The connection nobody is making

The connection nobody is making October 13, 2011

When I first heard that Iran was being accused of attempting to assassinate a Saudi diplomat on US soil, I immediately thought of the Letelier case. I thought everybody would jump on this comparison, but nobody did. To recap: in 1976, Pinochet had Orlando Letelier, Allende’s ambassador to the United States, murdered in Washington DC. It was a particularly nasty car bomb on Sheridan circle, an area I pass daily. The repercussions for Chile and the Pinochet government? None. Pinochet was still received warmly by US governments. Keep that in mind when the inevitable calls to “hold Iran responsible” come through.

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  • Anne

    I remember that incident too. Of course, Pinochet was just so darn charming. How could we complain?;-)

  • Thales

    I’m a little fuzzy on your underlying point. Are you thinking that the U.S. needs to get serious with Iran (with diplomatic repercussions, more sanctions, cutting off more ties, actual punitive steps that follow up the condemnations, etc.) just the way it should have been with Pinochet but sadly wasn’t… but that sadly the U.S. probably won’t go through with these serious actions you think are necessary, as it didn’t with Pinochet?

  • Chris

    I’m not sure I understand what you’re getting at…

    That there were no repercussions for Chile and the Pinochet government says a lot more about US acceptance of ANY regime over that of a socialist government (democratically elected or not) at that point in our history. That was a pattern that played out across the globe for decades.

    If you’re trying to point out how ridiculously two-faced and hypocritical our government is, then WOW, thanks for waking me up!

  • Anne

    To me, the calls for serious repercussions in response to the Iranian incident by certain politicians who had a very different response when the “evildoer” was a military junta we helped put in office underscores a level of hypocrisy and double standard that might have an impact on American public opinion if only Americans (or the American media whose job it is to keep the public informed) paid enough attention to keep track of such things.

  • Anne

    Note: I’m not saying what the repercussions *should* be, or even what an informed American public would conclude were they informed on how differently a similar incident was handled in the past, only that the probability a double standard is at work should be noted.