Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Colombia Incursion

Update: Add another loon to the bunch

Let's state the obvious: Colombia violated international law. I don't think anyone disagrees on that point. However, we don't exist in a vacuum and neither do laws. Everything has a context and must be evaluated from there.

It is unclear at which point Colombia physically crossed the Ecuadorian border, but they clearly fired from their side to the FARC rebels on the Ecuadorian side. Initially, Correa (Ecuador's president) was fine with the justification Uribe had given hime. But then, for no reason, Chavez started ranting and raving - he actually still is - and the rest of Latin America followed suit.

Colombia did what they though they needed to do - kill the second in command of the FARC rebels. They had the opportunity to kill him and they took it. I'd venture that they followed the premise "es mejor pedir perdon que haber pedido permiso" given their long standing suspicions that both the Ecuadorian and Venezuelan government have been willingly harboring FARC rebels.

Honestly, I cannot think of any other country that would not have done the same thing and here is where I'm surprised at the reaction from the governments of Latin America. Every government that has pronounced itself on the issue has condemned Colombia. I understand, they violated international law. But is it inexcusable? Is this that hard to empathize with their situation?

I would've expected governments to condemn Colombia but at the same time acknowledge that they understand, even if it is inexcusable behavior. After all, if you kill whoever killed your parents, I'd understand. It violates law and its inexcusable, but I understand. See there is this thing in criminal law called mitigating factors such as self defense, imminent danger, distress, etc. Why do we not extend these to countries?

It disappoints me to see everyone so quick to condemn, so quick to hype the rhetoric and no one telling Chavez what the King of Spain so eloquently said: Por que no te callas?

Venezuela has beefed up the border, mentioned war and peace in the same utterance, and is now threatening to nationalize Colombia's assets in Venezuela. Why? Because he knows the evidence that Colombia has is probably true. Why aren't the other governments pronouncing themselves on this? How come no one is saying that if true those are really inexcusable, threatening and unacceptable behaviors? Why is no one saying that if true they constitute a violation of Colombia's sovereignty?

I mean, come'on, some of the allegations have Chavez conspiring with FARC to overthrow the Colombian government. It seems Peru has forgotten what the Senderos Luminos is; it seems Chile has forgotten the FPMR still exists and is armed and active. And Chavez seems to have forgotten that funding opposing groups in other countries is about as imperialist as you get, according to his rhetoric.

Everyone is throwing Colombia under the bus; no ifs ands or buts. Chavez going as far as calling it the Israel of Latin America. For someone who "espouses" Bolivar's dream of unification, and someone who denounces imperialism his behavior demonstrate opposite view. He doesn't want a unification of Latin America, unless of course it comes under his own imperialism movement.

If anything, the world has learned a bit more of what a hypocrite Chavez is. I hope the case at The Hague stands and Chavez is shown for what he is a goon trying to incite a war so he can turn around and tell his people, see? I told you they wanted our oil.

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