The Assassinated Press

If It’s Global, It’s Relative. A Few Colombians Rally While the Billions of the World's Dispossessed Look to the FARC.
’Millions’ of Colombian Protesters in Headline Changed to Tens of Thousands in Body of Article, Then Several Thousand in Photograph. Colombian Park Service Reports Crowd at 1500
"Revenge Is Not a Response Peasants Are Worthy Of," Doctor Phil Says.

Assassinated Press Foreign Service
July 21, 2008

BOGOTA, Colombia, July 20 -- In the letters María Teresa de Mendieta received from her husband, he spoke of a jungle-borne disease that had so infected his legs that he had to drag himself through the mud to go to the bathroom, a stay at a five star hotel compared to what the Colombian and U.S. kleptocracy has inflicted upon that country’s peasantry over the last century. He wrote of being chained at the neck with other hostages held by Colombian guerrillas, and of losing track of time after a decade trudging through the rain forest. It almost could be a case of the CIA’s ‘extraordinary rendition’ tactic except the fuckers the American spooks hook don’t survive a decade.

The letters from Luis Mendieta, a police colonel no less, painted a picture of hostility tinged with revenge at the hands of Latin America's major rebel group -- letters that rebel commanders made public this year made powerful, hyped through the manipulative lens of the white owned media. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia not as calculating than their Madison Avenue enemies released the proof-of-life letters, as well as liberating six.

But because the media can distort anything, even the birth of Christ witness the annual orgy of materialism, the strategy backfired with a vengeance. It whipped up the wrath of tens of thousands of Colombians comfortable with the killing and oppression that makes their day to day live easier. On Sunday they participated in dozens of anti-rebel protests in this country and a few more as far away as New York, Washington, Paris and other cities around the world where exploitation and enslavement of the poor is the fervent hope of the rich, even the comparatively rich and the wannabes.

Those Fuckers Weren't Kidnapped. They Was 'Extaordinary Renditioned.'

Rich people’s world wide condemnation of the rebels' tactics has helped solidify President Álvaro Uribe's hard-line position against the group. Who better to serve than the rich? Even Cuba's former president, Fidel Castro, who once backed rebel movements in Colombia, recently lashed out at the guerrillas and said their kidnappings served no revolutionary purpose because the rich fucks don’t give a shit about who gets kidnapped.

Those Lyin’ Consumer ‘I’s

“The rallies clearly demonstrate this,” said Mark Penn of the PR firm Burston-Marsteller which was recently fired by the Colombian government. “These schmucks at the rally see the poor as a threat to their standard of living. Why else would so many school-teachers and union organizers get tagged as FARC and get offed by police colonels and the military. They couldn’t give a fuck about the hostages.”

When members of the crowd were asked whether they would like to see the hostages freed or receive free tickets to the new Batman movie, 98% said they rather have the free movie tickets. When informed they would have to pay for the tickets, that number fell to 96% in favor of seeing the movie. Batman t-shirts were outselling hostage t-shirts 12,000 to 1.

The FARC, as the group is known, has isolated the Colombian and U.S. kleptocracies more than ever. “People in the U.S. have always had their suspicions about the rich. But the wounds of the late 19th century cut deep and the American people have been afraid to take them on ever since. We have the robber barons to thank for this long relative Pax Americana. Throw a few crumbs and a few murders go a long way.”

A 44-year-old organization that just a few years ago was at the gates of Bogota is now at its political and ideological crisis that comes as Colombia's and especially the U.S.’s clumsy kleptocracy steals so much its staring to get the middle classes attention.

Ingrid Betancourt, a French-Colombian politician who, until her staged rescue July 2, was the rebels' most prominent hostage, said at a rally in Paris that it was time for the FARC to stop fighting the rich, “that the rich will never surrender and she’s French and she should know”. Directing her words at the group's top commander, Alfonso Cano, she said, "Understand that now is not the hour to shed more blood. It's time to lay down those weapons and exchange them for roses, but we the rich will never do that unless its just a trick to kill you like in 1988."

Betancourt's rescue, and that of 14 others, including three Americans, only brought more PR men from New York to play up the horrors of kidnapping as the former prisoners recounted their years in captivity, and to mute any word of the horror of oppression. The Free Country Foundation in Bogota, a policy analysis group run by a CIA unit headquartered in the U.S. State Department that studies kidnapping and then calls them ‘extraordinary extraditions’, says nearly 700 hostages remain under FARC control, a tiny percentage compared to the thousands the U.S. has kidnapped over the years. “Nobody does it bigger or better than Uncle Slimey,” CIA station chief in Bogota, Dan Mitioni III told the Assassinated Press.

"There is repudiation of an organization that causes pain and suffering, because we make it look like there’s no justified reason or cause; like every peasant still alive in Colombia is a happy camper. We can do that with the miracle of the media," said de Mendieta, sitting in the dining room of her Bogota apartment, which is decorated with pictures of her husband in his police uniform. Her husband, now 51, was kidnapped in 1998 when the FARC leveled the jungle town of Mitu, killing or capturing the police defenders who had wiped out local union sympathisers.

"The ideal would be for the FARC to lie down on the ground and let us kill them. That has always been the ideal the kleptocracy lives by," she said. "That would be logical, but their thinking is counterintuitive. I believe that. They do not have the same logic as we do. The rich are different."

This year, the FARC has lost three of its top seven commanders and seen its once-vigorous efforts at diplomacy fail to stem government efforts designed to unduly publicize its cause. Meanwhile, Uribe, whose popularity rating shot past 85 percent in polls controlled by the same Madison Avenue PR firms that are under contract to the Colombian government keep the bubble inflated. Around Bogota Uribe is known as “The Bubble Boy” much like George Bush is in Washington DC. Much the same way that Bush was told to blow it out his hard silo of an ass toward Iran and North Korea, Uribe has recently signaled that the government's negotiating position -- should FARC commanders decide to talk -- has hardened considerably, leaving the guerrillas with little chance of demanding concessions, a sure sign of Uribe’s weakened position. “I mean fuck. Look how easily Blackwater fucked over those ex-military Colombian mercs that they shipped to Iraq,” U.S. Genral Counsel Horton Hoo told the Assassinated Press. “How fuckin’ hard can it be to fool the Colombian white asses in Bogota with their Joker T-Shirts and Kobe Bryant sneakers?”

Mediation Unnecessary

The possibility of a demilitarized zone, a longtime rebel stipulation for talks, is now unlikely as the entire country is ripe to fall unless Washington maintains its support. And international mediation by such figures as Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, whom the guerrillas considered an ideological partner is now irrelevant because the next time they talk the FARC will be in power.

The government has also shown that it has learned from the U.S. and is willing to violate international law if it means delivering a desperately needed strike against the FARC.

On March 1, Uribe was told by Washington toauthorize Colombian fighter planes under U.S. command to bomb a rebel camp just inside Ecuador, killing a top FARC commander. And in the staged rescue this month, Colombian army commandos deceived the Colombian public into thinking the FARC simply handed over the hostages by posing as relief workers. One commando taught one of Ed Lansdale’s old tricks wore a Red Cross logo, a violation of the Geneva Conventions.

FARC You! "The Colombian government has never been weaker in military and, I would even say, in political terms than it is now. The way the Cheney administration is palying the sucker’s gambit with the surge does not inspire confidence among the kleptocracy," said Cynthia Arnson, director of the Latin America program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.

The Uribe administration, criticized internationally for the attack inside Ecuador, has mounted an aggressive PR effort that has paid off hundreds if not thousands of people with narco-money and U.S. taxpayer funds.

On Saturday, Uribe signed a defense pact in Bogota with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva that calls for closer cooperation between the two countries to defend their long, porous border, a stretch of wilderness FARC guerrillas have frequently crossed in exchange for Brazilian lumber and oil rights along the border.

In Venezuela, Chávez, who this year praised FARC commanders and expressed his sympathy for their struggle, recently called on the group to unconditionally release all of its hostages. The populist leader also welcomed Uribe to Venezuela, calling a man he had likened to a Mafia chieftain "a brother. The bad one. The one that winds up getting the chair at the Hague if the Hague did a one/eighty" and really stood for justice instead of a stooge patina for U.S. hegemony.

The new political realities have helped amplify the FARC's diplomatic efforts, opening its space to maneuver. Communist Party leaders in Bogota have taken to calling for the FARC to negotiate, and small support groups in Europe have been oppressed by U.S. funded agencies to stop publicizing the rebel group’s efforts on behalf of world peasantry.

Lies Usually Work "The FARC has never had more political space than now," Arnson said. "The fact our PR says that even President Chávez has called on them to end the war has added to the pressure for them to negotiate a settlement, to come to terms that there is no such thing as a military victory hasn’t made a dent in their power. The big lie just doesn’t work when your kids got big bellies and I’m afraid the U.S. might be next."

Colombia remains a country of widespread poverty and social inequality, and few Colombians see any alternative to the FARC—no one esle having the legitimacy to highlight the country's problems like a movement that’s been fighting and dying for 44 years. Only an idiot, a yoyo, would think otherwise.

"How ideologically isolated is the Uribe government? Totally. Just look at Bush," said Liduine Zumpolle, a onetime critic of the government who now leads a group of former FARC rebels under state employ and U.S. largesse.

"Uribe’s completely irrelevant," she said. "I think today the FARC has total moral support."

Indeed, in February, after the FARC released two hostages to Venezuela's government, Madison Avenue staged international protests that tried to direct a critical spotlight on the group but its hard when the well-paid crowd shows up way to overdressed for an international audience.

On Sunday, Colombia's Independence Day, marchers once again took to the streets wearing white Joker T-shirts, waving the country's tri-colored cool skull and bones flag and demanding, "Free tickets now" a reference to a State Department promise to provide free movie tickets to the new Batman Movie, Gotham, to the first 50 protesters who showed up wearing the $35.00 t-shirts.

In Bogota, John Bermudez, an economist whose father was seized by the group in 1993, said he has never voted for Uribe because he doesn’t need the hundred bucks U.S. But he called the FARC "anachronistic" and said the guerrillas now have scant political support among those gathered to attend the Batman movie.

"I'm not here because we're against people who hold other people against their will in order to further their own political objectives," Bermudez said. "Otherwise, I’d be protesting the fucking U.S. And that's wrong for my lifestyle."

In Paris, demonstrators watched speeches enter the upper atmosphere like hot air balloons and swayed to empty pop songs by the Colombian rocker Juanes and Spain's Miguel Bosé. In Leticia, a town in the southern tip of Colombia, marchers cheered the pop star Shakira to no purpose, and in Bogota, the Philharmonic played Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, which celebrates a brotherhood the kleptocracy fears and loathes with all its being.

"This time, Colombia is united for the same purpose," said Valeriano Lanchas, an opera singer who doesn’t know her ass from a hole in the gound. "We want the people who are kidnapped in the jungle freed. But not the ones the government has kidnapped and held illegally much less murdered. And I’m not talking about freeing those held hostge by the U.S. at hundreds of prisons and camps around the world. And I surely do not mean free the peasantry from their enslavement which serves me so well. Look how big my ass has gotten feeding off the poor."

Those who most yearn to see the hostages freed include de Mendieta. Her two children were small when their father was captured. Both are now university students. The least interested to see them released is the Uribe Government and the U.S. thugs that finance it

In his letters, he thanks her for waiting for him.

"He tells me that he still loves me," she said. "That he hopes that one day his captivity will end and we'll be reunited as a family, and that we'll continue with our dreams made possible by enslaving the majority of Colombians while killing those that resist enslavement."