Saturday, July 05, 2008

Freedom Fighters Maligned

Below is my letter to Reuters:

It's a sad day for journalism when only one side is portrayed. I find your reporting on the 'Freed Hostages' in Colombia absolutely slanted to the Right. You fail to clearly distinguish the extent of the American 'hostages' involvement in Colombia between that of a civilian profile to that of hired mercenaries. A military contractor is elegant nomenclature for nothing more than a hired gun, no different than the Blackwater contractors in Iraq that do not operate under the Uniform Military Code and do not adhere to the tenets of the Geneva Convention.

Just what were these "military contractors" doing in Colombia? And to what extent did Clinton's Plan Colombia (which send over $1 billion Colombia's way per annum) truly affect the drug trade? Have you mentioned in any of your articles that the FARC-EP & the ELN, both, enjoy substantial popular support or that much of the money American' tax dollars are being used to counteract a popular workers movement that predates even the Cuban Revolution?

Have any of your recent reports included the FARC-EP's attempts at dialog with previous Colombian heads of state, the many ceasefires, and/or the fact that cocaine funds many more entities than just the guerrillas?

Colombia remains one of the most violent, most corrupt, and most under-developed nations in all of Latin America. Colombia, ironically, is also own of the richest nations (in terms of natural resources) in the Western Hemisphere. Sadly, for those looking to prop up the Urribe government, Colombia's short comings cannot be pinned on the backs of the FARC-EP freedom fighter or even on the neighboring Hugo Chavez.

I suspect if Reuters continues delivering articles such as the last few I've seen, you will no doubt be in contention for dethroning Fox as the primary source of news for neocons and right-wingers worldwide.

Reuters and AP should be the neutral, all-encompassing news mediums that people (including myself), have always respected for a step above the rest. I find it extremely troubling that in the last few days, this news agency has begun to resemble the Baghdad Bob, in reporting ridiculous articles that hold the Urribe regime as being the Godsend those of us wise to Colombian politics know it to hardly be.

Christian Duque
Law Student
Lansing, MI

The Reality At Hand

What the media has considerably played down, is the fact that 'American Hostages' in question were not Catholic nuns or Buddhist monks, they were military contractors paid to help a brutal regime remain in power by suppressing the people. Colombia cannot free itself from the ballot box, it's simply not possible to counteract the irreparable harm done to the Colombian people and/or to bridge the disproportionate, jaw-dropping divide between filthy rich and abject poor.

How much of Colombia's hardships is fair to pin on the guerrillas? How does one explain the poverty in Cartagenas or Barranquia where there is no guerrilla activity? And how much of Colombia's natural much of its petroleum, coffee, coal, and nickel must be pilfered by multi-national corporations that reap a lion's share of the profits, with the next biggest chunk dispersed into the various coffers of a vile, corrupt government continue until the people blow the whistle -- or take up arms for a better government? Otherwise, what's left? The crumbs for the people of the major cities - or - the broken dreams and endless misery for the men, women, and children of the beaten down countryside - the major bastion of FARC, ELN support? There's no choice other than armed insurrection for Colombia, even today's modern day centrists (whose political lineage goes back the Conservadores & Liberales which started the civil war that today's guerrilla's wage), so please Int'l Media: GET REAL!


There's usually something wrong in a country that's been ravaged by civil war for over half a century. Shame on the Int'l media for implying that Colombia is a beacon of hope and a model democracy and portraying the FARC Freedom Fighters as little more than well-armed drug runners.


Anonymous said...

Gimme a break.

Christian Duque said...

That's fine, but realize that you are again only showing ONE side of the struggle.

There's 9+ pages of hits on Colombia there...several of the links involve the 'wonderful' Uribe government and the Colombian Armed Forces carrying out attacks against the people and violating human rights.

Had Clinton kept his nose out of Colombia's affairs and were he not involved in private trade agreements today and were $1Billion+ American tax dollars not flowing into the country to buy arms and friends...the FARC-EP & the ELN would have united the people, defeated the puppet governments, and given the Colombian people what they have longed for, a democratic-socialist republic based on free speech, freeh assembly, sensible fair trade, and true democracy (e.g. Venezuela, Nicaragua, & Ecuador).

Anonymous said...

Venezuela is based on "free assembly"?

Gimme a break. I'm a liberal Democrat. Grow some brain tissue and realize that there are no clean hands in Latin America, whether it's Chavez or Uribe, or FARC or AUC.

Christian Duque said...

Me grow brain tissue?

Your point is my point, but it requires you actually read my entire post, which you clearly did not.

No one's hands are "clean," in Colombia, but the Int'l press has taken to maligning the FARC and glorifying Uribe.

Read the post and then make you critiques - or do as you please, but don't expect future responses in that case.

Anonymous said...

Malign: To make evil, harmful, and often untrue statements about; speak evil of.
It's not 'maligning' FARC. It's truth. They kill and kidnap civilians.

I don't defend purveyors of terror regardless of whether they're from my political wing. Would you defend the Khmer Rouge?

Christian Duque said...

No. The Khmer Rouge, like Peru's Shining Path, attacked all sectors of the population, including the workers (the class which they sought to liberate).

I am open to sensible debate, but comparing the FARC-EP to the Khmer Rouge is ridiculous on a multitude of levels.

Once again, I'll engage in sensible debate, but please try to remain well-grounded. The FARC have built schools, infrastructure, they have built clinics, maybe to the rich and the industrialists they are no more than terrorists, but to hundreds of thousands, the FARC are freedom fighters.

You can sit there and deny it all you like...but no guerrilla movement survives without substantial popular support and not for more than half a century.

Anonymous said...

Doing some good things does not mitigate bad things.

Example: George W. Bush declared the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawaii, preserving 40,000 square miles of reefs, atolls and sea. Bush also appointed the U.S. district court judge in Pennsylvania that threw out intelligent design bullshit in public schools.

It still doesn't matter, because Bush still epically fucked up America and the world.

Likewise, FARC builds schools. So does Hezbollah.

Who the fuck cares? They are both still terrorists.

If you're doing things like chaining politicians to poles for years and years--like FARC did to Íngrid Betancourt--you're an organization of evil fucks. End of story.

Christian Duque said...

Someone's done a great job of brainwashing you.

Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization. Al Qaeda, on the the other hand, is.

I'm sorry, but you're a very ignorant person; I feel very sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

I guess I see your point. I was just blinded by all the media reports.

Christian Duque said...

Hey, not a problem. That's what the media does best. And I'm sorry if was mean to you, but politics is passionate stuff for some. I think it's very cool of you to have posted what you did, though.

Get a clue said...

That's called sarcasm Duque.

Christian Duque said...

Or perhaps...enlightenment.

Anonymous said...

Yeah you're right, we should take the side of the guys who flew planes into the twin towers as well.

Get it into your thick skull that terrorism is not okay. Killing innocents is not okay. You want to fight the military in a civil war - DO THAT. Don't involve civilians, much less civilianz of another country. We should bomb this group of people off the face of the earth for even thinking about touching an American citizen.

Anonymous said...

you deleted my rebuttal comment duque you wimp

Christian Duque said...

Interesting points 7:49.

Have I ever defended Al Qaeda? No. Never. Still, I find your Bill O'Reilly, pump'n'fists, 4th of July jughead patriotism amusing.

Colombia is in civil war; war is hell. Civilians get killed in war, they are unfortunately caught in the middle. No one wants civilians to die or get hurt, not the military or the Freedom Fighters.

I give hell to the Freedom Fighters for not peacefully protesting and/or circulating petitions and the like, but these measures only work when you have democratically elected, law-abiding leaders.

The Colombian Government is one of the most corrupt in the world. Colombian laws aren't worth the paper they're printed on. You can't expect anything but the armed struggle to bring about change.

Are you familiar with Colombian history? Are you familiar with U.S. history?

College gives you a degree and is a vehicle for many to get better paying jobs, but unless you open up those thinking pores and actually read for pleasure and debate for sanity, unless you leave more culturally enriched (Right or Left), then you're just the same 18yr old moron that left your parents house, only difference, is that now you have a degree but you still don't know the capital of Florida.