Sunday, December 10, 2006

hostes humani generis

Augusto Pinochet died today, aged 91. As Chile's dictator, he murdered thousands and plundered millions. He was under indictment in Spain, exercising universal jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, and under house arrest in Chile, perpetually too old and sick to stand trial or go to prison.

Ironic, isn't it, that he should escape his so richly deserved fate, because of concerns for his human rights? After all, Pinochet himself once said, "Human rights? That's an invention of the Marxists." (Contained in the CNN story above.)

There will be no state funeral, no official mourning. Good- he doesn't deserve them.

What is the point of law if the powerful and wealthy can avoid punishment by virtue of their wealth and power? Saddam- an enemy of the most powerful nation in history- will get the noose. Pinochet was an American ally- in fact, we probably helped him rise to power- thus assuring that no special tribunal would ever sit in judgment.

This man did not get what he deserved. Tyrants are a dime a dozen, both grand and petty. We'll get the next one.