The earthshaking news of October 1998 that General Pinochet had been arrested in Britain unleashed two years of international interest in the case and its ramifications for traveling tyrants the world over. But even after the General’s return home, the media has ignored the more important story of how his detention lifted a stranglehold that had suffocated Chile’s moral sensibility for a generation.
Award-winning journalist Marc Cooper was a translator to President Allende until the coup of 1973. In this reflection on Chile and the role it has played in his life, he reconstructs the tense atmosphere of the final days of the Allende government, including his hiding and subsequent evacuation under armed UN protection. Twenty-five years later he returns and recounts, in vivid street-level reporting, a country that is a democracy in name only and a society that has been transfigured by one of the most radical, armed capitalist revolutions of our time. Yet, he argues, spasms of protest that seemed like the last rattle of the snake may still presage the crumbling of Chile’s status quo as its people emerge from the long night of reaction to the cry of “Adios General!”
Sparing no room for nuance, the magazine covers are all reminding us that the United States—and hence the planet—is set to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, a day that not only changed the world and signaled the end of innocence and spawned a new greatest generation, but also launched a thousand new slogans with which to label that day, and inspired thousands of speeches intent on inspiring thousands more.
However, despite the horror, anger, uncertainty—and yes, for some, glee—from the damage inflicted on that momentous day, there remained, in the aftermath and up to now, a limited vocabulary within the mainstream with which to describe the events of that time and the trail of destruction that followed.
And since we aren’t anticipating a commemorative circuitous flight over the country on Air Force One with the President of the United States, we would like to offer an alternate journey—that is, a survey of Verso’s responses to 9/11: