Some people just can't handle the truth;
There are calls for a senior New South Wales Liberal MP to be reprimanded over a speech defending the late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
The State Government's Upper House whip, Peter Phelps spoke in State Parliament to mark the 40th anniversary of Pinochet's overthrow of Chilean president Salvador Allende.
"There are many who believe that General Pinochet was a reluctant hero, a morally courageous man," Dr Phelps told Parliament.
"We have to accept that sometimes it's necessary to do bad things to prevent terrible things.
"It's all too easy to say we believe we should never sanction dictatorship or that we should have no truck with evil, but such principles are foolish and self defeating in the real world.
"Yes, Pinochet killed people and if you know of any way to overthrow a government other than military force then let me hear about it."
In the aftermath of the 1973 coup d'état several thousand of Pinochet's political opponents were killed and tens of thousands more tortured and imprisoned.The torture chambers had actually been constructed by Allende to be used against his opponents. After his overthrow some elements in the army turned them against the Marxists (many of them foreigners inserted into Chile after being trained by Fidel Castro's men). Which may have been unnecessary, un-Christian, or worse, but Chile didn't have any good options open to it in 1973.
What is indisputable is that Chile is incomparably better off today than it would have been had Allende remained in power. And, it is a democracy, which it wouldn't be if Pinochet hadn't acted, as Allende had plans to abolish the Chilean legislature.
Unfortunately, Mr. Phelps, can't handle the whole truth himself, as he was forced to backtrack;
"At no time did I defend the regime and indicated my disgust at the number of people who'd been killed by him."There's a lot to defend, and, as we've pointed out before, the best defense is in James Rolph Edwards little book, Painful Birth; How Chile Became a Free and Prosperous Socierty