Saturday, May 10, 2008

Blackwater is indispensible?

This article from the IHT is almost frightening. Blackwater Worldwide is still going strong as a contractor in Iraq because State Department officials say they do not believe they have any alternative.

"We cannot operate without private security firms in Iraq," said Patrick Kennedy, under secretary of state for management. "If the contractors were removed, we would have to leave Iraq."

This is worrisome from a couple of viewpoints. If there are no other contractors willing or capable of taking over State Dept security (a force of some 800 guards), then we need to seriously reconsider our total dependence on contractors for such a necessary mission. If this is simple laziness or cronyism by State, then a good, old fashioned purge is in order. I would suspect the latter, as the article says neither DynCorp nor Triple Canopy were ever approached to see if they could pick up the mission.

What I find amazing, is a statement that claims that private security is the only answer. Placing this mission into the for-profit versus government employee sector is a policy decision, not an operational necessity. The resources consumed in just trying to determine whether or not the US government has jurisdiction over these clowns when they ran amok could probably have financed a training program for civil service guards.

To me, the sensible scenario, following the Iraqi concerns raised by the "gunfight at the Baghdad Corral", would have been for the ambassador to call Condi and say, "Look, Boss, as a display of good faith, we need to suck it up and convert the security mission to one conducted by US federal employees. Might cost a few more bucks and sweat at first, but it would show a touch of sensitivity." But then, expecting sensibility or sensitivity from "The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight" is a fool's errand.

Many years ago, I heard a tongue-in cheek saying, "The key to success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you are on your way." Could it be that this has become administration policy?



FDChief said...

Hell, Al, I'd argue that in the waning days of the Cheney Administration these mooks don't really bother faking much sincerity, either.

This has been one of my biggest complaints about the occupation since almost Day 1. We never had never had the boots to really get Roman, so the alternative was always try and coopt the locals as much as possible. But the only way to do THAT was to make it very, very clear that we were going to be painfully careful only to shoot when unavoidable. The constant drip-drip of checkpoint shootings, Hadithas and Blackwater mad-minutes continued - AND NOBODY GOT PUNISHED. Not in any serious way. Making it clear to the Iraqis that resistance was fatal but nonresistance was likely to be fatal, too. And given that choice, what do you think your or my decision would be..?

The problem I see with these bozos is that they reason like four-yea-olds. They never think beyond the ooh-I-want-shiny-pretty level. To have done something about the Blackwater fiasco would have required more than that, so, as you report, their response was to do nothing.

Frustrating for the adults, but not unexpected of the children.

Charles Gittings said...

Heh... the bitch of it is that these people think faking it *IS* sincerity. Everything is just an excuse, and a good excuse is whatever the suckers will most readily believe, while anyone who disagrees doesn't matter. They regard people much like dairy farmers do cows: it's all about production.

The most important thing to understand about Iraq is simply that it's exactly the way these neo-fascist gangsters made it. Things could be better, but it's good enough as is from their perspective, and if you think about it in relation to the first Gulf War, the situation now has one big advantage: it's still going, with no end in sight.

pluto said...

Well said, Charles.

mike said...

Good catch Al. This seems to be silent in the American media. Yesterday's news I guess.

I note that Prince's fortune came from his job-exporting, Gary-Bauer-loving father. Hope he loses every damn penny to the lawyers defending the lawsuits against Blackwater. But unfortunately he still has a percentage of many of the Chinese made auto parts coming into this country.

I would say yes to your question about fake sincerity being administration policy. But this is not new, it started back in the 2000 election campaign with the compassionate conservative lie. FDChief is right that the gloves have come off, but that is only in some quarters as they still drip sincerity when speaking in code to the faithfu.

basilbeast said...


The KBR rape stories, Jamie Leigh Jones in particular, and others like that might generate some publicity. There's nothing like the tabloids in print and TV to spread the news about white women missing, dead, or in trouble.

Trouble with that is, most of the tabloid news comes out of Fox, which still is the propaganda arm of the Bush/Cheney regime.


Fasteddiez said...

JD, I had to post this here in reply to your posting on Intel Dump. I could not post there, too difficult most days.

Man, JD, go back and re-read the thread. I said only that what IRR has said here a thousand times. The corps does not give up on territory, recruiting wise. I even admitted that the Corps has had to lower standards in this new conflict era. They are doing slightly better, probably because they are still getting the types (through familial ties) that the Army won't get. As for the Air Force, sure they out recruit everyone. When I was on recruiting duty, the had banker's hours. They had a four month waiting list just to get into the Dep. All they did was to pre-qualify people.

Then you and Publius go high and to the right abiut the Army's varied missions, size and importance. Just because I (retired Marine) had the temerity to say what IRR (Army man) has said all along re/ Army recruiting.

So when you two decided to change the subject and go to Macho level 12, I decided to go back into history and find all your sterling examples of Army leadership and hang them around your well deserving necks like a wreath of dead albatrosses. Every thing I said was factual, and can be proven, and links provided. As to the comment on rating Infantry units. I was replying to Publius' claim that Army and Marine infantry fought somehow equally. A ridiculous statement, because of its generality. Publius was a CI man in Vietnam, I was a Grunt. Anything he says on the issue is hearsay. The style and tempo of the fighting varied as to where you were. The North (I corps) was the worst, which is why Westy sent the 101 and the Cav north, because of the numbers of enemy. The Americal was placed in the north also, but on a relatively quieter area near Chu Lai, close to the coast. Each of I corps provinces has had more Americans killed within it, than any of the southern and central provinces. The last Albatross I threw was the air force study on managerial versus traditional leadership styles, Army vs USMC, Vietnam. Did you read it? It comes with a bibliography of sources at the end. Did it piss you off? I hope so?

That's why I continue to hang guys like Shoomaker, Casey, Sanchez, the generals who deigned to shit on Taguba, the sorry list of Vietnam leaders who squelched everything around your well deserving necks. It is because you want it both ways. Most Army guys on this site skewer the aforementioned but still maintain the Army is tops. When I try to make a small point, I am a macho BS Marine. You can bring up Pace, but he was elevated by Rumsfeld because he was pliant.
As I told MSR, the mystery man, You can prove nothing, I can prove everything....You know who I am.

Publius said...

"Publius was a CI man in Vietnam, I was a Grunt. Anything he says on the issue is hearsay."

Your post is not responsive to the topic, Fast Eddie. You're drifting into troll territory. You should also confine your posts to things within your sphere of knowledge, rather than write about things you surmise or wish were true. You actually don't have ay knowledge as to what a lot of people did during multiple tours in RVN.

Haven't posted here, Al, because what you say is all so true. Don't have anything more to add.

This one's for JD. JD, my man, we're kind of dying out here. I check every day. No new traffic. Carter's doing well, but he's still not getting a whole lot of the old faithful. I think you can do that.