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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Comments

Robert Fiore

Rule of law, what a concept.

tim

Very juicy.

The reactionary right wing in Chile always defended his slaughter of political opponents as regrettable (perhaps) but necessary. However, they also insisted that 'their' (i.e. Chile's) armed forces, unlike those in brutish, savage neighboring countries, were not corrupt. Therefore, these ongoing revelations about millions squirreled away under false names (and names like "Daniel Lopez," for goodness sake! not even Matias Esteban Amunategui or something equally classy) are deeply destabilizing for their attempts to maintain the quasi-feudal system in Chile that has allowed them to keep everything for themselves for five centuries. The demise of the once powerful UDI party, now being overtaken by its more modern and less pinochetista rivals as the main conservative party, is related to all this, in my opinion.

It is still a little sad that we have had to wait 30 years to celebrate the final collapse of this fascist dictatorship's intellectual attack dogs, but as Marc says, I'll take it.

Jay Byrd

> more than 30 years after the facts ( a warning to those who believe Abu Ghraib will not come back to haunt)

Iraq followed 30 years after VietNam. John Kerry, who in 1971 recounted before the Senate the stories his fellow soldiers had told him of atrocities, was vilified in 2004 for having done so, and was repeatedly taken to task by media buffoons like Tim Russert for making those statements, statements that have been well-documented. If past *U.S.* history is any indication, Donald Rumsfeld et. al. have nothing to fear.

richard lo cicero

Jay Bird will be right if Americans prove to be less vigilant than the Chilean populace. I suspect that depends a lot on what the media climate is like but it seems that in Chile, at least from what an outsider can discern, outrage does live and enough people are willing to see justice done. I can't say that will occur here but we can have some "optimism of the will" I suppose. Maybe when the bill comes due?

richard lo cicero

Well I guess we can all cheer up and wait for Don Rumsfield's 9/11 March and Country Music Festival! Will "Comrade" Hitchens be there to listen to Clint Black?

A.M. Mora y Leon

Abu Ghraib may be despicable but it in no way compares with the monstrous depredations of the Pinochet regime. I think putting them in the same category cheapens the suffering of the thousands those who suffered through that torturous era in Chile.

Jay Byrd

> I think putting them in the same category cheapens the suffering of the thousands those who suffered through that torturous era in Chile.

As it always is with this sort of thing (think Dick Durbin), this is a bogus complaint. It is clear enough that Marc has no intention of cheapening the suffering of Chileans.

Rob Grocholski

To Cooper & all: Liked the post about Pinochet. Was a bit puzzled about what you meant by "(a warning to those who believe Abu Ghraib will not come back to haunt)" To which set of Abu Ghraib atrocities are you referring to; the dolts in the U.S. army who abused prisoners, or Saddam's hencemen who butchered Iraqis by the thousands...
I think you're exactly right if you're suggesting the later -- that, from his jail cell, Saddam Hussein should be nervously observing these latest developments about Pinochet. Indeed, he should.

A.M. Mora y Leon

Fortunately, the Abu Ghraib prisoners will not have to await justice for 30 years as Pinochet's victims did - their tormentors are getting justice right now, when such justice ought to be dished out. Maybe they should be punished again in another 30 years, but double-jeopardy usually precludes that. I'm glad they're in the can now.

Jim Rockford

Marc -- don't you find it interesting that the US after the Cold War found so many of it's old (and rather disgusting) proxies such as Pinochet and Saddam very dispensable?

The most interesting thing about Latin America is how the US has essentially abandoned it, to it's own devices, for better or worse. Look at this echo of idiocy from Hugo Chavez here.

http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/americas/08/09/chavez.invasion.ap/index.html

In times past this would be a case for sending in the Marines. Now no one CARES about Chavez buttering up Teheran. Bush would rather Chavez be gone, but isn't going to break a sweat doing anything about him.

Latin America is on it's own. Good luck with that. I think only Chile has a chance to break out of the Caudilloism and develop a Western Civil Society. The investigations into Pinochet corruption is a greatly needed good start (corruption KILLS civil society). Discrediting the military rule is good medicine to insure it doesn't ever come back.

Abu Graib won't haunt anyone. Linndy England got more time than Ahmed Ressam, the Millennium bomber. Dems had their chance to push for heads to roll (Sanchez, Fast and Karpinsky) but put PC Affirmative Action (no criticizing Hispanic or Female Generals for dereliction of duty) meant more than their duty as the Opposition Party to hold Bush's feet to the fire. Nevertheless, Abu Graib is NOT Chile, a bunch of low-grade morons playing sadistic games who got caught and punished vs. throwing High School and College kids out of helicopters or setting them on fire? No contest.

Jay funny you should mention "Winter Soldier" Kerry, that film is going to be re-released with his starring role. Unfortunately for the Dems, most of the "soldiers" in the film talking about atrocities were not soldiers at all, others never made it to Vietnam and the whole film was one big propaganda piece along the lines of F 9/11. My Lai was ... stopped by an Army artillery spotter who put his life on the line to stop the killing, and exposed by other Army officers outraged at the cover up. Sy Hersh just watched the story roll in over his transom, he did not dig it up but got it handed to him. As Winter Soldier rolls out (and the inevitable bin Laden mass-casualty attack shoe drops) look for the Dems (and the media) to lose any relevance. It's the equivalent of the German-American Bund on Dec 13, 1941. Or Father Coughlin if you like that reference.

Today's Army is radically different from Vietnam's, where Lt. Calley was a loathsome aberration, not the least of which is no limiting rule for fear of provoking the Chinese into entering ala Korea, or nuclear war, or the all-volunteer Army vs. draftees. Or the fact that the Army is facing off against bin Laden, who launched an unprovoked mass-casualty terror attack against the US (and inevitably will do so again).

After we lose say 3 million people in San Diego or NYC or DC, no one will CARE about Abu Graib and I fear that day and what will come after it. The Cold War (and the long national nap-time in the nineties) is over. The letting go of Chile and Latin America to find their own way is matched by the threats to us and the west all over the world by fools who want superstitious nonsense from the Dark Ages.

Jay Byrd

"Fortunately, the Abu Ghraib prisoners will not have to await justice for 30 years as Pinochet's victims did - their tormentors are getting justice right now, when such justice ought to be dished out. Maybe they should be punished again in another 30 years, but double-jeopardy usually precludes that. I'm glad they're in the can now."

So by your account, Pinochet should go free because it wasn't him personally who tortured and murdered all those people. What was that you were saying about cheapening the suffering of thousands?

A.M. Mora y Leon

Jay: I am surprised you read it that way. I said (and thought) no such thing.

Jay Byrd

"Jay: I am surprised you read it that way. I said (and thought) no such thing."

Of course, that's the point of such analogies, which intellectually honest people are able to grasp. It's an inescapable consequence of the logic you employed in regard to Abu Ghraib: "they're in the can now". The way the analogy works is that, if one applies the same reasoning to Chile and Pinochet, one reaches an absurd conclusion -- the one you didn't say or think. The only rational, honest way to resolve this is to recognize that the logic is bogus. "they", meaning the people responsible for the policies that resulted in the atrocities of Abu Ghraib (many of which haven't been revealed to the American people, and which were repeated in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and continue), are NOT in the can.

Michael Bryant

The same crimes you are accusing the Generals in Chile of doing is happening in Cuba, Venezuela and other countries. What say you about that?

Abbas-Ali Abadani

JR: "Look at this echo of idiocy from Hugo Chavez here.

http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/americas/08/09/chavez.invasion.ap/index.html

In times past this would be a case for sending in the Marines."

Uh, yeah. How dare he actually put the interests of his own nation ahead of that of any other? Time to send in the Marines!


"Latin America is on it's own. Good luck with that."

Yup. Those lazy, good-for-nothin' beaners can't do nothin' on their own without the guiding, nurturing hand of Uncle Sam.


"...look for the Dems (and the media) to lose any relevance. It's the equivalent of the German-American Bund on Dec 13, 1941. Or Father Coughlin if you like that reference."

Dems + MSM (or is that Dems/MSM ?) = Nazis, fifth columnists and collaborators. Gotcha. Thanks for clearing that up.


"As Winter Soldier rolls out (and the inevitable bin Laden mass-casualty attack shoe drops)..."

One


"...launched an unprovoked mass-casualty terror attack against the US (and inevitably will do so again)"

Two


"After we lose say 3 million people in San Diego or NYC or DC, no one will CARE about Abu Graib"

Three

This isn't even so much "fear and vaunting", as it is just fear.

Jim, you'd make a fine White House speech writer.


"...and I fear that day and what will come after it."

Shouldn't that read, "and I lick my chops in anticipation of that day and what will come after it"?

"Neocons and Total War" - Joseph Stromberg
http://tinyurl.com/dt6oa

"George Orwell and the Cold War: A Reconsideration" - Murray Rothbard
http://tinyurl.com/b4ura

"The Dark Night of the American Soul" - Joseph Stromberg
http://tinyurl.com/ayf7h

richard lo cicero

I am happy that the Chileans have owned up to their past but that in no way means that I have to get into a comparative "atrocity" match vis Abu Gharab and Gitmo and other parts of America's GULAG. Look, These were and are being done in our name and we are responsible for them. And so far the highest ranking person to be held accountable was a SSGT! The others got promotions. It was so bad that "Progressives" hoped that Alberto Gonzales (the Geneva Convention is "Quaint) would be Bush's choice for the Court. Those additional images from Abu Gharab that the ACLU is suing to get will come out and then what will we say?

It gets so tiring to refight Vietnam. Jim R, I met some of those "Winter Soldiers" and they were trashed by Nixon as phonies. That's why they brought their DD 214s with them. They were genuine. But you'll never believe that because all GIs are good and give candy to kids. The GOP has one answer to military critics - slime them. The "Winter Soldiers", McCain, Cleland, Kerry and others. And now the attacks on Cindy Sheehan and Paul Hackett. That "fat drug user", in Hackett's words for Rush Limbaugh, who calls him a "staff Puke who never saw danger in Ramallah. Michelle Malkin, who saw the internment of Japanese in WWII as peachy keen, chides Sheehan as doing something her son would disaprove of her advocating. The same Malkin who accused Kerry of self-inflicted wounds in order to get a Purple Heart.

These are your friends Rockford. And you are welcome to them. In the meantime I'll try to see if we can get justice here. In the long run of things I am not responsible for Chile, yes I know about Nixon and Kissinger, but I am responsible for what is being done in my name in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the cages at Gitmo. It is not making us safer but it is making us hated. Do you see the difference? I don't think you do. And so I hear about that mushroom cloud - the one left over from Condi and our VP. The one in Pakistan where our good friend Mushariff can't control his own intelligence service which protects Bin Laden. Oh why bother - go march on the 11th next month. Clint will make it all better!

Rob Grocholski

Mr. Richard lo Cicero, why are you so insistent on comparing the sins of U.S. troop abuses at Abu Ghraib with the Chilean episode under the Pinochet regime? You make some pretty strong charges aimed at Jim Rockford, but I think you -- and a number of other posters -- are trying to compare and contrast apples and atoms. The real tragic meaning of Abu Ghraib still resides with the years of cruelty, torture, and mass killing by the Hussein regime.

Pinochet 2020!

Wow. All the lives sacrificed in that Chilean revolution to overthrow Pinochet were not in vain! Oh, wait, there was no victorious civil war, the dictator voluntarily gave up power to a more democratic regime based on a promise that the succeeding governments would not engage in politically motivated prosecutions of him. Hmmmmmmm.

Not that I care about Pinochet, but guess what THE NEXT Pinochet will do when he's offered that magnamus "deal." You're basically cheering the mass graves now, before they're even dug.

Somehow, I continue to be impressed by the stupidity of the hard Left.

jim hitchcock

The above was sponsored by `Friends of Pinochet: It's Not Just a Bad French Wine Anymore'...

hey

too bad leftists never have to answer for their crimes. if they do... whoa boy, prof cooper will be but one of hundreds of thousands of phds facing up for their aiding and abetting of crimes against humanity.

but that will never happen, just as jane fonda's treason will never have her facing the appropriate firing squad

Michael J. Totten

Michael Bryant: "The same crimes you are accusing the Generals in Chile of doing is happening in Cuba, Venezuela and other countries. What say you about that?"

Marc says plenty about them on a regular basis around here. Unlike so many partisan hacks, he makes no distinction between left-wing and right-wing dictatorships.

Robert Mayer

One thing that definitely is true, though. The damn police force is damn near inccrruptible. Having lived there for a few years, the only thing that got me out of speeding tickets (and I was driving without a license!) was my diplomatic immunity.

richard lo cicero

It is always gratifying to point the finger at other countries and deplore their human rights violations. I'll bet those corespondents above joined Amnestry International in their urgent actions over Chile, the USSR and Cuba. But the silence has been deafening over the Amnesty report on the American Gulag. This is not about a comparison of outrages. I'm not interested in who was more beastly. I am interested in our country enjoying "The decent Respect of Mankind" as the Declaration puts it. Right now we don't and it has the practical effect of making us less safe. So can we all agree that the Gitmo and Abu Gharab stories are worth discussing? Or are we going to continue to call it "hazing" (Limbaugh) or the work of a "Few bad apples."

richard lo cicero

It is always gratifying to point the finger at other countries and deplore their human rights violations. I'll bet those corespondents above joined Amnestry International in their urgent actions over Chile, the USSR and Cuba. But the silence has been deafening over the Amnesty report on the American Gulag. This is not about a comparison of outrages. I'm not interested in who was more beastly. I am interested in our country enjoying "The decent Respect of Mankind" as the Declaration puts it. Right now we don't and it has the practical effect of making us less safe. So can we all agree that the Gitmo and Abu Gharab stories are worth discussing? Or are we going to continue to call it "hazing" (Limbaugh) or the work of a "Few bad apples."

Randy Paul

"Oh, wait, there was no victorious civil war, the dictator voluntarily gave up power to a more democratic regime based on a promise that the succeeding governments would not engage in politically motivated prosecutions of him."

Perhaps you should read about the interview with General Matthei from a few years ago in which he recounted how on the night of the 1988 plebiscite that when it appeared the "NO" (to seven more years of Pinochet) vote was winning, he wanted to send the troops out and stop election. The commanders of the other branches told him that wasn't going to happen.

You also completely ignore where Pinochet got millions of dollars on a salary that paid him a little more than $10,000/year.

"based on a promise that the succeeding governments would not engage in politically motivated prosecutions of him. "

Actually based on an amnesty law his cousin wrote and he decreed. I continue to be amazed by the ignorance of those right wingers who lack the courage to use their own names.

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