Cold War Fearmongering on Cuba and Korea

by | Jan 13, 2016


It is standard strategy in North Korea for officials to keep the citizenry constantly on edge about the possibility of a US attack. The idea is that if people are kept afraid, they will inevitably rally to the government, ignore their desperate economic plight, and accept any loss of liberty necessary to keep them safe.

To keep the citizenry afraid, North Korean officials point to pronouncements by US officials regarding the evil nature of North Korea, military exercises by US troops, and provocations by South Korean officials.

North Korean officials also never cease reminding North Koreans of the massive bombing and napalming of North Korean cities and villages during the Korean War, when the US Air Force had almost total air superiority.

In fact, that was also the reminder that the US Air Force wanted to send North Koreans when it flew a B-52 bomber over South Korea a few days ago, after North Korea reportedly exploded a hydrogen bomb.

But obviously, North Korea is not the first national-security state to employ the fearmongering strategy. In fact, the US national-security state, along with its acolytes in the mainstream press, is a master of the strategy.

A good example of fearmongering appeared in a January 11 Wall Street Journal article by noted conservative columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady. O’Grady observed that a US Hellfire missile has been acquired by Cuba, which, she reminds us, is only 90 miles away from American shores.

Even more ominous, O’Grady tells us that Cuba is friends with North Korea and, therefore, might deliver the missile to North Korea to study and analyze.

Shades of Cold War fear! Everyone needs to start looking under his bed again for commies! The dominoes are certain to start dropping! Anyone for reinvading Vietnam? Where is Joseph McCarthy when we need him?

How did Cuba acquire that Hellfire missile? According to the website, the missile had been in Spain for a training exercise, was moved around various European cities, and then mistakenly loaded on a Paris to Havana flight.

But that’s not good enough for O’Grady. it’s impossible for her to believe that pro-US bureaucrats could make that sort of mistake. She says that it has to be a deliberate theft because, she says, that’s what spies do.

Oh, something else: It was a dummy missile, entirely inert, a point that O’Grady failed to mention in her article. Maybe that’s because it would make for a less scary article. points out something else that O’Grady failed to mention: “By far the worst recent example of the Hellfire being compromised, however, is the fall of Iraq’s Mosul to forces from ISIS (or Daesh, if you prefer), which led to about $700 million worth of working Hellfire missiles falling into the hands of terrorists.”

Wow! Talk about scary! While O’Grady is mired in her Cold War fears, she apparently overlooks the modern-day bugaboo of the US national-security state — the terrorists! (And ISIS, also known as ISIL and the Islamic State as the mainstream press never cease to remind us.)

That’s not all. states: “The US sells thousands upon thousands of workingHellfires to ‘close’ military ‘allies’ like Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.”

Now, you don’t think that there is anyone in those governments who would compromise America’s Hellfire secrets, do you?

One more thing of interest about the Hellfire: According to an article on Counterpunch, “The Hellfire is already obsolete. Current reports from the US military press mention that in August of 2015, the decision was made to develop Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles (JAGM) in order to retire not only the already obsolete Hellfire II, but also the TOW (BGM-71) and Maverick (AGM-65) missiles.”

I wonder if O’Grady knows this because it certainly isn’t in her scary article.

Of course, Cuba is another example of a national-security state that long kept its citizens fearful of a US regime-change operation.

But let’s keep in mid that throughout all the fearmongering about Cuba that the Pentagon, the CIA, and US conservatives engaged in during the Cold War, it was never Cuba that attacked the United States, engaged in terrorism or sabotage against the United States, or attempted to assassinate any American official.

Instead, it was always the other way around. It was always the US national-security state that was the aggressor against Cuba. It was the US national-security state that invaded the island (unsuccessfully), initiated acts of terrorism and sabotage within Cuba, and conspired to assassinate the president of Cuba.

Let’s also not forget that Korea’s civil war was none of the US government’s business, any more than Vietnam’s civil war was. Moreover, US involvement in both wars was illegal under our form of government because it lacked the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war. Aren’t conservatives supposed to be constitutionalists?

So, why the Cold War fearmongering by the Wall Street Journal? Could it have anything to do with President Obama’s efforts to lift the decades-long US embargo against Cuba, the embargo that has proven to be a total failure in achieving the U.S national-security state’s goal of regime change in that country?

Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation.


  • Jacob G. Hornberger

    Jacob George Hornberger is an American attorney, author, and politician who was a Libertarian candidate for president in 2000 and 2020. He is the founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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