Not being a Communist, I’m not a fan of Fidel Castro.

But I will note how interesting it is that people who praise Castro are considered beyond-the-pale crazy and fit to be banished from the realm of rational discourse, while people who praise Pinochet are given jobs at the LA Times and are paid to write books that accuse liberals (!!!) of being fascists.

Why is support for one nasty dictator considered the Worst Sin Evar and a Sure Sign of Super-Duper Mega Unseriousness, while praise for another nasty dictator gets you speaking gigs on the wingnut welfare college lecture circuit?


Comments: 83


why? because while torture, assassination, and political imprisonment on behalf of left-wing ideology is eeeviiillllllll – torture, assassination, and political imprisonment on behalf of capitalism is doubleplusgood!!!


Because it’s the wrong dictator, of course.



Just raising the question only proves you’re a fascist.


How much do you want to bet that what Jonah really wants is an American Pinochet? Then he could write a column every week denouncing the fascists and, voila! The fascists are disappeared! Oh what a brave and merry champion of freedom is he!


This has been a double standard in our “liberal media” since at least the beginning of the cold war.


Because market economies are manna from heaven and communism is a filthy ideology. Ptui! We will speak of it no more!!


Praising either one is batshit crazy.

Sure you could find positive things to say about dictators (wow, kim jong-il sure can get kids to dance well!!!) , but really why bother? In order to find nice things to say, you need to ignore a lot of context.


I wouldn’t call Pinochet a dictator. After all, he was replaced in a free democratic election. Castro, on the other hand, does not have free democratic elections.


I wouldn’t call Pinochet a dictator.

Gary, m’boy, I think I can score you a book deal!


“I ask you: Which model do you think the average Iraqi would prefer?”

Just a shot in the dark, but probably an Iraqi Saddam Hussein.


Just a shot in the dark, but probably an Iraqi Saddam Hussein.

The better question is why is it America’s job to implement *any* political model on a country that isn’t ours.


This post makes the situation seem too convoluted. Simplicity works better:

As far as the US is concerned –
Somoza – good
Pinochet – good
Bautista (Cuba) – good
Peron – okay, middlin’ fair
The Shah – good
Pre 1990 South Africa – good
Daniel Ortega – bad
Allende – bad
Castro – double minus bad
Khomeini – triple minus bad
Ahmadinejad – triple minus bad, just horrible


So were the Sandinistas, Gary, and I bet you’d call them Dictators.


Gary – would you consider Hugo Chavez to be a dictator? Just curious.


The fact that they are basicly the same type of batshit crazy dictators, but one is good and one is bad is central to my point.


People like to put them down, but The Dictator’s Go Girl Crazy was a great record.

Gloria N. Excelsis-Deo

I would consider Handsome Dick Manitoba to be a Dictator.


Because Castro kicked out the corporations that own the media, and Pinochet let in the corporations that own the media.


Every once an a while I need to explain to you young-uns the Reagan’s administration’s distinction between Authoritarian Regimes and Totalitarian Regimes. We supported Authoritarians who well may violate civil rights and torture people but are only temporary dictators who do not attempt to totally control all areas of society (i.e. they are business friendly).

Totalitarians, on the other hand, DO attempt to control all aspects of society, including the Free Market and Religion. Communists are Totalitarians and hence must always be opposed.

Authoritarians, as Gary nicely parroted up above, eventually step down and we have Peaceful Transitions to Democracy. Totalitarians, on the other hand, cannot ever, no never, transition away from Totalitarianism–they can only be overthrown through Violent Revolution.

This distinction is why Somoza (A) was OK but the Sandinistas (T) were not. It is why Fidel (T) was Bad and Pinochet (A) was Good.

The ultimate wIngnut accomplishment thus remains giving Reagan credit for ending the Cold War when he had spent HIS ENTIRE FUCKING ADMINISTRATION telling us that the Totalitarian Communists were incapable of ever reforming save through violent overthrow. It is giving credit to Reagan for something HIS ENTIRE FUCKING ADMINISTRATION assured us could never, ever, not-in-a-million years happen. Reagan claimed that the Soviet Union could NEVER disolve and thus, winguts give him credit for its dissolution. If you can wrap your head around that, you too could be a wingnut.


Whatever the reasoning is, I’m sure it can’t have *anything* to do with the ludicrous amounts of cash Castro denied US corporations, and the ludicrous amounts of cash Pinochet made for for US corporations.

Because if it *did* have anything to do with cash for US business, that would mean Pinochet apologists are anti-freedom death pimps. And we all know they aren’t liberal. Can I have my newspaper column now?


FB, you forgot the Allende corollary: Democracy is totalitarianism if the people elect those who are not business friendly.

Tim (the Other One)

Maybe Brad was just asking a rhetorical question….


Maybe Brad was just asking a rhetorical question….

Like that would shut us up.


Patkin wins.


Simplicity works better:

Don’ t forget
Noriega – good
until he was bad.



Teh Sammich:

To be fair, I have insider knowledge from being a filthy stinking commie pinko bastard living in Florida. So I would have to know just why Castro gets bad press or they’d laugh me out of the club.


Pantload on El Salvador:

Another point worth clearing up: We didn’t set out to create “death squads” of any kind. That is a label the Left stuck on a wide variety of activities in El Salvador, some of which were certainly criminal and horrendous. But it’s worth noting that the work American special forces did in El Salvador led to successful elections and helped put an end to a civil war that had killed 75,000 people.

UN Truth Commission on El Salvador:

The Commission on the Truth registered more than 22,000 complaints of serious acts of violence that occurred in El Salvador between January 1980 and July 1991. Over 7,000 were received directly at the Commission’s offices in various locations. The remainder were received through governmental and non-governmental institutions.

Over 60 per cent of all complaints concerned extrajudicial executions, over 25 per cent concerned enforced disappearances, and over 20 per cent included complaints of torture.

Those giving testimony attributed almost 85 per cent of cases to agents of the State, paramilitary groups allied to them, and the death squads.

Also, the US didn’t help end the Salvadoran civil war. It helped extend it by refusing to negotiate with the leftist rebels and supporting a brutal government that was responsible for a majority of the atrocities.

Bonus Pantload quote:

Someone reorder my adult diapers, that is scary!


There’s a big difference between a dick and a dictator.


Liberals can’t seem to tell the difference.


I wouldn’t call Pinochet a dictator. After all, he was replaced in a free democratic election.

Brilliant!! This is perhaps the ultimate wingnut weaselspeak!

See, under this construct, you could NEVER identify a dictator until he was gone. You see, the methodology of the transfer of power is the factor by which we can judge his ultimate dictator-y-ness.

See, Kim il Sung WAS a dictator, because he handed power to a hand-picked successor.

Pinochet was NOT a dictator because he was replaced in an election.

The Shah and Marcos were NOT dictators because they were forced out by their own people

Noriega and Saddam are special cases, and require their own designation, but the probably are NOT dictators…



And I just have to siiiiing about it…


Ahmadinejad – triple minus bad, just horrible

Not a dictator.

Hugo Chavez is not technically a dictator, but he pulled some seriously fascist shit to become President. I have a friend who had to leave the country because she refused to support him.


What do you get when you cross a Penis and a Potato?

A Dick-tater.


The difference, of course, is that there is $$$ to be made from dictators like Pinochet and $$$ to be lost from dictators like Castro. The people who make money off the Pinochet’s of the world can afford to donate to wingnut welfare funds.


Gary must clearly believe that the USSR was a democracy because Gorbachev stepped down and elections followed.



fardels you obviously were’nt paying attention back then. Ole Ronnie he psyched everbody out man! It was nothing less than the world’s first foreign policy based entirely on reverse psychology.


Tone in DC.

An update:

Saddam in the 80’s-good.

Saddam in the earl 90’s-bad.

Saddam in the middle 90’s-tolerable.

Saddam in the early 2000’s-More eviler than Hitler on steroids.



I hate to break things up with great balls of schadenfreude but I can’t help myself.

I didn’t bother to look into this group but they polled W at a record low for any president ever.


Look, all I’m saying is you can sit around and wait for some watery tart to thrust a sword into your hands or you can make a phone call to Reagan and you’ll be making thousands of dollars a day, working from home.

What’s amazing is that Goldberg, during the Bush/Cheney (koff!) Presidency, had the nerve or complete lack of awareness to publish this, re: Pinochet and Castro, for the general population:

Suffice it to say, both have more blood on their hands than a decent conscience should be able to bear.

Well played, Jonah! QEDuhhhhhhh….


What I mean is, I have no idea of their objectivity or credibility or nuffin. What’s more, those things don’t matter when someone is saying something I like.



That was in the past! Goldberg lives the unexamined life, and doesn’t care for history until he can twist it to his advantage. Or thinks he can, fails entirely, but publishes his stupidity anyway because they’d want his money back and he already spent that, so the book is published, and we laugh at him, and he calls us unserious like people that support Castro.

But then that’s in the past again.


Hey man, I like Hitler, he gave us highways and economy cars. That guy was awesome.

But seriously, can’t we admire Castro just because he managed to outsmart his monstrously more powerful hegemonic neighbor to the north for 50 years? Thats a lotta hutzpah! And Putin is pretty damn clever at consolidating power, and he says some funny ass things. I wouldn’t want to live under either of them, but can’t I admire some of their qualities(?)?


The slime is, Chris is right. Too many people ca longingly trust allie thuno of our thuno who are conservative thuno. No the leftist thuno are wacko thuno who analyze clas thuno politics and find on busines thuno or freedom.

Exactly Gary, the leftist horde thuno are cau thunoing the downfall of Western nudist with their viciou thuno attack thuno on Judeo-Christianity, Patriotism and Capitalism.

Most people need never loved more intelligent adventure in one thread. Most of you linguist thuno keep rockin poignant autobiography!

The slime is, I’m daqu. There, most people secluded it.

The slime is, it is hopeful bias to namesteal amputee. Most people am a paragon of conservative friendship, and not one more homosexual. By the klayk, homosexual thuno can’t not fare hazy if my insight thuno the muslim thuno institute shania law.


I dunno what the fuck Gary is talking about with that “thuno” stuff, but I know what The Slime Is.


It’s because Castro has a funny-sounding furriner name, unlike Great Freedom Lovers like Islom Karimov.


The Rupper’ Repor’ above says:

“I wouldn’t call Pinochet a dictator. After all, he was replaced in a free democratic election.”

Ahhh, but how did he get there?

And I suppose that The Rupper’ Repor’ also approves of his overseeing an act of terror on the streets of Washington DC.

Dictator/terrorist coming in, democratic leader on the way out. There is no history. Neat!


Why is support for one nasty dictator considered the Worst Sin Evar and a Sure Sign of Super-Duper Mega Unseriousness, while praise for another nasty dictator gets you speaking gigs on the wingnut welfare college lecture circuit?

Best rhetorical question of the day.

If Fidel had supported US corporations like Pinochet the wingnuts ‘d be smoking his cigars and lying on his beaches.


So waitaminute…

Using GaryLogic(tm):

Sandinistas = not dictators. They lost in 1990, fair and square!!!!eleventyleven!!11!!


Oh, and check this out:

AIM wants the “liberal media” to bring back the HUAC on Obama’s azz. I guess he had this friend of the family who was a commie or something, so the fact that Obama wants to increase foreign aid means he is a Communist!

And we thought the cold war was over!


I wouldn’t call Pinochet a dictator. After all, he was replaced in a free democratic election.

Brilliant!! This is perhaps the ultimate wingnut weaselspeak!

Apart from anything else, he wasn’t, even.


Damn, I’d like to stick around and read more, but I’ve got a LOT of thunoing to do this afternoon…



HUSSEIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! apparently once dated a Communist, and also it’s 1953.


Joe Stalin’s Cadillac
This is Joe Stalin’s
We’re just drivin’ ’round the block in Joe Stalin’s Cadillac
L.B.J.’s Cadillac
L.B.J.’s Cadillac
We’re just peein’ on the side of the road in L.B.J.’s Cadillac
Aw, this is Somoza’s Cadillac
This is Somoza’s Cadillac
We’re just drivin’ ’round the block in Somoza’s Cadillac
General Pinochet’s Cadillac
General Pinochet’s Cadillac
Can’t go left in General Pinochet’s Cadillac
Well my Cadillac
Is Johnson’s Cadillac
Is Stalin’s Cadillac
Is Somoza’s Cadillac
Is General Pinochet’s Cadillac and be referred to Reagan’s Cadillac
Gonna drive my Cadillac off a bridge
Gonna drive my Cadillac of a bridge
If I can find a bride I’ll drive my Cadillac off a bridge
Where’s the bridge?
Has anybody seen the bridge?


Gary – would you consider Hugo Chavez to be a dictator? Just curious

Considering that he rigs elections. Yes I would consider him a dictator.


Considering that he rigs elections. Yes I would consider him a dictator.

I don’t think that’s the criteria for classifying someone as a dictator. Otherwise, LBJ would be right in there.


Having been on the receiving end of Delong’s ire, I’ll hazard the opinion that it doesn’t entirely feel like just a “seriousness” or knee-jerk conservative thing that caused Brad to not only lose his cool, but to invent some of the most deranged arguments I’ve ever seen, such as demanding that Cuba be compared to Portugal and Puerto Rico rather than, say, The Dominican Republic or El Salvador.

For the record, my sin was to note that Cuba has the lowest infant mortality rate in Latin America, an epidemiological differential that amounts to about 3000 fewer infant deaths per year. I’ve noticed this statistic being discussed at length in a number of academic venues, and every single one of them first took pains to say how horrible Castro was. I didn’t, so I’m beyond the pale.

I have two hypotheses about the source of Delong’s weird reaction. The first is that academia is, in fact, a very conservative place, meaning one that has a long institutional memory. When I was in school, several decades ago, there were still professors who had lived through the McCarthy era, which sounded like holy hell from the perspective of anyone to the left of Richard Nixon. Thus, the keep-your-head-down impulse includes never-say-anything-good-about-a-communist. Comparing Castro and Pinochet will get you nothing but grief.

The second hypothesis has to do with old school liberalism, actually, or maybe the rosy glow that some folks still feel when contemplating the Kennedy Administration. The fact is that the really disasterous decisions concerning Cuba took place on Kennedy’s watch, with Jack presenting himself as a happy Cold Warrior. However, much some people would like to blame everything on the Conservative Movement (and god knows, I certainly would), the fact is that our current situation was filtered through the Great Liberal Hope of the 1960s, and the GLH didn’t do very well. This is enough to make some people Of a Certain Age and political leaning more than a little ginchy about Cuba.

I have no idea whether either of these hypotheses are true, but I prefer to them to the thought that Brad Delong has gone bugfuck crazy.


Btw, I travelled to Cuba in 1978. While I was there a tourism worker (a teenager) got caught stealing the ghetto blaster from the hotel room of a friend. He was immediately sentenced to 15 years hard labour. My friend pleaded with the authorities to drop the charge but they refused and told him that crimes against tourists would not be tolerated.

I’m certain any of our favourite wingnuts would have been thrilled with this punishment.

Accepting tips was also a punishable offense (don’t know if this is true now). We brought little gifts that we’d leave under pillows. Chiclets were in strong demand at the time so I brought boxes of chewing gum with me.

The only other tourists I met were wealthy communists from communist countries and Canadians. The Cubans segregated the French and English Canadians at the resort I stayed at because fights kept breaking out. Hilarious, really.

The only Americans I met were a handful of miserable academics stuck in a mosquito and crocodile-infested swamp doing research. I happened to run into them while en route to see a crocodile farm.

Back then the gorgeous beaches were relatively unpopulated and the food was ghastly, but the rum drinks were spectacular and who eats on holiday anyway?


Like a dog to its vomit, Gary Ruppert to a talking point, the right wing always comes back to communism. They miss the salad days, when a man was a man, a woman was a woman, and they could blacklist anyone they thought looked funny, sounded funny, or thought funny as a communist and send them spiraling into oblivion.

Terrorism hasn’t worked out so well for them in being the tide that rises their boats and capsizes everyone else, so they need to make their enemies communists again.

Let’s just ignore all the neo-cons who actually *WERE* communists.and then just moved on to the next thing as soon as they got theirs, and Obama is so a crypto-communist.

God, I hate these fucking assholes. They make my political beliefs look so cheap and tawdry by simple association.


The only other tourists I met were wealthy communists from communist countries

bahahaha, I really should preview before I click.


Gary must really hate George Bush for stealing the 2000 election.


And by “association” I mean I’m a communist, and they were communists, so it feels like I have to apologize not just for the general communist bastards like Stalin or Khrushchev, but also for all the dickweeds that fled for capitalist pastures soon as they got theirs.


The fact is that Al Gore tried to steal the 2000 election but he was stopped by the forces of truth and justice.


I just read Doughy Pantloads Pinochet revision. Can we strap him to the missile thats going to save the earth? He’d love dying a martyr. Of course there is the problem of the blubber rain…


The fact is, I peed myself.

Oh! I know! Pick me! Pick me!

What do you get when you cross a Penis and a Potato?



but he was stopped by the forces of truth and justice.

I’d love to know if Gary talks like this when he’s at work at the 7-11.

If he does, I’d love to know if he knows how much fun his cow orkers make of him…



cow orkers

Is that what they call burger flippers these days?


Considering that he rigs elections. Yes I would consider him a dictator.

Fortunately for Venezuela, Chavez accidentally rigged the last vote so that he lost by a tiny margin. We’re talking, move a few machines around in Florida, strike some names off the voter lists, call in a favor on the Supreme Court, and he would have had a victory. Oh sorry, we were talking about Chavez, Chavez, what was I thinking. Yeah, he steals elections, he’s just not very good at it.

Which brings up the age-old question: is an incompetant dictator still a dictator? Still talking about Chavez, of course…


being an Anti-colonialist could be a reason to.


Let’s hear it for Lee Kuan Yew!

And, um, Cincinnatus!

Any other decent dictators out there? How about Tito?

Oops, wrong, he was a Communist, wasn’t he? But then, he was kinda sorta on our side, or at least in the midde.


the wingers considered Manuel Noriega “good” until his role in the the cocaine trade made him more and more of a political liability than Bush Sr. could let slide.


And we thought the cold war was over!

It’s resurrected as needed.


If conservatives have any arguments that make any sense, they need to break them out pronto, because I suspect they are alienating more and more honest decent Americans at an ever more alarming rate.

By the way, Obama is a communist/stealth Muslim/radical black Christian whose wife clearly hates America.

But McCain is no longer the Manchurian candidate/miscegenation presidential choice.


Being a Socialist, I really don’t have much use for Fidel, but he did a hell of a lot more for most of the people of Cuba (while killing and disappearing far fewer of them) than Pinochet. Just saying. Interesting that a man (sic) who wants to label liberals is so fond of the real thing (or at least a reasonable facsimile).


Why is support for one nasty dictator considered the Worst Sin Evar and a Sure Sign of Super-Duper Mega Unseriousness, while praise for another nasty dictator gets you speaking gigs on the wingnut welfare college lecture circuit?

Y’see Brad. Dictators who go along with out business practices are really good people doing right by their oppressed society which, in all probability, is too stupid to know what’s good for it.


I thought there was a bigger irony in the Castro hating…it has to do with democracy or the lack thereof.


If you want collossal stupidity bred with mindless mendacity, I say go to the source: Fred Hiatt

“A RULING group is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its successors,” George Orwell wrote in “1984.” “Who wields power is not important, provided that the hierarchical structure remains always the same.”

The changes in Cuba will set off renewed debate over U.S. policy toward Cuba. While the discussion is appropriate, it’s important to remember that, by the measure of the most fundamental goal of U.S. policy — that Cuba become a democracy that respects human rights — nothing has changed with Mr. Castro’s retirement.

It’s always heartwarming to witness a neoconman waxing poetic babbling on about his love for democracy, human rights, and free elections.

(And more war and torture, of course. For Freedom™!)


Snorghagen said,

February 21, 2008 at 2:52

And we thought the cold war was over!

It’s resurrected as needed.



Cuba has been under siege and economic lockdown by the most powerful nation in the history of the world, which has seen it fit to deny commercial relations with any entity trying to do commerce with the island (except for recently). In spite of this, Cuba has become a cultural and educational powerhouse which has eradicated illiteracy and elevated the population’s overall health to first-world levels, although it’s economy is in shambles and corruption is rife due to the consequences of the siege and blockade.

Cuba’s excuse is the economic blockade it has been subjected to: what is the rest of Latin America’s? Let us not forget: the US has seen it fit to invade or “intervene” in EVERY SINGLE LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRY. Let’s do a little tour!

México: Half its land taken by force, invaded constantly up until 1917 with the Villa expedition.
Guatemala: United Fruit Company’s neocolonial rule, enforced by the Dulles brothers, and anticommunist paramilitary death squad training in the 80’s.
El Salvador: Military aid that ended up in El Mozote, paramilitary death squad training, invasion.
Honduras: Negroponte staged the counter-insurgency operations in the rest of Central America using this as a base.
Nicaragua: Contras, anyone?
Costa Rica: United Fruit company again, boys and girls!
Panamá: Invasion, and in spite of decades of partial occupation, still a shit hole, no development.
Colombia: Flooded the country with weapons, “exfoliating agents” a la agent orange on steroids, support for the paramilitary groups that were attacking the guerrillas.
Plan Condor? Condor’s key members were the right-wing military governments in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil, with Ecuador and Peru joining later in more peripheral roles. These nations were ruled by dictators such as Jorge Rafael Videla, Augusto Pinochet, Ernesto Geisel, Hugo Banzer, and Alfredo Stroessner. The operation was jointly conducted by the intelligence and security services of these nations during the mid-1970s with support provided by the United States of America.


If you’re going to insult me, at least get the spelling right. It’s “potatoe,” not “potato.” Just ask Dan Quale.


he wingers considered Manuel Noriega “good” until his role in the the cocaine trade made him more and more of a political liability than Bush Sr. could let slide.

That’s only because he wanted a bigger cut.


OMFG. I just couldn’t believe I was reading that.

Pinochet created civil society?
He lifted people out of poverty?


These people just say anything. Anything.


Good morning. Good company and good discourse are the very sinews of virtue. Help me! Can not find sites on the: kitchen islands. I found only this – Kitchen islands table. Spirit airlines carrier with limited service between. Philosophy of life – get full name – cheap airline tickets online only here. With respect :rolleyes:, Admon from Equatorial.


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