January 11, 2006


One man's opinion, an AMERICAN, attorney and ex-congressman Mr. Robert L. Barr, makes a statement of his OWN OPINION and Aruba Truth calls the boycott a lost cause?! Oh please...don't you people realize that we don't need government backing? This is all about a HUGE grassroot organization that is quickly spreading throughout the entire country. We, the people, will be the deciding factor on whether or not this boycott of Aruba is successful.

Hey Aruba Truth...since you think the boycott is a 'lost cause'--I'll let you in on a little secret. There will be a HUGE boycott demonstration and rally very soon and it is already being organized. Be sure to stay tuned for details! Be prepared to keep seeing our faces until the truth comes out. These three boys are the ones holding your country hostage. Why are the people of Aruba so quick to defend them, when this whole mess is from THEIR DOING?


Atlanta Journal Constitution published this article today:

In November, shortly before refrains of “Jingle Bells,” “Christmas in Dixie” and “Auld Lang Syne” began wafting over Alabama’s airwaves, that state’s governor, Bob Riley, announced a boycott of Aruba. Well, not a real boycott after all, and thankfully, the governor of a single state cannot set the foreign policy of our country. Only the president can direct that U.S. citizens, whether they hail from Alabama or Maine, are not permitted to travel to a particular event or country.

Boycotts are, more than anything else, generally expressions of frustration by U.S. presidents. They are more admissions that our ability to effect real or rapid changes in a particular area or country is far less than what we’d planned. Rarely, if ever, do they accomplish their publicly stated goal. Who can forget the spectacularly pointless boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics ordered by then-President Jimmy Carter to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? The boycott of Iraq under Saddam Hussein in the years leading up to the 2003 invasion was another notable failure.

Thus it appears to be with Gov. Riley’s call for a boycott of Aruba, a tiny island known as a tourist mecca for hundreds of thousands of Americans seeking a relatively inexpensive Caribbean vacation each year. Tragically, one of those American tourists 18-year-old Natalee Holloway of Alabama disappeared May 30, 2005, while vacationing on the island. Foul play appears certainly to have been the cause of her disappearance, and the family remains understandably frustrated at the slow pace of the investigation.

However, going out of your way to insult the authorities at every opportunity and pressuring the governor of your state to call for a tourist boycott not only will fail to produce the desired results, but more likely than not will impede those efforts.

Perhaps even less comprehensible than Riley’s call for the good people of Alabama to refrain from visiting Aruba, however, is the fact that he talked two other governors, our own Gov. Sonny Perdue and Arkansas’ Mike Huckabee, into joining the rather pointless exercise. Other than simply trying to lend a supportive hand to a friend facing a tough re-election battle (Riley is being opposed in the GOP primary by former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore), expending political capital on such a joust at a windmill makes no sense at all.

It happens to be a fact of life in this imperfect world that U.S. citizens are occasionally mistreated in countries around the world and sometimes they even disappear. For example, another young, pretty American woman, Claudia Ann Kirschhoch of New York, disappeared from a resort in Jamaica in May 2000 under circumstances similar in many ways to those surrounding Holloway’s disappearance. The investigation by the Jamaican authorities seems to have been thoroughly bungled in such a way as to make the Aruban investigators proud, and the case remains unresolved to this day. Had New York’s governor, George Pataki, called for a tourist boycott of Jamaica, perhaps the case would have been immediately solved, but I doubt it.

Seven years ago, another young American citizen, Amy Bradley, disappeared from a cruise ship that was about to dock at Curacao, sister island to Aruba. Like Holloway, Bradley may have gotten too close to local characters of less-than-stellar repute. Her disappearance remains unresolved to this day.

Mexico regularly witnesses the abduction of American citizens visiting that country, which is the source of so many illegal aliens in the United States. The situation had become so bad that in early 2005 the U.S. State Department issued a warning to those contemplating travel to Mexico, and American law enforcement officials have been openly critical of the apparent disinterest on the part of their Mexican counterparts to address the problem. Of course, we are all familiar with the kidnappings and murders of Americans and other visitors to Iraq. But few sane people would even contemplate a tourist visit to Baghdad these days.

The lessons in all this? The obvious be careful, prudent and responsible when you travel abroad, and bear in mind that the world continues to be a dangerous place in which few countries possess the investigative acumen and legal system to which we’ve become accustomed in this country.

Beyond that, one hopes that those governors calling for a tourist boycott of a tiny Caribbean island will, in 2006, turn their attention inward, to solve problems over which they have at least some chance of succeeding such as education, crime and high taxes.

Robert L. (Bob) Barr is an attorney and a former member of the United States House of Representatives from Georgia. Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia, from 1995 to 2003.


Richard R. said...

Mr. Bob Barr seems misinformed about the Aruba tourist boycott. No boycott proponent seeks mandatory sanctions; we ask that Americans voluntarily shun Aruba until we get answers in the Natalee Holloway case.

Boycotts are a "pointless exercise," Mr. Barr? Ever hear of Martin Luther King and the Montgomery, AL, bus strike?

Indeed, Mr. Barr cites case after case of Americans missing in the Caribbean. His apparent advice is for the families to stay home, watch TV and keep quiet. (Would Mr. Barr explain his remarks about Amy Bradley? Is he blaming her for disappearing? I have worked with the Bradleys for four years, and his remarks seem to be hitting below the belt.)

Without Beth Twitty goading them, the Arubans would have done nothing in Natalee's case. Indeed, the Holloway Twittys initially opposed a boycott; their endorsement was a final response to months of Aruban lies and evasions.

Aruba continues to seek our tourist dollar while protecting their own. We the people know a cover-up when we see it, even if Mr. Barr does not.

Mr. Barr may put value on the smiles of diplomats and delegations; we the people want results. And if Aruba will not provide them, it must face the consequences.

To conclude with a flourish, our ranks are growing daily. And our truth goes marching on.

Michelle said...

Well said Richard! Who are these people? It seems to reek of being 'Unamerican' to me. Does Mr. Barr have any children? I'd like to know that one.

Richard R. said...

Am I alone in wondering whether Mr. Barr has his head screwed on the right way?

He opines thus about the movement to boycott Aruba:

"Only the president can direct that U.S. citizens, whether they hail from Alabama or Maine, are not permitted to travel to a particular event or country."

Is Mr. Barr aware that no advocate of the boycott that I have heard of is saying that Americans should not be permitted to go to Aruba? I would oppose any such ruling.

What I and many other proponents of the boycott are urging is that Americans VOLUNTARILY choose not to go to Aruba until the Natalee Holloway case is resolved and, if the obvious is proven to be true, the culprits are punished.

See the difference, Mr. Barr? Our appeal is to the people of the country, and our hope is to persuade them to demonstrate solidarity with the Holloway Twitty family and defiance to the Aruban government's efforts to thwart the investigation.

Why the boycott should be called "a rather pointless exercise" defies me. The point of it to me is very clear; I stated it above as clearly as I could.

Perhaps Mr. Barr is of the opinion that the family should stay home and watch TV? Not speak up? Not press for results? Not seek justice? Can anyone reasonably believe that Aruba would have done anything if the Holloway Twittys had not been down there from day one? They were the ones who immediately identified the suspects and brought them to police attention ... only to see them roam the island free for ten days, while the police rushed on two hapless security guards against whom there was no evidence.

The suspects later admitted concocting that whole story ... but hey, in Aruba "we all lie," in the words of one suspect's mother. How about it, Mr. Barr, do you think the family should sit back in the face of the dirty dealings that must be obvious even to you?

"It happens to be a fact of life in this imperfect world that U.S. citizens are occasionally mistreated in countries around the world and sometimes they even disappear."

And sometimes there are attempts by foreign governments to avoid bringing to light the parties concerned. What do you think, Mr. Barr, does our government have any duty to do what it can on their behalf? Or should we just forget them, write them off as the cost of keeping diplomatic relations good?

And I have been pleased to work with the family of Amy Bradley for four years now. What do you mean, Mr. Barr, when you say that "Bradley may have gotten too close to local characters of less-than-stellar repute"? Are you trying to cast aspersions on her character, as Aruba has done to Natalee Holloway? Would you care to substantiate these remarks? I'm sure that this forum would love to hear from you.

"Be careful, prudent and responsible when you travel abroad, and bear in mind that the world continues to be a dangerous place." Yes, I'm sure we're all aware of this.

Bear something else in mind, too ... under the philosophy of Mr. Barr, our own government would put the smiles of foreign envoys above the interests of seeking justice for its own citizens. I call that a craven philosophy ... and for that reason I endorse, and will participate in, the boycott.

Angela said...

If They Ain’t Scared – They’re Stupid

The island of Aruba has published a website where they "claim" the ARUBA TRUTH (albeit from their perspective) will remain updated. They make a point of publishing anything that remotely seems to be in support of their happy little island. It would be interesting to know if the majority of the work published is written by people who actually have vested interests in preserving tourism on Aruba. Do they own homes, time-shares or businesses on the island? Is it their own financial bottom line that motivates them to hope Aruba can avoid the well-deserved consequences of their botched effort (or lack thereof) to find justice in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.

A recent article is the perfect case in point. The article is “Boycott of Aruba A Lost Cause?” Hmmm. That’s a tad difficult to believe considering in every aspect their OWN PUBLISHED FIGURES show all indicators of tourism is DOWN. Aruba has reported lower air passengers, cruise passengers and hotel guests. Unless these possibly imagined tourists are beaming down and sleeping on the beach this sounds, at least slightly, less than the "truth" Aruba’s site promises.

This week (in case their public representatives had missed ticking off any other Americans), I read where their Chief of Police stated to the media that Law Enforcement would NOT be cooperating with the all volunteer Texas Search Team that will soon be visiting to once again search for something (anything) of Natalee. Can you imagine? The Chief of Police?

Isn’t that just too special. It is amazing that a public peace officer can openly state there will be no support for something that so obviously falls within their specific professional jurisdiction. How safe can anyone (tourist or otherwise) be on an island where the law enforcement support can merely be refused on a whim… especially considering someone is missing and feared murdered?

Possibly, Aruba is under the mistaken assumption that success of the Boycott hinges on how many state representatives voice a specific vote of support. America doesn’t work that way. I think they should sit back see that we ARE what they don’t seem to have enough sense to even WANT TO BE. We are a nation governed BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE. The boycott is a grassroots effort. This is probably a difficult reach with possible translation barriers… but Aruba needs to wake up to how it works. The grassroots effort is reaching out to broad memberships across the American landscape, telling them of the lack of justice on Aruba... and the inherent danger of becoming yet another lost tourist there.

Imagine the lack of law enforcement (as it pertains to protection of tourists) being discussed one Sunday morning in every Baptist church (or Methodist, or Catholic, etc) across our entire nation. Or how about Garden Clubs, or Civic Clubs, or Support Organizations… with just a five-minute reading aloud of why we need them as AMERICANS to support the boycott. From this grassroots perspective, multiply that scenario out across every facet of our lives. We are Americans. We share connections, concerns and forums of interest with one another. We are waking up and recognizing not only the tragedy of what happened to our Natalee but the sordid details indicating Aruba is more interested in blaming the victim, victimizing the family and bashing their supporters than giving this young American the justice she deserves.

And… just a note to Aruba… right this minute there is a concerted effort scouring the Internet. Guess why? Many of your fellow country men have spent lots of free time over the past seven months typing endless blog notes and other online documents. These heartfelt notes from Aruba are entries the American public needs to read. These online participants who claim a great love of their happy little island have shown their disgust for all things American. There are several entries about purposely putting urine into drinks and spitting on food of any American tourists they meet on the island. (And those are some of the nicer things.) I’m certain the American Tourist will feel just a little less secure about Aruba when these little snippets from that silly little island start getting some well deserved attention.

If you found our Natalee tomorrow and disclosed every aspect of every minute that she’s been missing… I’d still have to believe your little tourism boat has sailed far out to sea. And it wasn’t just the current suspects sitting at the helm… I distinctly see some police, government and prosecutorial staff shrinking bravely near the life rafts.

Anonymous said...

moderator is bias. No wonder only about what 5 people post here.

Doesnt that tell you something?

believe it ir not i was referred to your site.

all we have learned from your site is that you people have no answers.

Speculation, gossip, you know nothing.

When asked a question you have no evidence, facts, etc.. you just promote idol bashing of each other and your being racist.

No one knows at all what happen to this young lady.

Let the FBI handle it from here.

Why are Arubans no good scubbags for not giving enough information to the public but it is ok for the FBI to stay idle and quiet?

I guess we shall see if freedom of speech really works here at this site.

if not then I guess you will be back to what, 4 viewers?

Michelle said...

See...I graciously published your comment. I allow posts of those who want to 'debate' without using foul words or blatant crude insults...no matter what "side" you are on.

This blog is obviously not for you...so I don't mind losing your 'readership'.

Dan in Tx said...

Oh and for the record- the FBI was not allowed any input into the ivnestigation. Theyw ere invited on the isalnd and not allowed to do anything but sit around. They sat in on interrogations but were not allowed any input into the line of questioning and were so disgusted with the incompetence they witnessed they stormed out in protest.

The FBI knows less than Beth and Dave found out themselves. Even if the FBI knew exactly what happened to Natalee, they have no jurisdiction in Aruba and thus could do nothing to pursue an investigation or charges.

The blame rests squarely with Aruba...specifically, Rudy Croes and Nelson Oduber. But you know what? The Aruban people themselves are their own worst enemies as well- for re-electing the MEP and protesting a frantic mother instead of their own corrupt government.

Floor said...

"I allow posts of those who want to 'debate' without using foul words or blatant crude insults...no matter what "side" you are on".

No you don't Michelle! I have tried to post several messages that all were polite and to the point, but from a different point of view than you have. You started by posting the first few, but lately haven't posted any of them. Don't worry, I will keep reading and posting and I hope that one day you will be as honest as you claim to be and actually post them so people can read the real truth!

Floor said...

Well, well Michelle. I'm impressed! Can you now also post my previous messages from the last couple of days....

Anonymous said...

We know what they all did. Hold tight and watch very soon you will all get yours. Creeps.

Dan in TX said...

Well, I've been silent about this for awhile, but I think now is a good place to tell what I can.

I consider myself honored to have a regular rappor and conversation with an Aruban reporter whose name I won't mention. Now I don't expect you to take me at my word, certainly not! After all, I have no way of proving this and can only disclose so much of what I know without betraying my guy's trust and possibly compromising the investigation. But you know what- that is exactly what Aruba has been doing this whole time and yet they somehow expect that they deserve some kind of preferential treatment, that we should blindly believe what they say without any proof. In fact, with the deadline to close the case (ordered by Rudy Croes no doubt) quickly approaching, it seems that the ultimate evidence of Aruban corruption and cover-up is at hand.

If this case goes unsolved, Americans will only come to one conclusion. Like it or not, Aruba, you have no choice but to solve this. I think country-western singer Travis Tritt said it best when he sang, "This one's going to hurt you for a long, long time"

So back to my guy. This is what he tells me about Aruba right now, what I feel I can disclose:

1. The Arubans as a people are politically apathetic- they're all fully aware of the corruption and other things that go on in their happy little island, but yet they do not care enough to vote the MEP out of office. My guy tells me he hears many Arubans now saying, 'I wish I had never voted for Oduber', though.

2. The MEP has indeed written the Americans off as a lost cause- in other words, they know they've lost the battle for American sentiment, so they're trying to convince their own people that everything is hunkydory. Their goal is to wait this out.

3. Neither the MEP nor the Arubans understand the concept of a grassroots boycott. In fact, I am not totally sure my guy understands (and incidentally he is NOT in support of the boycott just as he claims publicly. I wouldn't expect him to be).

4. My guy has absolutely no confidence in the government, and he tells me that the MEP has found ways to control the actions of the polis despite their claims to the contrary.

5. Remember all those things Beth was talking about on the air in past months- every little new revelation she disclosed each night? You would be surprised at how many of them my source tells me are indeed true. Aruba's leaders and their lapdogs are not only politically corrupt, but morally depraved. People don't bury nickels, folks; they bury fortunes. And we caught Aruba holding the shovel.

6. You'd be surprised at who knows who in Aruba, and how buddy-buddy some of them are. Let's just say Aruban crows all live in the same flock and Aruban snakes all live in the same hole.

In the end, it doesn't matter what the truth is...it matters what Americans think is the truth. And even the MEP knows it has lost that battle.

Floor said...

"In the end, it doesn't matter what the truth is...it matters what Americans think is the truth. And even the MEP knows it has lost that battle".

Dan, what a ridiculous statement! Are you saying that even if it is decided in a court of law what the truth is, you will still cary on believing what you believe is the truth now...?

Too stupid to be true!!

Anonymous said...

Superfluous verbiage.:)