To Anthony: "Total War"

Alternative alternative at
Sun Feb 24 18:09:48 MST 2002


At a distance, and without following what is going on in detail,  this
"total war" looks more and more as a complicated mass military operation
without actual battles. A big military exercise where "blue" and "red"
forces move, soften the ground with the bombing, then move the troops
into a new square.  The opposing army move to other squares, in a
different region of the game board. Then both sides would send press
releases saying that, under certain conditions, they would negotiate...
once again.

Of course, in the meantime, people die.  The farmer you described or
those blown up in the city, etc. The union activists caught in the
middle, etc  This is how it looked in the past.  What is new now?  Some
photographs show American officers in fatigue uniforms with Colombian
military officers.  They looked very happy and casual, well shaven and
clean but the caption read something along the lines : military officers
in the midst of the offensive, somewhere in the jungle.

Exactly, what the new "total war" means?  It sounds as if some people
see it just a new exercise preparing the ground for new negotiations,
while doing some exercises to justify American "investments."  With the
FARC turning more and more into a bourgeois party with social-democratic
leanings, how these new and improved military exercises are explained?

On the other hand, it will be interesting to have more details about
this decision of the US to "protect" the 300 point of "strategic value"
for the US, namely oil producing centers and pipelines.  How in the hell
are they going to protect pipelines, sometimes 1,000 miles long from
being blown up by the guerrillas?  Who is going to do that, the American
troops? Would they expose themselves to guerrilla warfare with fixed
positions or are they going to patrol those pipelines from the air, etc?

It would be very interesting if you can write an article answering those
and a number of other questions that people have outside Colombia.
There is a new Marxist quarterly about to be launched soon, REV, which
will be interested in publishing this kind of material.  E-mail me if
you're interested in doing some work around this.  You can also submit
some articles to a couple newspapers of the left that I know of.

Outside Colombian, you only have the spin from the traditional left -
with essentially no analysis other than the generalities coming from the
FARC, and not much at that, either - or the spin from the government
and/or the Americans.


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