Pubdate: Sat, 15 Jul 2000
Source: Athens Daily News (GA)
Copyright: 2000 Athens Newspapers Inc.
Address: PO Box 912, Athens, GA 30603
Fax: 706-208-2246
Note:  This was published in the Athens Daily News, but was
first published in the American Press (LA).


Somewhere, somehow, there must be someone with enough insight,
tactical skills and political courage to define for Congress and the
American people the full truth about Colombia's illicit narcotics industry.

After more than a decade we appear to be getting further away rather
than closer to even modest success in stemming the massive flow of
Colombian drugs into the United States.

President Clinton is asking Congress to approve a $1.6 billion
anti-drug package for Colombia that commits military weapons,
helicopters and on-the-ground American soldiers.

Critics say we could be headed for another Vietnam, with U.S. soldiers
projected into a brutal civil war between Colombian government troops
and well-armed guerrillas supported by drug lords.

There's no assurance our involvement wouldn't be lengthy.

The alternative to U.S. involvement in Colombia, the administration
says, is a greater, more rapid increase in production and
transportation of illicit narcotics from Colombia into Mexico and then
into the United States. But our involvement hasn't made a difference
in the past.

We've been at it in Colombia for more than a decade. A reasonable wait
won't hurt while our lawmakers look for counsel from the best and
brightest people they can find.
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MAP posted-by: Derek