HUffies Angrily Defend Che Guevara
Anybody else out there BUGGED by all the IDIOTS wearing Che Guevara T-Shirts? Some of the morons are too clueless to even know who Che Guevara was but I suspect the vast majority are admirers of Che precisely because he was a hard core communist thug. Yeah, we live in an era where the likes of Barack Obama and Katie Couric consider the wearing of an American flag lapel pin to be offensive while they defend their right to wear Che Guevara T-Shirts. Folks like Robert Redford who made a movie about Che portraying him as a wonderful warmhearted guy just can't tolerate any criticism of their idol so it is interesting to watch their reaction when someone not usually associated with conservatives throws up the real Che Guevara into their faces. Such was the case with John Ridley at the HUffington Post in his latest Blog POST titled, "Che it Ain't So." Although Ridley usually takes the liberal point of view, he goes off that reservation just enough to make his blog posts interesting to read such as you can see here:
There is a character in Jean-Luc Godard's À bout de Souffle who speaks of the path to everlasting fame. "First you become immortal," he instructs, "then you die."
A prime exemplar of the "create a legend/resurrection" method of eternal iconography would be Ernesto (Che) Guevara, the Argentine-born revolutionary who was executed forty years ago today in Bolivia. Death transmogrified him into a symbol of revolution itself. Time has turned him into an empty Warholized emblem that adorns everything from T-shirts to fanny packs to bumper stickers and apparently even a soap with the slogan "Che washes whiter."
In death Guevara has certainly managed to whitewash his image. A cleansing aided by such personality cultisms as the film The Motorcycle Diaries, which portrays Guevara as a young, wide-eyed do-gooder who travels South America looking to right social wrongs. Romanticized and corporate pimped, for most who even know who Guevara was they have no idea what he stood for. They merely accept that he was the South American Martin Luther King.
He was not.
Guevara was a brutal, egotistical killer without the smarts to enact lasting economic reform nor the guile to achieve true insurgent victory. His most significant military achievement -- the taking of Santa Clara during Castro's Cuban revolution -- might have been more a matter of financial bribery than military strategy.
What is in little dispute is the savagery of his tenure as the commander of the La Cabaña Fortress prison. Think of it as Cuba's Abu Ghraib. In a mere five months Guevara oversaw and personally signed off on the execution of as many as 500 people. Men, women, children. Not all merely loyalists to overthrown Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. Also executed were political prisoners, dissidents, artist, intellectuals and homosexuals. A representative number of the left the revolution was supposed to be lifting up.
[Note to John Ridley: NO mass executions at Abu Ghraib.]
His bloody handiwork should come as no surprise. Before Guvera was a soap pitchman from beyond the grave, he was the "The Butcher of la Cabaña" who preached: "hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine."
I'm sure Gandhi would have been proud.
As head of the National Institute of Agrarian Reform, and President of the National Bank of Cuba, Guevara would institute popular reforms that would eventually lead to economic disaster. From the middle 1960s until the Soviet collapse Cuba was subsistent on their largess to a tune of $65 billion to $100 billion annually.
As a military leader Guevara was hardly more impressive. In the Congo he hooked up with a couple of bloody rebels, failed to inspire the people and accomplished little more than putting his own men through a shredder. It was a misadventure Guevara himself described as a "history of failure."
An expedition into Bolivia proved disastrous. Guevara completely misread the situation on the ground, could not incite a popular uprising, was completely abandoned by the Bolivian communists, their Soviet backers and even the Cubans.
Bolivian Rangers took him prisoner on the 8th of October, 1967. He whimpered as they came: "Do not shoot! I am Che Guevara and worth more to you alive than dead."
The Bolivian's figured otherwise. The next day Guevara was executed.
And thus began his ascendancy from abject failure to high icon. A populist, a revolutionary. A man who turned his back on material gains to give instead to the people.
And if you believe that, consider this: when Guevara was captured in Bolivia he was wearing a Rolex watch on his wrist.
Long live the revolution.
As you can imagine, John Ridley's accurate look at the REAL Che Guevara has caused quite a firestorm of outrage in HUffieland. So let us now watch the HUffies react angrily at this soiling of their hero in Bolshevik Red while the commentary of your humble correspondent, hoping that his praise for Ridley doesn't get him into trouble with Arianna, is in the [brackets]:
Frankly Mr Ridley, I would be more impressed if you made these points about Bush's murderous indiscretions. He has killed a lot more people with his private armies and the US military bombs, bullets, and guns, than Che ever dreamed of. Let's get back to real time. What ever Che was, the fact that he inspires those who find themselves continually oppressed, is what is important. Do you think one day Bush will ever be looked upon the way Che has been over time? Not likely! Bush will be seen for exactly what he is today and will be tomorrow. Spend your energy ripping Bush and exposing him instead of Che. Che is dead and can't inflict any pain on anyone anymore. Bush is on a rampage. Let's get our priorities straight here, OK?
[Sniff! Bush will never be as popular on trendy leftwing T-Shirts as Che.]
The process of bringing to justice the worst criminals of the hated Batista regime led to an orgy of hypocrisy and phony moral outrage in the big-business press and among Democratic and Republican politicians in the United States. The highly orchestrated propaganda campaign was the pretext for turning public opinion, which had been very sympathetic to Fidel Castro and the rebel cause, against the Cuban Revolution as radical social reforms began to be implemented which affected US business interests and US economic and financial domination of the island.
[Stealing private property = Radical social reforms in HUffieSpeak.]
"Socialism is no more evil than Christianity."-Kurt Vonnegut (A Man Without A Country) Look what individuals have done in the name of both. If you wear Mao/Che T-shirts and support a cause (such as) agrarian reform- this makes you ignorant? Sarcasm and demagoguery show weakness in your own comments/arguments because instead of support they offer distraction.
[Believing in that whole "agrarian reform" shtick does make you ignorant.]
It couldn't have been easy for Che, putting his very life on the line while delivering a swift kick to the The World's Perpetual #1 Terrorist Nation And Proud Of It. Whatever mistakes Che may have made, he didn't make them as a trillion-dollar perpetual war machine, layered from top to bottom with self-serving psychopathic gangsters.
[Speaking of psychopathic...]
I get so sick of the nouveau hippy-liberals and their love affair with this murderous thug. Freedom is not having your private property stolen from you. Liberty is not being dragged to a reeducation camp. Your rights do not include some undereducated, quasi-soldier jarring you from your slumber and putting a bullet in your brain, all for "the cause."
[LOUSY FREEPER TROLL!!!]
Great post as always Mr. Ridley. You are one of the few on this site that challenges the standard far left party line. Normally your posts are met with quite a bit of resentment from those who carry the views you challenge.
[The best thing about John Ridley's blogs is reading the angry reactions to his posts.]
John Ridley peddles the most outrageous right-wing lies from the Cuban Revolution-hating industry about Che's role in the trials, convictions, and executions of the worst torturers and murderers of the overthrown Batista regime and then says his falsifications are "in little dispute."
[John Ridley is an Enemy of the People. He needs to be re-educated.]
Che was assigned the task of establishing a just and fair but also transparent and certain justice and to bring the process under revolutionary control, ensuring due process, defense lawyers, and fair proceedings. This was done in an exemplary way. Popular, public tribunals were organized. Volumes of public testimony were given, with horrific testimony of the most vile tortures and bestial murder recorded and made public.
[All of Che's Kangaroo Courts were completely transparent.]
Thank you John for rewriting history for our young people. I am old enough to remember when he was alive. Your history is right wing Miami Cuban fantasy!
[Posted the Fidelista.]
I read yesterday in the NY times that there is now a CHE bikini. I think his daughter was upset by this,
[Not as upset as she will be by edible Che panties.]
One of the best button slogans I've ever read: "Che killed people, you trendy douchebag."
[LOL! Now that is one Che T-Shirt I would love to wear! Are they on sale anywhere?]