What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been
Once it becomes apparent that the United States is an oligarchy, that is, governed by the wealthy few for their own benefit, it also becomes apparent that almost everything mainstream politicians do is geared to preserving the oligarchy’s power, their power. Consider for example American foreign policy and, specifically, US foreign policy toward Cuba after the Cuban revolution when Castro overthrew Batista and took control of the Cuban government.
What did our oligarchs do? Well, to put it simply, they did everything to make Cuba look like our enemy. In this they had help from Castro, as he too was doing things to make the US look like Cuba’s enemy. It was like a choreographed dance the two nations were performing, a dance choreographed to ensure that the two nations acted like, became enemies.
For example, on the US side, nothing was done to show support to those Cubans, the moderates in Cuba, who were happy Batista was gone but were not all that enamored of Castro. If the US had shown some support for the revolution, instead of treating it as a Communist plot supported by the USSR, these moderates would have been able to oppose Castro without seemingly undermining Cuba independence or the Cuban revolution, without seeming like traitors. However, once the US decided to punish Cuba for its revolution, these moderates were forced to support Castro because, otherwise, they would be acting like traitors to Cuban independence. Once the US decided to become Cuba’s enemy, then even Cubans opposed to Castro had to support him or risk being charged with treason to the revolution, to Cuba.
Why did the US then make Cuba an enemy? The conventional wisdom is that this happened only when it was apparent that Castro was a communist. But even if he were, and it isn’t clear that he was, this does not explain why the US reacted as it did, why US policy intended to create a war like situation between the two nations. But this war like state benefitted the Eisenhower administration just as it benefitted Castro’s regime by making both seem strong, by making both seem properly concerned with “national defense.” Both Eisenhower and Castro were seen as protecting the “homeland” and, therefore, worthy of support by all who weren’t “traitors,” “capitalist dogs,” or “pinkos.”
Both regimes were then strengthened domestically by creating a war like state between the two nations. There was “political gold” in such a situation for the prevailing political classes in both nations. And US policy served Castro well by helping him secure his revolution. He became a national hero by facing down the “giant from the north.” And Eisenhower looked less like the grandfather golfer he seemed to be. And with an election approaching, Richard Nixon could look like the “cold warrior” he wanted to be. He would “take care” of Castro.
This state of affairs led, first, to the Bay of Pigs invasion and, secondly, to the Cuban missile crisis, when the game almost got out of hand and went nuclear. It was never the intention of either the US or Castro to start a full scale or nuclear war between the US and the USSR as this would lead to the annihilation of millions of human beings. And then, of course, all that “political gold” that each side got as a result of the war like state between the two nations would be lost or would lose its value. The same could be said of any attempt by Castro to assassinate JFK, as some have charged. Castro needed Kennedy, as much as Kennedy needed Castro, to solidify their credentials as “leaders.” The same could be said of killing Castro, which helps explain why the attempts by the CIA to do so repeatedly failed and seemed so inept. To reap the “political gold” available the US needed Castro in power, just as Castro needed to ensure that the US remained Cuba’s enemy, while avoiding a full-scale war. A state of war without a full-scale war was best for both nations; that is, for protecting the regimes governing both nations, the oligarchs in the US and the communists in Cuba. US oligarchs and Cuban communists were, as intended, “indispensable enemies.”
And after the assassination of JFK, LBJ saw that it was incumbent on him to derail any attempts to pin the blame on Castro, as that would have meant in all likelihood full-scale war with Cuba and then with the USSR. Hence, the need for the Warren Commission and for the fairy tale that Oswald acted alone and was not part of any conspiracy. Moreover, it had to be shown that the assassination itself was not the result of any conspiracy, especially one pointing to Castro and Cuba. And as a result the Warren Commission was an invitation to conspiracy theories because it was so ineptly concocted to reach the conclusion that Oswald acted alone.
More generally, could it be that the Cold War itself was dramatized, choreographed to allow the oligarchs in the US and the communists in the USSR to reap that “political gold” the US and Castro reaped as a result of the war like state between the two nations? While a big topic, obviously, let it be said that with very few exceptions the US and the USSR – and China – never got close to full-scale war, those exceptions being the Korean War and the Cuban missile crisis. Otherwise, the dance of these indispensable enemies continued in ways that created a war like situation without creating full-scale, that is, nuclear war. And both US oligarchs and Soviet and Chinese communists benefitted.
If so, that would be an interesting situation.