A reporter, from The Independent of England, was in Nisour Square a few days after the Blackwater massacre of innocent Iraqi civilians and encountered continuing fury on the part of the local population. They are demanding an end to private armies in their nation. Lawyer Hassan Jabar Salman, who was shot four times in the back by Blackwater gunmen, said: “This is not the first time they have killed innocent people and they will do it again, you’ll see.” Prime Minister Mailki threatened to expel Blackwater from Iraq, but he was forced to back down under American pressure. The past few days, Robert Griffin, who was in charge of overseeing private contracts, resigned from the State Department. An Independent reporter talked with Mark, a former Royal Marine, who now is in the private army business. “I suppose,” he said, “we should thank George Bush and Tony Blair for what they have done for our industry much as I dislike their policies. And, if I was an Iraqi, I would not be thanking them.” Patrick Toyne Sevell, of Armor Group, told the press, “We believe Iraq as a market will continue to grow for some time..”
The use of private contractors is a recent phenomenon in American history. It fits in with conservative philosophy that private enterprise is more efficient than government institutions. In this case, the government institution is the armed forces. They are not “private contractors,” they are mercenaries who are not bound by civilian or military law. It is time America confronting reality, if this nation intends to conduct military operations around the world it is necessary to institute a draft system and end reliance on private corporations to do the work of our government. A few days ago, Robert Griffin, who oversees contracts with private corporations, resigned from the State Department and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is ordering an investigation. Why? What is there to investigate? The erratic, lawless behavior of private contractors is common knowledge and it has been going on for years. Griffin is a convenient scapegoat. Isn’t it time the real criminals who allowed this lawlessness to proceed were brought before a court of justice? We can begin with Secretary of State Rice who had the responsibility of dealing with these mercenaries and allowed them to run wild without any supervision.