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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 5:27 pm
 


An interesting take on Sascha Trudeau's "requiem for a tyrant."

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news ... 1a3b0a&p=3

Quote:
Sacha's love letter

His father gave us the Charter of Rights. So what is Sacha Trudeau doing writing obsequious agitprop for a communist thug?


Jonathan Kay, National Post
Published: Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 rid the world of a political system that slaughtered tens of millions in purges, and sentenced hundreds of millions more to economic slavery. Less consequentially, communism's demise also spared the world of arts and letters one of the most appalling literary tropes known to history: the mythic communist hagiography.

If you've ever travelled to a communist nation, or read its official histories, you will know they run something like this: Great Leader was born a poor villager in the country's heartland. At the age of four, he single-handedly killed a pack of wolves that threatened his town. At the age of eight, he invented a new kind of rifle. At the age of 12, he heroically denounced his own parents as counterrevolutionaries. A prodigious autodidact, Great Leader became an expert in every subject -- agriculture, warfare, economics -- and tirelessly applied his intellect to advance the glorious revolution. And so on.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, this messianic propaganda style has survived in just two places -- North Korea and Cuba. Or so I thought, until I woke up on Sunday and spotted a museum-quality specimen devoted to Fidel Castro on the pages of the Toronto Star. Had I seen it in The Onion, I would have thought it a fine parody. But the persistently earnest author -- none other than Alexandre ("Sacha") Trudeau -- apparently meant every word.

The legacy of Castro is well-summarized in a recent report by Human Rights Watch: "Cuba remains a Latin American anomaly: an undemocratic government that represses nearly all forms of political dissent. President Fidel Castro, now in his 47th year in power ... continues to enforce political conformity using criminal prosecutions, long- and short-term detentions [and] mob harassment ... The end result is that Cubans are systematically denied basic rights to free expression, association, assembly, privacy, movement, and due process of law."

But those sticks-in-the-mud at Human Rights Watch apparently don't know the real Fidel. Writing on August 13, Castro's 80th birthday, Sacha lovingly described the kindly attentions Cuba's leader once lavished on his late brother Michel, whom the despot nicknamed "Micha-Miche." When Michael was eight years old, we learn, he complained to his mother that he had fewer friends than his brothers. Reports Sacha: "My mother told him that, unlike us, he had the greatest friend of all: He had Fidel."

Such soothing words. Would that we all had a communist tyrant to call our pal.

Sacha's article is full of this sort of maudlin recollection, so much so that one is reminded of the purple love letters Nikolai Bukharin wrote to Stalin from prison in the (vain) hope of winning his freedom. The main difference is that Sacha doesn't have the excuse of imprisonment. He wrote his ode to Cuba's prison-keeper from a nation whose people enjoy freedoms that Cubans can scarcely imagine.

Space forbids a full recitation of Sacha's jaw-droppers, but here are some highlights.

Cuba's Great Leader, we are told, "lives to learn and put his knowledge in the service of the revolution." He is "famous for not sleeping, instead spending the night studying and learning." "His intellect is one of the most broad and complete that can be found." Moreover, Fidel is "a great adventurer," "a great scientific mind," "the most curious man I have ever met," "an expert on genetics, on automobile combustion engines, on stock markets, on everything," not to mention the world's "most audacious and brilliant" leader.

Or, to put it more succinctly, "He is something of a superman" -- a description Sacha justifies with a comic-book propaganda story in which the fat dictator dives 20 metres down into the ocean (without scuba gear!) to collect sea urchins for the Trudeau family's delectation.
Only when we get to the 18th paragraph does Sacha interrupt his sensuous rhapsodies to admit that Cubans "do occasionally complain." But such complaints are akin to "an adolescent [who] might complain about a too strict and demanding father."

In other words, Fidel's single flaw is that he loves too much.
If this were all there were to Sacha's article, then it would merely constitute the unintentionally comic ramblings of a son who still believes the Cuban agitprop passed on to him from his departed daddy -- nonsense that even most Cubans stopped believing decades ago. But his Star essay went beyond that, into something much creepier.

I am thinking in particular of these two lines:
z "Fidel may seem an anachronism: a visionary statesman in a world where his kind have long since been replaced by mere managers, a 20th-century icon still present in the 21st century."
z "With the possible exception of Nelson Mandela, already well into retirement, Fidel is the last of the global patriarchs. Reason, revolution and virtue are becoming more and more distant and abstract concepts." (My emphasis in both cases.)

Since the 1980s, Latin America has undergone a stunning transformation. In the time of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, autocratic police states were the norm, democracy the exception. Now it is the opposite, and only Cuba and Venezuela stand as blots on an otherwise democratic landscape. It is one of the most inspiring political transformations of our time. Yet to Sacha, all of these freely elected leaders are "mere managers." For they lack the "machismo and vigour" that can only emanate from a "revolutionary" regime -- which is to say, a community tyranny.

Throughout the 20th century, there were many other ideologues who preferred "reason, revolution and virtue" to the boring give-and-take of democratic politics and due process. Their ranks included not only murdering despots such as Lenin, Mao and Castro himself, but also starry-eyed fellow travellers and apologists such as Sartre, Fanon and Trudeau pere. Thankfully, the failure of the Soviet experiment has driven both tribes into history's dustbin.

Sacha is a rare exception. Yet from the casual way he throws out his nauseating obsequies, he doesn't appear to understand just how historically discredited his message has become. He is more than naive -- he is ignorant.

The saddest part of it is that Sacha is not an insubstantial intellect: In recent years, he has become a respected journalist, civil libertarian and activist. But there are limits to what even an accomplished person may say and still be taken seriously. What Sacha has written here is so ludicrous that it puts into question everything he's said or will say. Now that he's written this glowing tribute to a dictator with blood on his hands, for instance, why should we believe his repeated claims that this or that Arab terrorism suspect is innocent? Why should we believe his reporting from Iraq, for that matter? If the romantic glory of "revolution" is all that matters in Sacha's political universe, surely jihadis are "supermen," too, no?
Sacha is still a young man -- perhaps young enough to rebound from this blunder if he's more careful with his words. But for that to happen, the naive affection for Fidel bequeathed to him by his father should become the love that dare not speak its name.

© National Post 2006


In the 1940's, while others from his generation were storming SS Panzergrenadier positions at Normandy, Sascha's dad Pierre was riding around Canada on a motorbike wearing a nazi helmet.

And today, while Canadian soldiers are fighting evil in Afghanistan, the "Traitorous Trudeaus" are defending tyranny in Canada once again.

I don't vote Liberal. My soul is clean.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:52 am
 


Quote:

In the 1940's, while others from his generation were storming SS Panzergrenadier positions at Normandy, Sascha's dad Pierre was riding around Canada on a motorbike wearing a nazi helmet.

And today, while Canadian soldiers are fighting evil in Afghanistan, the "Traitorous Trudeaus" are defending tyranny in Canada once again.

I don't vote Liberal. My soul is clean.



Well said....


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:53 am
 


Necro...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:15 am
 


Good catch hurley! :P


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:52 am
 


And liberals wonder why Trudeau and his brood are despided to this day


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:36 pm
 


hurley_108 wrote:
Necro...


Not when there's still another Trudeau active in Canadian politics.


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