Human Rights Watch calls for Chile's Supreme Court, in considering appeals by members of Pinochet's army convicted for disappearing one of opponents, to validate the horror of their crimes and uphold the justice of their sentences: This promises to be a historic decision. Chile’s top judges should fully back the efforts made by their colleagues to clarify these terrible crimes and hold those responsible accountable. Meanwhile, newly-released tapes further confirm what we already know - that the American government, in what William Robinson rightly identifies in Promoting Polyarchy as effective disproof of the "democratic peace" thesis, actively worked to subvert a democratic election in Chile and topple its democratically-elected leader: In the 1973 conversation, Mr. Kissinger tells the president that "of course the newspapers are bleeding because a pro-Communist government has been overthrown." Mr. Nixon responds, "Isn't that something." To which Mr. Kissinger says that he and the president would have been hailed as heroes during "the Eisenhower period" of the 1950's. He complains that instead they are criticized for tolerating the apartheid government in South Africa. Mr. Nixon then says, "Well, we didn't, as you know - our hand doesn't show on this one, though." Mr. Kissinger replies: "We didn't do it. I mean we helped them." The transcript then says, with a long dash that seems to indicate that a word or words were deleted, " --- created the conditions as great as possible." When it comes to wrestling with authentic truth and reconciliation and trying crimminals, unfortunately, our government is way behind Chile. The more articulate and succinct case I've read for why Kissinger belongs in Hague and not on the lecture circuit is Christopher Hitchens' The Trial of Henry Kissinger, written a few years before he himself lost it and started issuing apologia for the current batch of war crimminals in the White House.


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