About Me

My Photo
I saw active service in conventional, clandestine and covert units of the South African Defence Force. I was the founder of the Private Military Company (PMC) Executive Outcomes in 1989 and its chairman until I left in 1997. Until its closure in 1998, EO operated primarily in Africa helping African governments that had been abandoned by the West and were facing threats from insurgencies, terrorism and organised crime. EO also operated in South America and the Far East. I believe that only Africans (Black and White) can truly solve Africa’s problems. I was appointed Chairman of STTEP International in 2009 and also lecture at military colleges and universities in Africa on defence, intelligence and security issues. Prior to the STTEP International appointment, I served as an independent politico-military advisor to several African governments. I am a contributor to The Counter Terrorist magazine. All comments in line with the topics on this blog are welcome. As I consider this to be a serious look at military and security matters, foul language and political or religious debates will not be entertained on this blog.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

BEFORE I GO...


I was pointed to the Wikipedia pages on Executive Outcomes and it seems rather odd that Sterling Corporate Services has now been placed on the EO pages with great fanfare along with the statement that a:

 “UN report from July 2012 criticised the South African security company Sterling Corporate Services for assembling a “private army” in defiance of international agreements and also of Somalian sanctions. The report was conducted by the UN’s Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (SEMG) and revealed strong links to Executive Outcomes”.

Whereas I knew that the UN is dumb, I never realised just how dumb they are. In case they are wondering about my comment, EO closed its doors in 1998. However, as I understand it, Sterling did a good job and would have continued doing a good job had the UN not felt so threatened and taken pity on the pirates. And no, I have nothing to do with Sterling - nor does EO as it closed its doors 14 years ago.

Apart from that, there was a very good article in the recent Foreign Policy on how the UN saved the Somali pirates from extinction (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/09/20/how_the_un_saved_the_somali_pirates?page=full). But, as EO severely embarrassed the UN in both Angola and Sierra Leone, it is no wonder they are still smarting. Their actions prove that they want conflict to continue – I hope African governments take note of the hidden aims behind the UN’s claims of “peacekeeping”.

Ironically, someone also removed the comment from the EO pages that the media apologised to both EO and myself. The truth must be suppressed at all costs and disinformation and lies must continue, regardless.

However, I never realised that Wikipedia now acts as a mouthpiece for the UN’s disinformation on EO. ...seems rather odd to me, but there you go

25 comments:

Herbert said...

Eeben,

Re your comment about Wikipedia, over the last few years or so I have noticed Wikipedia taking on a certain political hue with an associated avoidance of facts that don't conform to that agenda. Truth is of course the first casualty.

The real pity is that our young folks in their digital world turn to Wikipedia for a huge amount of their informational input. That fact is no doubt not lost on the truth manipulators.

Rgds,
Herbert

Shaun said...

Been following your blog for a while. Your experience and thoughts are extraordinary. Looking forward to more of the same when you get back.
With regards to the UN: As someone who has had partial but significantly unpleasant contact with it in another part of the world. I have to disagree with all those who call the organization incompetent.
Incompetence implies being unable or unwilling to act appropriately. The UN on the other hand can best be described as Anti-competent.
BTW they are still at it…See the latest “Human rights” council decision: (HRC/21/L.27)

michael b said...

Hi Eeben, firstly happy trails on your upcoming journey.
I have always tried to refrain from using Wikipedia as a "reliable" source of information as it seems to be too easily "added" to and updated by questionable sources to say the least.
My friends who are taking care of me and keeping a hawk eye on me to ensure i do not go over to the dark side have two kids in high school who when they get home work assignments that require some sort of encyclopedia research it is notated in their assignment brief to not use Wikipedia as a source of reference as it is not a trusted source or all that accurate. So it is definitely not just you that has zero trust in Wikipedia`s accuracy it seems. If i read on on Wikipedia that the world is round i will rather Google another source just to confirm it.

If you are not back in our wonderful, politically stable country by Xmas, i trust you will have a great festive season.
Regards : Mike

Dulac Philippe said...

Dear mister Barlow, I fully agree with you;

I spent some time in Afghanistan, in COIN OPS. In 2004, during my first tour, It was very funny to see how bad mercenaries could rapidly become
loyal contractors when they were in charge of UN compounds or tasked to secure polling stations.
Anyway, thank you for that blog. I've been reading about the operations you carried out as a LTC or with EO for many years.Although I've never had the opportunity to meet you, I learned a lot.
Best regards
Best regards

SFMEDIC said...

I'd be curious to get your take on the article in the Examiner.
http://www.examiner.com/article/into-the-cannibal-s-pot-preparation-for-genocide

Hans Meeske said...

65Dag Eben

Ek het hierdie artikel by Reuters opgetel met 'n verwysing naar EO onder in die artikel. Redelike positiewe beriggewing - jammer van de fout dat EO 'n Britse company was.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/21/us-usa-arms-contractors-idUSBRE89K02B20121021

Groete hans meeske

machinephilosophy said...

Profound gratitude for what you did in Sierra Leone. My wife and I both cried watching the Soldiers of Fortune documentary. Astonishing but enobling and inspiring---and some deviously clever tactics to boot. I've recommended your EO book to many people. Cheers and God bless.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Apologies for the silence, Herbert but I have been travelling a bit.

Yes, I have noticed that it is increasingly used to promote certain agendas and put across viewpoints that are very biased.

I have not forgotten my promise and you will soon get what I undertook to get to you.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for visiting the blog, Shaun.

Your thoughts on the UN being anti-competent are so spot on. I wish I had thought of that!

I will (hopefully) soon have some time to write a new posting that I hope you will find of interest.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for the good wishes, Mike – much appreciated.

I think you are quite correct re Wikipedia. Over the years it has denigrated into a source that anyone can add anything to. A pity as it does have a lot of potential.

Good on the school teaching those kids to beware of the Wiki. Also, great to know you have friends making sure you don’t leap over into the dark side. Remember: Chin up!

I will certainly be travelling before Christmas but hope to make it back in time...instead of being caught in a massive downpour while sitting huddled under a tree – that happened last year.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Your comment gave a reason for a good laugh, Dulac. Yes, when the chips are down, they certainly can change their tune. The UN quietly makes use of PMCs but is very quick to attack them verbally as well. I know of many UN lives that have been saved by PMCs. Ironic isn’t it?

Who knows – perhaps we shall meet one day. I look forward to that.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

A very interesting and disturbing article, SF Medic – thank you for the link.

We are witnessing an increase in barbarity over here as well as severe attempts to marginalise whoever wishes to not toe the line. Much of this is as a result of the inability of government to secure and strengthen the Pillars of State.

I personally believe that we are in a low-level insurgency and that not many people in government or indeed the private sector have noticed that yet. The longer it is allowed to fester, the more difficult it will be to suppress or eradicate.

Sad fact is that MANY (not only white but black folks too) in SA are now becoming victims of uncontrolled crime at numerous levels.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks Hans – you are indeed a voice from the past!

Reuters were correct in saying EO had an English link but it was never a British company despite what Reuters and others want to claim. The SA Reserve Bank forced us to register a company in the UK as that would have allowed us to open a US Dollar account in SA. At that time, an SA company was not permitted to hold a US Dollar/UK Pound account. Silly but true.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thank you for your visit and comment, Machinephilosophy.

All credit must go to the small force of men who did what no one else wanted – or was willing to do – and that is stop evil at its worst.

Rgds,

Eeben

michael b said...

Hi Eeben. A couple days ago a link was posted to a facebook group where one of the members was located on Wikipedia and this is the line they ran about Willem Ratte. It is quite interesting and the dagga possession a hoot. I don`t know how true it is and i simply asked recommended that they ask the man himself. I don`t find it at all untoward if he did enjoy some of the "electric spinach" as even old uncle Bill Clinton admitted to partaking in the "medicinal" benefits of "mountain cabbage". If we look at Wouter (stoute kabouter) Basson, even he imported tons of narcotics with the seal of approval of the old government. Wikipedia is indeed a sensationalist bunch and cannot be taken as a honest or level headed trusted source of information.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willem_Ratte
Mike.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I was fortunate to serve as Willem’s second-in-command during the early 80s, Mike.

Whereas people can change over time, I suspect that what was posted about Willem is an attempt to discredit him and I furthermore believe it is without any substance.

Willem never smoked (he often warned me that it was bad for my health but given the situation we were in, that in itself was bad for my health!) nor did he drink. He was a professional through and through as those who had the privilege to serve under him can attest.

I have noted that Wiki has of late been posting a LOT of disinformation and lies. Given the Willem I knew and what has been posted about him, I would call it an outright lie.

Rgds,

Eeben

michael b said...

thanks for the reply with regards to the rubbish Wikipedia sensationalist balderdash. I have the utmost respect for soldiers and leaders of the caliber like Willem Ratte, Lafras and yourself.
Wikipedia is a mockery and lame attempt at being a real source of trusted information.

Andrew said...

Hi Eeeben

I have been fascinated by reading your blog and research into EO. I am currently doing some research into the future of private security companies but from the point of view of a former British Army officer and private security professional. Is it possible to email you to set up the possibility of doing an interview?

Many thanks

Andrew
andrewbass@hotmail.com

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for your visit to the blog, Andrew.

I no longer assist people with “research” into EO as (a) I do not have the time and (b) I have found that words are simply twisted to suit agendas.

Whereas I am sure that your intentions are honourable, I live by “once bitten, twice shy”. Also, I had my say (most of it) in my book.

Best of luck with your endeavours.

Rgds,

Eeben

Robin said...

Hi Eeben,

I know that you'll know this, is Moz going to flare up? Renamo and Frelimo....Here we go again? Renamo sound like they are going to push this all the way and they don't seem to be prepared to back down.

Regards
Robin

Robin said...

Hi Eeben,

I would be interested in hearing your take on my 'idea'. The world is moving toward totalitarian leadership (the UN is proof of this as it is essentially a 'silent' one world government). As we move in that direction any and all PMC's that are not party to the idea or are not prepared to 'play ball' is a real threat to the UN. It's the same reason why the US Gov is doing what it can to disarm it's citizens. EO would be seen as a major major threat since you never conformed to the one world commands and did what was done brilliantly. Wiki is one of the most researched sites, it's a prime target for disinformation.

Regards
Robin

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

The reason the tension is growing appears to be due to the failure of state to uphold its undertakings, Robin.

That - and the discovery of apparent large oil deposits are a recipe for conflict.

So yes, unless the government takes preemptive action, things will certainly get worse.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

As someone wrote earlier, the UN is anti-competent, Robin. If problems are resolved, they have no reason for existence. However, given the manner in which their force of 17 000 men were unable to stop M23 in DRC – a force estimated at no more than 2 000 men – is indicative of their aims. Ensure instability, simple as that.

As for Wiki, I had my say. However, the internet in general is a source of great disinformation and will remain that way.

What we are witnessing in Africa is however a very deliberate plan to escalate tensions and ensure that Africa is unable to fend and care for itself. This is not a flippant or left-leaning comment. I travel extensively throughout the continent and shake my head in amazement at what is actually happening. As long as governments in Africa allow themselves to be bullied and blackmailed, the situation will continue - sadly.

Rgds,

Eeben

Spec-Ops Medic said...

The UN is anything but a United Nations. It is a serious threat to the stability of the world.

http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/issue/view/162

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Very true, Dave.

Rgds,

Eeben