Monday, September 16, 2013

Our Secret Syria
      Revolt and civil war. A government that poisons its rural population with chemical agents and directs death squads to deal with the political opposition. Hundreds of thousands of dead. Millions of internal refugees and more hundreds of thousands who have fled to neighboring countries.
    No. It’s our bloody best buddy Colombia, the Syria just to the south of us.
    As opposed to the endless news reports from that distant Arab country, coverage of the horrors that go on in Colombia range from miniscule to non-existent. Instead, what we’re told about Colombia is that it’s a ‘developing’ democracy and our best ally in Latin America. If pressed, our leaders admit that Colombia could do a tad better when it comes to human rights. But don’t worry, they’re working on it.
    There are lots of reasons for our media blackout on Colombia. One is that Washington doesn’t want the truth out about its sponsorship by way of billions in weapons, training and direction of what other Latins call a “death squad democracy.” It doesn’t fit with our pretense of being a champion of freedom.
    Another reason is that to acknowledge the millions of Colombian refugees is to admit to the enormity of the evils being committed there. It also turns our propaganda upside down. We are supposed to believe that people are fleeing from leftist countries like Ecuador and Venezuela. How do we explain hundreds of thousands flocking into those countries to escape Washington-sponsored ‘democracy?’
    Thankfully, the latest news from Columbia isn’t all bad. The current president, Santos, is a shade more reasonable than his murderous predecessor Uribe. And there are peace talks going on in Havana between the rebels (who have been at it for 60 years) and the government. But still atrocities go on as in Catatumbo.