13th March 03:43
Andrés_Nazario_Sargén:_un_legado_perdurable_______ __________________________________________________ _____________________________________
Andrés Nazario Sargén: un legado perdurable Por Sara Martínez Castro
Andrés Nazario Sargén ha muerto. No por esperada su muerte deja de ser motivo de vacío y profundo dolor.
Para los que tuvimos el privilegio de conocerlo Andrés será siempre el patriota sin tacha que sabía inventarle horas al día para dedicárselas a la lucha por la libertad de Cuba. Sin percibir sueldo ni beneficios estuvo siempre dispuesto al ***plimiento del deber que no rehúye las privaciones económicas ni las críticas injustas. Su entereza de carácter no conocía límites para el sacrificio.
Fiel a sus convicciones, jamás anheló bienes materiales. El bienestar de su isla amada estuvo siempre por encima de su bienestar personal.
De Andrés Nazario Sargén se pueden decir muchas cosas. Fue un hombre extraordinario que también supo ser sencillo, cordial, bondadoso y humilde. Admiré en él su gran entereza espiritual. Era diáfano, sin trastiendas.
Defendió los derechos de los obreros y campesinos. Luchó contra la dictadura de Fulgencio Batista y fue comandante del II Frente del Escambray. Posteriormente y desde las filas de Alpha 66 combatió a la tiranía de Fidel Castro. Con un tesón increíble y un optimismo que se fortalecía de su fe inquebrantable en las reservas morales del pueblo cubano, no abandonó ni por un solo momento su confianza en un destino mejor para su patria.
No tengo la menor duda de que Andrés, uno de los protagonistas de esta larga lucha por la libertad de Cuba, desempeñó un papel de trascendental importancia en el destierro. Sostuvo con vehemencia la tesis de la intransigencia patriótica y mantuvo firmemente el compromiso histórico de “la lucha cubana sin pedir permiso ni esperar por nadie”. Estaba seguro de que la libertad de Cuba no depende del presidente norteamericano de turno sino del esfuerzo de todos los cubanos, dentro y fuera de la isla. Su mirada nunca estuvo fija en Washington porque la brújula de su honor marcó invariablemente el rumbo sur.
Vivió absolutamente convencido de que no es posible ningún tipo de diálogo con la tiranía castrista que oprime a nuestra patria porque, como bien afirmaba, con los tiranos no se dialoga, se les combate. Y se emocionaba repitiendo los versos de Abdala de José Martí:
El amor, madre, a la patria
no es el amor ridículo a la tierra,
ni a la yerba que pisan nuestras plantas;
es el odio invencible a quien la oprime,
es el rencor eterno a quien la ataca.
Respetó otras estrategias de lucha pero predicó con fervor que sólo por las armas puede combatirse a la tiranía de Fidel Castro. Se enorgullecía en afirmar que ninguna otra organización del exilio ha efectuado más infiltraciones dentro de la isla que Alpha 66.
Andrés no desaparecerá del todo. Quedarán sus ideas como un legado perdurable: el pensamiento de un hombre limpio y cabal que creía firmemente en lo que predicaba y que supo defender sus principios con pasión absoluta.
Con su esposa y compañera de ideales Olga Torrens de Nazario, con sus hijos y demás familiares, así como con todos los combatientes de Alpha 66, comparto el inmenso dolor de esta pérdida y la certidumbre de que, desde ese cielo destinado a los hombres buenos, Andrés vela por su familia y sobre todo por Cuba a la que tanto amó y sirvió.
Los grandes hombres nos dejan grandes lecciones y la de Andrés es de una total generosidad y entrega. Quería una Cuba de la que todos pudiéramos sentirnos orgullosos, una patria nueva sin dictaduras ni de izquierda ni de derecha, con plena libertad y justicia social para todos.
Andrés se nos ha ido sin llegar a ver la ansiada libertad de su tierra. Para mí significa que esa Cuba que llevamos dibujada en el corazón, se nos vuelve irremediablemente más lejana.
En el exilio su ausencia será como una llama encendida. Y esa llama iluminará el camino recto que él nos marcó y que no podremos traicionar jamás.
(Artículo publicado en Diario Las Américas el 13 de octubre del 2004)
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13th March 03:43
__________________________________________________ _____________La_expulsi_ón_de_Moragas_revela_la_"intransigencia"_del_Gobierno_de_Castro,_según_la_disidencia_cuban a_______________
Fecha: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 18:01:11 +0200
De: Alicia Bombino <firstname.lastname@example.org>
La expulsión de Moragas revela la "intransigencia" del Gobierno de Castro,
según la disidencia cubana
Europa Press, 16 de octubre de 2004.
La negativa a permitir la entrada en Cuba de tres diputados europeos, entre
ellos el 'popular' Jorge Moragas, que tenían previsto reunirse con
disidentes, pone al descubierto "la intransigencia" del Gobierno del
presidente Fidel Castro en temas políticos, según estimaron hoy varios
dirigentes de la oposición interna.
El secretario de Política Internacional del PP y los diputados holandeses
Boris Dittrich (liberal-demócrata) y Kathleen Ferrier (democristiana),
fueron interceptados en el aeropuerto de La Habana y "reembarcados" hacia
Europa, informó el Ministerio cubano de Asuntos Exteriores.
"Esto marca la intransigencia del Gobierno cubano y pone de manifiesto que
nunca va a cambiar su posición", dijo a la AFP la economista Marta Beatriz
Roque, directora de la Asamblea para promover la Sociedad Civil.
Roque, la única mujer encarcelada en marzo de 2003 junto a otros 74
disidentes en la peor ola represiva contra la oposición en Cuba, fue
condenada a 20 años de prisión, pero excarcelada el pasado julio por razones
"Yo tenía una cita con los holandeses esta tarde en su Embajada, pero
evidentemente ya no existirá ese diálogo debido a la actitud del Gobierno
cubano de no permitirles entrar en el país", subrayó.
En su opinión, "esto debería de servirle de primera lección al Gobierno de
(José Luis Rodríguez) Zapatero sobre de lo que es capaz de hacer el régimen
"Creo que es una actitud infantil pensar que en estos momentos se pueda
hacer cambiar de posición" mediante el diálogo al Gobierno de Fidel Castro,
señaló Roque al comentar la iniciativa española de buscar un acercamiento a
Cuba, enfrentada con la Unión Europea después del arresto de disidentes en
2003. En Madrid "tienen que abrir los ojos y estar atentos", advirtió.
Otro disidente que vio frustrada su cita con el diputado español y los dos
holandeses fue el socialdemócrata Vladimiro Roca, quien se sumó a las
críticas de Roque al Ejecutivo de Rodríguez Zapatero.
"¿Cómo es que el Gobierno de Rodríguez Zapatero intenta recrear una relación
con Cuba en estas condiciones?", se preguntó el líder disidente, un ex
piloto de combate e hijo del fallecido Blas Roca, uno de los fundadores del
Partido Comunista de Cuba.
Roca calificó la negativa a permitir el ingreso en la isla de los diputados
europeos como "una represión a turistas". "Ellos vinieron como turistas y
como tales tienen derecho a reunirse con quien se les dé la gana", replicó.
[Este mensaje contenía archivos adjuntos]
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_________________La_Haya_se_muestra_"indignada"_por_la_expulsi_ón_de_Cuba_de_las_dos_diputadas_qu e_viajaban_con_Moragas____________________________ ________________________________________________
Fecha: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 19:32:13 +0200
De: Alicia Bombino <email@example.com>
Asunto: La Haya se muestra "indignada" por la expulsi ón de Cuba de las dos diputadas que viajaban con Moragas
La Haya se muestra "indignada" por la expulsión de Cuba de las dos diputadas
que viajaban con Moragas
Europa Press, 16 de octubre de 2004.
El ministro holandés de Exteriores, Bernard Bot, expresó hoy la
"indignación" y la "cólera" de su Gobierno tras la expulsión de las dos
diputadas holandeses que viajaban en compañía del también diputado Jorge
Moragas, secretario general de Relaciones Internacionales del PP.
"El ministro está indignado con el arresto y expulsión de las dos diputadas.
Está encolerizado porque el representante de la Embajada de los Países Bajos
en Cuba no ha podido entrar en contacto con ellas", declaró una portavoz del
Ministerio, Carola Baller.
"El ministro convocará el lunes al embajador de Cuba en los Países Bajos
para pedirle aclaraciones. El embajador holandés en Cuba pedirá también
explicaciones al Gobierno cubano", indicó Baller.
Las dos diputadas holandesas, Boris Dittrich, jefe del grupo
liberal-demócrata en el Parlamento holandés, y su colega democristiana,
Kathleen Ferrier, no pudieron entrar en Cuba, donde tenían previsto reunirse
con miembros de la oposición.
Los parlamentarios tenían pensado mantener un encuentro con Oswaldo Paya,
uno de los líderes de la oposición cubana, para discutir la situación de los
Derechos Humanos en la isla.
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14th March 07:43
Published on Thursday, October 21, 2004 by the Courier-Journal /
A Former Republican Senator: 'Frightened to Death' of Bush
by Marlow W. Cook
I shall cast my vote for John Kerry come Nov 2.
I have been, and will continue to be, a Republican. But when we as a
party send the wrong person to the White House, then it is our
responsibility to send him home if our nation suffers as a result of
his actions. I fall in the category of good conservative thinkers,
like George F. Will, for instance, who wrote: "This administration
cannot be trusted to govern if it cannot be counted on to think and
having thought, to have second thoughts."
I say, well done George Will, or, even better, from the mouth of the
numero uno of conservatives, William F. Buckley Jr.: "If I knew then
what I know now about what kind of situation we would be in, I would
have opposed the war."
First, let's talk about George Bush's moral standards.
In 2000, to defeat Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. — a man who was shot down
in Vietnam and imprisoned for over five years — they used Carl Rove's
"East Texas special." They started the rumor that he was ***, saying
he had spent too much time in the Hanoi Hilton. They said he was
crazy. They said his wife was on drugs. Then, to top it off, they
spread pictures of his adopted daughter, who was born in Bangladesh
and thus dark skinned, to the sons and daughters of the Confederacy in
rural South Carolina.
To show he was not just picking on Republicans, he went after Sen. Max
Cleland from Ge****a, a Democrat seeking re-election. Bush henchmen
said he wasn't patriotic because Cleland did not agree 100 percent on
how to handle homeland security. They published his picture along with
Cuba's Castro, questioning Cleland's patriotism and commitment to
America's security. Never mind that his Republican challenger was a
Vietnam deferment case and Cleland, who had served in Vietnam, came
home in a wheel chair having lost three limbs fighting for his
country. Anyone who wants to win an election and control of the
legislative body that badly has no moral character at all.
We know his father got him in the Texas Air National Guard so he would
not have to go to Vietnam. The religious right can have him with those
moral standards. We also have Vice President **** Cheney, who deferred
his way out of Vietnam because, as he says, he "had more important
things to do."
I have just turned 78. During my lifetime, we have sent 31,377,741
Americans to war, not including whatever will be the final figures for
the Iraq fiasco. Of those, 502,722 died and 928,980 came home without
legs, arms or what have you.
Those wars were to defend freedom throughout the free world from
communism, dictators and tyrants. Now Americans are the aggressors —
we start the wars, we blow up all the infrastructure in those
countries, and then turn around and spend tax dollars denying our
nation an excellent education system, medical and drug programs, and
the list goes on. ...
I hope you all have noticed the Bush administration's style in the
campaign so far. All negative, trashing Sen. John Kerry, Sen. John
Edwards and Democrats in general. Not once have they said what they
have done right, what they have done wrong or what they have not done
Lyndon Johnson said America could have guns and butter at the same
time. This administration says you can have guns, butter and no taxes
at the same time. God help us if we are not smart enough to know that
is wrong, and we live by it to our peril. We in this nation have a
serious problem. Its almost worse than terrorism: We are broke. Our
government is borrowing a billion dollars a day. They are now
borrowing from the government pension program, for apparently they
have gotten as much out of the Social Security Trust as it can take.
Our House and Senate announce weekly grants for every kind of favorite
local programs to save legislative seats, and it's all borrowed money.
If you listened to the President confirming the value of our war with
Iraq, you heard him say, "If no weapons of mass destruction were
found, at least we know we have stopped his future distribution of
same to terrorists." If that is his justification, then, if he is
re-elected our next war will be against Iran and at the same time
North Korea, for indeed they have weapons of mass destruction, nuclear
weapons, which they have readily admitted. Those wars will require a
draft of men and women. ...
I am not enamored with John Kerry, but I am frightened to death of
George Bush. I fear a secret government. I abhor a government that
refuses to supply the Congress with requested information. I am
against a government that refuses to tell the country with whom the
leaders of our country sat down and determined our energy policy, and
to prove how much they want to keep that secret, they took it all the
way to the Supreme Court.
Those of you who are fiscal conservatives and abhor our staggering
debt, tell your conservative friends, "Vote for Kerry," because
without Bush to control the Congress, the first thing lawmakers will
demand Kerry do is balance the budget.
The wonderful thing about this country is its gift of citizenship,
then it's freedom to register as one sees fit. For me, as a
Republican, I feel that when my party gives me a dangerous leader who
flouts the truth, takes the country into an undeclared war and then
adds a war on terrorism to it without debate by the Congress, we have
a duty to rid ourselves of those who are taking our country on a
perilous ride in the wrong direction.
If we are indeed the party of Lincoln (I paraphrase his words), a
president who deems to have the right to declare war at will without
the consent of the Congress is a president who far exceeds his power
under our Constitution.
I will take John Kerry for four years to put our country on the right
The writer, a Republican formerly of Louisville, was Jefferson County
judge from 1962-1968 and U.S. senator from Kentucky from 1968-1975.
© 2004 Courier-Journal
14th March 07:43
El ayattolah de la casa blanca y a donde lleva su fundamentalismo religioso......
God & The Presidency: An In-Depth Examination Of Faith In The Bush
Wednesday, October 20th, 2004
Journalist Ron Suskind examines how Bush's belief in God has impacted
his presidency, how some of Bush's supporters believe he is an
instrument of God and the growing concern among many non-Evangelical
Republicans. One former Reagan/Bush official says, "Just in the past
few months. I think a light has gone off for people who've spent time
up close to Bush: that this instinct he's always talking about is this
sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to
do." We also speak with Esther Kaplan author of the new book, "With
God On Their Side: How Christian Fundamentalists Trampled Science,
Policy, and Democracy in George W. Bush's White House." [includes rush
With 13 days left until voters go to the polls in one of the most
significant elections in US history, President Bush and Senator John
Kerry are intensifying their campaigning, particularly in a handful of
so-called swing states. Concerns abound nationwide that voters may be
intimidated from voting and that a repeat of the 2000 elections may
unfold. This campaign has been marked by extraordinary dirty tricks,
personal attacks, and smear campaigns. All against the backdrop of
multiple US occupations and US military deaths rising every day. Both
campaigns say they will make the US safer over the next four years.
But while Iraq and foreign policy dominate much of the public
discussion on the elections, other key domestic issues are at stake.
The next president will have a major influence over the composition of
the Supreme Court and laws governing a woman"s right to choose. And it
is this issue of abortion that is one of the lynchpins of the support
President Bush receives from increasingly powerful, right-wing
evangelical Christian groups. Much has been written about the
significant role these groups have played in supporting the Bush
campaign. Bush has opened the doors of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to
right-wing Christian groups more than any president in history. They
are well-funded, well-organized and well-connected.
Today, we are going to spend the rest of the hour taking an in-depth
look at the role religion has played and is playing in the Bush
presidency and election campaign. In a moment, we will be joined by
two journalists. Esther Kaplan is author of the new book "With God on
Their Side: How Christian Fundamentalists Trampled Science, Policy,
and Democracy in George W Bush"s White House." We"ll also be joined by
Ron Suskind, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of "The
Price of Loyalty: George W Bush, the White House and the Education of
Paul O'Neill." His latest piece in The New York Times Magazine is
called "Without a Doubt," which is about the role of faith in the Bush
presidency. But first, we wanted to play an excerpt from the final
presidential discussion at the University of Arizona on October 13,
when the candidates were asked by moderator Bob Sheiffer of CBS News
about the role religion plays in their lives.
BOB SCHIEFFER: You were asked before the invasion or after the
invasion of Iraq if you had checked with your dad. And I believe, I
don't remember the quote exactly, but I believe you said you had
checked with a higher authority. I would like to ask you, what part
does your faith play on your policy decisions?
GEORGE W. BUSH: First, my faith plays a big part in my life. That's
when I was answering that question, what I was really saying to the
person was that I pray a lot. And I do. And my faith is a very – it's
very personal. I pray for strength. I pray for wisdom. I pray for
troops in harm's way. I pray for my family. I pray for my little
girls. But I'm mindful in a free society that people can worship if
they want to or not. You're equally an American if you choose to
worship an almighty and if you choose not to. If you're a Christian or
you're Muslim, you're equally an American. That's the great thing
about America is the right to worship the way you see fit. Prayer in
religion sustains me. I receive calmness in the storms of the
presidency. I love the fact that people pray for me and my family all
around the country. Somebody asked me one time, well how do you know?
I said, I just feel it. Religion is an important part. I never want to
impose my religion on anybody else, but when I make decisions, I stand
on principle, and the principles are derived from what I am. I believe
we ought to love our neighbor like we love ourself. That's manifested
in public policy through the faith-based initiative where we've
unleashed the armies of compassion to help heal people who hurt. I
believe that God wants everybody to be free -- that's what I believe,
and that's one part of my foreign policy. In Afghanistan, I believe
that the freedom there is a gift from the almighty, and I cannot tell
you how encouraged I am to see freedom on the march. So, my principles
that I make decisions on are a part of me and religion is a part of
AMY GOODMAN: George Bush speaking at the final presidential
discussion, Tempe, Arizona. Meanwhile, a new do***entary has just been
released, and the producers, evangelical Christians, are billing it as
an alternative to Fahrenheit 9/11. It's called George W. Bush: Faith
in the White House. It's produced by Grizzly Adams Productions. This
is an excerpt.
NARRATOR: Regardless of the political outcome, there have been a great
many changes at the White House. The president encourages Bible study,
opens meetings with prayer, and unabashedly references God in his
public pronouncements. According to Newsweek magazine, "This
presidency is the most resolutely faith-based in modern times -- an
enterprise founded, supported and guided by trust in the temporal and
spiritual power of God." BBC correspondent Justin Webb reported that
nobody in government spends more time on his knees than George W.
Bush. The Bush administration hums to the sound of prayer. Prayer
meetings take place day and night. It's not uncommon to see White
House functionaries hurrying down corridors carrying Bibles. His
example has brought about a national phenomenon called the
presidential prayer team. The person responsible for that is Meagan
Gillan, Director of Communication.
MEAGAN GILLAN: The presidential prayer team is the nationwide
initiative whose sole goal it is to stimulate prayer for the
president, his cabinet and other key leaders on his team. It exists in
perpetuity, to support in prayer whoever occupies the Oval Office. In
addition, we call our members to prayer for the members of our
military who serve around the world, particularly in Iraq and
Afghanistan. It spread like wildfire across the nation and before we
knew it, we had 5,000, 10,000, some days as many as 28,000 people
joining this effort to pray for the president. Today we're happy to
say we have over 3 million participating, and some weeks we have over
10 million hits on the website. All are people inquiring about prayer.
NARRATOR: Prayer meetings and Bible reading sessions were and are
still conducted in the various departments of government. They're not
mandatory, but they're not held in secret either.
AMY GOODMAN: An excerpt of the do***entary that has now been
distributed to hundreds of thousands of people around the country
called George W. Bush: Faith in the White House, produced by Grizzly
Adams Productions. Our guests again, Ron Suskind, Pulitzer
Prize-winning reporter and Esther Kaplan, author of the new book With
God on Their Side. Esther Kaplan, let's stick to the issue of the
meetings in the White House. I don't think most people are quite aware
of this. Explain how they work.
ESTHER KAPLAN: Well, up until the war on terror and his morning terror
briefings slightly disrupted his schedule John Ashcroft, for example,
had daily prayer meetings in the Department of Justice. They were in
his office, he led them. So you can see how a young, ambitious person
in the Department of Justice -- this would be really an invaluable
chance to get some face time with the boss. So, part of the concern is
not just that some government employees on their break, you know, want
to pray. I don't think anyone would disagree with that. It's being
organized by the top people in the White House, by the top guy in
justice. And so, it becomes this place where Christians who want to
participate in this prayer have special access, arguably have a chance
to advance their connections, their career, their power base within
whatever department it is by participating in these prayer circles.
There's a real question. And I think that particularly coming from the
person, the top law enforcement official in this country, John
Ashcroft, for him to be muddying that line between government service
and prayer is tricky. I want to just make a quick comment about that
bit that you played from George Bush in the debates. I came across a
column just – I guess it was from two days ago that Paul Wyrick, who
was one of the founders of the Christian right. He's one of the guy
who came to Jerry Falwell and said, let's found a moral majority in
America. He kind of knitted together the movement. He's considered the
father of the movement. In a column on the right wing website, he
claims credit for the fact that that question was asked by Bob
Schieffer in the debate. He says, he wrote to Bob Schieffer, asked him
to -- to ask the president about his faith, and as he says, to my
shock and surprise, Bob Schieffer did ask the question. I was
delighted with President Bush's reply. So, even a moment like that,
there's -- there's a careful coordination with Christian right
AMY GOODMAN: Ron Suskind, are you surprised by that?
RON SUSKIND: Oh, no. Certainly not. There is a regular communication
and ongoing sort of a shared support from the Christian right and the
White House. I mean, you know the fact is, in some ways, it's -- it's
something that we're familiar with on all sides of the political
equation. In this case, you know, the Christian right, you know, as
John Dilulio said to me in the story that I wrote in Esquire in 2002,
at the end of 2002, that created a bit of a stir -- he said you know,
these guys are in and around the building. You know, at one point, he
got into a push and shove -- Dilulio did with Karl Rove. Dilulio was
head of the faith-based initiative for this president through its
first year, and basically Dilulio found out soon enough that he, as he
said, that this was not about compassionate conservatism, but it was
at least in large measure a mechanism, a vehicle, to fund and
organize, direct the Christian right, using federal monies and White
House organization, and support. And in the push and shove with Karl,
basically, he was being encouraged to go and make nice and offer his
assistance to Jerry Falwell and others. He said, I'm not going to do
it. Rove said back something to the nature of well, Jerry Falwell,
well, those people don't have any real influence here. And Dilulio
says, is that why they're here all the time? I think this is part of
the way this White House works. This is their core constituency. Think
about Bill Clinton and his core constituency. Or George Bush the first
or Ronald Reagan. The core constituency here, the energizing center of
the base, are evangelical Christian conservatives. The conversations
are minute to minute and every day.
AMY GOODMAN: You begin your piece, Ron, in this Sunday's New York
Times Magazine, "Without a doubt," "Bruce Bartlett, domestic policy
adviser to Ronald Reagan and treasury official for the first president
Bush told me recently that, quote, ‘if Bush wins, there will be a
civil war in the Republican Party starting November 3.'" Explain.
RON SUSKIND: What Bruce Bartlett was talking about and Republicans
that I speak with are concerned about, you know, I -- I'm not pro-Bush
or anti--Bush, I'm pro-fact. I'm a reporter. I try to talk to everyone
I can. These days, especially after my book The Price of Loyalty came
out, the main character Paul O'Neill, a locked-in republican, and
virtually everyone in the book quoted as a republican. The book is out
in paperback now with do***ents that O'Neill gave me in the back. You
know, what is interesting is after the book came out, democrats
embraced it, but after a month or so republicans started to call. Guys
like Bruce Bartlett who served Ronald Reagan and George Bush the
First, Roger Porter, the Harvard professor, who was domestic policy
chief for the first President Bush. The comments were all similar.
This is our song. This is our story of prudence, pragmatism abroad, et
cetera. There is growing concern among the community in the republican
party that this president is in no way someone carrying forward of the
familiar ideas, let's just say familiar ideas of the republican party.
And the battle, the civil war, is between the two constituencies that
George Bush relies on, old guard republicans who are increasingly
dispirited and faith-based core that the president is ever-more
inclining toward. You know, John Chafee, rather Lincoln Chafee, his
son, the senator from Rhode Island said, said something very, very
interesting in the story, again a republican -- he said the key to the
election will be the president's effort to signal to the evangelical
base that he is a messenger of God -- this is coming from a United
States senator, a republican – and to do that carefully so that he
does not upset voters in swing states. The key to the election:
signaling to the base that the president believes as many of them do,
that he is actually a messenger of God.
AMY GOODMAN: Ron Suskind, we have to break for stations to identify
themselves, and we'll be back. Ron Suskind, Pulitzer Prize-winning
reporter, cover story of this past Sunday's New York Times Magazine, a
piece called "Without a Doubt." Also joining us, Esther Kaplan, her
book is called With God on Their Side.
AMY GOODMAN: Let's take a listen to that clip from the film that is
now being distributed around the country about George W. Bush by
GEORGE W. BUSH: When you turn your heart and your life over to Christ,
when you accept Christ as a savior, it changes your heart and changes
AMY GOODMAN: President Bush. We're joined by Ron Suskind and Esther
Kaplan, both authors. Ron Suskind wrote Price of Loyalty, Esther
Kaplan, With God on Their Side. Ron Suskind, following up on the quote
and the second quote of Bruce Bartlett in your New York Times piece
this weekend, the domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and
treasury official for the first President Bush, Bartlett says, "Just
in the past few months, I think a light has gone off for people who
have spent time up close to Bush, that this instinct he is always
talking about is this sort of weird messianic idea of what I thinks
god has told him to do. This is why George w. Bush is so clear-eyed
about Al Qaeda," Bartlett says, "and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy.
He believes that you have to kill them all. They can't be persuaded,
that they're extremists driven by a dark vision. He understands them
because he's just like them." Your response.
RON SUSKIND: Well, it's certainly a quote that has had some legs in
the last few days. What is Bruce Bartlett talking about there? Well,
it's something that I think anyone who has studied human history,
certainly in the modern era, is familiar with. How extremism often
breeds extremism, how radical ideas often are most drawn to the
opposing radical idea. I think that what Bartlett fears and again,
many Republicans and Democrats, this is in some ways not a partisan
issue, they fear sort of a dance of extremism a co-dependency of
manner in which, you know, the clear-eyed and ideological views of the
administration, of many in the administration, increasingly supported
by this notion, as Bruce talks about, of a messianic faith. It acts as
a sort of destructive counterweight to the extremism that is occurring
around the globe. You know, I think if you step back from the -- and
look clearly at the global picture, what you find is a battle across
the world between modernists and fundamentalists, between reason and
religion, between the faith-based and reality-based communities. You
find that in the Islamic world. You find it in much of the West. You
certainly find it here in the United States. And that is -- that's
become certainly since this Times story came out something of a catch
phrase, the struggle to help people understand part of what's
happening here between the reality-based communities and the
faith-based communities. You know, this Bruce Bartlett would be in the
reality-based community, a Republican. You know, I had a meeting with
someone in the White House who said, I as a reporter am in the
reality-based community, but there is a counterweight. The faith-based
AMY GOODMAN: Esther Kaplan, you talk about in your book, with the
invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the increasing number of
evangelicals or missionaries going out, specifically specialists in
converting Muslims. Can you talk about that whole movement?
ESTHER KAPLAN: Well, this is a really interesting way, and there are
many ways, in which Bush's foreign policy dovetails perfectly with the
religious ambitions of the American evangelical movement. And there
wasn't a huge focus among American evangelicals in converting Muslims
until just the last five or ten years. But is has really picked up
speed. Now the obsession is something they called the "10-40 window."
This 10 degrees to 40 degrees north latitude. And missionary operation
after missionary operation are now focusing on this region.
Evangelical colleges have opened up college majors in converting
Muslims. And the trick is in many Muslim countries, there are very
strict laws against proselytizing. So, there was -- a great amount of
excitement when the United States invaded Iraq, that this area that
had been closed off to this 10-40 mission would now be opened, and
huge amounts of money have been devoted to beginning to evangelize
there. Even while the invasion was still going on, even during major
combat operations, there were already people in there distributing
videos, distributing tracts, and trying to win converts basically with
US guns at their back. Despite the concerns of major religious
Christian clergy on this, that this was really the wrong way to go
about conversion, no one in the administration ever took a stance
against it. And in fact, shortly after 9/11, I think it was in late
November, Bush actually appeared in the Rose Garden with two Christian
missionaries, who had been illegally trying to find Christian converts
in Afghanistan. They had been imprisoned by the Taliban, because there
was a law there against proselytizing, and he actually held a
reception for them in the Rose Garden once they were released from
custody, and claimed that was one of the reasons that he invaded
Afghanistan was to secure their release.
AMY GOODMAN: There's also of course the story of Lieutenant General
William Jerry Boykin, that did get some attention. Fiercely
anti-Muslim remarks reported in the NBC Nightly News and Los Angeles
Times, but you say, you first saw the videotape, which was distributed
by Gary Bauer of the Family Research Council with a cover letter. Can
you talk about that?
ESTHER KAPLAN: Well, sure. Gary Bauer, James Dobson, of Focus on the
Family, a lot of the key leaders on the Christian Right think of Jerry
Boykin as a hero, akin to Judge Roy Moore in Alabama and his defense
of his ten commandments monument in the state courthouse there. Gary
Bauer in particular in his email updates which I receive constantly
sings the praises of Jerry Boykin and calls on his constituency to
write the White House and defend him. In fact, Boykin has not been
censured for these remarks. But, yeah, he --
AMY GOODMAN: He's the man who heads up the efforts to go after Osama
ESTHER KAPLAN: This is not a minor character. He is the Deputy
Undersecretary of Defense. He was the one charged with Saddam Hussein
and finding Osama bin Laden. And, yeah, in this video, he stands up --
it's not that he made a slip of the tongue -- it's a well-rehearsed
talk with slides and a whole presentation, and he says, number one,
that George Bush was put by god in the White House. He asked why is he
president if he lost the popular vote? Well, it's because god put him
there, in his words, for "such a time as this." And he says that the
war is a spiritual war against a spiritual enemy, and that enemy's
name is Satan. Now these are common sentiments among Christian Right
leaders. Franklin Graham, who has often been a guest at the White
House, who was the one who gave the benediction at Bush's
inauguration, has said very similar things. He has called Islam an
"evil religion." President Bush, when pushed again and again, has
refused to distance himself from these remarks, to condemn remarks
like this from people within his own administration or within, as Ron
Suskind said, his most cherished constituency, the Christian Right
AMY GOODMAN: An interesting quote of John Ashcroft saying "Islam is a
religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him.
Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you."
ESTHER KAPLAN: Right. This is a public speech, a scripted speech that
Ashcroft made it was actually a radio interview. I apologize. But he
has since tried to claim that he was only talking about terrorists,
but it's obvious from the quote that he is characterizing the religion
as a whole. Of course, this is the same Attorney General who's really
gone after Muslim charities in this country, cutting them off from
their funds on often no evidence whatsoever, who's rounded up
thousands of Muslims in this country for -- indeterminate detention.
So, it's troubling when you have the Attorney General, who is
espousing these views, and then implementing policies that arguably
AMY GOODMAN: Esther Kaplan, her book is With God on Their Side. Ron
Suskind, in your piece "Without a Doubt" you talk about the article
that you wrote for Esquire magazine in the summer of 2002, and then a
meeting you had at the White House that -- well, where you were
talking about Bush's former communication director, Karen Hughes.
RON SUSKIND: Right. After the story, which the White House didn't
like, even though I had a good bit of access to the West Wing and the
White House and senior officials pretty much across the board, you
know, after that, I had a couple of meetings in the months that
followed, and one of them was a meeting with someone who talked about
the distinction between the reality-based community and ostensibly the
faith-based community that -- that, you know, that -- me, you know,
and the reality based community and people like you, Ron, you believe
that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality
and essentially that the world doesn't work that way anymore. You
know, it's about action, is essentially what the aide said. You know,
we act, and we create new reality that you will judiciously study and
you will act again and you can study that one, and that's the way it
all will ultimately sort of sort out. We're history's actors and you
will study what we do. You know, by the same token, I think Esther's
point, which is interesting, is that the president simply doesn't do
what other presidents have done in public, when these issues come up.
One of the scenes in the story that I wrote in the Times is very
emblematic of this sort of omission where the president is at one of
his "ask President Bush sessions," which are these carefully staged
sessions that are taped with supporters who then, you know, seemingly
in an impromptu fashion stand and ask him questions. One of the people
stands up, I think it's in Destine, Florida, and says, I have been a
Republican my whole life, but this is the first time that I know god
is in the White House. Now, most presidents -- I think all presidents
of the modern era would at that moment say just hold on one minute --
a man is in the White House. None of us can know god's will. You know,
I respect your opinion but let me be very clear -- et cetera. This
president, as he has done in countless ways throughout this season of
consent, simply says, "Thank you. Thank you." And the room erupts in
applause. That is essentially the way that the campaign of a
faith-based president looks. As the president, you know, circles the
country, the great tent revival, the big tent revival rallies for the
president, you know, populated at least in significant measure in most
states by the faith-based center of his base. Remember, 42% of
Americans now identify themselves as either evangelical or born-again.
I think for those of us who live on the coasts, on the West Coast and
East Coast, some -- this comes as something of a surprise. I know that
readers have been sort of, you know, emailing me saying could that be
true? Well, it is. If you go out to the wide middle of the country,
you will find that the ions are charged in a different way, and I
think that part of the battle, some historians call the struggle
between those in the coastline and the center of the country now, you
know, as deep a cultural divide as there was before the Civil War.
AMY GOODMAN: Only a few seconds.
RON SUSKIND: That's part of the cultural war we're in at this moment.
AMY GOODMAN: Last question, and we only have a few seconds for your
answer -- in your New York Times piece, you discuss a recent
confidential luncheon in Washington where President Bush spoke with
his long-time supporters about what's ahead for the second term -- in
just a few seconds can you summarize what he responded?
RON SUSKIND: Yeah. The controversy from that luncheon, and I have
notes that are sound as they can be, and it was confirmed by many
people in the room, including some quoted in the story, the president
said that he wants to burst out of the blocks after his swearing in,
to bring -- to do fundamental tax reform, reform -- privatize social
security, privatization is the word that's the hot button word -- tort
reform and the rest. I don't think anyone in the room would think that
the president would change his position, even though there are folks
that have advocated a more dramatic privatization than the president
has publicly asserted.
AMY GOODMAN: On that note, we are going to have to leave it there. Ron
Suskind and Esther Kaplan, I want to thank you for being with us.
15th March 12:43
El resto del mundo
A los norteamericanos les gusta más Bush por la misma razón que no
gusta en el resto del mundo: porque es un peligro para el mundo
Por Antonio Caballero
Hay un campeonato de cricket que se llama 'Inglaterra contra el resto
del mundo', que suele ganar el equipo de cricket de Pakistán. Creo que
hay uno de fútbol que se llama 'Brasil contra el resto del mundo', que
gana siempre Brasil. Y cada cuatro años se disputa uno de 'Estados
Unidos contra el resto del mundo', que son las elecciones
norteamericanas. Por lo general lo perdemos todos: tanto los Estados
Unidos como el resto del mundo. La semana que viene -el primer martes
después del primer lunes de noviembre, reza la enigmática y hermética
disposición constitucional- tenemos otra vez ese certamen. Y, una vez
más, lo vamos a perder.
Hace unos días se hicieron encuestas en un montón de países, de la
China a Chile, de la India a Inglaterra, de España a Egipto, de
Australia a África del Sur, sobre las preferencias en cuanto a los
candidatos a la presidencia de los Estados Unidos, George W. Bush y
John Kerry. Y en todas partes (salvo en Israel) perdió Bush de manera
arrolladora. Pero, claro, lo que pasa en la vida real es que ni los
chilenos ni los chinos, ni los indios ni los ingleses, ni los egipcios
ni los españoles, ni los australianos ni los surafricanos, votan en
las elecciones de los Estados Unidos. (Los colombianos tampoco). Y es
en los Estados Unidos donde va a ganar Bush, aunque pierda en todas
partes. Ganará Bush, y perderemos todos los demás habitantes de la
Tierra, empezando por los electores norteamericanos que van a votar
Y va a ganar Bush de manera irreprochablemente democrática. No como la
vez pasada, hace cuatro años, cuando perdió las elecciones pero su
hermano Jeb Bush, que era (y sigue siendo) gobernador del estado de
Florida se sacó de la manga los votos que hacían falta para ganar, y
luego, en vista de las disputas por la trampa del recuento, los jueces
de la Corte Suprema nombrados en su momento por el presidente Bush,
padre de ambos, decidieron que el ganador era Bush, y que no había más
discusión. No. Esta vez no va a ser turbia su victoria. Esta vez Bush
va a ganar de verdad, con sus propios votos. Y por una razón muy
sencilla. Que a los votantes norteamericanos les gusta más Bush que
Y les gusta más Bush precisamente por la misma razón que hace que no
les guste, y les dé miedo, a los habitantes del resto del mundo. Por
la razón de que Bush es un peligro para el mundo. Pero eso a los
votantes norteamericanos les encanta. Y es por eso que los estrategas
electorales de Bush han reforzado ese 'mensaje', como se llama la
cosa: "Bush no les gusta ni a los miedosos europeos ni a los
traicioneros árabes, ni a los mendigos latinoamericanos ni a los
comunistas chinos, ni a todos esos miserables extranjeros que no votan
por aquí, pero que ya quisieran. No les gusta porque son cobardes. En
cambio sí les gusta a los valientes, como los israelíes de Ariel
Sharon, que luchan contra el terrorismo internacional (y que por otra
parte, ellos sí, votan aquí)".
En eso les ayudan a los estrategas electorales de Bush los estrategas
electorales de Kerry. Porque pretenden mostrar a su candidato como
todavía más aterrador que el mismísimo Bush: "El nuestro también es
capaz de bombardear a quien sea". "El nuestro también apoya lo que
diga Ariel Sharon". "El nuestro es más guerrero que aquel otro: lo
demostró peleando en Vietnam contra los malos de aquel entonces, que
eran los comunistas".
O sea: que, como siempre, los dos lados dicen mentiras. Pero las
mentiras aprestigian a Bush, y desprestigian a Kerry. Por las peores
razones, en un caso y en el otro. Porque hacen ver a Bush como un
valiente, cuando en realidad es sencillamente un matón; y hacen ver a
Kerry como un oportunista, que quiere presentarse como un matón para
no parecer 'una nena'.
Repito: va a ganar Bush. Y va a perder todo el resto del mundo.