to fail to do so weakens our abillity to learn from the past,including our mistakes and our successes.it also prevents those who rule over us getting away with their many and various tricks and stratagems.our rulers,including elected politicians often for example make references like"that was then,this is now"specificaly to rule outr learniing lessons of the past.
i have also written here and elsewhere about the impact of 9/11 and its meaning.i do not back away from anything i have written here in relation to 9/11.
but i do want to report here on something which brings those 2 trains of thought together.
a few weeks ago SOS save our 5 brent libraries organised a screening of sarah bostons"cruel seperations",with the director.this film follows the lives and experience of 4 women through and after the coup of general pinochets gorillas against the democratically elected popular unity government of salbador allende.central to this story is the active involvement of us military,security,diplomatic,government and inustrial involvement in the coup which involved the arrest,murder,torture,and dissapppearance of thousands of chilean and foreign citizens.
hortensia allende,who herself died in 2009,was the widow of salvador allende,who died either by his own hand or more likely at the guns of chilean soldiers at the end of his last broadcast to the chilean people,on 9/11-11th september 1973,with active usa complicity.joyce horman was the american wife of a chilean general loyal to and supportive of popular unity and whom allende tasdked with organising food distribution during the troubled months of activity by the right prior to the coup to disrupt commercial and food transport.that general was stripped of rank,role and position in the coup and killed.joan jara was a british dancer who had lived and worked in chile for a considerable time prior to meeting the singer,poet and writer,victor jara.he was among the many thousands detained in the national stadium in santiago at the beginning of the coup.the story goes that soldiers smashed his hands and guitar when he tried to sing to raise the morale of the thousands of other detainees.angela de bachelet was the chilean wife of an american journalist who was dissappeared in the coup and in which the usa was complict,as shown in the hollywood blockbuster"missing".
this is a poignant and powerful film that shows the consequences for the too often forgotten women,and whom i would argue often play a key role in our memory,in insisting that a society remember and come to terms with its own dark events.
if the events in new york on 9/11 2001 were terrible,then so too were those events in chile on 9/11 1973 and lomng afterwards.
there are numeroous lessons.the usa blamed powers around the world for the terrible events perpetrated by al quada.many americans use and apposite expression-"what goes around,comes around"(or vice versa.in 1973 the usa was complicit and i believe explicit in its support of right wing terror against a left wing,democratically elected government,whiuch cost the death,torture and dissappearance of many thousands of chileans and others over many years.the death of augusto pinochet did not bring it all to closure or end.
those of us on the left also remember the role on international capiatlism in strangling a democratically elected government in spainb and the workers movement that came to its defence.the list could go on.
next 9/11 i would ask that every internationalist remember the lives taken and the lives otherwise maimed by such angry violence-and for what.such angry,hostile,anti-humanitarian violence achieves nothing but death and the emotional agonies for others which might go on for decades.
we are all capable of better-to build a better society in which we live and let live and share a common wealth,in which guns,torture and profit play no part