- Capitalism and Alternatives -

The difference bewteen facts and opinions

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on October 19, 1999 at 15:17:04:

In Reply to: Reading others..... posted by Frenchy on October 19, 1999 at 10:58:18:

: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$Yes, I do. For instance, this from "Deconstructing the Left" by Peter Collier and David Horowitz, Chapter Three; Cuba Then, Nicaragua Now.

Ah, yes, I see. Were you aware, perchance, that david Horowitz has been exposed thoroughly for racism and for near-fascism? Like it's been said before: 'anti-communism in whatever guise leads invariably to fascism'. Forgive me for not wanting to be on teh side of teh fascists.

: "Long ago, Castro constructed a Soviet mini-state in Cuba, purging the last vestiges of its freedom and submerging Cuban society in a long totalitarian night.

yes, things were a lot better under batista, weren't they? Leave aside the fact that Batista killed 100 times as many people per year as Castro, even granting the estimates of the anti-communists. Leave aside teh fact that the Cuban people vote in regional elections. leave aside that their health and education levels are bettr than america's.

:At the same time, he made himself a global agent of Soviet Imperialism and Cuba a Soviet base. Far from hiding his imperialist zeal, Castro expressed it as publicly and enthusiastically in supporting the Red Army's re-conquest of Czechoslovakia in 1968 as he does now in applauding its genocidal aggression in Afghanistan. But his greatest service to Soviet power has been in providing a mercenary for expansion in far-flung places like Angola and Ethiopia, where his troops make possible a sadistic Marxist rule that has caused famine and suffering on a vast human scale.

YOR'RE ALSO AWARE, i'M SURE, THAT CASTRO'S 'IMPERIALISTIC VENTURE' INCLUDED opposing apartheid in South Africa. Does that mean that apartheid was good?

: Now, put this together with the fact that in programmatic statements both public and private and in declarations both informal and official, the Sandanista rulers of Nicaragua have proclaimed Castro and his Cuba to be their revolutionary model. Totalitarianism is the aim of the current Nicaraguan regime, not its last resort. Which is why men like Eden Pastora, the guerilla hero of the anti-Somoza rebellion, and anti-Samoza political leaders like Alfonso Robelo and Arturo Cruz are now exiled leaders of the Contras. Since Cuba is the model for the Sandanistas and their aim is a Communist state (and- make no mistake- their wish for a Communist juggernaut throughout the hemisphere), it is ludicrous to contend that the U.S. support for anti-Communist forces is driving them in a totalitarian direction."

: I dunno, it makes sense to me.

Fine, we both read books. The funadmental difference is this. I obtain facts and statistics from books, pieces of evidence that come from teh eralm of Objective Reality. Sometimes, as with Michael parenti, I disagree with teh author on amny things. Same with Salman Rushdie. You merely derived opinions. Look at that long quote. I didn't see a fact or statistic in there. Leave aside for teh moment of whether my sources
are more credible than yours. I don't merely cite the opinions of Salman Rushdie, or Parenti, or the UN, or Minister Jim Goff, or anyone else on Micaragua. I try to supply facts; for example, that teh Sandinistas allowed anyone, literally, to oragnize a political party and contest teh 1984 elections, that seven different parties did contest, that a greater range of opinion was present in nicaragua's press, and that it was much easier fro a small unknown party to contest the election in Nicaragua than in teh United States. This would seem to kill the lie of Horowitz et al that Nicaragua was totalitarian, was it not- who has ever heard of a totalitarian democracy? Please respond to THIS pOINT if you respond. How could Nicaragua be totalitarian and multiparty democratic at the same time? I'd like to hear your repsond specifically to this point.

: or maybe look up some history for yourself? The Nicaraguans voted for the Sandinista Front in elections that were universally recognized as free and fair, involving the Sandinistas, religious conservatives, Christian democrats, Marxist-Leninists, and neo-liberals. This made the Saninistas teh legitimate rulers of the land. Reagan chose not to recognize their government, and instead backed a force of terrorists whose open goal was to reinstate the Somozist tyranny. Thee contras were known to murder babies in front of their mothers, rape women in front of their husbands, force peasants to eat their own body parts before killing them, kill random victims to spreda terror...leaving aside their policy of bombing hospitals, clinics and civilain fields in violation of all civilized conventtions. The Contras were sordid murderers, and it's criminal to support peopel liek that.

: Yet you seem content to support an ideology that has led to, well you should know the litany by now, right?

You're not Responding to teh point above, you're beoing evasive. Let me repeat teh question flat out I make the claim above that the Sandinistas were a freely elected democracy,a nd explain why. What is your response? If you dance aroudn teh question fne more time, tehn there's no use arguing anymore.

: Your welcome to stick with Stalin Lenin Mao etc. I'll stick w/ Ronald Reagan.

I never defended Stalin, Lenin or Mao. Stop constructing straw men. Please know what I defend befroe you criticize it. I will defend Ortega, Nujoma, Sankara, Namboodiripad, Olof Palme, Slovo, 'Eurocommunism', Jyoti Basu, etcetera unreservedly. I will defend Castro, Maurice Bishop, Mugabe, etcetra with reservations. I never said anything about Mao or Stalin, and while I liek some later regimes which claimed themselves to be 'Leninist', I don't care fori Lenin hoimself.

: : The salient question is not whether Castro supported the Sandinistas, the Mayan Indians of Guatemala and the FMLN in Salvador. As I recall, teh Soviets also supported the civil rights movement in this country.

: LOL! Soviets and civil rights! You guys must have writers that come up with these gems.

actually, it makes perfect sense. the Soviets were oppsoed to heirarchy and to race as an idea, and so it was natural that they woudl support the movement fro black equality. That you shoudl doubt thsi is rather surpirsing, considering that every conservative in america at one point thought the civil rights movement was a communist front.

: Does this mean that the civil rights movement was unjustified?

: Personally, I think that the civil rights movement brought about probably as many good things as bad things. Care to justify Affirmative Action? Bussing? Quotas?
: My favorite though is women in the military.

Of course I support quotas, affirmative action and busing, though I'm not going to take the tiem to argue about them right now.

: A little reason here, please. The salient question is, were the Sandinistas, the FMLN and the Guatemalan left on the right side, or on the wrong side. I think the evidence is pretty clear. The Sandinistas were one of teh few governments in teh region to try empowering the people instead of killing and enslaving them, and were also probably the most democratic.

: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$Yeah, that's the same tune that Castro sang too.

Idon't see the relevance. Do you believe that teh Sandinistas were democratic? If not, then how do you explain teh facts I supplied above? Do me a favor. Please read "THE JAGUAR SMILE" by Salman Rushdie. It will open your mind.

: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$Sorry old chap, I think the right side was the side that took on Castro and his proxies. Can't really see how much more clear that can be.

In spite of teh fact that the sandinistas were dmeocratic, humane, ferely elected, and made immense strdiues in social well-being. The identity of tehir friends makes them evil. i see. (actually I don't). Let's put it this way; had I been born ten years earlier I would have been down in Nicaragua defending teh sandinistas with my life if necessary. I can't see how that can get much clearer.

: :
: : Also, I wouldn't dwell too long on the subject of genocide if iw ere you. Four of the century's top five genocides, measured by the % of national population killed, were committed by anti-communist right wing regimes, of which three were committed explicitly in the name of capitalism and 'Westernization'. (Indonesians in East Timor, Belgians in the Congo Free State, Germans in Southwest Africa, Italians in Libya [no, Mussolini wasn't a capitalist, but eh certainly was an anti-communist]). Brazil's extermination of 84% of their native population to make way for capitalist development, between 1900 and about 1960, is also noteworthy.

: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$"...as a percentage of total population..."? I'll assume that you know the figures better than I do.
: So tell me, how many, total, have died in the purges of Russia? The ones of China? The one by Pol Pot? N. Korea?
: Just curious; How many died in the Congo Free States? In SW Africa? E. Timor?

about 12 million people, or half the population, died in teh Congo Free State between 1884 and 1910. 40% of the Namibian population died under the Germans. 200,000 people, or one-third of all the Timroese, were killed by the Indonesians.

: : :
: : : Let's not forget the Cuban kids suffering from vitmin deficiencies because of his trade embargo,

: : : Hold on gringo, Canada and the Scandinavian countries and Europe and S. American countries and socialist countries all trade with Cuba. Fidel can't get those things necessary to make life a worker's paradise from any of those other sources? C'mon. Do I look like I fell off the turnip wagon yesterday? The problem lies with socialism, not with Reagan. Remember the Marial Boatlift?

: : The US makes it difficult for otehr countries to trade with Cuba. Remember Helms/Burton?

: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$The US can't even stop it's own citizens from going to Cuba to help out with the sugar cane harvest. But it can somehow control the Scandinavian countries? C'mon, cut me some slack. Turn down the hyperbole, it's hurting my hearing.

: : : : or the lonely homeless living out their squalid lives on any major American city;

: : : Take some into your house, or your apartment, or put some in your daddies garage. He'll love you for that, hehehehe

: : :
: : : : or the Chilean dissidents murdered by Reagan's ally;

: : : Guilt by association....non starter.....

: :
: : :
: : : : or the Iranian civilians shot down by the USS Vincennes.

: : :
: : : ...during a time of war, as you may or may not recall. What would you have done in a similar circumstance?

: :
: : Erm, the US wasn't at war with Iran. We were neutral in the Iran-Iraq war.

: Flash! "The Vinennes was operating in the area to protect ships in the area, together with the frigates USS Elmer Montgomery and USS John H. Sides. Due to increasing tensions in the area (May 17 1987 an Iraqi Mirage attacked the USS Stark) all aircraft in the area had to monitor 121.5 MHz (International Air Defense-IAD radio frequency). At about the time the Airbus took off, the radar picked up a brief IFF mode 2 response, which led to the mistaken identification of the Airbus as a hostile F-14 aircraft. The USS Vincennes issued 7 challenges to the Miliatary Air Distress (MAD) frequency 243 MHz, addressed to 'Iranian aircraft', 'Iranian fighter' or 'Iranian F-14'. These messages were followed by three challenges on the IAD. A number of AEGIS radar operators misread the displays and reported that the incoming plane was descending with an increasing speed. This fact, and the fact that the aircraft didn't respond to the challenges led to the decision to launch two missles against the perceived hostile target."
: http://dnausers.d-n-a.net/dnetGOjg/030788.htm

: OK, I should've said that the Vincennes was operating in a war zone and that one American ship, the Stark, had already suffered an attack by an Iraqi Mirage.
: I'm incorrigible.

: : I feel like I'm pulling teeth here. You know all these facts, why are you pretending like you don't?

: tootles....

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup