Pinochet Dead

The man who overturned Latin America's most stable democracy in 1973 and murdered thousands now meets his maker:

Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who overthrew Chile's democratically elected Marxist president in a bloody coup and ruled this Andean nation for 17 years, died Sunday, dashing hopes of victims of his regime's abuses that he would be brought to justice. He was 91.

. . . Chile's government says at least 3,197 people were killed for political reasons during his rule, but after leaving the presidency in 1990 Pinochet escaped hundreds of criminal complaints because of his declining physical and mental health. Pinochet took power on Sept. 11, 1973, demanding an unconditional surrender from President Salvador Allende as warplanes bombed the presidential palace in downtown Santiago. Instead, Allende committed suicide with a submachine gun he had received as a gift from Fidel Castro.

As the mustachioed Pinochet crushed dissent during his 1973-90 rule, he left little doubt about who was in charge. ''Not a leaf moves in this country if I'm not moving it,'' he once said.

I do not romanticize Salvador Allende. I believe he was creating chaos in Chile and would have had his own coup if he could have. But it was Pinochet who attacked democracy. It was Pinochet who murdered thousands.

The crimes are his. The infamy his. As it should be. Do NOT rest in peace murderer. Of humans. And democracy.

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    Operation Condor (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by profmarcus on Sun Dec 10, 2006 at 02:52:43 PM EST
    it would be very, very gratifying if the full details of operation condor, cia involvement, the school of the americas, the argentine dirty war, the disappeareds in guatemala, nicaragua, honduras, and el salvador, and similar nefarious doings in peru, uruguay and paraguay, were to were to finally and fully surface... pinochet, terrible as he was, had plenty of company, and the clandestine u.s. support reflects just one more heartbreaking lapse of accountability for our country... and we wonder why they hate us...

    And, yes, I DO take it personally

    What? (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Al on Sun Dec 10, 2006 at 03:55:08 PM EST
    I do not romanticize Salvador Allende. I believe he was creating chaos in Chile and would have had his own coup if he could have.

    Where do you get this idea that Allende would have had a coup? He ran in clean elections, and won fair and square, which is a lot more than one can say for the current occupant of the White House. He was the legitimate president of a country that was renowned in Latin America for its stable democracy. How dare you slander Allende while observing the death of his murderer.

    And the real chaos came with Pinochet, and his murderous terror squads, allied with the other murderous military terror squads in Argentina and Uruguay, and aided and abetted by the US, with Nixon and that sinister bastard Henry Kissinger. When you have an entire soccer stadium turned into a concentration camp, complete with torture and murder, now that's chaos.

    Here's a toast to the death of a particular horrendous villain. It's too bad I don't believe in hell, so I can't wish that he will rot there for all eternity. It's also too bad that he was never brought to justice and made to pay for his crimes. I do hope that at least Chile will be able to recover the millions he stole and stashed away in secret bank accounts.

    Pinochet (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by chris in sacto on Sun Dec 10, 2006 at 05:10:16 PM EST
    It's distressing to see someone like this live out their lives into old age, while others are cut down in their prime.  I'd trade 5 years of his for 1 more with Martin Luther King, John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, even 6 more months with Princess Di.

    Operation Condor makes a good point.  We missed the chance to cut the head off the snake then and it slithered away.  However, we have the opportunity to get other snakes.  Those in the Bush administration deserves to be investigated to their eyeballs and a few thousand feet higher for their overt policies of torture, murder, an illegal war based on lies against a sovereign nation, & the subversion of our Democratic traditions.  Don't have the stomach for it?  You can buy pepcid over-the-counter now.  

    Yes, he was a murderer (none / 0) (#1)
    by Che's Lounge on Sun Dec 10, 2006 at 02:06:58 PM EST
    But he was OUR murderer.

    true enough, but.............................. (none / 0) (#3)
    by cpinva on Sun Dec 10, 2006 at 03:52:38 PM EST
    he was freely elected, by the people of chile.

    I do not romanticize Salvador Allende. I believe he was creating chaos in Chile and would have had his own coup if he could have.

    we may not have liked him, and his administration may well have ended up a complete disaster, but allende was the duly, freely, democratically elected president. pinochet was a thug, and remained so to his death. his rule was no more a democracy than that in kuwait, and a hell of a lot less benign.

    the school of the americas had many graduates stationed at quantico mcb, 20 miles up the road from me, when i was a kid, and my father was still active duty. as a result, i got an opportunity to meet many of them. without fail, they were all polite, well spoken, clearly quite intelligent,  and very, very creepy. they also almost all had very colorful uniforms, by comparison to the marines.

    these were the people that went back home and helped "save" the central and latin americas from communism, by nearly destroying their countries. i don't know if any of them worked with pinochet, but i hope they all get the justice they so richly deserve.

    Statement by the Fourth International (1973) (none / 0) (#5)
    by Andreas on Sun Dec 10, 2006 at 04:09:16 PM EST
    Defend the Chilean Working Class
    Statement issued by the Fourth International on 18 September, 1973

    Pinochet murdered thousands (none / 0) (#6)
    by diogenes on Sun Dec 10, 2006 at 04:17:00 PM EST
    By extension, I'm sure that Big Tent Democrat must feel gratified that the another man who tortured and murdered tens of thousands of political prisoners, Saddam Hussein, is no longer in power as well.

    Oh yeah, him. (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Sun Dec 10, 2006 at 04:33:58 PM EST
    Good point, diogenes. Wasn't he the guy Bush was going to go in and overthrow to lift the oppresssion and misery the Iraqi people had lived under for so many years, and restore power and their oil to them, along with freedom, democracy and stability too? We're talking about the same guy, right, diogenes?

    Or something like that. Bush and his supporters, you included I imagine, would certainly not want to be backing Saddams' Ba'athist Sunni's who are so closely allied with AL Qaeda, I'm sure.

    Would you?

    You don't have any objection to moving back to the topic of this thread now do you, diogenes?


    Allende (none / 0) (#8)
    by Randinho on Sun Dec 10, 2006 at 04:46:07 PM EST
    I don't romanticize Allende either, but I do not believe - and in the years since there has been absolutely no evidence to indicate otherwise - that Allende would have isntigated a coup of his own.

    An article from The Economist in 1999 punctures that myth:

    For further evidence, go to a source of the time: The Economist, non-Chilean but firmly critical of Allende and what its then Chile specialist was later to entitle his savagely critical book, "Chile's Marxist Experiment". That title was in fact overblown. Allende's economics were, approximately, Marxist and certainly disastrous. Not so the political system he ran. The opposition press and parties carried on. So did elections, and even in March 1973 the regime could win only 44% of the vote for Congress. Still, this paper was deeply suspicious, and the more so--in those days of raging cold war--because of Allende's friendship with Fidel Castro.

    Twice it sent its specialist for long visits. He wrote a six-page report in March 1972, one of five pages in October 1973, a month after the coup. The second time, our man clearly had free access to the regime and its evidence against Allende. But even in 1972 he talked widely to enemies of the Allende government. Both his reports damned it. Both produced mild versions of some charges now laid against Allende: for instance (1973), of Cubans training his personal guard, or guerrillas "tolerated" by the government, (though the actual ones our reporter met were a fairly hopeless, partly Amerindian group, more like Mexico's Zapatists than the strike force of revolution). But what did this ferocious critic of Allende's regime say of its now alleged political tortures or killings? Not a word. [my emphasis]

    hopefully (none / 0) (#10)
    by bx58 on Sun Dec 10, 2006 at 05:17:09 PM EST
    SNL runs a two year gag that "Pinochet is still dead." That would be nice.

    Lime (none / 0) (#11)
    by Domino on Sun Dec 10, 2006 at 10:00:50 PM EST
    I would hope that they destroy the body and do not allow a grave to be a memorial.  

    Better yet, hang him upside down on meathooks.

    Infamous Kissinger quote (none / 0) (#12)
    by MetaData on Sun Dec 10, 2006 at 10:14:00 PM EST
    I remember clearly the notorious Kissinger quote <throaty-german-accent>

    "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people." --Henry Kissinger, June 27.

    Salvador Allende is without question a romantic figure, symbolizing democracy and the voice of the underclasses.  Pinochet is the counter symbol of military brutality and the guard-dog of the wealthy. Seldom do we see the famous class conflict so clearly depicted. The good vs evil pageant was played out in the tragi-romantic last stand of democracy vs authoritarianism in the presidential palace as the Chilean military bombed and strafed.

    Brazil 1964, Chile 1973, Uruguay 1973, Argentina 1976.

    The three largest economies in S. America each suffered particularly brutal military regimes. Thousands of opponents were tortured, disappeared, drugged and dumped into the sea. The US didn't just stand by watching. Our government, our CIA and our military gave aid, comfort and training. Of course this story was repeated elsewhere, but Pinochet's coup against Allende gave lie to the pretense that the US is a force for democracy.

    Allende came close to winning Chilean elections in 1958, and he won by a small margin in 1970. The specific reason for the 73 coup was the realization that he was exceedingly popular and would have won a stronger mandate the next time around.

    I even travelled in Chile in the late 70s, wondering how a country with the longest democratic tradition in S. America could accept or tolerate life under a brutal dictatorship.

    Kissinger (none / 0) (#13)
    by bx58 on Sun Dec 10, 2006 at 10:45:52 PM EST
    I just got a book by Kissinger,10 cents at a yard sale. They paid me.

    It's a weighty tome that would kill a cat if it slipped off a counter. Take out all the lies and it wouldn't straighten tissue paper.

    "Years of Upheaval" is my qualude when I can't sleep at night. They get paid to write this stuff?

    What a racket.


    one fascist down (none / 0) (#14)
    by oldtree on Sun Dec 10, 2006 at 11:55:24 PM EST
    pinochet was his own maker,  he didn't meet some retarded fairy that made him when he croaked.  he could see it in the mirror

    Dont need no history (none / 0) (#15)
    by jondee on Mon Dec 11, 2006 at 08:34:27 AM EST
    That tent is big enough to cover C.I.A thugs and    Kissinger apparently.

    It's bunk anyway. (none / 0) (#16)
    by jondee on Mon Dec 11, 2006 at 09:56:52 AM EST
    If you accept at face value that riff about Allende committing suicide (those craaazy commies), I've got a bridge I'll hold for you.

    Is Kissinger... (none / 0) (#17)
    by desertswine on Mon Dec 11, 2006 at 09:59:59 AM EST
    going to host a memorial service at one of his houses?

    diogenes (none / 0) (#18)
    by cpinva on Mon Dec 11, 2006 at 12:41:28 PM EST
    i assume you include papa bush and ron rayguns in your diatribe, since both happily supported and sold weapons to saddam, up to the day he invaded kuwait. in fact, while saddam was gassing the kurds, in 1988, bush was toasting him as a great friend of the u.s., for his (unprovoked) war against iran.

    so, one could well argue that papa bush, by extension, is also responsible for the deaths and torture of hundreds of thousands of iraqis, at the benign hands of saddam.

    watcha think?

    whadda ya mean? (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 11, 2006 at 04:40:48 PM EST
    cpinva...Iraq is our enemy, Iraq has always been our enemy, Iraq was never our friend.

    And war is peace, ignorance is strength....


    Headline (none / 0) (#20)
    by Al on Mon Dec 11, 2006 at 06:32:28 PM EST
    Argentine newspaper Pagina 12 today shows a picture of Pinochet, with the headline "What Has Hell Done To Deserve This?". Brilliant.

    Read all about it (none / 0) (#21)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Tue Dec 12, 2006 at 03:03:56 AM EST
    A lot of the details of U.S. involvement has been documented:

    Chile 1964-73: A Hammer and Sickle Stamped on Your Child's Forehead

    creating chaos (none / 0) (#22)
    by jondee on Tue Dec 12, 2006 at 06:33:32 PM EST
    The time may be coming when some decide that its  time to save the U.S "from the irresponsibility  of its own people" the way we did in Chile. Then  maybe some will start paying attention.