EU leaders gathered for a subdued ceremony to sign Europe's first
Constitution in Rome. The difficult job of getting the text ratified and the more immediate institutional crisis over the Barroso Commission were clearly over-shadowing the event.
U.S. dollars wooed ally in Iraq coalition
By Robert Little
Sun National Staff
10/17/04 "Baltimore Sun"
A LONG BUT WORTHWHILE READ OF THE STATEMENTS AND MOTIVES OF ONE OF THE NEW AND "SEPARATE" MEMBERS OF THE E.U. WHO CAN, BY THESE DEALS ANNIHILATE THE MILITARILY NEUTRAL BASIS OF SEVERAL OTHER EU MEMBERS.
As the Bush administration scrambled last year to pull together a "coalition of the willing" to wage a war in Iraq, it simultaneously negotiated and financed an unprecedented multibillion-dollar arms deal with Poland - a compact that promises to funnel at least $6 billion in U.S. investments into the former Warsaw Pact nation, which has become one of the United States' primary wartime supporters. President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have criticized Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in recent days for suggesting that the administration used financial inducements to assemble its coalition, calling his comments an insult to a country like Poland, which dispatched 2,500 troops to fight alongside Americans in Iraq.
But the record shows that early last year, the United States brought the full force of its powerful economy to bear on prospective military allies, offering more than $4 billion in an unsuccessful attempt to gain the allegiance of Turkey and helping to negotiate Poland's $3.5 billion purchase of 48 F-16 fighter planes from Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin Corp.
The Polish deal also included more than $6 billion in U.S. business investment that Lockheed promised to channel into Poland, an economic "offset" that caused Polish officials to call the purchase "the deal of the century."
Although perhaps not rising to meet Kerry's contention before the war that the United States formed a "coalition of the bribed, the coerced, the bought and the extorted" in Iraq, the type of economic incentives won by Poland were called "economic bribes" this year by Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
Poland's allegiance seemed shakier recently, when Prime Minister Marek Belka said that his country will start withdrawing its troops - the fourth-largest contingent in Iraq - early next year. The announcement came weeks after Polish officials complained that the F-16 deal is not producing as much U.S. investment as they anticipated, though they have long denied any relationship between the deal and the troops. Seventeen Polish troops have been killed in Iraq, and Polish public opinion has been anti-war from the start of hostilities. Eight other members of the coalition, including Spain and the Philippines, have withdrawn their troops.
At the very least, the fine print to Poland's mammoth weapons deal illustrates the benefits - both political and economic - enjoyed by a country that chose to fight beside the United States.
The deal, which allows Poland to defer payments for eight years and then begin repayments at below-market interest rates, has fostered such trans-Atlantic ventures as building General Motors cars in Gliwice(now causing such massive uncertainty in German factories), manufacturing U.S. Army explosives in Bydgoszcz and, after the intervention of the Federal Aviation Administration, selling Polish airplanes in southern Florida.
"Lockheed didn't win the contract, the U.S. government did, with pressure and support coming from the very highest levels," said Gregory Filipowicz, a defense industry consultant who lives in Poland and has helped arrange at least two of Lockheed's "offset" investment deals related to the F-16 contract.
"They created a program that, politically and economically, was very hard to say no to," Filipowicz said."As for the deeper political motives, of course, we'll never know what was said in the back rooms," he said.
Polish officials say that their political ties to the United States are unwavering and that their decision to participate in the war was unaffected by their economic interests. "Our decisions were not taken on the basis of tactical considerations," Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz said last month during a speech at Columbia University. "We were not calculating what we can win from this or that choice. We did not expect to make political profits or economic gains. The decision to support the invasion of Iraq was mainly based on our understanding of the true meaning of alliance and solidarity."
Still, Cimoszewicz said, they appreciate the benefits - political, economic and otherwise - of forging a military partnership with the United States.
"The Polish support to the military action against Saddam Hussein and our role in the stabilization process in Iraq gained us true friends in Washington," Cimoszewicz said. "Although these decisions in Poland were not easy to take, they proved to be the right ones."
Poland's interest in fighter aircraft predates the war in Iraq, as does Lockheed Martin's interest in Poland. Both engaged in an eight- year courtship as Polish officials debated which of the world's fighter planes suited their needs, and which of Poland's budding political alliances - with the European Union or NATO - they most needed to nurture.(!!!Surprise surprise!!!JB,Editor) The U.S. government also has long taken an interest in which fighter plane Poland would buy, hoping to secure the former Soviet-bloc nation's allegiance to NATO. The purchase of such expensive and dangerous hardware as an F-16 is more than a simple arms deal; it is a decades-long commitment to a weapons platform, whose support networks and spare-parts chains all lead back to the United States.
By the time Poland signed its contract to buy F-16s on April 18 last year - a day when Polish commandos were operating alongside Navy SEALS inside Iraq, and American troops were struggling to contain looters in central Baghdad after the fall of Hussein's regime - Polish officials had been prodded and encouraged at the very highest levels of the U.S. government. Christopher Hill, then the U.S. ambassador to Poland, said he worked with Lockheed officials every day on the project. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld discussed the deal with Polish leaders on a visit to Warsaw.
On Feb. 5 2003,last year, as Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was offering evidence of Iraq's alleged weapons programs to the United Nations, then-Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller was in the Oval Office with Bush.He declared on Polish radio later in the day: "It seems to me that his evidence leaves little doubt." Hussein, he said, "must be ready to face consequences." The White House was not the first stop for Miller that day. He met earlier with Lockheed Martin officials, including then-CEO Vance D. Coffman.
The deal's financing, guaranteed by Congress, was approved with similar attention from the White House. The Bush administration had the loan guarantee attached to a resolution approved in late 2002 that was needed to continue operating the federal government while Congress debated the budget, virtually assuring its prompt passage.
"We certainly think the F-16 is a superior multi-role fighter, and we were pushing for its sale in Poland," said Jason Greer, a spokesman for the State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. "But our interest was related to Poland's role in NATO, not to anything else." As far as the economic incentives to the deal, Greer said: "We just don't get involved. That's strictly a commercial arrangement."
Economic offsets have become a standard component of most large foreign arms deals.
Buyers such as Poland often demand that in return for their purchase, the seller coordinate some related amount of outside investment to soften the economic impact.
Direct offsets are common - allowing the purchasing nation to build part of the weapon system, for instance - but indirect offsets unrelated to the product being bought have grown increasingly prominent.
Among Lockheed's indirect offsets is an investment that General Motors agreed to make in its plant in Gliwice, about 70 miles west of Krakow, where Opel vehicles are manufactured. Although GM officials concede that they might have made the investment anyway, Lockheed was permitted to claim it against their obligation in the F-16 deal because it was a new investment from an American company.
Such side deals have long been criticized in Washington as a form of kickback that defies the natural forces of free trade, including when Hunter called offsets "economic bribes" during a hearing on Capitol Hill this summer. Defense industry officials hardly disagree, though they point out that offsets are legal arrangements and have come to be expected by most foreign customers."It's part of the price of international business," Rick Kirkland, Lockheed Martin's vice president of international business development, said in an interview this year. "If we couldn't offer them an acceptable package of offsets, they wouldn't be buying an American airplane. It's that simple."
Lockheed officials say they can't provide details about the arrangements in deference to their customer, and federal officials say they have no connection to the side deals associated with a weapons purchase.But a study of the Polish F-16 purchase suggests that the United States plays an active role in ensuring that the deal moves forward smoothly.
Lance MacLean's venture in southern Florida is evidence. MacLean had tried since the early 1990s to import and sell in the United States a rugged Polish cargo plane called the M28 Skytruck, built by Polish aerospace manufacturer PZL Mielec. He hoped to serve a niche market for cargo haulers who need to use short or improvised runways and says he had little trouble finding customers for the Polish planes.Officials in his native Collier County, Fla., have been keen on the concept as well, promising him $325,000 worth of waived government fees and cash if he builds his distribution center at the municipal airport in the small southwestern town of Immokalee. The 30 well- paying jobs he promised were too much to pass up, they said.
But despite those successes, MacLean's enterprise puttered along for nine years because the aircraft lacked the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration - a document called a type certificate.
But that complication dissolved last year, once officials at Lockheed Martin noticed that MacLean's enterprise could qualify as an offset in the F-16 contract. "I had been trying to get FAA certification since 1995, and it wasn't going anywhere," said MacLean, president of the fledgling Skytruck LLC.
"When the Lockheed F-16 deal came along and it looked like we could become part of the offset package, my understanding is that the State Department called up the FAA and said, 'What's going on?' "The FAA started showing an interest, and now we have our type certification."
Copyright © 2004, The Baltimore Sun
Forwarded by Ivan Cox
MORE FROM THE AWKWARD SQUAD
simply does not make sense - unless many of the
kidnappings and bombings, as I think too, are designed to
foment chaos and portray all resistance as 'murderous
nihilists and cold-blooded criminals'.
The Netherlands - 23 Oct. 2004 - In Berkely, last October 8th, Pullitzer Prize-winning american journalist and writer, Seymour Hersh*, spilled the secrets of the US-Iraq quagmire, and the so called 'War on Terror'. Which according to Seymour Hersh, is a 'US-War OF Terror'.
Hersh was quite clear in what he said: according to him 'the Iraq war is not winnable'. One of the reasons he mentioned, was the existence of secret american (CIA/Mossad) 'terror squads', of which he pointed out one which he said 'has been 'disappearing' people since December 2001'*
In Hersh opinion, the warmongering managers and the ill-informed people of the United States, 'have absolutely no idea about how irreparably its torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison has damaged its image in the Middle East'.
And obvious is too, while checking Arab and other non-US mainstream news sources, that many people believe that a lot of the kidnappings and beheadings are done by those special US- and other terror squads.
LICENCE TO KILL, LICENCE TO LIE
The Netherlands may be a small country on the map, but as one of the the best partners of both the warmongering United States and Israel, it has for decades taken part in the illegal operations. [http://tinyurl.com/5pl2v]
It has to be said - and taken into account on behalf of the dutch 'sheeple', that the Netherlands is one of the last feudal monarchies on earth, with an easy controllable population of 16+ million mostly badlyinformed inhabitants. All mainstream media are owned by the people at present 'running' the servile country. The - payed with taxes - public broadcasting services and others for the most have turned into commercialized state-radio/TV. Also the so called 'National News Agency' - (ANP)* is in the hands of the industry, and has openly turned into "His Multinational's Voice".
There are many dutch journalists doing their utmost, but there is no place in the sun for honest products. That is why the majority of the people, via the media in the Netherlands, is so easily controlled, and news about Special Dutch Forces with a licence to kill was scarce.
In a recent court scandal however, some of the 'secret operation actions' of the present 'managers of the Netherlands' became known in a murder case which was a farce, and another sham by the dutch juridical system.
One has to keep in mind, that also the war in Iraq - even according to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan is an illegal war. All suffering and damage is a compilation of warcrimes by all involved.
That of course includes the present dutch 'christian neo-conmen', the so called 'gov't', which for decades already has slavishly followed US/Israeli orders.
Schiphol Airport: the Dutch-American-Israeli & Contraband 'Warport'.
The 'Dutch National airport Schiphol', strategically situated close to Amsterdam, has been a vast turntable for mostly illegal American and Israeli contrabande for decades. And is - according to what Dutch Attorney General Vrakking said Jan. 29, 1999: "that the El Al security detachment at Schiphol is a branch of the Mossad".*
It is not difficult to conclude that all armed personel - including the Dutch - in Iraq, and with or without a licence to kill, kidnapp and behead, are warcriminals, according to all international law and Warfare Conventions.
In a court case - ending in a politically motivated disgracefull verdict of 'not guilty', a dutch marine, Erik O, had to spill some of the beans, and via his counsel let it be known that he was one of those members of the secret squads with 'a licence to kill'.
Some journalists woke up, but in the Netherlands this news disappeared as fast as is possible in the giant 'memory hole', in concerted action and after an initial news burst. Later on it was hardly ever mentioned again in the government- and mainstream media. But it still can be read in the onlin news service of 'Expatica', one of the 'expat' websites for people living abroad*.
Expatica published an item on the suspect dutch marine 'given licence to kill' last June 15th, reporting that 'Investigations into Dutch marine Erik O. who was accused of murdering an Iraqi looter in December have revealed he was previously involved in top secret "licence to kill" missions.
As a member of the Special Support Unit (BBE) of the Royal Marines, O. was involved in anti-terrorism operations which carried government approval to use violence that might result in fatalities.
The military past of O. has been uncovered during investigations the military police has conducted into the death of an Iraqi looter on 27 December last year.
The victim was killed after O. allegedly fired a warning shot while serving on peacekeeping duties in southern Iraq. He was arrested and flown home to the Netherlands to face murder or manslaughter charges, but was later released and provisionally cleared of any wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, sources close to the investigation have confirmed to 'news agency ANP' that O., a sergeant-major, was in the past involved in State-secret operations.
The conclusions about O.'s military past are noteworthy: because dossiers over secret missions are normally destroyed within six months. Why do they suddenly appear to exist now?
On the possibility of faked kidnappings and killings, colleagua/journalist Kurt Nimmo* did an interesting and informative article on this, questioning the kidnapping of the humanitarian helporganisation Care's Margaret Hassan, and describing it as a possible CIA-Mossad Op.
According to Nimmo there are "more than a few of the kidnappings in Iraq which appear to be CIA, military intelligence,or Mossad operations. For instance, when Simona Pari and Simona Torretta of the Italian humanitarian organization Bridge to Baghdad were kidnapped recently, witnesses described the kidnapping as ³extremely professional² and said a well-dressed man wearing a suit and tie had led the operation, according to the Guardian.
And in this case it should be remembered there being one of them answering 'Yes Sir' when he got an order. In Hassan's case they were professionals too.
Of course, it is possible the Iraqi resistance, or a criminal gang interested in ransom, pulled off the kidnapping of Pari and Torretta, but the question remains: why are so many kidnappings directed against humanitarian organizations, obviously not the preferred target of a resistance determined to drive the United States out of Iraq?
It simply does not make senseunless the kidnappings and bombings are designed to foment chaos and portray the resistance as murderous nihilists and cold-blooded criminals.
Is it possible Mossad and the CIA are also responsible for the creation of the elusive super-terrorist al-Zarqawi and have planned and executed suicide, car bombings, and beheadings?
For those who harbor doubts the United States would organize, front, and unleash terrorist groups against innocent civilians, consider 'Operation Northwoods'*, a terrorist operation against Cuban civilians designed to be blamed on Castro, as proposed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1962.
The terror campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United States,² suggests the declassified memo sent to then Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara. ³We could sink a boatload of Cubans enroute to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States Harassment of civil air, attacks on surface shipping Hijacking attempts against civil air and surface craft.²
SHADES OF VIETNAM
In Berkely, a moved and angry Seymour Hersh told the auditorium: "It's shades of Vietnam again, folks: body counts," And he also said "My parents were immigrants, they came here because America meant something: "the Statue of Liberty and all that stuff, because America always was this bastion of morality and integrity and a place for a fresh start.
And it's right in front of us, not hidden, that they've taken this away from us."
One can only agree with Seymour Hersh, and with the hundreds of millions of people all over the world, thinking that all the suffering and global damage, done to so many people, in so many countries, by the United States 'managers' and their ilk, will take generations to repair.
If ever possible...
Seymour Hersh - Url. story: http://tinyurl.com/5wjwq
US 'Death Squad Protection Act' Url.: http://tinyurl.com/6xdfw
'Operation Northwoods' - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/6lv6z
Secret Task Force 121 - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/6pzpo
'Black' Gulfstream jet N379P : http://tinyurl.com/6gswg +picture
It is supposed to be owned by:
PREMIERE EXECUTIVE TRANSPORT
US companies that often flies/operate the plane: Aero Contractor Ltd Johnson County Airport - Smithfield, North Carolina, USA
STEVENS EXPRESS LEASING, INC. - 8130 COUNTRY VILLAGE, DRIVE S101, CORDOVA, Tennesee, USA.
French source: another 'Black Jet': http://tinyurl.com/7x22n
Dutch warcriminals in Court hearing: http://tinyurl.com/662pp (picture too)
ANP/Dutch multinationals: http://tinyurl.com/2gy2t
FEMA and Concentrationcamps: http://tinyurl.com/63hua
Military Intelligence - Special Operations: Url: http://tinyurl.com/5pe6g
The DIA and the military services maintain a large number of military attachés and a much smaller network of clandestine case officers to satisfy foreign intelligence requirements. The Defense HUMINT Service became operational October 1, 1995, to consolidate the human intelligence (HUMINT) capabilities of the DIA, Army, Navy, and Air Force. Url.: http://tinyurl.com/5xapq
The Dutch author has this far worked abroad for 4 decades for international media, as a foreign correspondent, of which 10 years - also during Gulf War I - in the Arab World and the Middle East. Seeing worldwide that every bullet and every bomb breeds more terrorism! (US Senator agrees: http://tinyurl.com/2ylmv)
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"In the councils of
Government, we must guard against the acquisition of
unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the
Military Industrial Complex.. The potential for the
disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will
persist. We must never let the weight of this combination
endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should
take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable
citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge
industrial and military machinery of defense with our
peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty
may prosper together. " - President Eisenhower - January 1961