Friday, February 01, 2008

When the mercenaries begin to dictate policy

The term Praetorian Guard should be used:
Although its name has become synonymous with intrigue, conspiracy, disloyalty and assassination, it could be argued that for the first two centuries of its existence the Praetorian Guard was, on the whole, a positive force in the Roman state. During this time it mostly removed (or allowed the removal of) cruel, weak, and unpopular emperors while generally supporting just, strong, and popular ones. By protecting these monarchs, thus extending their reigns, and also by keeping the disorders of the mobs of Rome and the intrigues of the Senate in line, the Guard helped give the empire a much needed stability that led to the period known as the Pax Romana.

Only after the reign of Marcus Aurelius, when this period is generally considered to have ended, the guard began to deteriorate into the ruthless, mercenary and meddling force for which it has become infamous.
Read how many emperors were killed by these guards and how they began to reign themselves. And then read this from NYTexan from American Street:

Blackwater is aggressively attacking Marshall Adame, Democratic challenger to “Mr. Freedom Fries,” seven-term Republican incumbent Walter B. Jones. Blackwater Worldwide’s 7,000-acre corporate headquarters and training facility sits in North Carolina’s 3rd District, which Adame is trying to win.

Adame, a former State Department official in Iraq, was protected by Blackwater thugs. He has publicly stated his experience with many unprovoked attacked by the steroid boys, which has drawn attention and attacks from Blackwater. Blackwater has zero interest in having an out spoken democrat with first hand experience of their death squad win a seat in Congress.

As a State Department official in Iraq, he was protected by Blackwater, which, he says, used excessive force on at least two occasions while he was in their care. “I saw them shoot people,” he says. “I saw them crash into cars while I was their passenger…. There was absolutely no reason, no provocation whatsoever.” Once, while en route to the Iraqi Ministry of Interior, Adame says he heard gunfire coming from the turret gunner in his own vehicle. He looked out the window of the humvee and “saw people ducking and falling…. The vehicle in front of us rammed into a car that was trying to get out of the way, and they just spun that guy around. He was out cold in that car, maybe even dead. I don’t know, but we just kept on going.”

His criticism of Blackwater in Iraq has put him in the cross hairs of Blackwater’s aggressive attacks. Adame’s has been receiving hate mail from Blackwater employees headed by executive vice president Bill Mathews.

Read at the link for more. When you hire thugs to run your military and give them carte blanche to do as they will, when you decide they've gone too far.... there is no way to rein them back. We now have an extremely powerful, wealthy, fundamentalist, armed to the teeth mercenary army in our country ready to get involved in politics.

Guess who protects politicians when they go to make their photo ops in Iraq? Guess who has well-trained ex-military in their employ? Guess who is ready to build more large facilities all over the United States to get ready for .... whatever is necessary?

I guess when you decide you are king, you need your loyal guards to protect you... and then you must keep them happy or else....

crossposted at Rants from the Rookery.