Harry Hutton mostly does sarky, misanthropic humour, so this on the spot reportage from Colombia might very well get missed by a lot of more earnest types than him who would appreciate reading it.
Here is John Pilger arguing that American military aid has caused a humanitarian disaster in Colombia. The trouble with this is that, since the really huge flows of US arms and money began, the level of violence has plunged.
Kidnapping fell 42% last year, and 26% the year before that; the number of massacres was down 53% in 2004, and murder fell 17.7%; street crime, the number of displaced persons, crime against taxi drivers… all down. And every single Colombian I have spoken to, without a single exception, has told me that the situation has improved. I had dinner with some foreign human rights workers, who told me that this was also their strong impression.
Harry’s commenters have mostly concentrated not on whether the above reportage is true, but rather about the rights and wrongs of legalising the drugs, the proceeds of which are so much a part of the problems of Colombia. Or maybe not, because Colombia has always been a violent place. I favour total drug legalisation for all the usual libertarian reasons, but whatever you think about that, this is an interesting piece of reportage.
A few other commenters have also pointed out what a lying twat Pilger is. It is good that such drivel as his can now be challenged quickly by bloggers who, unlike Pilger, actually know what Pilger is talking about. Had I come across it by some other route, I would have dismissed Pilger’s piece as almost certainly being made-up rubbish, purely because of who it is by, but it is nice to be sure.