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
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
Victor Grossman
Red Flowers for Rosa and Karl
Cesar Chelala
President Donald Trump’s “Magical Realism”
Christopher Brauchli
An Education in Fraud
Paul Bentley
The Death Penalty for Canada’s Foreign Policy?
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO
Louis Proyect
Breaking the Left’s Gay Taboo
Kani Xulam
A Saudi Teen and Freedom’s Shining Moment
Ralph Nader
Bar Barr or Regret this Dictatorial Attorney General
Jessicah Pierre
A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice is Far From Reality
Edward J. Martin
Glossip v. Gross, the Eighth Amendment and the Torture Court of the United States
Chuck Collins
Shutdown Expands the Ranks of the “Underwater Nation”
Paul Edwards
War Whores
Peter Crowley
Outsourcing Still Affects Us: This and AI Worker Displacement Need Not be Inevitable
Alycee Lane
Trump’s Federal Government Shutdown and Unpaid Dishwashers
Martha Rosenberg
New Questions About Ritual Slaughter as Belgium Bans the Practice
Nicky Reid
Panarchy as Full Spectrum Intersectionality
Jill Richardson
Hollywood’s Fat Shaming is Getting Old
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Wide Sphere of Influence Within Folklore and Social Practices
Richard Klin
Dial Israel: Amos Oz, 1939-2018
David Rovics
Of Triggers and Bullets
David Yearsley
Bass on Top: the Genius of Paul Chambers
Elliot Sperber
Eddie Spaghetti’s Alphabet
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail