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Follow-up of Bush's Colombian puppet Uribe's invasion of Ecuador:

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 01:20 PM
Original message
Follow-up of Bush's Colombian puppet Uribe's invasion of Ecuador:
Yankees Head Home
John Lindsay-Poland | March 6, 2008

Absent in the discussion of the conflict brewing in the Andes over a Colombian military incursion into Ecuador to kill a guerrilla leader is the role of U.S. military in the conflict. It goes well beyond providing satellite intelligence on the location of guerrilla camps: the two countries have opposing responses to Washingtons attempt to militarize the hemisphere. Ecuadors constituent assembly proposes prohibiting all foreign military presence, while Colombia seeks ever greater U.S. military hardware, intelligence and troops. The U.S. response has been quite undiplomatic.

While visiting Italy last October, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa made a modest proposal: if the United States allows his country to set up a military base in Miami, his government would renew the lease for a U.S. base in the coast city of Manta. Otherwise, U.S. troops and operations will have to leave the when the base lease ends next year.

Less than a month later, Correa passed through Miami on his way to China, and U.S. Customs police treated the president as an ordinary foreigner. It wasnt the first time Correa and his vice-president had been denied diplomatic treatment. Ecuadors foreign minister called the incident a humiliation of a head of state, from arrogance by a country that believes itself above all others.

Declining U.S. Influence
Latin Americans are increasingly saying No to the U.S. military bases that are spread through the region. The Pentagon uses vassal states in Central America Honduras and El Salvador as bases for drug-war surveillance, police training, helicopter sorties, and military-run charity programs. And Colombia, a key ally in the region, receives more military equipment and training than the rest of the hemisphere combined.

More:
http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/5042





"Fuera Bush" (Out Bush) demonstration in Latin America during Bush visit. The
signs behind the father and child say "The government invites you, The people repudiate you."





"Fora Bush" in Brazil during Bush visit.


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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. Forgot to thank Peace Patriot for the great article. Thanks! n/t
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. Thanks. K & R.
Same old imperialism and covert warfare, new face.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. Great post
K & R
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'd like to remind DUers that "Plan Colombia" was a Bill CLINTON program.
Just in case someone is so naive as to think that propping up right-wing governments and military intervention isn't a BIPARTISAN policy.

http://www.colombiajournal.org/plancolombia.htm

sw
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. That was a HIDEOUS decision. Thanks for mentioning it.
The president with whom he made the agreement wasn't a fascist, however, like Uribe, nor was he connected to the narco-traffickers, like Uribe.

Anyone who wants to take some time to research who the Presidents were throughout the horrific interventions and bloodbaths surely should investigate. Starting with Guatemala, and the overthrow of Jacob Arbenz by Dwight Eisenhower and the United Fruit Company in 1954 is a great place to start, for a more immediate picture.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
6. Great article! It dismantles the "war on drugs"--then names names on the profiteers
"Good for DynCorp

"The premise of the policy, that revving up the Colombian military to fight the guerrillas who protect coca plantations will affect the street price of cocaine, has been thoroughly discredited. So we might ask: Who, besides the corrupt Colombian military, has benefited from the $5.5 billion appropriated for Plan Colombia since 2000? The No. 1 beneficiaries in dollars are the U.S. companies that produce Blackhawk gunships and run the program of chemical warfare in Colombias coca fields. These include the companies providing the U.S. government with 'services' to aid the Drug War.

"DynCorp Interntational has signed contracts with the State Department for about $150 million annually since 2000 for its operations in Colombia. It also also handles most of the operations at the Manta base. The companys corporate offices, like those of many of the growing band of mercenary outfits, are located in suburban Virginia, outside Washington. (The companys headquarters are in Falls Church, which is adjacent to the Congressional district of Representative Frank Wolf, the ranking Republican on the House of Representatives Foreign Operations subcommittee that marks up the hundreds of millions of dollars in funds that Congress approves for DynCorp.) The company in turn has consistently given thousands of dollars to Wolfs campaign. Such a blatant conflict of interest is another demonstration of Plan Colombias corrupt underlying dynamics, which should be cause for a fundamental re-casting of the policy.

"If the 2008 elections yield a Democratic victory, renewing the partys majority in Congress and winning the presidency, the next administration will get a chance to not only re-examine the premises of failed economic, military and narcotics policies in Latin America, but to re-shape those policies to engage the new majorities emerging throughout the region. Democrats, to be true to democratic values, should undertake such a fundamental shift in policy. But dont hold your breath. Democrats and Republicans are likely to only react reflexively, unless people in the United States actively press them to do so."


http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/5042

---------------------

But I was also very interested in the parts about U.S. military bases, and U.S. militarism, in South America. The article points out that the bombing of Ecuador probably was done from the U.S. base inside Ecuador, at Manta--and likely involved not just U.S. bombs and surveillance, but also U.S. aircraft. Can you imagine how incensed President Rafael Correa must have been (even more than was obvious at the Rio summit)? He doesn't like the base to begin with, and has pledged not to renew its lease when it comes up for renewal in 2009. And then they use that base against his country!

Gee, we're likely to end with no friends at all, anywhere--before our corporate predator politicians are done with all this. Our only friends will be the two U.S. client states, Israel and Colombia--two rightwing governments that wouldn't be in power except for billions in U.S. military aid. Remove that aid--or, in Israel's case, reduce it to defensive levels (disincentive to war profiteers)--and maybe those folks will be able to elect peace-minded governments.

Oh, and don't forget Poland! Is there something the Bushites can do to offend them?

The pervasive rejection of the U.S. military throughout Latin America is also interesting. As are the few bases left--for instance, a radar base in Peru (which borders Ecuador and Bolivia). The Bushites bought the corrupt Peru 'free traders'--probably for more reasons than just having a slave labor pool and rapine rights over Peru's resources and economy. But also to keep that military foot in the door--and to spy on everybody.


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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. The problem is you often have no choice in terms of setting foreign policy at the ballot box.
Edited on Sat Mar-15-08 03:57 PM by Selatius
Wall street sets it for you. That's historically been the only choice. People who rock the boat or attempt to challenge the status quo are defeated or, perhaps, assassinated. Unfortunately, the Democrats are liable as well as the Repubs in some of the historic wrongs the US has committed against poorer countries.
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. The RWing hates democracy.
Amy time any country elects socialist reps, the US Govt. attempts to
destroy that Govt. in any way possible.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. All of the genocide in Latin America has been conducted against leftists, and suspected leftists.
The military juntas, the US puppet dictators have always been fascists, and their pray has ALWAYS BEEN LEFTISTS and suspected leftists or people who might just look sorta like leftists, or simply poor, helpless people who were on land the right-wing dictators wanted to take and give to corporate interests, or to, as in the case of Hugo Banzer, (set in place through a coup, supported and assisted militarily by the U.S. while he bumped out a "leftist" President) white South Africans he lured to Bolivia to live on the land he took from indigenous Bolivians in his attempt to create a "white Bolivia."

The rural poor, the workers, the local clergy, as in liberation thology Catholics, throughout Latin America who became cannon fodder and dumped in mass graves, or tortured and thrown into city rivers to flow past citizens standing on the banks or bridges, out of airplanes, out of helicopters, into lakes, dropped into the oceans, thrown down onto mountain tops, were all considered LEFTISTS and the very worst, most bloodthirsty, enthusiastic supporters, and authors of chaos were Eisenhower, Nixon, even Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush. Whatever happened during Lyndon Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton pales by comparison in deep absense of mad-dog bloodlust, wild, destructive simple genocide, rabid racism, and general viciousness, not to mention the numbers of massacred people and broken lives are completely different between the two parties.

It's all there for anyone who really wants to get to the bottom of it and find out for him/herself instead of taking someone's word for it. It would be so good if everyone FINALLY recognized you're not going to know until you take the initiative and start working on it yourself, as you won't know the truth until you expose yourself to it, and do some focusing, and some real thinking about it.

It definitely looks as if you've spent some time waking up, Disturbed. Once you're on your way, you can never see things the way you did earlier. You can't go back, can you?
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Adding a useful article:Guatemala: Bill Clinton's Latest Damn-Near Apology
Guatemala: Bill Clinton's Latest Damn-Near Apology
Also: What Monica's Story left out "

Bob Harris"
March 16", 1999"

"If it is necessary to turn the country into a cemetery in order to pacify it, I will not hesitate to do so."
-- Guatemalan President Carlos Arana, 1971

"The guerrilla is the fish. The people are the sea. If you cannot catch the fish, you have to drain the sea."
-- Guatemalan President Efrain Rios Montt, 1982

"United States... support for military forces or intelligence units which engaged in violent and widespread repression... was wrong."
-- United States President Bill Clinton, last Wednesday

So President Clinton finally damn-near apologized for America's role in almost a half-century of repression in Guatemala.

Clinton was forced into this damn-near apology after the U.N.'s independent Historical Clarification Commission issued a nine-volume report called "Guatemala: Memory Of Silence."

Created as part of the 1996 peace accord that ended Guatemala's civil war, the Commission and its 272 staff members interviewed combatants on both sides of the conflict, gathered news reports and eyewitness accounts from across the country, and extensively examined declassified U.S. government documents.

The result?

The U.N.'s Commission concludes that for decades, the United States knowingly gave money, training, and other vital support to a military regime that committed atrocities as a matter of policy, and even "acts of genocide" against the Mayan people.

Thus Clinton's latest appalling damn-near apology.

It's a common rationalization that in a civil war, both sides commit atrocities in roughly equal amounts. But the Commission examined 42,275 separate human-rights violations -- torture, executions, systematic rape, and so on, including 626 documented incidents the Commission could only describe as "massacres." The final score:
93% were committed by U.S.-supported government paramilitary forces.
4% cannot be attributed with certainty.
3% were committed by rebels.
And worse, as Amnesty International and other independent observers have reported for years, the vast majority of victims were non-combatant civilians.

More:
http://www.motherjones.com/cgi-bin/print_article.pl?url...
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