IGH GROWTH INDUSTRY:
The German newspaper Die Welt
has a damning story
in Wednesday's edition about Germany's recent and quite extensive business connections with terrorist supporting states.
Yes, we all know that the US government supported the regime of Saddam Hussein in the 70s and 80s.
But that was before Iraq invaded Kuwait, before the Gulf War in 1991, before sanctions were imposed by the all-powerful and all-knowing United Nations.
What has Germany done since then?
Well, in addition to the two men convicted in January for selling industrial drilling machinery to Iraq -- one was sentenced to fewer than ten years less than Mounir Motassadeq -- it appears that Germany's internationally renowned engineers have been quite busy.
As has already been extensively reported, nearly 100 German firms were named in the Iraqi report submitted to the UN as part of Saddam's final chance to declare its WMDs. But this information came from Iraq, so can we really trust it?
Now, according to Die Welt, the German Customs Office [Zollkriminalamt] has compiled its own catalogue summary of Germany's proliferating companies.
With regard to Iraq, 137 people are currently under investigation or have been accused. They come from 65 German companies where preliminary investigative proceedings are underway.
At the moment, four separate court proceedings against German companies for illegal exports to Iraq are already in process.
But Iraq isn't the only country where Made in Germany is in demand. Die Welt reports that others, including Pakistan, India, Libya and Iran, "are fostering intensive business relationships" in Germany.
The participation of a German company in the construction of a poison gas factory in Rabta produced international headlines. But with that, the trade relationships to Libya weren't at all broken off. Completely the opposite. In the last year, 39 companies have come under the suspicion of the investigators. They are accused of delivering illegal weaponry materials for the construction of missiles, energy components for the missiles, as well as guidance devices.
Also coming to the attention of the Customs Office were 19 companies who have stocked Iran with, among other things, the most modern combat tanks and replacement parts.
Steven Den Beste once dared
suppose there was a treachery... And to think, these deals weren't recorded
by Germany's Federal Statistical Office?
That's a shame, because illegal exports constitute perhaps the only region where Germany's economy has actually grown in the past ten years.