November 28th, 2016

Western leaders: we come to praise Castro, not to bury him

The death of Fidel Castro has further exposed the long slow drift of the West towards leaders who lean so far left they are unable to tell the truth about a man who was—as Trump put it—“a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades.”

Instead, we get a carefully-worded weasel statement from President Obama, for example, from whom never a discouraging word is heard about Castro. But Obama’s statement is practically hard-hitting compared to some of the fulsome [see NOTE *1] praise heard from many other Western leaders. As Marco Rubio said:

Some of these people you’re talking about are people that have never had to live… near him, or anywhere around him or been impacted” by what he’s done, Rubio said. “Others, quite frankly have anti-American sentiments and have always viewed Fidel Castro as a person who stood up to America.”

“And others quite frankly are left-leaning — they just agree with his ideology,” he said.

One of the most over-the-top responses had been that of Canada’s Trudeau, whose remarks about Castro were so positive, and so carefully evasive in their wording, that they have unleashed a Twitter storm of humorous ridicule in which people imagine how Trudeau might have eulogized some of the most evil people in history. Very funny indeed. But there’s nothing funny about what has happened to the West—its moral and political decay, and its contempt for its own citizens who can still see, for the moment, anyway, what their so-called leaders think them unable to see.

It’s not an accident that so many Western heads of state think their people might swallow the idea that Castro was a really nice man who held onto power for over fifty years in Cuba (with his brother taking up the slack after that) merely because he was such a great guy and so excessively beloved. The Western media has been pushing that story for a long, long time, as chronicled here.

Not everything goes back to Donald Trump, even though it may seem so these days. But this story does, because it is hard to not be struck by the contrast between Trump’s response and that of so many of the other Western leaders. It takes a lot to make Trump seem like a breath of fresh air, but they continually manage to do so. This is precisely the sort of thing that has made Trump seem to a lot of people like a welcome relief from the claptrap that emanates from the mouth of so many other heads of state.

That’s not to say that some of his GOP opponents—and in particular I mean Cruz, as well as the previously-quoted Rubio—wouldn’t have been just as frank, particularly on this issue. But they are not going to be president, and Trump is.

[NOTE *1: I mean “fulsome” in its earlier meaning not just of “abundant” but of “offensive.”]

[NOTE 2: The title of this post is a reference to Mark Antony’s funeral oration for Caesar.]

[ADDENDUM: Among all the other things the left conveniently ignores is Castro’s record on gay rights: “it should never be forgotten that [Castro] was also an oppressor, torturer, and murderer of gay people.”]

54 Responses to “Western leaders: we come to praise Castro, not to bury him”

  1. Yancey Ward Says:

    The inability to call a spade a spade in this case is just another milepost of the moral rot in our governments.

  2. M J R Says:

    Cited it before, happy to cite it (yet) again:

    “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
    — Generally credited to George Orwell

  3. Big Maq Says:

    There is a false “collegiality” between leaders nowadays.

    You had an article about, essentially, decorum, in a different context. It is also about “decorum” here.

    Sometimes those “diplomatic sensibilities” have, indeed, gotten in the way of dealing with reality.

    obama has a long history of following this line to ill effect.

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    Big Maq:

    I disagree. I think the reaction of most of those leaders goes way way beyond decorum. Decorum does not require praise, nor does it require completely ignoring the bad. Until just a little while ago, the official US policy made it very clear that we disapproved of the Castro regime, and had for decades. Certain truths are obvious and can be couched in polite language.

  5. Sergey Says:

    One huge absence among the world leaders should be mentioned: Putin will not present on funerals. I do not dare to guess what this means. I just do not know. There were lots of surprising movements under Kremlin carpet recently, but again nobody has a clue what this means.

  6. Big Maq Says:

    @Neo – for you and I that is so re: the reaction.

    But, in the diplomatic realm much repugnant is ignored, and praise is loosely provided. They mistakenly think continuing such is appropriate to the situation.

    Good judgement? I think not.

    But, isn’t this a piece of the story under which trump was elected?

    People want authenticity and plain speaking, and are fed up with such phoniness from the “political class”.

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    Big Maq:

    Yes, as I wrote in the next-to-last paragraph of my post, I think it’s a big part of why Trump got elected.

    But I disagree that this is an example of diplomacy. First of all, statements on the death of a dictator are not diplomacy, and they don’t have anything to do with setting policy or negotiating. Secondly, as I said, it is possible to be polite without praising someone or ignoring the obvious fact that that person was a dictator.

    People are heartily sick of this claptrap, which has been particularly widespread on Castro’s death. It’s not just an example of why Trump was elected (although it is that), but why Brexit happened, and why Le Pen is gaining support in France.

  8. Ann Says:

    Maybe all hope is not lost — Nancy Pelosi actually said this:

    The death of Fidel Castro marks the end of an era for Cuba and the Cuban people. After decades under Fidel’s doctrine of oppression and antagonism, there is hope that a new path for Cuba is opening.

    In recent years, we have seen both the opportunity and the responsibility to break free of the past and build new bonds of friendship. With the bold leadership of President Obama, the U.S. and Cuba have already taken historic steps toward a new, forward-looking relationship between our peoples. We are hopeful this progress will continue under the new Administration.

    Still, we meet this day with clear eyes. Generations of Cuban political prisoners, democracy activists and families suffered under Fidel Castro’s rule. In their name, we will continue to press the Cuban regime to embrace the political, social, and economic dreams of the Cuban people.

  9. parker Says:

    How difficult is it to say Fidel was a repressive, brutal, vain man who lived in luxury while a vast majority of Cubans lived in abject proverty and fear? As Ann notes, even Pelosi has a stiffer spine than bho. As for baby Trudeau… what pampered snowflake.

  10. Sergey Says:

    Let us suppose there will be regime change in Cuba, and Cuban expats will be able to return to see their relatives and, may be, participate in transition to more modern society. What will come next? I do not expect much improvement, the country still will be a corrupt kleptocracy, very poor, benighted and backward, even if not so brutal or openly terrorist. It will be like post-Stalin Soviet Union or modern Russia, just more poor and delusional. And will end like Venezuela.

  11. Sergey Says:

    Democracy in any country where whites are not a majority will not last long. We have seen it everywhere. The most distinguished scientist of our time, Nobel prize winner James Watson was right on this matter.

  12. OM Says:

    Sergey:

    What is Japan? Must not be a democracy? Whatever…

  13. Frog Says:

    Compared to Obama, Trudeau and others, Trump is indeed a breath of fresh air regarding Fidel.
    Sergey, I believe you meant that Cuba could return to being a modern democratic state, as it was before Fidel, and can be again. Watson’s observation is regrettably true, but Cubans are not exactly non-white, See Miami, an economic powerhouse, due to Cubans.

  14. OM Says:

    Batista, pre Castro. A bit of history for bloviators.

  15. parker Says:

    Sergey,

    Please explain why a Cuba cleansed of the Castro junta can not be an open, capitalistic nation. Think Costa Rica.

  16. j e Says:

    The Afro-fascists of BLM are mourning the passing of a great leader and undoubtedly hoping that Assata Shakur will be pardoned and allowed to return to the U.S.

  17. neo-neocon Says:

    Sergey:

    Your definition of “non-white” is certainly an odd one—Asia?? Latin America??

    In addition, all the nations with a black majority—if that’s what you primarily mean when you say “non-white”—share a tribal, colonial, and leftist history, as well as other elements that have hampered them terribly (I wrote about this topic at some length here). Haiti, the other predominantly black country, has a terrible history as well, right from the start. Not to mention Russia, a very white country which hasn’t been doing well for a long long time, and in which democracy and/or republicanism never really got off the ground. And then there are the Middle Eastern countries, which are pretty messed up and are controlled by white people—every bit as white as I am, and in fact their inhabitants look a lot like me.

    Fact is, only western Europe has a different sort of history. Historians can argue a lot about why, but I don’t think there’s some intrinsic specifically racial difference, and I have read a lot of the arguments pro and con.

    By the way, Cuba wasn’t doing half bad prior to Castro. Like Humpty Dumpty, however, once a country goes bad, it’s hard to build it up again.

  18. parker Says:

    Sergey,

    Batista was much like Pinochet,. If you think Pinochet was bad news for Chile, you think Batista was bad for Cuba. Yes, both were somewhat repressive, but then one has to ask what were they repressing?

    It is not clear where we come down on such matters. The shades of left in the USA are not all utter darkness, but some on the left are utter darkness. It is a matter of how a sane society deals with the darkness of the far left and far right. I do not know the answer, and I suspect neither do you. Or, Frog or OM (for example). We should admit we do not always have a clear way forward, we stumble along seeking clarity in a thick fog.

  19. groundhog Says:

    Sergery says: One huge absence among the world leaders should be mentioned: Putin will not present on funerals.

    Interesting. Perhaps they have finally lost interest in it. Putin is plenty busy in other places though.

  20. Ann Says:

    Even more interesting — Justin Trudeau’s not going to Castro’s funeral. And neither are Obama or Biden.

  21. OM Says:

    Sergey:

    And of course there are those wonderful ideas (S) that “white” people have graced humanity with; Communism, Socialism, Fascism, since it’s all about how much melanin is expressed by a group’s or individual’s physical appearance. Or is it the “white” culture?

    Is a straw man white or some other color? Probably, kahki, when you look closely, from India undoubtedly.

    But Fidel is still dead. That is a good thing.

  22. OM Says:

    Misspelled khaki. The true of straw men?

  23. Bill Says:

    One of my favorite cartoonists, Bill Mauldin of “Willie and Joe” fame had a brilliant cartoon about Stalin’s death. Stalin was gazing into the sunset and the Grim Reaper has his arm around Stalin’s shoulder and he’s saying, “you’ve been a good friend, Joseph.”

  24. OM Says:

    But was Stalin of the “white” culture? The “alt-right” and their defenders, loathsome.

  25. Chester Draws Says:

    Costa Rica has been a pretty stable democracy for a while. (If they are “white” then why isn’t Portugal, which was not far off Fascist until 1978.)

    In fact no-one much gets to have stable democracies – there’s what a dozen more than 100 years old? Mostly isolated, so able to avoid constant foreign intervention.

  26. Sergey Says:

    This awful ideas began to spread since French Enlightenment, which was a terrible deviation from Judeo-Christian heritage. “White” in my definition is Western European, this heritage never was deeply rooted in Eastern Roman Empire, and it is felt up to date. Think Greece, Russia, all other Slavic countries: formally Christian, but not really so. In all these Eastern Europe countries the same sad story: massive, rampant corruption, crime, dishonesty as a way of life. Only in Protestant countries of Northern Europe the situation is different, and very much so, because culture matters. Now compare crime statistics in Mexico or Latin America and among Anglo-Saxon USA population: the difference is obvious and huge. And this has a direct effect on politics, on rule of law and stability of democracy.

  27. Sergey Says:

    Democracy in the West has a very long and noble pedigree, it begins with Socrates (2600 years ago), Roman Republic (from the foundation of Rome), is followed by Magna Charta (1000 years ago), British Parliament (also about 1000 years old), English Common Law adopted in all former British colonies. So 100 years old democracies are a joke, Potemkin villages, or Cargo Cult democracies: imitations of Western institutions, like airstrips and watching towers from straw on Pacific atolls, but not a real thing.

  28. blert Says:

    Sergey Says:
    November 29th, 2016 at 3:21 am

    Simulacrum, then.

    The form is adopted, but not the substance.

    BTW, Japan practically qualifies as a one-party state.

    Many of the other, so-called democracies also are, de facto, one-faction states… with their media controlled by the national government … often with amazing and creative schemes.

    Stuff like requiring a license to talk on national TV — for each person — like a driver’s license, or the ability to sell securities, insurance or real estate.

  29. OM Says:

    Blert:

    It is amazing how far one has to go to prop up a straw man, that only white culture or western European cultures can have freedom and individual autonomy.

    “BTW, Japan practically qualifies as a one-party state.” It must follow because they are Asian. Sick.

  30. OM Says:

    Oh great minds:

    Please also account for that other “one party state” of Asians, India. Another cargo cult I suppose. Pony up some more clichés while you are at it.

  31. Brian E Says:

    The fact that the left is willing to overlook the brutality of repressive regimes should speak volumes to Americans.

    I don’t remember conservatives waxing nostalgic over the death of the Shah of Iran, for example. But I guess the Shah was Iran’s Bautista as the Ayatollah was Iran’s Castro.

    Since all talk leads to the alt-R, here’s an interesting take on the movement by Michael Kennedy over at Chicago Boyz.

    http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/53743.html

  32. OM Says:

    I guess your memory is selective regarding the Shah of Iran, Jimmy Carter, and the Allotoyota (SIC), and conservatives. Are ‘conservatives from the past now the convenient whipping boy of the Trumpkins? /S

  33. Sergey Says:

    Japan is simply feodal, her corporations are the new landlords, and their employee are expected to sing hymns to the Company every day. The most important virtue is loyalty and devotion, and the remuneration is the life-long job security and paternalistic care. Japanese people can be very entrepreneurial, just not in the home country.

  34. OM Says:

    Some Japanese may differ I would suspect. That white culture brush paints pretty broad and covers all imperfections of the others. Something about them not being of the white culture. And it covers all fo India too, pretty convenient that white culture brush.

  35. Sergey Says:

    OM: The ruling caste of Brahmans in India is very white indeed, unlike the 90% of population. As Aryan as Aryan can be, without a drop of foreign blood. And it has smoothly adopted practically all polices of British colonial authorities, including language and English Common Law. For half a century the ruling party was Gandhy-Neru dynasty, for another half century we can expect Janata Party rule, also dynastic.

  36. Sergey Says:

    I never wrote about “white culture”, such thing does not exist, only about Western culture in its traditional definition, and that this culture can survive only if white people are still a majority. Other cultures may have their own virtues, I just am not very interested in them and do not want them to replace the only one which I am really interested in.

  37. OM Says:

    Sergey:

    Some on the alt-right are not so subtle about western versus white culture. I am glad that you are not one of them, but to fall into the Aryan line. Well I don’t know about that. Seems like a fall back into pigmentation and ancestry line of thought.

  38. Sergey Says:

    Most of the things written about Aryans is a complete nonsense, so I am not eager to fall in this line, but their existence is not a myth. And Sanskrit is the most ancient parent language of this huge language family, to which almost all European languages belong (including these of Greeks, Persians and Romans). And the origins of the Brahman caste is also a historical fact, as well as their absolute hegemony in modern India.

  39. DNW Says:

    “Sergey Says:
    November 29th, 2016 at 3:21 am

    Democracy in the West has a very long and noble pedigree, it begins with Socrates (2600 years ago), Roman Republic (from the foundation of Rome), is followed by Magna Charta (1000 years ago), British Parliament (also about 1000 years old), English Common Law adopted in all former British colonies….”

    Since you are a Russian, perhaps you will have some perspective on the following question relating to the stymied development [possibly] of organic democracy and republican sensibilities in the east.

    What is the standard take in Russia, on the history of Prince Novgorod the Great, the “republic” of carpenters …

    Reading what little I have about it, it looks as though the rights of the citizens of the state compared favorably at one time with those of early Medieval free cities in Europe.

    I am not an expert on Anglo-Saxon England, but it does not seem as though they were worse off than the average Saxon churl.

    The usual interpretation here, is that constant pressure from central Asia nipped the ability of non-autocratic institutions to develop. This of course assumes that Moscow was somehow forced by circumstance to wreck Novgorod.

    Anyway if you read this, I would be interested to hear the views of a “native” , as they say.

  40. DNW Says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot to throw in Kiev before the Mongol sacking.

    What is the consensus view in Russia among social historians of the political situation there pre-1240, vis-a-vis the enjoyment of natural liberty, and social rights there by the “common man”, before the ruin came.

  41. DNW Says:

    By the way, the birch bark letters seem to indicate a certain quality of life – relative to the times and the context – that is undeniable.

  42. Sergey Says:

    DNV: Before Mongol invasion Russia development by any metric was as advanced as that of Western Europe, and in some aspects even more progressive. In Novgorod most of the population was literate, men and women alike. But Mongols targeted cities for plunder, and their conquest was devastating. It can be compared with a nuclear war: 80% of cities were completely destroyed and never restored at their former place. What happened next was comparable with the Dark Ages in Europe after fall of Roman Empire. Trade and commerce mostly became extinct, rural population reduced to subsistence agriculture, technology and arts were lost.

  43. Sergey Says:

    There were no good reason for Ivan The Terrible to siege and destroy Novgorod except his desire to get rid of more successful competitor and his paranoia. No Russian history scholar ever attempted to justify this criminal behavior bordering with genocide against his own people.

  44. DNW Says:

    @ Sergey,

    Tragic. Imagine a Russia where Novgorod and Kiev continued to flourish to the extent of their natural capacities, and how Russian history might have otherwise looked.

    What a loss.

    France in 20 years, if they don’t do something about it.

  45. DNW Says:

    @ Sergey,

    Another “by the way” …

    Have you personally accessed the American archive of Russian pre-Revolutionary glass plate color images?

    If you have not, you need to go online and do it.

    I downloaded most of them myself years ago. Well worth the time and effort.

    https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/gorskii.html

  46. DNW Says:

    For what it is worth … even though selected Before Communism

    http://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/prokc/20900/20955v.jpg

    https://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/ppmsc/03900/03973v.jpg

    http://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/prokc/21600/21602v.jpg

    Funny how you can do the same thing with Cuba. A rising standard of living. Mid-Century Modern houses and apartments going up. And now …

  47. Sergey Says:

    Prokudin-Gorsky archive? Of course, I have seen it. Even better: many of these color plates could not be seen in color because the originals were taken not in the same second, but one color after another, so the people needed to stay immobile for some time, and they sometimes moved. But recently a computer algorithm was developed to compensate for this defect, and now more of these images were restored in color.

  48. Big Maq Says:

    @Neo – yes, I get that, but I wasn’t saying they were treating it as an act of diplomacy. I was saying they were behaving with a “diplomat’s mindset”.

    It has its roots in “decorum and respect”, but, like its cousin “political correctness”, it can go too far. In the right circumstances, it works to get us past road blocks to moving forward. But, both can be overused / abused.

    In both cases of going too far, we see something of a leftist oikophobia that the rest of us find revolting.

  49. Ymarsakar Says:

    Witness the power of the Left. How many elections before one defeats evil?

  50. Ymarsakar Says:

    Sergey mistakes Western culture’s fruit as its source. The reason why Western culture has advanced to this degree, even claiming pedigree from Socrates and the Roman Empire/Republic, is because of the God of Abraham and Isaac.

    Not Christianity in the organized religion, but I’m a superior entity enlightening and moderating the lesser life forms, the same way humans do for cattle and gardens. The Garden of Eden, where deities, God, and spirits dealt with humans.

    As for the Aryans, they were Persians before Islam. So them being in India isn’t that big of a surprise. Being in Germany, pretty far fetched. Although one early Roman dark age line about Arthur was that he was half Scythian warlord.

    It’s the same reason the Jews think they are smart and gifted because of something the atheists say came from their people’s pride. It’s not their DNA or their ancestors they should be thankful to, but the Holy One of Israel who saved that collection several times and whenever was asked for more knowledge that humans weren’t ready for, enlightened the people and progressed their ability to understand the knowledge of good and evil.

    The same is easily applied to what people think of as White Culture = Western Culture = Civilization.

    The story concerning the Watchers applies here, since it was an Old Testament correlation with the apkallu legends. That much of humanity’s ancient technology and civilization was raised up by actual gods. This correlates to the War in Heaven as Jewish Old Testament scholars attempted to explain, which was later excised out by later generations of Jewish rabbis and scholars.

    To humans, a fallen angel/demon or a spirit would be called a god. They were primitives back then after all. They didn’t have our view point at all.

    As for humanity of this era, the Christians often claim that Satan/Lucifer rules the Earth. Although there’s not much theological details about what that actually entails. Due to misplaced teaching in the churches or just unwillingness to teach the Christian theology. The Old Testament as well as the New Testament often had references to the Watchers, the angelic spirits that God created and placed in control, delegated, of various human nations. Every spirit would then have been capable of exercising their own autonomy over how to educate or progress humanity in their little sphere of influence.

    Sergey Says:
    November 29th, 2016 at 12:58 pm
    Japan is simply feodal, her corporations are the new landlords, and their employee are expected to sing hymns to the Company every day.

    Feudal is European, not Japanese. Technically what the Japanese had or have, is the Imperial tradition. Equivalent to Roman Byzantine Empire, about 800+ AD. The Europeans didn’t get to that point until the Absolute Monarchs period at least.

    It’s also an incomplete claim, since in America people expected to work for companies and expected that loyalty to be repaid in their life times. Was America feudal, back 40-80 years ago? No, it wasn’t. It is more accurate to say that Japanese Imperial traditions have transformed into economic capitalist Western institutions instead.

  51. Ymarsakar Says:

    There were lots of surprising movements under Kremlin carpet recently, but again nobody has a clue what this means.

    Putin one time said on an interview or tv broadcast, that the US is now the Soviet Union and Russia is now playing the role of the US. He found it ironic. *During or before the Syrian intervention by Russian air forces*

    Part of that could be merely Russian nationalist propaganda, but Putin probably believes it.

  52. DNW Says:

    Sergey Says:
    November 29th, 2016 at 12:58 pm
    Japan is simply feodal, her corporations are the new landlords, and their employee are expected to sing hymns to the Company every day.

    Feudal is European, not Japanese. Technically what the Japanese had or have, is the Imperial tradition. Equivalent to Roman Byzantine Empire, about 800+ AD. The Europeans didn’t get to that point until the Absolute Monarchs period at least.

    I should be able to speak with an assured delivery on this but frankly, I don’t have the confidence in the definitions and classifications I had right out of school when I had been studying Medieval history and the development of the common law.

    I would suggest the one type in ” foedus” and “feudal” and see where it takes you and what you think after surfing for a couple of hours.

    You will probably conclude that there was not quite one system obtaining over all of Western Europe during any one period; though the high middle ages might have come close.

    “usufruct granted in requital of service” looks pretty good.

    A side benefit of my looking at the link above was the inspiration fo check if the Internet Archive had that historical dictionary online (sometimes referred to as the OED) and it turns out they do and it is downloadable. I should have 17 volumes in another hour or so.

    Regarding Japan. I spent a large part of a couple different weekend afternoons a few years back trying to get to the bottom of the principles of land tenure in Japan, and was unable to find much.

    I had been curious to know just what constituted ownership rights there, and what rights and protections against claims and encroachments the Japanese landholder had. I also wondered who owned all those mountainous regions where there seemed to be a sparse population.

    Land tenure in different countries can be a surprise. Israel seems to be owned by some kind of state trust, and in Scotland you cannot keep wayfarers off of your land. Yuk.

    I have no idea what ownership rights the Russian citizen has nowadays.

  53. Sergey Says:

    DNW: Russian citizen nowadays has no rights, period. They are even not citizens, but subjects.

  54. Stand For Truth (Basta Fidel) | American-Rattlesnake Says:

    […] the late Fidel Castro over the past few days, from both tyrannical regimes and morally inverted Western leaders, the man who turned Cuba into a tropical gulag had no redeeming features. He ruined his nation, […]

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