There is still much going on between Colombia and Venezuela, but I’ll hold off reporting on what’s going on in the Colombian press on the topic until the meeting tomorrow between Colombian and Venezuelan officials, the first since the crisis flared up. It’s worth mentioning though that the FARC haven’t been silent on this. The ANNCOL site is always a source for the pro-FARC perspective, but beyond that the Colombian press is full of reports of attacks across the country in recent days. In a situation where propaganda is as important as the massacres themselves, anything that is said about what the FARC did or didn’t do in mainstream press should be taken with a heavy dose of salt. But there are reports of – attacks on helicopters, the bombing of a ranch owned by a governor, various landmine operations, and attacks on paramilitaries – all within the past week. Even if the crisis is between Colombia and Venezuela, it’s worth remembering that it was after all a FARC member who was kidnapped and the FARC could have been expected to react in the way that an armed organization does.
More on the predictable. A friend recently asked me for my 10-second assessment of what was going to happen in Israel/Palestine now that Abbas has been elected. I said roughly that since there are still Palestinians there, Israel will still be doing ethnic cleansing, and there will still be resistance. His prediction was different – he thinks Abbas will make such drastic concessions that Israel’s political scene will divide, with some wanting to accept the concessions and others wanting to keep to a strict ethnic cleansing policy. To bolster his point, he could point to the resumption of diplomatic ties between Israel and the PA or the upcoming ‘handover’ of 4 West Bank towns to the PA. I, on the other hand, could point to the three different killings today, one in Qalqilya, one of a baby in Dir-al-Balah, one east of Tubas, and the statement by Olmert that Israel has no plans to stop the killing.