George Bush, military adventurism and the 'war of the noses'

vieuxcmaq, Mercredi, Janvier 3, 2001 - 12:00

Pat Rogers (

In spite of broad Latin American opposition the United States pushes forward with Plan Colombia.

April 20-22, 2001 in Quebec, Canada.

The next meeting of the leaders of the Organization of American States.

These are the people who most need to see that there is opposition to the prohibition drug policy and Plan Colombia. The OAS has the will to end this war before Bush turns it into WW-III.

Gore Vidal for his opinion piece, "Democratic Vistas" in the Jan. 8, 2001 issue of the Nation wrote that he thinks that incoming U.S. President George Bush and his Republican controlled congress would be too weak to engage in much military adventurism.

But during the 106st U.S. Congress just ended, Democrats and Republicans together, set the stage for what can easily become a hemisphere wide war that could be starting in the next three to six months. Plan Colombia. This disastrous foreign policy initiative was designed by Secretary of State designate Colin Powell's long time protégé General Barry McCaffrey of the Clinton administration's Office of National Drug Control Policy. In congressional hearings last year McCaffrey said that this will be, at the minimum, a five year campaign. Since then he has promised that it will get worse before it gets better.

The anglo press has not reported most of the political opposition that already exist in Central and South America to both Plan Colombia and the intolerance based U.S. drug war policy.

Mexico's next Secretary of State, Jorge Castañeda opposes the drug war. He told La Jornada of Mexico City in November of 2000, in an article by Blanche Petrich: "...We can no longer simply react to the US positions," (said Castañeda), "Mexico must insist" with a "grand campaign" as it did to achieve the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that the United States change its laws regarding certification in the anti-drug fight and find 'a new focus' towards drugs."

La Jornada continued: "On this point, Castañeda tackles the problem with a perspective that many governments recognize in private and elude in public: "The decriminalization, over the long term, of certain substances that are currently illicit... and the utilization of market mechanisms to undermine the profits that come from the prohibited character of drug commerce."

In a article titled, "Uruguay President Jorge Batlle called for other Latin American leaders to join him in opposing US-imposed drug policy", it was reported of President Battle' ""If this powder was worth only ten cents, there would not be organizations dedicated to make a billion dollars to fund armies in Colombia," said Batlle, speaking about cocaine policy on November 20th at the 10th Latin American Summit of Heads of State in Panama City.

Batlle (pronounced baht-yuh) said other countries must confront the question of legalization. "How do you create the money that sustains all of this? Do you believe that while this substance has this fantastic market value that there is any mechanism that can impede its trafficking? How do you make this product lose value so that nobody is interested anymore in this business?"
At the Brasilia Summit on August 31 and September 1 of South American Presidents, Batlle worked with other Mercosur heads of state - Ricardo Lagos of Chile, Fernando de la R·a of Argentina and Fernando Cardoso of Brazil - to deliver the united opposition to the military aspects of Plan Colombia, just two days after US President Bill Clinton's Colombia visit."

U.S. propaganda has since been working to discredit and diminish respect for Batlle.

The Associated Press quoted President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela on Dec. 31, 2000 as saying of Plan Colombia:

"Chavez argues the plan will lead to an escalation of the violence and could hurt efforts to end the four-decade armed conflict in Colombia. It could also cause the violence to spill over into surrounding Andean nations, he says."

And finally, even the people of Colombia appear united against Plan Colombia. Again in a editorial after their fall elections. "The big losers in yesterday's state and municipal elections in Colombia were that nation's president AndrÈs Pastrana -- whose party lost all 30 state governorships -- and the US officials who imposed the $1.3 billion dollar "Plan Colombia" military intervention.

The Colombian people, in yesterday's historic vote, soundly rejected Plan Colombia, as new parties and coalitions surged forward to take half the nation's states from both leading political parties -- Conservative and Liberal -- in a nation that for 40 years has had a US-style two-party system."

I am forced to conclude that Mr. Vidal is in error when he concludes that, "Presidential adventurism will be at a minimum." The U.S. government is moving forward and building a war machine in spite of Latin American opposition.

This war was pre-programmed by the 106st congress. It is inevitable. But with so many Latin nations refusing to support "the Plan", even refusing access to their air space for U.S. military flights, the friction points that could quickly escalate to a wider conflict already exist.

The upside will be full employment for military air bases in Texas and Florida. Pilots will be able to bomb the peasants and be home for dinner.

The down side is that there could be millions of refugees streaming north. The border states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas will become front line battle zones. We could see refugee camps and rampant terrorism. Remember, terrorists will simply have to walk north to their objective. And that does not even begin to consider the billions in drug dollars, dealers with nothing to lose and quantities of weapons that the drug lords already have here in the U.S.A. today.

This is possibly the most dangerous adventure that America may ever have a president and congress embark upon. It could easily lead to the end of constitutional governance in America. Marshall law in the border states at least.

One final point. A search of the online histories of Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld, our foreign policy triumvirate, finds no information of note either academically or in government service, that would imply that any of them have ever thought in any substantive way about Latin America. The only experts referred to for this incoming administration regarding drug and Latin American policy are intelligence and military experts. What does that imply?

I don't think that this possibility is a "minimal" adventure in its implications for the future of America and the western hemisphere. I pray that I am wrong.

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