Monday, December 11, 2006

More Kirkpatrick and Pinochet

Browsing through The Corner, I see that I'm not the only one linking Pinochet's death with Kirkpatrick's. It's just that others seem to be proud to link the two. To give Jonah credit, he's trying to make a point about hypocrisy on both ends of the political spectrum, but inadvertently destroys his argument at the end of the post. He begins by saying that both conservatives and liberals can be hypocritical by condemning murderous, despicable regimes when it suits them and remaining quiet when it doesn't. He exemplifies this by comparing treatment of Castro and Pinochet among the American left and right. While conservatives stay quiet about the terrible legacies of the Pinochet regime, they loudly condemn Castro for the same type of human rights abuses - yet if they are really human rights, why not condemn Pinochet's violence against his people? On the other hand, he argues, the American left remains silent about Castro's iron rule while condemning Pinochet as a war criminal. While I think it's admirable that Jonah's trying to make an argument about hypocrisy among both groups, I think there's a problem: namely, that there are very few leftists who support Castro or think that he has been good for Cuba. It very well may be true that some of them keep comparatively quiet about it, though. On the other hand, conservatives aren't quiet about Pinochet and his rule - they still are largely fond of him and think he was a force of good for Chile. There's not the balance here that he thinks there is.

And the laughably pathetic part of the post is his little sidenote at the end, that when it comes to Castro vs. Pinochet, Pinochet "wins in a cake walk." Hypocrisy, indeed.

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