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Extremely Urgent: Last chance on Colombia vote !!

Bush Administration to Expand US Mission in Colombia, Subsidize Occidental Oil Pipeline If We Don't Act Now!
May 7: Debate begins tomorrow in the House Appropriations Committee on a new Bush proposal which would eliminate current human rights and counter-drug restrictions on military aid to Colombia and add additional funding for counter-terrorism efforts. The proposal, which is part of a massive emergency supplemental for counter-terrorism efforts at home and abroad, calls for $35 million in additional aid to the Colombian military and police for counter-terrorism efforts, austensibly to strengthen Colombia's fight against the three terrorist groups (AUC, ELN and FARC) that operate in the country. Critics of the proposal note continued collaboration between some sectors of the Colombian armed forces and the AUC paramilitaries, who, according to the Colombian government, were responsible for the majority of extra-judicial civilian killings in 2001. Critics also fear that expanding the US's mission in Colombia could pull the US into a costly Vietnam-style quagmire.

homepage: homepage: http://www.colombiapolicy.org/

Last chance on Colombia vote-- please call no 22.May.2002 00:17

repost

URGENT ACTION, MAY 21: Colombia Bill May Come to Vote as early as Wednesday 5/22 or Thursday 5/23. "Bush Administration to Expand US Mission in Colombia, Subsidize Occidental Oil Pipeline If We Don't Act Now! "

We have just heard that the emergency supplemental, which contains dangerous language expanding US military aid to Colombia, may come to a vote in the House as early as tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon and in the Senate as early as Thursday. "House offices are telling us they AREN'T HEARING FROM CONSTITUENTS on this issue. "Please take two minutes and make a call now! "If we lose this vote, it could take us YEARS to regain our ground. "

Below please find: 1) What to tell your representative or senators when you call; 2) background on what the supplemental does; 3) talking points for your calls.

1) PLEASE CALL NOW. "If you don't know who your representative is, please see www.house.gov/writerep. "If you don't know who your senators are, please see www.senate.gov. "The Congressional switchboard for both sides is 202-224-2131. "When you make your call, please ask the foreign policy aide how they think your member will vote on these amendments. "If you get an answer, please e-mail  estarmer@lawg.org to let me know-- it's very helpful for us to have a sense of who is supporting these amendments.

Timing of the bill: HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
We expect the House of Representatives to vote this week, maybe even Wednesday afternoon! "The following GOOD amendments will be proposed:
1) Reps. Skelton (D-MO) and McGovern (D-MA) will offer an amendment against mission switch! (this amendment will prevent the move to counter-insurgency)
2) Rep. Kaptur (D-OH) will offer an amendment that takes out the money for pipeline protection. "(more details below)
If you can only make one phone call, please call your Representative about these 2 amendments!

Timing: SENATE
The Senate is going to committee Wednesday and may vote in the full House on Thursday. We don't know what amendments might be offered. "If you can make 2 more calls, it is important to call your Senators too!
When you call your representative's office, ask to speak with the foreign policy aide. "Please ask him or her to support the Skelton-McGovern amendment to the emergency supplemental bill, which takes out the language in the bill that expands US military involvement in Colombia from counter-drug efforts to counter-insurgency and other non drug-related operations. "Also, ask him or her to support the Kaptur-Schakowsky amendment, which takes out $6 million designated to start training a battalion of the Colombian military to guard an oil pipeline owned by US company Occidental Petroleum. "

When you call your senators' offices, also ask to speak with the foreign policy aide. "We're not yet sure what amendments might be offered, so you can't advise them to support a particular amendment, but you should voice your concerns to the aide, tell him or her that you don't want to see US military involvement in Colombia expanded, and that you hope your senator will speak out on the Senate floor against current US policy in Colombia. "

2) What is the emergency supplemental about? "This is a huge global bill for counter-terrorism efforts, but it contains a section on Colombia that dramatically changes our policy there. "This policy change is a MASSIVE EXPANSION. "Currently, Congress has restricted US aid to go only towards counter-drug efforts; but if the EMERGENCY SUPPLEMENTAL bill passes without amendments, US aid can be used to do counter-insurgency and fund other, non-drug-related programs. "Besides getting the US directly involved in Colombia's civil war, the money could be used to fund a Bush proposal to train a battalion of the Colombian military to guard an oil pipeline in Colombia, belonging to none other than US-based Occidental Petroleum.

WE MUST ACT NOW!!! "Even if we win both of these amendments, we still have many struggles in front of us. "But if we lose now, it will take years to work our way back. "NOW is the time we must draw a line in the sand. "MOBILIZE EVERYONE YOU CAN AND CALL NOW!!!

3)TALKING POINTS

On the Bush Administration's effort to expand the US mission in Colombia: (Skelton-McGovern amendment would eliminate this)

-ENDING VIOLENCE- FARC violence is brutal and intolerable. "But US military aid will be counter-productive. "The Colombian military works closely with illegal paramilitary groups, who are on the US terrorist list and commit the majority of politically-motivated killings in Colombia each year. "The paramilitaries regularly attack indigenous and Afro-Colombian leaders, as well as human rights workers and union leaders-- and the Colombian military does nothing to protect civilians from these attacks. "We shouldn't reward this brutal relationship with more aid! "If we do, we are openly supporting terrorism, not stopping it.

-QUAGMIRE. "The Colombian civil war has gone on for 40 years, and has no easy military solution. "When the US got involved in counter-insurgency in El Salvador in the 1980s, it cost the US $6 billion and 70,000 Salvadoran civilians lost their lives. "Colombia is 53 times the size of El Salvador. "Are we ready to deal with the cost-- both human and financial-- that getting involved in this war would mean? "Support for negotiated peace talks with the FARC will go much further at ending violence in Colombia than more military aid will.

On the oil pipeline protection program: (Kaptur amendment would eliminate this)

-CORPORATE WELFARE- The Critical Infrastructure Brigade, as the Bush administration calls it, would be protecting a pipeline that, when operational, pumps about 35 million barrels per year. This equals a $3 per barrel subsidy to Occidental, payed by U.S. taxpayers.

-WHO ARE WE FUNDING? "WHAT PROTECTION? Beginning in December 2001, the AUC paramilitaries began systematically killing people in two towns about 100 miles from the pipeline, Tame and Cravo Norte. The 18th Brigade of the Colombian military-- which the US wants to re-train to guard the pipeline-- has shown no response to the paramilitary offensive in Arauca. "If the paramilitary presence grows in this area, indigenous groups and civilians that live in the area may come under increasing threat-- and the violence against them will grow.

-JUST THE BEGINNING. " U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson told Colombia's El Tiempo newspaper that "There are more than 300 infrastructure sites that are strategic for the United States in Colombia." Other corporations are already lining up to lobby for protection of their holdings in Colombia. "Will other U.S. corporations with investments in Colombia get a similar U.S.-funded military shield?

When you make your calls, please ask the foreign policy aide how the rep will vote on the two amendments, and then tell them why you want your representative to support them. "Many members of Congress have told us that they are still waiting to hear from constituents on this issue-- it's critical that we make these calls now!

stop deluding yourselves 22.May.2002 14:20

anon

please, the US gov knows exactly what it's doing in Colombia and it's going to keep doing it one way or the other. The only way to destroy US colonialism is to destroy the US, so can we get moving on that instead of calling our "representatives???"

See these two great links for info on just what the US knows:

 http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB69/
 http://www.ainfos.ca/en/ainfos09167.html

see also this link for a broader sense of ergency and possible types of actions:
The Bioengineering Action Network
 http://www.tao.ca/~ban

PLAN COLOMBIA GRAPHIC 22.May.2002 23:30

peace rebel boy

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PLAN COLOMBIA GRAPHIC
PLAN COLOMBIA GRAPHIC