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Assume the position

29 August 2008

United States foreign policy has always been motivated by a missionary mentality. But it’s time to vary the missionary position.

James McEnteer, “Death by Paranoia

One assumes Maj. Gregory Michel must have been seeking to do precisely that when he was arrested early Tuesday morning “causing a disturbance” in a Bolivian whorehouse. How rowdy do you have to be to get Bolivian whores to call the cops, I wonder?  The Major was carrying a loaded .45mm handgun with three spare clips and a folded police nightstick (I … don’t …. want… to …. know!) when he was taken — in, shall we say, a state of inebriation (i.e., stinking drunk) to a Santa Cruz police station…

…. where, a scant thirty minutes later, United States Ambassador Philip Goldberg, showed up claiming the Major had diplomatic immunity.  Ok… I can buy — sort of — the idea that the head of recruiting for the Mississippi National Guard might go to Bolivia for some legitimate reason.  Like getting drunk and rowdy in a provincial whorehouse.  But,  why does Maj. Michel have diplomatic immunity? And, what was Ambassador Goldberg doing there?

If “Santa Cruz, Bolivia” rings a bell, you might remember it’s the center of a self-proclaimed autonomy movement.  It also happens to have a lot of natural gas, which the autonomy leaders claim should benefit their province, not the nation as a whole.  The whole issue was raised in a referendum last week in Bolivia, and was soundly defeated, despite U.S. support for the autonomy leaders.  Who — by the way — are Fascists.  The Ambassador claims he was in Santa Cruz for a public meeting with the governor.  Bolivian media caught him going in and out of a PRIVATE meeting (that lasted 90 minutes), but 3:30 AM sounds like a very weird hour for a diplomatic meeting… even in Bolivia.

Meanwhile… slightly north of Bolivia…in Honduras:

President Manuel Zelaya, a logging magnate seen as a moderate liberal, told Reuters that oil-rich Venezuela’s offer to double international aid to the country, one of the poorest in Latin America, is unrivaled.

“I have been looking for projects from the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, Europe and I have received very moderate offers … that forces us to find other forms of financing like ALBA,” Zelaya said in an interview at his presidential palace.

“ALBA” being the Venezuelan-led alternative the Free Trade pacts being pushed in Latin America by the United States.  Zelaya’s decision to forge a closer tie to the Latin American group led to some … shall we say… interesting… “suggestions” that such a decision will cause the United States to unceremoniously deport Honduran nationals.

Both of which make it clear what U.S. policy is to Mexico and other Latin American nations (where the threat of relation for non-compliance in making commodities available — oil, gas, cheap labor — are not so subtly underlined with deportations and military threats) has changed since Woodrow “We will teach them to elect good men” Wilson.

Missionary position?  Nah… bondage and dominance.

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