March 4, 2008

Is Colombia the New Iraq?

The format is the same, be it Vietnam or Iraq or the Americas after European invasion. As Warren Zevon said: send lawyers, guns and money. Here are excerpts from today's Democracy Now! Amy Goodman interviews Mario Murillo, Helga Serrano and others about Colombia's "incursion" [just a little one!] into Ecuador:
With US Assistance, Colombian Troops Attack and Kill 20 FARC Rebels Inside Ecuador
Mario Murillo: [...] Raul Reyes, as you rightly put forward in the introduction, is the—was the second in command. Basically, he was considered the official ambassador, diplomat of the FARC, who traveled all around the world, to El Salvador, to Latin America, to Europe, talking with all different kinds of leaders, and he was perhaps the most visible of all the FARC commanders,[...] So knocking him down, killing him the way he was killed, was a big public-relations victory for Alvaro Uribe Velez, the President of Colombia, especially in light of what has been going on over the last couple of weeks.
[...] It [Colombia's "incursion"] came at an opportune time, because there’s been criticism of Uribe Velez for not really carrying out serious measures to release the hostages that the FARC have been holding for some time now. Just last week, four hostages were released by the FARC to the Venezuelan government because of the intervention of Hugo Chavez and the Venezuelan government. And those people, when they got to Venezuela, those people who were in captivity for five, six years, immediately started criticizing and calling into question Uribe Velez’s positions, basically saying that, you know, we were walking through the jungles for 250 kilometers, and we didn’t see one soldier in sight. One of them actually said that—the FARC operate in the countryside—they move in the countryside and the jungles much like fish in water. So there was a lot of criticism as to the security policy of Uribe, not to mention the political strategy of refusing to negotiate with the FARC to eventually release the hostages.
Now that you knock out somebody like Raul Reyes, such a high visible figure in the FARC for so many years, it’s almost as if it’s a moot point, because it adds to the idea that Uribe Velez has been arguing for so long, that we can win this fight militarily, and we’re not going to sit down and negotiate with these, quote-unquote, “terrorists.”
[...] And what we see right now in 2008 is a process where the US military assistance, eight years of Plan Colombia, six years of Uribe’s total war carried out against the FARC, and a real stepped-up improvement in the communications technology that the Colombian armed forces are using, resulting in this kind of attack leading to the death of Raul Reyes, it would be hard to imagine that this kind of cross-border incursion could have occurred without the knowledge, without the understanding of the United States, especially given the large presence that the US has particularly in the southern part of the country.
[...] HELGA SERRANO: [...] We are outraged in Ecuador. We cannot imagine that our country that is a neighbor and that we have about 500,000 Colombians here, which our country has received in solidarity, because they have been displaced because of the conflict of the war in Colombia, and that President Uribe pays us like this, by bombing our country, by being a puppet to the Bush administration, by using military bases like the Tres Esquinas in Colombia to carry out the attack. And we are asking and demanding an investigation to see if the base in Manta was also used in this attack.
[...] We are outraged, and we are having a big demonstration on Thursday, March 6 at 6:00 in the afternoon. There are demonstrations already going on yesterday. There will be another one today. And many organizations are calling—are supporting President Correa’s position. He has got a very firm position. And we are demanding, once again, the closure of these military bases, which we feel are the structure from which these kinds of activities are carried out.
Read or watch more at:
I hope I'm wrong but this situation may get very, very hot now that the "nuclear threat" is becoming part of our downstairs neighbors' arsenals.
Here’s a cute little “news” report from Assyrian International News Agency [uh huh!] which states:
Colombian Terrorist Was After Nuclear Bomb
Posted GMT 3-4-2008 7:55:32
Colombia's armed forces and national police performed one of the most spectacular anti-terror strikes in history, taking out FARC chieftain Raul Reyes, the No. 2 terrorist in the Marxist cocaine-trafficking guerrilla group.
Using American training and satellite technology, the hit took out a member of the FARC's inner circle for the first time, ending all illusion of safety at the top. Identified by his Rolex watch, the Marxist thug had a $5 million price on his head.
Better still, Colombia's well-trained armed forces seized three of his computers with some surprising contents: A FARC plan to buy 50 kilograms of uranium to expand into international terrorism.
Colombia's victory followed a series of powerful blows against other FARC leaders. As defections from the group rise and the terrorist leadership is decapitated, a picture emerges of a war being won after nearly 50 years of fighting.
Mmmmm boy! Smells like yellowcake with oregano! But reading this is like a blast from Pravda’s past. Hold your noses, or just have a good laugh at this "news" report:

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