Foreign Policy finally says something vaguely un-sucky


Quick, hide all the rapturists! I do believe the world is coming to an end, and I don’t want them to know that Jesus is about to disappoint them. Foreign Policy, Moises Naim’s neoliberal rag-o-shite, has actually blogged something vaguely (a) coherent, (b) sane, and (c) that doesn’t totally suck. Because (d) it actually has something to say in (modest) defence of a country and president it usually only attacks.

As El Duderino has found, the Guardian is moving steadily to the Stoopid, particularly with this throwaway travel piece by a Brit with wayyyyyy too many euros on his sticky little hands. And waaaaayyyyyy too many drugs on his sticky little brain.

Apparently, the Guardian’s correspondent, Jonathan Franklin, doesn’t care for what’s really going on in Bolivia right now, such as the big deal Evo signed with his Brazilian buddy Lula to jointly build a new highway joining the departments of Cochabamba–a deal worth $330 million US. Lula also had some rather nice things to say about Evo and Bolivia–something about people struggling all their lives for the liberation they are realizing now. Something Jonathan Franklin couldn’t be bothered to listen to, probably because it was in Portuguese and that’s for wogs. There was also a lot of talk about regional integration–again, not interesting because it was in Spanish, and that too is for wogs. (And wonks.) And definitely, DEFINITELY to be avoided was all talk of the great success the Bolivian anti-drug police force, the FELCN, have been having against illegal coca growing operations and cocaine production labs (all, apparently, run by either well-known baddies of the Bolivian bourgeoisie, or foreigners–mainly Colombian and Peruvian.) The FELCN’s success has skyrocketed since the DEA was kicked out, something Mr. Franklin couldn’t be bothered even to google. I guess that stuff is just too boring. (Especially when cheap coke is on the menu and the tourists are just snarfing it up, eh?)

And let’s not even get started on that bunch of foreign mercenaries the federal police killed in Santa Cruz before those terrorists got a chance to kill Evo. That’s not boring, but because the “wrong” cops succeeded–and that pesky little coca-chewing Injun is still alive and chewing coca, just like his ancestors all did–this story, too, is off limits.

But hey, it’s not like there’s any shortage of other excitement in the region! He could have picked any number of colorful cultural things going on in Bolivia, like the catfight over the Diablada dance that’s broken out between Bolivia and neighboring Peru, or maybe something quirky which locals and tourists alike are lapping up, like cholita pro wrestling. But noooooo. Jonathan Franklin apparently thought the whole cocaine-bar story was just too sexy to pass up, and who is he to pass up such a line? (Oops, bad pun.) Hey, if it’s told to you in nudges and winks by a red-eyed gringo with powdery nostrils and a hyperactive tongue, it must be good, right? Right? Right???

Um, no.

This is the sort of story anyone staying in a luxury hotel could pick up. Just because a place is clandestine doesn’t mean it’s hard to find. And if it caters specifically to Eurotrash tourists with too much money and too few brain cells, how hard can it possibly be? Sure, it’s word of mouth, but talk is cheaper than coke. It flows faster when someone’s high on coke, too. This is not crack journalism. (Pun again!) This little fluff piece is as disposable as the packets the bar’s “menu” came in.

But what really proved the final straw (bad pun again!) for Foreign Policy’s blogger was the insinuation that Evo’s “coca yes, cocaine no” policy was actually helping, not hurting, the local Colombian marching-powder industry. So he wrote this response which, while not exactly kick-ass, was nonetheless rather decent. It could have gone into more depth, but hey–it’s blogging. And for Foreign Policy, it’s a start. Maybe one day they’ll get off their Kool-Aid trip altogether.

As for Jonathan Franklin, I have but one thing to say to you…


Pls n thx.

PS: Don’t miss T’anta Wawa’s beeyooteeful takedown of the nonsense of the Guardian piece.

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