Wednesday, October 1, 2008

ZenTiger Was Che Guevara Evil?

Appallingly, Che Guevara has been moving through recent history from revolutionary thug to iconic freedom fighter and recently, an iconic poster boy for too many socialists and the ardent left wing. He has also become somewhat iconic to the gay lobby - strange when he was also happy to put gay men up against his bloodstained revolutionary wall.

The internet remains divided on his status with wishy-washy liberal justifications such as:
This is a really controversial topic that has no true answer to. Evil is based on whether or not the person nows [sic] truly that there [sic] actions harm others. Che fought for the poor and in his mind any actions taken to bring about socialism was justifiable.
and from some-one known, perhaps not surprisingly as Trotskyi:
He was a man who stood up for what he believed in and that was the equality of all people. He worked to put an end to capitalist and imperialist systems that degraded humanity. He was also a loving father, who cared very deeply for his family as well as for the people around him.

Good and evil are, of course, relative terms. To the capitalist, Che is evil because he stood against the capitalist and demanded fair treatment for workers.
For people seeking a better life, he is good, a hero who worked for peoples' rights.


That all sounds fair and reasonable until we move past the broad "ends justifies the means" and "its all in ones perspective" arms length arguments and look at Che Guevara, the man defined by his own actions. He may have started out the noble revolutionary, but there is little debate amongst those that take the time to look into his life that he ended up a murderous, brutal, inhumane thug responsible for heinous crimes.

His own diary explains that he is fully aware of his evil actions:

* "Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any enemy that falls in my hands! My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. With the deaths of my enemies I prepare my being for the sacred fight and join the triumphant proletariat with a bestial howl!"

* "We don't need proof to execute a man. We only need proof that it's necessary to execute him. A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate."

* "He went into convulsions for a while and was finally still. Now his belongings were mine."

* "I'd like to confess, papa, at that moment I discovered that I really like killing."

Here's a nice summary of about Che Geuvara from a commenter called Tantor on a post from Michelle Malkin :
I STRONGLY recommend reading Fontava’s book which shows what a sickening monster Che was, signing the death warrants on 1892 men, women, pregnant women, and boys. When Che killed his first man, he wrote a letter home to dad saying how much he loved killing people. What a sick and evil bastard.

A distraught mother came to La Cabana prison where Che set up his murder shop and begged for her teenaged son’s life. He heard her out, picked up the phone, ordered her boy shot THAT NIGHT, and slammed the phone down. He played this sadistic game on several mothers. He was a little man who thought he could become big by crushing others. When crowds of mothers and wives, sisters and daughters came to La Cabana to see their doomed loved ones, Che set his guards on them with clubs.

When misguided lefty lawyers came to Cuba to help the revolution by assembling evidence against the accused, Che told them that he would shoot them today and try them tomorrow. Evidence was a bourgeois artifact, Che said. “We execute from revolutionary conviction!”

The verdicts of trials were posted on the schedules in the courtroom where they were to be heard. The same grieving mother in black fingered accused man after accused man as the Batista criminal who killed her son.

After sending a few hundred victims to the wall to be shot, Che saw the waste of all that spilled blood and began harvesting it for profit. He had condemned people stop on the way to the wall to have their blood drawn, a lot of it. Some of it went to local hospitals and some of it was sold to North Vietnam. While Che was pocketing the profits from his victim’s blood, he was publicly castigating American capitalists for being capitalist bloodsuckers.

Che’s victim’s were buried in mass graves. The cemetery was ordered by Che not to notify the families of the dead until three days after they were buried. They were not told where they were buried and they were forbidden to visit the cemetery. They were also forbidden to memorialize their loved ones at home, their places watched by the local revolutionary committees, the network of informers set up in every communist control to maintain control of the population.

The irony of these brain-dead hippies worship of Che is that they would be the first ones Che would have shot or imprisoned in his regime. One of the first things Che did after attaining power was to outlaw rock ‘n’ roll music, which Che considered decadent Yankee music. You could go to prison for playing it. The Cuban dissidents called it “midnight music” because that’s the only time you could safely play it, and you had to play it low so that the local revolutionary committee member didn’t hear you and denounce you.

Che also hated long hair and blue jeans, which he considered contrary to revolutionary morality. Che wanted the youth to blindly obey the Party leaders, to happily give up their weekends to work in the fields, all the while singing revolutionary songs and chanting revolutionary slogans. Literally. Che wanted all the young to be drones in a Cuban commie hive. Individuality is a crime, Che said.

Che’s thugs would round up kids with long hair, jeans, listening to rock ‘n’ roll and put them in prison under a new law against behavior indicating a trend toward criminality. At best, being a hippie in Cuba would buy you a stint in jail and some beatings, maybe a long sentence in the Cuban gulag being worked to death.

Some hippies were simply shot on the spot by Che’s goons who would have their death certificates attribute the cause of death to traffic accidents. A mortician in Havanna who later escaped says that most of the traffic accident victims who came to his funeral home had bullet wounds.

Che came to speak at the United Nations to speak and made no secret about Cuba executing people and defended the necessity of it. He also freely spoke about the need to destroy the US. That made him the toast of the radically chic in New York, who hosted him in their penthouses.

While he was being feted, Che had multiple plots in progress to destroy New York which were discovered and defeated. One plot was to plant big bombs in all the major department stores - Macy’s, Gimble’s, etc - the Friday after Thanksgiving, the biggest shopping day of the year. They would have been full of women and children. Che would have been the Bin Laden of the ’60s had it succeeded. Nothing so neatly illustrates the masochistic treasonous stupidity of the Left than pouring champagne and serving hors d’oeuvres to a murderous revolutionary mass murder who wanted to blow them and their children into bloody chunks.

Che was a stinking commie. Literally. His revolutionary comrades would comment that he reeked. Che just didn’t bathe. Even when he went to Africa on an ill-fated attempt to stir up revolution there, the natives complained that Comrade Che did not go down to the river to wash.

Che was a book burner, thug, tyrant, coward, sadist, thief, and a serial murderer. The lefty worship of him demonstrates their own ignorance, masochism, anti-democratic character, and self-destructive compulsion.
As Tantor mentioned, ex-Cuban Humberto Fontova wrote a short book about Che Guevara, which included some interviews from victims of Guevara. He probably included himself, having lost his father to a firing squad.

However, he also focused much of his efforts to expose the left wing liberals of Hollywood pushing a romanticised version of Che Guevara's life that has created so many 'useful idiots' as he called the T-Shirt wearing (and bikini wearing) Hollywood elite. A short essay in response to Carlos Santana wearing a Che T-Shirt to the Oscars presents a very powerful story of Che's inhumanity.

So there's my opening salvo to "Was Che Guevara Evil?" Anyone out there with an alternative view?

It seems to me that Che Guevara has become a legend bigger than his real life. As an influential figure in Latin America that rallied people behind an idea that America and American capitalism was solely to blame for the woes of Argentina and Cuba, he has come to represent the liberal crusade that is standing up to the so-called evils of today's American Imperialism. Is it somehow appropriate that they picked Che Guevara as their icon then?

If you want to be ahead of the curve, buy a Saddam Hussein T-Shirt.

Related: Helen Clark, Che Guevara and The Motorcycle Diaries

Related Post: You think that's stupid?

Or click on the Che Guevara category label for an up to date list of posts from New Zealand Conservative (I'm bound to do more eventually)

12 comment(s):

MK said...

Off course he's evil, why else would leftists be wearing t-shirts with his picture on them.

universal said...

MK,

Just because someone is leftist doesn't mean they're evil...

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing we put our faith in God, not in mortal men. The idolization of any character that takes them beyond the failings of their humanity, both big and small, is to be deplored. The creation of the mythological Che makes for some extremely interesting and contrasting social commentary.

Institutions and movements that we revere have often been lead by men whose evils have been glaringly obvious.

This list makes for interesting reading and highlights the point:
http://listverse.com/religion/top-10-most-wicked-popes/

The amazing irony of the mythological Che that has divorced him from the evils of his humanity is that those who hold him up as an icon of revolution and adorn their shirts with his image are propagating the very system he so loathed. Often their sense of rebellion is hypocritical - how many of those t-shirts have been made in sweatshops in South America or Asia - the very sort of practice Che was killing to destroy. The irony is overwhelming.

Che is a story of tragedy, where a right motivation slowly faded into the creation of a man who thirsted for blood. He is a story of someone who wished to address evil but ended up wallowing in its iniquity as his methods became the motivation... thus disallowing any sense of conscience to critique how he was trying to achieve his goal.

His tragedy should act as a conscience to anyone (such as myself) who engages in humanitarian causes, where the evils of the world are so in our face and so emotionally overwhelming. He acts as a picture of how even the best intent can destroy us if we don't maintain a standard and a conscience in how we address the evils we see... he reminds us not to become the evil.

Anonymous said...

... love the new look by the way. Very slick!!

Anonymous said...

Allow me to be clear... in case any vultures are circling who might jump on that link I gave as reason to attack the wonderful people who run this blog... I didn't give it as a jab at the Catholic Church, but as a way of highlighting that even the best institutions are subject to the ravages of the failings of human individuals. We're all capable of horror.

It's seeing the reality of humans that I am interested in - de-mythologizing the idolized where such idolization has removed any sense of the reality of their humanity.

radar said...

This is an interesting question.

If the criteria for being evil is that you have killed people, then there are many, many people who are currently not viewed as evil who should be. The current christian president of the United States has invaded two countries, where a fair number of innocent civilians have died. If Che is evil because he killed people, then George Bush is evil because his actions have killed more people than Guevara's ever did.

I think it is fashionable among conservatives to label historical figures such as Che evil, and never discuss the crimes of convservatives. Too close to home, perhaps? Who knows. Either way it is one-sided.

universal said...

I am personally a Conservative quite willing to admit to evil Conservatives, and the evil committed by Conseratives. Although there aren't many other anti-war Conservatives on this blog.

ZenTiger said...

Radar, that's not the criteria. If you read the post and links, you will see that Che took particular pleasure in killing people, and showed absolutely no compassion.

He was an atheist, and like many communists, declared the ends justified the means.

ZenTiger said...

Therefore, your loose thesis falls down. In order to discuss Bush and Iraq you first need to discuss Saddam and his actions. Something the anti-Bush crowd seem to have selective memory over, or be willing to forgive.

ZenTiger said...

But you are also sidestepping the issue.

I present specific information, and there is no comment about it, just the "other people are evil, lets discuss them, or lets decide that if everyone is equally evil, then evil is irrelevant."

I'm more interested in analysing Che's actions and seeing how pro-Che people excuse them rather than gloss over them. Is any-one up for that?

radar said...

Well, yes, if Che took pleasure in killing people then you could argue that he was evil, depending on your definition of evil. I would argue though that emotion can easily be seperated from this. Say, for instance, if Jeffrey Dahmer did not feel pleasure in killing people, it was just something that he felt compelled to do. He would therefore not be evil, as he did not take pleasure from his crimes.

"In order to discuss Bush and Iraq you first need to discuss Saddam and his actions."

I disagree completely. No one is arguing that Saddam was not evil; I am certainly not. I didn't even mention him purely because it is generally accepted that he was a despotic tyrant. But, my point is that a lot of civilians have died as a result of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, yet many conservatives still hold President Bush in quite high regard. He is a christian, and his actions are responsible for quite a lot of cargnage. Far, far more than Che Guevara's. Which was my other point.

ZenTiger said...

I disagree completely. No one is arguing that Saddam was not evil; I am certainly not. ... But, my point is that a lot of civilians have died as a result of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq,

With that statement, you completely dismiss the argument "for evil to prevail, good men simply do nothing".

The policy of non-intervention (or cynically, no political interest) sees millions of people displaced, brutalised, robbed, raped and slaughtered every decade around the world.

Little was done when Saddam was killing his own people. Ho-hum, not our problem.

With the policy of non-intervention, the allies are blamed for going to war against Hitler (sure he was evil, but we didn't have to fight him and cause many deaths) and yet standing by watching Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot at work, we don't question the policy of non-intervention?

You cannot ignore Saddam's actions and then criticise Bush. It's too simplistic.

And back to the point - Che, was he evil? At some point he lost his humanity, and his inhumanity towards others characterises the evil I allude to.

Universal: I am fundamentally anti-war. Every right thinking person is. But just like killing in self-defence, it's an option that can never be taken off the table. I am not anti-war enough to accept the gas chambers and mass graves of civilians without attempting to resist such evil.

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