FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul

shutterstock_309952688

The blowback for Canada’s participation in the Western Wars of Imperialist Aggression hit dangerously close to home this week when a group of 12 Nepali migrants guarding the Canadian Embassy in Kabul were killed in a suicide blast. Prime Minister Trudeau dismissed the event as a “cowardly” terrorist act, and the media quickly buried the story without a thought about Canada’s responsibilities for their murdered employees.

Now, one might ask, who really is the coward here? No doubt, the Taliban and ISIS, both of whom claimed responsibility for the attack, must take their share of the blame. But what if the point of contracting out security at the Embassy was to avoid responsibility for the consequences of Canada’s role in the invasion of Afghanistan? It is hard to imagine that the Nepali migrants themselves, rather than Canadian officials working safely inside the Embassy Compound, were the real target of the attack. And yet, neither the Government of Canada nor the CBC called it an “attack on the Canadian Embassy”. Rather, Trudeau referred to it as an “attack on security workers”.

The contracting-out of security by the Embassy in Kabul not only shielded the Government of Canada’s reputation, it also protected against any financial liability for such easily foreseeable deaths. According to the Himalayan Times, “Since the deceased were hired by the British firm Sabre International, the Canadian mission will have a very limited liability in this incident”.

As if this were not bad enough, it turns out that Sabre International Security Ltd is associated with the notorious Iraqi military contractor, Namir El-Akabi, who is named in the Panama Papers as a shareholder in the company. El-Akabi first appeared in the international media as a successful Iraqi entrepreneur who built a business empire servicing the needs of the US army in the reconstruction of Iraq. The New York Times hailed him as the “Hot Money Cowboy of Bagdhad” who “packs a pistol and a cell phone”. Unfortunately, the glow may be wearing off El-Akabi because of his association in the Panama Papers with a myriad of companies under the guise of which, presumably, a fortune made off the war in Iraq has been sheltered – Sabre, Almco, Fiafi Group Ltd etc..

In addition, Sabre has drawn some negative publicity because of its association with the neo-colonial recruitment of ex-combatant youth, or former “child soldiers”, from Sierra Leone and Uganda, to serve as security guards in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the employment opportunities afforded by such jobs has been welcomed by the Governments of these African countries, the concern is that such recruitment perpetuates the trauma these men once experienced and their reliance on an environment of violence.

According to the Guardian, as was obviously the case with the dead “gurkhas” in Kabul, Nepal is another impoverished country which has served as fertile ground for neo-colonial recruiting. James Ellery, a former brigadier in the British army and director of Aegis Defence Services between 2005 and 2015, told the Guardian, “You probably would have a better force if you recruited entirely from the Midlands of England, but it can’t be afforded. So you go from the Midlands of England to the Nepalese, and then at some point you say I’m afraid all we can afford now is Africans.” Aegis is chaired by Sir Nicholas Soames, a Tory MP in Britain and Winston Churchill’s grandson!

Now, according to Bloomberg, there are linkages between Aegis and Sabre, “Sabre International, is a company founded by Thomas “Frank” McDonald, a veteran of the British Special Forces and mega-contractor Aegis Defence Services”. The Daily Sabah reports that Danish expert, Maya Mynster Christensen, observed both Aegis and Sabre involved in the recruitment of former child soldiers in Africa, “two UK-based contracting companies were operating in Sierra Leone over a three year period – Sabre International ran a training camp in Sierra Leone in 2009, while Aegis Defence Services Ltd was recruiting men when she visited in 2012”. It should be pointed out that Aegis was recently taken over by GardaWorld, a Canadian security company. All in all, we can see that the private security business is a very close-knit group, and for good reason.

This leads us to the question of why the Government of Canada would get itself involved in the murky world of mercenary soldiers. Is it that they were just not aware? Surely, they cannot claim to be overlooking opportunities for Canadian soldiers or police in order to provide jobs for the unemployed of poverty-stricken third world countries? No, the problem with using Canadian security guards is more likely that they might get killed. It is better that a Nepali migrant die than one of our own. The Nepalese are politically dispensable and cheap!

As usual, it is the poor people of the south who suffer most from the icy logic; the cold calculation of interests; followed by the rich people of the north.

More articles by:
April 19, 2018
Ramzy Baroud
Media Cover-up: Shielding Israel is a Matter of Policy
Vijay Prashad
Undermining Brazilian Democracy: the Curious Saga of Lula
Steve Fraser
Class Dismissed: Class Conflict in Red State America
John W. Whitehead
Crimes of a Monster: Your Tax Dollars at Work
Kenn Orphan
Whistling Past the Graveyard
Karl Grossman TJ Coles
Opening Pandora’s Box: Karl Grossman on Trump and the Weaponization of Space
Colin Todhunter
Behind Theresa May’s ‘Humanitarian Hysterics’: The Ideology of Empire and Conquest
Jesse Jackson
Syrian Strikes is One More step Toward a Lawless Presidency
Michael Welton
Confronting Militarism is Early Twentieth Century Canada: the Woman’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Alycee Lane
On David S. Buckel and Setting Ourselves on Fire
Jennifer Matsui
Our Overlords Reveal Their Top ‘To Do’s: Are YOU Next On Their Kill List?
George Ochenski
Jive Talkin’: On the Campaign Trail With Montana Republicans
Kary Love
Is It Time for A Nice, “Little” Nuclear War?
April 18, 2018
Alan Nasser
Could Student Loans Lead to Debt Prison? The Handwriting on the Wall
Susan Roberts
Uses for the Poor
Alvaro Huerta
I Am Not Your “Wetback”
Jonah Raskin
Napa County, California: the Clash of Oligarchy & Democracy
Robert Hunziker
America’s Dystopian Future
Geoffrey McDonald
“America First!” as Economic War
Jonathan Cook
Robert Fisk’s Douma Report Rips Away Excuses for Air Strike on Syria
Jeff Berg
WW III This Ain’t
Binoy Kampmark
Macron’s Syria Game
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
Katie Fite
Chaos in Urban Canyons – Air Force Efforts to Carve a Civilian Population War Game Range across Southern Idaho
Robby Sherwin
Facebook: This Is Where I Leave You
April 17, 2018
Paul Street
Eight Takeaways on Boss Tweet’s Latest Syrian Missile Spasm
Robert Fisk
The Search for the Truth in Douma
Eric Mann
The Historic 1968 Struggle Against Columbia University
Roy Eidelson
The 1%’s Mind Games: Psychology Gone Bad
John Steppling
The Sleep of Civilization
Patrick Cockburn
Syria Bombing Reveals Weakness of Theresa May
Dave Lindorff
No Indication in the US That the Country is at War Again
W. T. Whitney
Colombia and Cuba:  a Tale of Two Countries
Dean Baker
Why Isn’t the Median Wage for Black Workers Rising?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
C. L. Cook
Man in the Glass
Kary Love
“The Mob Boss Orders a Hit and a Pardon”
Lawrence Wittner
Which Nations Are the Happiest―and Why
Dr. Hakim
Where on Earth is the Just Economy that Works for All, Including Afghan Children?
April 16, 2018
Dave Lindorff
President Trump’s War Crime is Worse than the One He Accuses Assad of
Ron Jacobs
War is Just F**kin’ Wrong
John Laforge
Nuclear Keeps on Polluting, Long After Shutdown
Norman Solomon
Missile Attack on Syria Is a Salute to “Russiagate” Enthusiasts, Whether They Like It or Not
Uri Avnery
Eyeless in Gaza   
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraq Then, Syria Now
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail