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Saturday, October 08, 2011

Binghamton NY "Merchant of Death" Sarkis Soghanalian Ran Used Car Lot As Cover Bizz While He Shipped Guns to Beirut Lebanon.



Get Real........Binghamton NY "Merchant of Death" Sarkis Soghanalian did not just go from selling used Volkswagons during the 1960's in Binghamton NY to arming the Lebanese Christian militia in 1973 overnight.  Sarkis Soghanalian was an arms dealer while he was running his used car lot, Sarkis Foreign Car Garage, as cover on Sycamore Rd. Vestal NY with old time phone number RA 9-3626.

International weapons broker Sarkis Soghanalian, a former Binghamton resident who was nicknamed "The Merchant of Death" for supplying arms to dictators in Nicaragua and Iraq, has died.  Sarkis Soghanalian was in the automobile business as "Sarkis Foreign Car Garage on the Vestal Parkway" after he moved to Binghamton with his wife in the 1960s, according to a 1976 Binghamton Press report.

Sarkis Soghanalian brokered millions of dollars in arms deals to clients, including the Christian militia during the Lebanese civil war.  The Lebanese Forces (LF) is a Lebanese political party. Founded as a militia by Bachir Gemayel during the Lebanese Civil War, the movement fought as the main militia within the Christian-dominated Lebanese Front. The militia mainly fought the militants of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Syrian troops occupying Lebanon.

The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1974 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people (a quarter of the population) were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced.

There is no consensus among scholars and researchers on what triggered the Lebanese Civil War. However the militarization of the Palestinian refugee population, with the arrival of the PLO guerrilla forces did spark an arms race amongst the different Lebanese political factions.

The PLO / Fatah terrorists (1972 Munich Olympics) to transform the Western Part of Beirut Lebanon into its stronghold.  The Fatah terrorists called themselves Black September in order to safeguard their identity, 11 Israeli athletes murdered by Yasser Arafat's PLO terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Sarkis Soghanalian ran "Sarkis Foreign Car Garage on the Vestal Parkway" from at least 1962, see one of the many ads he ran below in the Binghamton Press, this one was in January 1967, he claimed in the ad to have 1,400 Volkswagons for sale, SEE AD, the 1,400 Volkswagons, not;

VOLKSWAGENS-New, used, 1400 are available;
Instant delivery all models.
Sycamore Rd., Vestal, RA 9-3626 (this would now be 607-729-3626)
 
In 1967 you could buy a one year old 1966 Pontiac GTO  2-Door red with matching red Interior, 359-HP tri-power, automatic, power steering and brakes, deluxe radio. Just traded In on a new Chevy for only $2,595, see ad at link CLICK HERE.
 
The Sycamore Rd Vestal NY address for SARKIS FOREIGN CAR GARAGE is just down the road from the Sate University of  New York Binghamton.


Sarkis Soghanalian (middle). Photo: Joseph Trento
 
William Kistner ...First of all, explain how you got involved with weapons in Lebanon at the time of the crisis there and take me through how things have changed since then.
 
Sarkis....In 1973, when I got the first batch of the weapons, we were all pro-Western and pro-American. I was appointed to obtain all the American weapons we could. The Lebanese army was equipped only with American weapons, but they eventually ended up with a [nongovernment] militia. Before that, I had been getting most of the weapons from the Eastern Bloc [Communist/pro Soviet Union], Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary and those countries.
 
William Kistner ....You went from selling arms transferred from Eastern Bloc [Communist] countries to Lebanon, and then to Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries?

Sarkis....Well, before I went to Iraq there were other places I was asked to assess, like Mauritania, the Polisario forces that they were fighting there. Nicaragua, Ecuador, Argentina. And then finally Iraq. We used to help the countries whose way of thinking was pro-Western. At that time it [Iraq] was pro-American, of course. Europeans didn't have an interest in them, so we had to keep those nations alive for their struggle. My job was to support the Iraqi forces so that they could fight against our [United States' and Sarkis'] common enemy, which at the time was [the Iranian Ayatollah] Khomeini.

He (Iran) had hostages. He was financing terrorist movements all over the world, Hezbollah and all those guys. So we had to fight them. But it didn't mean we would keep helping Saddam if he did something against our interest or Western interests. That's what happened. Too bad for him.

In 1981, Sarkis Soghanalian pleaded guilty to fraud in the sale of .50-caliber machine guns to Mauritania. But a judge granted him probation, saying the case “involved international affairs conducted by the State Department.”

In 1993, Sarkis Soghanalian was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for smuggling 103 helicopters to Iraq in violation of United Nations sanctions. But he managed to have his sentence reduced to two years after informing American officials of a place in Lebanon where high-quality counterfeit $100 bills were being printed.

The Persian Gulf War (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991), commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from thirty-four nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of the State of Kuwait. 


The Second Persian Gulf War,. also known as the Iraq War, Mar.–Apr., 2003, was a largely U.S.-British invasion of Iraq. In many ways the final, delayed campaign of the First Persian Gulf War, it arose in part because the Iraqi government failed to cooperate fully with UN weapons inspections in the years following the first conflict.

 "Merchant of Death" Sarkis Soghanalian was supplying Sadam and Iraq with weapons and helicopters while the US governement had troops on the ground in Iraq from 1991 to 1993.
University of California/Berkeley professor Lowell Bergman, a former journalist who’d known Soghanalian for 30 years, told The New York Times that he “worked with the CIA off and on for years; after a falling out with that agency, he cooperated with the FBI, drawing on information about the dark corners of the global arms trade.’’

The enemy of my enemy is my friend, never so true in the world of "
The Merchant of Death".


Bill Warner Sarasota Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM at www.wbipi.com