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March 31, 2000

From Red China to Red Square

As the war of words between Red China’s premier and the newly elected president of Taiwan continues to heat up, National Security Adviser Sandy Berger is on his way to Beijing – about seven years too late. Intelligence sources tell The Federalist that the Red Chinese have pre-positioned additional ground forces and have deployed a new generation of air-defense missiles along the Taiwan Strait, a prerequisite for a quick strike capability against Taiwan.

The Clinton administration’s failed policy in the region is now proving perilous. China has vastly increased its military capacity with the help of favorable trade status with the U.S., and, though the probability remains low, the possibility of conflict between the Reds and Taiwan is much higher than it has been in the last three decades.

“As for the question of one China or two, I’m not suggesting that we overturn U.S. policy,” notes Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Feulner. “But I will say this: We’ve dealt before with two Germanys, two Koreas, even two Vietnams, and each time we aligned ourselves with the right side. Let’s not ruin our record.”

Further west, Vladimir Putin, winner of Russia’s presidential election, is preparing to reign over a nation in total collapse. “People are tired, things are tough for them, and they expect better things from me,” says Putin. “But, of course, miracles don’t occur.” His only serious challenger, Communist Gennady Zyuganov, received 29.4% of the votes cast – much better than expected. Now that Boris “The Bottle” Yeltsin is out, a nuclear strike against the United States can’t be blamed on accidentally spilling vodka on his portable ICBM launch box.

In other news, a federal court in Miami has ruled that six-year-old Elian Gonzalez must be returned to his father in Cuba, rendering the child the first refugee forcibly returned to Cuba, who was not a felonious criminal. His relatives have appealed.

Four months ago, The Federalist Editorial Board argued that the following conditions must be met before Elian could be returned to Cuba.

First, his entire family must be allowed to come to the U. S. – without the supervision of Cuban government officials – so that their desire for Elian can be expressed of free will and conscience. Fidel Castro has offered to allow the boy’s father and the rest of his family to join him in Miami while a court of appeals decides the case – on the condition that the U.S. guarantees the child will be returned to Cuba with them. (Only in totalitarian states are court decisions guaranteed by the government before hearings begin!)

Second, the custody hearings must be remanded to Florida’s family courts, as the only fair adjudicator among the conflicting rights claimed by members of the Gonzalez family.

Third, Elian Gonzalez, although still a child, has the unalienable right to liberty acknowledged in our Declaration of Independence, and this right must be factored into any custody decision. Accordingly, Congress should forthwith grant Elian and his deceased mother U.S. citizenship, as the Constitution provides Congress alone – not Bill Clinton or Janet Reno – the power “to establish an uniform rule of naturalization.”

We should make it clear that we do not believe any government may remove parental rights, except under the most extreme circumstances threatening the welfare of a child, and then, only in accordance with state laws. The complicating factor here is that true parental rights do not exist in Cuba. Juan Miguel Gonzalez may not freely make decisions in Elian’s best interest if contrary to the edicts of Castro’s totalitarian state. But, should the Florida state courts find that Elian must return to Cuba with his father, we would support that edict. If granted citizenship, Elian can return as an adult and exercise his right to liberty.

And a final note, two months ago, George W. Bush endorsed most of these conditions. Thursday, Al Gore, reading the polls in South Florida, broke with Clinton and followed Bush’s lead. “This is purely a political maneuver, designed to enhance Mr. Gore’s appeal in Florida, a crucial state in November,” says the New York Times. The Washington Post editors agree: “Suddenly, he favors permanent resident status not only for Elian but also for ‘his father, stepmother, half-brother, grandmothers and grandfather.’ For some reason, and unlike Mr. Castro, [Gore] left out the kindergarten teacher, at least for now.”

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