Saturday, June 16, 2007

Mercenaries Are “Heroes” in Iraq? Please!

The Washington Post this morning says the shadow army in Iraq, which is composed of mercenaries from over a hundred private security companies are taking hits that the American troops don’t have to take. These guys were hired at $1000-a-day to rebuild the Iraq infrastructure, which the US illegal war obliterated, and to guard American officials. But they are actually fighting alongside American troops and they are getting killed. The actions of these guys are overseen by no one. They can do anything they please. And, no surprise, they are doing anything they please. WaPo says, “The majority of the more than 100 security companies operate outside of Iraqi law, in part because of bureaucratic delays and corruption in the Iraqi government licensing process, according to U.S. officials. Blackwater USA, a prominent North Carolina firm that protects U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, and several other companies have not applied, U.S. and Iraqi officials said. Blackwater said that it obtained a one-year license in 2005 but that shifting Iraqi government policy has impeded its attempts to renew.” Bullshit! Blackwater, USA has chosen not to renew licensing in order that the mercenaries will continue to be able to commit murder, mayhem and be accountable to NO ONE. When guys sign on with private so-called security companies, they sign away all rights. They have been quoted as saying they think a thousand bucks a day is worth it. And maybe it is. But don’t tell me they are heroes because they are getting killed and these casualties are not being reported. That’s the deal they made...eyes wide open and fists grasping for mega-bucks. WaPo says Victoria Wayne was deputy director for logistics for the Army Corps of Engineers and that she spent 2-1/2 years in Iraq. According to WaPo, “Wayne described security contractors as ‘the unsung heroes of the war.’ She said she believed the military wanted to hide information showing that private guards were fighting and dying in large numbers because it would be perceived as bad news. Bullshit! The reason the military gives no info about mercenaries fighting and dying is that the military doesn’t want to admit how many of the “private security” forces are fighting the war in Iraq. The United States does not have a military to call its own. The US has bought and paid for a military force of mercenaries to fight its illegal and unnecessary war in Iraq. I can’t even figure out the math used in the WaPo article. WaPo said, “U.S. Labor Department reported that ArmorGroup (a British private security company) has lost 26 employees in Iraq, based on insurance claims. Sources close to the company said the figure is nearly 30. Only three countries in the 25-nation coalition -- the United States, Britain and Italy -- have sustained more combat-related deaths.” What? Twenty-six deaths that actually should have been reported as 30? That’s a shame. As in, any death is a shame. But the US has lost 3520 actual US soldiers in Iraq. I have no idea what ArmorGroup is complaining about. The guys signed on for mega-bucks and gave up all rights. “ArmorGroup,” WaPo says,” started in Iraq with 20 employees and a handful of SUVs, and now it has grown to a force of 1,200 -- the equivalent of nearly two battalions.” Maybe it’s a cavil, but two US battalions would be 1600-1800 men. And why has Armor Group grown to a force of 1,200? Because the guys are getting paid a princely sum by the US State Department and they are supposed to be constructing stuff for the Iraqis or doing “security” chores. But they are fighting. And why are they fighting? Because they are fucking MERCENARIES and mercenaries fight. And everyone knows that’s why they are in Iraq. Mercenaries are in Iraq to fight the war that our military is underequipped and understaffed to fight. Oh...they are getting killed? Oh...their deaths are not being reported? Well that’s the contract they signed, may they rest in peace. Heroes? I don’t think so! They are men who have signed on to do whatever for a lot of dough. And whatever just happens to be FIGHTING in Iraq. I do not want to hear whines from mercenaries. I do not want to hear that men who are getting a thousand dollars a day to maraud and commit murder are heroes. They are mercenaries. And they are doing what mercenaries do. They fight and they get paid to fight any war anywhere. Patriotism, honor, integrity, national pride, bravery and couraqe have nothing to do with it. They are not heroes, they are mercenaries: motivated solely by a desire for monetary or material gain. The argument appears to be that mercenaries are fighting our war because the US doesn’t have enough soldiers to fight our war and we should be ever so grateful. The war in Iraq is not my war. It’s not your war. It’s the Bush administration’s war. And the Bush administration has decided to pay US tax-payer money to mercenaries to fight the Bush administration’s war because the Bush administration can't figure out a way to fight it's illegal and unnecessary war. Why should I be grateful? So, bullshit me not about heroes. I know a hero when I see one. Or, I should say, I know a hero when I don’t see one. A lot of guys I knew fought in World War II and they are lying in unmarked graves in Europe. They were heroes. A bunch of guys getting paid huge amounts to fight a war that the American people never authorized and were lied into, are not heroes. They are just mercenaries fulfilling a contract.


Barry Schwartz said...

Meanwhile the Navy still refuses to recognize the Merchant Marine as WW-II veterans for their role as slow-moving torpedo targets. It's a non sequitur as argument about the 'heroicism' of fabulously paid mercenaries, but gives some idea of the crocodileness of many military tears.

Jon said...

What about the guys lying in marked graves in Europe?