Sunday, December 10, 2006

Pinochet croaks

By Heraclitus

Just in case you haven't heard, here's the news story. May he rot in hell.


UPDATE: The only good reason for an obituary is to remember his crimes. The BBC has one here. See also the Post here.

Margaret Thatcher, who ought to have no credibility left at all after this, was "greatly saddened" by Pinochet's death. Yes, you read that right: "greatly saddened."

But what does the baroness care about what Pinochet did to Chile, about how many lives he destroyed, about the abuses he committed? She was his friend and ally right up until the bitter end, and in that friendship is her character revealed. So I don't give a shit that she was "saddened" by his death.

Some of Pinochet's supporters gathered in Santiago to mourn his death, and there have been outbreaks of violence, but, in general, there has been celebration:

Thousands of jubilant Chileans streamed into the streets of Santiago after hearing that their former president, Gen. Augusto Pinochet, had died Sunday. Many danced and popped open champagne, while caravans of cars with horns blaring toured the capital for hours.

"These people are not celebrating the death of anyone. It is to celebrate the end of a cycle of so much pain, so much dictatorship, so much torture," said Jorge Salinas, 50, as he threw confetti into traffic. "Pinochet signified many deaths, so much suffering for us. That's why you see such happiness in most of the people. That's why they are celebrating."

And today, by the way, is International Human Rights Day. How fitting.


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