Monday, September 26, 2005

The Dubious Political Icons of the Far Left

I was in Portland this weekend, which with the exception of Havana and possibly Berkeley is the most far left city in the country. Among the anti-war protestors selling bright orange anti-Bush signs, I noticed a t-shirt stand with political shirts, mostly in anarcho-black. The Bush shirts showed him, in a rather unflattering picture sneeringly portrayed next to Hitler. This was ironically juxtaposed next to flattering pictures of Mao, Lenin, and the requisite Che Guevara. Now think about this for a minute, even if you accept the dubious proposition that President Bush is somehow morally responsible for all the deaths of people in the wars he launched overthrowing the evil and oppressive Taliban and Baathist regimes, and even if you accept the rather high estimates of 100,000 dead, how can you then hold Mao and Lenin up as political icons? Those two figures alone are responsible for the deaths of 100 million people, not in wars against oppressive regimes, but liquidation of the political opposition. Yet by the far left only Bush is held up to Hitlerian ridicule. Lenin gets a statue of himself in Fremont. You would think they would notice the irony.

UPDATE: A reader claims that Havana is not technically in "the country". In the spirit of Paul Krugman, I will look into this alleged fact, and if necessary issue a halfhearted correction at some obscure part of the website that you will not be able to find. Or maybe in the future I just shouldn't post at 6:30 in the morning before I have had any coffee...