This is not a statement of support for Augusto Pinochet, it is an indictement of those who support Salvador Allende.
The Hon. Dr PETER PHELPS [5.57 p.m.]: Last night two members of this place lamented the overthrow of Salvador Allende’s regime in Chile 40 years ago today. Tonight I make the case for Augusto Pinochet. There are many who believe that General Pinochet was a reluctant hero, a morally courageous man, who not only saved his country from communism but also whose adoption of the Chicago school of economics brought prosperity to his country. Pinochet stopped an avowed communist from creating a new Cuba in South America. First, we have to come to a realisation—one that far too many people, especially those opposite, are reluctant to arrive at. We have to accept that sometimes it is necessary to do bad things to prevent terrible things from happening.
It is all too easy to say, “We believe we should never sanction dictatorship” or that we should have no truck with evil, but such principles are foolish and self-defeating in the real world. We should ask ourselves whether in hindsight it would have been better to have had an illiberal Tsar or a murderous Stalin. Indeed, the Left’s moral position is basically one of placing one’s own sensibilities before the requirements of survival. Those who denounce Pinochet appear to be totally ignorant of the historical reality in Chile at the time of the military coup on 11 September 1973.
Salvador Allende was not some mild-mannered social democrat. The choice was not between popular socialism and a military regime; the choices on offer were full-blown communism and civil war, or military rule. Allende was elected with only one-third of the vote for his party, roughly the same as Hitler was. He was installed as president based on his immediately broken promise to respect the rule of law. His political partners walked out of their coalition at his radicalism. His regime simply ignored the decrees of courts. It nationalised property contrary to law and it was arming party militias. That is what really happened.
On 26 May 1973 Chile’s Supreme Court unanimously denounced the Allende regime’s “disruption of the legality of the nation” in its failure to uphold judicial decisions. Allende’s Government refused to permit police execution of judicial resolutions that contradicted the Government’s measures. On 22 August 1973 the Chilean Chamber of Deputies passed a resolution 81-47 that called on “the President of the Republic, Ministers of State, and members of the Armed and Police Forces” to put an immediate end to the breach of the Constitution “with the goal of redirecting government activity towards the path of Law and ensuring the Constitutional order of our Nation, and the essential underpinnings of democratic co-existence among Chileans”.
The Greens moralists opposite are the first people to get up in this Chamber and spruik about the primacy of parliaments. They are the first people to spruik about the role of judicial authority, but in this instance Chile’s Supreme Court unanimously denounced Allende, and its Chamber of Deputies overwhelmingly resolved that he was being unconstitutional. In spite of all that, the Chilean armed forces held off. Pinochet did not move until both the legislature and judiciary had condemned the abuse of executive power. The Allende Government was operating contrary to law, was preparing to launch a civil war and was planning to turn Chile into a Soviet state. Yes, Pinochet killed people. If anyone knows of any other way to overthrow a government than by military force, then let me hear about it.
Yes, Pinochet killed people. According to the 2011 commission, the regime killed some 3,065 people over 17 years and that is a terrible number. But the Marxist Sandinistas in Nicaragua killed just as many in the first few years of their regime—and members opposite love the Sandinistas. Yes, Pinochet killed people; he killed people at the rate of about 15 per month. But according to the Black Book of Communism between 1959 and 1997 the Castro regime in Cuba killed between 15,000 and 17,000 people, or at twice the rate of Pinochet. Yet do members opposite criticise Castro? No, they idolise him. They idolise a man who killed people at a rate twice that of Pinochet. I ask those opposite: What would they have done in Chile in September 1973 to prevent it from becoming a brutal Communist state like Cuba?
H/T Catallaxy Files