21-12-13

Peace Talks Syria: German weapons business

It is unclear what, exactly, impresses the Arabs most about the new "Leopard 2" battle tank. Is it its reliable 120-millimeter smoothbore cannon, which remains stubbornly fixed on its target, even when the 68-ton behemoth is traveling at high speeds through the desert? Is it the "increased power-rated additional power generators for check-point missions" touted by the Munich-based manufacturer, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann? Or the "communication interface on the exterior of the vehicle for dismounted forces?"

In the first week of July 2012, Krauss-Maffei shipped one of its new miracle weapons to the Saudi desert to test the Leopard 2 under extreme heat conditions. The Defense Ministry in Berlin sent along an officer with the German Armed Forces, the Bundeswehr, to ensure safety during test firing of the tank's guns.

The successful desert test didn't go unnoticed by the region's sheikhs. The government of Qatar has already shown interest in buying up to 200 tanks, a deal that, should it come to fruition, could be worth up to €2 billion ($2.6 billion).

The Saudis, for their part, have already become loyal customers. The German government responded positively to their request to buy up to 270 of the Leopard 2 tanks. In a new request, the sheikhs have petitioned the German government for its approval of the purchase of a few hundred "Boxer" armed transport vehicles. 

German high-tech weapons are a hot commodity among Arab potentates and other autocrats. They haven't failed to notice that the coalition government of Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) has steadily relaxed Germany's otherwise restrictive arms export policy.

On December 6, 2012, Germany's cabinet authorized the stationing of German Patriot air defense missiles on the Turkish border with Syria as part of a NATO mission 'to help protect Turkey from possible cross-border attacks'. The mission involved up to 400 troops from the German military, the Bundeswehr, and also included personnel for AWACS surveillance aircraft and commando units. The mandate had a one year limit with the possibility of extension.

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June 25, 2013 – Saudi Arabia: ‘Syrian rebels must be armed’:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/25/saudi-arabia-syria-rebels-armed

November 7, 2013 – Syria: Saudi Arabia to spend millions to train new rebel force:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/07/syria-crisis...

November 25, 2013 – Iran nuclear deal: Saudi Arabia warns it will strike out on its own:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran...

December 12, 2013 – Why Is Saudi Arabia Buying 15,000 U.S. Anti-Tank Missiles for a War It Will Never Fight?
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/12/12/why_is_s...

December 18, 2013 – Ambassador: Saudi Ready to Act ‘With or Without’ West:
http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/110367-ambassador-saud...

December 18, 2013 – Germany: U.S. Opens New Training Range For Global NATO Warfare
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/germany-u-s-op...

December 21, 2013 - U.S. blocking Iranian role in Syrian peace talks next month - Thirty countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait, have been invited to participate in the opening session of the peace conference... http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.564633

09-12-13

Peace Talks Syria: 15,000 anti-tank missiles to Saudi Arabia

Chuck Hagel announced during the weekend forum that the US has no intention of scaling back its military presence (read: arms sales) in the Persian Gulf despite the recent diplomatic detente with Iran. «Diplomacy, must be backed up with military power,» Hagel told delegates. The Pentagon chief also disclosed that the US was going ahead with the sale of 15,000 anti-tank missiles to Saudi Arabia worth $1 billion. These missiles will probably end up in the hands of Al Qaeda militants waging a war of terror against Syria for the Western-backed objective of regime change in that country. Ironically, and ludicrously, the British Foreign Secretary William Hague warned delegates that «extremists» operating in Syria (with the covert support of the US, Britain and Saudi Arabia among others) present a grave security threat to the Middle East region and Europe.”

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2013/12/09/from-bah...
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/polio-has-bro...

CHUCK HAGEL IS A MAN OF DEUTSCHE BANK.
chuck hagel ” serves on the board of directors of Chevron Corporation, Deutsche Bank’s Americas Advisory Board, …..”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Hagel

ALSO THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT IS CONTROLLED BY DEUTSCHE BANK.
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/maryriddell/100033519/w...

WHO CONTROLS DEUTSCHE BANK ?
WE CAN NOTICE RELATIONS AMONG LORD JACOB ROTHSCHILD AND DEUTSCHE BANK.
https://wikispooks.com/ISGP/organisations/introduction/PE...

DAVID HAYSEY ” HEAD OF PUBLIC EQUITIES AT RIT CAPITAL PARTNERS ” AND IN THE PAST ” DIRECTOR AT J ROTHSCHILD CAPITAL MANAGEMENT ” HAS BEEN ” MANAGING DIRECTOR AT DEUTSCHE BANK ”
http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/david-haysey/1b/470/bb3

THERE ARE ALSO LINKS AMONG EVELYN DE ROTHSCHILD AND DEUTSCHE BANK.
https://wikispooks.com/ISGP/organisations/introduction/PE...

VERNON JORDAN, THE BIG FRIEND OF EVELYN DE ROTHSCHILD AND OF HIS WIFE LYNN DE ROTHSCHILD, HAS BEEN A DIRECTOR OF DEUTSCHE BANK.
http://www.companiesintheuk.co.uk/director/8570529/vernon...

DEUTSCHE BANK IS CONNECTED ALSO WITH THE EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD OWNED BY BENJAMIN DE ROTHSCHILD
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_de_Rothschild
AND BY HIS WIFE ARIANE DE ROTHSCHILD
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariane_de_Rothschild
http://in.linkedin.com/pub/nicolas-hindi/31/912/265
http://www.lejdd.fr/Economie/Images/Les-plus-grosses-fort...

” Benjamin de Rothschild, only son of the late Edmond de Rothschild, was a classic case of great expectations gone astray. Despite being groomed for greatness from a young age, as a teenager he skipped university and instead headed for Los Angeles with dreams of being a film producer. In LA he started taking drugs, and ended up on heroin. Meanwhile, he failed to make it into Hollywood’s charmed circle and bombed as a film-maker. ”
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/poor-litt...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waddesdon
http://www.waddesdon.org.uk/
http://www.thefullwiki.org/Waddesdon_Manor
http://www.thefullwiki.org/Ascott_House
http://www.breathingenglishair.blogspot.fr/2012/04/ascott...
http://wikimapia.org/6825620/fr/Chateau-de-Pregny
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/77169200

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Saudi Arabia receives just $9,000 in foreign aid from the US a year, though the US does sell it a lot of military hardware. In 2010, the US made the largest arms sale in its history, selling $60 billion’s worth of jets and attack helicopters to the Arab kingdom. Saudi Arabia is also a major exporter of oil to the US, though its highly unlikely OPEC would support a slow down or boycott over the kingdom’s political gripes with the US.
Israeli personnel in recent days were in Saudi Arabia to inspect bases that could be used as a staging ground to launch attacks against Iran, according to informed Egyptian intelligence officials...

Pentagon approves $1.1 billion Raytheon missile sale to Saudi Arabia:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/07/us-raytheon-saudi-missiles-idUSBRE9B50SF20131207

24-10-13

Tracking Belgian Weapons in Libya

verhofstadt-gadaffi.jpg

Syrian.terrorists.Selim Idriss.verhofstadt.jpg

Some of the Western powers that were fighting Colonel Qaddafi’s military from the air and sea had, over the years, helped arm the very military they were criticizing for its attacks on civilians.
These Western weapons — including American 81-millimeter high-explosive ordnance; Italian air-to-ground rockets; and Belgian rifles, ammunition and land mines — all ended up, in time, in 'rebel' hands.

Belgian rifles were perhaps the most widely seen of the Western weapons. When Colonel Qaddafi’s Soviet-inspired armor columns moved on Libya’s cities, the gunmen riding along did not all carry Kalashnikovs. Many of them clutched Belgian exports, sometimes under circumstances that seemed almost to mock the spirit behind the limited rules that regulate the transfer of conventional weapons between states.

Roughly one month before Belgian F-16s would roam the Libyan skies, the tiny European country discovered on YouTube that its weapons were in the hands of those who chose to fight Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

 A man in Benghazi, was holding a weapon with odd, easily recognizable features: the F.N. 303, a launcher designed by the Belgian company Fabrique Nationale de Herstal and shipped in 2009. The launcher was part of a deal between F.N. Herstal and the Libyan government in May 2008. The Belgian arms factory agreed to sell, along with the 2,000 F.N. 303’s, 367 F2000 automatic rifles, 367 P90 submachine guns, 367 Five Seven pistols, 30 Minimi machine guns, 22,032 40-millimeter grenades for the F2000s, 50 Renaissance pistols and 1.1 million rounds of ammunition. All in all, a deal worth more than 12 million euros, or almost $16 million at current exchange rates.

In Belgium’s decentralized political system, the regions have been responsible for approving licenses for arm exports since 2003. F.N. Herstal has a peculiar status: Although it is a private company, its one and only shareholder is the Walloon regional government. In order to ship the weapons to Libya, a longtime customer, F.N. needed authorization. The licenses were granted in quite an unusual way. The special commission in charge of investigating the deal was not able to make a clear decision at first. But under political and labor union pressure, the Walloon government agreed to the deal the day after regional elections in June 2009, when the Parliament could not gather and oppose the move.

Moreover, according to Belgian documents found in Libya by a Human Rights Watch team, part of the weapons shipment was ready roughly three weeks before the licenses were granted. It was a way to put more pressure on the government.

Officially, the weapons were to go to the Khamis Brigade, a special army unit under the direct command of Khamis Gaddafi, the youngest son of Colonel Qaddafi. The unit wanted to “replace its old and dysfunctional weapons” with new ones in order to “escort humanitarian convoys to Darfur.” In August 2009, two Belgian groups went to court to cancel the licenses, arguing that the weapons might be used in human rights abuses. Two months later, the Supreme Administrative Court of Belgium ruled in the case. But it was too late: F.N. Herstal had already shipped most of the weapons. A few weeks later, the Walloon government granted new licenses for the rest of the order.

By the end of November 2009, all the Belgian weapons had arrived in Libya. They would reappear, one by one, in photos and videos of the revolution until Colonel Qaddafi was captured in Surt. His golden gun, a Browning, was seized and displayed for the cameras as symbol of the government’s fall. The golden Browning bears an obvious “Made in Belgium” marking. It was part of the 2008 deal, among the 50 Renaissance pistols bought from F.N. Herstal. Before its shipment, it had been engraved with the seal of the Khamis Brigade.

Rebels captured other F.N. Herstal weapons from the same lot and bearing the same seal, first in Misurata, which had been besieged by the Khamis Brigade; then in Bani Walid; and finally in Tripoli. They are now in the hands of some members of the Transitional National Council, including its chairman, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil. He appeared on the Zuwarah city television channel aiming an F2000. Whether owned by Libya’s old or new rulers, the Belgian weapons bearing the Khamis Brigade seal have clearly served other purposes than the humanitarian ones for which they were sold.

Older Belgian weapons like the F.N. FAL or F.N. MAG, have been found in significant quantities in Libya. And they could prove to be more of a threat to the region’s stability than the shipment from 2009.

Robert Sauvage, a spokesman for the weapons company, said that “F.N. Herstal never makes any comments on its orders, their destinations, their nature and the quantities of weapons it sells.”

“For obvious reasons, related to industrial and commercial strategies,” he added, “we never give any information to the public concerning the nature, the quantity, the price and the destinations of our defense contracts.”

A Belgian PRB anti-vehicular mine in Misurata, libya, in the spring. A rebel said he planned to remove its explosive charge to pack into an RPG round to try to make it more powerful.C. J. ChiversA Belgian P.R.B. anti-vehicle mine in Misurata, Libya, in the spring. A rebel said he planned to remove its explosive charge and pack it into a rocket-propelled grenade to improve its power.

Large numbers of Belgian land mines, the P.R.B. M3A1 and P.R.B. NR-442, were also found in Libya. These mines were probably manufactured and sold to Libya in the 1970s and 1980s by the Poudrières Réunies de Belgique before the company went bankrupt in 1990. They were laid or stockpiled in crates in unguarded warehouses. The antitank landmine P.R.B. M3A1 has even been found in an improvised explosive device. The Belgian mines have also been used by anti-Qaddafi fightersA BBC videoshowed some of them planting the land mines in April. Shortly after, the Transitional National Council promised to stop using the mines and to destroy any that had been stockpiled.

What will happen to those mines and rifles, old and new, remains an open question. Changes in the licensing process are being prepared, and statements made in 2009 and 2011 by the Supreme Administrative Court of Belgium might have an effect. Meanwhile, F.N. Herstal and other Belgian weapons manufacturers continue to make deals with countries like Saudi Arabia, and the details remain opaque.

Arms sales — and the circumstances behind them — are much less transparent than governments might have you believe. 

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Photos:

1) Former Belgian Prime Minister and leader of the European liberals, Guy Verhofstadt, and Gadaffi. Verhofstadt was pleading for a military intervention in Libya and is actually pleading for a military intervention in Syria. He has good relations with the representants of the oil and weapons industry.

2) Verhofstadt and general Idris of the so called Syrian opposition.

3) One of the F2000 rifles sold by F.N. Herstal to Colonel Qaddafi’s government under a Belgian license that allowed the transfer on the grounds that the weapons would  protect Libyan aid convoys to Sudan. It was captured in May by a rebel from Qaddafi soldiers who were defeated at Misurata.