Who weeps for Columbia?
The events of yesterday, February 1, 2003, were tragic. I won't dispute
People throughout this country are shocked, and filled with sorrow. Churches,
synagogues, and mosques are having memorials to allow people an outlet for
7 brave men and women went up in space to touch the face of god, only to burn
up in a fiery death while they were so close to home. Tragic? Yes, it was.
But, who's weeping for the other victims of Columbia?
No, I'm not talking about the families of the shuttle disaster. I'm talking
about the peasant farmers in the South American country. For over a hundred
years, the United States has waged one war, or another, against the country
of Simon Bolivars dreams.
The first war was waged by Teddy Bear Roosevelt. You see, he had a man, a
plan, and a canal. But he didn't have Panama. Roosevelt wanted a canal to
allow him to expand the United States' military might. The problem was that
Columbia, the country that owned the Isthmus of Panama, didn't like the
In 1903, the United States provided aid to a revolutionary group that wanted
to seperate from Columbia. These people wanted their own country. We provided
them with money, and military advisors. Shortly after the revolution began,
the citizens of Panama won their independence.
The US ackowledges Panama's independence within 24 hours. Within a week we
had a signed treaty giving us the right to build a canal.
Now, a hundred years later, we wage a different kind of war in Columbia. The
war we wage is the "War Against Drugs". It is a war in which we have
spent countless billions of dollars, taken countless innocent lives, and given
up many of our freedoms.
For the past several years, the US State Department in conjunction with the
military government of Columbia, has had a campaign aimed at eradicating the
coca and poppy fields of Columbia. The eradication is most often done by
having helicopters spray a herbicidal witches brew over villages suspected
of having poppy fields.
Young children are gassed by the herbicide. Livestock and food crops are
killed by the herbicide. Groundwater is contaminated by the herbicide.
All of these crimes occur under the orders of our President and State
Department. Families watch as their lives are stolen by someone they don't
know, by a policy that is unfair, and with goals that are impossible to
Sure, the shuttle is tragic, but, who in the United States weeps for
Posted at: 14:17 on 02/02/2003
[ /essays ]
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