Obama named on FARC laptop

Here’s an interesting tidbit from the laptop Colombian forces seized when they raided the camp of FARC commander Raúl Reyes: Writing two days before his death, Reyes tells his secretariat comrades that "the gringos," working through Ecuador’s government, are interested "in talking to us on various issues." "They say the new president of their country ...

Here's an interesting tidbit from the laptop Colombian forces seized when they raided the camp of FARC commander Raúl Reyes:

Here’s an interesting tidbit from the laptop Colombian forces seized when they raided the camp of FARC commander Raúl Reyes:

Writing two days before his death, Reyes tells his secretariat comrades that "the gringos," working through Ecuador’s government, are interested "in talking to us on various issues."

"They say the new president of their country will be (Barack) Obama," noting that Obama rejects both the Bush administration’s free trade agreement with Colombia and the current military aid program.

Reyes said the response he relayed is that the United States would have to publicly express that desire.

This may be wishful thinking on FARC’s part. Obama did join a handful of senators last May in signing a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that questioned the Colombian government’s ties to paramilitary forces. But I’m not aware that he rejects U.S. military aid to Colombia per se. Here’s what Obama said about Colombia back in March 2007:

The United States has invested a great deal—nearly $5 billion during the past 7 years—to help stabilize Colombia. A more peaceful, just, and stable Colombia is undoubtedly in our national interest. It is imperative, however, that greater peace and stability contribute to a reduction in the flow of drugs from Colombia to the United States. Thus far, we have not seen the kind of drop off that the effective pursuit of our interests demands.

President Bush’s closest ally in the region—Colombian President Alvaro Uribe—is embroiled in a controversy that has led to the arrest of eight of his supporters in the Colombian Congress and his former confidant and former chief of Colombia’s secret police for ties to the country’s narco-terrorist paramilitaries. President Bush must be careful to keep the pursuit of U.S. interests in Colombia distinct from specific personalities, or personal relationships. The further consolidation of legitimate governing institutions in Colombia – and the extension of their reach throughout Colombia – are clearly in the national interest of the United States, and the interest of Colombia.

That sounds like unobjectionably good advice to me.

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