FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Following Pinochet’s Steps

by DR. CESAR CHELALA

The bloody repression of Mohamed Morsi’s supporters in Cairo lifts the Egyptian military’s mask and shows them to be as bloody as Chile’s General Augusto Pinochet, and as anti-democratic in their ways. The Egyptian military attacks on defenseless civilians cannot be called anything less than criminal. How else can one call the murder of hundreds of people, including women and children?

There is an ominous resemblance between Egypt’s General Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi and the late Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet. A resemblance that goes far beyond the upright, defiant and dark-glassed physical appearance. Perhaps a psychologist could explain the dictators’ penchant for using dark glasses at all times, as if there is something they don’t want the world to see, the inner thoughts of ruthless people.

Since the beginning of the coup, and as a result of military repression, it is estimated that hundreds of people were killed, over 10,000 injured and there have been so far 2,000 political arrests without legitimate charges.

Al-Sisi claimed that the nationwide rally supporting the overthrow of a democratically elected president –even if ineffectual- gave him the mandate to fight “violence and terrorism.” Instead, as a result of Al-Sisi’s directed repression the number of people killed can still reach or even surpass those killed in Chile during Pinochet’s despotic rule, more than 3,000.

Adding to their resemblance, both Al-Sisi and Pinochet were named by a democratically elected president whom they ended up betraying. So far in Egypt, as it happened in Chile, General Al-Sisi’s actions have increased polarity among the Egyptians: either they are with the government or they are against it.

“Security forces have repeatedly failed to protect protesters, bystanders and residents from attacks by armed assailants. They have also failed to intervene effectively to end violent clashes between rival groups,” stated Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme.

In the meantime, both the official and the pro-coup private media continue to minimize popular demonstrations against the coup. Many among those now supporting the army seemed to have forgotten their past crimes, and are inclined to believe in the generals’ good will and support for the country’s democratic institutions. They may yet be disappointed. “Given the security forces routine use of excessive force, such a move is likely to lead to yet more unlawful killings, injuries, and other human rights violations,” had presciently warned Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui before these events took place.

“Time and again the Egyptian security forces have resorted to lethal force, with complete disregard for human life,” stated by Philip Luther, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme. Will there to be an end to Egypt’s present nightmare? It certainly will be, but not through the use of force and as long as the military are the ones really in power in the country.

Dr. Cesar Chelala is an international public health consultant and a co-winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award.

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the article “Missing or Disappeared in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.”

More articles by:
July 28, 2016
Johnny Gaunt
Brexit: the British Working Class has Just Yawned Awake
Mark Weisbrot
Attacking Trump for the Few Sensible Things He Says is Both Bad Politics and Bad Strategy
Thomas Knapp
Election 2016: Think Three’s a Crowd? Try 2,000
Corrine Fletcher
White Silence is Violence: How to be a White Accomplice
July 27, 2016
Richard Moser
The Party’s Over
M. G. Piety
Smoke and Mirrors in Philadelphia
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Humiliation Games: Notes on the Democratic Convention
Arun Gupta
Bernie Sanders’ Political Revolution Splinters Apart
John Eskow
The Loneliness of the American Leftist
Guillermo R. Gil
A Metaphoric Short Circuit: On Michelle Obama’s Speech at the DNC
Norman Pollack
Sanders, Our Tony Blair: A Defamation of Socialism
Claire Rater, Carol Spiegel and Jim Goodman
Consumers Can Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics on Factory Farms
Guy D. Nave
Make America Great Again?
Sam Husseini
Why Sarah Silverman is a Comedienne
Dave Lindorff
No Crooked Sociopaths in the White House
Dan Bacher
The Hired Gun: Jerry Brown Snags Bruce Babbitt as New Point Man For Delta Tunnels
Peter Lee
Trumputin! And the DNC Leak(s)
David Macaray
Interns Are Exploited and Discriminated Against
Ann Garrison
Rwanda, the Clinton Dynasty, and the Case of Dr. Léopold Munyakazi
Brett Warnke
Storm Clouds Over Philly
Chris Zinda
Snakes of Deseret
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Russell Mokhiber
The Rabble Rise Together Against Bernie, Barney, Elizabeth and Hillary
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
Binoy Kampmark
Undermining Bernie Sanders: the DNC Campaign, WikiLeaks and Russia
Arun Gupta
Trickledown Revenge: the Racial Politics of Donald Trump
Sen. Bernard Sanders
What This Election is About: Speech to DNC Convention
David Swanson
DNC Now Less Popular Than Atheism
Linn Washington Jr.
‘Clintonville’ Reflects True Horror of Poverty in US
Deepak Tripathi
Britain in the Doldrums After the Brexit Vote
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Threats: Arbitrary Lines on Political Maps
Robert J. Gould
Proactive Philanthropy: Don’t Wait, Reach Out!
Victor Grossman
Horror and Sorrow in Germany
Nyla Ali Khan
Regionalism, Ethnicity, and Trifurcation: All in the Name of National Integration
Andrew Feinberg
The Good TPP
400 US Academics
Letter to US Government Officials Concerning Recent Events in Turkey
July 25, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
As the Election Turns: Trump the Anti-Neocon, Hillary the New Darling of the Neocons
Ted Rall
Hillary’s Strategy: Snub Liberal Democrats, Move Right to Nab Anti-Trump Republicans
William K. Black
Doubling Down on Wall Street: Hillary and Tim Kaine
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail