North Korean officials met U.S officials in New York this Monday but any hopes that North Korea would agree to curtail their Nuclear program in exchange for U.S. bribes seem dim. Reuters quoted a State Department official as saying: "Nothing changed in so far as we received no indication as to how soon or how likely it is that they will return to six-party talks….as for substance, it did not change anything."
A major problem for North Korea’s neighbors, we might think. Japan and South Korea should be worried, but those missiles sure can’t reach us. Maybe not from North Korea. But an article in London’s Jane’s Defense Weekly (not exactly an outpost of the right-wing ranting blogosphere) from August of last year states that: "North Korea has long sought to obtain the ability to directly threaten the continental US" (emphasis added).
Now I’ll quote directly from a December 11, 2004, article in The Pyongyang Times itself, titled "DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] Military Delegation Visits Cuba":
"The Cuban army and people will fight shoulder to shoulder with the Korean army and people in an anti-US joint front. Our armed forces exchanged views on strengthening cooperation in military fields."
Now let’s go back to the October 5, 2003, "This Week" program on ABC, where host George Stephanopoulos interviewed CIA weapons inspector David Kay regarding what his team found in Iraq.
David Kay: "I would contend we’ve already found things that if they had been known last December, January, February would have made huge headlines: clandestine labs in the biological program, North Korean missiles going to Cuba. … There’s a whole host of stuff we have found."
Typically, none of this made a splash in the mainstream media. Then again, historical knowledge has never been its strong suit. Connecting the dots between North Korea and missiles going to the regime that came closest to setting off nuclear Armageddon in 1962 – a regime that begged, pleaded, even tried to cajole the Butcher of Budapest into incinerating several U.S. cities – simply stumps the likes of Peter Jennings, Aaron Brown and Dan Rather.
Not that Castro’s outpost of tyranny is chumming it up only with Kim’s outpost of tyranny.
"Given its high economic and industrial potentials, Iran is prepared to collaborate with Cuba in all domains," declared Iranian Majlis Speaker Gholamali Haddad-Adel in a meeting with the visiting Cuban vice president, Jose Ramon Fernandez, last January.
Fernandez reciprocated generously: "The Cuban government and nation will stand against the U.S. pressures and stand beside the Iranian nation…Cuba supports the undeniable right of the Iranian nation to have access to nuclear technology. Iran is strengthening her economic and political relations with Cuba, and there exist other areas of interest for cooperation." All this was reported by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting last January. Cuba is constructing a biomedical plant in Iran, by the way, for "vaccinations against Hepatitis B and the manufacture of Interferon," we’re assured.
"Together Iran and Cuba can bring America to her knees!" raved Castro to a thunderous ovation at Tehran University in August 2001. He was standing next to a beaming Ayatollah Khameni at the time. (Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant, p. 10)
Almost daily, liberals and farm-state ward healers berate us on how the Cuban "embargo" is so hopelessly anachronistic in this day and age. "Mighta made sense back in the ’60s," they admit. "Because back then Cuba was a totalitarian country in league with our Cold War enemies."
Well? I answer. What’s Cuba today? A totalitarian regime in league with our terrorist enemies. What’s changed, except that our terrorist enemies, unlike our Cold War enemies, have actually landed blows against the homeland.
Castro’s foreign policy should only be half of it. Let’s not forget his in-house butchery and repression in this, the longest-running "outpost of tyranny" in the hemisphere. A picture’s worth a thousand words, they say. One look at that sea of white crosses that span the memorial to Castro’s murder victims (110,00 all told, according to Harvard scholar Armando Lago) at Tamiami Park in Miami should convince anyone. The tombs are symbolic. Most of the bodies still lie in mass graves dug by bulldozers on the orders of Ted Turner’s fishing buddy, George McGovern’s bosom pal and Barbara Walter’s favored dinner companion.
And not all the crosses have Cuban names. Walk among these crosses, notice the people with itchy noses and red eyes, pass the grandmothers with their faces buried in their grandsons’ chests and their shoulders heaving – then look at the inscriptions on the crosses. There you’ll find names like Howard Anderson, a U.S. citizen who was head of Havana’s American Legion post until April 1961, when a Castro firing squad murdered him.
"Death to the American!" screamed Howard Anderson’s Communist prosecutor at his farce of a trial on April 17, 1961. "The prosecutor was a madman!" says a Swiss diplomat who witnessed the trial, "leaping on tables, shrieking, pointing. He called Anderson rotten fruit only good to fertilize Cuban land with his carcass."
Given the rate of firing squad executions in Cuba in those years, thousands of gallons of perfectly good, perfectly valuable blood gushed from the bodies of young men only to soak uselessly into the mud, wash into gutters or get sopped up by buckets of sawdust. What a waste, reasoned Dan Rather and Ted Turner’s pal.
And heaven knows, then as now, Castro’s government could use some foreign exchange. In two short years Castro ("one of the world’s wisest men," according to Oliver Stone. "A genius!" according to Jack Nicholson, and "The Hemisphere’s greatest Hero!" according to Norman Mailer) had rendered a nation with a living standard higher than half of Europe utterly destitute, utterly bereft of foreign exchange.
And here was an ocean of fresh, plasma-rich blood freed from its confines by bullets and spilling in torrents daily. Let’s collect it and sell it, Diane Sawyer’s future cuddle bunny reasoned. And so they did. Here’s official court records – from the suit that Howard Anderson’s family filed against Barbara Walters’ charming chum.
Anderson v. Republic of Cuba, No. 01-28628 (Miami-Dade Cir. April 13, 2003): "In one final session of torture, Castro’s agents drained Howard Anderson’s body of blood before sending him to his death at the firing squad."
After the volley at La Cabana’s blood-spattered wall, Howard Anderson’s sparse blood soaked into the same soil and bricks as that of Rogelio Gonzalez, Virgilio Campaneria and Alberto Tapia, all Havana University students and members of Catholic Action. Like Howard Anderson, they refused blindfolds, and perished yelling, "Long Live Christ the King!"
Eighteen thousand young men would join them in mass graves shortly on the orders of Diane Sawyer’s cuddle bunny and Burlington Industries’ T-shirt icon. When Doug MacArthur waded ashore on Leyte, he grabbed a radio: "People of the Philippines: I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil – soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples."
Cuban soil was similarly consecrated.