April 23, 2007

Let 'em Bleed: Left v Right

I've written plenty about the need for Iraq to have its own foundational myths, often borrowing the concept of planting liberty trees. In practical terms, this translates to Iraq being supported while it evolves but not coddled so they shed little or no blood. Well Iraqi blood is flowing, rivers of it, and the progress is appearing. The end state will be a state that people have fought for, bled for, governors whose family members have died for that state. In the end game, Iraq won't just be a bunch of tribes with a flag but a real nation that will stand on its own, capable of starting to reverse the multi-century decline of Islam and the Middle East.

You can certainly argue that this sanguine attitude on my part is less then laudable. After all, what happens if the blood flows and the liberty trees don't take. A shrug of the shoulders and turning our backs on our friends is too easy from halfway around the world.

That may be, but at least there's a "world worth creating" at the end of the process, a goal worth fighting for. When the left does a "let them bleed", there often isn't even that.

Colombia's fight against the FARC and ELN terrorists has become harder, due to the fact that $55 million in military aid has been frozen by a U.S. Senate subcommittee led by Senator Patrick Leahy. This freeze holds the potential to greatly aid FARC and ELN, simply by preventing Colombia from keeping up the pressure, and shows how the change in control of Congress affects the global war on terror.

Where's the "world worth creating" when you force Colombia to let up the pressure on armed geurrillas? Where's the worthy goal when the successes to date have made the country both safer and more prosperous?

Colombia's efforts, backed by U.S. aid, not only have managed to get the AUC to disarm, but they also have put FARC and ELN on the ropes. FARC has, in recent months, fled across the Colombian-Ecuadorian border, seeking a safe haven. While a number of left-leaning parties and officials in Europe have abandoned FARC and ELN, recognizing their status as terrorists, they still draw a lot of sympathy, particularly among the American left.

Right-wing death squads disarming, left-wing violent revolutionaries being driven out of the country, what's not to like? Apparently Pat Leahy would rather have a longer war and more dead colombians than accept the moral compromise that people who have worked with the now-disarmed AUC are in government.

But virtually all well-ended civil wars end up with governments that have members who have had connections with all sorts of violent players in the war. If having friends in the AUC is out of bounds as far as the US is concerned, friendly contacts with the FARC and ELN should be just as out of bounds. You couldn't staff a government with the politicians and bureaucrats left in Colombia if those were the rules of the game. No, the stated reason for the aid cutoff is a pretext but for what legitimate cause of US interest? I frankly can't see a one.

Posted by TMLutas at April 23, 2007 12:45 PM