13 December 2006
Pinochet again

One of the good things about someone dying is that you get to hear all sides of the debate.  I can’t say this has changed my view of the guy but it has clarified it:

  • He was right to launch the coup
  • He was right to champion free market policies
  • He was wrong to torture and kill unarmed opponents

The trick is to avoid falling into the trap of backing everything he did just because you agree with some of what he did.

Having said that - and this is mostly an intellectual exercise - is it possible to justify the torture and murder? Well, put as starkly as that, obviously not.  But is it possible that this was a package deal: that Pinochet could not have launched the coup in the first place had he not had the support of some pretty unsavoury characters ie, people who got a kick out of torture and murder?

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