With the Harper regime doing all it can to lock up access to South America - it's "free trade" deal with Colombia, that bastion of human rights, and with - wait for it - PANAMA, right next to Colombia and formerly part of it, the Harperites have managed to do what not even the U.S. has yet. The U.S. just puts seven military bases in Colombia instead and resurrects the 4th fleet to watch what is going on in its "backyard" in South America. What insufferable pomposity. Nothing but total spectrum dominance over every living, breathing creature in the world will do.
I'm so proud we in Canada are part of the grand design, the "Arc of Instability" across the entire world.
Pepe Escobar ties together all the loose ends, connects all the dots and the picture that emerges is enough to make you sick - if you still have any kind of a conscience, that is.
US's 'arc of instability' just gets bigger
"Colombian President Alvaro Uribe rules over a captivating land infested with paramilitaries and extra-judicial killings - scores of peasants and trade unionists killed in cold blood. But he's praised in Washington as a human-rights hero."
"The US has already set up three military bases in Colombia, plus a dozen radar stations. Now this will be upgraded by the Colombian government to seven bases, one of them - Palanquero - with air access to the whole hemisphere. Seven bases in Colombia is a natural Pentagon response to the US losing the Manta base in Ecuador, and losing its grip on now leftist Paraguay. Washington already trains the Colombian armed forces, special forces and the national police.
The infamous Fort Benning-based School of the Americas, the flagship US training ground for ultra-repressive military dictatorships, that is, the "School of Assassins", re-baptized in 2001 the Western Hemisphere Institute of Security Cooperation, trained not only over 10,000 Colombians, but the coup leaders in Honduras as well."
Not too surprising that the Canadian response to the Honduran military coup was so tepid.
"...Colombia is a mirror of Afghanistan - and vice-versa. It goes without saying that counter-insurgency-heavy Afghanistan - now under the supreme boot of former death-squad operator to General Davis Petraeus in Iraq, General Stanley McChrystal - still produces over 90% of the world's opium."
Nice to know we have a free trade deal with Colombia. Even worse that we're going broke and killing our soldiers in Afghanistan to expand the empire.
So, while all eyes are focused on Afghanistan, the 4th fleet patrols the waters off South American countries. You know, you just can't trust the citizens of these countries. While U.S. and NATO forces were away bombing Iraq and Afghanistan into the stone age, the countries of América del Sur were busy voting for governments that would put their people's interests first rather than those of rich westerers.
What were they thinking?
"Argentine political scientist Atilio Boron goes for the jugular; for him, 'To think that those troops and weapons systems are based in Latin America for some reason other than to insure the territorial and political control of a region that experts consider the richest one on the planet in terms of its natural resources - water, energy, biodiversity, minerals agriculture, etc - would be unforgivably stupid.'"
I'm not stupid. Sometimes I wish I were. It would be easier to sleep at night.
Pepe Escobar's article should be required reading for anyone with more that two functioning brain cells.
What has this country become?