No Mourning or memorial service for 9/11 in Chile

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    No Mourning or Memorial Services for Chile 's 9/11
    9/11/06
    By Lisa Bondo

    As we remember September 11 and are bombarded with images of heroism and American values, let us also remember the forgotten victims of terror caused by U.S. Foreign Policy. We must also remember and realize that there has been other 9/11s, caused directly and indirectly by the United States.

    September 11 is also anniversary for Chile . On September 11, 1973, Chile witnessed its own terrorist attack that killed for more people than the barbaric actions of September 11, 2001. The perpetuators of that terrorist attack were not Marxist terrorists or radicalized insurgents. It was the United States in a bloody coup that brought Latin America 's most notorious dictator Augusto Pinochet to power. The U.S. backed coup not only helped to bring about Pinochet's rise, it also resulted in the deaths of 30,000 Chileans, majority of who were civilians. The U.S. ' justification for what International Law and Amnesty International classifies as outright terrorism was to "liberate" Chile from a tyrannical and brutal dictator. Pinochet fit the description all too well, surpassing Allende in brutality and military control. Salvador Allende, who was democratically elected and self declared Marxist leader of Chile, was seen as a threat by the U.S. in its quest to democratize the whole of Latin America . Then as now, the U.S. tried to rid the region of Marxist ideals and socialism. Ideals which served as an alternative to many Latin Americans who had looked at capitalism as exploitive and unfair, a consequence of European colonialism and U.S. interventionalism in the region since the 19th Century. Capitalism, so greatly cherished that isn't seen as consequential or increasingly suffocating outside the borders of the U.S.

    Allende was either killed or committed suicide dying alongside thousands of his countrymen. Once in power, Pinochet along with his U.S. backed junta killed 3,000 Chileans. Thousands of people soon disappeared afterwards. Similar to what is happening in Russia 's breakaway republic of Chechnya . Many families of the disappeared have yet to find their relatives and loved ones. Numerous people both dissidents and non political civilians alike were sent to brutal prisons that were ten times cruel in practicing punishment and methods of torture than Guantanamo Bay. Thirty years later, Chile is still reeling from Allende's overthrow and Pinochet's takeover. Pinochet's brutality was ignored by the U.S. for the most part. Today, after living a rather comfortable life, Pinochet has finally been convicted of the use of torture, committing atrocious human rights abuses and responsible for numerous civilian deaths..

    However, this September 11 is never mentioned nor talked about in U.S. history and politics nor mentioned in the mainstream media. It is seen by leaders as a dark episode in American, indeed world history needing to be left in the dark and quickly forgotten. "After all," the administration echoing President Bush will say, "we do not murder or indiscriminately bombing civilians. We do not overthrow governments that are our allies. We are not terrorists. They are." Neither an apology, nor was a memorial dedicated to the thousands of dead from September 11, 1973. None of the families were ever comforted or given support from the U.S. or any other Western nation. This event is not recognized nor remembered by many Americans. Many children never learned about it in school. We mourn and remember September 11, 2001, pray for the victims of a brutal terrorist attack and offer the families of the victims comfort and support. But we ignore 9/11/1973.

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