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September 17, 2007

Iraq bans Blackwater

Iraq's interior ministry has banned the private security firm Blackwater from the country. All Blackwater personnel have been ordered to leave the country immediately--except for a handful of men facing criminal charges for allegedly shooting civilians.

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. Blackwater has a $300 million contract to provide security to the State Department alone. I doubt they're going anywhere.

It's delicious to think that in order to keep Blackwater, the U.S. will be forced to abandon the pretext that Iraq is an independent state.

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Of course they could just ditch Blackwater and start up the same shenanigans with another contractor...

Frankly I'd like to see Iraq assert its sovereign right to arrest and try individuals who commit crimes on its territory. It'd do set a good example to have a few mercenaries publicly hanged.

There's a pretense that Iraq is an independent state? We're openly arming Sunni militias over the protests of the central government. Last I checked, for sovereign states that's a no-no (you usually at least do that secretly).

What they'll do is strongarm their Iraqi stooges to rescind the order. Nobody's messing with their corporate overlords, not nohow - but they can easily make it look like it's not their doing.

It gets more interesting. The private contractors are not under Iraqi control, they are under the control of US authorities under a CPA decree from 2004.
Also, the Pentagon is under pressure to reduce the number of US troops and the way to do this is to increase the number of private troops.

When the history is finally written of these mercenary firms in Iraq, I wonder if it won't contain stories that'll put the atrocities related in the "Nation" article below into the shade. We know about the child trafficking at an American contractor in Bosnia; how much greater the opportunties must be, if you're so inclined, for rape, pillaging, and murder in the Mad Max world of Iraq. Soldiers after all are, at least in theory, still bound by military law. The contractors haven't been bound by anything- Paul Bremer declared "permanent immunity" for them from any Iraqi law, and the Bush administration has gone to court again and again to protect them from any possibility of American oversight.

From the AP:
==========================
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070917/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq

In April, the Defense Department said about 129,000 contractors of many nationalities were operating in Iraq — nearly as many as the entire U.S. military force before this year's troop buildup...

Blackwater, a secretive North Carolina-based company run by a former Navy SEAL, is among the biggest and best known security firms, with an estimated 1,000 employees in Iraq and at least $800 million in government contracts.
==========================

Are there really only a thousand Blackwater employees in Iraq?

"...contractors of many nationalities..."

reminds me of another point: many of the firms involved have been quick to hire former members of the "security forces" of current or former police states (Chile and South Africa, I've read, are especially well represented.)

OR, instead of strong-arming those who would ban blackwater -- the same thing will go on as to the oil minister. Kidnapped.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5433424

http://tampasbackdoor.blogspot.com/search?q=minister

hmmm, I feel bad -- never checked and got the name of the guys they kidnapped.

It's delicious to think that in order to keep Blackwater, the U.S. will be forced to abandon the pretext that Iraq is an independent state.

oh it sure is ... excellent point !!!


Post request: an assessment of Hugo Chavez, from a current left/liberal perspective.

--It's delicious to think that in order to keep Blackwater, the U.S. will be forced to abandon the pretext that Iraq is an independent state.--

So, if Blackwater is indeed thrown out for good, you'll agree that Iraq is an independent state? Would be a wee bit inconsistent to say the former and not agree with the latter.

If the Iraqi government sent Blackwater packing over the objections of the US, that would be an impressive display of independence.

It won't happen, though. It's not like the Iraqi army is in any shape to force Blackwater out.

The interior ministry will fold under US pressure and Blackwater will stay on.

An expert on private military subcontractors like Blackwater was interviewed on CBC Radio One's As It Happens last night (didn't catch his name, unfortunately). He says there are many such companies operating in Iraq and Blackwater represents the tip of the iceberg. He also says there is virtually no accountability and that private security firm personnel have committed atrocities against Iraqi civilians, including murder, and have never been caught or charged. They're not considered military forces or mercenaries...but live in some gray area and no regulations or laws seem to apply to them.

I meant to say, "live in some gray area of the law"...

So, if Blackwater is indeed thrown out for good, you'll agree that Iraq is an independent state? Would be a wee bit inconsistent to say the former and not agree with the latter.

"X implies Y" is not the same as "not X implies not Y." Example: All horses are mammals; but it does not follow that all animals which are not horses are not mammals.

As I already mentioned, the fact that we openly arm Sunni militias over the objections of the government already provides proof that Iraq is not an independent state.

I'm wondering how this compares to the situation in other countries.

I know, for example, that the Marines provide security for most US embassies. Could a government ban the Marines without breaking off diplomatic relations with the US?

Might just as well say, Blackwater bans Iraq. What the hell does Blackwater care about anything other then hegemony for profits. Huge profits.

It would be absolute idiocy to believe that Iraq is an independent state. That place is a mess. We are trying to force upon them a government system that does not fit with their theocratic views. They WANT their religion in their government. It is how Muslims like things. I say, let them do what they want. Bring our people home and get ready for the inevitible war that will happen because of Israel.

On the Israeli note, it will be very interesting to see how the left reacts when Israel is attacked directly and a war erupts. These leftists oppose war but will sound the war horn to protect the Jews in Israel. Why you ask? Because the left power structure is influenced heavily by Jewish money. Look no further than Hollywood! The hypocrites that they are will support troops dying if it is for a cause in which they believe.

Iraq is being groomed as another US client State, however, I doubt it's going to end up that way.

This is never going to happen.

Nothing will come out of the "investigation".

Even if Blackwater is banned from the theater, it will only take a month for them to incorporate another company able to go over there. Blackwater will train the employees and rent them the equipment so that getting kicked out of there will not be such a huge hit on the company itself.

I don't think banning these thugs will matter a bit. They will simply change the name and carry on what they are paid for by the US government.

Laws are quaint inconveniences easily worked around. They show no respect for law, it won't start now.

"Because the left power structure is influenced heavily by Jewish money. Look no further than Hollywood!"

Wow, B-Money, that's not only a circumstantial ad hominem against people on the Left who want to defend Israel, but something even less savory.

It's kind of funny, if I were looking for abject Jewish conspiracy mongering, B-Money would be the last poster I'd expect it from. Maybe that's because him and Phantom blend together after a while.

I can never remember whether we liberals are Arab nationalist Jewhaters searching for any excuse to back Hamas over Israel, or whether we're supposed to be the big money power that will back Israel all the way to hell, or self-hating Jews who hate on the Neocons to get back at our overbearing parents.

(The Phantom would never espouse Jewish conspiracy theories.)

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