Friday, March 28, 2008

Colombians are probably too smart to believe this non-sense, but it could shake up the Venezuelan opposition 

It is a slow Friday so I am reduced to silly gossip. Still, even silly gossip can be entertaining and informative.

The Colombian defense ministry announced, with much concern, that they found that the FARC did in fact have uranium, just as the laptop they also supposedly found said they did.

Of course, what the Colombian government says belonged to the FARC was, according to news reports, just dug up along side a road near Bogota.

But that isn't what is revealing. What is revealing is what the Colombian government is making a fuss about is not what most people think of as uranium but rather something called depleted uranium.

Those who have followed all the little wars the U.S. has fought in recent decades know well what that is. It is a material that is made from uranium but is less radioactive yet VERY, VERY dense and heavy. The U.S. military therefore uses it in all sorts of weapons, mainly anti-tank projectiles (being so dense it can readily penetrate steel).

The U.S. has been putting this stuff in projectiles and firing it off and blowing it up for years from Iraq to Serbia with no one ever calling it a "dirty bomb" - yet that is what the Colombian government wants people to believe it is the material for.

Now of course, they didn't fool even the U.S. government, which as a heavy user of it knows exactly what it is and says it is harmless.

So you are probably thinking this obviously clumsy and silly propaganda effort by the Colombian government wouldn't fool or scare anyone. And in the main, you are right. But if you think that way you are probably underestimating the stupidity and gullibility of your average Venezuelan opposition supporter. Just read this foolishness (from someone who claims scientific training no less!):

Update: well, the rumors of Uranium accounts in the Reyes computer seems to be confirming as the Colombian defense ministry is right now digging in some Bogota neighborhood perhaps as much as 30 kilos of low grade Uranium. Low grade perhaps for a nuclear plant, but good enough for a small dirty bomb?

More silliness can be found here.

Again, there is nothing here for anyone to get worked up. Just an exercise in cluelessness by the Colombian military (which has to be causing some "pena ajena" for their U.S. handlers).

However, it did seem to cause some palpitations among their Venezuelan friends.

Going forward the Colombian government should keep in mind how credulous some of their Venezuelan fans are and take it easy on this stuff lest they give heart attacks to people they really don't want to give heart attacks too.

BTW, if you are wondering where this stuff came from who knows. The U.S. military could easily have given it to the Colombian military. But is also has lots of civilian uses sometimes being used in airplanes and ships as ballast weights for example. So they could have literally taken it out of an Avianca airliner, buried it by the side of a road, and scared the shit out of some people in eastern Caracas!!


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