Friday, June 25, 2010

Disillusionment for the Cult of Che

The myth surrounding Che Guevara is, in my opinion, among the greatest lies of the 20th century. Many Americans, before ever hearing of his name in a history book, know that he is worthy of reverence simply by looking around and seeing the masses that wear his likeness.

I’ve had many friends wear Che’s face on their shirt. I’ve known people who have had posters of the man in their college homes. I have always been a huge fan of Rage Against the Machine, who considers Che a fifth band member. I tried to understand the fascination, and why he is so admired by so many. I've waded through some of Che's biographical accounts, and even read most of his “Motorcycle Diaries” of his humble beginnings, and at the request of friends, saw the film.

Yet I always found it strange that he was considered so iconic, courageous, and humanistic, while so closely aligned with Stalinism, which is a ruthless political breed of propaganda, fear, and oppression.

Then I read Humberto Fontova’s “Exposing the Real Che Guevara.” This book provides a snapshot of the true Che, and it validated the skepticism I had about his legacy as a great man. The book is comprised of both scholarly and firsthand accounts, referencing the testimony of many eyewitnesses and reporters that covered his revolution in Cuba.

I wish that all Americans could read this book.

The common American perception of Che is that he was a brave guerilla, a doctor, a humanitarian, and a scholar. He was intelligent, forceful when he needed to be, and the spearhead of a benevolent revolution that ousted the capitalist pigs from Cuba, returning the mandate to the people of Cuba.

But that’s the myth. In reality, Castro’s Cuban Revolution was about brutally purging the political opposition to Communism, and Che was his lapdog and an architect of death. Even young, idealistic American reporters traveled to Cuba, wanting to love Che because they believed in the Cuban revolution, only to find mass executions of political prisoners and show trials.

Angelina Jolie, the humanitarian, has a tattoo of Che Guevara on her body. But does she know that Che signed thousands of orders to execute men, women, children, and the mentally handicapped with little or no evidence? It is well documented by many journalists. Sure, many “trials” took place, but these farcical events would make Stalin's show trials seem like the pinnacle of legal justice. The names of those to be executed were marked with X’s prior to any hearings, and the hearings themselves would often consist of the same woman in a black veil fingering every man that was guilty, sending dozens of them to the firing squad a day, each one guilty of being "the Batista rebel" that killed her husband. And on the strength of such false testimony, many Cubans were killed by the wave of Che’s pen, in order after order of execution.

According to Che’s brand of justice, “It is not necessary to prove someone’s guilt in order to execute him. I need only to prove that his execution is necessary for the Revolution.”

And yet he is viewed as a humanitarian?

Rage Against the Machine and Carlos Santana love Che, as he has become a legendary icon for the counterculture. But do they know that Che waged a political war against the “lumpen,” who were essentially anyone with long hair or anyone who listened to rock and roll? Yes, they were executed in rather large numbers by Che's authority, because long hair and affection for rock and roll were symptoms of a bourgeois sickness.

And yet musicians and the hippies in Berkeley love Che?

Any Che Guevara fan will tell you that he cared little for material possessions. But it is obvious he was very materialistic. Shortly after taking power, he secured (read: STOLE) one of the largest homes in Cuba that had many of the greatest luxuries, including multiple swimming pools and a massive television with remote control. In fact, he wore his prized Rolex until he was captured and killed in Bolivia.

This opulent mansion was modified so that he could view the handiwork of his firing squads over lunch. At some point, he realized, much like a filthy capitalist would, that they were killing so many Batista "rebels" and letting their blood go to waste. He then began draining their blood prior to sending them to the firing squads so it could be exported for profit. Often, the prisoners were so weak they had to be carried to meet their executioners.

And yet many Americans believe that money, power, and material possessions were not important to him?

Che's supporters deny that anything Che did could be associated with terrorism. But it seems Al Qaeda and Hamas have even learned a thing or two from Che.

Colonel Cornelio Rojas was a Cuban war hero and the Chief of Cuba’s police. He was a good man, loved by many, but he was guilty of two distinct crimes: he was representative of the “old” Cuban regime, and he was anti-Communist. So he was rounded up, and his family was promised by Che Guevara that he would not be harmed. But of course, Che knew that a figurehead of the “old” regime would need to be eliminated. Without warning, millions of Cubans turned on the television to a nationally televised execution of Cornelio Rojas, and even his family witnessed firsthand as the crown of Col. Rojas’ skull was separated from his head by a powerful rifle shot. The sight of this caused Rojas' wife, watching in her home, to have an immediate and fatal heart attack. This live display was an example, meant to inject fear into anyone who would defy the revolution.

Is this any different from the public beheading of Nick Berg by Al Qaeda? Not really. But you don’t see people running around with hip shirts of Osama Bin Laden like they do with Che, the terrorist.

And if these things aren’t enough to shake the perception that he was a courageous and humane hero, it has been proven that he planned attacks against American cities, and he stated that if the Soviet weapons remained in Cuba after the missile crisis, he would have used them to inflict a nuclear strike against New York City.

Cuban refugees that left the country penniless and embraced the American culture find him a murderer and assassin, because many of their families were killed by his secret police. Yet many Americans believe Che was a hero, because a Communist regime dictated after the fact that he was not the bloodthirsty killer that he was, and some Communist-sympathetic academics in this country embraced the notion.

But he was not who our culture has made him out to be. As I said earlier, I wish all Americans could read Fontova's book, especially those who admire Che Guevara. But sadly, people who have spent years admiring Che will probably blindly dismiss the book’s revelations as propaganda, just as quickly as they had once blindly accepted the lie that Che was a great man.

And that, like Che Guevara's false legacy, is an absolute travesty.

William Sullivan

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jon Voight on Israel

An open letter from actor Jon Voight to President Obama:

June 22, 2010

President Obama:

You will be the first American president that lied to the Jewish people, and the American people as well, when you said that you would defend Israel, the only Democratic state in the Middle East, against all their enemies. You have done just the opposite. You have propagandized Israel, until they look like they are everyone's enemy — and it has resonated throughout the world. You are putting Israel in harm's way, and you have promoted anti-Semitism throughout the world.

You have brought this to a people who have given the world the Ten Commandments and most laws we live by today. The Jewish people have given the world our greatest scientists and philosophers, and the cures for many diseases, and now you play a very dangerous game so you can look like a true martyr to what you see and say are the underdogs. But the underdogs you defend are murderers and criminals who want Israel eradicated.

You have brought to Arizona a civil war, once again defending the criminals and illegals, creating a meltdown for good, loyal, law-abiding citizens. Your destruction of this country may never be remedied, and we may never recover. I pray to God you stop, and I hope the people in this great country realize your agenda is not for the betterment of mankind, but for the betterment of your politics.

With heartfelt and deep concern for America and Israel,

Jon Voight

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Preventable Disaster

As everyone in the country now probably knows, the oil spill caused by the Deep Water Horizon explosion is the greatest man made environmental disaster in US history. The environmental impact of this spill sent almost instantaneous ripples through many gulf coast industries affecting thousands of workers whose livelihoods are directly linked to the waters and marshes off of the coast of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. In the current shaky economic climate, this region, which has already been pummeled with many natural disasters in the last decade, is suffering yet another economic blow due to the destruction of the marine habitats on which many residents make their living. While these tragedies alone are enough to cripple the workers in the gulf coast region, the Obama administration has dealt yet another devastating blow in the form of the six month deep water drilling moratorium.

After the oil spill, the Obama administration charged the Secretary of the Interior with producing a safety report on deep water drilling. The report, which has 22 new safety measures, was then presented to fifteen engineers , seven of who were recommended by the National Academy of Engineering, for peer review and approval. The engineers reviewed and signed the report. Then on May 28th the Department of the Interior, as part of the report, issued the six month deep water drilling moratorium, which ordered that all deep water drilling cease and notified all lessees and operators that no new permits would be issued for the next six months.(1) Eight engineers on the peer review panel then came out saying that the six month moratorium was not in the safety report which they had signed off on:

“[T]he experts say they never agreed to the administration’s six-month moratorium on exploratory drilling on the outer continental shelf…” A group of technical experts who advised the Obama administration on how to bolster the safety of offshore drilling operations say they oppose the administration’s moratorium on deepwater drilling. Halting the work risks “harming thousand of workers” who “were and are active responsibly and are providing a product the nation demands,” they said. The eight experts – all longtime petroleum engineers, some affiliated with major universities – are listed in a report published by the Interior Department last month as having “peer reviewed” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s recommendations on improving the safety of drilling on the outer continental shelf in the wake of the April 20 oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. The experts said the language about the moratorium did not appear in the draft they had reviewed. (Wall Street Journal, 6.9.10)(2)

So the moratorium itself was not in the draft, and yet was presented as peer reviewed and approved by petroleum engineers as to lend credibility to the ban. Benton Baugh ,who was on the panel, stated that not only were they not aware of the changes but they didn’t approve of the idea at all. In a letter sent to Baugh on June 3, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior said, "We did not mean to imply that you also agreed with the decision to impose a moratorium on all new deepwater drilling. We acknowledge that you were not asked to review or comment on the proposed moratorium."(3)

Now the economic impact of the moratorium is starting to become apparent, and although the full financial scope is hard to calculate due to vastness of the oil industry, the preliminary numbers are mind blowing. The oil and gas industry is Louisiana's biggest economic engine and accounts for about 16 percent of the state's gross domestic product, vastly overshadowing fishing (1 percent) and tourism (4 percent), according to the Tulane University Energy Institute.(4) Initial estimates are between tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of lost jobs in the entire region and with one dormant well costing upwards of $750,000 to $1 million of lost income a day, yet another gulf coast industry seems poised for absolute devastation. Companies who can not afford to take such losses, and should not be expected to for that matter, have already begun to move operations out of the gulf to places like Brazil and China, where local laws demand that employees on the rigs come from local countries. Simply put, the jobs will not be going with the rigs.

Unlike the hurricanes and the oil spill, which have ravaged this region, this economic disaster was directly caused by the Obama administration and could be stopped at any time. Instead, the administration has done everything to prolong and uphold the ban, even to the point of trying to delay the ruling on a lawsuit filed to stop the moratorium. Although a judge stated that he will rule on rather or not to impose an injunction on the moratorium by June 23rd, the Obama administration has urged that a ruling not be presented until late July.

This is simply a preventable disaster. If BP could have stopped the leak with the wave of a pen, then they would have. If the numerous hurricanes that have consistently pounded the Gulf Coast could have just disappeared over water with the retraction of a bad federal mandate, then it would have been done. So, why does Obama and his political allies continue to let this moratorium compound an already bleak economic situation in the Gulf Coast? That’s what one must ask themselves.

Calvin Parker


Friday, June 18, 2010

Rosie Clucks Anti-Semitic

White House correspondent Helen Thomas’ comments captured international attention a few weeks ago as she suggested that the Israelis should just “get the hell out of Palestine.” Her crass comments have given others in America the courage to stand up and express their opinions about Zionism. Not surprisingly, similar rhetoric came spewing from the gaping chasm between Rosie O’Donnell’s cheeks, as she vehemently expressed that Helen Thomas is right, and that her comments toward Israel were not offensive.

Thankfully, few people actually entertain O’Donnell’s political musings. After all, this is the same woman who once said that “radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam,” a statement so stupid that most Americans don’t dignify it with significant thought, but rather just chalk it up as another idiotic belief held by only the most wacky of the left.

It is worth pointing out in this instance, however, that Rosie O’Donnell clearly has no knowledge of the regional history of the Middle East other than the ludicrously false belief that “the homeland was originally the Palestinians’.”

It appears that Ms. O’Donnell is in dire need of a history lesson if she finds Israel to be an occupier in what was originally a Muslim-Arab land. The land that is now Israel was settled by the Jews nearly two thousand years prior to Muhammad’s birth, when the Israelites fled captivity in Egypt and made it their home. The territory was inhabited by Jews and Christians long before Muhammad’s followers forcibly conquered the land and declared that it would henceforth belong to Allah and his prophet.

Rosie O’Donnell’s comments have no historical base, but it is strikingly odd that Rosie O’Donnell finds herself in opposition to Israel, and thereby in alignment with the Islamic nations that surround it. Would Rosie O’Donnell actually prefer if Israel was stripped of its dominion and the land were turned over to the aggressors that preach the destruction and genocide of the Jewish people? Does Ms. O’Donnell agree with the executions of homosexuals that commonly occur in many Middle Eastern countries, for example? How about the public stonings of accused women adulterers that are not given the privilege of a fair trial? How about the practice of recruiting mentally handicapped women to unwittingly commit suicide bombings? These are among the fundamental practices condoned by entire theocracies in the nations in Arabia, some of which would almost certainly be employed if the Palestinians usurped Israel’s sovereignty.

Something tells me that if Rosie O’Donnell was a gay woman living in Israel, she would not be longing to oust the Israeli government and let the Arab Palestinians take the political helm.

But setting religion and ideology aside, the more sensible spectators of the world can recognize two undeniable truths when they look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The first truth is that Israel has been constantly attacked since its inception by hostile Arab forces that surround it. In a bid for peace and an in an effort to live on their sliver of Middle Eastern soil, Israel has given back acquired lands and it has returned the spoils of defensive wars to its enemies. The nation seeks to live as a sovereign country in coexistence and cooperation with its neighbors, and Israelis allow worship at holy sites within its land to people of all faiths.

The other truth is that Palestinians and their allies in Arabia will not be happy until Israel is either destroyed or engulfed by Arabs.

So the real question is, how can so many Americans like Helen Thomas and Rosie O’Donnell choose to vilify a survivalist Israel and by proxy defend the violent and aggressive forces that encircle it?

For some, the simple answer is because Israel is a supposed symbol of American imperialism, and anti-Americanism is all the rage. Yet for others, it is because anti-Semitism has again become fashionable. Of course, the term “anti-Semitism” has fallen out of favor with a racially sensitive public, and it has been replaced with the term “anti-Zionism.” But most anti-Zionists are clearly anti-Semites, from Mahmoud Amedinejad who recently made another pledge to destroy Israel, to Rev. Jeremiah Wright whose anti-Israel hate speech once filled our president’s ears, to Helen Thomas who thinks the Jews should leave their homes and return to the land where their people were nearly exterminated.

Rosie O’Donnell is simply a useful idiot for the anti-Semitic agenda. She probably does not hate Jews, but she is adamantly anti-American and therefore she finds herself in league with the anti-Semites that do.

And the anti-Semites of the world count their lucky stars that people like Rosie have a microphone, and that other useful idiots listen to her and support the “anti-Zionist” cause.

William Sullivan

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bravo, Yoram Dori!

It’s no secret that anti-Semitism is alive and well, and Helen Thomas’ comments that the Jews should just “go home" to Germany and Poland has proven that such hatred is burrowed even within our “impartial” press corps.

Of course, most anti-Semites in America can’t just be forthright and say that they hate Jews, because those same people are constantly at conservatives’ throats for being racists and against black people, brown people, whatever. So anti-Semitism has become anti-Zionism.

Regardless of how she wants to paint her prejudice, how dare she make light of the sacrifice and hardships the Israelis have suffered for their small plot of Middle Eastern soil! As some sort of purgatorial penance, perhaps when Helen leaves this Earth, it would be fitting for our Maker to exile her to an ethereal version of Germany or Poland. In the guise of a Jew, circa 1939.

Helen Thomas, all Americans, and all Israelis should read this letter found below, written by Yoram Dori. This wonderful letter expresses relevant history, a longing for peace, and a wish that that Israel's enemies prosper in their own endeavors. This is compassion the likes of which I have never seen in any Palestinian representative.

And Ms. Thomas, rather than being blinded by your hatred, perhaps you can pay attention for the few minutes while reading this letter to pick up on the facts about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that have eluded you in your decades of “reporting.”

William Sullivan

As published on The Jerusalem Post:

By Yoram Dori

Dear Ms. Thomas, I read on numerous Web sites the remarks attributed to you (and I did not see any denial) that we, the Jews must “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home” to Germany or Poland. I am convinced that you are aware of the events which took place during the years 1939-1945 but, to be certain, I think it appropriate to tell you a little about my parents and their families.

My mother was sent to Palestine from Germany in 1933 with the rise of the Nazis to power by her farseeing parents. The British blockade, which prevented Jews fleeing the Nazi horrors from entering, made it difficult for her and only the pretext of coming on a tourist visit enabled her to enter and remain alive. Her older sister, Sarah, her husband and three children aged 12, 10 and seven did not succeed in finding a way of coming to Palestine and were sent by the Nazis to Poland and from there, their journey to the Auschwitz gas chambers, was short. I understand that it is there that you wish to send me.

My father, who lived in Austria, also showed resourcefulness and immediately on the German invasion and sailed to Palestine. On the way – again the British blockade – he was forced to throw his passport into the sea so that, heaven forbid, they would not send him back to Austria, another country you wished I was moving to. His older brother and his wife, who did not go with him, were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.

My parents, who, as mentioned, with lifesaving initiative, fled from Europe before they were murdered, arrived in a desolated and barren country, worked in orchards, barely supported themselves and, by the way, were happy with their lot. In 1947 upon hearing of the UN resolution on the partitioning of the country, they danced in the streets, even though most of the area of Israel was torn from its sovereignty. For brands who survived the fire, it was enough.

The Palestinians and Arab countries, who gained most of the area, refused to accept the UN resolution and began a war to annihilate us. Only three years had passed since the liberation of Auschwitz and again we – the Jews – faced the danger of annihilation. To our joy, 600,000 Jews were victorious over millions of armed Arabs. It appears that justice has power and strength of its own.

IN THE 62 years of our existence, we have had seven wars, thousands of terror attacks, buses which have exploded in streets, firing into schools, mortars fired on kindergartens. Yet you wish to exile us back to the inferno, as if nothing happened 65 years ago in Europe, as if our hands have not been stretched out for peace since the establishment of the state?

We were victorious in the wars imposed upon us by Egypt and we signed a peace agreement with it after yielding all the territory and all the oil. We signed a peace agreement with Jordan. We yielded all the territory and much water. We withdrew from Lebanon to the international border and, in return, we received Hizbullah katyushas on our citizens. We left Gaza and in return, we received massive firing on our citizens in the South. Are you aware, Ms. Thomas, that many children from Sderot and the area around Gaza wet their beds until a late age out of fear of the Hamas missiles? And it is us that you wish to exile? Why? Because you think that we are weak or because it annoys you that we are not defeated?

As someone, who throughout his adult life has been a member of the Israeli “peace camp,” notwithstanding you and your strange and angering views, my friends and I (and I hope also my government) will continue to turn over every stone and scour every corner to attain peace. Peace, which will enable us to the smallest extent to live and our neighbors, the Palestinians, to establish a country and to flourish and prosper. To achieve this, we are prepared to make great concessions, to give back all the territories gained as a result of wars which our neighbors forced on us. There is only one thing we want in return – life. A quiet life, a life without terror, a life without missiles, a life like the one you have in Washington and which I, in Israel, also deserve.

Original article found here: