Bringing the War-Profiteers to Justice?
Not Bloody Likely!
by Jerre Skog
October 20, 2003
"Standard Oil can be considered an enemy national in view of its relationships with I.G. Farben - after the United States and Germany had become active enemies."
-- Judge Charles Clark, September 22,1947
The greed of a small number of bankers and industrialists, not in Germany but in the US, allowed the Second World War to take place! Those men very likely were in a position to prevent the slaughter from starting in the first place or, at least, they could have minimized it considerably. Those men were never brought to justice, but their crimes of negligence and criminal cooperation in genocide and war crimes is fully documented -- in German war archives.
When time is ripe, at the appropriate juncture, in the fullness of time -- in short when a staged trial is most likely to boost president Bush's reelection chances -- some of the illegally detained Afghanis, Saudis and Pakistanis now spending their time in juridical limbo in small cages at Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay will appear in front of an American "court of justice", most probably a military one where all evidence of innocence will be withheld for reasons of "national security". A group of people whose "crime" is the time-honored right to defend a country against a foreign invasion and who almost certainly were NOT involved in the attacks on 9-11 (if they even knew about it), will be found guilty of terrorism (not to mention resisting arrest, being Muslims, hating freedom and using toilet paper with a picture of Donald Rumsfeld on it) and most probably executed or sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in an isolated cell. Those looking for precedents can check up reports of the old Soviet show trials where the people accused were tortured, drugged and subjected to brainwashing before appearing in front of a monkey court with strict political orders to convict and a "defense lawyer" who could easily get his career brought to a halt by acting for his client. American "justice" these days is on this level. The difference is that Siberia is out of vogue and American military bases outside the legal system are in. A bullet in the nape of the neck is out and the electric chair is in.
The verdict for the detainees at Guantanamo bay is long prepared, the Catch 22 evidence is too: "At the Guantanamo Bay camp we hold only savage terrorist fighters (now that the octogenarians are released) threatening America's national security! Do you deny being held at Guantanamo Bay? No? OK, you're guilty as charged. Take him away. Throw the switches, Igor!"
"Bring them to justice", one of Bush's most favored clichés, has nothing to do with either justice or legality, but the precedence was laid down a long time ago. Maybe it runs in the family , as seem probable according to a lot of reports on the Bush family's involvement with criminal regimes and its success in staying away from all legal responsibility (plus the fear of a real international criminal court). The failure of American "bring them to justice" started, on a serious note, a long time ago. 1945 to be exact.
In the Nuremberg War Crime trials in 1945 some, but far from all, of the high-ranking Nazis were "brought to justice" by the allies. Some were found guilty , a few (Hitler, Himmler and Goering among them) killed themselves then or earlier, and some were acquitted. Some German industrialists were found guilty of war crimes, many got away scot-free. A bloody lot of other people who ought to have been tried for their cooperation in war crimes just were not there!
A lot of scientists who might possibly be of value to the allies were spirited away to use their evil knowledge in American, British, French or Russian labs. A lot of high-ranking intelligence officers didn't have to answer for their crimes. People with insights in torture, brainwashing, subversion, chemistry, rocket-technology, weapons research and counterintelligence either didn't set a foot in the court or were released with slaps on their wrists before flown out, most often to the US to continue with his or her specialty - evildoing business as usual, as long as the new employer was among the victors. The perhaps most notorious of the lot, the man responsible for the terror bombings of London with V1 and V2 rockets, Werner von Braun, went on to be a bona fide American hero, British victims forgotten. "Once ze rockets are up, who cares where zey come down" as Tom Lehrer's song describes the butcher of London, so beloved by his new masters. Bringing them to justice? Indeed!
Another group, much more important to the Nazi wars was never brought to justice in spite of being the easiest to find. This gang of out and out arch criminals was of the utmost importance to the Nazi war effort and it would be fair to say that without the support of it -- especially three among them -- World War II might not even have taken place or, if it did, would have taken a less devastating course. But then the court only tried Germans. Others were as guilty of war crimes.
Most of this was known since the ‘40s or even earlier. A group of men and companies whose power and greed paved the way for history's worst atrocities, their country's leaders lifting less than a finger to stop it. Many countries had companies which did a nice trade with the Nazis before and during WWII, preferring to look around, over, under and beyond the mountains of dead bodies, their own or others, for the sake of profit. One country could have stopped WWII from starting. It didn't!
Being born in Helsingborg on the west coast of southern Sweden in 1942, I didn't experience much of WWII. The only memory I have of those days is the blackout curtains being rolled down in the evenings, my dad away on guard duty somewhere on the southwest Swedish coast and sometimes in the nights the roar of German or Allied bombers low above us -- Helsingoer in Nazi-occupied Denmark situated just across the two mile wide Oeresund straights. My dad had no idea that the company he worked for made it possible for those German bombers to even take off from the ground.
We know now that Swedish companies like SKF helped the German war effort by trading ball bearings and others traded iron ore and Sweden was forced to allow German service personnel on leave to travel through Sweden on train to and from Norway. The most famous industrialist family, the Wallenbergs, with a hand in every big business in Sweden, was a few years ago found guilty (in media, not in a court of law unfortunately) of at that time trading in Nazi gold and helping German businesses to avoid expropriation by signing agreements moving ownership and other "legal dribblings". The Swedish companies doing business with the Nazis were small fish though and the help to the German war machine was limited.
The prime war criminal, THE company that allowed the German Luftwaffe to bomb Poland, Czechoslovakia and even Britain, was none other than our beloved Standard Oil of New Jersey, earlier known as ESSO and nowadays as EXXON/Mobil. Hadn't this beacon of capitalist freedom and democracy allowed the German air force to buy lots of tetraethyl lead to soup up the fuel for the fighters and bombers, those planes just couldn't have flown!
Did we get it? The German bombs that fell on London came thanks to EXXON/ESSO/Standard Oil! Luftwaffe COULDN'T FLY without the fuel additives supplied by Standard Oil who, together with DuPont, held the patents to it and was the main producer of it! In 1938 and '39 as late as weeks before attacks on London began, the American giant had sold (via its British subsidiary !!!!) tetraethyl lead for at least $35 million to Germany. The German bombers could have flown big streamers after the planes saying "This is a gift coming to you courtesy of Standard Oil!" "Invest in Standard Oil stock if you survive our bombs!"
My dad would have defended Swedish borders better had he used his rifle to gun down his company's Walter C. Teagle and the rest of Standard Oil's board of directors. It might have been too late to save some Londoners but it might have stopped Standard Oil's export of high-quality oils for German tanks and thus saved some tens of thousands of Russians! Not to mention the collaboration on patents for synthetic rubber with IG Farben, otherwise best known as producer of concentration camp gas Zyklon B that killed some millions Jews. Mr. Teagle was absent in Nuremberg. But we still love to buy our gas at our friendly EXXON/Mobil! If Polish grandpa was stupid enough to be in the way of a Stuka attack in '39, we can at least comfort ourselves that it was good old American additives to the fuel that made it possible! British who had a loved one or dear relative killed by a bomb from a German Heinkel in those days can thank American tetraethyl lead, eat their livers and shut their mouths in deference to the "special relationship" between themselves and the masters in Washington D.C. Standard Oil's Walter C. Teagle could have prevented the German planes from taking off, but he didn't!
Another player assuring a lot of killing was that nice gang that later was to give us Corvettes, Camaros and flipping-over Corvairs. Hadn't General Motors' German subsidiary Opel (#14-16), on American executives' orders, gone on to concentrate fully on production of the excellent lorry Opel Blitz (and later joining in to produce parts for the JU88 bombers), capable of carrying a good load of Wehrmacht soldiers, Hitler couldn't have marched into Vienna, much less into Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia and Poland! The conquering of Europe would have been impossible without the hundred thousand Blitz lorries turned out by GM-plants. The shareholders of GM stock might have lost a profitable asset when the Americans bombed the Brandenburg lorry factory in '44, but we can hope that the $32Mil that the US taxpayers forked over as damages after the war made up for the great loss. Soldiers' graves all over Europe bear witness to the quality of the Opel Blitz and many a Jew is familiar with its loading capacity. GM Vice-president in charge of European Operations, James D. Mooney, received Hitler's "Order of Merit of the Eagle" in 1938 for his ardent work for the Nazi war machine. He ought to have received the hangman's attentions at Nuremberg!
Henry Ford, Jew hater and Hitler admirer (the admiration was mutual), true to his fascist leanings, made his Cologne factory assist in the Nazi armament. It was so valuable to the Nazis that he too was awarded "Order of Merit of the Eagle" in 1938. Nothing new there, but where was he when the war crimes court meted out punishment? Ford's Cologne factory turned out lorries with the help of slave labor and parts delivered from Detroit, and occupied France's Ford factory sent 1000 lorries for transporting troops, German not French, every month. It seemed that if nobody else was prepared to do it, at least God had enough sense to punish Henry's son Edsel, deeply involved in European operations, by striking him with cancer. Did Ford’s balance sheets report the number of bodies that made the profits possible?
Thomas J. Watson of IBM made it possible for occupying German forces to quickly and smoothly establish who were Jews, half-Jews, union members and card carrying communists, and the efficient IBM/Hollerith office machines registering a lot of data on the population surely was a good help for the Gestapo when they had to plan who to round up for torture, execution or slave labor. In '43, more than one million Polish Jews and other "enemies of the state" were brought in for slave labor on the orders of Armament Minister Albert Speer. US Dept of Justice, Economic Warfare Section noted in a 1943 report by Harold J. Carter a comment by an unnamed IBM-employee in Europe that IBM was an "international monster..." and it was "in a class with Nazis..." Those registers were unbeatable, as was the admiration of Watson for his Nazi friends. If you have a IBM computer you can be confident that IBM profits and experience from the Nazi cooperation guarantees its performance. In 1940, in an attempt to whitewash his soiled reputation, Mr. Watson gave back the "Order of Merit of the Eagle" that he received a few years earlier from Dr Hjalmar Schacht, president of the German Reichsbank. His German business went on as usual.
There are many more. DuPont, Chase National Bank, ITT, Rockefellers, Bank of International Settlements, It's easy to find hundreds of industrialists, predominantly American, who, true to their capitalist and fascist beliefs, were prepared to accept slaughter on a vast scale to secure profits, careers and power. If you think the articles on the internet about these things are wild speculation, the German war and regional archives have it all well documented, which could be seen in a very educative documentary on German regional public service TV the other day. The German individuals convicted at Nuremberg couldn't have committed their crimes without the help of these American bankers, politicians and industrialists. What German general von Schell said in 1941, "Without [GM subsidiary Opel] war couldn't be waged", goes in equal measure for all those other American capitalists who overlooked human suffering and traded with monsters in the interest of profit. Without them millions would not have died. They pocketed billions in profits, the destruction they helped cause amounted to trillions! Real killer-capitalism! Destroying for trillions to earn billions. A total profit of minus 1000% made tasty by the fact that the trillions are paid by us proles and the billions are taken by a few crooks! (The dead millions we can discount, they didn't hold much stock anyway!)
The War against Iraq and the "liberation" following it have some of the old war profiteers on board as well as new ones. Oil companies, armament giants, construction companies, software specialists and finance wizards queued up for the kill (in more ways than one!) just like they did in the ‘30s-‘40s. Bringing them to justice in Iraq means killing every Iraqi who as much as bats an eyelid near American troops, without bothering with such silly things as courts, and as usual employing some of the evildoers who might be useful, like Saddam's former "security officials," and exiled convicts as puppets to "govern". Sadly the men who supplied Saddam with weapons and chemicals, including anthrax and nerve gas, will never be brought to justice. The men who schemed to have the war for reasons of profit will not stand trial either. The men on the "most wanted" deck of cards list will, if history is an indication, end up working for the CIA.
The war against Afghanistan was much the same. The difference since WWII is that war profiteers now are welcomed with open arms by the governing American junta in Washington D.C. Franklin D. Roosevelt at least had the good taste to frown upon war profiteering, though not stopping it!
Rest assured that the American War against Terror will be another vehicle to promote American military dominance, and American corporate profits. And rest assured that a lot of the REAL evildoers will never see the inside of a court of justice while the world's taxpayers will, as always, do the paying and dying.
Bringing criminals to justice is a tricky business. The American record in punishing evildoers is and has always been a human outrage!
It is very probable that, just like WWII, the War on Terror, War against Afghanistan, War against poor Iraq and countless other wars wouldn't have happened if it was not for those handfuls of greedy men in the US. Some of them perhaps the same men that helped Saddam to power, backed him and created the reasons for terror!
Judge Charles Clark's words in '47 apply more than ever these days: "Enemy national!"
Not to say international!
Let's bring them to justice!
Jerre Skog is a Swedish writer, musician and independent observer living in Germany. His writings, politics and satire, can be found on www.skog.de and comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. Source links compiled by Sunil Sharma.