So I'm watching TVO last night, and the movie Missing is on. I decided to watch it again, perhaps because I was in the mood to get angry, who knows, and at the end they did the interview section, which was mainly the actors from the film, along with a famous editor who knew the real Charles Horman. A notable, if puzzling, addition to the lineup was Eric Margolis, who spent all of his screentime complaining about the film's lack of context.
You know, the context that makes it cool to torture and execute tens of thousands of people for their political beliefs. That kind of context.
In his attempts to justify these statements he threw out broad generalizations about panic over left-wing militias in Central America, and the work of the Tupamaros - he worked it all into a broad generalization about how the left-wingers acted as terrorists, and so the countries responded by putting right-wing strongmen in charge, which led to the death squads and large-scale massacres. Then he compared the actions of the Bush government, renditioning and torturing people because of the 'war on terror'.
That's an interesting comparison, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with the point of the film, which concerned the excesses of a government's actions after a coup, and the US government's complicity in the bloodshed.
Frankly, I've got no idea what Margolis was even doing on the program - was it an attempt to give some 'balance' to the film's left-wing message? If so, why did anyone think that was necessary? You know, I watched Kiss of Death a few weeks ago, and in the interview section afterwards there weren't any historians taking the time to point out that the mob really weren't such bad guys, and how maybe those old ladies deserved to be thrown down staircases.
Seriously, what kind of a world are we living in when anyone, at any time, feels it necessary to provide context and justification for the actions of Pinochet?