The Null Device

A minute's silence for S11 victims

Those comsymps at the Grauniad are having a minute's silence for September 11 victims -- September 11, 1973, when the CIA-backed Pinochet regime overthrew Allende in Chile. Mind you, the estimated 30,000 men, women and children who were killed were all Communists, who would have enslaved Chile under a hellish Stalinist dictatorship had the CIA not intervened in the name of defending freedom worldwide.

(Wasn't it Kissinger or someone who articulated the difference between "totalitarianism", which is uniformly evil (and ideologically "left-wing"), and "authoritarianism", which can be benign, a strong state concerned about defending cherished values and such?)

On a similar tangent, I once heard that one of the reason for the West's toleration of the Indonesian invasion of East Timor was that Fretilin had troublingly leftist leanings; an independent East Timor would have been a probable Soviet client state, and Australia could have had its own Cuban Missile Crisis. And what better experts on Communist eradication in the asia-pacific region than Suharto's New Order?

There are 4 comments on "A minute's silence for S11 victims":

Posted by: mitch http:// Thu Sep 12 08:51:50 2002

'In the 1980s, it had been fashionable for scholars/practitioners such as Henry Kissinger and Jeanne Kirkpatrick to differentiate clearly between authoritarian regimes (e.g. Latin American and Southern European variety military dictatorships) and totalitarian regimes (e.g. communist systems such as those of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Caribbean). They viewed the former as less objectionable than the latter, despite their equally atrocious human rights records, because authoritarian regimes were considered reversible (in that under certain conditions they could evolve to democracy) while totalitarian regimes were pronounced permanent and irreversible. The post-perestroika collapse of European communist regimes exploded in the face of the Kirkpatrick/Kissinger thesis but has not necessarily destroyed its reasoning.' --

The concept of 'totalitarianism' is due to Hannah Arendt, and from the beginning was meant to apply to Nazism as well as to Commun

Posted by: mark Fri Sep 13 07:58:34 2002

Pause before you joke about the 30,000 dead (and $diety knows how many tens of thousands tortured!) - there are still Chileans (and, likely, Americans - our old friends Kissinger and Hague, for example) who think Pinochet's regime was a Good Thing. People who believe that reports the majority of dead were University students, ordinary people in search of (Capitalist) democracy, and the wives/loved ones of such people who protested the murders a little too loudly.

Posted by: mark Fri Sep 13 08:06:13 2002

Ack, I hit "post" too soon.

People who believe that reports the majority of dead were [innocents] are lies.

People who loudly proclaim that Pinochet saved them from the evil of Communism and a CIA-sabotaged economy.

People who make me sick!

Posted by: acb Fri Sep 13 09:08:50 2002

Not to mention Thatcher; who probably envied Pinochet's powers to efficiently deal with those troublesome dissidents. If she could have disappeared some striking miners and poll tax protesters, things would have been so much easier.

There was some recent (post-S11) editorial on a news site which referred to the Pinochet regime as a "benign dictatorship", and thus nothing any decent person should have a problem with.

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