Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sarkozy and the Karachi affair



I’ve talked about Nicolas Sarkozy: le chien sale before. How one minute he was trying to convince the world we should trust Gadaffi with nuclear weapons because he wanted to sell him a nuclear reactor and the next minute he was leading the invasion into Libya after Gadaffi decided to buy a reactor from somewhere else.

We even talked about the campaign contributions Gadaffi gave Sarkozy when he was trying to sell Libya French reactors. His latest scandal is being accused of taking advantage of a rich elderly woman in France who has dementia and sucking campaign contributions out of her. Like that comes as any big surprise.

However, since the topic of Pakistan has come up, we really need to talk about his involvement in the Karachi affair. That scandal dates back to 1994 when Sarkozy was budget minister in a government led by his ally and mentor, Prime Minister Édouard Balladur. The Balladur government sealed a deal to sell three Agosta 90 submarines to Pakistan for an estimated $950m. To secure the contract large bribes were allegedly paid to Pakistani politicians and military, as well as commissions to middlemen.

The key issue is whether around €2m of illegal kickbacks from the sale were secretly funneled back to France to fund Balladur's unsuccessful 1995 presidential campaign. As budget minister, Sarkozy would have authorized the financial elements of the submarine sale. At the time he was also treasurer and spokesman for Balladur's campaign.

The initial claim was that France was supposed to pay kickbacks and commissions to Pakistan for the submarines but failed to do so. As a result, “terrorists” bombed French engineers. The pivotal point is that Sarkozy set up a shell company so some of the kickbacks would be funneled back to him. He had his best man carry the cash. So he is the one that would be upset the kickbacks didn’t happen. I’m not saying he bombed the French engineers and blamed it on terrorists but I am saying he had a motive to do so and that is the root of the allegations.

Now, when we look at a dirty scoundrel like Sarkozy, we recognize he is what he is. However, that doesn’t mean we have to go from one extreme to the other. In France Sarkozy represents the Right. As a result of all his many scandals, he was just defeated by the socialist party. Just because one guy is bad, doesn’t mean we have to go from one extreme to the other. Take Cuba.

The Americans supported the Batista government in Cuba. They were bad. They were corrupt and tied to organized crime. This is where the CIA screw up with their insane idea that the end justifies the means. We’ll team up with the Mafia to fight communism. Ah, let’s not. Let’s not support the mafia because one is no better than the other.

Kennedy vetoed Operation Northwoods but he approved Operation Mongoose. In that operation the CIA teamed up with the Mafia in Cuba. September 1960, Allen W. Dulles, the director of the CIA, initiated talks with two leading figures of the Mafia, Johnny Roselli and Sam Giancana. Later, other crime bosses such as Carlos Marcello, Santos Trafficante and Meyer Lansky became involved in this plot against Castro. Bad decision. Allen W. Dulles also supported Operation Northwoods.

It’s like here in Canada. The mayor of Toronto is an abusive drunk. He cries and claims people oppose him because he’s right wing. No, people oppose him because he’s an abusive drunk. Why people like Stephen Harper cozy up to a clown like that is hard to comprehend. The Right needs to make better choices. It’s as though they are trying to push people to the left with all the idiots they choose to represent them.

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