Choosing Friends
February 28, 2006 5:36 AM   Subscribe

Venezuela bad, Colombia good
Founded in the 1980s by landowners and powerful drug dealers, the paramilitaries carried out numerous massacres in villages they considered sympathetic to the rebels and were blacklisted by the U.S. State Department as terrorists. In recent years, however, the militias put their rebel-fighting efforts on hold to smuggle narcotics, extort businesses and engage in other illegal activities.

Strange how the White House decides which countries are "friends" and which are not. What exactly are the criteria?
posted by nofundy (21 comments total)
¿Porque el presidente Bush se gusta la coca y Colombia tiene la mejor coca?
posted by birdherder at 5:45 AM on February 28, 2006

Yo creo que si, hombre, pero la verdad es que este FPP me esta comiendo el coco!!!
posted by Wilder at 5:48 AM on February 28, 2006

I think the criteria are as follows:

Add {x} points for each criteria.
- Do they have lovely, lovely oil {70 points}
- Are they in danger of becoming communists {30 points}
- Are they already communists {-50}
- Are they Christian {+10}
- Are they not Muslim {+20}
- Are they trying to develop the bomb {-80}
- Have they already got the bomb {+60}
- Are they surrounded by Muslim countries. {+60)
- Are they a Muslim Country {-60}
- Subjugated under Sharia Law {+20}
- Will they supply drugs to our lawyers and stockbrokers. {20 points}
- Will they also supply drugs to our minorities. {-20 points}
- Will being a friend with this country completely fuck up world stability in 20 years. {+100}
posted by seanyboy at 5:49 AM on February 28, 2006

That's only a rough draft, but you get the idea.
posted by seanyboy at 5:49 AM on February 28, 2006

I think seanboy's figured it out. And it only took a couple comments. And I don't think it's any secret the US has a hard on for the most shit governments in the world. That's how they like to roll, gangstarrs that they are.
posted by chunking express at 6:10 AM on February 28, 2006

They change the laws to suite their cause.
posted by LowDog at 6:15 AM on February 28, 2006

I’m writing, my wife is talking. She is a Colombian from Ocana on the Venezuelan border who grew up in Baranquilla, the capital of Magdalena province. She is amused at the naivity of the reporter. These villages are dusty little pueblos in the middle of nowhere and when a politicion turns up and throws money around for free aguadiente and beer everyone turns out; afterall there aren’t too many fiestas in the dusty middle of nowhere paid for by someone else. As to politics what do the poor people know about politics. What do they care?
The mayor and the latifundia – landowners, - they do politics, the poor try to scratch a living or leave. Before the narcos and the paramilitaries it was the Liberal party and the Conservatives, People were shot or cut to pieces for supporting the wrong faction. Always have been, always will be like that until education takes a hold.
These small rural villages are dirt poor – the city is a long way off. They are almost feudal. Education is very basic. The intelligent and the educated get out and don’t go back. The politician talks about roads just like the last election – he doesn’t talk much about schools or education. The night falls and the paramilitaries take over the area. A knock on the door and an explanation by a man win a mask with a gun. You know who to vote for if you want to live, if you want your wife and kids to live.
Life is cheap $300 will get someone killed in Cali. Politicians are venial.
Of course the paramilitaries are in politics, when haven’t they been. Magdalena has always been in the hands of the right wing paramilitaries. All three paramilitary groups, left and right are trying to control parts of the Cocaine trade. This equals money equals power. And so it goes on.
But as every Colombian has always reminded me “ If the gringos didn’t want coca – the Colombians wouldn’t be growing it". What a shame; its a beautiful country.
posted by adamvasco at 6:31 AM on February 28, 2006

nofundy: No offense, but what the fuck are you talking about? I'm all for Chaves, but how can you compare the elected president to illegal paramilitaries?

That's like the difference between Iran and Pakistan. Both have crazy fundies, but only in one do they have total power...
posted by delmoi at 6:58 AM on February 28, 2006

if you're a Muslim country surrounded by Muslim countries, your score is 0?
posted by j-urb at 7:00 AM on February 28, 2006

Unless you have the Sharia Law. Then it's +20 for you. You lucky people you.

I could go on with these and I missed out some obvious rules.
- Is your country based in Africa {-100}
is the one I really wish I'd remembered.
posted by seanyboy at 7:42 AM on February 28, 2006

Salon is re-publishing [content barrier, next link is free] a recent TomsDispatch interview with Mark Danner, under the Salon sub-title "When Facts Fail." Danner, a professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, has reported on many stories of torture and official U.S. complicity in immoral and illegal actions, from El Salvador to Haiti, and in the last several years, has made 3 extended trips to Iraq, recently publishing Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib and the War on Terror.

In this interview, Danner has some interesting comments about the way in which American policy making has become a kind of creepy Big Lie strategy.
"On empire, what's unusual about this administration isn't only its focus on power, but on unilateralism. It's the flip side of isolationism. The notion that alliances, economic or political, and international law inevitably hinder the most powerful nation. You know, the image of the strings around Gulliver. They said in the National Security Strategy of the United States, the 2005 version, that rivals will continue to challenge us using the strategies of the weak including "international fora, judicial processes, and terrorism." They're associating terror and asymmetric warfare with international law as similar ways to blunt the overwhelming power of the United States. That represents an attitude toward international law and institutions that, I think, is a real and dramatic break from past practice in the United States. In our history, certainly recently, there's just no comparison to them -- no government anywhere near as radical."
A first rate opinion and context piece, from one of the most important working journalists we have. Well worth 20 minutes.
posted by paulsc at 7:45 AM on February 28, 2006

That is an excellent interview.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:49 AM on February 28, 2006


If you read the link you will find these "illegal" paramilitaries are no longer illegal but are part of the power structure of the current ruler in Colombia. Now think about US arms and dollars going to Colombia and who receives them. In closing, no offense, but what the fuck are you talking about?
posted by nofundy at 8:26 AM on February 28, 2006

That sounds like a great link paulsc! I'm considering a FPP on Collapse of Globalism and I suspect that might fit right in (can't read it at this moment though, so...).
posted by Chuckles at 8:40 AM on February 28, 2006

-Is our government supporting a paramilitary force in your country? (+30)
-Did our country support a paramilitary force in your country 15+ years ago? (-30)
posted by rollbiz at 9:13 AM on February 28, 2006

Chuckles: Sounds interesting, will keep an eye out.
posted by biffa at 9:51 AM on February 28, 2006

- Did 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers come from your country? (+150)
posted by Len at 11:25 AM on February 28, 2006

Are you, or have you ever been, French? (-15)
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:39 PM on February 28, 2006

You guys are great!
There may be a meme here!
posted by nofundy at 1:01 PM on February 28, 2006

Metafilter: There may be a meme here
posted by telstar at 7:12 PM on February 28, 2006

What exactly are the criteria?

It's not so much a matter of criteria as of sequence of events.

While one would expect a rational person to first find out who is good and then make alliances, most nations do it the other way around.

This simplifies the definition of 'good' to be equal to 'anyone we have an alliance with'.
posted by spazzm at 8:43 PM on February 28, 2006

« Older Best Pervert Ever!   |   jiggly virtual b00b support Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments