Saturday, 12 September 2009

In remembrance - September 11th

On September 11th 1973, a military coup toppled the democratically elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende.

By 7 AM, the Navy had seized Chile's major port, and shut down radio and television stations. The Army closed down most of these in the capital, with the Air Force bombing the rest.

By 9 AM, the armed forces controlled all of Chile but the area around the presidential palace. Allende refused to negotiate and gave a final speech telling the nation about the coup d'etat, and his refusal to resign.

The palace was bombed, and then assaulted by infantry and armour. Allende died, probably by suicide, possibly shot. Around sixty people died on the day.

The military then arrested and imprisoned 40,000 in the National Stadium. It lost 160 and killed thousands in the next few months, and another few thousand were killed by the subsequent Pinochet regime during the next seventeen years. Pinochet tortured tens of thousands during this period.

The population of Chile was under 10 million at the time of the coup.

Two days after the coup, 13th September 1973, the military junta dissolved Congress and banned all political activity. Democratic rule was not restored until 1990.

Also on this day, 11th September 1982, the Multinational Force in Lebanon (consisting of French, Americans and Italians) guaranteeing the safety of Palestinian refugees was withdrawn from Beirut.

Four days later, the Israeli Defense Force surrounded the Sabra-Shatila camps, and started shelling them. The Israelis let 1500 Lebanese Phalangist militia enter the camps. Over the next 48 hours, between 16th and 18th September, the militia murdered hundreds of civilians, including deliberate killings of women and children. The IDF were ordered not to interfere.

The IDF estimates 700-800 civilians were killed, the Red Crescent and journalists estimate over 2000, possibly up to 3500.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Aussie drivers...

From Stuff:

Australian schoolgirl skipper Jessica Watson, 16, has crashed her yacht on the first leg of her solo around-the-world voyage.

Watson's sloop, Ella's Pink Lady, hit a merchant ship near Stradbroke Island about 2.30am, less than 24 hours after leaving the Sunshine Coast for Sydney.

The Buderim schoolgirl contacted the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which was monitoring her journey, and was told to turn her motor on and head back to Southport on the Gold Coast.

The teenager was not injured in the collision, but her yacht's mast and bow were substantially damaged.

I tell you, letting teenagers have the keys to ANY vehicle is a bad idea...

Saturday, 5 September 2009

On conspiracy theories...

I've noticed an interesting trend here.

When the biannual film festival starts up, as it usually does with a bang, I've usually got a paper due.

When the Downtown Ministry holds their bookfair, as they are this weekend, I've usually got a paper due.

And when this puppy rolls around again and I start eyeing it to see if I still have the stamina of my long distant youth - you guessed it, there's a paper due that Monday.

Of course, the rational person might say that this has something to do with the numerous extensions and procrastination - BUT THE RATIONAL PERSON WOULD BE IN ON THE EDUCATIONIST CONSPIRACY!!!

It all makes sense. I wonder if it would still make sense if I ever manage to catch up on my sleep?