Saturday, July 12, 2008

In which I respond to yet another Blackwater apologist

Jessica in London wrote a comment to this post. As with Doug, I'm going to respond in a post.
Blogger Jessica said...

Why does everyone insist on concentrating on Blackwater in this discussion?

It's one company. ONE company.

The industry, and all that's good and noble about it - and it IS worthwhile, despite hysteria over a one or two unfortunate incidents the leftist media like to whip up into a frenzy - is so much more than ONE commercial company who, whilst admittedly powerful at the moment, can be brought to heel by the power of economics.

Get over this ridiculous preoccupation - look beyond it and understand that having companies that stop rebel factions cutting open pregnant women is much more desirable than inaction and the status quo... one example obviously, but these companies operate in areas the perennial arm chair critical is clearly too spinelss to go, and yet they feel compelled to preach to the world like they are some sort of authority.

The positive effects of these companies have so much more benefit than the negatives ones - which are arguably inevitable due to the unfortunate nature of the environment they operate in. But if they actually meant to cause international outrage, you'd be reading about their anitics every day. But you dont, you only see the the dirge of the ill-informed, gutless critic. Wake up, and understand the world around you is not wrapped in cotton wool.
7/11/08 12:43 PM
As I said in the comments section, Jessica, thanks for the comment. I'm going to respond, your comments are indented and in bold.
Why does everyone insist on concentrating on Blackwater in this discussion?

It's one company. ONE company.

The industry, and all that's good and noble about it - and it IS worthwhile, despite hysteria over a one or two unfortunate incidents the leftist media like to whip up into a frenzy - is so much more than ONE commercial company who, whilst admittedly powerful at the moment, can be brought to heel by the power of economics.
Yes, Blackwater is one company. One company which, as of this moment, has made about one billion ... BILLION taxpayer dollars with its no-bid contracts with the government. No oversight, no accountability. No person would hand over his hard earned money to a stranger and not check up on what was being done with it, right? Why on earth should we not have oversight with this company? Being brought to heel by cutting off funds won't make any difference at this point. Blackwater is richer than some countries.

There are many more defense contractor companies than just Blackwater in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is known. But not all of them are run by a fundamentalist Christian during a time of a great religious power struggle within the US; not all of them are attempting to set up many bases in many different states; spread out into intelligence work and spying, border patrol, citizen control. Erik Prince has his sights on things we cannot even guess and he has the money now to achieve them. Check out his connections to the government, politicians, local police, and religious groups.

Blackwater is truly the tip of the enormous defense contractor iceberg, but it's what we can see. We know there's a lot we will never know about.

And 'one or two unfortunate incidents'? You say 'unfortunate' when innocent bystanders die? There are many more incidences, just not reported in the media. How about we go ask Iraqis what they have experienced when interacting with Blackwater? Our own military? We will definitely be hearing more and more of these stories soon.
Get over this ridiculous preoccupation - look beyond it and understand that having companies that stop rebel factions cutting open pregnant women is much more desirable than inaction and the status quo... one example obviously, but these companies operate in areas the perennial arm chair critical is clearly too spinelss to go, and yet they feel compelled to preach to the world like they are some sort of authority.
It's not a ridiculous preoccupation when Iraqis and millions of angry Muslims believe that Blackwater and the US military are one and the same. Yet one is run by the Geneva Conventions (or was) and rules of war and one is answerable and accountable to no one. Blackwater is presumed to act in our name yet will not answer to us. The company is even hiring Chileans and South Africans who have worked in the most oppressive of governments. This clearly qualifies them as mercenaries. Mercenaries who owe their allegiance to Erik Prince and to Blackwater, not to the US people.

As to your bizarre reference to sliced up pregnant women? Besides being the overused canard dragged out in every conflict since the world began to incite hatred of the enemy, our 'good and noble' side has tortured, bombed, killed innocents. You want to start listing atrocities? Abu Ghraib? Bagram? Gitmo? How about starting with the murder of the 17 innocents in the Mansour district in Baghdad? Pointing fingers is almost useless because no one involved is clean of such horrors, the tangle of militias, tribes, Shiite and Sunni, neighborhoods against neighborhoods is almost impossible to track.

What we've activated in Iraq by removing a feared strongman as Saddam is to fling off the lid on Pandora's box. Those who know the area have said there are about 20 different civil wars going on. You want to reference which 'rebel factions' are slicing up which 'pregnant women'? It depends on where you are, what time of day it is, and which militia has gotten their hands on more ammo. Rape and murder of women, pregnant or not, is a tool of terror and of war, one of the first things that happens when society collapses.

By the way, how is Blackwater 'stopping rebel factions'? They aren't combatants, right? Are they diplomats? How exactly are they stopping rebel factions?
The positive effects of these companies have so much more benefit than the negatives ones - which are arguably inevitable due to the unfortunate nature of the environment they operate in. But if they actually meant to cause international outrage, you'd be reading about their anitics every day. But you dont, you only see the the dirge of the ill-informed, gutless critic. Wake up, and understand the world around you is not wrapped in cotton wool.
Please tell me of the positive effects when the insignia you wear and the behavior you do inspires fear and hatred in the population. And how would you know about these effects, 'Jessica'? Do you know someone who is working for Blackwater? Are you yourself working for Blackwater? How would you know at all about what is going on in Iraq? Are you being an armchair 'supporter' or have you been there? Or are you reading on the net as I am doing?

Journalists have been targeted in Iraq and the news is hard to get and hard to get out and Blackwater is not telling us what they are doing, are they? One politician, Marshall Adame was protected by Blackwater on a visit and was so horrified by their behavior that he complained. Blackwater went after him in his election.

'The dirge of the ill-informed, gutless critic'? Really? (Dirges are funereal songs which is rather appropriate.) But are you suggesting that the American people should stop caring what is going on and only cheer on our wonderful war without question? Ill-informed? That they should not try to understand the Iraq war, all of its implications, present and future, and attempt to get many different perspectives rather than the swallowing the obvious propaganda? Gutless? Because they think the war has been a horrible blunder? Because they didn't sign up right away to fight the glorious War on Terror? Are you serious? Being awake means knowing what is going on, not accepting without question things being done in one's name. Cotton wool only muffles the noise.

Finally, in your first section ....'good and noble'? I beg your pardon? A company whose business it is to make money in times of war. What is good and noble about being a warmonger? There is no incentive to make peace, or to make things stable. The continuation of war and instability is what guarantees profits. How on earth is that good and noble?

Answer me this. Do you believe that war solves problems and that if someone resists you should hit them harder? Do you think you can frighten and cow a population into submission? Are all Iraqis bad? Are Muslims inherently evil? Do you believe there a crusade by Christianity against Islam? Can you explain why we are in Iraq in the first place? Do you believe in the Rapture? Do you have children?

I get the theme of your comment by the words you've used: hysteria, whip up, frenzy, ridiculous, preoccupation, perennial arm chair critic, spineless, compelled, preach, dirge, ill-informed, gutless. I believe it is hysterical, ridiculous, spineless, gutless, and ill-informed NOT to ask questions, demand answers, make posts, tell people.

Why on earth would you support Blackwater, Jessica, unless you have a connection to it?

crossposted at Rants from the Rookery and American Street