March 10, 2008
Terrorists, Marxists, Leftists and the DemocratsBy Lance Fairchok
Venezuelan Dictator Hugo Chavez is rattling his sword, deploying troops, and hoping to distract his increasingly agitated populace from the domestic policies that are dragging Venezuela deeper into the poverty and dysfunction of socialism. It is inevitable that as the economy declines, shortages spread, food become scarce, and crime skyrockets, a foreign enemy will be found to blame for the woes Chavez' absurd policies cause.
Chavez is angry because some Marxist terrorists he was fond of died in a Colombian raid. You see, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) provided money to the tune of 150,000 dollars to Chavez while he was imprisoned after a failed coup attempt in the early 90's. Their relationship is a cozy one, and now that he has power, he has become their benefactor, earning the affectionate code name of "angel," and funneling millions of oil dollars into their revolutionary coffers.
Colombia, a nation long suffering the depredations of this vicious Marxist narco-terrorist gang, struck out successfully at some of its leaders, harbored in neighboring Ecuador. They were able to kill Raul Reyes, the number two military commander of FARC, a man with the blood of an untold number of innocents on his hands.
Reyes was not a nice man. His resume includes the kidnapping hundreds of civilians, including tourists, participation in village massacres and terror bombings. Many of his victims were executed after they were kidnapped. Some were killed to prevent their rescue by security forces. Some where tortured. Reyes was sentenced in absentia for a long list of brutal crimes: the deaths of 13 policemen and 18 soldiers, the murder of a judge, a physician, three judicial officials, the ex-minister of Culture Consuelo Araújo, congressman Diego Turbay and his mother, catholic monsignor Isaías Duarte, Governor of Antioquia Guillermo Gaviria, former minister Gilberto Echeverri, and a dozen members of the Valle del Cauca Assembly. He was behind a nightclub bombing that killed 36 people in Bogotá. The list of victims that lay uncounted and unrequited in jungle graves will certainly be just as long. By every definition of justice and every concept of decency, Reyes should have been killed long ago.
The FARC is not a liberation movement, nor are they "Freedom Fighters." They are nothing more than smugglers, bandits and thieves whose modus operandi uses bombings, assassination, cocaine trafficking, kidnapping, extortion, hijacking and terror. FARC has its ideological roots in the Marxist revolutions that gave us the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the Sendero Luminoso in Peru and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. To understand the meaning of the word evil, merely glance at the history of these groups.
With the help of Chavez, FARC is attempting to legitimize and mainstream itself, much as the genocidal PLO transformed, with the aid of useful idiots like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, from criminal terrorists to pseudo-statesmen. Democrats in Congress, succumbing to lobbying from FARC sympathizers and Marxist apologists, are stalling military aid and a free trade agreement. Undermining a close ally, in a despicable attempt to undermine President Bush and any success he might claim in South America. The Colombian people be damned, and the consequences, well, when are they ever a concern? The long view is an anathema to the left.
Chavez, Evo Morales of Bolivia and Ecuador's Rafael Correa demand the UN sanction Colombia for attacking its mortal enemy, calling it "fascist" and "criminal." Chavez described the raid as "cowardly murder, all of it coldly calculated." United by their populist Marxist ideology, and having made the pilgrimage to Havana to receive the blessing of Castro, all three leaders provide material support to the terrorists of FARC, actively undermining the safety and security of the democratic nation of Colombia who is a major trading partner of all three.
The Venezuelan government has funneled support to radical groups in Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina. A sizable weapons shipment from Venezuela was recently uncovered in Veracruz, likely en route to leftist Mexican guerrillas. South America's axis of evil seeks out the like minded, reaching out to Syria and Iran, and letting Hezbollah operate freely in their countries. Flush with renewed ideological vigor, Venezuelan oil revenues and the drug activity Chavez coordinates the new Socialist hegemony will likely plunge South America into decades of violence and upheaval.
Chavez has purchased 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles from Russia, the modernized AK-103 as well as the license to produce the rifle and its ammunition in Venezuela. It will only be a matter of months before terrorists, rebels and drug gangs all over the region have the new fully automatic Kalashnikovs or Venezuelan surplus weapons. Soon after will come explosives and rocket propelled grenades.
A member of the cult of Che Guevara, Hugo Chávez' revolutionary ideology will inevitably spread from the barrel of a gun, and before he topples, the destruction and misery he causes will condemn much of South America to economic and social ruin. The American left, blind as always to the horrors visited upon the world by this misbegotten ideology, will enable and support the death of not one, but several democracies.
Found on a laptop in the terrorist camp and released by Colombian security services, a series of letters between FARC hierarchies confirms the substantial support of FARC by Hugo Chavez. A passage from one letter is particularly troubling:
Some very foolish and self-important persons feel they can represent themselves as emissaries of a new US administration to the despots and terrorist groups in South America. They may or may not have been speaking with Obama's blessing. That they talked to FARC at all, and it is not loudly condemned, is chilling. The US has had several congressional delegations visit the region recently. Who was on them? The arrogance and stupidity of so undermining our elected government boggles the mind. Whether it is visiting terror states with American blood on their hands or treating with murderers who currently hold American hostages, it is the sheerest folly and must be denounced and brought into the light of day.
Colombia's president, Alvaro Uribe, is a determined and capable leader. He has done much to rebuild his war torn nation. His approval rating is an unheard of 80%. He has taken the countryside from guerillas and drug traffickers; the murder rate is less than half that of a decade ago, kidnapping is becoming rare and brutal thugs, from both sides of the political spectrum are brought to justice. He has demobilized 30,000 militia members. The economy is booming. FARC is loosing ground, attacked by police, citizens outraged by their cruelty and a reformed and capable military. Their safe havens are no longer safe. Mr. Uribe is a defender of freedom and democracy that deserves our profound respect, our support and most of all, our loyalty.
Facing imminent defeat, the Marxist killers are using other tactics, the tactics of deceit and disinformation. They are tapping into the gullible left in the United States to influence policy. Using their own words to charm the vain and muddled leadership of the Democrats and appealing to their various ideologies, FARC has succeeded in straining US-Colombian relations and undermining US support for the Colombian Free Trade agreement and military aid. Singing in harmony with the activists of the lefts largest causes such as unions, the MoveOn.Org/Clinton/Soros alliance and everyone else from enviro-fanatics, the NAACP, and Code Pink, they have played Pelosi's party for the fools that they are.
Colombia will survive. They have been born of the fiery crucible of South American nationhood, uniting as few nations do behind a capable and enlightened leader, a leader that does not promise utopia, but actual prosperity and security. They get it.
If we let the Democrats undermine our alliance with Colombia to appease the far left, no international agreement is safe. Foreign policy becomes just another political tool and our alliances merely matters of political convenience. If we abandon Colombia, as we abandoned Vietnam, we simply will not be trusted. But then, if you believe Hugo Chavez is good for Venezuela you should not be trusted with running a boy scout troop. If you think talking to FARC will get hostages released and atrocities stopped, you are a fool.