Thursday, April 17, 2003

State Department's Chilly Statement on Powell's Chile Statement

The State Department recently made an unusual move to distance itself from its top official Colin Powell. Seems Powell, talking about the U.S. government's involvement with a 1973 coup that overthrew the democratically-elected Salvador Allende, said: "It is not a part of American history that we're proud of."

He is of course referring to the United States' actions of cutting off aid and supporting of Allende's opposition during his presidency. Even more sinisterly, what followed was a CIA-supported military coup that brought about the end of an elected government. After that, the Nixon administration sent in Milton Friedman and his Chicago Boys to advise on the Chilean economy.

Which does bring to mind Uncle Miltie - what does he have to say about this sorry episode? Well, Friedman actually does call the coup in Chile an "episode." He goes on to say: "Allende's regime ... was going to bring a communist state in through regular political channels, not by revolution. And here, Pinochet overthrew that."

So yeah - fuck the people's choice, because we got this swell guy Pinochet (3,000 people died or disappeared under Pinochet's rule, and after he left office he named himself senator for life in order to escape prosecution) and sure he's not the people's choice, but hey - at least he's not a socialist commie pinko! Funny how Friedman loves free markets in economics but not free choice in politics. I got yer Nobel Prize right here, Miltie.