Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Admiring Evil

Here's a pic taken from a Fox news clip that briefly showed an Obama campaign office. Notice anything odd? Anything that would tell you something about the sort of people who find Obama's candidacy the fulfillment of their dreams and hopes?

If you're over forty you'll recognize the poster on the wall as bearing the image of Che Guevara, one of the most murderous of the communist revolutionaries to have plagued the Western hemisphere in the 20th century, but a man who nevertheless achieved iconic status among the left simply because he was a "revolutionary".

Eugene Volokh describes the man whose image adorns the walls of these Obama supporters:

Recent books by Humberto Fontova and Alvaro Vargas Llosa describe the real Che, and will hopefully cut down the number of his admirers. In those accounts we learn that:

1. Che was responsible for the execution of thousands of political prisoners in Cuba (most of them purely for their opposition to Castro's communist policies, or for no reason at all).

2. Che enjoyed torturing and abusing the prisoners, including children.

3. Che was instrumental in setting up the Castro regime's massive forced labor camps and secret police apparatus.

4. Che tried to organize campaigns of terrorism against civilians in the US and elsewhere (though he largely failed in these efforts).

5. Far from being merely a Third World nationalist or pragmatic leftist, he was a committed, hard-line Stalinist, even going so far as to call himself "Stalin II" early in his career.

However, as Vargas Llosa points out in a New Republic article, Che was no uncritical admirer of the Soviet Union. To the contrary, he thought the Soviets had not taken communist totalitarianism far enough. In his travels through the Soviet bloc, Che was, by his own account, most impressed with North Korea - not coincidentally also the most oppressively totalitarian of all communist states at the time. Later, as Vargas notes, he criticized the Soviets for giving the private sector too much scope, and for their unwillingness to take even greater risks of touching off a nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

As Fontova points out, during the 1960s alone, the regime Che helped set up executed over 100,000 people, and incarcerated some 350,000 political prisoners out of a Cuban population that numbered only 6.3 million in 1960 (for more detailed figures, see the chapter on Cuba in the thorough Black Book of Communism). Undoubtedly, there would have been even more executions and political prisoners if not for the fact that so many Cubans were able to flee to the nearby United States.

It would be unthinkable, today, for hip college students to wear T-shirts praising a functionary from a right-wing authoritarian military regime, even though few if any such governments committed crimes on the same scale as Castro's. One small step towards putting the crimes of communism in proper perspective would be to finally consign Che to the ignominy he so richly deserves.

This is the man these Obama workers wish to honor. What does that tell us about what they see in Obama? What conclusions would we draw about John McCain if people who worked on his behalf had posters of David Duke or Adolf Hitler on their office walls?


Another Sharia Outrage

Iranian Muslims commit another atrocity and outrage against justice:

Two sisters - identified only as Zohreh and Azar - have been convicted of adultery in Iran. They have now been sentenced to be stoned to death.

Adultery is a crime punishable by death in the Islamic Republic of Iran, in accordance with the canons of Islamic Sharia law. The Iranian Supreme Court has upheld the stoning sentence.

As horrifying as this is here's the paragraph that reveals the depth of the depravity of Iranian system of Islamic justice:

Zohreh and Azar have already received 99 lashes for "illegal relations." Yet they were tried again for the same crime, and convicted of adultery on the evidence of videotape that showed them in the presence of other men while their husbands were absent. The video does not show either of them engaging in any sexual activity at all (emphasis mine).

Their crime is non-existent, their trials a miscarriage of justice, and their sentencing a barbarity. All those who believe in human rights and human dignity should protest against this sentence.

But, the article goes on to note, thus far the American left in general, and feminists in particular, even those who promote feminist concerns globally, have remained silent about this case, as they have with others like it. Now, whether they've actually been mute in this instance, I cannot say. I certainly haven't seen anything about it in the news or on the left-wing websites I sometimes visit. If the left has suddenly lost its voice then maybe it's just a temporary condition, but surely if something as savage as this had happened in Israel they would have been in immediate full-throated fury. Why does there seem to be a reluctance on the left to speak out against the brutality perpetrated against women in the Arab/Islamic world?

I think that perhaps there are several reasons:

  • The worse the rest of the world appears the better American society looks by comparison. This is unacceptably incompatible with much of leftist ideology which teaches that America and American capitalism is the source of most of the evil in the world.
  • The left doesn't want to say anything that would incite or justify American hostility toward others because they're afraid it may contribute to a bellicosity which might lead to war.
  • To condemn Iranian society would implicitly conflict with the cultural relativism accepted on the left which holds as a fundamental axiom that all cultures are equally noble.

So, rather than risk making American society and culture look superior to another or risk weakening the reluctance among the American people to engage in another conflict in the Middle East, they simply set aside their principles concerning human dignity and human rights and tacitly acknowledge that those principles are superficially, and tendentiously, held.


Dreadfully Sorry

Keith Olbermann apologizes to the Clintons on behalf of MSNBC for David Shuster's intemperate vulgarism equating Chelsea Clinton to a hooker, suggesting that she's being "pimped out" by the Clinton campaign. Unfortunately, Olbermann is not the best person at the network to issue apologies for the use by others of this indelicate colloquialism. Olbermann Watch puts together the following video of Olbermann's apology remixed with some of his own offensive remarks to show us why he's got his own problems with polite speech:

I wonder if Olby or MSNBC would have been "dreadfully sorry" had Shuster made his ill-considered comment in reference to one of the Bush daughters.

Anyway, while we're at it wasn't it another NBC reporter, Erin Burnett, who called President Bush a monkey? NBC must be a real class outfit.


Darwin Day Observance

Today is Darwin Day (b. 2/12/1809) and rather than run about in the woods naked or whatever it is the humanists do on Darwin Day we thought we'd observe the occasion by passing along this video. It features a CGI of the cellular machinery that "chaperones" recently synthesized polypeptides into the golgi bodies where they're folded into the characteristic shape of the protein.

Keep in mind that all of this illustrates just a tiny fraction of the breath-taking complexity of the cell which, the Darwinists would have us believe, all evolved through blind, purposeless serendipity without the benefit of intelligent input.

HT: Telic Thoughts

Happy Darwin Day,