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View Diary: Che Guevara Smacks Bush! (205 comments)

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  •  Che was plenty murderous all by himself. (3.50)
    Che as a guerrilla fighter...

    "...Guevara's critics (Anderson,1997; Fuentes, 2004; Matos, 2002; Morán Arce, 1980; Rojo del Río, 1981) report that he exhibited no great skill in combat, at times during "La Ofensiva" he lacked boldness as for instance when he abandoned Daniel and his men. However, he always demanded intrepidity, and outstanding self-discipline from his subordinates. He had high regard for himself (Guevara, Waters (ed.) 1996) and but far less for others, and was known for racist comments. He soon became one of Castro's most useful aides, and a far readier executioner than such as Universo Sanchez. Guevara was also responsible for the execution of many men accused of being informers, rapists, deserters or spies (e.g. Fuentes, 2004). At least some of these were alleged rivals (e.g. Morán Arce, 1980) or inconvenient non-ideologues...."

    Che in Cuba after revolution...

    "...Che Guevara became as prominent in the new government as he had been in the revolutionary army. In 1959, he was appointed commander of the La Cabaña Fortress prison. During his six months' tenure there from January 2 through June 12, 1959[7], he oversaw the trial and execution of many people, including former Batista regime officials, members of the BRAC[8] secret police, alleged war criminals, and political dissidents. Different sources cite different numbers of executions. Some sources say 156 people were executed, while others give far higher figures. Cuban journalist Luis Ortega, who knew Che as early as 1954, writes in his book "Yo Soy El Che!" that Guevara sent 1,897 men to the firing squad. In his book "Che Guevara: A Biography," Daniel James writes that Che himself admitted to ordering "several thousand" executions during the first few years of the Revolutionary Government. Pierre San Martin, a former prisoner, recalled in a November 1996, El Nuevo Herald article, that he along with multiple other prisoners witnessed Che personally execute a 12 year old boy for trying to defend his father from the firing squads. [9]..."

    Che Guevara was a murderous rat bastard all by himself. The US did not put any guns in his hand,  or force him to pull the trigger. He killed far more than enemy soldiers. Che killed helpless prisoners. Thousands of them.

    Please stop with this romantic Che clap-trap. It's all crap. Che Guevara had a chance to be an inspirational figure, and he CHOSE to be a murderous rat bastard instead.

    Stop looking for heroes of from Leninist/Stalinist era. There were none. Not even Gorbachev. He had blood all over his hands, too. He just recognized the handwriting on the wall, and had to choose between starving the Russian people, and ending Stalinism.

    •  It's amazing to me (none)
      that otherwise reasonable people will say things about Che (who fought a revolution against a murderous US-backed dictatorship) that they will not also say about American colonists fighting British rule (things that many British historians note about the revolution) or about US presidents such as Ronald Reagan, who have far more Latin American blood on their hands (through support of brutal governments and their death squads) than Che Guevara ever will.
      •  The US did not make Che kill prisoners. (4.00)
        Che Guevara killed helpless prisoners in his custody long after the revolution was over. Che Guevara CHOSE to be a murderous tyrant just like Stalin did.

        There are no heroes of Stalinism.

        Why in the &%$# would you make yourself look so stupid promoting this dated Stalinist propaganda that's so easy to disprove, when there are REAL HEROES out there like Gandhi, MLK, etc. that deserve having their image on t-shirt long after they are gone?

        •  I'm not promoting anything (none)
          but the end of imperialism.  I am only pointing out the hypocrisy of your deep-seeded hate for the Cuban Revolution and it's personalities.  

          Sure Gandhi and MLK are leaders that we should'll get no argument from me in that respect.  If there is a T-shirt out there, I would like one.

          •  I hate murderers, not Cubans or revolutionaries. (none)
            Castro was a murderer. So was Che. The revolution in Cuba could have freed those oppressed by Batista without murdering thousands of helpless prisoners. I (and many others) are furious that Castro and Che ruined what could have been a great step forward for the people of Cuba with murderous tyranny.

            That said... I think we're mostly on the same page regarding Gandhi and MLK the the example they have left for people to emulate. I just think you should stick with them, and leave the false propaganda about Castro and Che behind. Castro and Che chose to betray their people.

            •  Again (none)
              I am not spreading any propaganda.  I am talking about the realities of Cuba under constant threat of (and actual) invasion from the US.  

              And I again ask if you use those same words to describe the murder of prisoners, Tories, Hessians during the American revolution or to describe a long list of US Presidents who have blood on their hands from funding, supplying, and supporting murderous regimes.

              •  Distraction to change subject (none)
                You're trying to justify one murderous rat bastard by pointing to other murders. Guess what. All the murderers are wrong. Gandhi proved that.

                You're also trying to distract from the truth about Che being a murderer by pulling the focus into a bunch of other directions. My response to that is... Che was a murderer.

                I'm getting increasingly suspicious you want to blow the shit outta something in the name of peace.

                •  Talk about changing the subject... (none)
                  I never denied that Che killed people.  I am only pointing out that the vast majority of our own heroes would also be considered 'murderers' according to your criteria.  Apparently you don't want to face the consequences of that extension of your logic.
                  •  Strawman. Strawman. Strawman. (none)
                    I pointed to MLK and Gandhi as heroes.

                    You have created this $%#@& strawman of OTHER people from history to use as justification of actions taken by Che and other Stalinists. Well, you're talking to someone who, for example, refuses to attend DEM Jefferson/Jackson day dinners because of what Jackson did to the Cherokees. I've got Howard Zinn books in the bookholder kept on my desk at all time, not stuffed in ther back of the bookshelf. I KNOW some of the things that have been done by Americans.

                    The answer is real simple. Murder doesn't justify murder, and two wrongs do not make a right.

                    You need to go a lot deeper into history. You need to find BETTER heroes.

                    •  You continue to put words in my mouth (none)
                      that I never uttered.  MLK and Gandhi are my heroes.    They are the example we should follow in our lives and that I try to follow in my own life.  

                      I merely pointed out the hypocrisy in your views of Che, which is easily recognizable to everyone but yourself.  If you would denounce those who were and are much worse than Che with the same venom with which you denounce Che, I would have no problem with your views.  I know this is not the case, because I have given you ample opportunity to do so here, and you refuse.  Instead, you continue to parrot propaganda from the elitist right-wing portions of the Cuban-American community.    

                      •  Murdering people wrong. The hypocrite is YOU (none)
                        I don't accept the murderous actions of ANYONE. You're fine with murder if the one doing the murder is on your "side" of the poltical spectrum.

                        That makes me a follower of MLK and Gandhi, and you a hypocrite who spits on the examples of Gandhi and MLK.

                        •  I'll not continue to respond (none)
                          to someone who attributes statements, which I have never uttered, to me.   I have never accepted murder, but apparently you do given the large number of murderers you refuse to denounce.


                          •  I denounce ALL murderers. (none)
                            I denounced all murders several times on this thread. You are lying if you claim I didn't. I refuse to accept all murderers as leaders or role models.

                            Che is a murderer. He murdered unarmed prisoners. You defend Che. You defend murder when it's convenient to you.

            •  asdf (none)
              would you say Ronals Reagan was a murderer too?

              Go harry go! The American People.

              by blacklib on Mon Dec 12, 2005 at 05:24:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Che wasn't a Stalinist (none)
          Cuba in fact maintained fairly distant relations with the USSR during the time Che was in Cuba, and one of the reasons he left was because Fidel was moving too close to the Soviets.

          There's a Nietzschean component to Che, a bit of Bukharin, and a lot of philosophical Marx. He definitely was not in to rigid state controls, believing in the capacity of revolutionary violence to purify humanity and thereby create an anarchistic utopia.

          Would Stalin have abolished money?

          •  Bullshit. (none)
            Do I need to repost the wikipedia article again with the evidence about Che murdering thousands of helpless prisoners? I will if I have to.

            I don't give a shit about the bullshit propaganda and lies Che peddled. It was all crap. Che was every bit the murderer Stalin was.

            •  Sure, repost it if you want (none)
              Except it's not relevant to my post.

              "Stalinist" does not equal "murderer." Che may have been a murderer (in the strictest sense that he certainly did kill people), but that fact alone doesn't make him a Stalinist.

              General George S. Patton killed people. Was he a Stalinist?

              The thing is, Stalinism refers to a real political movement, led by the Third International while Stalin and his successors dominated the USSR. There are specific approaches to state power associated with that movement, especially in the relationship between the citizen and the state and in economic policy. The historical evidence confirms Che did not share those specific approaches to state power, and that he in fact openly criticized the Soviet Union during his life.

              So, if you want to waste more bandwidth posting irrelevant data, go ahead. Or -- more reasonably -- you could just drop the bullshit argument that Che was a Stalinist.

              He wasn't. You might call him a revolutionary Marxist anarchist if you want, but Stalinist definitely does not fit.

              •  Whatever... Che was a murderer. (none)
                Someone showed me some of the flame wars between so-called Stalinists, Leninists, and Trotskyites on the usenet communism newsgroups. I'm not touching that silly mess with a 10 foot pole.

                Whatever term you wish to apply as a general term to describe the whole 20th century "totalitarian dictatorship using a Marxist propaganda veneer" form of government present in the Soviet Union, Warsaw Pact Nations, China, Cuba etc., I'll use. I'm not getting distracted into a flame war over semantics. Just post the one word you prefer to use, and I'll use it.

                •  Ah, but you already touched it (none)
                  by accusing Che of Stalinism.

                  Call him a revolutionary, and you're totally on target. Acknowledge that he accepted the use of violence to achieve revolutionary ends, and you're completely on target. State your rejection of violence under any circumstances, and you're still on absolutely safe ground.

                  Just don't invent an epithet and apply it to people indiscriminately. The word actually has meaning, and the meaning doesn't apply to Che.

                  •  Fine. Then Che's a Stalinist. (2.50)
                    I gave you a fair chance to use the word of your choice in regard to a general overarching term to describe the form of totalitarian government that called itself communism in the 20th century. You chose to use that lattitude to try to define murder as reasonable. Nice try, but I'm not that silly or stupid.

                    So we'll use my word for the duration of this thread. Stalinism. Che's a Stalinist. Che advoted totalitarian dictatorships using marxist terminology as a false front. So did Stalin. Che murdered unarmed prisoners to keep an iron grip on power. So did Stalin.

                    Patton doesn't even belong in this discussion, and is a distraction. Patton held basically no political power (except for a few months as a military governor in Germany). Patton was a military commander. He was a nut. He was relieved from command by twice for being a nut.

                    •  Should I call you a Nazi? (none)
                      Because it applies to you about as much as Stalinist applies to Che.

                      Che was a revolutionary. He believed revolution was a liberating experience, and that by participating in a revolution a person experienced a total individual renovation, who would be capable of living an entirely different kind of life. Old rules no longer applied, and new possibilities abounded.

                      When Che was Minister of Finance in Cuba, he abolished money. The idea was to let the true economic impulses of the New Man (as Che called the product of the revolutionary experience) to flourish. The result, of course, was a disaster.

                      Che also believed that physically eliminating people corrupted by the old regime was an appropriate way to liberate society so the revolutionary flourishing he believed in could be unleashed. So, he killed a lot of people he believed were corrupted by the old regime.

                      In the end, of course, Che's theory of revolution proved to be hopelessly naive, and the Cuban New Man turned out to be an awful lot like the old, pre-revolutionary man. Along the way a lot of innocent people got killed.

                      What's undeniable, however, is that Che's theory is centered on the individual, and in his writings and his actions he confirmed his belief that revolutionary violence was a means towards liberating the individual.

                      Stalinism, on the other hand, is clearly centered on the state, and whatever liberatory content it contains is pushed off to a distant and rhetorically impossible to achieve future. It's a system designed to keep the dictator in power, and bend all in the society to his will.

                      •  Just admit you're okay with murder, Litho (none)
                        I follow the examples of Gandhi and MLK. I'm not okay with someone going on killing sprees just because they happen to be defined by political scientists as being on the "left" side of some imaginary number line. I think thuggery is thuggery.

                        Just admit you're okay with murder as long as murder gets "your side" more political power. That's how Che felt.

                        •  Now why should I admit to (4.00)
                          something I don't believe, simply because you insist on calling Che something he wasn't?

                          I'll tell you the truth, your logic escapes me...

                          •  Che murdered unarmed prisoners (2.50)
                            If you can't accept that a person that is proven to have murdered thousands of unarmed prisoners is a murderer, then you're into "faith-based" communism. All opinion. All belief. No facts.
                          •  Nobody's disputing your facts (4.00)
                            we're disputing the context.

                            (Actually, I could quibble with the facts as well -- I believe most of Che's victims faced summary trials and were killed by firing squads -- but you're basically right that he's responsible for large numbers of deaths.)

                          •  Gandhi's hunger strike to save political opponents (none)
                            IMHO, Gandhi's treatment of his political opponents is a lesson to all mankind. Gandhi didn't just not personally take revenge on political opponents, he damn near killed himself in a hunger strike to stop riots and violence against Gandhi's political opponents.

                            What I'm trying to say is why waste time and energy defending Che when you could be using that time and energy promoting a much better role model like Gandhi?

                          •  Gandhi (4.00)
                            was also assassinated, and his followers created a corrupt, single-party, socialist state that both plunged the Indian sub-continent into civil war and pursued a failed economic policy for the better part of a century. The dominant political party in Gandhi's India is an ultra-nationalist, racist party that condones violent mob attacks on non-Hindu minorities.

                            Nobody's perfect, Bad Santa, and Che Guevara is perhaps more imperfect than many. But let's have our discussion of him based on who he actually was, what he actually did, and what he actually believed in, rather than in false and misleading stereotypes.

                            Che did in fact believe in something beautiful. His theory of politics, obviously quite different from Gandhi's, told him violence could help achieve that beautiful thing.

                            He was wrong.

          •  Che was much more inline with Mao... still (none)
            Their were people involved in the revolution that wanted a socialist democracy and Che was dead set against this model. He was a very hard line communist and did kill to keep a lid on disent. He was not confident in his ideas to let people debate them. Che sided with castro for hardline communism and then split because he like the Maoist ideas better than the stalin or soviet model. He is only an idol in a damn the man kind of way. His actions make him less than savory.

            I understand using relativism to judge makes him no different than others. Still he is no the soft good guy that many try and make him be.

          •  i'm pretty sure che was a stalinist, (none)
            early on in the cuba phase.  he was not a trotskyist, but may have become a maoist.
            •  Don't know (none)
              enough about his specific ideological journey to say with any certainty.

              By the time he's running Cuba, though, he's clearly more influenced by Maoism than straight Stalinism. But even there, it's the most voluntarist elements of Maoism that attract him. Che really seems to have believed that it was possible to leap directly from underdeveloped, peripheral capitalism to an advanced communist society, passing through only a brief dictatorship of the proletariat phase.

              I think he left Cuba when he started to realize that wasn't happening. Then, of course, he fucks up in Congo, and then fucks up even more in Bolivia...

        •  Um... (none)
          I think the question is, who made the U.S. kill anybody? Why is Che demonized, while the U.S.'s actions seem so pardonable to you? Especially given the U.S.'s enormous position of power as compared to Che...?
          •  You clearly didn't read the thread. (none)
            I denounce all murderous act, no matter who commits them. As I stated above, I have my Howard Zinn books within arms reach on my desk, not stuck back on a bookshelf collecting dust. I know exactly how wretched the US has acted in the past. I don't pardon any murderous act.

            Pointing at the US for being murderous does not justify Che killing 1000s of unarmed prisoners in Cuban prisons. Murder is murder whoever does it.

      •  The problem (none)
        Is in trying to justify why one is good by pointing out that others may have been worse.  The fact is that Che and associates were of the same mold.  Install his leadership at the price of the people rather than to the benefit of the people.

        The fact that he fought an oppresive and murderous regime doesn't really matter when the one installed also turns out to be an oppressive and murderous regime.

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        by Closet VB Coder on Mon Dec 12, 2005 at 08:52:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (4.00)
      One could certainly say plenty about how much blood on their hands Gen. Washington, Thomas Jefferson, et al. had with regard to the slaughter of our own indigenous peoples. I'm sure one can find at least a few folks who consider them among other Founding Fathers to be "rat bastards."

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