A blog by Patrick Crozier

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August 01, 2003

Augusto Pinochet - People's Hero

Natalie Solent is right about all things but I cannot agree with her when she says things like:

Just to make clear, and getting back to the Chile issue, I have no sympathy with that torturer Pinochet. I don't think his support for capitalism had much to do any love of liberty or trust in human beings to be the best judges of their own interests - though I will grant that as I learn more about Allende I have no choice but to regard Pinochet as less culpable than I once did. Less culpable, but still culpable.
Imagine two scenarios. Scenario 1: you play by the book and you end up losing to Allende's thugs. Scenario 2: you torture people and your country avoids disaster. Which do you pick?

Oh, come on. It's an easy one. Stop, the hand-wringing liberal claptrap. If those are the only choices in town you pick Scenario 2 every time. And I mean every time.

Now, of course, that is not to say that there weren't other courses of action available to Pinochet. But there are reasons to be doubtful. Take for instance Northern Ireland. There when British governments have chosen to not play things by the book ie introduce internment, they have by and large been successful. When they have been all nice and lovey dovey they have ended up making no end of concessions to Ireland's Nazis. And take another example: Guantanamo Bay. Certainly way outside the spirit of International Law. For that matter you could just as well add in the decision to invade Iraq. But in both cases the US has decided it doesn't care about the niceities. And it seems to be succeeding.

So, not to put too fine a point on it: Pinochet was right.

Incidentally, does anyone know why the British media insist on pronouncing his name Pino-shay? The Spanish media certainly don't.

Incidentally again, I'm interested that Natalie seems to think that Pinochet's motivation in introducing capitalist reforms matters. I don't. Why should it? Did Britain's pioneers of liberty go around with a copy of "The Road to Serfdom" in their back pockets? I don't think so.


The moral of the story is: bad men can be good allies
PATRICK CROZIER AND Natalie Solent have been debating the merits and vices of Augusto Pinochet. Natalie holds no candle for Allende, but also has "no sympathy with that torturer Pinochet", while Patrick sees the choice between "Scenario 1: you...
Conservative Commentary on August 6, 2003


Incidentally, does anyone know why the British media insist on pronouncing his name Pino-shay?

My conjecture is that since French is the most commonly taught foreign language in British schools (am I right here?), when most Brits encounter a foreign looking word, they tend to apply French pronunciation rules to it.

Posted by Andy Wood on August 1, 2003

Of course the remarks about Pinochet are right - in this hard world full of unpleasant people who are determined to kill someone - doesn't seem to matter whom to them - you don't get anywhere with the lovey-dovey approach, except to martyrdom. All right if it's you that gets martyred, if that's what you fancy, but is it fair to expect the wretched soldiers and police and innocent bystanders to be equally enthusiastic? Surely it's better on the whole to kill your enemies rather than your friends?

Posted by baklanova on August 3, 2003

My post "The Allende Myth" that (indirectly) started the Pinochet discussions was incorrectly linked on Conservative Commentary. This is the correct one:

The Allende Myth

Posted by Val on August 10, 2003