Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It's Time to Shine A Light On Blackwater

Once upon a time, not so long ago ( say the 60s & 70s), being a mercenary ( soldier for hire ) was not considered an honorable profession. In fact even 20 years ago ( it doesn't seem like it's been that long ) when the movie Lethal Weapon was released the mercenaries were the bad guys.

So how did the US government reach the point where it needed to employ a group like Blackwater to "protect" corporate executives and government officials in Iraq. Now no one seems to know exactly how many Blackwater employees are on the ground in Iraq. Estimates range from 400 to 1,000 armed mercenaries who accountable to no one.

It's time for Americans to take a good hard look at Blackwater and demand that Congress get answers about the paramilitary organization that was set loose in Iraq.

Because when all of the official US military troops finally leave Iraq it won't be democracy that the US leaves behind. It will be Blackwater.

Tuesday, 9/18 Democracy Now reported:

" The Bush administration is trying to stop the Iraqi government from banning the private military firm Blackwater. Iraqi officials say they've revoked Blackwater's license over a deadly shooting that killed up to eleven civilians. Witnesses say Blackwater guards fired indiscriminately after a car bomb exploded near their convoy. Blackwater is denying wrongdoing and says its guards properly responded to an ambush from insurgents. But Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani called the shootings “a big crime that we can't be silent about.”

U.S. officials have already gone into overdrive to prevent the move. On Monday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and vowed an investigation. But the Iraqi government appears to be holding ground. Earlier today, Maliki's cabinet said it supports the ban and will review the legal status of all private military companies working in Iraq.

The shootout is only Blackwater's latest controversy in Iraq. The North Carolina-based firm operates under a multi-million dollar contract to protect U.S. officials and facilities. It's been allowed close to free reign under a murky legal environment that offers little to no oversight over its operations. "

In the following video clip Amy Goodman interviews Jeremy Scahill, author of "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," and Doug Brooks, president of International Peace Operations Association, a trade group for the private security industry. They debate over the implications of the Iraqi government wanting to ban Blackwater. Sept. 2007

The next clip is a look inside America's private army with extended bonus scenes from Robert Greenwald's documentary "Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers" -- Sept. 2006

and if this last clip doesn't move you to act I guess that nothing will

Do you want Blackwater to provoke WWW III?

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