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 Good to be free !

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PostSubject: Good to be free !   Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:45 pm

I don't know too much about Ingrid Betancourt, but I'm glad she is free and can go home to her family.
It is good to be free.

Cheers to IB and to Amnesty International and all those who look after prisoners rights.

cheers cheers cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:02 pm

I don't know anything about her. Was she someone who couldn't find a cause close to home so she stuck her snout into a problem thousands of miles away.
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:19 pm

She is a previous Colombian Presidential candidate so I'd say her link to the country is more than tangential.
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:21 pm

And was elected as a Senator in Columbia.
She ran for the Green Party btw.
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:44 pm

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmhhhhhhhhhhhhhh............

I made an article last year about her. There are few media who will remind you that she insisted on going to the exact place where she had 95% chances of being caught.

I also watched her speech just a few hours after her liberation: perfect skin, teeth, voice, backbone, nervous system.... she doesn't really look like someone who's been detained for several years in apalling conditions, and who was rumoured to be dying.

Two other embarassing "details":

1) Her family is immensely rich and involved in Columbian economy, whereas she is described as some average European family woman who's been caught like a tourist. You might wonder how come the Betancourt family couldn't pay for her liberation, or even send private troops in the jungle.

2) She is deeply involved in Columbian politics. She was not an "innocent" victim.

Being a bit suspicious about this case, I wouldn't be surprised seeing her winning at the next Columbian presidential elections.

To conclude, I would like to see a bit more media coverage on the others who have been kidnapped by the FARC, and who are not immensely rich.

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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:40 pm

Well do we not have the solution to the national health crisis right here. Top quality dental work sure enough
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:11 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingrid_Betancourt

This is the wikipedia entry on IB that "may need cleaning up".
According to it she stood as an anti-corruption Green and was abducted when she went to meet Farc in a then Demilitarised Zone - again according to the wiki something that other politicians did as was not loopy as portrayed in the media.
I think it is far fetched to suggest that the whole 8 year episode was some kind of fake (unless of course she was a FARC supporter on the qt). As she was already the highest polling senator before being abducted there must have been easier ways for her to win an election.

Her mother also was a political activist. She sounds possibly like one of the aristocratic rebel idealist women that crop up from time to time - Markiewisz in Ireland would have been one,
Their politics, unless embedded firmly in a political party, can be based on dramatic gestures, but that does not warrant keeping them imprisoned for years on end.
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:43 pm

Wikipedia is incomplete, as usual.

She went into that zone during a crisis moment, when it was no longer truly demilitarized and fights were taking place. The authorities warned her explicitely and tried to prevent her to go at several stages of her trip.

By doing so she put in danger the lives of her staff, who got caught along with her.

Now that she is liberated she reminds me of Natascha Kampusch: a mental and physical condition absolutely incompatible with long years of detention. And a perfect communication plan as soon as the first hours of liberation, a capacity to hold several perfectly articulate speeches per day, and so on.

Now I'm sitting back and expect to see a "victim" like that popping up every year. The media need female victims. If you're a female you have competition, if you're a victim you have competition, but if you're a female victim you hit the jackpot immediately.

Look, she is a 40-something woman. Normally she would need several weeks of recovery before appearing so bright on TV.

At least she ate normally, she slept normally, she was not tortured and was able to move normally. Many Austrians said they were surprised that Natascha Kampusch showed an intellectual level and emotional balance superior to average Austrian girls of her age. What I see is that IB is now making carerfully styled declarations of the best world-class diplomatic level.


Last edited by arnaudherve on Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:45 pm

So?
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:52 pm

So being a victim is becoming the best mediatic boost in a public carreer. It makes you a celebrity.

But you need to appear perfect, dynamic and shiny immediately after several years of ill treatment. That's the difficult part.
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:54 pm

arnaudherve wrote:
So being a victim is becoming the best mediatic boost in a public carreer. It makes you a celebrity.

I would have the impression of a tough cookie rather than a victim. All the health talk may well have been her supporters turning the screw to try and get some action - it seems it may have worked.
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:27 am

arnaudherve, Sarkozy is going to beat you silly when he gets here. The French were very concerned for her, as I recall.
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:48 am

Ha ha. When I worked in the EP in 2004 there were already French MEPs making the silliest plans to rescue IB, like "I'll trek in the jungle and talk to the FARC myself", and so on.

But it was not for IB, it was for their personal glory. They had glitter in their eyes like pirates going for a treasure. They didn't give a shit about IB. They wanted to be on the photographs.

Sarkozy works at a higher level, with the army and secret services at his disposal, but the other heads of state and ministers before him were already trying hard, and with the same mentality.

Some day the files will come out about how many times the French screwed up in that jungle, and risked the life of IB herself, or got in the way of serious Columbian government negociations, or delayed her liberation in fact. At least they increased her price big time by making her so famous.

It was all for a quick and easy glory on television, for their own carreer. It was a bounty. They wanted to bring back the biggest fish.
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:32 pm

And today she is in Paris, making speeches, interviews, speeches...

No need to rest, not even a jet lag. No time for the series of medical exams that would seem necessary...
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:54 pm

arnaudherve wrote:

No need to rest, not even a jet lag.
You mean she never even left France? Shocked Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:05 pm

She was detained in secret underground labs where she was genetically modified. Thanks to alien DNA.
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Sat Jul 05, 2008 1:28 pm

arnaudherve wrote:
She was detained in secret underground labs where she was genetically modified. Thanks to alien DNA.

Wonder what schools she attended. There is nothing like a good boarding school to make you resilient to deprivation.
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Sat Jul 05, 2008 1:59 pm

Squire wrote:
arnaudherve wrote:
She was detained in secret underground labs where she was genetically modified. Thanks to alien DNA.

Wonder what schools she attended. There is nothing like a good boarding school to make you resilient to deprivation.

Cheltenham Ladies College perhaps ?

What I find interesting is the good condition of Ms Betancourt compared with the outcome for former prisoners of the US in Guantanamo and elsewhere. Do the FARC look after all their prisoners so well, or was the intense publicity helpful to her?
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:02 am

French paper Le figaro signals she at last had medical exams yesterday, and says doctors are suprised to see she shows not pathology whatsoever.

In a tone cautiously mixing admiration and sarcasm between the lines, the article explains that:

1) the exams were not a priority either for IB or the Columbian authorities liberating her, since she was allowed numerous interviews, speeches, ceremonies... first, with corresponding lack of sleep and jet lag

2) her condition doesn't correspond at all to the last video showing her thin and weak in the jungle, with reports of hepatitis b and leishmaniasis

3) she says she was chained 24/24, 7/7 for three years, was submitted to ill-treatments, and suffered from an "accumulation of diseases" (quotation marks from the journalist)

4) at one time she didn't want to live anymore and couldn't raise from her hammock, but a corporal with "notions of medicine" (quotation marks from me) diagnosed her and brought her back to life

In order to remain useful the French medical experts still warn about the effects of possible psychological trauma in the future. Of which she shows no signs whatsoever for the moment, being as efficient as a top executive or diplomat.

She now explains her good health to the press by saying that her faith granted her a spiritual protection.

A spiritual protection that, to many observers, is the only possible explanation remaining to account for a health condition better than many women of her age leading a normal life, including dental, optics, articulations, skin, digestion, speech, social contacts, resistance to tight schedules...

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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Sun Jul 06, 2008 5:14 pm

Well arnaudherve - what is your explanation for this phenomenon?
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Sun Jul 06, 2008 5:22 pm

At least she has been benefiting from excellent medical care, decent food and sleep, and an emotionally stable environment for several weeks.

If that is not the case she is not human.
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Sun Jul 06, 2008 5:27 pm

arnaudherve wrote:
At least she has been benefiting from excellent medical care, decent food and sleep, and an emotionally stable environment for several weeks.

If that is not the case she is not human.

I have to admit that the second explanation was what I had in my mind.

Also, that no one has any business looking that good in military fatigues.
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:10 pm

And now at lunch in a famous restaurant, with former prime and renowned womanizer Dominique de Villepin.

La gaité parisienne...

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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:35 pm

I'm thinking of Mireille Guiliano's book French Women Don't Get Fat and her reference to the French paradox, that French women eat rich foods and eat well but manage to remain slim and fabulous.

Maybe when that's combined with the Colombian paradox that you can go into the jungle for six years and come out looking like you've spent a fortnight being pampered at Inchydonney, you can have lunch with de Villepan in swanky restaurants days after being released. Shocked

In any case, what difference has she made?
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PostSubject: Re: Good to be free !   Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:39 pm

Now that's a female remark!!

I was watching the hands. As a guy should.
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