I wish I’d done it

I’m glad to see that someone destroyed this monument to a murderer:

A glass monument to revolutionary icon Ernesto “Che” Guevara was shot up and destroyed less than two weeks after it was unveiled by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s government.

Images of the 8-foot-tall glass plate bearing Guevara’s image, now toppled and shattered, were shown Friday on state television, which said the entire country “repudiated” the vandalism.[…]
Police said they had yet to identify those responsible. The Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional published a copy of what it said was a flier found by the monument signed by the previously unknown “Paramo Patriotic Front.”

“We don’t want any monument to Che, he isn’t an example for our children,” the flier read. It called Guevara a “cold-blooded killer” and said the government should raise a monument in Chavez’s hometown of Sabaneta, in the nearby lowland plains, if it wants to commemorate the Argentine-born revolutionary.

Remember…Che was not a vicious murderer, he is a “revolutionary icon.”

I’ll stop before I say something that’ll get me in trouble.

H/T: Instapundit

  • JorgXMcKie

    It’s not how many men, women and children you kill, it’s why you claim to be killing them. If John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy had claimed they killed to advance the case of Marxism, they would be idolized by the Left today.

  • MCLA

    …and by the Right if they had killed to advance the case of “freedom”.

  • http://www.coldfury.com Randy Rager

    Nice case of moral equivalence you’ve got there, MCLA. Pity it’s so absolutely completely wrong.

    I’ve seen fridge mold smarter than you.

  • Chepe Noyon

    Randy, Mr. Bush is responsible for far more death than Mr. Guevara, and he is in fact idolized by many people on the right. I’m not trying to make Mr. Guevara look like anything other than a murderer, but I think we should be even-handed in our condemnation of killing.

  • Mike Puckett

    And Abraham Lincoln, FDR, and Winston Churchill make Bush look like a penny-ante rank amateur with regards to the death their actions brought about.

    Do you have a point or do you really think your simplistic correlation was really worthy of the nerual activity it took to disloge it from the deeps of what passes for your thought?

    Why should we be even-handed? Because you say so?

  • Jim

    Chepe
    The political movement Che espoused killed an several orders of magnitude more (at least) than any that can be ‘attributed’ to Bush. Moreover, who’s doing the actual killing in your scenario – Americans or Islamists?

  • http://astuteblogger.blogspot.com reliapundit

    there’s another monument to che we should destroy:

    THE CASTRO REGIME!

  • Chepe Noyon

    Mike asks, “Why should we be even-handed? Because you say so?”

    You can be as one-sided, vicious, nasty, unfair, biased, distorted, and illogical as you want. The only reason to be fair is that, when you’re unfair, you lose credibility. Why bother posting here if you’re going to be ignored?

    Jim asserts that “The political movement Che espoused killed an several orders of magnitude more (at least) than any that can be ‘attributed’ to Bush.”

    Let’s assign responsibility directly rather than indirectly. If you want to bring in all the indirect results, why, I can skew the accounting in any direction I please. Mr. Bush is responsible for the deaths of at least 100,000 people while Mr. Guevara is responsible for the deaths of, at most, a few thousand. That’s the most precise basis of comparison. If you want to expand the basis of comparison, we can have all sorts of fun blaming Mr. Bush for lynchings of blacks, the Wounded Knee massacre, slavery, the Spanish-American War, and so forth. I suggest we avoid that kind of silliness.

  • UCrawford

    Wow…overthrow Cuba, the war in Iraq is justified, Bush isn’t responsible for all those deaths…looks like the neoconservatives decided to climb out from under their slimy little rocks.

    Good article about Che’s statue though…the man had no value as anything other than a picture on the walls and t-shirts of idiot college freshmen. Glad to see some Venezuelans aren’t putting up with Chavez’ b.s.

  • Cheelzebub

    Guevara personally oversaw Cuba’s executions of political dissidents. When the firing squads finished, Guevara then shot each dissident point-blank in the head, just to be sure. Pure evil.

    If “dissent is the highest form of patriotism,” then Guevara — hands-on murderer of dissidents — cannot be defended on any level.

  • http://www.wildmonk.net Wildmonk

    Chepe,

    You are ignoring almost every distinction of importance to make such a ridiculous claim of moral superiority for Che over Bush.

    First, you ignore the state of the Iraqi nation under Saddam Hussein. In the period from the start of the Iran/Iraq war to the invasion of Iraq (and not counting the Gulf War), the average death rate caused by his regime was over 100,000 per year. Even taking out the Iran/Iraq war, the numbers due to political persecution were staggering. He explicitly pursued genocide against the Kurds. Does stopping this slow-motion slaughter count in *any* way toward Bush’s favor? (Of course, I know how you’ll answer).

    Second, you take refuge in the widely spread claim that there have been over 100,000 excess deaths due to the Iraqi war. You ignore the fact that this claim glosses over all kinds of vital distinctions. Most importantly, the great bulk of excess violence in Iraq has come at the hands of the Saddamist revanchists or al Queda in Iraq (AQI). While it is true that many of these victims would not have died without the war, blaming these victims on Bush, in effect, gives the stamp of approval to those who would purposely and with malice aforethought slaughter innocents for political gain. It validates the forces of lawlessness and thuggery by claiming a moral equivalence to the forces of civilization since, obviously, the imposition of order has required violence as well. To make this claim, however, you just skip over the central moral dilemma here: the fact that order can only be enforced on the lawless through violent means because they give us no other choice.

    Of course, if you defend Che, you may well be perfectly comfortable approving the purposeful and malicious slaughter of innocents as long as it can be spun for your own political advantage. But it does not change the fact that the great bulk of people, even many of those who do not approve of Bush’s attempt to play world policeman, would find your position repulsive.

  • Bob Hawkins

    You’re all ignoring the salient fact of the story.

    They gave Che a commemorative plate for a monument. A commemorative plate? It’s the bad taste that’s monumental.

  • Chepe Noyon

    Wildmonk, I made it perfectly clear that I am not defending Mr. Guevara. And your claim that Mr. Bush’s invasion of Iraq has been of net benefit to Iraq would be denied by the great majority of Iraqis.

  • UCrawford

    Wildmonk,

    I see Bush as a killer on a par with Che because so far we’ve lost 3832 soldiers in Iraq. Every single one of those deaths was preventable because the Iraq war was completely unnecessary and Bush is directly responsible for each of them because he put them there. He’s actually worse than Che if you look at it because he’s also directly responsible for 28,276 wounded and an untold number of Iraqi deaths (most of which resulted from Bush starting a civil war in their country by removing their government, disbanding their military, and putting nothing in its place).

    As for Saddam…100,000 people a year? You’re making the argument that Saddam murdered 4 million people (since he was in power for 40 years)? Okay, I’ll call that claim…where’s your proof? Let’s see a link or evidence outside of what you think happened. Cite a source. I assume of course, you’re including the Iran/Iraq war in that tally, in which case who was it who supplied him arms during that time frame? Not that it matters anyway, because it was still no justification to go in…you know, considering that Saddam never attacked us and all (outside of a failed assassination attempt on Bush in 1993).

    I’m glad you’ve at least conceded the point that most of the Iraqi deaths wouldn’t have occured without the invasion of Iraq (again, Bush’s fault). Of course then you went on a rambling screed about how it’s wrong to kill people for political gain, to which I only have to respond “What do you think the motivation is for the Bush administration to continue this war despite the fact that it’s an obvious failure?” What do you think our entire interventionist policy in the Middle East is based on? Ever notice how much the voters bitch when gas prices jump? Maybe I’ve missed something but that comes off as a purely political motive (combined with the fact that our president is an idiot asshole incapable of admitting that he’s wrong). Care to rebut?

    “…order can only be enforced on the lawless through violent means because they give us no other choice”

    So who was it that you think attacked us from Iraq?

  • oilnwater

    idk, we’ve killed a shitload of innocent arabs so far in the last 15 years and in fact have been messing with the arabs for a few decades otherwise.

    and that’s a more sanctioned and emotionally salved killing than che had the luxury of.

    the bushes, clinton, and che are all scum. but we can look in the mirror and call ourselves scum as long as we idolize this shit.

  • oilnwater

    also, how would you objectively feel about a statue momenument of either Bush or his Father, or Bill Clinton?

  • Cold Rage

    UCrawford, thank you for offering up a reasoned argument. It seems rare to see such things anymore.

    In response to your initial statement regarding the deaths of soldier, here is a useful link for you:

    http://www.hiramstravels.com/vbp/forum/democrat-arena/367-military-deaths-clinton-vs-bush.html

    I followed the crumb trail, and don’t see any reason to dispute the numbers offered. If you do, feel free to post your own sources and or critiques of the numbers offered.

    Would you also posit that the dead during Clinton’s administration were likewise wasted, as none of them were due to us being attacked? I don’t remember the Bosnians doing anything overtly against the US.

    I have no information about the dead in Iraq, I haven’t researched it, so I won’t try to support the 100k/year numbers provided. However your statement about no justification is a wash.

    You mention the attempted assassination of a US president, which has been for as long as I can remember itself considered an undisputed Casus Belli. That as well as the continued firing of air-to-air missiles at coalition forces were more that sufficient causes. But let’s go on.

    I’ll prefix the following with a disclaimer: I don’t compare Bush vs. Clinton for partisan reasons, but merely use it as a yardstick to compare the current administration with the previous. Clinton administration officials testified before Congress as well as the 9/11 commission regarding Saddam’s possession of WMD. I won’t bother link all of the sources at this point, they are abundant and easily located. Saddam was also in flagrant violation of pretty much every UN resolution to which the US was a signatory, and in which Saddam was warned that failure to comply could result in repercussions up to and including the use of force.

    Post-9/11 the United States Congress as well as President Bush decided that the continued violations were no longer an acceptable risk, and so the administration decided that the Iraqi threat was no longer acceptable. We attempted to get the UN to enforce its own resolutions, and it refused, so our “Coalition of the Willing” took care of it.

    As for the obvious failure of the administration to prosecute the war in Iraq, I refer you to South Korea, Okinawa, Germany and all of the other countries where we spent 20-50 years rebuilding nations and securing their future and in doing so securing our own. Not only do I NOT see an obvious failure, I see an administration taking a military that had been decimated by the cashing in of “peace dividends” during the Clinton administration and doing the best it knew how in a suddenly more dangerous world. I in fact don’t believe it was any more dangerous after 9/11 other than the moral boost that the attacks gave to those who wished to perpetrate more attacks against us. Perhaps Rumsfeld should have been replaced sooner, and perhaps our initial estimates were in fact wildly understated as to the expense and difficulty of this conflict. I grant both of those as almost certainly true in hind-sight. Of course, I would disagree with some of the decisions made by Patton and Eisenhower during WWII, but I won’t claim I’d have known better than they at the time.

    Also, whether Al-Qaeda was in Iraq at the time or not, the fact is that they have chosen to engage us there and so we must take the fight to them as we have done, and in fact have even turned what were once their most solid allies (Sunnis) against them. They are losing face in the Arab world as their number of defeats mounts, and we must win not only the ground war but the propaganda war if we are to soften the threat that the Middle East represents to the US. If you want to dispute that last statement, I suggest you review the data on the Khobar Towers attack, the USS Cole, as well as the large number of other attacks that have occurred against the US or its interests.

    In short, I find all of your arguments lacking substantive proof to back them up, other than the standard kind of arm-chair quarterbacking I could get watching football with my in-laws.

    I summarize by saying that the loss of our soldiers is heartbreaking, I lost my own brother just after his return from Operation Desert Shield/Storm, and so I very well know the loss that those families are enduring. However I also posit that those dead were in fact worthwhile sacrifices, that they chose to make those sacrifices by putting on their uniforms and taking their oaths, that our mission there is succeeding, and that we have improved the security of our nation by removing the Saddam regime and helping the Iraqi people. You may choose to disagree, but if you wish to do so in public, be prepared to bring arguments and solutions, not just criticism and statistics.

  • oilnwater

    my argument to the iraq occupation improving the United State’s nat’l security is the occupation itself.

  • Chepe Noyon

    Cold Rage, I disagree with much of what you say, but I am pleased to see you make your case in a calm and reasoned fashion (and so well). It’s exactly this kind of thing that I seek out on the net — commentary I disagree with (because you don’t learn anything from agreement) that is strong enough to make me think without being dogmatic.

    Ironically enough, I don’t have the time to post a good response to yours, because good discussion like this requires careful thought and some research, and I’m already caught up in a serious discussion elsewhere in this forum. But I hope to have a serious discussion with you at some point in the future.

  • Matty_J

    Wow, Chepe.

    I vehement disagree with you, but I am impressed! What saddens me is that you are a rarity any more. Someone who is anti-war, and thoughtful and courteous. I wish I had the opportunity to sit with you sometime over coffee (or other beverages) for a few hours. We may not agree, but it would be fascinating.

    Thank you.

  • Matty_J

    Wow, Chepe.

    I vehemently disagree with you, but I am impressed! What saddens me is that you are a rarity any more. Someone who is anti-war, and thoughtful and courteous. I wish I had the opportunity to sit with you sometime over coffee (or other beverages) for a few hours. We may not agree, but it would be fascinating.

    Thank you.

  • UCrawford

    Cold Rage,

    I pull my information on troop deaths/injuries from icasualties.org and antiwar.org. They update their tallies weekly. As for comparing Clinton to Bush, I never made the argument that Clinton was better. Frankly, I hated him too while I was in service. Somehow, though, he was able to keep us out of a war in Iraq. As for your stats, it’s an apples to oranges argument. The overwhelming majority of deaths under Clinton were a result of accidents, the majority of deaths under Bush are from military action. Clinton has little to no control over accidental deaths. Bush had total control over the troops killed in Iraq.

    As for the assassination, sorry but if you cite a 10 year old incident as a reason to invade, you’re rationalizing. As for launching missiles at us, that’s because we were flying into Iraq’s airspace. Now, I’m not arguing against the OSW/ONW missions, because I believe they were justified, but on the other hand Iraq still has the sovereign right to defend itself. Would you apply that same argument if Iraq were flying their jets into our airspace?

    “Saddam was also in flagrant violation of pretty much every UN resolution to which the US was a signatory”

    I don’t consider the U.N. a legitimate governing authority. Neither does Bush. For him it’s a useful rubber stamp when it agrees with him (Afghanistan) and something to be ignored when it doesn’t (Iraq, free trade). The U.N. trade sanctions were failing because the countries in the region (who were most likely to be affected by Saddam) didn’t think they were merited anymore, that they created more harm than good, and no longer honored them. So the only apparent purpose they served was to punish Saddam because we don’t like him, not to prevent him from invading, which is not a legitimate argument.

    As for the WMD, there’s nothing wrong with assuming that somebody’s done something wrong, until you decide to act on your assumption, at which point you need proof. Did the intel community whiff on their assumption? Sure. Did the intel community recognize that their data was weak and circumstantial? Yes. Did they inform the president of this? Yes. Did he care? No…because going into Iraq was never about WMDs, they were just the rationalization. His reason was because of “regime change” and “democratization” neither of which are our prerogative in somebody else’s soveriegn nation except arguably in matters of self-defense, which Iraq was clearly not.

    As for your brother, sorry to hear it. I, on the other hand, know firsthand the sorrow of loss of soldiers because I served in this war and had people I knew and cared about killed and wounded. And while I recognize their oath to defend this country, having taken it myself, I don’t consider any of them expendable to fulfill an idiot would-be dictator’s vanity project that consists primarily of invading countries that haven’t attacked us. As for the oath, I swore mine to the Constitution, not President Bush or Clinton…as far as I know so did everybody else.

    “I suggest you review the data on the Khobar Towers attack, the USS Cole, as well as the large number of other attacks that have occurred against the US or its interests.”

    I did, along with the embassy bombings. All committed by al-Qaeda, last I checked, who were in Afghanistan and not Iraq prior to 2003 (meaning only one of these two invasions was justified). As for al-Qaeda in Iraq, they don’t have popular support (being that the country is 60% Shi’a and most of the Iraqi Sunni are not open to their ideology). The only reason that they’re surviving in Iraq now is they’re a useful agent provacateur against whoever is fighting us. Remove us from the equation and the Iraqis will marginalize al-Qaeda on their own.

  • skh.pcola

    “…if you cite a 10 year old incident as a reason to invade, you’re rationalizing.”

    And then,

    “I pull my information on troop deaths/injuries from icasualties.org and antiwar.org.”

    Do you not see the irony here? Both of your “sources” are biased and inaccurate, but you project your own innate prejudice to other commenters. Of course, believe what you wish to believe, but your slip is showing.

  • Cold Rage

    This is necessarily short as I have limited time right now, I’ll try to address your other points later.

    “I pull my information on troop deaths/injuries from icasualties.org and antiwar.org. They update their tallies weekly. As for comparing Clinton to Bush, I never made the argument that Clinton was better. Frankly, I hated him too while I was in service. Somehow, though, he was able to keep us out of a war in Iraq. As for your stats, it’s an apples to oranges argument. The overwhelming majority of deaths under Clinton were a result of accidents, the majority of deaths under Bush are from military action. Clinton has little to no control over accidental deaths. Bush had total control over the troops killed in Iraq.”

    I thought I had made it clear enough, but apparently not. I didn’t actually hate Clinton, though I disagreed with his policies. And I didn’t compare Bush to Clinton at a personal or even policy level, I merely used the military deaths that occurred during his administration to provide some context for the death rate amongst military personnel during the current administration. And he didn’t “keep us out of a war in Iraq”, he just stirred the pot and kept it a low level conflict that allowed Saddam to continue oppressing the Shiite and Kurd populations and take occasional potshots at American aircraft.

    My view is that post 9/11, the dangers that Saddam’s regime posed were brought into focus. Let’s take a quick list: Kicked out weapon inspectors, had known stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and hated the US. Had contacts with multiple terrorist groups, and had every reason to try and supply them with the weapons to make their next attacks even more horrific. Refused to disarm after multiple warnings.

    Basically what we had was two bad choices: keep doing what we were doing, and try to prevent him from supplying weapons and money to terrorist groups, or remove him from power and deal with the aftermath. For good or ill, the administration, with the approval of Congress, chose to take option #2. Option #1 obviously wasn’t working, we couldn’t even prevent him from skimming money off the oil for food program. And it was our NATO allies that were screwing us!

    I’m enjoying this back and forth, I hope we can continue it.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    skh.pcola,

    I won’t argue they’re not biased, but if you want to show them as inaccurate you’ll need to bring more than your unsubstantiated opinion. iCasualties shows their methodology ( http://icasualties.org/oif/Methodology.aspx ). Feel free to provide your own, along with a casualty count you feel is accurate.

    Cold Rage,

    I see your point, but your argument is apples-to-oranges. The deaths under Clinton were largely accidental (also tragic and unnecessary, resulting in an increased emphasis by the military during the 1990s on safety and accident prevention) and not a result of presidential action. The deaths in Iraq are entirely a result of presidential action. Comparing the raw numbers ignores that important distinction. As for Clinton’s foreign policy, you’re correct, he kept the pot stirring and intervened…which I was opposed to. That’s why I voted for Bush when he ran on a platform of non-intervention. I turned on him because he was a lying sack of shit who exploited a national tragedy to justify a war (Iraq) he’d planned to wage from the beginning of his presidency, killing several thousand Americans in the process. As to your other points:

    1) Kicked out weapons inspectors: who he readmitted, who also said there was zero evidence to indicate the existence of any WMD program on the scale Bush was talking about.

    2) Supplying weapons to terrorist groups: Zero evidence that he supplied al-Qaeda with anything. That was the only terrorist group that attacked us on 9/11. There was evidence he offered support to anti-Israel groups, as did almost every other country in the Middle East (including our “ally” Saudi Arabia). This charge provided no justification for invasion.

    3) “Contacts with multiple terrorist groups”: Again, you’ve just applied a charge that can be applied to every single Middle Eastern government. And again, zero evidence of an operational link between Saddam and al-Qaeda or involvement in 9/11.

    4) “Had known stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons”: Which he was no longer producing. Most of his chem/bio program came to a halt after Operation Desert Fox in 1998…the inspectors have found no evidence that it was operational at all after 2002. Gen. Marks, who was in charge of WMD recovery for the Iraq invasion, noted at the time (and informed his superiors and the Joint Chiefs) that we had no intel indicating a currently functional weapons program and that the most “damning” and specific information he received on Iraq’s NBC program was 10 years old. Therefore, the chem/bio argument was insufficient to justify invasion. Here’s a Congressional Quarterly interview with Marks on the topic ( http://public.cq.com/public/20061020_homeland.html )

    5) “…he just stirred the pot and kept it a low level conflict that allowed Saddam to continue oppressing the Shiite and Kurd populations and take occasional potshots at American aircraft”: As is his right to do as the ruler of a sovereign nation. Was he a murdering bastard? Yes. Was he a ruthless dictator? Yes. Was it any of our government’s business what he did within his own borders? Absolutely not.

    6) “Basically what we had was two bad choices: keep doing what we were doing, and try to prevent him from supplying weapons and money to terrorist groups, or remove him from power and deal with the aftermath.”: No, we had the option of not getting involved. We had the option of letting the Middle Eastern nations (who weren’t interested in enforcing the U.N. sanctions) deal with him on their own. We had the option of letting the Middle East police its own neighborhood instead of constantly getting in the middle of intractable squabbles. As for the oft-repeated argument that if we’d left Saddam alone we would have been next, considering that at the peak of his power Saddam was incapable of defeating Iran and his high point was invading a country with a minimally-functional army (Kuwait) I find the comparisons of Saddam to Hitler both laughable and intellectually dishonest. He wasn’t a threat to us, therefore he wasn’t our problem to deal with.