Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Colombia : Our "Friendship" With America is a Sham

Watching America

The editors of Colombian newspaper El Tiempo ponder the level of reciprocity in its "friendship" with the United States and conclude that Colombia is getting the short end of the deal.
The only things we have gotten are extreme positions, indifference to our poverty, and unilateral and arrogant demands that sooner or later, we are going to have to accept. This is because in order to negotiate equitably with the United States, we are to be required to adopt economic institutions and practices that we are very far from having...Is our "friend" a government whose only interest is for us to help them resolve their problems of drug consumption, with no concern for our future?
I have written here before of the dysfunctional relationship between the United States and many of its "allies," both in the developed and developing worlds. The decades-old "war on drugs" has proven to be a tremendous waste of money and manpower--if it was ever sincerely undertaken in the first place. It seems as though where ever the US takes on some new ally in the less developed world, drugs follow. We overthrow the Taliban, Afghanistan becomes the world's leader in poppy production (opium and herion). We take out Saddam, Iraq becomes a stopping-point, a way station in international drug trafficking. Our only real ally in Latin America (for the moment at least) is Colombia, and Colombia remains the biggest producer of coca (for manufacturing cocaine) in the world.

Just under a year ago, Gary Webb died. Webb was an investigative reporter for the San Jose (CA) Mercury News who reported on CIA complicity and cover-up in Latin American drug trafficking, especially as it involved the Reagan administration-supported "contra war" in Nicaragua. Webb was ridiculed for his stories. He was politically hounded out of journalism and died in disgrace. But most of what he wrote about was proven true.

Could it be that the US has a strategic interest in the free-flow of drugs around the developed world?

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