have easily been written by any member of U.S. national-security establishment, especially those in the Pentagon and CIA who have been obsessing over Cuba for the past half-century.

What failure is the Post referring to? The editorial says that President Obama’s diplomatic outreach efforts to Cuba and his loosening of economic controls have failed to bring a “sea change” in Cuba’s domestic affairs. The Post points out that Obama’s efforts have done nothing to cause the Castro regime to release its tyrannical hold on power over the Cuban people. Obama, says the Post, should stop making unilateral concessions to Cuba and instead should secure positive changes from the Castro regime as a condition of further lifting U.S. economic controls on Cuba.

Needless to say, the Post just makes the natural assumption that what goes on in Cuba is the business of the U.S. government. That’s the mindset of the interventionist. He looks on the U.S. government as an international imperialist daddy, one that must stick its nose in everyone else’s business and dictate what everyone else should do and not do.

But the fact is that Cuba is none of the U.S. government’s business. And least not legitimately. It never has been and never will be. What goes on inside Cuba is the business of the Cuban people. The U.S. government is not their daddy any more than it’s the daddy of the American people.

But it sure behaves as our daddy too. Let’s not forget, after all, that those economic controls that Obama is lifting are controls on the American people. If Americans violate those controls, the feds indict them, prosecute them, fine them, and imprison them.

Why is that something that something that Americans should note? Because they are the same types of economic controls that Castro and his socialist-communist cohorts have imposed on the Cuban people ever since the Cuban revolution. That’s part of what socialism is all about — government control over economic activity. It’s the opposite of a free enterprise system — that is, a system in which economic activity is free of government control and regulation.

So, here you have the spectacle of the U.S. government employing socialist economic controls on its own citizens as a way to get the Cuban government to have a “sea change” in how it treats the Cuban people.

Perhaps I should mention though that while the Post complains about the jailing of dissidents in Cuba and other acts of tyranny in Cuba, it says absolutely nothing about Cuba’s socialized medicine, retirement, and educational systems. I wonder why. Since the Post wants Obama to exact positive meaningful change in Cuba, why doesn’t the Post recommend that Obama require Castro to dismantle his system of socialized medicine, socialized retirement, and socialized education on the island? Could it be that when it comes to these socialist programs, the Post and the Castro regime are on the same page?

It seems to me that it’s always good to lead by example. What about the U.S. national-security state’s prison camp and “judicial” system in Cuba? That’s the place where the U.S. government jails people for life without trial, employs kangaroo military tribunals, tortures people, presumes defendants guilty, and permits hearsay evidence to convict people. What credibility does the U.S. government have in preaching human rights to Cubans given that its “judicial” system in Cuba is no different and possibly worse than Cuba’s judicial system?

Oh, let’s not forget Egypt, where the U.S. government is directly funding one of the most brutal and tyrannical regimes in the world. What credibility does the U.S. government have in preaching to Cuba about human rights when it is furnishing the weaponry that enables the Egyptian goons to enforce their tyranny on the Egyptian people, including jailing them without trial, torturing them, disappearing them, or just killing them?

The Post and the interventionist crowd have it all wrong. Fighting socialism and tyranny with socialist, tyranny, and hypocrisy is not the way to go. The way to fight socialism and tyranny is with freedom, free markets, and limited government.

That means that President Obama and Congress should immediately and unilaterally lift all economic controls on the American people to travel and trade with whomever they want. That’s what economic liberty, freedom of travel, and freedom of association are all about.

Obama should also not only close its Soviet-like prison camp and “judicial” center at Guantanamo Bay, it should also relinquish all leasehold rights to the property. The U.S. government’s leasehold was born out imperialism and has no role in a society that was founded on the principles of limited government.

Obama and the U.S. national-security establishment should also cease and desist from furnishing weaponry, cash, and other support to brutal tyrannical regimes and, for that matter, to every other regime in the world. Foreign aid is nothing more than welfare largess to crooked and corrupt foreign politicians and bureaucrats.

It would also be a good thing for America to lead the way to economic liberty through the dismantling of its own socialist programs. A good place to start would be by repealing Social Security, Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, and public schooling, all of which are core elements in Castro’s socialist system in Cuba.

The decades-long economic embargo against Cubans has been part of the long obsession for regime change in Cuba on the part of the Pentagon and CIA and other U.S. interventionists. It goes without saying that not only is it a manifest failure, it has also caused untold misery and suffering on the Cuban people. Moreover, it has long constituted a grave infringement on the fundamental, God-given rights and liberties of the American people.

The time has come for the U.S. government to leave the Cuban people alone. For that matter, it would be a good thing for it to leave the American people alone too.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.