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
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)