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October 20, 2007

Blackwater withdraws from industry group

The private security firm Blackwater withdrew from the International Peace Operations Association, an industry group.

Here's the press release issued by the IPOA:

Press Release - October 12, 2007

We have received notification from Blackwater USA that they are formally withdrawing from the membership of the International Peace Operations Association, effective October 10, 2007.

Blackwater USA joined IPOA in August 2004 and was a member in good standing.

In recent weeks, IPOA was actively engaged with senior management at Blackwater USA, both through our Standards Committee and our Executive Committee, to ensure that they were fully compliant with the IPOA Code of Conduct. On October 8, 2007 the IPOA Executive Committee authorized the Standards Committee to initiate an independent review process of Blackwater USA to ascertain whether Blackwater USA's processes and procedures were fully sufficient to ensure compliance with the IPOA Code of Conduct.

All IPOA member companies are required to follow the IPOA Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct is a set of ethical and professional guidelines for companies in the peace and stability operations industry. The Code stresses human rights, corporate ethics, International Humanitarian Law, transparency, accountability, and responsibility and professionalism in relationships with employees, clients, and partner companies.

Inquiries should be directed to:
Doug Brooks
President, IPOA
dbrooks@ipoaonline.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
+1 202-464-0721
Draw your own conclusions.




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Wow. Blackwater is being shunned by mercinaries

Everyday, sicko mercinaries doesn't want to be seen in polite company with Blackwater.

That's a pretty low blow.

I don't like the name "International Peace Operations Association."

American security companies in Middle Eastern countries aren't bringing peace.

Many Saudi citizens hate the US because American security companies since at least the 1970s have been helping to maintain the monarchy.

American security companies in Iraq have an apparent policy that any car which isn't part of their convoy which approaches their convoy is a potential car-bomb, and therefore they should shoot Iraqi drivers and their passengers for using Iraqi roads.

That doesn't promote peace in Iraq.

I think the name speaks for itself, no? Sort of a through-the-lookinglass truth in advertising...

I didn't know about the Saudi/US security connection. Thanks.

From the IPOA mission statement:

“The International Peace Operations Association (IPOA) is a trade association whose mission is to promote high operational and ethical standards of firms active in the Peace and Stability Industry”

I suppose it’s some comfort that “ethical standards” come with the package. And I’m glad they’re right out front calling it an industry. On the other hand it’s an industry, and I can’t help but think of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association lobbying for three strikes legislation. An organization like IPOA has an inherent interest in international conflict, ethical standards or no.

I guess Blackwater now fits the niche market where special circumstances require people not bound by ethical standards. There’s probably plenty of money there too.

The "International Peace Operations Association" is a name that would've made Orwell proud. The IPOA is nothing more than the private mercenary/security contractor lobby. Membership includes other more established and experienced firms such as Dyncorp and Aegis. Dyncorp and the like may be a despicable cabal of shameless war profiteers. Yes, Aegis employees did post two deeply disturbing videos showing them firing on civilian cars without cause. But none of the other IPOA members have engaged in the murderous orgy that Blackwater has.

I wonder if Blackwater's IPOA exit is sorta like the way the Yankees pushed Joe Torre out the door. By insisting that Blackwater comply with their "code of conduct", the IPOA created a situation that was untenable for Erik Prince's homicidal cowboys. The IPOA didn't kick Blackwater out. Instead they made it impossible for Blackwater to stay.

In funny how the IPOA didn't seem too concerned about Blackwater's non-compliance to their "code" after the first half dozen or so reported Blackwater murders of innocent Iraqis. (The key word here is "reported"). It just wouldn't do for the IPOA to antagonize the member boasting what we're led to believe is the largest mercenary force in Iraq. (You'll have to forgive me for not believing a god damn thing the Bush Administration has said about "our" Iraq mercenary forces). Plus Blackwater was not only awarded contracts in excess of $1 billion but also boasts a founder packing some serious hard-core Republican connections. The September Baghdad massacre changed everything. It made Blackwater radioactive.

The real story here is the timing of this split. By divorcing itself from Blackwater, the IPOA seeks to distance itself from Blackwater while insulating their members from further damage i.e. guilt by association. Those remaining members can't afford any additional scrutiny. The Dyncorps and Aegises need to quietly put themselves in position to snag huge contracts if Blackwater gets booted out of Iraq.


Interestingly enough, as of this morning, on IPOA website Greystone LTD (a Blackwater affiliate) was still listed as a member. I emailed IPOA on this little question.

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