Barry McCaffrey’s Goodbye Tour  

Barry McCaffrey’s Goodbye Tour  
Posted by FoM on December 02, 2000 at 15:28:40 PT
By Sandra Hernandez
Source: LA Weekly 
Retiring U.S. drug czar General Barry McCaffrey showed up last week in Colombia for a final meeting with President Andres Pastrana, but his visit only raised more questions about what many see as confusion in the U.S.-aided fight against the cocaine cartels. Appearing before a handful of local and international reporters in the capital city of Bogotá, McCaffrey issued this daring prediction: 
“It is my professional judgment, from watching your own leadership, that in the coming five years you will achieve your objective of separating drug money from the FARC, the ELN and the AUC, contributing to the peace process and the economic recovery in this huge beautiful country.”Now, as far as many Colombians were concerned, McCaffrey might as well have been reading tea leaves, for all the objective reality underlying his bold assertions. As of now, peace talks between Colombian government officials and the country’s leading guerrilla group — the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC — are on ice. The FARC says it’s unhappy with the government’s approach to dealing with paramilitary groups, known as AUCs. Meanwhile, rebel groups have set up blockades and cut off the main roads to the Putumayo region of the country, where much of the coca is grown, leaving most of that state without food, medical supplies and other basic provisions.Even McCaffrey’s attempt at courtesy, a special mention in his opening remarks of top Colombian drug official Maria Inez Restrepo, backfired. Just two days after McCaffrey’s visit, a teary-eyed Restrepo — a member of Pastrana’s inner circle in charge of the crop-substitution-and-eradication program — addressed the country after her son was arrested in Miami for alleged possession of cocaine while attempting to enter the U.S.McCaffrey’s primary reason for coming to Colombia was to stump for Plan Colombia, Pastrana’s $7.5 billion proposal for addressing mounting violence that in recent years erupted into a civil war that has cost thousands of lives. Leftist guerrillas are said to be using the profits from the sale of drugs to finance their forces. The U.S. has pledged $1.3 billion to the plan, most of that in military assistance. For their part, Colombian rebels have denounced Plan Colombia and promised to target U.S. officials in their country as well as to abandon any talks to bring a peaceful end to the conflict.McCaffrey was joined in his remarks by Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering, who startled observers by declaring that Plan Colombia was already yielding important successes in the battle to curb drug production and consumption.When asked what results he could be referring to, Pickering replied, “First and foremost, the major success has been both the development of the plan and the international cooperation that goes with that. Secondly, the tremendous amount of financing that has been put in place for the future not only from the United States, but international financial institutions of countries as far afield as Europe and Japan, as well as Colombia itself.”So, just having an expensive plan is enough. Perhaps that explains how McCaffrey could issue his rosy five-year prediction in the face of a recent congressional study that found Plan Colombia isn’t likely to cut drug production within six years, according to an Associated Press report.In any event, McCaffrey insisted that the U.S. won’t be directly involved in Colombia’s civil war, but rather will supply only intelligence, and Justice Department and political support in the international community. “The United States’ principal contribution to Plan Colombia will be the reduction of drug use in the United States,” McCaffrey contended. Then why did so many military officials accompany the general on his farewell tour?Source: LA Weekly (CA)Author: Sandra HernandezPublished: December 1 - 7, 2000Copyright: 2000, Los Angeles Weekly, Inc.Address: P.O. Box 4315, L.A., CA 90078Fax: 323 465-3220Contact: letters laweekly.comWebsite: Related Articles:Drug Czar Fought The War On Drugs To No End Old Soldier Never Dies, Damnit with Barry, In With Common Sense Bye Barry General's Farewell 
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Comment #5 posted by Sverdie on December 05, 2000 at 02:40:53 PT
"Plan Colombia was already yielding important successes inthe battle to curb drug production and consumption."Read the quote again. We are "already yielding importantsuccesses". And which are they? They don't exist, but theplan is expensive.Is this what happens when your profession is to lie topeople to make them buy your military equipment? This guyobviously does not believe his own words.And as for the generals ability to foresee the future...All the expertise say that the plan will fail. Why is thegeneral so hopeful? Would it hurt to reveal what he knowsthat noone else knows?
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Comment #4 posted by Dan Hillman on December 03, 2000 at 18:57:01 PT
Another prediction!
That former US drug czar Barry McCaffrey will face trial on criminal and human rights charges within five years.Remember Pinochet, Barry!
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Comment #3 posted by joeblough on December 02, 2000 at 21:34:35 PT
dream of the megalomaniacs
What is this guy, (Undersecretary of State) Thomas Pickeringthinking? The European Union and many South American countries have decided to wait before giving millions to this impossible dream. Plan Columbia's cost is 7.5 billion and the European Union and other countries have serious doubts, and why shouldn't they? As for windbag McDouchebag,may he rot in hell.RATM  
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Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on December 02, 2000 at 20:01:21 PT
The Plan
freedom fighter, it's easy for him to say, but he won't be around in 5 years to take responsibility for his actions and the failure in Columbia.
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Comment #1 posted by freedom fighter on December 02, 2000 at 17:16:10 PT
Why Barry knows demand will not stop supply?
“It is my professional judgment, from watching your own leadership, that in the coming five years you will achieve your objective of separating drug money from the FARC, the ELN and the AUC, contributing to the peace process and the economic recovery in this huge beautiful country"Mark his words! We all know his dismal records of saying things that ain't so! Separating drug money from whoever is not going to stop the drug money from going somewhere. So, Barry, are you telling me that U.S. government is now going into a drug dealing business after getting rid of FARC and others? Hyprocrite! 
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