Blackwater boss wants riches from anti-refugee violence in Europe


This video from the USA says about itself:

24 April 2013

Watch the full interview with Jeremy Scahill on Democracy Now! here. In his new book, “Dirty Wars: the World is a Battlefield,” Jeremy Scahill charts the expanding covert wars operated by the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command from Somalia to Pakistan. “Dirty Wars” is Scahill’s follow-up to his New York Times bestseller, “Blackwater: The World’s Most Powerful Army.” In 2010, Scahill was the first to reveal the plans of Blackwater founder Erik Prince to move to the United Arab Emirates amidst mounting legal troubles. The New York Times confirmed the story two months later. Speaking on Democracy Now!, Scahill reveals his source at the time was none other than military whistleblower Bradley Manning.

Erik Prince is the little brother of Betsy DeVos; Donald Trump’s nominee as Secretary of (anti-)Education.

By Belen Fernandez, Thursday 5 January 2017 12:20 UTC:

Blackwater founder returns to save Europe from refugees

Erik Prince, the former CEO of the firm responsible for opening fire on Iraqi civilians, has the militarised solution to Europe’s migrant problem

Starting the new year off with a bang, the Financial Times has just published a dispatch by Erik Prince, notorious founder and former CEO of the private security contracting firm Blackwater, the outfit responsible for projects such as the 2007 Nisour Square massacre of Iraqi children and other civilians.

In peddling his alleged antidotes to the crisis, Prince is symptomatic of a far more profound one

The company has undergone a series of rebranding efforts over the years as an apparent means of distancing itself from overtly toxic connotations.

Prince’s Financial Times bio discreetly identifies him as simply “a former US Navy SEAL [and] executive chairman of Frontier Services Group,” a Hong Kong-headquartered entity.

According to its website, FSG offers “security and logistics services in frontier markets”.

In an investigation by The Intercept, Prince’s activities at FSG were reported to include endeavouring to sell weaponised crop dusters in Africa as part of “what one colleague called his ‘obsession’ with building his own private air force”. As with many of Prince’s operations, a facade of legality has often proved elusive.

Suffice it to say that the Financial Times isn’t racking up huge points on the ethical front by promoting a man whose modus operandi has essentially been to make a killing off of killing.

In his memoir, Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror, Prince writes that, by 2009, his company had received more than $1bn for its services in Iraq from the US State Department alone.

This is not counting copious other contracts in Afghanistan and elsewhere, including contributions to the CIA’s drone strike programme.

Saving the EU

In his Financial Times debut, Prince sounds the alarm that Europe has been overwhelmed with refugees and that the “very existence of the EU is in danger”. Luckily for humanity, however, Prince has “a solution that will restore stability to Libya and mitigate the crisis” – a solution he says is “based on many years’ experience in military and civilian business”.

Call me a party pooper, but I wouldn’t file the regular imprisonment, torture and rape of migrants in Libya under the category ‘travelling unchecked’

Never mind that Prince himself is implicated in a fair amount of destruction and havoc-wreaking in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locales that now serve as primary sources of – you guessed it – Europe-bound migration.

Prince’s proposed refugee “solution” involves a “public-private partnership” – a euphemism of sorts for what appears to boil down to a privatised war on refugees. He envisions “base camps” for security personnel “alongside a new border fence” in Libya, with border police “consist[ing] of mentors with a European law enforcement background, supported by locals trained in key basic skills”.

Prince writes: “All personnel would be armed and have agreed-upon rules of engagement and migrant detention and repatriation policy. Each base would have airborne surveillance and search and rescue as well as armed vehicle quick reaction forces. Air operations would be provided by third-party professional providers, as would medical evacuation services.”

The “mentors”, Prince specifies, “would be the skeleton structure of the unit providing key leadership, intelligence co-ordination, communications, medical and logistics expertise”.

As for what global entity might be called upon to supervise the whole shebang, maybe something with the words “frontier services” in its title?

So much for paid advertising.

In Prince’s reality, the present dearth of Libyan border security means that any old migrant can “travel unchecked” to the coast and hop on a boat for the “short, if dangerous” ride to Europe.

Call me a party pooper, but I wouldn’t file the regular imprisonment, torture and rape of migrants in Libya under the category “travelling unchecked”.

Free market obsession

Meanwhile, Prince’s fervent commitment to stanching the flow of certain humans naturally does not translate into an across-the-board opposition to human movement.

Perhaps mercenaries also hold the key to other persistent global issues like climate change and snoring and erectile dysfunction

Private security mercenaries, for one, should evidently be permitted to transcend borders at will – as should persons with the last name of Prince who relocate to Abu Dhabi to set up secret armies.

In his memoir, Prince reminisces fondly about Ronald Reagan’s free market obsession and anti-communist “aggressive military policy”, quoting Reagan’s 1985 State of the Union address in which the president once again obliterated any pretences to a separation of church and state in the US: “Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few; it is the universal right of all God’s children.”

But just as the anti-communist version of “freedom” meant freedom for capital rather than people, Prince’s conception is similarly exclusive.

While Prince and his bank account are apparently eligible for unfettered intercontinental exploitation of conflict and misery, poor folks fleeing war and economic persecution must be stopped at all costs.

Nor is “freedom” a detectable option for Iraqis slaughtered by US security contractors or Pakistanis killed by US drones.

In the end, Prince’s refugee “solution” is hardly surprising coming from someone who has also proposed combating Ebola with private contractors.

And who knows: perhaps mercenaries also hold the key to other persistent global issues like climate change and snoring and erectile dysfunction.

One thing is for certain, though: that Prince’s “solutions” aren’t aimed at any sort of resolution but rather at the perpetuation of strife in the interest of financial gain.

In peddling his alleged antidotes to crisis, Prince is symptomatic of a far more profound one.

– Belen Fernandez is the author of The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work, published by Verso. She is a contributing editor at Jacobin magazine.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

EXPANDING THE FORTRESS: The policies, the profiteers and the people shaped by EU’s border externalisation programme, by MARK AKKERMAN.

16 thoughts on “Blackwater boss wants riches from anti-refugee violence in Europe

  1. “Prince’s proposed refugee “solution” involves a “public-private partnership” – a euphemism of sorts for what appears to boil down to a privatised war on refugees. He envisions “base camps” for security personnel “alongside a new border fence” in Libya, with border police “consist[ing] of mentors with a European law enforcement background, supported by locals trained in key basic skills”.

    Prince writes: “All personnel would be armed and have agreed-upon rules of engagement and migrant detention and repatriation policy. Each base would have airborne surveillance and search and rescue as well as armed vehicle quick reaction forces. Air operations would be provided by third-party professional providers, as would medical evacuation services.”

    The “mentors”, Prince specifies, “would be the skeleton structure of the unit providing key leadership, intelligence co-ordination, communications, medical and logistics expertise”.

    As for what global entity might be called upon to supervise the whole shebang, maybe something with the words “frontier services” in its title?”

    Auschwitz?

    Like

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  13. Mark Akkerman bij het protest gisteren tegen het verdrinken van vluchtelingen: “de wapenindustrie profiteert”

    Gisteren demonstreerden zo’n twintig mensen bij het ministerie van Justitie in Den Haag, en later ook nog in de buurt van het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken, tegen de verschrikkelijke politiek van migratiebeheersing van de EU. De actie op een drukke plek vlakbij station Den Haag Centraal, die was georganiseerd door het No Border Network, trok veel aandacht. Dat kwam vooral door de talloze zwemvesten die op straat lagen verspreid en door het reusachtige spandoek met de tekst “Borders kill”. Lees meer:

    https://www.doorbraak.eu/mark-akkerman-bij-het-protest-gisteren-tegen-het-verdrinken-van-vluchtelingen-de-wapenindustrie-profiteert/

    Like

  14. Blokkade Hengelo

    Persbericht – Stop the War on Migrants! en AAGU

    19 oktober 2018

    Blokkade wapenbedrijf Thales in Hengelo tegen verdienen aan ‘vluchtelingencrisis’

    – Thales profiteert van oorlog, repressie, mensenrechtenschendingen en van tegenhouden vluchtelingen

    Sinds 6.30 uur vanochtend blokkeren activisten van Stop the War on Migrants! en de Anarchistische Anti-deportatie Groep Utrecht (AAGU) de ingangen van wapenbedrijf Thales in Hengelo (Haaksbergerstraat 49). Zij protesteren met de actie tegen de rol van Thales (voorheen bekend als
    Holland Signaalapparaten (HSA)) in de zogenaamde ‘vluchtelingencrisis’. Wapenexporten van Thales dragen bij aan oorlog, repressie en mensenrechtenschendingen, belangrijke oorzaken voor gedwongen migratie. Het bedrijf verdient daarna nog eens aan het leveren van materieel voor
    grensbewaking en -controle om de mensen die hierdoor gedwongen op de vlucht moeten slaan tegen te houden.

    Verschillende mensen hebben zich vastgeketend aan de toegangshekken van Thales, waardoor autoverkeer het bedrijfsterrein niet op kan. Anderen staan met spandoeken bij de poorten en delen flyers uit aan werknemers. Bij de ingang aan de Haaksbergerstraat wordt de lange lijst met
    vluchtelingen die de dood vonden aan de grenzen van ‘Fort Europa’ voorgelezen.
    Een woordvoerder van de activisten zegt: “Thales verdient grof geld aan oorlog en aan het onmenselijke Europese vluchtelingenbeleid. Vandaag maken wij duidelijk dat dit onacceptabel is en dat Thales niet ongestoord dit dodelijke werk kan voortzetten. Met de blokkade worden deze activiteiten van Thales publiekelijk aan de kaak gesteld en even een halt toegeroepen, maar ze zouden natuurlijk voor altijd moeten stoppen.”

    Thales Nederland levert onder meer communicatiesystemen voor Saoedische tanks, die ingezet worden in de verwoestende oorlog in Jemen, en radar voor schepen voor de Egyptische marine, betrokken bij de zeeblokkade van Jemen en bij geweld tegen vluchtelingenschepen. Diverse landen in Noord-Afrika beschikken over marine- en kustwachtschepen voorzien van radarsystemen van Thales, die zij onder meer inzetten voor grensbewaking. Ook op Nederlandse schepen die deelnamen aan de militaire EU-grensbewakingsmissie Operatie Sophia, voor de kust van Libië, en diverse Frontex-operaties is radar van Thales te vinden.

    Door EU-lidstaten en derde landen, vaak met hulp van EU-financiering, te voorzien van middelen voor grensbewaking worden deze grenzen steeds verder gemilitariseerd. Hierdoor worden migranten gedwongen om steeds gevaarlijkere routes te nemen, vallen zij steeds vaker in handen van
    criminele mensensmokkelnetwerken en sterven migranten steeds vaker aan de grenzen van Europa en daarbuiten.

    De woordvoerder van de activisten: “Thales en andere wapenbedrijven voorzien niet enkel in de behoeftes van Fort Europa, maar lobbyen ook actief op nationaal en Europees niveau voor het militariseren van de Europese grenzen en hebben op deze manier grote invloed op het Europese migratiebeleid. De wapenindustrie is er goed in geslaagd migratie eenzijdig als veiligheidsprobleem te framen en daarmee de weg vrij te maken voor de inzet van militaire middelen om dit te bestrijden.”

    Thales draagt met dit alles bij aan het klemzetten van mensen, van twee kanten. Opgejaagd door oorlog en repressie worden zij op de vlucht tegengehouden door grensbewakingssystemen van dezelfde wapenindustrie. Hightech-toepassingen, zoals die van Thales, worden hierbij vaak in puur technische termen gepresenteerd, waardoor het menselijk leed dat erdoor veroorzaakt wordt naar de achtergrond verdwijnt. Hoogtechnologische kennis zou beter aangewend kunnen worden om bijvoorbeeld duurzaamheid te bevorderen.

    Stop the War on Migrants! is een campagne die dit jaar van start ging en zich richt tegen het Europese migratiebeleid, in het bijzonder wapenbedrijven zoals Thales en Airbus die grof verdienen aan de ellende van vluchtelingen. De groep organiseerde eerder protesten bij de Bedrijvendagen op de TU Delft, waar deze bedrijven prominent aanwezig waren, bij de jaarvergadering van Airbus in Amsterdam en bij de Schouwburg Hengelo (in samenwerking met de lokale stichting VEDAN), waar
    Thales een belangrijke sponsor van is. Op de Universiteit Twente werd eerder dit jaar een lunchlezing over de militarisering van Europese grenzen gehouden.

    AAGU voert al langere tijd actie tegen het Nederlandse vluchtelingenbeleid, met name tegen het detentiecentrum Kamp Zeist bij Soesterberg. Een recente campagne richtte zich tegen de gezinsgevangenis die hier gevestigd is.

    Like

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