USA May Expand Columbian War
December 5, 2000 9:49 AM   Subscribe

USA May Expand Columbian War I know, let's drag the rest of Latin America into this stupid war! Sure sounds good to me. . .
posted by snakey (3 comments total)
Is it just me, or does the American effort in Columbia sound eerily reminiscent of the early Vietnam effort? Last I heard, Clinton's plan was to send advisors to Columbia to train local forces to deal with drug dealers...Wasn't that pretty much Kennedy's plan in the early 60's? If it's quite obvious that there are whole fields of whatever drug plant in question, and the US is well aware of it, why not just carpet bomb those areas?
posted by rklawler at 11:24 AM on December 5, 2000

I think a more telling question is where are all the chemicals to process the cocaine coming from? If you guessed US chemical companies, you'd be right.

Unfortunately, if you crack down on the shipments of these chemicals to Columbia, you cut into Dow and DuPont's profit margins. So instead, give Boeing and Lockheed 2 billion dollars for Apache attack helicopters, and use them to kill Columbian peasants who have no other way to survive than to grow coca.

Any way you slice it, it's a nice arrangement for both the big chemical corporations and the big defense contractors. This isn't a war on drugs so much as it is a corporate handout.
posted by snakey at 12:08 PM on December 5, 2000

It is the opinion of ELN second-in-command Antonio Garcia that Plan Colombia will have exactly the effect you describe. I'm inclined to agree. This is a war, not a drug-interdiction effort, and it's not the kind of war that can be won.

Given the cold-war mentality that seems to linger in the US military, I'd bet the fact that Communist rebels control around a quarter of Colombia - and that this fact has been acknowledged by the Colombian government during the course of its peace talks with the rebels - has a lot more to do with the motivation for Plan Colombia than the fact that these rebels finance their operations in part by taxing coca farmers.

posted by Mars Saxman at 12:27 PM on December 5, 2000

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