Thursday, August 04, 2005

U.S. Soldiers In Paraguay - Makes For Gossip, Speculation and Paranoia.

This should make for some great paranoid arguments all over South America, and in the leftie blogosphere. This article from the leftie press in U.S., makes a big deal out of the fact that 150 U.S. troops will be deploying to Paraguay to participate in joint military exercises, speculating it will lead to a permanent base in that country. Local sources quoted (the usual 'human rights activists' of course) base this contention by the fact that the U.S. Congress has authorized stays of up to 18 months, up from 6. More darkly, they hint that Paraguays recent law, granting Immunity to U.S. Soldiers from prosecution before International Human Rights Tribunals, is part of the master scheme to build American bases.

First of all these exercises are nothing new to Paraguay - or for that matter South America, since more than 20 have taken place since 2002. Further, the numbers of U.S. personell is small. And the type of work publically acknowledged includes the training of Paraguayan anti-terror units, and setting up mobile clinics to treat rural Paraguayans.

The whole point of granting immunity to U.S. Soldiers, is simply to ensure that silly people don't go to the International Tribunal, and accuse Private Parts and Major Woody U.S.M.C., of crimes against humanity, - gender-based exploitation- for visiting Asuncion bordellos. That is theoretically possible, under existing treaties.

But, I also do agree that there is more here, than keeping some of our troops away from Baghdad.

I would guess that they are setting up communications equipment of some sort to monitor for any Al Qaeda presence in the border regions of Paraguay. There is a lot of money laundering and smuggling going on in the tri-border area.

It also could be to keep an eye on Bolivia, and to check for arms shipments from Venezuela to Bolivia, since the Bolivian-Paraguayan border is an old smuggling route.


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Anonymous said...

Your're a refreshing alternative to the leftist tripe I've read about this issue. Having lived in Paraguay and visited there from time to time over the last 20 years, I believe I can speak with more accuracy than most. While they have their small share of paranoid constituents, and Che Guevara romantics and mythologyzers, Paraguayans by and large are favorable of the United States. Paraguayans haven't forgotten 9/11 and support the U.S. in its struggle against radical Islam and the glogal terrorism it has spawned.

I've walked the steets of Ciudad del Este (also when it was named Ciudad Presidente Stroessner) in Paraguay's eastern frontier and crossed the Friendship Bridge to Brazil. If you're a criminal with cash you can move back and forth anonomously with the greatest ease. You have to be incredibly naive not to consider that they're just might be a rational interest in monitoring the activities of a substantial Arab immigrant population that only recently arrived in Ciudad del Este the 1980s. We know the early 1990s deadly bombings at a Jewish Community Center and the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires was the work of Hamas with support of the Iranian government. It's very plausabile that this community provided support for this attack.

We would be remiss if we didn't look at Paraguay's own national interest for hosting U.S. troops. First, Paraguay's concern about it's own terrist threat. Let's not forget former President Luis González Macchi's daughter's brutal kidnapping and slaying by members of the Colombian FARC. She was visciously murdered after the exorbiant ransom was paid. Both Argentina and Brazil have exploited Paraguay in their MERCOSUR arrangement with exterme arrogance and condesention. Naturally, Paraguay should look for more favorable bi-lateral relationships. The joint training activities and assistance by U.S. troops and FBI personnel is clearly in both countries' interest.

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