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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Is the U.S. using Colombia to instigate a new proxy war in Latin America?
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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Is the U.S. using Colombia to instigate a new proxy war in Latin America?

i've been following the colombia, ecuador and venezuela story which, btw, is one hell of a lot bigger story here in latin america than it is in the u.s...

most americans are unaware of just how much u.s. money goes into colombia, so much, in fact, that it can, for all practical purposes, be considered a client state of the u.s... for starters, check this graphic from today's edition of the argentine newspaper, la nacion that compares the armed forces of the three countries, something you likely won't see in the u.s. media... rest assured those sizable military assets in colombia are heavily subsidized by the u.s...

(Click on graphic for scalable version)

so, if i'm right, and the u.s. is indeed setting things up for a war by proxy between colombia and venezuela, let's see what's being tossed out there by way of inflammatory propaganda...

let's move right into high gear with the title and teaser of an editorial in today's wapo (where else?)...

Allies of Terrorism

The presidents of Venezuela and Ecuador are revealed as backers of the criminals who fight Colombia's democracy.

but wait... it gets better...

the ap from yesterday...

Colombia: Rebels considering dirty bombs

Colombia's vice president on Tuesday defended his country's attack on a rebel base on Ecuadorean soil, telling a U.N. disarmament panel that the leftist guerrillas were trying to acquire radioactive material that could be used to make "dirty bombs."

Vice President Francisco Santos said evidence in two computers found after the attack indicated rebels trying to acquire radioactive material — "the primary basis for generating dirty weapons of mass destruction and terrorism."

got your adrenaline pumping yet...?

still more...

Colombia seeks criminal charges against Chavez

President Alvaro Uribe said today that his government would ask the International Criminal Court to try Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez for financing and supporting Colombia’s main rebel group.

The Uribe government claims documents found in the laptop of a slain commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia indicate Chavez’s government recently gave $300 million to the group known as the FARC.

The United States and the European Union classify the FARC as an international terrorist organization.

and, of course, the bush administration, always eager to take down anybody who doesn't toe the line of united states global hegemony (read: hugo chávez), trots out george to make sure everybody knows how strongly the u.s. backs colombia (read: wants a free trade agreement)...
Statement by the President on Colombia

THE PRESIDENT: This morning I spoke to President Uribe of Colombia. He updated me on the situation in his country, including the continuing assault by narco-terrorists, as well as the provocative maneuvers by the regime in Venezuela.

I told the President that America fully supports Colombia's democracy, and that we firmly oppose any acts of aggression that could destabilize the region. I told him that America will continue to stand with Colombia as it confronts violence and terror and fights drug traffickers.

President Uribe told me that one of the most important ways America can demonstrate its support for Colombia is by moving forward with a free trade agreement that we negotiated. The free trade agreement will show the Colombian people that democracy and free enterprise lead to a better life. It will help President Uribe counter the radical vision of those who are seeking to undermine democracy and create divisions within our hemisphere.

meanwhile, you have to travel all the way across the u.s. to find something that even faintly resembles genuine news reporting about what's REALLY going on here in latin america...

from the la times...

Neighbors take aim at Colombia over incursion

An increasingly isolated Colombia came under heavy criticism from its neighbors at an emergency Organization of American States session Tuesday for killing a top Colombian rebel leader in Ecuador last weekend.

A sense of crisis has enveloped the region as diplomats worked to avoid an armed conflict that could be devastating to a continent that has successfully transitioned into a mostly democratic region after the military juntas and "dirty wars" of the 1970s and 1980s.

Virtually all South American nations, though urging patience, have denounced the cross-border attack that killed Raul Reyes, the No. 2 commander of the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

yes, that's right, folks... the countries of latin america are united in their opposition to colombia's action... but, naturally, the lone voice of support at the oas meeting was ----- well, golly ----- the u.s...
One of Colombia's few backers at the OAS meeting was acting U.S. representative J. Robert Manzanares, who said the Colombian troops ordered into Ecuador had a right to "pursue this terrorist menace."

something else unreported by u.s. media is that argentina's president, cristina fernandez de kirchner, is flying to caracas this afternoon to hold a long-scheduled meeting with chávez to sign a broad agreement exchanging argentine food for venezuelan energy... however, the tension in the region, understandably, is adding a new twist to the meeting...

from an article in today's mercopress...

CK calls for peace and confirms planned Venezuela trip
[CK = Cristina Kirchner]


“There are no changes to the presidential trip to Caracas on Wednesday”, said Casa Rosada [Casa Rosada is the Argentine equivalent of the U.S. White House] sources quoted by the Buenos Aires press.

Argentine analysts don’t discard last minute changes given the rapidly escalating military tension and accusations between the three countries involved.

here's the REALLY interesting part of the above article, information almost guaranteed NOT to be reported in u.s. media...
Argentine government officials revealed that Mrs. Kirchner talked to Chile’s Michelle Bachelet and Brazil’s Lula da Silva, among others, trying to cool the situation and in search of a regional diplomatic stance to find a solution.

Apparently following on Brazil’s suggestion, the conflict should not leave the region, should avoid the UN and most important keep down the incidence of United States. The Brazilian president foreign affairs advisor Marcos Aurelio said that the “best way” to solve the crisis is in a “South American environment” and anticipated Brasilia would seek support from Argentina and Chile to join the group of countries interested in “a maximum reduction of tension”, and leaving aside “partners” from outside the region.

translation: dear george... keep your nose the hell out...

my assessment is, given the heavy use of the "terrorism" talking point, the accusations of wmd and genocide, the call to protect "democracy," and the fact that george and the neocons can't seem to get the iran war off the ground, our war-mongering leaders have decided to open up another front, using colombia as a lever to go after two more energy-rich opec countries, both of whom have been telling the u.s. where we can stick it...

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