The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, May 30, 2002  

Myles Kantor Harkens Back to Grenada

Earlier this week at, the mouthpiece for the astonishingly ineffective sixties radical and now highly successful pain-in-the-ass David Horowitz, serves up “It’s Grenada Time, Mr. President,” by one Myles Kantor. Kantor, for those not familiar, is the director of something called the Center for Free Emigration (CFE), an apparently virtual group described as “a human rights organization dedicated to the abolition of state enslavement.”

As for what the CFE is, we welcome readers to visit the organization's skimpy web site, though we can't promise anything resembling enlightenment.

The object of Kantor’s ire -- and everyone who writes for Horowitz, including Horowitz, is massively irked about something -- is U.S. foreign policy with respect to Cuba. With this, Kantor is clearly unhappy, a condition not improved by President George W. Bush’s May 20 Miami speech recognizing the centennial of Cuba’s independence.

Kantor gives the speech a failing grade: “It was a momentous occasion with a mediocre message.” (Sounds disloyal to us. Kantor should hope Andrew Sullivan, the British writer and publisher, American extraordinaire, and fifth-column monitor of "The Daily Dish," doesn’t read it.)

In his recent speech, President Bush, like virtually every U.S. President since Dwight D. Eisenhower, acknowledged “the Cuban people’s love of liberty,” American support for “the Cuban people’s aspirations for freedom,” and our desire (President Bush called it a “plan”) “to accelerate freedom in Cuba in every way possible.”

“We hurt for the people in Cuba,” President Bush said, in a more sensitive moment. “We long for a day when they realize the same freedoms we have here in America.” The President challenged Fidel Castro to hold free elections and promised to enforce economic sanctions, including the longstanding ban on travel to Cuba by most Americans.

Sounds to us like standard State Department boilerplate dating back to around 1959.

Unacceptable, maintains Kantor:

“If President Bush hurts so much for Cubans, why does the Coast Guard continue to ‘repatriate’ (re-enslave) Cubans fleeing totalitarianism? Is that a compassionate policy?

“I doubt Bush’s challenge will cause Castro to renounce despotism. Neither will an embargo or travel ban engender freedom in Cuba.”

Kantor has a better idea, or at least it sounds better to him: “If President Bush is serious about hastening Cuba’s emancipation from Castro, he should follow Ronald Reagan’s example vis-à-vis another island: Grenada.”

Thereafter follows a 620-word history of Grenada -- in a 950-word essay -- covering the period from March 1979 to October 1983, a history with which we assume our readers already are sufficiently familiar and therefore need not repeat here.

After the history lesson, Kantor offers an abysmally simplistic assessment of the prevailing geo-political situation in the Caribbean. “What Grenada would have been is what Cuba has been and continues to be,” he maintains in a sentence so fraught with the kind of unspoken speculation that typifies such rants but that is certain to have most of’s readers nodding in unthinking agreement.

As it turns out, Kantor’s history of Grenada in the early 1980s is nothing more than filler. For what his article gains (at least in word count) from relaying events that occurred 20 years ago serves as compensation for what it lacks in argument.

“Hemispherically, strategically, and morally, there is an imperative to rectify this situation,” Kantor writes, sounding the alarm and referring to Castro’s seemingly endless status as Cuban dictator. But, he explains, “rhetoric alone won’t free Cuba, just as rhetoric didn’t abolish the Taliban.”

Well, then. What to do? Kantor urges President Bush: “Go to Congress, Mr. President, and ask it to authorize Operation Cuba Libre. Many Americans including this one are ready to enlist.” [Ed.: Emphasis added.] (Apparently every military excursion lacking congressional authorization under the War Powers Act is to be rewarded with a catchy quasi code name beginning with the word, “Operation.”)

Kantor’s political ideology is virtually indeterminable, his collections of sentences and other fragments having been published in such disparate outlets at,,, and And as best we can determine, Kantor is beyond the age of conscription, but nonetheless, in his own words, “ready to enlist.” Thanks, Myles, for making this a part of the public record. We plan to hold you to it. (There's a cheap shot at President Bush lying in wait here if anyone wants it.)

Bona fides, or lack thereof aside, Kantor’s remarks about Cuba are truly irresponsible. Readers know that The Rittenhouse Review is no fan of generalissimo-for-life Fidel Castro, a point we have made in at least two articles, “Castro Interminable” (April 29) and “Planning a Trip? Make a Political Statement” (April 4).

However, Kantor’s ill-considered, and more to the point, reckless, essay, is remarkable for nothing more than its simplicity, a trait that, when it comes to assessments of the state of the world, is found precious only at high-school commencement exercises.

Kantor includes absolutely no analysis of the military requirements and risks of such an operation, the potential for massive casualties, not an invasion's political repercussions in the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Europe or elsewhere. Kantor’s “argument” is merely an exhortation. It’s sad that such a thin essay, likely to earn a “D” at the local community college, found an outlet at all.

All the more fascinating is that Kantor and his editor, the increasingly agitated and, based on his previous history, possibly dangerous, David Horowitz fail to recognize the embarrassment they have brought upon themselves.

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