Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Onward Christian Soldiers

If all the outrages of the Bush administration were lined up end to end like the Great Wall of China, I think you'd be able to see a long dirty line from the moon.

It seems to be harder to see from the earth, thanks to many factors, like the haze of public indifference, the smokescreen of patriotic propaganda, the fog of bias and the opaque, pandering disfunctionality of the media, but a few people have started to notice Bush's other army, his private army of Christian soldiers, an army that prospers wildly as Bush's efforts surge - or at least the owners of that army prosper - big time.

I'm talking about Blackwater, of course; the worlds most powerful mercenary army, according to Jeremy Scahill's new book to be released March 21st. According to the blurb, Blackwater is
"the powerful private army that the U.S. government has made its Praetorian Guard for the 'global war on terror.' Blackwater has the world's largest private military base, a fleet of twenty aircraft, and 20,000 contractors at the ready. Run by a multimillionaire Christian conservative who bankrolls President Bush and his allies, its forces are capable of overthrowing governments, and yet most people have never heard of Blackwater."
Bush has shown little tolerance for the restraints that remain on presidential authority with regard to what he may do with the Armed forces yet he has no restraints, it seems, regarding this private SS, this elite corps whose mercenaries get paid far more than the soldiers we're told we're not supporting when we question the administration. I don't think any of our GI's are making the $350 per day that Bush's private army is said to be earning.

I have no idea if or how much out troops were demoralized when mercenaries were paid to guard Ambassador Paul Bremer when he was head of the US occupation of Iraq, or whether they were demoralized that Blackwater was paid nearly a thousand dollars a day for each man they supplied to do various duties normally performed by the National Guard and police in New Orleans after Katrina. I do have an idea how much the taxpayer was soaked for it: over $33 million for New Orleans alone and this while our wounded were being neglected by the VA and FEMA thrashed about like stranded fish at low tide, wasting more millions. I wonder how they feel about Blackwater. Maybe we shouldn't tell them. It might be demoralizing.

I find it demoralizing that in this country, in this time we can have a private army of such power and magnitude that is loyal only to the highest bidder and restrained by no law or treaty when operating abroad; demoralizing that we have a president I can't trust not to use that power as he sees fit and with disregard to the Constitution or the will of the governed. Can that government Blackwater is supposed to be capable of overthrowing be our own?


d.K. said...

I'm in New Orleans for a couple of days. I just saw a T-Shirt that put a spin on the traditional Mardi Gras bead plea shouted during Carnival parades. This t-shirt said, "Throw me somethin', FEMA!"

There's a reason this city will come back, dispite its impossible location and the active neglect our national government has directed towards it.

Reign of Reason said...

The whole rule of the CEO preznit is a farce. He has no concept of government or its role in a free society. Market economics rule is his feeble mind and all decisions are made thru that filter.

Capt. Fogg said...

Yes, I think NO will come back, but different. Of course it would be different anyway. Nothing stays the same.

Bush's idea of government seems to be some grotesque version of libertarianism combined with totalitarianism. Everything is privatized, but the president is a kind.

d.K. said...

Libertarian-totalitarian. I love it! I think you've hit on the new paradigm that has confounded so many of us for six years! Great job coining a new term - the seeming contradiction suddenly makes perfect sense.

Libby Spencer said...

That last is a question I ask myself every day. It's remarkable that so little attention is paid to this private army.