Blackwater USA

I just came across this article on Mark Grimsley’s blog, Blog Them Out of the Stone Age:

Blackwater and me: A love story it ain’t
By Robert Bateman
October 12, 2007
I know something about Blackwater USA. This opinion is both
intellectually driven as well as moderately emotional. You see, during my own
yearlong tour in Iraq, the bad boys of Blackwater twice came closer to killing
me than did any of the insurgents or Al Qaeda types. That sort of thing sticks
with you. One story will suffice to make my point.
The first time it happened
was in the spring of 2005. For various reasons, none of which bear repeating, I
was moving through downtown Baghdad in an unmarked civilian sedan. I was with
two other men, but they had the native look, while I was in my uniform, hunched
in the back seat and partially covered by a blanket, hoping that the curtains on
the window were enough to conceal my incongruous presence, not to mention my
weapons. It was not the normal manner in which an Army infantry major moved
around the city, but it was what the situation called for, so there I was. We
were in normal Baghdad traffic, with the flow such as it was, in the hubbub of
confusion that is generated when you suddenly introduce more than 1 million
extra vehicles in the course of two years into a city that previously had only a
few hundred thousand vehicles, and no real licensing authority.
As we
approached one semi-infamous intersection along the main route used by
Blackwater between the International Zone (a.k.a. the Green Zone) and the
Ministry of Interior, one of Blackwater’s convoys roared through. Apparently,
Blackwater’s agents did not like the look of us, the main body of cars in front
of them. Their response was, to say the least, contrary to the best interests of
the United States effort in Iraq. Barreling through in their huge, black armored
Suburbans and Expeditions, they drove other cars onto the sidewalk even as they
popped off rounds from at least one weapon, though I cannot say if the shots
were aimed at us or fired into the sky as a warning. I do know one thing: It
enraged me … and Blackwater is, at least nominally, on our side.

Full Article

I’ve been watching the news on Blackwater USA in recent days after they’ve been involved with shootings of Iraqi civilians. Over the past couple of years in Iraqi, there’s been a little news about the private security firms over there, and it’s always been alarming to me, that essentially civilians are going into war with little oversight and with what seemed like a group of reckless people looking for some sort o of war story. This article just helps my opinion of the company along…
The news that they most likely killed civilians is disgusting, and sadly, doesn’t surprise me all that much. From Norwich, I’ve certainly met a number of people who were likely bound for Iraq, and in some cases, these are people who are extremely pro-US, violent and wanting nothing short of revenge for the events of 9-11. It’s not a good combination, and I suspect that some people who would join this type of organization. Blackwater is nothing short of a mercenary organization, and throughout history, these groups have been despised and hated for what they do.
Erik Prince has said that his people are putting their lives on the line for their country – that’s complete bullshit, in my opinion. The people in Blackwater are there for the money – they’re paid a lot and have a lot of support behind them financially. If they wanted to be there for their country, they’d join the US armed forces, not a sketchy private army with no oversight or concern for anything but their profits.

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5 thoughts on “Blackwater USA

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more & I probably shouldn’t be saying anything as I know lots of wick grads who after leaving the forces joined Blackwater for the pay 😦 but then again I shouldn’t be surprised as money is the root of all evil! oh back to packing now 😉

  2. A few things to add just for Thought- The Job that Blackwater (and those like them) do especially in Iraq is Protection; something that the average GI is not trained to do. As a rule of thumb the U.S. Army is very good at attacking and securing an area, not so good at specialized tactics better suited for police i.e.) protection- Something of note is that of all the Iraqi politicians & America ambassadors they are assigned with protecting Zero have been kidnapped or killed throughout the course of this 4 year war, pretty impressive – Given $100,000 dollars seems like a lot of money to make but keep in mind that the American solider for around $30 a month can get $400,000-$800,000 in life insurance , I doubt that the mercenaries can get civilian life insurance considering the risk of their jobs , so maybe there pay scale is not so out of wack, also considering that most mercenaries have specialized jobs skills ie.) ex special forces/SWAT/Ranger etc..- I think that it is interesting about the increased amount of mercenaries companies in modern times, I would love to do research about the correlation between the lack of a compulsory national service system and mercenaries companies existent, the most disturbing thing is the sheer number of private contractors in the battlefield, the last nation who attempted to add mercenaries to improve their warfare capability was Rome..And that we know how that ended up for them. I wonder how long it will take some enterprising individual to realize he can go down to Mexico and set up army style training camps paying these people $20,000 a year and then sending them fight American battles in lu of an American army because they would be cheaper and cause very little political strife as it would not be the voters sons and daughters would be fighting. After writing this I realized that is was very apologetic of blackwaters actions, obliviously I no way shape or form support what they did, ha

  3. I agree, they do fill a specialized role in Iraq, but they seem to be filling that role in a way that’s both dangerous and reckless. On top of that, there’s no excuse for killing civilians, and while that is a common factor in war, modern armies really try and avoid it – these guys just don’t seem to be, at least that’s my impression. I didn’t consider the insurance aspect of that, so perhaps there’s something there, but from what I’ve heard, these guys are really well taken care of, and really paid above and beyond the pay of a regular soldier. That idea of research into that sort of field sounds facinating – I’d love to see something more on it, and I’m currently looking for some more books on the subject…

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