Global Security Headlines

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ecuador-Colombia Front Flares Up

The Other Castro-Chavez Club Front: Colombia

President Correa of Ecuador and partisans. credit:

The Castro-Chavez Club is not only planting weeds in Central America. Colombia, the linchpin democratic state between Venezuela and Ecuador, remains a key objective.

Colombia's rightist Presidente Uribe has carved more than a pound of flesh from the hide of the country's leftist FARC
narco-guerrillas engaged in the longest-running rebel resistance in the region's history.
  • Jefe #2, Raul Reyes, was killed in a daring dash into neighboring Ecuador, capture of laptops (March 2008)
  • Senior Commandante Ivan Rios killed by his own troops a week later
  • Brash trickery in rescue of cause célèbre Ingrid Betancourt and three Americans (July 2008)
The incursion in Ecuador continues to pay dividends. As noted above, the Reyes laptops, a treasure trove given his position as the communications chief in the inner circle, produced hard evidence of the Venezuelan-Ecuadoran direct support of the FARC narco-guerrillas. The heated reaction by Presidente Chavez of Venezuela and Presidente Correa of Ecuador at the time spoke volumes. They knew what was on the laptops.

The latest crisis flared up when the Associated Press' broadcast a video tape showing Commadante
el 'Mono Jojoy' stating the FARC directly gave dirty drug dollars to support Correa's presidential campaign.

The foreign policy challenge to Correa comes at a time of increasing domestic strife. His brother is snared in funny financing farce involving a $80 million in state funds while the president continues to squeeze the dwindling free press - just like his mentor, Chavez of Venezuela.

So far, Ecuador is retaliating by restricting goods entering the country from Colombia, its chief commercial partner.

While the war is far from over (freedom requires eternal vigilance), the Castro-Chavez Club is experiencing mounting difficulties in snuffing out freedom in the Americas in territories outside their own turf.

Mel Zelaya is still ranting from outside of Honduras and Venezuelan drug planes are not landing anymore. The FARC are reeling and their state support for terrorizing Colombia from neighboring Ecuador and Venezuela is laid bare for all to see.

It is a good time for US President Obama and the international community to re-analyze their rush to re-instate Castro-Chavez comedian Zelaya in Honduras and support freedom and fighters for democracy in a region increasingly short of both.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

US-Russian Relations Dangerously Offcourse

Global security challenges are rapidly accumulating for young and ill-prepared US President Obama. Relations with the major actors in the world are important, too. US-Russian relations are at their lowest point since the official end of the Cold War.

President Obama's misadventure at the Russian summit earlier this month should illustrate clearly the need for sober thinking (and more study) about the role of the United States in the world and its international relations.

Russia is not disposed to make President Obama's choices easy. The "secret" swap of pressure on Iran for a nuclear arms pact was a complete failure and Moscow can only laugh at such amateur statecraft. Linkage was not a great idea for starters; thankfully Moscow nixed any such deal.

The miserable state of US-Russian relations is emblematic of the naive president's predicament.

The lack of deep strategic thinking and pacifist approach to global security is a marked change from the Bush era, as candidate Obama promised.

However, once in the hot seat as president of the United States and briefed on the threats to freedom and democracy at home and to US allies, President Obama's course is a recipe for disaster for freeom-loving peoples.

Tyranny and advanced technology to impose it (ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons) are on the march. Weakness begets challenges. The severe degree and sheer number of challenges limit the president's maneuverability without the will and wherewithall to tackle them. Both are sorely absent at this point.

US destroyer anchors off Georgia for exercises
AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov

BATUMI, Georgia (AP) -- A week after a Moscow summit intended to smooth over the differences between Russia and the U.S., both countries on Tuesday engaged in displays of military might near Russia's southern border.

A U.S. warship anchored off the Black Sea coast of Georgia in preparation for joint naval maneuvers with the ex-Soviet nation, which was trounced in a war with Russia last August. Russian warplanes, meanwhile, conducted mock bombing runs in exercises just a few hundred kilometers northwest.

The maneuvers and countermaneuvers marked a stark change from July 6-7, when U.S. President Barack Obama dined in the Kremlin with Russia's Dmitry Medvedev and both countries expressed hope for repairing relations that in recent years have sunk to a post-Cold War low.

During those meetings, Obama diplomatically warned Moscow to respect the territorial integrity of Georgia and reject the notion that it holds a zone of privileged interest among its former Soviet neighbors.

Georgia is still seething over what it views as Russia's occupation of South Ossetia after the August conflict, when Russian tanks drove deep into Georgia before pulling back. Georgia had attacked South Ossetia, which has long had de facto independence, to try to retake it. Russian tanks and troops poured into the region immediately and overwhelmed the Georgian army. Russia said it was acting in defense of locals with Russian passports.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hands Off Honduras Part II

Positive progress is underway in the post-Zelaya Honduras as evidenced by these headlines in the daily El Heraldo:

Deuda interna se disparó en 100 por ciento
Internal debt shot up 100%

New government inherits a sum of 13,700 millions in lempiras, plus interest

Narcoavionetas dejaron de aterrizar en Honduras

Narcoplanes no longer land in Honduras

En los primeros seis meses, las autoridades registran al menos 14 ‘narcoavionetas’ que ingresaron al país. La última fue el 15 de junio y desde entonces no ha vuelto a producirse otro aterrizaje
In the first six months, authorities counted at least 14 'narcoplanes' entering the country. The last one was on June 15 and no more have landed.

Exploding debt and drug planes. Forced entry into the Chavez-Castro Club of ultra-leftists in Latin America. Is this the type of country the international community wants to force back upon Honduras?

The proud country of Honduras deserves better.

Its spirited resistance to accepting Mr. Zelaya merits kudos. The first successful throwing off the Castro-Chavez Club yoke should lift those who love democracy in neighboring El Salvador, the next stage of the fight for freedom in Central America given the ballot box FMLN victors in the presidential election last March.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hands Off Honduras - Part I

In Zeal for Zelaya, Mr. Conrad Black summarizes the scenario leading to the constitutional removal of former Honduaran president Mel Zelaya from office:

"As his presidential term approached its end, Zelaya tried to alter the constitution to allow him to seek a second term. He even led a violent mob in an assault on a military installation to seize and distribute ballots printed in Venezuela for an illegal referendum. His whole effort to secure reelection was deemed unconstitutional by his own partisans in the congress and by the Honduran supreme court.

In Honduras, as in the U.S. and other civilized countries, there are recognized procedures for changing the constitution and for dealing with unconstitutional behavior by high office holders, though there is not a discrete impeachment process. The Honduran congress and supreme court followed the constitutional path for removing Zelaya as far as it goes, after he was found guilty of unconstitutional offenses, including firing the military officers ordered by the congress and supreme court to restrain him from holding an illegal referendum.

The highly respected cardinal-archbishop, Oscar Rodríguez, has urged Zelaya to desist from his farcical efforts to return and accused him of violating his inaugural oath and the “sacred law of God: not to lie, not to steal, and not to kill.”"

The international community's zeal to reinstall an anti-democrat to Honduras is disgraceful. Mr. Zelaya forfeited his mandate and the system worked to reject him.

It is high time to support the democratic forces in Honduras not aid and abet the anti-constitutionalists who have one aim- unite in the Castro-Chavez Club no matter the price to be paid.

US President Obama's siding with the Marxist Zelaya is sorely misplaced and reflects a poor understanding of what actually transpired in Honduras or worse.