Yale professor suggests Galway build Cromwell statue next to Che Guevara memorial
Carlos Eire tells Irish councillors they are akin to Holocaust deniers by honoring Che
“Why? Ignorance and blind faith. To praise Che, one must overlook mountains of evidence concerning his crimes. But why would anyone do that, willingly?
“Because some people - especially those who see all of history as nothing but class struggle - need a saint to venerate, someone who they think embodies the cause of the downtrodden. “Ironically, though most Che lovers tend not to admit it, they act very much like religious zealots: As they prefer to see it, Che was a saintly crusader for the poor, so everything he did must have been good, and anyone harmed by him must have deserved it.
“So what if he killed Cubans willy-nilly, without trials, including plenty of poor peasants? Or helped establish one of the most repressive regimes on earth?
“Or built concentration camps for dissidents and gays, including one with a sign over the front gate that read ‘Work will make real men out of you?’
“It’s what needed to be done. It was just. And in this warped religious view of Che the idol, and of politics in general, we who call that false history into question are worse than heretics.
“We are the unjust cretins who still deserve to be killed by the likes of Che.”
Eire also likened Guevara to Oliver Cromwell, scoure of the Irish, in his letter.
He said: “Everyone in Galway and Ireland should know this: Che has a lot in common with Oliver Cromwell.
“Like Cromwell, Che proclaimed himself a liberator and felt justified in committing thousands of atrocities in a land other than his own, all in the name of a higher cause.
“Like Cromwell, Che stole everyone’s property too, for a sacred purpose. As for reputation: Cromwell received plenty of good press and adulation from those on his side, just like Che.
“To Cromwell’s admirers - and he had plenty who would eagerly build him monuments - the Irish people were inconsequential obstacles to a higher goal, or worse, despicable papist wretches who deserved no mercy.
“Allow me to propose a radical solution to this controversy: If Galway wants to honor Che with a monument, it should also build one for Cromwell, right next to it. It’s only fair.”
Carlos M. N. Eire is the T. Lawrason Riggs professor of history and religious studies at Yale University.
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