Monday 11 September 2023

The Other 9/11: It's Fifty Years Since The Coup That Toppled Salvador Allende on 11th September 1973.


Fifty years ago today, the democratic-socialist Popular Unity Government of President Salvador Allende was toppled in a military coup d'état led by General Augusto Pinochet, with the backing of the United States.

This fragment of a song is by the Chilean singer-songwriter Víctor Jara, who was shot to death by Pinochet's soldiers in the Estadio Chile, Santiago's soccer stadium, where 5,000 Chilean leftists were detained without charge and many murdered in the days immediately following the coup, it is recited by the late Pete Seeger.

May Jara's words recall to us the terrible events of this, the first 9/11 terror attack.

Music courtesy of You Tube

This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road.


Guerilla Surgeon said...

An interesting summary of what happened from someone who was around at the time. The fact that Kissinger is still alive and accepted in polite society shows us there cannot be a god. 😇 The same could be said for Madeline Albright.

Trev1 said...

I don't think you can compare a military coup, however bloody, with the savage acts of terror that occurred on 9/11/2001. Civilian airliners full of innocent people were deliberately crashed into office buildings where thousands worked and where many had no hope of escape from the fires and devastation . 9/11 changed the world far more profoundly and for the worse than the overthrow of Allende. Two wars resulted, and our freedoms were restricted. The parallel you try to paint is facile, and insults those who died and those who were left to grieve. I was working in New York at the time and I remember in particular the sad testament of the commuter train car-parks full of vehicles whose owners would never return.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Jesus Trev. That pretty much takes the cake for trivialising. If we just talking straight numbers, Pinochet killed far more than were killed in New York, but worse, tortured and sexually abused many more. The only reason "your" freedoms were not restricted because of this, is that it was "your" people doing the torturing and killing, and it was encouraged and supported by the US.

Tiger Mountain said...

A slightly different take on Salvador Allende from Jacobin magazine.

I recall this event like yesterday, being in last year at high school, “Little Red School Book” days for some of us! As Chilean exiles made their way to New Zealand I met a number of them through political networks and worked with them in various ways. Chilean exiles were prominent whenever torture ship Esmeralda visited NZ ports and they participated in unions and local political campaigns. Every leftist to this day has their own take on what should or could have happened differently with the attack on the Presidential Palace and the long build up including working class militias being disarmed.

The fact is Chile is a long narrow country with deep divisions along religious, class and ethnic lines that persist to this day. Pinochet divided the geography into 15 Economic Zones on a Chicago School Friedmanite model–the National Party union busting 1991 Employment Contracts Act was based on Chilean Labour Law! US Imperialism sought to send a message to the rest of Latin America with this outrageous intervention.

greywarbler said...

A song to the disappeared women of Chile after the coup.

Peter Cadle song from the 80's
Unfinished Revolution
From the health centre porch she looks to the North
Where Nicaragua’s enemies hide
Polio crippled and maimed before things were changed
Slowly they’re turning the tide
In the twilight she stands, with a rifle in hand
And a memory of what used to be
Now she’s part of the unfinished revolution

Feudal landlords they’ve known seen overthrown
Afghanistan comes into view
Learning to read and to write is part of the fight
But for her it’s something that’s new
Down all of the years ashamed of her tears
Imprisoned behind a black veil
Now she’s part of the unfinished revolution

Soldiers kicked down the door, called her a whore
While he lingered in Castlereagh
Internment tore them apart, brought her to the heart
of resistance in Belfast today
Her struggle is long, it’s hard to be strong
She’s determined deep down inside
To be part of the unfinished revolution.

She holds the key to the unfinished revolution.

new view said...

The scars from that military Coup still raw today 50 years later. Still a divided nation in some respects. The US medaling that has had such a destabilising affect when it supported Pinochet should not be forgotten and from what I know there has never been any apology forthcoming.

greywarbler said...

Trev1 I don't like that type of comparison - a sort of criteria for deciding which tragedy was the worst - competitive tragedies! Is this how we sort out our compassion portions from our own little store that we sustain?

greywarbler said...

The song link is hard to sort.
Try this chilling Chilean call from Holly Near - Hay Una Mujer Desaparecida.

More info:

greywarbler said...

Tiger Mountain
I had to spend some time in my child's secondary school library and found a book about a USA chap that became friendly with the Chilean 'dissidents' and in the end was too close to be warned of planned future USA intervention and was rounded up with others and taken to the sports ground with them. They were later killed.

We can't take in such flagrant dissonance from the everyday fare we receive.
2018...A judge in Chile has found eight retired soldiers guilty of the 1973 murder of popular folk singer Victor Jara.
A ninth suspect was sentenced for his role as an accessory to Jara's murder.

Victor Jara was arrested the day after the military coup led by Gen Augusto Pinochet and taken to a sports stadium in Santiago, where he was tortured in front of other prisoners.
His body was found days later, riddled with bullets.

Soldiers had crushed his fingers, telling him he would never be able to play his guitar again. The 40-year-old singer became famous in the 1960s and 70s for his protest and pacifist songs such as The Right to Live in Peace.
Victor Jara thoughts:

Why do we have to let this cruel streak out - if wanted dead, do it - kill, shoot and get it done?

I remember Mikis Theodorakis exiting Greece while their coup was on and he went to England to safety. The junta would have killed him as he was popular under the old Greece.
This is the only comprehensive musical biography in English of Mikis Theodorakis (1925-2021), the revolutionary Greek composer. The first edition (1980) was written with the assistance and support of Theodorakis himself; this new edition was commissioned after Theodorakis’ death and extends the assessment of his work to the operas, symphonies and other works composed since 1980. As a political figure in modern Greece, Theodorakis embodied the spirit of resistance to the abuse of authority, from the Nazi occupation of his country and the ensuing civil war to the military dictatorship of 1967-74 and beyond. Based on the author’s personal friendship and collaboration with Theodorakis, this musical biography is both a passionate and an authoritative account of the life-work of a man who became a popular hero in an age of anxiety.

John Hurley said...

Bob Jones took nation out of National.
Labour took nation out of Labour.
As a result we have a T-Rex economy.
The Woke models has these features:
1. Sacrilises minorities
2. provides a motive for business to import high value migrants to boost house prices and low wage labour.
3. provides a binary to the Woke whereby the majority ethnic groups working classes are no longer the less well off but privileged under achievers. My lower self - Deplorables.
As a result we have (credit Greg Clydesdale) an economy for property investors and developers" or a T-Rex economy

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I see someone is trying to define woke again. I somehow think that business people importing cheap labour ... can't be woke. But then as I have said woke = anything anyone does that I don't like. And if you can do that so can I. 😇

Look at this woke nonsense.

And my God, you couldn't get much more woke than this.

And this is piling woke up on woke – but luckily he's going broke. 😁

greywarbler said...

Gosh John Hurley you present some matters very clearly. While you seem in the past to have been unnecessarily negative and narrow I can't dismiss what you say here. Things to think on, and an interesting catchphrase conjured up to illustrate the state we're in.

John Hurley said...

I listened to the leaders election debate in Queenstown.
National will pay 25,000 subsidy to the council for each new consent to alleviate the accommodation crisis and of course we all have to chip in for infrastructure.
Because (you know) productivity:

For the year ended March 2022
Tourism generated a direct contribution to GDP of $10.0 billion ($16.4 billion year ended March 2020), or 3.0 percent of GDP (5.5 percent year ended March 2020), an increase of 1.3 percent ($132 million).
145,032 people were directly employed in tourism (225,384 people year ended March 2020). 5.2 percent of the total number of people employed in New Zealand
10 billion divided by 145,032 = 68950.3 Earnings per worker.
In 2011 Tourism earned 80,000/worker. Well below the average needed to maintain our (then) standard of living.
Michael Reddell says:
Current GDP per capita is about $80000, so GDP per employee across the whole economy will be well over $100k

John Hurley said...

Bob Jones never lets computer businesses or call centers in his buildings. They have scruffs and people don't want to be in the lift with them.
[and I bet their poo-poos don't smell.]
5:00 Trashes Christchurch
9:00 Climate change is real
Think also they took the ethnicity out of Christchurch. Such a hellish place. A hive of white supremacy; rescued as a "city of love and cultural change" - Joanna Norris (Fmr Press Editor).
Whereas ["colonial narrative] "city of grace, charm and scholarship" Kenneth Cumberland - NZ's most watched documentary [quote from his book]. Popper wrote The Open Society and It's Enemies while there and he is now misrepresented by Paul Spoonley. ANG[?] Sullivan reported Popper to the police as a potential Axis spy and Popper (Jewish) went along to the police station with books on the Nazis. Sullivan is now a hero of the biculturalists. I don't think Poper saw over the horizon to globalism and it's discontents.

Tom Hunter said...

I think this pean might have been more effective if you hadn't picked the hideous old Stalinist Pete Seeger to do the singing.

Rather takes away the sense of dignity the song is supposed to have. After all crushed fingers and other tortures, followed by being riddled with bullets was very much a Gulag thing and Seeger excused or ignored all that for decades. Had Pinochet done it he would have applauded the justice of that revolution too.