Friday, August 08, 2003

Regarding Pinochet

Every now and again I realise that we're starting to attract a small following of left wingers who think that if we want to tear assunder the Special Relationship we can't really be as right wing as we claim. And every now and again we put up a post which alienates them. The post this time is sparked off by Peter Cuthbertson talking about Pinochet. There already seems to be a bit of a debate going on with Natalie Solent and Patrick Crozier. I don't intend to enter this particular argument (for what it's worth one of my first columns was on Pinochet's arrest, that dates me) but something Peter said was interesting:

If someone like Pinochet had been around in Germany in the mid 1930s (or for that matter, if the Stauffenberg bomb plot had succeeded), would we really be blasting that he was a terrible man if he had to pick off a few Nazis to turn his country back into a free and prosperous nation which no longer threatened us? Of course not.

I think that he is being far too nice towards his foes. When Pinochet get rid of the democratically elected Allende, torturing opponents, minority support, party thugs and all they talk about finishing off the Chilean road to Socialism. If they had finished off the democratically elected National Socialist Hitler, torturing opponents, minority support, party thugs and all what tune do you really think they would be playing?

Yes the left didn't like Hitler even when at the start but the Communists thought that he was better than continuing with Weimer and I don't remember the Left being very nice about the "clerico-fascist" regime of Dolfuss. How do you think they would have dealt with a regime that overthrew a democratically chosen Socialist government and would almost certainly have degraded military relations with the USSR?

If you are still not convinced, how would the left have dealt with the RDF launching a coup that finished off Mugabe in around 1982? We know what happened to him now. Like it or not Mugabe, Hitler and Allende were all heavily Marxist-influenced socialists who came to power democratically and then started to outlaw their opponents. None of them were any of our business, but I digress. Hard left socialists prefer other socialists to liberals, no matter how wishy washy. Moderate social democrats are different, but anyone would be different if they had to deal with Trots in their formative years.


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