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Thimbles worth of opinion
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Registered: Aug 2000
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Clear and present danger

Does America need to fight on a third front?
If you get a chance do some research on America's involvement in Columbia(in weapons support and training) and what Columbia has been doing with the support it's been given (hint: it's called state terrorism)
Now it's one thing to be supporting one side of a conflict but is it another to actually be doing the fighting?
What do you folks think of this?

http://narconews.com/article.php3?ArticleID=19

IQUITOS, PERÚ—Two battalions of US Marine Jungle Expeditionary Forces have recently received deployment orders for insertion into Colombia this coming February, 2003.

According to reliable sources, the battalions, which with support will total roughly 1,100 men, will rotate in and out of southern Colombia, with orders to eliminate all high officers of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), scattering those who escape to the remote corners of the Amazon. The FARC hierarchy has been the subject of intensive US intelligence scrutiny for several years. The offensive will mean that the US is fighting wars on three fronts simultaneously: Afghanistan, Iraq and Colombia.

While this reporter did not see a battle plan, according to our sources the offensive will be led by the Colombian military, which will push the FARC south toward the waiting Marines. A similar but much smaller operation involving former US-SEALS was called off at the last minute two years ago. The Bush Administration is supposedly prepared to take the heat for as many innocent Indigenous peoples and Colombian campesinos — a number that could reach the thousands — as might be killed in the offensive.

The presence of US troops in battle in Colombia will be in direct contravention of the Congressional parameters of both Clinton’s Plan Colombia and Bush’s expanded Andean Initiative. But with the propaganda that has been churned out in the US media during the past year regarding terrorism—including Assistant Secretary of State Rand Beers’ claim that the FARC were training with Al Qaida (a statement he has recently and quietly rescinded) (see Narco News, September 10, 2002, “Beers ‘Corrects’ Falsehood Under Oath in DynCorp Case”)—the administration feels the American public’s outrage will be controllable.

The plan was sealed at a late September lunch between Colombia’s new right wing US puppet president Alvaro Uribe and Bush in Washington. The orders for the insertion were cut shortly afterwards.

The luncheon took place at the tail end of a UNITAS exercise between US Marine Expeditionary Forces and the Peruvian military, during which, for the first time ever, 600 Marines aboard the USS Portland, made their way up the international waters of the Amazon river to Peruvian territory on the Nanay river just outside of Iquitos.

Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo denied that the US presence indicated any future involvement of US troops on Peruvian soil, or the presence of a US base in Peru—which is not permissible under Peruvian law unless specifically authorized by the Peruvian Congress. But insiders saw the arrival of the USS Portland as a message to both the FARC and Peru. To the FARC the message was that the US can show up any time and cut off their southern river escape routes to Brazil, Peru and Ecuador in the face of a Colombian military offensive push to the south. To the Peruvians, and to Toledo personally, the arrival of the Portland with 600 Marine jungle troops was a reminder that he had crossed the line when he abruptly cancelled a joint Peruvian-US military training exercise called New Horizons in April, after a year of planning and less than a month before it was set to begin.

Planning for the Portland’s arrival on the Nanay river as part of the UNITAS exercise began at almost the same time Toledo cancelled the New Horizons program.

The US troops will probably operate out of both the US base at Manta on the coast of Ecuador as well as at a base built deep in the Peruvian jungle near the Putumayo river—Peru’s border with Colombia—in 1998-1999. That secret base was intended for joint use by both Peru and the US in the event of a Colombian military offensive that would push the FARC south to the Putumayo, but on its completion, then-president Alberto Fujimori ordered the US to leave it. That slap in the face of the US by the US-bought-and-paid-for Fujimori led directly to the coup arranged by the US which forced him into exile.

According to our sources, the administration will try to keep the presence of the Marines in Colombia secret for as long as possible, claiming casualties to be the result of training exercises or legal assistance to the Colombian military. But in the event that the American public discovers that we are actively engaging in an offensive war, the administration is said to be prepared to deal with that as it comes.

Bush has allegedly become a zealot in his drive to eliminate terrorism worldwide, and sees the FARC in that light. Reliable sources say that to ensure that the rest of the US sees them similarly, US government operatives at work in Colombia have been responsible for many of the bombings that have been laid at the feet of the FARC in recent months.

It is the hope of this reporter that the release of this information stops the operation before it begins and American men and women are put in a position where they will not only shed the blood of the peoples of Colombia, but will likely see their own shed as well.

No zealotry, no quest for Colombia’s oil riches, no Andean trade pact or any other excuse can justify our deepening involvement in the Colombian war.

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Old Post 10-26-2002 03:17 AM
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Smug Git
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I don't really understand why the US voters are OK with this, given their concerns about dead US soldiers and so on. Columbia is certainly (in large parts) a lawless shithole, but I hope that this mission is going to be continuously evaluated, so that it doesn't become an open-ended war.

This Al Quaida link sounds like nonsense (the article says that is was withdrawn; I never even heard about it anyway, so it might not have been serious), but the bad guys in Columbia certainly were involved with our beloved IRA (who are not the subjects of any war on terrorism).

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Old Post 10-29-2002 11:04 AM
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Goatboy
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Reliable sources say that to ensure that the rest of the US sees them similarly, US government operatives at work in Colombia have been responsible for many of the bombings that have been laid at the feet of the FARC in recent months.


Not sure I quite swallow this.

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Old Post 10-29-2002 11:21 AM
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Goatboy
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Isn't Nute's bro in the Marine Expiditionary Forces?

Maybe he has caught wind of this.

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Old Post 10-29-2002 11:22 AM
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DevilMoon
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That piece is funny.

FARC controls an area the size of switzerland with virtually no public support. Recently they threatened to kill any elected official who did not leave their post (killing mayors and judges is one of their big activities). Even with federally offered armored cars and radios, mayors in rebel areas have resigned in droves. FARC has heightened its activities due to the face that Uribe has come into power and has decided not to put up with them anymore, hes coming after them and they know it. Maybe it's because Uribe is a puppet as your piece suggests (due to US education? the desire for a more stable country with stronger regional ties?) or maybe its because he has survived nearly a dozen assassination attempts, or maybe its because FARC killed his father. Most likely its because he is sick of the FARC, like most Colombians.

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Old Post 10-29-2002 11:47 AM
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funkyrooster
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quote:
Originally posted by Smug Git
But the bad guys in Columbia certainly were involved with our beloved IRA (who are not the subjects of any war on terrorism).


Interesting, isn't it. US administrations maintain an ambivelent attitude towards a terrorist organisation, the IRA (short for I Ran Away)) allowing fundraising activities to go unheeded and refusing extradition requests, and then that group are found to be training/receiving training from another (marxist) terrorist group, Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) that the US has decided to go to war with.

Ain't the world a funny place?

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Old Post 10-29-2002 12:40 PM
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Smug Git
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quote:
FARC controls an area the size of switzerland with virtually no public support. Recently they threatened to kill any elected official who did not leave their post (killing mayors and judges is one of their big activities). Even with federally offered armored cars and radios, mayors in rebel areas have resigned in droves. FARC has heightened its activities due to the face that Uribe has come into power and has decided not to put up with them anymore, hes coming after them and they know it. Maybe it's because Uribe is a puppet as your piece suggests (due to US education? the desire for a more stable country with stronger regional ties?) or maybe its because he has survived nearly a dozen assassination attempts, or maybe its because FARC killed his father. Most likely its because he is sick of the FARC, like most Colombians.




None of which would give the US a reason to get in there more than anywhere else; presumably the aim is to make Columbia a law abiding country that doesn't produce cocaine for sale in America? Although one might say that America's first responsibility would be to deal with their end of the problem, where they have automatic jurisdiction, rather than buying/taking jurisdiction in other countries, but it is probably easier for the president to order actions of this kind (Clinton wasn't able to achieve all that much at all domestically, apparently) than it is to do anything in the US (like Panama, for example). Is preventing cocaine production part of the rationale for getting involved?

Will the US help us out with some troops to root out the IRA, linked to FARC themselves? A few months of marines on the Falls Road kicking down doors and hoping that they don't get shot in the face should do the trick. That was a joke incidentally, we don't need the help, but I would be interested to hear what US policy towards the IRA involvement with FARC in Columbia is. There were noises when it was revealed, suggesting that the US would be taking a far dimmer view of irish republican activity in the US (fundraising, visas, etc) but I don't know if they came to much.

I don't have a priori objections to the US getting involved, actually, I'd just like more information; for all I know, of course, the US government is putting a lot of effort into making everyone aware of what they are up to, because it is possible that I wouldn't have heard it here.

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Old Post 10-29-2002 12:42 PM
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Goatboy
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I for one would love to see some US led assassination squads running riot through the dew laden paddies of Bogdom.

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Old Post 10-29-2002 12:50 PM
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Weasel Spoor
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Personally I think the level of US military intervention across the globe is starting to reach ludicrous proportions, which far outweighs any national security interest.

I find the attack on FARC interesting not least because they do not necessarily pose a direct threat to US citizens a la Al Qaeda. US forces/ military aid have always been in Colombia as part of the 'War On Drugs', now their presence can be handily bracketed in the 'War On Terror'.

US military presence around the globe will only incite and swell numbers for a variety of anti US terrorist groups.

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Old Post 10-29-2002 02:13 PM
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DevilMoon
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Everyone seems to be accepting this piece at face value, and while it is possible, I don't trust these "reliable sources" enough to think that these are the actual facts.
I looked at one of the private intelligence providers that I have access to this morning and they don't have a mention of it, however it does seem familiar to me.

What about a role similar to the one the US Special forces recently played in the Philippines? A limited time non-combat visit to train the local troops in combat operations and build some infrastucture while they are there? Would this still be bad?

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Old Post 10-29-2002 07:19 PM
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Smug Git
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Training the forces of an ally isn't as controversial; although it would be if they then started shooting up civilians or something like that (not that they needed the training do to that, they probably get then in basic). Even sending in a few troops would hardly be awful; it is only if it becomes a long drawn out battle of ideology, a genuine war, that would make you think that it was dubious. Limits have to be put on how far an operation can escalate, which is probably why congress might put those limits on (although there don't appear to be any on the conflict with Iraq, where the president appears to have been granted the authority for all-out war if need be).

My main problem with the foreign policy of our nations (and also the Russians and the French; it is an almost universal problem) is that while there is almost certainly an underlying logic or rationale (probably 'look after what we perceive as our interests first and think about foreign civilians after), that what we are presented with is not logical. This is, of course, our fault for not being sufficiently informed and not holding our leaders to account when they spin us a different line every time.

If this isn't true (as I said, I haven't heard of it, the most recent incarnation that the report claims to detail, at least) then my points would be true in general still, apart from the one about the IRA and FARC, the importance of which relates to the treatment of the IRA and their apologists and fundraisers in the US rather than any (hypothetically) proposed military action in Columbia.

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Old Post 10-29-2002 11:42 PM
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redguard
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Pardon me for butting in, but I couldn't resist.

Firstly, I think it's safe to say that the U.S. has had quite a respectable number of "military" and "para-military" personnel in Peru (and Colombia, I'm sure) for quite some time. I think that the issue of whether or not these "soldiers" are corn-fed Nebraska boys or Colombian campesinos (to borrow a phrase) bought, trained, and paid for with U.S. dollars, is entirely esoteric. The reality is that the U.S. has been manipulating the political goings-on in these two countries, with force and with bribery, for a very long time. This, I think, should be the issue that offends most openly. That the U.S. government boldly preaches Democracy and yet continues to advance political repression inside the borders of sovereign nations without shame or apology of any sort.

Secondly, on the issue of Farc and their ilk:

While it may now be true that the general populace of Colombia is good and tired of FARC, I remain to be convinced that ANY revolutionary body can continue to grow in power without either government backing or popular support. Now, I know that the FARC, Sendero Luminoso, and many other revolutionary orginizations in the area DO NOT have local government backing. This means that they must have, or at some time had, popular support. It's the simple matter of just working out the equation. Revolutions, terrorist-cells, suicide-bombers, etc... these things don't just sprout out of the ground like weeds. They are the result of something somewhere irritating (repressing, killing, robbing, etc...) people so severely that a response occurs. Now this is just a theory, but I suggest that the degree of the "irritation" could be directly proportional to the degree of the response (i.e. you put a tax on my land and I sign a petition. You kill my family, I buy a gun and come to pay you a visit).

So...

What I see is merely the next step in the U.S.'s process of supporting an extra-national political body that the indigenous people do not want to be in power. It's the same deal in Saudi Arabia. It was the same deal in Iran. All told, it's par for the course when you consider the history of U.S. interventionism abroad.

Whether it's shipments of arms to failing dictators or sudden military training exercises behind the borders of nations on the verge of revolution, this type of chicanery needs to stop. The citizenry of the nation need to educate themselves on the issues, make their voices heard, and regain control of what purports to be their government. Unfortunately, with the advent of the new consumer-approved "terrorist" label, I don't think that's going to happen anytime in the near future.

Your opinions?

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Old Post 10-30-2002 08:08 AM
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Weasel Spoor
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quote:
Originally posted by Smug Git
Training the forces of an ally isn't as controversial;


Well, considering that US/ CIA training of 'allied' forces has consistently turned around and bitten them on the arse over the past three decades (go on lets dredge up where OBL, Saddam Hussein got their training and equipment AGAIN ) I would say this is controversial. And stupid.


quote:
Originally posted by redguard
.

Firstly, I think it's safe to say that the U.S. has had quite a respectable number of "military" and "para-military" personnel in Peru (and Colombia, I'm sure) for quite some time.




Almost certainly - if at the very least for the training up of Colombian gvt. personnel to use the vast amount of US military equipment 'lent' for the 'war on drugs' (now the 'war on terror').

quote:
Originally posted by redguard
.

The reality is that the U.S. has been manipulating the political goings-on in these two countries, with force and with bribery, for a very long time.



Ever since that Monroe doctrine, Central America seems to be the US' playground. How as the lot of Central American countries improved in the 5 decades the US has been covertly or otherwise fucking around with their internal politics. The Contras were delightful weren't they?


quote:
Originally posted by redguard
.
While it may now be true that the general populace of Colombia is good and tired of FARC,



And probably equally pissed off with the governmental status quo. The only way you can guarantee personal power, independence and safety in the Colombian hinterland is either work for a drug cartel, or FARC (pretty much interchangeable of course). If the US really wants to wipe out the power of the cartels and FARC then what would be a good idea is economic aid rather than free Blackhawks and pressurising the incumbent government to end corruption. If the general population had a chance to earn a decent living legitimately then support for FARC and the drug lords would disappear pretty rapidly.

quote:
Originally posted by redguard
.
What I see is merely the next step in the U.S.'s process of supporting an extra-national political body that the indigenous people do not want to be in power. It's the same deal in Saudi Arabia. It was the same deal in Iran.



And (deep breath) Vietnam, Panama, El Salvador, Cuba. All these interventions have ever achieved is the rallying of support to the ballot box/ recruiting station of the opposition.

quote:
Originally posted by redguard
.
Whether it's shipments of arms to failing dictators or sudden military training exercises behind the borders of nations on the verge of revolution, this type of chicanery needs to stop. The citizenry of the nation need to educate themselves on the issues, make their voices heard, and regain control of what purports to be their government. Unfortunately, with the advent of the new consumer-approved "terrorist" label, I don't think that's going to happen anytime in the near future.

Your opinions?



I would have thought the lessons from history have said it all for the US (and indeed any other power - the Soviets in Afghanistan - and indeed the entire Eastern Bloc I suppose) that these kinds of interventions never work. You can only prop up a regime against popular willpower for only so long no matter how big a stick you carry.

Which of course takes me back to any proposals for post Saddam Iraq... erk.

What puzzles me most about continual interference in Central America is what possible long term strategic goal is the US pursuing? Keep those countries chasing each others tails rather than getting themselves on a decent economic footing so they begin to become cheaper and more efficient workforces producing cars, steel and the like and putting US industries out of commission?

Ha. Space aliens at work on my brain. Again. Beep. :3:

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