Wednesday, December 13, 2006

“A State of National Emergency”

Augusto Pinochet of Chile died on December 10,2006

Pinochet came to power in Chile in 1973 by overthowing the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in a CIA sponsored coup d’etat when Richard Nixon was president of the US. Pinochet set up a draconian right-wing military dictatorship which lasted from 1973 until 1990. After 1990, Pinochet became 'Senator for Life' and head of the Chilean Army.

Salvador Allende was the first democratically elected socialist/marxist president in the world. Republican President Richard M. Nixon would not tolerate his prescence in the western hemisphere and sponsored multiple efforts to remove him from power culminating in Pinochet’s coup. Allende was killed during the coup. Pinochet claimed Allende ‘committed suicide’ (by shooting himself multiple times with a machine gun). Many of Allende’s aides were executed during and shortly after the coup d’etat.

Following the coup thousands of Pinochet opponents ‘disappeared’ forever as Pinochet’s military junta consolidated rule with draconian, unilateral powers under a ‘state of national emergency’. State sponsored killings and torture became normalized under the junta which tolerated no opposition.

I wonder if a “State of Siege” or “National Emergency” is anything like a “Global War on Terror”?

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