Feeds

AOL boss hangs out with Marxist guerrillas

...Or terrorists, as the State Department calls them

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

AOL has come up with a novel way of disposing of big-shot directors - send them into a war zone and tell them to start negotiating with Marxist guerillas. The ISP parachuted Jim Kimsey, its chairman emeritus, into a rebel-held village in Colombia where he met Manuel Marulanda, the founder and chief of FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. They swapped baseball caps.

"Marulanda gave Kimsey one in rebel camouflage. Kimsey gave Marulanda one emblazoned with the AOL logo," according to AP<, which broke the news. Whatever next - AOL doling out branded berets for IRA members at the Decommissioning talks? It seems unlikely that FARC, whose commercial activities to date centre around kidnapping and the drugs trade, has extended this remit to the provision of online services.

Kimsey, who was accompanied by government peace negotiators, reveals as much when he says the meeting was a "wonderful opportunity" to support the peace process. He told Marulanda that overseas companies would refrain from investing in Colombia unless there was peace.

"He understands, I think, that foreign investment is critical to the prosperity of this country and I think is willing to negotiate and to discuss possible solutions that will move this country into the 21st century," Kimsey told AP.

Let's hope he's right. What a triumph for international capitalism it would be if AOL secures peace in our time in Colombia. From there it would be one short step to privatising the United Nations Security Council. And then the company could really let rip.

The Register can only applaud (and from a very safe distance) any attempt to help peace. But what if Kimsey is wrong? According to "Patterns of Global Terrorism, 1998", compiled by The United States Department of State, FARC is the "largest, best-trained, and best-equipped insurgent organization in Colombia. Established in 1964 as a rural-based, pro-Soviet guerrilla army ... Strength ... Approximately 8,000-12,000 armed combatants and an unknown number of supporters, mostly in rural areas".

FARC has been in desultory peace talks since 1998. In large areas of Colombia, it holds the upper hand. It doesn't look like it's up to handing over its weapons just yet. Besides, people like Marulanda despise people like Kimsey. For FARC, an anti-capitalist revolutionary movement, global multinationals such as AOL are part of the problem, not part of its solution. ®

Related stories

IRA prisoner details found on secondhand PC
Apple dealer bombed

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.