Copyright(c) 2000 Jules Dervaes
Here we sit. We watch and wait. The Juan Gonzalez family suffers on. Everything is going according to plan--his Miami relatives' plan, that is. Who doesn't know that they are having it all their way? And, the more they've been allowed to call the shots, the bolder they have become. Unbelievably, those who illegally hold Elian have found in our officials accomplices willing to bend over backwards to appease them. Such appeasement is what can turn us into subjects of mob rule. Ironically, the majority in this country are having to submit to the dictates of the "liberty" loving, "democracy" lauding, minuscule faction--the Cuban American National Foundation. Only a freedom which is fraudulent aims at breaking the law, the very law which is the sole guarantor of true liberty. So, the absurd, unpatriotic result is that law-abiding, American citizens must suffer on, forced to be at the mercy of six-year-old "Elian's" lawyers as they continue to devise ways to thwart enforcement of U.S. regulations. In delay is their victory over the law.
Today, we stand as witnesses to an inept government whose officials are permitting this case to play out in a public spectacle just so they can get off the hot seat. Our executive branch has circled its wagons as it, too, watches and waits. However, while we have looked to them to lead us, they can only cross their fingers and wish that some Lone Ranger will come riding out of nowhere to save the day for them. Leaders are those who arise out of a crisis to take charge and go to the rescue of the needy, not those who sit around, needing to be rescued. Here we have our public servants who have sworn to uphold the law and are paid to execute the law, failing at their jobs, failing to fulfill their sacred responsibilities, and failing the American people.
Consequently, we have been abandoned. Although it is clearly in our best interest as citizens to be protected from the abuse of societal lawlessness, we find ourselves in the custody of a phantom guardian. We're "home alone," left to fend for ourselves due to blatant neglect by that authority. Through his inaction the President--himself, the supreme head of the INS--has now made us civic orphans, when what we needed from him was that he step up and that he prevail. Then, there are the lesser officials who, taking the cue down the line, turn turtle because no one's going to stick his head out when his boss doesn't. That immense sound of inertia we've heard for ninety days has been the creation of a power vacuum, a void which poses a grave, national danger. For, onto the political field absent the actions of the highest elected ruler, there have rushed all sorts of contestants engaging in a free-for-all grab for power made available to them by default: a relative, a lawyer, a congressman, a judge, a nun. The welcome mat is out for anyone who wants to be a player to step in and run our nation according to his personal point of view.
Dare we admit it? This is a crisis of the utmost magnitude. While this administration has gone to great lengths to bring peace to such far away places as the Persian Gulf, Somalia, the Middle East, Haiti, Ireland, Bosnia, and Kosovo, it won't work for peace at home, in Miami. It doesn't implement an Operation Justice which can force compliance to our own national law, commanding the law-breakers to meet the deadline, or else. And, the only formula for peace is being blissfully ignored; namely, that peace is the product solely of the enforcement of the law. For, this time, any legitimate use of power would crack down directly on U.S. voters, resulting in the certain, political hell of the loss of popularity and the cessation of contributions. Yet, that noble, sacrificial action is exactly what is required to bring about the peace of justice. Therein lay the tragic irony of trying to gain a legacy of popular greatness through inaction, only to lose it instead through the selfsame, petty inaction.
For common expediency, then, the U.S. is taking the very low road. Every day of its inglorious treatment of Mr. Gonzalez's family, our Government sinks deeper into the depths of disgrace by holding to a double standard. Sans red face, it has displayed naked hypocrisy. While the U.S., wearing its white hat, can condemn global bad guys like Saddam Hussein for not keeping their word, it flagrantly fails to make good on its own. Our Nation, in the person of Mary A. Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, who offered sworn testimony in Washington, D.C., on January 24, 2000, has spelled out in explicit, unequivocal detail its policy dictating the return of Elian. It's on the record for all the world to see. How can we now break the golden rule of foreign policy as put forth in and by this official document? Is it all right because Cuba is communist and we don't have to be true to our word with our enemy? Is it no big deal because we are the superpower and there's no one who can make us honor it? Is it just old-fashioned to believe that the character of a nation really does matter?
So, what of national honor? Do we sit here and let it go down the drain? This is a time that surely will test our souls. With the country facing an internal emergency, all bickering must stop; and the division must be healed by uniting behind our Nation's word. There should go out this clarion call to action on the part of all Americans. For those who have been on the sidelines, not understanding what the fuss over this one child is all about; for those who still have doubts about where Elian should live: Doubt no more. For those who think Elian should stay here because he'll have a good future and who have been disagreeing with Mr. Gonzalez's demand for the return of his son, based on Cuba being communist: Disagree no more. Because the U.S. has spoken, that settles it once and for all. It's the duty of every citizen to rally behind the Nation.
And keep its word, our Nation must. If we fail, the distrust sown will cost us dearly. Without integrity on the part of every nation, world peace is impossible. Without integrity on the part of every citizen, local order is only possible via the police. Any national violation of ethics will trickle down into everyday practice and, slowly-but-surely, unravel the very fabric of our society. For, the real security of a nation rests not in military might, nor in economic gains, but solely in the noble hearts of its people. Overlook this breach of morality and only in hindsight will we see this episode as having been the turning point in the ultimate war of values. Without a victory of morals now, this day will go down in infamy as the time all across our land when duty was considered a joke, when honor became the province of fools, and when trust got you a kick in the rear.
Yes, we lose if we don't send Elian Gonzalez home. That's every single, last one of us.
Jules Dervaes is founder of the web site 'Let Elian Gonzalez Go Home' at www.pathtofreedom.com and his petition has over 4,600 signatures.
To view signatures and to read the comments of concerned citizens on the 'Send Elian Gonzalez Home' petition please go to this URL: www.gcty.com/pathtofreedom/internationalpetition.html