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Unraveling ideas: War is not as they paint it

category venezuela / colombia | imperialism / war | non-anarchist press author Monday January 27, 2014 19:46author by Timoleón Jiménez - FARC-EP Report this post to the editors

State violence will always generate struggle, so it is an essential prerequisite to end it if we want to achieve peace. It's the only way to end the conflict.

The media disclose an overwhelming amount of information about the blows, which are permanently delivered by the Colombian military forces -led by U.S. advisers- against different guerrilla units, particularly the FARC, in development of the internal armed conflict.

President Santos is in charge of informing, with obvious personal satisfaction, the success of his troops. He always warns that the decreed offensive won't stop, but rather, that it will be intensified and extended. Hereby, he is completely dismissing any possibility of a bilateral cease-fire, which he considers highly inconvenient.

Thus, the government's intention to present a besieged and defeated guerrilla to the national and international opinion, is evident. A guerrilla, whose military and political incapacity will be charged at the Peace Talks, emphatically rejecting its aspirations and imposing the conditions of surrender, widely promoted from the very announcement of the talks. Humberto de la Calle recently reiterated the position of the national government; in part to silence Uribe and his entourage, and partly to alleviate the concerns of landowning, industry and financial sectors, as well as transnational investors, regarding the process of Havana.

The Colombian state imposes some uncivilized conditions on the confrontation, which are absolutely disproportionate compared to the capabilities of its adversary. This is visible to everyone, but it is cleverly presented as a normal development of a war against organizations that are capable of anything. The asymmetry of forces doesn't demonstrate the state's strength or legitimacy, but its huge political weakness and lack of moral arguments. The state presents an increasingly reduced number of demoralized guerrilla fighters to be defeated, which makes it strange that at the same time it is increasing troops and resources of all kinds in order to reduce them. Behind the devastating bombing, a harrowing despair is concealed.

The real war, not the one of the printed press and television, is not waged as they paint it. It should be clear that the defense ministry assumed the position of silencing and hiding the blows of the insurgency against its apparatus of death and terror. Helicopters, for example, are falling down because of accidents and coincidences, when it can't be concealed; they simply are never impacted by guerrilla fire. On 22 December, in the rural area Briceño, Antioquia, a helicopter was completely destroyed when it was preparing to land troops, in offensive operations against units of the Iván Ríos Block.

Although the defensive response occurred during the unilateral ceasefire, the army, fearing disclosure of its failure, didn't report it as a violation of the FARC-EP's pledged word, one of its usual resources of defamation. The same could be said of the device, which was demolished on the 9th of January by joint units of the FARC and the ELN in the rural municipality of Anorí. The military high command preferred to attribute it to any other cause, in order to prevent people from discovering its plan to land troops in remote areas. It becomes increasingly clear that the Army appeals to massive bombings due to its inability to hit the insurgency on the ground.

Evidence of this was the explosion of a mine on 24 December, which affected most of the commands, which were supposed to move secretly against FARC units in the same municipality. This forced the commander of the operation to give the order to collect all special commands troops, seeking to surprise the guerrilla units in Anorí, Briceño, Camping and Tarazá, by helicopters.

It isn't valid either, as President Santos claims, to consider that with air strikes - like the one made against FARC units in the rural area of Murindó on 15 December, where at three o'clock in the morning 24 bombs were dropped, killing a guerrilla fighter - the final blow to the FARC is delivered.

Not even in the case in which the final result has been more tragic, as in Puerto Rondón on 18 January, can it be said that the ships or assault troops have an easy job against a guerrilla movement which is about to surrender. In that midnight bombing, the guerrilla fighters of the Guadalupe Salcedo Unda Tenth Front fought with their rifles from the ground against the aircraft. They were able to hit three airplanes and part of their crew. It is known that a Bell helicopter made an emergency landing in Rondón, with eight shots in its fuselage, a captain with a stomach injury and a soldier with an affected arm. Another arrived at Arauca with two dead counter-insurgency soldiers. The battle, as can be seen, is about fighting, resisting and advancing.

Among the bodies, the military reported the body of Franklin, against whom they said they had performed the operation. His body could not be found because he survived unscathed. They also insisted, even several days later, that Edinson Romaña had perished in the bombardment against his unit in Meta. That day, January 4, a representative of the company Arroz PTC Huila, who, collaborating with the National Army, had arrived to negotiate the payment of law 002*. Obviously he was wearing a geopositioning device. Despite the 5 Kafir airplanes, which dropped cluster bombs, and the immediate troop landings by helicopters, fighting continued for four hours until eight in the evening.

During these events, there were three damaged helicopters, six soldiers killed and eight others were wounded, negative results which obviously were never disclosed. Moreover, considering that the confrontation is not purely military but essentially political, Santos' attack against the popular movement, with dozens of people killed, threatened and persecuted, has been denounced by many people in recent days. This shows that people are expressing their discontent and are getting organized for struggle. Much was said about the growth of the FARC in the 90s, but little about the unpunished state crimes against the UP and the social movement. Now they seem determined to repeat what happened then.

Hopefully the consequences won't be similar this time. State violence always generates struggle, so it is an essential prerequisite to end it if we want to achieve peace This is the only way to end the conflict. Everything else is useless.

Colombian jungle, January 23, 2014.

* The law 002 says that anyone who possesses more than a million dollars in assets should pay a revolutionary tax to the FARC-EP

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