Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The local war on terror

The Wall Street Journal (which is an excellent read today, albeit subs. req'd) has an in-depth look at the success of the Colombian government's war against the FARC. One gap in the article is the relative lack of attention given to kidnapping in undermining public support for the FARC. When you've kidnapped popular and even sympathetic politicians like Ingrid Betancourt and have had people grow up or grow old and die in captivity, you've sunk pretty low. Or, if your defence is that George Bush does stuff like that too, then again you've sunk pretty low.

Among the many details of the scale and intensity of the government's counterterrorist operations, is this --

Mr. Pastrana's failed attempt to negotiate with the guerrillas left Colombians angry, paving the way for the election of Mr. Uribe in 2002 on a get-tough platform. During his first week in office, he declared a 90-day state of emergency and pushed through a one-time $800 million tax on the nation's wealthy to help pay for the war.

Don't tell George Bush.

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