“We had to obey orders, we were soldiers,” says Jean-Luc Kister – the French secret-service agent who led an attack on a Greenpeace ship 30 years ago. He has apologized publicly for the first time for the death of photographer Fernando Pereira. Orders came from the French government to stop Greenpeace from interrupting the French nuclear testing at Mururoa Atoll, about 1,200 kilometres south-east of Tahiti.
Kister said the 12-strong unit was ordered to carry out by then French defence minister Charles Hernu.
Bombing the Rainbow Warrior was small fry. But it does prove governments participate in bad stuff.
What about the USS Liberty?
As the late prime minister Malcolm Fraser said in his interview to me, “...it demonstrates that a major power, when its vital interests are involved, will sacrifice any number of its own people.” Mr Fraser was referring to the USS Liberty, but he statement rings true. A government will commit treason and kill its own people – or any people – if required.
Talking about the major powers. Guess who is in Sydney?
Retired General David Petraeus.
Petraeus was here for the annual Lowy Lecture, the Lowy Institute’s signature event for the year. This is what they say about him:
“General Petraeus is one of the most outstanding US generals of recent times. He commanded coalition forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq with great success. He also served as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency until 2012. He holds a PhD in international relations from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. General Petraeus remains an influential adviser to US policymakers and, as Chairman of the KKR Global Institute, one of the leading thinkers about geopolitical developments and America’s role in the world.”
“Great success” says The Lowy Institute. It was, and is, an unmitigated disaster. They just don’t get it. Petraeus should not have been allowed into the country – let alone to speak at a $350 per-plate Lowy dinner. (His speech found here)
Petraeus is not only encouraging Australia to join the coalition air strikes in Syria, but has also been advocating that the West supports the al-Nusra Front – an al-Qaeda off-shoot – to beat ISIS. (They are doing that anyway.) This is madness.
No wonder the world is in such trouble when you have “leading thinkers” celebrated like this.
Shame on the Lowy Institute.
And it was disappointing to see such a lame interview by Leigh Sales on the ABC 7.30 Report.