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Author Topic: Che Guevarra - Freedom fighter or terrorist?
flydye45
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"That's funny. America has fewer buses and trolleys per capita by far now than it had before WWII. This is the result of aggressive lobbying by Detroit allied with the natural allure of vehicular independence, not the sign of better or worse regimes in pre-or-post 1939 America. "

Yes, it must be a conspriracy. It certainly has NOTHING to do with the fact we have a very low population density. How are you going to bus South Dakota? [Roll Eyes]

On to your main points. When Danny Glover, et al goes to Cuba and talks him up, how are we not to get a sense that someone is defending him, trying to make him acceptable, trying to give his fatigue wearing, dirty bearded ZZ-Top imitation a cachet of cool?

I know nothing about Bautista. I've heard about Castro. All those little liberties which are howlingly defended by Leftists (for good reason)...suddenly become a matter of historical perspective when applied to a Communist. Why? It's time for the Left to get over the "ex" and burn Lenin's picture. He really wasn't good for you...or the other 100 million dead.

I think it comes under the desperate seeking an alternative to capitalism. That isn't it.

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Jesse
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Although, Bussing South Dakota didn't make sense BEFORE WWII either.

Police State = Bad. Just trying to make that clear. Has it gotten through?

I ain't carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, and the only time I ever stuck a Red Star on my jacket was when my Gov&Econ teacher decided the purpose of a two semester class was to rant about the unfairness of progressive taxation for an hour a day, five days a week. It was just fun to watch his eye twitch.

Capitalism is the best thing going in a post-agrarian production system. We just disagree about whether or not regulating that capitalism and striving to moderate it's inevitable effects on those at the bottom of the social pyramid is a good thing.

There is simply no logical basis for continuing a trade embargo against a major sugar producer at a time when we need to up our ethanol production. Castro, if the devil is willing to go to greater lengths than ussual to protect his own, might have ten years left.

It's better for us AND for Cuba if we are already established as trading partners again when he take his overdue dirt nap.

We don't maintain an embargo on Cuba because it's "the right thing to do". We do it because we can afford to, it gets votes from a constituancy in a swing State, and it props up the price of sugar.

Castro is bad.

Castro does not rank among "the worst of the worst" (unless your list is over 100 tyrants long in the last century).

At Che's urging, Castro sold out the Revolution. Cuban Communists, in fact, were allied with Batista, in return for his aid in protecting Union tourism jobs. Most of the men who followed Castro were NOT Communists, but were fighting to re-instate the constitution Batista tore up. That document did include land reforms many would probably label socialist, but it was not a reprint of the Communist Manifesto.

We do not live in a world of unalloyed evil, or unalloyed good. I'm sorry, but I didn't make it that way.

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Jesse
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Oh, and to finally answer the question [Smile]

Che was neither a terrorist OR a freedom fighter. He was a Revolutionary. "Freedom", meaning the freedom of religion, association, speech, ect. was not what he was fighting for. He was fighting for the implimentation of the Communist Manifesto, plain and simple, which he believed would alleviate the grotesque disparaties of wealth and massive needless suffering he saw throughout post-colonial Latin America.

He wasn't a Terrorist unless you want to use that term in a sense so broad it would include our Founding Fathers. He was a guerilla, engaged in ruthless asymetrical warfare, but he wasn't known to blow up school busses in order to try to frighten people into complying with his demands, or cutting the heads off of hostages in order to change government policies.

I know the word "Revolutionary" has all kinds of positive connotations, but I am using it as a nuetral term. Eh, I guess I do still intend the connotation that he passionately believed in what he was doing.

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Daruma28
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quote:
He wasn't a Terrorist unless you want to use that term in a sense so broad it would include our Founding Fathers. He was a guerilla, engaged in ruthless asymetrical warfare, but he wasn't known to blow up school busses in order to try to frighten people into complying with his demands, or cutting the heads off of hostages in order to change government policies.
Yes, because the history of our Founding Fathers is full of instances where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson et al executed unarmed civilians with gunshots to the head or cut their throats after binding and gagging them.

The guy signed approximately 4000 Death Warrants - all without trial or due process, and was also known for executing many people at point blank range.

Hey, I saw the Motorcycle Diaries, a stirring and visually stimulating hagiography that practically makes Che look like Jesus Christ in his moral superiority.

Perhaps they should make a Motorcycle Diaries II: La Cabaٌa.

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Jesse
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Daruma, go read up on Washingtons summary executions of his own troops. Or, better yet, the standards he believed applied when waging war against native americans.

Does it matter if he pulled the trigger himself?

I'm much more disturbed by the "Judge and Jury" than the addition of "Executioner".

Che believed what he spouted. He could have kicked it in Cuba and lived the high life until the end of his natural days if he kissed a little Castro kiester. Instead, he kept it up, and kept putting himself in harms way.

He had the wrong answer to the problems he was trying to solve, he believed that his end justified any means, and that all was fair in advancing the Revolution.

He was up against enemies who executed people without trial or due process, who murdered journalists, who robbed people of their means of sustinance under the color of law, and blatantly denied their people acess to the courts.

Did Washington in any way observe the laws of war when faced with an enemy who did not? It was wrong of him to wage total war against a civilian population, but it shouldn't be judged outside of context.

Neither should Che's actions.


Would show trials have made those executions any less heinous?

I saw it too, but that's not where any of this is comming from. That being said, do you believe it's false in it's presentation of fact?

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Daruma28
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quote:
I saw it too, but that's not where any of this is comming from. That being said, do you believe it's false in it's presentation of fact?
I don't think so...I actually enjoyed the movie a lot.

What it does show, to me, is how the best of intentions can be lead astray by an ideology that preaches that the end justifies the means.

As for Washington...there's a reason why I said Motorcycle Diaries II should be called "La Cabaٌa." La Cabana as in the prison Che administered and personally tortured and executed his captives in the name of all acts are justified for the revolution.

I don't recall Washington personally running a brutal prison where people were tortured and excuted daily. Che didn't wage war against a civilian population...he waged political genocide, seeking to purge Cuba of anyone who opposed Castro and communism.

George Washington fought a revolution and forged a Nation of freedom that has prospered. Commandante Guevara fought a revolution that forged a police state of oppressive poverty and a mass exodus of it's populace.

I think the comparisons between Che and GW are simply ridiculous...but I do appreciate the thoughtful effort you put into debating my own assertions. So if I call Che a murdering communist bastard, what is G. Washington...a murdering representative republic bastard? [Wink]

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Jesse
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If you asked a few Indians, I'm sure you might get that answer.

Washington kept his hands clean of the real ick for the most part, but do you consider Hitler LESS horrific than Stalin just because Stalin did a lot of his own killing?

I happen to agree with you about Che. I would like to write him off as a psychopath, but I don't think he actually was. Psychopaths aren't capable of acting out of a concern for others, only pretending such a concern. I think he was a man driven mad. I think, to a certain extent, he lost touch with reality, not that that absolves him.

I think (hope?) that we can agree that there are differences between Che and Washington, when compared to Hitler and Stalin. I think Che and Washington both believed fervently in the cause for which they fought, and I think they both were sincerely more interested in advancing their cause than in gaining personal power.

What do you think Washington might have done to Tories if the British Crown had started dragging thousands of colonist from their homes in the middle of the night and executing them instead of imprisioning the most vocal? Given the way he waged total war in response to vicous attacks by Indians....

Washington had several men executed as "ringleaders" when his troops refused to march through snow without shoes in tempatures well below freezing. Che executed anyone he considered a traitor to the revolution.

I'm not saying I'm in agreement with Che's Revolution, or that I disagree with Washingtons, but I think the matter of degree between Cuba and the US is actually smaller than the matter of degree between Cuba and Nazi Europe, or even between Cuba and China at the time Nixon normalized trade relations with that country.

Let's not forget the Exodus of Tories during and after the American Revolution, or the property they lost, while we're at it;)

[ June 06, 2006, 10:32 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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canadian
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quote:
What it does show, to me, is how the best of intentions can be lead astray by an ideology that preaches that the end justifies the means.
**cough! Iraq! neo-cough!!**

quote:
As for Washington...there's a reason why I said Motorcycle Diaries II should be called "La Cabaٌa." La Cabana as in the prison Che administered and personally tortured and executed his captives in the name of all acts are justified for the revolution.
**Abu Ghraib! cough! Gitmo!**

[ June 07, 2006, 12:13 AM: Message edited by: canadian ]

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livermeer kenmaile
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Tossing this pebble into the pond just because I like the sound it makes:

Saw a bumper sticker that said:

SURE YOU CAN TRUST THE GOVERNMENT. JUST ASK AN INDIAN.

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Ivan
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I really appreciate this debate, guys. I really don't know much about Che, only that he's on a lot of t-shirts, mostly because he was a communist. (Or because it's cool. Not sure which.)
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flydye45
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"It's better for us AND for Cuba if we are already established as trading partners again when he take his overdue dirt nap."

Maybe. But what makes you think that any trade agreements will be held as valid after the inevitable meltdown?


"We don't maintain an embargo on Cuba because it's "the right thing to do". We do it because we can afford to, it gets votes from a constituancy in a swing State, and it props up the price of sugar."

So how do you explain the Democratic presidents maintaining the embargo? Is sugar enough? IIRC, Clinton made a push for normalizing relations...and backpedaled pretty quickly. Can't recall the reason though.

[ June 07, 2006, 03:38 PM: Message edited by: flydye45 ]

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flydye45
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Yes, liver. Jailing and torturing people for shooting at us and leaving bombs is the equivilant of killing clergy becaue of ideological and political opposition. Thank you for clearing that up.
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livermeer kenmaile
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"Yes, it must be a conspriracy. It certainly has NOTHING to do with the fact we have a very low population density. How are you going to bus South Dakota?"

You are so pleasantly predictable. Steadfast as a vending machine. Not a vast conspiracy, just a well-chronicled marketing movement, flydye. Thoroughly documented history.

South Dakota (and Wyoming and Montana and Nevada et cetera) are different from closely located metropolises such as in the midwest and eastern seaboard.

"Yes, it must be a conspriracy. It certainly has NOTHING to do with the fact we have a very low population density. How are you going to bus South Dakota?"

Danny Glover is not South Dakota is not most of the people I know on the left. He's a famous movie star. But if you want to include me and Glover in some vague 'we', well, I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.

"Yes, liver. Jailing and torturing people for shooting at us and leaving bombs is the equivilant of killing clergy becaue of ideological and political opposition. Thank you for clearing that up."

Is there a logical reason why you address this to me? Are you talking to me or to the liverken in your head?

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RickyB
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The embargo has kept Castro in power. You don't topple a communist egime by isolating it. You topple it by "contaminating" it with consumer goods. The embargo on Cuba is the single stupidest US policy since the Navy refused to listen to Captain Billy Mitchell about the Japanese.
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livermeer kenmaile
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"We don't maintain an embargo on Cuba because it's "the right thing to do". We do it because we can afford to, it gets votes from a constituancy in a swing State, and it props up the price of sugar."

So how do you explain the Democratic presidents maintaining the embargo? Is sugar enough? IIRC, Clinton made a push for normalizing relations...and backpedaled pretty quickly. Can't recall the reason though."

It may astonish you to realize, flydye, that the likes of Clinton, you know, former presidents of the Untied States, are very much a part of 'we' -- even though they are Democrats. Scary thought, I know. Don't mean to frighten you but the fact can't be avoided. Clinton is one of us. In fact, he too was interested in getting votes from swing states. 'magine that.

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Jesse
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Grrr....I was just about to say that [Smile]

Clinton also wanted his share of campaign contributions from massively subsidized sugar producers.

Flydye, after that inevitable meltdown, whoever comes to power will want US markets for Cuban goods. The USSR is out of the picture, and the more cash they can bring in the better they can buy off their own people. Of the great many things Chavez might do in the future, he's not about to stop selling the US oil, as an example.

The whole notion that's possible to make "permenant" trade agreements is insane and counter-productive IMHO, anyway. Markets fluctuate, and the rules that govern them have to change too.

Sugar isn't oil, though. We aren't talking about a return to foreign companies owning the production of Cuban sugar (unless you think another 70 years of revolution is good for anybody). Foriegn companies don't have to make massive investments in Cuba to have acess to that crop.

I'm sorry, but the age of corporate colonization of Latin America is ending. We need to get used to buying their products instead of producing products utilizing their resources.

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potemkyn
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"The embargo has kept Castro in power. You don't topple a communist egime by isolating it. You topple it by "contaminating" it with consumer goods."

This doesn't seemed to have worked at all with China, and it's definently not how the US beat the Soviets. What's your reasoning behind thinking it would be different with Cuba? If anything, in a country like Cuba, access to Western goods would most likely be used as additional leverage by Castro and his cronies.

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Jesse
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Well, China isn't Communist anymore, just totalitarian:)

Same with Vietnam.

Exposure to Western memes, which always accompany our goods, sure did seem to do some good in East Germany, Poland, ect.

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Brainard
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"We don't maintain an embargo on Cuba because it's "the right thing to do". We do it because we can afford to, it gets votes from a constituancy in a swing State, and it props up the price of sugar."

I can buy into the votes on this one but not the sugar prices. We could drop dugar prices if we wanted to by raising the import quotas from other countries (Jamaca, etc.). The reason we don't is that the only people who would ever change their vote based on the price of sugar are American sugar producers who simply can't compete with the world price.

On another note, I hope to God we do not see a thread like this in 10 years with Zarqawi's face on a t-shirt.

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potemkyn
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Ideologies come and go, but regimes stay eternal...
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Jesse
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Brainard, it's not the votes of the sugar producers. It's the campaign donations of the sugar producers.
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RickyB
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A) China has advantages Cuba never did (nuclear weapons, largest consumer market in the world, meaning nobody would dream of boycotting them).

B) We didn't beat the soviets by boycotting them either.

C) No matter how much Castro had tried, Western goods come with Western values. PLus, if you start of by giving them access and THEN cut off the supply, you have a much bigger chance of this having an impact.

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