Much Blackwater Ado

I do not know why this one is so hard for people to understand. At the heart of the matter is the concept of “War for Profit,” which is an activity that the Unites States has become fairly good at, especially under Bush family rule. Under a militant entrepreneur of one sort or another, a group of ex-military people are assembled into a private army for purposes a more formal military organization would generally avoid.

It would seem that some parts of the Blackwater organization were dealing with the protection of various individuals in Iraq, and with moving “merchandise” in and out of the country. Mainly, at least in Iraq and perhaps elsewhere, they seem to be tough guys for rent. They also seem to have been operating pretty much unsupervised by the U.S. Military, even though the U.S. government was paying them the big bucks to do, well, something. I guess you could think of Blackwater as Halliburton, but with a lot more guns.

Why on Earth would anyone have a hard time understanding why a big bunch of unsupervised, well-armed, mainly non-commissioned ex-military would get in trouble in Iraq? The military, among other things, trains soldiers to kill other people. Having been so trained, it should surprise no one when an organization full of soldiers, left to its own devices and with plenty of dangerous toys, kills people.

Not should the mother of one of these mercenaries be surprised when her son, recently gone to work for Blackwater, dies in a war zone. What exactly did she think he was doing, working for the Peace Corps? No, no, and Hell no! He was being paid to do dangerous things in a dangerous place, almost certainly because that’s what he liked doing best. I must suggest that if she was surprised about his death in such a situation, perhaps she did not know her little boy’s preferences as well as a mother should.

There are some reasonable questions to ask about all this, of course. Should the United States be availing itself of mercenaries? Well, George W. Bush is in charge, and just how far removed from Idi Amin do you think Dubya is? Aren’t mercenaries dangerously close to being terrorists, what with being private armies, and all? Well, yes, of course they are. And isn’t their use a little unethical? Well, of course it is, but since when has Dubya been worried about ethics?

If people are surprised by any of this, from Mothers to Senators, they just have not been paying any attention for the last seven years.


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