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Checkbook Imperialism:  The Blackwater Fiasco

Posted on Sep 18, 2007
Blackwater helicopter

By Robert Scheer

Please, please, I tell myself, leave Orwell out of it.  Find some other, fresher way to explain why “Operation Iraqi Freedom” is dependent upon killer mercenaries.  Or why the “democratically elected government” of “liberated” Iraq does not explicitly have the legal power to expel Blackwater USA from its land or hold any of the 50,000 private contractor troops that the U.S. government has brought to Iraq accountable for their deadly actions.

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Were there even the faintest trace of Iraqi independence rising from the ashes of this failed American imperialist venture, Blackwater would have to fold its tents and go, if only in the interest of keeping up appearances.  After all, the Iraqi Interior Ministry claimed that the Blackwater thugs guarding a U.S. State Department convoy through the streets of Baghdad fired “randomly at citizens” in a crowded square on Sunday, killing 11 people and wounding 13 others.  So the Iraqi government has ordered Blackwater to leave the country after what a government spokesman called a “flagrant assault ... on Iraqi citizens.”

But who told those Iraqi officials that they have the power to control anything regarding the 182,000 privately contracted personnel working for the U.S. in Iraq?  Don’t they know about Order 17, which former American proconsul Paul Bremer put in place to grant contractors, including his own Blackwater bodyguards, immunity from Iraqi prosecution?  Nothing has changed since the supposed transfer of power from the Coalition Provisional Authority, which Bremer once headed, to the Iraqi government holed up in the Green Zone and guarded by Blackwater and other “private” soldiers.

They are “private” in the same fictional sense that our uniformed military is a “volunteer” force, since both are lured by the dollars offered by the same paymaster, the U.S. government.  Contractors earn substantially more, despite $20,000 to $150,000 signing bonuses and an all-time-high average annual cost of $100,000 per person for the uniformed military.  All of this was designed by the neocon hawks in the Pentagon to pursue their dreams of empire while avoiding a conscripted army, which would have millions howling in the street by now in protest.

Instead, we have checkbook imperialism.  The U.S. government purchases whatever army it needs, which has led to the dependence upon private contract firms like Blackwater USA, with its $300-million-plus contract to protect U.S. State Department personnel in Iraq.  That is why the latest Blackwater incident, which Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki branded a “crime,” is so difficult to deal with.  Iraqis are clearly demanding to rid their country of Blackwater and other contractors, and on Tuesday the Iraqi government said it would be scrutinizing the status of all private security firms working in the country. 


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But the White House hopes the outrage will once again blow over. As the Associated Press reported on Monday: “The U.S. clearly hoped the Iraqis would be satisfied with an investigation, a finding of responsibility and compensation to the victim’s families—and not insist on expelling a company that the Americans cannot operate here without.”  Or, as Ambassador Ryan Crocker testified to the U.S. Senate last week: “There is simply no way at all that the State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security could ever have enough full-time personnel to staff the security function in Iraq.  There is no alternative except through contracts.”

Consider the irony of that last statement—that the U.S. experiment in building democracy in Iraq is dependent upon the same garrisons of foreign mercenaries that drove the founders of our own country to launch the American Revolution.  As George Washington warned in his farewell address, once the American government enters into these “foreign entanglements,” we lose the Republic, because public accountability is sacrificed to the necessities of war for empire. 

Despite the fact that Blackwater USA gets almost all of its revenue from the U.S. government—much of it in no-bid contracts aided, no doubt, by the lavish contributions to the Republican Party made by company founder Erik Prince and his billionaire parents—its operations remain largely beyond public scrutiny. Blackwater and others in this international security racket operate as independent states of their own, subject neither to the rules of Iraq nor the ones that the U.S. government applies to its own uniformed forces.  “We are not simply a ‘private security company,’ ” Blackwater boasts on its corporate website. “We are a professional military, law enforcement, security, peacekeeping, and stability operations firm. ... We have become the most responsive, cost-effective means of affecting the strategic balance in support of security and peace, and freedom and democracy everywhere.”

Yeah, so who elected you guys to run the world?


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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, December 31, 2007 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

As you were.

There are many former operators who served when the pay was lousey and the mission wasn’t as pooched as this one.  When you go “private” you place yourself in the same catagory as Halliburton, Custer and Battle and the rest of those butt pirates.

It’s your right to choose to be an independent contractor, however I don’t want my government to have to pay for it as a line item on a bill, moreover, I don’t want some wog who can’t follow the rules of engagement killing some poor civilian and getting off scoot free due to some lawyer clause #17. 

It embarrasses us all.

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By Pico de Gallo, December 30, 2007 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well done, Sleeper.

If LimpetShark could distinguish between his dick and his brain, he might possibly understand the concern. But like all his kind, he confuses muscle for gray matter and can’t fathom a situation in which the former is the wrong approach. In L.A., guys like this are called the Crips and the Bloods. Same thing, different volume. Mercinary soldiers operating outside the reach of the Constitution and loyal to a man, not to a set of principles, are mere storm troopers. Nothing more. It’s not about a job. It’s about a country defined by one thing: A majestic Constitution and Bill of Rights.

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By Sleeper, December 30, 2007 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

Here is a video that draws many parralells to 1930 Germany including a thesis that Blackwater is nothing less then the establishment of the SS in the 1930’s:

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By LimpetShark, December 29, 2007 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just got one comment for this fag that wants to down warriors for coming back in service in the private sector for the military. Many of us have paid our dues to this nation of ours that we protect with pride and honor. Now that we have retired there is limited duty for us in the private sector because of being from the Special Operations Command. So I will just say this to Mr. Jeremy Shitknuckles and others who like to complain about what we do for a living which is legal.

There is a saying in the Special Operations Command and more so in the Teams (because you are not military I will explain) SEAL Teams.

If you dont like what we in the Special Operations of the Military Stand for. Then feel free to stand in front of us.

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By Nabih Ammari, September 30, 2007 at 11:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For those who have no time or those who
could not ,for some unknown technical
reasons,could not check the website,

to read Order 17,created and established
by Paul Bremer,Bush’s Viceroy in Iraq
in 2003,the following paragraphs
are small portions of the article written by Tom Engalhardt:

“Order 17 is a document well worth
reading .It essentially granted to
every foreigner in the country connected to the occupation entereprize the full freedom of the land,not to be interfered with any way
by Iraqis or any Iraqi political or
legal institution.Foreigners-unless
of course,they were jihadis or Iranians-were to be “immune from any form of arrestor detention other than
by persons acting on behalf of their
Sending States,” even though American
and coalition forces were to be allowed the freedom to arrest and
detain in prisons and detention camps
of their own any Iraqis they designated worthy of that honor.(the
present prison population of American
Iraq is reputed to be at least 24,500
and rising).

“Above all else,Bremer freed an already powerful shadow army run out
of private security outfits like
Blackwater USA that,by now,has grown,
according to recent reports,into a
force of 20,000 to 50,000 or more
hired guns.These private soldiers,largely in the employ of the
Pentagon or the U.S. State Department-
and so operating on U.S. taxpayer dollars-were granted the right to act
as they pleased with utter impunity
anywhere in the country.

More than three years later,the
language of Order 17 written in high
legalese,remains striking when it
comes to contractors.”

The above three paragraphs from the
excellent article may give a good
idea what the Blackwater and other
hired guns are doing to the people
of Iraq.

I intend to make copies of the whole
article and mail them to my Representative and to my two Senators
from Ohio.I do hope that whoever reads
the article and believes in justice,as
I do,will do likewise.Thank You.
Nabih Ammari

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By Nabih Ammari, September 30, 2007 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In order to fully comprehend the horror
of all horrors inflected on the Iraqi
people because of Order 17 (Paul Bremer’
s law),please check the following website:

After you get the general theme of
the website,please look for an article
entitled ” Tomgram: Bush’s Free World
And Welcome To It ” written by Tom
Engalhardt and his guest authors.

As you read the article you will
know the reasons behind the fact that
the mercenaries of the Blackwater and its ilks have field days in Iraq without being accountable to any authority.It is a real dangerous
situation for every Iraqi.I strongly
believe that every self-respecting
American and self-respecting human-
-being should condemn Order 17 and
demand eleminating it from A to Z.
Nabih Ammari
An Independent in Ohio

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By Verne Arnold, September 29, 2007 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

#103490 by zz ziled on 9/29 at 1:03 pm
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Arnold Verne,

I am so very flattered that you find my posts “very interesting.” Thank you! 

Thanks for the response.  Yes, you have a certain way with words and information.  Beyond the norm, me thinks.  Anyway…thanks for the links and happy trails.

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By cyrena, September 29, 2007 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

#103505 by zz ziled

ZZ…thanks for the reference. But, I’d already read it. I even expected it. It’s par for the course. (the excuse that there was “bedlam” going on at the time of Blackwater’s most recent death squad operation.

I expected it because that’s what the Mob always does…SOP. In the years since Blackwater has been carrying out these death squad operations in Iraq, they almost NEVER come to light. We’ve lived in near total secrecy of anything these gangsters do, in Iraq or here at home. BUT, when an incident comes along that hits the fan before it can be squelched, (with all bodies buried), then the next and very predictable thing will be an excuse like, Oh, there was “bedlam and chaos” going on at the time.

NO SHIT? This happened in IRAQ – right? I mean, we are at least on the same part of the map there, right? Can you give me an episode or time period during the past 4 ½ years when there HAS NOT been murder/mayhem/bedlam/chaos in Iraq? Like, maybe since we GOT there, and stirred it all up?

Blackwater = US death squads operating in a sovereign nation not their own, and killing off the populace of that nation, with impunity, and zero accountability. AND, we the taxpayer of America are providing that murder for hire service.

So, that’s my analysis of that. I figure if Blackwater wasn’t in Iraq last week, or last year, or 4 years ago, there wouldn’t have been any bedlam/murder/mayhem/chaos or fog of war.

So, since I’ve been keeping up with the activities of Blackwater and its sponsors, (the White House Mob) I’ll be ready to prosecute them for war crimes at the Hague, if we can ever round them up.

Meantime, heaven help any of them that might show up at MY door. Oh yes…that would get UGLY.

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By zz ziled, September 29, 2007 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is getting mighty U-G-L-Y out there in ‘incident analysis’ land!!!!

Hey Cyrena, post #102587—-Since you seem to enjoy arm-chair quarterbacking analysis; here is a nut for you….

Adieus ya all,
zz ziled

“Blackwater Faced Bedlam, Embassy Finds
‘First Blush’ Report Raises New Questions on Shooting
By Steve Fainaru and Sudarsan Raghavan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, September 28, 2007; Page A01

The initial U.S. Embassy report on a Sept. 16 shooting incident in Baghdad involving Blackwater USA, a private security firm, depicts an afternoon of mayhem that included a car bomb, a shootout in a crowded traffic circle and an armed standoff between Blackwater guards and Iraqi security forces before the U.S. military intervened.

The two-page report, described by a State Department official as a “first blush” account from the scene, raises new questions about what transpired in the intersection. According to the report, the events that led to the shooting involved three Blackwater units. One of them was ambushed near the traffic circle and returned fire before fleeing the scene, the report said. Another unit that went to the intersection was then surrounded by Iraqis and had to be extricated by the U.S. military, it added.” [More @: WAPO listed URL including DoS “Quick Report”]

Hat tip:  September 28, 2007
Report on BW Shooting Raises Questions

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By zz ziled, September 29, 2007 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Arnold Verne,

I am so very flattered that you find my posts “very interesting.” Thank you! 

If you wish to read a few more and today’s visit:


As to who I am; I am not “A PERSON OF INTEREST” and
besides, I would not enjoy to have the Blackwater USA “Welcome Wagon” knocking at my door in the event of a disaster like Katrina…

Unless of course, you are someone like DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, who has extra ordinary psychic powers—-you never know when disaster could actually strike and you would have to be rescued by those big tough and beefy Blackwater USA boys….
“Blackwater’s Troubles Deepening

Blackwater USA’s involvement in the shooting deaths of up to 11 Iraqi civilians on September 16 is metastasizing into the the largest scandal the company has yet faced regarding its conduct in Iraq.

Numerous investigations are underway, both here and in Baghdad.

There is growing speculation that, if the political pressure in Washington continues to build (a big if, given the legion of DC lobbyists the company employs to represent its interests), Blackwater’s Iraq contract could be in jeopardy.

Rep. Henry A. Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has scheduled a hearing for next Tuesday at which Blackwater founder Erik Prince will make a rare public appearance.

In the run-up to the hearing, Waxman’s committee has been trying, without success, to obtain relevant documents from Blackwater.

The company’s reluctance to cooperate has led to a stand-off between Congress and the State Department..” 

[Source: Mother Jones MOJOBLOG/ posted by Bruce Falconer on 09/28/07 at 12:00 PM

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By Pico, September 26, 2007 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

Hey Guys—

I almost can’t put it down, Earnest. It’s a fantastic read, but also just absolutely appalling.

JEP, I don’t see a contact point on your site. But know that if you click on the red line under every Pico post that tells how many comments I’ve sent in, my profile will come up, with an email address. Everyone who’s registered has a profile place where we can put in as much or as little info as we like. Just in case, you can reach me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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By JEP, September 26, 2007 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

Pico, go back over to my blog and leave me a comment with your email address…

I have a wolf story to tell you…

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By cann4ing, September 26, 2007 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

Hey Pico, slow down!  You’ll finish the Shock Doctrine before I do.

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By Pico, September 26, 2007 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

Jep: HokaHey, as TAO would say. Tying on my kerchief as we speak.

Thanks for the history of that, by the way.

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By JEP, September 26, 2007 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

Remember The Rednecks!

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By Pico, September 26, 2007 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

Suppose that the increasingly strident ant-liberal rhetoric of the last 30 years was a strategy to make the minds of conservative Americans amenable to removing us.

In that scenario, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, and others are psychological storm troopers, a secular advance guard paralleling Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, and Tim LaHaye on the religious side. The tactic is not new. Goebbels perfected it on the Jews.

I’m now 75 pages into The Shock Doctrine and I’m ready to scrawl on the walls, “Jakarta is coming!”

The master that Bush and Cheney serve is Milton Friedman. The model that they follow is Suharto’s Indonesia and Pinochet’s Chile.  The local trial balloon was New Orleans.

The enemy is the peaceful and prosperous New Deal society. Its crime was Keynesian/Galbraithian economics, ensuring that wealth produced by many is returned in some measure to many. That is called “redistribution,” or worse, “transfer,” as if the profit of a corporation were realized entirely by the men in the executive suite, without the labor of the employees, and as if the raw materials of which the wealth was created had always belonged to them and not to the commonwealth itself.

The objective is to make of the world—soon to be starring the great prize itself, the former constitutionally democratic USA—a completely unregulated economy—-without product safety or quality regulations, or workplace health and safety regulations, or humane labor requirements, or minimum wage requirements, or environmental protections, or tariffs, or any other form of restraint on “free trade.”

The infrastructure is in place. The jobs are being outsourced, the unions dismantled, and the trade agreements written apace. The plans have been written, tested, and perfected. The engineers are at their posts. The media has been harnessed, the military propagandized, the people divided, the domestic intelligence and torture apparatus made fully legal and acceptable, and erected, the detention centers have been built, the CIA has been brought to heel, the equation of protest with treason firmly established, the voting machines and voting laws in key states have been fixed, the high Court pretty much rigged, and Congress has been neutralized. The presidency is unitary. Read, the president is a dictator.

The missing piece, according to the pattern previously tested successfully in Jakara, Santiago, and New Orleans, is the next big shock, analogous in effect to Katrina or to 9-11, if not much worse.

The way to get that next shock is by bombing Iran. Either in the event itself or in the aftermath of retaliation, anyone who stands in the way of a declaration of martial law will be forcibly detained and tortured until everyone understands that there’s a new game in the USA, and it is called “disaster capitalism.” What’s yours is theirs, what’s ours is theirs, and what’s theirs is theirs—constitution rights, homes, bank accounts, savings, the land and our liberty itself. The end.

What’s going on now in Myanmar (Burma) is a miniature version of what will soon be coming to a theatre near you—that’s if any American has the grit to protest, I mean.

None other than Daniel Ellsberg just warned in a speech at American University that if we go to war with Iran, we will be a police state. Read all about it on the Consortium website.

If you read nothing else in your life, read Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine. The veil will fall from your eyes.

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By cann4ing, September 25, 2007 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

From Webster’s 9th New Collegiate Dictionary:

“Mercenary:  one that serves merely for waqes, esp.:  a soldier hired for foreign service.”

“Mercenary (adj):  1 Serving merely for pay or sordid adventure.”

Take you pick.  Blackwater’s heavily armed soldiers for hire fit either definition.  And I can think of no more sordid adventure then serving the interests of the corporatocracy in its imperial conquest of Iraq.

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By cyrena, September 25, 2007 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

•  #102492 by Verne Arnold on 9/25 at 12:37 am
(258 comments total)
#102426 by zz ziled on 9/24 at 4:07 pm
(Unregistered commenter)
Your posts are very interesting.  Not that I expect an actual answer; but who the hell are you?

You must not have read the entire post from zz ziled. According to that post, zz is the Boy’s wife, (he/she refers to her husband george the president) and then signs it Condi Rice the spice doc. No, it’s condi rice the doc. (sorry, I got it twisted there).

So, now you know who he/she is. And, he/she also mentions correcting Maliki’s English, (event though none of them speak Arabic, which happens to be the language of that Nation, since she is the King/Queen, and everybody is supposed to speak our language after we invade and occupy them…especially his/her puppets. What good is a puppet government if you can’t communicate with them to give them their instructions).

And, this zz ziled also mentions how “buff and macho” these blackwater dudes are, except of course he/she had to add the part about their BIG WEAPONS, because these buff and macho guys would be dead without them. (don’t leave home without your super-duper machine guns and cannons, because they’d run like hell if they actually had to engage in a real fight, just using their buffness and machoness as weapons)

But wait a minute, they’re STILL losing the war, even WITH all of those big ass weapons, and all of the macho-buff stuff. What’s up with that?

Meantime, I just glanced at a headline outlining the most recent Congressional activities. Guess what? They’re “examining Hip-Hop language!!! Debating the Lyrics. So, we’ve lost them as well.(which I guess we figured out long ago) They’re in the rabbit hole too, and I don’t think they can be saved.

Matter of fact, I’m not even gonna try. They can stay in the rabbit hole, and I’m on my way to collect more soil and rocks to fill it in. Once that’s been accomplished, we’ll declare it a hazard, (all that explosive bullshit buried underground in one space) and erect lots of barriers around it, and use the Blackwater macho buff guys to guard it.

If one of them manages to crawl out, the whole thing will explode. That will be the final stage of the self-destruction, and then those of us who escaped the rabbit hole, will all be free to move about our country, like in the old days.

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By lodipete, September 25, 2007 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

This outfit and it’s sister organizations need to be broken up and criminalized right now. This is a heavily armed security force waiting only for the right time to unleash their mayhem on strikers,protesters or anybody else who offends the people who sign their paychecks. They are the worst nightmare of all those who love freedom and the way of life established in this republic. If you can’t fight a war with the troops you have, don’t fight the war unless you’ve been invaded.Pester your elected officials about these organizations and demand their disbanding. Hold the politicians feet to the fire over this and the imperial ambitions of the plutocrats. Dump the empire and return to the principles of the Founders before this odious Praetorian Guard is unleashed on America.

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By cann4ing, September 25, 2007 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

zz ziled tells us that Blackwater is performing a necessary job.  Really?  Was invading Iraq “necessary”?  Was it necessary to privatize the function of guarding U.S. diplomats when, during the preceding 200 years of this republic, the function was carried out by the U.S. Marine corps?  And I am curious about your term “ruffled feathers.”  Would you regard regard the many innocent Iraqis murdered by this unaccountable, heavily armed band of mercenaries as “ruffled feathers”?

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By Verne Arnold, September 25, 2007 at 1:37 am Link to this comment

#102426 by zz ziled on 9/24 at 4:07 pm
(Unregistered commenter)

Your posts are very interesting.  Not that I expect an actual answer; but who the hell are you?

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By zz ziled, September 24, 2007 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Little Bo Peep asked me to repost this here.

Dear Mr. Sheer,

I am ready to make you and your little friends stay after hours in detention.

And believe me you will not like keyboarding thousand word essays under former State Department official J. Cofer Black’s detention conditions.

You fail to grasp that private security contractors like Blackwater are in Iraq and are operating under dangerous conditions and they are protecting and guarding State Department lives in Iraq.

These really big and buff men, with their big and macho weapons are doing an unpleasant, but necessary job for the Department of State on US and Iraqi Approved Contracts—-we at the DoS just don’t have the personnel to surge and cover all our operations in theater.

Just this morning Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called and was pitchin’ another bitch to me about all the mercenaries running loose in his country after reading an article and some blogger jerk named Haas’s comments in the WAPO. private_armies_public_debate_1.html

I corrected the PM’s English usage and told him to find a new translator, because security contractors are NOT mercenaries under my husband G.W. Bush’s New American English standards.

I explained to the PM that private contractors can’t possibly be considered mercenaries, because that might indeed be a violation of: “...Article 5 of the International Convention Against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries of 1993, “States Parties shall not recruit, use, finance or train mercenaries and shall prohibit such activities” like that loser Haas pointed out…

And yeah so what, I told the PM that: “In some cases, legal devices are used to conceal the nature of the assignment or to make the mercenary appear to be a national of the country in whose armed
conflict he is involved.  Although the use of such a device conceals the mercenary’s real status, information such as the origin of the contractual
relationship, the payment, the type of services agreed upon and the simultaneous use of other nationalities and passports, may serve as
evidence in establishing the true nationality of persons involved in an armed conflict who are justifiably suspected of being mercenaries…”

“In these cases, the legal loophole is that the law guarantees that the market may operate freely and that people may be recruited freely.

The person who recruits a potential mercenary is simply an intermediary and is not
committing an act that is illegal and criminal per se, since the mercenary will not necessarily receive money to commit a crime, the contract is
signed in a place other than where the criminal action will occur and the country’s laws do not classify mercenary activity in a separate category
which automatically links the name of the mercenary and his signing of a contract with the commission of a formally defined offence. 

This situation calls for careful investigation and monitoring of market activities related to the recruitment of persons for unspecified services, which constitute a traffic that culminates in objective damage in a territory other than the one in which the contract was made and jeopardizes the sovereignty of a third State, peoples’ lives, the economy and self-determination.

To prevent mercenary activities, States should consider, inter alia, the possibility of revoking the operating licences and permits of entities
that have hired mercenaries to engage in illegal activities, refusing passports and visas to mercenaries and prohibiting them from passing
through the territory of other States.”


All the ruffled feathers are smoothed out now in the Press except for you and your little troublemakers.

If you keep nonsense like this up, you could be in real trouble.

Diplomatically yours,
Condi Rice—-that’s DOC RICE not DOC SPICE to you.

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By cann4ing, September 24, 2007 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

This from Naomi Klein’s new book, “The Shock Doctrine:  The Rise of Disaster Capitalism:” 

“To kick start the disaster capitalism complex, the Bush administration outsourced, with no public debate, many of the most sensitive and core functions of government—from providing health care to soldiers, to interrogating prisoners, to gathering and ‘data mining’ information on all of us.  The role of the government in this unending war is not that of an administrator managing a network of contractors but of a deep-pocketed venture capitalist, both providing its seed money for the complex creation and becoming the customer for its new services….In 2006, the U.S. government spending on homeland security averaged $545 per household. 

“And that’s just the home front of the War on Terror; the real money is in fighting wars abroad.  Beyond the weapons contractors, who have seen their profits soar thanks to the war in Iraq, maintaining the U.S. military is now one of the fastest-growing service economies in the world…..

“...Pioneered in Iraq, for-profit relief and reconstruction has already become the new global paradigm, regardless of whether the original destruction occurred from a preemptive war…or a hurricane.  With resource scarcity and climate change providing a steadily increasing flow of new disasters, responding to emergencies is simply too hot an emerging market to be left to the nonprofits…Why should UNICEF rebuild schools when it can be done by Bechtel…?  Why deploy UN peacekeepers to Darefur when private security companies are looking for new clients?  And that is the post September 11 difference: before, wars and disasters provided opportunities for narrow sectors of the economy—the makers of fighter jets, for instance….The primary economic role of wars…was a means to open new markets…Now wars and disaster responses are so fully privatized that they are themselves the new market….the medium is the message.”

While Jeremy Scahill has forcefully presented the threat to the survival of democracy posed by Blackwater and its mercenary ilk as the administration’s praetorian guard, it is also essential to place Blackwater within the overall scheme of what Ms. Klein aptly describes as the “Disaster Capitalists.”  Yes, Iraq is very much about the oil, but war itself has acquired its own raison d’etre.

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By great_satan, September 24, 2007 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Of course Blackwater USA is just one of about 15 such companies. There are over 20 companies doing spy work. Also, even though Blackwater HG is in the US, it has an affiliate called “greystone inc.” that is off shore in barbados.
  If you hit this link, then go down the left hand margin, there are two groupings of links, one called “rent-a-spy”, the other called “rent-a-seal.”

  Not that I agree so much with her perspective on everything, but this woman has the motherload of information on military outsourcing.

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By purplewolf, September 24, 2007 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

So the Rednecks were sort of like the Molly Maguires in Ireland,fighting the oppressors for our rights more less. Wish I knew about the show on the History channel last nite.Thanks for the info about it Jep.They always rerun the shows.

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By JEP, September 24, 2007 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

The coal miners who formed an ad hoc militia to take on the Blackweater goons of an earlier era wore red kerchiefs around their necks, to identify each other when they took out the goons.

One thing that bullies don’t ever understand until it is too late, is that their actions turn us everyday citizens into bullies. Bullies get away with their crap because they are just plain mean, most of the time. But when the rage of their vicitms turns into action, the Bullies always find themselves outmanned, outgunned and outmeaned.

The Rednecks were simple, hard working folks who wanted to live peaceful lives, they were self-proclaimed peace-lovers.  But when the Balckwater boys of the past got their blood bliling, their retruibution was swift, complete and cruel. 

The American Revolution was just a bigger version of this concept. 

Full-time Bullies eventually get bullied back, by bigger, stronger and meaner bullies-for-a-day.

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By Pico, September 24, 2007 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

“Real men” have brains and love the Constitution. They understand why the USA was created as it was, and they admire the concept of liberty, quality, and justice for all.

“Real men” don’t hide behind automatic weapons, either, or shoot unarmed citizens in the back, or terrorize their own countrymen and women.

“Real men” don’t have to put women down to make themselves feel significant. They don’t have to play games and dress up, either == like Bush did on the carrier deck.

Real men just are. It’s a character thing.

JEP, I admire your handling of the Bible sitch.

Wish I’d seen the piece on the unions. What did you learn about the term “redneck”? I always thought it came from how the back of a dirt farmer’s neck gets so sunburned. I try to remember not to use it derogatorily. When I want to refer to somebody like zz, I tend to use terms like sheep-____er. (OK, not really.)

I doubt there’ll ever be an actual drug war. Bush and Cheney and Prince their pals make too much kickback from the cocaine traffic. It’ll just be a ruse for kicking people’s doors down.

What color do you hope your quonset hut detention center will be? I’m sure I’ll be put in the lavendar one. These people are SOOOOOOOOO creative.

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By Pico, September 24, 2007 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

“Real men” have brains and love the Constitution. They understand why the USA was created as it was, and they admire the concept of liberty, quality, and justice for all.

“Real men” don’t hide behind automatic weapons, either, or shoot unarmed citizens in the back, or terrorize their own countrymen and women.

“Real men” don’t have to put women down to make themselves feel significant. They don’t have to play games and dress up, either == like Bush did on the carrier deck.

Real men just are. It’s a character thing.

JEP, I admire your handling of the Bible sitch.

Wish I’d seen the piece on the unions. What did you learn about the term “redneck”? I always thought it came from how the back of a dirt farmer’s neck gets so sunburned. I sometimes use it derogatorily, but I try to remember not to. When I want to refer to somebody like zz, I tend to use terms like sheep-****er. (Well, not really.)

I doubt there’ll ever be an actual drug war. Bush and Cheney and Prince their pals make too much kickback from the cocaine traffic. It’ll just be a ruse for kicking people’s doors down.

What color do you hope your quonset hut detention center will be? I’m sure I’ll be put in the lavendar one. These people are SOOOOOOOOO creative.

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By JEP, September 24, 2007 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

Maybe we’d best get back to the thread..  The last word I’ll write about the ot conversation we are sharing is that I share your concerns, Ernest, but not your personal bitterness.

Now back to the subject at hand…

Anyone who saw the History Channel coverage of the old West Virginia story hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus last night might remember the thugs who worked for the coal mining robber-barrons, the ones who murdered so many union workers in cold blood back in the 30’s. Yhose thugs were the Blackwater of the depression era.

I have to admit, I was more than impressed with Cyrus’ presentation.

I will never again be able to use the term “redneck” in a durogatory fashion, and let me take this public forum to apologize for ever using it negatively in the past.

The truth is, The Rednecks were populist heroes, not dumb hicks (well, OK, most of us are dumb hicks in the eyes of anyone from NY or LA.) And they were defending their families and their way of life from those Blackwater type bullies.

I was never an “achybreaky heart” fan, but I’m beginning to see a populist bent to Billy Ray’s politics that he manages to get out through the History channel’s usual conservativism, and I hope he does more towards promoting that image.

Hopefully, Disney won’t get all bent out of shape when they realize Billy Ray’s message is a populist one.

Seriously, folks, if you missed it, you missed one of the best history lessons I’ve seen in quite a while.

Also, just a passing observation, but it sounds like these Blackwater thugs are tweakers, they sure seem to have have the uncontrolled outburst rages.

Consider that Blackwater is now planning to come back here and get into the drug nforcemeth business, who wants to bet it won’t be long til’ Robocop is sniffing out the smoke and raiding people’s homes.

They plan to return here and make “drugs” the old/new boogey man, so they can wreak havoc on our own society with impunity that comes from stupidity and greed.

Why are we allowing Blackwater to even have a license?

These Balckwater ops, like the goons in Billy ray’s history lessons, ARE THE DEVIL!

Evil, pure and simple, to quote my old pal Buckaroo.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy.

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By cann4ing, September 24, 2007 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

JEP—your assumption that I have never read your precious Bible is not an accurate one.  Having read much of its contents, I found it unworthy of further attention primarily because I am reality based.  I do not fear the Bible.  I do fear a delusional president; a man with his finger on our nuclear arsenal who thinks he talks to God!

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By zz ziled, September 24, 2007 at 12:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Get a Clue Sheer,

Fightin’ terrorism takes ruthlessness; that is why I am making over six figures and you wish you did.

At the Agency under Bill Casey, we ALL liked our cocktails straight up with a chaser and ice was only for heads.

Real MEN ran the agencies, ass got kicked and things just got taken care of.

We didn’t have a bunch of broads like your little darling Valerie Plame there either.

You liberal pukes really balled stuff up with your whining to the Church Commission. 

So now, under our MBA President Bush and Birdshot the Agency’s and DOD’s best Special Operator talent has gone private; that way things can get done again.
As Always LOL,
Locked and Loaded
J. Cofer Black
“The United States and its allies have moved closer to capturing Osama bin Laden in the last two months, a top U.S. counterterrorism official said in a television interview broadcast Saturday.

If he has a watch, he should be looking at it because the clock is ticking. He will be caught,” Joseph Cofer Black, the U.S. State Department coordinator for counterterrorism, told private Geo television network.” September 2004 []
November 06, 2004
Cofer Black Resigns
  President Bush’s point man for international counterterrorism policy has quit, the first resignation by a senior official to be made public since Bush’s reelection, a U.S. official said on Friday.
  Cofer Black, the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism for the last two years, told his bosses of his decision well before the election, which Bush won campaigning as a strong leader in the war on terror.
“He informed the State Department a few weeks ago that the transition period after the election would be the right time for him to explore new professional opportunities,” State Department spokesman Adam Ereli told Reuters.
He plans to leave the government in a few weeks, added Ereli, who did not know what Black would move on to.
Background On The Romney For President Counter-Terrorism Policy Advisory Group:
Cofer Black (Chair): Black is Chairman of Total Intelligence Solutions. Beginning in February 2005, he became Vice Chairman of Blackwater USA and CEO of The Black Group.
“These groups are tasked with advising Governor Romney on issues vital to protecting the United States.”
More @:
“Black - who has been vice chairman at Blackwater for two years - was director of the CIA Counterterrorism Center during 9/11 and led the agency’s hunt for Osama bin Laden.

Cofer Black, just to remind people, was the man who stood before Congress and said there’s a before-9/11 and an after-9/11, and after 9/11 the gloves come off. He was a key figure in the extraordinary rendition program, the government-sanctioned kidnap-and-torture program, where prisoners like Maher Arar are sent to third-country hellholes to be tortured. He’s now a major figure at Blackwater USA.

He’s been the vice chairman of the company. He’s now one of the key people behind a new privatized intelligence company called Total Intelligence Solutions that’s being bankrolled by Erik Prince, the head of Blackwater.”

17 September O7
“Mitt Romney has chosen Cofer Black to head his counterterrorism policy advisory group. Black, as the CIA’s chief of counterterrorism back in 2001, is famous for ordering an agent to find Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and send back the al-Qaida leader’s head packed in dry ice.”

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By JEP, September 23, 2007 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

Ernest Canning;
“If that offends you, I am truly pleased.”

Why would I be offended? 

And if it is just a fairy tale, then what’s the harm in reading it?

Or are you afraid?

It won’t burn your hand when you touch it!

I’ve read the Gita, some of the Koran, Siddhartha, I’ve studied the rosicrucians and the sumerians, I devoured the gods of the Greeks and the Romans when I was very young child in the public library.  I still read Shakespeare, Locke and Voltaire now and then. Lately I’ve been looking into Diderot.  He and Ben Franklin would have been bosom buddies…

And I learned something from all of it. Even some of the fairy tales, Grimms has some wonderful lessons…

So why should the Bible make you so squeamish?

Your personal fears don’t offend me, but they do suggest you certainly have a limited library.

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By zz ziled, September 23, 2007 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tie a Yellow Ribbon around it Sheer Buddy-Boy,

Get this clear——we at Blackwater run with the BIG DOGS and so we really don’t need to follow no stinkin’ [International Traffic in Arms Regulations] (ITAR) or [Directorate of Defense Trade Controls] (DDTC) regs like those other government contractors.

We got “Homies” in high places at the Department of State and in the Administration!

Lock and Load,
Erik Prince’s well-trained contract employees
“Two sources familiar with the investigation said prosecutors are looking at whether Blackwater lacked permits for dozens of automatic weapons used at its training grounds in Moyock. The investigation is also looking into whether Blackwater was shipping weapons, night-vision scopes, armor, gun kits and other military goods to Iraq without the required permits.”

More @: “Feds investigating Blackwater’s weapons shipments to Iraq” ; The Virginian-Pilot; ]]
Senate Dems hear whistleblower claims of abuse
By Robert Brodsky
Gov Exec [Full article @:
September 21, 2007

“The 30-year veteran of the Navy claimed that while imprisoned by the U.S. military in a security compound outside Baghdad in retaliation for blowing the whistle on the contractor he worked for at the time, he was denied basic necessities like food, water and medication, placed in isolation without access to an attorney, and kept awake by heavy metal music drummed into his holding cell….

But last year, Judge T.S. Ellis III of the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia overturned the award, arguing that the defendants had not proven that the Coalition Provisional Authority—the transitional government that the Bush administration established in Iraq at the start of the war—was part of the U.S. government. That ruling is now being appealed.

Since Isakson’s trial, not a single whistleblower suit has gone to trial, and the Bush administration has failed to join any of the at least a dozen qui tam suits filed by whistleblowers under the federal False Claims Act.”
“Tehran Times”:
Sunday, September 23, 2007
More @

Blackwater admits employees illegally sold weapons

“WASHINGTON (Agencies)—Federal prosecutors are investigating allegations that employees of Blackwater—the security firm accused of killing up to 20 Iraqi civilians—illegally smuggled weapons into Iraq, according to U.S. government sources.

A U.S. government official said the U.S. attorney’s office in Raleigh, North Carolina, is investigating individual Blackwater employees—not the company—for illegal weapons deals.

A company source acknowledged to CNN that two Blackwater employees were fired for buying guns with Blackwater money and selling them without the consent or knowledge of the company. It was not clear where the arms were bought and sold.

The first public hint that an investigation was under way came earlier this week in a statement from State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard when he was accused of blocking fraud investigations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The flow of illegal weapons in Iraq has been a major concern in recent months.

The State Department and Pentagon launched their own investigation following complaints from the Turkish government in July that they had seized American-made weapons from the PKK, a Kurdish group considered a terrorist organization by the U.S.

More @:

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By cann4ing, September 23, 2007 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, JEP, but your suggestion that I read something from a chapter called Revelations from the book of fairy tales, aka the Bible, leaves me flat.  If that offends you, I am truly pleased.

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By JEP, September 23, 2007 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

Read Revelations 11, verse 18, partucularly the last few words…

Am I missing something here, or shouldn’t those 40 Million “near enders” be a bit more concerned about the environment, and the Earth? 

Jesus sure seems to be.  I wouldn’t want to be a corporate icon with a polluting factory or plant up and running when that day comes..

Is there any place else anywhere else in the Bible, where the end-times enemies of Christ are so well defined?

I’ve crossreferenced every version of the Bible i could find, and can not find a single version that defers away from the obvious statement of environmental issues that this verse suggests.

For the athiests and non-christians who read this, don’t be offended.  I’m speaking to the “near enders” in their own language, I’m not evangelizing…

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By Pico, September 23, 2007 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

TAO, my Brother in Spirit, you shine a clear, bright light. Thank you.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 23, 2007 at 7:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pico on 9/19 at 1:13 pm
(Unregistered commenter)

To Inherit the Wind:
Yours is the best post I’ve read all day. I like it so much I’ve taken the liberty to reprint it on my blog, fully attributed, of course. Take a look at If there’s a problem, let me know at the e-address on the site and I’ll take it down. Meanwhile, well said!

Sorry it took so long—Thanks for the complement!

I realize there are differences between these two monsters, but while OBL is running and hiding, Erik Prince is here in the US and is being allowed to assemble the largest private army on Earth.  He’s like a James Bond villain, yet he is allowed AND ENCOURAGED to operate that way.  His mercs are also supposed to “dedicated Christian soldiers” so I guess he’s planning a new Crusade, with all the evil that implies—and the Crusades were TRULY evil, not virtuous.

I realize his thugs were granted diplomatic immunity by Bremer, but the US can EASILY revoke that and turn them over to Iraqi authorities.  Or, we can try them for 1st degree murder under US law—diplomatic immunity while in Iraq has NOTHING to do with whether you can be prosecuted in the US.

And I have news for Mr. Prince: Your thugs marching around the streets of America, even under martial law, do NOT have diplomatic immunity and, if they commit criminal acts they can (and MUST) be prosecuted for them.

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By William Ries, September 23, 2007 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

What percentage of US citizens are aware of the presence of para military civilian contractors in Iraq and Afganistan?  Five?  Twenty?  One? The national media rarely covers this topic.  The majority of citizens are shut out of the process of “protecting US security interests” over there.  Little did we know that Dick Cheney et al would utilze our taxpayer dollars providing “private” security for US diplomats.  Isn’t that the job of the US Marines?  So I thought.  Oh, but there aren’t enough!  No draft either, huh?  Let’s just pay hired guns 10 times as much as a military person.  No wonder our roads are crumbling and the “average” person is so left out of the loop.  The darkness is designed that way,keep citizens oblivious to the facts with complicity by the national media, all to enrich the pockets of the corporations profiteering from this “war”.

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By TAO Walker, September 23, 2007 at 12:40 am Link to this comment

Pico (#102072) pretty accurately pinpoints the period when the reactionary establishmentarian response to the “Free Wheelin’” fifties, sixties, and very early seventies really got serious.  The panicky and heavily authoritan “counter-revolutionary” program, however, was set-up on already existing foundations laid literally thousands of years earlier….and follows designs and practices applied many many times before….though not on such a grandiosly “global” scale.

The increasing severity of the “shock-and-lockdown” regime we’re seeing now is due in part to the surprising and intense challenge (to Mr. Justice Powell’s “enterprise system,”) that occurred so spontaneously at the time.  It threatened to deprive “the system” of many much-needed “hearts and minds” considered critical to “the program”....a “threat” realized before it was actually recognized.     

The allamerican pirate-ship-of-state seemed ‘til then to be sailing merrily along, playing alternating good-cop-bad-cop gigs with its “godless totalitarianism” opposite number; “Father Kn(ew) Best;” mom kept house; M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E kept the kids outta worse trouble; “No need to get excited…..”  Then suddenly it all started to rock ‘n’ roll off the rails, something none of the ruling plutoligarchy’s watch-dogs had seen coming.  “The rest of the story” is only now beginning to come to light….thanks in no small measure to Pico and so many others here who’re actively digging it up.

cyrena (#102115) raises questions that are likely pre-occupying others as well.  Her concerns about how to keep out of the cross-fire certainly deserve some thoughtful consideration.  Here are some hopefully encouraging words from Indian Country….“where the Deer and the Buffalo play.”

The gangsters’ seeming immunity from prosecution is derived entirely from their having made virtually all of their subject/citizens to some degree complicit in their crimes against Nature.  Who among the domesticated peoples can “throw the first stone?”  Then there’s the very effective illusion that without “civilization” they’re “all gonna die!” miserably….a sure-fire fear-maker, except to those described below who simply don’t fall for it. 

The Book of Changes recommends “....making energetic progress in The Good,” as the most effective Way to overcome and ameliorate the effects of “evil.”  By refusing to be baited, and by instead giving our precious attention to (again in Bob Dylan’s words) “....strengthen(ing) the things that remain,” we offer our would-be tormentors nothing they can “hook” us on.  We become in-effect invisible to their surveilance apparatus….beyond the reach of their “extra-ordinary renditions.”

This is all Indian Country.  We’re all, in our essential being, free wild natural People.  By taking care of one another where we live we are, along with all our Relations, sustaining LifeHerownself’s Great Hoop here with our Mother Earth.  Is there anything “better” to do….than “what comes nacherly?”


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By cyrena, September 22, 2007 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

#102055 by TAO Walker

TAO, I ditto Ernest. This just might be your best yet. Note I said ‘yet’ with the arrogant presumption that you’ll continue to grace us with these diamonds of wisdom.

It’s a hopeful message, because you point out that that they are indeed in the process of devouring themselves, and I’ve seen that happening for a while now. So, we (who KNOW) can maintain the posture that at some point, they will simply self-destruct and that there is no real need for any of the rest of us to do anything to help it along. (Since they’re already in the process).

My lingering concern though, is complicated, (even to articulate). But in the nutshell,  what the hell do we do, to prevent being sucked up into the cycle of THEIR own self-destruction? Just a sort of “how to” -  ‘tips for dummies’ would help. We’re doing the community organization stuff, (at least to the degree that can be accomplished in what is a pretty fluid population) but I need a plan for the more geographically rooted part of the network/family/tribe, etc., just from a purely pragmatic perspective. (ie, I can’t fight off the BlackWater death squads with my knives or spear alone, if they appear in my neighborhood BEFORE their self-destruction can be completed). So, that’s the thing that’s got me bugged right now. It just seems like they aren’t self-devouring quickly enough.

#102072 by Pico

Pico my friend, (also a famous boulevard running though my hometown) this is such a meaty piece, that it will keep me reading through the night. I thank you. (again, the links are worth their weight in gold).

Ya know, I had no idea, (until about 3 years ago) of just how HUGE the Christian Fundamentalist movement had become. For me, they had always been on the “fringes”, and I rarely paid much attention. Well, that was pretty stupid (and even arrogant) on my part, because choosing to ignore them as weirdos, or simply extending the standard respect that allows people to be “weird” if they wanna be, can be similar to ignoring a little bump until it turns into malignant tumor. For a “live and let live” kind of person like me, it’s a tuff judgment call.

So, I was knocked right off my chair, when I started reading Chris Hedges, (and others) and discovered there were about 40 million of these “Near Enders” milling about. Allegedly, they are tired of waiting for the Apocalypse, worried that it won’t happen in their lifetimes, so they’re helping it along. Scares the living shit out of me.  So does the Rev. Moon. And others.

Anyway, thanks for the great collection.

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By Pico, September 22, 2007 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

Louise, you asked where it descent began. I know a little bit. I’m sorry; this is long.

Here is the history of a concerted effort on the civil/secular side of things to reverse the “liberalization” of the country.  The backstory is found here:
  It dates from the early 1970s, and its centerpiece is a memorandum from corporate lawyer and later US Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell (Nixon appointee) to a colleague at the Chambers of Commerce, found here:

On the religious/Christianist side, visit the website of the Coalition on Revival
Read or scan at least the 17 Worldview Documents. These are PART of a comprehensive strategy for establishing a hard-core fundamentalist theocracy. The planning began in the late 1970s. These documents show up in the mid-1980s. You can get some idea of the history here
(written by a critic).

There are plenty of other sources of information about this, online. Some are cranky diatribes from theological dissidents. Others are mainstream assessments.

Once familiar with CORs strategy, its implementation over the last 30 years is clear in legislation, political action, and US culture. The coordinating documents were sent to over 15,000 churches here and in Canada.  (2) Many of the implementers are well known, including Tim LaHaye and his wife Beverly, Michael Farris Don Wildmon, James Dobson, etc.  LaHaye is author of the famous Rapture novel series that has sold gazillions of copies, and was a co-founder of the Moral Majority, which morphed into the Christian Coalition. His wife founded Concerned Women of America. Farris is Mr. Homeschool, and part of Patrick Henry College that has given dozens of little Christofascists to WH internships, etc. 

We’re talking Focus on the Family, the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, and on and on.  The Coors family, Richard Mellon Scaife, and the Prince family are just a few of the gazillionaires funding aspects of this movement, as is Sun Myung Moon. Other names: Ralph Reed, Alan Keyes, Gary Bauer, Sam Brownback, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson . . . .

Through the combined civil and religious strategy, we are now where we are. From the Federalist Society andChristian rock bands to powerful action/propaganda organizations like Focus on the Family – well, several Supreme Court justices, many members of Congress, a President, a Vice President, and countless state legislators are the fruits of this massive, brilliantly coordinated effort. Erik Prince and Blackwater are its armed force.

Overall, the US Christo-Fascist movement is a fluid alliance of hard-core conservative legal scholars, judges, legislators, government appointees at all levels, lawyers, ministers, physicians, military professionals, theologians, artists, and white supremacist, anti-feminist, anti-gay groups. They ally as their varied interests intersect. The civil side exploits the religious side and vice versa.

This is pretty far along, heavily financed, and extremely powerful. They have attacked everything we know—public education, separation of church and state, the right of privacy, the right to choose, etc. etc. If you hate it, it’s probably their work.

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By cann4ing, September 22, 2007 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

Tao, I have always enjoyed reading your posts, but this one may have been your best.

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By TAO Walker, September 22, 2007 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

Sleeper (#102011) suggests the fatal flaw in both our gangbanging tormentors themselves and the terror-driven “program” they’re pushing here….i.e.:  congenital CANNIBALISM (just a coincidence, probably, it has so much in-common with corporate “capitalism”).  It is inevitable that these various random collections of thugs threatening, and doing, so much damage these days, along with their shadowy owners, will turn-on and devour one another.  Some here have pointed-out it is happening already.

“Disaster capitalism” and “shock-and-awe” warfare, the strip-mining of national economies everywhere using the “Chicago School” methodologies of the idiot savant Milton Freidman and his neolib followers, the neocon disciples of Strauss and their monomaniacal obsession with “Greater Israel,” all are proof-positive that this latest ten-thousand-year-long process of attempting forcibly to “subdue” our Mother Earth and domesticate all Her Children is coming apart at the seams.  Its principal perpetrators’ only focus now is on getting away from the scene of their cosmic crime, before things deteriorate so much the engineering and launch of an “escape capsule” becomes impossible (Don’t tell ‘em, but it’s too late for that already.).

Getting these damned fools to name-their-poison has been a long and difficult task….but they have, finally, and a lethal dose has been prepared for them.  Getting them to choke it down won’t be all that hard, given that it’s been their drug-of-choice all along anyhow, force-fed to their tame two-leggeds since “civilization” first reared its ugly head here.  Now we all get to see how they like their own “medicine.”

The cascading failure and catastrophic collapse of the wannabes’ “global” criminal enterprise is even now terrifying many of those who see no Way out of the contraption.  That’s where us surviving free wild natural Human Beings come in.  We know “the beginning” Louise (#102033) is looking for.  We were there then.  We are here now.  We have been paying attention.  We do not forget.

Good-hearted, clear-headed, strong-stomached, free-spirited People everywhere (who KNOW who and what they are) have begun already to re-form into the natural human Living Arrangement our Lakota cousins call Tiyoshpaye (The English “community” has become so de-natured and corrupted it is all but meaningless now, but in its original roots can still be found an arrow pointing to The Way.).  Those of us who live to tell this tale to our GreatGrandChildren will be those who abide altogether within the integrity of our organic Human form and function.  The tormentors and their co-opted two-legged agents (no matter how heavy their armaments or sophisticated their surveilance or torturous their techniques) cannot harm us there.


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By great_satan, September 22, 2007 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

Hey all you people who actually sat through episode 2 and 3 of Star Wars. Isn’t Blackwater like that clone army who later became the Empirial storm troopers?
  I’d feel a bit shaky if I were a Military or Intelligence officer, still loyal to the pre-9/11 American constitutional government, out in the field with some Blackwater guys for backup, much more so a diplomat. Will Dick Cheney just say, “execute order 66,” and that wil be that…purge phase complete.

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By Sleeper, September 22, 2007 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

Always Faithful, to God Corp and Country.

The oath that all Federal Workers raise their hand and swear to promises to defend the Constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic.  The domestic part was incorporated to protect us from imperial empire builders who would seek to exploit the citizens and natural resources for the benefit of an imperialistic entity.

They say once a Marine Always a MARINE.  I understand that.  However, when active under contract you must follow your chain of command and obey all Lawful Orders even if they are given by the scrub.  The key is Lawful.  It doesn’t seem to matter today.

Our current administration is shredding our Constitution.  What do you expect from a group of Pirates who made a fortune from smuggling opium?  I heard that the Jolly Rodger or (Skull & Bones) was originally flown by British Ships who brought opium into China against the will of the ruling authority during the Reign of Queen Victoria.

Even though Black Water is paid for with taxpayer dollars they need not concern themselves with outdated Documents such as our Constitution.  It is an obstacle that those who seek greed and power see as meaningless parchment made from that evil HEMP.  I wonder if the hemp was purchased from George Washington or Thomas Jefferson who both grew the stuff on their farms.

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By Paul, September 22, 2007 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well I guess there’s no doubt why it was so important to invade Iraq (and why it’s so important we stay)—corporate profit. I read in the Seattle Times that there are now more profiteers in Iraq than soldiers. No one else has benefitted. And apparently not even a Democratically ruled Congress will stop them.

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By Louise, September 22, 2007 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

“U.S. DoD To Outsource $15B War on ‘Narcoterror’”

The U.S. Defense Department has invited five contractors to bid on a new multiBillion-dollar effort to combat the global flow of illegal drugs allegedly used to finance terrorism.

“We don’t have a lot of details yet, but we do know that this is an expansion of what [the United States] is already doing to fight drug trafficking, and that 80 percent of the work will be overseas.”

” ... the other participating vendors are defense giants Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, and security contractor Blackwater USA. Blackwater confirmed its participation ... “

So we have this neat little package.
Drugs linked to terrorism linked to multiple private contractors. Ergo, drugs must keep flowing to justify the war on terror.

Or is it the other way around?

A new multi-billion dollar contract linking the State Department’s Air Bridge Denial program, ABD.

The U.S. DoD and the Pentagon’s Counter-Narcoterrorism Technology Program Office, CNTPO.

And “private contractor” friends of ... Democratic Capitalist Imperialism ... dedicated to staying rich and getting richer, fighting narco-terrorism.

In addition to being part of ABD, CNTPO and GWOT, this must be part of WOD, the war on drugs.
So we can call these guys war profiteers, which come to think of it they already are.

Speaking of WOD and DEA where does that multi-Billion dollar Industry come in?

Maybe a better question is who stubs whose toe first?
Or who gets in the line of fire of who?

Oh, and we mustn’t forget the Intelligence Czar. You know that Czar dude that the 9/11 commission wanted appointed to oversee all “intelligence.”

[Is that a chuckle I hear?]

John Negroponte.
[Now there’s a name familiar to narco-terror from another time.]
Oh I forgot. He’s been promoted. [Or demoted]

Now he’s deputy secretary of state, the number two position at the State Department, which also has ties to Blackwater. Remember Powell and Blackwater and the kidnapping of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide?

See here:

“Admiral Michael McConnell is now the nation’s Intelligence Czar or Director of National Intelligence. With McConnell’s appointment as DNI, there is hope that our nation’s intelligence deficiencies will finally be addressed.”

[Is that another chuckle I hear?]

And what about DHS?
And the Department of Homeland Security’s Michael Chertoff.

Isn’t he supposed to be in charge of EVERYTHING?

Oh geez ... this whole thing could generate a monumental headache ...

no wonder nobody knows what’s going on ... or whose in charge.

It really is a marvel, this new American Imperialism. All that’s required is an “emperor” who’s just smart enough to grasp and follow instructions. But dumb enough to be the fall guy if anything goes wrong. And a population just smart enough to understand what money means, if they can get it. And dumb enough to watch happily while their treasury is looted.

Somewhere down the road, when all but the tiniest percentage of Americans live in poverty, licking the boots of any imperialist kind enough to let them work for a pittance and keep them out of the “work camps” ...

Oh duh! there’s the DHS!

Someone will ask ... How did this happen?
Now there’s a book for future generations.

“This is how it happened.”

But the author would have to go way back past Blackwater.

In fact, finding the beginning is why the book has not yet been written.
Still looking.

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By purplewolf, September 22, 2007 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

Eric Prince of Darkness claims his company:“the most cost effective means of affecting the strategic balance in support of security and peace and freedom and democracy everywhere. 99% of false statements always had the words:all,always and every in it.What does Eric boast about-everywhere.From what I have seen of Blackwater in action in the Spike Lee documentary, “When the Levees Broke”(excellent movie)and in Iraq, I don’t understand how Eric Prince can claim that his group of paid killers brings security,peace,freedom and democracy to anyplace. ALl I have seen and read about BW is how they terrorize the people in everyplace they are located. Those people threatened with death by this terrorist group would beg to differ. Whether here in America during hurricane Katrina or in Iraq and every other place they are.They bring security at the end of a gun. There is no peace or freedom when the victims of tragedities like wars or nature or manmade disasters happen with BW goons around.And as for democracy,really.Eric Prince and the Bu$h bunch must be mixing cocaine and alcohol together again if this is their view of BW and its accomplishments.Security brought about out of fear is not security,let alone freedom.

Blackwater’s paid killers would also be used against the American people if and when,and I feel we are closer to when,the Bu$h/Cheney warmongers decide to declare Martial Law in America.The congress critters either are not aware how far this has gone or don’t care. This group has been retained at an overly high monetary cost,about $1,000/day per soldier.They have no loyality except to the person who pays their wages.

If the day arrives and the polititions who supposedly run the country were to confront the BW group and try to end its business contract with this administration,or if we run out of money to pay them with,as we now have to borrowed from other countries as Bush as done for some time now,since America is broke,would they then turn on the very people who hired them in the first place? Like the dog that bites the hand that has fed it, Blackwater may come back and turn against the very people (Bush Bunch) that hired them. After all they don’t mind killing innocent people,killing the guilty would be a cake walk for them. And if we can no longer afford to pay for their “protection” what would they decide to do, go away quietly?

I agree with Cyrena something needs to be done fast.I don’t like any of the other scenerios that I have read about if it continues.

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By Pico, September 22, 2007 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

Good friend designed a great bumpersticker available at

It’s red and blue with an image of W over the words, “the ruinator”. Doncha love it?

He’s got another one there I really like, too, because it does the kind of re-branding we must do:
“More True Blue, Less Red Menace.”

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By Pico, September 22, 2007 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

JEP, thanks for the URL. Nice blog. Send music. Your point about MI being the northern HQ of the Aryan Nation is what I was trying to say. Brevity is a virtue I lack.

SLEEPER: You rule, guy. SEMPER FI means Ever Faithful, or Always Faithful. Let us but hope all our Marines keep that faith.

Did ya’ll catch the news about the monks protesting “evil military despotism” as the “common enemy of all the people”? It’s in the NYT and on Yahoo, MSNMC, and CNN. Evidently the monks are turning their begging bowls upside down, to refuse alms from the military and their families. It is the equivalent of what someone called “ad hoc excommunication,” and delivers enormous shame.

Maybe we should adopt a new symbol. Let the Peace sign be the symbol of the 70s, and the inverted begging bowl symbolize solidarity with the world against evil military despotism.

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By JEP, September 22, 2007 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment


I would never presume to do it myself, I have never served in the military.  But would you post the Marine’s creed, the oath they take when they become “official” Marines.

I think we need to compare it to the contract these Blackwater thugs sign.

Will we see the day when our own military will have to defend us from this corporate military?

Because according to the Marine’s code, unless I am misteken, they are tasked with exactly that, protecting American citizens and our constitution from invading armies, no matter who owns them.
Or are we on our way to a 21St Century Robocop era?

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By zz ziled, September 22, 2007 at 11:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Checkbook Imperialism? I imagine you to be an Old Cold War Communist who does not understand modern corporate capitalism and free market war-fighting of terrorists requires creative public-private partnerships!

It is despicable that you and your ilk honestly believe a well-connected, upstanding, patriotic security contracting outfit like “Blackwater” should be harassed and blacklisted?

For what I ask? For what? We have a global war to win Sir!
Dear Mr. Sheer,

Pay no attention to the missing weapons cache with the US serial numbers behind the curtain…

The problem is you Sir just don’t understand the biz of the international arms trade.

Trust me, I will help you get understand things better.

[Lock and Load],
Tim Spicer
Aegis Defence Services]
Sep 22, 12:20 AM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal prosecutors are investigating whether employees of the private security firm Blackwater USA illegally smuggled into Iraq weapons that may have been sold on the black market and ended up in the hands of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, officials said Friday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh, N.C., is handling the investigation with help from Pentagon and State Department auditors, who have concluded there is enough evidence to file charges, the officials told The Associated Press. Blackwater is based in Moyock, N.C.
For more on Mr. Spicer see:

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By Sleeper, September 22, 2007 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

I am glad I was able to read the comments today. 

How do we stop this?  You have fight any crusade based on virtue with a more virtuous passion.  Most teachings concerning virtue begin with humility. These bastards know nothing of humility. The downfall of previous empires has been the has been the pursuit of Greed elitism and a hunger for power within the inner circle. Greed feeds on itself.  It is self destructive. 

Our major problem since TRUTH is on our side is that we have no free press.  We have corporately owned propaganda machines.  It is what maintains the myths. We must expose the demons for what they are.  Teach TRUTH and strengthen our FAITH.


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By JEP, September 22, 2007 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

3. One stipulation for joining Blackwater is that one must be willing to kill AMERICAN DISSIDENTS.

Remember how the Beijing Chinese soldiers refused to bully their fellow Chinese, during Tiananmen Square?

And they brought in goons from far, far away?

If this #3 is true, then we may be seeing the same thing happening.

Red Dawn?

How about “Red, White and Blue Dawn.”

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By JEP, September 22, 2007 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

Here you go, Pico!

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By JEP, September 22, 2007 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

“JEP:  When you were referring to Dubai, were you referring to Arab owned corporations or to KBR, which relocated its headquarters to Dubai?”

How about all of the above?

That was exactly my point, that there’s less and less distinction between the moneyed interests in Dubai and our own monopolist traitors.

They have found a royal sanctuary from their democratic mis-deeds.

Do you know what I mean when I suggest that Cheney and many of his no-bid book-cooking buddies will spend their retirement years on a sandy palm frond?

Some of you knopw what I mean, but for those who don’t, go to this link…

Home sweet neocon home… ca. 2010

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By cann4ing, September 22, 2007 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

JEP:  When you were referring to Dubai, were you referring to Arab owned corporations or to KBR, which relocated its headquarters to Dubai?  I would recommend that you obtain and read a copy of Jeff Faux’s “Global Class War.”  We deal with a global corporate elite whose shared vice-into-virtue, greed-is-good ideology supersedes loyalty to their respective native countries.  It is this ideology that was the driving force behind NAFTA and the WTO, devises by which America’s economic elites betrayed America’s working and middle classes by outsourcing our nation’s manufacturing base in search of an enslaved work force compelled to work at below subsistence wages.

We deal with what President George H. W. Bush coined as the “New World Order,” with U.S. imperial hegemony at its core, to be sure, but in which there is an alignment of the ruling class everywhere except in places like Venezuela where the working and middle classes have had the good sense (and fortune) to break the chains of the neoliberal, privatizing policies of the corporatocracy and its incessant drive to maintain and increase inequality and control of the world’s resources.

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By JEP, September 22, 2007 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

“Erik Prince is from Michigan. He is not a southerner.”

Look up his buddy Black…

And isn’t Michigan the northern HQ for the Aryan Brotherhood?

Also, lets not defer from the fact that they train their goons in North Carolina…

Pico, do you read Craig’s list?

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By JEP, September 22, 2007 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

“one must understand the goals of the corporate global project…”

You mean the one that is headquartered in Dubai?

Shucks, lets sell em’ Nasdaq, they already own our ports..
And all because our government refused to unleash itself from middle eastern oil three decades ago after the embargo.

HooRah, the Bush family,  hoorah, Dick Cheney…

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By cyrena, September 22, 2007 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

101292 by Inherit The WInd

Somebody please, PLEASE explain to me the difference between Osama Bin Laden and Erik Prince.

I get your points Inherit…

And, I would agree overall, except for some minor differences. The size of bin Laden’s “army” is about 300, compared to Erik’s 30,000. (give or take a few on OBL’s side, but it’s really never been much more than that, at ANY point in his “terrorist tenure”.)

Actually, his largest operation -ever- was in the battle against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and that was only accomplished by a tremendous amount of money and resources that the US gave him.

Also, about OBL’s money…it pretty much comes and goes, but the greater portion of his inherited wealth has dried up.

And, contrary to popular myth, those aren’t OBL’s gang of terrorists in Iraq. They are a collection of miscellaneous foreign thugs, nationalists, looters, etc, etc, brought there only by the US military invasion of that country.

So in reality, I strongly suspect that OBL is dead, and that the “organization” (if it is) is basically run by the leader of it to begin with, which is Zawahiri. al-Qaeda (the original) came about as a merger of Zawahiri’s group, (which I can’t remember the name of right now, but I could find out for you) and bin Ladens group, and only because at the time, bin Laden had the money that Zawahiri didn’t. But, Z was more the brains of it, and had been with it longer.

Still, by 2004, they were already begging funds to continue a presense in Iraq, which was only just kicking up at the time.

Maybe the most paradoxical similarity is that OBL and AQ have been turned into the “stars” that they are, but the Mob right here in DC. It is THEY who have provided bin Laden with the grand and all powerful boogeyman charisma.

So, it pretty much makes sense to me, that the US Government is not pursuing either one of them. They aren’t pursuing BW, because it is THEIR operation. Cheney’s private death squads. They aren’t pursuing OBL because that’s the LAST thing they wanna do. They might even know that he’s already dead. But, what would that do to the whole 7 year “fear-up” tactic to use on all of us? If they caught him, or otherwise acknowledged that he was no longer around, there wouldn’t be anyone to be afraid of.

So no, they’re not ever gonna “catch” him. That is truly not in the plan. Matter of fact, that would destroy the entire foundation of the Mob’s Coup.

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By cyrena, September 22, 2007 at 9:27 am Link to this comment


....“How do we curb or disband or bring this nest of vermin to heel?”...

This is the 64 trillion dollar question, and my feeling is that we have to figure it out REAL FAST. And, I’m real serious. 

I’m open for all suggestions. I think it will require immediate community organization, so that we know who’s who, and what to do when they come.

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By Pico, September 22, 2007 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

A couple of quick comments—Cyrena, I meant to be facetious when I asked if BW qualifies as a terrorist organization. It’s the quintessential terrorist organization!

Neo-cons are all about unabashed use of force in the USA’s imperial quest. And it is an imperial quest. It amuses me that they rise up on their moral high horses over the impertinence of a bunch of Mexican, Salvadorean, and Guatemalan peasants entering this country “illegally,” when they’re about occupying, raping, and pillaging whole nations. And it’s not just the neo-cons. As ConcernedinNH pointed out, a couple of books exist exposing the role of AID and World Bank in taking over small countries and stealing their resources.

Erik Prince is from Michigan. He is not a southerner. I don’t mean to unload on anyone personally, but this entire country is and has ever been racist to the core. Using “southern” as the standard modifier, like damnyankee, seems to me to be just a form of projection so that the rest of the country doesn’t have to own its share of the crap. Slavery is one thing—but that, too, was not just about the South. The North benefitted enormously from it and aided and abetted it, and when it ended, many southerners were part of its termination. And parts of the South went Union in the Civil War—East Tennessee, for instance. The mountain people had no slaves, hated slaverly, and weren’t crazy about the plantation folks.

I live in Phoenix now. The racism here in the SW is as virulent as anywhere I’ve ever been. The targets are Hispanics and Native Americans. You should visit the reservations, if you haven’t. It’s an eye-opener. Third world. No real phone service on the Big Res. And read Barbara Kingsolver’s early book on Phelps Dodge and the exploitation of Hispanics in the mining industry. Separate water fountains, the whole deal. School districts here in Phx are ghettoized. South Phx is a barrio, with some parts blue collar nice and other parts iike from a Mexican border town.

BW is surely racist and of course is homophobic and misogynistic, but I think it is more accurate to call it the army of the Christianist fascist Right. Prince is a fundamentalist Christian and was “educated” at Hillsdale College, and a Navy SEAL. Scary as hell. BW’s agenda is probably fundamentalist theocratic as well as plutocratic: Lobster for the rich as they watch us being stoned.

Hearing that they must be willing to kill people like us, here on this thread, kept me awake most of last night.  How do we curb or disband or bring this nest of vermin to heel?

Anybody ever hear of COR—Coalition on Revival? Also scary as hell.

Thank God for Robert Scheer and the young man who’s done so much to expose BW. Thank God for all of you, too. Take care of yourselves. You’re too precious to lose.

If anyone is blogging, please include your blog URL when you post. I’d be interested in visiting.

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By cann4ing, September 22, 2007 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

The threat to this nation by publically funded, privately owned mercenaries is more than theorical.  As noted during the Sept. 23, 2005 Democracy Now segment, “Blackwater Down:  Fresh from Iraq, Private Security Forces Roam the Streets of an American City with Impugnity”—a segment which exposes how Blackwater and other paid mercenaries were part of a calculated experiment in application of what Naomi Klein refers to as “Disaster Capitalism” entailing the ethnic cleansing of New Orleans as imperialism came home to roost.

Jeremy Scahill, who reported that Blackwater was roaming the streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina pursuant to a Homeland Security contract noted:  “...what we have seen for decades in US foreign policy is the hidden hand of the free market and the corporate elite, and then the iron fist of military force.  So, these measures are being backed up by these private security forces.”

During the same segment, Naomi Klein observed that this “really underscores…the violence of the economic project itself…a wrenching process of uprooting hundreds of thousands of people, who are deeply rooted culturally, historically, economically, in the city of New Orleans.  New Orleans is a city with a rich radical history, and people aren’t going to accept this without a fight.  That’s why the radical gentrifiers of New Orleans are arriving with their own private armies….It’s almost like a kind of yuppy sci-fi version of old-school colonial warfare.  It’s like the military industrial complex has been replaced by the mercenary condominium complex….But there’s something else at play.  You hear the names like Blackwater, and then on the contracting side, the people getting the job to rebuild New Orleans are Bechtel, Halliburton, Fluor.  These are the same companies that are in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And they arrived very…quickly…because reconstruction now is a standing multi-billion dollar industry, global industry.  Whenever there is a war or natural disaster, they move in instantly, often with pre-signed contracts.”

To understand the danger posed by Blackwater one must understand the goals of the corporate global project.  One has to appreciate that the goal is no longer limited to foreign conquest; that New Orleans is but a taste of what is to come absent a vast awakening of the American people.

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By great_satan, September 22, 2007 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

  I think lots of Blackwater recruits are from other countries, a sort of international mercenary force.

  I would rather agree with you and with the more philospohical of the neocons if the present colonialism was really a gigantic, Alexander-like push to institute bonefide “liberal democracy.” Even with the usurping of land and resources, its just a continuum of history.

But they are very much about undermining legit “liberal democracy” just using that as its name. 

Furthermore, the term “American” is a weird bit of vaguery that is quite misleading. So, even if they said America (implying the political entity of our naton) is out to take over the world, which is undeniably a popular notion, it would still be entirely misleading.
If they spoke the truth, and said, “A small elite of corporate enities and very rich individuals want to take all the resources and basically screw the general populace of this country and the rest of the world, and there is little room for a real constituional democracy either here or where we are conquering.”...I doubt it would go over very well.

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By William Ries, September 22, 2007 at 7:39 am Link to this comment

I thought the days of American colonialism were over.  What’s next?  If we are the “one, true remaining superpower” why don’t we just take, by whatever means, what it is we desire or need (oil. land, natural resources, cheap labor, etc.?)  Why not make our national objectives clear, being upfront with the thinking American citizenship, so honest debate can occur?  Come out of the shadows, deceit, and corruption and be straight with us.  We can spend forever trying to infiltrate the lies, propaganda, and pablum(O.J. and Brittney).  Meanwhile, the neo-con machine continues to roll and forthright debate is stymied.

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By JEP, September 22, 2007 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

Just had another “duh” epiphany watching Jeremy Scahill’s flicks from Iraq, (which I embedded on my own blog, thanks to The Nation, for the loan) and some of the news coverage about it…

Here’s the $64,000 question..

Are all the Blackwater goons white? Or most of them…

Just think “Erik Prince, North Carolina, KKK,” and the implications are startling, if not frightening.

IS this band of mercenaries an expression of the old south racist agenda? If so, their return, AS A UNIT, to this country represents a very dangerous and disconcerting potential.

Considering that the Republican candidates won’t even talk to minority groups, and the evidence of a very deliberate move to the right down in Jena, one might assume they have written-off the ethnic vote.

So how much of a leap is it to the conclusions I’ve drawn here?

I don’t even need a tin-foil hat for this one…

And I think it would behoove all the blogs to converge on the Republican candidates’ obvious racist direction in this long season of lies. It is going unmentioned, and should be the object of both ur scrutiny and our scorn.

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By JEP, September 22, 2007 at 5:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“There is no alternative except through contracts.”

Well, duh…

ever heard of “special forces?”

Offer a bonus like the contractors get and they could do it all through the military.

DOes this suggest the Bush administration does not TRUST our military?

Problem is, the military has rules…

The suggestion that the whole war in Iraq hinges on these privateers, just suggests all the more that there is a 4th branch of government, the same one Cheney claims to live in, the same one they are posing to give Blackwater immunity from lawsuits.

It is a sort of political limbo, somewhere between the military and the civilian, a shady realm where the worst elements fester into full-blown infections.

...the Cheney realm of alternative and pernicious reality.

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By JEP, September 22, 2007 at 5:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I had another “duh” epiphany watching your flicks from Iraq, (which I mebedded on my own blog, thanks to The Nation, for the loan) and some of the news coverage about it…

Are all the Blackwater goons white?  Or most of them…

Just think “Erik Pince, North Carolina, KKK,” and the implications are startling, if frightening.

IS this band of mercenaries an expression of the old south racist agenda?  If so, their return, AS A UNIT, represents a very dangerous and disconcerting potential.

Considering that the Republican candidates won’t even talk to minority groups, and the evidence of a very deliberate move to the right down in Jena, one might assume they have written-off the ethnic vote.

So how much of a leap is it to the conclusions I’ve drawn here?

I don’t even need a tin-foil hat for this one…

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By great_satan, September 22, 2007 at 4:06 am Link to this comment

“a TERRORIST IS SOMEONE WITH A BOMB, BUT NO AIRPLANE.” So, I guess blackwater isn’t a terrorist organization, cuz their have some airplanes, and stuff besides cars to deliver bombs with.

  If one really considers terrorist or even the prospectof a terrorist state, we couldlook at both the US’ and the USSR’s policy of “mutually assured destruction,” during the cold war. We’ve got enough explosives to wipe every living thing off the map ten times, and the whole world is hostage. Suicide bomber? Would you like to super-size that?
  But back to Blackwater, I suppose terrorists are those who kill civilians for political motives. Goon squad? Thugs? Meranaries? Soldiers of Fortune?
  Someone said SS, but I think if 9/11 was the Super-Sized version of the Reichstag, the Blackwater (Scharzwasser) is the Super-Size version of the brown shirts? We’ll be waiting for the Russians to come before its all over.
  Well. I think Blackwater is already affiliated with Greystone. If there is some kind of mergers with Abrasax, Lockhead-Martin, The Carlyle Group, and of course Boeing, then there will be the potential for a independent corporate “american” war-machine, complete with a full scale intelligence network. Blackwater is at least based in the US, but Greystone is an off-shore dealy, in Barbados.
  I think its only a matter of time before the companies that supply all the weapons, airplanes, now troops, and even the bulk of espionage and covert ops, decides they aren’t working for the State anymore…maybe they already did.

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By cyrena, September 22, 2007 at 1:28 am Link to this comment

#101927 by Pico

...“I don’t suppose it qualifies as a terrorist group?”...

Actually, Pico, Blackwater DOES qualify as a terrorist group!! Technically at least, they definitely do. They are like the KKK of days of old, on steroids, and the only difference is that the KKK didn’t generally make any profit off of their terrorism. (at least nothing even in the same stratosphere as BW) There is no doubt that they satisfy all of the “conditions” or legal criteria to be designated as a terrorist group. And, I’m not being facetious either. They really do – at least if we’re using pre-coup standards, before black become white and wrong became right.

The same could be said of the Mob in the White House since the coup. They have proven themselves to be the most dangerous terrorist group since the Crusaders, just based on the sheer volume and barbarity of their crimes.

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By Pico, September 22, 2007 at 12:30 am Link to this comment

Hi, G-S:
Thanks for the quick response. I didn’t mean to trouble you for sources on all of that—just the killing American dissidents part. Figures it won’t be found in print. I wish I had heard the testimony on the Hill about Blackwater. Wonder if it came out there.

Well, this is just peachy keen. Looks like we have our own darling little SS. How dear.

I’m thinking we should all send money to the woman in Potrero, CA, where they’re trying to stop BW from building another base.

Merde, this makes me hurl.

It really must be true: The Right just really hates the Constitution. It’s so f’ng, well, inconvenient, tedious really, when all you want to do is suppress, repress, oppress, rape, kill, loot, pillage, terrorize, and make everybody swear they’re Christians. Bother!

I don’t suppose it qualifies as a terrorist group?

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By great_satan, September 21, 2007 at 11:14 pm Link to this comment

jeez…sorry for the typos on that last one. Will proof-read next time.
  on #3, “woman told me her son,” not “woamn told me that her sin”

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By great_satan, September 21, 2007 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment

1. I found those numbers on  but can’t find them presently.
  LA Times generalizes 20 to 30 thousand “private security contractors”,1,3358790.story?coll=la-headlines-world

2. Primary base is in North Carolina, another is outside Chicage. They are applying for this one near San Diego

3. This little fact, I heard tonight over dinner with friends. A woamn told me that her sin had just finished his military service in Iraq, was solicited by Blackwater and all but ready to go overseas, when they sprung on him that stipulation, the willingness to kill American dissidents, at which point he backed out of the deal.
  I haven’t sen it in print, but it is implicit if they were allowed to supliment the National Guard, contracting for Homeland Security and private clients in post Katrina New Orleans. They have already been used for Martial Law in the US.

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By Pico, September 21, 2007 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

Jeeeezis, Great-Satan (#101902). Can you document that?

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By great_satan, September 21, 2007 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

Blackwater facts.
1. They are between 20 and 30 thousand strong.
2. They are applying to build their own bases along both coasts and get high speed fighter aircraft.
3. One stipulation for joining Blackwater is that one must be willing to kill AMERICAN DISSIDENTS.

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By Dale Headley, September 21, 2007 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This just brings to the fore what all of us have known for a long time: Iraq has no freedom or democracy; the Bush Administration never intended that it should have freedom and democracy; and the Bush administration intends that Iraq be an American colony devoted to the maximzng of corporate profits for Bush’s friends.  Al Maliki is now fully aware that he is nothing but a powerless puppet of American imperialism.  Blackwater is not going anywhere, and it will continue to do what it has been doing for four years with impunity.

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By Rower, September 21, 2007 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There’s a really great book that pubbed earlier this year called BLACKWATER: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill. It’s a scathing expose into Blackwater USA and the story behind Erik Prince. The story begins on the blood soaked streets of Fallujah in March, 2004, with the notorious killings of 4 Blackwater operatives.

If this topic is of any interest to you, I encourage you to pick up a copy of this book. I know the author is doing a lot of traveling and speaking on this issue.

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By purplewolf, September 21, 2007 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

Putridwater is a better name for this group of killers. Of course Blackwater is alive and well and back to its same old-same old self as of the news this am. It figures.

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By P. T., September 20, 2007 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment

My theory is that U.S. diplomats are so afraid they want to be guarded my unaccountable mercenaries. They want guys who shoot first and ask questions later.

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By riya, September 20, 2007 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

I want to tell you all one more thing.  It is very important, ....

Right now in Potrero , CA, citizens of a tiny little town are fighting to keep these thugs from establishing a military base upon an 880 acre parcel, complete with a helicopter landing pad, right next to the Cleveland National Forest, YOUR LAND, people!!!!

The Golden Eagles, if you dare to care, are endangered there.  The little town is so sweet and quaint, adding Blackbooted militia-men will not make it a San Diego draw for tourists.

Do you want to be responsible for worse than you here now, in Iraq:

Do you want to her about young mothers slain along the CA border, because you will.  That is why Blackwater wants to be there.  They are killers.

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By 911truthdotorg, September 20, 2007 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

Look at these f*cking Blackwater barbarians! My God!! -part-of-bremers-legacy-the-trophy-video/

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By Paolo, September 20, 2007 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

I suggest we change a few terms here.

Firms like Blackwater should be called “death squads,” not “private contractors.”

The government creating and hiring these so called “private contractors” should not be called “business/government parnership.” It should be called by its proper name, “Fascism.” [Economic fascism is best defined as the government allowing “private ownership,” but retaining the power to dictate how those “private” companies behave.]

I try hard not to wish ill on American citizens, but it’s getting harder and harder not to root for the Iraqi insurgents. It is, after all, their country, not ours. If the tables were turned, and a powerful Iraq invaded, conquered, and occupied the USA, using soldiers who don’t bother to learn English, killing our fellow citizens at random, wouldn’t you join the insurgency? I know I would.

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By Pico, September 20, 2007 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

This is to Mike Mid-City #101572—

I’ve not meant to overlook your post, and apologize. I know there are patriots out there—by which *I* mean people who are passionate about our Constitution. That’s the only thing that makes us uniquely American besides where we live.
Amen to your comment about money. It’s good to know you’re there.

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By Pico, September 20, 2007 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

TAO, HokaHey indeed. GREAT rant (101669). You got a blog?

Cyrena, I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

ConcernedinNH (#101646)—glad to get the recommended reads. I’ve made a note of them.

There are some really fantastic posts in this thread. The farther I scroll back, the more I find.

IMHO, today’s latest Senate disgrace needs to be evaluated in the context of a purely fascisti deology that, gradually over the past 30 years, has seized our country while we were busy refusing to suspend our disbelief that it could happen here.

To some, today’s Senate resolution condemning’s New York Times ad seems just garden-variety congressional stupidity. In the scheme of things, next to anti-war soldiers mysteriously dying, it is admittedly a smallish thing, but I think it is more worrisome than mere stupidity. The US Senate, part of the highest tier of government, has chosen to strike directly at our constitutional right of free speech. This seems to suggest the coming-out of something quite troubling.

When God and Country are conflated in an increasingly Christianist military force that, in turn, symbolizes the perfect righteousness of our ends and means, the suggestion that its senior spokesman might be a fraud – could be corrupt, deceitful, and complicit—is the one implication that a fascist regime cannot afford to let walk unassailed into daylight. 

But this ad, which simply asked, “General Petraeus or General Betray-Us?” publicly pinned the lie to the symbolic heart of fascism. An attack was inevitable.

This isn’t so much about the person. I don’t know what Petraeus believes, but it’s hard to think much of the principles of a commander who doesn’t really know whether the deaths he oversees are doing anything to make us safer, but nevertheless hasn’t resigned for that reason.

This is about symbolism. The decorated uniform of highest rank wasn’t just meant to lend credibility where it has been so lacking. In the context of everything else we’ve seen in the last 30 years—especially the last six as the curtain has risen—I’m comfortable saying more. I believe it was also meant to suggest subtly that “moral authority” could be enthroned by force here, too, if necessary, and yes, to dissuade any challenges. By costuming him in full, decorated uniform, the theatre manager intended us to understand that the USA is now God, Might, and Fatherland conflated, and that to question him is to question the new ruling trinity.

But the ad pre-empted the vignette, and in my view, the ad stands as a distinctively populist and distinctively brave American impertinence.

It speaks aloud what we’ve all had to live with for some time: That our leaders, some civilian, some military, some corporate, are equally comfortable eating lobster bisque in a zone of atrocity as perpetrating undeniably deep and extravagant violations of human dignity and the moral, cultural, social, and economic order of Iraq and of our own country. And are happy to lie about it all. If this isn’t fascism, I don’t know what is.

Thus, the despotic little tanty voiced in the Senate today was inevitable. That it was authentic fury and fear just unmasks these fascists, and their appeasers, for who they are. 

We citizens shouldn’t let this stand. Small as it may seem, today’s resolution must become a turning point at which we call a fascist an un-American, anti-constitution fascist, and demand their resignations en masse. The resignations won’t happen, I know, but let us at least get out the checkbooks for and let our voices be heard.

Now is just not the time to sit down and shut up.


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By TAO Walker, September 20, 2007 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

Behind the smokescreen of the latest O.J./Britney/et al media-blitz of “sensationalism,” the grimness factor increases suddenly by an order-of-magnitude….or two.  In a classic example of the “show-‘em-the-toys” torture technique, the microwave “pain ray” is trotted-out for public consumption….and preemptive consternation?  “Disaster capitalism” makes its journalistic debut in Naomi Klein’s book and her latest “Harpers” essay, giving us what ought to be at the very least a completely sobering snapshot of the state-of-play here in the two-minute-drill phase of “the great game.”  Smile!  You’re on virtual-reality TV.

The toxic sludge of “Blackwater” surges ever higher in the wet-work allmericandream-world of its christo-fascist spewers’ psychotic and sociopathic delusions.  Another “unruly” student is forcibly removed from a public place for being (initially) insufficiently cowed by the shock-and-side-armed forces of SECURITY.  The woman presiding over the corporate dismemberment of the Phillipines resurrects the moldering corpse of “communism,” wed now to the new-bogey-in-town “terrorism,” as cover for her own “dirty war” against those foolish enough to actually agitate there for “social justice.”  A lowly airman dies mysteriously after being linked to the recent (strategic?) misdirection of a B-52 full of nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.

The new right-wing French premier hoists the rouge ensign of la guerre, swearing his intentions are to “advance the cause of peace.”  “The global village” morphs into a terror-stricken mob milling-around in worldwide “lockdown,”  The domesticated peoples are trapped inside a haunted house filled with ersatz “individuals” but all-too-real blood, shit, and fears….and hungry ghosts feeding ravenously on it all.

The money bubble gets another gasping breath of hot-air.  The “debt-ceiling” has to be raised….again.  The-Center has not held.  Catastrophic cascading failure is the order of the day.

But the NFL is up-and-running, the pennant races are heating-up, the new TV shows are being introduced and “old favorites” coming back.  Homer has his “Duff” and all’s-well in the “lifestyles of the rich and famous.”  O.J. struts his stuff….again.  Another politician is bitten in the ass by his own hypocrisy.  Britney’s bulges entrance.


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By Dennis, September 20, 2007 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can’t wait for Blackwater to show up on my street.Just remember to aim for the head. They don’t have body armor for the head.

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By cyrena, September 20, 2007 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment



Yep, I read that piece from Will Rivers Pitt. Don’t cha just love him?! He’s a young guy too, (well, compared to us)and whenever he writes, I feel like he’s speaking for me, and it’s almost uncanny how he describes that whole feeling so well; six plus years of wondering if we’re going insane, or have already passed over the edge, and just haven’t realized it.

BUT, I think as long as we are able to comprehend what he’s saying, then we’re still OK for now. (Well, the survivors at least.) Some among us are already Goners, and I can generally spot them pretty easily. Some can still be saved, and others are doomed to eternal denial. Still, we have to just watch out for them too, even though we know they’ll probably always be retarded. (never leave a commrade behind).

Meantime, thanks for the e-mail address. I’ll send you some stuff as I come up with it.

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By richardk, September 20, 2007 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

“ who elected you guys to run the world?”

Interesting question. Though it is directed at Blackwater, et. al., one facet of the invasion and occupation of Iraq is that it was done by an unelected president, and has been financed by the unelected Chinese government (with help from Japan and Russia), inasmuch as the U.S. treasury is quite empty and its government utterly dependent on foreign largesse.

In a sense no one associated with the war crimes in Iraq has been elected to wage war, and all the participants carry on with their own particular criminal intent. So, the George W. Bush administration is in effect able to carry out its crimes only as long as the Chinese allow it.

Why would the Chinese allow it? Prolonged war by a bankrupt country such as the U. S., weakens the financial state of that country faster than any other means, other than direct attack. It turns out then that the Bush administration is actually doing the work of the Chinese to destroy the USA from within. Isn’t that what is called treason?

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By ConcernedinNH, September 20, 2007 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I recently read two books on the mechanism by which the US Government and corporations are aggressively taking over small foreign economies totally under the radar as we speak. 

They’re both written by John Perkins who was a privately contracted economist back in the 70’s & 80’s who comes clean on his incredibly successful operations overseas taking over small economies one by one.  When he didn’t succeed, hired assassins were sent in to eliminate those who did not play the game and when that didn’t work, well that’s when you get a situation like Iraq.  It’s a last resort, but most nations give in to bribes and threats way before the military has to step in. 

All the while, we’re spoon fed by our corporate-owned media that the war is for insertion of democracy and a better way of life for the Iraqi citizens, elimination of terrorism, etc.  If Iraq’s chief export were broccoli, I bet we probably would have passed it over. 

They’re both quick & rivetting reads…the second book goes into real-life solutions we can take as concerned citizens to positively influence the situation as bleak as it may seem sometimes.

The two books:
1. “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”
2. “The Secret History of The American Empire”

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By Pico, September 20, 2007 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Re: 101613

Thank you, Ernest. I’ve just ordered it from Amazon, along with Chris Hedges’ new book about the Christianist-Fascist Right.

After blissful ignorance and fear, it seems to me that our biggest enemy is refusal to suspend disbelief. Now that I’m living in this reality, I think I have a humbler assessment of the average German in the mid-1930s. It still sometimes strikes me as simply INCOMPREHENSIBLE that all this is happening, but worse, that our elected officials are not only not stopping it! They’re in fact agents of the destruction of the Great American Experiment. I walk around feeling gob-smacked half the time, and the other half I’m shrieking in rage like a banshee—well, at least online. I don’t actually shriek out loud very often or I’d add homelessness to my list of problems.

I’ve been writing and talking about the rise of the Christianist-Fascist Reich since the mid-80s. Folks used to think I was a bubble shy of plumb. Not so much now.

Did anyone happen to read Truthout’s Wm Rivers Pitt’s “I May Be Going Insane” piece yesterday? I know the feeling.

Terrifying post about Todd Alexander Blue (# 101599). Right up there with the 3 of the 7 NYTimes anti-war soldiers who’ve just oddly died, and with Pat Tillman.

Thanks again.

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By cann4ing, September 20, 2007 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

Pico, I am not certain about on-line sources, but one of the best accounts of the Bremer edicts and U.S. manuevering to make them a part of Iraq’s constitution is contained in a book by Antonia Juhasz:  “The Bush Agenda:  Invading the World One Economy at a Time” (Regan Books) (2006).

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By Pico, September 20, 2007 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

I want to thank everyone for one of the best comment sets I’ve seen in years. Everyone is civil, informed, and interesting. Wow. Some of you are really dazzling in your evident knowledge of the occupation. Thank you.

Can anyone tell me where to go online to find out more about Bremer’s infamous dicta?

And, I’m wondering how we get out of all these messes. Incidentally, I’ve been surfing the web looking to get up to speed on current organizing strategies and tactics. I’m a creature of the late 60s-early 70s who’s wondering how to effect real change in today’s climate. Alinsky’s great, but now what? I see that this is off-topic, so if anyone would like to reply to me privately, please contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) I’ll share what I learn with anyone who contacts me. Thanks!

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By Robert, September 20, 2007 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

The Strange Death Of Todd Blue
By Ted Twietmeyer

Blue, Todd Alexander
“The issue of deceased airman Todd Blue is highly unusual to say the least, and opens up a Pandora’s box full of questions.

At the time of Todd’s death, he was under investigation for his possible role in the nuclear weapons that were loaded into a B52 aircraft.

If military personnel are under investigation at any base for a crime, they will not be given any leave until the investigation is completed and they are cleared. Yet Todd was given leave and was at home with his family according to the obituary at the time of his death?

It’s also interesting is that Todd isn’t someone who’s been in the airforce for most of his life.

Todd Blue was just 20 years old. Why wasn’t his cause of death stated? Obituaries usually state something - unless a death was the result of a suicide. From at least one write-up about Todd, we know he was a caring person who helped people in their time of need.

We may never know what Todd’s role in this nuclear incident was, if he killed himself or it was made to like he did, if it really was an accident, a sudden heart attack, etc… unless a member of the family comes forward with what they know. Until they do, they may be in grave danger as the bigger story here starts to unravel. If he actually did take his own life, then perhaps he couldn’t live with what he knew.”

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By cann4ing, September 20, 2007 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

Cyrena:  Excellent post.  At the time of the so-called transfer of power, dubya was attending a NATO summit in Turkey.  Condoleezza Rice handed him a note which read:  “Mr. President, Iraq is sovereign.  Letter was passed from Bremer at 10:26 A.M. Iraq time—Condi.”  Bush wrote on the note, “Let freedom ring.”

Commenting upon Bush’s 9/21/04 address to the UN General Assembly Phillis Bennis observed:  “Everyone in the world knows that whatever else we may call what’s going on in the streets of Iraq, democracy is not one of them.”

Unfortunately, thanks to the degree to which the American corporate-owned media acts as a propaganda network, there is a very large number of Americans who are still taken in by the lie that we continue to occupy Iraq in order to bring democracy and freedom to the Iraqi people.  Indeed, there are still far too many who either believe that WMD were found or that Saddam was behind 9/11—this despite irrefutable evidence to the contrary.

When one considers the breadth of the Bremer edicts and the slick eleventh-hour maneuvers that inserted them within the final draft of the Iraqi constitution, one comes to realize that the administration’s supposed handover of sovereignty was a sick joke.  Iraq’s so-called, elected “leaders” are like a guy at the wheel of a car without a drive shaft.  They can step on the gas all they want.  They’re not going anywhere.

That said, I was intrigued by the resourcefulness of Iraq’s Interior Ministry.  Order #17 may grant a full immunity to the Blackwater mercenaries, but it says nothing about having to license them or permit Blackwater’s mercenaries to remain in-country.  Ambassador Khalizad had taken pains to write a provision into the Constitution that prevents Iraq’s parliament from passing a law which compels a closure of the U.S. bases or a removal of U.S. troops, but it says nothing about expulsion of private mercenaries.  It is this oversight that has placed our government in a quandry.  If the U.S. insists that this murderous bunch of thugs remain, it will remove all pretense that the so-called “Iraqi government” was ever intended to be anything more than a puppet regime.

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By jimijazz, September 20, 2007 at 8:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Veritas- The guilty are only truly guilty when they are exposed and held accountable. Sorry that democracy seems to be to messy a job for you. This is the type of attitude that got us into Iraq in the first place. Nothing get done unless you decide to do something about it.

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By Mac, September 20, 2007 at 7:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One of the news clips showed Blackwater snipers shooting their Barret 50 calibers from rooftops at unidentified distant targets.

The footage was old as I had seen it before. I have often wondered if these guys were the turning point from the locals throwing flowers to throwing bullets.

There were many unexplained incidents of peaceful gatherings turning violent when someones head suddenly exploded for no reason.
An unheard Barret from a mile away is a probable reason.

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By Myronh, September 20, 2007 at 6:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Veritas, I am trying to learn more about what is actually happening in Iraq and in the US. I live in rural America and feel isolated from the major sources of knowledge/information. Please tell me and possibly other’s that might question but don’t want to expose their own stupidity, what you meant in your statement regarding “unnecessary speculation and irrational conjecture” in Comment #101540.

Respectfully, Myronh

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By steve, September 20, 2007 at 6:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This war for some is the modern-day equivalent to the Gold Rush in California in 1848.

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By Veritas, September 20, 2007 at 5:07 am Link to this comment

The guilty are guilty of enough without diffusing the valid overwhelming body of evidence against them with unnecessary speculation and irrational conjecture.

It only SEEMS to aid momentum…instead it drags against.  Stick with what you KNOW, many here have…others, not so much.

The truth alone is enough to out this unprecedented abuse of executive office and hopefully bring some justice…easier when unimpeded by unsubstantiated and transparently biased accusation and innuendo.

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By Traveler, September 20, 2007 at 5:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Blackwater’s founder is a huge contributor to the GOP and the religious right. I think this says a lot about the morale of this mercenary company.

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