Monday, December 11, 2006
Pinochet: good riddance
I'm not normally one to rejoice at any deaths. But Augusto Pinochet's death is an exception.
Listening to Norman Lamont on the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning made me seethe a bit. He repeated the old right-wing canard that Pinochet saved Chile - and thus the world - from Communism, and therefore wasn't so bad. (An argument as disingenuous as the one that Stalinism saved Eastern Europe from ethnic infra-nationalist strife, or Saddam saved Iraq from theocratic communalism, and therefore we should have tolerated those regimes.)
Lamont also said that if we start going and arresting heads of state, then no head of state could travel anywhere - mentioning Ariel Sharon as his example. The Sharon mention is also disingenuous, as Sharon is a war criminal, who should be tried at Hague, whereas Pinochet's extradition request was from Spain, for crimes against Spanish citizens. I say, if heads of state commit crimes, bring them to justice, don't give them impunity.
More from Marc Cooper, Cunt of the Week*, and Marcus and Wardy at HP.
(*On the politics of the C-word, see Shiraz Socialist and the comments there.)
Added links: Marc Parent on the death of Jeane Kirkpatrick, Poliblogger on Pinochet and Castro
Another added link: Getting away with murder, by Max Calo
Yet another added link: David Frum "No Tears"
A little more: Oliver Kamm (via Courtney) and The Hitch