FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Following Pinochet’s Steps

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.

More articles by:

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.”

Weekend Edition
July 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Atwood
Peace or Armageddon: Take Your Pick
Paul Street
No Liberal Rallies Yet for the Children of Yemen
Nick Pemberton
The Bipartisan War on Central and South American Women
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Are You Putin Me On?
Andrew Levine
Sovereignty: What Is It Good For? 
Brian Cloughley
The Trump/NATO Debacle and the Profit Motive
David Rosen
Trump’s Supreme Pick Escalates America’s War on Sex 
Melvin Goodman
Montenegro and the “Manchurian Candidate”
Salvador Rangel
“These Are Not Our Kids”: The Racial Capitalism of Caging Children at the Border
Matthew Stevenson
Going Home Again to Trump’s America
Louis Proyect
Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and the Dilemmas of the Left
Patrick Cockburn
Iraqi Protests: “Bad Government, Bad Roads, Bad Weather, Bad People”
Robert Fantina
Has It Really Come to This?
Russell Mokhiber
Kristin Lawless on the Corporate Takeover of the American Kitchen
John W. Whitehead
It’s All Fake: Reality TV That Masquerades as American Politics
Patrick Bobilin
In Your Period Piece, I Would be the Help
Ramzy Baroud
The Massacre of Inn Din: How Rohingya Are Lynched and Held Responsible
Robert Fisk
How Weapons Made in Bosnia Fueled Syria’s Bleak Civil War
Gary Leupp
Trump’s Helsinki Press Conference and Public Disgrace
Josh Hoxie
Our Missing $10 Trillion
Martha Rosenberg
Pharma “Screening” Is a Ploy to Seize More Patients
Basav Sen
Brett Kavanaugh Would be a Disaster for the Climate
David Lau
The Origins of Local AFT 4400: a Profile of Julie Olsen Edwards
Rohullah Naderi
The Elusive Pursuit of Peace by Afghanistan
Binoy Kampmark
Shaking Establishments: The Ocasio-Cortez Effect
John Laforge
18 Protesters Cut Into German Air Base to Protest US Nuclear Weapons Deployment
Christopher Brauchli
Trump and the Swedish Question
Chia-Chia Wang
Local Police Shouldn’t Collaborate With ICE
Paul Lyons
YouTube’s Content ID – A Case Study
Jill Richardson
Soon You Won’t be Able to Use Food Stamps at Farmers’ Markets, But That’s Not the Half of It
Kevin MacKay
Climate Change is Proving Worse Than We Imagined, So Why Aren’t We Confronting its Root Cause?
Thomas Knapp
Elections: More than Half of Americans Believe Fairy Tales are Real
Ralph Nader
Warner Slack—Doctor for the People Forever
Lee Ballinger
Soccer, Baseball and Immigration
Louis Yako
Celebrating the Wounds of Exile with Poetry
Ron Jacobs
Working Class Fiction—Not Just Surplus Value
Perry Hoberman
You Can’t Vote Out Fascism… You Have to Drive It From Power!
Robert Koehler
Guns and Racism, on the Rocks
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir: Implementation with Integrity and Will to Resolve
Justin Anderson
Elon Musk vs. the Media
Graham Peebles
A Time of Hope for Ethiopia
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Homophobia in the Service of Anti-Trumpism is Still Homophobic (Even When it’s the New York Times)
Martin Billheimer
Childhood, Ferocious Sleep
David Yearsley
The Glories of the Grammophone
Tom Clark
Gameplanning the Patriotic Retributive Attack on Montenegro
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail