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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Given the reemergence of Che Guevara in the news, I always enjoy reading something that sets the record straight. Jeff Jacoby did that superbly the other day: What would JFK do?

...The lionizing of Che, a sociopath who relished killing and acclaimed "the pedagogy of the firing squad," is not just "inappropriate." It is vile. No American in his right mind would be caught dead wearing a David Duke T-shirt or displaying a poster of Pol Pot. A celebrity who was spotted with a swastika-festooned cap or an actress who revealed that she had gotten a tattoo depicting Timothy McVeigh would inspire only repugnance. No presidential campaign would need more than 30 seconds to sever its ties to anyone, paid staffer or volunteer, whose office was adorned with a Ku Klux Klan banner. Yet Che's likeness, which ought to be as loathed as any of those, is instead a trendy bestseller and a cult favorite.

A few years ago the New York Public Library gift shop sold Che wristwatches. These it described as "featuring the classic romantic image of Che Guevara, around which the word 'revolution' revolves." But Che's idea of revolution was anything but romantic. What he cherished was hatred and murder: "Hatred as an element of struggle," he wrote in 1967, "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." It was a sentiment he expressed repeatedly - and lived up to...

[h/t: Fred]

Also, our friend Yaakov was further inspired to write on Obama's Campaign and The Real Meaning of The Che Guevara Flag.

1 Comment

I think Obama's weakness is that at bottom, he IS Susan. He will attempt to include in his repertoire everything that sounds like sense, no matter how inconsistent it may be with anything or everything else he may say or claim to think.

This was already evident in his essay submitted to Foreign Affairs, in which he managed to be somewhere to the right of George Bush on the culpability of Arab dictatorships in terrorism without departing at all from the standard far left Arab-as-victim-of-colonialist-oppressors narrative. He doesn't see, or care to see perhaps, that his hodgepodge of opinions is incoherent.

What he does understand is that a smorgasbord of soundbytes can be used to contradict any criticism of him and to confuse the audiences of most critics. He is very very good at stirring that smorgasbord into something that looks edible. So he is Susan, but with far more talent.

But it should not be difficult for McCain to bait him into any number of rhetorical traps.

"Syme: It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the [Newspeak] Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that [narrows fingers] thick. Winston Smith: So, The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect? Syme: The secret is to move from translation, to direct thought, to automatic response. No need for self-discipline. Language coming from here [the larynx], not from here [the brain]" -1984 (film)


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