Monday, March 10, 2008

Double, double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble…oil?

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:09 PM Permalink

From an article in the WaPo by Jackson Diehl titled, "The FARC's Guardian Angel", which, in my opinion, deeply, but incorrectly, analyzes something to which every American has already been exposed. (SEE: this from this blogsite.)

That is, of course, the "discovery of computers holding secret plans."

Excerpts:
Latin American nations and the Bush administration spent the past week loudly arguing over what censure, if any, Colombia should face for a bombing raid that killed one of the top leaders of the FARC terrorist group at a jungle camp in Ecuador. More quietly, they are just beginning to consider a far more serious and potentially explosive question: What to do about the revelation that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez forged a strategic alliance with the FARC aimed at Colombia's democratic government.

First reports of the documents recovered from laptops at the FARC camp spoke of promises by Chávez to deliver up to $300 million to a group renowned for kidnapping, drug trafficking and massacres of civilians;[…]

…the hundreds of pages of documents so far made public by Colombia paint an even more chilling picture. The raid appears to have preempted a breathtakingly ambitious "strategic plan" agreed on by Chávez and the FARC with the initial goal of gaining international recognition for a movement designated a terrorist organization by both the United States and Europe. Chávez then intended to force Colombian President Álvaro Uribe to negotiate a political settlement with the FARC, and to promote a candidate allied with Chávez and the FARC to take power from Uribe.[…]

All this is laid out in a series of three e-mails sent in February to the FARC's top leaders by Iván Márquez and Rodrigo Granda, envoys who held a series of secret meetings with Chávez.[…]

The first e-mail, dated Feb. 8, discusses the money: It says that Chávez, whom they call "angel," "has the first 50 [million] available and has a plan to get us the remaining 200 in the course of the year." Chávez proposed sending the first "packet" of money "through the black market in order to avoid problems."[…]

In "the early morning hours," the FARC envoys recounted in a Feb. 9 e-mail, Chávez reached the subject of whether the release of Ingrid Betancourt, a former Colombian presidential candidate who is the FARC's best-known hostage, would complicate his plan to back a pro-FARC alternative to Uribe.[…]

…the Colombian evidence would be more than enough to justify a State Department decision to cite Venezuela as a state sponsor of terrorism. Once cited, Venezuela would be subject to a number of automatic sanctions, some of which could complicate its continuing export of oil to the United States. A cutoff would temporarily inconvenience Americans -- and cripple Venezuela, which could have trouble selling its heavy oil in other markets.


As noted in the posting linked to, how many times does our government think they can pull the old "found laptops" with "incriminating e-mails?" Even if these were local communications and not overseas e-mails, does anyone reasonably believe that Venezuela has no means of secure communications, even if they are sending people with mail on horseback?

And does anyone believe sanctions to prevent Venezuelan oil from reaching our shores would "cripple" Venezuela? Does anyone really believe that the Chinese, our bankers and the de facto owners of America, would hesitate for a second to sign long, long, long term contracts for that Venezuelan oil that would shut-out a major source of oil for America for a hundred years to come?

Chavez, since seizing the oil fields of Exxon-Mobil, which is the real source of our animosity, has paid all his debts and now travels throughout South America giving away billions of dollars and endearing himself to the people there. No, this type of action would only benefit Big Oil and not America and Americans. Can you say $8.00 a gallon for gas?

I remember when Condi went down to South America last year and tried to get the president of Brazil to denounce Chavez. He told her that, "We do not speak ill of our neighbors in South America…" (or words to that effect) and blew Condi right off the continent.

This ranks right up there with an exiled Cuban "suddenly" revealing a few months back that Castro had plans to attack America with chemical and biological weapons.

Or Grimm's Fairy Tales.

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2 Comments:

At 11:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

$300 MILLION FROM CHAVEZ TO FARC A FAKE

Here’s the written evidence… and - please say it ain’t so! - Obama and Hillary attack Ecuador

Note: Saturday, Bobby Kennedy hosts Greg Palast on “Ring of Fire” on Air America Radio. Sunday, catch Palast with Amy Goodman on WABC Television (New York), hosted by Gil Noble, Channel 7 at 1 pm(est).

Friday, March 7, 2008 for TomPaine.com/Ourfuture.org
By Greg Palast

Do you believe this?

This past weekend, Colombia invaded Ecuador, killed a guerrilla chief in the jungle, opened his laptop – and what did the Colombians find? A message to Hugo Chavez that he sent the FARC guerrillas $300 million – which they’re using to obtain uranium to make a dirty bomb!

That’s what George Bush tells us. And he got that from his buddy, the strange right-wing President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe.

So: After the fact, Colombia justifies its attempt to provoke a border war as a to stop the threat of WMDs! Uh, where have we heard that before?

The US press snorted up this line about Chavez’ $300 million to “terrorists” quicker than the young Bush inhaling Colombia’s powdered export.

What the US press did not do is look at the evidence, the email in the magic laptop. (Presumably, the FARC leader’s last words were, “Listen, my password is ….”)

I read them. While you can read it all in español, here is, in translation, the one and only mention of the alleged $300 million from Chavez is this:

“… With relation to the 300, which from now on we will call “dossier,” efforts are now going forward at the instructions of the boss to the cojo [slang term for ‘cripple’], which I will explain in a separate note. Let’s call the boss Ángel, and the cripple Ernesto.”

Got that? Where is Hugo? Where’s 300 million? And 300 what? Indeed, in context, the note is all about the hostage exchange with the FARC that Chavez was working on at the time (December 23, 2007) at the request of the Colombian government.

Indeed, the entire remainder of the email is all about the mechanism of the hostage exchange. Here’s the next line: “To receive the three freed ones, Chavez proposes three options: Plan A. Do it to via of a ‘humanitarian caravan’; one that will involve Venezuela, France, the Vatican[?], Switzerland, European Union, democrats [civil society], Argentina, Red Cross, etc.”

As to the 300, I must note that the FARC’s previous prisoner exchange involved 300 prisoners. Is that what the ‘300’ refers to? ¿Quien sabe? Unlike Uribe, Bush and the US press, I won’t guess or make up a phastasmogoric story about Chavez mailing checks to the jungle.

To bolster their case, the Colombians claim, with no evidence whatsoever, that the mysterious “Angel” is the code name for Chavez. But in the memo, Chavez goes by the code name … Chavez.

Well, so what? This is what.

Colombia’s invasion into Ecuador is a rank violation of international law, condemned by every single Latin member of the Organization of American States. And George Bush just loved it. He called Uribe to back Colombia, against, “the continuing assault by narco-terrorists as well as the provocative maneuvers by the regime in Venezuela.”

Well, our President may have gotten the facts ass-backward, but Bush knows what he’s doing: shoring up his last, faltering ally in South America, Uribe, a desperate man in deep political trouble.

Uribe claims he is going to bring charges against Chavez before the International Criminal Court. If Uribe goes there in person, I suggest he take a toothbrush: it was just discovered that right-wing death squads held murder-planning sessions at Uribe’s ranch. Uribe’s associates have been called before the nation’s Supreme Court and may face prison.

In other words, it’s a good time for a desperate Uribe to use that old politico’s wheeze, the threat of war, to drown out accusations of his own criminality. Furthermore, Uribe’s attack literally killed negotiations with FARC by killing FARC’s negotiator, Raul Reyes. Reyes was in talks with both Ecuador and Chavez about another prisoner exchange. Uribe authorized the negotiations, however, he knew, should those talks have succeeded in obtaining the release of those kidnapped by the FARC, credit would have been heaped on Ecuador and Chavez, and discredit heaped on Uribe.

Luckily for a hemisphere on the verge of flames, the President of Ecuador, Raphael Correa, is one of the most level-headed, thoughtful men I’ve ever encountered.

Correa is now flying from Quito to Brazilia to Caracas to keep the region from blowing sky high. While moving troops to his border – no chief of state can permit foreign tanks on their sovereign soil – Correa also refuses sanctuary to the FARC . Indeed, Ecuador has routed out 47 FARC bases, a better track record than Colombia’s own, corrupt military.

For his cool, peaceable handling of the crisis, I will forgive Correa for apologizing for his calling Bush, “a dimwitted President who has done great damage to his country and the world.” (Watch an excerpt of my interview with Correa here.)

Amateur Hour in Blue

We can trust Correa to keep the peace South of the Border. But can we trust our Presidents-to-be?

The current man in the Oval Office, George Bush, simply can’t help himself: an outlaw invasion by a right-wing death-squad promoter is just fine with him.

But guess who couldn’t wait to parrot the Bush line? Hillary Clinton, still explaining that her vote to invade Iraq was not a vote to invade Iraq, issued a statement nearly identical to Bush’s, blessing the invasion of Ecuador as Colombia’s “right to defend itself.” And she added, “Hugo Chávez must stop these provoking actions.” Huh?

I assumed that Obama wouldn’t jump on this landmine – especially after he was blasted as a foreign policy amateur for suggesting he would invade across Pakistan’s border to hunt terrorists.

It’s embarrassing that Barack repeated Hillary’s line nearly verbatim, announcing, “the Colombian government has every right to defend itself.”

(I’m sure Hillary’s position wasn’t influenced by the loan of a campaign jet to her by Frank Giustra. Giustra has given over a hundred million dollars to Bill Clinton projects. Last year, Bill introduced Giustra to Colombia’s Uribe. On the spot, Giustra cut a lucrative deal with Uribe for Colombian oil.)

Then there’s Mr. War Hero. John McCain weighed in with his own idiocies, announcing that, “Hugo Chavez is establish[ing] a dictatorship,” presumably because, unlike George Bush, Chavez counts all the votes in Venezuelan elections.

But now our story gets tricky and icky.

The wise media critic Jeff Cohen told me to watch for the press naming McCain as a foreign policy expert and labeling the Democrats as amateurs. Sure enough, the New York Times, on the news pages Wednesday, called McCain, “a national security pro.”

McCain is the “pro” who said the war in Iraq would cost nearly nothing in lives or treasury dollars.

But, on the Colombian invasion of Ecuador, McCain said, “I hope that tensions will be relaxed, President Chavez will remove those troops from the borders - as well as the Ecuadorians - and relations continue to improve between the two.”

It’s not quite English, but it’s definitely not Bush. And weirdly, it’s definitely not Obama and Clinton cheerleading Colombia’s war on Ecuador.

Democrats, are you listening? The only thing worse than the media attacking Obama and Clinton as amateurs is the Democratic candidates’ frightening desire to prove them right.


******************
Watch Greg Palast’s reports from Venezuela and Ecuador for BBC Television Newsnight and Democracy Now! Compiled on the DVD, “The Assassination of Hugo Chavez.”


http://www.GregPalast.com

 
At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Bill Arnett said...

Wow! What a terrific amount of information I hadn't seen when I wrote this post. I just instinctively disbelieve anything coming out of any portion of the bush maladministration, and I think bush has done everything he can to justify that disbelief.

Thanks for the info and comment. I just love it when I find out that other people are just as suspicious as I am when it comes to anything bush.

 

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