The Other 9/11
It was on September 11, 1973, that the Salvadore Allende democratic socialist government of Chile was over thrown in a fascist coup, lead by Augusto Pinochet, backed by the United States with CIA involvement. While the United States publically denied any involvement, history has come to show that their involvement under the Nixon administration was extensive. It began with years of American efforts to ruin the economy of Chile in an effort to discredit the Allende government. All this time the official policy of the United States was that the government should be toppled in a coup.
I find the ironic link with the 9/11 event of nine years ago fascinating. So many American asked the question "Why do the hate us?" seeking an understanding of why any group would want to attack the United States. The general belief in the United States is that the country is a force for good in the World; by example, a light of democracy to inspire the World and a generous country ready to step in and help other countries with aid, both economic and military, if they share America's values. If I can be cynical about this view, I would say that this is largely a myth. It is rooted in American "exceptionalism" belief that it is a special country created under God. Thus it shares with Israel that Americans are a "chosen people.
American exceptionalism when applied to foreign affairs gives the United States justification for involving itself any where in the World to promote it's interests and "share it's values". Surely, the fact that the US has over 700 military bases in the World and always lingers behind for decades with a big military presence in countries it has been at war with. (Germany, Korea, Japan and now the US is building large bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.) , illustrates the United States belief it has the right to enforce its will on others.
Under the Munroe Doctrine the United States has always claimed exclusive interests in Latin America. It has been the United States backyard where it can have the critical say in the governments there such that it often supported puppet governements and even overthrew democratic governments.
You you want to understand "Why they hate us?" a little study of the United States involvement in Latin American should answer that question. The United States has a long history of working against the poor and working class people of those countires, frustrating their right to develop as they see fit.
The Cuban Revoltution was a shock and embarassment to the US. The US hostility toward that small country for decades has be vindictive. I am sure when Allende was elected in Chile the response of the American government was that they would not tolerate another Cuba in Latin America. The Nixon administration went about guaranteeing its downfall.
Allende, like Castro, was ahead of his time. They were the vanguard of fundamental changes in Latin America. After a period of repressive military dictatorships backed by the United States the Latin American countries have wrest control of their countries from the United States so that now there are few pro-American countries left. The biggest client state is Columbia. The majority of countries are now left of Center.
I am convinced that had the United States not been so obsessed with the Middle East and its oil,
it would have sought to frustrate the left wing populist movements in Latin America. They did offer weak support for the unsuccessful coup in 2002 against Hugh Chavez of Venezuela, who they continue to demonize in spite of his long record of contined popular support in his country, winning 13 election or referendum votes in a row by wide margins. All of this in spite of the gains Venezuela has made in improving the condition of the majority of the people.
Salvadore Allende's legacy has been handed on.
Here is the translated text of Salvadore Allende's last address to the Chilean people as the presidential palace was under attach. Afterwards he commited suicide rather than surrender the government to the Pinoche fascists.
If you want to learn a little of the history of American involvement in Latin America and the efforts of Latin American's to get out from under American domination you can view all 10 parts on You Tube of John Pilger's film "The War on Democracy". It is painful for Americans to watch as it exposes some of their nation's biggest warts. It is a history that needs to be studied with lesson's learned in mind.
Here are the links to the film's parts dealing with Chile.
The writer Ariel Dorfman, who survived the Chilean Coup and the torture and killings that followed was recently interviewed on the British program "Witness". It is worth listening to here.