Following the sentencing of four private security guards convicted in the notorious 2007 massacre of innocent Iraqi civilians, attention has shifted to the growing role such private mercenaries are having on battlefields throughout the world.
If you define mercenary as influenced by greed and a desire for gain, then that applies to all the American Empires armed forces who use brave and patriotic men and women, albeit misled, for the Empires own nefarious political hegemony. Blackwater, although horrible, is miniscule compared to the trillion $ mercenaries called the MIC who are merely mercenaries for the .01%
As appalled as I am by the massacre of the innocent civilians, the ones who should be in jail are the people who created a war zone for their own purposes. War is a man-made catastrophe and those who choose to make war are evil. Almost everything that happens on the ground in a war zone is an explosion of fear. Terrible, uncontrollable fear. And the burden for the resulting grief and terror should be squarely placed on those who went to a foreign country and caused the chaos. Bush and Cheney and their fellow conspirators could sit at home, playing golf, leading the good life, while thousands died at their hands. How they can live with themselves, I do not know. More lives are ruined by jailing these men who swallowed the lies and our government continues the big lie by prosecuting them to the hilt while protecting the real murderers.
Mercenaries by definition are motivated by money, not belief, and that makes a big difference in determining guilt. If these men were motivated by ideology, they could have easily joined our military and enjoyed the dubious protection of "just taking orders." They chose to be private hirelings and in so doing chose greed over military duty. War is hell, and murder is murder. And what we have here are murderous individuals (aka professional soldiers) who chose private careers in "security." They deserved what they got, and their bosses deserve much worse. There are no mitigating circumstances for them.
Rumsfeld's failed "remake" of the DOD and expansion of the hiring of "military contractors" along with the privatization of military base supplies/construction have left the DOD and all branches of the military in disarray. Rummy's "savings" that he unequivocally stated would result from his reorg (along the lines of what he did at Rand Corp.) never appeared. On the contrary, the cost of paying private contractors (mercernaries), private construction companies, private suppliers, etc. dramatically increased spending that lined the pockets of his corporate cronies.
He, with the blessings of GWB made a mess of the "invasion" of Iraq and Afghanistan killing thousands of US military; hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and displacing even more who fled as refugees to neighboring countries leaving both nations' infrastructures and governments in utter shambles. Yet both live on in lives of luxury with American taxpayers paying their lifelong wages and providing security for when they venture out from their comfort zones.
Meanwhile, the former Sec. lays like a beached whale on the deck of his cabin-cum-mansion in Taos, NM (winter) or on the porch of his ranch house in Montana without a care in the world or even a scintilla of bad conscience for the destruction he left in his wake throughout his checkered career in government and private industry.
All soldiers are mercenaries. With no draft any person who joins an army in these times, is making a political decision.
We have to overcome our knee jerk reaction "I support the troops". Sure when we or our children were subject to a draft there was a common cause but that scenario no longer exists.
To the statement "I support the troops" I ask "why?". Here in Canada we are, under international law, illegally bombing Syria and Iraq.
A person who chooses to join that fight is making a decision that is political in its nature. The war is promoted by war mongers and those who choose to join do so of their own free will.
The troops do not keep us safe. they are in fact endangering us by joining in wars of aggression. So if ISIS were to win what would happen over there? They would run countries the way Saudi Arabia does ... with beheadings etc... ISIS/ Saudi Arabia - what is the difference exactly? Anyone with any political awareness would be asking serious questions before they joined this fight.
Obviously the average soldier has almost no political awareness and is probably not an avid political junkie but if the troops who join understand they are reviled by many it may make it a less attractive job.
So stop with the brave patriotic rhetoric. Dumb and dangerous is probably a more accurate assessment.