Blackwater, the finale

August 7, 2007 at 7:02 pm (books, politics)

I swear to everyone that this will be my last post about “Blackwater” by Jeremy Scahill.  I finally finished it this morning and found the most chilling part to be right near there end where Scahill outlines just why having a powerful mercenary army like Blackwater is so scary:

What is particularly disturbing about the “expanding role” of Blackwater specifically is the issue of the company’s right-wing leadership, its proximity to a whole slew of conservative causes and politicians, its Christian fundamentalist agenda and secretive nature, and its deep and long-standing ties to the Republican Party…Blackwater is quickly becoming one of the most powerful private armies in the world, and several of its top officials are extreme religious zealots, some of whome appear to believe they are engaged in the epic battle for the defense of Christendom.  The deployment of forces under this kind of leadership in Arab or Muslim countries reinforces the worst fears of many in the Islamic world about a neo-Crusader agenda masquerading as a U.S. mission to “liberate” them from their oppressors.  What Blackwater seemingly advocates and envisions is a private army of God-fearing patriots…

And Scahill certainly is not exaggerating when he calls the leaders of this company religious zealots.  Much evidence is provided in the book to back up this claim.  A point Scahill makes earlier in the book, one which I wrote about in my entry “Rise of Mercenaries, Fall of an Empire”, mercenary armies become necessary when the ruling government wants to carry out policies and operations that the majority of the population is not supportive of.  This is a truly scary trend, for our government to be able to literally hire out contracts to fight wars which are not democratically chosen or supported.  I’m not naive enough to think that in a free-market society, where there is clearly money to be made in rent-a-soldier companies, that these companies will go away any time soon.  What I am saying is that there is a clear need for more oversight and transparency when it comes to how our government spends our tax dollars and hiring these companies.

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1 Comment

  1. Summer Reading…edition 2 « Becky & Greg’s Blog said,

    […] and elsewhere in the world.  This was a very eye-opening book and I referred to it a couple times here and here in other writings that I did.  Overall, the book was very informative and seemed well […]

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