It was 20 years ago today... 

the Berlin Wall finally fell and the collapse of Soviet Communism began in earnest. Despite what we knew about Soviet attrocities then -- and what we've learned since -- ignorance about the dangers of Communism still persist. In fact, that very topic is the subject of today's Examiner editorial.

As if on cue, today's Washington Post provides spectacular example of the continued useful idiots on the Left who continue to romanticize communism. It concerns a handful of DC coffee shops called Busboys and Poets, that the Post accurately describes as "as a sort of lefty clubhouse -- a popular gathering place for Democratic causes and fundraisers." (Indeed, I've covered official Democratic party events held there.) It seems a Republican consultant emailed the owner of the shop to complain that the coffee shop proudly displayed portraits of communist mass murderers Vladimir Lenin and Che Guevara. Not only is the restaurant owner proud of these portraits, he leaked his correspondence with the upset customer to the press and demonstrated his willful ignorance in the process

Shallal e-mailed back: Guevara and Lenin "represent the struggles of working people. . . . They fought against the accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few." He forwarded the e-mails to [the writers of the Post's Reliable Sources column].

Blakeman says he'll never eat at Shallal's place again. "To give the private conversations of a patron to the newspaper is outrageous." Shallal should know better, he said: "A guy who fled oppression and built a business in the U.S. -- he never would have been able to do that under Che Guevara or Lenin."

Shallal's return slap: "Bush caused more death and destruction in the world than Che or Lenin."

Lenin killed some 3 million of his own people in the name of consolidating power, and many historians think he would have been as much of a butcher as Stalin had he lived. Guevara killed thousands, and often for the most arbitrary of reasons. When Carlos Santana performed the theme from The Motorcycle Diaries at the Oscars -- a film romanticizing Guevara's early life -- Santana wore a large crucifix on top of the now-familiar Che Guevara T-shirt. It prompted this memorable response:

Which brings us back to Carlos Santana and his chic Che gear. In an open letter published in El Nuevo Herald on March 31 of this year, the great jazz musician Paquito D'Rivera castigated Santana for his costume at the Oscars, and added: "One of those Cubans [at La Cabaña] was my cousin Bebo, who was imprisoned there precisely for being a Christian. He recounts to me with infinite bitterness how he could hear from his cell in the early hours of dawn the executions, without trial or process of law, of the many who died shouting, 'Long live Christ the King!'"

So I guess it's okay to slaughter millions of political dissidents and harmless citizens who worship something other than the state, provided you fight "against the accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few." You don't need to support the war in Iraq to see this kind of moral equivalance between two of history's greatest monsters and George W. Bush's decision to overthrow a dictator fond of torture and exterminating ethnic minorities as dangerously naive. And last but not least, when you charge $3.75 for a small latte -- you're not exactly in a position to rail about the evils of capitalism either.

 

 

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Mark Hemingway

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