Never Forget…. 1973

On the 7th anniversary of the terror attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, the predictable ones are predictably commenting with such tropes and memes as “Never Forget” and “Never Again”, etc.

Yes, it was an awful thing that 2000 people died on that day. And I hope everyone who was responsible is brought to justice, and I hope the like never happens again.

But I also hope that the event ceases to become a reason for further pointless murder in such places as Iraq and Afghanistan. It behooves me to say it, but someone needs to: well beyond 2000 have now been murdered ostensibly in the name of vengeance for those killed in 2001. And I say “ostensibly” because thinking people realize that the real reason for those wars has very little –if anything– to do with 9/11 or terrorism.

And as far as the “Never Forget” bit goes…. Well, how many remember another September 11, back in 1973? I think Americans should never forget that date, either, though most have. Chileans certainly haven’t. On September 12, 2003, I wrote:

Yesterday every media outlet in the world had something to say about the anniversary of September 11…. 2001. Since they’ve got it well covered, I’d like to turn your attention to September 11, 1973. On that date, 30 years ago, US-backed terrorists overthrew the peaceful and democratically elected government of Chile.

Ohhhh, some of you are saying, Ray is bashing the US government again. But listen: there’s a connection between what the Nixon administration (which included Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld!) did back then, and what happened to innocent people on 9/11 of 2001. By overthrowing a popular democratic government in favour of a brutal murdering dictator (General Pinochet), the world learned to see the USA as a regime whose rhetoric of freedom and opportunity only applies to its own interests, while pain and repression are its goals for the rest of us. That’s the vision digested by Al Qaeda; and given the events of 1973, it’s difficult to argue with that interpretation.

The Pinochet “government” went on to murder thousands.

“I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people,” Kissinger said of Chile at the time. No wonder people like Osama bin Laden feel no remorse about punishing similarly “irresponsible” people.

“It is not a part of our country’s history that we are proud of,” Colin Powell said of the Chile affair. Yet why are Cheney and Rumsfeld rewarded with wealth and power, instead of being prosecuted like the criminals they are?

And on Dec 12, 2006, I wrote:

No one talks about it much anymore, but let’s not forget that [BushCo] are torturing murderers who belong in the same category as Pinochet. One day –hopefully not too long in the future– W’s funeral will cause the same introspection among Americans as Pinochet’s has among Chileans, and for much the same reasons: the apologists for his crimes will weep, while we who protested will be saddened that the world was too cowardly and morally bankrupt to ever try him and his cronies for their crimes.

In other, more banal, news, have you noticed the new “RD” icon flashing in the web address box on your browser? That’s courtesy of my new hired gun flash/java/etc consultant, Adam B, young progeny of Nasty Nicky B.