posted September 11, 2003 at 11:24 AM MDT
Two years ago, in NYC, hundreds of "just folk" died while going about their daily lives.
Thirty years ago, in Chile, a nation's democratically elected government was overthrown in a coup that shocked even the aristocrats and oligarchs who had pressed for it. 3000 of those who were executed or killed by torture had their bodies hidden away so that their families could not reclaim them and grieve.
Men like Henry Kissinger initiated, planned, and financed the coup carried out by General Pinochet against the people of Chile.
Has the American eagle come to be to ill from its over-consumption that it no longer recognizes evil?
Some kill for oil ... some kill for copper ... KillerApes, all of them.
Friendship, authenticity, honesty, affection ... what else can we count on, if our lives are to be worth living?
Addendum: from Alternet - "A Tale of Two Septembers"
"American commentators probably won't mention the 1973 attacks on Chile and their aftermath. They should, because in those attacks it was the U.S. government that played the role of Al Qaeda – recruiting, training, arming, financing and coordinating the terrorists.
Our involvement in this unsavory affair is now widely recognized. As Secretary of State Colin Powell himself recently acknowledged, "It is not a part of our country's history that we are proud of."
That Allende was duly and uncontrovertibly elected in a country with a long and rich democratic tradition, a country whose voting turnout is double that of the United States, was irrelevant to President Nixon and his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people," Kissinger declared.
Pinochet's military dictatorship killed thousands, tortured tens of thousands and drove more than a million Chileans into exile. A society with a 150 year tradition of democracy and participation suffered under totalitarian rule.
No elections were held at any level for 15 years. Women were arrested for organizing soccer clubs. As Tina Rosenberg observed in the New York Times, "Meetings of any kind were considered subversive – in the first year after the coup, even Miss Chile was appointed."
The United States rewarded Chile by dramatically increasing both grants and loans. On June 8, 1976, at the height of Pinochet's repression, Kissinger met in private with the dictator and told him, "We are sympathetic to what you are trying to do here".
Having thwarted the possibility that Chile would become a model of democratic socialism, the United States made Chile a model of dictatorial capitalism. Under the hands-on guidance of University of Chicago economists, the Chilean economy was restructured. Unions were outlawed. Real wages plunged. Social spending was slashed. Of 507 public enterprises in l973 only l5 remained in government hands by l980. Chile privatized its social security system.
The experiment failed. Unemployment soared. Malnutrition soared. In l973 Chile had the second highest income in Latin America, next to oil rich Venezuela. By 1988, when the military relinquished the reigns of government, Chile's income had fallen behind that of many countries, including Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.
Congressional investigations of our the use of government here and abroad by the Nixon administration led it to reinforce and strengthen the prohibition on domestic surveillance by the CIA. It banned the use of assassination as a tool of foreign policy. CIA director Richard Helms was indicted and convicted of lying to Congress about US involvement in Chile.
Today the connections between the two September lls remain. While we are pursuing Saddam Hussein in order to try him for war crimes, prosecutors in four countries are pursuing Henry Kissinger to get him to testify about his role in the Chilean coup.
In the aftermath of 9/11/01 the Bush White House has reinstated many of the practices of the Nixon White House and has adopted a similar approach regarding those who oppose its policies. Nixon had an enemies list. Vice President Cheney declares, "You're either for us or against us." The policy of covert interventions in foreign countries has been revived. The CIA now is intimately involved in domestic surveillance. The White House has formally re-established the practice of political assassination."