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Blackwater: A modern Praetorian Guard

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by PressCoverage, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. PressCoverage

    PressCoverage Banned

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    a fascinating and important essay... further evidence that this great nation is going the way of the Roman Empire... rotting from within...

    What If Our Mercenaries Turn on Us?

    By Chris Hedges
    The Philadelphia Inquirer

    Sunday 03 June 2007

    Armed units from the private security firm Blackwater USA opened fire in Baghdad streets twice in two days last week. It triggered a standoff between the security contractors and Iraqi forces, a reminder that the war in Iraq may be remembered mostly in our history books for empowering and building America's first modern mercenary army.

    <snip>

    The privatization of war hands an incentive to American corporations, many with tremendous political clout, to keep us mired down in Iraq. But even more disturbing is the steady rise of this modern Praetorian Guard. The Praetorian Guard in ancient Rome was a paramilitary force that defied legal constraints, made violence part of the political discourse, and eventually plunged the Roman Republic into tyranny and despotism. Despotic movements need paramilitary forces that operate outside the law, forces that sow fear among potential opponents, and are capable of physically silencing those branded by their leaders as traitors. And in the wrong hands, a Blackwater could well become that force.

    American taxpayers have so far handed a staggering $4 billion to "armed security" companies in Iraq such as Blackwater, according to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.). Tens of billions more have been paid to companies that provide logistical support. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.) of the House Intelligence Committee estimates that 40 cents of every dollar spent on the occupation has gone to war contractors. It is unlikely that any of these corporations will push for an early withdrawal. The profits are too lucrative.

    Mercenary forces like Blackwater operate beyond civilian and military law. They are covered by a 2004 edict passed by American occupation authorities in Iraq that immunizes all civilian contractors in Iraq from prosecution.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2007
  2. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Whats a "Praetorian Guard"
     
  3. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Have said previously never thought that the US could be a victim of a coup d'etat, however with the arming of so many mercenaries this now becomes a distinct possibility.. still think there are too many checks and balances, but the increasing polarization and disconnect from mainstream america enhances the possibility.
     
  4. Terry Glenn is a cowgirl

    Terry Glenn is a cowgirl Banned

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    Blackwater and Mexican troops were in NOLA when Hurricane Katrina hit.

    Funny/ironic how our own troops couldn't do their job on their own soil...
     
  5. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Pro Bowl Player

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    #80 Jersey

    Thes mercinaries are there to protect and serve...their company and contract. not the constitution.

    hatred.

    all the BS $$$$ that we threw at these companies, and didn't give to our own soldiers is criminal.

    HATRED!
     
  6. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    The problem is that, by the time the breaking point arrives where we will be helpless to control these pigs, we will be unable to do anything about them. The People are now being trained to accept this type of crap as normal. It's no different from fingerprinting children, a practice that was once abhorent in our society, or admitting the police into your house without a warrant. Notice the increasing number of cops on the street wearing paramilitary gear and unis as opposed to regular police uniforms - especially at large gatherings.
     
  7. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Black seems to be a favored color.. maybe it is more threatening, maybe it makes them look bigger, maybe it makes them look more menacing.. this country can turn into a police state quickly.. need to be vigilant at all times.

    Recently my grandson was visiting his mother, and he refused to return to his father's home, he has temporary custody. He is 11 and had good reason not to return, the father called the police they responded threatened to drag him out in handcuffs if he did not return to his father's. My daughter backed down, she has not had a lot of success dealing with the police, I only wish I was there I would have let it happen and take pictures of the whole thing. Checked with my legal friends and other police I know, they all agreed this should not have happened and felt I would have had a potential law suit if they cuffed an 11 year old who did not want to return to a potentially abusive situation. My grandson is loosing faith in the legal system, my daughter has lost it and I try to help them understand that which makes no sense.
     
  8. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It is situations like this that sometimes make me take sides with the "minority community" and even with the urban "gang bangers" they don't bother with the police, they handle it within their community, they have their own brand of justice as many of us did years ago, don't bother talking to the cops, talk to a couple of tough young street kids, they will help you.

    I don't blame you for losing faith with the legal system they are a Joke.

    Look whats going on with this Idiot Paris Hilton, there must be thousands of Illegal Aliens and other Politically Correct people (can't talk the way I want to, they'll close the thread) these fawned over people drive day in and day out with No Licenses, DUI Convictions, No ID's, No Insurance, No License Plates, No Registration and many of them can't read or speak english, how many times have you read about some drunk that kills someone with his car and the news says he was picked up 27 times for "Drunk Driving" and never spent 5 minutes in jail. Hilton is in Jail.

    In Today's society, outside of "State Prison" and "Washington DC" one of the most Crooked Corrupt places you can walk into is an American Court House.

    I hope things turn out well for your daughter, I have a large family and it would kill me to see one of them in the position, I have a very short temper, I know I would wind up in prison.
    Good Luck
     
  9. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thank you, sometimes I fantasize about doing harm on my son in law or hiring someone, but at this stage of the game I do not want to pick up a felony or put my pension in jeopardy.. but what goes around comes around.
     
  10. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I know and I don't blame you and I am probably wrong because you are right, in the long run you would be the one that winds up with all kinds of losses and trouble.
    In time if he is a "mean guy" and giving your daughter and his little son a lot of grief he will someday pay for it, as the boy grows into a man this guy will have completely lost him.
    My sons would walk through fire for me and thats a great feeling (they think I'm nuts though :singing: )

    You stay close to that Kid, you will be the ONE for him.
    :bricks:
     
  11. PressCoverage

    PressCoverage Banned

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    and here we are:

    Blackwater Heavies Sue Families of Slain Employees for $10 Million in Brutal Attempt to Suppress Their Story

    By Daniel J. Callahan and Marc P. Miles
    AlterNet
    http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/53460/

    The following article is by the lawyers representing the families of four American contractors who worked for Blackwater and were killed in Fallujah. After Blackwater refused to share information about why they were killed, the families were told they would have to sue Blackwater to find out. Now Blackwater is trying to sue them for $10 million to keep them quiet.

    Raleigh, NC -- The families of four American security contractors who were burned, beaten, dragged through the streets of Fallujah and their decapitated bodies hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River on March 31, 2004, are reaching out to the American public to help protect themselves against the very company their loved ones were serving when killed, Blackwater Security Consulting. After Blackwater lost a series of appeals all the away to the U.S. Supreme Court, Blackwater has now changed its tactics and is suing the dead men's estates for $10 million to silence the families and keep them out of court.
     
  12. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    Back in the day when I was a kid, we had a couple of guys in the family who would "make things happen" to people who fu-ked with anyone in the family and they knew cops who knew about all this stuff. These guys were legendary in the family and still are. Back then, the cops wanted nothing to do with these family "issues" and that may have been the best way of dealing with creeps from outside who came in and took the girls for granted. We were always a quiet and respectful family, but very tight and VERY protective. I thought that was cool. Now there's too many lawyers and way too many rules from Big Brother.
     
  13. Lifer

    Lifer Banned

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    ..Mississippi moon wont you keep on shining on me.....


    ah, memories..
     
  14. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    My favorite Doobies tune. Every time I hear that I wish I had a dube on me to spark up.
    :rocker: :D
     
  15. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    There are constitutional issues in placing soldiers inside american cities. The National Guard can do it, but they take time to deploy for obvious reasons.
     
  16. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    In the North End, they called those people the Mafia . :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2007
  17. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not a fan of Blackwater. My issue with them is their lack of respect for the law. What they mainly provide to the US in IRaq is security & convoy protection. They must be held accountable for their transgressions. I don't have a problem with people hiring them for personal security. These guys are typicall ex-military, and ex-special forces. Again though, they must be held accountable for their misgivings, and to the best of my knowledge, and from all that I have read, they are not. This is tremendously bad for our cause on the ground there. You can try to win hearts and minds all you want with actual soldiers, but when these Rambo's start shooting up cars without regard, you can piss that good will away.
     

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