Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Other 9-11: Part I

This is part I.
See Part II here

"Henry Kissinger is a smarter man than to publicly as Secretary of State designate call the ambassador to Washington to hatch plans for a coup d'état, two days before the coup d'etat is about to take place. It isn't the way the world works---Ambassador Nathaniel Davis


Could the 9-11 date of the Al Qaeda attack on America have been chosen for its symbolic significance to the American left? Sometimes I wonder.

The coup in Chile that deposed Salvador Allende also occurred on September 11, 1973.

This event is seen by the left as a terrible watershed. The role of the U.S. Government in this coup has been the subject of much debate, and some on the left have seen 9-11-01 as a kind of "payback" for alleged covert American involvement in the Chilean coup.

Here are three perspectives from the left on 9-11 which clearly draw analogies between 9-11-73 and 9-11-01.

My own view is that these writers are collaborationist scholars who have spread mendacious falsehoods about the "crimes" of our government, who have exploited guilt to disarm our people, and who have furnished our enemies with a ready-made laundry list of supposed American "crimes."

Paul Street writes:

"The events of September 11th were horrific, tragic, and criminal on a monumental scale. Planes flew low over an American nation's leading city. Buildings erupted in flames. There was an official death toll of more than 3,000. Thousands of innocent people were ruthlessly slaughtered. Their loved ones were placed in horrible suspense, waiting to learn the fate of missing husbands, wives, sisters, cousins, and children. An American country was left in shock, with an uncertain future, as the perpetrators evaded capture and punishment. September 11th was a dark, bloody day of historic proportions. It was a prelude to regression, repression and heightened bloodshed.Yes, the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Chile's president Salvadore Allende on September 11th, 1973 was a terrible watershed. The low-flying planes belonged to the Chilean Air Force. They came on the orders of Chilean General Augusto Pinochet to bomb La Moneda Presidential Palace, where Allende, a self-declared Marxist, killed himself before he could be assassinated. Hundreds of real and suspected Allende supporters were gunned down in Santiago's soccer stadium, fashioned into a torture center and concentration camp. Across the nation, in the streets and military detention centers, Pinochet's forces murdered 20,000 and tortured 60,000 in the first few months after 9/11/1973."

Another writer, Saul Landau, observes:

"What did Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger’s 1970-73 conspiracy to overthrow the government of Chile have in common with the 2001 Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda plot to destroy the World Trade Center and Pentagon? Answer: Both of these criminal intrigues reached their climax on 9/11.

Almost all Americans know that 9/11 now refers to the horrendous events two years ago when almost 3,000 people died in terrorist attacks. Few Americans, however, recall that 9/11 also refers to the day in 1973 on which the Chilean armed forces, with US encouragement and help, launched air and ground strikes against the presidential palace, the office of Dr. Salvador Allende, the elected president. Allende died that morning. A reign of terror followed the coup in which tens of thousands of Chileans underwent torture, hundreds of thousands were forced or fled into exile and the democratic institutions of the country were systematically destroyed. The coup leader, General Augusto Pinochet, remained military dictator of Chile for seventeen years four years longer than Hitler."The terrorists hate our freedoms", the Chilean workers, peasants and students could have echoed George W. Bush’s post 9/11/01 comments. They would be explaining, however, what lay behind the US and Chilean military plotters who helped make the coup possible, just as George W. Bush simplistically explained the 2001 attack from the mostly Saudi Arabian terrorists

In his September 27, 2001 article called "Blowback," Chalmers Johnson claims:

"For Americans who can bear to think about it, those tragic pictures from New York of women holding up photos of their husbands, sons and daughters and asking if anyone knows anything about them look familiar. They are similar to scenes we have seen from Buenos Aires and Santiago. There, too, starting in the 1970s, women held up photos of their loved ones, asking for information. Since it was far too dangerous then to say aloud what they thought had happened to them--that they had been tortured and murdered by US-backed military juntas--the women coined a new word for them, los desaparecidos--"the disappeareds." Our government has never been honest about its own role in the 1973 overthrow of the elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile or its backing, through "Operation Condor," of what the State Department has recently called "extrajudicial killings" in Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America. But we now have several thousand of our own disappeareds, and we are badly mistaken if we think that we in the United States are entirely blameless for what happened to them."

But what if these three accounts are nothing but propagandistic lies that use guilt to disarm our people when we are being attacked and give America's enemies a rationalization for their selection of a "symbolic" date---or worse---perhaps even one more Hitleresque rationalization for their agression disguised as "self-defense"?

According to the CIA:

"Although CIA did not instigate the coup that ended Allende’s government on 11 September 1973, it was aware of coup-plotting by the military, had ongoing intelligence collection relationships with some plotters, and—because CIA did not discourage the takeover and had sought to instigate a coup in 1970—probably appeared to condone it. There was no way that anyone, including CIA, could have known that Allende would refuse the putchists’ offer of safe passage out of the country and that instead—with La Moneda Palace under bombardment from tanks and airplanes and in flames—would take his own life." [CIA Activities in Chile 9/18/2000]

Here is a link to a CIA report on the 1973 coup in Chile.

The American ambassador to Chile, Nathaniel Davis, has also written a book on this period called The last Two Years of Salvador Allende. He wrote that many of the left were reluctant to accept that the Chilean coup had indigenous roots.

Ambassador Davis discusses the coup in this interview .

Here is what Davis says about the American government's knowledge of the coup:

"I was recalled to Washington on probably about the 7th of September I think I flew up on Friday and the, this Henry Kissinger had been named Secretary of State he had not yet taken office and he was putting together a team of collaborators, and he was interviewing possible people that he would take onto his team and that included me and he did name me as Director General of the United States Foreign Service. And that was his reason for calling me to Washington. So that, the other thing I would have to say in that regard is that Henry Kissinger is a smarter man than to publicly as Secretary of State designate call the ambassador to Washington to hatch plans for a coup d'état, two days before the coup d'etat is about to take place. It isn't the way the world works.....

...[W]e did have intelligence about the plans of the coup plotters, that we, had indications after I, I guess I flew back to Santiago, it was either Sunday night or Monday morning, I forget which, but the certainly the situation was getting more and more ominous and then we did have the possibility of learning something about it. Not because we were in touch with the plotters we were not, and General Pinochet, a Chilean officers are proud men and he said afterwards to Sy Salzburg of the New York Times that "I wasn't going to consult any ambassador, least of all the United States, because this is our business, it's not theirs". But we did learn something about it and made the arrangement that our two actually recently assigned officers of the of the anti-drug international, anti-drug effort who lived quite close to me that they could simply swing by and pick me up. And they did, and so in the morning we drove down and got about oh 5 blocks from our embassy offices, they there was already firing in the streets and tear gas and so on and so forth because of course the embassy is right across the square from the Mondeo palace, which is where the, the presidential office is. So we walked on foot to the embassy and got in and got up to the embassy offices which were on a rather high story in the office building, several high stories and then put mattresses against our windows. because there was a, our windows were being shot out, the glass was being shot out, and watched developments...."

Front Page Magazine has an article about the Chile coup. The author Mark Falcoff, observes:

"...Richard Nixon was hardly pleased by the prospect of an Allende presidency, and was taking steps to prevent it. This much has been a matter of public record for nearly 30 years. The primary sources are two reports by a committee led by the late Democratic Senator Frank Church of Idaho, one entitled Alleged Assassination Plots of Foreign Leaders and the other Covert Action in Chile, 1963-1973 (both published in 1975). The findings of the Church committee exonerate the administration of unlawful activity--a noteworthy fact in light of the circumstances that both the chairman and the majority of the members (and, even more, their staffs) were unremittingly hostile to the Nixon White House and anxious, if possible, to find embarrassing linkages between it and events in Chile."

This was Part I.
Here is the link to Part II.


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