Saturday, December 31, 2011

Quacks Like A Duck

By Michael M. O'Brien, on December 28th, 2011

The name Blackwater is widely known. The firm was the largest “security contractor” in Iraq, until half a dozen of its employees murdered 17 Iraqi civilians at a traffic circle in Baghdad named Nisour Square, on September 16, 2007. The event occurred as a direct result of the United States’ policy of using mercenaries instead of American troops in Iraq.

The Nisour Square massacre was investigated by the US Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Division, which had responsibility for all American security firms (i.e., mercenaries) in Iraq. Instead of doing the work necessary to determine what happened, and establish the guilt or innocence of the Blackwater employees, Diplomatic Security offered them immunity from prosecution for their statements. In other words, if I murdered someone I could get immunity from any punishment just for telling the cops I did it—as long as Diplomatic Security was doing the gumshoe work. Not a bad deal.

Nothing happened to the Blackwater employees because of the immunity deal. All that happened was a name change. The State Department refused to renew Blackwater’s contract in Iraq because of the massacre, so Blackwater changed its name to Xe Services. Different name—different company. Back to work! So much for the “outrage” after what Blackwater did. Money sure does talk.

Xe Services has now changed its name again, this time to ACADEMI. Pretty stupid name for a mercenary firm. But who cares about the name? It’s all about the money.

“We have had a year of extraordinary changes that have resulted in a new, better company,” ACADEMI president and chief executive Ted Wright said in a statement.

In an interview published on Monday, Wright said he would like to take ACADEMI’s business back to Iraq and went on to say that the firm had hired an external company to help it apply for an operating license in the country.

ACADEMI, or whatever its name is today, is heading back to Iraq because that’s where the money is. Obama has pulled out nearly all American troops in Iraq, but the place is still a keg of dynamite. So the politically correct way to deal with the situation is with mercenaries. The PressTV article from December 12, 2011, comes right out and calls it just that:

The US State Department had reportedly announced in August 2010 that the Pentagon would replace American troops in Iraq with private mercenaries, who call themselves private security firms or security contractors, on grounds of ensuring the security in the war-torn country.

The deployment of ACADEMI mercenaries is likely to cause outrage in Iraq where its predecessor Blackwater Worldwide mercenaries could kill civilians with impunity during their time in Iraq.

Because they aren’t American troops in Iraq, our mercenaries aren’t subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), the law that applies to all US servicemen. And because they’re Americans in a foreign country, they’re not subject to Iraqi law or prosecution. So, not only were the Blackwater employees able to literally get away with murder for simply telling Diplomatic Security what they had done at Nisour Square, they were also exempt from the UCMJ because they weren’t soldiers, and they were also exempt from Iraqi law because they weren’t Iraqi citizens.

If a guy was bored back in the States and wanted to experience the thrill of killing someone without any consequences, Iraq was the place to be. It probably still is. Just make sure Diplomatic Security is still in charge of your contract.

If ever there was a case of something falling through the crack, this was it. Yet, Blackwater (aka. Xe Services, aka. ACADEMI) is heading back to do the job of American troops in Iraq and haul in more cash. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. If it does what a soldier does, it’s a mercenary. Anyone who says the United States is not in the business of exporting mercenaries, i.e., soldiers for hire, is smoking crack.

Because our national leadership doesn’t want American troops in Iraq, it’s allowing companies like ACEDEMI to do the work instead. Their employees don’t wear uniforms, so what’s the problem? The American public only cares about soldiers in uniform, not civilians wearing khaki cargo pants, black golf shirts and baseballs caps, with goatees and long sideburns, and lots of tattoos. That’s what all security contractors in Iraq look like.

Iraqis will also take it [the return of Blackwater] as America’s unwillingness to end the occupation of their country where since 2003 the US-led invasion and subsequent occupation caused one million deaths, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.

As I’ve said, if it does the job of a soldier and doesn’t wear a uniform—it’s a mercenary. Now the Iraqis are upset that we’re leaving mercenaries there, as if we were leaving soldiers. The distinction between American troops in Iraq and America mercenaries in Iraq is almost non-existent.

We won’t go back to the draft, so we have to depend on the all-volunteer regular forces, reserves and National Guard. These forces combined can’t fight all the wars our politicians get us involved in, much less occupy places like Iraq indefinitely. Obama brings American troops in Iraq back home to get re-elected, and mercenaries pick up where the soldiers left off. All so that firms like ACADEMI can rake in tons of cash—after murdering 17 Iraqi civilians.

This is how America fights its wars now.

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