Sunday, April 13, 2008

Losing Latin America

One of the consequences (left to the reader to care or not) of growing anti-Americanism around the world (left to the reader to decide how much of it was avoidable) is the growing popularity of politicians in other countries with anti-American agendas (shocking that). But let's just talk Latin America for a quick sec and take a look at a few changes that have taken place in the political landscape in the new millennium:
  • Resource rich Venezuela continued (Chavez was already in power at the turn) its slide towards policies based on anti-Americanism, crazy lefty socialist ideas, local and regional bribery, and consolidation of power. There have been recent signs of hope as some countrymen appear tired of Chavez' gross mismanagement, but Venezuela continues to bribe its neighbors into its anti-American coalition.
  • In 2007, Chavez protegĂ© Rafael Correa took power in Ecuador. Ecuador has eagerly joined the anti-American block of Hugo Chavez. Why does tiny Ecuador matter? Well, besides another radical lefty voice and the potential non-renewal of leases, Ecuador seems to have a friendly relationship with FARC. Amid all the disastrous policies of the War on Drugs, the one that actually seems to be working all right is Plan Colombia — not so much with its stated goal of reducing the flow of drugs, but in Colombia's fight with FARC. FARC has been pushed back to the borders (and at least in some cases over the border). Recently Correa sacked some military types for helping with the fight against FARC. With a reasonable administration in Ecuador, the battle against FARC might be won, but as long as they have a safe haven, who knows?
  • Anyone remember Daniel Ortega, the leader of the Sandinistas that the US helped oust? Thank God we got rid of him for good, even if there might have been some actions of questionable legality in the process. Well, our friend Daniel ran again in 2006 and — with the help of some ham-fisted diplomacy by the openly anti-Ortega American ambassador — won in a quasi-legitimate vote. Nicaragua seems to be forging friendly ties with our Persian friends.
  • Bolivia.
But amidst all the bad news, there's some good, too. It only took 50 years, but we finally got rid of Castro! Seriously, though, smack in the middle of all the anti-Americanism is our staunchest ally Colombia and it's pro-US leader Alvaro Uribe. Amidst all the anti-free trade and anti-American rhetoric stand Colombia. For years, the US has given aid to Colombia and kept US markets open to Colombian goods.

And so how do the Democrats propose to build on this oasis of goodwill in a continent of badwill? By destroying it!

1 comment:

Phutatorius said...

Don't get me started on Nancy Pelosi, EAH. I believe you saw my probably unprintable rant about her reckless, self-indulgent "resolution" about the Armenian genocide.

(note to French law enforcement, by the way: nothing in the above means to suggest that the Armenian genocide didn't happen. and note to Turkish net-censors: nothing in the above means to suggest that the Armenian genocide did happen. I think I walk a mean tightrope, thank you very much.)

I don't have much to add, except to say that the Colombia and Turkey examples demonstrate the supreme wisdom the Framers showed in parsing out powers over foreign relations. The idea, back in the day, was to leave matters of foreign affairs to experts in the Executive Branch (even Bushies), and to afford the Senate — the Senate, not the House — the power to ratify treaties.

It's clear (at least to me) why the House was left out of this process completely: they knew that the two-year election cycle was going to make complete xenophobic idiots out the lower branchers. It was important to have the Reps regularly answerable to the People, sure: but they absolutely wouldn't trust these demagoguic assheads with our foreign policy.

And yet we're at this point, where the House of Representatives gets to hold our trade agreements hostage, for electioneering purposes — what voter who saw any episode of Miami Vice would support free trade with Colombians?

Urgh. I have to say I'm not a fan of these treaties that require "implementing legislation." Give me a nice, self-executing, cut-the-House-out-of-the-loop treaty any day, Brothers and Sisters.

Post a Comment