Double standard indeed.

Restrain murderous terrorists during flight and transfer, and you are accused of torture and restricting their rights all over the papers of the Western World.

Kidnap innocent civilians, terrorize peasants, place murderous landmines, and rape women, but it doesn’t matter: people like Chavez and Oliver Stone will still defend you as merely freedom fighters, not terrorists.

Yup Chavez is now a hero for getting two women, out of 3000 Colombian hostages, released.

One was raped (one cannot consent to intercourse with a jailer), bore a child without a trained midwife (reports say the fractured arm was due to a birth injury, meaning a botched delivery) , and then had the child removed from her custody to save it’s life…the child was so badly maltreated that the government’s social services took custody of the child to save it’s life.
The conditions of the hostages is horrendous.The other hostage describes their captivity:

Many of the hostages held by Colombian rebels are kept chained in jungle camps surrounded by barbed wire and are terrified by encroaching army artillery and machine gun fire….Some hostages are kept in shackles around the clock and chained to heavy chunks of wood at night, while army artillery shells fall perilously close…Last year 11 kidnapped provincial lawmakers were killed when the rebels said an unidentified military force raided their makeshift jail. The government accuses the guerrillas of executing the 11 hostages….

Yet the issue is not that FARC (who makes millions off of the drug trade) runs a horrific jail.  The point is that these are civilians who have committed no crimes, who should not be jailed at all. They are being held hostage to try to free terrorists residing in Colombia’s jail: men who if left lose would go out and murder others.

Yet why does Chavez and too many others think that those perpetuating such horrors would become angels of light if they could take over the democratically elected Colombian government?

It’s called “magical thinking”. The ancient legends talked of a golden age when the king would come again. Religions often substituted the Messiah or Mahdi or Caliphate. But for Communists, they really believe that all you need for utopia to come is to get rid of the evil people and allow true believers of Marxism to take over, and voila, we’re all rich…

And hundreds of millions have been killed in the name of this Marxist utopia, yet still Chavez thinks it can be done– and his Hollywood enablers are even more stupid to believe it.

There is no “easy” answer to Colombia’s fifty year war. There are enough atrocities on all sides to despair of peace: and every druggie who insists on using recreational drugs is helping fund the war.

Ironically, without FARC, Colombia could boom economically.  Yes there is corruption, but hundreds of honest judges have died rather than take bribes. Yes, there is a drug trade, but except for street kids, few Colombians use drugs themselves. Poor farmers may grow drugs to make a living,  but those associated with the drug trade are looked down upon, and such profits are considered unlucky.
Yet instead of strengthening the democratically elected government, the left in the US wants to weaken the government by withholding aid.

The idea is that many of the right wing paramilitary are associated with the military or police.

Yet what is overlooked is that if the central government cannot stop the “insurgency” and make people safe, these groups will merely expand.

We see this here in the Philippines, where banning the death penalty and making nicey nice with ex NPA communists resulted in murderers and their supporters to become civilian  “human rights activists”…without having to answer for their crimes and conspiracies.

As a result, we have had an increase in “extrajudicial” killings (including a lot of real human rights activists of course). This extrajudicial killing essentially is a form of personal vengence by police and the military for their fellows being killed, and seeing the killers go free under amnesty.
So what is the answer?

Stengthen the government so that they can eliminate the worse “insurgents” while clamping down on the military without risking a coup, while strengthening civil society via grass roots organizations such as churches, who can defend civil rights while preaching the necessity of forgiving one’s enemies.

Church groups and NGO’s need help to supply aid to those displaced and do basic developmental projects. Investment by multinational corporations will help, especially if strong grass roots organizations help organize workers to get a living wage.
Of course, this multilateral approach means many small people doing their part instead of instant utopia, but that’s reality.

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her webpage is Finest kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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