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anton on Twitter: "Things that happen in Silicon Valley and also the Soviet Union: - waiting years to receive a car you ordered, to find that it's of poor workmanship and quality - promises of colonizing the solar system while you toil in drudgery day in,
"Things that happen in Silicon Valley and also the Soviet Union:

- waiting years to receive a car you ordered, to find that it's of poor workmanship and quality

- promises of colonizing the solar system while you toil in drudgery day in, day out

- living five adults to a two room apartment

- being told you are constructing utopia while the system crumbles around you

- 'totally not illegal taxi' taxis by private citizens moonlighting to make ends meet

- everything slaved to the needs of the military-industrial complex

- mandatory workplace political education

- productivity largely falsified to satisfy appearance of sponsoring elites

- deviation from mainstream narrative carries heavy social and political consequences

- networked computers exist but they're really bad

- Henry Kissinger visits sometimes for some reason

- elite power struggles result in massive collateral damage, sometimes purges

- failures are bizarrely upheld as triumphs

- otherwise extremely intelligent people just turning the crank because it's the only way to get ahead

- the plight of the working class is discussed mainly by people who do no work

- the United States as a whole is depicted as evil by default

- the currency most people are talking about is fake and worthless

- the economy is centrally planned, using opaque algorithms not fully understood by their users"
siliconvalley  sovietunion  tesla  uber  lyft  us  2018  antontroynikov  russia  space  utopia  society  propaganda  labor  work  housing  politics  social  elitism  collateraldamage  militaryindustrialcomplex  evil  currency  fake  economics  economy  planning  algorithms  mainstream  computing  henrykissinger 
6 weeks ago by robertogreco
Greg Grandin reviews ‘Allende’s Chile and the Inter-American Cold War’ by Tanya Harmer · LRB 19 July 2012
"Harmer dispatches two myths favoured by those who blame the coup on Allende himself. The first is that his commitment to democracy was opportunistic and would soon have been abandoned. ‘One might even,’ Falcoff writes, ‘credit the Nixon administration with preventing the consolidation of Allende’s “totalitarian project”’. The second is that even if Allende wasn’t a fraud he was a fool, unleashing forces he could not control – for example, the left wing of Popular Unity, and the Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria, which was further to the left of Allende’s coalition and drew inspiration from the Cuban Revolution, Cuba conceived here as a proxy for Moscow.

Harmer shows that Allende was a pacifist, a democrat and a socialist by conviction not convenience. He had an ‘unbending commitment to constitutional government’ and refused in the face of an ‘externally funded’ opposition ‘to take a different non-democratic or violent road’. He invoked history to insist that democracy and socialism were compatible, yet he knew that Chile’s experience was exceptional. During the two decades before his election, military coups had overthrown governments in 12 countries: Cuba in 1952; Guatemala and Paraguay in 1954; Argentina and Peru in 1962; Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and again Guatemala in 1963; Brazil and Bolivia in 1964; and Argentina once more in 1966. Many of these coups were encouraged and sanctioned by Washington and involved subverting exactly the kind of civil-society pluralism – of the press, political parties and unions – that Allende promoted. So he was sympathetic to the Cuban Revolution and respected Castro, especially after he survived the CIA’s Bay of Pigs exploit in 1961. And when Allende won the presidency, he relied on Cuban advisers for personal security and intelligence operations.

But Cuba’s turn to one-party authoritarianism only deepened Allende’s faith in the durability of Chilean democracy. Socialism could be won, he insisted, through procedures and institutions – the ballot, the legislature, the courts and the media – that historically had been dominated by those classes most opposed to it. Castro warned him that the military wouldn’t abide by the constitution. Until at least early 1973 Allende believed otherwise. His revolution would not be confronted with the choice that had been forced on Castro: suspend democracy or perish. But by mid-1973, events were escaping Allende’s command. On 11 September he took his own life, probably with a gun Castro gave him as a gift. The left in the years after the coup developed its own critique of Allende: that, as the crisis hurtled toward its conclusion, he proved indecisive, failing to arm his supporters and train resistance militias, failing to shut down congress and failing to defend the revolution the way Castro defended his. Harmer presents these as conscious decisions, stemming from Allende’s insistence that neither one-party rule nor civil war was an acceptable alternative to defeat.

A photograph of Allende taken during his last hours shows him leaving the presidential palace, pistol in hand and helmet on head, flanked by bodyguards and looking up at the sky, watching for the bombs. The image is powerful yet deceptive, giving the impression that Allende had been at the palace when the coup started, and was beginning to organise resistance to it. But Allende wasn’t trapped in his office. He’d gone there earlier that morning, despite being advised not to, when he heard that his generals had rebelled. The Cubans were ready to arm and train a Chilean resistance and, Harmer writes, ‘to fight and die alongside Allende and Chilean left-wing forces in a prolonged struggle to defend the country’s revolutionary process’. But Allende ordered them not to put their plans into operation, and they listened: ‘The Chilean president,’ Harmer says, ‘was therefore far more in control of Cuba’s involvement in his country than previously thought.’ He also rejected the idea of retreating to the outskirts of Santiago and leading an armed resistance: in Harmer’s assessment, he committed suicide rather than give up his commitment to non-violent revolution.

Many, in Chile and elsewhere, refused to believe that Allende had killed himself. The story had to be that he was executed, like Zapata, Sandino, Guevara and others who died at the hands of traitors. Che fought to the end and had no illusions about the bourgeoisie and its democratic credentials. Allende’s legacy is more ambiguous, especially for today’s revived Latin American left, which despite its remarkable electoral success in recent decades still struggles to tame the market forces set free after the Chilean coup. In 2009 in Honduras, for instance, and last month in Paraguay, democratically elected presidents were unseated by ‘constitutional coups’. In both countries, their opponents dressed up what were classic putsches in the garb of democratic proceduralism, taking advantage of vague impeachment mechanisms to restore the status quo ante.

For Brazil’s Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), founded in 1980 by militant trade unionists including the future president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the coup in Chile reinforced the need to work with centrist parties to restore constitutional rule. Social issues weren’t completely sidelined, but attaining stability took precedence over class struggle; for the first time in Latin American history, a major left-wing party found itself fighting for political democracy as a value in itself, not as part of a broader campaign for social rights. ‘I thought a lot about what happened with Allende in Chile,’ Lula once said, referring to the polarisation that followed the 1970 election, when the Popular Unity coalition won with only a bit more than a third of the vote. That’s why he agreed to set the bar high for a PT win. During the Constituent Assembly debates leading up to the promulgation of Brazil’s 1988 post-dictatorship constitution, Lula insisted that if no one candidate received a majority in the first round of a presidential election, a run-off had to be held between the top two contenders, which would both give the winner more legitimacy and force him or her to reach out beyond the party base. Like Allende, Lula stood for president three times before winning at his fourth attempt. Unlike Allende, though, each time Lula ran and lost and ran again, he gave up a little bit more of the PT’s founding principles, so that the party went from pledging to overturn neoliberalism to promising to administer it more effectively.

In Venezuela, Hugo Chávez drew a different lesson from the defeat of the Popular Unity government. Soon after he was elected president in 1998, before coming out as a confrontationalist, indeed before he even identified himself as a socialist, Chávez began to compare himself to Allende. Wealthy Venezuelans were mobilising against even the mildest economic reforms, as their Chilean predecessors had done, taking to the streets, banging their pots and pans, attacking the government through their family-owned TV stations and newspapers, beating a path to the US embassy to complain, and taking money from Washington to fund their anti-government activities. In response, Chávez began to talk about 1973. ‘Like Allende, we are pacifists,’ he said of his supporters, including those in the military. ‘And like Allende, we are democrats. Unlike Allende, we are armed.’ The situation got worse and worse, culminating in the coup of April 2002 which, though unsuccessful, looked very like the coup against Allende. Chávez found himself trapped in the national palace speaking to Castro on the phone, telling him he was ready to die for the cause. Ever the pragmatist, Castro urged him to live to fight another day: ‘Don’t do what Allende did!’"
greggrandin  salvadorallende  history  marxism  socialism  democracy  2012  tanyaharmer  venezuela  economics  inequality  class  pacifism  cuba  fidelcastro  brazil  brasil  lula  luladasilva  latinamerica  us  richardnixon  intervention  revolution  government  argentina  honduras  guatemala  paraguay  perú  bolivia  hugochávez  pinochet  chile  henrykissinger  tanyharmer  coldwar  markfalcoff  dilmarousseff  authoritarianism  dictatorship 
8 weeks ago by robertogreco
Cory Doctorow: Things that happen in Silicon Valley and also the...
"Anton Troynikov: [https://twitter.com/atroyn/status/1014974099930714115 ]

• Waiting years to receive a car you ordered, to find that it’s of poor workmanship and quality.
• Promises of colonizing the solar system while you toil in drudgery day in, day out.
• Living five adults to a two room apartment.
• Being told you are constructing utopia while the system crumbles around you.
• ‘Totally not illegal taxi’ taxis by private citizens moonlighting to make ends meet.
• Everything slaved to the needs of the military-industrial complex.
• Mandatory workplace political education.
• Productivity largely falsified to satisfy appearance of sponsoring elites.
• Deviation from mainstream narrative carries heavy social and political consequences.
• Networked computers exist but they’re really bad.
• Henry Kissinger visits sometimes for some reason.
• Elite power struggles result in massive collateral damage, sometimes purges.
• Failures are bizarrely upheld as triumphs.
• Otherwise extremely intelligent people just turning the crank because it’s the only way to get ahead.
• The plight of the working class is discussed mainly by people who do no work.
• The United States as a whole is depicted as evil by default.
• The currency most people are talking about is fake and worthless.
• The economy is centrally planned, using opaque algorithms not fully understood by their users."
ussr  russia  economics  siliconvalley  disruption  politics  indoctrination  centralization  policy  2018  currency  planning  conformity  conformism  drudgery  work  labor  humor  tesla  elonmusk  jeffbezos  wageslavery  failure  henrykissinger  us  government  governance  ideology  experience  class  collateraldamage  elitism  antontroynikov  consequences  space  utopia  workmanship  quality  accountability  productivity  falsification  workplace  colonization 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Jackson Lears · What We Don’t Talk about When We Talk about Russian Hacking: #Russiagate · LRB 4 January 2018
" the blend of neoliberal domestic policy and interventionist foreign policy that constitutes consensus in Washington. Neoliberals celebrate market utility as the sole criterion of worth; interventionists exalt military adventure abroad as a means of fighting evil in order to secure global progress. Both agendas have proved calamitous for most Americans. Many registered their disaffection in 2016. Sanders is a social democrat and Trump a demagogic mountebank, but their campaigns underscored a widespread repudiation of the Washington consensus. For about a week after the election, pundits discussed the possibility of a more capacious Democratic strategy. It appeared that the party might learn something from Clinton’s defeat. Then everything changed.

A story that had circulated during the campaign without much effect resurfaced: it involved the charge that Russian operatives had hacked into the servers of the Democratic National Committee, revealing embarrassing emails that damaged Clinton’s chances. With stunning speed, a new centrist-liberal orthodoxy came into being, enveloping the major media and the bipartisan Washington establishment. This secular religion has attracted hordes of converts in the first year of the Trump presidency. In its capacity to exclude dissent, it is like no other formation of mass opinion in my adult life, though it recalls a few dim childhood memories of anti-communist hysteria during the early 1950s.

The centrepiece of the faith, based on the hacking charge, is the belief that Vladimir Putin orchestrated an attack on American democracy by ordering his minions to interfere in the election on behalf of Trump. The story became gospel with breathtaking suddenness and completeness. Doubters are perceived as heretics and as apologists for Trump and Putin, the evil twins and co-conspirators behind this attack on American democracy. Responsibility for the absence of debate lies in large part with the major media outlets. Their uncritical embrace and endless repetition of the Russian hack story have made it seem a fait accompli in the public mind. It is hard to estimate popular belief in this new orthodoxy, but it does not seem to be merely a creed of Washington insiders. If you question the received narrative in casual conversations, you run the risk of provoking blank stares or overt hostility – even from old friends. This has all been baffling and troubling to me; there have been moments when pop-culture fantasies (body snatchers, Kool-Aid) have come to mind."



"Once again, the established press is legitimating pronouncements made by the Church Fathers of the national security state."



"The most immediate consequence is that, by finding foreign demons who can be blamed for Trump’s ascendancy, the Democratic leadership have shifted the blame for their defeat away from their own policies without questioning any of their core assumptions. Amid the general recoil from Trump, they can even style themselves dissenters – ‘#the resistance’ was the label Clintonites appropriated within a few days of the election. Mainstream Democrats have begun to use the word ‘progressive’ to apply to a platform that amounts to little more than preserving Obamacare, gesturing towards greater income equality and protecting minorities. This agenda is timid. It has nothing to say about challenging the influence of concentrated capital on policy, reducing the inflated defence budget or withdrawing from overextended foreign commitments; yet without those initiatives, even the mildest egalitarian policies face insuperable obstacles. More genuine insurgencies are in the making, which confront corporate power and connect domestic with foreign policy, but they face an uphill battle against the entrenched money and power of the Democratic leadership – the likes of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, the Clintons and the DNC. Russiagate offers Democratic elites a way to promote party unity against Trump-Putin, while the DNC purges Sanders’s supporters.

For the DNC, the great value of the Russian hack story is that it focuses attention away from what was actually in their emails. The documents revealed a deeply corrupt organisation, whose pose of impartiality was a sham. Even the reliably pro-Clinton Washington Post has admitted that ‘many of the most damaging emails suggest the committee was actively trying to undermine Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.’ Further evidence of collusion between the Clinton machine and the DNC surfaced recently in a memoir by Donna Brazile, who became interim chair of the DNC after Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned in the wake of the email revelations."



"The Steele dossier inhabits a shadowy realm where ideology and intelligence, disinformation and revelation overlap. It is the antechamber to the wider system of epistemological nihilism created by various rival factions in the intelligence community: the ‘tree of smoke’ that, for the novelist Denis Johnson, symbolised CIA operations in Vietnam. I inhaled that smoke myself in 1969-70, when I was a cryptographer with a Top Secret clearance on a US navy ship that carried missiles armed with nuclear warheads – the existence of which the navy denied. I was stripped of my clearance and later honourably discharged when I refused to join the Sealed Authenticator System, which would have authorised the launch of those allegedly non-existent nuclear weapons. The tree of smoke has only grown more complex and elusive since then. Yet the Democratic Party has now embarked on a full-scale rehabilitation of the intelligence community – or at least the part of it that supports the notion of Russian hacking. (We can be sure there is disagreement behind the scenes.) And it is not only the Democratic establishment that is embracing the deep state. Some of the party’s base, believing Trump and Putin to be joined at the hip, has taken to ranting about ‘treason’ like a reconstituted John Birch Society."



"The Democratic Party has now developed a new outlook on the world, a more ambitious partnership between liberal humanitarian interventionists and neoconservative militarists than existed under the cautious Obama. This may be the most disastrous consequence for the Democratic Party of the new anti-Russian orthodoxy: the loss of the opportunity to formulate a more humane and coherent foreign policy. The obsession with Putin has erased any possibility of complexity from the Democratic world picture, creating a void quickly filled by the monochrome fantasies of Hillary Clinton and her exceptionalist allies. For people like Max Boot and Robert Kagan, war is a desirable state of affairs, especially when viewed from the comfort of their keyboards, and the rest of the world – apart from a few bad guys – is filled with populations who want to build societies just like ours: pluralistic, democratic and open for business. This view is difficult to challenge when it cloaks itself in humanitarian sentiment. There is horrific suffering in the world; the US has abundant resources to help relieve it; the moral imperative is clear. There are endless forms of international engagement that do not involve military intervention. But it is the path taken by US policy often enough that one may suspect humanitarian rhetoric is nothing more than window-dressing for a more mundane geopolitics – one that defines the national interest as global and virtually limitless.

Having come of age during the Vietnam War, a calamitous consequence of that inflated definition of national interest, I have always been attracted to the realist critique of globalism. Realism is a label forever besmirched by association with Henry Kissinger, who used it as a rationale for intervening covertly and overtly in other nations’ affairs. Yet there is a more humane realist tradition, the tradition of George Kennan and William Fulbright, which emphasises the limits of military might, counselling that great power requires great restraint. This tradition challenges the doctrine of regime change under the guise of democracy promotion, which – despite its abysmal failures in Iraq and Libya – retains a baffling legitimacy in official Washington. Russiagate has extended its shelf life."



"It is not the Democratic Party that is leading the search for alternatives to the wreckage created by Republican policies: a tax plan that will soak the poor and middle class to benefit the rich; a heedless pursuit of fossil fuels that is already resulting in the contamination of the water supply of the Dakota people; and continued support for police policies of militarisation and mass incarceration. It is local populations that are threatened by oil spills and police beatings, and that is where humane populism survives. A multitude of insurgent groups have begun to use the outrage against Trump as a lever to move the party in egalitarian directions: Justice Democrats, Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, as well as a host of local and regional organisations. They recognise that there are far more urgent – and genuine – reasons to oppose Trump than vague allegations of collusion with Russia. They are posing an overdue challenge to the long con of neoliberalism, and the technocratic arrogance that led to Clinton’s defeat in Rust Belt states. Recognising that the current leadership will not bring about significant change, they are seeking funding from outside the DNC. This is the real resistance, as opposed to ‘#theresistance’."



"Francis Shen of the University of Minnesota and Douglas Kriner of Boston University analysed election results in three key states – Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan – and found that ‘even controlling in a statistical model for many other alternative explanations, we find that there is a significant and meaningful relationship between a community’s rate of military sacrifice and its support for Trump.’ Clinton’s record of uncritical commitment to military intervention allowed Trump to … [more]
jacksonlears  2017  politics  us  hillaryclinton  democrats  neoliberalism  donaldtrump  elections  2016  russia  vladimirputin  dishonesty  blame  truth  georgekennan  henrykissinger  williamfulbright  fbi  cia  history  vietnamwar  maxboot  robertkagan  war  militarism  policy  foreignpolicy  humanitarianism  military  humanism  russiagate  jingoism  francisshen  douglaskriner  intervention  disenfranchisement  berniesanders  socialism  grassroots  dsa  blacklivesmatter  resistance  alternative  leadership  issues  healthcareforall  universalhealthcare  singlepayerhealthcare  reform  change  progressive  progressiveness  populism 
december 2017 by robertogreco
The Assassination of Orlando Letelier and the Politics of Silence
"FORTY YEARS AGO last night, agents working for the Chilean secret service attached plastic explosives to the bottom of Orlando Letelier’s Chevrolet as it sat in the driveway of his family’s home in Bethesda, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.

A few blocks away, across Massachusetts Avenue, my family’s Pinto sat in our driveway unmolested. Our whole neighborhood, including my mother, father, sister, and me, slept through everything.

Forty years ago this morning, the Chilean agents followed Letelier as he drove himself into Washington, down Massachusetts to the think tank where he worked. The bomb went off as Letelier went around Sheridan Circle, ripping off most of the lower half of his body. He died shortly afterward, as did Ronni Moffitt, a 25-year-old American who’d been in the car with him. A second passenger, Moffitt’s husband Michael, survived.

Letelier’s murder was ordered by the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who’d overthrown the country’s democratically elected president Salvador Allende three years before in a military coup. Letelier, who had been Allende’s defense minister, was arrested during the coup and tortured for a year until Pinochet bowed to international pressure and released him. But in Washington, Letelier became the leading international voice of the opposition to Pinochet, who decided he had to be eliminated.

There are still many unanswered questions about this time. Exactly how complicit was the U.S. in the overthrow of the Chilean government? Why did the CIA ignore a cable telling it that Chile’s agents were heading to the U.S.? Why did Henry Kissinger, then Secretary of State, cancel a warning to Chile not to kill its overseas opponents just five days before Letelier was murdered?

But for me, the most interesting question is this: How it is possible I was right there but didn’t learn about the assassination of Orlando Letelier until 20 years later?

Social Silence

It’s true I was only in second grade when Letelier was killed. But this was a mafia-like hit executed in the middle of our placid, leafy suburb. Moreover, it goes far beyond Letelier – the entire neighborhood was dripping with the bloody history of Chile:

• If you went a few blocks in the other direction from Letelier’s home you’d come to the house of Ted Shackley, on Sangamore Road. Shackley, sometimes called “The Blond Ghost,” was head of the CIA’s Western Hemisphere Division in 1973, and played a key role in encouraging Pinochet’s coup. Shackley’s house was directly across the street from Brookmont Elementary School – where my sister and I were on the morning of September 21, 1976.

• Down the hill from our house was Western Junior High, where my sister would later go. One of Western’s other alumni is Michelle Bachelet, the current president of Chile. After the coup, Bachelet’s father was tortured to death; Bachelet and her mother were tortured as well.

• When Letelier was killed, his son Francisco was called out of geometry class at Walt Whitman High School – which both my sister and I would later attend.

• Our neighborhood was directly across the Potomac River from the CIA’s headquarters in Virginia. It was so close that one of our neighbors who worked there commuted there on nice days by canoe.

• On Letelier’s final drive into Washington, his path appears to have taken him within a block of St. Columba’s Episcopal Church; its parishioners at the time included George H.W. Bush, then head of the CIA. Shortly after Letelier was killed, the CIA leaked a false report to Newsweek that Pinochet hadn’t been involved.

Given all this, you might guess that the adults would have mentioned something about Letelier’s assassination – not necessarily to decry it but simply to liven up the endless car pooling to soccer practice. That never happened.

Nor was this an aberration. In addition to soccer practice, there was lots of pee wee football practice at Woodacres Park around the corner from Letelier’s house. During the fall of 1980, my father volunteered to sub as coach if Iran released the hostages being held in Tehran – because our regular coach worked for the Defense Department and was part of the team that was on call to debrief them. All we kids knew about this was that these strange foreigners were angry at us for some incomprehensible foreign reason. No one informed us that the U.S. had overthrown Iran’s government in 1953, so Iranians had rational reasons to be hostile toward us.

So despite the fact that it was right there in front of me, I didn’t learn about Letelier (or the U.S. history with Iran) from adults, or TV, or in high school, or college. I had to learn about them on my own, by getting books out of the library and reading them.

Shhhhhhhhhh

The answer to my question, I now believe, is that this is the way all countries work. Anthropologists call this phenomenon “social silence” – the most important aspects of how societies work are exactly the ones that are never discussed and most easily forgotten.

But it’s impossible to suppress the past completely – it inevitably leaks out around the edges, even if just as a generalized anxiety. I remember when my Bethesda friends and I went to see “Blue Velvet” when it came out in 1986 and how completely it made sense to us: Everything is polished, happy, and mundane on the surface, while underneath there’s an eternal, animalistic, merciless struggle for power.

Orlando Letelier is gone and he’s not coming back. We can’t change that. But we can break the social silence about his death, who we are as a country, and what we’re capable of doing."
chile  orlandoletelier  2016  pinochet  history  jonschwarz  terrorism  us  socialsilence  silence  henrykissinger  salvadorallende 
september 2017 by robertogreco
How Henry Kissinger Conspired Against a Sitting President - POLITICO Magazine
"Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who has counseled numerous American presidents and statesmen since he left government in early 1977, is back in the halls of power once again. Since the election, he’s positioned himself close to Donald Trump, advising the president-elect on key appointments and praising him in public. And Kissinger, who has maintained close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, is now positioning himself as an intermediary between the Kremlin and the incoming Trump administration.

But previously undisclosed documents that I discovered while poring through the archives at Stanford’s Hoover Institution should give us serious pause about Kissinger’s resurgence. The storied former diplomat is not above using his considerable foreign policy credibility to further his private objectives, even to the detriment of the U.S. national interest. Indeed, on at least one occasion since he left public office, Kissinger used his influence with foreign leaders—in this case, the Pinochet regime in Chile—to undermine his domestic political opponents, including a sitting president of the United States

It all began on September 21, 1976, when, during the final months of the Gerald Ford administration and Kissinger’s tenure as secretary of state, Chilean President Augusto Pinochet ordered the assassination of Orlando Letelier, a prominent Chilean dissident and former ambassador to the United States who was then working at a think tank in Washington, D.C. At 9:30 a.m. on that drizzly Tuesday, a group of Cuban anti-communist extremists allied with Pinochet’s intelligence services detonated a remote-control bomb placed on the underside of Letelier’s Chevrolet while it rounded Sheridan Circle—a 20-minute walk from the White House. Letelier and his American co-worker, Ronnie Moffit, were killed in the explosion. The first known act of state-sponsored terrorism ever to take place in the American capital, the assassination and its aftermath were national front-page news for years. Investigators and prosecutors tried to crack a case that took them across three continents, all while facing significant pushback from elements within the U.S. government who preferred not to rattle Cold War alliances."



"By October 1979, Cubillos very likely believed that Kissinger was on the cusp of a comeback. And the Pinochet government also knew that relations would improve if a Republican were elected president. (Indeed, according to the American ambassador to Chile at the time, members of the Chilean military danced in the streets upon news of Reagan’s electoral victory. And in 1981, against the howls of liberals, Reagan lifted Carter’s trade restrictions. Pinochet remained president for nine more years.)

There is also no doubt that Kissinger, and the Republican Party more broadly, stood to benefit from the sort of Chilean intransigence that Kissinger urged on Cubillos. Greater cooperation by Chile in the case could have handed the Carter administration a major diplomatic victory during a period of great economic and political turbulence. In other words, whether or not Chile’s compliance with the extradition request was in our national interest, it was certainly not in Kissinger’s. And in his icy, amoral advice to the Chilean government, he definitively showed whose interests he was most concerned with.

Consider, too, how inappropriate, how borderline subversive, Kissinger’s counsel to Cubillos was. Not only did he laud Chile’s decision to stymie a murder trial related to a major act of international terrorism carried out in the U.S. capital, but the former secretary of state also actively encouraged the regime ostensibly responsible for that crime to take a hard line with the U.S. government, in order to further stonewall U.S. prosecutors—that is, the Justice Department.

To the best of my knowledge there has never, before now, been proof of Kissinger’s secret interference in U.S. politics after he left public service. The paper trail for Kissinger dries up; there are no more U.S. government documents subject to declassification. Indeed, we know very, very little about Kissinger’s political affairs after 1977. Since 1983, he has run an international consulting firm, Kissinger Associates, that has facilitated contacts between major corporations and a number of authoritarian regimes. During much of this time, he or other members of Kissinger Associates have sat on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, a little-known civilian panel tasked with intelligence oversight duties where members have access to highly classified data.

What, then, has Kissinger been advising corporate clients or representatives of foreign governments behind closed doors since 1977? Has his counsel been in the best interests of the United States? At least in the case of Letelier and Moffit—in bringing to justice the perpetrators of one of the most audacious acts of terrorism ever conducted on American soil—the answer is a resounding, and disquieting, no. And if the Letelier case is part of a larger pattern, we should be extremely circumspect about Kissinger’s private intercession in our country’s public affairs today."
henrykissinger  chile  pinochet  2016  zachdorfman  us  history  jimmycarter  orlandoletelier 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Here's Some Stupid For Lunch - Esquire
"Is it important to care what Chuck Norris thinks about world history?

Oh, hell no. It's just fun.
Obama isn't the first to have a foreign policy of blissful appeasement and too-little-too-late interception. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain did it with the Nazis. President Gerald Ford did it with communists. President Jimmy Carter did it with the ayatollahs.

Wait. Whoa there, human hardtack. Let's back up the ol' history chuck wagon and set a spell. See, what happened to Carter happened, not because he "appeased" the ayatollahs, but because he appeased (among other folks) a leaky bag of old sins named Henry Kissinger and allowed the Shah of Iran, the torturer and tyrant that we foisted on the people of Iran, into this country for medical treatment. That led to the assault on the American embassy and the taking of the hostages and the incredible boost to Ted Koppel's career. In response, Carter froze their assets and made the Iranian economy scream. He also tried an ill-fated rescue attempt that went wrong in the desert.

You know what appeasing the ayatollahs looks like?

Promising them if they hold the hostages, they'll get a better deal from another president. Unfreezing the assets almost as soon as you take the oath. Secretly selling them advanced weaponry because you had use for the profits of this illegal arms sale to fund an illegal war.

That's what appeasement looks like.

And that wasn't Carter.

That was the next guy."
ronaldregan  jimmycarter  iran  history  chucknorris  henrykissinger  1970s  1980s  2014  charlespierce 
september 2014 by robertogreco
U.S.: Kissinger Rescinded Warning Against Condor Assassinations - IPS ipsnews.net
"Five days before the assassination in downtown Washington of former Chilean Defence Minister Orlando Letelier, then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger rescinded instructions to U.S. ambassadors in Latin America's Southern Cone to warn the region's military regimes against carrying out "a series of international murders", according to documents released by the National Security Archive (NSA) here."
chile  1976  us  orlandoletelier  henrykissinger 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Things you might try to pass on - Preoccupations
"Conveying something valuable about life’s complexities and problems — that’s one of the very best things in teaching, whether done within a disciplined area of study, in guiding an enthusiasm or individual project or in being alongside someone in the larger matters of living itself."
davidsmith  henrykissinger  buckminsterfuller  wisdom  teaching  complexity  problems  problemsolving  learning  tcsnmy  life  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  extradisciplinary  multidisciplinary 
february 2010 by robertogreco

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