Sunday, May 30, 2004

As long as I'm admiring my own insights

This is from the International Herald Tribune for May 29.
Five days after Salvador Allende was toppled in a violent coup as the Marxist president of Chile on Sept. 11, 1973, Henry Kissinger chatted on the phone with President Richard Nixon about the event, which clearly had delighted both men.

After telling the president that he might go to the Washington Redskins' football season opener, Kissinger exulted in the toppling of a pro-Communist government and complained about how much the news media was lamenting the coup, in which Allende was killed. The press's attitude, he said, was steeped in "unbelievable filthy hypocrisy."
That despite their protestations in favor of democracy, Kissinger and Nixon were thrilled with Pinochet is by now well-known. What intrigued me was this part of the exchange:
In the 1973 conversation, Kissinger tells the president that "of course the newspapers are bleeding because a pro-Communist government has been overthrown."

Nixon responds: "Isn't that something." To which Kissinger says that he and the president would have been hailed as heroes during "the Eisenhower period," 1953 to 1960.

Nixon then says: "Well, we didn't, as you know - our hand doesn't show on this one, though."

Kissinger replies: "We didn't do it. I mean we helped them." The transcript then says, with a long dash that seems to indicate that a word or words were deleted, "- created the conditions as great as possible."
At the time, there were a good number among my colleagues on the left who insisted that the US actually ordered the Chilean army to overthrow and murder Allende, who the White House visibly hated as the summation of all their fears: He was not only a Marxist who believed the welfare of the poor of Chile was more important than that of Kennicott Copper, he was a democratically-elected Marxist, something they maintained was impossible.

I demurred, insisting that there was no need for the US to order the generals to carry out a coup; they were quite willing to do that on their own. The only thing they needed from us was a wink-and-a-nod assurance that we would not oppose such a move. So we set out to create the conditions that would make a coup more likely: We sought to undermine the economy of Chile by halting economic assistance and cutting off its access to international credit while simultaneously strengthening the hand of the army by tripling military aid. Then we could stand with our backs to Chile, whistling an idle tune, rocking back and forth on our heels, until we could turn back around and with a gasp say "Oh-my! Look-at-what-has-happened! A-coup! Oh-my!"

It seems to me that the references above to "our hand doesn't show," "we helped them," and, significantly, "created the conditions" strongly hint that my analysis was spot on. After 31 years, vindication!

Okay, it's an ego thing....

No comments:

// I Support The Occupy Movement : banner and script by @jeffcouturer / (v1.2) document.write('
I support the OCCUPY movement
');function occupySwap(whichState){if(whichState==1){document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}else{document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}} document.write('');