A few years ago Cal State Chico “Marxist” economist Michael Perelman argued with me on his “Progressive Economists Network” that the Cambodian genocide, if it really happened at all, was really a side effect of the otherwise justifiable attempt by the Khmer Rouge to feed starving Cambodians.
He is at again – this time arguing the Rwandan genocide was really just a side effect of a civil war. The real story can be found in the reports of Human Rights Watch as developed by the heroic Alison des Forges, who is nearly slandered by the specious article provided by Perelman.
What seems to stymie Perelman, like others of his political cohort like Mike Klonsky and Bill Ayers, is the naive notion that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Thus, any regime, whether that of Chavez in Venezuela, Ahmadenijad in Iran, Ortega in Nicaragua, or Hu Jintao in China, however brutal and authoritarian, is to be excused or defended as long as they indicate they are in opposition to US foreign policy.
The tougher job of establishing an independent and democratic foreign policy for the United States is ignored. Whether they know it or not, Perelman, Ayers, Klonsky, et al, are the flip side of the “new realism” that is in such fashion among certain human rights activists. These people argue that the US government can make genuine support for human rights an integral part of US foreign policy. Tell that to the Dalai Lama. My critique of that position can be found here.
In an era when Chavez admirer and stalinoid education professor Bill Ayers can be a guest at numerous college campuses perhaps it is not a surprise that Perelman is being “honored” by his campus, Cal State Chico, next month.