An Open Letter to Lady Margaret Thatcher

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I noticed that your son, Mark, was arrested the other day in South Africa (AP, 08/27, 04, “Sir Mark Thatcher Held in South Africa, Linked to Plot for Coup in Oil Rich Equatorial Guinea.” My first thought on reading the item was – Now, there’s a Thatcher for you! I mean when your hear of a businessman getting lifted, you immediately think that he’s gotten caught in a stock fraud swindle, cooking the corporate books, like at Enron, or conspiring to fix prices. But, no! Your son, your pride and joy, is accused of plotting to overthrow the president of another country. Oh, how very British!

This must be all so troubling for you, an aging mother, a fading Baroness, now in your graying, confused years, still basking, at least in your own head, in the adoration of some of your more demented followers from your arbitrary reign of havoc, 1979-1990, as British Prime Minister. I mean, let’s face it, “Iron Lady,” it was your fellow Conservatives who finally gave you the boot. I suppose you could say that was kind of a coup, too!

Nor has this been the first time your sweetie, Mark, has been in trouble with the law. When you were in office, in 1981, he was involved in representing a British construction firm that won a $600 million contract in Oman. He was accused of using your prestige to get that bonanza, since you were “in Oman on a trade boosting trip” at the time. Later, while he was hanging out in Texas, USA, he was forced “to settle a civil racketeering lawsuit for a undisclosed sum.” On top of all that, he also faced charges from the “Internal Revenue Service over his role with a Dallas-based home security company that went bankrupt.” He was even suspected by the British Parliament-yes, the British Parliament-of being connected to “arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Iraq” while you, Lady Thatcher were prime minister (See AP citation above).

Mark is nobody’s fool though. How could he be? He’s your son! He carries your genes. He might be reckless, greedy, arrogant and careless, but, he is surely no fool. He owns a $3.3 million home in South Africa. And, he easily came up with that $300,000 bail, while he’s under house arrest in Cape Town for supposedly helping to finance the scheme to overthrow President Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea. The South Africans claim Mark has violated their Foreign Military Assistance Act. They are saying he paid for a helicopter to assist in the coup plot. Well, I’m sure it will all come out in the criminal court case.

Meanwhile, Equatorial Guinea officials are looking to extradite Mark from South Africa on conspiracy charges. They are claiming the alleged conspiracy “stretched from London to Cape Town.” One British mercenary, Simon Mann, was convicted in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Aug. 27th, of buying weapons from Zimbabwe’s state arms manufacturers. He was supposedly going to use the weapons in the Equatorial Guinea plot. He could get ten years in the slammer in Zimbabwe for that offense. You better hope Mark can’t be connected to Mann’s wrongdoing. That could mean even more jail time for Mark, if he is also convicted in South Africa and in Equatorial Guinea, as well as in any Zimbabwe case (AP, 08/28/04, “Ex-British Operative allegedly part of Planned Coup in Guinea”).

That shady character, Simon Mann, was an ex-member of that Special Air Service (SAS), an elite group of British Storm Troopers. He once served in the six northeastern counties of Occupied Ireland. The SAS had a horrific reputation-(they denied it)-for murdering unarmed Irish Catholics (“The SAS in Ireland” by Raymond Murray). Even while serving in Iraq, the SAS is finding it hard to play by the rules. They got caught brutally clubbing unarmed Iraqi civilians in Basra, on 08/23/03 (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/sep2003/apol-s05.shtml).

(As an aside Lady Thatcher, trust me, I’m not trying to pile it on. But, one of the worst examples of the British indifference to human life occurred during our Revolutionary War (1775-1783). War criminals in the British Army vindictively permitted 11,500 rebel POWs to die of diseases, neglect and starvation on British prison ships docked in New York City harbor, “The Encyclopedia of the American Revolution,” Mark M. Boatner III.)

Now, getting back to Mark’s serious predicament. I think you should start worrying that he is going to face one, two or possibly three criminal trials, in three different African countries. Now, I know how mad the Irish still are at the Brits for oppression dating back 800 years to the present day. And, that they never will forget, or forgive, you for your role in the deaths of the Ten Irish Hunger Strikers, in 1981. Well, the Africans are even angrier at the Brits than the Irish, if you can believe that. The Brits did some really terrible things in Africa, including building the first concentration camps, in 1899-1902, during the Boer War, where “26,663 women and children died.” And, it was the massive crime of black slavery, the greatest holocaust in all of recorded human history, which helped to fuel the Imperial British Empire for over four centuries of greed, murder and mayhem (“The Way of the Aggressor,” by John Michael, and Hugh Thomas’ seminal “The Slave Trade”).

There is, however, some good news for you to reflect on. You referred to it in your press release of 08/26/04, via your PR spokesman, when you stated: “I am confident about the South African legal process and that I’m sure Mark will be cleared and named innocent at the end” (AP, 08/27/04).

Maybe, I’m being a little too negative here, also, but when I pondered your statement, I couldn’t help thinking about that discredited judicial system in Occupied Northern Ireland that you were so proud of when you were calling the shots as Prime Minister. Almost daily, an Irishman or Irishwoman, of the nationalist persuasion, was being convicted on so-called terrorism charges in the notorious non-jury Diplock Courts. Many convictions were based on the uncorroborated testimony of a police officer and/or coerced confessions. Draconian prison sentences usually followed (Rona M. Field’s “Northern Ireland Under Siege,” and “To Serve Without Favor: Policing, Human Rights, and Accountability in Northern Ireland,” Human Rights Watch, 1997).

Also, in Occupied Northern Ireland, when you were running the show at 10 Downing St., you might recall that on Feb. 12, 1989, a prominent Belfast defense attorney, a Catholic, Patrick Finucane, was murdered by a Loyalist death squad suspected of being in collusion with state security forces. And, yet another Catholic, a Civil Rights lawyer, in Lurgan, near Belfast, Rosemary Nelson, was killed by a car bomb, on May 15, 1999, allegedly planted by a Loyalist death squad, in cohoots, too, with the state security forces (http://www.serve.com/pfc/). In any event, thank goodness your Mark, isn’t an Irish Catholic, with nationalist tendencies being tried in a Diplock Court.

Finally, Lady Thatcher, my fondest hope is that your beloved Mark will get all the justice in Africa, that he – in a karmic sense – rightfully deserves.

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