Posted by: Tony Carson | 2 October, 2007

Friedman, 9/11, Guantánamo and health care

In an otherwise good column on the need for the US “to get its groove back,” to get away from the numbing paranoia of 9/11, Thomas Friedman make this astonishing promise:

I will not vote for any candidate who is not committed to dismantling Guantánamo Bay and replacing it with a free field hospital for poor Cubans.

Great thought but should the US be paying for health care in Cuba when one-sixth of his fellow countrymen can’t get it? 

This seems like a particularly cruel irony made worse by the fact that Cuba has more doctors per capita then anywhere else in the world and what amounts to a socialized health care system, one that tops the US system in efficacy. 

Doesn’t Friedman get it? The US medical system is badly broken and needs every dollar available to fix it.

But how about this? By all means, dismantle Guantánamo but then, ah, give Guantánamo Bay back to the Cubans from whom the US stole it.

From Wikipedia: The United States assumed territorial control over Guantánamo Bay under the 1903 Cuban-American Treaty, which granted the United States a perpetual lease of the area. The current Cuban government considers the U.S. presence in Guantánamo illegal, arguing that the Cuban-American Treaty violates Article 52 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which declares a treaty void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force in violation of international law.[1] However, Article 4 of the same document states that Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties shall not be retroactively applied to any treaties made before itself.[2]


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