That is the opinion of the Washington Post, which somehow wound up kindda like excusing Pinochet 's authoritarian excesses in this editorial.
The old Marxist creed that the ends justify the means makes committed Marxists adversaries that will not respect any opposing idea and unfortunately they have to be treated as ruthlessly as they are willing to treat you. Marxism or even Islamofacism, needs to be eradicated, exterminated and defeated soundly in order for society to have a chance to prosper.
That is called fighting for freedom. Was Pinochet a freedom fighter who saved Chile from a Cuban-like fate? Was he a Tyrant? Did he sacrifice his soul to save his country and make it what it is today?(socialist! sorry, couldn't help it)
For years I heard comparisons between Pinochet and Castro. I always scoffed and said "At least the Chileans had toilet paper" Pinochet seemed almost "benevolent" to me when compared to Castro. But I'm biased and scarred because i had no toilet paper growing up.
Like it or not, Mr. Pinochet had something to do with this success. To the dismay of every economic minister in Latin America, he introduced the free-market policies that produced the Chilean economic miracle -- and that not even Allende's socialist successors have dared reverse. He also accepted a transition to democracy, stepping down peacefully in 1990 after losing a referendum.Editorial Here
By way of contrast, Fidel Castro -- Mr. Pinochet's nemesis and a hero to many in Latin America and beyond -- will leave behind an economically ruined and freedomless country with his approaching death. Mr. Castro also killed and exiled thousands. But even when it became obvious that his communist economic system had impoverished his country, he refused to abandon that system: He spent the last years of his rule reversing a partial liberalization. To the end he also imprisoned or persecuted anyone who suggested Cubans could benefit from freedom of speech or the right to vote
Maybe better, but still Bad.