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Chile, Allende, Pinochet, and the CIA...

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru June 2002 » Archive Thru May 2002 » Chile, Allende, Pinochet, and the CIA ... continued « Previous Next »

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Posted on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 1:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Cyberpints will do that to you!

Meanwhile, it's raining gatos y perros here. Looks like El Niño is back. The only pints I see are made of water ...
Posted on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 1:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Cheers Chevalier.

(Oh and you probably figured that in my last post where I say "Where we agree is the extent..." was meant to read "Where we disagree is the extent..." My typing is getting worse and worse)
Posted on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 10:07 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Agreed, Lord H. I hereby invite you to a cyberpub, where we can have a cyberpint and talk about a yank TV show starring chimpanzee spies. Or whatever.
Posted on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 10:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


Our roads do converge in several places.

Where we agree is the extent to which the USA, through the Chilean right, created the situation in Chile that resulted in the US backed coup. Even before Allende was inaugurated the CIA used his 6-months waiting period between election and inauguration (as is the case in Chile) to create a situation (making full use of the Chilean right-wing terror) whereby Allende never really had a chance to instigate his reforms smoothly. They even had the honourable and decent centre-right head of the Chilean armed forces, General Schneider killed and we know who replaced him. Allende was finished before he even began.

Kissinger and others had decided in 1970 that Allende would be removed. The fact that the coup took place in 1973 does not take away from the fcat that it was a coup instigated and orchestrated by the USA.

Anyway enough of this, lets get back to lighter issues.
Posted on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 7:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lord Hob, here's where our two roads converge (in places).

#1: Kissinger was and is a scoundrel (in the 18th century, very harsh sense of the term.) Overrated as a professor, overconfident as an advisor, over his head as a "talking head". Regarding China and, these days, Israel, he's in his own retro world.

#2: I indicated in my last post that the U.S. had strongly supported Chile's center-right since the '64 presidential campaign (to be exact, three years before). It did so for one reason: to ensure Allende's defeat. The fact that Allende still ended up winning so many votes in '64's two-way election (more, indeed, than he did in '70's three-way) made the State Department and the CIA even more determined to block him out. Nonetheless, the U.S. was not Allende's first and most determined opponent: that title goes to the Chilean center-right and far right. They invited U.S. monetary aid and welcomed the CIA's assistance. The far-right (but not the military) was all for a coup in 1970; however, the CIA backed out of supporting it. The center-right also saw a coup as unconscienable. What brought about the Chilean military coup of 1973 was what happened BETWEEN 1970 and 1973. What finally sparked the coup was a majority reaction (strikes, protest marches, shortages) against three years of Allende's administration, not against his election itself.

Of course, the junta, upon assuming power, betrayed many of those groups which protested against Allende. It disbanded Congress, outlawed unions and came to ban nearly all political parties, including the Christian Democrats (who initially supported the coup, then turned against the junta when its intention to stay for good -- not to mention its crimes -- became apparent).

If the coup itself was justifiable, given the state of the nation in '73, the actions and durability of the military dictatorship that followed was NOT. At least, that's my opinion.
Posted on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 5:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Don't worry Pikkle I'm sure you won't be counting for too much longer.

Posted on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 5:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

So Roy Keane was booted off the Ireland side for being his usual foul-mouthed, arrogant, opinionated, aggressive self, causing dissent within the Irish team and verbally abusing the manager. Well that's typical Roy Keane behaviour, I suppose we can be grateful he didn't beat the shit out someone while he was at it. It's just a shame we have to lose our best player (in fact one of our few players of a truly international standard).

But them again perhaps he had a point? Perhaps he had a right to get pissed off when the Irish team arrived in Japan only to find that they had no footballs to practise with. The balls were never loaded on the plane when it left Dublin.

I suppose Liam and Seamus got tired of loading all the gear onto the plane and went off to the pub to drink a few pints of Guinness instead. Roy should have realised that that's Dublin for you and that all things stop for a pnt, and there's always tomorrow to finish what was due to be finished today. But then Roy (like myself I suppose) has been living in England too long and has come to expect things to happen when they are supposed to happen.

Roy Keane, a great footballer but steer clear of him if you see him in a nightclub.

Posted on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 5:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


If Argentina don't beat England then the whole Argentinian team deserves to be taken out and shot.

Posted on Sunday, June 2, 2002 - 6:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Stanley Cup Finals my friend, now that is of the utmost importance...
Posted on Sunday, June 2, 2002 - 5:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hey, Perruche, just because the thread is titled: "Chile, Allende, Pinochet, and the CIA ... continued" doesn't mean that you can start talking politics and interrupt the important stuff, i.e., soccer.
Posted on Sunday, June 2, 2002 - 4:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oh, re Chile: what Hob said.

So it's OK to overthrow the government because a military coup is "traditional" in Chile?

Apply the same standards here and there ought to be a military coup against the Bushling right now.
Posted on Sunday, June 2, 2002 - 4:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wasn't the Germany-Saudi Arabia match depressing? Talk about a rout. Man, I hope you Deutschabszinthvolk are proud of your team, making that poor Saudi goalie work so hard, well, up until the 5th goal or so, when he sorta stopped trying. And the players who were called in when the game was already 4-0... unbelievable!
Posted on Sunday, June 2, 2002 - 3:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Cher Hob:

This is somewhat off topic, but it will be good to be civil to each other for the last time before our national teams meet and you become a %#@&* mother#@$%^# who can %&^# my %$#@& while I #$#@% your wife... and your sister too!

BTW. First the "Hand of God". And now, his SECOND goal against you in that same game gets voted the BEST GOAL OF THE CENTURY!!! Man, you Limeys must hate Maradona...
Posted on Sunday, June 2, 2002 - 2:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

800 years and counting mate...
Posted on Sunday, June 2, 2002 - 12:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Paddy who? Paddy the local barman, Paddy the builder or Paddy who's lying unconscious drunk in the gutter?
Posted on Sunday, June 2, 2002 - 7:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Might makes right, just ask Paddy...
Posted on Sunday, June 2, 2002 - 1:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


A decision by the armed forces (who have no demoratic mandate from the people) to overthrow a legally elected democratic government is not justifiable.

Margaret Thatcher's Conservative party received only 40% of the vote in 1987. Voters for other 2 major Parties, Labour and the Liberals had one thing in common, they were bitterly opposed to Margaret Thatcher. Therefore one could argue that Thatcher formed a government against the wishes of the majaority of the British people. Does it therefore follow that she had no legitimate, democratic right to hold power? Would a military coup to overthrow her have been justified?

Of course not, she gained power by electoral means following the legally agreed and recognised UK electoral rules. Like Thatcher, Allende gained power legitimately and democratically, the Chilean un-elected military had no business to overthrowing a government elected by there people and the USA had no right to back them.

The USA did not, as you imply, wait until after Allende took power and after he brought in and operated his brand of Socialism (and as you see it made a mess of the economy). In 1970 Kissinger held a meeting in Washington where it was decided that there would be no peaceful, democratic, orderly transition to power of in Chile. It was decided that the 60-day waiting period between Allende's election and his inauguration would be used to back a terror campaign in Chile to scupper any chance of a peaceful transition. This campaign also included the murder of the head of the Chilean armed forces General Schneider (who was not a dangerous leftie but a centre-right conservative). And all this to a democracy that was on freindly terms with the USA and posed no threat. The USA did not act as a result of requests from the Chilean centre-right after Allende had formed his government and introduced his land-reform etc. They acted to ensure that Allende would never be able to have a chance to instigate anything successfully. They had finished him off before he was inaugurated. The USA didn't just back the Chilean military coup they instigated it and they did this to a freindly, democracy who had legitimately chosen a socialist government.

What it boils down to is the fact that the US Administration did not want a socialist government (democratically elected of otherwise) living just down the road from it. As far as they were concerned the Chileans had the right to democratically choose their own form of government just so long as they didn't democratically choose a left-wing government.

The US government saw no problem with the overthrowal of a democratically elected government and their full backing and direct assistance of a facist thug, long after they knew exactly what he was doing there. "In the United States, as you know, we are sympathetic with what you are trying to do here." Kissinger said this in 1976, three years after the coup, and the same year when Pinnochet's killed Moffat and Letelier in New York.

Anyway I suppose what could we expect from a man who gave the go ahead and backing to Suharto to do as he wished in East-Timor. A man who instigated the secret bombing of Cambodia (a neutral country) in 1969, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and leading to the overthrow of their legitimate government (and why? Because Cambodia was a neutral country and we can't have neutral countries in the UN because if they're not for us they're against us). And then of course we have his role in escalating things in Vietnam.

Pinnochet's murderous brutality made no difference whatsoever to how Kissinger and his ilk viewed Pinnochet. It certainly didn't make any difference to the support for Pinnochet's activities and it didn't stop the CIA helping Pinnochet draw up lists of many thousands to be detained.

There was no reasonable justification whatsoever for what happened in Chile.

Posted on Saturday, June 1, 2002 - 2:46 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

How 'bout dose Wings, eh?
Posted on Friday, May 31, 2002 - 1:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

All right Chevalier but remember that Thatcher came to power in the UK with most of the population voting for 'left' of liberal parties. Allende had more right to rule in Chile than any of his opponents. Allende came to power legitimately, the USA had no right to intervene.

Posted on Friday, May 31, 2002 - 8:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lord Hobgoblin wrote: “The Chilean voters who did not vote for Allende did not vote against him, they voted for the candidates of their choice and the candidates of their choice lost.”

In Chile's 1970 presidential election, centrists declared that they would vote against the right and the left-wing, and right-wingers vowed to vote against the center and the left. Neither the centrists nor the right-wingers showed much enthusiasm FOR their own candidates. One thing both the center and the right – 63.7% of the voting population, remember? – agreed upon: they did not wish Salvador Allende (and the leftist coalition he ostensibly respresented) to lead the country.

No nation’s political system can solve all of its problems all of the time. By 1973, Chile had endured 3 years of Allende and could look forward to 3 more. (Presidential terms are six years here.) Due for the most part to Allende’s abrupt, experimental and ill-planned brand of socialism, the country sank into severe economic and social crises: no bread on market shelves, no shoes in shops, skyrocketing inflation and anti-government strikes. Allende and Congress were such bitter enemies that he hinted darkly at dissolving it. Far-right and far-left terrorist groups threw bombs, staged kidnappings and were not above assassinating their “enemies”. This in what had traditionally been a quiet, stable country: the Switzerland of South America.

In Chile, it is a longstanding custom that in times of internal crisis, the Armed Forces step in, hold everyone back until the dust settles, and then step out. Until 1973, nearly all Chileans regarded their military as a benevolent, neutral institution, ready to defend the constitution against the vagaries of factious politics. Only once in the 20th century had the Army produced a dictator, Carlos Ibañez Del Campo. But that was back in the mid-1920s; Ibañez’s rule lasted for less than five years; and his regime, while oppressive, did not murder thousands (as General Pinochet’s later did).

Given 1973’s state of affairs, many Chileans anticipated – even welcomed – a coup d’etat. Given Chile’s history up to that time, however, very few foresaw – or could have foreseen – the malicious bent of the junta to come. Conventional wisdom of that era believed that a coup d’etat would bring about a short military “interim” rule, followed within a few months by new presidential elections. (After all, it had happened this way before ... so why not again?) But history chose not to repeat itself. Tragically, those “few months” dragged on into 17 years.

Before the coup, the U.S. State Department and the CIA subscribed to conventional wisdom. Chilean centrists and right-wingers (from the majority, remember?) allied themselves with American business interests and asked the U.S. not to oppose (and furthermore, to clandestinely aid) the coming coup d’etat. No surprise here; in 1964 and 1970, on behalf of its presidential candidates, the centrist Christian Democrats had requested for and received millions of dollars from Uncle Sam. In both election years, the main candidate for the Christian Democrats to beat was ... Salvador Allende. The relentlessness of the military junta’s appetite for violating human rights – thousands murdered; even more detained, tortured, raped and / or exiled – was NOT foreseen by the State Department’s “conventional wisdom” experts. But once that appetite was revealed, the State Department had a good incentive to wash its hands of the junta. Alas, Uncle Sam chose to dance with the devil a while longer.

Lord Hobgoblin also wrote: “And I'm not claiming Allende was an angel (he was a politician afterall) but he was a damn site less evil than Pinochet.”

(Yes, Lord H., General Pinochet’s rule was in many ways more divisive and destructive than Allende’s. But nothing in Pinochet’s behavior or career prior to 1973 indicated that this would end up being the case. Even Allende trusted the “constitutionalist” Pinochet more than his other generals – enough to appoint him as head of the Army.)

Frankly, I have no problem with America’s role in the coup d’etat itself. That said, I believe the U.S. should have stopped supporting the Pinochet regime long before 1975-76, when the CIA finally broke its ties with DINA (Chile’s bloody secret police).

To repeat: No nation’s political system can solve all of its problems all of the time. Even democratic processes and institutions can dig themselves into a hole from which there is no democratic exit. In such times, a coup d’etat may become a viable alternative. And if the U.S. is invited to get involved by those representing their nation’s majority view, Uncle Sam should think hard before saying yes. This extreme sort of aid should not given unless the U.S. can, at the same time, find a way hold post-coup leaders accountable for their actions.

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