WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Our beloved mainstream media are complaining that President Bush is spending too much time at the "Western White House" in Crawford, Texas. Their stories about his "vacation" make it seem as if he's not doing a whole lot. But a closer look reveals that the president is working hard -- the Fourth Estate just doesn't bother to cover what he's really doing.
For example, last week, the president's meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe attracted little notice from the masters of the media. Colombia, locked in a drug-funded civil war, now stretching into its 41st year -- has lost nearly a quarter of a million people to the conflict since 1964. The pro-American Uribe -- a strong ally of this president -- is committed to ending the scourge of illegal narcotics which is fueling terrorism in the region -- and beyond. But he needs help.
"The great enemy of Colombian democracy is terrorism," Uribe said in Crawford. He praised the Bush administration and the American people for their assistance, which he described as "exemplary." While observing that Colombia has "made progress, and we are winning," he also cautioned that "we have not won yet."
One of the reasons Colombia has not won yet is because the narco-terrorists who are doling out the mayhem and murder in Colombia are finding refuge in Venezuela, with whom Colombia shares a 1,300 mile border. The near-dictatorial regime of Hugo Chavez in Caracas has granted the guerrillas a safe haven to launch attacks against Colombia. This, coupled with last month's launch of the new Chavez propaganda channel called Telesur, has caused growing concern in Bogota and other democratic capitals in the region. Telesur, it should be noted, is a "joint project" of the socialist governments of Venezuela, Cuba, Uruguay and Argentina.
When Chavez is not competing with Al Gore in launching new television networks, he is busy increasing his military troop strength and making unprecedented purchases of arms. On his shopping list: MI-24 attack helicopters, 100,000 AK-47 assault rifles from Russia, coastal gun boats and a fleet of troop transport aircrafts. The purchases have caused great concern in both Bogota and Washington and may have emboldened Chavez to step up his rhetorical assault on the U.S.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.