Remembering the other 9/11

La-Moneda

Smoke billows from La Moneda after being bombed by the Chilean Air Force on the orders of General Pinochet

The purpose of this blog is not to denigrate the memories of those who perished in the destruction of the Twin Towers on September 9, 2001. Nor is this an attempt to offer conspiracy theories about the so-called ‘truth’ behind 9/11. This is a blog about the other 9/11. This is the one that doesn’t get mentioned on television news or anywhere else. It’s almost as if there was a concerted effort on the part of the news media to keep others from knowing the truth behind the Chilean Miracle.

In 1970, the Marxist Salavador Allende was elected president of Chile. Allende was at the head of the Unidad Popular (Popular Unity), a coalition of left parties that included the Socialist Party, the Chilean Communist Party, the Radical Party, MAPU (Movimiento de Acción Popular Unitario or Movement of United Popular Action)  and the Christian Left, who joined in 1971.

From the very beginning there were clandestine efforts to prevent Allende from taking office. The Chilean Right shared the paranoia of the US and called on Richard Nixon to support their cause. The commander-in-chief of the Chilean Army,  René Schneider was a constitutionalist and was opposed to any attempt to overthrow Allende. He was therefore seen by the Chilean Right as an obstacle and there was a botched attempt to assassinate him on 16 October 1970. The plotters got a second chance 6 days later when Schneider’s car was ambushed by coup-plotters loyal to General Roberto Viaux. Schneider was shot several times at point blank range and died from his wounds days later. The incumbent, Eduardo Frei immediately replaced the dead commander with General Carlos Prats, who would also later be killed by the DINA in Buenos Aires in 1974.

In 1972, a series of strikes were called by  Confederación Nacional del Transporte, which at the time was  led by Leon Valarin, who was the leader of the neo-fascist Patria y Libertad. The strikes had the full support of Richard Nixon, who sent considerable sums of money to assist the cause.

Here’s a programme that was shown on the BBC called The Other 9/11

Here’s another video that gives a bit more background to the reactionary forces operating in Chile.

Here’s the second part

Here’s Christopher Hitchens presenting his case for the prosecution against Henry Kissinger, who played an active and important role in Pinochet’s rise to power.

Finally, here’s the The Clash’s Washington Bullets.

Postscript

I found this interesting article on Alan Walters, Pinochet and the Chicago Boys. Here’s a taster.

Nevertheless, Walters thought he had to be discreet about his Santiago trips. During the 1970s, his job at the World Bank gave him a cover (“I got away with murder!”). During the 1980s, when he was working for Thatcher, his visits were “private”. In Britain even then, a decade after the coup, Walters felt, “Everyone hated Chile – except Margaret.  I’d probably talked to her about it for the first time some time in the 1970s. She knew I’d been there, and she asked me about it … She admired Pinochet for putting Allende out of office.” From then on, “I let her know if I was going. She said, ‘Keep quiet about it. Don’t advertise it.’ ”

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3 Comments

Filed under 20th century, Chile, History, History & Memory, Human rights, World

3 responses to “Remembering the other 9/11

  1. Reblogged this on Representing the Mambo and commented:
    Great piece by Guy DeBord’s cat on another rather important 9/11 anniversary. The blood-drenched overthrow of the socialist Allende government, and the horrible neo-liberal experiment that followed it in Chile, was one of the great tragedies of the 20th century. Something to bear in mind when those revolting shits over at Guido Fawkes are defending Pinochet’s rule.

  2. Just watched each of the above and I now find myself seething with rage at the unfettered arrogance of men like Kissenger, Nixon and Haig. Kissenger seems like the very definition of a psychopath, by all accounts. Is it any wonder that America has very few friends left. They can whine on all they want about we ‘ingrates’ and our unjust eschewing of their self-appointed role as the worlds policemen, but events like Iran (1953), Nicaragua (1954), Vietnam, Cambodia, Brazil (1964), Chile (1973) and the obvious corporate motivation to at least some of the former (Iran vis. Oil/Anglo-Iranian Oil Company; Nicaragua vis. Land/United Fruit Company; Chile vis. ITT and PepsiCo; etc.) beg the question; policemen or corporatists/fascists/imperialists? What a disgusting little ‘democracy’ America has become. Their founding fathers (or at least their idealised caricatures) would be ashamed of them, I’m sure.

    Still, at least the Clash softened my rage, a bit (well not much, but still). Thanks for popping them in there, at the end. Very thoughtful. 😃

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