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

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  •  And Gandhi already proved Che wrong (none)
    Che might have an excuse if Gandhi had not already been sucessful in India at this point in history. But Gandhi HAD been successful tossing the British Empire out of India using nonviolence before Che and Castro got started in Cuba.

    There was no excuse for the murderous actions of Che and Castro.

    •  Stop with Gandhi, already. (4.00)
      Yes, he was very effective. But you know what? He was effective because he was able to get a response from the sense of justice of the British people. MLK, likewise, appealed to the better instincts of Americans -- his success is to the credit of the basic decency of average Americans, once they could be brought to understand the wrong that was being done by Jim Crow.

      People, by and large, do have a sense of fairness, and in a democracy, this response can be appealed to... provided righting the injustice won't hurt them personally. Landowning classes, of course, do have plenty of rationalizations to defend themselves from perceiving that their ownership is inequitable. And the tactics of shaming don't work against out and out dictators. Dictators don't care about fairness. If they did, they wouldn't ever have gotten to be dictators, now would they?

      Batista, or Papa Doc, or Idi Amin, or Saddam Hussein would simply have had any aspiring Gandhis in their countries put up against a wall and shot. Would have? Heck, they probably did, many times over -- but we haven't heard anything about those people because they died unknown.

      Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

      by Canadian Reader on Mon Dec 12, 2005 at 01:16:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Self-defense/just war is a different topic. (none)
        I really don't know what Gandhi thought about the concepts of self defense for a nation state or "just wars." I know Gandhi never tried to have the Indian Armed Forces disbanded, so he recognized at least some basic needs for self-defense for a nation-state.

        People do have the right to defend themselves from mass murderers, and there are defenses one can make in an armed conflict when things go terribly wrong on a battlefield. Things can and do go terribly wrong on battlefields. That's why we try to avoid war.

        What Che and Castro did that was so wrong was after the battles of their revolution were over. There is no justification of any kind for murdering unarmed prisoners who are in your custody.

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