Pity Mary Anastasia O’Grady of the Wall Street Journal. Last month, the Journal published an article by the well-known conservative columnist in which she was absolutely hyper about a U.S. Hellfire missile that had somehow ended up in Cuba, the island 90 miles away from American shores whose communist regime, according to conservatives, has long constituted a dagger aimed at America’s throat.
Reviving Cold War fears to which Americans were subjected by U.S. conservatives and the U.S. national-security establishment from 1945-1989, O’Grady stated that it was inconceivable that the shipment of the missile to Cuba was just a mistake, as U.S officials were claiming.
Let’s face it: That was no shipping error, as some have speculated. Stealing weapons technology is what spies do for a living, and getting hold of a sophisticated piece of U.S. equipment is a major coup for Havana.
In other words, conspiracy! O’Grady was convinced that the Cuban communists had conspired to steal the missile in Europe and bring it back to Cuba.
What then? Well, naturally the conspiracy involved the Cuban communists sharing the missile’s technology with fellow communists, such as those in North Korea, as well as with Russia and Iran. O’Grady wrote:
It is not a stretch to think that the regime will share, for a price, everything there is to know about the laser-guided, air-to-surface Hellfire — which can be launched from a helicopter or drone as well as from a plane — with its good friends Iran, Russia and North Korea, and even with other terrorist organizations.
It makes sense to include Russia in the conspiracy because Russia was the principal component of the Soviet Union, which was the communist regime that was the U.S. national security state’s “enemy” during the Cold War (and previously America’s World War II partner and ally). Moreover, as some conservative conspiracy theorists maintain, the dismantling of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the liberation of Eastern Europe, the unification of Germany, and the end of the Warsaw Pact were all part of the communist conspiracy to lull and seduce the West into disarming, at which point the communists could finally take over America.
It also makes sense to include Iran in the conspiracy given the Iranian regime’s refusal to behave in the same deferential manner toward the U.S. national security state as the Iranian dictatorial regime of the Shah of Iran did. He, of course, was the dictator who was installed into power by the CIA in a coup that ousted from power the democratically appointed prime minister of Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh.
What I can’t figure out is why O’Grady omitted China and Vietnam from her conspiracy theory. China has been headed by a communist regime since just a few years after the end of World War II, the war where President Roosevelt intentionally provoked the Japanese into attacking the United States partly in order to liberate China from Japanese tyranny. China was also a principal component of the Cold War. And let’s not forget — the Pentagon and the CIA now consider China to be a “rival” to the U.S. Empire, one that has become overly “assertive.”
And hey, what’s with leaving Vietnam out of the Hellfire conspiracy? That communist regime killed almost 60,000 U.S. troops during the U.S. invasion, occupation, and bombing of Vietnam. That’s where the dominoes could still start falling.
As I pointed out in my January 12, 2015, article, “Cold War Fearmongering on Cuba and Korea,” there are, not surprisingly, some problems with O’Grady’s conspiracy theory.
For one, it turns out that when Mosul, Iraq, fell to the terrorists, they acquired $700 million worth of working Hellfire missiles. (The one in Cuba was inert.) That could mean, of course, that the communists could be conspiring with the terrorists, which I’m sure conservatives would say, should mean a doubling of the budget of the Pentagon and the CIA in order to keep us safe.
Also, we should note that U.S. officials sell the Hellfire missile to close dictatorial allies, such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. But of course, since they’re on our side, U.S. officials and American conservatives undoubtedly feel that they can be trusted not to share the Hellfire technology with others.
Finally, according to an article on Counterpunch, “The Hellfire is already obsolete. Current reports from the U.S. 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.”
So, why feel sorry for O’Grady? Well, because Cuba just returned that Hellfire missile to the United States. O’Grady now has to figure out how that fits into the international communist/terrorist conspiracy.