Finally, when Fidel ultimately croaks, he will have left what was once the most prosperous country in Latin America in a heap. Are any of Pinochet's present-day tormentors demanding Castro's prosecution for crimes against humanity?
There are two points worth noting here. One is that the left -- whether communist or simply glassy-eyed reformist -- never tires in hunting down its enemies. The other is that its enemies are always on the right, or at least the perceived right. The old Soviet Bloc countries are filled with retired brutes who did far more damage to the civil liberties and the prosperity of their countries than Pinochet ever did. There is no effort to prosecute these enemies of freedom commensurate with the effort against Pinochet.
If indeed the prosecution of Pinochet would elevate regard for human rights worldwide, I would be among the first to celebrate Judge Guzman's decision. Yet it is not the opponents of Pinochet who have made great strides in the elevation of human rights worldwide. Rather, it has been North Americans and Europeans, most notably the English-speaking peoples.
Right now, those people are leading the world in a struggle against tyrants who, unlike an 89-year-old retired general, can actually shoot back. How prominent have Pinochet's opponents been in the struggle against Islamofascism and the sadistic Saddam Hussein? The answer is not very.
In fact, many of those cheering for Pinochet's neck today blithely lump Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George W. Bush into the same category they reserve for Pinochet.
There is a great deal of posturing about civil liberties and justice in the campaign against Pinochet. There is also something else. It is difficult to explain, but it is observable. The left worldwide reserves its hostility for people on the right and for America and its allies, who are the real guarantors of the rights of man.