Monday, December 18, 2006

Last Words of Dying Dictators

General Augusto Pinochet, who escaped earthly justice on December 10, was detained in London in 1999 awaiting a ruling by a British court on whether he would be extradited to Spain on a Spanish judge's warrant to face charges of crimes against humanity committed during his rule in Chile from 1973 to 1990. "I tell you how I feel," he told a London journalist at the time. "I would like to be remembered as a man who served his country, who served Chile throughout his entire life on this earth. And what he did was always done thinking about the welfare of Chile."[9]

P.W. Botha, former president of South Africa died November 1. He was a man who had vigorously defended the apartheid system, which led to the jailing of tens of thousands of people. He never repented or apologized for his actions, and resisted attempts to make him appear before the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. At one point he declared: "I am not going to repent. I am not going to ask for forgiveness. What I did, I did for my country."[10]

As Pol Pot lay on his death bed in 1997, he was interviewed by a journalist, who later wrote: "Asked whether he wants to apologize for the suffering he caused, he looks genuinely confused, has the interpreter repeat the question, and answers ‘No'. ... ‘I want you to know that everything I did, I did for my country'."[11]

"In these three decades I have been actuated solely by love and loyalty to my people in all my thoughts, acts, and life." Adolf Hitler, "Last Will and Testament", written in his bunker in his final hours, April 29, 1945.

Fast Forward now to 2036 ... George W. Bush lies dying, Fox News Channel is in the room recording his last words ... "I know that people think the whole thing ... that thing in Iraq ... was a bad thing, and they hold it against me ... I appreciate their view ... I can understand how they feel ... But y'know, I did it for America, and the American people, and their freedom ... The more you love freedom, the more likely it is you'll be attacked ... Saddam was a real threat ... I still think he had weapons of mass destruction ... and someday we'll find 'em ... someday we'll say mission accomplished! ... that will really be a turning point! ... So I'm prepared to meet my maker and whatever he has in mind for me ... in fact I say Bring it on!"

William Shirer, in his monumental work "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich", comments that Hitler's Last Will and Testament "confirm that the man who had ruled over Germany with an iron hand for more than twelve years, and over most of Europe for four, had learned nothing from his experience."[12]

Shirer tells us of another happening concerning Hitler's bunker, on April 12. When news of the death of President Franklin Roosevelt reached Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, he phoned Hitler in the bunker. "My Fuehrer," Goebbels said. "I congratulate you! Roosevelt is dead! ... It is the turning point."[13]
From William Blum's latest edition of his Anti-Empire Report.

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