Friday, November 20, 2009

Bush's 9/11 Alibi?

Did the Bush administration deliberately turn a blind eye to those 9/11 warnings because it wanted a pretext to launch war in the Middle East and usher in another century of American hegemony? A large group of people - collectively called the 9/11 Truth Movement - cite evidence that an airliner did not hit the Pentagon and that the World Trade Center could not have been brought down by airliner impacts and burning aviation fuel alone. This final group points to video evidence which they claim shows puffs of smoke - so-called demoliton squibs - emerging from the Twin Towers at levels far below the aircraft impact zones and prior to the collapses. They also believe that, on the day itself, the US Air Force was deliberately stood down or sent on exercises to prevent intervention that could have saved the lives of nearly 3,000 people.All of this in the name of war-mongering and profiteering. American lives lost, but military contractors win to the tune of billions.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Geneva, hello?

Foreign personnel hired to provide military services have often been present in armed conflicts. During the sixties and the seventies, this situation has been mainly associated with covert, mercenary activity. The provisions on mercenaries included in Article 47 of the First Protocol Additional to the Geneva Convention of 1949 the “Convention on the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa " , and the “International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries“ were adopted at a time when this phenomenon was widely observed.

In recent years, however, there has been the emergence of highly professional companies that offer mercenary services openly, sometimes using websites. Some companies such as Executive Outcomes, Blackwater, Condor Security and Sandline have carried out active combat operations in various countries. Executive Outcomes, which drew heavily on members of South African special forces, assisted the Angolan government against the rebel movement, UNITA, and helped the Sierra Leone authorities defeat the Revolutionary United Front and restore the elected President to power . Sandline, a sister company to Executive Outcomes “admits to having undertaken six international operations since 1993”, including in Papua New Guinea and Sierra Leone.These are not government sanctioned military forces, but private mercenaries and assassins-for-hire that do not abide by Protocol I. In this age of profiteering, is the Geneva Convention no longer relevant? Does anyone care?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Zero Transparency

Try researching Route Irish. Or HeavenBled. Try sifting through information on the PSC's active right now being paid for by American tax dollars in Iraq. Or Pakistan. Or Afghanistan. I couldn't find out with any certainty how many private contractors were working in Iraq, how many had been killed or injured, and how many Iraqis they had killed under cover of Order 17, imposed by the Americans, which gave them blanket impunity from prosecution by Iraqi authorities. Why keep a list when it invites scrutiny? Three cheers for capitalism!