Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | March 8, 2012

Declassified US docs from 1994 expose policymakers with blinders over eyes

Over here, still a bit in awe, still reading declassified US documents from 1994. A document that confirmed the US Embassy and the Colombian government knew about “false positives” goes on to state: “Colombian security forces continue to employ death squad tactics in their counterinsurgency campaign. The military has a history of assassinating leftwing civilians in guerrilla areas, cooperating with narcotics-related paramilitary groups in attacks against suspected guerrilla sympathizers, and killing captured combatants.” … “Moreover the army must still build roads and airfields in many of the isolated regions to enhance military operations.” (Emphasis mine.)

I assure you it reads: “To enhance military operations.” But what about roads and airfields to enhance life for all Colombians? Roads and airfields as part of state-funded infrastructure to provide employment for rural Colombians. To allow for ambulances to take sick Colombians to the hospital. To allow Colombian children to walk to school.

Further down, it states, “A former Colombian Minister of Defense has acknowledged  …(blanked out)..  that Bogotá’s inability to provide for the basic needs of the rural poor directly facilitates guerrilla recruitment. Moreover, the military’s continued harsh treatment—despite the new human rights code—of campesinos suspected of guerrilla sympathies perpetuates the hostility—or, at best divided loyalties—of the villagers, handicapping intelligence collection for counterinsurgent operations.”

Duh: “..the military’s continued harsh treatment .. of campesinos suspected of guerrilla sympathies perpetuates the hostility .. of the villagers.” It’s not hindsight; it’s common sense: no one sides with a bully.

Here’s to hoping that nowadays policymakers don’t walk around with blinders over their eyes, like the ones forced on horses when pulling carriages. Blinders make the horse concentrate on that one direction, and prevent him from looking around at his surroundings.


  1. Very interesting,…

  2. Interesting that the mistakes the U.S. is accusing Colombia of making are the same mistakes the U.S. continues to make in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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