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    Why being a Castro apologist is still considered okay

    Why being a Castro apologist is still considered okay
    May 21, 8:49 PM · 4 comments

    This thug has always gotten a free ride from the Left.

    My column of March 25, "A Semester in Cuba must address Communism,"
    provoked an unexpected barrage of comments, ranging from the occasional
    nod of agreement and support to the most vociferous denunciations – and
    quite a bit of ground in between.

    In response to my plea for an honest confrontation of the vast
    iniquities showered upon Cuba by Communism over the last fifty years –
    which all freedom-loving people would hope is deemed worthy of pursuit
    by an American academic program in Havana – I received the usual litany
    of Lefty missiles. There was the "anti-imperialist" chest-thumping
    ("When will we as a country stop trying to dictate how others should
    live?"), the knee-jerk denials ("Those people that say that the police
    is [sic] constantly threatening people are wrong"), the straw-man
    relativism ("Should we shun China, Vietnam?" Etc.), and of course, the
    favorite argument-stopper: "Have you ever been to Cuba?"

    One very friendly fellow got a little overexcited: "Long Live Socialism!
    Long Live Cuba!" Perhaps I'm flattering myself, but I'm inclined to
    think that I touched a raw nerve here.


    These Castro apologists are hardly confined to the comment boards of
    Examiner. Downplaying the crimes of Communism in general and of the
    Castro regime in particular is a venerated pastime of the Left, as is
    redirecting blame for Cuba's strife to that Great Satan, the U.S. Here's
    Michael Moore in 2000, in an open "Letter of Apology to Elian Gonzalez,"
    the six-year-old Cuban refugee who was yanked back to the worker's
    paradise by his father: "Your mother and her boyfriend snatched you and
    put you on that death boat because they simply wanted to make more money."

    Who said Michael Moore didn't have class?

    Contrast this treatment of Cuba with the theatrical outcries against
    other atrocities on the world stage that receive varying degrees of
    media attention: the bloody war in Darfur, the long-standing Chinese
    occupation of Tibet, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to name just
    a few Lefty causes celebres.

    The Sudanese government's naked war of aggression against its tribal
    Darfur region triggered, according to The Washington Post, "the most
    energetic campaign by U.S. citizens on an African issue since the
    anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa." Those U.S. Citizens are, by
    and large, liberals who vehemently opposed the war in Iraq, but turned
    around and began demanding intervention in Darfur.

    Are they hypocrites? Are the two situations at least comparable? After
    all, when the hope of discovering a neatly stockpiled cache of nukes in
    Iraq quickly faded, the Bush administration's PR line became one that
    spoke of humanitarian intervention and democracy-building. Does this
    bear no resemblance to the intervention in Darfur urged by the Left? Or
    are Iraqis just not worthy of deliverance from repression and torture
    (not waterboarding) at the hands of their government?

    How about Tibet? Long a cultural icon for college hippies everywhere –
    though I'm still not sure why; if they truly understood Buddhism, they'd
    denounce it with the same venom reserved for "oppressive" Christianity –
    it has been under the iron fist of Communist China since 1951. This
    might seem like a rare case of left-wing indignation over Communist
    repression, but the indignation only runs so deep as to protest vague
    "imperialism" rather than confront the authoritarian nature of
    collectivism head-on.

    And Palestine? Why, it's all the Jews' fault, of course! At least that's
    what we hear implicitly from our mass media, and explicitly from just
    about every college campus in the country. Never mind the fact that
    since its 1948 inception, Israel has had to fend off three wars of
    aggression and respond with military force to constant guerilla attacks
    from Arab neighbors who enforce a perpetual state of war against a tiny
    Jewish sliver of the Middle East, to whom they have constantly denied
    the right to exist.

    Who's really been oppressed here?

    Upon close examination of these various causes celebres of the Left, a
    pattern begins to emerge. That pattern, while at times explicitly
    anti-American, fits quite snugly with the basic collectivist tendency
    toward groupthink. i.e., the belief that individuals are really just
    fixed members of castes (proletariat, bourgeoise, black, Hispanic,
    etc.), and that some castes are more "equal" than others. Also present
    in this pattern is a great aversion to the advancement of American
    interests abroad, by military force or by any other means.

    That may be why awareness of atrocities in Darfur and Tibet – two
    regions of minimal strategic importance to the U.S. – is so constantly
    and passionately touted as a moral imperative, whereas the war in Iraq
    was met with scorn, even if it did rid the Iraqis of a brutal tyrant.

    It may also be why the plight of Palestine ("indigenous") has been
    pedestaled up to such lofty, unassailable heights, whereas Israel's
    ("white") struggles to defend herself are denounced as imperialistic and

    And in Cuba's case, the pattern becomes even clearer. To level at the
    Castro regime the full-throated condemnation it deserves, the Left would
    thus be forced to side with the "bourgeoise:" the conservative critics
    of Communism who have fled Cuba's shores, and their conservative fellow
    travelers stateside. They would be forced to admit that Che Guevara,
    Castro's executioner and mass murdering admirer of Stalin, was not
    exactly the heroic "warrior for the people" he is portrayed to be.

    They would be forced to concede what the "bourgeoise" have been saying
    all along: that socially-engineered Utopia is not possible, and that
    centralized efforts to bring it about will always result in iniquity and

    They would be forced to abandon yet another front of Lenin's grand
    experiment, the proper execution (pardon the pun) of which has yet to
    come – in the minds of many a leftist.

    And that can't be allowed.

    Burlington Conservative Examiner: Why being a Castro apologist is still
    considered okay (22 May 2009)


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