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60 years ago there was so much optimism. The elected prime minister was full of idealistic plans for his country, building the national economy, enriching the country by controlling its own resources, and promoting democracy. But 60 years ago he was ousted by a military coup backed by a shadowy foreign conspiracy. He spent the rest of his life either in jail or house arrest.
The damage to the country was immediate, gigantic, and long-lasting. The new regime brought terror and political murder. When it was finally brought down,  an even worse regime added religious oppression to the mix of terror and murder.
After 60 years, the remembrance of that sudden fall, and the loss it signaled, is still painful.

40 years ago there was so much optimism. The elected president was full of idealistic plans for his country, building the national economy, enriching the country by controlling its own resources, and promoting democracy. But 40 years ago he was ousted by a military coup backed by a shadowy foreign conspiracy, and murdered.
The damage to the country was immediate, gigantic, and long-lasting. The new regime brought terror and political murder.
After 40 years, the remembrance of that sudden fall, and the loss it signaled, is still painful.
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31 years ago there was so much optimism. The murderous dictatorship had been overthrown. The new government had bold plans to build the national economy, enrich the country by controlling its own resources, and promote democracy. But the 1982 declaration of a state of emergency recognized that the country was under siege from foreign-funded guerilla groups and economic sabotage.
The damage was slow and long-lasting. The next eight years, instead of a time of growing ideals and the building of a strong vibrant culture, would be a time of increasing violence and terror, until finally the country accepted fascist rule as the price of peace.
After 31 years, the remembrance of when that fall began, and the loss it signaled, is still painful.
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So go ahead, America, look back on the 50th anniversary of the awful event. Mourn. Reflect on optimism destroyed, possibilities lost. And the more you appreciate how deep and legitimate our national sorrow is, the more you are morally required to recognize the depth and legitimacy of national sorrow in Iran, Chile, and Nicaragua.
The Republican Eisenhower murdered a Kennedy.
The Republican Nixon murdered a Kennedy.
The Republican Reagan murdered a Kennedy.
Damn them all and their legacy of bloodshed and crushed hope.
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Could our reflection on our 50 years of national pain lead to some redemption, perhaps lead us to having the sense never again to inflict it on somebody else?

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