Monday, September 17, 2007


AP report from Baghdad by Bassem Mrque and Qassim Abdul-Zahra: “Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul-Karim Khalaf said eight civilians were killed and 13 were wounded when contractors believed to be working for Blackwater USA opened fire in a predominantly Sunni neighborhood of western Baghdad. ‘We have canceled the license of Blackwater and prevented them from working all over Iraqi territory. We will also refer those involved to Iraqi judicial authorities,’ Khalaf said.” The AP report goes on to say “Tens of thousands of foreign private security contractors work in Iraq - some with automatic weapons, body armor, helicopters and bulletproof vehicles - to provide protection for Westerners and dignitaries in Iraq as the country has plummeted toward anarchy and civil war. “Monday's action against Blackwater was likely to give the unpopular government a boost, given Iraqis' dislike of the contractors.” And why would the Iraqis dislike the contractors? All they do is murder, rape and commit mayhem at will. As the AP story says, “Many of the contractors have been accused of indiscriminately firing at American and Iraqi troops, and of shooting to death an unknown number of Iraqi citizens who got too close to their heavily armed convoys, but none has faced charges or prosecution.” Katy Helvenston, the mother of late Blackwater contractor Steve Helvenston, who died in 2004 during the ambush in Fallujah said, "There have been so many innocent people they've killed over there, and they just keep doing it...they have just a callous disregard for life." More from the AP story: “The question of whether they could face prosecution is legally murky. Unlike soldiers, the contractors are not bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Under a special provision secured by American-occupying forces, they are exempt from prosecution by Iraqis for crimes committed there. “The secretive company, run by a former Navy SEAL, is based at a massive, swampland complex. Until the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, it had few security contracts. “Since then, Blackwater profits have soared. And it has become the focus of numerous controversies in Iraq, including the May 30 shooting death of an Iraqi deemed to be driving too close to a Blackwater security detail.” And more from the AP story: “The wartime numbers of private guards are unprecedented - as are their duties, many of which have traditionally been done by soldiers. They protect U.S. military operations and diplomats and have guarded high-ranking officials including Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Baghdad. “They also protect journalists, visiting foreign officials and thousands of construction projects.” Ah, but the former Navy SEAL (Erik Prince) who owns, runs and is the mastermind behind Blackwater USA is a far-right Christian fanatic. And the Prince family has blessed, anointed and bankrolled “Focus on the Family” religious fanatic James Dobson. And James Dobson regularly meets with President George W. Bush. And since the Blackwater mercenaries are committing their atrocities in the name of Jesus, doesn’t that make it all right? Apparently, George W. Bush, the fascists in the Bush administration, General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker think it’s fine and dandy. But the Iraqis don’t think it’s fine and dandy. And they’ve kicked Blackwater USA out. Here’s a bet you can take to the bank: Petraeus and the other hoodlums in the White House will bring Blackwater, USA back into Iraq. You got a problem with that, America?

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