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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Marlins choose not to recognize Hugo Chavez before Venezuela game

Hours after the death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, the Marlins chose not to honor the controversial leader prior to their Tuesday exhibition contest against Venezuela’s World Baseball Classic team. Chris Davis of the South Florida Sun Sentinel writes:

  A Marlins spokesman said all parties involved in the exhibition, including Major League Baseball, agreed to not have the moment of silence for Chavez.

  The Venezuelan flag in the stadium was lowered to half staff for a few minutes, then raised again.

  Hector Rodriguez, Venezuela’s minister of sports, called the team and told them to “concentrate on sports and leave political stuff out.”

Thanks to FD.

Repoz Posted: March 06, 2013 at 05:51 AM | 224 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

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   1. John Northey Posted: March 06, 2013 at 08:31 AM (#4381747)
Sheesh - not the most classy way to act. If the US president died and a US sports team was in any country what reaction would you expect if the US flag was lowered for a brief period then raised back up? How would US players react if the death wasn't mentioned at all or a moment of silence out of respect? I could understand if it was Castro (as many, especially in Miami, would be dancing in the street) but the battle between the US and Chavez was never violent, never more than a political action over different views on capitalism vs socialism (as far as I know).
   2. depletion Posted: March 06, 2013 at 08:51 AM (#4381752)
I agree, John. Treat guests like you would want to be treated in their house. Chavez is gone - having a moment of silence for him isn't going to make the situation any worse.
   3. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 06, 2013 at 08:56 AM (#4381753)
Chavez and Castro are closely linked. I won't say Chavez is as unpopular as Castro in Miami of course but he's definitely in the next tier. It wouldn't have surprised me if a moment of silence turned into a moment of booing and cursing. This was probably the best move from a practical perspective.
   4. John Northey Posted: March 06, 2013 at 09:06 AM (#4381760)
Not being from the area I didn't know he was anywhere near as unpopular in the area. If there was a danger of the fans showing 'ugly American' to the world then it probably was best not to do a moment of silence (I hate to imagine how ugly it would be if done for Castro whenever he finally goes). Still, keeping the flag at 1/2 mast wouldn't hurt anyone and should've been left that way for the day and probably should be at half mast for all games that Venezuela plays.
   5. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 06, 2013 at 09:14 AM (#4381765)
For all his serious flaws Chavez at least realized how critical it was to keep US influence at bay, and that the time of the American southern hemisphere as a wholly owned subsidiary of US based multinationals was over and needed desperately to stay that way. Wholesale nationalization was the way to go. There wasn't nearly the history of established democratic institutions available to counter the way a little-regulated 'free' market economy inevitably perverts politics, leaving socialism as the only real shot at any kind of prosperity for most Venezuelans.

And post 2.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 06, 2013 at 09:16 AM (#4381767)
Chavez and Castro are closely linked. I won't say Chavez is as unpopular as Castro in Miami of course but he's definitely in the next tier. It wouldn't have surprised me if a moment of silence turned into a moment of booing and cursing. This was probably the best move from a practical perspective.
This is a good point, but it seems to be based on the assumption that there were Marlins fans who paid to gain admittance to the ballpark for a Marlins game.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 06, 2013 at 09:17 AM (#4381769)
Not being from the area I didn't know he was anywhere near as unpopular in the area. If there was a danger of the fans showing 'ugly American' to the world then it probably was best not to do a moment of silence (I hate to imagine how ugly it would be if done for Castro whenever he finally goes). Still, keeping the flag at 1/2 mast wouldn't hurt anyone and should've been left that way for the day and probably should be at half mast for all games that Venezuela plays.
In fairness, this isn't exactly about generalized "ugly American" nationalism. It's mostly about majority Cuban-American political allegiances.
   8. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 06, 2013 at 09:52 AM (#4381786)
Well, you have to respect Chavez for staying in power so long.
   9. tfbg9 Posted: March 06, 2013 at 09:58 AM (#4381787)
What the hell is wrong with you guys? Chavez was a brutal, corrput despot, he stole $2 billion from his countrymen, many of whom are dirt poor.

Read the WaPo obit.

   10. bobm Posted: March 06, 2013 at 10:30 AM (#4381797)
Maybe the Marlins couldn't recognize him from those recent photographs. :-)
   11. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 06, 2013 at 10:37 AM (#4381805)
I don't care for Chavez at all.

That said, I'm with posts 2-4 (and 3 is the reason I wouldn't have done a moment of silence) - showing respect would be for the country, not the man.
   12. tfbg9 Posted: March 06, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4381823)
Bah.

No moments of silence for brutal, thieving Marxist criminal scumbags.

Let's have one for his victims instead. The people he sent to die in jail for opposing him would be a start.

Sean Penn, Danny Glover, and Jimmy Carter admired him. A lot. All you need to know.

Kaboom!
   13. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: March 06, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4381827)
American politicians would never enrich themselves or their friends at the expense of the people nor get hundreds of thousands killed in wars of dubious merit. This doesn't absolve Chavez of his crimes but the self righteousness of Americans when it comes to the leaders of other countries gets pretty thick.

   14. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: March 06, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4381835)
Sean Penn, Danny Glover, and Jimmy Carter admired him. A lot. All you need to know.


Not really, but that sentence tells me a great deal about you.
   15. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 06, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4381840)
EDIT: not worth it
   16. OsunaSakata Posted: March 06, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4381842)
Maybe the Marlins couldn't recognize him from those recent photographs. :-)


The Marlins couldn't recognize the Marlins from recent photographs.
   17. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4381846)
Chavez was the right wing's "Hitler of the Week" several times. Shame on you hippies for not lustily cheering his death and dancing in the streets. I think we know what side you're on,
   18. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: March 06, 2013 at 11:29 AM (#4381853)
I blame Bush.
   19. Swedish Chef Posted: March 06, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4381863)
This doesn't absolve Chavez of his crimes but the self righteousness of Americans when it comes to the leaders of other countries gets pretty thick.

Good thing I'm a Swede so I can express my loathing for every two-bit fascist thug ruler like Chavez without attracting Shooty's ire.

Not that I have a lot to say beyond calling Chavez a two-bit fascist thug.

   20. GregD Posted: March 06, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4381864)
I blame Castro! Cipriano Castro, that is.
   21. Kurt Posted: March 06, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4381872)
American politicians would never enrich themselves or their friends at the expense of the people nor get hundreds of thousands killed in wars of dubious merit. This doesn't absolve Chavez of his crimes but the self righteousness of Americans when it comes to the leaders of other countries gets pretty thick.

*Other* Americans, you mean. You're better than them, of course, and not at all self-righteous.

   22. JE (Jason) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 11:50 AM (#4381873)
Never mind vast-right-wing-conspiracy rags and the vast-right-wing-conspiracy-rag-in-disguise, otherwise known as the Washington Post, here's what Human Rights Watch had to say about Chavez:
Hugo Chávez's presidency (1999-2013) was characterized by a dramatic concentration of power and open disregard for basic human rights guarantees.

After enacting a new constitution with ample human rights protections in 1999 – and surviving a short-lived coup d'état in 2002 – Chávez and his followers moved to concentrate power. They seized control of the Supreme Court and undercut the ability of journalists, human rights defenders, and other Venezuelans to exercise fundamental rights.

By his second full term in office, the concentration of power and erosion of human rights protections had given the government free rein to intimidate, censor, and prosecute Venezuelans who criticized the president or thwarted his political agenda.

I wonder [EDIT: meh, not really] what the Chavez apologistas would have said about a moment of silence or lowering of the flag at a public event for Pinochet out of respect "for the country, not the man."
   23. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 06, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4381876)
As usual, Jason is right on the mark.
   24. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 06, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4381877)
Chavezes are what can happen when the discrepancies between the rich and everyone else get too pronounced, and there don't seem to be any other alternative candidates who are willing to address the problem.** He was obviously a tinhorn despot who was likely to run Venezuela into the ground with the next drop in global oil prices, but to a lot of people the grass is always greener, etc.

And I agree with Jose in #3. While a moment of silence would have been a sign of nonpolitical respect, it's highly unlikely that this specific crowd would have honored it.

**Of course since Chavez clamped down on the media and the opposition with depressing regularity, it's kind of hard to measure just how popular he really was.
   25. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 06, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4381879)
I wonder [EDIT: meh, not really] what the Chavez apologistas would have said about a moment of silence or lowering of the flag at a public event for Pinochet out of respect "for the country, not the man."

In both cases I would have been rather disgusted inside at the thought of moments of silence for brutal despots, but I think I could have kept that disgust to myself for 60 seconds.

And BTW, how would you have felt about a similar moment of silence for Pinochet, given his human rights record?
   26. JE (Jason) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4381880)
For once, the Wilpons do something right.
   27. JE (Jason) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:02 PM (#4381886)
And BTW, how would you have felt about a similar moment of silence for Pinochet, given his human rights record?

No one with that amount of innocent blood on his/her hands deserves a moment of silence. The only silver lining for Chileans is that, in contrast with the Peronistas next door, he and his cronies didn't loot the treasury.
   28. Sonic Youk Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4381887)
I wonder [EDIT: meh, not really] what the Chavez apologistas would have said about a moment of silence or lowering of the flag at a public event for Pinochet out of respect "for the country, not the man."
this is a pretty weak "both sides do it." Chavez was a thug, but mass murder of political opponents is noticeably missing from that HRW snippit you posted.
   29. Sonic Youk Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4381890)
I wonder [EDIT: meh, not really] what the Chavez apologistas would have said about a moment of silence or lowering of the flag at a public event for Pinochet out of respect "for the country, not the man."
this is a pretty weak "both sides do it." Chavez was a thug, but mass murder of political opponents is noticeably missing from that HRW snippit you posted.
   30. depletion Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:07 PM (#4381893)
I would have had a moment of silence for Pinochet also. If a moment of silence is too intense for some viewers, then keep the flag at half staff the whole day. Chavez was a dictator who stole and suppressed free speech. Like about 50% of the world's rulers. What's going on in China? What's going on in Indonesia, Russia? He wasn't a Kim Jong Il or an Ayatollah Khomeini, was he? If Putin died would we have a moment of silence before a hockey game against a Russian team?
   31. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4381894)
And BTW, how would you have felt about a similar moment of silence for Pinochet, given his human rights record?

No one with that amount of innocent blood on his/her hands deserves a moment of silence.


Fair enough.

The only silver lining for Chileans is that, in contrast with the Peronistas next door, he and his cronies didn't loot the treasury.

Here's an excerpt from a page on Chile from Freedom House, one of the most scrupulously non-partisan political websites around. You're likely aware of this yourself, but just for the record:

The 89-year-old Pinochet found he had to fight a judicial rearguard action following the July 2004 revelations by a U.S. congressional committee that the former dictator had up to $8 million in personal funds stashed in secret accounts in the Riggs Bank of Washington, D.C. The very fact of the accounts' existence appeared to finally cause Chilean conservatives-and even the head of the Chilean army-to distance themselves from Pinochet. His legal situation also worsened in August, when the Supreme Court ruled that Pinochet was not immune from prosecution for his role in mass murders carried out by Operation Condor, a secret framework for mutual cooperation against dissidents between six South American military dictatorships in the 1970s.

In June 2005, a court stripped Pinochet of his legal protections in a case involving more than $13 million in funds he and his family allegedly laundered out of the country. While Pinochet assumed "all responsibility" for the secret accounts, which by mid-2005 were revealed to total some $31 million, retired military figures called on Pinochet to take responsibility for human rights crimes for which dozens of his subordinates are currently imprisoned or facing prosecution.
   32. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4381895)
*Other* Americans, you mean. You're better than them, of course, and not at all self-righteous.

Did I say "other" Americans. I don't separate myself from my country's actions as we're all responsible whether we want to face it or not. But I can play the game, too, and say you're being self righteous about my being self righteous about others being self righteous. We can do this for as long as both of us can type, I guess.
   33. JE (Jason) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4381896)
this is a pretty weak "both sides do it." Chavez was a thug, but mass murder of political opponents is noticeably missing from that HRW snippit you posted

Can you name which of these two thugs voluntarily relinquished power and left behind a strong economy? Hint: Pinochet.
   34. tfbg9 Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4381901)
Chavez was the right wing's "Hitler of the Week" several times. Shame on you hippies for not lustily cheering his death and dancing in the streets. I think we know what side you're on,


This side, oh Microscopic One?:



(Reuters) - Iran declared a day of national mourning on Wednesday after the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who shared the Islamic Republic's loathing for U.S. "imperialism".

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who had forged a public friendship with Chavez characterized by lavish mutual praise, hugs and light-hearted moments, may attend Chavez's funeral on Friday, state news agency IRNA reported.

The two men had sought closer ties between their geographically distant countries, although action on joint social and military projects announced in recent years has often lagged behind the rhetoric.

"Hugo Chavez is a name known to all nations. His name is a reminder of cleanliness and kindness, bravery ... dedication and tireless efforts to serve the people, especially the poor and those scarred by colonialism and imperialism," Ahmadinejad said.


   35. JE (Jason) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4381902)
Here's an excerpt from a page on Chile from Freedom House, one of the most scrupulously non-partisan political websites around. You're likely aware of this yourself, but just for the record:

I never said that he didn't enrich himself, Andy, but let's face it: That's chump change compared to Suha Arafat's money market account.
   36. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4381903)
More importantly, Jason, what happens now? Are they going to be able to avoid a civil war or "purges"? Chavez didn't leave much appetite for cooperation, I imagine.
   37. tfbg9 Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4381907)
That's chump change compared to Suha Arafat's money market account


And I'm reading Hugo squirilled a couple of billion away.
   38. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:19 PM (#4381909)
I never said that he didn't enrich himself, Andy, but let's face it: That's chump change compared to Suha Arafat's money market account.

Jason, my only point was that they're both thieves, Chavez and Pinochet, and the numbers that Pinochet pilfered would be chump change only to Arte Moreno. I never mentioned Suha Arafat.

If you want to post a list of every politically connected family's net worth and curiously acquired bank account holdings, I'm sure it'd prove to be an interesting read. But when I think of the things that trouble me most about dictators and other assorted political thugs, their tendency towards kleptomania is pretty far down on the list.
   39. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:19 PM (#4381911)
(Reuters) - Iran declared a day of national mourning on Wednesday after the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who shared the Islamic Republic's loathing for U.S. "imperialism".


Be honest my idolatrous friend, your real concern was that Chavez wasn't deferential enough to Popery.
   40. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4381916)
More importantly, Jason, what happens now? Are they going to be able to avoid a civil war or "purges"? Chavez didn't leave much appetite for cooperation, I imagine.

That big sucking sound you hear is caused by the vacuum created by Chavez's personalized style of governing. It's not as if he thought it all out and figured he could leave the country in Sarah Palin's good hands just in case his cancer got worse. (smile)
   41. tfbg9 Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4381920)
"Be honest my idolatrous friend, your real concern was that Chavez wasn't deferential enough to Popery."

Nothing bigoted here, from none other than Steven Boyd's stunt double, nah.
   42. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4381921)
That big sucking sound you hear is caused by the vacuum created by Chavez's personalized style of governing. It's not as if he thought it all out and figured he could leave the country in Sarah Palin's good hands just in case his cancer got worse. (smile)

The possibility there for massive violence that could spread to neighboring countries is a big worry. Chavez stocked his government with lots of ex-military honchos and a large, well armed militia. Chavez is leaving behind a lot of debt, high inflation and an extremely polarized political environment and the potential for a lot of death and suffering if some kind of quick compromise between the factions isn't reached. I'm not a religious man, so I'm doing whatever those of us who don't pray do that the country doesn't go up in flames.
   43. JE (Jason) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4381923)
More importantly, Jason, what happens now? Are they going to be able to avoid a civil war or "purges"? Chavez didn't leave much appetite for cooperation, I imagine.

I agree with Andy -- his ongoing Palin fetish notwithstanding -- that Chavez's underlings lack his political skills. I suspect that repression will increase in the short term as the regime's new leaders attempt to retain power.
   44. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4381925)
What the hell is wrong with you guys? Chavez was a brutal, corrput despot, he stole $2 billion from his countrymen, many of whom are dirt poor.

C'mon tfb you should know this by now. There are no enemies to the left.
   45. JE (Jason) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4381930)
In addition to what you wrote, Shooty, keep this in mind too:
Unlike in the past, Venezuela will not be saved by a windfall of oil revenues, because production is greatly diminished and oversubscribed. Contrary to official numbers, actual production is 2.4 million barrels per day, far below a peak of 3.3 million before Chávez. And sweetheart deals with China, Russia, and Iran as well as giveaways to Cuba and other client states in the Caribbean and Central America are bleeding Venezuela dry. Although China loaned about $28 billion to Chávez in the last 18 months, Beijing has closed its checkbook because of the questionable legality of the interim regime and the simple fact that Venezuela has no crude oil left to sell. As a result of this mess, there are reports that Venezuela is actually importing gasoline to satisfy domestic demand. In short, Chávez politicized the state-run oil company and treated its revenue as his petty cash fund – now the company is ruined and the till is empty.
   46. tfbg9 Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4381931)
There are no enemies to the left.


Bingo.
   47. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4381936)
So, how much do I have to abhor Chavez to appease the right? Is there a handbook I should follow? I shed no tear for him, I wanted him and his cronies out of power.
   48. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4381937)
you should know this by now. There are no enemies to the left.

Would anyone want to make a count of the number of mainstream liberals who've criticized Hugo Chavez over the years, and compared that to the number of mainstream conservatives who didn't make excuses for Pinochet?

Oh, and BTW what segment of the American political spectrum is most heavily invested in China's Communist dictatorship? Who's always making excuses for the brutal conditions that Chinese workers face?
   49. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4381940)
Nothing bigoted here, from none other than Steven Boyd's stunt double, nah.


Say, was Chavez ever excommunicated, or did he remain a proper Catholic until the very end? You know, like Pinochet, and Hitler, and the like?

You know, I have a good deal more evidence that you support an despot-coddling international child sex ring than you do for my being any sort of plagiarist. And yet there you were, bearing false witness against your fellow man without a hint of remorse, and undoubtedly without a word of repentance during confession. How like Jesus you are. No wonder I can't help but be impressed with the sincerity of your devotion, being moved as I am by your Christly humility.
   50. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4381941)

That said, I'm with posts 2-4 (and 3 is the reason I wouldn't have done a moment of silence) - showing respect would be for the country, not the man.


I don't understand this. The country didn't die. Obviously lowering the flag is to respect the man, and I don't see him as deserving of respect.
   51. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4381942)
Would anyone want to make a count of the number of mainstream liberals who've criticized Hugo Chavez over the years, and compared that to the number of mainstream conservatives who didn't make excuses for Pinochet?

Why should an avowed enemy of the U.S. get the same treatment as an ally? Even though they were both thugs, that's a pretty important distinction.
   52. PreservedFish Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4381944)
"Hugo Chavez is a name known to all nations. His name is a reminder of cleanliness and kindness, bravery ... dedication and tireless efforts to serve the people, especially the poor and those scarred by colonialism and imperialism," Ahmadinejad said.


Cleanliness? That was the first thing?
   53. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4381945)
I don't understand this. The country didn't die. Obviously lowering the flag is to respect the man, and I don't see him as deserving of respect.

Exactly. I would guess far more Venezuelans are celebrating than mourning.
   54. GregD Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4381946)
Yes venerated conservative icons--an entire school of conservative economists--aided and abetted Pinochet's murderous regime both on the ground and in the American press...but the crucial question is determining which Hollywood celebrities have expressed the proper criticism of Chavez on the day of his death.

To me it's obvious the left either forgot about or moved on from Chavez a few years ago. You don't have to think of an idealistic reason; it could be just the end of the Bush era, or the declining importance of oil prices, or Chavez's withdrawal from public. Or it could be the human rights reports, which have been much more detailed and convincing over the past 5 years. But I think it's obvious that Chavez has pretty low relevance on the left.
   55. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4381950)
I'm not sure what the issue is given that all parties apparently were in agreement. I'm on the far left and think Chavez was a scumbag, so I don't care about the moment of silence. I wouldn't consider him a "leftist" because such labels become irrelevant when you're talking about dictators with fascist tendencies. If the team liked him and asked for a moment of silence I think the team should have respected their request, but it sounds like that wasn't the case.
   56. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4381951)
As a result of this mess, there are reports that Venezuela is actually importing gasoline to satisfy domestic demand.

D'oh.
   57. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4381952)
Why should an avowed enemy of the U.S. get the same treatment as an ally? Even though they were both thugs, that's a pretty important distinction.

Not if you care about their thuggery.
   58. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4381956)
Exactly. I would guess far more Venezuelans are celebrating than mourning.

Rich or poor?
   59. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:05 PM (#4381959)
Not if you care about their thuggery.

Define "care"? Should the US not have made common cause with Stalin in WW2? Should we not have relations with China?

I mean, the Peoples' Republic of China likely kills more dissidents every year than Pinochet did in his entire career, yet we don't let that stand in the way of cheap TVs.

I'd be all for a more human rights centric diplomacy. But, that's not the world we live in.

And, the reality is, oppressive regimes of the Left far, far outnumber those of the right in today's world. There are no right wing equivalents of China, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, etc. I can't think of a single "fascist" nation.
   60. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4381960)
Would anyone want to make a count of the number of mainstream liberals who've criticized Hugo Chavez over the years, and compared that to the number of mainstream conservatives who didn't make excuses for Pinochet?

Why should an avowed enemy of the U.S. get the same treatment as an ally? Even though they were both thugs, that's a pretty important distinction.


Fair enough, although Pinochet's Chilean victims might have had a slightly different perspective. Not that this should ever enter into any objective view of how we view various dictators.

But then I guess you would have been fine with all the activities of American Communists during World War II, no matter what the Pope thought about Stalin.** I'm sure you would've supported the Soviets' betrayal of the 1944 Warsaw uprising. And since Russia has been in a de facto military alliance with NATO since 1991, I'm sure that you'll give Putin's repression a pass as well.

**And I'm sure you would have overlooked the obvious farce of Stalin's "benign neglect" policy towards religion during that same period. You would have just given it the old nudge-nudge wink-wink, because after all, Stalin's Russia was our most important ally.

   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4381961)
Rich or poor?

Both.

I'm sure it's the poor who are suffering from the food shortages, not the rich.
   62. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4381963)
Fun fact: No matter how bad some politician in another country is, the politicians that you disagree with in your own country are always worse. Always.

But I can play the game, too, and say you're being self righteous about my being self righteous about others being self righteous.

Obligatory. (Be sure to mouse over the comic for the full effect.)
   63. tfbg9 Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4381964)
Say, was Chavez ever excommunicated, or did he remain a proper Catholic until the very end? You know, like Pinochet, and Hitler, and the like?


You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. None. You clearly don't even know what the word means, or what its purpose is, or under what circumstances it is used. Or, on second thouight, you do, and you're just being dishonest, in order to disparage a billion people you happen to look down upon. And, Hilter privately hated Catholicism, and all of Christianity, because "It came from the Jews". Look it up.

I called you a semi-plagiarist, tongue-in-cheek, in that you clearly go off and do a hours of reasearch, borrow ideas from here and there, and then try to pass off some huge multi-thousand word boxing post as something you dashed-off "extemporaeously".

Whatever. All bigots are small men. You're a f*cking bigot. I get it. You hate Catholics. I'd bet that's not the only group you hate, but its the only group you
can get away with mocking in polite society.


   64. depletion Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4381966)
Perhaps China is the right wing equivalent of China. I'm not sure the old labels apply there.
   65. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4381967)
And, the reality is, oppressive regimes of the Left far, far outnumber those of the right in today's world. There are no right wing equivalents of China,

Other than China, that is. China is the perfect example of the phoniness of the entire "left/right" dividing line, which somehow places the croniest capitalist country in history into the "leftist" category because its ruling class still makes a few dead cat bounce bowdowns to Mousie Dung's memory. China is just about as "leftist" these days as Mussolini's Italy.

EDIT: A truckload of coke to depletion.
   66. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4381969)
Note: I'm generally going to be in favor of more "positive" symbolic gestures than the average dude. Having noted that:

We're not talking about lowering flags all around the country, we're talking about at a location where we are hosting representatives of Venezuela, a nation whose leader, like it or not, was Chavez. Be a good host.

**

EDIT: A truckload of coke to depletion.

Cute, given the country we're talking about.
   67. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4381970)
I'm sure it's the poor who are suffering from the food shortages, not the rich.

I think you're underestimating his popularity with the poor.

(Be sure to mouse over the comic for the full effect.)

Mousing over it doesn't do anything. Does it become 3-D or something?
   68. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4381971)
But then I guess you would have been fine with all the activities of American Communists during World War II, no matter what the Pope thought about Stalin.** I'm sure you would've supported the Soviets' betrayal of the 1944 Warsaw uprising. And since Russia has been in a de facto military alliance with NATO since 1991, I'm sure that you'll give Putin's repression a pass as well.

**And I'm sure you would have overlooked the obvious farce of Stalin's "benign neglect" policy towards religion during that same period. You would have just given it the old nudge-nudge wink-wink, because after all, Stalin's Russia was our most important ally.


If I were President? I would have played nice with Stalin until I had a massive US Army in Europe.

Once the Normandy breakout happened in 1944 I would have cut off Lend Lease, and announced a revocation of the unconditional surrender demands, and a guarantee of Germany's 1930 borders, conditional on Hitler being dead, and the Nazis out of power.

I wouldn't have stopped going east until we took Kiev and Minsk.
   69. JE (Jason) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4381972)
AA looks back at the evening in 1999 when Chavez threw out the first pitch at Shea. Apparently, that was the Bobby V-in-disguise game that went late into the night.
   70. GregD Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4381973)
I wouldn't have stopped going east until we took Kiev and Minsk.
That's certainly a good strategy for maximizing Soviet control over Europe or perhaps the entire hemisphere.
   71. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4381975)
Perhaps China is the right wing equivalent of China. I'm not sure the old labels apply there.

There's a funny scene in Ninotchka when the Communists from Russia mistake German Fascists for their own. I was confused as hell in high school figuring out the difference between Stalin and Hitler.
   72. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4381976)
To me it's obvious the left either forgot about or moved on from Chavez a few years ago. You don't have to think of an idealistic reason; it could be just the end of the Bush era, or the declining importance of oil prices, or Chavez's withdrawal from public. Or it could be the human rights reports, which have been much more detailed and convincing over the past 5 years. But I think it's obvious that Chavez has pretty low relevance on the left.


I'm not sure what the issue is given that all parties apparently were in agreement. I'm on the far left and think Chavez was a scumbag, so I don't care about the moment of silence. I wouldn't consider him a "leftist" because such labels become irrelevant when you're talking about dictators with fascist tendencies. If the team liked him and asked for a moment of silence I think the team should have respected their request, but it sounds like that wasn't the case.


You guys should stop clouding the issue with irrelevant points of mere fact. What really matters is whatever the Democratic National Chairman Sean Penn is saying.
   73. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4381977)
I wouldn't have stopped going east until we took Kiev and Minsk.

I learned from The Princess Bride that this would be a huge mistake!
   74. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4381978)
I'm sure it's the poor who are suffering from the food shortages, not the rich.

Hey now - let's not go judging him on actual results. Intentions are what matter.
   75. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4381980)
Perhaps China is the right wing equivalent of China. I'm not sure the old labels apply there.

Other than China, that is. China is the perfect example of the phoniness of the entire "left/right" dividing line, which somehow places the croniest capitalist country in history into the "leftist" category because its ruling class still makes a few dead cat bounce bowdowns to Mousie Dung's memory. China is just about as "leftist" these days as Mussolini's Italy.

Well, it's recognized political theory that the Right/Left spectrum is really a horseshoe, not a line. At the extremes, Fascism and Socialism converge. After all, Hitler and Mussolini both called themselves socialists.

And I'm ready to support harsher treatment of China than any of you will propose, whether they're right or left.
   76. JE (Jason) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4381981)
I agree that the left-right spectrum has long been a hopelessly simplistic way of identifying ideological identities.

For example, why did the Western media label Gorbachev's glasnost/perestroika adversaries as "conservative" and "right-wing" when every single of them were hard-line Communists?

EDIT: Or what Snapper just said.
   77. Howling John Shade Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4381983)
Can you name which of these two thugs voluntarily relinquished power and left behind a strong economy? Hint: Pinochet.

I think Chavez was a corrupt strong man and I'll certainly shed no tears for him, but are you really trying to compare him to Pinochet? Could you point me to the 30,000 people he tortured? Or the 3,000 he killed? Or the political opponents he had assassinated in the United States? Also, Pinochet had ten tons of gold hidden in a hong kong bank, so I'm not sure what you're on about with the not enriching himself crap.
   78. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4381984)

AA looks back at the evening in 1999 when Chavez threw out the first pitch at Shea. Apparently, that was the Bobby V-in-disguise game that went late into the night.


Wow, that is awesome. Baseball pants and a glove. Nice over-the-top delivery too.
   79. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4381987)
Quick anecdote: I was contemplating a project on Chile at one time - my two advisors were to be an economist who helped the Pinochet gov't and a historian who had been tortured by them. They... were not going to be in the same room as one another.
   80. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4381988)
That's certainly a good strategy for maximizing Soviet control over Europe or perhaps the entire hemisphere.

Nonsense. Even ignoring the A-bomb, there was zero chance of the Soviets defeating the Western Allies.

The Soviets were completely exhausted in 1945. They had no manpower left. Every truck, field ration, boot and radio they had was being supplied by the US. Their aircraft industry relied 100% on American aluminum.

Without Lend Lease, their army would have collapsed facing the Allies. Not to mention the fact that once Hitler was dead, the Allies could have recruited several millions well trained German troops for a campaign to push the Soviets out of Europe.
   81. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:24 PM (#4381989)
Once the Normandy breakout happened in 1944 I would have cut off Lend Lease, and announced a revocation of the unconditional surrender demands, and a guarantee of Germany's 1930 borders, conditional on Hitler being dead, and the Nazis out of power.

I wouldn't have stopped going east until we took Kiev and Minsk.


You and what army? Major King Kong's? Do you even have the slightest conception of just how eager the American public was to end World War II as quickly as possible? Why do you think that even now, virtually no veteran criticizes the use of the A-bomb on Japan? Why do you think the draft was so quickly eliminated after the war was over? And in England, why do you think Churchill was thrashed in the election held just two months after V-E Day? There would have been about as much support for an American (or Anglo-American) war on Russia in 1944 or 1945 as there'd be for a ground invasion of Tehran today.
   82. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4381991)
Hey now - let's not go judging him on actual results. Intentions are what matter.

They're having shortages now, but that ignores that he offered bread to a lot of people who didn't have any at the time he took power. Chavez was, of course, from our POV a mirage, but then we're well fed and have nice beds to sleep in.
   83. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4381992)
You and what army? Major King Kong's? Do you even have the slightest conception of just how eager the American public was to end World War II as quickly as possible? Why do you think that even now, virtually no veteran criticizes the use of the A-bomb on Japan? Why do you think the draft was so quickly eliminated after the war was over? And in England, why do you think Churchill was thrashed in the election held just two months after V-E Day? There would have been about as much support for an American (or Anglo-American) war on Russia in 1944 or 1945 as there'd be for a ground invasion of Tehran today.

You provoke or fabricate an incident. C'mon Andy, you know how governments do this stuff.

If the Unconditional Surrender stupidity had been avoided, very little fighting might have even been necessary. The German Army would have collapsed in front of the Allies in 1944 (like they did in '45), allowing us to overrun all of Germany, while fighting like hell to hold back the Soviets.
   84. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4381995)
I support our current relationship with China because I think friendly engagement and trade is generally more effective at ending tyranny than hostility or military action. Our policy towards Cuba hasn't accomplished anything in 50 years. Of course, you can't completely normalize relations because you need to hold that out as a carrot and let the other country know that you're not happy with their treatment of their citizens. But, over time, cultural and economic exchange will help the other country (and us).

I don't draw much of a distinction between Chile and Venezuela because I think we should engage with both countries as much as possible while simultaneously pressuring guys like Pinochet and Chavez to clean up their act.

EDIT: And let me emphasize the "GENERALLY." Obviously that approach wouldn't work with Nazi Germany.
   85. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4381996)
Quick anecdote: I was contemplating a project on Chile at one time - my two advisors were to be an economist who helped the Pinochet gov't and a historian who had been tortured by them. They... were not going to be in the same room as each other.

Heh. I was once at a small dinner party--in Mississippi of all places--where the host had inadvertently invited an Armenian and a Turk. I was completely ignorant of the history at the time so it was an education.
   86. Srul Itza Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4381997)
Even though they were both thugs, that's a pretty important distinction.


A distinction without a difference for los desaparecidos.

Next thing I know, you're going to tell us how Pinochet kept the trains running on time.

This country's involvement with Pinochet was disgraceful. It was a stain on the nation.

As for Chavez, good riddance. I don't know what happens next in Venezuela, but it probably won't be very pretty.
   87. Howling John Shade Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4381998)
Why should an avowed enemy of the U.S. get the same treatment as an ally? Even though they were both thugs, that's a pretty important distinction.

Jesus Christ. One tortured and murdered a whole bunch of people. Is that not a pretty important distinction?
   88. JE (Jason) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4382000)
I think Chavez was a corrupt strong man and I'll certainly shed no tears for him, but are you really trying to compare him to Pinochet? Could you point me to the 30,000 people he tortured? Or the 3,000 he killed? Or the political opponents he had assassinated in the United States? Also, Pinochet had ten tons of gold hidden in a hong kong bank, so I'm not sure what you're on about with the not enriching himself crap.

Here's the Washington Post's Pinochet obit editorial following his death:
AUGUSTO PINOCHET, who died Sunday at the age of 91, has been vilified for three decades in and outside of Chile, the South American country he ruled for 17 years. For some he was the epitome of an evil dictator. That was partly because he helped to overthrow, with U.S. support, an elected president considered saintly by the international left: socialist Salvador Allende, whose responsibility for creating the conditions for the 1973 coup is usually overlooked. Mr. Pinochet was brutal: More than 3,000 people were killed by his government and tens of thousands tortured, mostly in his first three years. Thousands of others spent years in exile.

One prominent opponent, Orlando Letelier, was assassinated by a car bomb on Washington's Sheridan Circle in 1976 -- one of the most notable acts of terrorism in this city's history. Mr. Pinochet, meanwhile, enriched himself, stashing millions in foreign bank accounts -- including Riggs Bank, a Washington institution that was brought down, in part, by the revelation of that business. His death forestalled a belated but richly deserved trial in Chile.

It's hard not to notice, however, that the evil dictator leaves behind the most successful country in Latin America. In the past 15 years, Chile's economy has grown at twice the regional average, and its poverty rate has been halved. It's leaving behind the developing world, where all of its neighbors remain mired. It also has a vibrant democracy. Earlier this year it elected another socialist president, Michelle Bachelet, who suffered persecution during the Pinochet years.
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Like it or not, Mr. Pinochet had something to do with this success. To the dismay of every economic minister in Latin America, he introduced the free-market policies that produced the Chilean economic miracle -- and that not even Allende's socialist successors have dared reverse. He also accepted a transition to democracy, stepping down peacefully in 1990 after losing a referendum.


By way of contrast, Fidel Castro -- Mr. Pinochet's nemesis and a hero to many in Latin America and beyond -- will leave behind an economically ruined and freedomless country with his approaching death. Mr. Castro also killed and exiled thousands. But even when it became obvious that his communist economic system had impoverished his country, he refused to abandon that system: He spent the last years of his rule reversing a partial liberalization. To the end he also imprisoned or persecuted anyone who suggested Cubans could benefit from freedom of speech or the right to vote.

The contrast between Cuba and Chile more than 30 years after Mr. Pinochet's coup is a reminder of a famous essay written by Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, the provocative and energetic scholar and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who died Thursday. In "Dictatorships and Double Standards," a work that caught the eye of President Ronald Reagan, Ms. Kirkpatrick argued that right-wing dictators such as Mr. Pinochet were ultimately less malign than communist rulers, in part because their regimes were more likely to pave the way for liberal democracies. She, too, was vilified by the left. Yet by now it should be obvious: She was right.

And I never said that Pinochet didn't steal, only that he "didn't loot the treasury."
   89. GregD Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4382001)
The Soviets were completely exhausted in 1945. They had no manpower left. Every truck, field ration, boot and radio they had was being supplied by the US. Their aircraft industry relied 100% on American aluminum.
that's right, I forgot that they were so weak that they kept shoestring forces in east Europe, far below the US and GB, and then called off their invasion of Manchuria. Oh, wait
   90. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4382002)
I guess he did get the trains to run on time.
   91. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4382004)
That's not the Post's obit. It's an editorial.
   92. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4382005)
Well, it's recognized political theory that the Right/Left spectrum is really a horseshoe, not a line. At the extremes, Fascism and Socialism converge. After all, Hitler and Mussolini both called themselves socialists.

Although Lenin is the one most identified with the "Who...whom?" question, it remains a remarkably succinct and accurate way of gauging regimes. As long as the "Who" consists of a small and unaccountable unelected elite, and as long as the "whom" consist of the vast majority of the population getting screwed, arguing about the "left" or the "right" nature of a dictatorship is little more than a game of ideological masturbation. You can call Hitler a "socialist", but that doesn't mean he treated his opponents as if he were Norman Thomas or Yitzhak Rabin.

   93. JE (Jason) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4382008)
That's not the Post's obit. It's an editorial.

Corrected. Thanks.
   94. Srul Itza Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4382010)
By way of contrast, Fidel Castro -- Mr. Pinochet's nemesis and a hero to many in Latin America and beyond -- will leave behind an economically ruined and freedomless country with his approaching death.


This was written in 2006. Talk about a slow approach.
   95. Howling John Shade Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4382012)
In "Dictatorships and Double Standards," a work that caught the eye of President Ronald Reagan, Ms. Kirkpatrick argued that right-wing dictators such as Mr. Pinochet were ultimately less malign than communist rulers, in part because their regimes were more likely to pave the way for liberal democracies. She, too, was vilified by the left. Yet by now it should be obvious: She was right.

This is hilarious. Pinochet paved the way for liberal democracies by freaking overthrowing one. WTF.
   96. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4382013)
You and what army? Major King Kong's? Do you even have the slightest conception of just how eager the American public was to end World War II as quickly as possible? Why do you think that even now, virtually no veteran criticizes the use of the A-bomb on Japan? Why do you think the draft was so quickly eliminated after the war was over? And in England, why do you think Churchill was thrashed in the election held just two months after V-E Day? There would have been about as much support for an American (or Anglo-American) war on Russia in 1944 or 1945 as there'd be for a ground invasion of Tehran today.

You provoke or fabricate an incident. C'mon Andy, you know how governments do this stuff.


Is that a wink-wink or a nudge-nudge? In any case, it wouldn't have worked.

If the Unconditional Surrender stupidity had been avoided, very little fighting might have even been necessary. The German Army would have collapsed in front of the Allies in 1944 (like they did in '45), allowing us to overrun all of Germany, while fighting like hell to hold back the Soviets.

Wait, now you're saying "hold back" the Russkies, whereas a few posts back you were talking about marching to Kiev and Minsk. Which is it?

And once again, you totally ignore the equally exhausted state of American public opinion in the last year of the war, not to mention the cumulative effect of four years of thinking of the Soviets as our steadfast allies. They just wanted to end the war and get the hell home. Period. Wars are SO much more easily won on paper than they are in the real world, a fact I might have thought you would have realized by now.
   97. tfbg9 Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4382014)
She, too, was vilified by the left. Yet by now it should be obvious: She was right.


She was. I'd rather live under a Pinochet than a Stalin or even a Chavez. They're all scumbags, and there's no political freedom with any of them,
but at least under the Right Wing Scumbag you can get eat decently and get toilet paper.

cue Retardo...
   98. McCoy Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4382019)
Nonsense. Even ignoring the A-bomb, there was zero chance of the Soviets defeating the Western Allies.

The Soviets were completely exhausted in 1945. They had no manpower left. Every truck, field ration, boot and radio they had was being supplied by the US. Their aircraft industry relied 100% on American aluminum.

Without Lend Lease, their army would have collapsed facing the Allies. Not to mention the fact that once Hitler was dead, the Allies could have recruited several millions well trained German troops for a campaign to push the Soviets out of Europe.


And you think the other Allies weren't exhausted either?
   99. zonk Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4382021)
The contrast between Cuba and Chile more than 30 years after Mr. Pinochet's coup is a reminder of a famous essay written by Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, the provocative and energetic scholar and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who died Thursday. In "Dictatorships and Double Standards," a work that caught the eye of President Ronald Reagan, Ms. Kirkpatrick argued that right-wing dictators such as Mr. Pinochet were ultimately less malign than communist rulers, in part because their regimes were more likely to pave the way for liberal democracies. She, too, was vilified by the left. Yet by now it should be obvious: She was right.



Unless the footnotes makes copious note of the fact that the authoritarian right-wing dictators -- especially in the western hemisphere - tended to have an a very large and very prosperous big brother showering them with everything from direct assistance to favorable trade and treaties, while the communist dictators in this particular hemisphere tended to have a combination of embargoes or worse, I'd tend to toss Kirkpatrick in with the Joe Morgans not the Bill James when it comes to analysis of the situation.

I mean, I'm no communist -- but come on... the 'scholarly work' from Kirkpatrick differs from someone like David Barton very little: Preconceive the preferred answer, then work backwards to muster selected criteria and facts to support it.



   100. GregD Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4382022)
She was. I'd rather live under a Pinochet than a Stalin or even a Chavez. They're all scumbags, and there's no political freedom with any of them,
but at least under the Right Wing Scumbag you can get eat decently and get toilet paper.
I wouldn't want to live under any of them and have never tacked my politics to any of theirs, but eat decently? right-wing dictatorships can be good for a middle or upper-middle class, where there is one, to be sure, but woe betide the people beneath them.
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