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Posts Tagged ‘Che

Che vs. Kim Jong Il

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A big thanks to Deus Do, editor at Reed Magazine, for accepting and publishing my art/poem, “The Glorious Right to Insult Kim Jong Il.” Kim Jong Il is a universally lampooned bozo, from Team America World Police to North Korean propaganda boasting of his shooting 38 under par. No one debates Kim Jong Il’s evil.Two years ago the Rio Grande Review published “Poem in the Form of Che,” a companion to my Kim Jong Il. How does lovable ol’ Che compare to a North Korean goon? Not well.

Ever since I lived in Argentina and read el diario del che en bolivia I plunged off the Che bandwagon. Guys like Pol Pot and Mao and Stalin and Kim Jong Il are easy targets.  Everyone hates them. But why hate on Che-dolf?

Because journals I read and respect, like Guernica, idolize him and avoid any real debate of whether he was a mass murderer. The simple one sentence conclusion: Che started good and died an evil man. Okay, the Che debate deserves at least a paragraph.The same people that are against torture, extra-judicial execution, killing of civilians, these anti-war people often adore and glorify the “legend” of Che. I can understand if you live in Cuba and have been force fed Che-paganda, there’s no free press in Cuba, but c’mon, Guernica, this is the West. We can look at all sides. In Argentina he’s only a “hero” to the far left, to the majority he’s a demagogue. I’ll concede his case falls into the realm of “moral ambiguity” and that he definitely had a humanitarian side. But dig deeper on Che. He should be reviled and not revered.

Reed Magazine, el diario del che en bolivia, Rio Grande Review

Rio Grande Review: Poem in the Form of Che

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Poema en la Forma del Che

The Spring Rio Grande Review is out with my poem/art/statement, if you will, about Che Guevara. Twenty years ago I had a different perspective. Che seemed an enigma, a revolutionary, and perhaps a hero. He received praise from the likes of Mandela, stood up against brutality and right-wing dictatorships, and dedicated his life to fighting for the oppressed.

As years went by, I came across documentation of Che’s deeds and words that seemed, well, er…odious. He killed a lot of people without reason, had a simplified Marxist view of economy, and prejudicial hatred against classes. Che abhorred atrocity but did not understand it. And for a soldier, judge, and executioner, this is a lethal combo.

Written by Caleb Powell

June 9, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Che vs. Pinochet: Who’s the Bigger Asshole?

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El juez Baltasar Garzón defendió en su momento para abrir la causa sobre los desaparecidos en España que el delito de “detención ilegal, sin dar razón del paradero, en el contexto de crímenes contra la humanidad” es “permanente”. – MADRID (AFP) Abril, 2010

Judge Baltasar Garzón defended the opening of a case against those who perpetrated the disappearances of civilians in Spain, saying that the crime of “illegal detention, without giving notice of the whereabouts of the missing, in the context of crimes against humanity” is “permanent.

In 1998 Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón issued a warrant for the arrest of Augusto Pinochet. (Good on Señor Garzón, may he kick the pants off his adversaries). I was in London at the time and wandered outside Parliament, and thus had the opportunity to talk to some Chileans.  They were demonstrating, voicing support for Garzón’s warrant.

The protesters were correct, of course, in their concerns. Pinochet’s victims have been without recourse. US support for Pinochet was a bloody shame, and the fact Pinochet was allowed some peace and semblance of diplomatic immunity is a travesty. Though Pinochet never stood trial, he is reviled, a foul stench in the pot of 20th Century saga. With the exception of dorks such as the derechistas, Pinochet is universally considered a goon…a murderous, slavering asshole. Yet why are some of the people that hate Pinochet often on the side of Che? These dipshits  wear Che T-shirts and post his image on their notebooks and bumpers. Ok, not all are dipshits…some are well-educated and possess intelligence that trumps mine. But the question still merits asking: Is Che a symbol for atrocity?

“Para enviar hombres al paredón de fusilamiento el poder judicial no necesita demostrar nada… Estos procedimientos son arcaicos y burgueses. ¡Esta es una revolución! Y un revolucionario se debe convertir en una máquina fría de asesinar motivado por el odio puro. Debemos crear la pedagogía del Paredón.” Ernesto Che Guevara cuando ordenó la ejecución del Coronel Rojas sin proceso judicial en 1959.

To send men to be shot by firing squad at The Wall, judicial power does not need to prove anything…these procedures are archaic and bourgeois. This is revolution! And revolution must transform itself into a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate. We must create the pedagogy of the Wall! – Che when he ordered the execution of Coronel Rojas without judicial process in 1959.

Che died a vile man, not a hero. In Cuba he presided over the arrest of over 200 prisoners incarcerated by the Castro regime. In a prison outside of Havana he signed off on executions without trial. Some of the prisoners were bystanders, guilt by association being their sole crime (Mao & Pol Pot honed these policies). He continued, becoming a fanatic, as he waged war in Latin America (he started out on a noble cause, and evolved into an executioner who only saw black and white…and damned straight, his foes were equally culpable and capable of atrocity).

Che’s T-shirts outsell Pinochet’s. Why? Crimes against humanity, whether committed by the right or left wing, remain crimes against humanity.


 (Nice Poster…but it’s Che Guevara!) ¡Viven Che y Pinochet, juntos en el infierno!

Written by Caleb Powell

May 2, 2010 at 5:52 am

Posted in Genocidal Maniac, Review

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