Novak’s take on Colombia trade agreement
Bob Novak in his column yesterday had an interesting take on the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement and Democratic opposition to this trade pact. Novak notes that the Uribe government has turned to the Democrats in Congress to try to gain their support:
The forced resignation two weeks ago, under pressure from President Alvaro Uribe, of three prominent officers accused of drug trafficking is not likely to end the shakeup in Colombia‘s army and navy. More heads will roll in a long-overdue purge of corruption in the military. The credit has to go to the left-wing members of Congress who have taken over the Colombian account on Capitol Hill since the Democratic victory in the 2006 elections.
Novak especially credits Rep. McGovern for his hard-line on cleaning up military corruption in Colombia:
Thus, this development must be credited to congressional Democrats, typified by Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, who have been hostile to the Uribe regime’s fight against leftist narco-guerrillas. Pressure on Uribe to clean up the Colombian officer corps should have come from the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, but heads did not begin to roll until the Democrats took over.
But it’s still a question whether these steps will be enough for the Colombia pact to gain support:
In forcing a purge of dirty warriors, McGovern has accomplished what the State Department should have done. Will Democrats relent on aid to Colombia and approve the free-trade agreement? At stake are not only the fortunes of Colombia, the best U.S. friend in South America, but also efforts to slow the torrent of narcotics into the United States.