09 September 2011

The Forgotten 9/11: An Act of US Terrorism

Salvador Allende (1908-1973)
As America focuses on the memories of those lost in the destruction of the World Trade Center, another act of terrorism that shares the same anniversary as that fateful day in New York has been forgotten.  The frequently forgotten attack was funded by and planned by the United States in the South American country of Chile.  Backed by the CIA, Augusto Pinochet rose to power and unleashed a 17 year long brutal dictatorship that claimed, according to the Chilean Commission for Truth and Reconciliation, at least 3,197 victims.

On September 11, 1973, while in the midst of a US led military coup the "world's first democratically elected Marxist leader" addressed his nation for the last time. 

"Workers of my country, I have faith in Chile and its destiny. Other men will overcome this dark and bitter moment when treason seeks to prevail. Go forward knowing that, sooner rather than later, the great avenues will open again where free men will walk to build a better society.

Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!"

When Allende was elected to office, he raised wages, lowered prices, implemented free education and healthcare and promised that "along with me, the people are entering La Moneda."  But it was his economic decisions that offended the US and the Chilean right wing and led to his eventual downfall.  Allende nationalized the banks and centralized the oil and mining industries including the monstrous US owned copper mines.  By taking over the copper mines, Allende assured no sympathy nor support from Washington, and prompted Nixon's brash reprisal, "It's that son of a bitch Allende. We're going to smash him."

I invite you to watch the BBC documentary here

Earlier this year, Allende's body was exhumed as part of an investigation to finally determine his cause of death.  It had been assumed for the past thirty-eight years that he had committed suicide but there were some who believed he had been assassinated. 

Two months after the exhumation, researchers confirmed what most had already come to accept, Salvador Allende had committed suicide.

On September 8, Salvador Allende was reburied in Santiago without fanfare, without public ceremony.

On September 11, the US and Chile are inextricably linked by the covert threads of political terrorism, one act committed by the US the other against.  When we mourn the one, we cannot ignore the other.  For Americans, most will remember the attacks of September 11 in New York yet we must not forget the US-led coup in Chile.  For it is through this cognizance that we must hold our government accountable for its own acts of terrorism.  Be not fooled by the apparition of democracy, the US government can, has, does, and will perpetrate war crimes and acts of terrorism far greater than the actions against it.

Find out more:
  • Read the released censored US government documents here.
  • And a simple search on the Internet will reveal hundreds of sites: The Other 9/11

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