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Terrorism Loses Again


Terrorism Loses Again
Amid the bad news and grim developments coming from many parts of the world, a bright ray of hope was seen in Colombia’s rescue of fifteen hostages held for years by narco-terrorist rebels. The mission was a triumph of planning and execution that was many months in the making. It was also another blow to terrorist forces seeking to overthrow democratically elected leaders, and proves the need for strength and steadiness in dealing with such groups.

Three American defense contractors: Thomas Howes, Mark Gonsalves, and Keith Stansell, former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, and eleven other Colombian nationals were freed. These individuals were part of a high profile group held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in an effort to negotiate a prisoner exchange with the government of Colombia’s president Alvaro Uribe. Hundreds of others are being held against their will by the FARC for ransom, monies to be used to fund their terrorist activities. The U.S. will continue to hold the FARC responsible for the health and well-being of the hostages it holds.

Colombian military and intelligence agents who infiltrated the FARC carried out the rescue operation, and the hostages were freed without a shot being fired. It was an operation that should give all Colombians great pride.

President George Bush spoke with President Uribe soon after the rescue to offer his congratulations and our thanks for the safe recovery of our citizens. Colombia is one of the United States’ closest allies in Latin America and leaders in Washington are proud of the relationship.

The FARC should now take a lesson from its loss, and heed the calls of the international community to lay down its weapons and release its hostages so they may be reunited with their families. Democratic governments everywhere must stand with Colombia and help it in its struggle against narco-terrorist organizations that seek to impose their rule by the bullet instead of the ballot.
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