Saul Landau: Death of a Propagandist

Mark Tapson, a Hollywood-based writer and screenwriter, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He focuses on the politics of popular culture.


saul_landauSaul Landau died Monday at 77, receiving laudatory obituaries in major media outlets like The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. Landau was an award-winning filmmaker of dozens of documentaries that addressed issues ranging from war and poverty to racism. He was also, in his own words, a propagandist for socialism whose famous 1968 documentary Fidel helped sell Cuba’s monstrous Castro as a benevolent man of the people.

Landau began his political activism as a University of Wisconsin at Madison student by working to recall Sen. Joseph McCarthy. “I wanted to participate, I wanted to make a difference,” he said. After graduation he moved to San Francisco. “I came out of Madison with a passion for social justice,” said Landau, “and the idea that you only get one shot at participating in the history of the world and that you have to make the most of it.” He tried his hand at everything: film distributor, author, playwright, mime. He wrote for the New Left’s Ramparts magazine and worked for public TV station KQED, where he got his first shot at filmmaking.

Landau began visiting Cuba in 1960 and joined the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, which complained that Castro’s regime was being bullied by the U.S. government and news media. He went on to make six films about Cuba, including 2010’s Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up?, the aforementioned Fidel, and 1990’s The Uncompromising Revolution on PBS. Castro’s “beard is grayer,” the latter film noted, “but his charisma remains as strong as ever.” The film praised the murdering Argentinian coward Che Guevara as “a saint.”

New York Times critic Walter Goodman wrote off Landau’s hagiographic piece as a “sycophantic fantasy.” Landau “trails after Castro as he visits with workers, doctors and scientists and looks into a microscope,” wrote Goodman. “Hey, there’s Fidel at a volleyball game. What a guy!” He criticizes Landau’s rosy depiction of Castro’s jails: “Even the prisoners he visits are patriotic; and what a swell prison! You haven’t seen so many smiling faces since Social Realism went out of style.”

Landau, lifelong friends with Castro, shrugged off the criticism. “You have 999 anti-Castro films. So why don’t you run one pro-Castro film?” Because Castro was a vile dictator and painting him and his sadistic cohort Guevara as otherwise is a crime against humanity, that’s why. But what can you expect – Landau’s daughter Julia said, “He was incredibly supportive of the ideals of the Cuban Revolution.” Then, perhaps defensively, she also added that he was also “critical of the Cuban government for its censorship.”

The Washington Post’s eulogy whitewashes Landau’s pro-Castro propaganda, sidestepping the issue to praise his “skillful use of lighting, landscape and music” instead. The Post went on to note that “although some dismissed [Fidel] as propaganda”– because it was propaganda – “the film nevertheless offered a view of Castro as a man of the people, chatting with villagers and playing baseball. New York Times film critic Vincent Canby called the film ‘in all technical aspects, first-rate’ and ‘a remarkable document of contemporary history.’” Again with the technical praise.

Landau’s most acclaimed film was “Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang” in 1978, which examined the U.S. government’s attempts to suppress information about the harmful effects of nuclear radiation from open-air explosions in the American West in the 1950s. It garnered Landau and his collaborators an Emmy for best documentary and a George F. Polk Award for investigative journalism. “It had a big impact on slowing the spread of and eventually stopping the construction of nuclear power plants,” said John Cavanagh, director of the D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank where Landau was a board member.

Landau served as a fellow there from 1972 until his death. Cavanagh collaborated with Landau on film projects and said the documentaries had “the very explicit intent to mobilize people to work for social justice.”

The anti-Pinochet Landau became friends with Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier. In 1976, after Letelier and his assistant were assassinated in a car bombing, papers were found in his briefcase which showed that Letelier was receiving $1,000 a month from Cuba and hoped to eventually do for Chile what Castro had done for Cuba. Many of these documents were leaked to the press but were virtually ignored. “There seemed to be a feeling by many in the media,” reads an Accuracy in Media report, “that it was inappropriate to expose to public view the evidence that Orlando Letelier was a Cuban agent. It was even suggested that those who sought to reveal this information were trying to condone his assassination.”

Also discovered in the briefcase was a letter from Saul Landau to a friend in Havana, in which Landau wrote,

I think that at age forty the time has come to dedicate myself to narrower pursuits, namely, making propaganda for American socialism… We cannot any longer just help out third world movements and revolutions, although obviously we cannot turn our back on them, but get down to the more difficult job of bringing the message home.

Landau, with the backing of the Institute for Policy Studies, co-authored a book about the killings, and then another about the case called Assassination on Embassy Row, which says nothing about Letelier as a Cuban agent. Landau states that one of his first acts upon hearing of the assassination was to go to Letelier’s office and go through his files “to ensure that materials that could compromise the Chilean resistance inside Chile or in exile would not fall into the hands of the FBI.”

Landau worked all the way up until his death Monday. He collaborated on more than a dozen books, most with what the Post called “an unabashed left-of-center point of view,” and was working on another documentary about Cuba. He also taught literature, film and foreign policy at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona.

“All my films try to teach people without preaching too hard,” Landau told the Post in 1982. “That’s why I make films… to raise people’s consciousness in one way or another.” If by “raise people’s consciousness” he means “sell the world a lie about socialism,” then Saul Landau gave it his all.

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  • herb benty

    How can these seemingly intelligent people be so blind. Landau and Sean Penn and many others gush about Cuba, I have a friend who regularly travels to Cuba and takes along shoes and stuff to give to destitute Cubans. Cuba is a commie hellhole.

    • nomoretraitors

      Because they are willfully ignorant

      • herb benty

        That is the height of ignorance, much like the whole Demoncrat Party.

    • Steeloak

      Because as potential agents of influence in America, they are only shown the Potempkin Village side of life in Communist countries, They live the life only high party officials can have and think everyone else lives the same. Because the deception agrees with their pre-existing beliefs, they never notice that they are being played as patsies.

      • herb benty

        Hi Steeloak, that makes sense. All the leaders and buddies do very well while the “masses” suffer. How on earth do they con the regular folks so easy.

    • AKFreedomLover

      I’m sure many are blind, willfully ignorant, whatever……but I honestly think there’s something else psychologically going on with many Leftists, and that many are not in fact actually blind or ignorant of the truth…..they just have some kind of sociopathic need to be different, to be contrarian, to oppose authority, to oppose common sense and facts…..I don’t know, hard to put into words……like spoiled children that know right from wrong but always have to test limits and push boundaries, and in the case of Leftists and progressives, the more absurd the better. I don’t know…..they can’t all be that stupid.

      • herb benty

        Revolution is a real attraction for them, so to be a revolutionary must satisfy the need to stay like a child? Petulant, arrogant, supremacy, something pulls them away from common sense- like a kid. Just babbling……who would want to go from freedom to totalitarianism, it just is a head scratcher for me.

      • johngardner

        You aren’t the first person to wonder what is going on with these people. Suggest Rebecca West’s “The Meaning of Treason” for insights into other cases; Conrad’s “The Secret Agent” and/or “Under Western Eyes” for fictional treatment.

    • eib

      If Cuba is so great, then why doesn’t Penn emigrate there?

      • herb benty

        I hear you! Maybe cause Olenin is creating communism here and they realize there is no need to move.

  • Michael Garfinkel

    The passing of Saul Landau requires a benediction of sorts.

    I am reminded of Mark 5:9:
    And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.
    Now that Mr. Landau has joined William Kunstler, Leonard Weinglass, Leonard Boudin, et. al., – we can only hope he shares in their eternal reward.

    • A Z

      I’m not catholic but there is a little something to that purgatory ideal. The Muslims believe the same thing almost exactly. They think most people who have not been saved in this life will be saved in the next life after a period in a “purgatory” or HeII. Very,very few will never be saved and consigned to HeII forever. I kind of like the ideal.

      So maybe you will see Landau in Heaven. Maybe. But he seemed very willfully blind. Right now I am not feeling to charitable.

      • A Z

        What don’t you like?

        - That I like some ideals of Muslim theology?
        -That I made a mistake in quoting that element of Muslims theology?
        -That Muslims theology and Catholicism have a few similarities.?

        I never said they had enough similarities that Catholicism was the same as Islam, that they were not substantially different or that Catholicism was not better not better

        -That Landau might be in HeII
        -That he might go to Heaven?
        -Or that I was pissed about a leftist who left a steaming pile behind that we have to deal with and I am angry about it?

      • eib

        The Muslims believe that? I doubt it. Every non-Muslim, and that means the majority of people now, is doomed to hell. Even among Muslim women, we are told that most of them are condemned also. Because, after all, a woman’s soul is not a man’s, in Islam.

    • VillageMonster

      Someday we may be joining them as well and all this will be gone.

      • Michael Garfinkel

        Yes, we all all mortal, and only God is eternal, but hopefully, we will have lived to do the right thing.

  • victor

    What is it about American Jews with european ancestry who are socialists and communists. Don’t they realize, based on history, that socialism/communism and heavy handed government controls contributed to the eradication of many Jewish communities all over the world, much more than any one individual can. After all, the demise of many Jewish communities came at the hands of organized governmental powers not individuals.

    • Aizino Smith

      I would suspect past events such as programs, poverty, discrimination and they came to America later.

      If they had come to America at the time of the Pilgrims and had been farmers or came later and had quickly transited NYC or other parts to farming communities, they might have had a different history and a different ethos.

      Part of it is inertia, just like there is a tendency for kids to have the same profession as their parents because that is what they know, many Jews are communists because their parents were communists.

      Many reasons why they are communists, but most of them are not well thought out.

      Whenever I hear a person is Jewish with European ancestry form easter Europe, I literally cringe. I would have though that after what the USSR did to Jews it might be different. Especially after the 1980s when so many Jews fled Russia for Israel. Inertia!

      I think if a leftist Jew had doubts they would talk to friends and they would calm their fears, they would go to bed ad get up refreshed and rebooted. Communism is good; all is right with the world again.

      • herb benty

        The damage that fake “Christians” have done to the Jewish folks over the years probably drove some Jews to Communism. From the Crusades(Where the crusaders killed the,”Christ killers”) to the Nazi “Christians”.and a whole lot of persecution in between, I don’t blame them. Real Christians in the modern era are embracing Israel and the Jews as we read our Bible more closely.( Romans).

      • Aizino Smith

        Herb Henty

        Do not use the word N A Z I in your posts. the filter won;t let it though. use NATSI instead. those people who get their history form other than Hollywood will know this historically accurate acronym

        • Steeloak

          Actually NDAP was the abbreviation they themselves used – Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei. It can be seen on many flags & banners in film from the time.

          • Aizino Smith

            My Bust. That is right. NATSI seems to be well understood. & it gets around the filters.

          • mike

            It’s actually NSDAP, but in all other points you are correct. Carry on.

    • glpage

      My Jewish mother-in-law says that it proves not all Jews are smart.

      • iluvisrael

        She’s right, but this landau creep was a Jew in name only – he was really a leftist useful idiot and that was his ‘religion’

  • nomoretraitors

    More oxygen for the rest of us

  • Aizino Smith

    There is so much to read. I was going to ignore this piece. And then I read it anyway and saw

    “papers were found in his briefcase which showed that Letelier was receiving $1,000 a month from Cuba”

    And the left did not report it then and not now.

    The hits just keep on coming.

    • Steeloak

      General Pinochet is especially hated by the left as he crushed the communist revolution that was about to consume his country and turn it into another Cuba. Chile is free and prosperous today thanks to his efforts.

      • Aizino Smith

        Reply,

        I know. I know an American expat. When she was a girl in Chile, there was a guy following her. Now take your pick

        - She is crazy
        - He was a child molester
        - He was a run of the mill kidnapper
        - He was a leftists going to kidnap an American

        He disappeared. I tend to believe the last pick. the leftists will believe he was just an innocent leftists ‘down for the cause’ who
        the evil regime got.

  • Steeloak

    I understand that Joseph Goebbels produced many noble works of film in support of his cause. I will miss the much lauded Saul Landau just as much as I miss Joseph.

  • Moa

    > “The Muslims believe the same thing almost exactly”

    Just so you know, the reasons the Muslim believe the same thing is because Islam is derived from a heretical Christian sect called Arianism (which was pushed to Arabia because it was a heresy in the Eastern Roman “Byzantine” Empire).

    Since Mohammed was illiterate he got Arian Christians to write for him – and it appears Mohammed picked up stuff from hearing Jewish and Christian services – despite Mohammed’s tribe being pagan (and Mohammed himself talking about pagan gods, “Il Illah” == Allah == “The God” being the title of the chief god of the pagan pantheon as well as used by Arabs for YHWH).

    Just so you know. Islam is a heretical Christian sect, just as Christianity is a heretical sect derived from Judaism.

    • Aizino Smith

      I know Islam took, stole, borrowed from Christianity, Judaism and others.

      When the Byzantine Emperors first heard about Islam, they thought it was a heretical sect & suppressed it. Mohemmed had sent missionaries into Syria. The emperor had them killed thinking them to be Christian heretics.

      But basically the Koran is a Bible plagiarized Bible with different editing and some additional stuff thrown in.

      It is also why all this killing is upsetting. The Jews where tiny skull caps, Catholic priests where skull caps and Muslims wear skull caps. Muslims pray 5 times a day as do Catholic priests and the devout. Someone is going to get their comeuppance for being pigheaded and it will be those killing in the name of God.

      • Moa

        > “When the Byzantine Emperors first heard about Islam, they thought it was a heretical sect & suppressed it. ”

        That because it *is* a heretical sect.

        > “The emperor had them killed thinking them to be Christian heretics.”

        They *are* heretics. They have embellished for sure, supplanting the primacy of Jesus in Christianity with Mohammed but they still revere Jesus as a prophet. Because they accept Jesus you can consider them to actually be heretic (although you can make a counter-argument, but I believe that is further from the reality).

        > “Someone is going to get their comeuppance for being pigheaded and it will be those killing in the name of God.”

        Not just the killing. What about the raping, and enslavement, and discrimination, and racism, and misogyny, and homophobia, and animal maltreatment, and anti-Semitic calls for genocide, and supremacism, and disloyalty to their country, and sanctioned lying …
        Islam is doing this *today* (Judaism and Christianity did some of these in the past, but none of these are sanctioned today).

        And there is another huge difference that makes Islam uniquely evil. Today, Judaism and Christianity are personal faiths – there is a separation of Church, punishment of sins is by the Creator alone, and most importantly of all *these faith assert no jurisdiction over non-believers* (the Creator will sort them out later).

        Islam, in contrast, is primarily a totalitarian, theocratic political system where separation of Mosque and State is not permitted as a permanent arrangement. Punishment of sins is performed by every pious Muslim (hence fatwas of death on Salman Rushdie, the Danish cartoonists, and thousands of others), followed by punishment by Allah. But the biggest difference, and the danger for the whole World, is that *Islam asserts jurisdiction over all people, including non-believers*.

        You probably already knew this, but I wanted to point out that last *very* important point in case you didn’t :)

        • Aizino Smith

          Islam is too large and/or has been around too, long too regarded as a heretical sect.

          I don’t want to get into the definition of sect or when a sect becomes a religion.

          All I know is that Islam needs a reformation.Barring that I do not think will happen, the end result will be beneficial for mankind as a whole or any part.

          Mankind has to thrive not just survive.

          To just survive is to eventually die. We can only live in an oil economy so long. Ditto for coal. We ca n only survive so long as an agrian economy. Given the robustness of an agrian economy mother nature can overwhelm this or that region and civilization will fail.

          We cannot survive with a police state or with 50% of the brain power suppressed.

          • Moa

            > “All I know is that Islam needs a reformation.”

            Islam already had a reformation. The result is the Wahabbism you see spreading out from Saudi Arabia and changing moderate Muslim countries (eg. Malaysia, Indonesia) into much more hard-core countries.

            The closest to what you seem to want is the Ahmadiyyah sect. They are persecuted increasingly harshly as heretics/apostates in Muslim countries.

            Please also note that reformed Islam would pretty much be Arian Christianity. Also considered heretical.

            As Sam Harris puts it, “The problem with Islamic fundamentalists, are the fundamentals of Islam”.

            There is no realistic way of reforming Islam (religious socialism) without turning it into something that is not recognizable as Islam. Just as there was no way of turning National Socialism or Communist Socialism into anything useful. The only path for Free People is to oppose, confront and eventually destroy these evils that put their socialist system ahead of the individual human being.

          • herb benty

            Canada has around a hundred years worth of oil available, and probably much more. By that time mankind will finally have mastered atomic power( Mr Fusion) and THEN we let go of fossil fuels. Windmills and solar panels can’t help you in – 30 F., or transport me across the country. I don’t trust ” green” energy. I’ve learned “sustainable growth” really means, no growth. Environmentalists want a lot less people, who decides which people get to stay?

          • Aizino Smith

            They do want less people. One utopian type put up Stonehenge like stones in Georgia (or somewhere in the southeast) and suggested 500,000 people is optimal.
            I really think that some on the left want to become eff’n elves frolicking nude in the meadow among the flowers like they did in the 1890s. Except now they have more of a plan.

            I trust solar and wind to provide a consistent 1% to 5%. I regard has a hedge not a solution.

            I especially regard it a solution for preppers. All the sudden when preppers talking energy independence the left goes silent or brings out accusations.

            I see it as a way to not be at the mercy of large corporation or government control as much.

          • herb benty

            Obama engineering the EPA to make the “gas of Life”- CO2- a “dangerous” substance is what alerted me to the enviro- loonie plan to decrease the world’s population. I did some multiplication at the Library a while ago. I looked up the square miles that make up Washington State, worked it down to the total sq feet, which was well over a trillion. I divided by earth’s estimated 7 billion people and discovered that every human fits in Washington State with around 900 sg ft! And that’s on only one level! I realize we cannot live that packed in but the overpopulation fanatics are very wrong. Done right, this earth could support many trillions of folks. But some of those, “loonies” are rich, Gates, Clinton etc and are joined with the “Club of Rome” and others to push for less people instead of helping people. I know of many cabins in the mountains where me and my family will flee if things get too hairy.

          • John

            “my family and I”

            “I did some calculations”

            A remember someone who once told me that the earth could support 20 billion people with a decent lifestyle.

            They were an engineering major that switched to psychology. I have no reason to doubt his judgment or that he was BSing me.

            So far all the gloom and doom by people like the author of “The Population Bomb” have been wrong. Their models, their calculations and their judgment have been wrong. Instead of questioning their abilities and their philosophy they are doubling down.

            A lot of people wringing their hands about all this have no technical skill or in a very narrow field, but they assume they have the acumen to talk about everything.

          • herb benty

            There is one hell of a war coming, with a big reduction in the world’s population likely. The nukes will be used this time. English teacher??

    • herb benty

      Are you crazy? Judeo- Christianity is the light of this dark world sonny.

      • Moa

        Enlightenment Values that derive from Judeo-Christianity are the light. You don’t need the self-contradictory superstition to acknowlege the moral message.

        Here’s a picture showing contradictions in the Bible, from the site:
        http://www.project-reason.org/gallery3/image/105/

        So yeah, I can accept and acknowledge that Judeo-Christianity gave many things to the World. And they were a good first approximation to reality by superstitious desert dwellers. But now we have better understanding of science and economics and food hygeine and women’s rights and politics and history and the creation of the universe and evolution of species and chemistry and microbes as the basis of most disease, not ‘demons’ (otherwise, demons can be trivially banished by soap and water, and antibiotics), etc

        Superstition served its purpose, but it is no longer helpful. The moral philosophy and the Golden Rule of “do unto others …” (which is not unique to Christianity, it has been reformulated by almost all cultures – except, interestingly enough, by Islam) from Judeo-Christianity is helpful to remember though.

        • herb benty

          You seem happy in your atheism, but don’t expect me to look up an atheist site, the mindless presuppositions and bias is all too familiar. So, your big point is that we now have supermarkets so you don’t need God, wow. Our God warned us about “superstition” and the desert dwellers are Arabs and Muslims. God also told us there is real and fake science. The Hebrews LOVED their women, Jesus set them free and the New testament saw churches headed by females, way back then. Nature doesn’t select, save, punish, or favor anything, in fact nature destroys information. You’ve never had a person with crazy eyes looking at you while hissing, then prayed for them, In the Name of Jesus Christ, COME OUT! And the person is delivered from their possession. Many many missionaries have done this in many lands. I see you are “going with the flow”……same as the people in Noah’s day, good luck.

          • Moa

            Thanks herb, I know you’re just trying to help me, as you see fit.

            There may well be a Creator – but why does he hide himself so? furthermore,

            why did he leave evidence of him not being around?

            why did he get crazy people to write books full of verifiably false anti-scientific statements?

            why did he create a universe that can be explained without requiring him in it?

            why can we do quantum mechanical experiments to unbelievable levels of precision yet not once in the *billions* of measurements do we see anything that would suggest supernature?

            why does the Bible (or Qur’an) contain a single fact that a person at the time of writing would not have known. If the Bible had once written that “tiny microbes are the basis for most disease, here are instructions to create soap ….”. This would have saved Billions of lives. Did your God not care about humans enough to save them with simple instructions about soap?

            should our scientific understanding be considered an illusion and worthless? if that is so, then you are adopting the exact same ideological position as Al Ghazali of Islam who retarded the progress of Muslims for 800 years and causes untold misery in the World today. When religion denies science then it is very very harmful to humanity.

            > ” You’ve never had a person with crazy eyes looking at you while hissing, then prayed for them, In the Name of Jesus Christ, COME OUT! And the person is delivered from their possession.”

            Psychology is a complex thing. There have been may people through the ages from all sorts of spiritualities that have performed such rituals successfully. How can that be if they didn’t all worship Jesus? Perhaps the common component relies on aspects of abnormal human psychology rather than on some unproven supernatural effect. Yes?

            > “I see you are “going with the flow”……same as the people in Noah’s day, good luck.”

            Nope. All I’m doing is following the Scientific Method – since this is the only thing that has enabled man to get past his dreadful historical suffering (and if God existed he would have allowed this suffering for 200,000 years of our species before finally intervening 3000 years ago – to give some mumbo jumbo stuff to illiterate desert dwellers [rather than the Chinese, who could write and could have passed it on accurately]). This is something that most people do *not* do. Including you. You switch your (allegedly God-given) brain off and refuse to examine any evidence except that given in some ancient book that contains anti-science that can be disproved.

            > “good luck”

            And warmest wishes to you. I hope if you or your children get sick you turn to medicine rather than prayer. The former has been shown to work (albeit not everything can be cured yet, but science is working on it, using the Scientific Method) and the latter has been shown to be ineffective at best and actually have a slight negative effect (due psycho-somatic effects when suffers are unexpectedly disappointed when prayers don’t actually work).

          • herb benty

            Wow moa, that was long so I’ll answer what I can. Stars, blue stars are plentiful in galaxys, burning so hot and fast that they wouldn’t exist if they were even a couple million years old. There is no proof of any stars being created right now- none. Biological- The “Cambrian Explosion” is supposedly hundreds of Millions of years old, yet contains many species that are identical to animals today! No change in all that time- the fossil record shouts Creation. Mutations! We have whats called “mutation load” that some scientists wonder why we are even alive. mutations stay in the genome and could kill us- but not yet, if the world is young. Mutations are harmful, mutations and nature do not create beautiful, extremely complex biological machines. Nature does not select, save, favor anything, nature is unthinking. In fact, nature destroys information. Mitochondrial DNA studies have shown we come from 1 woman and 1 man. So, the ability to drink milk and eat grains is only a few thousands of years old, well that sure fits the Bible’s time frame! Or could mankind always ingest those but some have had mutations that make that impossible? “crazy people writing verifiably false science.. are you kidding me, that is drifting to ridicule and you are better than that, An example: the Old Testament clearly says the Earth is a sphere hung on nothing! This, at a time people thought Atlas held us up(or a turtle) and the earth was flat. God loves REAL science- Luke was a doctor. If you sir, build something like a chair, are you IN the chair… God is outside His Creation. Christians built most of the early Hospitals, Jesus healed all that came to Him. You call demonic possession just a mental problem, well, if you’ve ever seen a 12 year old girl whoop 6 grown men you may question that. Satan and his legions are very clever, he may fool the pagan exorsists, for a time. Jesus really frees the afflicted permanently.I wasn’t being sarcastic with the “good luck”, I was reminding you that Jesus said the end of this world would be like Noah’s Flood, that’s all.This still used “Scientific Method” was originated by Mendel, a Christian who believed in the Bible! I believe the earth is less than 10,000 yrs old so I don’t get the 200,000 yr thing. No mumbo-Jumbo, and the Hebrews had scribes that wrote EVERYTHING down. Nothing in the Bible has ever been disproved, that is why archeologists use it to find ancient sites, the Bible is the world’s best selling book, year in, year out. Only cults refuse medicine,blood transfusions, holding rattlesnakes etc. 1/2 of my relatives were either doctors, nurses or like me worked in hospitals in other areas. We do our medical best AND pray.I’ll go look at that site you mentioned, no fear here, it’s just that you know how atheists handle Christianity… but I’ll look if you look at, http://www.icr.org this is a Creation organization with around 75 Ph.D’s on the Board and several Nobel Prize finalists. They can answer all your questions much better than me with my 1st year Biology! You say a badly written book, ha ha, and what if you read it and found it very well written indeed. Causality is the first and most broadly accepted Law of Science. An effect is “caused” by something equal to or greater than the effect. the unimaginable POWER we see in the Universe was caused by something with unbelieveable POWER- ALMIGHTY GOD. Intellectual arrogance gets in the way of many, don’t let it get you. I have come to KNOW the Lord and He is GOOD and the source of it. Moa, the Bible is His Word that He said He looks over, Kings have oulawed it, burnt it, yet here it is. The atheist, Voltaire, mocked the Bible in France many years ago and famously stated, ” In a hundred years, there will be no Bible”. A hundred later his house was the printing shop for the World Bible Society! God does have a sense of humor.Call on Him with ALL your heart and He will answer you. He wants us to come to Him in Faith. Shalom

    • herb benty

      I just noticed your last para. Islam is a satanic moon-worshiping cult that saw the plain supremacy of the Judeo- Christian Faith, so tried to supplant and take them both over- Conquest, as muslims still hunger for. From Genesis to Malachi, the coming of Jesus is described and predicted, Islam is heresy, not Judaism or Christianity. Result: Jews and Christians are loving, ingenious benefits to society. Islam is a plague on the earth. Are you blind?

      • Moa

        > “Islam is a plague on the earth. Are you blind?”

        Agreed. Islam and its alliance with the political Left are the greatest danger to civilization and the Free World.

        I don’t know how you read my statements as me supporting Islam. Islam is even worse than Christianity in terms of sheer nonsense and unlike Christianity (which is scientifically wrong, but at least it is humane), Islam is barbaric, even more scientifically wrong, and just out-and-out evil.

        Islam is evil – make no mistake about it.

        • herb benty

          Well, we do agree on that at least. The Christian message is that God loves us

  • Hill

    As a child and grandchild of Communist survivors, coddled Western sympathizers deserve nothing but contempt and disdain.

  • thatsitivehadenough

    Good riddance.

    • disagreerestrategiesnotmotives

      I knew Saul Landau well for 30 years. Since I had lived and worked in a half dozen developing countries and am passionately interested in economic development strategies as they effect the global poor, we argued often, long and bitterly about Cuba, Tibet, China, Vietnam, Nicaragua, and elsewhere. I agreed with him on Chile, Jamaica, and El Salvador. I never doubted for one moment that Saul’s basic lens was what social changes would benefit the poor majority of the countries he studied, filmed and wrote about. We often disagreed about what political changes would bring about the greatest benefits to the greatest numbers, but I never felt the need to question the sincerity of his motives, which many of the comments here above explicitly or implicitly do.

      What I think is very tragic about an article such as this, and the majority of the comments that follow, is that by demonizing the man, they miss his contributions as a journalist and thinker. Simple rhetoric doesn’t really tell you anything. For example, even Henry Kissinger knew that you had to have a revolution in Nicaragua after 46 years of the Somoza “kleptocracy” (Kissinger’s label). There is no denying the fact that the Sandinistas had some die-hard Marxists in their upper echelons, and had gotten a lot of their training, guns and support from Cuba and the USSR, but ow relevant did that really turn out to be? Where would you have turned if you were 20 years old and living in that sh…thole in 1960 and 1970? Saul Landau’s film “Target Nicaragua helped to uncover yet another time a US President thwarted the law to carry out nefarious plans in the name of “national security.”

      Today the US has close business and political relations with Vietnam and China. No one seems to care that their rhetoric is communist, nor that in practice they have state-run capitalism. What is relevant, to me, is that since 1990 Vietnamese rice farmers have have a 50% real dollar increase in income; I don’t find it that relevant whether such a miracle occurs in a free market environment or in a state run economy. Who gives a crap?

      It is not only totally inappropriate to compare Saul Landau to Goebbels and label him stupid and evil, it fundamentally displays to me two things. Such “thinking” isn’t really interested in analysis, only rhetoric. And, such “thinking” is still caught in a communism versus democracy cold-war framework that is completely anachronistic.

      Saul Landau cared deeply about human rights and what political and economic systems would benefit the majority of people in Latin America and the Caribbean. He saw first hand the evil that that right-wing dictators, often aided by the US via the CIA, would perpetrate to maintain their rule. He was, in my view, too quick to ignore the procedural human rights violations (free speech, due process, political freedoms) of revolutionary socialist regimes, because he believed that they delivered better on substantive human rights (food, medicine, education, land and housing reform). Here we sometimes disagreed. But it wasn’t because he was some sort of Marxist-Lenninist dupe, plotting for the day that a Soviet style one-party state would rule the world. Let’s not forget: Saul Landau was the guy who accompanied C. Wright Mills to the Soviet Union when MIlls toasted a state gathering by hoping aloud for a time that Trotsky would be freely published in the USSR and saying that when such a time came it would mean that democracy had really arrived there.Landau was also the guy who portrayed the superficial sycophants around Fidel, and who was making a film on the treatment of homosexuals in Cuba when he died. You who demonize him would like the world to be as simple as black and white, but the sad truth for many of us who have lived and worked in countries where the vast majority of the population go to bed every night undernourished and without diarrhea medication, is that the political and economic reality of different nations, while perhaps not gray, takes deep scrutiny to see clearly. Solutions are even more obscure. Landau was engaged in that scrutiny–indeed with bias, like anyone–and he offered a much need counterpoint to the superficial myopic rhetoric that formed the basis of US foreign policy toward the developing world since WWII, and informs what often passes for investigative journalism.

      Even if those who indict him above do not agree with his views, they should admire his accomplishments (over 40 films and over a dozen books, numerous journalistic awards, human rights awards), appreciate the perspectives he brought, admire his courage (his colleague was blown up by a car bomb for g-d sake and he himself was threatened on numerous occasions), and respect his motives.

      He was also a very loving and considerate person who went out of his way to help his friends, and even on occasion those who considered themselves his enemies.

      • Realpolitik

        Your comments are persuasive and sensitive, but they are naive and dangerous. Landau apologized for the excesses of the left while hammering those of the right. That tells you everything. He made his choice and when you set out to spin info in favor of your lefty views, you are doing propaganda, just like Mark Tapson is doing in his article above. The only aspect of what you write that gives me pause to reconsider is that these social revolutions in the developing world were caught between east and west, communism and capitalism with the deck stacked against them because global corporations don’t like change and don’t want rules changed that will effect their bottom lines. If Landau had focused in his films more on that “rock and a hard place” I’d agree with the gist of your commentary but the truth is he excused all political action that was promoting, or supposedly promoting, socialism. You can’t deny that.

  • Deep Space

    Somewhat off topic but this brought back a memory of when I lived in SF from the mid-sixties to the early seventies. I used to play basketball on Saturday mornings at the Alice Marble park tennis courts on Hyde Street on Russian Hill. For some reason Alvin Duskin – another aging Bay Area lefty and entrepreneur – would occasionally be there. One time he brought one of his buddies to play – Saul Landau! I knew of him because I had gone to SF State and one would’ve been hard pressed not to have some awareness of all the heroic personalities from the left that were fighting the man to overcome his oppressive boot on our necks. But for the real question you are all waiting for me to answer…was he a ‘baller’? No, but gave it the old left-wing college try! (Duskin was better but no great shakes either).

  • Kukye

    I’m glad this man is dead aren’t you? Dust thou art and dust shalt thou return.

    Now he is meaningless. Can do no harm to others or to himself. So great a hatred they have of America because God blessed her but not others.

    They think like Satan, how unfair, how wrong. Then they get beguiled by their own madness and ‘viola, a film about a ruthless dicktator unfairly maligned by mean America.

    Never mind everyone wants to get out of Cuba who has not been brainwashed and make a beeline to America!

  • Nabuquduriuzhur

    What an incredible waste. Imagine if this man had chosen to do Good with his life, instead of supporting someone who murdered 100,000+ of his own people, not counting starvation, untreated disease, and so on.

    Now that Landau is waiting in the flames of hades for the White Throne Judgement before Christ, think he’s wishing desperately that he’d done the right thing during his life, that he’d listened to the church teachers as a kid and gotten Saved?

    What an incredible waste.

  • Julia

    This is Julia, Saul’s daughter, who you quote. When I said Saul was critical of the Cuban government for its censorship, I did not “add” it “defensively.” It was part and parcel of his view of the place. Somehow I doubt you have ever seen his film, Fidel. If you had, you would see the viewpoint is much more subtle. The viewing of that film would be the first step in my recommendation — to get a life.

  • disagreerestrategiesnotmotives

    (Sorry I posted this as a comment to a comment below, by mistake, when I meant to post it as a comment to the article.)

    I knew Saul Landau well for 30 years. Since I had lived and worked in
    a half dozen developing countries and am passionately interested in economic
    development strategies as they effect the global poor, we argued often, long
    and bitterly about Cuba, Tibet, China, Vietnam, Nicaragua, and elsewhere. I
    agreed with him on Chile, Jamaica, and El Salvador. I never doubted for one
    moment that Saul’s basic lens was what social changes would benefit the poor
    majority of the countries he studied, filmed and wrote about. We often
    disagreed about what political changes would bring about the greatest benefits
    to the greatest numbers, but I never felt the need to question the sincerity of
    his motives, which many of the comments here above explicitly or implicitly do.

    What I think is very tragic about an article such as this, and the majority
    of the comments that follow, is that by demonizing the man, they miss his
    contributions as a journalist and thinker. Simple rhetoric doesn’t really
    tell you anything. For example, even Henry Kissinger knew that you had to
    have a revolution in Nicaragua after 46 years of the Somoza
    “kleptocracy” (Kissinger’s label). There is no denying the fact that
    the Sandinistas had some die-hard Marxists in their upper echelons, and had
    gotten a lot of their training, guns and support from Cuba and the USSR, but ow
    relevant did that really turn out to be? Where would you have turned if you
    were 20 years old and living in that sh…thole in 1960 and 1970? Saul Landau’s
    film “Target Nicaragua helped to uncover yet another time a US President
    thwarted the law to carry out nefarious plans in the name of “national
    security.”

    Today the US has close business and political relations with Vietnam and
    China. No one seems to care that their rhetoric is communist, nor that in
    practice they have state-run capitalism. What is relevant, to me, is that since
    1990 Vietnamese rice farmers have have a 50% real dollar increase in income; I
    don’t find it that relevant whether such a miracle occurs in a free market
    environment or in a state run economy. Who gives a crap?

    It is not only totally inappropriate to compare Saul Landau to Goebbels and
    label him stupid and evil, it fundamentally displays to me two things. Such
    “thinking” isn’t really interested in analysis, only rhetoric. And,
    such “thinking” is still caught in a communism versus democracy
    cold-war framework that is completely anachronistic.

    Saul Landau cared deeply about human rights and what political and economic
    systems would benefit the majority of people in Latin America and the
    Caribbean. He saw first hand the evil that that right-wing dictators, often
    aided by the US via the CIA, would perpetrate to maintain their rule. He was,
    in my view, too quick to ignore the procedural human rights violations (free
    speech, due process, political freedoms) of revolutionary socialist regimes,
    because he believed that they delivered better on substantive human rights
    (food, medicine, education, land and housing reform). Here we sometimes
    disagreed. But it wasn’t because he was some sort of Marxist-Lenninist
    dupe, plotting for the day that a Soviet style one-party state would rule the
    world. Let’s not forget: Saul Landau was the guy who accompanied C. Wright
    Mills to the Soviet Union when MIlls toasted a state gathering by hoping aloud
    for a time that Trotsky would be freely published in the USSR and saying that
    when such a time came it would mean that democracy had really arrived
    there.Landau was also the guy who portrayed the superficial sycophants around
    Fidel, and who was making a film on the treatment of homosexuals in Cuba when
    he died. You who demonize him would like the world to be as simple as black and
    white, but the sad truth for many of us who have lived and worked in countries
    where the vast majority of the population go to bed every night undernourished
    and without diarrhea medication, is that the political and economic reality of
    different nations, while perhaps not gray, takes deep scrutiny to see
    clearly. Solutions are even more obscure. Landau was engaged in that
    scrutiny–indeed with bias, like anyone–and he offered a much need
    counterpoint to the superficial myopic rhetoric that formed the basis of
    US foreign policy toward the developing world since WWII, and informs what
    often passes for investigative journalism.

    Even if those who indict him above do not agree with his views, they should
    admire his accomplishments (over 40 films and over a dozen books, numerous
    journalistic awards, human rights awards), appreciate the perspectives he
    brought, admire his courage (his colleague was blown up by a car bomb for g-d
    sake and he himself was threatened on numerous occasions), and respect his
    motives.

    He was also a very loving and considerate person who went out of his way to
    help his friends, and even on occasion those who considered themselves his
    enemies.