Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Guess what? That whole surge thing was a complete and utter disaster. None of Prez Bush´s precious benchmarks so carefully established and articulated last December are going to be met. Not that that matters. The White House is now saying that benchmarks are just goals and not critically important. Duh. Of course they aren´t. Anything close to reality isn´t important to King George and crew.

Moreover, the Iraqi government is totally collapsing. The parliament in on the verge of a no confidence vote (that will likely be unsuccessful) and no major legislation has been passed or even agreed to. See, this is what happens when you read a paper espousing the theory that Democracies don´t fight each other and then start blanketly applying that theory around the world. When the people vote for your enemies, that spells bad news. (See Gaza Strip for more.) Hopefully we can torch the Democracy = Peace theory and the paper it was written on now.

Oh yeah, way to obstruct justice Mr. President. Pardoning Scooter Libby is unequivocally obstruction. The whole point of the prison sentence was to get the man to speak. A few months behind bars might have loosened up old Scoot enough that he would have finally told the truth about Cheney´s role in the Plamegate affair. Now I guess we´ll just have to wait for the memoirs. I´m strongly favoring impeachment this week. Of both the Pres, the VP, and the AG. At the least, Cheney and Gonzalez should be impeached (see story in todays Wash Post about how Gonzalez purjered himself to Congress).

One area I differ from some of the more liberal Colombia commentators is on the demilitarized zone for the FARC during peace negotiations. For those unlearned in Colombian recent history, the FARC is demanding, just as they did in 1998, a DMZ as a precondition to negotiations on hostage/prisoner exchange. Uribe, to his credit, is adamently refusing to give in on this issue. What I can´t understand is why certain international NGOs are lobbying for a DMZ.

The last time this happened, the FARC used the DMZ to reconstitute its strength. That expression is polite for, "loot and plunder the land, sieze children and draft them into the FARC army, terrorize the people, and defensively fortify the area." In other words, recent history shows that the FARC is not to be trusted and that a DMZ is a disastrous idea.

Yet, some people still think it´s a good idea. Look. I´m with you all on how sad it is that the FARC are holding hostages, some of whom have been imprisoned for 7-10 years. It´s horrid. A true violation of everything good and decent.

BUT. That doesn´t mean policy makers should turn a blind eye to reason in face of such strong emotion. The truth is, the DMZ isn´t going to work and will only make things worse. Recent history bears this out. Even if a DMZ resulted in the freeing of all of FARCs prisoners, it would still probably be a net bad thing to do. If reports that the Uribe government have the FARC on the run are true (something difficult to prove), giving the terrorist organization a respite would be the exact wrong thing to do. Even if it means condemning 70+ people to continued captivity, suffering, and probably death.

I know it´s heartless. I know it´s cruel. But negotiating with the FARC on their terms has proven time and again to be a recipe for disaster.

Ok, I´m working on some new initiatives and I got a business trip from Thurs-Sat. So, I don´t know if I´ll be posting much until the weekend.



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