Harry’s Place and the Pinochet Coup discussion

I’m being rather pleased with myself as I’ve just written a rather good comment on the discussion.
I’ll reproduce it here for my vanity!
I’ve also removed the first line but you can still see it on Harry’s Place. I will also add that Michael Rosen is as foolish as ever (though well-spoken).


Taking a historian’s perspective, what the pattern of events in Chile remind me of is the period before and during the Nationalist coup in Spain July 1936. Also, it would help if those here knew more about the previous period before 1970.
Looking also at the numbers murdered by the Pinochet regime, one is struck by two elements: one of similarity and dissimilarity to the Nationalist repression both during and after the Spanish Civil War.
The first is to notice that following the coup, the military regime carried out a purge of its real and potential opponents. This is the motive behind the ‘limpiezia’ (sp?) or “cleansing” of Spanish society of the “red contagtion”.
The second is to notice that the killings were nothing like as extensive as in Spain. I do not mean to excuse the killings or that which followed the coup but this is also about perspective. Other regimes, notably but not exclusively, Soviet backed regimes were guilty of much greater bloodletting than the military regime in Chile.

A question that should be asked of those declaring their conviction in US guilt is as follows: should the protagonist ascribe unlimited power to the CIA dirty tricks division and risk removing historical agency from those who carried out or opposed the coup in Chile?
I would argue that as the coup was carried out by the Chilean military, the argument regarding smuggled weapons is irrelevant. The potential for a coup existed and the military of Chile was then very conservative and hostile to the socialist/left-wing groups in the country. One would also ask all here to look at who SUPPORTED the coup in Chile. This wasn’t a vicious little group murdering a secular saint and being sustained by the Great Satan: as in Spain in 1936 there was a substantial, traditional and middle class group in Chilean society who openly backed and acquiesced in the coup.
The reality is more complex than argued by others in here, not least because as in Spain 1936, the left-wing government of the day was guilty of not respecting the constitution of the country, ignoring Chilean Supreme Court rulings (that a number of acts including land redistribution were illegal) and was accused on 22nd August 1973 by the Chamber of Deputies of repeated violations of constitutional limitations and freedoms.
You should at least discuss this.

Michael Ezra’s original complaint against Wikipedia was and remains sound: that the article lent a political bias, not supported by the evidence available.


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