Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blackwater CEO Fighting "The Good Fight" Against the "Evil Forces of Islam."

Blackwater's CEO: We Are Fighting "Barbarians" in the Middle East

by Jake Horowitz May 11, 2010 01:31 PM (PT) Topics: US Military, War and Peace

Ever wonder what's inside the mind of the world's most powerful private military contractor? Erik Prince, the owner of Blackwater, seldom makes public appearances. The few times he's made speeches in public, he has attempted to ban journalists from attending and prevented audience members from recording or videotaping his remarks.

Fortunately, The Nation's investigative sleuth Jeremy Scahill has managed to obtain a rare audio recording of a recent private speech delivered by Prince at the University of Michigan this past January.

The result is an absolutely stunning window into the worldview of the man who somehow continues to secure billions of dollars of the American taxpayers' money by winning government contracts to fight the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Pakistan.

In front of an audience of ROTC commanders and cadets, military veterans, and entrepreneurs, Prince delivered a speech entitled, "Overcoming Adversity: Leadership at the Tip of the Spear," in which the Blackwater CEO touched on a range of issues associated with the fight against terrorism and America's military involvement in the Middle East. Fortunately, Scahill was able to place a contact inside the meeting, who managed to capture Prince's remarks by clandestinely recording the speech underneath his seat.

I'd strongly encourage you to listen to the recording, as there are simply too many troubling statements to take up here. But here are some of the highlights lowlights:

- When asked whether he was concerned whether Blackwater's secretive mercenary operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan stood outside the bounds of protection under the Geneva Conventions, Prince dismissively replied, "absolutely not because the people we are fighting are barbarians and they crawled out of a sewer." (Note: In acknowledging that Blackwater is indeed operating in Pakistan, Prince seems to have backtracked on his prior statements, as well as those of the Obama administration and the Pakistani government). Speaking in gross and offensive generalizations, Prince tarnished all of the people of the Middle East with the same brush, remarking that "They are [all] there to kill us," and "they have a 1200 AD mentality. They don't even know where Geneva is, let alone that there was a convention there."

- Prince suggested that Iran is "at the absolute dead center ... of badness" and charged that the Iranian government was trying to acquire nuclear weapons as part of a "master plan to stir up and organize a Shi'a revolt through the whole region." In order to reverse this spread of Iranian influence, Prince proposed that the U.S. government hire Blackwater to be deployed as a private army in Yemen, Somalia, and Saudi Arabia. He suggested that using private contractors to roll-back Iran's "sinister hand" would be cost-effective, politically expedient, and would allow for a "very, very small, very light footprint."

- Prince also proposed sending in Blackwater troops to fight "terrorists" in the oil-rich nation of Nigeria, to counter the growing influence of "criminal syndicates" that are "stealing" oil and using the revenue to "fund terrorist organizations." He failed to mention that the presence of multinational U.S-based oil corporations on Nigerian soil — and the human rights abuses and pollution associated with these companies' business operations — have sparked much of the opposition throughout the country.

- Prince cited instances in which Blackwater forces operating in Afghanistan resupplied a U.S. military unit, and even called in U.S. military airstrikes near the Pakistan border, because there is too much "lawyering" involved with the U.S. military chain of command.

Prince's culturally-imperialistic statements reflecting his Christian-crusader mentality — in which Blackwater represents a force of unparalleled "good" fighting a barbaric, anti-modern, and homogenous people of "evil" — are profoundly unsettling, raising serious questions about why the Obama administration continues to employ his company in Iraq and the Af-Pak region. But, Prince's contentions that Blackwater has in various instances superseded the military chain of command by calling in airstrikes and resupplying U.S. military convoys sound an even louder alarm — confirming that private military contractors are able to operate unilaterally, with little oversight, and above the rules of warfare.

Given Blackwater's egregious track record on compliance with international law — take the Iraqi Nisour Square massacre as just one example — the possibility of a Blackwater "A-Team" patrolling the streets of San'a, Riyadh, Lagos, or Mogadishu is altogether unacceptable and should make you quiver.

Fortunately, we can prevent this from happening. Join the effort to tell Congress to stop outsourcing our security to Blackwater and other private military contractors operating outside the bounds of international law. Don't allow this company to continue to secure lucrative government contracts in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Go here for original article w/ working links;

and I ask America again, "are we fighting Israels war?"

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