12 December 2006

As I said before about Pinochet...

... good grief, old man!

Everybody's writing about the death of Augusto Pinochet, so I can only add a few things of my own, nothing especially original. Pinochet, in short, was the following (in rough order):

  • a submissive soldier and a mediocre but obedient officer (that's how he earned the trust of his superiors and climbed up the hierarchy)
  • a traitor of his lawful commander, president Salvador Allende, who appointed him Commander in Chief of the Army
  • a traitor of his country, which he promised freedom and gave political terror and enduring economic inequality, by allying with the CIA and delivering Chile to the neoliberal fundamentalism of the Chicago Boys
  • a traitor of his superior, general Carlos Prats, who recommended him to Allende, and whom Pinochet had killed in Buenos Aires
  • a murderer, directly and by proxy, of thousands of his compatriots
  • a torturer of tens of thousands
  • a pioneer in the road that would lead to Argentina's Dirty War and other dictatorships in our poor Latin America
  • a thief, to the point that even today what he stole is resurfacing by bits
  • a scheming old son of a bitch, who gave himself political immunity after the end of his rule, and feigned illness and senility when it was removed, every time he was about to be investigated by justice
  • a dreadful shadow looming over Chile, even as he's about to become ashes, who'll probably divide his country for generations
As appropriate to such a monster, the government of Chile didn't give him a state funeral; but president Michelle Bachelet, who was herself tortured and had her father killed by the dictatorship, consented to a military funeral with honours, as if a commander that rebels against his legitimate ruler and turns the military into a despicable band of murderers deserves any honour. Bachelet has also said that Chile must look for reconciliation and unity. Reconciliation with violent fascists? With supporters of ideological persecution, state terrorism, illegal detentions, suppression of liberties? With people who were for submission, censorship, forced exile? Politics is politics, but how can it be? The military funeral of Pinochet was marked by a defense of the coup d'état given by her own daughter, with the applause of several thousand attendants including military personnel, and even three young supporters of Pinochet giving his coffin the Nazi salutation.

President Bachelet's lack of commitment showed that she is (like the Scripture says) neither hot nor cold, and if God existed, It would certainly spit her out of Its mouth. You can't have your cake and eat it. For all the hysterical and confrontational attitude of the Argentine government on every issue, with regards to our last dictatorship we've at least been shown a morally and politically clear position: if you were there with the murderers, and if you're here now still with them, you don't have an excuse, you don't deserve any honours, and you won't receive any sort of forgiveness. Chile might come to this in a few years, maybe, but today's opportunity is already lost.

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