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The Martyring of Che Guevara

Posted on Oct 9, 2007
Viva Che
AP photo / Javier Galeano

Viva Che!  Guevara’s admirers in Santa Clara, Cuba, mark the Oct. 8 anniversary of his death.

By Robert Scheer

The 40th anniversary of the death of Che Guevara elicited considerable media attention, mostly about his iconic image captured on T-shirts throughout the world. There were the standard snarky asides that many young people wearing those T-shirts have scant notion of who Che was, but the journalists reporting the story seemed equally ignorant. Little was reported about Che’s life and what led him to shun the comforts of a physician’s lifestyle in Argentina to fight as a revolutionary in the rugged terrains of Cuba, the Congo and, finally, Bolivia—or why someone who claimed to be obsessed with helping the world’s poor was executed, gangland style, on the order of a CIA agent.

One exception was the BBC, which bothered to send a reporter to Florida to interview Felix Rodriguez, the Cuban-born CIA agent who was part of a team of CIA operatives and Bolivian soldiers who captured Che. “Mr. Rodriguez ordered the soldier who pulled the trigger to aim carefully, to remain consistent with the Bolivian government’s story that Che had been killed in action in a clash with the Bolivian army,” said the BBC report. Che’s hands were then cut off and put in formaldehyde to preserve his fingerprints.

In his interview with the BBC, Rodriguez claimed that the order to kill Che came from the Bolivian government, and that he went along: “I could have tried to falsify the command to the troops, and got Che to Panama as the U.S. government said they wanted,” he recalled, but he didn’t. Clearly, the U.S. government was not unhappy with Rodriguez’s role in the bloody affair, for he went on, as he boasts, to train the Nicaraguan Contras and advise the repressive Argentine military government in the 1980s. He showed the BBC reporter his CIA medal for exceptional service along with a picture of him with the first President Bush in the White House. George H.W. Bush, it should be remembered, had been the head of the CIA during some of the years that Rodriguez worked there and was not put off by the man’s past deeds, including his part in Che’s assassination.

So, what’s the big deal? Che was a Cuban Communist, and it’s a good thing that folks like Bush and Rodriguez were able to defeat him before he spread his evil message further—right? False, on every count.

First off, he was either an Argentine Trotskyite or an anarchist, but Che was not a Communist in what we think of as the heavily entrenched, bureaucratized Cuban mold. Che was restless in post-revolutionary Cuba because his anarchist temperament caused him to bristle at the emerging bureaucracy. He was, like Trotsky in his dispute with Stalin, skeptical that the kind of socialism that truly served the poor could survive in just one country; hence, he died attempting to internationalize the struggle.


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It also turned out that killing Che was a big mistake, as his message was spread more effectively by his execution than by his guerrilla activities, which were, after he left Cuba, quite pathetic. This is the case in Latin America, where political leaders he helped inspire are faring better than those coddled by the CIA. Daniel Ortega, whom the CIA worked so doggedly to overthrow, is the elected president of Nicaragua. Almost all of Latin America’s leaders are leftists, some more moderate than Che (as in Brazil), and others as fiery as the guerrilla (in Venezuela), but all determinedly independent of yanqui control. Fortunately, they differ from Che in preferring the ballot to the gun. But all recognize that poverty remains the region’s No. 1 problem and that the free-market model imposed by the United States hardly contains all the answers. Recall that the U.S. break with the Cuban revolution came before Castro’s turn toward the Soviets, and that it was over his nationalization of American-owned business assets in Cuba ranging from Mafia-run casinos to the electric power grid.

These days, few politicians in the United States even seem to care about the subversive Cuban influences in our own backyard that once haunted them. The embargo on Cuba remains to mollify Florida’s aging Cuban community, but what’s important to Washington today is Mideast oil, not protecting the peasants of Bolivia from the likes of Che Guevara.

On Monday, Che’s death was marked, in the Bolivian village where he was killed, by Bolivian President Evo Morales, who proclaimed his movement “100 percent Guevarist and socialist,” which hardly registers as a propaganda success story for those favoring CIA assassinations. They turned a failed—and flawed—guerrilla fighter into an enduring symbol of resistance to oppression.

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By Dan Druck, June 17, 2009 at 6:56 am Link to this comment

Micheal Shaw,

You have made accusations against me in the comments here which I stumbled upon by accident. 

You attempt to paint me as some extremist and allude to nefarious ties with undesirables and wackos.  Having an associate who knows someone who attends some meeting where some wacko also attends is a cheap and lame attempt at smearing my good name.

I am a decorated veteran of the USAF, a father and self-made business man.  As a Constitutionist, I have fought hard to wake people up to the federal government’s gross usurpations of our Supreme Law.  I’ve organized people nationally to preview pending legislation and, when unconstitutional components are identified, organize phone blitzes to our elected public servants.  I’ve run for Congress twice because I care about my country.  If that makes me an extremist, then I wear the label proudly.

I am not a product of, beholding to, funded by, or connected to ANYONE!!  You’d do well to refrain from making false and leading accusations about people because you don’t know what you’re talking about.  If you have a particular issue with me, what I said, wrote, or done, then give some specifics.  Otherwise, shut your pie hole.

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By cann4ing, October 23, 2007 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

Michael Shaw—John Dean describes himself as a conservative.  His book, “Conservatives without conscience” is devoted to demonstrating the authoritarian mindset of the hard-right movement which makes them a far cry from what is understood as a traditional conservative.  Dean’s thesis is heavily inflienced by the work of Bob Altemeyer regarding what Altemeyer described as “right-wing authoritarians, who tend to be fundamentalists, accept authority definitions of right and wrong and reject moral relativism.  The right-wing authoritarians travel in a tight circle of like minded people and display an inability to exercise independent judgment. 

The problem with Dean’s analysis, aside from the misnomer of labeling these people “conservatives without conscience” is that Dean takes far too seriously the question of whether there can “really be fascist people in a Democracy?” 

I regard the question as silly, even trite.  The Nazi rise to power began during the Weimar Republic with the Nazis first securing seats in the Reichstag, followed by Hitler’s ascension to Reich Chancellor.  Germany held elections even after the death of Von Hindenburg.  The better question is how long a democracy can survive when fascists bent on its destruction rise to the highest levels of power?

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By Michael Shaw, October 23, 2007 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

107933 Right on Earnest! To me neo-conservatism is exactly the same as neo-liberalism. Look at kooks like Horowitz. This guy’s been bouncing from extreme left to extreme right for decades. The key of course is extreme and as you say, what it all really boils down to is fascism.

Glad you mentioned John Dean too. He has become a useful ally in that he is no liberal, nor ever has been, making it very difficult for this current group of right wing radicals to argue around him. They call him a traitor for giving up Nixon when the guy actually fulfilled his sworn oath to defend the US Constitution. He has done much to weaken Bush and company and the more people like him who come forth, the weaker these fascist freaks will become.

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By cann4ing, October 17, 2007 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment

Right you are Michael.  That is why sometimes I think the word neoconservative is a misnomer.  They are not conservatives—not even “conservatives without conscience,” which is how John Dean describes them in his book by that title.  They may have long ago captured the Republican Party but the word Republican doesn’t begin to capture their essense.  How can you apply the word “Republican” to people who are bent on overthrowing the Republic and replacing it with a totalitarian police state?  The people who fought Franco’s fascists in Spain were the Republicans—the defenders of the democratic Republic of Spain.  Even words like “hard-right” do not fully describe them.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Addington, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh are fascists—American fascists to be exact.  In the case of our president, we deal with a third generation fascist—what with his paternal grandfather Prescott having been involved in a fascist plot to overthrow Roosevelt in the thirties, a man who acted as a financier for Nazi Germany even while we were at war.

Perhaps we progressives would do well to stop the relatively polite references to these sociopaths as Republicans or even neoconservatives.  We should use the appropriate label that accurately describes what they are—fascists, plain and simple.

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By Michael Shaw, October 17, 2007 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment

I remember reading about the 14 points of fascism, an in depth 20 year study of all fascist regimes. By every account Bush fits the bill. There is not one point he has avoided.

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By mdruss42, October 17, 2007 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

Ernest, I do believe you have less faith in our fellow citizens than I and I very much fear we are correct. I truly do not see a way back, given the mindset of the population.

Going to Nicaragua for a week, so you guys have fun while I am gone. Have to start looking for a way to go to the US other than by flying.

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By cann4ing, October 17, 2007 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

On compromise and parallels to Nazi Germany.  Feb. 27, 1933 was the Weimar Republic’s 9/11.  That was the day Marinus van der Lubbe set fire to the Reichstag.  Caught in the act, van der Lubbe was quested by Rudolf Diels, the non-Nazi head of the Prussian police who determined the fire was the work of a lone, crazed assassin.  With the Reichstag’s main chamber still in flames, Diels was summoned by Goring, Hitler & a group of leading Nazis who had gathered on a Reichstag balcony.  Diels tried to explain but the Nazis wouldn’t hear of it.  They insisted it was part of a Communist uprising, Hitler noting:  “There will be no more mercy now; anyone who stands in our way will be butchered.”

As noted by Richard Evans in “The Coming of the Third Reich,” Hitler leaped at the opportunity, convincing the non-Nazi members of his cabinet that “the psyuchologcally correct moment for the confrontation has now arrived.”  Goring, being a bit less subtle than was the Bush administration when it linked Saddam and 9/11, falsely claimed van der Lubbe had been seen with leading Communists.  All but one minister were persuaded to agree to a decree which suspended key articles of the Weimar constitution “particularly those governing freedom of expression…press…and assembly….It allowed police to detain people in protective custody indefinitely and without a court order, in strict contrast to previous laws, which had set strict time limits before judicial intervention occurred.”  (Sound familiar?).  Hindenberg signed the decree even though it ceded major portions of his power to Hitler.

There are stark parallels not only in the manner in which the Bush regime seized 9/11 as the “pscyhologically correct moment” but in the way in their use of democratic institutions to destroy the fabric of democracy has been facilitated by a failure of democracy to recognize the danger.  In “The Great Unraveling,” Paul Krugman quotes from Henry Kissinger’s doctoral thesis on revolutionary powers:  “Those who warn against the danger in time are considered alarmists; those who counsel adaptation to circumstance are considered sane and balanced….”  Krugman added this “sent a chill down [his] spine because it explains so well the otherwise baffling process by which the administration has been able to push radical policies through, with little scrutiny or effective opposition.”

The Bush/Cheney regime is a “revolutionary power” which no more accepts the validity of American Constitutional democracy than Hitler accepted the validity of the Weimar Republic.  They have ascended to power in order to destroy it.  We bump along thinking all will be well in 2009 not considering that executive orders are now in place that portend to future suspensions of elections, marshall law and a totalitarian state with surveillance capabilities far beyond the Nazi imaginations.  Yet the Nancy “Impeachment is off the table” Pelosi is seen as the pragmatist.

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By mdruss42, October 16, 2007 at 11:38 pm Link to this comment

More the Aristo’s Club, the English meaning of “Gentleman” as an Aristrocrat and above and oblivious to the “rabble”.

Christie, I tend to go along with Jim Hightower about the middle of the road…..yellow lines and dead armadillos.

But I do have a copy of Klein’s book coming to me. I am in Costa Rica so cannot run down to the B&N;.

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By Christie, October 16, 2007 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment

Wolfe’s book is a documenting of the erosion of our rights and comparison to past regimes which turned into police states. She wisely, and astutely does not say that we are “just like” the Nazi regeme, for example, since we are not- but she does point out some commonalities. It’s very short, and she is a good writer, so it is easy to get through (despite the crying it might provoke).

(I am not overfond of Naomi Klein, by the way, as I find her ideas to be revisionist at best. The thrust of her argument seems to be the adoption of the “third way”- a sort of hybrid between capitalism and socialism. Going by the recent lessons of history- particularly in Germany, where the SPD and the CDP ( socialist democratic party and christian democratic party) had a coalition government under which we saw the largest cuts to social programs and a rise in the nationalist right, I would say that the middle road is not advisable. We are seeing something similar in France now as well.It is not promising. The reasons are that capitalism is inherently a nationalist thing, which precludes peaceful globalization, and that the interests of capitalism are in direct contract to the interests of socialism. In any event, though she is a fiery speaker, I think she idealizes Lula, among others.)

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By Michael Shaw, October 16, 2007 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment

105712 I apologize Miriam. I see that in your gentleman’s agreement commentary you were referring to the political boys club rather than Ernest’s neutral olive branch.

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By Michael Shaw, October 16, 2007 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

Christie you are again correct. The lose of liberty has been a deliberately slow and subtle process, up until Bush that is. I have been so centered upon him and all he does that at times I forget much of what’s going on here has been an accumulation. I am praying he and the neocons are defeated but realize just as Nadine Strossen once told me, the fight to preserve liberty is an unending process.

As for going about the same goals in different ways, that’s democracy in action. The fact we are not entirely in lockstep, yet share the same basic ideals is not that much different from the bickering of the forefathers. It is not the difference in thought that endangers us but whether we tolerate those differences.

Tell me more of Naomi Wolfe. I’ve been delving into Naomi Klein myself.

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By Christie, October 16, 2007 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

107644- Michael, yes that is worrisome, to put it lightly. Developments such as Blackwater, however, point up not the strength, but the weakness in a government. Fear is what builds mercenary armies.

You might like Naomi Wolfe’s new book, The End of America. While I do not agree with her conclusions as far as action goes, I do appreciate her enumerating the clamping down on freedoms which we have seen in the last few decades (it does, you know, start before the current administration).

In any event, it is clear that the current system of imperialist domination of resources, backed up by military might is not a stable, nor can it be a lasting condition. It will get very bad - already is- but it is not sustainable. (Here I am resisting a tirade against the evils of capitalism, so I think I deserve some high marks for restraint!)

I am glad that we at least agree that change is necessary, though I realize that, based on our fundamental outlooks, we might disagree on the methods and ultimate form that change should take. Still, it is good to see someone thinking critically about it.

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By Michael Shaw, October 16, 2007 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

107573 Christie I understand what you’re saying. It was the isolation plus the brutal restrictions as being all they knew and of course the Czars wanting to keep it that way. The real scary part is that any nation can become oppressive. We have witnessed the beginnings of it right here in the US. There does seem to be a trend in dumbing down the populace by making education harder to achieve for those without money. The fact our government is so powerful is what really makes things scary in that if there ever were a revolution, it would be easily crushed. How could a new army defeat such a high tech establishment? Without satellite technology, radar and aircraft it wouldn’t stand a chance. Privatizing the military makes the prospects even worse. Once its completely privatized there will be no enlisted men ready to come to the aid of their families as they did in Russia when the crew of the Potemkin stormed the Winter Palace. Only hired thugs would be there, armed and ready to protect the upper echelons and slaughter us indiscriminantly.

As for your newsletter, I’d like to see it. Thanks!

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By Christie, October 16, 2007 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

107520- Well, Michael, there is a lot more going on than directly affects you or me these days, yes? I mean, I daresay neither of us has yet been extraordinarilly renditioned, nor have we (likely) been held without charges pressed against us. However, we *know* such things are happening, and we have something against which to compare it (The Constitution), so we know that, even under the laws of the country producing such atrocities, it is not legal.

Russia at the time of the October Revolution had, as you said, a long long history of oppression. It also had, largely, no idea that another way of life was possible. Even among backward countries, the citizens were backward (cf the literacy rates). Not through their own fault, mind you. They also had to contend with political repression on a rather vicious scale (Lenin’s brother, for example, and as an example to those who would follow, was executed for political activity. He was far from the only one). But once the cracks started showing, things fell apart rather quickly (though not overnight- let us not forget the 1905 Revolution and the Menshevick February 1917 Revolution- both of which failed for a very simple reason which is that they were not prepared to *re-build*, and had no clear, stable theory from which they were working).

It is unique in that it did not follow the “accepted” revolutionary path- First you overthrow the king and install a bourgoise (middle class) ruling class (as we had in the States, and as France also had to an extent). Second you have a Workers’ Revolution. No, it was realised by the Bolsheviks (Lenin, Trotsky) that this was not necessary - that to skip the first and go straight for the Workers’ Revolution was the only way to really do it. And they did. (Which is why they overthrew the February Revolution with the October one, in a nutshell.)

But when it comes to what will be put up with- yes, quite a lot. Revolution is no small undertaking, and people are all too often willing to wait and see if things will change with the next administration, or whathave. *I* think it clear that the next administration, as with the Democrats in Congress now, offer no such hope. That, however, is a whole other topic, and you may subscribe to my newsletter if you want to hear more wink .

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By Michael Shaw, October 16, 2007 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

107512 Actually Miriam, Jefferson released only 5 of his slaves. His wishes however were to release all of them once he was free of debt. That day never came. Only his most loyal servants, upon his death were released. The rest were sold to pay off his creditors.

Also what Ernest has suggested is not what I would necessarily call a gentleman’s agreement but simply being rational. We can defend or criticize the forefathers all we wish but they were but the beginning of the great experiment. It is up to the rest of us to carry on and make things better, then pass the torch to the next generations by giving them the same opportunities.

Also one other point in mind. Had the United States never existed would all of the evils of the world stopped existing as well? I think not. I also think most of the world would have probably been monarchical as it was prior to the American Revolution.

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By mdruss42, October 16, 2007 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

You are, correct, Ernest.

I would like to see a return to the promise, but do not expect to see it till we understand fully what the obstacles are, and even then it will be difficult to remove power from the corporation.

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By Michael Shaw, October 16, 2007 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

107451 Christie I am in complete agreement. Oppression leads to revolution. What is interesting though is how much oppression people put up with before they act and particularly when we look at Russia. The American revolutionaries never had to contend with what those folks did. The centuries of serfdom they endured and finally it taking a world war to anger the masses enough to take that step. Yes we had indentured servants and even slaves but never did we endure the hardships of the Russians.

I’m glad you brought up the dems wanting to stay in Iraq till 2013. Actually that is Hilary’s idea. Makes me wonder if she will hold on the the extreme rendition which started with her husband and what Bush uses so readily in his war on terror.

As for Iran, one point of interest is Putin. He is getting tough and frankly if numb nuts hits Iran we’re liable to see WW3. I think the Russians have had enough oppression, in fact about 600 years of it and they are not about to stand down to a punk like George W. Bush. They after all had Stalingrad while Bush had Kennebunkport.

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By Michael Shaw, October 16, 2007 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

107510 Good points Ernest(as always) and I am in full agreement.

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By mdruss42, October 16, 2007 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

Gentleman’s Agreement, Go Along To Get Along, You Scratch My Back and I’ll Scratch Yours…....

June 20: With his plan under heavy attack in Congress, Hamilton dines at the New York home of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and there strikes a deal with Madison which will ensure Virginia’s support for federal assumption of state debts in exchange for Hamilton’s agreement to encourage northern members of Congress to move the nation’s capital to Philadelphia for 10 years, and then to a Southern site on the banks of the Potomac River.

Hamilton’s next milestone report was his “Report on Manufactures.” Congress shelved the report without much debate, except for Madison’s objection to Hamilton’s formulation of the General Welfare clause, which Hamilton construed liberally. Nevertheless, The Report on Manufactures is a classic document heralding the industrial future America would soon inhabit. In it Hamilton counters Jefferson’s vision of an Agrarian American nation of farmers and gives a clear vision for a dynamic industrial economy, subservient to manufacturing interests.

A standing army, (as Madwoman Halfbright said, “Why have that wonderful military and not use it?”), SUBSERVIENT to manufacturing intrests!

Sounds to me like the man would be right at home with the Bushes if their manners were refined a bit….after all, He was a wannabe aristro so I expect his manners were very good as is the case when one is wanting very badly to join a clique one apes their manners and manner of speaking and thinking.

I will make you a bet that the manners in the inner circles of government have changed considerably in the last 6 years.

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By cann4ing, October 16, 2007 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Miriam and Michael:  I have watched from a distance the intriguing dialectic amongst yourselves regarding the qualities and short comings of one Thomas Jefferson, Third President of these United States.  It is fair to say that Jefferson, like so many of us, did not live up to the ideals embodied in perhaps one of the history’s most profound egalitarian statements he authored, the Declaration of Independence.  While Miriam is correct in noting that we should not look back through an idyllic lens, ignoring the hypocrisy of a slave owner, Michael is also correct in focusing on the unfulfilled, egalitarian “promise” that is the embodiment of our common understanding of Jeffersonian democracy.  It is that unfulfilled promise we should all be pursuing as we seek to counter the anti-egalitarian madness of the 21st Century American hard-right.

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By mdruss42, October 16, 2007 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

In his lifetime Jefferson owned hundreds, maybe thousands as he owned as many as 200 at a time, but regularly sold off people when he needed the money, and never freed but 7 slaves/people, 2 while he was alive and his children AFTER HE WAS DEAD!

He only owned slaves/people because he needed the money like the corporations only have us pay the bill for their looting of other countries and killing the citizens because they need the money to keep their game going.

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By Michael Shaw, October 16, 2007 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

Hamilton was a paranoid who feared anarchy where as Jefferson once said he was not in favor of a very energetic government. They were polar opposites. I fail to see where Jefferson caved in to Hamilton. In fact ultimately Jefferson’s(Madison’s) papers were adopted as opposed to Hamilton’s federalist papers. Also it does not seem strange that two opposites would actually be the ones to form a two party system. Both fought in the revolution and both supported ratification of the new federal constitution though both also felt it needed improvement. Of course when it came to trade with te mother country, Jefferson and Madison opposed it whereby Hamilton and Washington supported it. I believe in this case Hamilton was right though I can understand Jefferson’s reasoning. Also Hamilton and his federalists actually helped Jefferson to be elected president, considering him the lesser of two evils.  The major evil of course being none other than Arron Burr.

Shay’s rebellion is one point of interest. Jefferson didn’t see it as a big deal whereas Hamilton the reactionary said the people are turbulent and changing and seldom judge or determine right. In fact much of what began with these two men is still unresolved to this day. An example lies in the first amendment which allows free speech but also allows a free press to manipulate the political process. Some might call this a trap. I call it freedom.

I also call it the ying and yang of democracy. There were no winners or losers here. I see this ying and yang struggle to this day. I will admit that in more contemporary times Hamilton’s philosophy seems to hold precedent. However, were he alive today even Hamilton would be appalled with what Bush has done to the constitution.

Your summations concerning Jefferson and slavery are not entirely complete. Indeed Jefferson was a man of his times. Much of the reasons he had slaves in the first place was because of his accumulative debt. He also at one point did in fact fear slaves and believed it nearly impossible to integrate them into society. However he later changed his mind and did much to put an end to it.  It is true he owned numerous slaves, however during his long career in public office, Jefferson attempted numerous times to abolish or limit the advance of slavery. In 1796 while in the House of Burgesses he proposed to that body to emancipate slaves in Virginia, but that proposal was shot down. In the first draft to the declaration of Independence Jefferson condemned the royal crown for bringing slavery to the new world. This language was dropped however by the delegates of Georgia and South Carolina. In 1778 Jefferson helped pass a bill that prevented the import of slaves to Virginia. He drafted the Northwest Ordinance which forbade slavery and forced servitude. In 1807 he signed a bill abolishing the slave trade.

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By Christie, October 16, 2007 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

M Shaw- History has patterns. And if you oppress to hard, people will finally stand up. Trotsky said (I paraphrase, because I do not have the book to hand) that the mind is a very conservative thing, changing only when objective forces make it impossible not to change.

It’s true, one can see when looking at history (even in looking at one’s own personal history)- we are seeing it today- between the last election, where the Democratic Party was seen as the last great hope for ending the war, and today, where we have their repeated history of funding the war and declaring that the war will last at least until 2013. (And one of the Democratic party front runners declaring that Iran is a terrible threat, and many of them voting to declare the Iranian Army a terrorist organization, which neatly paves the way to further invasion.) People now are not so sure, to say the least. But it took a lot for people to start considering this.

Things do change, people do wake up. I doubt any one of us can find a perfect hero- someone without blemish who always made the right decision, did the right thing *as seen from our advanced point of view*. It is our duty to face the facts and do the right thing. It is also very possible that we will fail on some accounts and be judged harshly in the future. One hopes to do enough right as to tip the balance away from villain, eh?

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By mdruss42, October 16, 2007 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

Eventhough Jefferson thought he envisioned a different circumstance than did Alexander Hamilton whose vision is alive today, he backed off and allowed his ideas to be first diluted and then changed as far as the man in the street was concerned because it was an agreement AMONG GENTLEMEN and, as such, did not involve the man in the street any more that did the building and shaping of the government for the future. This, and his living one life and “envisioning” another when the freeing of his slaves was something he could have done (and, no, the old “he was a man of his time” will not wash, as there were many against slavery, but they were not in the “aristocracy”)but did not do as it would have affected his position.

And I did not even address the position, or lack thereof, of the other half of humanity, and I might add, arguably, the most important half, the control of whom, was absolutely necessary to build the society envisioned by these rich white men.

So, the man was suffering from the same moral depravity that has been sold to the citizens of the country he helped build “GO ALONG TO GET ALONG”. THE SEEDS WERE THERE, it was a cabal of rich white men who designed a system for rich white men. There was no place for men of any other color or social status except as they had value to the rulers as workers or farmers or enablers of one stamp or another, which left the native peoples out for starters as they were in the way and were not going to be workers or enablers of any kind, so the answer was to exterminate. The beginning of this country was a resource war to the death and the entire history has followed suit. The seeds were there.


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By Michael Shaw, October 15, 2007 at 11:47 pm Link to this comment

107374 Christie, Great post! Please refer to my previous post to Miriam(who also had a great post) 397390

What we’re talking about here is causality. Cause and effect. Though the environments are different and there are always radical tangents(chaos), the rules generally remain the same. This is how I account for your “results were different yet in” commentary. Of course like a slap in the face, there is generally found the same old sets in human reaction. In the most general sense it boils down to treating others as you would have them treat you. That is one thing with little doubt that all people have in common, regardless of their respective environs. Of course then again it depends on how hard the slap is, how much damage it causes, who is administering it and whether people might even enjoy that slap or not. Cause and effect mixed in chaos and you have the human animal, the most and least predictable creature on the planet.

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By Michael Shaw, October 15, 2007 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment


For conversation sake I’ll admit I’ve been playing a bit of the devil’s advocate, but I never said Jefferson was a saint Miriam. In fact I’ve never met a saint, even when I look in the mirror.(Well maybe then!:) I would add however that he was not a devil either and perhaps the greatest of all of the forefathers, defects and all. He even saved our national archives by replacing the books burned by the British in the war of 1812 with his own personal library. He had a great love of country and I most certainly do consider him one of America’s greatest heroes. The fact is he was!

We must also realize the time frame. The mindset was completely different then. We were a small and vulnerable country taking its first steps. Expansion was a necessity to our own defense(and a growing population). We should certainly not be proud of what we did to Native Americans. That said, of all the colonial powers, France, Spain and Portugal were by far the grandest culprits when it came to exterminating indigenous peoples. They also threatened our sovereignty along with Britain.

As for your statements pertaining to the civil war, I have to disagree. Although it is true that war was fought for the most part over taxation and the rights of states, to say that war was unnecessary is at best speculative and at worse a misnomer. Slavery may have been on the back burners but it wouldn’t have remained there forever. It was the beginning at least in recognizing that all peoples who lived under this flag were to be treated equally and granted the same inalienable rights. Though the battle continues, for the most part it has in fact been realized.

As for Lincoln, you are painting him as a tyrant whose only role was to make the railroads rich. The fact Lincoln needed the railroads to transport troops and supplies to preserve the union is not even implicated! Neither is the significance of Emancipation Proclamation or the fact Lincoln was the last casualties of the war! Another little known fact was that as a child he had a head injury causing partial brain damage. Add that to a crazy wife and the loss of a son and you have the makings of a real heart felt tragedy and also an example in great courage and perseverance. Still he prevailed in preserving the union, even though Britain at the time was financing the south and hoping for a stalemate to enable their grand ambition to reconquer its now richer and larger former colony.

Also most of the blacks were killed generally by the confederates and while in the blue uniform. The only real killings of blacks by northerners took place in NYC during the great city riots, where many were attacked and some even lynched. Troops fresh from Gettysburg later came in to quell the rebellion, shooting down men, women and children, many of whom in fact were not even rioting. That of course came as a result in the negligence of the poor and the rich buying their way out of the draft, then corporations hiring the newly immigrated blacks at the cost of jobs to the mostly Irish and English population. This was the time of the 5 points gangs and the “poor unfortunates’, the children left to starve on the streets as urchins because their families couldn’t afford to feed them.

Had the wealthy landowners of the south given up slavery and had Lincoln presented a fairer tax plan, it is true the war might never have happened. But the fact is neither side was willing to budge. This is why it is so much better to learn from history as it happened rather than to second guess it. Habeas corpus or not,and right or wrong, Lincoln preserved the union and that ultimately led to our nation’s survival. 

Lincoln was not my favorite president and in fact for me there aren’t too many favorites, but I do see him as a great president at a time this nation needed one most. Unfortunately and in Bush’s case I see the opposite. In these two men there is no viable comparison. The same is true regarding the forefathers.

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By Christie, October 15, 2007 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

107191- “So, when I say that if you compare the resulting societies of the American Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Cuban Revolution, it is plain that the seeds of the results were different and in at the beginning.”

The revolutions you cite took place in very different times and places, with each studying to some degree those which went before. (The French studied the America, the Russian the French, and Castro to a degree the Russian.) The circumstances of the resulting societies do not happen in a vacuum, however, which is often a point that is lost. In each case, conscious of it or not, the society is made of elements of what was overthrown. There is no such thing as a “clean slate”.

So, if you study the first five years after the Russian Revolution, for example, you see a very concerted efort to rebuild. You also saw, in one of the most backward countries of Europe/Asia, a stunning leap in growth- for example, going from roughly 5% literacy to about 95%. It is interesting to think what would have happened if Lenin had not died and Trotsky been exiled and then killed (because he was the leader of the Left Opposition). Certainly, after War Communism (necessitated by the Civil War) had ended (which it was clearly intended to do) and things had been allowed to settle, it would have been, if not perfect, at least very different than what it became.

(Think of that the next time you hear Bush or his fellow-travellers decry funding education as “too expensive”. If Russia could do it in not only the immediate aftermath, but in the middle of a civil war (funded in large part by the imperialist powers of Europe), then what’s our excuse?)

After the French Revolution you had a serious situation which very rapidly devolved. About the only good thing to come out of it (not that it’s a small thing, mind you) was the getting rid of the royals. Still, the place was not doing so well.

Cuba’s revolution happened at a time and in a place which was very much caught up in the capitalist system (ie, its markets and resources had been effectively captured by US companies). Their ousting of these companies was stunning, considering the forces arrayed against them. But, given the times (which we are still in, really) of superpowers and cold war, there was not room for a truly socialist country so close to the US, and certainly not with the exploitable resources it had. This lead to a begnign dictatorship. I actually do think Castro has the best interests of his citizens at heart, and has for at least most of the time.

In other, shorter, words- yes, the seeds and the fruits were very different.

A word about the Founding Fathers. Looking at the time in which they lived (Enlightenment), and especially the class they mostly came from, they acomplished something pretty darned egalitarian. Not perfect, but with the acknowledgement of that - “in order to form a *more perfect* union…” Meaning they knew there was work to be done. We can fault them now with not seeing the value in immediate equality, but given the time they inhabited that would have been quite the leap indeed. NOW it would be unforgivable, but that’s because we have made huge strides in society that we cannot imagine being unmade- or having never been made. At their time the King Was King, and Everyone Knew Their Place. Society was viewed before that as static. They injected the idea of social maleability into things which had not existed before.

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By mdruss42, October 15, 2007 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment

Thomas Jefferson, though a brilliant man, was not a candidate for canonization….this from Greg Warnusz…

But at the same time this writer is drawn to the conclusion that Jefferson didn’t think the American experiment was robust enough to support a multi-racial society. And too much was at stake. Providence had placed the Indians here first, then led the English hither. This may be what made Jefferson speak with forked tongue about the red people; praising them and their potential for membership in republican society, while dealing them out of their lands. Providence had had no part in the arrival of the Africans. And nature—whether Jefferson’s science proved it or not, he believed it—had ordained insurmountable and unmixable differences between the black and white races. Jefferson could be inconsistent in attributing some conditions among the blacks to nature, and some to the conditions imposed on them. Consider his notion that the improvement shown by blacks upon their “mixture” [miscegenation] with whites proved it was nature, not environment, that rendered unmixed blacks inferior. But he could attribute to them no deficiency of moral sense. He could be similarly inconsistent about the Indians

He really did mean white men of property…..would like to have it different, but really did not believe in a mulitcultural society being a possibility. Remember, while he was president the indians were being displaced and murdered, and he made no move to change it. In fact, he bought the Louisana Territory from France and started making plans to take more Indian land and lives.

In fact he never even frees any of his own slaves, with the exception of Heming’s children. He has no serious qualms about selling slaves, provided he can justify the action as necessary to preserve his estate.

Jefferson speaks constantly about reform, but he himself refuses to risk his social status in order to bring it about. He made the choice of living, and, for a time, thriving on slave labor, priding himself on his benevolent treatment of blacks during times of wealth and selling them off like cattle during times of financial strain

Sorry, Michael, this is not the portrait of someone we would want our children to emulate.

The history is also one to give pause to any country or society being encouraged, by whatever means, to do as we say we do…...not as we really do.

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By Michael Shaw, October 15, 2007 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment


My argument to that would be to compare those stats with those of any other nation. I’m not disagreeing with you entirely Miriam. In fact I do realize that many of the forefathers, including John Adams, wanted to establish a new monarchy. But Washington, then the country’s richest landowner and the guy who put up his entire fortune to finance the revolution, said no. Others like Jefferson demanded a Bill of Rights and particularly a separation of church and state. He also proposed a 13th amendment that would have limited the power of corporations and banned monopolies but lost that battle since at the time the argument against it proclaimed most states already had similar laws in their own respective constitutions. Well we’ve seen what’s happened to that. The infamous Santa Clara vs the Union Pacific Railroad led us down to a prefabricated lie which has remained virtually unchallenged from the McKinley Era to this day. As you’ll recall the lie was perpetuated by using of all things, the 14th amendment, enabling the robber barons to proclaim that corporations were living entities, thus entitled to the same rights as living, breathing persons. They claimed the supreme court gave them those rights which is a baldfaced lie. Though historically stifled by such events as the New Deal, it has once again floated to the surface, reemerging with Reagan and growing rampant under Bush, which comes as no surprise since his brain, “turd blossom” considered the McKinley era his favorite period in US history. I guess they forgot to consider that McKinley was ultimately assassinated. I believe many of the contrived wars we’ve encountered are a direct result of this lie and had Jefferson been alive at the time they would never have gotten away with it. There was a challenge made recently in the state of Pennsylvania. Hopefully this trend will continue. It is up to us to see that it does!

I would also point out that not every war we fought in was unjustifiable. Several in fact were provoked and some simply unavoidable. In my view things really began going downhill with the war with Spain and the ensuing wars that followed it like in Guatemala and the United Fruit company and other such Imperialistic ventures. Wilson’s involving us in Europe’s Imperial War was a travesty. Victoria’s grandchildren all vying for world domination with the human cost in the tens of millions. Of course we also realized the further consequences. First in the Russian Revolution, then the Second World War, then Britain losing its world dominance status and becoming a second rate power. Then the cold war and the near brink to nuclear destruction.

You are right though, some things never change. While the rest of the world suffered, the Duponts, the JP Morgan’s and the Rothschild’s continued to prosper. Krupp’s war machine now sells us coffee makers. When I see how major media has manipulated an entire nation into war, I see a repeat of the sinking of the Maine. Randolf Hearst did as much to involve us in that war as Fox News did in this one.

Still there is little mention of those of us who traditionally oppose these outrages and have done so at great personal risk. The unsung heroes do not often end up in the history books(or the pages of the corporate media), but by all accounts they are the conscience and soul of this nation. Often like the real heroes in any war, they end up left behind on the field of battle either forgotten or chastised just like Adlai Stevenson or Eugene McCarthy.

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By mdruss42, October 15, 2007 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

1775-1783…Rev War; 1798-1800…Quasi War; 1816,,1st Barbary war; 1784-1811 &1815;-1838…Indian Wars; 1812-1815…War of 1812& Creek war; 1815-1838 2nd Barbary War; 1835…Alamo; 1846-48 Mexican Amer War; 1861=65 Civil War; 1898 Spanish/Am War; 1899-1902 Phillippines; Invaded Haiti..1915-1934; Nicaragua..1912 & 1926-33; Cuba…1898-1902; Mexico 1914-1916; Hondorus 6 invasions 1911-25; Panama 1903-1914; Russia 1918-21; China during Boxer Reb.

1907 quote from Woodrow Wilson….
Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer
insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation
must follow him, and the doors of the nations which are closed
against him must be battered down. Concessions obtained by
financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of state, even if the
sovereignty of unwilling nations be outraged in the process.
Colonies must be obtained or planted, in order that no useful
corner of the world may be overlooked or left unused.

Territorial acquisition, as with
Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Panama Canal Zone.

There is nothing truly consensual about government. It is always and everywhere based on force, intimidation, and violence. When the founding generation formed a confederacy with the Articles of Confederation, and later the Constitution, it was at least a voluntary union of the states. The citizens of each state understood that their state, and all others, was free and independent and sovereign. They were free to participate in the union, or not.

The union of the founders was destroyed in 1865. War Crimes Against Southern Civilians explains in great detail how, in addition to killing some 300,000 dissenters to rule by Washington, D.C. on the battlefield, the U.S. Army, under the micromanagement of Abe Lincoln, also murdered tens of thousands of Southern civilians, including thousands of slaves and free blacks, while stealing tens of millions of dollars of their private possessions as well. None of it was necessary, of course, for the purpose of ending slavery; all other countries on earth ended slavery peacefully during the nineteenth century. This included the British, Spanish, French, Dutch, and Danish colonies, where 96 percent of all the slaves in the Western Hemisphere once existed. The purpose of the war was to finally realize the Hamiltonian dream of a consolidated, monopolistic government that would pursue what Hamilton himself called “national greatness” and “imperial glory.” The purpose of the war, in other words, was a New Birth of Empire, one that would hopefully rival the Europeans in the exploitation of their own citizens in the name of the glory of the state. Thomas J DiLorenzo about War Crimes Against Southern Civilians by Walter Brian Cisco.

So, I have to say, it does not look like Reagan and the Bushes did much more than their predessors, they are arrogant enough to brag about it and tell us we can like it or lump it…....and they are right.

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By Michael Shaw, October 15, 2007 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

I’d like to add Miriam the greed that has led us into war after war has plagued not only us but the rest of the entire world. It has been going on since the beginning of the international banking system(and before). To coin a phrase from the Baron De Rothschild, “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws.”

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By Michael Shaw, October 15, 2007 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment

107228 Miriam, regardless of the fact the Forefathers were for the most part property owning, educated individuals, thanks to them most of those who are not wealthy today have been able to become as readily educated. Also some of them actually did come from more humble beginnings like Benjamin Franklin.

Back then for the most part only the privileged had an education. Could back woodsmen have come up with a constitution or a Bill of Rights? I think not! I also think there comes a time when all of us must begin to shed our prejudice and judge people by the content of their character rather than the size of their pocketbook.

FDR was wealthier than Bush, far wealthier and yet he managed to overcome his own status to enact a new deal and a more leveled playing field, something his much poorer and most recent predecessor has done his best to overturn. Just because people happen to have money and an education doesn’t mean they worship the devil. Coming from a humble background myself I can tell you there are poor uneducated people out there who make Bush look like Saint Nicholas.

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By Michael Shaw, October 15, 2007 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

107290 Hey Ernest, when it comes to the emperor having no clothes, there’s one salesman whose out of business!

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By Michael Shaw, October 15, 2007 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment


Well that is because of the unconstitutional presidential privilege act which came with Kennedy and was granted by a republican congress. It began with our quick defense ploy in an age of nuclear threat and cold war. It was later enhanced once Reagan became president, in affect when the cold war ended. If you’ll recall that was when all the chatter of an Imperial Presidency began to emerge. Shortly later came all the scary new world order crap from daddy Bush. He first used his presidential privilege to invade Panama to shake off his wimpy image. Then of course came Desert Storm. Still didn’t work!

Presidential pardons should not be allowed in partisan situations, especially when it concerns his own staff. It opens the door to executive lawlessness which is essentially what we have. Bush took it a step further with Libby. He didn’t pardon him but rather commuted his sentence. Had Libby been pardoned he would not have been able to hide behind the 5th amendment. With the commute he can since he’s already been tried and convicted and under the constitution, to do otherwise would be double jeopardy. This in essence works the same way in the ACLU saving Larry Flint from prison. To save free speech for all, they had to save the pornographer. Civil Laws protect everyone, even the bad guys. In these cases it worked for the bad guys. To abandon it one would have to realize it would hurt everyone, even the good guys.

As for treaties, under the constitution all become the law of the land. Bush broke that law when he disregarded the Geneva Conventions and created a new definition for torture. Preemption also breaks these laws, as Bush did(along with congress) when he invaded Iraq.

As for congress having the power to appropriate and only the president having the power to spend or not, congress can simply not appropriate him funding and what he does after that is meaningless. They also have the same veto powers as the president. The problem of course is political. Especially when you’re nearing an election and your opponent is using the fear card as a weapon.

The president does not have the power to legislate. As we see however Bush found a way to skirt around that. Those signing statements take the cake! That is also against the law. What also takes the cake is that all of these are impeachable offenses but the democrats do not have the 2/3’s necessary(or the balls) to throw him out of office. That is shameful to all of the members of congress who fail to do their duty.

Every president has a right to appoint his own staff.  Granted we have secretaries for everything but peace. Kucinich has the right idea. A department for peace.

Supreme Court Justices should be elected, not appointed. Same for attorney generals!

Executive power as is, is unconstitutional and can only be blamed on congress for allowing it to happen. The answer is to vote them out and support representatives who are in favor of overturning these powers and reestablishing democracy.

The US Constitution, like any piece of legislation is not perfect and the people who work under it and who swear to protect it are even less perfect and occasionally downright criminal. Legal bribery is still bribery. Actual campaign finance reform is paramount! All of it boils down to accountability. Now matter where you are and regardless of the nature of the beast, without accountability you essentially have nothing.

That said, calling Jefferson Orwellian, my God! The man is no doubt rolling in his grave along with most of the rest of the forefathers. He’s the author of the Declaration of Independence and leading force behind the Bill of Rights. An intellectual idealist(though not a Mason), he risked being hanged for his efforts and now he’s Orwellian? I think not! Even the king of England called him a red, a subversive. The reason? Because he was fighting against Orwellian authority, the same kind that is once again rearing it’s ugly head under Bush.

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By cann4ing, October 15, 2007 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

Real persuasive post, John Banks.  Expletives strung between disjointed propaganda about “NPR/commies,”  “terrorists” and “jihad”, illogically tied to a ‘60s revolutionary who was murdered in Bolivia after his capture by soldiers serving a military dictatorship under the direction of the CIA’s Felix Rodriguez. 

Did you erroneously click on the wrong site?  This isn’t a place for mindless, Rush Limbaugh “ditto heads” or the brainwashed automotons whose minds are locked inside the disinformation bubble erected by the Faux News from Fox.  If you want to have an intellectual discussion at a site called “Truth”-dig, best come armed with facts, knowledge and the ability to string a few sentences together without resort to four-letter words.

Mindless mumblings from hard-right “ditto heads” like you are cast aside by intellectuals posting at Truthdig like so much worthless trash.  Most who take the time to engage in intellectual dialogue at Truthdig are only interested in those who are willing to speak “truth” to power, irrespective of which side of the political ledger they come from.

Surely you must realize, John, that most people will never know how badly uninformed you are until you open your mouth.  Try improving on your third-grade education before you come back for more.

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By mdruss42, October 15, 2007 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment


Popular myth aside, the 55 delegates who met in Philadelphia from May to September, 1787 were very ordinary self-serving, privileged, property-owning white men. They weren’t extraordinarily learned, profound in their thinking or in any way special. Only 25 attended college (that was pretty rudimentary at the time), and Washington never got beyond the fifth grade.

And rich white men were going to put together a government to guarantee the rabble like Daniel Shays any “rights”. I do not think so. From my experience, that is not the way it works. And, if they had, the resulting government would have been different…..more what we have always thought it was but has never been.

And what is the result? A country that has been involved in a war every year of its existence, most of them to wrest from someone else what they had that the powers here wanted…starting with the slaughter of the native peoples right on up to Iraq. If the people of the USA actually want to slaughter everyone in the world who has anything of value, then we deserve whatever befalls us for we are evil. If, on the other hand, these piles of bodies and looted societies are, in spite of what the population wants, then I rest my case.

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By mdruss42, October 15, 2007 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

—is commander-in-chief of the military functioning as a virtual dictator in times of war; although Article I, Section 8 grants only Congress that right, the President, in fact, can do it any time he wishes “without consulting anyone” and, of course, has done it many times;

—can grant commutations or pardons except in cases of impeachment;

—can make treaties that become the law of the land, with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the Senate (not ratification as commonly believed); can also terminate treaties with a mere announcement as George Bush did renouncing the important ABM Treaty with the former Soviet Union; in addition, and with no constitutional sanction, he can rule by decree through executive agreements with foreign governments that in some cases are momentous ones like those made at Yalta and Potsdam near the end of WW II. While short of treaties, they then become the law of the land.

—can appoint administration officials, diplomats, federal judges with Senate approval, that’s usually routine, or can fill any vacancy through (Senate) recess appointments; can also discharge any appointed executive official other than judges and statutory administrative officials;

—can veto congressional legislation, and history shows through the book’s publication they’re sustained 96% of the time;

—while Congress alone has appropriating authority, only the President has the power to release funds for spending by the executive branch or not release them;

—Presidents also have a huge bureaucracy at their disposal, including powerful officials like the Secretaries of Defense, State, Treasury, and Homeland Security and the Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department;

—Presidents also command center stage any time they wish. They can request and get national prime time television for any purpose with guaranteed extensive post-appearance coverage promoting his message with nary a disagreement with it on any issue;

—throughout history, going back to George Washington, Presidents have issued Executive Orders (EOs) although the Constitution “nowhere implicitly or explicitly gives a President (the) power (to make) new law” by issuing “one-man, often far-reaching” EOs. However, Presidents have so much power they can do as they wish, only constrained by their own discretion.

—George Bush also usurped “Unitary Executive” power to brazenly and openly declare what this section highlights - that the law is what he says it is. He proved it in six and a half years of subverting congressional legislation through a record-breaking number of unconstitutional “signing statements.” - They rewrote over 1132 law provisions through 147 separate “statements,” more than all previous Presidents combined. Through this practice, George Bush expanded presidential power well beyond the usual practices recounted above.

—Presidents are, in fact, empowered to do almost anything not expressively forbidden in the Constitution, and very little is; more importantly, with a little ingenuity and lots of creative chutzpah, the President “can make almost any (constitutional) text mean whatever (he) wants it to mean” so, in fact, his authority is practically absolute or plenary. And the Supreme Court supports this notion as an “inherent power of sovereignty.” If the US has sovereignty, it has all powers therein, and the President, as the sole executive, can exercise them freely without constitutional authorization or restraint.

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By mdruss42, October 15, 2007 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (Jefferson’s Orwellian language meaning property); establishing justice; upholding the rule of law equitably for everyone; promoting the general welfare; or securing the blessings of freedom for “The People” unconsidered, unimportant and ignored by the three branches of government serving monied and property interests only, of which they are a part.

The Executive Branch

Lundberg’s theme is clear and unequivocal. Under US constitutional law, the President is the most powerful political official on earth, bar none under any other system of government. “The office he holds is inherently imperial,” regardless of the occupant or how he governs, and the Constitution confers this on him. Unlike the British model, with the executive as a collectivity, the US system “is absolutely unique, and dangerously vulnerable” with one man in charge fully able to exploit his position. “The American President (stands) midway between a collective executive and an absolute dictator (and in times of war like now) becomes, in fact, quite constitutionally, a full-fledged dictator.” Disturbingly, the public hasn’t a clue about what’s going on.

A single sentence, easily passed over or misunderstood, constitutes the essence of presidential power. It effectively grants the Executive a near-limitless source, only constrained to the degree he chooses. It’s from Article II, Section 1 reading: “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. Article II, Section 3 then almost nonchalantly adds: “The President shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed” without saying Presidents are virtually empowered to make laws as well as execute them even though nothing in the Constitution specifically permits this practice. More on that below.

To understand how the US government works, it’s essential to know what executive power is, in fact, knowing it’s concentrated in the hands of one man for good or ill. Also crucial is how Presidents are elected - “literally (by) electoral (unelected by the public) dummies” in an Electoral College. The scheme is a long-acknowledged constitutional anomaly as these state bodies are able to subvert the popular vote, never meet or consult like the College of Cardinals electing a Pope, and, in effect, reduce and corrupt the process into a shameless farce.

Once elected, it only gets worse because the power of the presidency is awesome and frightening. The nation’s chief executive:

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By Michael Shaw, October 15, 2007 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

107218 As for the American Revolution, I disagree Miriam. For one thing, our society was essentially created by the new enlightenment, the philosophy of Voltaire and others. It was also developed by the bulk of our forefathers who in fact were free masons. Nowhere in history could you find a society where government was free of religious or monarchical control and all its members were treated as equals under the law. A government of the people and by the people. These ideas are purely masonic. It was the most radical ideology of its day. In fact it is still radical.

Also and although with great effort by Jefferson and others, the articles of confederation were ultimately abandoned and replaced by a constitution with a bill of rights. Arguing over flaws and loopholes might explain why we are in trouble today, but to blame this on the forefathers is simply (at least in my view) unacceptable. Any law written can be twisted to suit a scenario. Bush has found an even better way by simply ignoring them under the so called guidelines in his war on terror. This in itself and among other things, like torture, domestic spying or arrest without judicial oversight is against constitutional law. If the phonies in congress… IE republicans and blue dog democrats did their job, Bush would be impeached by now and constitutional laws reasserted. Is it a perfect system? No! But it is still the best system on this planet when it functions as it was meant to function. It made us the greatest nation on earth and though it has certainly been abused and twisted at times in the course of history(especially now), we are still here and I believe there is still enough good people here to right our course on every level, particularly on our foreign and domestic policies.

As for the other major revolutions, I agree with most of what you’re saying. The causes were quite different, IE… initially the American colonists weren’t for the most part starving to death like their French and Russian counterparts or immersed in a large Imperial war, but rather over taxed, then decided to strike at their golden opportunity. However our victory over the greatest monarchy on earth was no small feat and despite of the elements that granted it success, like an ocean in separation and Britain’s war with France, it proved to anyone on earth that a powerful monarchy could be defeated by a small, determined group of men and a better system could be established. I would argue further that the US Constitution is the most copied and adapted form of legislation in the world.

I’d like to add the likes of Robespierre, who first killed Danton then started executing everyone, created a reign of terror worse than the monarchy! That played a large role in determining its outcome. That and the fluke of Napoleon who at first like Hitler, propelled the French into an age of glory, only to destroy it in the end. I would again argue that today France didn’t turn out all that bad, at least for the French. Yes they made the same mistakes in the past we are now doing, but all in all France saved herself, is democratic and still a world power.

As for Russia, there were many factors involved in undermining them. The infighting which led to the loss of Trotsky was one major blunder. Stalin more than anyone else ruined what was left, though in all fairness it could also be argued that Stalin saved Soviet Russia from Hitler. In a war of annihilation he had little choice. Western containment for 40 years(not Ronald Reagan)took care of the rest. I might point out that the revolution may not yet be over. Most Russians seem to be in favor of returning to socialism and as long as Bush sets up missile defense systems in former Eastern Block countries, pushing us closer and closer to another cold war, who knows?!?

Could it be called a successful workers revolution? No! But it is not a complete failure either. In every case, the story is still being written. Only time will tell.

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By mdruss42, October 15, 2007 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

Are we to assume from his post that Mr Banks is not J.A. Banks the clothier trying to sell us a suit?

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By Joseph Banks, October 15, 2007 at 10:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What a bunch of idiots.  Companies like King Features that sponsor this kind of syndicated shit really suck. 

This is straight out of the NPR/commie playbook.  Why don’t you run a ‘human rights’ feature about how badly we have tortured poor innocent jihadists?  Oh wait.  The media is already on that one….

If the terrorists come again, may they attack your building first.  As they behead you, the last thing you will think is, ‘that guy was right, I have been an idiot’.  QUIT GLORIFYING TERRRORISTS!  ‘che’.  His first name is just too cool to not use it personally, as if you two were best buds.  Right?  Eat another magic mushroom and crawl back under a rock and die.

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By mdruss42, October 15, 2007 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

...American revolution was nothing more than a minority of the colonists seceding from the British empire planning essentially the same type government repackaged under new management. Using high-minded language in Article I, Section 8 of the supreme law of the land, the founders and their successors ignored the minimum objective all governments are, or should be, entrusted to do - “provide for….(the) general welfare” of their people under a system of constitutional law serving everyone. But that’s not its only flaw build in by design….THIS FROM STEVE LENDEMAN AT

French Rev….
The social and psychological burdens of the many wars of the 18th century, which in the era before the dawn of nationalism were exclusively the province of the monarchy. The social burdens caused by war included the huge war debt, made worse by the monarchy’s military failures and ineptitude, and the lack of social services for war veterans.
A poor economic situation and an unmanageable national debt, both caused and exacerbated by the burden of a grossly inequitable system of taxation.
The Roman Catholic Church, the largest landowner in the country, which levied a harsh tax on crops known as the dîme. While the dîme lessened the severity of the monarchy’s tax increases, it nonetheless served to worsen the plight of the poorest who faced a daily struggle with malnutrition.
The continued conspicuous consumption of the noble class, especially the court of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette at Versailles, despite the financial burden on the populace.
High unemployment and high bread prices, causing more money to be spent on food and less in other areas of the economy;
Widespread famine and malnutrition, which increased the likelihood of disease and death, and intentional starvation in the most destitute segments of the population during the months immediately before the Revolution…....Sound familiar?

The Russian Rev started in the 1880s as a class war without center or organization, which left it vunerable to people like Lenin, then Stalin, who never had anything in mind but power,as became evident.

The Cuban Rev, was a class war, but with the added problem of control of the economy from the outside.
Castro may have been young when he carried out the take-over of the government of Cuba, but he was apparently mindful of what had gone before, and tried to keep the same things from happening to the Cuban people. He knew enough to know that the revolution had to be fueled from the bottom up if it was to survive.

So, you see, the seeds were there from the beginning in every case.

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By Michael Shaw, October 15, 2007 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

107191 Don’t feel bad Miriam. LaRouche is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s a democrat and a virtual presidential candidate. He calls himself the New FDR on the one hand and admires folks like Adolf Hitler on the other.

As for respective revolutions, all of them were different though ironically inspired by the American Revolution. We tend to forget we were the first to successfully remove the yoke of a major monarchy, in fact at the time the world’s greatest power. It is sad that our own politicians have steered us away from this reality, intent instead in making us the very thing we fought against in the first place.

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By Michael Shaw, October 15, 2007 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

107181 Well I’m no fan of LaRouche. In fact when I quite accidentally stumbled upon him being involved in the 9/11 truth movement, I immediately became suspect. What really triggered me at first was the way some of these “truthers” who act and initially seem like liberals, began attacking good liberal journalists like Amy Goodman or Terkel, Fisk etc, saying they are involved in the conspiracy. That’s what Larouche did to liberal factions in the 70’s with his so called new left. The same kinds of tactics. So I investigated and sure enough LaRouche is entrenched in it along with several associates. Then after digging further came the ties to neo-Nazism and white supremacist groups. Surprise, surprise! Some people believe them because part of what they say is true. Well of course it is! It’s like Cheney quoting Roosevelt. Liars always latch on to elements of the truth to spin their fabrications.

One point in interest are those hi-fivers, two of which turned out to be MOSSAD. It’s reasonable to assume that since they were celebrating, that MOSSAD actually did it. Although I would question the character of anyone who would celebrate such an event(many Palestinians celebrated too) condemning an entire nation on one such incident is what I’d call jumping the gun. It’s like Tenant’s slam dunk and the fabrications linking Hussein to Bin Laden. Also even our own government admits Israel gave us 5 of the 19 conspirators. Israel has already stated publicly it informed us there were 50-200 al Qaeda operatives in this country and an imminent attack was coming, something the CIA denies. But what makes me believe their version is there were many other such warnings, not only from Israel, but Germany, Italy, Interpol, France, Britain and even Russia and from what I saw, Bush and company chose to ignore them. They even tried to suppress investigations until they were forced to do something. Then they set up that Warrenesque style, cherry picked commission where virtually no one was held accountable.

These guys wanted a 9/11. In fact they were praying for it. I think they knew an attack was coming and allowed it to happen. I also think if the opportunity hadn’t arisen they would have pulled off another Bay of Tonkin. But this was by far more subtle and a perfect scenario to establish their Project for a New American Century.

Also why would Israel risk its lucrative partnership with the US? To steal a few more patches of desert land? For oil? For power? Heck Israel already gets that from us and has been getting it from us for decades. Also if they did do it wouldn’t you think a nation that can blow up the surface of the planet several times over couldn’t take out Israel in the blink of an eye? Of course the argument to that would be Israel owns us and controls us. It’s AIPAC, Zionism and Bush is their puppet! Wolfowitz and Bremmer are the Zionists pulling the strings. Well if that’s the case then why is Bush going after animal activist groups instead of these neo-Nazi’s roaming the countryside? They are after all Israel’s greatest enemies.

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By mdruss42, October 15, 2007 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

Thanks Christie and Michael. What I know about LaRouche is only recent and only economic in subject. I remember him as a peripheral character that one heard of once in a while. I lived outside the USA for much of the time of the 70s and 80s so did not know much about what was happening here. It is the internet that has helped me know that my worst fears were always true and that the world I grew up in never existed.

So, now, I must learn about the world I live in with the handicap of having to un-learn lots of plain old crapola and decide how to discriminate.

BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW THEM…..I grew up in a Baptist (fundamentalist) community so must make use of the narrow teachings, but this one is universally true. Look at the results of a policy or an idea, or philosophy and you can track the sowing of the seeds of that result… is built in. So, when I say that if you compare the resulting societies of the American Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Cuban Revolution, it is plain that the seeds of the results were different and in at the beginning.

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By Christie, October 15, 2007 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

Michael- Anti-fascist is a very good start!

As for LaRouche- oof. I was living in DC for a while and was surprised beyond measure one day to be approached by two African-American young men with his paper. Obviously they had no memory of his inflammatory racist crap from the 1980’s (as I said, they were young). The man is unhinged, but he says some of the right things and people fall in line. I consider him a prime example of why you have to know the history of a movement and the figures therein.

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By Michael Shaw, October 14, 2007 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment

107089 mdruss(Miriam) I understand what you’re saying and I by no means believe everyone in the 9/11 Truth movement are neo-Nazi’s. In fact I even respect some of them, like Howard Zinn for example. But I also believe we need to realize that neo-Nazi’s, Klansmen, racists, holocaust deniers and other extreme right elements are latching onto and exploiting this movement. Frankly I don’t wish to get in a long drawn out episode over this since I had more than my fill already in Robert Fisk’s 9/11 with Caution dig. The fact the website you presented(and you found disturbing) had similar ties however, compelled me to reiterate once again.

As for LaRouche, I lost any faith in him in the 1970’s when he sent out thugs to beat up on other leftist groups(As if he’s a leftist). Smart he may be, but twisted smart and perhaps even downright kooky. He once said the Beatles were a creation of MI-5 and that the Queen of England was the biggest dope dealer in the world. He also said the Brits were trying to assassinate him yet he’s still here after all that time, from the decades ago when he first mentioned it. Like bad weather he remains. He also loved Napoleon. But I digress.

Though MOSSAD, the CIA and neo-Nazies might, on a given day all be lumped into the same basic category, no, I do not believe Israel was responsible for 9/11 or that there is some Illuminati Plot by Zionists to take over the planet. Beyond 9/11, none of this is new news. In fact this Zionist takeover thing was created in Czarist Russia about 150 years ago and led to several rounds in Russian Jew bashing. I certainly do not believe a word this current administration says about 9/11 but that doesn’t automatically mean Israel enacted it, especially when most of these stories that say they did emanate from right wing extremist groups. When someone respectable presents real proof, I’ll believe it. Until then I’ll remain skeptical.

I do believe multinational corporations work together and wreak havoc to gain and hold power and that indeed some of them are Zionist. However many more of them are not and to single out any minority and blame them for everything is not only unfair but unrealistic and perhaps even absurd.

You are very right Miriam when you say we need to investigate our sources. Most people don’t and fall pray to assumptions, assumptions created by those with ulterior motives.

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By Michael Shaw, October 14, 2007 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment

107104 Thanks for clarifying Christie. I know we’re basically on the same page concerning Guevara and Castro. I also know that Cuba is not an ideal Utopian society (as if there is one anywhere on this planet.) I was not trying to be reactionary and I never said you hated Castro though I suspected you might have been trying to demonize him(like major US media has for 45 years) by comparing him to Stalin, something I see as incomparable. Basically, I just felt it was important to lay down the facts on the table as I see them. I by no means disrespect your opinions and see them as valid. I do not see Castro as undermining his revolution however as you do. I see the US doing that along with the Soviets. It was a tiny nation that became a great pawn in the games of giants. The fact it survived this long shows its metal and is admirable as you say.

I must clarify for the record that I am not a socialist but I do believe in and see the necessity of social programs for people in need. I believe in capitalism(and my country), but not unfettered capitalism. I believe that in a democracy corporations must be governed by laws just like the rest of us. I also believe they should not be allowed to legally influence government or for that matter play any role in the political process. They are artificial entities, not living breathing persons. I applaud the New Deal, which by today’s standards(and in certain circles) no doubt makes me a flaming communist though I take no stock in what they say. I guess you could call me a progressive(or moderate progressive if there is such a thing). You can even call me a liberal as I do not see it as a dirty word. I am a devout anti-fascist however.

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By Christie, October 14, 2007 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

Mr Shaw- I think you misunderstand me here. I am by no means a fan of US forgein (nor domestic) policy. I also am no fan of the embargo, the scheming to oust Catsro (dead or alive), and etc.

While I totally agree that Castro’s Cuba is by no means the threat it has been painted to be, I do take issue with the idea that Cuba represents a workers’ paradise, or is truly a socialist state. I speak *as* a socialist (Trotskyist/Leninist, to be clear).

In dealing with the Soviet Union- in its Stalinist incarnation at that time whether Stalin lived or not- Castro undermined his revolution to a great extent. How could he not, when dealing with one of the most notoriously counter-revolutionary governments in history? Did he have much choice? Debateable, mostly given the proximity to the US and the near-constant threat posed to Cuba by the US then and since.  My point, which seems to have been missed, is that in taking the form of government that it did, (no elections, dictatorship from above, etc) Cuba has effectively disqualified itself as socialist in the true sense of the word- including in its very nationalist outlook.

That it survived the breakup of the Soviet Union is admirable. Likewise admirable are Castro’s offers of help when we have been in dire need (matched with the outright dippyness of our not accepting the help we so desperately needed). I am by no means a Castro-hater, but I am not willing to accept him as a Great Socialist.

Point out where I called him evil or ruthless, by the way- it is possible that reactionary reading is being made. Not unusual, but certainly not helpful. Just because someone is not gung ho over a ruler does not mean they are against them (contrary to what Bush would have us believe wink ).

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By mdruss42, October 14, 2007 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, Michael, one of the things I have learned is that one must know who is saying it and why…...but that is very difficult to decide.

I know that just because someone is crazy and wrapped up in “conspiracy theory” this is not reason to disregard everything they say. Lyndon LaRouche is actually a smart man and right much of the time. It is a legitimate question to ask why it needs to be against the law to question the history of WW2. It is not acceptable to question the accepted version of the Cuban Revolution, or any of the other problems created by common everyday greed of the American corporation.

But are these just part of a very long range plan to finally have a “world government” and control all the world and its people by bankers, zionists, etc, etc?

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By Michael Shaw, October 14, 2007 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

Meriam, I dug this up on Dan Druck, Jackie Patru’s associate.

“........Council on Domestic Relations,” a right-wing extremist group. Its leader, Dan. Druck of Algonquin, claimed that Salvi met with them and talked about trade issues—a meeting Salvi has denied ever occurred, just as he has denied making the statement about Janet Reno. Salvi claims Durbin is using “McCarthy era” tactics. His denials appear weak, but Salvi has outspent Durbin by a 2-1 margin and has edged closer to Durbin’s standing in the polls.”

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By Michael Shaw, October 14, 2007 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

Meriam, I thought you might find this interesting. Jackie Patru is mentioned here concerning an email from Virginia aimed at, “We the People!”

Also Jackie’s show, the Power Hour comes from the Genesis Communications Network(Formerly known as the Republic Broadcasting Network). This is hosted by none other than the 9/11 truth seeker Alex Jones who along with his buddy John Stadmiller, have been regular guests on the Republic Broadcasting Network(of which Stadmiller owns and has his own show called, “The Intel Report” and which also airs Michael Collins Piper(The Piper Report) who also contributes to The American Free Press which is back by none other than Willis Carto.

Interestingly there are other neo-authors entrenched in the 9/11 truth movement along with Alex Jones, including Webster Tarpley, who has ties to Lyndon LaRouche and also Christopher Bollyn who runs in holocaust denying circles and blames the MOSSAD for the 9/11 attacks. In other words calling these guys right wing is an understatement. They even attended an event where a former SS officer in Hitler’s Reich who built a memorial to Adolf Hitler. See for yourself who attended the Barnes Review Conference in 2006. Their honorary guest was Theo Junker, the former member of the Wiking division of the S.S. who “courageously” opened a Museum in Wisconsin dedicated to the memory of Adolf Hitler. John Stadmiller, Michael Collins Piper and other associates of Jackie Patru all attended.

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By Michael Shaw, October 14, 2007 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

107034 Miriam just from the first look, it appears these folks not only have a religious agenda, it also appears they are advocates of the American Rifle Association. Though I personally support the entire Bill of Rights, including the right to bear arms, somehow I suspect their agenda has little to do with preserving the constitution. One thing I looked at and found suspect was an article written by its founders (Jackie Patru and Dan Druck) concerning fixed elections. the website) Here it almost(but not quite) seems to suggest the League of Women Voters were fixing election ballots and I find this to be amazing since it was the League of Women Voters who resigned from carrying out the presidential debates when they essentially became less debate and more beauty pageant. Note also this page provides a link to the End-Times network who present a whole lot of incredulous commentary such as:

“The Left constantly smears Christians and conservatives as racists, hoping that their audience is completely ignorant of history. The struggle to outlaw slavery was a Christian movement, led by Christian pastors. Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, was a Republican. Southern Democrats vehemently opposed the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1964, and enacted a century of “Jim Crow” laws. The Ku Klux Klan was a Democrat invention to win by terror what they could not win through politics or war.”

On the one hand they condemn the fixing of elections(but almost implicate the League of Women Voters), but on the other they call democrats the new anti-Christ. So just by these short observations I can understand why you find it disturbing. Somehow I suspect they might be an offshoot of the John Birch Society. They seem obviously to be right wing. I do know they provided yet another link to which turns out to be some kind of security company who specialize in Encryption Security , Two-factor Authentication , Biometric Face Recognition , Dna Test , Legal Books and an array of other products and services. Thanks for the link! I’ll keep pressing and share my results.

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By Michael Shaw, October 14, 2007 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

107034 My pleasure Miriam! Let me check out that site and I’ll get back to you!

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By Michael Shaw, October 14, 2007 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

In regards to 107030, One retraction. Eisenhower did not plan the 1953 coup in Iran. That proposal(by the CIA) occurred during the Truman administration. Truman however was adamantly against the idea and it wasn’t until Eisenhower became president that this “proposal” Operation Ajax)became reality.

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By mdruss42, October 14, 2007 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

Ernest, Michael, I have been introduced to a site I am finding somewhat distrubing, but it does address some of what we are talking about here.

Have read Ernest for a while, glad to meet you Michael. I am Mariam Russell, and I appreciate both of you.

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By Michael Shaw, October 14, 2007 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

107010 I’d like to add that it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Kennedy were assassinated by the CIA. Not only because of his sincere reproach to Cuba, but also his feelings over the War in Vietnam. As I recall, when Kennedy saw Buddhist Monks lighting themselves on fire in protest to US involvement there, Kennedy said, “Oh my God! What have I done!”

I still believe Kennedy was a great president. I also admire his standing up to the Soviets concerning the Cuban missile crisis, something he himself inadvertently created. I should add however that the Bay of Pigs invasion was planned and financed by the Eisenhower administration. So was the placing of a nuclear missile base in Turkey. Also our involvement with Vietnam began with Eisenhower(who also planned and financed the Iranian coup in 1953 and who gave us the military industrial complex). Kennedy inherited these problems. Anything else he may have blundered upon was a result of poor consultations by McNamara and the defense department.

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By Michael Shaw, October 14, 2007 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

107010 Ernest I remember our earlier discussions when you brought forth Plausible Denial and I thank you for mentioning it here again. I also thank you for strengthening my arguments with your even more in-depth accountings of what really went on in Cuba, the players behind the scenes and why Castro did what he essentially had to.

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By Michael Shaw, October 14, 2007 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

105871 mdruss I would say that makes us essentially a captive audience. It is the facade, the wool being pulled over our eyes that make us believe we are governed by the laws of our founding fathers rather than the corporate interests who are pulling all the strings.

For those who say that government is the problem and should be drowned in the bathtub, I say it is not our government we should be worried about, there is nothing wrong with it in either principle or foundation. What is wrong, is the intentional abuse and manipulations of its laws to serve but a few and the rest of us are the one’s stuck footing the bill and shedding our blood, not for country and not for constitution, but for those who could care less of country and who hate our constitution and all it stands for.

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By cann4ing, October 14, 2007 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

Thank you Michael Shaw not only for your kind words but for your astute observations on Cuba.

Recall that elsewhere on Truthdig, I posted a reference to Mark Lane’s “Plausible Denial” which linked the Kennedy assassination to the CIA and anti-Castro Cubans involved in the Bay of Pigs fiasco and later, Watergate; of the curious connections of what transpired to George H.W. Bush. 

Lane contends that one of the principle motivations for the assassination was Kennedy’s effort at rapproachment with Castro’s Cuba.  Lane asserts Pres. Kennedy not only considered sending William Atwood, the U.S. Ambassador to Guinea to negotiate with Castro, but asked Attwood’s friend, French journalist Jean Daniel, to convey to Castro that he, Kennedy, accepted that “the ‘economic colonization, humiliation, and exploitation’ visited upon Cuba were at least in part due to the policies of the United States….”  Kennedy asked Daniel to pass on to Castro that the “United States can coexist with a nation in the hemisphere that espouses a different economic system….It is the subservient relationship with the Soviet Union that creates the problem.’”  Kennedy followed up with a Nov. 18. 1963 address to the Inter-American Press Associates in Miami, stating that the US would “not dictate to any nation who to organize its economic life.” 

When Kennedy’s position was relayed, Castro not only told Daniel that he believed Kennedy was “sincere” but that he believed Kennedy “still has the possibility of being, in the eyes of history, the greated president of the United States, the leader who may at last understand that there can be coexistence between capitalists and socialists.”

If one wants to consider stark contrasts, compare the substance of Kennedy’s 11/18/63 address to Bush administration policies which unilaterally privatized Iraq’s economy and placed it into the exclusive hands of the crony capitalists whom George W. Bush calls his “base”—“the haves and the have mores” first through the 100 Bremer edicts and then when Ambassador Khalizad and a small hand-picked group of Iraqis inserted all of the Bremer edicts into the final draft of Iraq’s constitution so that when 9.8 million Iraqis went to the polls in October 2005, they unknowingly ratified the surrender of both Iraq’s sovereignty and economy to the occupying power.

Posters, like Christie, are simply uninformed.  The clouds created by right-wing propaganda over the past 47 years about the evil Castro government are so thick that they cannot see or appreciate something like the Kennedy/Castro dialogue that was cut short by the murder of President Kennedy, the positives of a system that places the health of its citizens above corporate profits—as displayed for all to see in Michael Moore’s Sicko!—or the degree to which some of the Cuban restrictions on civic opposition (of which I certainly do not approve) were, in part, the product of a the need to defend a tiny island against the murderous covert actions its giant northern neighbor unleashed through the CIA and people like Felix Rodgriguez, Frank Sturgis, Orlando Bosch and other anti-Castro neo-Nazis who trained courtesy of the George Bush owned, CIA front company, Zapata Oil.  She ignores the multiple, unsuccessful CIA plots to kill Castro or the security that was required to foil them.

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By Michael Shaw, October 14, 2007 at 9:58 am Link to this comment


I applaud your commentary Ernest!

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By Michael Shaw, October 14, 2007 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

106898 Christine continued(trouble posting)......
....Tit for tat, Khruschev tried to place a missile base in our own backyard just as we did to the Soviets in Turkey and in a way not unlike president Bush is placing missile defense systems in former Eastern Block countries, leading Putin to tell Rice she should have president Bush put them on the moon.

Although I understand where you’re coming from as far as dictatorships go(something I also have problems with), it is clear that many events out of Castro’s control compelled him to remain in power to preserve the revolution. The fact Castro is relatively benign(basically a figure head) and his people happy does not make for the painted tyrant US media has portrayed him as. Also the fact that he has survived the collapse of Soviet Russia is significant. His people aren’t trapped there either. In fact when Cuba’s artists had no employment, just like his doctors, Castro allowed them to leave. Many came to the US. Some stayed but most eventually returned, seeing America as materialistic and without community.

I would also like to point out that under capitalism just as many if not more human atrocities have occurred. Without even mentioning the Nazi’s or Japan and forgetting the millions of native Americans killed by our own government, unfettered capitalism has caused millions of others to die around the world for the last century, including the 1953 CIA staged coup in Iran, placing the brutal Shah in power which ensued in revolution, then instigating the Iran/Iraq war where millions died, many with the weapons of mass destruction Bush and Reagan gave Saddam and told him to use with “our” blessing.

You can call Castro evil or a ruthless dictator all you wish, but by comparison to us, he’s a teddy bear.

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By cann4ing, October 14, 2007 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

When I look at the long life and high station accorded Felix Rodriguez and his CIA masters, especially one George H. W. Bush, and I compare that to how the murder of an already captured Che Guevarra is but a symbolic metaphor of what U.S. imperialism has carried out against all who dare to resist it, I could not help but think of the opening lines of the speech delivered by Howard Zinn at Johns Hopkins University in November 1970 entitled “The Problem is Civil Obedience.”

Zinn said:  “I start from the supposition that the world is topsy-turvy, that things are all wrong, that the wrong people are in jail and the wrong people are out of jail, that the wrong people are in power and the wrong people are out of power, that the wealth is distributed in this country and the world in such a way as not simply to require small reform but to require a drastic reallocation of wealth.  I start from the supposition that we don’t have to say too much about this because all we have to do is think about the state of the world today and realize things are all upside down.”

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By Michael Shaw, October 14, 2007 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

106898 Christine first of all Castro never did business with Stalin. Stalin died of a stroke on March 5, 1953. In 1952 Castro planned to run in the free elections but the government was overthrown by Batista. As a result, in 1953 Castro and his brother Raul led an attempted coup but were imprisoned and sentenced to 15 years. His sentence was later commuted and he fled to Mexico. He returned in 1956 with Che and a small band of gorillas. The fact is, Castro didn’t do business with the Soviets until April of 1961 after the CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion which ultimately led to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Also in 1976, Cuba’s National Assembly elected Castro President for life. Was it orchestrated? Perhaps but I would also like to point out that if it weren’t for the Bay of Pigs(and our stringent containment policies) it is doubtful Castro would have dealt with the Soviets at all.

As for the Missile crisis the reason that happened in the first place(beyond Castro’s need for supplies and military support) was because Kennedy put a nuclear missile base in Turkey aimed at Russia. Tit for tat, Khruschev tried to place a missile base in our own backyard just as we di

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By Christie, October 13, 2007 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment

Mr Shaw- to clarify- in that he has absolute power there is a similarity. That he does not use it in the same way as Stalin is a definite difference. The absolute power, though, does beg the question of it being a socialist country, since socialism is inherently democratic.

I disagree that he had no choice in dealing with Stalin- and must point out that in dealing with Stalin he made one of the worst opportunist blunders in history (one of, I think Mao’s was much much worse, and obvously had much more dire consequences for the Chinese, particularly the Chinese Bolshevists, who were- as Stalin made sure in Russia- offed). In siding with Stalin, Castro sealed the fate of the Revolution. This does not even go into the question of the nationalist nature of the revolution in Cuba to begin with.

A caveat- I feel I should here re-iterate my support for ousting the United Fruit Company, etc, but the form that the revolution took- nationalist- precluded it from becoming a socialist one, ultimately.

Che himself was a quasi-Marxist, as his willingness to engage in such adventurist activities, risking the lives of those he claimed (and likely believed) himself to be fighting for, points up. That kind of behaviour is what does bring (wrongly) the charge of anarchism. It smacks of the individualist idea that if you kill the right person, or hit the right target, the revolution will start. It’s a form of deadly hubris, and serves to set actual revolution back, since it inevitably brings the force of the military down on those who would revolt.

Trotsky would not have agreed with his tactics, to be sure.

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By mdruss42, October 13, 2007 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

If you cannot destroy the message, destroy the messenger.

Of course, it does not work, but, then, how many of the policies of these people actually make sense…..except to the small precentage of people who benefit?


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By Michael Shaw, October 13, 2007 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

106821 The right wing are relentless aren’t they mdruss? They are always ready and willing to besmirch anyone or anything that stands contrary to their own exploitive, greedy, self serving system.

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By mdruss42, October 13, 2007 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

che guevara, the argentinian doctor never graduated from any university and was no doctor at all.

one of the big lies about this myhical icon we adore blindly. there are so many more but we - reporters and other public - are still infant like busy when using our brains is concerned. in many, many parts of bolivia and in equally scoially different classes he is despised as he spread death and terror at random. in the end the adoration says more about us than about che himself.
anton foek
amsterdam, oct. 13th 2007

My ans on Alternet….

In March (1953), he passed his finals and obtained his diploma as a physician. His specialty was dermatology. A few months later he went back on the road, never to return to Argentina until he had become the world-famous Comandante Che Guevara.” Source: James, Daniel. Che Guevara: A Biography, New York: Stein and Day, 1969, p. 71.

“In June (1953), Ernesto received a copy of his doctor’s degree, and a few days later he celebrated his twenty-fifth birthday” Source: Jon Lee Anderson. Che Guevara: A revolutionary life, p-98.

Also: 12 de junio de 1953.- La Facultad de Ciencias Médicas de la Universidad de Buenos Aires le expide a Ernesto Guevara de la Serna el certificado de haber concluido la carrera de medicina. Esto se refleja en el legajo 1058, registro 1116, folio 153. Después participa en una fiesta de despedida que sus compañeros de la Clínica del doctor Salvador Pisani le hacen en la hacienda de la señora Amalia María Gómez Macías de Duhau. Source: Che en el tiempo

What were they fighting to avoid?

More than most Bolivian presidents, Banzer was willing to use force to suppress his critics. He literally invaded (and had the Air Force strafe) San Andrés University in La Paz, enacted censorship in the media, frequently used troops against striking miners, and often jailed or exiled dissidents. In the process, Bolivia was turning in the largest trade surpluses in its history and the middle classes—including importers, manufacturers, Santa Cruz agribusinessmen, and others—raked in the profits.
He was educated at La Paz and entered the military academy there, graduating as a cavalry lieutenant. After routine postings he was selected to receive training at the U.S. Army School of the Americas in Panama, beginning a long contact with the United States. In 1960 he was sent to train at the Fort Hood, Texas, Armored Cavalry School, and, after several years’ command of the key 4th Cavalry Regiment in Bolivia, was sent as Bolivian military attaché to Washington, a post of great prestige. There, he expanded his already wide circle of American friends (chiefly military) and perfected his English. In this period he also served for one year under President Rene Barrientos Ortuño as minister of education…...

SO, YES, I EXPECT THERE ARE PEOPLE IN BOLIVIA WHO HATE CHE. I bet it is not the folks who threw out a pres and Bechtel.

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By Michael Shaw, October 13, 2007 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

106803 Mdruss 42 Excellent post! I would only like to add that all of those losses in revenue suffered by Cuba were also lost by our own industries and agriculture. Not only do Cubans suffer but also Americans.

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By Michael Shaw, October 13, 2007 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

106723 Well Christie you forget that Castro had no choice but to deal with the Soviets. We removed all of his other options. Stalin murdered millions of his own people. There is no evidence Castro ever did that, only the stories of former Batista thugs and criminals. Also Castro realized just as Che did that the Soviets were using him as a pawn in the cold war. Indeed it was true that Cuba suffered a catastrophe of sorts when the former Soviet Union collapsed, there is no real evidence that can back up your claim that Castro runs Cuba like Stalin ran Russia. Stalin was a paranoid who suspected everyone was plotting against him. Castro on the other hand knows whose been plotting against him and who have tried to assassinate him on several occasions.

Also I would say the dream Che had(and Castro) was definitely put on the back burners but as of yet not a failure. With leftist leaders springing up across Latin America his dream may yet be fulfilled. The more we tighten our grip on Latin America, the more popular elements of the left become.

I would also point out again to the Sheer/Vidal commentary:

Vidal: My take is that Cuba is probably more successful for the people who live in it.  It was so rare to see a contented people.  Everything they’re doing, thus far—I don’t know what they’re doing secretly—but what they are doing is very good.  There is no sullenness among the people which you get with great masses that don’t quite know what their government is.

“All we’ve got is people, so we’ll train them.” Castro has been generally benign.  The bloodcurdling stories that we’ve been told by our government seem not to be true at all.

IE… No sullenness among its people….if we were that lucky.

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By mdruss42, October 13, 2007 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

The sanctions have cost the Cuban economy more than $89,000 million since July, 1960. In 2006 Cuba lost nearly $4,000 million as a direct consequence of this brutal policy. Not only can the Caribbean island not export any product to the U.S., nor import anything, but it does not even have the authorization to establish commercial dealings with U.S. companies located in other countries, which is in flagrant violation of international law. Cuba cannot obtain credits of any kind from international financial institutions and are prohibited from using the U.S. dollar in its transactions with the rest of the world. [2]

Since going into effect, Washington’s hostile economic policy has become increasingly severe with the adoption of the Torricelli Act in 1992, the Helms-Burton Act in 1996, the first report of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba in 2004 and the second edition of the report in 2006. U.S. tourists are restricted from traveling to Cuba under penalty of an exceedingly harsh punishment that could include up to 10 years in prison and $150,000 fine. In 2005 the sanctions imposed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) against U.S. citizens who visited Cuba increased by 54%. Moreover, since 2004, Cubans residing in the U.S. have not been allowed to visit their families in Cuba for more than 14 days every 3 years and only if they obtain authorization from the Treasury Department. In 2005 the number of these trips decreased more than 50% in comparison to 2003. [3]

The economic sanctions have also had a disastrous impact on the food availability of Cubans. In fact, the U.S. strictly limits Cuba’s acquisition of foodstuffs. Between May 2006 and April 2007 U.S. measures caused losses valued at $258 million in this sector. With this lost money, Cuba could have purchased 180,000 tons of beans, 72,000 tons of soybean oil, 300.000 tons of corn and 275,000 tons of wheat. [4]

The health sector also suffers; losses are evaluated at $30 million. What is more, the Cuban Ophthalmology Institute “Ramón Pando Ferrer” could not obtain an apparatus for studying the retina that was marketed by the company Humphreys-Zeiss. The same with the medicine Visudyne distributed by the multinational Novartis. Similarly, Abbot Laboratories was blocked from selling Cuba the anesthetic Sevorane, which was destined for pediatric use. The Treasury Department also prohibited the sale of artificial hear valves for use in children who suffer cardiac arrhythmia. The education, culture, transportation, housing, industrial and agricultural sectors are also seriously affected by the economic sanctions. [5]


Intresting view…..

Americans looking to recoup Cuban assets seized after Fidel Castro took power in 1959 likely won’t get the billions they hope to seek after Castro dies, a federally financed study concluded

Do you think Castro and Cubans are stupid and do not know about detailed plans to take Cuba and divide it’s assets aqnd harbor no ideas of “democracy” or any other of the BS lies used as justification for the carnage wrought in Central and South America over the decades? Some of them still remember fire bombing from the USA and corp slavery from the corporations of the USA. Remember, they all can read, they are much better educated and informed that the population here.

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By Basim Najjar, October 13, 2007 at 2:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jesus, this article implies Bin Ladin if he ever dies, will be remembered like this in forty years, and the Middle East will resemble Latin America? Pretty messed up, so how to fix it??

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By Christie, October 12, 2007 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment

Mr Shaw- while throwing off the yoke of American Fruit company, among others, was a worthy endeavor, and one which I certainly support, to say that Cuba became a workers’ state is only about half true. Not only did Castro seek out Stalin’s help (and got it), but he runs the place very much as Stalin ran Russia in that he is President for life (so, the vital democratic element of Socialism is not there) with absolute say in what happens. He is, in short, a dictator.

Now, that said, of the dictators he is one of the not so bad variety overall- people do not generally disappear (which is a nice euphamism for end up dead in a pit somewhere).

Also, Cuba is still nationalist and, indeed, capitalist in nature. The nationalism flies in the face of true socialism, which is based on the international nature of the working class.

Keep in mind, also, that though the US has still got the ridiculous embargo in place, the US is not the only other country in the world- many many countries trade pretty freely with Cuba. Does the lack of US trade hurt Cuba? Probably, in that we are a vast market and like to buy things, so could be a good venue for Cuban goods. But it is not killing Cuba. They are still there.

There are many good things about Cuba. It is not Socialist, though, in a true sense of the word.

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By shelle, October 12, 2007 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

che guevara strove mightily to make the world a better place for the majority of the people who live in it. better than a bush any day…and the usa is not what it started out to be either—it grows more fascist with every day a bush sits in the white house.

yep, che could have a doctor’s life of ease and didn’t, bush could have been a rich drunk and, er…never mind.. 

viva el che!!

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By Michael Shaw, October 12, 2007 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment


Christie Shaffer

Precisely what did it set out to be? I always thought it set out to remove the yoke of US corporate oppression, remove Batista and the Italian Mafia and create it’s own sovereignty. In these respects I would say it’s batting a thousand and any ills it might still incur are a direct result of US sanctions and boycotts or clandestine operations by the CIA.

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By Christie Schaefer, October 12, 2007 at 10:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Schockely said:
Che did, in some ways, help people fight against injustice, but his vanguardist approach was counter-revolutionary. His ideology does’t lead to the liberation of the working class, but to the substitution of one controlling class (capitalists) for another one (state bureucrats). Real revolution can only come from the people themselves.**

Indeed. I am always agog at the proclamation of Che as Trotskyist- his actions were very much NOT in keeping with Bolshevism, and had the air of stark adventurism. Not only that, but his actions brought, by their very nature, the boot of the military straight onto the necks of those who (out of desperation) supported him. Maybe he meant well, but he did not accomplish what he intended (or said he did).

As for Cuba being a socialist country, well, in the bureaucratic mold of Stalinism, yes. But in the Bolshevik (Trotskyist/Leninist)mold of a dictatorship of the proletariat, not so much. It is not as monstrous as Stalin’s Russia, sure, but it is not what it set out to be.

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By Michael Shaw, October 11, 2007 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment

106232 Mr. Shockley I agree with most of what you’re saying. Che was more a military strategist than he was a politician. But the bottom line is Che never seized power for himself. In fact he gave it up in Cuba where he most certainly could have remained, to start anew in South America.

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By Michael Shaw, October 11, 2007 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

106334 Well Miriam what I was trying to get to was that doctors have had to leave Cuba to intern because there are already so many doctors in Cuba and not enough patients. I remember Cuba offering the US medical assistance both after 9/11 and Katrina. Bush of course denied them. When I look at where I live in California, we have a doctor shortage. Why we don’t give up this stupid embargo that hurts us more than it hurts them is is simply moronic. We can’t admit that we need help from others even when we need help.

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By Mariam Russell, October 11, 2007 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Miriam, all this represents is an example of Cuban doctor’s interning in other nations. It also shows that anyone who is poor and needs treatment will get it. The fact Cuban doctors repaired the eyes of Che’s executioner means nothing. There is no example of good or bad here, only doctor’s doing their job.

Only doctors doing their jobs…...but their jobs differ exponentially from the jobs of doctors in the USA. That’s the FRUIT.

And these doctors stationed in Central and South America are not all interns. The eye doctor who treated a friend of mine here in CR is in her 40s and very, very good.

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By Michael Shaw, October 11, 2007 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

106238 Miriam I agree with your analogy. Perhaps I misunderstood your “By their fruits ye shall know them.” I had thought you were vilifying Che and Cuba. Apparently I was mistaken.

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By Mariam Russell, October 11, 2007 at 9:17 am Link to this comment
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Forget the history of who did what to whom. Look at the years since. Compare what the USA has accomplished, how it’s citizens have fared, with Cuba.

The USA, with systematically looting the rest of the world, cannot manage to teach it’s citizens to read, much less think. The USA cannot manage to make basic health care available to it’s children, much less their moms and dads. Many go to bed at night….hungry. In the richest country the world has ever seen…..people live on the street and are not fed.

Cuba, on the other hand, having been systematically starved by the control the USA has over the world economy to deny trade rights to Cuba, has managed to educate it’s citizenry, and the citizens of other countries, to the point that they have more doctors per capita than any country on earth. They have research facilities and have developed medicines treatments that they then make available to the people, not only of their country, but export to the rest of South and Central America.

So, whatever your opinion of Che or Fidel, the seeds of intent had to be different than even the formation of the USA, because the results are different.

And, notice, I did not even mention body counts.

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By Michael Shaw, October 11, 2007 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

Mr Teran was treated under Operation Miracle. Funded by Venezuelan petro-dollars and staffed by Cuban doctors, it offers free eye treatment to poor people across Latin America.

Miriam, all this represents is an example of Cuban doctor’s interning in other nations. It also shows that anyone who is poor and needs treatment will get it. The fact Cuban doctors repaired the eyes of Che’s executioner means nothing. There is no example of good or bad here, only doctor’s doing their job.

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By Jonathan Shockley, October 11, 2007 at 8:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This article is not accurate: anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists had their press closed down and many militants were thrown in prison. Che was directly implicated in this. This was followed in 1962 with the banning of the Trotskyists and the imprisonment of their militants. Che said: “You cannot be for the revolution and be against the Cuban Communist Party”.
Che was no anarchist. I mean, just compare his ideas with those of Kropotkin, Chomsky, Bakunin, Goldman, or the Spanish anarchists.  Compare his ideas to those of someone like Durruti in Spain. There, in 1936—especially in anarchist controlled areas of Catalonia—there was a REAL working class revolution; based on non-hierarchical working class control of the means of production, with worker and consumer councils, regional federations, national assemblies etc—with rotatory delegates that had practically no power as compared with state politicians. Che did, in some ways, help people fight against injustice, but his vanguardist approach was counter-revolutionary. His ideology does’t lead to the liberation of the working class, but to the substitution of one controlling class (capitalists) for another one (state bureucrats). Real revolution can only come from the people themselves. “Leaders” should only be people who encourage others to participate; rather than people who take control and thus deprive people of equality of power and say over decisions. It’s only when people taste freedom and independence from leaders that they will learn to take responsibility and be independent. That gradual awareness is what can lead to the elimination of both, capitalism and the state, and hopefully, to a societal structure that magnifies the best features of human nature, rather than the worst.

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By Michael Shaw, October 11, 2007 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

This comes from Gore Vidal in an interview with Robert Sheer from an earlier truthdig:

Vidal: My take is that Cuba is probably more successful for the people who live in it.  It was so rare to see a contented people.  Everything they’re doing, thus far—I don’t know what they’re doing secretly—but what they are doing is very good.  There is no sullenness among the people which you get with great masses that don’t quite know what their government is.  We’ve seen all the bad side of Cuba because we’re fed nothing else by the media.  But I went through about three things there.  One was the medical school.  They’re turning out thousands of doctors.  They’ve run out of hospitals for poor people in Cuba.  They may have to import some poor people in hospitals because the kids from medical school can’t intern, so they’re going to have to intern in other countries, hence Venezuela as a possibility.  But they are creating doctors, and the theory of those ruling echelons, as they say, is: “Look, we have no natural resources.  We have no gold, we have no iron, we have no this, no that.  All we’ve got are people.” What a thought!  If only the Soviet Union had discovered that brilliant notion.  “All we’ve got is people, so we’ll train them.” Castro has been generally benign.  The bloodcurdling stories that we’ve been told by our government seem not to be true at all.

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By Michael Shaw, October 11, 2007 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

106088 P. T. you are correct. The only executions Guevara ordered in Cuba were those of 50 Batista thugs, all of them participants in death squads. That event was fabricated by Pierre San Martin. I suspect he was probably the one who murdered the boy along with several more of his own people. Like so many other world wide terrorists and criminals, he ended up roaming freely in the United States. Hell you can blow up a passenger jet or a hotel and receive refuge from our government as long as the people you kill do not agree with or support our stringent policies.

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By Michael Shaw, October 11, 2007 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

106119 Miriam I can respect what you say in one thing, war brings out the worst in all of us. Condemn Castro’s Cuba as you will but they are far better off under him then they were under Batista, IT&T;and the American Mafia. The wrongs they created is what led to a revolution in the first place. Same with Che and Guatemala.

To me this article isn’t telling us Che’s martyrdom was a fabrication, it is yet another example of “Calling out idiot America,” because most Americans have been living their lives without a clue as to what we’ve been doing overseas for more than a century.

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By Larry Giroux, October 11, 2007 at 4:52 am Link to this comment
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Dear Mr. Sheer,
Please read a book.  Your celebrated lover of the poor was a man who lived by the belief that “pure hate” was his best tool.  He was proud of the innocent, I repeat innocent, people he killed.  He saw killing innocent people as a mark of strength.  Many of them were poor and may have disagreed with Castro’s henchman.


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By mart, October 10, 2007 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Robert Scheer:
Liar! Che was no anarchist and he WAS NOT A FUCKING TROT either!!!

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By wilbur larch, October 10, 2007 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As a (non Cuban)immigrant physician who took the easy way out (like thousands of the Miami Cuban anti-Castro fat cats)and made a life here in America I have to take my hat off to el commandante Che who stayed behind and fought on the side of the dispossessed.
Like the great American Capt. John Brown (of Harpers ferry)Che did get his hands bloody but again these were the thugs of Battista’s dictatorship, for the revolution to survive it appears they had to be put away.  Indeed in the case of some like Otto Meruelo and the Nicolardes brothers the decision was left up to the multitude. 
Compare this with the execution of Ethel Rosenberg, or 500,000 children in Iraq referred to by Madeline Albright as a worthy price for punishing a CIA retiree called Saddam Hussein or the Rumsfeldian “collateral damage” now close to a million dead.  If any one has anymore bloody deeds of Che by way of the Cuban revolution, line them up with the atrocities of Black water, the razing of Falluja, masssacres in Haditha.  If you are still short there is always My Lai.

And finally, inspite of an inspired life as a saviour of the oppressed people of the world,Che was on the road to becoming a failed revolutionary with Angola and Bolivia.  Until he was killed with the CIA backing which ensured a heros passing and that he will not be forgotten for a very long time.

As Fidel foretold in his address to the court after the failed Moncada barracks coup, “you may find me guilty now but history will absolve me”.  And it has.

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By Mariam Russell, October 10, 2007 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I live in Costa Rica, Michael. A goodly number of the drs here are Cuban. I am aware of what Cuba has done with the time and limited resources since the 60s. The surgery was actually done in the village in Bolivia. They have a goal of so many million people seeing who could not.



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By P. T., October 10, 2007 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

I oppose the death penalty and support due process.  However, I’ve never heard that anybody but ruthless criminals were executed in the period just after the revolution.

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By Michael Shaw, October 10, 2007 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

105937 Pierre San Martin was a Batista thug! Hearing what he has to say about Che is like hearing the stories of FDR as told by the neocon right. I’d also like to add that Guevara was anti Soviet so calling him a Stalinist butcherer won’t wash.

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By Michael Shaw, October 10, 2007 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

105987 Ed I agree with you. The only thing Che did was meet out justice to dictators and their thugs using their own brands in medicine.

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By Michael Shaw, October 10, 2007 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

106009 Miriam Cuba grants free medical care to anyone, including our local heroes of 9/11 whom our own government has ignored.

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By Michael Shaw, October 10, 2007 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

106069 Thank you Mr. Boggs!

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By Michael Shaw, October 10, 2007 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

PT Thank you for your sane remarks!

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By Michael Shaw, October 10, 2007 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

106060 Well Mr. Frikken Kids, obviously you see nothing wrong with death squads in South and Central America or care little of the poor and downtrodden peoples, all victims of US Imperialism. How else can you compromise my comments and twist them into an Osama bin Ladin scheme? Forgetting the fact these two men had nothing whatsoever in common(in either motive or character) and in fact that Bin Laden was a creation of the CIA(and Ronald Reagan), Che was his own man led by compassion for the less fortunate thanks to the likes of John Foster Dulles and the United Fruit Company)He saw the fear and abuses and yes even the murders of thousands of innocent people he cared for as a physician. Make a villain of him all you wish, but I suspect your heroes are probably people like Ronald Reagan and John Foster Dulles.

I see your comments as typically right wing and coming from the likes of such folks like David Forsmark, who is a great buddy by the way of neo-liberal David Horowitz.

The fact is imperialists, and particularly right wingers fear people like Guevara or anyone else for that matter who has the guts to stand up to them and say, enough is enough! No small wonder he is hated by so few and loved by so many.

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By P. T., October 10, 2007 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

“I just find it funny when somebody makes a statement that can so easily be turned to make them look foolish.  If a CIA murder without trial long after CIA training and funding make Che a hero, then all Ossama would need is a CIA bullet in his head to become a hero by that same definition.”

You make a false analogy.  The CIA would never train and fund Che.  They did with Osama.

“I find it hard to think that a person who desperately wanted to start nuclear war was a good guy deserving of reverence.

If you oppose any use of nuclear weapons in self-defense, then say so.

The U.S. is the only country to use nuclear weapons, and it refuses to take any “options off the table.”

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By boggs, October 10, 2007 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

It has always been the case that anyone who was anti-corporate fascism, would sooner or later find himself in the crosshairs of our assassins gun, namely the CIA.
U.S. is empirical and insists on setting the rules for everyone on the globe.
Our gov’t is a lot like O.J…It gets away with murder and smirks.

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By R Maunders, October 10, 2007 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is nonsense to suggest as Mr Scheer suggests that Ernesto Che Guevara was an “Anarchist” or “Trotskyite”

He was a Revolutionary yes, a Marxist yes and also a Communist. Above all he was a humanitarian, a believer in justice and emancipation for the poor and the oppressed of this world. He was accutely aware of the causes of so much poverty and the system that is largely responsible. The exploitation of the many by the few, the greed, the evil of the greedy who want to keep their wealth and dominance intact. That is why this minority are so scared, so frightened of losing their power and wealth to the masses. Che fought against the evil empire in ways he thought best, some did not always agree with his methods but no one can doubt this man’s immense courage and the hope he brought and still brings to the oppressed people of this divided world.

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