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PostDictators, Pinochet (Ronald Hilton, USA, 10/09/99 1:52 am)
WAISers are sharply divided about Pinochet. Linda Nyquist writes:
How can moral individuals anywhere defend Pinochet? Has the world gone mad? I fail to understand how the US always seems to manage, particularly in Latin America, to be on the side of tyrannical dictators who sacrifice their people (at least those that don't agree with them). Meanwhile, we are sanctimoniously babbling about democracy and its virtues.
My comment: I think the U.S. record has changed since Roosevelt, but even he said of Somoza "He may be an SOB, but at least he is our SOB." One problem is to make sure that a dictatorship of the right is not replaced by one on the left, as happened in Cuba.
Another factor is the hypocrisy of international relations. A marvelous new French film describes the dreadful dictatorship of Mobutu in Zaire. One scene shows President Bush flattering him in to me disgusting terms. Bush certainly knew Mobutu's record. Was he just trying to protect American interests, which he is supposed to do? I agree with Linda, who says, "It is all too confusing."