cannabisnews.com: New Vietnam in the Making





New Vietnam in the Making
Posted by FoM on January 30, 2000 at 07:23:03 PT
By Eric Margolis, Sun Media
Source: Calagary Sun
Colombian Judge Luz Nagel, a smart, courageous lady, has survived three assassination attempts -- including one in which a burly attacker armed with a submachine-gun burst into her Bogota office. Judge Nagel managed to draw a pistol and shoot her assailant before he could fire. War, anarchy and random violence are engulfing Colombia. 
 "How," I asked the judge, "can your country be saved?" Her reply stunned me. "What we need in Colombia," she said, "is General Pinochet." She was referring, of course, to the tough old general -- a political prisoner of Britain's socialist government -- who crushed a Marxist revolution in Chile, and restored his nation to order, prosperity and democracy. Say "Latin America" and North American minds go blank. Our neighbours on this immensely rich, fascinating hemisphere might as well be on another planet. But, as this column warned from Bogota in 1998, Colombia is now forcing its way into our consciousness as an unavoidable crisis that demands decisive action. Colombia supplies 80% of the billions of dollars in cocaine entering North America. Vast narco-profits have corrupted governments across Latin and Central America and Mexico. Miami has become the Casablanca of North America. Unable to staunch the inflow of drugs, the Clinton administration has declared yet another "war" against narcotics. But almost everyone knows such wars are futile. One might as well try to ban nicotine, the "gringo" addictive alkaloid we sell to Latin America. The only way to stop the drug trade is to legalize it, or adopt the Iranian solution of executing anyone convicted of drug dealing. Drugs, however, are not really the primary concern: Far more urgent is the threat of fast-disintegrating Colombia turning into a Latin version of strife-torn 1980s' Lebanon -- or, far worse, another Vietnam. This lush, rich nation of 37 million, which produces oil, gold, emeralds, coffee and perhaps the world's most beautiful women, has been in civil war for 52 years. From 1948-58 "La Violencia" -- a mindless carnage between political and economic factions -- cost 250,000 lives. Marxist rebellions, backed by Cuba, erupted in the 1960s and have continued to the present, costing 23,000 lives and consuming up to 4% of Colombia's annual output. This month, U.S. President Bill Clinton requested $1.6 billion US from Congress to buy helicopters for the Colombian army and raise two counter-insurgency battalions. This makes Colombia the third-largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid after Israel and Egypt. But even these large sums won't end the multi-faction war in Colombia. Two extremely vicious Marxist groups -- the Revolutionary Army of Colombia (FARC) and the smaller National Liberation Army (ELN), with 20,000 guerrillas between them -- now control 60% of Colombia. They earn $200 million US annually from kidnapping, extortion and protecting drug producers. Plundering and money-making have replaced Marxism as the rebels' main motive. In October 1998, Norbert Reinhart, of Raymond, Alta., allowed himself to be exchanged for Ed Leonard, of Creston B.C., his employee who had been held by FARC since June. After three months in captivity, Reinhart was released in return for a $70,000 US ransom. Colombian President Andres Pastrana's well-meaning but struggling government barely controls Colombia's cities. During my last visit, people were being kidnapped in downtown Bogota in broad daylight. From 1990-94, 2,300 people were kidnapped for ransom by guerrillas. Colombia's 144,000-man armed forces are ineffective, immobile and on the strategic defensive. Half its soldiers are conscripts, who are exempted from combat. As a result, the government uses 5,000 rightist paramilitaries to fight the leftist bandit armies. Add in drug gangs from the scores of cocaine mafias that replaced the now defunct centralized Medellin and Cali narco-cartels. All sides in this dirty, chaotic war routinely massacre civilians. Washington's big worry is that Colombia's anarchy could spread to neighbouring Panama, which was part of Colombia until detached by the U.S. in 1903, and even close the Panama Canal, which has now reverted to Panamanian control. And to neighbouring Venezuela, America's principal foreign oil supplier, itself highly unstable and in the throes of a populist military revolution. Colombia's bandit armies could easily extend their operations into cocaine-producing northern Peru, which already has two Marxist insurgencies and to unstable Ecuador, which has just suffered a coup, and to the forgotten little states of Guyana and Surinam, turning the entire north of Latin America into a war zone resembling Indochina in the 1960s. Last fall, seven Alberta oilpatch workers were held hostage in Ecuador for 100 days until a ransom was paid to a group aligned with FARC.  Alas for Colombia and the U.S., Gen. Pinochet is unavailable for a second rescue mission. Meanwhile, the U.S. is steadily getting sucked into the Colombian war. The CIA, DEA, FBI and Special Forces have large numbers of men already deployed undercover in Colombia. More U.S. "advisers" and technicians are to soon follow. It seems only a matter of time before the U.S. is forced to commit combat units to shore up the disintegrating Colombian army -- good morning, Vietnam. A better strategy is for the Organization of American States to send a large combat force to restore order in Colombia before the war becomes a continental crisis. The ABC powers -- Argentina, Brazil and Chile -- should provide the core of the intervention force's ground troops, with contingents from Mexico, and, yes, Canada. Let the U.S. provide command and control, intelligence, air support, transport, logistics, finance and a modest number of combat troops. This is the only realistic solution to a problem that can no longer be ignored. Published: January 30, 2000Copyright  2000, Canoe Limited Partnership. Related Articles:Colombian Jungle Base Is Focus of U.S. Aid - 1/27/2000http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread4495.shtmlClinton, Colombian President Push on Hill - 1/26/2000http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread4482.shtmlU.S. Asks $1.6 Billion for Colombian Drug War - 1/11/2000http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread4266.shtml
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help




Comment #2 posted by Tom Paine on January 30, 2000 at 17:26:19 PT
Newspaper endorses Pinochet mass murder solution.
Pinochet was a mass murderer and torturer, and the only way he will not be tried for it in Europe is because he may be too ill. Pinochet (with Nixon's massive CIA help) violently overthrew the ELECTED socialist president of Chile, Salvador Allende in 1973. Most Chileans also now want Pinochet tried for war crimes, especially after they just recently elected another moderate leftist leader in Chile.Plus the drug-funded right-wing paramilitaries in Colombia are responsible for most of the political murders in Colombia of unionists, social activists, etc..*1-00. v3. Pinochet-Nixon-CIA Drug War Roots. Chile, Colombia, death squads. Republican President Nixon's creation of the mass-murdering Pinochet dictatorship. During the same years as Watergate, and his declaration of a "War on Drugs." http://pub3.ezboard.com/fdrugpolicyreformdrugwarroots.showMessage?topicID=11.topicVersion 2:http://www.egroups.com/group/drug_war_news/100.html? ____ http://www.egroups.com/group/hemp-talk/7569.html? *HUGE list of Drug-War, Death-Squad links exposing the CIA, DEA, FBI, etc. here and abroad, in Colombia, Latin America, etc. Various versions of the updated "Drug War, Death Squad Links Worldwide" webpage are found in a few places. Click: *v7 html: http://homepages.go.com/~marthag1/newdex.htm *an html version: http://homepages.go.com/~marthag1/revisedindex.htm *v7 html: http://www.nzdf.org.nz/forum3/messages/718.htm *Drug War Roots forum: http://pub3.ezboard.com/fdrugpolicyreformdrugwarroots *v4 text: http://www.egroups.com/group/hemp-talk/7589.html? *v6 text: http://www.egroups.com/group/drug_war_news/112.html? *This list of URLs (above), and more, is at the bottom of the Drug War News email list archive homepage (link is below). Also, after clicking the link below, you can click the "messages" button to see the latest messages, including possibly the LATEST VERSION of "Drug War, Death Squad Links Worldwide." http://www.egroups.com/group/drug_war_news/fullinfo.html And, for more related Drug War, death squad links, go to the political and research sections of this huge list of links. If necessary, use table of contents or page down. http://www.cannabis.com/linkscgi/#political http://www.cannabis.com/linkscgi/#research *DRUG WAR TABLES AND CHARTS. Several INTERNATIONAL charts, too. Many links. Click table of contents (TOC) names, not TOC URLs. THE FIRST URL IS THE LATEST UPDATE: http://homepages.go.com/~marthag1/drug_war_tables.htm The 4 webpages below are approximately the same (until revised). http://hippy.com/mccaffreylies.htm ___________________ http://members.tripod.com/~FOM2/index.htm ____________ http://gnv.fdt.net/~jrdawson/charts.htm ______________ http://homepages.go.com/homepages/m/a/r/marthag1/index.htm *WTO-Seattle, drug-reform, discussion webpage with the continuously-loading 50 great photos from the BATTLE IN SEATTLE: http://server5.ezboard.com/fdrugpolicytalkwtoseattleriots1999.showMessage?topicID=23.topic 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on January 30, 2000 at 10:12:08 PT
The party line, again
As usual, the reporters can show you the problem... and then they completely miss the proper solution.'Meanwhile, the U.S. is steadily getting sucked into the Colombian war. The CIA, DEA, FBI and Special Forces have large numbers of men already deployed undercover in Colombia. (Yep, bang on target, Mr. Margolis; this is indeed deja vu of the most bloody sort) More U.S. "advisers" and technicians are to soon follow. It seems only a matter of time before the U.S. is forced to commit combat units to shore up the disintegrating Colombian army -- good morning, Vietnam. (Uh huh, couldn't have said it better)A better strategy is for the Organization of American States to send a large combat force to restore order in Colombia before the war becomes a continental crisis. (All well and good, buddy; since you're so hot to trot, how about putting your money where your mouth is? Here's a uniform and a rifle, now go 'git some'. )The ABC powers -- Argentina, Brazil and Chile -- should provide the core of the intervention force's ground troops, with contingents from Mexico, and, yes, Canada. Let the U.S. provide command and control, intelligence, air support, transport, logistics, finance and a modest number of combat troops. This is the only realistic solution to a problem that can no longer be ignored. (Whoa, buddy! After telling us we should avoid involvement, now he tells us to 'jump on in, the water's fine!' I can't speak for Canada; so let this US citizen make this perfectly clear:there is not one square inch of Colombian soil worth a single US soldier's life. Not..a..one.)Mr. Margolis has been so successfully indoctrinated by Drug Warriors that he is totally oblivious to the fact he has spouted their drivel chapter, line and verse. Following the course of action we are already on guarantees failure. Yet, that is indeed what he advocates. So, another method must be found. Only by legalisation and control of presently illicit drugs can the whole juggernaut of narco-sponsored terrorism and other crimes be halted. Then and only then.But don't count on Mr. Margolis and his benighted ilk to tell you that; he's so used to wearing DrugWar blinders that he's forgotten that they are on his head. 
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment


Name: Optional Password: 
E-Mail: 
Subject: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: