Author Topic: Hostage release in Colombia  (Read 4896 times)

sparqui

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Re: Hostage release in Colombia
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2008, 09:49:59 PM »
Quote
The FARC, the source claims, believed they were dealing with a “French humanitarian group.”

This is not the first time. This is a tried and true trick used by the US (special ops/CIA) to carry on their business in many countries. Is it any wonder that certain countries take a hard line in accepting aid workers? Their tactics have put legitimate aid and relief work in jeopardy.
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skdadl

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Re: Hostage release in Colombia
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2008, 07:49:14 AM »
Another character to throw into the mix: Victor Bout, whose arrest in Thailand in March I think we probably noted somewhere. (Info about Bout is said to have been on that laptop seized in the March raid against FARC.)

One thing that NYT article does not make clear in any very straightforward and honest way: Bout was a freelancer, and the Americans have made use of his, ah, talents in the past when they needed him. Apparently they stopped needing him.

I can't make all the connections, but I'm sure they're there to be made.

jrootham

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Re: Hostage release in Colombia
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2008, 09:54:47 AM »
Skdadl, that link goes to Chantal Hebert.  Is that what you intended?

matttbastard

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Re: Hostage release in Colombia
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2008, 06:36:04 PM »
Quote from: deBeauxOs
So ... those defense contractors are highly valuable commodities?  Who knew?

Or the rescue was a splashy exercise for the purpose of displaying fancy equipment and stealth operations to potential customers?  Necessary allies?  Visiting aliens?

Or, what skdadl said.

Or ....?

...or a dog-wagging exercise to help smooth the way for Uribe to run for a third term (and to direct attention away from a nagging corruption scandal that potentially threatened to bring down his government)?

Quote
Polls released Sunday show that Mr. Uribe's approval rating – which was already at 73 percent – soared to 91 percent after the rescue, which freed French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, three American defense contractors, and 11 Colombian soldiers and police.

[...]

It was such a coup against the FARC that even some of Uribe's most fervent critics are heaping on the praise.

"It was brilliant," said Marta Pabón, who normally considers herself a detractor of Uribe, as she walked her dog Sunday morning. "No one can take that recognition from him. But I'm afraid now of how he will use that politically."

[...]

Uribe, who was originally elected in 2002, then again in 2006, has been toying with the idea of seeking a constitutional amendment to allow him to run for yet another term in office. His supporters say they have already collected enough signatures to call a referendum on the issue.

The Sunday poll by the Napoleon Franco agency, published in the El Espectador daily, showed that 79 percent of voters, if given the choice, would vote for Uribe, compared with 69 percent before the rescue.

Perhaps the most powerful endorsement for Uribe to try to continue in power was Ms. Betancourt herself, who gushed praise on the president for an "impeccable" operation.

In a press conference the day after her rescue, she said she like the idea of a third term for Uribe.

Betancourt – who was a presidential candidate herself when she was kidnapped in 2002 – said that aside from the rescue operation that freed her and her fellow hostages, the biggest blow to the FARC had been the reelection of the hardline president to a second consecutive term in 2006.

"The reelection changed the rules of the game for the FARC," she said. "The FARC had gotten used to waiting for changes in government to gain new momentum, but with the system of reelection of president Uribe, the rules changed."

[...]

For Mr. Uribe, the operation could not have come a better time. His government had been thrown into a tailspin by a corruption scandal that cast doubts on the legitimacy of his current term as president. "It's like a soothing balm for Uribe," says Mr. Rangel.

[...]

But at home, Uribe's political troubles remain unsolved. His second term has come into question by a Colombian Supreme Court ruling in a bribery case that just days before the rescue operation, appeared to complicate Uribe's chances to continue in power.

The court sentenced a former member of Colombia's congress to nearly four years in prison for accepting favors in exchange for casting the deciding vote in the constitutional amendment that allowed Uribe's reelection.

The court called into question the legitimacy of the election.

Those who oppose the idea of changing the Constitution so that he can run again in 2010 say it would put him in league with his continental rival, Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, who has been widely characterized as autocratic for doing his utmost to try to stay president for life.

[...]

Uribe has long been at odds with the Supreme Court, which has vigorously prosecuted close allies of the president – including his second cousin – for allegedly colluding with right-wing death squads. One in 10 Colombian congressmen are in prison in that scandal.

Still, Riordan Roett, director of Western Hemisphere at the Johns Hopkins University School for Strategic International Studies says there's little to stop Uribe now: "If he wants a third term, he'll get a third term."

Mighty convenient timing, eh?
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sparqui

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Re: Hostage release in Colombia
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2008, 06:38:49 PM »
I was just running back from EM where Rufus Polson posted this:

Quote
...According to the article the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) had agreed to turn over Ingrid Betancourt and the other hostages to Swiss and French negotiators who agreed to arrange to pick up the hostages from various locations in two helicopters. The Colombian military got wind of the upcoming release and took control of the helicopters. The collusion of the U.S. in the media spin, while yet to be proven, is quite likely, especially since McCain just "happened" to be in the neighborhood and would be able to take the spotlight in a crassly opportunistic attempt to boost his pathetic presidential campaign.

And so the "rescue" ironically turned out to be a hostage taking in reverse in which the FARC's goodwill gesture was blindsided for the glorification the paramilitary, drug-dealing President Uribe and his friend, John McCain, as the armed forces of Colombia seized two civilian helicopters full of prisoners, who had, in fact, been released, and not "rescued." But presidential vanity wasn't the only thing behind this media show. The mainstream media leaked what may have been the major motives. In the July 5 edition of the Houston Chronicle, Bennett Roth writes, in a story entitled "Hostage rescue (sic) will likely reinforce U.S. ties" that the media show, which Roth calls a "commando operation," will "strengthen…security ties with the United States" with Colombia. The article quotes Riordan Roett of Johns Hopkins as saying that the non-event of the "rescue"  "validates to a great degree Plan Colombia."...

A Rescue Staged for the Screen
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skdadl

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Re: Hostage release in Colombia
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2008, 08:30:14 AM »
Quote from: jrootham
Skdadl, that link goes to Chantal Hebert.  Is that what you intended?

Sorry -- fixed the link to the NYT story. It's worth doing a search at the NYT for their other articles on Bout.

Croghan27

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Re: Hostage release in Colombia
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2009, 03:30:00 PM »
If anyone is interested - Colombian President Uribe is to visit Ottawa tomorrow.

Yes, there will be protests .....


Quote
President Uribe is attempting to convince Canadians to ratify a free trade agreement signed late last year. The legislation implementing the deal is stalled in Parliament. It has been lifted from the legislative agenda, for now, following intensive lobbying by unions, human rights activists and community groups.

The protests on June 10th are meant to show that ratifying free trade with a murderous regime that has the worst human rights record in the Americas sends the wrong message.

(No doubt he will be officially greeted by Stephen Harper, Peter McKay and three hopeful crackheads.)
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skdadl

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Re: Hostage release in Colombia
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2009, 04:40:38 PM »
I'm glad that the CLC is keeping this issue alive -- it threatens to resurrect itself at any time.

I suspect, though, that the Canadian branch of the agreement is stalled only because the new admin in the U.S. put the brakes on. I doubt that's a permanent thing, but I doubt that Harper would have stopped the agreement on his own.

 

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