I recently read a story on Wired Magazine that peaked my interest. Only yesterday I wrote about on Nation of Change about France’s imperial war of aggression
and how numerous war crimes were committed in the name of stopping terrorism. The article by David Axe notes “What follows are the 10 most important weapons of the fighting so far in Mali. Most of them are French, although Paris’ allies and one private company have also contributed hardware. If the war drags on much longer and the U.S. gets involved, the major weaponry of the Mali war could start looking a lot more familiar to American audiences.”
(http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/01/weapons-of-the-mali-war/) From these weapons, I found that an interesting host of characters and groups are profiting from those who are dying in Northern Mali thanks to numerous pages on Wikipedia.
I started with the French drone called the Harfang. Further investigation finds these drones are made by two companies. The first is the multi-million dollar Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) which is wholly-owned by the Israeli government and the multi-billion dollar European Aeroneutic Defence and Space Company (EADS). As it turns out, EADs is run by CEO Tom Enders who is also the chairman of German aerospace defense industry association. However, EADs itself is run by numerous companies. One of these companies is SODEAGE, 66.6% which is owned completely by the French government and Desirade which is owned by a multinational media company named Lagardere SCA. Specifically the general managing partner, a French multimillionaire Arnaud Lagardère, is also the Director and Chairman of a holding company of a French military-industrial company names SOGEADE-GÉRANCE, a board member of EADS, and the Strategic Information Technology Council. Another one of the companies that holds a share in EADS is a German automotive company named Daimler AG which run by the same CEO (Dieter Zetsche) who runs Mercedez Benz and owns Chrysler through a merger with Daimler AG in 2007. The third company that holds stock in EADS is Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI) which is owned by the French state. In summary, three governments (Israeli, Spanish and French), the chairman of the German aerospace defense industry association, a French multimillionaire named Arnaud Lagardère and the CEO of Daimler AG profit from the use of Harfang drones in this conflict.
Now, what about those attack helicopters France uses Specifically they are called the Aérospatiale Gazelles.” From my research, it is found to be owned by an EADS subsidiary. This means that similar to the drones, some of the same groups profit from the use of attack helicopters in the war, but not the Israeli and Spanish governments in this case.
To accompany these gunships is fight-bombers which can drop laser-guided bombs. Specifically they are of the Mirage 2000D model which is created by a French military-industrial manufacturer named Dassault Aviation. This is run by a multimillionaire CEO and Chairman named Charles Edelstenne who is also the head of the French software company Dassault Systèmes. The honorary chairman of Dassault Aviation is an anti-gay multibillionaire named Serge Dassault who is a right-wing politican of the center-right Union for a Popular Movement which is the second biggest party in France. Dassault also controls the Dassault Group which owns Dassault Aviation, meaning he is the most likely to profit from fighter-bombers used in the war of aggression in Mali.
From this, I move onto the next best jet fighter used by France in the war. This fighter is called the Dassault Rafale. It’s made by guess who? Dassault Aviation, owned by a right-wing politician who I mentioned earlier. Once again, Serge Dassault is cashing out good.
For recon and help for French forces on the ground an attack aircraft is used. Its called Dassault Mirage F1 which is made by (you guessed it) Dassault Aviation. This Dassault billionaire really does seem to be a big player in this war.
Now, the refueling plane shows how the Pentagon and America’s terror-industrial complex are tied into this war (and want to help). France uses over 14 Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers which are owned by the multi-billion dollar Boeing Company. The CEO of this company is an American businessman named James McNerney who is on Proctor & Gamble & IBM’s boards of directors, and was chosen by President Obama to be the Chairperson of the President’s Export Council. This guy has a lot of power and is invested in keeping this war going. That’s why the U.K. and Canada (among others) have offered Boeing C-17 Globemaster III sold by Boeing, furthering their investment in the war.
Even so, Boeing’s help wasn’t enough. More transport planes were needed to get more soldiers and material to Mali, so the Antonov An-124 was used. This plane is created by Antonov ASTC, wholly-owned by the Ukrainian government. As a result, this government is also profiting from the war in Mali.
In order to fight the war on land, humvee-like vehicles are used. These vehicles are called
Vehicule Blinde Leger or VBLs, and they are made by the French company that creates light military vehicles named Panhard. I couldn’t find much other information about this company, but I did find that the company also makes armored ATVs. These vehicles which are called ERC 90 Sagaies are being used instead of heavy tanks and artillery. In another way, the use of these vehicles furthers Panhard’s investment in the war.
Just like the recon planes used in the war, surveillance satellites are used to gather information to help those fighting on the ground.These are called GeoEye-1 satellites which are made by the Virginia-based Geo-Eye Inc., whose chairman is a decorated military general named James Alan Abrahamson. This isn’t all because the company is owned by New York-based Cerberus Capital Management LLP which owns over $20 billion in assets!
That was what the article wished to enlighten us on. Still, with this knowledge, one can find what companies and governments in general profit from this war. My short little investigation found that these groups are profiting from the war:
- Israeli government
- Spanish government
- French government
- Ukrainian government
- The chairman of the German aerospace defense industry association named Tom Enders (also CEO of EADS)
- French multimillionaire named Arnaud Lagardère
- The CEO of Daimler AG named Dieter Zetsche
- The CEO of Dassault Aviation, a multimillionaire CEO and Chairman named Charles Edelstenne who is also the head of the French software company Dassault Systèmes
- The honorary chairman of Dassault Aviation, who is an anti-gay multibillionaire named Serge Dassault (also a right-wing politician of the center-right Union for a Popular Movement which is the second biggest party in France) who overall controls the Dassault Group which owns Dassault Aviation (big profiteer from the war and much of the French Air Force uses his planes in conflict)
- The CEO of the Boeing Company, an American businessman named James McNerney (on Proctor & Gamble & IBM’s boards of directors, and was chosen by President Obama to be the Chairperson of the President’s Export Council)
- Panhard, a French company that creates light military vehicles
- Virginia-based Geo-Eye Inc., whose chairman is a decorated military general, the company is owned by Cerberus Capital Management LLP
While I may have not uncovered all of those companies that profit from the imperialistic war in Mali, those companies I listed are diverse and tell a story. I know more will be involved as the U.S. Air Force will begin transporting people to Mali. Overall, this article shows that military-industrial companies in numerous countries are profiting off bloody conflict in the West African country of Mali. I hope that my readers recognize that my conclusions show the brutalities of capitalism and that one should boycott these Masters of War which Bob Dylan sung about famously.
By Burkely Hermann
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