Forty years after Chile’s dreadful 9/11, when Gen. Augusto Pinochet overthrew democratically elected President Salvador Allende, Americans still ask me: Wasn’t Pinochet responsible for the economic miracle that made Chile a success story?

After the coup in Egypt in July, a Wall Street Journal editorial argued that “Egyptians would be lucky if their new ruling generals turn out to be in the mold of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet,” who, it said, “hired free-market reformers and midwifed a transition to democracy.” Some years ago, Jonah Goldberg made a similar argument in a Los Angeles Times column headlined “Iraq needs a Pinochet.”

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