April 03, 2007

Blackwater: From Iraq to New Orleans

Jeremy Scahill from The Nation brings us this video short on one of the Bush administration's private armies, Blackwater USA.

According to Scahill, private contractors represent tens of thousands of ground troops in the Iraq war. Yet their body counts and injuries don't add to the overall reported totals, and not even Congress can find out how many of them there are. On the streets of post-Katrina New Orleans, while thousands languished on rooftops and in the Superdome waiting for aid, Blackwater mercenaries had already been deployed to guard the streets from looters.

I guess there's no law against using federally employed mercenary troops inside the United States. Still, I have a feeling that if the founders had known someone might try it, such a law would have been written into the Constitution itself.

There's naturally nothing wrong with corporations in and of themselves. But the largest and best-connected of them have become a watchword for power without accountability, authority without oversight. They are allowed to kill without being subject to criminal proceedings; whether through pollution, reckless disregard for employee or consumer safety, or as in the case of Blackwater, being sent to act as soldiers without being subject to either civilian courts or military tribunals. Many of them have lobbied relentlessly to have their profits treated as sacrosanct, to be held far above the lives and freedoms destroyed in their gain. They have pushed for limitless control over people and resources, crushing and smearing the democratizing force of unions that would allow employees to have more say in their business decisions.

A corporation like Blackwater should be regarded as merely the tip of the iceberg. As the inevitable byproduct and result of an aristocracy who seeks to rule with impunity and answer to no one besides their shareholders, who conveniently only ask of them that they make more money.

Of course, their triumph is inevitable. I, for one, welcome our grinning, corporate fascist overlords.

Posted by natasha at April 3, 2007 02:51 PM | US News | Technorati links |