April 2008 Archives

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"Unions' Big Colombia Lie," my NYPost piece on Colombia Free Trade Agreement

By Michael Fumento

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has put the US - Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement on the back burner - apparently permanently. "The Colombia FTA is dead on arrival," explained Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine), co-founder of the House Trade Working Group. "Congress can't take up an agreement with Colombia until the horrific violence and labor-rights record are addressed."

So it's not sheer protectionism that drives the Democrats and Big Labor, as the deal's supporters claim. It's "horrific violence," especially against unions. John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, claims, "In Colombia, joining a union or advocating for workers' rights can be a de facto death sentence."


Last year's overall murder rate was down 40 percent since 2002, while deaths among Colombia's union members plummeted even farther - a drop of 86 percent in a decade. Further, the murder rate for union members is about an eighth that of the population at large. Sadly, it's the pact that has effectively been killed. Read more here.

April 29, 2008 11:08 PM  ·  Permalink  ·  Latin America

My Wkly Std tribute to Medal of Honor winner SEAL Mike Monsoor

By Michael Fumento

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor (right) during a fight in the Mulaab, Ramadi

Spring 2006: The Mullab section of Ramadi, Iraq. Graffiti boast that this is "the graveyard of the Americans." Leaving your base camp virtually guarantees a fight, and I'm in one the first day of my embed. When shots ring out, I jump into the street to start snapping pictures. I look back and see a tall Navy SEAL seemingly pointing his 7.62 millimeter MK48 machine gun right at me.

In fact, he was protecting me as well as his teammates. SEALs don't wear identification -- even on dress uniforms -- and I would never have learned his name if, six months later, he hadn't sacrificed all to save those same teammates.

Last week I looked on as President Bush, tears glistening on his face, presented the parents of Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class (Sea, Air, and Land) Michael Monsoor our nation's highest award -- the Medal of Honor. "Mr. and Mrs. Monsoor: America owes you a debt that can never be repaid," he said. "This nation will always cherish the memory of your son."

Read the rest (including photos and video of SEALs in action), by the only reporter to write about the ceremony who was in combat with Monsoor.

April 13, 2008 08:05 PM  ·  Permalink  ·  Iraq ~ Military