Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A very dark day

We must never forget that dark day. September 11 should always be in our consciousness.

For it was on September 11, 1973 that our government orchestrated the assassination of Chilean President Salvador Allende and the coup that put one of the century's most brutal dictators, General Augusto Pinochet, in power.

Mr. Allende's "crime" was not catering to the whims of the corporations and international capitalists who saw Chile as a money-making machine. Mr. Allende came to office promising to raise the living standards of the Chilean people.

Well the Nixon administration certainly couldn't have that kind of thinking in this hemisphere. And so the CIA did what the CIA did best - it brought about the collapse of a popular government that threatened the profits of the transnational corporations. We did it in Iran. We did it in Honduras.

We tried to do it in Cuba but still the Cubans thumb their noses at Washington.

Under Pinochet's rule (with the assistance of our government), thousands of people were rounded up and murdered for opposing the military dictatorship. But did Gen. Pinochet ever pay for his crimes. Was he ever held accountable for his crimes?


A Spanish judge tried to bring Mr. Pinochet to justice but that was quashed. Judge Baltasar Garzon ordered Pinochet arrested on more than one occasion. But Mr. Pinochet's lawyers argued that he was immune from prosecution as a former head of state.

Maybe one day that argument won't hold any water and all of those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity will be held accountable. I would imagine that George W. Bush and President Obama have their fingers crossed that that day never arrives.

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