Monday, December 11, 2006

Pinochet and Kirkpatrick

There's something appropriate about Pinochet dying a few days after Jean Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick was largely responsible for the foreign policy view of the 1970s and 1980s that proposed that we should treat right-wing authoritarian regimes differently and more kindly than left-wing totalitarian regimes. Reagan adopted her view and appointed her ambassador to the UN. Our murderous latin American meddlings of those two decades stemmed from the belief that right-wing dictators were always better than Marxist governments, and that Marxism should be stamped out at any cost. Thus, Pinochet remained a close friend of Reagan and Thatcher even as his opponents were massacred by the thousands. Kissinger, of course, gets at least as much blame as Kirkpatrick, and probably much more. Hopefully he's having a good long think about his life right now.

I caught a bit of CNN International's coverage of Pinochet's death yesterday, and their idea of guest commentary was to bring on someone from the American Enterprise Institution to slag off Salvador Allende a bit. Classy.

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