Monday, September 04, 2017

Trump and the Cuba Sonic Attack

The story about U.S. and Canadian diplomats suffering serious injury because of some sort of sonic attack is just weird. It's well known that the Cuban government, like probably almost every other dictatorship, bugs diplomats as much as possible. But it has no incentive to attack the U.S., which gains them nothing while opening Cuba up to retaliation.

Even more curious to me, though, is this sort of thing is low-hanging fruit for Donald Trump. So easy to tweet about, so easy to score political points with hardline Cuban-American conservatives, so easy to bluster and crow. But he isn't.

The United States has stopped short of accusing Cuba of being behind the alleged attacks. The Cuban government has denied any wrongdoing and is said to be cooperating in the ongoing investigation.

Why not? One current hypothesis is that someone--who else but the Russians, really?--was using them to harass U.S. diplomats for U.S. policy elsewhere.

Indeed, US investigators are probing whether a third country was involved as "payback" for actions the US has taken elsewhere and to "drive a wedge between the US and Cuba," a US official told CNN. 

Under this scenario, the U.S. doesn't see Cuba as responsible. But that's weird too. Can the Russians actually do such things in Cuba without Raúl Castro knowing? And if he knew, we're back to square one about why he would take a big risk for no gain.

Somehow, someone convinced Donald Trump that Cuba, which he loves to rail about, is not worth railing about in this instance. Since this sort of thing is right up his alley, it's hard to understand why he is showing restraint. That's almost weirder than the attack itself.


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