Tuesday, June 15, 2010

To the FARC

The other day's rescue of a group of police officers and a soldier held hostage for 12 years by the FARC guerrillas was yet another sign of the group's severe degeneration (and thankful) decline. The guerrillas had kept these men chained by their necks to trees.

Open letter to the FARC:

Give it up, you guys - it's over. You've lost. And your 'ideology' is bankrupt.

You say you're leading a revolution for the poor -

But for years, you guys have been a major reason why Colombia has the world's second-largest number of displaced people. You kill and maim many, many people every year - most of them poor campesinos. (And I've talked to many of your victims. People who lost husbands and sons and daughters to your violence, and many peasant families terrorized out of their homes by you.)

Even many of your members, who are generally poor people themselves, feel trapped inside the guerrilla.

You say that the Colombian state has committed terrible injustices, and that is true

but, you the FARC are no solution to that. Not with the wholesale killings and forced displacements of civilians you've committed. Not judging by the way that you finance yourselves by trafficking drugs, which poison and enslave poor people worldwide. Not judging by the way you kidnap children and plant landmines. Who gets maimed or killed by those landmines you leave behind? Some kid out looking for his lost goat. A poor kid.

You are doing terrible things to the people you claim to be fighting for, while that evil bourgeoisie government you denounce is - however imperfectly and corruptly - building roads, schools and hospitals.

And, while it's no justification, many of the state's abuses were spurred or rationalized by the existence of you guerrillas. 'No guerrillas' would mean 'no paramilitaries.' 'No guerrillas' would mean 'no False Positives.' That fact doesn't remove any of the moral responsibility from the government, but it's still a fact. In the rest of Latin America there are no guerrillas and therefore no paramilitaries, either. That's no coincidence.

Your fellow revolutionaries across the continent have all pretty much either died or seen reason and turned in their arms and carried on the fight from parliament and even the presidential palace. You guys are only hanging on in the jungles because your evil imperialist enemies have kept drugs banned - and thus tossed these huge profits into your bloody hands.

But, even if you guys were the heroic Marxist warriors you seem to think you are. And even if Marxism hadn't led nations into nightmares like Stalinism and North Korea, you should still give up. Because, face it, after more than a half-century of fighting, killing, dying and suffering, you're further than ever from siezing power. Colombia's got a stable government, a growing (capitalist) economy and is even becoming a tourist destination. You're irrelevent. And the recent, successful rescues of those people whom you've cruelly held hostage in the jungle only increase your irrelevence and demonstrate your weakness.

Far from having any chance of installing a communist government here, you're why Colombia is one of the few nations in Latin America to have a conservative president (and why Colombians are about to elect another conservative president).

You'd gain much more relevance by following the M-19's footsteps and entering politics.

Give it up. End the horror and the suffering.



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