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  #21  
Old 11-18-2010, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by BurtReynoldsMoustache View Post
Yes. He has no allegiance to the United States or Colombia.
That still doesn't change the fact that selling arms to FARC violates international law.

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He didn't commit any crimes in the United States. He's being extradited to the United States for breaking United States laws in countries that are not the United States. If anything he's Colombia's problem and they should be the ones dealing with him.
No, he's being extradited to the U.S. for conspiring to aid a designated FTO in killing American military personnel. He may not have been the guy who would be pulling the trigger, but being cognizant that he was helping people who would (as he made clear on tape) makes him culpable.

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Since when, the 1970's? That's an awfully long time. And it's still not over. And even if FARC does collapse that won't end the drug trade that funds it, which means the DEA's involvement will continue. And then what? Will Colombia fall into the same situation Mexico has found itself in with criminal power decentralizing and balkanizing once FARC disbands?
FARC has lost many of its senior-most people who were the driving personalities behind it. Without them, it will almost certainly fall apart and not remain viable.

Getting rid of FARC doesn't mean that Colombia's drug problem will end, but it is still highly desirable because FARC has been the main instigator behind the conflict. The drug trade and the Civil War are two different (though closely related) conflicts.
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  #22  
Old 11-18-2010, 02:47 AM
BurtReynoldsMoustache BurtReynoldsMoustache is offline
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That still doesn't change the fact that selling arms to FARC violates international law.
He's not accused of violating international law here. He's being extradited to the United States, not the Hague.

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Originally Posted by MT2008 View Post
No, he's being extradited to the U.S. for conspiring to aid a designated FTO in killing American military personnel. He may not have been the guy who would be pulling the trigger, but being cognizant that he was helping people who would (as he made clear on tape) makes him culpable.
Then he should be handled as a military threat, or he should be tried in an international court. I find this blending of military and law enforcement agendas discomforting.

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FARC has lost many of its senior-most people who were the driving personalities behind it. Without them, it will almost certainly fall apart and not remain viable.

Getting rid of FARC doesn't mean that Colombia's drug problem will end, but it is still highly desirable because FARC has been the main instigator behind the conflict. The drug trade and the Civil War are two different (though closely related) conflicts.
The question is "what happens after FARC?" Does the US remain? Does a new power struggle emerge from every two bit pimp and pusher trying to become the next Escobar? If that happens does it really count as "success"?
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  #23  
Old 11-18-2010, 08:40 PM
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He's not accused of violating international law here. He's being extradited to the United States, not the Hague.
Yes, but that doesn't mean he can't also be tried for conspiring against us. Again, given that he was planning to help an FTO kill Americans.

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Then he should be handled as a military threat, or he should be tried in an international court. I find this blending of military and law enforcement agendas discomforting.
Then you're still thinking with a Cold War/1990s mentality. One of the things that 9/11 taught us is that fighting non-state threats (terrorists, cartels, etc.) pretty much requires blending law enforcement and military methods. One can debate back and forth whether we've gone too far in one direction or the other, but that doesn't change the reality of necessity.

As far as trying him in an international court, Interpol issued an arrest warrant for him years ago. If they decide that they want to prosecute him, they probably could, but I'm not sure they'd be able to build the kind of case against him that our own prosecutors can. It was our people who caught him and got the evidence that can put him away.

And what does "handled as a military threat" mean? You want him to go before a military commission?

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The question is "what happens after FARC?" Does the US remain? Does a new power struggle emerge from every two bit pimp and pusher trying to become the next Escobar? If that happens does it really count as "success"?
Considering the size of the territory FARC controlled at one point, defeating them would put a great deal of Colombia back under government jurisdiction. Colombia would not be nearly as "balkanized" as Mexico is becoming now.
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  #24  
Old 11-18-2010, 08:48 PM
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Also, I don't know if it makes a difference, but I just read that the DEA operation which caught Bout was in fact aimed at weakening FARC, not arresting Bout. The DEA was going after known conduits transporting FARC's cocaine out of Colombia and guns into Colombia for FARC's armed campaign. Bout was one of several targets. So it looks like I may have over-stated this earlier.

But it's still true that the U.S. government has been trying to arrest him for the past 5 years, and he was wanted long before that.
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  #25  
Old 11-18-2010, 08:53 PM
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MT2008, you are one of the most knowledgable people I've ever known.
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  #26  
Old 11-18-2010, 09:41 PM
BurtReynoldsMoustache BurtReynoldsMoustache is offline
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Considering the size of the territory FARC controlled at one point, defeating them would put a great deal of Colombia back under government jurisdiction. Colombia would not be nearly as "balkanized" as Mexico is becoming now.
I didn't mean the state or the territory would be balkanized, I meant the criminal element. Without FARC running things the various "duties and responsibilities", so to speak, of the drug trade would be scattered amongst what ever willing individuals care to pick them up. That's where the comparison to Mexico comes from, the one drug lord running routes through Mexico went to prison and control was passed onto numerous underlings who then went to war with each other and have been at it for some time. It's not an "Us vs. Them" scenario in Mexico, it's a "Them vs. Them vs. Us vs. Them" scenario.


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And what does "handled as a military threat" mean? You want him to go before a military commission?
Assassinate/capture as an enemy combatant or operative.
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  #27  
Old 11-19-2010, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Swordfish941 View Post
MT2008, you are one of the most knowledgable people I've ever known.
I have my opinions like anyone else, and that's that.

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Assassinate/capture as an enemy combatant or operative.
Except that he hasn't personally tried to kill anyone, in which case, he doesn't meet "unlawful combatant" status. Not to mention that the liberals would be up in arms (errr, flowers) over us doing something like that. How can you possibly be so concerned about the rule of law if you would advocate us treating Bout like an enemy combatant (rather than a criminal, which is what he really is)?

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Originally Posted by BurtReynoldsMoustache View Post
I didn't mean the state or the territory would be balkanized, I meant the criminal element. Without FARC running things the various "duties and responsibilities", so to speak, of the drug trade would be scattered amongst what ever willing individuals care to pick them up. That's where the comparison to Mexico comes from, the one drug lord running routes through Mexico went to prison and control was passed onto numerous underlings who then went to war with each other and have been at it for some time. It's not an "Us vs. Them" scenario in Mexico, it's a "Them vs. Them vs. Us vs. Them" scenario.
Those "willing individuals" would still need to find a way to establish control in the areas that FARC previously controlled. Part of the reason FARC gained control of the areas of Colombia it held is because, like any capable insurgency, it followed the Maoist strategy of winning hearts and minds through social programs that were intended to help the most destitute peasantry in those regions. Its social system started to fall apart in later years, but that was how it gained control originally. That isn't something that any newcomer could do overnight; it takes many, many years.

The drug cartels in Mexico work in a similar way; the major cartels that currently operate in Mexico spent years administering government and economic activity in order to cultivate population loyalty. Mexico is also (due to its geography) a far more difficult country to control than Colombia.
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Last edited by MT2008; 11-19-2010 at 12:15 AM.
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  #28  
Old 11-20-2010, 04:08 PM
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As far as i see it, we have no authority to arrest or try him. His crimes were committed outside the US and who cares if he wants to sell bad guys stuff to shoot down Black Hawks. Arms dealers may be bad, but there is no real international authority to stop them and they do business in countries that have no real government or just bribe their way through. He told bad guys the stuff he had was good for killing Americans? He's probably told that to all his customers, just replace America with the name of the buyer's enemy.
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  #29  
Old 11-20-2010, 09:15 PM
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As far as i see it, we have no authority to arrest or try him.
Sure we do. He was extradited to this country from Thailand with the approval of their justice system. Since we have an extradition treaty with Thailand, and since they arrested/detained him (after a DEA operation), they had the final say. And they chose to allow extradition. People are not immune from prosecution for criminal acts just because they happen to be citizens of different countries than those where they were arrested.

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His crimes were committed outside the US and who cares if he wants to sell bad guys stuff to shoot down Black Hawks.
Who cares? Are you an American? Personally, I care if someone is selling weapons to enemies of America. So does almost everyone I know who is in the service. I'm sure they'd take offense to your comment.

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Arms dealers may be bad, but there is no real international authority to stop them and they do business in countries that have no real government or just bribe their way through. He told bad guys the stuff he had was good for killing Americans? He's probably told that to all his customers, just replace America with the name of the buyer's enemy.
Then let this be the precedent. If you are really indifferent to the idea of men like Viktor Bout profiting from civil wars, then you must be an extremely cynical person. I don't see how you can't feel some degree of disgust and outrage at such evil actions. Anyone who would sell weapons to men like Mullah Omar or Charles Taylor - repeatedly - needs to be locked up.
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  #30  
Old 11-20-2010, 09:44 PM
BurtReynoldsMoustache BurtReynoldsMoustache is offline
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Then let this be the precedent. If you are really indifferent to the idea of men like Viktor Bout profiting from civil wars, then you must be an extremely cynical person. I don't see how you can't feel some degree of disgust and outrage at such evil actions. Anyone who would sell weapons to men like Mullah Omar or Charles Taylor - repeatedly - needs to be locked up.
What about other people who would do business with those kinds of people? What about people who help them obtain medical supplies, fuel, and food? Not weapons, but necessary for the effort, and therefore an indirect means of killing our soldiers.
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