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realclearworld

Blaming the victims is easier than confronting the terror of leftist tyrannies

The Cuban American community has been very effective in advocating for freedom in Cuba and the end of the apartheid Castro dictatorship and its crimes against humanity. Unfortunately, the Castro dictatorship in Havana is of the leftist genre, which means that the press, academia, and the "experts" all have a hard time condemning a fellow traveler, no matter how atrocious or murderous they may be.

Dealing with this phenomenon has been difficult enough for human rights activists both in Cuba and in exile. But to make matters worse, there are those who go a step further and blame the victims. In their view, the problem with Cuba is not the unelected totalitarian dictatorship that has held power on the island unchallenged for more than a half-century, murdering tens of thousands and imprisoning Cubans by the hundreds of thousands. The problem with Cuba stems mainly from the Castro tyranny's victims. Those pesky exiles that insist on the rule of law, respect for human rights, and justice in their homeland.

For these individuals, it is much easier to blame the victims than confront the terror of their fellow travelers.

Capitol Hill Cubans has more:

Are Cuban-Americans Responsible for Iran and North Korea's Hostages Also?

In today's Washington Post, columnist Ruth Marcus outrageously claims:

"Gross is, first and foremost, a victim of the repressive Cuban regime. But he is also a casualty of Cuban-American politics, and Cuban-American politicians."

Then, she proceeds to advocate for a swap of Castro's American hostage, Alan Gross, for the so-called "Cuban Four" (spies imprisoned in the U.S.).

Does Ms. Marcus similarly believe that Iran's American hostages, Saeed Abedini, Amir Mirzaei Hekmati and Robert Levinson, are a "casualty" of the Iranian-American community?

Or that North Korea's American hostages, Merrill Newman and Kenneth Bae, are a "casualty" of the Korean-American community? 

Or are they all casualties of the Cuban-American community as well?

And what are Cuban-American politics?

Are Cuban-Americans not entitled to want freedom, human rights and democracy for their homeland?

Are Cuban-Americans incorrect in rejecting a totalitarian dictatorship, which has brutally imprisoned, tortured and executed its loved ones; subverts democracy in the Western Hemisphere; proliferates weapons to North Korea; violates international norms, etc.?

Have Cuban-Americans not constantly warned about the nature and brutality of the Castro regime, against a back-drop of whitewashing from many in the U.S. media?

The fact is brutal totalitarian regimes take hostages when they perceive an opportunity for coercion.

Ms. Marcus' irresponsible comments and absurd claims only add fuel to such coercion and endanger more American lives abroad.

An apology would be in order.

3 comments to Blaming the victims is easier than confronting the terror of leftist tyrannies

  • asombra

    Marcus will apologize as soon as Oliphant does, meaning she won't because she doesn't have to and knows it. It's always open season on "those people," and dumping on them is both condoned and effectively encouraged. There's no disincentive, and you get credit for doing it--such a deal. She's on even safer ground than Maher was when he called Palin a c**t, and she can claim humanitarian motives, to boot. Yes, I know it's a contemptible racket, but in its own way a consistent and predictable one, with its own internal logic. Professional purveyors of prejudice and bad faith are neither clueless nor out of control; they know the score VERY well, and simply calculate how far and how low they can go--and go they do. Once in a great while it misfires, as with Dan Rather, but impunity is the norm. And by the way, I wonder if Marcus realizes that her anti-Cubanism is, in principle, akin to anti-Semitism. It's moot, of course; as I said, she doesn't have to care.

  • asombra

    Marcus repeats the regime's lie that the spies' activities were only directed at Cuban exiles, which means she's either ignorant of the truth, and thus incompetent, or knows the truth but chooses not to go into it. She also raises the "unfair trial" allegation, but neglects to mention that none of the jurors were Cuban-American and that the legal system here bent over backwards, WAY over, to accommodate the defense, meaning the Castro side. She never, of course, squarely makes Obama responsible nor condemns his failure to do the blatantly obvious, which would be to make keeping Gross hostage too costly for Castro, Inc. She makes "those people" in Congress the villains and never so much as articulates what the administration COULD do and should have done long ago, as "those people" have been persistently pointing out from Day 1. Oh yeah, I respect her reasoning. I mean, after all, she works for the Washington Post.

  • asombra

    It's striking that Marcus appears to see no way out besides capitulating to a kind of extortion. I cannot believe she's so obtuse, but I can definitely believe she's engaging in special pleading. That ploy is only too common, not to say excruciatingly familiar. Her admission that the real culprit is the Castro regime feels like a bone she grudgingly throws out, halfheartedly and in passing, to preserve a semblance of balance, but she sounds considerably more pissed off at "those people" than the Castro people (whom she implicitly justifies by saying that the US employed Gross as an agent for regime change). She pulls her punches against Obama, who is entirely responsible for the matter yet has effectively done little more than vote "present," but she gladly goes after those awful Cuban-American bullies in Congress. She scoffs at the notion of an unconditional release of Gross by Cuba, as if anyone with half a brain actually expected pigs to fly. OF COURSE Castro, Inc. would never release Gross for nothing, let alone to do the right thing. The whole painfully obvious point is that Havana must be made to release him in order to avoid what it cannot afford--in other words, not for nothing, but out of self-interest. Again, I don't think she's too dense to see that, but rather disingenuous enough to appear blind.