Sunday, June 03, 2007

What will happen when Castro falls?

Let me start by establishing some basic facts. My fellow Floridian Randy Wayne White explains things as follows:

"It is discussion that all Cubans enjoy, but most of them know it will not go as smoothly as some would like to pretend. By air and boat and inner tube, more than two million Cubans have immigrated to the United States and, when Castro falls, the return migration will not be as peaceful, nor as massive, as some believe. The Cubans are one of the great American success stories. They are brilliant people: smart, industrious, family-oriented, goal-oriented. In the space of less than two generation, they have accumulated extraordinary wealth and power in the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth. Were they really going to abandon that?

A few years ago, the Miami Herald ran the results of the poll which indicated that, even with
Castro gone, only one in five Cuban-Americans would return to their native island. Although the poll did not supply demographics, it is not unreasonable to assume that, of that number, most would go expecting to recover their old properties and resume their old lives. It's a pipe dream. It will never happen. The life they knew, in homes and on the island they loved, is gone forever...
Another fallacy is that, after the fall, Cuban_Americans will receive a warm welcome from their long-suffering countrymen. Despite the lengthy political separation, weren't they still brothers? Nope. They are not brothers ... and never were.

It is a ticklish problem; one seldom discussed, but the fact is that ninety-five percent of the Cubans who fled the island were white. With their exodus, blacks became a racial majority in Cuba... and it was Cuba's black population - historically used as little more than a slave labor - who rushed to take over the homes and properties abandoned by the exiles. On the day that Castro came to power, Havana's Miramar and Vedado neighborhoods were made up of tasteful mansions and estates. Now most of those mansions are black tenements and slums.

On the day that Castro took control, Catholicism was the national religion. Today the most widely practiced religion is Santeria, and Afro-Cuban belief very similar to Haiti's voodoo. Santeria plays prominently in Castro's political decisions. The predictions of Santeria priests are even reported in state newspapers.

Is this new Cuban majority eager for the return of teh Miami exiles? Absolutely not. Indeed, they are terrified at the prospect. In Castro's essentially all-white puppet government, blacks have very little input. But they had absolutely no influence at all when the people who fled Cuba were in control. That's why they don't want change. And that's why they will probably fight it when change comes knocking on their door.

The what-will-happen-when-Castro-falls is an enjoyable conversational game, but the reality is much darker. It will be a difficult and painful transition... and it also may be very bloody indeed..."

The above seven paragraphs were quoted directly from Randy Wayne White's book "North of Havana." He is perfectly right on target. How do I know? There is a precedent for it. It has happened before. Let me introduce you to a sample of comparable geopolitical analytical analogy.

It has happened in Czechoslovakia - after the so-called Velvet Revolution. Czechoslovakia was under the communist boot for 42 years, Cuba for 48 years (and still counting). During that time over a million people left Czechoslovakia and settled all over the world. Their properties were distributed by the communists to the lowest scum imaginable in their nation - and this scum is supporting those communists to this very day. Just look at the May Day celebration in Prague this year and the photographs of who was celebrating!

There was no black population in Czechoslovakia, but ethnic cleansing happened there on a big scale. It started after WWII with the forceful removal of ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia - to the tune of 3 million people (and 270 thousand murdered during the process). By that time several thousand ethnic Jews had been removed from Czechoslovakia (with about a hundred thousand murdered during the German occupation - Czechs happily blame it on the Germans, even if Czechs are anti-semites par excellence themselves) and now came a wave of one million (over the years, of course) ethnic Czechs fleeing the country to escape communism and their jails. Add the numbers and get a very decent number of houses, apartments and other properties available for re-distribution among lower rabble and communist-supporting cretins. I even have a very un-scientific (but tested) theory that as the malnutrition in North Korea caused a decrease in average male height by almost 2 inches (5 cm) (and that is scientifically proven!), that in the same way this massive 42 year long brain drain caused an average decrease of 10 points on the Raven IQ test of the average Czechoslovak citizen.

When the infamous Velvet Revolution in November 1989 happened, Czechoslovak exiles rushed back to their perceived "homeland" and were slapped hard in the face with a "Cuban surprise" - they were not about to get their properties back. The above-described cretins now living in their houses and properties were not about to return what they considered "theirs" and had the full support of local Czech laws and the Czech government, who was populated - thanks to celebrated fake-humanist Vaclav Havel - almost exclusively by communists! Communists and communism took extremely deep roots in Czechoslovakia and even if it may sound a bit harsh (as our well-meaning Dubya is finding out about Iraq) - some nations are not sufficiently civilized to accept freedom and democracy. They do not like freedom and democracy in Iraq, they do not like freedom and democracy in Czechoslovakia, they do not like freedom and democracy in Cuba. And you can not force freedom and democracy on anybody.

So the Czech exiles had to leave their properties in the hands of commies and commie-supportive rabble again and leave the country for the second time with a tails between the legs, all the while Vaclav Havel was collecting honorary degrees and awards worldwide. Liberal universites did not care that Havel's humanitarian credits were comparable to those of Idi Amin Dada. Why should they? Leftwing Vaclav Havel is historically responsible for not punishing communist crimes in Czechoslovakia and for keeping former communists in positions of power. The Czech Republic's army's officer's cadre was exclusively communist - yet they were accepted as regular members of NATO and have rendered that once great alliance virtually incompetent. Czech allegiances are split in the best case - and favor Russia's direction every time Putin starts threatening with new missiles (which was last week as of last count). The world would probably be better off if the Czechs were still behind the barbed wire of the Iron curtain.

Tomorrow, June 3, 2007, our well-meaning (and perhaps a bit naive) president George W. Bush will be in Prague, Czech Republic. Over ninety percent of the Czech dignitaries he will meet there, from current Czech president Klaus down, are either former communists or people extremely soiled by collaboration with the communist regime. By the way - historians generally agree that while the Nazis are responsible for at least 20 million deaths, the communists are responsible for at least 100 million deaths. I wonder if Dubya would be so gladhanding in Germany if he knew that 90 percent of the German dignitaries were former Nazis? Yes, freedom and democracy is still a very foreign concept to many nations - including the post-communist Czechs.

There is no reason to expect that the situation in Cuba after Castro's departure will be much different than it is today in the completely screwed up, allegedly "post-communist" Czech Republic.

Do we need another Czech Republic ninety miles south of Key West?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Imagine Hitler's children...

I was recently able to sneak in and out of the Czech Republic and here is my report: It is worse than anybody could have ever predicted.

Imagine Hitler's children running post-war Germany. Sure, Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels and all other big-name Nazis would be dead and gone, but low-level Nazis would be promoted to top positions in government and society and running every aspect thereof. No escape. That is roughly the equivalent of today's Czech Republic. The old commie honchos are gone, having never been punished for their crimes, and are enjoying their retirements. Younger ex-communists, now pretending to be freedom-loving democrats are behind the wheel and firmly in control.

Rabid anti-Americanism oozes from every pore of that country. The Czech media, with their expected Judas-like bias are doing their fifth column job with the same fervent devotion as CNN (the Communist News Network) or PMSNBC here in America and spews hatred against America and anything which can be viewed as pro-American. Anti-American leftists like Michael Moore, Oliver Stone and similar nutcases are celebrated as big American heroes in the same way as Hugo Chavez. The older generation is trying to justify their idiotic positions by comparing the U.S. to the Russians: "First we were under forced Soviet dominance, now we are being forced everything American." Americans are generally considered fat, lazy, uneducated, burger-eating idiots with Bush, who is "like Hitler" holding a special place in their hatred. Prague is a favorite place of many American expatriates, especially those of left-of-Karl-Marx persuasion. Let's hope that Babs Streisand, Jane Fonda and Alec Baldwin will move there soon. The ex-pats recently had a big event there, something called "Americans against Bush". No kidding.

Communism sank such a deep roots in the Czech Republic that it is now firmly embedded in the fabric of society and is virtually not removable. Over 75% of current teachers were at some point in their careers members of Communist party - the rest, the younger ones who were too young to join the party, are still the products of communist schools and their communist teachers. A telling example of the state of Czech society is the Czech version of the "free Internet" encyclopedia Wikipedia. True to its form, it is officially headed by a former StaSi and StB (Czech secret police) informer, but the majority of its "contributors" are very young kids, sometimes as young as 15 years old. I intentionally wrote "contributors" because the Czech Wikipedia is not about contributing, it is about governing - who is in charge and who is to decide what is allowed to be written in this web-accessible encyclopedia. What you get is eerily similar to what happened to the children in William Golding's book "The Lord of the Flies" when they attempt to govern themselves and fail with disastrous results. These "children of the Czech Wikipedia", which are additionally heavily infected with the "Czech vision of the world" (almost identical with Marxism), are not contributing to Wikipedia, but are endlessly terrorizing each other and fighting for imaginary "power." When unsuspecting new contributors wanders in, their texts are immediately scanned and edited by overzealous, pre-pubescent cretins so they do not contain anything even remotely critical of past and current communist regimes in the Czech Republic, with no regard to historic facts whatsoever.

Czechs as a nation have an inferiority complex of humungous proportions. It is easily noticeable in situations where they apply the achievements of anybody even remotely of Czech origin as the achievement of the whole "Czech nation." Czechs were always sporting this weird trait, but in the last 17 years it has reached simply unbearable proportions. When Czech sport teams (i.e. hockey - a sport that Czechs are traditionally good at) win any competition, hundreds of thousands of people gather in town squares and while frenetically screaming "We are the champions!" (Jsme mistri!) drink themselves into oblivion with their low-quality Czech beer. Every civilized western nation has their achieving sport teams and their sport fans (The Bears!), but none of those happy fans ever tried to apply the achievement of their teams on themselves or their nation! The drunken Czech mob then usually unanimously nominates the leading sport figure to be President and leader of the whole country ("Hasek na Hrad!"). I am living near a golf course, but I do not recall, even after his many very famous victories, hearing an ear-piercing roar of "Tiger Woods for President!" I guess we are too far to the West and the Czechs are to far to the East.

According to recent newspaper reports the Czech military, which employs over fifty thousand "officers", most of them sitting in Prague's Department of Defense can currently offer ONLY THREE THOUSAND BATTLE-READY SOLDIERS. That is top heavy management brought to the extreme. And the "battle-readiness" of Czech soldiers is still a matter of opinion and rightfully questioned by many. When a very small contingent of Czech soldiers (numbering less than 100) was with great brouhaha of Czech Bush-hating press sent to Kuwait (Czech chest-beating patriots claimed that it was Iraq) they distinguished themselves by stealing sweaters in U.S. Army supply stores and stealing personal laptop computers from U.S. servicemen. They were sent packing back to the Czech Republic without coming anywhere close to military action. At home they were feted and toasted, received promotions and a chest-full of medals. The most incompetent of them were given posts at Brussels' NATO Headquarters - since the Czech Republic is a member of NATO (yep, Clinton did it) too. After all, they were "Iraq war veterans."

Last weekend, while we were watching sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, I vented my aforementioned observations to a friend, who used to "work for the U.S. government", as they like to say and was stationed for years in West Berlin and elsewhere in western Europe. "You got it right on, bro," said the man with a mild sneer. "With allies like the Czechs - who needs enemies?"

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Ich bin ein American...

Construction of the Berlin Wall began on August 13, 1961. On June 26, 1963 , when President Kennedy famously proclaimed that he was a doughnut (yes, folks, a Berliner is a doughnut), I was not too far from there. Unfortunately, I was on the other side - the wrong side - of the Berlin wall and Iron Curtain. In my defence I would say that it was not my choice - I was born there.

I remember nazism, fascism, anti-semitism, Marxism, Stalinism, communism and even "socialism with a human face". Despite being old enough to remember Unter den Linden still in ruins, before it was rebuilt, I was born after World War Two ended and as such I did not experience nazism and fascism myself, but the first hand experiences of my parents and family left an impression on me. All the other -isms I experienced on my own and I have scars to prove it. In that sad part of the world you could not travel a hundred miles without seeing some depressing memento of those times. Auschwitz was less then a hundred miles from where I was born and the place where Oscar Schindler (Schindler's list) had his factory was less then fifty miles away.

So I was born in a far away place, but in my soul I was always an American. I always knew that when I grew up I had to go where I was sure I belonged - to America. I came to America completely legally, I did not sneak across any borders, did not break any laws, did not protest and act like America owed me something simply because I was here. I took care of the legalities and I became an American citizen.

I have seen another -ism: anti-Americanism. Anti-Americanism is based on the same principles as nazism, fascism, anti-semitism and communism. It is based on envy and hate. Nazis and anti-semites started with hating Jews (because they were more industrious and wealthy than Nazis), communists hated just about everybody else (especially "capitalists" because - again - they had more money and brains than the commies could ever hope for). The violence of Kristallnacht and the holocaust (complete with the stealing of property and ripping out of gold teeth) was soon to follow. Not to be outdone by the Nazis, the Communists created one huge concentration camp called the "Eastern Bloc." They stole absolutely everything, killed millions and created a police states that made the Nazi effort look like amateur hour.

Today's "anti-Americanism" is nothing less than the same old hateful ideology: the ideology of under-achievers against over-achievers. It always starts with simple envy, develops into dislike and hate and culminates in violence, regardless if it is propagated by local leftists and liberal no-goodniks or some middle-eastern hateful ideology, pretending to be a religion. Yes, folks, political correctness is just another name for communist censorship. Sticks and stones can break my bones - but words leave permanent damage. The ideology of anti-Americanism has already progressed from envy to hate and has now entered the stage of violence. Have you already forgotten 9/11?

President Kennedy said on that day that "All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words 'Ich bin ein Berliner.'" and all applauded and nobody cared that he said "ein" (that "ein" is the difference between somebody being from Berlin and a doughnut) because everybody knew what he meant and that he meant well.

My own paraphrase is that all free men, wherever they may live, are Americans. And, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words "Ich bin ein American!"

Friday, March 30, 2007

Czech Republic: Fair trial concerns in the case of Yekta Uzunoglu

Public StatementAI Index: EUR 71/001/2007 (Public)News Service No: 061
28 March 2007
Czech Republic: Fair trial concerns in the case of Yekta Uzunoglu

Amnesty International has received reports that Yekta Uzunoglu, a German citizen of Kurdish origin originally arrested in 1994, has been denied his right to a fair trial. Yekta Uzunoglu has also alleged that he was subjected to torture and other ill-treatment by law enforcement officials.

According to information received by Amnesty International Yekta Uzunoglu was arrested outside his flat on 13 September 1994. The arrest was based on testimony received from another Turkish citizen, Göksel Otan, who had been living in the Czech Republic under the alias of Gurkan Gönen and reportedly working as a police agent. Göksel Otan accused Yekta Uzunoglu of abducting and torturing him. However, in statements given to his lawyer at the time, several witnesses -- representatives of the pharmaceutical company Boots and of a Turkish cosmetic company, as well as several Czech individuals -- said that Yekta Uzunoglu had been with them at the time the act of torture was alleged to have taken place. Yekta Uzunoglu was charged with a range of offences, including torture, limitation of personal freedom, conspiracy to murder, robbery, fraud, and possessing arms without a licence.

Yekta Uzunoglu alleges that shortly after his arrest and while being held in custody he was subjected to “physical torture, torment and psychological terror.” In 1996 the then Interior Minister, Jan Ruml, is said to have admitted that Yekta Uzunoglu had been abused by the police.

The charge of a threefold conspiracy to murder or preparation for a murder was withdrawn on 10 April 1995, and that of economic fraud on 5 June 1998. Regarding the alleged illegal possession of arms, according to a statement in the Chamber of Deputies by the Czech Minister of Justice at the time, Jan Kalvoda, Yekta Uzunoglu had been prosecuted on this charge “by mistake” and the Minister apologized for this during his response to parliamentary queries.

Although granted German citizenship while imprisoned, after his release on 12 March 1997 (after 31 months in custody) Yekta Uzunoglu chose to stay in the Czech Republic in order to pursue his case because the charges of torture and limitation of personal freedom were not withdrawn. Yekta Uzunoglu appealed a judgment decision from September 2003 to close down his case, on the grounds that he wished to assert his right to have a court acquit him of the charges of torture and limitation of personal freedom.

The main court hearing on this appeal began on 25 June 2004. However, the hearing was considerably delayed because Göksel Otan, the alleged victim as well as a witness, had not appeared in court on numerous occasions and the police had failed to secure his presence in court. The court had also failed to summon for testimony the witnesses who were providing an alibi for Yekta Uzunoglu. Göksel Otan appeared for the first time on 24 August 2006; he was later also questioned and heard in court on 25 August 2006, and on 5 and 6 October 2006. Göksel Otan retracted his original testimony, repeatedly declaring that Yekta Uzunoglu “did not torture him, nor was he able to torture him, because he was not present during the act of torture”. The last main hearing took place on 6 October 2006, when Göksel Otan once again reiterated that Yekta Uzunoglu was not present. After hearing the testimonies and declarations, the last court hearings restarted on 27 March.

During all this time, the case of Yekta Uzunoglu has been supported by the Czech Helsinki Committee (CHC), which was involved in this case from the very beginning in 1994. Over the years, the CHC has publicly and repeatedly raised concern about the police handling of the case. The Charta 77 Foundation, through its president František Janouch, has also expressed its solidarity and support to Yekta Uzunoglu and concern about the unlawfulness of the proceedings.

International standards require that a person charged with a criminal offence be tried within a reasonable time. This right is enshrined in Article 14(3)(c) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which requires that trials on criminal charges take place without undue delay, and in Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which requires that all trials (criminal or other) are conducted within a reasonable time. The authorities have the duty to expedite proceedings. If they fail to advance the proceeding at any stage due to neglect, allow the investigation and proceedings to stagnate or if they take an unreasonable time to complete specific measures, the time will be deemed unreasonable. Similarly, if the criminal justice system itself inhibits the speedy conclusion of trials, the right to trial within a reasonable time may be violated.

In the light of the account of these proceedings as outlined above, Amnesty International urges the Czech authorities to investigate procedural violations of Yekta Uzunoglu’s fair trial rights including the rights to be tried without undue delay, to ensure Yekta Uzunoglu’s right to call and to question witnesses under the principle of equality of arms, and to an effective defence. Amnesty International also urges the authorities to review the handling of this case in order to identify the flaws in the criminal justice system which led to Yekta Uzunoglu’s denial of a fair trial, with a view to preventing any repetition in the future. Finally Amnesty International would welcome details of any investigations which took place into Yekta Uzunoglu’s allegations of torture and ill-treatment in custody, and what their outcome was.