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December 14, 2006

The U.S. Government & Salvador Allende: Aren't They Actually The Same Thing?

Here's another worthwhile bit from the post-mortem love bath the Washington Post gave Pinochet:

For some he was the epitome of an evil dictator. That was partly because he helped to overthrow, with U.S. support, an elected president considered saintly by the international left: socialist Salvador Allende, whose responsibility for creating the conditions for the 1973 coup is usually overlooked.

"Created the conditions" for the coup? Huh...where have I heard that exact same language before? Oh, yeah:

Declassified transcript of Nixon-Kissinger phone call
September 16, 1973

KISSINGER: The Chilean thing is getting consolidated and of course the newspapers are bleeding because a pro-Communist government has been overthrown.
NIXON: Isn't that something. Isn't that something.
KISSINGER: I mean instead of celebrating – in the Eisenhower period we would be heroes.
NIXON: Well we didn't – as you know – our hand doesn't show on this one though.
KISSINGER: We didn't do it. I mean we helped them. ______ created the conditions as great as possible.
NIXON: That is right.

So according to the Washington Post, Allende was responsible for "creating the conditions" for the coup. According to Kissinger, it was the U.S. government which "created the conditions." But these seemingly contradictory statements can be reconciled when you realize the U.S. government and Salvador Allende are in fact the same thing.

Posted at December 14, 2006 05:14 PM | TrackBack

Err... how do you know 'Allende' doesn't belong in that blank space?

Posted by: saurabh at December 14, 2006 07:56 PM

Because Kissinger is talking about how "we helped them." Which of course the U.S. did.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at December 14, 2006 08:11 PM

Actually, Jonathan is wrong. That blank space is... me. Sorry, I should have fessed up earlier, I know. But once again it pisses me off that Kissinger always wants the biggest asshole on the block when I am the one who taught him all the dirty tricks.

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at December 15, 2006 12:03 AM

oops, I wanted to say "wants to be" but "wants" works, too.

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at December 15, 2006 12:05 AM

Why does "Allende created the conditions for the coup" sound a lot like "the rape victim was asking for it"?

Posted by: spaghetti happens at December 15, 2006 09:03 AM

Somebody said "We're going to make their economy scream" and "We can't let a country go communist through the irresponsibility of its own voters" and it sure as hell wasn't Salvador Allende.

Posted by: Tirebiter in Sector R at December 15, 2006 09:36 AM

In this piece Salvador's niece, the novelist Isabelle Allende says the Chilean people were also complicit in bringing Pinochet to power:

Posted by: En Ming Hee at December 15, 2006 09:54 AM

I don't think she's saying that - she's saying that a portion (1/3) of the population approved of him, and not just for reasons of fear, but because he "made the trains run on time", etc. No?

Posted by: saurabh at December 16, 2006 12:19 PM