Saturday, June 21, 2008

Blackwater: War, Inc.

In this video The Nation's Jeremy Scahill describes the rise of Blackwater USA, the world's most powerful mercenary army.

According to Scahill there are over 100,000 private contractors forming a "shadow army" in Iraq. Among them are the Blackwater mercenaries which he calls the Bush Administration's Praetorian Guard. In case you're unfamiliar with the term, the Praetorians were the bodyguards of the Roman emperor. They were the most loyal and well trained troops that could be counted on even in the case of a rebellion within the Imperial Army. The implication of a possible coup is chilling.

At 3:30 in this video Jeremy describes the deployment of Blackwater mercenaries in New Orleans to "stop looters". How is it possible that mercenaries could be used on US soil to perform law enforcement duties? Why isn't Congress investigating to find out who authorized this and to put a stop to this de-democratization of American society?

In another chilling development, black military helicopters have been spotted recently buzzing around downtown Denver. The official explanation is that this is some sort of anti-terrorist training exercise. I can remember when it was controversial to allow local police to carry automatic weapons. But in the post 9/11 world, even helicopter gunships are considered well within the norm for local law enforcement.

My take on this is that it is a trial balloon, to see just how much armed presence the public is willing to tolerate. If the American public does not strongly protest this now, then it will become standard procedure and we will be one more step along the path to martial law. BTW, Denver is the site of the upcoming Democratic Convention.

I can't leave the subject of privatized war without mentioning the movie War, Inc. The movie stars John Cusack, Marisa Tomei, Ben Kingsley, Hillary Duff, Joan Cusack and Dan Akroyd. It is a satire on the Iraq War with a strong emphasis on the privatization of the war. John Cusack is a strong critic of the war as can be seen in this interview about the movie in which he discusses the role of Disaster Capitalism in promoting wars.

More Links:
Blackwater book.
SourceWatch article on Blackwater.
Interview with Jeremy Scahill.
War, Inc movie site.
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.
John Cusack Interviews Naomi Klein.
Shock Doctrine video.


Anonymous said...

I live near Chattanooga TN and there are frequent black helicopters flying overhead. No markings that I can see from the ground. Also was in Eastern Kentucky a month or so ago and saw black helicopters that appeared to be patrolling. How do we stop this!!! I was hoping it was only some kind of training exercise. Does anyone know for sure???

Katie said...

I believe they are the Tennessee State Marijuana Eradication Task force. We stayed at a hotel with them and saw them going out on their daily raids of local cannabis farms and gorilla patches. However, we were in Cookes Valley not Chattanooga. They do uses full black helicopters of mid size (no guns mounted) and camouflage. For everyones sake I hope you saw them not military. Although I'm not a big fan of either.