11 thoughts for September 11

  • President AllendeForty years ago on September 11, 1973, the Chilean military led by General Augusto Pinochet, crushed the democratically elected Unidad Popular government of Salvador Allende.
  • Thousands of people were tortured and killed, others ‘disappeared’ at the hands of the authorities, the secret police and more were illegally detained. Men, women and children were rounded up by the military and taken from their homes. Most were never seen alive by their families again. 1 million people were forced into exile. – Chile 40 Years On network

    In the UK, widespread public support against the coup was not welcomed by the Conservative government in 1973:

    The shipbuilders’ union urged the government not to sell warships to Pinochet, even though losing these contracts could threaten their own jobs. The government’s response? To send spies to shipyards across Britain to check workers were not sabotaging vessels destined for Chile.

    When Labour came to power in 1974, it cut off arms sales, aid and credit to Pinochet and, in 1977, withdrew the British ambassador. But existing arms contracts were to be honoured, so trade unionists took matters into their own hands. Employees at East Kilbride engineering yard in Scotland refused to fix bomber-plane engines destined for Chile, forcing Rolls Royce to break its contract with the Chilean air force. This forgotten history of solidarity will be celebrated across Britain today, the 40th anniversary of the coup.

    Unsurprisingly, when Pinochet’s most prominent defender, Margaret Thatcher came to office in 1979, diplomatic relations were soon restored and arms sales resumed. Declassified papers reveal that, by June 1982, her government had sold the dictatorship: two warships, 60 blowpipe missiles, 10 Hunter Hawker bomber planes, naval pyrotechnics, communications equipment, gun sights, machine guns and ammunition. A unique attempt at a British “ethical foreign policy” had ended.

  • On 11th January, 2002, the first 20 illegally-detained prisoners were delivered to cages at Guantanamo Bay: over 11 years later, the US is still holding 164 prisoners in extrajudicial detainment illegal under international law.
  • Since 12th July 2005, it has been publicly known that the US government authorised US soldiers to torture Guantanamo Bay prisoners: US soldiers also tortured prisoners in Iraq and in Afghanistan and the US military is also linked to the use of torture in Iraqi-run prisons.

  • Chile - military coup, 11 September 2011

  • On 6th August 2011, Charles Graner was freed on parole: he was sentenced to ten years from 2004 for torturing prisoners in Abu Ghraib. On 21st August 2013, Chelsea Manning, whose leak of classified documents to Wikileaks ensured the public discovery of many more atrocities committed by the US military, was sentenced to 35 years.
  • The number of people killed in the US because of the 9/11 attacks is meticulously reckoned at 3087.
  • At least 3400 civilians were killed in Afghanistan in the first six months of the US attack in 2001/2002.
  • At least 1.4 million Iraqis were killed in the ten years since the US invaded Iraq.
  • Iraq Deaths Estimator

  • Americans write fanfic about the tragedy of the September 11 attacks, about the Americans who died.
  • On 11th September 2005,Israel began to create the largest concentration camp in history out of the Gaza Strip.
  • A concrete poem: 110 Stories, by John M. Ford
  • In Afghanistan, on Tuesday 10th September 2013, two roadside bombs killed 11 people: seventeen were wounded.

Yesterday, the world’s largest arms fair opened in London.

2 Comments

Filed under American, Justice, War

2 responses to “11 thoughts for September 11

  1. Ed Neil

    I discovered your site accidentally and after this post you’ll be pleased to hear I won’t be coming back. A curious fact the liberal left are fond of forgetting re Allende was his plan to arm the trade unions. It was this act which triggered Pinochet as head of the Army to act. What would happen in this country if, say, Mr Blair, had decided to arm his supporters? The head of state would probably sanction the Army to intervene. The real reason people like you loathe Pinochet so much is that he was a right wing dictator who improved the economic prospects of his people and then stood down voluntarily to allow free and fair elections. Yes he killed people, yes the sun didn’t shine from his arse, but I’d much rather be in his dictatorship than Mr Castro’s. Fact two, the UN investigation into deaths and disappeared under Pinochet stands at 3-4000, granted 3-4000 too many, Castro’s is nearly 15000. Isn’t the selective memory of the average leftie interesting? Breathtaking sanctimony. After skirting through the rest of your tiresome little spreadsheet of death by the US et al some of your other figures leapt out. 1.4 million dead iraqis? Presumably you’re including deaths due to old age and other causes? One of the most preposterously inflated figures I’ve seen. Even the Lancet would blanche! The Iraq Body Count website, that bastion of right wing, pro-american hectoring puts it at 114-125 000. But presumably 120 000 of those were gunned down by trigger happy GIs after being viciously tortured in Abu Ghraib? You are my friend quite simply a buffoon.

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