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the other 9/11

i've been making my way, with some lengthy breaks, through noam chomsky's latest, "failed states". it's by no means his strongest work, but it does touch on a number of interesting issues, including events surrounding 9/11.

by 9/11, i mean september 11, 1973, when an american-backed coup overthrew chile's salvador allende and replaced him with general augusto pinochet. because we've heard so much about that later 9/11, i thought it would be interesting to share a few facts on the original:

- approximately 3,200 people died according to official figures (which are widely viewed to be understated by as much as half).

- adjusted proportionally to population, that is roughly equivalent to between 50 and 100,000 americans being killed at once.

- there were 30,000 cases of torture in pinochet's chile, according to an official inquiry. (adjusted proportionally to population again, that would be the equivalent of 700,000 americans.)

augusto pinochet remained the darling of both ronald reagan and margaret thatcher throughout his reign of terror, something neither has ever bothered to admit was wrong and a travesty of the ideals they purported to defend.

funny, you never hear about that 9/11 nowadays. i wonder why? no, i don't, really. i know.


spartacus mills said…
Thankyou for posting this. The original 9/11 is a subject particularly close to my heart. One of my very first blog posts was on the subject.
flora_mundi said…
my absolute pleasure. i went back and read your original blog post and i'm glad to know there are people who are trying to bring some perspective to the world.
Jeff said…
The math in this part confused me:

"- approximately 3,20 people died according to official figures (which are widely viewed to be understated by as much as half).

- adjusted proportionally to population, that is roughly equivalent to between 50 and 100,000 americans being killed at once. "

But, yeah, I've known people who had to get away from that situation in Chile. Do you know anything about a paramilitary religious sect that worked with Pinochet called Colonia Dignidad?

Also, another September 11th was when that guy killed himself flying his light plane into the White House on 9-11-1996. Coincidence or conspiracy? You decide.
flora_mundi said…
*hangs head in embarrassment*

for starters, i obviouslsy made a typo there... the figure should have been 3200, not 320... i've gone back and corrected it, thanks.

basically, the math is that 3200, as a percentage of the chilean population at the time, would have been roughly equivalent to between 50 and 100 thousand americans...
John said…
Try to see Ken Loach's contribution to the film 11'9"01, it deals specifically with this tragically overshadowed (ignored?) part of history.
TPN said…
Thanks for the post.
9/11 - On 11 September 1990, George H.W. Bush delivered his famous "Toward A New World Order" speech.
Jeff said…
My head has humilated itself again. The guy who crashed his plane into the White House did it on September 11, 1994, not 1996 as I stated above.

Here's a link to that:

Also, just in case it needs to be stated, I brought it up as an interesting further coincidence about that date. It was not intended to be a coy reference to the cryptically intriguing harsh aural texture combo.
fade.radius said…
9/11 '73 was also a conflicting time for Northern Egypt, as Israel was circling in to take more territory at the tip of the Red Sea area also resulting in deadly casualty.
It's almost like 9/11 is a f'king apocalyptic jynx number...the glitched code...the file with a virus.
I just hope the in next 9/11 cycle I'm abducted by aliens (or something), this whole history repeating itself (like a bad tecno loop track) is starting to irritate...

Though for the record, as a Chilean, thank you for taking the effort in this post.

as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…