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The Other 9/11

By David Golding

On September 11th, every year, it became a habit for certain melancholic leftists who consider themselves heretical thinkers to reflect, not on the Ouroboros of McEmpire and McJihad, or whatever, but on Allende shooting it out with fascist generals with Castro’s sub-machine gun.


The more nativist among these so-called leftists, the ones who sold their souls to the Democratic Party, even put bumper stickers on their cars claiming that “the other 9/11 happened on Republican watch”—as if the date deserved its own sacralization, as if the events of a vast though narrow country in a corridor of the southern hemisphere were a proleptic shadow or an exegesis, and as if there really could be an “other 9/11,” since both arbitrary dates were planned in advance and produced by a psychotic and ubiquitous imperial schema, delayed by a couple weeks in the Chilean case or in the case of “America’s” 9/11 until the Clintonian-1990s neocons left their right-wing thinktanks in 2001—and as if it hadn’t been Scoop Jackson’s Democratic Party that championed unfettered militarism in those years, as if the Democratic Party hasn’t always been the Ur-Imperialist party (going back to Mexico, to slavery, to William Walker’s invasion of Nicaragua), and as if that eternal panoptic vigilance, that imperial gaze, that Roman and reactionary question of who will watch the watchers?, etc., were something legitimate.

That day—the day that never ended and came once a year, like all cyclical and reactionary time—the neo-Stalinists dreamed and dreamed of manly virtue, until even Guatemala’s genocidal Pérez Molina became a kind of cuddly anti-imperial mummy.

That day, or the next day, Henry Kissinger talked to Nixon on the phone about his plans to attend a Giants game and about how the “Chilean thing” had resolved itself surprisingly well. “I mean instead of celebrating—in the Eisenhower period we would be heroes.”

And that day, or some day later, the Soviets refused to play a World Cup qualifying match in the concentration camp/stadium where the Chileans scored an ignominious goal against no one, or against the absence of the gaze of international conscience, which always defends so valiantly. (International Conscience is a character in a NATO play without a Brecht to subvert and redeem it).

The fact is 9/11, those kabbalistic numbers with a disgusting phallic excess, a Cesarean cut in the middle—punctuated by an invisible scream of unanswered emergency—doesn’t matter. 9/11 is made up, had-to-be-invented.

Allende lost when he decided to become García Márquez’s “rare and tragic” hero, firing shots in order not to fire a shot, martyring himself in order not to allow the Chilean people—and that obscenity, the international Left—to become something more than a piece of marytiric nostalgia. Physical and moral heroism, which Allende had, are so extinct now that they become objects of reliquary devotion, when in fact what Allende did was what any decent bourgeois doctor should have done, or would do.

Allende lost, but on the other hand, he didn’t have a chance. To celebrate Allende is to celebrate a rigged match, in which the preordained loser becomes a kind of plausible opponent.

I prefer to look at the photos of young women and men—trade unionists, teachers, world-renowned folk musicians who kept getting shoved to the back of the execution line (because your songs are important!), kids who were hanging out in an apartment where Marxist-Leninist texts could be found, local toughs, local drunks—entering the Estadio Nacional with looks of pure terror in their eyes: a terror that is so involuted, so accusatory against the abyss of mediatic images, of images themselves, so turned in on itself and its desire to live that it could be mistaken for the terror in the eyes of the young working-class soldiers who were in charge of torturing and killing (and there were soldiers, it should be mentioned, who belonged to the communist youth organizations who refused orders and joined their compañeros in Auschwitz).


young killer.jpg

Again, as I said, 9/11 doesn’t matter. Allende died standing up. Castro will die in his bed, his brother hugging Obama or pissing next to him in a urinal at Mandela’s funeral (at the very least, we should note, Obama isn’t LBJ, he has a certain decorum, he never wagged his dick around, imploring—with that pitiful male cathexis onto his substitute and symbolized mother’s tit—the viewer to trust his intentions, since how could a man so well-hung ever lead us astray in a challenging twenty-first century globalized world?).

They almost look Syrian, those victims, one might say.

And the gringos are now Chinese gringos, one might say. But still less Chinese than gringo.

And Pinochet, the gorilla, with his Jabba the Hutt image (which is to say his image of an oriental despot), is dead.


Bachelet’s government now includes the Communists and commands the support of the more amenable, deluded, or pliable segment of the student protests of the past years—not to mention the support of geriatric Anglo-leftists who want to see a pretty face in charge of the latest leftist fad.


At the same time, she (Bachelet) has the lowest approval ratings in the history of those absurd techno-statistical measures. A doctor herself, an exile herself, the victim of a corporate-international coup herself (despite her complete agreement with “democratic” neoliberalism), she prefers to go out in pure melancholia and surrender. She’s a favorite to be the next Secretary General of the U.N.

The star of the Chilean flag—the Chilean flag itself—resembles, or rather is identical to, the star of the flag, and the flag itself, of Texas: a vanishing interior star, according to the Mexican poet Heriberto Yépez, a hypocritical star that doesn’t know it stopped burning light-years ago, whose event horizon is the necessary death of nations, and whose border—beyond the horizon—represents the crossing into savagery. A migrant frontier in the desert where one has an unparalleled view into the astronomical history of the universe, a view that is also a mirror, Stendhal’s mirror traveling along a provincial road (as provincial as the universe), into an inexorable prison where one can no longer say whether the prison, or the prisoner himself, has created the new demon of hope.

13 february.jpg

Feb 14.jpg

Feb 15.jpg

What’s outside the window? 1 (13th of February)) The evanescently fascist nation, 2 (14th of February)) the post-fascist nation’s funereal shroud, 3 (15th of February)) the National Endowment for Democracy cut-up world’s freedom, the prisoner of conscience Leopoldo López, Kenneth Roth’s silenced Hitler after the Beer Hall Putsch, Kenneth Roth misspelling the names of various Latin American nations (“Venezueala” “Guatamala,” the Kurds who are about to be slaughtered (the sovereignty of the Turkish nation), Sykes-Picot not as a sutured wound around which to fight colonialism and western betrayal, but as an oriental death wish necessitating the division of nation states into motley sectarian, ethno-religious fiefs, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Super-NAFTA, eight Mexican tourists massacred by the Egyptian military in the White Desert, because they were mistaken for Islamists, or because the Egyptian military was mistaken for the Mexican military, Chileans locked in a supermarket by Walmart during an earthquake (the separate but equal incarceration of the consumerist poor and the insurrectionist poor) the vaunted agency of maquiladora workers who on the side make craft Louis Vitton bags so that hipster photographers can score Borgesian points about how the informal labor market is only a copy of the original, so that the copy of the copy has a redeeming virtue, so that the surplus guilt of art seems like a shining instrument of innocence, etc.

The other 9/11 is a cop-out, is a leftist cop.

From September, 2015

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