I guess with Sen. Clinton's very solid win in Pennsylvania, the Obama camp decided they needed some good PR. Preferably foreign policy PR to buff up Obama's very thin resume in that area. So zooming off to bolster the candidacy he has endorsed, the Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson has gone off shore to foreign climes.
Where did Richardson go in search of boosting Sen. Obama's wafer thin foreign policy resume? Was it Colombia? Was it Poland? Or maybe Taiwan? Nope, none of the above. Taking a page from Jimmy Carter, we find Bill Richardson in Caracas Venezuela and Hugo Chavez.
Why is Bill there? He is there to try and help restart the process of freeing hostages. What hostages? Why some of the 700+ being held in crude prisons in Colombia by FARC, those wonderful Communist revolutionaries who have sunk to kidnapping for profit. Which of these hostages? To score points back home, the three American contractors that FARC took captive in 2003 when their helicopter went down in FARC territory. Though the name of Ingrid Betancourt is also trotted out, the French have so far failed to wrangle her release from FARC. Make no mistake, Richardson's mission is to free those three Americans to help Obama's quest.
How come the US has not negotiated with terrorists? Policy, the US does not negotiate with hostage takers for the well founded fear of encouraging these thugs of kidnapping more Americans. One has to look at Mexico City where kidnappings are out of control, security services and armored vehicles are in high demand, and ransom is always paid to the kidnappers. Follow the money as they say. Which is also why FARC has taken to kidnapping, its where the money is for their revolution. Even though it has alienated the populace against FARC. This good will could be regained if FARC stopped kidnapping people, but with their financial links to Venezuela exposed by Colombia's raid into Ecuador plus the earlier drying up of Communist support when the USSR vanished, they need the money even more.
Do we need another Jimmy Carter conducting foreign policy for the United States? Someone carrying out lone wolf diplomacy to bolster the image of a hopeful Presidential candidate? My answer is no. Richardson is playing into the hands of Chavez who has recently vowed that his mission is overthrow the American idea of capitalism. This one more chance to poke that devil Yanqui George Bush in the eye by Chavez if he gets FARC to cooperate and release some hostages. And there is Bill Richardson shaking hands and talking to this guy.