Liberal Grace

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Is Blackwater just another Militia in Iraq?

Americans having their own private army in Iraq is a horrible way to start a democracy.

The details of the murky Blackwater are finally emerging and they seem sordid and horrible.

Here is a snippet form the Washington Post about an incident last week... pay special attention to the last paragraph.

U.S. Security Contractors Open Fire in Baghdad

Blackwater Employees Were Involved in Two Shooting Incidents in Past Week

A Blackwater guard shot and killed an Iraqi driver Thursday near the Interior Ministry, according to three U.S. officials and one Iraqi official who were briefed on the incident but spoke on condition of anonymity because of a pending investigation. On Wednesday, a Blackwater-protected convoy was ambushed in downtown Baghdad, triggering a furious battle in which the security contractors, U.S. and Iraqi troops and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters were firing in a congested area.

Blackwater confirmed that its employees were involved in two shootings but could neither confirm nor deny that there had been any casualties, according to a company official who declined to be identified because of the firm's policy of not addressing incidents publicly.

The Iraqi official said the driver encountered the Blackwater convoy after leaving a gas station just outside the Interior Ministry. Some witnesses said the shooting was unprovoked, the official said. He said the driver had wounds in his shoulder, chest and head.

The Blackwater employees refused to divulge their names or details of the incident to Iraqi authorities, according to two of the U.S. officials and the Iraqi official. The officials described a tense standoff that ensued between the Blackwater guards and Interior Ministry forces -- both sides armed with assault rifles -- until a passing U.S. military convoy intervened.
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First of all... why are the US Military having to rescue Blackwater when they should be fighting Al Qaeda? Aren't we paying Blackwater to increase security -- not to be rescued from Mexican standoffs with the local police.

But here's what really stands out to me: The Blackwater employees refused to divulge their names or details of the incident to Iraqi authorities

What right do Blackwater employees have to "refuse to divulge" anything to the authorities? Doesn't refusal to cooperate make them outlaws?

"Private armies" are the scourge of the region. Local strong men with their private armies have a made a mockery of local police and the rule of law.

I can't imagine a democracy breaking out in a country dominated by private armies.

If America is democracy building in Iraq, it's a horrible precedent for America has it's own private army going around shooting people with impunity.

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