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To make a Socialist omelet, you have to break some eggheads

Tear gas and military force is needed, sometimes, while seizing the equipment of opposition media, in order to form a more perfect socialist republic, you see.

Hugo Chavez sends in the tanks to crush democracy demonstrations in Venezuela. Gateway Pundit has the details.

It's clear to see why Chavez is the left's latest hero - he's willing to bust the heads and send in the tanks to crush the opposition. Not like that wimpy Pelosi . . .


Comments (63)

This is what should be done... (Below threshold)
Wieder:

This is what should be done w/ the EIB Network.

Chavez is also shutting dow... (Below threshold)

Chavez is also shutting down Radio Caracas TV, because they're opposed to his government.

Oh jezz, I should have read... (Below threshold)

Oh jezz, I should have read the link first :)

Gosh, if you listen to the ... (Below threshold)

Gosh, if you listen to the left in this country Bush has done that very thing to quash criticism. Or taken away phantom rights.

And why the EIB network? Don't like Rush? Don't listen.

Who lives by the sword, die... (Below threshold)
kim:

Who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. Chavez imported a million Kalishnikovs to Venezuela. His customs inspectors missed the one with his name on it.
================================

go figure.In Carac... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

go figure.

In Caracas, many people live in small huts made from cast-off building materials - with little or no education - who nonetheless understand Chavez for what he has become: a Stalinist dictator who is slowly killing the economic infrastructure. He is driving business and professional talent out of the country with the efficiency of the Khmer Rouge.

Meanwhile, back in the good old USA, there are many rich liberals, trained in the finest liberal US Universities, who glorify the guy and fight each other for position in the latest Chavez photo op. They have done the same with Castro for years.

So, with Carter, Moore, Sheehan, Glover, Bellefonte', Kennedy Jr., Soros and others - we got a 1927 Yankees lineup of nutjobs to which the rest of the world can only aspire.

The wacko World Series is ours.

This is what shoul... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
This is what should be done w/ the EIB Network

A few days ago I wondered whether you were conservative posting the most extreme lefty points of view just to get a rise in the comment section.

Then I was thinking, well...the lefty blog sites don't allow dissenting views so there is some consistency here in "one view only" department.

And of course when the "Air America" experiment failed what else is there for lefties to do but hope for an armed uprising against those that will not get in lockstep in the left wing goose-step parade.

Right now I believe you are a true lefty and I also believe someone convinced you that you were smart for regurgitating the party line. But unbeknownst to you, instead of being clever and convincing you make it so no one needs a counter point other than.........

"See, I told you so"

Yeah, Wieder is a schmuck. ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Yeah, Wieder is a schmuck. He is smart and capable of thinking. I'm checking to see if he is persuadable. He's a project, but he's been so easy; I hope to make it a little more interesting with this.

Almost three years ago I was shocked at how effectively I was able to find stuff on the Internet and argue effectively with a leftist who'd spent years in Venezuela. He really didn't have a good response to the court packing over the election results, and I'd never heard about it until twenty minutes before.

Sic semper tyrannis. It is no surprise that the left so readily embraces tyrants. They'll take up with old lovers on the thinnest excuse, and now it's the threat to world conflict that mercantilism represents.
============================

You see, the smart ones, ca... (Below threshold)
kim:

You see, the smart ones, capable of thinking, know when they are being sophistic, and must understand, on some level, the intellectual self-betrayal necessary for them to carry on. This is demoralizing, the opposite of the effect on 'the happy few'.


It's why bD is maudlin when he is, and mantis sullen, when he is.

Love ya'. Keep up the good work.
========================

Pussies like Wieder don't l... (Below threshold)
BillyBob:

Pussies like Wieder don't like disagreement to their socialist queer way of life. He probably has a government program that pays for his computer and internet access.

Wieder, your street corner is still available. Get your sign and get back to panhandling you pathetic miserable loser.

Air America failed because ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Air America failed because it couldn't compete economically. EIB gets paid by the stations that rebroadcast it because it can draw some serious ad revenue, Air America had to pay to get on the air because it couldn't support itself through ads.

I'm sorry - seems like the market spoke and the people (those sorry, uneducated, mind-controlled bastards) said "This isn't funny, this isn't entertaining, this isn't thought-provoking, and I don't see a reason to listen to it" and turned to something else. There's a few people who get their feelings reinforced by it, but it's a fair bet that when you're bouncing off the bottom in the ratings that you're doing something way wrong.

Only in a dictatorship can the government determine what the 'people' will listen to, usually by making radios and TVs that only tune to state channels. Now Chavez has shown his true colors - he's about as much for the people of Venezuela as lil' Kim is for the people of North Korea, and we all know how well THOSE people are doing...

Isnt this is what the USSR ... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Isnt this is what the USSR are did to put down the HUGARIAN REVOLTION and what CHINA did at TENIMEN SQUARE

Am I the only one stunned -... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Am I the only one stunned --- STUNNED, I tell ya --- that CNN is not covering this?

I guess when it can be blamed on Bush they might begin to care.
-=Mike
...Chavez even threatened to silence CNN Espanol for 72 hours...

Wieder, come out of that co... (Below threshold)
kim:

Wieder, come out of that corner, doff the conehead cover, and give us your little report on the First Amendment. When you've finished, go back and try to figure out why you need a Second Amendment to ensure the First.
=====================

"It is no surprise that ... (Below threshold)
Wieder:

"It is no surprise that the left so readily embraces tyrants. They'll take up with old lovers on the thinnest excuse"

Oh, such as Ike's CIA's installation of the Shah in place of Iranian democracy or Reagan's assisstance to Saddam to stick it in the eye of Iran, or the Nixon backed coup against Allende to install Pinochet? Then there is the glorious US backing of Marcos, not to mention Reagan's empathy for poor little Somoza...just for starters.

Oh, such as Ike's CIA's ... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Oh, such as Ike's CIA's installation of the Shah in place of Iranian democracy

A Prime Minister committing a massive act of theft by "nationalizing" industry paid for by others? Gee, no problem with that.

Reagan's assisstance to Saddam to stick it in the eye of Iran

FDR supported Stalin against Hitler. Shockingly, sometimes you have to support the lesser of two evils.

Nixon backed coup against Allende to install Pinochet?

Pinochet who revamped the economy and led to democracy? So evil.

Then there is the glorious US backing of Marcos, not to mention Reagan's empathy for poor little Somoza...just for starters.

The Democrats fervently supported the Soviets. Leftists supported the Viet Cong and Khmer Rouge.

Do you REALLY want to play this game?

Heck, the left has no problem with Chavez silencing the only opposition to him left in the country. Of course, they'd applaud a Democrat doing the same to Fox News.
-=Mike

I wonder why the left doesn... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

I wonder why the left doesn't call for a revolution against such repression. I mean, if Bush had done the same thing they would take to the streets (and rightfully so). If the Venezuelan people were armed like the US citizenry, Chavez' would find it a much more difficult proposition.

I guess when it is a pet leftist dictator, the western left will let their actions slide. Really, if we had political prisoners here in America like they do in China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, Iran...etc, we would have heard about it long ago.

"Do you REALLY want to p... (Below threshold)
Wieder:

"Do you REALLY want to play this game?"

Your skewed attempt to shift blame for cozy Republican relationships w/ dictators is simply revisionism. Your understanding of history is nil.

As to "A Prime Minister committing a massive act of theft by "nationalizing" industry paid for by others"

The "others," big oil, were skimming 85% of the Iranian oil proceeds of natural resources that should have belonged to Iran. This attitude is typical w/ Republicans who have historically thought that the economic rape of others' resources is justified for one reason or another.

Another example was the cozy relationship between the US & central American dictators on behalf of United Fruit.

FDR's alliance w/ Stalin was one of necessity to create a 2nd front against the mighty German military regime. He hardly engineered the installation of Stalin.

Your allegation that leftists supported the Viet Cong & Khmer Rouge is lunatic fantasy.

So Pinochet, with all the "disappeared" should be granted exemption for economic revitalization? And disapproval of Allende justifies a US engineered coup against a democratically elected government? So much for democracy. People like you only use that word as a cudgel to justify whatever intervention you want for whatever self-centered reasons you have, usually economic.

People like you crap all over the concept of democracy and then moan about the world "hating our freedom."

MikeSC, your respect for "democratic" values isn't worth crap.

Please, Wieder, come back a... (Below threshold)
kim:

Please, Wieder, come back and play. Mikey and I love Memory Day.
===========================================

"I wonder why the left d... (Below threshold)
Wieder:

"I wonder why the left doesn't call for a revolution against such repression....I guess when it is a pet leftist dictator, the western left will let their actions slide"John F not Kerry

There's a simple answer for that. The left is generally not inclined to intervention into other nation's affairs.

Find one prominent spokesman from the left who is endorsing this latest Chavez move you silly twit.

Weider, champion of the 3rd... (Below threshold)
TR19667:

Weider, champion of the 3rd grade "social studies challenge" at Noam Chomsky Elementary School.

Son, you've come to a gun fight with a knife, and it shows.

The "others," big oil, w... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

The "others," big oil, were skimming 85% of the Iranian oil proceeds of natural resources that should have belonged to Iran.

The companies that PAID for the industry wanted the profits? Those jerks!!

This attitude is typical w/ Republicans who have historically thought that the economic rape of others' resources is justified for one reason or another.

And the left's love affair with coerced government theft is in full regalia here. Kudos be to you.

FDR's alliance w/ Stalin was one of necessity to create a 2nd front against the mighty German military regime. He hardly engineered the installation of Stalin.

Only engineered the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe for decades and gave the Soviets the capacity to try and dominate many parts of the world.

You really are doing quite poorly here.

Your allegation that leftists supported the Viet Cong & Khmer Rouge is lunatic fantasy.

Well, you've shown that history is hardly a strong suit of yours thus far.

So Pinochet, with all the "disappeared" should be granted exemption for economic revitalization?

Considering the types that the left has supported over the years --- yeah, he does. He's like Castro --- except he gave up power and didn't bankrupt his country.

And disapproval of Allende justifies a US engineered coup against a democratically elected government? So much for democracy. People like you only use that word as a cudgel to justify whatever intervention you want for whatever self-centered reasons you have, usually economic.

Gee, defaulting on loans AND stealing property of others? Why does the left so vigorously applaud criminals?

People like you crap all over the concept of democracy and then moan about the world "hating our freedom."

Let's see --- don't liberals rather consistently try to claim that elections they lose were due to "theft"?

There's a simple answer for that. The left is generally not inclined to intervention into other nation's affairs.

BWA HA HA HA!

Funny. What you lack in intellect or common sense you make up with unintentional humor.

Find one prominent spokesman from the left who is endorsing this latest Chavez move you silly twit.

Find one who's said a negative word about it.
-=Mike
...noting that YOU haven't done so...

"Find one prominent spokesm... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

"Find one prominent spokesman from the left who is endorsing this latest Chavez move you silly twit."

Posted by: Wieder

Actually, I just heard about it, and I'm willing to bet the MSM doesn't say anything about it, and your "left spokesman" hasn't had time to endorse it yet.

"you silly twit"

How am I supposed to respond to that? "I'm rubber, you're glue..."?

"Find one prominent spokesm... (Below threshold)
Howcome:

"Find one prominent spokesman from the left who is endorsing this latest Chavez move you silly twit."

Posted by: Wieder

This is what should be done w/ the EIB Network.

Posted by umm: Wieder

Although you are far from prominent, I thought I would point this out.

If Jimmy Carter would have ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

If Jimmy Carter would have acted in the US interersts instead of his perception of Christian Unity, he would not have turned against the Shah of Iran which brought on the Ayetollahs and the hostage crisis and, well, the rest is history. Dimmers are so proud.

I do not fault any US president that takes our interests first and foremost in this world. All others do the same. It is the way the game is played.

Chavez is a thug loved by the left like Sheehan and Glover and Michael Moore and, well, fill in the blank. ww

Wieder, I do in fact think ... (Below threshold)
jdavenport:

Wieder, I do in fact think the dictator problem is bipartisan.

But to remove the cold war from the equation is to truly ignore history. It doesn't matter whether we wished to engage in the Great Game. What matters is if your existential enemy wishes to play.

Not that many of our own did not also wish to play.

The problem as I see it today is that the other great pole has been removed, but the machinery keeps playing the game. But now it's one half of US playing the other half.

The machinery of europe is also engaging, of course. Really, the elite of all those half assed liberty illusion systems.

This is one reason why I think securing the southern border is so very important. Both the left and right elites are running around creating havoc. Both are ignoring the will of the American People.

Border security forces BOTH sides to have at least a little more integrity.


Wieder: "Find one prominent spokesman from the left who is endorsing this latest Chavez move you silly twit."

The politcal machinery of the left ignores this issue, including a corporate left. Unfortunately, I believe Fox is now playing the same game, after having built up some credit with half the country. Or perhaps, from your perspective, they have always been playing it. That's fine if that's your view.

The truth is the political philosophy of the elite of both sides point in the same direction, and it isn't a good.

What are we going to do about it?

Find one prominent... (Below threshold)
Find one prominent spokesman from the left who is endorsing this latest Chavez move you silly twit. Posted by: Wieder at May 28, 2007 11:49 AM

Don't see the usual suspects condemning it either.

Let's see now. Protests in... (Below threshold)

Let's see now. Protests in Venezuela with no one killed earns a Wizbang post. Protests in Afghanistan with 13 killed and 35 wounded does not.

13 dead in Afghanistan protest.

Thirteen people were killed and 35 wounded in Afghanistan today when police opened fire to break up a violent protest against a provincial governor.

What's news about Venezuela... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

What's news about Venezuela is that Venezuela never was anything close to Afghanistan. And to think of comparing them 10 years was laughable.

You see, Venezuela is deteriorating like Afghanistan is improving. It's not where they are. It's where they are headed.

I wish folks like Wieder wo... (Below threshold)
TJIT:

I wish folks like Wieder would tally up the death toll in the socialist wonderlands of the 20th century.

However, it would be dangerous for them to do that. If they did the cognitivie dissonance caused by their moral equivalence arguments might cause their head to explode.

"Thirteen people were kille... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

"Thirteen people were killed and 35 wounded in Afghanistan today when police opened fire to break up a violent protest against a provincial governor.

More than 1,000 people were protesting to demand the removal of Juma Khan Hamdard, governor of the northern province of Jowzjan, and were throwing stones at several government offices in Shiberghan, the provincial capital.

Witnesses said police fired to stop the protesters from raiding the offices.

A provincial government spokesman said the protesters were supporters of General Abdul Rashid Dostum, for years a powerful military commander in the north of Afghanistan.

A doctor at Shiberghan's main hospital said 13 were dead and 35 wounded. Four police were also wounded, but it was not clear how.

Provincial spokesman Rohullah Samun, confirmed the casualties but said they were caused by the protesters.

He said police fired into the air to disperse the protesters. He said the protesters had staged an "uprising against the provincial government" and wanted to bring down the government flag and install that of Gen Dostum's faction.

By midday, the protests came to an end and by then army troops were stationed in key government buildings to maintain order and help police.

Gen Dostum, an ethnic Uzbek and a former communist, has been involved in a series of coups and regime changes in nearly three decades of Afghanistan's conflict. He considered northern areas as his fiefdom, but his powers have been reduced to a large extent in recent years, though he still is officially a military aide to President Hamid Karzai."

That was the story that Larkin so dutifully linked, giving no context, nor reporting on the dispute as to who caused the casualties. Nice try, but not good enough.

"the left is not incline to... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

"the left is not incline to intervene in other nations......"
"Wieder is a win-ne" thats because they and you are cowards.

The left is not inclined to... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

The left is not inclined to intervene in other nations. I guess the Soviets were invited guests in eastern Europe. Weider you are both a liar and an idiot. Your Soviet based education has left you wanting.

"The left is not inc... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:


"The left is not inclined to intervene in other nations."

Of course not. They wouldn't want anyone to take their asses out of power should they take total control either. Slick Willie's wandering prick Rotten's "Hilary Care" scam shattered their dictatatorship dreams. They had damn near had total control of the MSM and to a certain extent still do.

Hey Wieder, aren't you proud that the Communists in this Country allign themselves with Democrats? Or is their even any difference at this point?

Well Rob, it is like this. ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Well Rob, it is like this. The lefties believe in cradle to grave governmental care. Paid for with tax dollars. Those that are not rich think the rest of us are stupid enough to allow them to control us. Hillary's book, it takes a village, is all about her belief in communism. Base word here is commune. They do not care that communism, socialism and the ilk have never been proven to work, they insist on foisting a failed system on us. Democrats must deny danger because they have a hideous record of dealing with it. They will sell this nation down the river if they remain in control. It may be necessary to have another civil war to rid this nation of the vermin that infest the bastions of liberalism.

Zelsdorf, I think you give ... (Below threshold)
jdavenport:

Zelsdorf, I think you give too much credit.

The useful idiots of course think the system will work. The elite left do not, but don't care. They are sure they will be the ones at the top.

Please note that Chavez is ... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Please note that Chavez is now seeking to shut down Globovision, which is presently the closest thing to an opposition newscast there is left in Venezuela.
-=Mike

What Mike says is true. I ... (Below threshold)
Ann:

What Mike says is true. I live in VZ, have for 11 years. Venezuela has SHARPLY declined over the last 8, in which Chavez has been dictator here. How can it be legal to shut down a tv station and TAKE its equipment? Globovision is all we have left in the way of plurality of news. Many, many people are in the streets today, and CNN in Spanish has covered this and been accused by the regime of falsehood. Go figure...

democracy is crushed in the... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

democracy is crushed in the name of both liberal and conservative ideologies. anyone who isnt completely blinded by their political leanings will see this.

just as chavez crushes democracy NOW, so did pinochet THEN. liberals make the fatal mistake of excusing the likes of castro and chavez, while conservatives become apologists for the likes of somoza and pinochet. this has to stop.

sometimes, all of you people who argue from a fixed political position without thinking piss me off.

think, people.

while we all bicker and tear one another apart, more injustices occur. maybe if we stopped all of this bullshit we could actually get some things done.

fuck party lines. it's time to get some things done. liberals need to realize that conservatives are the necessary opposite, and visa versa. sure, there are disagreements, but i think it's possible to work through them.

overall, im tired of the usual useless haggling, which just follows some prescribed political script.

What Mike says is true. ... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

What Mike says is true. I live in VZ, have for 11 years. Venezuela has SHARPLY declined over the last 8, in which Chavez has been dictator here. How can it be legal to shut down a tv station and TAKE its equipment? Globovision is all we have left in the way of plurality of news. Many, many people are in the streets today, and CNN in Spanish has covered this and been accused by the regime of falsehood. Go figure...

Have the actions taken against Globovision been widely reported? I saw the end of RCTV's last broadcast and it was quite sad.
-=Mike

MikeSC:it's being ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

MikeSC:

it's being covered now. what's your goddamned point? are you trying to use this to score some political points against the left, or are you simply and honestly opposed to the bullshit of chavez?

i, for one, am opposed to dictators, whether leftist or rightist, like chavez.

drop the politics, if possible. anyone who can do that gets my vote.

Even the Euro-Left are weig... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Even the Euro-Left are weighing in against the stupid gorilla dictator of Ven.

Le Monde has a blistering editorial today.

Where do you go for love as a Marxist dictator if the squishy left won't have you???

Oh, Ryan, go out on a limb ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Oh, Ryan, go out on a limb and be against "dictators." Wow, you are a Man among Men.

If you failed to notice, it's because your lack of discernment is showing, but which country has the stronger economy post-dictatorship?

Is it post-Marxist dictator, or post-Rightist dictator?

Hmmm, I'll give you a lil hint--how is Chile's economy stacked up against the rest in LatAm?

God what suckers there are on this dusty little planet. If they had eyes, and would only see . . .

Ryan,I also oppose... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

Ryan,

I also oppose dictators, but some are better than others. Chavez deserved condemnation even before this, but scant was given from the left. All we want is equal time for acknowledgement of thugs.

Mitchell:If you... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Mitchell:

If you failed to notice, it's because your lack of discernment is showing, but which country has the stronger economy post-dictatorship?

I don't give a damn about the economic progress of Chile post-Pinochet. I refuse to apologize for a goddamned murderer, right or left. GDP is not the only measure of progress, success, and justice. But I'm sure you know that.

Dont make the mistake of being an apologist for the likes of Pinochet. Backing a right-wing despot is no better than backing a left-wing despot. But I'm sure you know that.

John F Not Kerry:<... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

John F Not Kerry:

I also oppose dictators, but some are better than others. Chavez deserved condemnation even before this, but scant was given from the left. All we want is equal time for acknowledgement of thugs.

Maybe for us some dictators are better than others. It might depend on who you ask. I have a feeling that Pinochet looked just as bad as Stalin from certain vantage points. And I'm not really all that motivated to sit here and split hairs when it comes to murderous dictators who could give a damn about human rights.

Chavez is an asshole, and he goes around spewing his BS to gain attention. The big mistake of the American left is backing dictators such as him, simply because he talks trash about GW Bush. It's a bad plan. Just like American leftists who made the mistake of thinking that Stalin and the USSR were the paragon of virtue. How wrong they were.

You're right. Chavez certainly does deserve condemnation.

If you failed to notice,... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

If you failed to notice, it's because your lack of discernment is showing, but which country has the stronger economy post-dictatorship?

Mitchell, you're basically suggesting the idea that the ends in Chile has justified the means. Are you serious? Do you really think that the murder and kidnapping of thousands of innocents is somehow to be justified by the fact that Chile, at present, has a moderately secure economy?????? I hope you aren't saying that.

And don't go around acting like I'm some goddamned naive fool. I understand the political histories of Latin America, and if you want to get into it, then fine. But leave your little conservative talking points at the door. Pinochet was a bastard, so was Somoza. Same goes for Castro, Stalin, Mushareff, and Chavez.

Try to avoid becoming an apologist for the dicators who happen to fit within the United States' political agenda.

The liberals/leftists/Democ... (Below threshold)
Ennis:

The liberals/leftists/Democrats have never truly supported any of the causes they say they are SO concerned about.

They do not support human rights.

They do not support civil rights.

They do not support womens rights.

They do not support freedom of speech.

They do not support freedom of the press.

They do not support peace.

They do not support justice.

They also are not environmentalists.

They only pretend to support these and all their other "causes" ONLY if helps advance their agenda. Otherwise they could not give a damn.

The liberals/leftists/Democrats have shown their true face for all to see.

It is the face of totalitarianism.

Got a brother named Bill?<b... (Below threshold)
kim:

Got a brother named Bill?
==================

Pinochet was not nice, but ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Pinochet was not nice, but neither was the predecessor.

I once liked Carter for the fact that he objected to supporting tyrants because they were anti-communist. He was right that tyranny was unnecessary to fight communist tyranny, but so terribly wrong in some of the application, see present day Persia. I think from his day forward, the US has become more honest and more effective about how and why to support a tyrant. I still see some justification in Reagan's support of Saddam.
=================================

Pinochet was not nice, b... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Pinochet was not nice, but neither was the predecessor.

Someone who abducted people and had them thrown out of airplanes is a little worse than "not nice."

He was right that tyranny was unnecessary to fight communist tyranny, but so terribly wrong in some of the application, see present day Persia.

You dont think that the Shah's rule was part of the reason that the radical revolution occurred? Doesn't repression breed radicalism? Just because the Shah was able to keep a lid on things--like Saddam, Somoza, and others did--doesnt mean that he was "better." His rule was just another aspect of the problem.

There is a reason why things happened in Iran and Nicaragua...because leaders like the Shah and General Somoza were not concerned with human rights, let alone democracy. The radical Sandinistas and the Iranian revolution are a negative product of earlier repression.

I think from his day forward, the US has become more honest and more effective about how and why to support a tyrant. I still see some justification in Reagan's support of Saddam.

I respectfully disagree with this whole line of thinking. The US supports certain tyrants when it fits the economic/political/strategic agenda of the US. That's logical and all, but not necessarily ethical or even productive in the long term. In many cases, human rights and democracy are completely cast aside to achieve certain ends. Such tactics might work in the short term, but they often tend to create worse problems down the road. It seems better to avoid siding with tyrants, especially considering our ideals about freedom, human rights, and democracy. It comes across as hypocritical, and people tend to remember it.

Saddam is a good case in point. We wanted him to take care of Iran for us, so we looked the other way when it came to the ways he treated his own people. That, of course, has become a major problem for us today.

I expect similar problems in the future from Mushareff (our temporary little ally) and the Saudi Regime (not the bastion of human rights).

Maybe at some point we will start backing the democratic movements rather than the dictators...even if the democratic movements don't jive with our current economic goals.

You don't find me saying ni... (Below threshold)
kim:

You don't find me saying nice things about the Shah, and Chile isn't the only place it rains cats and people. Musharaff is precarious, Abdullah may be bringing in new thinking. I know the Shia live over most of the Saudi oil. I know democracy and the ideals of the enlightenment will win in the end.

I don't think we disagree much, Ryan. I think we are finding better temporal reasons for supporting tyrants now than we used to. That's the nose of the camel under the lip of the tent, I know, but absolute arguments often fail from absurdity.

The Persians were hard on the Kurds, too. I happen to believe that most of the civilian victims of Jalaba were from Iranian gas, but they were all collateral damage in an Arab-Persian War for Water, the nearby dam.

What to do about Paki? I think it is a big bonus that they didn't arm al-Qaeda with Khan's 'bum'.
=============

Ryan, Pinochet was bad, but... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Ryan, Pinochet was bad, but the Marxist dictators were much worse. And it is axiomatic that one's economic freedom and prosperity are crucial to enjoying all other freedoms. You can't do much with your freedom if you're begging in the streets, can't buy food, and dying from illness.

So, you're belief that "all dictators are equally bad" is quite simplistic. You leap to moralistic conclusions without examining the relevant differences. That's not analysis, it's sloganeering.

By the way, today in Nicaragua's La Prensa, it is interesting to note that Nic.'s level of exports is at 50% of what they were in 1978, a year before the Marxists took over. Ask a Nica if who is now impoverished, can't find a job, is sick without health care, if he thinks things were better under a rightist dicatator, or under Ortega.

Don't be a simplistic sap, ryan.

That's King Abdullah in Sau... (Below threshold)
kim:

That's King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia, in my previous comment. There are several interesting things going on there, which, of course, contains the spiritual center of Islam, and also the biggest money spigot of them all. Wahhabi centers there, from which have sprung the madrassahs of Pakistan, which make their nuclear possession problematic. Also, most of the petroleum reserves in Saudi Arabia underlie Shia populated land, just as in Iraq.

Face it. Islam could not generate the energy and hate of the radicals without the fundamentally corrupting unearned money from the petroleum. Thriving human endeavour would not build such a monstrosity, and the sooner the bulk of moderate Muslims, for whom their religion is a comfort, realize that, the better for all of us.

Metaphorically, Allah is testing the faith for world domination with the golden abundance of the oil, and it is failing.
=========================

Oh, yeah, and the Marxist c... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Oh, yeah, and the Marxist committed genocide--I'd rate that as a bit more egregious than throwing a person out of a plane (alot of the hard left radicals were trying to destabilize Chile; they weren't all saints, either).

Marxism has a much nastier pedigree--it demands total control of expression, thought, and state control of economics, to the destruction of same. The degree of destruction is a quantum leap from that of the rightists.

Mitchell:Ryan, ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Mitchell:

Ryan, Pinochet was bad, but the Marxist dictators were much worse.

Right. You realize that thousands of people were abducted and killed by the Pinochet regime, don't you? What qualifies as "much worse" than that? And at what point do you decide to back one murderer over another...when they go along with your economic goals, perhaps?

And it is axiomatic that one's economic freedom and prosperity are crucial to enjoying all other freedoms. You can't do much with your freedom if you're begging in the streets, can't buy food, and dying from illness.

Yes, an individual's economic freedom can certainly be crucial to other freedoms. But economic stats of Chile, for example, do not necessarily reflect the conditions of its populace. That's the Friedman mistake of assuming that economic indices are clear indicators of democratic progress. GDP and many other economic indices might be indicative of production in a global market, but they don't really tell you much about democracy, freedom, or human rights.

The Saudi Regime might look better than Ghana in an economic sense, but that doesn't mean that Saudi Arabian people have more freedom, or are more prosperous, than Ghanaians. It means that a larger amount of wealth exists...but that doesn't matter much if most of the people cannot access it.

Be careful about linking economic growth or success with democracy...because there isn't some 1:1 correlation. Don't forget China.

So, you're belief that "all dictators are equally bad" is quite simplistic. You leap to moralistic conclusions without examining the relevant differences. That's not analysis, it's sloganeering.

Hey man, if you really want to support your right-wing dictators, go ahead.

If you want to split hairs between Stalin, Hitler, Somoza, Pinochet, the Shah of Iran, Musharraf, Saddam Hussein, Castro...well, feel free. It seems pretty clear to me that many of those folks were not too concerned with human rights, democracy, freedom, or equality. I don't have any need to start ranking them based upon how they fit within a particular ideological belief system.

Convenient how you do.

I'm not trying to prove that "my" political side is better or more correct. My basic point is that despots exist on both sides of the political spectrum, and that we might want to be a little more concerned with who we back in the future, if we give a damn about the after effects.

By the way, today in Nicaragua's La Prensa, it is interesting to note that Nic.'s level of exports is at 50% of what they were in 1978, a year before the Marxists took over. Ask a Nica if who is now impoverished, can't find a job, is sick without health care, if he thinks things were better under a rightist dicatator, or under Ortega.

Nicaragua's level of exports only tells us so much. Economic stats are interesting, but they don't tell the whole story. But I'm sure you know that.

Somoza bled the country dry. It was not a good situation. He used Nicaragua's resources to build his military and line his own pockets--his people be damned.

The Sandinistas were a radical result, and they were not a GOOD result. They were, like the Iranian revolution, a violent and radical reaction to years of repressive rule. Exhibit A in why upholding dictators is a bad plan in the long run. Somoza's regime, which you seem to think was a "better" system, was the direct cause of what followed.

The Somoza-Ortega transition was one bad thing to another, IMO. Kind of like the Shah-Ayatolla transition. At least in Nicaragua some kind of democratic tradition kicked in. Ortega was VOTED OUT in the early 1990s if you remember.

Oh, yeah, and the Marxist committed genocide--I'd rate that as a bit more egregious than throwing a person out of a plane (alot of the hard left radicals were trying to destabilize Chile; they weren't all saints, either).

Have you read ANYTHING about Pinochet? Are you seriously trying to discount what he was responsible for??? You might want to do a little background reading before arguing this point.

And when you say "the Marxist" you're talking about Allende, right?

Marxism has a much nastier pedigree--it demands total control of expression, thought, and state control of economics, to the destruction of same. The degree of destruction is a quantum leap from that of the rightists.

Again, I'm not arguing right vs. left. I'm saying that there are many problems on both sides, and that it might be a little more productive to start realizing that. Instead, you want to keep cheerleading for what you think is "your" team.

Kim:I don't thi... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Kim:

I don't think we disagree much, Ryan. I think we are finding better temporal reasons for supporting tyrants now than we used to. That's the nose of the camel under the lip of the tent, I know, but absolute arguments often fail from absurdity.

I agree with you about absolute arguments failing from absurdity.

So I completely understand what you're getting at...I just don't know where we should draw the line. And I do think that some of our past choices have really caused some serious problems TODAY. It's a bad plan to support regimes that crush democracy.

I think that we've learned ... (Below threshold)

I think that we've learned a bit from all the bad, though, haven't we?

Which is why I find it so amazing at times that the "left" or "liberals" in comments here so often insist they are about "reality" and go on to explain how democracy in the middle east can never work and how we really ought to quit what we're doing and let some Shia strongman take over and if it means Sunni Arabs in Iraq suffer the way the Shia suffered under Saddam, well that's all hunky dory.

What we've ended up with is *conservatives* pushing a liberal agenda of, yes, intervention and the notion of universal human rights to liberty and justice. And we've ended up with *liberals* insisting that social justice really doesn't matter next to the demands of political reality and national sovereignty.

Because Weider (no surprise) is wrong. Interventionism is absolutely a *liberal* sort of thing while isolationism is absolutely a *conservative* thing.

Human rights to free speech as a universal necessity, women's equality, human dignity... those things, including insisting on them for *everyone* all over the world is a LIBERAL thing.

So we get the conservatives converted away from supporting one tyrant over another and got them doing what must really and truly be done in order to stop the cycles of oppression, the *root causes* of violence according to liberal thought, and... it's so terrible, utterly terrible, to find a common cause in social justice, equality and liberty, that the "left" is suddenly non-interventionist and respectful of foreign tyrants.

Oh, sure, that makes all sorts of sense.

Who believes that free speech, freedom of the press, and all that is actually important? Who trusts, actually trusts, regular good-old-boys with democracy?

Conservatives these days are conserving classical liberalism.

The progressives have progressed to something else.

it's being covered now. ... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

it's being covered now. what's your goddamned point? are you trying to use this to score some political points against the left, or are you simply and honestly opposed to the bullshit of chavez?

Yes. My contempt for somebody who would silence all dissent is just posturing.

You know, I'm not the one who has been arguing for at least a year that Iraqis were better off under Saddam.

I don't give a damn about the economic progress of Chile post-Pinochet. I refuse to apologize for a goddamned murderer, right or left. GDP is not the only measure of progress, success, and justice. But I'm sure you know that.

Pinochet left power.

Chavez isn't going to.

Castro didn't.

That alone makes Pinochet better.

A bastard, but not as bad as Castro or Chavez.

You dont think that the Shah's rule was part of the reason that the radical revolution occurred?

Since they hated Mossadegh as much --- no, the Shah did not lead to it. His attempt to liberalize his policies, perversely, led to it. That and Carter's belief that a man of God couldn't be bad didn't help.

I respectfully disagree with this whole line of thinking. The US supports certain tyrants when it fits the economic/political/strategic agenda of the US.

Like FDR did with Stalin. Sometimes, there is a greater evil.

We wanted him to take care of Iran for us, so we looked the other way when it came to the ways he treated his own people. That, of course, has become a major problem for us today.

Actually, no, his treatment of his fellow people led to us abandoning him. It was Europe that never changed their policy of supporting him.

Maybe at some point we will start backing the democratic movements rather than the dictators...even if the democratic movements don't jive with our current economic goals.

You are aware that there isn't actually a pro-democracy movement trying to take over in Arabia, right?

The Somoza-Ortega transition was one bad thing to another, IMO. Kind of like the Shah-Ayatolla transition. At least in Nicaragua some kind of democratic tradition kicked in. Ortega was VOTED OUT in the early 1990s if you remember.

Which the left, literally, opposed vehemently.
-=Mike

MikeSC:Yes. My ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

MikeSC:

Yes. My contempt for somebody who would silence all dissent is just posturing.

Good, then condemn Chavez for who he is and leave comments and assessments about the generalized "left" aside.

You know, I'm not the one who has been arguing for at least a year that Iraqis were better off under Saddam.

And who is? I hope you're not suggesting that that is what I'm arguing...

A bastard, but not as bad as Castro or Chavez.

I get your point, but at some point it seems a little ridiculous to go around ranking dictators like this. I think many people think Pinochet was *better* because he was willing to comply with certain US policies. So, if Castro still did the same things, but was willing to comply with US ecomomic/military policies, would be one of these *good* dictators??? There's a bit of a problem with this kind of thinking, IMO.

Since they hated Mossadegh as much --- no, the Shah did not lead to it. His attempt to liberalize his policies, perversely, led to it. That and Carter's belief that a man of God couldn't be bad didn't help.

I see. The Iranian Revolution just came from nowhere, and the rule of the Shah had no effect upon it. The Shah was just a good dictator who happened to comply with US policies.

It seems to me that things went from bad to worse in that deal...from the Shah to the Ayatolla. It sounds like you think things were great before 1979. It seems clear to me that they weren't. Now, that doesn't mean that I think the damn Iranian Revolution was some kind of positive or rational reaction, because I don't.

Like FDR did with Stalin. Sometimes, there is a greater evil.

Hmmm. Well, IMO they Stalin and Hitler rank about the same. Once you get into the millions, well, I think the level of evil is pretty much as high as it gets.

Actually, no, his treatment of his fellow people led to us abandoning him. It was Europe that never changed their policy of supporting him.

Where did you read that? From my understanding it was when Hussein stopped doing what the US wanted. You know, he was still getting help from us just a bit before the time that he rolled into Kuwait. That seemed to be the time that we changed our mind about him. That was when we changed our tactics, from what I have read. Of course, if you have other info, please share it.

You are aware that there isn't actually a pro-democracy movement trying to take over in Arabia, right?

Yes. Hence the complexity of the situation, which you obviously recognize.

Which the left, literally, opposed vehemently.

Well, I'm not sure which "left" you're talking about...but by no means do I think that the left is free from making stupid decisions. Are you talking about the American left, the Nicaraguan left, or the big bad generalized evil marxist bogeyman left which many conservatives lump into one large group?

I certainly CAN "rank" dict... (Below threshold)

I certainly CAN "rank" dictators by one measure: did they surrender power peacefully to democratic processes, or not?

Pinochet DID, and in fact he ousted Allende after the legislature and the judiciary pleaded with the Army to act.

When I see Castro or Chavez or Saddam or Assad surrender power peacefully, then they can join the first rank (rather late for Saddam to have a chance, of course), which so far includes Pinochet and Cincinnatus. Gorby doesn't qualify, as his surrender was hardly voluntary. Neither does Franco, since he only turned over power by dying.

Anyone who has to call Marx... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Anyone who has to call Marxism a "bogeyman" is actually quite indifferent to the complete destructive force of the movement.

There has never been a more destructive force--certainly not Nazism; Stalin killed more Jews than the Nazis.

And the genocide and mass killings of Marxist Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, genocide of the Indians of Northeastern Nicaragua (I know something about), Cuba, etc.

Some bogeyman. Again, ryan, you show how unserious your thinking is.

Good, then condemn Chave... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Good, then condemn Chavez for who he is and leave comments and assessments about the generalized "left" aside.

You mean like the left doesn't discuss how the right supports death squads and the like? OK, I'll get right on that.

And who is? I hope you're not suggesting that that is what I'm arguing...

It's what the antiwar left has a real nasty habit of arguing, yes.

I get your point, but at some point it seems a little ridiculous to go around ranking dictators like this. I think many people think Pinochet was *better* because he was willing to comply with certain US policies. So, if Castro still did the same things, but was willing to comply with US ecomomic/military policies, would be one of these *good* dictators??? There's a bit of a problem with this kind of thinking, IMO.

Pinochet is better because he left power while Castro and Chavez did not and will not. I can't think of anything Castro or Chavez did that benefitted the people. Honestly.

I see. The Iranian Revolution just came from nowhere, and the rule of the Shah had no effect upon it. The Shah was just a good dictator who happened to comply with US policies.

The Shah was attempting to liberalize his policies. The mullahs seem significantly less interested in that.

The Islamists don't really need a reason to want to conquer countries.

Hmmm. Well, IMO they Stalin and Hitler rank about the same. Once you get into the millions, well, I think the level of evil is pretty much as high as it gets.

Stalin killed more people. By quite a margin. Not as evil as Mao, but he was really quite loathesome. Arguably worse than Hitler.

And FDR and Truman went so far as to make sure that all Soviet soldiers trying to leave the USSR were returned --- frequently against their will.

Where did you read that? From my understanding it was when Hussein stopped doing what the US wanted.

We abandoned him in the 1980's when what he did to the Kurds became public knowledge. The French, on the other hand, armed him to the very end, even after we begged them to stop.

Supporting him over the mullahs is, again, like supporting Stalin against Hitler.

Well, I'm not sure which "left" you're talking about...but by no means do I think that the left is free from making stupid decisions. Are you talking about the American left, the Nicaraguan left, or the big bad generalized evil marxist bogeyman left which many conservatives lump into one large group?

The American left VIGOROUSLY opposed the move to force elections in Nicaragua. Reagan's support of the opponents to Ortega is what led to the Iran/Contra non-story.
-=Mike




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