More evidence that privatizing the military is a recipe for continued disaster:

NYT: Top executives at Blackwater Worldwide authorized secret payments of about $1 million to Iraqi officials that were intended to silence their criticism and buy their support after a September 2007 episode in which Blackwater security guards fatally shot 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, according to former company officials.

Blackwater continues to operate in theater despite the ability of the great American men and women in uniform who are fully capable of handling any security mission given to them by President Obama. Mr. President, why are these goons still on the taxpayers payroll?

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  • Tudorman

    So…U.S. security force bribes corrupt foreign government to buy their silence in the wake of the murder of innocents.

    Hey! Haven't I heard that before? Oh, yeah. Afghanistan.

    And “…privatizing the military is a recipe for continued disaster” is the funniest thing I've heard in a month.

  • Tudorman

    So…U.S. security force bribes corrupt foreign government to buy their silence in the wake of the murder of innocents.

    Hey! Haven't I heard that before? Oh, yeah. Afghanistan.

    And “…privatizing the military is a recipe for continued disaster” is the funniest thing I've heard in a month.

  • If you have an argument to make go ahead and make it. I couldn't make out one in the above. 😉

  • Tudorman

    I think you know exactly what my point is. But since you put a smiley face in your reply…

    1. Blackwater's actions are outrageous, yes. You are right to point this out. But the U.S. does the same thing by placating governments and their corrupt politicians (Afghanistan in my comment, but you can throw Iraq and Pakistan in there also) by offering them billions foreign aid while our military blasts the living crap out of their civilians. Its only a difference in scale, unless of course you think the U.S. military machine ought to have a monopoly on such business practices. Is your beef with what is being done, or who's doing it?

    2. Would you call the U.S. military and foreign policy sans Blackwater a success? Surely not.

  • I actually didn't have any clue what your point was. There didn't appear to be one. Thanks for following up.

    I'm glad we have some agreement as a basis. This is good.

    The difference in the bribery you point out (assuming you are referring to the CIA payments to Karzai's brother) is Blackwater is trying to quell criticisms to further buy their way into more profit taking after having committed the worst civilian atrocity of the war. There is a big difference in strategic covert bribery and hush money for murders.

    I disagree strongly with your premise that the U.S. military “blasts the living crap out of civilians”. Given experience in Iraq, I'd say our uniformed men and women are much more likely to wage war in an honorable fashion than private mercenaries. We'll agree that whenever civilians are killed it is tragic and if it is done purposefully those involved should be punished. My argument is the record of the military is better than that of private security firms. The motives are different and the leadership is most certainly different.

    I have a beef with killing innocent civilians and trying to cover it up with hush money because you might lose out on profiteering on the conflict. I also have a beef with who is waging wars in our name.

    My comment that privatizing the military is a recipe for disaster has empirical evidence. I don't find it funny and certainly not the funniest thing in a month. It can hurt our military mission and lower the moral of troops. I'd support taking the billions we spend on private contractors and using it to train and pay our service-members better.

    #2 is a bogus question on face. The U.S. military and U.S. foreign policy are two completely separate things. The military merely carries out the policy. The problem has arisen when there is confusion in policy which hampers the ability to effectively carry out the military mission. [cough] Iraq [cough] (and soon to be, if not alread, Afghanistan)

    My point remains that the blurring of the lines between what a private “security” firm does and what the military does is dangerous and counter-productive. This practice should stop.

  • Tudorman

    Eric, my comments refer to the larger picture of U.S. foreign policy and military adventuring and how similar they are to what Blackwater did. Perhaps I did not make that clear. If we withdrew all or a substantial amount of foreign aid to Pakistan or Afghanistan or Iraq, would those governments be so willing to cooperate with our senseless (in my mind) military escapades?

    And yes, the lines are blurred. But I say Blackwater is simply doing what it learned to do by watching the U.S. government.

  • Tudorman

    Eric, my comments refer to the larger picture of U.S. foreign policy and military adventuring and how similar they are to what Blackwater did. Perhaps I did not make that clear. If we withdrew all or a substantial amount of foreign aid to Pakistan or Afghanistan or Iraq, would those governments be so willing to cooperate with our senseless (in my mind) military escapades?

    And yes, the lines are blurred. But I say Blackwater is simply doing what it learned to do by watching the U.S. government.

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