March 4, 2008

THE CHAVEZ REGIME WOULD BE PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE COLLATERAL DAMAGE:

Border incursion was Colombian gamble: Tensions continue to mount over the killing of a FARC rebel in Ecuador, but for Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, it was a calculated risk (Chris Kraul, 3/04/08, Los Angeles Times)

Bruce Bagley, a political scientist at the University of Miami and a Colombia specialist, said Uribe was exasperated by his neighbors' unwillingness to do anything about the FARC's presence on their territory. Uribe gambled because he was "desperate for major kills" and because the chance of war breaking out along either border is small.

"Although you can never discount a mistake leading to a shooting war," none of the three countries can afford to risk the billions in trade between them, Bagley said. "But I foresee weeks and months of tension and a military buildup on all sides."

In Colombia, Uribe's gamble adds to his popularity, which in recent polls already exceeded 80%. Few here mourn the loss of Reyes, 59, who as the public face of the FARC embodied the killings, extortion and kidnappings the rebels have inflicted on Colombians for decades.

In Venezuela, there were signs that Chavez's call to arms was falling on unreceptive ears. Several opposition politicians and retired generals questioned the need for a mobilization. Others charged that Chavez wanted war to distract Venezuelans from rising inflation and scarcity of food items.

"Most Venezuelans are against the Colombian guerrillas," said political analyst Anibal Romero in a telephone interview from Caracas. "We have nothing in common with them, we don't like them and there is no reason for us to support Chavez in his support of them."


It's only a matter of days before news leaks that W green-lighted the hit, if he didn't provide intel for it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 4, 2008 6:53 AM
Comments

Chavez can't do anything against Colombia. A huge percentage of food and other consumer goods available in Venezuela are either made in Colombia or come into Venezuela through Colombia. If that pipeline closes, Chavez will have a revolution on his hands.

Posted by: Foos at March 4, 2008 3:36 PM
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