It has been one year today since the Saudi Arabianterrorists attacked New York City and Washington, D.C.
The last week or so the television has been buzzingwith commemorative programming, and the U.S. propagandamachine has been working overtime building up theimportance of the event and turning it into some sortof national holy day. September 11 will be foreveretched in our minds, they say, along with the Alamo,the Maine and Pearl Harbor.
Perhaps they just find it a convenient distraction to keep our minds off ofmore serious matters.
September 11 is a day to remember but not just for the attacks of 2001. September 11, 1973, is also worth recalling, probably more so than last year’sincident. It was on that day that Chileanfascists with the help of the U.S. government overthrewtheir democratically elected government in a violentcoup, butchering thousands and setting into motion areign of terror and torture that lasted for years.
Instead of some Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein orother radical type terrorizing innocent civilians, itwas the Nixon administration — a culmination of fifteen years of nasty, dirty tricks in theSouth American republic.
It started in 1958 when it appeared that Salvador Allende, a social democrat, had achance at forming government. Over the years money was poured into the country for propaganda, fear mongering and support of politicians and others willing to toe the line of U.S. business interests in the country.
Despite this effort, Allende’s support grew, and, in1970, he won the election. This brought about attacksby the U.S. on the Chilean economy to cause unrest anddestabilize the government. The plan was to upsetthe voters and capture a significant anti-Allendemajority in the 1973 congressional elections.Instead, his government gained in popularity. It wasthis growing popularity that triggered the coup.
Why was it that the U.S. wanted to subvert democracyand eliminate Salvador Allende? He raised wages, heincreased the income tax deduction, he eliminated capital taxes for small businesses and increased public works projects to reduce unemployment. Heraised the income for pensioners and extended labour insurance to small businesses, provided free milk to children and increased industrial productivity.
Of course, he also nationalized the mining companies, banks and strategic industries, and instituted agrarian reform, putting more people on the land.
His crime was twofold: getting in the way of wealthylandowners and multinational corporations, andproving that socially responsible economic planningcould work. These crimes made him a target for the U.S.terrorists.
In the years that followed Allende’s overthrow, the U.S.regime tortured and killed many. Special units ofthe military travelled the country rounding up,brutalizing and executing suspected dissidents, bothChileans and foreigners. Like in Argentina, and otherLatin American nations, many people were “disappeared,”leaving some families still unsure what became of their loved ones. All done withthe knowledge — and, often, the assistance — of the U.S.government.
September 11 should be a holiday, but not just toremember the three thousand who died last year. It should be a day toremember all terrorism and those who are responsiblefor it. A day to remember the innocentpeople of Chile who lost their lives at the hands ofU.S. supported terrorism and thousands of othersthroughout the world who have similarly suffered.
As we remember the heroes of last September, let’s also remember the brave people who stood up to repression and struggled daily, for years, in the face of terror.