“You whore it out to a contractor,” Major Tim Elliott said bluntly. It was April 2012, and I was at a swank hotel in downtown London attending “Forward Operating Bases 2012,” a conference for contractors building, supplying, and maintaining military bases around the world. IPQC, the private company running the conference, promised the conference would “bring together buyers and suppliers in one location” and “be an excellent platform to initiate new business relationships” through “face-to-face contact that overcrowded trade shows cannot deliver.” Companies sending representatives included major contractors like General Dynamics and the food services company Supreme Group, which has won billions in Afghan war contracts, as well as smaller companies like QinetiQ, which produces acoustic sensors and other monitoring devices used on bases. “We’re profiteers,” one contractor representative said to the audience in passing, with only a touch of irony.
On March 9th this year, under the title of “NATO, War, Lies and Business”, I published a new Reflection about the role of that warlike organization.
I am selecting some fundamental paragraphs from that Reflection:
“As some may be aware, in September of 1969, Muammar al-Gaddafi, an Arab Bedouin soldier of a peculiar character and inspired by the ideas of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser, promoted in the heart of the armed forces a movement overthrowing King Idris I of Libya, a country almost completely covered by desert and having very little population, located in northern Africa between Tunisia and Egypt.”
“Born to a tribal Bedouin family of nomadic desert shepherds in the region of Tripoli, Gaddafi was profoundly anti-colonialist. ”
“…Even Gaddafi’s adversaries assure us that he stood out for his intelligence as a student; he was expelled from high-school for his anti-monarchic activities. He managed to enrol in another high-school and later graduated in law at the University of Benghazi at the age of 21. Then he enrolled in the Benghazi Military College where he created what was called the Secret Unionist Movement of Free Officers, concluding his education later on in a British military academy.”
“He had begun his political life with events that were without question, revolutionary.
“In March of 1970, after massive nationalist demonstrations, he managed to have British soldiers evacuated from the country and in June, the United States vacated the great air base near Tripoli, handing it over to military instructors from Egypt, a Libyan ally.
“In 1970, several western oil companies and banking companies having the participation of foreign capital were affected by the Revolution. At the end of 1971, the famous British Petroleum had the same fate. In the agricultural sector, all Italian properties were confiscated, and the colonists and their descendents were expelled from Libya.”
“The Libyan leader got involved in extremist theories that were opposed both to communism and capitalism. It was a stage when Gaddafi dedicated himself to theorizing, something that doesn’t have any place in this analysis, other than to point out that the first article of the Constitutional Proclamation of 1969 established the “Socialist” nature of the Great Socialist People’s Libya Arab Jamahiriya.
“What I wish to emphasize is that the United States and its allies were never interested in human rights.
“The hornet’s nest taking place in the Security Council, at the meeting of the Human Rights Council at the Geneva headquarters and in the UN General Assembly in New York was pure theatre.”
“The empire now wants […] to intervene militarily in Libya and strike a blow at the revolutionary wave unleashed in the Arab world. Up to now, not one word was said; they kept their mouths shut and carried on with business.”
“With the latent Libyan rebellion being promoted by Yankee intelligence, or by Gaddafi’s own errors, it is important that the people don’t let themselves be deceived, since very soon world opinion shall have enough elements to know what to expect.”
“Like many Third World countries, Libya is a member of NAM, the Group of 77 and other international organizations, through which relations are established separately from its economic and social system.
“As an outline: the Revolution in Cuba, inspired by Marxist-Leninist principles and those of Marti, had triumphed in 1959, 90 miles away from the United States which imposed on us the Platt Amendment and owned the economy of our country.
“Almost immediately, the empire promoted the dirty war against our people, counter-revolutionary gangs, the criminal economic blockade, the mercenary invasion of the Bay of Pigs, watched over by an aircraft carrier and their Marines ready to land if the mercenaries were to gain determinate objectives.”
“All the Latin American countries, with the exception of Mexico, took part in the criminal blockade which is still in place today, with our country never surrendering.”
“In January of 1986, using the idea that Libya was behind the so-called revolutionary terrorism, Reagan ordered economic and commercial relations with that country to be broken.
“In March, a force of aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Sidra, inside what is considered to be Libyan national waters, launched attacks that caused the destruction of several naval units armed with missile launchers and coastal radar systems that that country had acquired in the USSR.
“On April 5th, a Berlin disco that US soldiers went to was the victim of plastic explosives; three persons died, two of them American soldiers, and many were wounded.
“Reagan accused Gaddafi and ordered the Air Force to retaliate. Three squadrons took off from the Sixth Fleet aircraft carriers and bases in the United Kingdom, attacking seven military targets in Tripoli and Benghazi with missiles and bombs. Around 40 people died, 15 of them civilians. Warned of the bombers’ advance, Gaddafi assembled his family and was abandoning his residence located at the Bab Al Aziziya military complex to the south of the capital. The evacuation was in progress when a missile made a direct hit on his residence; his daughter Hanna died and two other children were wounded. The occurrence was broadly condemned: the UN General Assembly passed a resolution condemning violation of the UN Charter and International law. So did NAM, the Arab League and the OAU, in energetic terms.
“On December 21, 1988, a Pan Am Boeing 747 flying from London to New York disintegrated in mid-air after a bomb exploded …”
“According to the Yankees, investigations implicated two Libyan intelligence agents.”
“A sinister legend was fabricated against him with the participation of Reagan and Bush Sr.”
“The Security Council had imposed sanctions on Libya that were starting to be overcome when Gaddafi accepted to put the two people accused for the plane downed over Scotland on trial, with certain conditions.
“Libyan delegations began to be invited to inter-European meetings. In July of 1999, London initiated the re-establishing of full diplomatic relations with Libya, after some additional concessions.”
“On December 2nd, Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema of Italy made the first visit of a European head of government to Libya.
“With the USSR and the European Socialist bloc gone, Gaddafi decided to accept the demands of the United States and NATO.”
“At the beginning of 2002, the State Department informed that diplomatic talks were going on between the US and Libya.”
“As 2003 began, because of the economic agreement on the compensations reached between Libya and the suing countries, the United Kingdom and France, the UN Security Council lifted the 1992 sanctions against Libya.
“Before 2003 drew to a close, Bush and Tony Blair informed about an agreement with Libya, a country that had handed over to United Kingdom and Washington intelligence experts documentation on the non-conventional weapons programs such as ballistic missiles with a range of more than 300 kilometres. Officials from both countries had already visited various installations. It was the result of many months of talks between Tripoli and Washington as Bush himself revealed.
“Gaddafi fulfilled his promises of disarmament. In a few months Libya handed over five units of Scud-C missiles with a range of 800 kilometres and the hundreds of Scud-Bs whose range surpassed the 300 kilometres for short-range defensive missiles.
“From October of 2002, the marathon of visits to Tripoli began: Berlusconi in October of 2002; José María Aznar in September of 2003; Berlusconi again in February, August and October of 2004; Blair in March of 2004; Germany’s Schröeder in October of that year; Jacques Chirac in November of 2004.”
“Gaddafi triumphantly toured Europe. He was received in Brussels in April of 2004 by Romano Prodi, president of the European Commission; in August of that year the Libyan leader invited Bush to visit his country; Exxon Mobil, Chevron Texaco and Conoco Philips finalized the re-establishing of extracting crude by means of joint ventures.
“In May of 2006, the United States announced the withdrawal of Libya from the list of terrorist countries and the establishment of full diplomatic relations.
“In 2006 and 2007, France and the US signed agreements for nuclear cooperation for peaceful purposes; in May of 2007, Blair once again visited Gaddafi at Sidra. BP signed an “enormously important” agreement according to statements, in order to explore for gas fields.
“In December of 2007, Gaddafi made two visits to France and signed contracts for military and civilian equipment for the total of 10 billion Euros; and a visit to Spain where he met with President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Million-dollar contracts were signed with important NATO countries.
“What is it that has now caused the precipitated withdrawal from the embassies of the United States and the other NATO members?
“It’s all extremely odd.
“George W. Bush, father of the stupid anti-terrorism war, stated on September 20 of 2001 to the West point cadets that:
“Our security will require […] transforming the military you will lead, a military that must be ready to strike at a moment of notice in any dark corner of the world. And our security will require all Americans to be forward-looking and resolute, to be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty […].”
“We must uncover terror cells in 60 or more countries[…] Along with our friends and allies, we must oppose proliferation and confront regimes that sponsor terror, as each case requires.”
Today I add that Afghanistan, a traditionally rebellious country, was invaded; the nationalist tribes, former allies of the United States in its struggle against the USSR, were bombed and massacred. The Dirty War spread throughout the world. Iraq was invaded under excuses that turned out to be false, its abundant oil resources were handed over to the hands of Yankee companies, millions of persons lost their jobs and were forced to move both inside the country and abroad, their museums were sacked and innumerable citizens lost their lives or were massacred by the invaders.
Returning to the Reflection, I pointed out:
“An AFP dispatch from Kabul, dated today on March 9th, reveals that: “Last year was the most deadly for civilians in nine years of war between the Taliban and international forces in Afghanistan, with almost 2,800 dead, 15% more than in 2009, a UN report indicated on Wednesday, underlining the human cost of the conflict for the population.”
“With exactly 2,777 the number of civilian deaths in 2010 increased 15% as compared to 2009, indicates the annual joint report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan…”
“President Barack Obama stated on the 3rd of March his “profound condolences” to the Afghan people for the nine dead children; US General David Petraeus, commander in chief of the ISAF and Secretary of the Defence Robert Gates made similar statements.”
“…the UNAMA report emphasizes that the number of civilian dead in 2010 is four times greater than the number of international forces soldiers killed in combat in that same year.
Referring to Libya, I indicated:
“For 10 days, in Geneva and in the UN more than 150 speeches were made about violations on human rights that were repeated millions of times by TV, radio, Internet and the printed press.
“Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodríguez, in his speech on March 1st before the Foreign Ministers meeting in Geneva, stated:
“Human conscience rejects the deaths of innocent people in any circumstance and in any place. Cuba fully shares world concern for the losses in civilian lives in Libya and wishes that their people attain a peaceful and sovereign solution to the civil war happening over there, without any foreign interference, and ensuring the integrity of that nation.”
“If essential human rights are a right of life, is the Council ready to suspend the membership of states that unleash war?”
“Will it suspend states that finance and supply military aid used by the receiving state in massive, flagrant and systematic violations on human rights and in attacks on civilian populations, such as what is happening in Palestine?”
“Will it apply that measure against powerful countries that carry out extra-judicial executions on the territory of other states, using high technology such as smart bombs and unmanned planes?
“What would happen with states that accept on their territory illegal secret prisons, facilitate secret flights carrying kidnapped persons or participate in acts of torture?”
“We are against the internal war in Libya, in favour of immediate peace and full respect for life and the rights of all citizens, with no foreign intervention that would only serve to prolong the conflict and NATO interests.”
Yesterday, on October 31st, an event was produced that, among others, bears witness to the total lack of ethics in Yankee policy.
UNESCO had just adopted a courageous decision: to grant the heroic people of Palestine the right to participate as an active member of UNESCO; 107 states voted in favour, 14 were opposed and 52 abstained from voting. We all know the reason perfectly well.
The United States representative to that institution, following instructions from the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, immediately stated that as of that moment, their country would be suspending all economic aid to the organization that was destined by the UN for education, science and culture.
The dramatic tone with which the lady announced the decision was totally unnecessary. Nobody was surprised by the expected and cynical decision.
Moreover, as if it were not enough, all we need to do is read the AFP cable dated in Washington this afternoon at 16:05:
“‘After the G20 Summit (…) the president (Obama) and President Sarkozy will take part in a ceremony in Cannes to celebrate the US-France alliance’, the office of the US president indicated, adding that the leaders would also be meeting with ‘US and French soldiers who had participated together in the operation’ in Libya.”
I shall continue shortly.
Fidel Castro Ruz
November 1, 2011
Those persons who deal with these issues know that on September 11 of 2001 our people expressed its solidarity to the US people and offered the modest cooperation that in the area of health we could have offered to the victims of the brutal attack against the Twin Towers in New York.… We also immediately opened our country’s airports to the American airplanes that were unable to land anywhere, given the chaos that came about soon after the strike.… Although we resolutely supported the armed struggle against Batista’s tyranny, we were, on principle, opposed to any terrorist action that could cause the death of innocent people. Such behavior, which has been maintained for more than half a century, gives us the right to express our views about such a sensitive matter.