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wizzywig
04-22-2000, 01:36 PM
Have you seen the pictures? The screaming, bewildered six-year-old boy being kidnapped by federal agents? The agent's gun pointed directly at the boy's terrified face?

We live in a police state, friends. It's here. It's now. We all live in a wholly owned subsidiary of Castro's Havana, thanks to Bill, Janet, & Co.

These people, our elected officials, have condemned a little boy to Hell (if you don't think Castro's Cuba is Hell, get a copy of AGAINST ALL HOPE by Armando Valladares).

Look at the images of that kidnapping again. Does anyone in their right mind think that the U.S. government, Janet Reno, or Bill Clinton had one particle of concern about what is in the best interests of that little boy? Or about the rule of law? Or about honoring good-faith agreements?

Or was their only thought to preserve their backdoor deal with Castro by sacrificing that little boy?

Is anyone else ashamed to be an American right now?

--wiz


[This message has been edited by wizzywig (edited April 22, 2000).]

muchafraid
04-22-2000, 04:20 PM
Ok, this is wrong, Armed Federal Agents entering ones house, then shipping them off against their own will? What is this? I definitely donít think it was the right thing to do. What about the boy, what did he want?

"I thought this was a country of freedom," said Marisleysis Gonzalez. "Now they've really done the harm ... they have really psychologically (hurt Elian)."

I agree, what happen to that freedom there? This is a sad day in America. It is enough for one to be ashamed.

muchafraid

[This message has been edited by muchafraid (edited April 22, 2000).]

Hannibal
04-22-2000, 05:12 PM
I'm against federal agents entering peoples homes as much as anyone. But come on! This isnt the first time this has happened. the only reason this is this big is because of Castro and the fact that its a 6 year old. Otherwise it would have never made the national news and no one would have tried to protect him. there are other countries that seek asylum here as well only those people get turned back all the time (Haiti). I just hope (like Ive always hoped) that the courts make the right decision and that this poor boy doesn't have to go through much more suffering.

wizzywig
04-22-2000, 05:13 PM
http://userzweb.lightspeed.net/jdenney/gunpoint.jpg

theahnfahn
04-22-2000, 05:22 PM
The boy does belong with his father. That is what is legally correct. But to send armed federal agents in makes no sense. Does anyone wonder how in the world all these pictures were taken? I find that strange, that this top-secret raid to bring him back to his father was filmed so much.

------------------
And there he is. The reigning champion of the Boonta Classic, and the crowd favorite-TheAhnFahn

Hannibal
04-22-2000, 05:34 PM
Hopefully we shouldn't see anymore interviews or pictures of him surrounded by reporters. the press played a very big part of exploiting him.

Darth Crater
04-22-2000, 07:56 PM
This boy does not belong with his father. He belongs where he will be most loved and cared for, where he has the best chance of living a decent and normal life, where he will not be mentally harmed or abused. If this were a case involving United States citizens, there is no way the courts would rule in favor of the boy going to a single father he hasn't seen in years, over staying with a stable and caring family, relatives no less, whom he is happy to be with. Besides, it doesn't matter if it is best for him to be with the father; I don't doubt that the Cuban government will take the boy away from him as soon as they return, so they can brainwash him, make him forget what he experienced here, and make sure he knows how evil America is.

This is a sad day; if I ever had any hope in the integrity of this country to stand by its promise of freedom, that hope has been destroyed.

This little boy needs our prayers.

Argath
04-22-2000, 09:17 PM
The fact is, he isn't a United States citizen, he's an alien from Cuba. He should have been shipped back the day he landed, and keeping him here for such a long time has most likely done a lot more damage than sending him back when he first got here would have.

I don't think the government handled the situation properly, but sending him back to Cuba with his father is the proper thing to do. He suppsedly doesn't want to go back, but I have a feeling the attention he's received plays a large part in that. What child would want to give that up?

[This message has been edited by Argath (edited April 24, 2000).]

Kurgan
04-22-2000, 09:59 PM
This is a shameful situation indeed. But if you want to point fingers at the mistakes the US of A has made, this is only one of many, unfortunately. I think this government of ours truly needs REFORM, and the citizenry needs to get their priorities straight, stay informed, and not act like sheep.

Political Plug: www.buchananreform.com (http://www.buchananreform.com) ; )

Kurgan

wizzywig
04-22-2000, 10:15 PM
Agreed, Kurgen.

This incident is only symptomatic of an out-of-control, arrogant, power-drunk, totally unaccountable executive branch. There are so many other issues that exemplify this fact.

In a way, the Elian mess is almost a distraction from the many bigger issues that are sliding by unnoticed because of the massive media attention to this case. I hasten to underscore, "ALMOST a distraction," because there is nothing minor or trivial about the fate of even one little six-year-old boy.

--wiz

Darth Crater
04-22-2000, 11:30 PM
Actually, this boy is a refugee from Cuba, not just an alien, and every refugee from Cuba who makes it to the American shore is granted asylum. There are no exceptions due to age. The only way they can be sent back is if they are caught on the open seas. It is odd that the government would be so adamant about sending the boy back in only this case.

And this boy's mother gave her life so her son could live here. It was in vain, and her wishes were not respected.

[This message has been edited by Darth Crater (edited April 22, 2000).]

Jedi Kenobi
04-23-2000, 07:17 AM
This is a very sad thing. But how in the heck did they get those pictures?

lightbulba
04-23-2000, 12:55 PM
poor kid...he'll never be going back to disneyland again...
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http://www.starwars.com/snapshot/1999/20/img/merchant_sm.jpg

[This message has been edited by lightbulba (edited April 23, 2000).]

Argath
04-23-2000, 03:05 PM
The boy's legal guardian is his father. Legally, sending him back to Cuba with his father is the only proper action. It's unfortunate that this has taken so long to resolve, but allowing the boy to stay here is not the right thing to do.

Hannibal
04-23-2000, 04:12 PM
i could see if he didn't have a father. But his father is alive and cares for him so there's no other decision. Single fathers have more rights than you think. No court will take away a kid from there natural parent unless there was abuse or inability to care for the child, which there has been no proof of.

84Elan
04-23-2000, 05:53 PM
Wha the hell is this you guys are on the wrong chat room this is Star Wars I come here to get away from all that BS on the tv I mean yes it is important but there is a time and place for everything. Please not here.

Hannibal
04-23-2000, 05:57 PM
Sorry 84, your right. I have no more to say on this topic.

Argath
04-23-2000, 10:31 PM
Nobody is forcing you to read the thread. If you don't like the topic, don't read it.

Cool_Jedi
04-23-2000, 11:38 PM
This IS the CANTINA ... and if you look at the description.. this IS the one forum you can talk about ANYTHING ... it's just a gathering place to talk about whatever is on your mind.. whether it be news.. or the gabbing of the child... or even a war in some far off country... this forum gives you the right to talk about anything... it's setup for star wars gamers who want to talk about any topic at all... and I like it that way.

If you don't like a thread's topic.. then don't click on it...

Said my piece...

Jaeden
04-24-2000, 02:15 AM
I usually try to avoid getting involved in politics, but sometimes actions must be taken. The plights of the innocents and the helpless are those that are most urgent to me. They are the ones that strike us, as a people, to the very core.
The journey that this young boy has gone through is, by all standards, quite difficult. The main argument here, is not where and with whom the boy belongs, but the way in which the government has decided to act.
In my opinion, which I'll admit is weak and probably ill-informed, the boy belongs with his father. Where they will go from there, is not our decision to make.
The Miami relatives, however, resorted to despicable tactics. They have moved this from an family disagreement into a media circus that has only one goal. "Don't send the boy back to Cuba. We didn't like it, so he wouldn't either." Perhaps he would like it, I don't know. Don't get me wrong now, I'm not saying that I like the Cuban government, but I am not going to be putting words into the mouths of people I've never met. These relatives did pretty much exactly what they're complaining the US gov. did. Kidnapping. They took in the child and refused to give him back until their demands were met, isn't that pretty much a baseline description of kidnapping?
Furthermore, I agree that Elian should never have stayed this long in the US. People say that the government didn't allow the relatives more time. Funny, I usually think that 5 months is quite enough. Yes, I do mean FIVE months. He was picked up AT SEA by a fisherman on November 25. So you see, he shouldn't even be here. Those who make it to land may get asylum, but if they're picked up at sea, they are returned to Cuba.

I'm sorry if this has been repetitive to some, but this has been wearing on me for quite a while. I guess I just needed to blow off steam.

-Jaeden

Vagabond
04-24-2000, 05:26 PM
wiz,


...Have you seen the pictures? The screaming, bewildered six-year-old boy being kidnapped by federal agents? The agent's gun pointed directly at the boy's terrified face?...


You know better than this. Look at the agent's arm...it's grabbing the fisherman's left shoulder...the agent's gun-arm (his right arm) is parallel with his left arm (the arm grabbing the fisherman). The gun is therefore not even pointed at the fisherman. Furthermore, the agent's finger isn't even in the trigger chamber.

TAF, there was an AP photographer in the house. That's how the pictures were taken.

Kurgan, if you think the USA is so terrible, then perhaps you should try to get yourself elected so that you can attempt to implement reform. That, or you could probably apply for Cuban citizenship.

People, I believe many of you are gravely misinformed about who is to blame for the raid on Elian's relatives. Let me list the facts:


The boy's father was in the US.
The relatives did not have legal custody.
The relatives refused to return the boy to his father.
The relatives were breaking the law.
The US Government exercised its sovereign right to enforce the law.


Is there anyone here who thinks these Cubans have some special right to disobey the law? I can tell you right now that if I told the US government to stick it, like these Miami Cubans did, my butt would've been in jail a long time ago. Janet Reno bent over backwards to try to reach a peaceful conclusion to this situation, but in the end the relatives were not bargaining in good faith. They never had any intention of giving the father custody of his child. Under any other circumstances, this would be labeled KIDNAPPING.

Stop fueling this stupid war between the US and Cuba. It's not about that. It's about a father, who obviously loves his son to death, and a son who apprently feels the same. All of you Christian and Pro-Family republicans out there have no ground to stand on if you think there is some justifiable reason to break up this loving family. None. The Cuba is a yucky place argument doesn't cut it. If that's your sole argument, then we may as well make everyone on the planet a US citizen. Get a grip people.

And before anyone attempts this argument, no his mother didn't die trying to bring him to a country of freedom. The only reason she brought Elian with her is she wanted to go to Florida so she could be with her boyfriend. That's it. No political persecution. She was driven by romance, period.

No, our country values the family (at least many people give it lip service). Our country has laws and those laws were enforced. If anyone is to blame for the drastic action that was taken this past weekend, then that blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the Miami relatives. No where else.




------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...



[This message has been edited by Vagabond (edited April 24, 2000).]

Kylilin
04-25-2000, 01:08 AM
ok, if this kid was an american in another country, the entire country would be screaming to get him back by any means possible, and if this other country got this kid back using the same means that our country used in getting back this ****head kid that doesn't belong here in the first place, we would be applauding them. Police state my ass, the poluice can't even control the drug trade, and the sure as hell can't control all of us.

psyduck78
04-25-2000, 01:32 AM
I just don't think that breaking into their house in the middle of the night was necessary. They could've just marched up to the house in the day with a bunch of cops and said, "Fork over the kid."

Also if you noticed, the agent's finger is not on the trigger, which Janet Reno claims, did not make the gun much of a threat.

-YEAH RIGHT! I don't care whether the gun is loaded or not, or whether the gun's owner doesn't have his finger on the trigger, when a gun is pointed straight in your face, you think HOLY CRAP!

Anyway, another thing I noticed was that the the agent's weapon(MP5A4) has a 3 clip stack attached to it.[Well in the bigger pictures you can tell] The MP5A4 is the SMG of choice for Counter-Terrorists due to its stopping power and accuracy. I mean COME ON! Like the agent equipped it expecting heavy resistance.

My two cents are: It was sickening.

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His strength will be hunger-bitten.
And destruction shall be ready at his side.
-JOB

[This message has been edited by psyduck78 (edited April 24, 2000).]

Vagabond
04-25-2000, 02:42 AM
psyduck78,

Use your head man. As I said in my previous post, the gun is not pointed at anyone. The agent is holding the fisherman's left shoulder with his left arm, and since the agent is holding his weapon in his right hand, the gun isn't even pointing at the fisherman. Look at the picture wiz posted if you don't believe me. It's right there in front of your face.

Next, the reason they went in at night is because there are usually hundreds, if not thousands of protestors out in the streets during the day - many of them armed. They went in at night in order to avoid as much controntation as possible - to avoid injuries. If you can't see the logic in this strategy, then let's all just pray that you never become general of an army.

Fork over the kid in the middle of the mob? Hell, if they did that then there would be bloodshed, and lots of it. Christ, use your head man. Is that what you want? A shootout? Damn it!

What the hell's the matter with you people?! Seriously?! You think you can just decide when to follow the law and when not to? You think that if you disobey the law that there's no consequences? If that's what you want, form you own little anarchistic country, but in the US there are rules that we all must follow, even the Cuban immigrants.

When the Miami relatives refused to hand over the kid, then the government knew that they were going to have to go in and take him - they just chose the time of day that they expected the least amount of resistance in the hopes that they could minimize the chance of casulaties.

If you want to blame someone, blame those stupid, self-righteous Cuban immigrants. Hell, if they're going to flagrantly disobey the laws of our country, I saw we just dump the whole lot of them back into the ocean. They came here, and we accepted them with open arms, and this is the thanks we get? Some spoiled, Cubans who think they're entitled to do whatever the hell they want? Screw that. I can't get away with that kind of behavior. What makes them think they can?

Yes, it's too bad that the government had to resort to this type of tactic to return the boy to his father. But the blame rests with the relatives who had FIVE FREAKING MONTHS to turn the boy over, but refused. The government did what they had to do. If some psychotic relatives of mine kidnapped my child, I'd hope the government would go in and rescue him, just like they did with this Cuban kid. Some of you just seem to talk without even knowing what the hell you're saying.

Again, use your heads.


------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

psyduck78
04-25-2000, 03:01 AM
Sheezus man, relax.

Anywayz, my point is that the fisherman and Elain are both on the Business End of the gun.

Also, the point being about having it done during the day is also that the family should've abided by the law.

Me not a general? Namely, I hate war, the bloodshed is unnecessary. But, I do play war games such as StarCraft and other RTS, of course, I don't feel remorse when a soldier under my command dies, but I try and make good use of them. I don't send them in the front, I always look for a back way or a blind spot in their defense. Trust me, if you're insulting my intelligence here, you're very wrong. I understand the mob, but it was still unnecessary to bring in guns in the middle of the night.




------------------
His strength will be hunger-bitten.
And destruction shall be ready at his side.
-JOB

Kurgan
04-25-2000, 11:26 AM
Vagabond, if you don't like people like me complaining about the US and how terrible it is, then perhaps you should try to get yourself elected so that you can attempt to implement reform. That, or you could probably apply for Cuban citizenship.

The raid was done during a holiday weekend, with armed agents (those are loaded shotguns and assault rifles) in riot-gear, pointing guns at unarmed people.

The reason the agents were armed and using force was not "for fear of the mob outside" it was because Reno said, the people inside "may be armed." That was the reason. They staged the raid WHILE negotiations were going on. They were on the phone. No warning was issued, they just burst in, while the negotiations were going on.

Whether or not you are sick of hearing about the "Elian-madness" issue on TV, or whether or not you think he should be sent back to Cuba or not, I think you must agree that this makes us look like the bag guys (not Cuba), and the situation was handled all wrong.

And btw, I'm not a republican. ; )

Kurgan

[This message has been edited by Kurgan (edited April 25, 2000).]

Vagabond
04-25-2000, 12:34 PM
Kurgan, I'm not the one chastising the government. In fact, I applaud them - they should have done this as soon as the relatives' custody of the child was revoked.

The fact that the raid was done over the weekend is irrelevant. The timing was perfect from a tactical point of view: on saturday morning, between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. In fact, the timing couldn't have been more brilliant.

Very true, the people inside could have been armed. Christ, you people act like these armed agents aren't people too - people with families and children and people who love them. Reno is responsible for these peoples' lives, and she wanted them to be prepared for the worst case scenario, as any good commander should. As it turns out, no one got hurt, which is what everyone wants, right? Right?! Or do some of you secretly wish that the agents had shot someone so you'd have some actual ground to stand on for critisizing the government?

And no, I'm not sick of the Elain-Madness, what I'm was sick of is the government drawing lines in the sand that basically say, "Okay, this really is your last chance", only to have the dealine pass and nothing happened. These Cuban relatives were law-breakers, plain and simple. They should count their blessings that they don't get charges filed against them for kidnapping.

No, I don't think this government action makes us look like the bad guys. I think it makes the Cuban immigrant community look like the bad guys - it makes our government look credible - makes us look like we actually have the ability to enforce our laws on our own freaking soil. No, if anything the Cuban immigrant community has lost a lot of credibility over this debacle. Christ, the female cousin is out of her mind. She claims that the pictures of Elain smiling with his father were doctored or faked. The INS agent who took the pictures handed the negatives over to an AP photographer and he verified that the negatives weren't tampered with.

Let me list the facts again:


The kid's father was in the US.
The relatives did not have legal custody.
The relatives refused to return the boy to his father.
The relatives were breaking the law.
The US Government exercised its sovereign right to enforce the law.


So, what's everyone's problem? That we actually have a government that can act? A government that's not so bogged down in it's own bureacracy and political correctness that it's paralyzed to do anything? Maybe your problem is that the government decided to go in at a time when they expected the least amount of confrontation; can't stand it that they actually did something right, can you?

I'm just tired of hearing people bash them for what they did. Why don't you put yourselves in the governments' shoes for once. Go ahead, try and empathize for a moment, for the sake of argument.

-You have a set of internationally recognized laws that recognize the right of parents to speak for their children.

-You have a loving, sane, father who desperately wants to be reunited with his son.

-You have relatives of the child, that while they may in fact love the child, are not his legal parents.

-You are obligated by your position in government to enforce the laws of the land, hence you must return the child to his father.

-Your agents are people with loving families and friends as well, and you are responsible for their well-being.

And for an added level of empathy, try now to imagine that they are your relatives and that they have your child, and they won't turn him over. Imagine that they dare you to take him away from them, as they're surrounded by rowdy mobs yelling and chanting with raised fists.

So the question is, if you are the government, what do you do? I say they did the right thing, and we should be proud of them. Furthermore, we should be more critical of the rantings of the US's Cuban immigrant population.

Look at the whole picture people. Use your heads.


------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...



[This message has been edited by Vagabond (edited April 25, 2000).]

wizzywig
04-25-2000, 02:11 PM
I opened this thread just minutes after watching the news footage on Saturday morning, just minutes after waking up in fact. I saw a scene where the government, ostensibly acting in the "welfare" of a child, kicked in doors, came in with guns drawn, using pepper spray and tear gas, terrorizing the child, pointing an automatic weapon in the boy's direction, dragging him screaming out of the house and tossing him into a van.

There was, by the way, NO WARRANT. If there had been weapons in the house (as Reno claims was a driving motivation), there would have almost certainly been people shot and killed (quite possibly the boy), so the operation to me seems reckless. When no one gets killed by a reckless operation, you don't call it just and wise, you just consider it lucky.

Oddly, none of these so-called "law-breakers" were arrested--why not, if they broke the law? (I submit that disobeying a government order is not always the same thing as breaking the law.)

The timing of the raid between Good Friday and Easter Sunday may seem tactically brilliant, but it is a thumb in the eye of the entire Cuban-American community, like the Arabs attacking Israel on Yom Kippur.

I don't think the way you handle any child welfare/custody situation is with guns drawn, with pepper spray and tear gas, with assault tactics. I continue to be horrified by that.

As it turns out, no one got hurt, which is what everyone wants, right? Right?!

Yes. But the better way to do that is to not send in Darth Reno and her Waco storm troopers. (I knew this was coming, though, when I heard her about a week earlier refer to the "family compound." If Reno calls your home a "compound," expect to be raided.)

No, I don't think this government action makes us look like the bad guys. I think it makes the Cuban immigrant community look like the bad guys.

That, actually, has been part of the government's strategy--to discredit the Cuban-American community, which has always voted as a bloc against Clinton.

The fix has been in since the beginning. Elian has been nothing but a pawn in a much larger political game. Ever since the boy was brought ashore, it's been about appeasing Castro in order to get a deal for an open Cuba policy, part of Clinton's salvage-my-legacy plan. Reno and Clinton don't give a !@#$ about what's best for the boy. They only care about what's best for Clinton.

Look at who the father's attorney is: Greg Craig, one of the lead Clinton attorneys in the Lewinsky impeachment probe and a foreign policy advisor (foreign policy! everybody get that? hello? foreign policy!) to Al Gore's campaign. The fix is in, and it's been Clinton & Castro vs. the little kid all along. That's all there is to this thing. The welfare of the boy doesn't matter squat to this government.

I also disagree that this a loving father. I see him as much a pawn as Elian, just following Castro's script. I put myself in that place and I ask myself--

Why has he never thanked the fishermen who found his boy and saved his life? (I know that's what I would have done.)

Why would he not say to Reno and Co., "Let's just wait this out, I don't want anything to happen to my boy, don't you dare bring automatic weapons within ten miles of my boy"? (I know that's what I would have said.)

I am convinced there are depths to this thing that the 57 percent of the American people who support this dangerous, ugly raid are not aware of. When you start examining some of the nuances and inconsistencies and so forth, you get a strong whiff of the fact that this operation (like so many Clinton operations) is not what it appears to be on the surface.

--wiz



[This message has been edited by wizzywig (edited April 25, 2000).]

Vagabond
04-25-2000, 02:43 PM
wiz,


...There was, by the way, NO WARRANT...


Your facts are wrong. There was a warrant. You need to do more research before making such assertions.

The reason that Reno probably isn't filing charges against the relatives is because she is exercising her prosecutorial discretion. She's trying to offer an olive branch in order to soothe an already tense situation.


...The timing of the raid between Good Friday and Easter Sunday may seem tactically brilliant, but it is a thumb in the eye of the entire Cuban-American community, like the Arabs attacking Israel on Yom Kippur...


Completely and utterly irrelevant.


...I don't think the way you handle any child welfare/custody situation is with guns drawn, with pepper spray and tear gas, with assault tactics...


That's your opinion. These storm troopers, as you like to impersonalize them, are actually good, decent people. Reno is responsible for their well being, so yes, they brought in non-lethal weapons (tear gas/pepper spray), but they also brought in heavy weapons in case they faced armed resistance.


...That, actually, has been part of the government's strategy--to discredit the Cuban-American community, which has always voted as a bloc against Clinton...The fix has been in since the beginning...I am convinced there are depths to this thing that...the American people...are not aware of...

You're paranoid wiz - get a grip. This case is clear. Do you even have kids man?

Whether you like Cuba or not, the fact remains that this man is the father of Elian, period. END OF DISCUSSION. Since he's a fit parent, international law recognizes his right to speak for his child. What part of this don't you understand wiz?


...Why would he not say to Reno and Co., "Let's just wait this out, I don't want anything to happen to my boy, don't you dare bring automatic weapons within ten miles of my boy"?...


Why don't you ask this question: why doesn't the Miami relatives return the boy to his rightful and loving father? Answer that wiz, answer that.

In any event, what you have expressed is wiz's opinion. If Elian had been my child, I'd have probably gone in there myself with guns ablaze to retrieve my kid.

wiz, no offense, but it sounds like you just hate Clinton, and no matter how he handled this situation, you'd still be critisizing him. To me, that makes you lose credibility in this debate.

In my view, this kid was being manipulated by his relatives, who weren't even his legal guardians, and had never even seen him before, until he showed up 5 months ago. They were the ones using hims as a pawn in this STUPID anti-Castro fight. Newsflash: No one gives a $hit about this Cuba/Communism thing anymore, except for the embittered Cuban immigrant population; Cuba is broke; they're not a threat to us anymore; wake up to the next millenium for crying out loud.

Summary:

The Miami Cubans were illegally keeping the kid from his rightful father, and the government had no choice to be retrieve him. This is clear and unambiguous. There is just NO JUSTIFIABLE EXCUSE FOR KEEPING THIS CHILD FROM HIS FATHER.

And as a final word wiz, this raid could have been avoided if the relatives would have just handed Elian over at a neutral site as the government continually requested, but the relatives refused. No wiz, my misguided friend, the blame for the raid rests with the relatives and their short-sighted stubbornness.


------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...



[This message has been edited by Vagabond (edited April 25, 2000).]

theahnfahn
04-25-2000, 03:24 PM
Vagabond says to Wiz:
Do you even have kids man?

Vagabond, you really don't pay much attention to these forums, do you? http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/smile.gif

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And there he is. The reigning champion of the Boonta Classic, and the crowd favorite-TheAhnFahn

Vagabond
04-25-2000, 03:43 PM
TAF, you are correct, I don't scour these forums very thoroughly. In any event, I suspect that wiz may have children, but I just had to ask anyway because I was baffled that a parent could actually be okay with a fellow parent being separated from his/her child by rouge relatives.


------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

theahnfahn
04-25-2000, 04:05 PM
Come forth little wizzlings. Come forth and let Vagabond know what kind of father you have http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/smile.gif

------------------
And there he is. The reigning champion of the Boonta Classic, and the crowd favorite-TheAhnFahn

Kurgan
04-25-2000, 08:16 PM
Vagy, vagy, it's no crime to criticize the gov't. C'mon, you act like it's a mortal sin. I'm speaking my mind, which is my first ammendment right. And you've said your's.

If I really wanted to be mean, I could say you were merely blindly believing all the propaganda fed to you by the government.
; )

But I won't, cause I'm a nice guy, and I feel you have a right to your opinion as well.

If you think that "they did all they could" and "we did the right thing" as Reno and Clinton said, then that's fine. But I disagree with you, and that's okay.

There's this attitude among some that we have no right to complain about anything, or we have to leave the country or become our own dictators in some far off country if we want to have an opinion that differs from the establishment. That's kind of a narrow-minded view, which I reject. Other people think it was okay to protest during the 60's or what not, but if you complain now, when the "economy is good" then you're a dope-smoking, tree-hugging, anarchist, hippy, animal-lover and some whacko radical. That's just plain silly. If we were all content, nobody would complain. It's the same thing with the Seattle protests. Alot of people were like "oh, those damn hippie protestors, throw 'em in prison!" as if they had no right to assemble peacefully. The police did just as much, if not more damage as the protestors did, and it certainly wasn't any Watts riots or anything.

And yes, I'm glad nobody was killed, or I'd be even more pissed off. Some people were hurt, apparently some camera men got shoved around and hit. Some protesters got manhandled as well, and I think at least one policeman got hit in the face by an object. If anyone can clarify anything to that nature, go ahead, but I got the impression some people were indeed physically hurt, but not seriously.

If it's okay to break into a private residence, (with a warrant of course) without warning, with guys in riot gear and assault weapons, and point guns at unarmed people, and grab a six year old kid who lost his mommy escaping here from a communist dictatorship, throw him in a van and drive off, in the middle of negotiations, so he can be with his dad who hasn't made an effort to see him for ages anyway, and that's the right thing to do, then so be it. I just think it stinks. Call me a radical or crazy if you want, but that's what I think.

If I want to criticize the gov't, that's my right too. And if you want to praise them, that's your right as well.

Obviously the media over-coverage was gross, and so were the political groups trying to use it in their favor (Clinton, Castro, the immigrants, the Republicans). This issue really only affects that small group of people (Elian, his father, and his relatives) but they made it an issue, and so it became one. The media has a way of getting their issues and celebreties in there, be it the Menendez brothers, Loreena Bobbit, Michael Jackson, OJ Simpson, Bill Gates, Monica Lewinsky, or Elian Gonzales.

Kurgan

[This message has been edited by Kurgan (edited April 25, 2000).]

Kurgan
04-25-2000, 08:32 PM
One more thing, as "big" as this whole "incident" was in the US and Cuba, I'm suprised Amnesty Internation didn't say anything about it. Supposedly, we grant political assylum to all refugees from Cuba, but since Elian was a minor, they had the whole dispute. And I'm sure if his mother had lived, he would have been in and no problem.

And yes, this whole thing was steeped in politics. I never said that his father should not have been able to be with his own son. However, I think the way our government handled the situation was BAD. And whether or not you agree with that, that's how I feel. I suppose there is this thing called "honor" (or if you will "guts") that compells us to whip out our guns and weapons and flex our military might everytime we are called upon to make a decision, and if that's the American way fine, but I think there are better ways.

Vagabond, if I really wanted to argue with you, I could say you are only defending the government because you hate the Cuban Americans and will do anything to discredit them, because you love Clinton and want to attack his enemies. And who said Communism was dead? Sure Cuba may be broke, but there's a half-dozen Communist countries in the world, and there's a pretty powerful one just across the continent... and while we trade with them, they don't exactly love us or act very kindly to their own citizens.

And finally, as somebody else pointed out, this kind of thing does happen alot. However, not on this kind of scale, and with this much media attention. Yeah, it was big because of his age, and the thing with Castro. We are (wrongly I think) at war with Cuba, effectively, because of our economic blockade of them and general "closed border" policy.

Kurgan

[This message has been edited by Kurgan (edited April 25, 2000).]

theahnfahn
04-26-2000, 01:48 AM
I know this is the most horrible thing I will ever say on this forum, but who thinks Clinton went through with this merely for a fine case of Cuban cigars? http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/wink.gif

Just thought I would lighten the mood here.

------------------
And there he is. The reigning champion of the Boonta Classic, and the crowd favorite-TheAhnFahn

psyduck78
04-26-2000, 01:58 AM
Anyway, *tries to ignore Cuban Cigar comment.........*

*with no avail*
LOL http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/biggrin.gif

Anywayz, can any of you tell me how free America is?

Once I hear a few opinions,
I'll share with you how free this country really is.

------------------
His strength will be hunger-bitten.
And destruction shall be ready at his side.
-JOB

wizzywig
04-26-2000, 03:58 AM
Vagabond, my friend--

I should have checked this thread hours ago--it sort of zoomed off without me, leaving me in the rhetorical dust!

Please don't be too angry with my opinions. I have a very ugly impression of Castro, due in large part to a book I read a number of years ago by survivor Armando Valladares, AGAINST ALL HOPE, a book I recommend to everyone (though I think it's now out of print). This may be a new millennium, my friend, but Fidel is still in charge, and he's still the guy who made Valladares walk through trenches filled with raw sewage, the guy who puts political prisoners in concrete boxes that are too short to sit up in or lie down in, to bake inside those boxes until they die. I can never feel good about Cuba until Castro is dead and his soul is roasting over a spit in hell.

Me: ...There was, by the way, NO WARRANT...

You: Your facts are wrong. There was a warrant. You need to do more research before making such assertions.

I was inexcusably sloppy in the way I stated myself. There were in fact two warrants that I know of, and I was aware of the fact at the time. There was, I think, a search warrant, and there was (incredibly) an arrest warrant for the little boy. An ARREST WARRANT! What I meant to say was that no warrant was presented at the time of the raid. I do believe I am correct in that--the warrants had been issued by the judge, but were not presented by the agents.

I don't mean to besmirch any individual with the storm trooper label. That is directed at Reno, for (IMO) turning good, decent people into agents of the Cuban regime. I know you disagree with that assessment, but I do humbly see it that way.

You're paranoid wiz - get a grip.

Okay, I'm paranoid. But even a paranoid can be correct. http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/wink.gif

I still believe the fix is in, bigtime, and that this is about US-Cuban politics and building some kind of legacy for Clinton besides that blue dress. That's the way I see it, based on a lot of observation, but I understand my view is not universally shared (otherwise, Clinton wouldn't still be in office).

Do you even have kids man?

LOL! Yes. Hey, AhnFahn, I think that was a question that was posed on another thread some months ago that nobody ever answered--the relationship between wiz and the wizlings.

Vagabond, I understand your feelings about the father, and how a father and his kids should be together. Believe me, I understand. At the same time, I am well aware that there are rare times when kids don't belong with their natural parents, particularly when those parents are abusers.

I'm not saying Juan is an abuser, although I'm aware that accusation has been made (not proven to my satisfaction). I was on the fence about this until I was informed (reliably, I believe) that Juan has not been a part of his son's life for years, that he is virtually a stranger to Elian. Other people inform me I'm wrong about this, but I have been expressing my views in large part based on the belief that Juan really has had no interest in the boy up to this time.

If Juan is a virtual stranger and the boy has made it to American shores, I think the wishes of the boy's dead mother should honored.

See, I can't imagine not being a daily part of my kids' lives. So a father who could go for years without seeing his son (as I was informed Juan did, whether correctly or incorrectly) would not be a real father in my mind. I hope that clarifies my views. And I hope, for the sake of the boy, I was truly misinformed about the father, and that he's not the total reject of a father that I've seen him to be.

It would not be the first time I've been wrong, and if I am proven wrong, I will accept it cheerfully.

I wish you well.

--wiz



[This message has been edited by wizzywig (edited April 26, 2000).]

Vagabond
04-26-2000, 04:17 PM
wiz,


...I was on the fence about this until I was informed (reliably, I believe) that Juan has not been a part of his son's life for years...


Well, according to the father's own words in a 60 minutes interview, he said that the day just prior to Elian's voyage to Florida, that Elian had spent the day with his Father, spent the night, and that the father was supposed to pick Elian up from school but he was nowhere to be found. Then he says he later found out that his ex-wife and several others, including small children, had made the journey to Florida but the ship had sunk. He says he was very frightened, until he heard that a little boy had been rescued. Initially he claims he was relieved, but then began to worry since he knew that there were other boys that had made the trip with Elian. Later he found out that when the boy had reached the hospital, he asked for mango juice. This caused Juan to rejoice because he knew that mango juice was Elian's favorite drink. He then called his Uncle Lazaro and asked him to go pick up his son from the hospital and to not let the media get near him - he didn't want to create a scene. The rest is history.

Now, these are the father's own words, paraphrased by me to the best of my recollection, so I apologize for any inaccuracies.

You can choose to believe the father was lying if it brings you comfort. You can also choose to believe that the Earth is the center of the universe if you want.

In any event, the gist of his statements are that he was an active part of his son's life, and that he loves him very much. Despising the ruler of Juan's country, while understandable, is no reason to divide this family.

wiz, I too regret that the government had to go in there with with armed agents, but I what I regret more is that Elian's relatives refused to return the boy to his father. Had they done so, then your Saturday morning would not have been so startling.

Kurgan,


...If I really wanted to be mean, I could say you were merely blindly believing all the propaganda fed to you by the governmen...


I'm not as naive as you might think me. No, I don't blindly believe the government. In fact, I'm very skeptical and cynical of just about everything that anyone says, since everyone has an angle - some point of view that they're trying to promote. The trick is to weed out the real information from the spin placed on it.

My views are based on the simple fact that this father claims to be, and has been reported to be by others, a very good and loving father. That fact alone is reason enough for him to be reunited with his son, period.


...There's this attitude among some that we have no right to complain about anything...


This attitude doesn't exist within me. If they want to protest and complain, then hey, what do I care. I say go for it. After all, I'm the person who feels that protestors should have the right to burn the American flag without going to jail. No my friend, that label cannot be placed upon me.

However, I do disagree with people that vandalized other peoples' property. I disagree with threatening others with bodily harm. That's merely the act of an angry mob - rioting and usurping the rights of others is not behavior protected by the constitution my friend. Look it up.


...and grab a six year old kid who lost his mommy escaping here from a communist dictatorship...


Wrong. Again, his mother left Cuba, not to escape a communist dictator, but to be with her boyfriend. It might be more comforting to think that she was fleeing tyranny, but that's just not the reality of this situation.


...I think the way our government handled the situation was BAD...


The kid's relatives handled the situation worse. The government was left with nothing but a selection of unsavory options: (1) leave the kid with his hysterical relatives, or (2) go in with armed agents and rescue him. Choosing from the lesser of two evils tends to give the appearnace that you're handling a situation badly.


...if I really wanted to argue with you, I could say you are only defending the government because you hate the Cuban Americans...


Go ahead and think that if you want, but you'd be wrong if you did. In fact, there are many Cuban immigrants that feel Elian should be with his father instead, but have kept quiet to avoid the wrath of the radicals in the Cuban community.

You would be correct, however, by saying that I think any immigrants who think they don't have to follow the same laws that the rest of us do, should just be sent back to their country of origin. To protest is one thing. To defy the law and our government is another, and is something that I have little patience for. Basically, if I can't get away with it, then why should they be able to?

As I've said before, the reason I'm defending the government is because they did the right thing. The reunited this kid with his father - a father who loves his son.

I challenge you and anyone to present a reason - based on fact - why they should be kept apart.


------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Vagabond
04-26-2000, 08:29 PM
FYI, from CNN:


Meanwhile, one of the eight Border Patrol agents who entered Lazaro Gonzalez's house as part of the "high-risk team" to retrieve Elian told INS officials he "had never encountered this much resistance," INS spokeswoman Maria Cardona said Wednesday.

"The agents said the crowd around the house was extremely aggressive and hostile," Cardona reported. "The female agent, Betty Mills, was pushed to the ground on the way in."

As the agents approached the door, several people formed a human chain and had to be pushed aside. The agents identified themselves and asked for cooperation, "but they did not get it despite the family's promise to just open the door peacefully if we came to get Elian," Cardona said.

"There was a couch pushed against the door, so the agents had to breach the door to get inside. Inside all the while, family members and supporters were screaming at the agents."

Cardona said the agent pictured holding up an automatic weapon as he encountered a terrified Elian in the arms of supporter Donato Dalrymple had the gun's safety lock turned on. "He made a specific decision to keep the safety lock on because he feared he would encounter a physical struggle and didn't want the gun to go off accidentally," Cardona said.


And you can seriously ask why then went in at night rather than in the middle of the day? And notice how the family did not peacefully cooperate, despite their previous commitments to do so.



------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

wizzywig
04-26-2000, 08:51 PM
Vagabond, you wound me, sir!

You can choose to believe the father was lying if it brings you comfort. You can also choose to believe that the Earth is the center of the universe if you want.

I had hoped I had demonstrated that I make every attempt to believe what IS, not simply to "choose to believe" what I wish to believe. And I did say that if I am wrong about the father, I will accept it cheerfully.

As to the Clinton News Network story ( http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/wink.gif, sorry, couldn't resist, though I shoulda tried harder), the assertion that the INS agents "had never encountered this much resistance" strikes me as bizarre. Nobody shot at them. Nobody threw rocks at them. Can it be that this is the toughest resistance they've ever encountered? Sounds to me like more attempt to villify some very good-hearted people. They resisted (hiding Elian in the closet), but they didn't commit acts of violence.

And notice how the family did not peacefully cooperate, despite their previous commitments to do so.

Perhaps if the agents had arrived peacefully at a decent hour with polite notice and a court order in hand instead of guns and pepper spray in a pre-dawn raid. If I'd seen the Reno Raiders coming up my front walk with weapons drawn, I'd sure have been rearranging the couch and maybe the piano, the refrigerator, the stove...

--wiz

wizzywig
04-26-2000, 08:57 PM
Vagabond, an afterthot--

You say the Clinton admin was trying to do something good here. Let's grant that for the sake of argument. Okay, Clinton and Reno and Juan and Co. are the good guys, does that automatically make the Miami family bad guys? Do we have to make this black and white? Could it be that the Miami relatives are good people who love Elian, want the boy to be free of the oppressions of Castro's Cuba, and are trying to do the right thing? Must they be monsters in order for Clinton and the rest to be good guys?

--wiz

Vagabond
04-27-2000, 12:23 AM
wiz,


...the assertion that the INS agents "had never encountered this much resistance" strikes me as bizarre...


My interpretation was that those particular INS agents had never encountered that much resistance, not the entire INS as a whole. Think about it - it's not like the INS does this every day. If they did, you'd probably need to be medicated wiz http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/wink.gif


...Perhaps if the agents had arrived peacefully at a decent hour with polite notice and a court order in hand instead of guns and pepper spray in a pre-dawn raid...


That's wishful thinking, and I think you know it. Didn't you read their statement? The protestors outside immediately formed a human chain. The protestors had no intention of letting the INS agents approach the house, hence the regrettable but necessary use of force. Come, admit it wiz, there was no way the relatives and the protestors were going to willfully hand over the kid. The relatives even had a sofa pushed up against the door - hardly the image that pops into my mind when I think of the word cooperation.


...Okay, Clinton and Reno and Juan and Co. are the good guys, does that automatically make the Miami family bad guys?...Could it be that the Miami relatives are good people who love Elian...Must they be monsters in order for Clinton and the rest to be good guys?...


Actually, we agree on this point, to a degree, and I think Janet Reno is very sympathetic to the relatives' position as well, hence her willingness to drag this process out for five months. I belive the the kid's relatives do love him, in their own way. But in the end, no matter how much they love him, they don't have the right nor should they have even tried, to keep the kid from his father.

I think it should be clear to everyone by now that the father and son love each other very much, and that's all the justification any credible government needs to reunite a family, even by force if necessary, as was the case in this situation.

It's just terrible a shame that Lazaro let his hatred of Castro blind him to the strong bond that exists between this father and son.



------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Darth Crater
04-27-2000, 09:25 PM
I don't have a lot of time to research the arguments here or really follow the thread too closely. Even though I'm obviously not a father http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/smile.gif, I'd like to say that as a daughter, I would hope that my father would care for me enough, to want me to have a chance at a life of freedom. That would be the ultimate in a father's understanding of this situation.

By the way, who are these wizzlings? Could TheAhnFahn be one??? http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/smile.gif

Vagabond
04-28-2000, 12:08 PM
Darth Crater,

As a six year old child, political and economic issues are probably not even on your radar screen. Besides, as I've stated before, we can't afford to make the entire planet U.S. citizens. I believe children should stay with their parents when possible.



------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Darth Crater
04-28-2000, 09:28 PM
Political and economic issues? No. But does a six-year old know the difference between freedom and oppression? The difference between an endless cycle of poverty and a life full of chances? I think so.

wizzywig
04-28-2000, 10:51 PM
Vagabond--

My interpretation was that those particular INS agents had never encountered that much resistance, not the entire INS as a whole. Think about it - it's not like the INS does this every day.

If that's the case, then it's a meaningless statement and shouldn't have been cited in the CNN story. It's a smear statement, meant to convey that the Miami family was engaged in the worst kind of thuggery the INS had ever seen. These are decent people, and the Clinton admin's effort to libel them is despicable (i.e., on par with everything else this admin has done).

If it's just one agent's impression, or even the impression of a few, so what? We don't have a clue as to the agent(s)' experience, length of service, or what he/they are comparing this operation against. In that case, subjective impressions make no factual contribution to the news story. The AP, the Washington Post, the major networks, and CNN have been total Clinton suck-ups on this story.

But then, what else is new?

--wiz

Vagabond
04-30-2000, 04:05 PM
wiz,


...The AP, the Washington Post, the major networks, and CNN have been total Clinton suck-ups on this story...


Don't tell me you're one of those whiney-babies who cries about the media conspiracy whenever anyone write a report that doesn't follow the Republican party line. Following that line of reasoning, then I suppose everyone in the Democratic party had justification to claim media conspiracy during the totally-newsworthy Monica Lewinsky scandal. Come on, get a grip wiz.

Darth Crater,


...But does a six-year old know the difference between freedom and oppression?...I think so...


I don't. But I do think this kid knows what it's like to be spoiled rotten, having been given every imaginable toy, and treated to obscene amounts of goodies and treats. Under such circumstances it becomes quite clear why a small child might want to continue such a fairy-tale existence. Crap, I was raised in this country and never enjoyed such oppulant splendor. It makes me sick how these people have tried to manipulate him.


------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...



[This message has been edited by Vagabond (edited April 30, 2000).]

wizzywig
04-30-2000, 04:56 PM
Vagabond--

Don't tell me you're one of those whiney-babies who cries about the media conspiracy whenever anyone write a report that doesn't follow the Republican party line. Following that line of reasoning, then I suppose everyone in the Democratic party had justification to claim media conspiracy during the totally-newsworthy Monica Lewinsky scandal. Come on, get a grip wiz.

Nope, no whining. Just observing what is. I know that when somebody makes an accurate observation, it's a good debating technique to try to throw them off by calling it "whining," so nice try. http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/icons/icon14.gif

If you'll recall, everyone in the Democratic bloc did whine about a "vast right-wing conspiracy." I've got a good grip. That's why I see through the propaganda smokescreen.

btw, here's an interesting story you didn't hear much about from the suck-up media, even though it was an assault on their own people:

NBC Cameraman Hospitalized After Elian Raid Beating
Source: www.newsmax.com (http://www.newsmax.com)

Freelance NBC cameraman Tony Zumbado has been hospitalized as a result of injuries sustained when agents for the INS and Border Patrol beat him and his soundman, Gustavo Moller, as they were trying to film the Clinton administration's gunpoint abduction of 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez.

Zumbado was the scene's designated pool reporter, whose video footage from inside the Gonzalez home was to be fed to all major broadcast and cable television networks.

But the beating by gun-toting federal agents left both Zumbado and Moller incapacitated for the duration of the three-minute raid, depriving television audiences around the world of live video coverage of the dramatic confrontation.

Zumbado's NBC colleague, reporter Kerry Sanders, was outside the Gonzalez house in the pre-dawn hours on Saturday and talked to Zumbado and Moller seconds after the raid ended.

In an exclusive interview with NewsMax.com, Sanders said that Zumbado began to experience back pain over the weekend as a result of the attack. "I just got off the phone with Tony. Now he can't move really all that well." The NBC cameraman was removed from his home on a stretcher early Wednesday and was admitted to a Miami area hospital for an MRI and other tests to determine the extent of his injuries.

Sanders gave NewsMax.com this account of the attack that led to Zumbado's hospitalization:

"Tony and Gustavo had parked themselves for five months now at the corner of the house just outside the house. The family had said all along that they would invite cameras into the house to document what happened. As this is all going down, one of our cameramen by the name of Roger Prehoda was coming in at around 5 o'clock.

"He was a little bit late that morning. And so he's walking down the street and he sees the vans coming. And he's thinking, 'Oh my God, this is it.'

"So he grabs his two-way radio and he says, 'It's going down, it's going down.' That gets transmitted to Gustavo and Tony before the vans even come down the street. So they jump the fence, get into the yard and they race to the door. It's a race to beat the agents bacause he knows they're going to be there any second."

Unknown to the NBC camera crew, INS agents had already entered the house by the back door, Sanders said, and were inside when Zumbado opened the front door.

"As Tony makes it to the door, somebody inside the house grabs him and pulls him in and slams the door. Gustavo doesn't make it in. Gustavo's outside. He said one of the agents takes the butt of his gun and bangs it right into his forehead, causing him to fall down. I saw the blood on his forehead.

"Tony is in the house but the plan all along had been that the camera was a pool camera and it was a live pool camera. So he's got cables that are dangling off the back of his camera that are now going into the house, slammed in the door. This is television equipment, this isn't your little home video camera.

"As the door reopens, which is only a matter of seconds, somebody is grabbing the cables, yanking them back. Tony's got the camera on his shoulder. They yank it back and pull it down. One of the cables gets pulled out of the camera, which is the audio cable. The video cable hangs on to the camera but it sends Tony falling backwards.

"At that point, somebody smacks him in the stomach. Tony is hit in the stomach and goes down. And then the agent puts his foot on Tony's back and puts a gun to him and says, 'Don't move or I'll shoot.'

"So, the camera is out of commission. Tony is now down and out of commission. Tony tells me that as he looks up around, he sees the family there and he sees these little red dots on Lazaro's forehead, on Marisleysis's forehead. Which of course are the laser sights from the machine guns. He sees them all trained there and then he hears what's going on in the back room. But he's not in that back bedroom because he's now down on the floor with a foot in his back and a gun to his head saying, 'Don't move.'

Sanders said that Zumbado has family members with law enforcement background and has actually undergone police SWAT training himself. As a former cameraman for the Fox TV show Cops, Zumbado had filmed hundreds of police raids prior to the Clinton administration's Saturday attack.

In fact, said Sanders, NBC selected Zumbado for the key job of videotaping Elian's abduction because of his filmwork on Cops. "He knows exactly what these people are supposed to do when they go in because he's trained to do it."

The attack on Elian's home, however, was different, Zumbado admitted to Sanders.

"'Kerry,' he told me, 'it's amazing how humbling it is. You think you know how it goes down. I've been through the door with Cops plenty of times on raids. I know what it is. But it's such a different feeling when you're on the receiving end.'"

And in case you think that's just right-wing Republican propaganda, the AP made brief mention of the same incident in this story:

Photo Captures Moment of Elian Raid

NEW YORK (AP) -- In a video age, the most striking image of the raid to seize Elian Gonzalez was a still photograph that showed a federal agent in riot gear pointing an automatic rifle as the 6-year-old boy cowered in the arms of a friend.

The photo, one in a series transmitted worldwide by The Associated Press, was taken by free-lance photographer Alan Diaz in the bedroom where Elian was hiding in a closet with Donato Dalrymple, the fisherman who had rescued him from sea in November.

Throughout the morning, the picture dominated the special live TV coverage on Saturday.

``This is an image that will endure in our memories,'' CNN's Miles O'Brien said at one point.

By midday, that photo was joined by photos that depicted Elian in a smiling reunion with his father, stepmother and half-brother at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Those were supplaed to the networks by the father's lawyer, Greg Craig.

The three top broadcasters and three cable news stations had mostly continuous coverage of the story from before 6 a.m. until at least noon. The exception was ABC, which was more reluctant to break away from children's programming.

Diaz had hopped a chain link fence when he heard a commotion at the Gonzalez house and was directed into the room where the boy was being held.

He and an NBC cameraman, Tony Zumbado, had been waiting on the lawn next door to the house of Elian's great-uncle when the raid began. The family had arranged with television networks to have cameras nearby to record any potential raid.

Zumbado said later that he was kicked in the stomach during the commotion and that his sound man was dragged away from the house by a federal agent.

Everything happened so quickly that he was unable to shoot any video from inside the house, he said. Cameras outside captured the oft-repeated image of a female agent carrying Elian to a white van, which drove away as onlookers threw chairs and bottles.

DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer, Photo Captures Moment of Elian Raid. , AP Online, 04-22-2000.

A lot of people wondered how Alan Diaz got that famous picture. He jumped through a window when he saw the raid going down. Reno's Raiders were under orders to exclude the press, but they missed Diaz. That was the picture that was never supposed to be taken. After it was released, Reno made a statement that Justice had "allowed" Diaz to photograph the raid to show that the feds had nothing to hide. She has lied and lied and lied through this whole operation. And the press and the people just shrug.

--wiz

ysalamiri
04-30-2000, 06:30 PM
Oh my God!! A public official has lied. Stop the presses!!

Vagabond - Believe me I know how you feel. You want to pull Wiz out of your computer, slap him a few times, and tell him to snap out of it, but you know, free speech is what makes this country great - no matter how wrong he is.

I'm surprised with all the photos and video captured in the relatives home that they missed the Cuban flag and banners of Castro on their walls. Let's see: Kidnapping, brainwashing a child (anyone who argues this, just watch the video of Elian telling his father he doesn't want to go back to Cuba and to leave him alone, etc. That was one of the most gut-wrenching things I have ever witnessed). Aren't these things you would expect in Cuba??

No matter what side of this issue you are on, and I think on this forum we have seen the two extreme sides, you have to understand that the father has a RIGHT to his child. I think Vagabond has explained his position brilliantly. Heck, if I was on the other side he'd have had me convinced. Everyone else complains about HOW it was done. If you were actually a part of the meetings with Reno, Juan and his relatives, then i think you can comment on how it was done. I can't believe that Reno, STILL reeling from the Waco disaster, would have been so blind as to send in armed troops if it wasn't justified in even the smallest of ways. If you're learning the facts from the media as I am, then you need to wake up and stop believing everything you see and read. The media only tells you what is going to keep you glued to the issue and sell advertising to make them money. Is this a great country or what?

wizzywig
04-30-2000, 06:47 PM
ysalamiri--

You want to pull Wiz out of your computer, slap him a few times, and tell him to snap out of it, but you know, free speech is what makes this country great - no matter how wrong he is

Sorry to have that effect on you. I felt that Vagabond and I were having a pretty calm and rational discussion. I certainly didn't feel inclined to rough anybody up.

Yes, free speech is what makes this country great, for as long as it lasts. But one of the things that endangers freedom in this country is out-of-control bureaucrats who send in the Storm Troopers to take little children at gunpoint in the dead of night.

Whatever the father's rights might have been (I am not arguing that point), a negotiation was going on. Reno's negotiators say that a deal was on the table (the emininently credible Reno is the only one claiming that the talks had broken down, and the troopers were already on the move when the so-called "breakdown" took place), and there is every reason to believe the matter could have been resolved without guns, pepper spray, tear gas, and guvmint accusations and recriminations designed to smear the Cuban-American community.

I'm cheerfully and serenely in a minority of Americans that believes that the operation was inexcusable and abominable and dangerous (I find it fascinating and amusing that prominent liberal civil libertarians like Alan Dershowitz and Lawrence Tribe agree with me).

--wiz



[This message has been edited by wizzywig (edited April 30, 2000).]

ysalamiri
04-30-2000, 07:25 PM
:0 Wiz, relax, it was just a figure of speech. I am a pacifist by nature, however, I know that sometimes when a debate gets this heated you just want to shake someone to see your side of it. I was merely trying to lighten the mood. Maybe I should have inserted one of those smiley thingies to have expressed that http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/smile.gif

Let's talk about something even more insane than this issue, like how they are going to start recycling toilet water here in LA to drinking water....

Vagabond
04-30-2000, 07:27 PM
wiz,

Oh my god, that site you referenced is nothing more than a right-wing, ultra-conservative cesspool! Ya, I'm sure they're completely objective. LOL!!!

And as to the AP report, do you not think it possible that perhaps - just perhaps that the INS would have wanted to prevent anybody - not just reporters - from entering the home while the raid was taking place? Come on wiz, you're making me wonder about your common sense.

And about my asking if you were whining about the media conspiracy - I wasn't raising the issue to discredit you or to draw off attention from the topic. Rather, just calling it as I see it. However, as a quasi-concession, how about if we both agree that the media are equal-opportunity scavengers? They'll pounce on anything and everything if it will sell, be that story favorable to either the Democratic or Republican parties? It just sounds like whining to me whenever Republicans claim that the media is out to get them. Duh!!! The media's out to get anyone that can make them a buck, Democrats as well.

Lastly, regarding your insistence that there were still good faith negotiations taking place - man, they'd been talking for five months and no deal had been reached. Look at the statements his female cousin made prior to the raid - paraphrase: Under no circumstances will we turn Elian over to his father. Look at the demonstrations that happened after the raid. Look at the way his relatives rushed to DC the next day to be with Elian. Face it, they had no intention of ever turning him over to his father - admit it. Just admit it wiz - you know it, I know it, we all know it. There's a big pink elephant standing in the middle of the room, and you just won't acknowledge it.

There comes a point when the time for talking is over and action has to be taken. It was clear that the family hoped to talk the government into a stalement, thereby resulting in them maintaining their illegal custody of the child. The government had finally reached the end of their patience after nearly half a year.

Tell me wiz, just how long, in your humble opinion, would the government have to drag out these negotiations before performing this type of a raid would be justified for you? One year? Five years? Until the kid was 18 years old? I'm curious to know your answer to this question, wiz.

ysalamiri,

I'm glad you find my reasoning sound. It makes sense to me, and I'm pleased that someone else agrees.



[This message has been edited by Vagabond (edited April 30, 2000).]

wizzywig
04-30-2000, 08:24 PM
ys--

:0 Wiz, relax ... I was merely trying to lighten the mood.

My mood was and is light. I'm not overly concerned about anyone attacking me through my modem. http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/icons/icon12.gif

V-bond--

Oh my god, that site you referenced is nothing more than a right-wing, ultra-conservative cesspool! Ya, I'm sure they're completely objective. LOL!!!

Slime the messenger if you wish, but the story is accurate, sourced, and it jibes with the much more terse version that the AP carried. You don't seem to be denying the story, just LOLing at a website. Feel free to laugh. I don't think the story is funny.

And as to the AP report, do you not think it possible that perhaps - just perhaps that the INS would have wanted to prevent anybody - not just reporters - from entering the home while the raid was taking place? Come on wiz, you're making me wonder about your common sense.

Oh, yeah, the feds wanted everybody out of the way, especially the reporters. But controlling information was an uppermost priority, duh.

And I question the common sense of anyone who thinks settling custody matters by seizing little kids at gunpoint is a good idea.

Face it, they had no intention of ever turning him over to his father - admit it. Just admit it wiz - you know it, I know it, we all know it. There's the big pink elephant standing in the middle of the room, and you just won't acknowledge it.

Honestly, all I know is that the negotiators said there was a deal on the table when Reno pulled the plug. The Miami relatives say the same thing, that they were close to a deal. It could be that Reno didn't like the deal, I don't know. I don't know what's in peoples minds, but I know behavior, and Reno's behavior is that of a dangerous, dishonest autocrat.

And people should NOT come after little kids with guns and pepper spray. I think that's pretty basic.

(I'm tempted to say something about those pink elephants you're seeing--but nah, I'd better leave that one alone... http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/smile.gif)

--wiz



[This message has been edited by wizzywig (edited April 30, 2000).]

wizzywig
04-30-2000, 08:29 PM
P.S.

Tell me wiz, just how long, in your humble opinion, would the government have to drag out these negotiations

There was a court date in early May that would have settled the whole thing without guns and tear gas. I was hoping the govmt could wait that long without coming in romping and stomping.

--wiz

wizzywig
04-30-2000, 08:32 PM
btw, ysalamiri--

Welcome to the forum. It's a fun and stimulating place to hang out.

But don't stand too close to me--I know that ysalamiri are those things that cancel out the Force, and I need as much of the Force as I can get right now!

--wiz

Vagabond
04-30-2000, 08:59 PM
wiz,


...Slime the messenger if you wish...


One of the most important things is to look at the messenger when determining the credibility of information. You'll notice that your propoganda rag added all sorts of frivilously scary adjectives to describe the report, while the AP just got down to the facts.

I'm not denying that some reporters were dragged away from the scene of the raid. I also wouldn't be surprised that if the milk man tired to jump through the window at that time, they'd no doubt have dragged him off too.

Yes, information control is important, no doubt. Especially when Reno sympathizes with both sides of the family, but is forced as an officer of the government to uphold the law as dictated by her oath of office. I can understand why she wouldn't want any provocative photos to be distorted by either side to further inflame the tensions of the community.


...I question the common sense of anyone who thinks settling custody matters by seizing little kids at gunpoint is a good idea...


You might want to question the common sense of relatives who would kidnap a child from his own father, just because they don't like the goverment of Cuba. Talk about sick.

And no one said settling custody matters with guns was a good idea. But faced with the choice of (1) leaving Elian in the illegal custody of his uncooperative relatives or (2) forcibly reuniting him with his father, option #2 seems the lesser of two evils.

Come on wiz - you're not using your noggin. Elian's relatives were never going to willingly hand over Elian, even if they wanted to. The mob outside their house was uncontrollable by anyone.

And regarding any pending deals - the government shouldn't have been negotiating with them anyway! Our government has a policy of not negotiating with terrorists, and I classify people who illegally keep a child from his father, in a house surrounded by angry, rowdy mob, as terrorists.

True, they may have loved Elian in some infantile, self-serving sort of way, but that point is irrelevant. Elian has a good father, period. End of discussion.


Vagabond:
Tell me wiz, just how long, in your humble opinion, would the government have to drag out these negotiations...

wiz: There was a court date in early May that would have settled the whole thing without guns and tear gas...


Wrong. The court date was going to decide whether Elian had a right to apply for assylum - that's it. It didn't address the issue of custody whatsoever. Elian was enjoined from leaving the country until the court had a chance to rule. Furthermore the government was not prevented from forcibly reuniting Elian with his father in the meantime. Get your facts straight my friend.


------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

Matt Kenobi
04-30-2000, 09:34 PM
though i don't want to get in an argument or anything, i just thought i could put in my opinion. i think the boy belongs with his father, his only parent and guardian. i do not think however that the feds should have busted in there with guns of that magnitude. Automatic rifles weren't neccesarry. if they're gonna use firearms, use something a little smaller so you don't make the kid go insane with fear. maybe a 45 handgun or something small, maybe even a little bigger but not like what that guy had, not something to make him look like he's going to war. i could say more but i don't want to get too involved, i don't want you to think i'm a diehard supporter or anything.

that's just what i think http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/smile.gif

-matt

Matt Kenobi
04-30-2000, 09:49 PM
i don't want to make anyone mad here but in case anyone disagrees with me, don't ask if i have kids.

Matt Kenobi
04-30-2000, 09:50 PM
because i am a kid

Vagabond
04-30-2000, 10:18 PM
matt,

Don't worry, no one's going to get mad at you http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/wink.gif As to why they chose the weapons that they did, I don't know. But try to put yourself in the place of those people who had to go in there and rescue that kid. Who knows what kind of weapons the people in there might have had? I think that they just didn't want their people to go in there and find out that they were outgunned and end up being slaughtered - so they erred on the side of caution - good advice from any would-be commander.

As General Colin Powell taught us: if you're going to go in, go in with overwhelming force so that you can achieve your objective.

That's my thought on whey they went in fully armed like that. I happen to agree with that decision, personally.



------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

wizzywig
04-30-2000, 10:21 PM
Come on wiz - you're not using your noggin.

Just had my noggin calibrated this morning. I assure you it is functioning within design tolerances.

--wiz

Matt Kenobi
04-30-2000, 10:43 PM
vagabond
isn't it kind of obvious that they wouldn't have weapons that we wouldn't know about,thess peolple have been interviewed ahundred times and almost every section of their house has been shown in a picture of some sort on tv or elsewhere. i really doubt they would have weapons like guns, and even if they did they would need more than that. they would need something to out-do the swat teams tactics. these guys are trained and drilled to no end. i don't think they would be any threat to the feds, i don't want to sound like i wanted these guys to do this, in fact they should have done something else instead of busting in dragging him out.

Vagabond
04-30-2000, 11:45 PM
Well matt, we just disagree. It's not the end of the world though http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/wink.gif

There were people going in and out of that house all the time. Plus, we have to keep in mind that the people outside the house could have been heavily armed as well. Speaking for myself, if I were going in there, I'd want to be decked out in full body armor, and have the biggest, baddest automatic weapon possible. Maybe with a show of such massive force, any would-be thugs might reconsider opening fire. I wouldn't want to shoot at civillians, of course, but if things turned sour, at least I could defend myself.

Hey matt, if you were on that swat team, maybe you could have volunteered to go in with just a pistol and a smile http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/wink.gif

Seriously though, I do think those tear gas guns were pretty clever. In stead of just shooting a tear gas cannister, which can be somewhat imprecise, they had these guns that resembled a flame thrower that sprayed tear gas directly at the intended target. Non-lethal and very precise. I thought that was a very ingenius way of keeping trouble-makers at bay without imparting any serious injury.



------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

wizzywig
05-01-2000, 02:16 AM
Vagabond--

I classify people who illegally keep a child from his father, in a house surrounded by angry, rowdy mob, as terrorists.

I was tempted to respond that the feds, with their guns and tear gas and pepper spray, kicking in doors and destroying furniture and even Catholic statues (a statue of the Virgin Mary was gratuitously smashed by one of the agents), were the real terrorists. That boy sure looked terrorized as he was being snatched out of the house.

But then I thought, nah, that would be as over the line as calling the family "terrorists." The feds (not their bosses, but the agents themselves) were just doing their job. And the family is just doing what they think is right.

I insist that these are good people trying to keep an innocent boy out of the clutches of an evil, murdering dictator. Even if they are misguided, even if the father is a good father (which I do not concede; I just haven't taken any more time to research what I was originally told), they are not bad people, and it is the height of absurdity and hyperbole to call them "terrorists."

Who have they terrorized?

--wiz

Vagabond
05-01-2000, 03:11 AM
wiz,


...they are not bad people, and it is the height of absurdity and hyperbole to call them "terrorists." Who have they terrorized?...


I'm sure the relatives have good intentions, but that is no excuse to take a father's child from him.

Who have they terrorized? Try the kid and his father.

Still not convinced? Try this on for size, wiz: What would you say if I took one of your children from you because I claimed to love your child, kept him/her at my house and then surrounded my house with a mob of hundreds of angry people chanting that they'd never let your child go, and, "down with wiz"? Don't misinterpret this as me saying you're like Castro, because that's not the point. My point is that just because I have good intentions, that doesn't give me an excuse to kidnap your child from you. Understand?


------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

wizzywig
05-01-2000, 03:35 AM
V--

Huh?

The family definitely didn't terrorize the boy--he liked it there and didn't want to leave. And the father wasn't terrorized--mad, maybe, but hardly terrorized.

And your analogy is so far from the reality of the case it's beyond absurd. Nobody kidnapped anybody. In fact, the feds had to take the boy out of the hands of the fisherman who saved the boy's life (and whom the father, btw, never bothered to thank).

But I do see the point you're making, despite the tortured analogy.

All I'm saying is that the family and the Cuban-American community shouldn't be slandered and demonized, and the boy should not have been taken at gunpoint. That's my entire pov on this matter.

--wiz

Vagabond
05-01-2000, 04:19 AM
wiz,


...the father wasn't terrorized--mad, maybe, but hardly terrorized...


So, you're saying that if someone had illegal custody of your child, and refused to turn your child back over to you, then you wouldn't classify those people as terrorists? Your choice, but in my eyes they are.


...Nobody kidnapped anybody...


Let's see, according to The Oxford Dictionary of Current English, we have the following:

kidnap: v. 1. abduct (a person etc.) esp. to obtain a ransom. 2. steal (a child).

abduct: v. carry off or kidnap illegally.

ransom: n. 1. money demanded or paid for the release of a prisoner. 2. liberation of a prisoner in return for this.

Well, I don't know about you, but to me, according to these definitions it sounds like they kidnapped him. Sure, at first the fishermen rescued the child (one of which believes the boy should be returned to his father). But then they kept the child from his father when they did not have legal custody of the child. Then the relatives started making demands - that the father come to the U.S., so the father called their bluff and actually came here (ooops). Then they came up with new demands - that the kid undergo psychological testing before they release him; they also demanded that at the very least they be given joint custody of the child. All these demands are inappropriate since they are not even the legal guardians of the child - the father is.

Given the official definitions I've provided, and the factual listing of events, I conclude that the relatives had in fact kidnapped the child. This might make you feel yucky to admit it, wiz, but that doesn't make it less true.

It seems, wiz, that you're getting caught up in the same I hate Castro mentality that Elian's relatives had - and you seem to be using this as justification to commit criminal acts against innocents: Elian and his father.


...But I do see the point you're making...


Glad to hear it http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/wink.gif


...All I'm saying is that the family and the Cuban-American community shouldn't be slandered and demonized...


And I'm saying that family shouldn't have kept the kid from his father.


...and the boy should not have been taken at gunpoint...


I agree with you: Elian shouldn't have had to have been rescued at gun-point. His relatives should have turned him over to the proper authorities immediately so that he could be returned to his father - that is once it was determined that his father was fit.

No matter what you say about this, wiz, there is no excuse you can conjure up to excuse Elian's relatives from keeping him from his father. The man has been established as a good and loving father. It's completely inexcusable to break up that family. To even attempt to justify it just makes me sick.


------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...



[This message has been edited by Vagabond (edited May 01, 2000).]

wizzywig
05-01-2000, 04:58 AM
http://userzweb.lightspeed.net/jdenney/jj.gif
"Dis is nutso! My give up! My give up!"

--wiz

wizzywig
05-01-2000, 03:30 PM
Vagabond--

Last night, I read your last post with the definitions of kidnap, abduct, etc., and I thought, "This is too bizarre. Those definitions don't remotely apply to this situation." Yet, in your mind, you somehow thought that you had delivered the rhetorical fatal blow, the unanswerable rejoinder. Clearly, I am not able to grasp your perception of reality, nor can you grasp mine. Hence, "My give up!"

But I had another thought this morning, and I decided to post it, my final thought about the matter. If you would like to post a response, I will read it, but I don't want to respond any further. This is it for me.

First, about words. I like to see words used with care and precision. Words like terrorist, kidnap, and abduct are strong words with strong emotional content, but with precise meanings.

Terrorists are bomb-throwers, plane-hijackers, mass-killers who target innocent people for death in order to achieve their aims. Kidnapping and abducting involve taking deliberate action to remove a child from the parent's custody and control. (And where "ransom" fits into this picture is so far off the reality scale, I don't even know how to address it here, so I won't.)

The family clearly did none of these things. They didn't do anything that would make them terrorists or kidnappers. The terrorist label is just silly.

The kidnapper thing, well, I can see the stretch you are trying to make, but they were awarded "parole" or temporary custody of Elian. It was legal. They didn't snatch the kid off his father's doorstep. When the parole was revoked, they defied the revocation on what they considered to be a higher moral grounds. You can disagree with their decision, most Americans do, but they were following conscience in the matter, and I've heard these people talk about it, and I'm convinced they did so on genuine conscientious grounds, not bad motives.

I understand why you used the words terrorist and kidnap and abduct. You think that if you use a stronger word, it seems to make your argument more forceful. In my mind, it undermines the argument by making it seem strident and absurd and irrational. But the temptation to escalate to stronger verbiage is certainly understandable.

The danger is that if we go around using words like terrorist and kidnapping where they do not apply, then they start to lose their meaning and their emotional content. If we start calling evey act we do not agree with "terrorism" and every child-custody battle "kidnapping," then when we are confronted with REAL bomb-throwing terrorists and REAL kidnappers who steal children off their own doorsteps, what do we call it? The words no longer have their original punch because we have trivialized them.

And you know what? I'm guilty of this myself. I think I went too far in naming this thread "police state." We are not there yet. America is still the BEST place in the world in which to live, which is why people risk their lives in little boats to get here from places like Haiti and Cuba, which are among the WORST places in the world to live. Clinton and Reno are bad leaders, but we still have a good Constitution and other safeguards which keep them from being (like Dennis Rodman) as bad as they wanna be.

I used the "police state" label in the heat of the moment, just minutes after seeing the video of Elian being dragged out of the house, and seeing guns and tear-gas being used against good people. It was a horrible thing, but it is still an isolated situation compared with the mainstream of life in America. It's important to keep our perspective, even while expressing moral outrage.

One final thought about the family: I keep hearing how what they did was "illegal." But we have to remember that what is legal is not always the highest law. What is moral is.

To take an extreme case (don't assume that I am making this the equivalence of the Gonzalez case, I'm just using an analogy), it was illegal in Nazi Germany to hide Jews in your house, but many Germans defied the Nazi law in order to obey a higher law, a moral law. So to say the Miami family is disobeying the law is not the end of the discussion, if they are convinced (and they clearly were) that they were obeying a higher law, a moral law that supercedes an INS decree.

I've heard from some sources what a horrible parent Juan is, and from you and others that he is like something out of Father Knows Best or Leave It To Beaver. I haven't had time to research it further, so I'm setting that aside as unanswerable for now.

But I do know that in the minds of the Miami relatives, life in Castro's Cuba was an unthinkable fate for the boy. So, in obedience to a higher law, they defied the U.S. government. I admire their courage, because they did what they thought they had to do to keep the boy out of Castro's clutches, and at great personal risk, cost, and sacrifice.

If the father is the prince among men that you say he is, then the Miami relatives may have been misguided, I don't know. I doubt that, but I admit the possibility. But this is clear: they are clearly good people who cared about Elian Gonzalez, and they don't deserve the treatment they have received.

--wiz

Vagabond
05-01-2000, 04:12 PM
Once the relatives lost legal custody and refused to promptly turn the boy over to authorities, they in effect became kidnappers. Whether the initially snatched him from his father, or did it belatedly is irrelevant. The point is they kept the child against the father's will. To me, that is the definition of a kidnapper.

wiz, nice try, but hiding Jews doesn't even remotely compare to keeping a child from his father, just because you don't like the government of Cuba. If you want to talk about absurd, your analogy is where you should start. The child faces no danger in Cuba, hence the analogy is baseless.

No one said that Juan was a perfect father. I merely said that he is reported to be a loving father. Probably the only perfect father would be God the Father, who is arguably perfect himself since he seems prone to temper tantrums that supposedly result in the entire world being flooded http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/wink.gif Can you say, "Anger Management Course"?

Lastly, I disagree with you on what the highest law in the land is. You suggest it is moral law. I believe it is the law of the land. Once you start making moral exceptions to the law, then you open the floodgates for everyone to claim minor, petty moral objections to every law. The result: our system of government and our civilization breaks down. Rule of law is required. If you're going to break the law, then just be prepared for the consequences and don't whine about it.


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

theahnfahn
05-01-2000, 04:18 PM
I believe I only responded in one post and very briefly about this matter. Maybe my opinion (note the word) will serve a purpose.

I believe the boy belongs with his father. I believe this for a number of reasons, but that is not to say his lifestyle would be equal to or even greater if he stayed in America with his relatives. I think what we all have to accept here is that this choice could never have been made because "our government is better than theirs". If you believe in this, and you believe it is wrong for the boy to go back to Cuba, then why do we have boarder patrol, why do we limit immigration to the United States? Perhaps a lingering sense of nativism or fear of overpopulation, but what needs to be recognized is that the government can never make an exception.

The law is the law, no questions asked. Wiz, you said perhaps the family was acting on a greater MORAL law, but this statement needs support. Who decides this law, God? This is hardly a scenario as black and white as the persecution of the Jews (which you admit). I think this scenario is best handled under the terms of the US government.

I don't care whether or not his father was as loving as you say, Vagabond. Personally, I think you are highly exagerating, portraying this man as the ideal father who loves Elian sooo much. This doesn't affect me in my decision, however. A father should always be in control of his children unless he is officially declared incompetent - whether this be physical abuse, mental abuse, etc. Has there been any evidence of this? I don't know, I haven't been following this story, but if not then what is still keeping Elian from his father? Again, the only answer we can give is that "Cuba sucks, Elian should live here." Not a reason. Elian can't be made an exception. I know his mother died for a cause she knew was right, but again I say a government can't work if it allows exceptions. AND PLEASE!, don't say "Well, they have made exceptions before". I don't care. They chose not to this time.

How the scenario was handled is disgusting. Even Vagabond admits this, with a little more positive connotation of the word. And I laughed so hard when I actually saw you people dabating over which guns they should have used! "I can't believe they went in there with assault rifals, they should have used pistols." Guns are guns, and it only takes one bullet to kill a man. They should have driven up in the vans, walked up to the property, and asked if the crowd would please disperse so as to allow for the exchange of custody from the relatives to the father. If this was not granted, then arrest them one by one for voluntary resistence to governmental authority. This is the only fair way to handle the situation. Instead of the government using brute force to plow through the crowd (reportedly many individuals and objects were hurt/broken), a non-violent means of custody transfer could have been achieved.

That is my stance. I've had people tell me how bad they feel for the boy. I feel the same way. But this is merely a selective form of love, which is wrong in circumstances such as these. Why do we not love all of the Cubans who we feel are so harshly oppressed? Unless we allow for full Cuban immigration into the United States (Do we? I don't even know) then it is rather hypocritical to say this boy should remain here.

------------------
And there he is. The reigning champion of the Boonta Classic, and the crowd favorite-TheAhnFahn

Vagabond
05-01-2000, 05:04 PM
TAF,

Just for clarification, I'm not attempting to portray Juan as an ideal father. I'm merely trying to demonstrate that he appears to actually want custody of his child, which I think is a requirement.

And since INS investigators have already certified Juan as a fit father, the question of custody seems to have a clear answer to me: the father.



------------------
VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

wizzywig
05-01-2000, 05:49 PM
wizzywig repents and withdraws the post that previously occupied this space.

--wiz



[This message has been edited by wizzywig (edited May 02, 2000).]

wizzywig
05-01-2000, 06:12 PM
TheAhnFahn--

The law is the law, no questions asked. Wiz, you said perhaps the family was acting on a greater MORAL law, but this statement needs support. Who decides this law, God? This is hardly a scenario as black and white as the persecution of the Jews (which you admit).

You ask a good question. I will amply:

Here's another extreme example to illustrate a principle, not to suggest any equivalency to any other situation. After WWII, Nazi officers and bureaucrats were tried and convicted of war crimes related to the Holocaust because they did as their superiors told them and as the law of their government told them. There was no written law other than the law that they faithfully obeyed, yet they were held to be guilty of breaking a higher moral law that every human being is supposed to have implanted in his/her conscience. Those people told themselves, "The law is the law, no questions asked," and were convicted of crimes because they did so.

Again, that's an extreme situation, which is of no relevance here except to establish the principle that there IS a moral law above manmade law. If manmade law and the higher moral law ever come into conflict, the higher law must take precedence (something that very rarely happens, since manmade law is normally the embodiment of our moral values). However, if you disobey it, the manmade law will exact a price for being disobeyed.

Here's another example: During the Vietnam War, I filed papers for conscientious objector status. Because my church did not take a CO position, I was pretty sure my CO status would be denied. I was prepared to go into war as a noncombatant, or to go to prison if that's what it took to keep from becoming part of what I saw as an unjust federal killing machine. I did not for a moment think of running off to Canada to avoid the draft. I was willing to disobey the law, if it came to that, AND TO ACCEPT THE PENALTY OF THE LAW. That, I believe, is obeying the higher law by disobeying the manmade law.

Someone could argue with my beliefs and say I was wrong to oppose the Vietnam War (and I certainly never thought less of anyone who did go--that was a tough personal decision for every draft-age young man). I don't think I would have chosen the same course if faced with the same decision during WWII. But I was trying to follow my conscience in that specific situation.

As it turned out, the draft lottery gave me a high number, and I never had to take it to the mat. But I remember a very nervous period of my life when I was prepared to take that step.

Maybe that's why I feel a bit for the family in Florida. I can scarcely imagine the fear of knowing that the Mistress of Waco had the "Miami compound" in her sights. That must have been very scary for the family, knowing the feds could come at any time. And I think that, no matter whether you agree or disagree with them, their courage and conviction is admirable.

--wiz




[This message has been edited by wizzywig (edited May 01, 2000).]

theahnfahn
05-01-2000, 09:34 PM
I can scarcely imagine the fear of knowing that the Mistress of Waco had the "Miami compound" in her sights. That must have been very scary for the family, knowing the feds could come at any time. And I think that, no matter whether you agree or disagree with them, their courage and conviction is admirable.

Yes, but we should equally admire the father for requesting his son to come back. I hear you speaking more towards Vagabond here. I am not saying these people are bad. They believe Elian would live a better life here in the United States. But you have to admit that when someone who has legal custody of him objects to that the government only has one option. I'm not quite understanding your position at this point. There are two positions that one can take - either the boy lives with his father in Cuba, or the boy lives with his relatives in the United States. Now I see you more or less defending the courage and moral uprightness of the relatives, but I don't think that is enough to say Elian should not live with his father. I also am interested in how you would respond to other arguments I made. If the boy is "legally" in the custody of his father, do you think an exception should be made? Do you think the laws should be changed? Do you think the law was ever followed? I am speaking of "man-made" laws here. And I still fail to see how this universal moral law has anything to do with this. Sure, I COMPLETELY agree it is morally correct that the boy be placed in the custody of his Miami relatives so as to provide a better life for him in the United States. But it is also morally correct that he remain with his earthly father, is it not? And who is the judge on which one of these two holds the higher priority? Again, I say their are ups and downs to either decision we make for the boy, and it is nearly impossible to pin a strict moral guidline that could have been taken to ensure this boy's life could be adequately fulfilled. So when this happens, isn't it something that man-made law should uphold? I think the only satisfactory circumstance would be if the boy and his father lived IN the house with Elian's Miami relatives, but get real, it isn't going to happen. So all we can do is accept that a decision one way or the other has to be made, of course it already has, and the only thing I have left to argue about is the actions performed by the United States government in taking this boy away from his Miami relatives.

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And there he is. The reigning champion of the Boonta Classic, and the crowd favorite-TheAhnFahn

wizzywig
05-01-2000, 10:08 PM
TheAhnFahn--

I am not criticizing the manmade laws. I'm not addressing any legal issues at all. I'm only saying that the Miami family members believe (whether rightly or mistakenly) that they are obeying a higher moral law in making every effort to keep the boy from going back to Castro's Cuba.

I'm only saying they should not be demonized as evil or as terrorists or as kidnappers or any other sinister thing. They are good people trying to do the right thing (however imperfectly, in some opinions). That's the one and only point I was making in that post.

--wiz

theahnfahn
05-01-2000, 11:02 PM
Yes, I completely understand that. But this being a relatively new deal for me posting here, I wanted to address everything you have posted. It seems to me as though you felt the boy should have remained in Miami. Am I reading you correctly? You have every right to defend the Miami relatives, and I am sorely disappointed things didn't go their way. The issue of the raid on the house was horribly executed, I think we all admit that to at least a minor degree. So, I guess I'm asking you what your choice would be now. Let us propose a scenario of peaceful exchange of the boy. Should he have been given to his father, or remained with his relatives?

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And there he is. The reigning champion of the Boonta Classic, and the crowd favorite-TheAhnFahn

[This message has been edited by theahnfahn (edited May 01, 2000).]

84Elan
05-01-2000, 11:12 PM
My Bad I had a bad taste in my mouth from the JPB board and things gone wrong there I am truely sorry. I did not read the cantinas slogan carefully enough.

I know know one knows what the hell I am talking about but I screwed up on page one.
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Remember...Your Focus Determins your Reality....

[This message has been edited by 84Elan (edited May 01, 2000).]

wizzywig
05-02-2000, 04:21 AM
Elan's reality appears to be a little out of focus.

--wiz

Kylilin
05-02-2000, 04:40 AM
Elian is old news, its time to move on to the next tragedy for America to magnify out of proportion, whatever it may be.

You know, I love this country, I just think we make too much out of nothing, I mean, do you really care about Elian Gonzalez. We have it so good in this country we have nothing better to do than gripe and moan about a little kid from Cuba.

But that is the greatest thing about this country, we can focus on things that don't matter. It's not like we live in Iran, where yesterday they held a rally so they could have a free press. Free press is one of the foundations of this country, and Iranians can't even read an objectively written newspaper article or look at non-government controlled television. So please, look at things in perspective.

wizzywig
05-02-2000, 02:14 PM
TheAhnFahn--

I was trying to disengage from this discussion, but I do want to answer your questions:

It seems to me as though you felt the boy should have remained in Miami. Am I reading you correctly?

Before the raid, I was informed by a broadcast media source I trust that Juan is an unfit father who hadn't seen the boy in three years (i.e., since Elian was 3 years old). Obviously, you don't want to remove a child from a fit and decent parent, no matter where that child lives. But we have ample precedent in this country for removing kids from unfit parents for their own good. The best interests of the child come first, above all else.

Vagabond and others inform me that Juan, the father, was not at all unfit. If I was earlier misinformed and if Juan has been involved in the boy's life all along, that clearly changes things, but I haven't been able to confirm the truth either way.

But my initial reaction was based on that information, in which case I thought the mother's dying wishes should be respected, and the boy should be allowed to stay in America and be free (according to terms of a Carter admin law, which does not discriminate on the basis of age--even a 6-yr-old can make the choice to stay according to that law).

A lot of people think there's no difference between life in the USA and life in Cuba. They see nothing wrong with Castro (despite his history of torture, terror, and oppression). If that's so, I wonder why people risk their lives on leaky little boats, often being strafed by the Cuban air force, to get to our shores.

Let us propose a scenario of peaceful exchange of the boy. Should he have been given to his father, or remained with his relatives?

Janet Reno promised there would be no raid. When she said that, I figured there probably would be. I was right.

I think the boy should have stayed with the relatives until the matter was settled in the courts, which would have taken place early this month. In that court appearance, the boy would be allowed to speak for himself. I think it was important, in Reno's mind, to get Elian away from the Miami relatives so that he could be psychologically influenced to say all the right things at his court appearance.

I can tell you this: If I had been Elian's father, I would have told the feds to keep their guns and pepper spray away from my son. I would have pursued every peaceful means, but it would have ripped my heart out to see my boy dragged screaming out of that house at gunpoint. The fact that Juan M. Gonz. thought THIS violent approach was a good idea makes me suspect my earlier information about him may have been accurate. Could a decent, fit father say, "Yeah, go in with guns, kick in the doors, and snatch my boy?" Maybe if the people holding him were real kidnappers or terrorists, but not from these good people. I would have said, "Let's wait and get this matter into court. Let's not do anything hasty or dangerous."

Everything should have been done peacefully, without guns and tear gas. That dangerous raid shows how desperate this government was to preserve a backdoor deal with Castro to open US-Cuba relations and give Clinton a legacy other than Monica Lewinsky. I'm certain that's what this is all about (remember, Juan's attorney, Greg Craig, is the same attorney who defended Clinton in the impeachment trial; where does a Cuban doorman get the kind of money to hire the President's own lawyer? the fix is in).

--wiz




[This message has been edited by wizzywig (edited May 02, 2000).]

Orbvs_Terrarvm
05-02-2000, 02:29 PM
America should pass a child customody bill called the Elian Bill of Rights. Stating that a family with access to greater wealth and freedom can take away children form their blood parents. That would be great for rich couples who can't have children.Then they can go into poor inner city neighborhoods and take 6 year olds form their parents under the reasoning that 'Hey, these kids are growing up in a poor hell hole with only a few changes of clothes, drugs are rampant, and they will probably join a gang and I am just saving them.' Yeah, that sounds like a Uptopia to me. (I'm laying on thesarcasim thick here for those of you who are kinda dumb out there.)

theahnfahn
05-02-2000, 03:44 PM
I read an article from Time magazine. Here was just some of what I read.

1)The family warned agents that if they wanted Elian they would have to use force.

2)Marisleysis warned a federal official that "There's more than cameras inside the house."

3)4 of the 30 or so who took the liberty of "protecting" the house were members of Alpha 66. This group was greatly anti-Castro, and the article says once before this group had opened fire in a 1995 incident.

4)The raid was legal, with two warrants issued and the claim is they were placed on the table.

5)The deadline for negotiations was 2 A.M., and Reno pushed it back to 3, then 4, then she granted even more time. Finally, Reno said time was up, but still remained on the line. She didn't send the raid "during" the negotiations.

6)The family refused to fly to Washington, saying they prefered to drive. When negotiations failed to even get the family to leave town, I think it was apparent to Reno that the family would only want one outcome - full custody of Elian.

So, what does everyone think? This is a slighty strong case to warrant armed troops to seize Elian back into the custody of his father. When I think what could have happened to one of the INS agents if they were killed due to lack of protection, I wonder if the world would see this raid differently. Anyway, read the article. Most of those points I brought up might be out of context.

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And there he is. The reigning champion of the Boonta Classic, and the crowd favorite-TheAhnFahn

wizzywig
05-02-2000, 06:00 PM
TheAhnFahn--

I don't know what to make of your info, only because I don't trust TIME as an unbiased news source (through Strobe Talbott and other connections, TIME is very tightly connected editorially with the Clinton administration propaganda machine). No doubt, however, there is some basis for some or all of the details they printed.

I actually regret having started this thread, in large part because I opened it in a fit of emotion rather than being well-informed. I have been so immersed in research on the current project I'm writing that I really have not been well-informed on this subject, and I am the first to confess that I went off half-cocked. (As previously noted, I particularly regret naming this thread "Police State America"--that was excessive hyperbole.)

There is no doubt in my mind that Clinton politics, not child welfare, drives this thing (the Greg Craig connection is proof of that). But I'm beginning to think that Elian's father is not the horrible father I was originally led to believe. He himself confesses he was a womanizing jerk, and that his sexual behavior led to the breakup of the marriage, so he's obviously not a great father (good fathers are committed to their marriage and to their kids, and don't screw around). But I'm getting a sense that, for all his faults, he does love the boy.

So it's a complex and murky matter, and US-Cuban politics are definitely a major factor. So is Clinton's own legacy ambition.

Though those factors muddy the waters, it may well be that the boy belongs with his father. One question I still have is if Elian goes back to Cuba, will he actually be with his father, or will he become an institutionalized ward of the state as Castro has indicated? If the boy becomes a ward of the state, he should stay here.

But who really knows? The info in the media is all conflicting and confusing.

My talking about it doesn't change anything, so I've decided from now on to stick to physics and metaphysics, where I feel better informed.

(Btw, AhnFahn, you and I need to talk AI one of these days. Especially some of Roger Penrose's ideas.)

--wiz

theahnfahn
05-02-2000, 09:22 PM
I think this next Monday is my last day of school, so send me any/all things you want me to read. I will do likewise. And get some more of those chapters done, STAT!

Kurgan
05-07-2000, 08:39 PM
Hey guys, I know this was a serious discussion, but I couldn't resist.

Of course, considering the situation, it would probably take more than this..

http://www.public.iastate.edu/~kurgan/toon28.jpg

Kurgan

wizzywig
05-07-2000, 11:21 PM
LOL!!

(I just hope that cartoonist didn't give Reno any ideas...!)

-wiz

Monster
05-11-2000, 12:50 PM
I agree with your whole comment Vagabond!!!!!

When reading this page my first thoughts where: Are there any reasonable persons left in the US?????

Fortunately there are.....

Vagabond
05-11-2000, 12:59 PM
Thanks monster http://www.jediknight.net/mboard/smile.gif


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VagabondNomad on the Zone...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...