...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



without one shot being fired:

“I am unaware of a precedent to such a perfect mission. Maybe only the Israelis…their wonderful commandos may be reminiscent of the mission that took place here.”
Ingrid Betancourt Ynet 04.Jul.08
The helicopter that did land at the site in Colombia where the 15 hostages were gathered under FARC guard contained a total of 13 people - one nurse, one medical doctor, and 11 crew and military personnel (all disguised as humanitarian workers). The source says some of those 13 people were Colombians.

However, the source still maintains that up to six of those 13 individuals were U.S. special-operations personnel, as reported previously, and that the entire operation was carried out with the active involvement of the U.S. military in cooperation with the Colombian government.
Narco News
Swiss public radio cited an unidentified source “close to the events, reliable and tested many times in recent years" as saying the operation had in fact been staged to cover up the fact that the US and Colombians had paid $20 million for their freedom.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the rescue “was conceived by the Colombians and executed by the Colombians with our full support."
TimesUK 04.Jul.08
executed by the Colombians:
Throughout the country, the armed forces are carrying out mass arrests of campesino and labor leaders, even municipal government officials, on trumped-up charges of guerrilla collaboration. Four days after Powell's certification, two unarmed campesinos were killed and dozens of families displaced following a sweep by the army's 12th Brigade at Union Penaya, in the rainforest of Caqueta.

Independent peasant organizations in these regions such as the Cimitarra Valley Campesino Association argue that Colombia's paramilitaries are an extra-official extension of the national army - and therefore, at least indirectly, beneficiaries of US aid. Making matters worse, peasants report that the paramilitaries are forcing campesinos to grow coca--which then results in their communities being sprayed with toxic chemicals by US-piloted aircraft as part of the "war on drugs."

When I visited one community in the Cimitarra Valley last year, residents showed me a tax form issued to their village by the local bloc of the United Self-Defense Groups of Colombia - AUC, the national para network. They said the paras demanded a cut of all their produce to support the war. They also showed me fields--of banana and yucca as well as coca - that had been destroyed by glyphosate sprayed from State Department-contracted DynCorp planes.
Bill Weinberg/TheNation 23.Mar.04
Yaneth Perez is a single mother of three children. She lives in Arauca, a state in northeastern Colombia that suffers high levels of violence and government repression. Occidental Petroleum owns and operates a massive oil field and pipeline in Arauca, both of which are protected by the U.S. and Colombian military.
Yaneth is the president of the Dawn of Women for Arauca, an association that works to protect and promote women’s rights in an increasingly volatile region. More than 100 social leaders have been killed and an equal number have been imprisoned on false charges of “rebellion”. The Colombian war is one that fails to differentiate civilians from drug runners, guerrillas, or government military. These atrocities are repeated all over the country; social organizing or unionizing is a crime.
The U.S. government provides $1.5 million a day to Colombia in military aid, under the auspices of fighting a war on drugs. In reality, these funds are used to purchase killing tools for the merciless paramilitaries that keep oil flowing. The “war on drugs” consists of spraying a form of Round-Up from the air, allowing for a high dispersal rate that kills subsistence crops and coca alike, and dissipates dangerously into the groundwater.
Cassidy Randall/New West
Yaneth Perez

“Women are the most affected,” she said. “They kill our husbands, then go to the schools dressed as clowns to invite the children to become informants.”

Blog Archive