Monday, December 11, 2006
that does its rythmic work, on each and every unbowed head -- one, by one, by one:
They queue up at National Review Online to exculpate General Pinochet of his murder and torture in the name of economic growth. One of them, Mario Loyola, presents a pathetic apologia for the dictator who, in his telling "worked hard to protect the bases of a modern progressive democracy." If this means anything, it means Pinochet's protection of the ruling class in Chile. And this comes from someone who works at something called the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Another, Otto Reich, who worked for Reagan and Bush on Latin America, simply calls Pinochet a "tragic figure," which is a disgustingly cavalier thing to say about a mass murderer, but it gets worse:
Army Commander Pinochet beat Allende to the coup, which was justified by the Allende-Castro plans. What was not justified was the bloodbath which followed, when Allende supporters and innocents alike were summarily executed, imprisoned and tortured, including loyal military officers who disagreed with the coup.
Does Reich think the bloodbath was an accident? Pinochet took the course he took in order to ensure the success of the coup. This line of critique is positively Stalinist -- oh, the excesses of the Great Terror were awful, but the consolidation of the Central Committee program demanded forceful action, all of which was vindicated...
--Spencer Ackerman
not to mention the fact that the supposed "Allende-Castro plot" to turn Chile into a Communist dictatorship is complete bullshit. Chile wasn't even on the radar as far as the Soviet Union was concerned and the "instability" that had marked Allende's reign was in large part a product of U.S. economic sanctions and black ops sabotage.
Blogger matthew christman | 10:46 PM

I like that phrasing: "innocents and Allende supporters alike".
Blogger mtraven | 11:39 PM

I thought David Frum's thoughts were surprisingly hard-hitting though he did take the opportunity to shill for neoconservatism:

Before 1973, Chile had enjoyed a remarkably mild political history, even under its occasional dictators. Pinochet and his generals unleashed a spasm of cruelty and violence unprecedented in the country's history.
But for the many victims of Pinochet's rule, the depths the regime did plumb were more than low enough.
But the fact that liberals cannot keep their lines straight is no excuse for fluffing ours on the right. Pinochet was one of the very worst tyrants in modern South American history. Perhaps only the Argentine generals of the 1970s were worse. If the US had any role in his coup or in prolonging his 16-year dictatorship, that role should be a source of national self-criticism and self-reproach.
Blogger Jacob | 11:51 PM