Free The Cuban Five

Imagine an espionage defendant convicted of a crime in which no classified documents or information was compromised. Now, imagine five such defendants.

Imagine a group of pro-Castro Cubans standing trial for espionage, in Miami, Florida, of all places, where hundreds of thousands of anti-Castro, Cuban exiles reside. There is an African proverb which describes their plight: “In a court of fowls, the cockroach never wins his case.”

Imagine such a Kangaroo Court where the principles of law and justice are disregarded and perverted, but just to make sure things go their way, the government made extensive payments to Miami journalists covering the trial of the five men, in order to manipulate public opinion against the defendants.

Sounds like a Banana Republic, and not the Good Old U.S. of A., doesn’t it? Continue reading

Intervention by any other name

Imagine for a few moments what political life must have been like in Antebellum America. As the Civil War erupted, high ranking politicians abandoned the “Unionist” side and joined the Rebels. A former member of Congress became President of the new Confederate States of America.

The Rebels had their own flag–The Stars and Bars–which was distinct from the American flag–Old Glory, The Stars and Stripes.

Soon, some of the finest graduates of the U.S. Military Academy were casting their lots with the insurgents. Indeed, President Abraham Lincoln’s first choice to command the Union Army–Gen. Robert E. Lee–defected to lead the Rebel Army in its campaign against his native land, against the Constitution he had sworn to defend.

The traitorous Rebels hoped that Britain and France–where they shipped much of the cotton they produced with free labor from millions of African slaves–would support their cause by restricting the Union Navy’s ability to control the shipping lanes. They wanted an Allied “No Sea Zone,” if you will. Continue reading

The ‘King’ of Homeland Hypocrisy

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) is the undisputed Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and in my view the uncrowned “King of Homeland Hypocrisy.”

In what critics described as nothing less than a modern-day form of McCarthyism and unbridled scapegoating, King tried his best to stoke fear and hatred against Muslims in this country by convening a day-long hearing March 10 on the “radicalization” of the Muslim community.

Let me make it clear today that I remain convinced that these hearings must go forward, and they will. To back down would be a craven surrender to political correctness and an abdication of what I believe to be the main responsibility of this committee: to protect America from a terrorist attack,” King said in his opening remarks.

His hearings did little to protect America. There is no “legislation” associated with his witchhunt, a so-called “legislative hearing.” No laws are pending no laws are proposed. It was simply a chance to unload against the Muslim community, while ignoring other potential home-grown terror suspects. Continue reading

Blacks and the Public Workforce

The Recent scam caused by unscrupulous Republican elected officials to “starve the government beast” by first giving unwarranted tax breaks to the wealthiest citizens, thus bankrupting public treasuries then balancing the budgets on the backs of the unionized workers and by slashing the so-called “safety net” which helped support the most vulnerable in the society, is as the British say a “cheeky” thing to do.

But wait, that’s not all. Governments, universities, union pension funds, even homeowners–everyone who had any money at all invested in the stock market (into which these same cheeky politicians want to invest future Social Security payments) or anywhere else–everyone who had any cash money lying around in the last decade is also crying broke now because of greedy mortgage bankers and Wall Street tycoons who literally raided the cookie jar and spent all the money on exorbitant salaries and such.

A number of Midwest governors are now conspiring wholesale with their Tea Party-minded legislative allies to eliminate the gains obtained by public sector workers. If successful, their ploy will have devastating consequences for Black people, a number of labor and rights advocates agree. Continue reading

The Colonel Qaddafi I Know

I first met Col. Muammar Qaddafi, the leader of Libya in 1978. I was a member of a delegation of 100 or so, which was led by former U.S. Senator William Fulbright. We were a people-to-people “friendship”

Libya was on a downward diplomatic spiral at that time because of Col. Qaddafi’s leadership in what was called the “steadfastness and rejection front.” This bloc–which included Syria, the Palestine Liberation Organization, as well as Libya–was so named because of its steadfastness against, and rejection of Israeli usurpation and occupation of Palestinian land.

The U.S. was ramping up its pressure against Libya, and despite the friendship which Col. Qaddafi showed to Billy Carter, the younger brother of then President Jimmy Carter, soon diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Libya, and Col. Qaddafi and his countrymen were labeled “terrorists.”

I wrote articles which appeared in major corporate-owned newspapers defending what was then called “The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,” or “people’s land.” While I could defend what I thought was a peaceful people, it became increasingly difficult to argue with Col. Qaddafi’s world image. He was frequently referred to as “mercurial” and that was the best of what was said of him in those days.

Col. Qaddafi helped fuel the rumors. He wrote a book of sayings. It was called “The Green Book.” Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Tse Tung had written “The Red Book,” and it became an essential item in the ideological toolkit of many (if not most) campus revolutionaries in the 1960s. Continue reading