I Wish We Could “Trade” Asscroft

(I couldn’t get to this earlier due to technical difficulties…sorry.)

I’ll try to check back with the “Get Off My Lawn Variety Hour – The Sequel” (loved that one) soon between “Straight Talk” McBush and Barack Obama (look for “noun, verb + William Ayers Jeremiah Wright ACORN John Lewis Jesse Jackson Michael Pfleger etc. etc. etc” all over the place – and of course, McBush has really been trying hard to rein in the crazies at his little revivalist show of bigots on parade campaign rallies, as we know).

But since this is finally, MERCIFULLY the last debate (I know this election REALLY WILL END one of these days, but let’s keep working to make sure it all ends up being worth it), the New York Times today asked a panel of “experts” here what they would ask tonight (some legitimately know what they’re talking about I believe, but others don’t, IMHO).

And of course, I’m focusing on someone in the latter category, and that would be pre-Gonzo Dubya AG John (“Lost An Election To A Dead Guy”) Asscroft. And here is his question…

Colombia has worked to eliminate terrorist activity and drug production within its borders, yet it has seen its efforts rewarded by having prominent members of the House and Senate lobby against a free trade agreement with us. What message does this send to other countries, like Afghanistan or Pakistan, that are working at our behest to eliminate security threats to both our nation and theirs?

To begin, as Jonathan Tasini of HuffPo notes here, the Columbia Free Trade Agreement would…

… at the very least, push thousands of farmers off their lands. And, as likely, empower the paramilitary death squads that have flourished, in part through the U.S. financing of the “war on drugs, but also via the strengthening of the powerful business interests who fund some of the most violent political forces in Colombia.

And given the current abysmal state of Afghanistan, somehow I don’t think free trade is currently ranking very high on its agenda (unless you count the drug trade, which of course is a whole other story). And since we’re giving so much damn money to Pakistan to fight the “war on Terra! Terra! Terra!,” why should they care about becoming a trading partner?

O, to be governed by adults again (96 days and counting, people)…

But if all else fails, at least we could hang out with him and other neocons on a cruise (h/t Atrios); huh?

Update 10/17/08: More on the Columbia deal here…

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