Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Hidden, Hired Villians

Most Americans know that there are over 150,000 military troops in Iraq and Afghanistan at the moment. What most don't know is that there are tens of thousands of mercenaries there bought and paid for by the United States Government. Our own politicians allot hundreds of millions of dollars yearly to pay companies like Blackwater ( ) to send mercenaries to war zones. Those hired soldiers make far more money than true military soldiers. They have equal if not better equipment. And, by far the most absurd and frightening part of the situation, they only answer to the corporation.

So far around sixty U.S. soldiers have been court martialed for violent action against Iraqis. However, due to an act by the United States Government and the temporary Iraqi government set up during the first year of the occupation, those mercenaries can't be tried for crimes by the new Iraqi regime. There are documented cases of these hired security forces firing on civilians, and even American troops, that come too close to the convoys they guard and nothing is done to them. They can't even be touched by the military rules of conduct.

I've ranted many times about the use of mercenaries by the government. Most of the time, however, I've ranted about the fact that death tolls don't take them into account. Who can really say how many of these hired guns have died in Iraq and Afghanistan; especially since the U.S. military doesn't even have control over where these soldiers are positioned, only the company does. But, when hired thugs are allowed to run rampant in a war zone I feel I need to stop ranting for those that have died on their side of the guns and start advocating some damn law and order applied to civilians that are compensated for killing.


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