Friday, 17 March 2017

operation rügen

Inviting listeners to draw their own parallels, Fresh Air host Terry Gross reprises her excellent and engaged interview with author Adam Hochschild from last year on the Spanish Civil War, which fraught with all other associations and its native horrors certainly was an evident that stands alone but also could be characterised as the opening volleys of World War II.
One aspect that was new to me was the realisation that the fields of Spain were the training grounds for Hitler’s machines of war, giving the Nazi armies time to perfect their juggernauts before deployment in their own adventures. Though Francisco Franco was grateful for assistance of Hitler and Mussolini, Spain was never fully accepted as part of the Axis powers—possibly because Franco was demanding too many concession and territory in France and England. Contravening the US policy of neutrality and statutes on exports, the CEO of one petroleum company in particular, Texaco, fuelled the fighting, throwing its support to the fascists and cutting off supplies to the Spanish Republicans. Not only was this corporate partisanship dangerous and without precedent, Texaco’s global network of installations acted as spies and provocateurs to ensure that the blockade on the rebellion remained unbroken. As further insult, the decisions and intent that enabled these opening salvos to be fired cast long, long shadows and is illustrative of what happens when Big Oil meddles in the affairs of statecraft.