Thursday, August 2, 2007

Why doesn't this look good?

The website "News Sophisticate" is reporting that Blackwater USA is interested in growing its business in Sudan.

Blackwater has long eyed doing business with the UN in the Sudan. They see the Iraq war winding down and are looking for more opportunities for expansion and the continuation of their 'soldier of fortune' corporate business plan. Chris Taylor, head of strategy for Blackwater, stated in 2006 that

"(his company) has a database of thousands of former police and military officers for security assignments...Blackwater personnel could set up perimeters and guard Darfurian villages and refugee camp in support of the U.N."

Apparently the United Nations has authorized a UN troop force of 20,000 soldiers and 6,000 police. News Sophisticate is guessing these 6,000 police are hired mercenaries from Blackwater.

Death and destruction as growth industries. I cannot fathom how these executives live with themselves. Some things are simply beyond me.


Anonymous said...

You know, can we accelerate this freefall any more? We are Rome.

Jess Wundrun said...

The craziest thing about the quote from Blackwater is that they see the Iraq war winding down.

I wish I knew what they meant by that.

Leonidas said...

Interestingly, some of the comments above act as if companies like Blackwater started these conflicts. If recognized bodies (UN, AU, etc.) want to hire them to support their main operations, what are the issues? Wouldn't you rather the violence stop first?

Jess Wundrun said...

Leonidas, glad you asked.

First, and the most basic part of the comment is that it is someone's job to go to work everyday hoping for an increase in conflict somewhere or else the company will fail to show growth. I myself think one needs to check one's humanity at the door to have that job.

Second, how do you know that companies like Blackwater don't foment these conflicts? Have you heard of PNAC?

Erik Prince the founder of Blackwater is a far right wing neocon with ties to PNAC, the group that fomented the Iraq war. His company does black ops for the CIA that you, as an American citizen, have no right to know about.

That means that essentially you are looking at a corporation with a legal imperative to grow. The only way to grow is to be involved in international conflicts.

If you are truly interested I recommend John Perkins' book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man". He details many conflicts and assassinations carried out by private companies in conjunction with our government whose sole aim was to increase some KBR/Halliburton/Blackwater-type corporations' bottom line.

Here are some links:

As to your questions about 'what are the issues' if the UN wants to hire these groups, there are myriad ethical questions, many of which we've faced in Iraq. Who polices the police? In Iraq, contractors operate outside the law and are not held culpable for crimes against Iraqi people. The actions of the contractors being less accountable than a national military is what led to the catastrophe in Fallujah. Many consider that to be a turning point in the war.

The victims in Sudan are now exposed to mercenaries who have no motivation to treat them humanely. I foresee the continuation of the nightmare, not the cessation, if poorly trained, politically ignorant mercenaries are sent to

News Sophisticate said...

Hey Jess..thanks for quoting my blog. Greatly appreciated. Blackwater is not the only company to worry about.

Triple Canopy Inc. has the contract to guard the Green Zone.

Sift through my archives and you will really see some interesting articles.

Original Content Daily.
Blackwater also was in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Then dupped the government into another failed contract.

no more sub'machine gun' contractors

dguzman said...

I've been asking myself that for years now--how do they live with themselves?--and I still don't have an answer. The amazing-but-true part is that Blackwater, Halliburton, et al., don't even HAVE to "dupe" the govt into these "failed contracts," as news sophisticate says above. Instead, BushCo just GIVES them the money and a knowing wink, comfy in the knowledge that their CEO pals will syphon plenty of cash into BushCo people's bank accounts. Everyone at that level just gets richer, and the rest of us get screwed, and yet none of them seems to lose a bit of sleep over it. Meanwhile, poor bastards like you and me can't sleep at night anymore, worrying about what the hell else bad can happen tomorrow....

Jess Wundrun said...

Hey, News Sophisticate, you are welcome. I'm blogrolling you.

That was a strange set of affairs when Blackwater went to New Orleans after Katrina. The government couldn't militarize the police and hid behind Posse Comitatus laws to say that it couldn't get National Guard in faster, yet was able to send Blackwater in under the guise of their being private contractors hired as private security.

The 'jack-booted thugs' irony was richer than cream that day.

Johnny Yen said...

No, no, no, Jess... they're not mercenaries...they're "security contractors..."