Pinochet - hero or villain?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by golden_rivet, Dec 11, 2006.

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  1. Interesting that when the news last night quoted a figure of 3000 dead or disappeared in Chile it semed to me so much less shocking than it did in '86 when I started to have a serious interest in Latin American issues. This horror has been overtaken by the brutality and horror of what has happened in Africa in recent years or maybe its just that the passge of time has dulled the memory of the US supported bloody tyrant's actions?
  2. What I do find strange in the year 2006 as a self declared out of the closet Liberal is that people on this thread who have been against Pinochet still do not seem to pop over the parapet when it come to countries of a left leaning who's humans rights record are far more disgracefully than that of Chile.

    Lets look at Sudan, Egypt, Israel, all of Africa, North Vietnam, North Korea, China, Burma, vast tracts of Easter Europe and Central Asia. Why is nobody on this forum shouting about Fiji where a Military Coup has taken over from a Government that illegally ousted the first non Fijian Priminister and was attempting to pardon the men who led the last coup and seize coastal i.e. valuable land to give or preserve for ethnic Fijian's only. So who is right in that one or have we failed to workout who is the PC side.

    Both ends of the Political spectrum are W*****s.

  3. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    General Pinochet is off to the heavenly or satanic General Officers’ mess. I was ambivalent towards Pinochet and his rule. Not the nastiest dictator who ever lived and one of few who handed his country back to civilian leadership in a better state than he found it, albeit short of a few citizens. However, I’d hate to have been in his bad books.

    You have a point Nutty, though I'm not sure Israel belongs in the same breath as Sudan. It is strange why Pinochet was such a hate figure for the worldwide leftist intelligentsia, few of whom could tell you the name of any African dictator with a bigger butcher’s bill and think that Castro is right-on.
  4. Most of the other nasty ones around claim to be socialists thus are above criticism of the lefties, with the possible exception of Israel which gets even lefties split.

    Pinochet on the other hand was most definitely not a lefty so all lefties can unite in saying he was a very nasty man.

    As far as Chile of that period goes I think they were in for a bad time who ever was in charge, from what I can remember the Allende government was not doing that well with armed bands of lefties doing the rape and pillage bit just like Portugal after Salazar died.
  5. Did not he help us during the Falklands war !!!!, & during the 60s /70s /80s most of South America was being twaxxxxd by terrorist groups of some sort , "Sendoro Luminoso" [Shining Path] of Peru ring a bell ,

    Hero or Villian , I dont know but at least he helped us in 1982,
  6. When the French installed Exocet on the ex RN ship HMS Lynx I had to go to Chile to fit the BAE supplied coordinate changer. I found the Chileans great people and during my time on board was told a story. Seemingly the Lynx was on it way from UK to Chile with a half Chilean half UK crew. This was during the start of the Falklands conflict. The Chilling captain volunteered his ship & crew to join the operation. His reason, well the ship hasn't been accepted by Chile yet so she's still British, and my men would love to fight the Argentinians.
    As the ship came into harbour that evening bagpipe music was played over the tannoy. When asked why I was told by an officer that as the ship had been built in Scotland they thought this deserved some recognition.
  7. Making three thousand people disappear may be a blinding magic trick but it will never qualify him as anything other than an evil, self serving little b*****d with a strange fetish for strident women.
    As Nutty so rightly said, left or right they are all w*****s.
  8. And what was the alternative to Pinochet?

    Saddam Hussein was similarly brutal but he managed to keep his country in order.

  9. Fxxxxxxxxxxg brilliant , standards you see ,
  10. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    No he was brutal with bells on. Pinochet wouldn't even be accepted as an apprentice.

    Reference the Chilean Navy (at the risk of going off topic-shame) they are well disposed towards the UK and the RN as a result of Admiral Cochrane's work in that neck of the woods though Cochrane had been struck from the Navy List at the time. I've always found the Chileans to be as 'hands across the ocean brother' as the USN, Candians or the Germans.

    It looks as if Pinochet was involved in feathering his nest (I'd missed that news). Not so 'moral' after all. Lost him points even with his most devoted supporters.
  11. I think I was in Chile on the Exocet job in about 1990. I was living in a city called Conception about 15 miles from the naval dockyard. I was only in Chile for about a week but felt safe when I was out on the streets at all times of day and night.
    This was not the case when I was tasked to carry out a similar task in Brazil a few months later. Rio is certainly not safe at any time.
    Whether this was to do with Pinochets rule of terror I do not know. I think not, I prefer it is to do with the Chilean race.
  12. i do find it funny that with all the fuss about pinochet losing 3000 people all those years ago that mugabe is doing it now but still we do sod all.

    if only zimbabwe had oil
  13. Interestingly 9/11 2003 was the thirtieth anniversary of Pinochet's coup and the take-over of the Chilean Government by the military junta that he headed. I was in Punta Arenas in Patagonian Chile where there was a huge and mournful parade being held. There was no doubt in my mind that the Chileanos were glad to see the back of him and the junta but everyone that I spoke with put the primary blame on the USA who had engineered the takeover to get rid of Allende who they considered to be too much of a leftist; even though he had been democratically elected.

    On a morbid note; I visited the Chilean sail training ship "Esmeralda" and later I talked with some locals including a retired Chilean naval officer. I was told that the junta had used Esmeralda as a torture center and that it was widely believed that many of the disappeared were dropped overboard from her into the Pacific. She never looked the same to me after that.

  14. However revolting his methods, he did get rid of communism and turned Chile into a Democratic and prosperous country, he also helped out in the Falklands, compared to Mugabe and the like, he does`nt come too badly out of it, though i imagine quite a few will disagree.
  15. My knowledge of matters South American is not great, but I thought there were a lot worse dictators in that part of the world than Pinochet? I could be wrong...
  16. We could start with Mr Mugabe. I think we should also apologise to Mr Ian Smith for interfering with his country (Rhodesia) in the 60s. He was right and we were wrong. Another African country screwed up by tribalism and corruption.
  17. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Margret Beckett's statement seemed to give the 'economic miracle' credit to the post Pinochet administration. A bit false even allowing for the fact that the FCO/MoD can't really say 'deep sadness, he had his good points-fly flags at half mast'. Well not in public anyway. I'd be interested to know if the Union Flag was at half mast on the British embassy and consulates in Chile yesterday not to mention the ensigns of any visiting war canoes and auxiliaries.

    I seem to remember flying the White Ensign at half mast for Hirihito.
  18. It is a pretty safe bet I think to declare your country democratic only after you have offed the opposition...Take your point though about the other dictators of this world, hav'nt we always been a little selective in that regard ?
  19. As the death of that nasty piece of work has brought on much wailing and gnashing of teeth from that Thatcher woman I am well pleased.
  20. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator


    No mention of there of
    finknottle. Got a link to a contrary report?

    Are you grateful finknottle, for General Pinochet's support in Corporate? An answer in the affirmative needn't mean support for his domestic policies.

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