Tuesday, December 12, 2006


The BBC reports that violent clashes erupted in Chile on news of Pinochet's death; anti-Pinochet crowds were celebrating. Meanwhile, supporters marched past his coffin.

Look, I have no love for Pinochet. But celebrating because someone died? Just distasteful.

What gets me most, about it, though, is when people like his supporters in Chile and elsewhere rant about how this particular generation of rightwing dictators "saved" us from Communism.


All these dictators did was deliver the people of those countries from one type of tyrannical, cruel, boneheaded ruler into the vicious grip of another. I understand why a lot of businesspeople hate Communism; why are they so eager to give up (others') civil liberties? Yes, Margaret Thatcher is probably grateful for his support against Argentina in the Falklands War. That's one thing. But to praise him as some sort of "great leader", ignoring all the corruption, the caravanas de la muerte? We were Allies with Stalin in WW2, but I don't remember Churchill ever saying Stalin was the dog's balalaika.

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