Thursday, September 20, 2007

Blackwater and the draft.

In yet another article about Blackwater today at the WaPo, the notion that rogue, unchecked American hired guns running around Iraq making our military more enemies might not be such a great idea is explored.

An Interior Ministry official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared for his safety (dosen't every Iraqi?) told the Post: "They are part of the reason for all the hatred that is directed at Americans, because people don't know them as Blackwater, they know them only as Americans. They are planting hatred, because of these irresponsible acts."

And he said this before the incident on Sunday.

Not that this should come as any great surprise. Gen. Patraeus's Ex-O, Col. Peter Mansoor, recently told Jane's Defense Weekly that the US military needs to take "a real hard look at security contractors on future battlefields and figure out a way to get a handle on them so that they can be better integrated -- if we're going to allow them to be used in the first place. If they push traffic off the roads or if they shoot up a car that looks suspicious, whatever it may be, they may be operating within their contract (but) to the detriment of the mission, which is to bring the people over to your side. I would much rather see basically all armed entities in a counter-insurgency operation fall under a military chain of command." [dangerroom]

Well, duh!

Allowing several tens of thousands of loose cannons to roam around blasting away at civilians, just for the hell of it, while you're supposedly trying to counter an insurgency by winning hearts and minds is lunacy. And the worst part is they're making ten times what our lowly grunts are and they're not even necessarily fighting on our side. They're working for whoever is signing their pay-check, which isn't always the American tax-payer.

As I understand it, we need all these contractors in Iraq to feed our troops, deliver supplies and provide security for our diplomats and politicians because we don't have a big enough army to do it any more. Back in the day, the Army could build a road through a swamp in South Carolina or mount an invasion of Europe, but now we can't even fill up canteens with water. Oh no, now the thing is bottled water. A zillion tons of bottled water glogging up the supply routes, but Pepsi and Coke are loving it.

I digress, though, the point is if this war in Iraq is all about our facing "a radical ideology with an unalterable objective, to enslave whole nations and intimidate the whole world," as W. claims, and we just can't lose there - - then we'd better think about starting the draft back up.

Here we have just last night John Warner and his Republican warmongers defeating a bill that would have returning troops to get longer leave at home, for at least as long as their last deployment. But even that modest attempt to stop this war went down in flames when the Republicans decided supporting their man in the White House was more important than taking care of our troops.

How long exactly do Bush's War Sentaors think the military can keep sending the same people back to Iraq over and over again?

And there doesn't seem to be any end in sight.

The WaPo reports:

"After the measure's defeat, senators predicted that other Iraq amendments in the queue, including several with bipartisan sponsorship, would meet a similar fate. 'I don't think there's going to be any meaningful change of votes or switching until we get into next year,' [Chuck] Hagel said."

We're just going to stick with the surge and count on David Petraeus' master generalship and W.'s keen political skills to get the Iraqis to defend themselves and become a thriving democracy by next summer. Then everyone will be able to come home, or we'll be at war with Iran and there will be a draft and Blackwater employees will be patrolling the streets of America.


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