By Miguel Uría


Cubans in exile and Cubans in the Island must become prepared to examine, analyze, understand and reach conclusions as to where responsibilities lie when the time arrives to answer the question:

How was it that evildoers captured our country and subjected the Cuban people to such a prolonged and sustained suffering?

With the September eleven attacks, turning to the United States, similar thoughts came to my mind.

We must gather facts, analyze them and identify the individuals and which measures were directly and indirectly responsible for the success that was attained by the perpetrators of these acts of terrorism. In so complex an operation how is it possible to achieve the degree of success they had in attaining their sinister objectives that caused so much loss of life, physical destruction and profound disruption to the functioning fabric of a whole nation?

The terrorist attacks changed the American Way of Life to one of constantly living under a Damocles Sword.

We must come to understand and recognize:

When and why were there periods of systematic weakening of our armed forces which fight our enemies? (**)

How was it and why the massive transferring of technology to our enemies?

Why did our secrets become so easily accessible to our enemies?

Why did we allow an environment which permits or supports American citizens, in time of war, to openly visit and abet the enemy?

Why did we take away, yank out, the indispensable means of our Intelligence Community to protect us from the enemy?

"Usama bin Laden is also wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States embassies in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. These attacks killed over 200 people."

Is it that we need thousands of victims instead of hundreds to really go after this type of enemy? If so why? If not, Why was this enemy, murderer of Americans, not captured then or eliminated?

There must be accountability. Public officials must be held accountable. Legally and most importantly at the voting polls. I was planning to write about this subject and then via serendipity read one of the greatest American speeches ever addressed. "The Strenuous Life" by Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States and the youngest man ever sworn in to that office. Among, many other accomplishments, creator of the "Square Deal" policy, responsible for the Panama Canal, breaker of monopolies, pioneer preserver of millions of acres of wilderness as National Parks, commander of the Rough Riders, Nobel Peace Prize winner and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

"Strenuous Life" carries the message to Garcia of Teddy's time in the early 1900s and yet it is still powerful and applicable today. It is what I would have liked to have said, alerted and suggested about our present early 2000s.

Excerpts from this most famous speech by, in my judgment, the most friendly US President to Cuba, ever.

Miguel Uría

(**) What has our response been? We have cut our military virtually in half. Between 1990 and 2000 the number of army divisions has been reduced from 18 to 9. The navy has shrunk from 600 ships to 300. The number of air wings has declined from 36 to 18. That has been the national security policy of this administration. Dan Quayle / Imprimis / October 2000

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx "THE STRENUOUS LIFE" xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx by Theodore Roosevelt xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

"But let us not deceive ourselves as to the importance of the task. Let us not be misled by vainglory into underestimating the strain it will put on our powers. Above all, let us, as we value our own self-respect, face the responsibilities with proper seriousness, courage, and high resolve. We must demand the highest order of integrity and ability in our public men who are to grapple with these new problems.

We must hold to a rigid accountability those public servants who show unfaithfulness to the interests of the nation or inability to rise to the high level of the new demands upon our strength and our resources.

Of course we must remember not to judge any public servant by any one act, and especially should we beware of attacking the men who are merely the occasions and not the causes of disaster.

Let me illustrate what I mean by the army and the navy. If twenty years ago we had gone to war, we should have found the navy as absolutely unprepared as the army. At that time our ships could not have encountered with success the fleets of Spain any more than nowadays we can put untrained soldiers, no matter how brave, who are armed with archaic black-powder weapons, against well -- drilled regulars armed with the highest type of modern repeating rifle. But in the early eighties the attention of the nation became directed to our naval needs.

Congress most wisely made a series of appropriations to build up a new navy, and under a succession of able and patriotic secretaries, of both political parties, the navy was gradually built up, until its material became equal to its splendid personnel, with the result that in the summer of 1898 it leaped to its proper place as one of the most brilliant and formidable fighting navies in the entire world.

We rightly pay all honor to the men controlling the navy at the time it won these great deeds, honor to Secretary Long and Admiral Dewey, to the captains who handled the ships in action, to the daring lieutenants who braved death in the smaller craft, and to the heads of bureaus at Washington who saw that the ships were so commanded, so armed, so equipped, so well engined, as to insure the best results.

But let us also keep ever in mind that all of this would not have availed if it had not been for the wisdom of the men who during the preceding fifteen years had built up the navy.

Keep in mind the secretaries of the navy during those years; keep in mind the senators and congressmen who by their votes gave the money necessary to build and to armor the ships, to construct the great guns, and to train the crews............

And, gentlemen, remember the converse, too. Remember that justice has two sides. Be just to those who built up the navy, and, for the sake of the future of the country, keep in mind those who opposed its building up. Read the "Congressional Record." Find out the senators and congressmen who opposed the grants for building the new ships; who opposed the purchase of amour without which the ships were worthless, who opposed any adequate maintenance for the Navy Department, and strove to cut down the number of men necessary to man our fleets. The men who did these things were one and all working to bring disaster on the country. They have no share in the glory of Manila, in the honor of Santiago. They have no cause to feel proud of the valor of our sea-captains, of the renown of our flag. Their motives may or may not have been good, but their acts were heavily fraught with evil. whey did ill for the national honor, and we won in spite of their sinister opposition. Now, apply all this to our public men of today.....

To no body of men in the United States is the country so much indebted as to the splendid officers and enlisted men of the regular army and navy. There is no body from which the country has less to fear, and none of which it should be prouder, none which it should be more anxious to upbuild....

Never again should we see, as we saw in the Spanish war, major-generals in command of divisions who had never before commanded three companies together in the field. Yet, incredible to relate, Congress has shown a queer inability to learn some of the lessons of the war. There were large bodies of men in both branches who opposed the declaration of war, who opposed the ratification of peace, who opposed the upbuilding of the army, and who even opposed the purchase of amour at a reasonable price for the battleships and cruisers, thereby putting an absolute stop to the building of any new fighting-ships for the navy.

If, during the years to come, any disaster should befall our arms, afloat or ashore, and thereby any shame come to the United States, remember that the blame will lie upon the men whose names appear upon the roll-calls of Congress on the wrong side of these great questions.

On them will lie the burden of any loss of our soldiers and sailors, of any dishonor to the flag; and upon you and the people of this country will lie the blame if you do not repudiate, in no unmistakable way, what these men have done. The blame will not rest upon the untrained commander of untried troops, upon the civil officers of a department the organization of which has been left utterly inadequate, or upon the admiral with an insufficient number of ships; but upon the public men who have so lamentably failed in forethought as to refuse to remedy these evils long in advance, and upon the nation that stands behind those public men.

So, at the present hour, no small share of the responsibility for the blood shed in the Philippines, the blood of our brothers, and the blood of their wild and ignorant foes, lies at the thresholds of those who so long delayed the adoption of the treaty of peace, and of those who by their worse than foolish words deliberately invited a savage people to plunge into a war fraught with sure disaster for them-a war, too, in which our own brave men who follow the flag must pay with their blood for the silly, mock humanitarianism of the prattlers who sit at home in peace....

I preach to you, then, my countrymen, that our country calls not for the life of ease but for the life of strenuous endeavor. The twentieth century looms before us big with the fate of many nations. If we stand idly by, if we seek merely swollen, slothful ease and ignoble peace, if we shrink from the hard contests where men must win at hazard of their lives and at the risk of all they hold dear, then the bolder and stronger peoples will pass us by, and will win for themselves the domination of the world. Let us therefore boldly face the life of strife, resolute to do our duty well and manfully; resolute to uphold righteousness by deed and by word; resolute to be both honest and brave, to serve high ideals, yet to use practical methods. Above all, let us shrink from no strife, moral or physical, within or without the nation, provided we are certain that the strife is justified, for it is only through strife, through hard and dangerous endeavor, that we shall ultimately win the goal of true national greatness.


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