Wednesday, May 11, 2005

One man's terrorist... the CIA's 'freedom fighter'.

The hypocrisy of the recent revelation that Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban suspected of blowing up a Cuban airliner in 1976, was in fact a CIA informer lies in the juxtaposition between the U.S. government's unwaivering commitment to bringing terrorists to justice and its purported ignorance of his whereabouts.

Luis Posada Carriles is an illegal immigrant. He snuck over the border into the U.S. a number of weeks ago and is seeking political asylum. A New York Times editorial strongly advocates refusing him political asylum in the U.S. in the name of justice for the 73 victims of the bombing. Other U.S. papers have made similar editorial comments. Of course, the Cuban press is having a field day with this, and Castro is expected to make a statement against terrorism. He has also called for mass protests in Cuba over this issue. Oh the irony.

President Bush has made it abundantly clear in numerous speeches that the U.S. does not support terrorists of any ilk. We are supposedly committed to bringing them to justice. But somehow, 73 Cuban lives are just not the same thing as 73 American lives. And somehow, acts of violence against Castro aren't really terrorism, but more 'freedom fighting.' After all, Castro is a grave threat against the U.S. at this juncture, with his wily insidious Communist ways...of course, by ignoring Carriles' past actions, the U.S. is boosting Castro's image, which had been fading with his health.

It is unacceptable for the U.S. to allow its misguided hatred of Cuba to compromise its commitment to eradicating terrorism. It's bad enough that in our quest to destroy WMD we have let North Korea happily and peacefully develop its weapons capabilities. This has already compromised our credibility. To allow Carriles to stay in the U.S. would be an affront to Latin America, to democracy, to freedom and to the values which we purportedly uphold. Either we accept that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter and take the acts of terrorism directed against us lying down, or we make no exceptions.

Or is it perhaps the case that, for the U.S. government, one man's terrorist is another man's Muslim? In any case, if you're not with us, you're against us, as we've so often repeated. Therefore, by harboring a terrorist are we not 'against us'? This is a logical quandary only Rumsfeld could make sense of.

Hasta la victoria siempre!


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