Friday, April 11, 2008

Too bad the poll on La Vanguardia's worst correspondent is finished, or Rafael Poch would have gotten a few more votes. I ran across a Rafa piece on George W. Bush's 2004 speech at Normandy. Check out Rafa's take on World War II history (the translation is not mine):

Many think that John Wayne and soldier Ryan saved Europe from fascism, that Angloamerica saved the old continent, and that the disembarkation in Normandy was the great decisive action. It was not so...

But, would there have been a "second front" if the things had gone well to Hitler in the East?

The Anglo-American disembarked in the remotest and worse places to alleviate the pressure undergone by the USSR...

The United States had supported the Italian dictator from his arrival to power in 1922, including the Italians’ excesses, since they represented, after all, a the threat to the Bolsheviks...

On the Western part it is accepted, for example, that the German-Soviet ’39 pact demonstrated the kinship between nazism and stalinism. Of the shames of the democracies, of their attitude towards fascism on the eve of the war and of their imperial kinships with Hitler and Mussolini, hardly anyone speaks. Surely because of the manifestation of that fascism in the present times...

...if the USSR had been attacked (by Hitler) instead of having attacking Poland first, would have been applauded by the democracies...

The most formidable propaganda apparatus and public relations in world history has made a legend of its ever-victorious history. Hollywood, the mediatic industry in the hands of tycoons, the systems which are the official feeders of that industry and, of course, the army of paid affluent conformists in charge to transmit it, have written the most “advisable” version: the victory was America’s...

Vindicating the only positive role that the foreign armed intervention of the United States has had in its history in the last century, the President sells his present-day crusades. The French, the Italians, the Belgians and the Dutch are thus eternally grateful to America and the Europeans’ serfdom to soldier Ryan is maintained, even when confronted with a long list of unpunished crimes committed by the American militarism since then and the ongoing destruction of the fragile international rights.

The man (George W. Bush) who, according to polls, embodies the war and promotes global destabilization for most Europeans, spoke today in Normandy about morality, liberty and principles, and received the tribute and the applause of the leaders of the "old Europe".

The generosity and heroism of the 10,000 killed in those French beaches served, as well, to assert its "war against terrorism", the destruction of the fragile rudiments of international law and arms control, the preventive or "humanitarian" aggression, the arms race and the trivialization of the use of nuclear weapons in conventional wars. It's time to remember who was the main representative of those same trends in the world of 60 years ago.

The war was not won Private Ryan in Normandy, but a dangerous unworthy claims its glory.

Trevor from Kalebeul had an excellent post when Poch's article came out originally in 2004. He summed up the problem perfectly:

Stalin apologist Rafael Poch has published an article in La Vanguardia which belittles, falsifies, misrepresents the Normandy landings. That’s a common line here, where quite large numbers of people still believe that Stalin (substitute Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Companys etc as you will) was a benevolent (although misunderstood) genius.

Here's what Poch has to say about EU China policy:

The communicative strategy to be adopted by the EU in the rhetorical construction of its dialogue with China should be fully cognizant of and sensitive to the criteria of China’s moral order as outlined in this study and specified in the Five Principles (mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity; non-aggression; non-interference in each other’s internal affairs; equality and mutual benefit; and peaceful coexistence), the Spirit of Shanghai and the ASEAN Way, with special emphasis on mutual recognition, parity of esteem, and mutual benefit. Any other discourse will be perceived semiotically as unilateralist and exploitative.

Somebody claiming to be Rafael Poch posted this as a comment at a Time magazine blog in the original English:

Western optimism and ignorance about his own history, takes for garantted that there is nothing worse for China as the CCP. A realistic example of "Democracy in China" is the so called "Cultural Revolution" not your idealistic corporate western democracy, where the people decides very, very little. Make the people irrelevant for big decissions was the confessed pourpose of the western "fathers of Democracy" from the very begining (just read!).
Democracy in the West was the result of a very gradual and controlled process, extended for two centuries and plaged whith carnage and social rebellion. My point is that it is hell dificult to analyse "democracy in China" without analizing western democracy model as well.

It is hell difficult to be "international correspondent" without analizing english language model as well.

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