Monday, June 20, 2011

Feliz Cumpleanos, Che

Just in time for his 83rd birthday, the Castro Ministry of Propaganda is publishing newly-revealed portions of Che Guevara's diary. Well, at least that what they're telling everyone it is. In fact, nobody is being allowed to see the alleged documents, and the quotes are being spoon-fed to Fidel's old allies, the New York Times and the BBC, along with their newer ally, CNN.

Not to be confused with the Motorcycle Diaries, we are being told that these quotes come from Che's 1956-1958 Diary of a Combatant. For my earlier essay on what a brave "combatant" Che actually was, you might want to go here first for some background: I'm Ready for my Close-Up, Mr. Demille. The descendants of and successors to the fools who fell for the glories of Soviet Russia and the beauty of China's Great Leap Forward are eating this stuff up. As CNN says: "The goal is to show his work, his thoughts, his life, so that the Cuban people and the entire world get to know him and don't distort things anymore."

I guess "distortion" is in the eye of the alleged news reporters. What they are actually talking about as distortion are the facts that have been confirmed over the years about what a sadistic, cold-blooded murderer, media-manipulator, and battlefield coward Che actually was. Praising the releases that are supposedly coming from the collection of Che's widow, Aledia March-Guevars, the BBC says "She said she wanted readers to get to know Che Guevara just as he was." Yeah, right.

The New York Times praises the accuracy of the quotes, though neither they nor anyone outside the Castro regime have actually seen the originals. This is the same New York Times that reported the decisive battle of Santa Clara that brought Castro into power. The battle was a complete fabrication, fed to the nearest Times reporter who happened to be in New York City at the time he was reporting on the "carnage." Their reasoning for why the new quotes must be genuine is that one of Castro's communist media flacks expressed her doubts that Che would really have wanted these portions of "his very personal thoughts" to be made public. Therefore, they must be genuine.

In fact, the widely-believed battle of Santa Clara was a minor skirmish involving exactly one (count 'em, one) casualty. As soon as it became apparent to the Castroites and Che that they were outnumbered and outgunned, they quickly offered a truce that included allowing Castro troops into the city. After a week of pretend negotiations in which there were no armed confrontations, the Batistas foolishly let their guard down, and abandoned good military order. Now inside the city, fully-armed and ready to spring, the Castroites closed the trap, and the real slaughter began. Nothing new here. Like Walter Duranty's denial of the deaths of millions of Soviet peasants during Stalin's consolidation of power, NY Times reporters then and now simply repeat what they have been told by their buddies in Cuba.

The fact is that the "new revelations" are really just rehashes of the works of the Charming Che, continuing to ignore more salient quotes from some of Che's lieutenants describing the battle of Santa Clara to US Press Attache Paul Bethel in 1959: "We had a helluva time, Paul," said oddly-named Guevarista William Morgan. "We used a short-wave radio to broadcast the battle. We yelled fake battle commands into the mic while a few of the muchachos shot B.A.R.s and pistols into the air for the sound effects. We really whooped it up." Somehow, that quote never got repeated in the NY Times, and don't hold your breath for it to show up now.

One American citizen inside the US embassy reported that Guevara sent one of his men into the town during the truce with a large envelope stuffed with dollars which he gave to the Batista commander. That same commander then ordered his troops to stand down and ignore the armed insurrectionists coming into town in ever-increasing numbers. That didn't make it into the NY Times reports either, and on CBS, NBC, and ABC the cheerleaders reported even shorter but more glorious versions of the "peoples' triumph" over troops which outnumbered and outgunned them.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. Che's luster was not what it used to be, and propagandized American young people needed to be reminded why they are wearing those idiotic Che tee-shirts. What better time to do it than on Che's birthday? And who better to do it than Che's widow? How very fortuitous that the formerly absent diaries were brought back to light at just the right time. It was the perfect time for the communist regime to tell the American mainstream media what was going on in Cuba, so they could report it just as they have been told to report it.

If an anti-Castroite were to announce to the New York Times, CNN, and the BBC that the sun came up this morning, the story would go unreported while their "reporters" scrambled to gather evidence proving that the anti-Castroite is lying. But when the Castro government "finds" more juicy facts and stories about the valiant Che, disbelief at those organizations is suspended, propaganda is accepted as truth, and the reporter's duty to verify is tossed out the window.


Che Guevara, looking down multiple rifle barrels said...

Don't shoot. I'm worth more alive to you than dead!

Unknown said...

Not sure where that comment came from, but right on the money. I have that quote in the earlier article that I linked to. But it's always worth repeating. If I didn't know better, I'd swear he was French.

AndrewPrice said...

Every time I hear Che's name, I either think of a restaurant or I think: "I tried to enslave a Latin American country and all I got was this stupid t-shirt."

Tennessee Jed said...

look, I know that Obama is tanking in the polls, and the Democrats are getting just a tad panicky, but isn't trying to resurrect Che as a potential 2012 running mate stretching things a bit far?

patti said...

law: how much longer will the msm "report" on things they think we need to understand? as long as they have dirty hippies lackeys and revolutionary wannabes.

i think we should print an alternative t-shirt with andrew's logan. i'd love to wear one.

Unknown said...

Andrew: That's about all the substance there is to the hype, but younger voters tend to think in slogans and movements without deep analysis. "Che was for freedom and equality for the masses, so I'll just wear this tee-shirt without thinking any farther, and vote for the party which hangs pictures of him in their inner offices." The left has revised history so many times that there are followers of Stalin, Lenin, Castro and Mao even in America. But only one has achieved beloved icon status--Che. Even though in many ways, he was even worse than the others.

T-Rav said...

LawHawk: Naw, he couldn't be French. French people would talk about how sophisticated and above crude violence they are prior to such an encounter; Che bragged about the thrill he got from killing helpless prisoners. That miserable piece of human refuse deserved far worse than what he got.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: LOL But why not? Obama could benefit from having a dead icon running mate instead of the brain-dead running mate he has now. At least Che couldn't shoot his mouth off all the time.

Unknown said...

Patti: They'll continue to do it as long as the leftist academics and "journalists" continue to believe that we're all a bunch of ignorant rubes who couldn't possibly understand the true greatness of the Marxist-Leninist gods.

You also have to remember that today's youth have the attention span of the goldfish I talked about yesterday. They don't think they're being reminded, they think that they are being told something new that nobody has ever heard before.

Unknown said...

T-Rav: The French actually love that kind of talk. The problem with the French is not that they find violence unpalatable, it's that they're so afraid it might be done unto them before they can do it unto others. A well-prepared and rehearsed surrender can put off your execution date by a considerable amount of time in many cases.

StanH said...

God! …I hate all of these leftist bastards. Witless children blindly following the Ward Churchill’s of the world, preaching a dogma that would have their heads first on the chopping block. As we return this country to it’s founding, which I believe we must - - J-School needs it’s wings clipped radically, to restore their Constitutionally critical mission to be checks on government, not uber-partisan hacks, with an obvious hard left slant. We have much work to be done in this country…sheesh!

Koshcat said...

Don't be to hard on the youth, they are mostly just ignorant of history. It is hard to fathom a country killing millions of its own people, so they don't believe it.

A few years ago during the winter Olympics (Turino I believe) I was floored by an interview with an idiot male ice skater representing the USA while sitting there wearing a CCCP sweatshirt. I see it no different as wearing a swastika. I couldn't tell if he was stupid or ignorant. He should have been sent home in shame. Can you imagine a Russian wearing a Nazi outfit during an interview? I never rooted so hard for an individual to lose.

Unknown said...

Stan: I think I would have despaired years ago if it weren't for the internet and to a certain extent, the Fox News Channel. There's a lot of crap out there all the way around. But at least it is no longer one-sided crap, force-fed to us by the MSM. We're more willing to provide evidence, history and solid argument than the left, which now must depend on talking-points, scripts and skewed history (like the "hero" Che myth). The smarter kids are beginning to see that, and do the most important thing a student can do--question. That's another reason the left needs such tight control of the public schools, and we're even making inroads there.

Unknown said...

Koshcat: The hardest myths to undo are those on the left, since they've been the agenda for the MSM and academia for decades. One facet of that has been to find one monstrous dictator who had views that disagree with the left's main agenda (racial superiority) and concentrate on him. Thus, Hitler, who as monstrous as he was killed fewer innocents than either Mao or Stalin. Take away the racial part, and there is no discernible difference in the goals of Hitler, Mao, Stalin and the lesser mass-murderers.

But Mao and Stalin fit the leftist myths and Hitler doesn't. On a smaller but no less murderous scale, Che and Fidel fit the delusional ideals of the left. We have a long way to go to dispel those myths.

Joel Farnham said...


History is always decided by the victors. As much as I hate to say it, NYT is just acknowledging it.

One interesting thing about Che, he was unceremoniously executed after having been caught. He was kept alive for a few days. Enough time for it to get back to Castro. Bolivia probably asked Castro whether he was going to pay for Che or not. Castro had no way of mounting a rescue mission. And Castro probably didn't want a psychotic murderer around, so Castro probably told Bolivia off. Or he could have PAID Bolivia to execute him. I suspect Castro paid to have Che executed.

Now, I have no evidence, just a strong suspicion. Che had left Cuba to foment revolution around the globe. Needless to say, he was spectacularly unsuccessful. His reputation amongst his men was that he was a coward in the field and a the first to execute tied prisoners. If I was Castro, I would be nervous around Che. Paying Bolivia to execute, as long as it didn't get out, would be a smart solution.

Keeping Che's reputation as pristine as possible, after his execution, is also a smart play. What is illuminating is the ease with which our current media go along with the gag. Makes me wonder if all the news reported has any truth. Fox is the only example of a major network which prides itself on giving both sides of an issue.

Television and the FCC controlling who gets on TV or not, has the effect of hoodwinking people. Since the major newsrooms and to a larger extent the TV headquarters are located in New York, the local effect cannot be overstated. As long as New York is Liberal, there will be a liberal slant. Cable and the internet has eased it.

We may never get to what actually happened around Che. Castro isn't talking, and all the players are dead. But it is fun to speculate. :-)

T-Rav said...

Joel, we may never know the full story on that, but given what Communists tend to do to each other after getting control of a country, I don't think it would surprise anyone except maybe leftist twits to learn Castro had Che offed.

Unknown said...

Joel: Your speculation is most likely the background that led to Che's ignominious and well-deserved death. Che's prediction that he was worth more alive than dead turned out to be exactly backward. Castro didn't want a competitor who was even more murderous than himself, but a dead Che was a martyred asset. As all good dictatorships do, they rewrote much of Che's personal history, then proclaimed him a hero of the revolution. He was worth way more dead than alive, at least to Castro. I covered much of that in the article I linked to, and there is considerable non-communist documentation to support your theory.

I would turn your other argument around slightly. It is common wisdom that the victors write the history. But that is far more true in dictatorships than in free societies. We won WW II and the Cold War, but the American "victors" aren't actually writing the history, and the government can agree or disagree, but it can't stop it. That is both the strength and the weakness of a free society. The New York Times, the networks, and the universities didn't win any of those victories, and have often been instrumental in attempting to prevent victory. But until very recently, they have created the "facts" and written the "history" without having done anything to bring victory to the fore.

I have liberal friends in San Francisco who truly believe that Ronald Reagan had nothing to do with ending the Cold War or causing the downfall of the Soviet Union. They truly believe that Gorbachev's love of democracy and brilliant ability to outmaneuver Reagan were the reasons behind the collapse. They got that info from the MSM and academia who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by taking the victory away from the true winner.

Unknown said...

T-Rav: Castro definitely sent Che out of Cuba with the phony declared mission of fomenting Cuba-style revolution throughout the Americas. But Castro was a better historian than Che, including knowing that Che was marked for death even in his homeland of Argentina. He wanted Che out of his way, and he expected Che to fail elsewhere. Che's embarrassing failures made Castro look good. It is possible that Che's failures were engineered in part by Castro himself, but when Che was killed, the veneer of revolutionary purity had to be revived. I've long believed that Castro didn't have anything to do with Che's actual death, but rather knew an opportunity when he saw one. Instant martyr to the cause.

Joel Farnham said...


I have heard of history books showing that the United States has desecrated most of the world. That we plotted and carried out the premeditated destruction of the American Indian. That we jumped into Viet Nam because our war industries needed an ongoing conflict in order to perfect modern weapons. It goes on ad nauseum.

It gets a little depressing when something as simple as the execution of a psychotic lowlife can't just be left alone.

Unknown said...

Joel: What our kids are being told is appalling, and it's been going on for decades. But I do think the tide is turning, slowly. Again, I place a lot of the credit in the realm of the internet. I'm also seeing a growing number of parents who realize that they cannot entirely abandon their kids' education to the miserable public schools and the left-leaning statist textbooks. My generation said "question authority." It's still good advice.

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