Pubdate: Wed, 23 Feb 2000
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2000 The Washington Post Company
Address: 1150 15th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20071
Author: John B. Sherry


The Post's choice to support military aid to Colombia is one of the most
appalling decisions I have ever seen printed in your newspaper. "Yes on Aid
to Colombia" [editorial, Feb. 10] is shocking. How can a journalistic
institution immediately be bowled over by political currents? Look to any
human rights organization, and it will tell you that most of the human
rights violations that have occurred in Colombia are due to the military or
paramilitary organizations. This is simply another Guatemala, Nicaragua and
El Salvador waiting to happen. Even now there are 1.4 million people who
have been displaced by violence in Colombia. Where has that information
been in The Post? These people don't need military aid, they need true
humanitarian help.

If the United States really wants to help the people of Colombia, then
offer them fair prices for their coffee and other exports. Decrease the
drug trade by killing the demand, and not the suppliers. Although Gen.
Barry McCaffrey seems to insist that we are not fighting a drug war, $1.3
billion in military aid will do quite a bit of damage. If The Post wants to
take a stand on an issue that embraces peace and uplifts humanity, then it
should not support this drug war. Do not endorse it; it is as subversive as
war can be.

John B. Sherry, Washington
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