Articles by Dennis Hans

Widening the U.S. Role in Colombia While Narrowing the Debate

Category: Armed Conflict, Human Rights, US Foreign Policy
By · March 11, 2002 · Comment

Michael Shifter, a senior fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue, which modestly calls itself “the premier center for policy analysis and exchange on Western Hemisphere affairs,” is emerging as the “go-to” guy for Washington-based journalists, such as PBS NewsHour’s Ray Suarez, looking for a non-governmental opinion on U.S. policy towards Colombia. Not coincidentally, that screeching sound you hear is the brakes being applied to meaningful debate. Read more»

U.S. Shifts Gears: Launches PR Campaign Against Terrorism Instead of For It

Category: Armed Conflict, War on Terror
By · November 19, 2001 · Comment

One of the difficulties facing the White House in its war of words with presumed mass murderer Osama bin Laden is that it is on unsure footing. Unlike most American propaganda campaigns about terrorism, this one portrays the evil-doers as evil. We’ve had considerable success over the years in persuading international and domestic audiences to think well of one or another evil terrorist outfit, so this new campaign requires a complete reorientation for President George W. Bush’s veteran propaganda team. To use a baseball analogy for our baseball president, it’s like asking Derek Jeter to run the bases in a clockwise direction. It will be a while before official U.S. propagandists start to act instinctively, but once they do, watch out. These guys got game. Read more»

Colombia’s Right-Wing Terror Campaign Easy to Shut Down—If Only the U.S. Had the Will

Category: Armed Conflict, Human Rights, War on Terror
By · October 15, 2001 · Comment

The day before the U.S. suffered the worst terrorist attack in our history, Secretary of State Colin Powell designated the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” and imposed economic and political sanctions on the group. “This designation,” said Powell, “makes it illegal for persons in the United States or subject to U.S. jurisdiction to provide material support to the AUC; requires U.S. financial institutions to block assets held by the AUC; and enables us to deny visas to representatives of the group.” Read more»

Colombia-aid Supporters Use Lies, Evasions and Distortions

Category: Human Rights, Media, US Foreign Policy
By · May 29, 2000 · Comment

Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and current Senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.) make a persuasive case for the Clinton Administration’s $1.6 billion aid package for Colombia in their April 26 Los Angeles Times op-ed article, “Quick Aid to Colombia–for Our Sake.” But to pull it off they are forced to avert their eyes to unsavory acts perpetrated by the package’s prime recipients and even go so far as to misquote themselves. Read more»