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Thread: Colombia rescues ex-politician and Americans

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    Colombia rescues ex-politician and Americans

    Colombia frees ex-candidate Betancourt, Americans - Yahoo! News

    BOGOTA, Colombia - Colombia freed Ingrid Betancourt and three U.S. military contractors from leftist guerrillas on Wednesday after military spies tricked rebels into giving them up without a single injury, the defense minister said.

    The rescue is the most serious blow ever dealt to the 44-year-old Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which considered the four hostages their most valuable bargaining chips. The FARC is already reeling from the deaths of key commanders and the loss of much of the territory it once held.
    These Americans have been held hostage for longer than Americans anywhere else in the world. Their rescue proves that the FARC has very little power anymore. Colombia has a very bright future ahead.
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    Re: Colombia rescues ex-politician and Americans

    Held hostage for 6 years... wow. She's going to have some serious post-traumatic stress.

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    Re: Colombia rescues ex-politician and Americans

    A McCain Effect In Colombia Rescue?

    By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Wednesday, July 02, 2008



    Americas: Colombia's rescue of 15 hostages from FARC is more than just good news. It signals that the surest path to victory is in fighting, not appeasing, terrorists. Colombia's path is now clear to end the scourge for good.


    was Magical Realism, the Colombian literary genre, come to life.

    First, America's most famous former prisoner of war flies to Colombia on Tuesday to stand by the country in its 45-year war against the communists. Then on Wednesday, Keith Stansell, Marc Goncalves and Thomas Howes are rescued after spending the past 6 1/2 years in jungle tiger cages.


    Flash back to 1980, when innocent Americans were held hostage for 444 days in Tehran as bids to bargain with their Iranian captors went on and on and on. Then, on the day of Ronald Reagan's swearing-in as the 40th U.S. president, the hostages were suddenly released not as a result of peace talks or negotiations but because they knew Reagan was no Jimmy Carter.

    The facts of the Colombian rescue are sketchy for now. But FARC may have surrendered the hostages as a massive force of 10,000 Colombians encircled them like an anaconda in an operation that began about three weeks ago.

    It's not absurd, however, to also think that FARC let go of its hostages knowing that Colombia was getting support from a fiercely committed potential U.S. president such as McCain, one who cared enough to visit the country and who knew firsthand what it was like to be held hostage in the jungle for many years by brutal communist guerrillas? It raises questions of a McCain Effect.


    Coincidence or not, it underlines that massive force, even the threat of it, is the most effective way to deal with terrorists.

    It also changes everything. For too long, the Colombia hostage situation has provided ample fodder for those who would prefer to appease terrorists. Some, such as the families of hostages, had understandable motives.

    Others, such as Colombian negotiator Piedad Cordoba, had political motives: FARC computer records show that she secretly urged FARC to keep holding the hostages as leverage.

    The French also were somewhat problematic, offering hundreds of terrorists a comfy retirement in Paris along with other incentives if they would just release Betancourt. In the end, however, U.S. officials said France's role was constructive and did no harm.

    In the realm of questionable were congressional junketeers such as Massachusetts Reps. Jim McGovern and Bill Delahunt and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. They used the hostage issue to get face time with Hugo Chavez, loudly claiming that the Venezuela dictator was key to any hostage rescue, thereby boosting his capacity to meddle.

    In fact, Chavez was the worst player in this whole affair. Along with Ecuadorean cabinet members, he used the pretense of mediating with the FARC to rescue hostages to support FARC and aid its effort to overthrow the Colombian government. This rescue slaps that weapon along with his pretenses to meddle and encourage appeasement right out of his hand.

    Although FARC still holds some 700 other hostages in the jungle, this victory demonstrates the importance of force and the political courage to defy pressure from appeasers. It's what McCain stands for, and it's what Colombia has shown in the wake of his visit.

    FARC now has lost the human bargaining chips it used to exert leverage, demand concessions and otherwise manipulate its enemies. With the rescue of these 15, FARC has only two options: surrender or run.



    IBDeditorials.com: Editorials, Political Cartoons, and Polls from Investor's Business Daily -- A McCain Effect In Colombia Rescue?

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    Re: Colombia rescues ex-politician and Americans

    Actually it appears as of now that the hostages were not released because of force OR negotiation. The FARC was *tricked* into releasing them, according to the Colombian government. They claim that government spies infiltrated the FARC and convinced two of the captors that they were moving the prisoners to a safer spot. When they got the hostages and captors into the helicopter (piloted by Colombian officials), the captors were killed.

    Kinda sketchy details so far...we'll see if the official government story is credible, in the next few days.
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    Re: Colombia rescues ex-politician and Americans

    Hmm. Conflicts a bit with what BBC said on the radio a moment ago. The captors weren't killed. When the captors and the hostages went to the heli and it took off into the air, the captors were quickly overpowered and tied down and still very much alive and waiting to be tried at court.
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    Re: Colombia rescues ex-politician and Americans

    It was nice to wake up and see GOOD news as the headline of the day for a change.

    Great for Colombia. This has been a good year in their long struggle against the FARC Marxists.
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    Re: Colombia rescues ex-politician and Americans

    Kudos to the Colombian Army and Intelligence Agency for a job superbly planned and executed. I'm so glad Betancourt is finally free. With all the hype surrounding her captivity I had no idea that American citizens were also being held by the FARC. I'm glad everyone is safe. This is very good news for a change.
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    Re: Colombia rescues ex-politician and Americans

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcana XV View Post
    Kudos to the Colombian Army and Intelligence Agency for a job superbly planned and executed. I'm so glad Betancourt is finally free. With all the hype surrounding her captivity I had no idea that American citizens were also being held by the FARC. I'm glad everyone is safe. This is very good news for a change.
    Yeah, I have to admit that I didn't know about the 3 contractors, let alone about the 11 Colombians.
    ...we honor leaders for what they achieve, but we often prefer to close our eyes to the way they achieve it...

    In the real world, politics is compromise and democracy is politics. Anyone who would be a statesman has to be a successful politician first. Also, a leader has to deal with people and nations as they are, not as they should be. As a result, the qualities required for leadership are not necessary those that we would want our children to emulate - unless we wanted them to be leaders.

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    Re: Colombia rescues ex-politician and Americans

    Quote Originally Posted by 7thKeeper View Post
    Yeah, I have to admit that I didn't know about the 3 contractors, let alone about the 11 Colombians.
    Over 700 people are still held in Colombia by FARC and other both left and right wing terrorist groups. Kidnapping is the second biggest industry after cocaine in Colombia and has been for years.

    And this is great news. Not a shot was fired.. kudos to everyone involved.
    PeteEU

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    Re: Colombia rescues ex-politician and Americans

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Colombia frees ex-candidate Betancourt, Americans - Yahoo! News



    These Americans have been held hostage for longer than Americans anywhere else in the world. Their rescue proves that the FARC has very little power anymore. Colombia has a very bright future ahead.
    I,l certainly be very clad to see the end of FARC but i would'nt agree that everything will remain rosy after they,re gone. There will still be the problem of paramilitary groups like the Black Eagles and the, at the very least, tacit support they get from the colombian government and foriegn multinationals.

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