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September 11, 2013 9:02 AM   Subscribe

"Kissinger and, to some degree, Bush have been what we call Pinocheted. This is a new verb in the lexicon of the human rights movement since Juan Garcés’s accomplishment in getting Pinochet arrested. They have faced the issue of, when they travel abroad, will they be subpoenaed and questioned for crimes that they supported or participated in or instigated?" -- On the fortieth anniversary of that other 9/11, Democracy Now talks about the role Nixon and Kissinger played in getting the 1973 Pinochet-led coup against the Chilean government off the ground, as part of its larger coverage of the coup and its effects.
posted by MartinWisse (25 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
The last speech of Allende to the Chilean nation.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:07 AM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


The other 9/11: In pictures, The journalist, The survivors, The murdered poet, The final speech, The legacy.
posted by Artw at 9:07 AM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I half suspect that, once enough original witnesses are dead, the right will move to rehabilitate Pinochet, much as Spain's Conservatives are doing with Franco. Currently, only a few cranks and trolls will state publicly that they believe that he Saved Chile From Socialism and defended Freedom. (Well, them and the late Baroness Thatcher.) There must be more who believe this but are holding their tongues because the time has not yet come to reappraise Pinochet's Commie-fighting record.

Give it a decade and we'll see articles on the front of the Daily Telegraph about the 50th anniversary of the Liberation of Chile from Communism, containing one subordinate clause about unfortunate human-rights abuses followed by the assertion that they were a Regrettable Necessity because Allende would have turned Chile into a Stalinist hellhole a hundred times worse.
posted by acb at 9:12 AM on September 11, 2013 [14 favorites]


I recall speaking to a young upper-class Chilean woman (very Spanish looking in that horsey way) while waiting for a flight out of Santiago who it came out was a fan of Pinochet. I mentioned his wide-spread killing of indigenous people as maybe being not such a proud moment for the country. Her bland reply: "He should have killed them all".
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 9:34 AM on September 11, 2013


acb - isn't that a pretty common refrain already? I remember some peice in Reason or somewhere about some Libertarian who was shocked that his praise for Pinochete met a frosty reception from actual Chilleans and then read Wikipedia or something and had a bit of a sad.
posted by Artw at 9:37 AM on September 11, 2013


Oh, and this.

Never remember! 9/11!
posted by Artw at 9:39 AM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Currently, only a few cranks and trolls will state publicly that they believe that he Saved Chile From Socialism and defended Freedom.

As someone who lived in Chile for 5 years, I can attest — as Mei's comment suggests — that unfortunately this is not true. Public disdain for the Pinochete regime is, obviously, very common. Unfortunately, however, he still has his supporters as well.
posted by tiger yang at 9:42 AM on September 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm sure that Bush is incurious enough about the outside world that this seldom if ever actually bothers him.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:54 AM on September 11, 2013


Weren't they going to exhume Neruda's body to check for signs of poisoning? Did that ever happen?
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 10:00 AM on September 11, 2013


The murdered poet

My son and I were listening to Victor Jara as we got ready for work and school this morning, then I got into the car and heard the Chomsky interview linked to above. It's getting harder and harder to feel anything but revulsion for our government.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:11 AM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I did a semester abroad at the Chilean Military Academy in Santiago, so I have a lot of Facebook friends who are Chilean army officers. Every September 11th, my Facebook feed fills with Americans remembering September 11, 2001 and Chileans celebrating September 11th, 1973, talking about "honor y gloria" and "los valientes que nos sacaron del comunismo". A lot of them have civililan friends though, and they're not afraid to ask them publically how they can celebrate all the murder and torture.

It's hard to reconcile that these nice people who welcomed me and showed me a lot of hospitality are openly supporting fascism. It wasn't just in Chile though. While I was in Ecuador, once again at a military academy, my American cadet friend asked a pair of the Ecuadorian cadets what they thought about Pinochet and one of them replied "He did what was necessary."

It really boggles my brain.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 10:18 AM on September 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


we'll see articles on the front of the Daily Telegraph about the 50th anniversary of the Liberation of Chile from Communism

Nah, they'll just keep calling it La Declaracion Militar.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 10:21 AM on September 11, 2013


Is there any reason why this isn't universally seen as genocide? ("Genocide" might not be the precise term, and I apologise for the potential malapropism.). Rounding up thousands of your enemies for detainment or murder is profoundly horrible, and the number of those killed is common knowledge. Why is this not looked upon with the same revulsion we have for the holocaust?
posted by pxe2000 at 10:35 AM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


the real danger in this (for people like Bush/Cheney in USA anyway-maybe not so much Pinochet who WAS an actual dictator) is that the evil/bad people will no longer willingly step away from power for fear of being prosecuted by their political opponents and not allowed to whither away in obscurity.

Even if it means people who committed crimes or at least did something distasteful (for lack of a better term) leave power willingly and peacefully without punishment aren't we better off for all that?

I think it is even more dangerous for the international community to step in when the internal politics of a country seems to have resolved the issue and allowed a way forward. What happened to Pinochet after leaving power is a very bad precedent for peaceful removal of an authoritarian government handled internally. (this is not to say Pinochet wasn't a bad man-it is kinda irrelevant to my argument here).
posted by bartonlong at 10:39 AM on September 11, 2013


Since when did dictators willingly step away from power? I would much rather the lesson be that if you decide the ends justify the means, the world will hold you to account.
posted by ambrosia at 10:44 AM on September 11, 2013


Why is this not looked upon with the same revulsion we have for the holocaust?

Because what went on in Chile is more or less standard-issue authoritarian repression and killing of political opponents, not a widespread campaign to eliminate every single last member of a race.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:47 AM on September 11, 2013


Also, because OMG COMMUNISM.

If our leaders today had a pet dictator whose prey were Islamists, they'd regard him with similar fondness.
posted by acb at 10:51 AM on September 11, 2013


MisantropicPainforest: " Why is this not looked upon with the same revulsion we have for the holocaust?

Because what went on in Chile is more or less standard-issue authoritarian repression and killing of political opponents, not a widespread campaign to eliminate every single last member of a race.
"

Only if it's the same political opponents of yours. Otherwise it will be looked at in the West with the same horror and revulsion (witness Stalin's Purges, for example, no end to bemoaning and crying about how horrible and evil it was. It was not genocide either, but you wouldn't know that from all the propaganda). Double Standards.
posted by symbioid at 12:18 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


For better or for worse, we also tend to measure the awfulness of an atrocity by the number of victims. The number of Chileans Pinochet tortured is officially around 40,000 and the number he killed around 3,000, both shocking numbers (and numbers that could probably be doubled or tripled under different criteria) but also both minute in comparison to the millions that were killed in the Holocaust or by Stalin.
posted by Copronymus at 12:58 PM on September 11, 2013


We'll need significantly more before foreign countries would even arrest the Bush Six, much less Bush himself. Find evidence the NSA aided Goldman-Sachs' efforts to defraud Europe via Greece. Just maybe tie it to Thomas Donilon's appointment as National Security Advisor? In fact, show they fed Goldman-Sachs info about rich European's stock purchases via their eves dropping on SWIFT and other financial networks. Just maybe that's enough to get the Bush Six prosicuted somewhere.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:05 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been thinking about the approaching anniversary of the Chilean coup for the past few weeks because I saw the Costa-Gavras film Missing (about American involvement in the Chilean coup) for the first time a month or so ago. It absolutely blew me away. I recommended it in a recent AskMe thread; it hasn't lost any of its power over the last 30 years. If you haven't seen it, I really recommend it.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:58 PM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I read the book that was based on which, though dated, gives a good overview of the coup as well.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:38 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Only if it's the same political opponents of yours.

For some, but their double standards does not mean that the Pinochet regime were as morally repugnant as the Nazis.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:07 AM on September 12, 2013


Springsteen honors Chilean folk-hero tortured and murdered by Pinochet
posted by homunculus at 5:20 PM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I saw the Costa-Gavras film Missing (about American involvement in the Chilean coup) for the first time a month or so ago. It absolutely blew me away.

Taking on Capitalism, U.S. Torture & Dictatorships, Costa-Gavras on Decades of Political Filmmaking
posted by homunculus at 10:22 AM on October 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


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