Monday, July 27, 2009

Drug War Charade Gives Way To Naked Counterinsurgency

Very depressing. If you wondered where all your gains went from the last two decades . . . . Not only are we going to be in Afghanistan/Iraq for-evah, but take a look at our latest plans for Latin/South America. And I cannot believe that these are the best (or all bright) minds we have.

No way.

The escalation of counterinsurgency operations was packaged under the label of a war against drugs, of course. Nine years later Colombia remains the largest supplier of cocaine and heroin to the United States.

How seriously one should have taken this charade was indicated in April of 2000 when the former commander of the U.S. Army's anti-drug operation in Colombia, Col. James C. Hiett, pleaded guilty to not having turned over evidence on his wife, Laurie, for smuggling cocaine and heroin into the United States. His spouse pleaded guilty in January of planning to smuggle $700,000 worth of heroin into the US through the mail.

Colonel Hiett doubtlessly performed his duties in propagating the tale that the FARC was responsible for the lion's share of coca and opium cultivation and trafficking in the nation and that the US military was the best response to its alleged activities. If one still had any doubts regarding the sincerity of American claims to be combating narco-trafficking and terrorism, within weeks of the passage of Plan Colombia, Secretary of State (Madeleine) Albright escorted the head of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army, Hashim Thaci, whose colleagues and allied drug cartels control most of the marijuana, hashish and narcotics traffic in Europe, to her old haunts in the United Nations Headquarters and her then current ones in the State Department, preparing him to become a future head of state. (Since last year he is in fact the president of what former Serbian president Vojislav Kostunica has aptly called the world's first NATO state. It is also the world's newest narco-state.) After the events of September 11, 2001 in the United States, the White House elevated the FARC towards the top of its targets list in the so-called Global War on Terror, though what role the group could have had in the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. is beyond any sane person's ability to discern or fathom. . . . On June 29 US President Barack Obama hosted his Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe at the White House and weeks later it was announced that the Pentagon plans to deploy troops to five air and naval bases in Colombia, the largest recipient of American military assistance in Latin America and the third largest in the world, having received over $5 billion from the Pentagon since the launching of Plan Colombia nine years ago. Six months before the Obama-Uribe meeting, outgoing US President George W. Bush bestowed the US's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom, on Uribe as well as on former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Australian Prime Minister John Howard. A press account of the time expressed both shock and indignation at the White House's honoring of Uribe in writing that "Despite extra-judicial killings, paramilitaries and murdered unionists, Colombia's President Uribe has won the US's highest honor for human rights." The same source substantiated its concern by adding: "Colombia is the most dangerous country on earth for trade unionists. In 2006, half of all union member killings around the world took place there. Since Uribe came into power in 2002, nearly 500 have been murdered. In reply to concern about the assassinations, Uribe dismissed the victims as 'a bunch of criminals dressed up as unionists.'" More than 1,000 cases of illegal killings by the military are being investigated. There are dozens of cases of soldiers taking innocent men, murdering them and dressing them up as enemy combatants. Hundreds of members of the security forces are thought to have taken part in such activities."

Anyone else looking for a ticket out? Suzan ___________________

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