Sunday, December 10, 2006

Bastard of the Day

The death of Augusto Pinochet today marks the end of a consummate bastard's life. Of course he was "our" bastard, a man supported by the U.S. government merely because he wasn't a communist. Marxist Salvador Allende had been democratically elected in 1970 and made Pinochet commander of the army. The C.I.A., feeding on Cold War paranoia, strived to destabilize Chile, leading to the military coup that put Pinochet in charge in September 1973. The general celebrated his newfound power a few weeks later with the Caravan of Death, a helicopter sweep of the nation's military prisons that executed about 70 prisoners. It's hard to imagine Chileans being any worse off with a socialist regime than they were under Pinochet's rule from 1973 to 1990:
A government commission estimated that more than 3,000 people died or disappeared at the hands of the Pinochet regime. Thousands more were politically persecuted, some detained and tortured, others exiled, and still more harassed by secret police.
If that isn't enough to convince you, perhaps his numerous foreign bank accounts containing $26 million purloined from his own people will. Pinochet belongs in the Bastard Hall of Fame.

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