Saturday, October 13, 2007

Namibia Deports US Security Operatives

A little known secret is that US 'security' firms recruit former military personnel from South Africa and Namibia to guard US bases in Iraq. These recruits are more often than not soldiers drawn from the apartheid regime in South Africa, and its historical counterpart in Namibia.

In the post-apartheid era, both South Africa and Namibia prohibit their private citizens from becoming soldiers of fortune. Though it must be said, the enforcement of this prohibition is hardly prioritized.

During the time that I taught at South Africa's military university in 2005, I knew of several highly trained former officers and non-commissioned officers, all of them white, who were working in Iraq.

These highly skilled men were aggressively sought after by US security firms who are essentially contracted to do so by the US military.

The inducement to sign-up is a very fat salary in US dollars that afford these apartheid era soldiers a rich lifestyle, expensive beach houses, and ultra-luxury German cars.

I am not aware of any high profile case(s) that have come to light in South Africa, but Namibia has just kicked out two US opertatives who were busy recruiting soldiers of fortune. The government in Windhoek, according to Information Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, declared the two Americans "prohibited immigrants" on Friday.

Namibia's State Security Committee also "recommended the closure of the Special Operations Consulting-Security Management Group (SOC-SMG)," run by the two US nationals.

The two men have been identitfied as "Paul Grimes, SOC-SMG country representative (in Namibia) and Fredric Piry, the firm's chief of operations."

According to News24, the headquarters of SOC-SMG is located in Nevada. The Namibian office was opened at the beginning of October.

This is a significant move for Namibia and it sets an important precedent. I say this because the practice is wide-spread in the southern African region. But perhaps more importantly, this is a clear motioning to the US that Namibia does not support the US war in Iraq.

In fact, the Information Minister stated clearly that:"The involvement of the USA in Iraq was never sanctioned or supported through any international agreement and can thus not be supported by Namibia."

I would like to see the South African government follow the Namibian example. There is a definite need to similarly distance South Africa from the war in Iraq. Particularly in terms that address the recruitment of military personnel in South Africa.

It will be interesting to see what Pretoria might say, if anything, about the deportations in Namibia.

2 comments:

Mike's Searches said...

I think it is a good idea that Namibia has ousted the Americans. Blackwater, and those like them,(see the most recent fuck-up with an Aussie security firm much like Blackwater...and why the hell are we supposed to trust a company called BLACKWATER? Is this akin to grey water, that which one finds in sewage that is just wash water, not shit?...is this shit filled water called blackwater in the sewer business?) have no government oversight, they are mercenaries, plain and simple. It goes to the right-wing belief that all things are better privatized. My Lady and I had a discussion regarding this last night, Ridwan, and we put forth concerns such as, what if the Gov't decided the police force should be privatized? Like the prisons? What kind of abuse would be fostered at such a policy? How many more would go to jail and prison to show a profit for the capitalists? People think it can't happen, but look at us now...we hire fucking mercenaries at something like 7times the pay of a regular soldier, or maybe it's 700 times the pay... (and American soldiers with the rank of private to something like Buck Seargent are still eligible for Food Stamps) regardless, it is a scourge that needs to be destroyed, and you have people on the mainstream media, (Tucker Carlson @ MSNBC, -watch him on Real Time with Bill Maher- and just about everydamn body at Fox News screaming the praises of these "security firms". I mean what the hell does a right wing radical ex-navy seal billionaire need with Blackhawk helicopters? Peace, Ridwan

Ridwan said...

Thanks for looking on Mike. Good points and yeah, they need to do something about Blackwater ... hell they need to do something about the whole war ... and then arrest Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, etc, for crimes against humanity!

Be good and Holla when you can.

Peace,
Ridwan