Sunday, April 29, 2007

Here’s An Idea For Bringing our Soldiers Home

The US State Department has paid $750 million to Blackwater, USA, which in turn pays $1000-a-day tax-free bucks to every soldier in a shadow army of mercenaries in Iraq. We have, at any given moment, somewhere between 100,000 and 120,000 mercenaries in Iraq. The combat pay of the average US soldier in Afghanistan and Iraq is $7.50 a day or about $225 a month. So, why not pull out all of the US soldiers from Iraq and leave the mercenaries to carry on GOP’s illegal war? Sounds good to me. What is Blackwater, USA? According to its website, Blackwater provides, "a spectrum of support to military, government agencies, law enforcement and civilian entities in training, targets and range operations as a solution provider." Blackwater's slogan is: "Providing a new generation of capability, skills, and people to solve the spectrum of needs in the world of security." Read, mercenaries. Blackwater, USA was founded by Erik Prince, a rightwing Christian and former Navy SEAL whose family funded the Contract With America crowd that gave us Newt Gingrich’s Republican revolution in 1994. Blackwater, USA handed Gary Bauer the money he needed to start his rightwing Christian group, the Family Research Council. And it has given mega-bucks to James Dobson and his Christian Focus on the Family group. And here’s an interesting bit of info: If you get involved in a lawsuit with Blackwater, USA its current counsel is Kenneth Starr, the guy who was obsessed with impeaching President Bill Clinton. Plus, Blackwater’s former mouthpiece was Fred Fielding, who is now Bush’s White House counsel. It’s a whole other question whether it’s right or moral to privatize an army. And I’m not saying all of the guys in Blackwater, USA are thugs who will kill and maraud for a buck. (Although I am saying that many of the mercenaries in Blackwater, USA are thugs who are not held accountable for their actions in Iraq and like all thugs, will do almost anything for a buck that you might dream up.) But what I’m mainly saying is that the war in Iraq could not continue without the participation of mercenaries who are being paid by a far-right Christian warlord named Erik Prince. I’m saying the US State Department has bought and trained over 100,000 people to fight in Iraq and there are double the number of soldiers in Iraq than the number the Bush administration claims is in Iraq. I’m saying the deaths of these soldiers are not on any casualty list. And I am saying most citizens of the United States have no idea about this $1000-a-day army being funded by the US State Department. In addition, I will also contend with no proof to back me up, that the reason the buildings which were supposed to be built in Iraq for the Iraqis and which are crumbling and falling apart is that the men who were hired as independent contractors to build these buildings actually are Blackwater, USA mercenaries who threw up shoddy shitty constructions and then went off to play war. You can read a book about Blackwater, USA by Jeremy Scahill (“Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army”) that lays all this out in exquisite detail. It’s about 380 pages with 2000 footnotes.

1 comment:

Barry Schwartz said...

Let's clarify that these mercenaries aren't to be paid out of government funds. Let the 'free market' support them, if there is such a need. Not one government dollar.