Was Pinochet a “Good Guy”?

Posted by $ Markus_Katabri 10 months, 1 week ago to History
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Was General Augusto Pinochet, the 29th President of Chile who effectively ruled the nation between 1973 and 1990, a good guy?

He has become the man who has launched a thousand memes. During the rehabilitation of Marxism that has occurred in academia, the media and popular culture over the course of the last two decades, a cheeky retort by those with brains not addled by the great whitewashing of the Communist terror has been to remind those who believe their Marxist revolution to be inevitable that quite a few of their fellow travellers in Chile once believed the same.

Until September 11, 1973, that is.

Helicopter memes have proven a delightful antidote to the sometimes annoying, sometimes outright terrifying confidence of the modern extreme left that its eventual victory is unavoidable and predetermined by some pseudo-scientific law of history.

But was General Pinochet a “good guy”?

The short answer is no. The long answer is more complicated.

I speak with a certain authority most Australians lack in this matter. I have distant family members in Chile who were prominent amongst both the higher ranks of the military and the communist dissidents who were dismayed by the overthrow of their hero Allende.

Pinochet and those under his command are responsible for the straight-up extrajudicial murder of 3,000 people. You don’t get to be a “good guy” after you do that. That’s 3,000 families who waited without hope for their fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, sisters or brothers to come home. Thousands of children knowing daddy wasn’t ever going to hug them again. Thousands of mothers crying for the children they had raised from infancy, cut down in their prime without trial or charge. Those empty arms, those tears from innocents, those nights spent wondering in pain and fear. They count. They mean something.

No, you don’t get to be a “good guy” after that.

Yes, the vast majority of those who died had been poisoned in their minds by the disease of Marxism. Maybe there is no cure for this disease once it has taken root. Maybe these people couldn’t be saved. But the pain and suffering of their families still lies heavy on Pinochet’s record.

So Pinochet was not a “good guy”. But was he a necessary guy? Did he do the dirty work required to save his country? Were the pain and the killings unfortunate necessities required for a greater good?

To examine this you have to examine the world and Latin America at the time of the coup. It is difficult for moderns to imagine the context of this time, since the historians in our systems of higher education have downplayed so much of it in the historical consciousness. Much of the world then lay under Marxist tyranny or the fear of nuclear war provoked by ideological struggle. Most of the universities of the west had been corrupted from the inside by pro-Marxist academics. In the early seventies a large minority, perhaps even a majority, of western leftist thinkers still believed that some form of Communism would inevitably dominate the world.

In Latin America, the proxy battles between the United States, the Soviet Union and even in some cases Maoist China were fierce and bloody. The USSR in particular, stymied in its efforts in Europe by the West and in Asia by China, concentrated resources and diplomatic energy in America’s backyard, seeking to throw its superpower adversary off balance. The Cuban Revolution in 1959 had given the Soviets a base from which to send guerrillas, arms and resources to Marxist rebels across Latin America. In 1964, the Brazillian government of João Goulart (who, while not a Communist himself, was supported by the Brazilian Communist Party) was overthrown in a right-wing coup.

In Argentina, the socialist guerrilla group the Montoneros and the openly Maoist People’s Revolutionary Army (ERP) engaged in kidnapping, assassination and urban terrorism in attempts to overthrow the government throughout the 60s and 70s.

In Venezuela, the Castro-backed Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN) and the Revolutionary Left Movement (MIR) engaged in rural and urban guerrilla activities. This included hijacking a Venezuelan cargo ship, kidnapping Real Madrid soccer star Alfredo DiStefano, sabotaging oil pipelines, bombing a Sears Roebuck warehouse and bombing the United States embassy in Caracas. They also executed many officers, soldiers and civilians for not supporting them, before being suppressed by the government and forced into legality by the early 80s.

In Nicaragua, by the early 60s the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) had begun its war against the sometimes insanely corrupt U.S-backed government of its country and would go on to overthrow the government in 1979, leading to a decade characterised by human rights abuses, mass executions and oppression of indigenous peoples.

Colombia, due to its tumultuous political history, was fertile ground for Marxist groups, with guerrillas from the 19th of April Movement (M-19), the The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) engaging in a bloody civil war from the 60s onward. This war, that continues on to today, has claimed around half a million lives with up to five million people forced to flee their homes.

In Uruguay, the Tupamaro Marxist guerrilla group engaged in political kidnappings, “armed propaganda” and assassinations, prompting ever-harsher crackdowns leading to an eventual coup in early 1973, justified almost entirely by the need to crush the group for good.

In 1965, in Peru, the Marxist Revolutionary Left Movement and the National Liberation Army (yes, they ran short of names pretty quickly) declared war on the government and, while they were defeated, they laid the foundations for the truly horrific Maoist group “Shining Path” that would come to prominence a decade later.

And that’s just naming the big groups. There were dozens of smaller Marxist rebel groups with or without Soviet and Maoist funding, all causing chaos in Latin America (and in the case of central America, more chaos than usual).

In Chile, the main Marxist group committing violence was called the Revolutionary Left Movement (MIR). Yeah, I know, another one. No, Communists are not particularly creative with names. This MIR emerged in 1965 from various student organisations that had originally been active in the youth organisation of the Socialist Party and was made up of a coalition of orthodox Marxists, anarchists and Trotskyists.

In September 1967, MIR-led students from the University of Concepción (an industrial city about 500 km south of Santiago) attacked riot police who were trying to protect other officers seeking to arrest leftists who had destroyed a police vehicle. In response, MIR kidnapped one of the policeman and held him hostage. Christian Democrat and then Chilean president Eduardo Frei negotiated with MIR and agreed to drop charges against the leftists if the students would release their captive unharmed. Frei was a good guy. He didn’t want to take on the Marxists. He and the other good-guy centrists in his party just wanted a quiet life.

These actions by Frei and others like him did nothing to dissuade further violence. During 1968, MIR committed multiple acts of vandalism, intimidation and physical assaults on conservative and right-wing students and faculty members. Be you a teacher or a student, if you were right of centre(continued on website)

SOURCE URL: https://www.theunshackled.net/rewind/was-pinochet-a-good-guy/

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  • Posted by mccannon01 10 months, 1 week ago
    Nice historic review that so many have no clue about. The same Marxist evil that washed(s) over Latin America is alive and well in North America.
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  • Posted by mshupe 10 months, 1 week ago
    A small excerpt from this article about the great, free market economist, George Reisman . . .

    "As it related to Chile becoming the second satellite of Soviet power in the Western Hemisphere, he wrote about the death of General Pinochet in 2006,

    "People have an absolute right to rise up and defend their lives, liberty, and property against a Communist takeover. In the process, they cannot be expected to make the distinctions present in a judicial process."

    For George Reisman, objective law in support of laissez-faire capitalism is the socioeconomic system that must be taught, promoted, and defended to the teeth. Not only did he earn his PhD in Economics from New York University under the direction of Ludwig von Mises, he was also a student of Ayn Rand."

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  • Posted by mhubb 10 months, 1 week ago
    the US used to send troops to keep South and Central America stable

    stopping that policy was a mistake

    stopping going after the drug cartels was a mistake
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