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June 2006
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Robert Novak, Colombia’s Johnny Roundup

Ever have one of those days when you just feel like you’re dealing with jerks and idiots all day? Today’s one of them. Starting out with Anthony Maria Costa and John Walters, and now… Robert Novak (or as John Stewart liked to call him: “Douchebag for Liberty”)
Novak has a particularly ugly, false, and partisan column today in the Chicago Sun Times: Dems Balk At Support For Colombia’s Drug War.
He starts with a profile of our ‘heroic’ drug war efforts in Colombia…

MARIQUITA, Colombia — At the Colombian National Police base here last Wednesday morning, a small air fleet took off. Hours earlier, a Fairchild Metroliner intelligence plane scouted poppy fields in the jungles 40 miles northward. Now several well-armed Huey helicopters embarked. They were followed by three Turbo fixed-wing aircraft spraying the fields to eradicate plants producing narcotics destined for U.S. and European users. Taking off last to complete the day’s operation was a Blackhawk helicopter, fulfilling “search and rescue” requirements.
Such hazardous operations — subject to ground fire from narco-guerrillas — take place in the Colombian Andes every day, amid disapproval from Western European government officials, Democrats in the U.S. Congress and critics inside Colombia. [emphasis added]

And what reason do these critics have for not providing the drug warriors with everything they desire?

“It is the campaign, all over the world, of the drug traffickers to claim there is environmental damage [resulting from aerial eradication],” Serrano told me. He credits the narco-terrorists influencing the European Union’s refusal to participate in aerial eradication even though close to half of Europe’s heroin supply comes from Colombia.

Right. It’s just the traffickers who claim the poisonous chemicals pose a danger. Aided, of course, by those uninformed Democrats and Europeans who object to increasing the already huge dispersal of chemicals that have been heavily implicated in damage to the environment and human reproduction.
And, of course, if it wasn’t for all these dupes of the drug traffickers and their silly environmental concerns, we’d be all done in Colombia.
After all, Novak hears from his drug warrior friends in Colombia that they could win this war, if only they could have 15 more planes for additional aerial eradication efforts.
But apparently the Democrats not only have this environmental hang-up, but they insist on seeing civil war in Colombia, while Novak is somehow able to discern that there is no political war in Colombia — only good guys versus drug traffickers (he undoubtedly has some explanation for the fact that drug revenue has been used by every power structure in that country but neglected to share it with us).
So naturally, Novak’s deluded little mind was outraged when Representative Jim McGovern proposed eliminating $30 million in the foreign aid bill from aerial fumigation in Colombia and transferring it to emergency humanitarian relief for refugees. Novak fumes:

In response to this evidence of Colombia’s escape from degradation as a narco-terrorist state, Democrats in the House voted 161- 28 for McGovern’s disastrous cut in U.S. aid. The House Republicans saved Colombia, but ardent young officers of the national police are anxious to win this war. They need more help from Washington, and they deserve it. [emphasis added]

The House Republicans saved Colombia? By continuing the status quo of spending millions of taxpayer dollars on poisoning crops with nothing to show for it?
Remind me not to call Robert Novak if I need medical attention.
Note: Novak has been a huge fan of aerial chemical eradication efforts in Colombia.

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