Book Review: World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army
|Blackwater Mercenaries in Downtown New Orleans|
It's a big, secret behind the U.S. invasion of Iraq - a 100,000 strong mercenary force that the Bush administration has hired to do the U.S. government's riskiest and dirtiest operations. It works behind the scenes and is virtually above the law.
Its name is Blackwater USA -- and it's a private army with a license to kill.
More ominous still is the fact that Blackwater USA is run by a multimillionaire Christian fundamentalist who has also bankrolled President Bush's election campaigns. And what makes the whole exercise so frightening is that American mainstream media - supposedly the champions of free inquiry - have never bothered to investigate the issue. In fact, a recent book that reveals stunning information about this massive secret army has received no significant coverage at all.
Jeremy Scahill's just-published 450-page, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," 1 uncovers a story of deception and intrigue whose moral is that some of America's richest and most powerful have no respect for human lives.
Welcome to George W. Bush's U.S.A. where secret civilian hired guns can use any means to justify the Administration's ends.
The idea is devilishly simple: offer killing contracts to privately-run militias and pay them handsomely to do the job - no questions asked. It is a turnkey system in which the Bush administration pays, and Blackwater kills.
And that's not all. If and when U.S. troops are withdrawn from Iraq, Blackwater operatives can stay.
According to Scahill, the idea of hiring a mercenary army was the brainchild of Donald Rumsfeld. On September 10, 2001 (only one day before the fateful 9/11) he pitched the concept to a high-level Pentagon meeting attended by former corporate executives from Enron, Northrop, Grumman, General Dynamics and Aerospace Corp.
All were chosen by Rumsfeld to work with him as top deputies at the Department of Defense. At that meeting Rumsfeld outlined his strategy for using "the private sector in the waging of America's wars," a strategy supported by the likes of Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith.
Blackwater is controlled by one person, Erik Prince, described by Scahill as "a radical right-wing Christian mega-millionaire who has served as a major bankroller not only of President Bush's campaigns but the broader Christian-right agenda."
The 38-year-old Prince is a former U.S. Navy officer who serves on the board of Christian Freedom International, whose mission is to help "Christians who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ."
Price started Blackwater in 1995 at age 27, after his father died and left him a $1.3 billion automobile parts firm. Prince's first wife died of cancer in 2003 and he has six children.
As Scahill quotes him, Prince speaks proudly about his soldiers-for-hire company: "When you ship overnight, do you use the postal service or do you use FedEx? Our corporate goal is to do for the national security apparatus what FedEx did to the postal service."
In Iraq, Blackwater is free to hire whomever it pleases -- Iraqis, Americans, Israelis... Its mercenaries get paid $300 to $600 a day, a big contrast to what men and women in the official American armed forces earn.
But there is also another difference: when Blackwater soldiers are killed, they are not heroes. In fact, they are not even acknowledged. They are not added into the American casualty totals, nor are their coffins draped in the American flag.
Whatever they do is secret and there is no accountability for why or how they kill Iraqis.
Paul Bremer, Bush's envoy in Iraq during the first year of the occupation, issued a decree on June 28, 2004 granting immunity to Blackwater and other military "contractors" from prosecution for war crimes. Blackwater was even able to bypass the Pentagon's Uniform Code of Military Justice, claiming its soldiers are "civilians."
In a public hearing, Congressman Dennis Kucinich lamented that, "These private contractors can get away with murder. [They] do not appear to be subject to any laws at all and so therefore they have more of a license... to take the law into their own hands."
As the Administration is planning to increase the size of the army in Iraq at a cost of anywhere from $3.6 billion to 4 billion, Prince has also been talking about building a permanent "contractor brigade" and doing it cheaper. In praising Scahill, Canadian reviewer Naomi Klein said: "[His book shows] how the Bush administration has spent hundreds of millions of public dollars building a parallel corporate army, an army so royal to far right causes ... [It is] the most important and chilling book about the death throes of the U.S. democracy you will read in years and a triumph of investigative reporting."
Note: . "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army" by Jeremy Scahill
Dr. Mohamed Elmasry is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Waterloo and national president of the Canadian Islamic Congress.
Topics: George W. Bush, Government And Politics
This is a part of post by a person who I think should see the facts of his religion, ethics, values, stories and ORIGIN of his GODS and GODDESSES......... before commenting on others' religion and prophets.
I wonder where are the so called civilised people(non-muslims),Politicians, countries(Western), organisations(UN, International legal system, Courts, US law,Justice, Congress, Senate,)now to comment or take action on this illegal and barbaric group.
What do we name this group?
Enter Blackwater and other US made mercenaries. Can anyone please tell me why we can't call these thugs as "illegal combatants" and then hang, draw and quarter them?? as the various groups in Iraq are vying to do? Or are they above the law?
Time to admit this "war on terror" has become an animal war. Even animals have more respect for each other's territory. And all from a president and his henchmen who call themselves Christians. So, let me hear the church leaders denounce such savagery and tell us that the US President is not a Christian because he actually does not follow Christ's teaching of love and forgiveness.
I see they are quick to denounce Muslims for not speaking up against Al-Qaeda and yet when we do, they never print our letters or give us any exposer. Always hollier-than-thou and above the law. The game is set and anyone can be a casualty.
Please make sure if you live in a glass house that you do not throw stones at others.
Romesh: here we go again. Blurting "facts" about Prophet Mohammad as if you had an "insider informant" some 1400 years ago. Please bring your proof and enlighten us lesser infromed Muslims.
Please stop making such statements unless you have a proof from authentic islamic resources. That is enough.
We preach one and only one GOD-ALLAH and love all our Prophets as you love your GODS GODS. They do have all kind of stories and we can make similar and silly statements that may offend U and others.
Respect all faiths and the beliefs.
We are not simply a "private security company." We are a professional military, law enforcement, security, peacekeeping, and stability operations firm who provides turnkey solutions. We assist with the development of national and global security policies and military transformation plans. We can train, equip and deploy public safety and military professionals, build live-fire indoor/outdoor ranges, MOUT facilities and shoot houses, create ground and aviation operations and logistics support packages, develop and execute canine solutions for patrol and explosive detection, and can design and build facilities both domestically and in austere environments abroad.*
They seem like mercernaries to me
Has anybody heard of Soldiers of Fortune (SOF)? They have been used by governments and corporations/organizations all over asia, africa and Latin America for over 50 years. A magazine by the name of "Soldiers of Fortune" have been published for over 30 years where one finds ads for recruitment for this kind of shady work. Blackwater is doing on a very big scale.
In war, some get killed and some do the killing. Balckwater is doing the killing (i.e., making enormous profits). It is run by a christian fundamentalist is not surprising; to them it follows the principles of capitalism; it is just another business.
Mercenary armies have been known for hundreds of years. All kings and empires employed them when they wanted to invade some country; they paid them from the booty. This was true throughout the history of Europe, and even Hindu and Islamic India. Even Mohammed used to pay 75% of booty to his soldiers (25% was kept for the state for waging war).
As well as his adm Cheney, Rumsfield,and Rice.
The attacks on innocent people in Iraq and Palestine, thus he blames on the Islamic terrorist groups when he is behind all this.
You can't forgot Bush's buddy - Zionist Olmert
he must be part of this.
Bush and his christians blame Islam and using religion to fight a war. Bush is doing the same thing.
But with way more funding!
I think these Blackwater guys are incredibly frightening and revolting. I hope and pray they don't get a permanent foothold into the US government, but I fear the worst.
I also hope that the Muslims that read this article and who are justifiably appalled recognize the similarities between Blackwater and the various Islamist organizations I listed above. The Islamists may not be explicitly mercenary, but most of them do the bidding of shady governments (Taliban - Pakistan ISA, Hezbollah - Syria/Iran, al Queda - lots of individual nasties, Hamas may be relatively clean by this standard, IRG - Iran). They all have explicitly militant religious goals that are not subject to reason, compromise, or the recognition of the other sides's equal humanity. Oh, but they're ok because Muslims are the "most oppressed people in the world."
Now we have "Christians are the most powerful mercenaries in the world".
Does this author even know what Christianity means by "Fundamental Christianity"? Read about the Protestant Fundamental Principles of Christianity... they have nothing to do with this "mercenary" blabber.
I have noted that this publication seems intent on encouraging religious war. It comes up with the most unheard of allegations, from some weirdest angles all intent on encouraging a rise of some imaginary Christian military influence.
Well, you'll probably get your death wish and religious war, anyhow...