Small Wars Journal

So Che, So True

It is a sad reflection of our time that Che Guevara is seen as a hero. So says Nigel Jones at The DailyTelegraph and Mary Anastasia O'Grady at The Wall Street Journal.

We could not agree more.


It is interesting why murderous communist inspired schemes are pined for and revisited even after being totally discredited. Yes it is somewhat concerning to see Che's cult of personality reborn without regard to his real (failed) revolutionary history. (Run out of Cuba, run out of Africa, and rolled up in Bolivia.)

I re-read "Praire Fire just to remind myself of the influence he had with the violent likes of the Weather Underground, the SLA et al. Most certainly one has to wonder what will cause the lionization of Che' to stop.

However, a positive note; Aprey points out in his book "War in the Shadows", it was those pesky Quiche Indians that assisted in bagging the good "Dr." I guess they just weren't ready for forced revolution.

There is no mystery as to why Che is so popular in some circles. Che is admired amongst young milleniumists because he was exactly what they aspire to be, good looking, educated, adventurous, successful at acquiring power and ruthless in exercising it. His murderousness is not unattractive, to the contrary. I think it is viewed as his great good luck that circumstances allowed him act so "decisively" without pesky things like laws and conventional morality to getting in the way.

His popularity is not mysterious, it is however, terrifying.

This should be a subject of serious study. Why is Che an iconic figure to so many people? In many ways, though relatively isolated compared to Che, Osama Bin Laden has the same image. I have seen coffee mugs and t-shirts with image on them in some countries, along with his image painted on walls.

It seems that the "myth" behind these brutal murderers represent some sort of hope for either the extreme left/counter everything crowd (they really don't matter), but much more importantly to the disenfranchised in the world.

Of course we had the worthless Hanoi Jane who embraced a murderous cause, and now is regarded by a hero to some. Somehow the "fact" that she contributed to undermining U.S. national will to stay in the fight led to the slaugther of thousands of innocent S. Vietnamese just isn't important. They myth behind the photo of her sitting behind a N. Vietnamese Air Defense Artillery piece represents something else apparently.

To add to what seems bizzare to many of us, we are dealing with iconic images that represented goodness such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, etc. being destroyed.

Unfortunately it isn't against the law to promote stupidity. Why we damn men and women who struggled to make the world better (no man or women is perfect, but in sum they did more good for the world than bad), and idolize punks like Che remains beyond the grasp of the logical mind.

Jack Holt (not verified)

Sat, 01/03/2009 - 8:12am

Mr. Jones says it all here:

"It is a sad reflection of the warped moral mirror of our time that it is Guevara, the squalid killer and totalitarian tyrant, who remains, more than 40 years after his death, the iconic emblem of ignorant idealists the world over."

And reinforces George Santayana's observation in <i>The Life of Reason</i>:

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."