GLW:Put Pinochet on trial.

David Bruce dave_bruce at
Thu Jan 27 12:43:05 MST 2000

At 27/01/00, Own Jones wrote:

>And a few leftists stand in solidarity with the Chilean, British and
>Spanish bourgeoisie and the most reactionary and anti-communist elements of
>these countries in defending Pinochet, whose progressive victims continue to
>struggle for his extradition. All in the name of anti-imperialism...indeed,
>the same people who politically defend the Milosevic regime on the same
>grounds. The difference is this time you are defending what is a tool of
>imperialism and the bourgeoisie. How very revolutionary.

This is nonsense and, frankly, disappointing.

There is no disagreement on this list that imperialism (principally
US/British) uses 'humanitarian' issues as a pretext for military attacks on
regimes that, for whatever reason, stand in their way - obvious cases being
Iraq and Yugoslavia. Members are, quite legitimately, asking if this
represents a new US policy of 'Balkanisation'. There is also a point of
view which argues that any critical analysis of the victimised regimes is
unacceptable - or should be aired only between consenting adults in private.

There was also a debate about the Spanish application for Pinochet's
extradition (BTW, now joined by Belgium) with people arguing that this was
just another imperialist ruse and that only the Chilean people - or at
least the Chilean judiciary - should deal with him. Much of this debate was
unencumbered by fact or thought. Someone, I forget who, was kind enough to
remind me that the House of Lords was a reactionary institution when I
tried to report on a Law Lords hearing.

Louis and I argued the opposite point of view, trying to demonstrate that
it was a special case with the 'Get Pinochet' lobby causing the British and
US establishments some difficulty. My guess was that Pinochet would stay
here until he died - I did not foresee Straw's sleight of hand.

No-one other than yourself has suggested that those who disagreed with us
(on this list or not) 'stand in solidarity' with any bourgeoisie. These
people have a different point of view, that is all. I think they are wrong
on this and many other issues - but that is a hell of a long way from their
siding with the enemy. It is a legitimate debate but, in the absence of
significant developments, currently exhausted. I suggest you calm down and



David Bruce, Ryelands Digital
dave_bruce at
Tel: +44 1357 440459  Fax: +44 1357 440464

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