Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Common Dreams

Report Shows How War Profiteers Are Now Refugee Profiteers, Too

Arms dealers flood war-torn Middle East with weapons and then lobby EU to militarize borders against refugees—profiting from both ends of conflict

As Europe comes to terms with a Brexit vote, fueled in large part by anti-immigrant hate-mongering, a new report exposes how war profiteers are influencing EU policy to make money from unending Middle East conflicts as well as the wave of refugees created by that same instability and violence.

(Image: Stop Wapenhandel)(Image: Stop Wapenhandel)

The report (pdf), Border Wars: The Arms Dealers Profiting from Europe’s Refugee Tragedy, released jointly by the European Stop Wapenhandel and Transnational Institute (TNI) on Monday, outlines arms traders’ pursuit of profit in the 21st century’s endless conflicts.

“There is one group of interests that have only benefited from the refugee crisis, and in particular from the European Union’s investment in ‘securing’ its borders,'” the report finds.

“They are the military and security companies that provide the equipment to border guards, the surveillance technology to monitor frontiers, and the IT infrastructure to track population movements.”

Andrew Bossone shared this link

“arms traders’ pursuit of profit in the 21st century’s endless conflicts”

The report shows that “far from being passive beneficiaries of EU largesse, these corporations are actively encouraging a growing securitization of Europe’s borders, and willing to provide ever more draconian technologies to do this.”

In the past decade, the report says, corporate players have viewed intractable Middle East warfare as a windfall: “Several large international arms companies cited instability in the Middle East to assure investors about future prospects for their business. The arms companies are assisted by European governments, which actively promote European arms in the region and are very reluctant, to say the least, to impose stricter arms export policies.”

“The human rights of refugees play no real role in this thinking, except for promotional purposes.”
Mark Akkerman, Stop Wapenhandel

Indeed, “from 2005 to 2014, EU member states granted arms exports license to the Middle East and North Africa worth over 82 billion euros,” according to the report.

The report details how a steady flow of arms from outside the Middle East supplies all players in multi-part conflicts, such as Syria’s civil war, with an endless supply of high-tech weaponry—thus ensuring that those conflicts endure.

And as these wars create more and more refugees who seek asylum in Europe, the very same corporations are lobbying the EU to ‘securitize’ its borders against them—thus creating additional profit for those in the business of militarization.

Stop Wapenhandel and TNI found “industry representatives, government officials and military and security personnel meet around the year at conferences, fairs and round tables.”

The report quotes Nick Vaughan-Williams, international security professor at the University of Warwick, saying: “At these events it is possible to identify a cyclical culture whereby the presentation of new technologies not only responds to, but also enables and drives the formulation of new policies and practices in the field of border security and migration management.”

And these “special fairs and congresses on border security are relatively new,” the report notes. “They all started within the last decade.”

“I believe the influence of the military and security industry on the shaping of the [EU’s] border security policy is quite big, especially on the securitization and militarization of these and on the expanding use of surveillance technology and data exchange,” Stop Wapenhandel’s Mark Akkerman told Common Dreams.

“Industry efforts include regular interactions with EU’s border institutions (including high ranking officials and politicians), where ideas are discussed that later turn up in new EU policy documents.”

“For example, the industry has been pushing for years to upgrade [EU border agency] Frontex to a cross-European border security agency,” Akkerman added. “The new European Border and Coast Guard Agency the European Commission has proposed, which has a lot more powers (has its own equipment, direct interventions in member states, binding decisions forcing member states to strengthen border security capacities) than Frontex has now, is exactly that.”

“If the establishment of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency proceeds,” the report notes, “this would mean a fundamental shift to an EU-controlled system of border security, with the possibility of bypassing the member states and forcing them to strengthen controls and purchase or upgrade equipment.”

“It is not hard to predict that this will lead refugees to use increasingly dangerous routes, strengthening the business case for traffickers. For the military and security industry, however it means the prospect of more orders from the agency itself and from member states,” the report continues.

Akkerman pointed out the EU’s stunning dismissal of human rights in this profit-motivated process:

The human rights of refugees play no real role in this thinking, except for promotional purposes. Both the policy makers and the industry sometimes try to sell the increase in and militarization of border security as a humanitarian effort, in terms of strengthening search and rescue capacities.

The EU has repeatedly tried to put all the blame for refugee deaths on traffickers. This has resulted in narrowing its response to ‘taking away the business model of smugglers’, with even more military means to try to accomplish this.

This creates a downward spiral: the greater the controls and the more the repression, the greater the risks refugees are forced to take resulting in more deaths.

Experts (academics) and human rights organizations have been warning about this for years, but they have been ignored.

As death tolls rise and a record number of people are displaced by conflict, it seems that the fear-mongering and profiteering—and devastating human rights abuses—will only continue.

Note 1: Italian coast guards recued 4,500 sea refugees in a single day. They recued over 60,000 since the start of this calendar year.

Note 2: Defaulting immigrants are paying up their debt with their organs.

Sebastian's photo.

‘Water-Apartheid’? Originating by Israel in the Occupied West Bank

The Ramallah-based human rights organization Al-Haq (in the occupied West Bank) published this Monday:  Al-Haq, “Water for One People Only: Discriminatory Access and ‘Water-Apartheid’ in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” (pdf)

The organization reports that Israel has claimed up to 89% of an underground aquifer that is largely located in the West Bank, giving Palestinians only access to the remaining 11%.

Many studies have demonstrated Israel’s discriminatory practices links water grab to settlement expansions in occupied Palestinian territory http://visualizingpalestine.org/infographic/wb-water

Lauren McCauley, staff writer Common Dreams, published on April 9, 2013 “Report Uncovers ‘Water-Apartheid’ in the Occupied West Bank”

(Photo: Al-Haq) A new report on Israel’s water grab in the occupied West Bank links the widespread deprivation of Palestinian water rights to Israel’s settlement expansion strategy, saying both demonstrate “a clear testament to its colonial and apartheid motives.”

“The water grab has fueled increased discrepancy in water usage in the region with the 500,000 Jewish settlers consuming approximately 6 times the amount of water used by the 2.6 million Palestinians living in the West Bank—with the discrepancy growing even greater when agricultural water use is accounted for.

“There is a grave injustice in the division of water, and the results have been catastrophic,” Tawfiq Salah, mayor of West Bank village al-Khader, told Al-Monitor.

The report cites a number of efforts—including the continued establishment of Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory, the transfer of control of Palestinian water infrastructure to Israel’s national water company, ‘Mekorot,’ and finally the Oslo Accords—all which have effectively diminished Palestinian water rights and granted Israel sweeping authority over the vital resource.

Writing about the report, Al-Monitor’s Jihan Abdalla quotes Musa, a Palestinian father of six, who had attempted to build a rainwater cistern in his field before the Israeli authorities quickly issued it with a demolition order. Abdalla continues:

Musa says if they had access to sufficient, affordable water, his family would be able to live off their ancestral field, selling their grapes, olives and fruit in nearby markets.

That is the reason why Israeli authorities prevent them from building a cistern, and why they do not have any running water.

“They don’t want us to plant or grow anything, they just want us to have barely enough water for drinking and that’s it,” Musa says looking at the unfinished, empty hole in the ground.

Roughly 313,000 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank are not connected to a water network, according to Al-Haq, and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that between 2009 and 2011 over 200 Palestinian wells and water reserves in the West Bank were demolished by Israeli officials.

Al-Haq writes that that Israel’s discriminatory water policy in the West Bank is “intrinsically linked to its settlement expansion strategy.”

The report continues:

Israel’s water policies represent only one element of an irreversible structural process that can only be described as colonial. Israel’s intention to permanently change the status of the occupied territory, de facto exercising sovereignty, reveals itself through the establishment and expansion of settlements in the West Bank (currently over 200) and by the creation of a network of roads and flourishing agricultural enterprises for their benefit.

The presence of settlements aims to permanently deny the Palestinian population the exercise of their right to self-determination by fragmenting the OPT and preventing the Palestinian people from exercising sovereignty over natural resources, in particular land and water.

“Existing extractions, utilization, and estimated potential” according to the terms of Oslo II, Schedule 10, for the Western and North Eastern Aquifer Basin (mcm/yr). ( Israel refuses to stick to the agreed upon quota, even to the original biased agreement relative to population ration in the West Bank.)

Note: http://visualizingpalestine.org/infographic/wb-water


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2021
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