AP plays radical chic with the Colombian guerrillas
The Associated Press has come out with a treacly, coddling, awww story about Colombia's wonderful narco-terrorist guerrillas getting free state money to broadcast communist propaganda.
That's the gist of the superficially reported story headlined "Colombia rebels trade combat for cameras with new TV network."
It shows the mainstream media's soft spot for leftist causes and its nonstop romanticization of terrorists.
Because sure, it sounds innocuous enough. What could be more wonderful than previously jailed terrorists turning their lives around and becoming TV announcers? You know – the old story of downfall and redemption? The Sorosian "narrative" of incarceration bad, let-'em-out good? The AP starts with:
The live program is produced by Nueva Colombia Noticias, a budding video network started by former guerrillas with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia that aims to offer an alternative to what some see as a media landscape crowded with biased, traditional outlets.
Bias, of course, is reporting any of the facts about FARC's car bombings, kidnappings, drug-dealings, assassinations, and the like.
If you haven't been following Colombia much, here's the broad backstory in two paragraphs:
After 50-some years of narco-guerrilla communist warfare, Colombia, under the great President Alvaro Uribe, had the terrorists on the run. There were only some 7,000 of them left, and they could have been wiped out victory-style. Problem is, his term ended. And President Obama, as you can imagine, not so subtly discouraged him from running for a third term, which he likely would have won. Uribe's successor, Juan Manuel Santos, wasn't the same kind of leader as Uribe. Coming from an old patrician family that ran the capital's top newspaper, El Tiempo, he was conservative in the older sense of Colombia's conservatives, meaning he did things the way things were always done in Colombia, which was to pay off and amnesty the guerrillas.
He negotiated a "peace" settlement with Castro's help in Cuba, and after several years, he came up with one, in which FARC's Marxist narco-terrorists, naturally, got a great deal for themselves, with impunity, free government cash, all kinds of rewards for a life of terror and horror on the Colombian public. A referendum was held last year. Much to the establishment's shock, the public rejected it. The Nobel committee was so upset about this that they gave Santos a Nobel Peace Prize to embolden him. So, naturally, the peace agreement went through via the legislature and the public's voted-on wishes were simply ignored. Pope Francis this year came to Colombia to whip up support, but not with much luck. The Colombian public remembered all too well the kidnappings, the car bombings, the torture-murders, the child murders, the child soldiers, the woman-trafficking, the village and church burnings, the drug money corruption, the vast displaced populations in the cities, and the sick tissue of lies and propaganda the communist terrorists kept feeding to the intelligentsia about how ordinary Colombians were the real bad guys.
Now the AP is reporting a glowing tale of guerrillas turning their lives around, becoming "productive."
Later on in the piece, we learn that they had already been "productive," well experienced in filming car bombings and making hostage videos:
A number of the rebels already had some experience working with cameras as de-facto war correspondents, when they recorded bombings and other confrontations with the military using camcorders provided by their commanders.
And when they say "productive," they don't exactly mean self-sustaining. They expect government funds.
Manuel Bolivar, the director of Nueva Colombia Noticias, said the outlet is focusing its coverage on issues like social movements, inequality and human rights – many of the same topics that the FARC's political party has identified as priorities. He said news organizations like Venezuela's Telesur and the Russia's RT network, both of which are state-sponsored, were examples of the type of outlet his endeavor aspires to be, though with its own distinct voice.
So what they are about is becoming a station for communist propaganda, funded by the state. The state doesn't fund other kinds of media – just the communist media.
Just as it feeds and houses the terrorists themselves:
One year after the signing of the accord, the ex-combatants are living in a hotel paid for by the Colombian government, teaching themselves how to operate cameras and gearing up to launch a daily newscast.
The AP didn't see anything funny in that, given their advocacy and sympathetic portraiture of the guerrillas themselves.
Its cuddly, coddly portrait of the lead terrorist, Marilu Ramirez, in its opening grafs is a case in point.
Portrayed as a guerrilla turning over a new leaf, and giving plenty of time to her claims of no wrongdoing, the reality is, Ramirez was sentenced to 27 years in prison for a reason.
The Colombian press reports that she infiltrated Colombia's war college as a civilian in 2006 with a certificate in national defense; sidled up next to the generals in sleazy clothing; got their addresses and the names of their kids and their personal information; forked it over to the FARC command; and then let a car-bomber in in a big SUV, who exploded a bomb during a time when the U.N. human rights commissioner was paying a visit, injuring 27 people. She got caught when her information was found on a captured FARC computer out in the jungle, and she got convicted and thrown into jail in 2007. She complained that she was innocent but then got to what was really bothering her: that her four FARC confederates got shorter sentences than she did.
Here's a photo montage from Semana.
Wittingly or not, the AP piece serves as a window on how awful the Colombian peace accords really are based on all the gamy details and the unpunished crimes. Wittingly, it's nothing but a coddly pro-terrorist piece that seeks to romanticize nasty terrorists in the full radical-chic tradition.