Profit and Complicity
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Vol 15, Issue 11, Leduc - Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer
The Harper and Obama administrations have called for sanctions to be imposed on arms sales to Libya. Additionally, UN officials are saying Moammar Gadhafi could be prosecuted as a war criminal. The call for sanctions reeks of hypocrisy in view of the fact that the European Union lifted its arms embargo against Libya in October 2004, and the U.S. lifted its ban on “defense” weapon sales in June 2006.
Was there not prior knowledge in 2004 and 2006 that Gadhafi was capable of using these weapons against his own people? It is hard to imagine we didn’t know. We should have known!
From 2006 to 2010 Canadian arms sales to the Middle East totaled $21.3 million. This is a small amount in comparison to the larger arms trade to the region, but it begs the question; is Gadhafi using Canadian made weapons against the Libyan people?
With the Canadian government’s role in Libya in question, what role, if any, did the Canadian company, SNC-Lavalin, serve in supporting Gadhafi’s brutal regime? SNC-Lavalin, who happens to own AltaLink, has been operating inside Libya for quite some time as a multi-national Canadian firm that specializes in developing complex infrastructure projects. Did SNC-Lavalin knowingly undertake projects that could be converted or utilized for military purposes?
Did SNC-Lavalin’s business ventures in Libya advance Gadhafi’s efforts to consolidate his brutal control over the Libyan people?
Throughout history militarism has been employed by various city states, and in every instance it has failed humanity. If we are to effect meaningful change in the world, we cannot delude ourselves into believing that only a despot is responsible for the war crimes committed by a military dictatorship.
The complicity of unethical governments and the private multinational corporations in search of unethical profits play a major role in creating and supporting these brutal militarized regimes. Yes there needs to be a trial for the war crimes committed by Gadhafi.
Moreover, there needs to be a complete independent investigation into the support structure that permits a Gadhafi to exist.
There needs to be a complete investigation of SNC-Lavalin’s role in Libya, and justice will not be served until action is taken to hold every institution accountable for supporting the regime.
- Letter To The Editor Dear Editor: I begin by emphasizing my appreciation and enjoyment of Chris McKerracher’s columns written faithfully each week for the Pipestone Flyer. It is extremely rare that I find myself at odds with one of his opinion ...