Massively cool, and right-wingy too
Posted by Ron Coleman on July 2, 2008
The AP reports great news from Colombia, where government forces have freed three longstanding US hostages, a kidnapped presidential candidate and eleven Colombian police and soldiers:
[It was] the most serious blow ever dealt to the 44-year-old Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which considered the four hostages their most valuable bargaining chips. The FARC is already reeling from the deaths of key commanders and the loss of much of the territory it once held.
The Americans — Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell — were flying directly to the United States to reunite with their families, Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said. They had been the longest-held American hostages in the world.
Santos said military intelligence agents infiltrated the guerrilla ranks and led the local commander in charge of the hostages, alias Cesar, to believe they were going to take them to Alfonso Cano, the guerrillas’ supreme leader.
The hostages, who had been divided in three groups, were taken to a rendezvous where two disguised helicopters piloted by Colombian military agents were waiting. Betancourt said her hands and feet were bound, which she called “humiliating.”
The pilots, she said, were posing as members of a relief organization, but “they were dressed like clowns,” wearing Che Guevara shirts, so she assumed they were rebels.
But when they were airborne, she looked behind her and saw Cesar, who had treated her so cruelly for so many years, lying on the floor blindfolded.
“The chief of the operation said, `We’re the national army. You’re free,'” she said. “The helicopter almost fell from the sky because we were jumping up and down, yelling, crying, hugging one another. We couldn’t believe it.”
The operation, Santos said, “will go into history for its audacity and effectiveness.”
I like audacity and effectiveness! They often make a great combination, as they did at Entebbe. I like it even better when they’re employed against commies. “Barack Obama issued a statement congratulating Uribe as well.”called his close ally Uribe to congratulate him, as did [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy,” continues the story. “
UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds links to some cool analyses. “[A]nother embarrassment for the FARC terrorists,” he writes. Actually, isn’t it embarrassing enough to be called “FARC terrorists”?