Don’t Wound Ms. Betancourt’s Captors

Posted: Jul 11, 2008 3:05 PM
Don’t Wound Ms. Betancourt’s Captors

The recent rescue of 15 hostages from a Colombian jungle was a shot in the arm for a world weary of terrorists. Very seldom do good guys prevail against ruthless killers unless they are likewise ruthless. To see a helicopter land without challenge, prisoners safely rescued, and joy break out as freedom was realized was wonderful … just wonderful.

Scenes of the terrorists, not murdered, but made fools of was delicious. The name of a previously friendly aid organization affixed on the helicopter causing them to trust brought a chuckle. And the famous image of leftist hero, Che Guevara, emblazoned on rescuer’s T-shirts, fabulously fooling the rebels—the icing on the flauta.

But just who were these “revolutionaries?” The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or the FARC, as the world knows them. They date back to 1964 when Guevara and his communist followers were working with the Black Liberation Army (affiliated with the Weather Underground) to bomb the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument and the Liberty Bell.

Yes, this is the same Weather Underground whose membership boasted of Barack Obama friends, William Ayers and Bernadine Dorn … and the same Obama, some of whose campaign staff have proudly displayed a huge Che Guevara poster.

Through the years, FARC has murdered, kidnapped, trafficked in drugs and tried to undermine the Colombian government with the legendary help of Fidel Castro. And as we now know, in the aftermath of leader Paul Reyes’ death, with that of Venezuelan thug President Hugo Chavez, as well.

It is estimated the FARC currently holds some 700 prisoners in the jungles of Colombia. The released hostages report their membership primarily consists of young people—children and youth who believed they were joining a rebel cause only to discover the brutality. “I’ve seen how their own guerillas commit suicide in a desperate attempt to escape the slavery that the FARC have condemned them to,” said Marc Gonsalves, an American contractor held for five years.

Gonsalves, along with fellow American captives, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell, were effusive in their praise for the Colombian armed forces and Northrop Grumman, the company who sent them there and made sure each family was taken care of during their captivity. They were especially grateful to their country. “It’s a pleasure to be in the USA,” said Howes as he and Gonsalves beamed in front of a huge American flag, holding with unbridled joy a smaller version.

But here’s where it gets strange: One of the most intriguing hostages was Ingrid Betancourt, a dual Colombian/French citizen campaigning to be Colombia’s president when captured in 2002. Having become something of a cause célèbre in France, the news of her release gave French President Nicholas Sarkozy and his people reason to rejoice.

While Gonsalves reported the brutality of their captivity—chains placed around their necks as they were marched carrying heavy packs at gunpoint; the disregard for human life; the false claims of a noble revolution covering the true intent of drugs and extortion—Betancourt played Patty Hearst.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe orchestrated her rescue, which was carried out by Colombian soldiers aided by American Special Forces. Yet she urged Uribe and other South Americans to tone down their “radical, extremist language of hate” toward the FARC who had held her captive for six years.

Even as Betancourt reported she had often been chained by the neck to a tree and many times contemplated suicide, she scolded the Colombian President, “Uribe, and not only Uribe but all of Colombia, should also correct some things. We have reached the point where we must change the radical extremist vocabulary of hate, of very strong words that intimately wound the human being.”

The confused Ms. Betancourt is now free, no thanks to her French “progressive” views, but she would rather scold her deliverer than “wound” her captors.

“They are not a revolutionary group. They are terrorists … terrorists with a capital T,” declared Gonsalves in the “radical, extremist language of hate” Ms. Betancourt so deplores.

Maybe since the French and for that matter, the rest of Western Europe, aren’t big on military action, they can provide Kleenex and therapy for these terrorists whose feelings have now been hurt. But pacifism will only continue to leave their citizens vulnerable in daily life and languishing in captivity.

Except for America’s will and determination, sense of justice and self sacrifice, the world is in crisis. Our choice is clear: identify and fight our enemies or bow the knee to paralyzing, dangerous, deluded political correctness.

America is virtually alone in this fight. Yes, Ms. Betancourt’s poor terrorist captors are wounded, but she and the others are free.