Saturday, September 22, 2007

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Blackwater working again in Iraq

I don't think anyone in the world (excepting the United States) believes that Iraq is a self-ruling state. Iraq is no more resposible for its rule than a three year old child is responsible for paying the rent. The Blackwater affair and the events that followed are a prime example.

Remember back in 2004, when four soldiers were lynched in the streets of Falluja? Pictures were plastered all over TV and the region of our Brave Soldiers (which actually turned out to be Blackwater contractors) being pulled from their vehicles and hacked to pieces, burned, etc. It was used on this side of the Atlantic to justify our presence in Iraq. Opposition to the war wasn't as polarized at that point -the Democrats were still whining about Ralph Nader spoiling the 2000 election, for the most part.

What we really saw was how much Iraqis hated the occupation of their country by the Xian forces, especially when, to a lot of the Iraqi people, US troops and Blackwater operatives are are indistinguishable. I'm not sure that going to your local representative in Iraq brings much satisfaction when your rights are violated (or when the thugs kick in your door and grind your dignity under a boot heel in search of 'insurgents'.)

Just 4 days ago, Blackwater operatives opened fire in a crowd and killed 11 people, including one person (and his wife and child) who failed to stop soon enough at a traffic signal. I don't think there's too much dispute over those facts. Whether or not the shooting is justified is still under investigation; I think it will end as these things always end. People will believe what they want to believe.

What's certianly not up for debate is the fact that the people of Iraq have no more control of their country today than they did before the start of Gulf War II. The people of Iraq do not want the mercenary forces (whoops - contract security forces) in their country. Iraqi Iraqi PM Maliki called the mincident a "criminal act" and said he's not going to tolerate it - but of course, he's not really in control, is he? Notice tha Bush's involvement is minimal at best - Condolezza Rice has been doing all the deal brokering in the region. And of course, the end result is that Blackwater is back in operation in spite of being ordered to leave the country.

I don't think anyone expected Blackwater to really be expelled - that wouldn't server the United States' best interest. Of course, one of the edicts of Bremer gives these companies a measure of immunity, and they do not answer to military codes of conducts.

This was really a test of the independence of the Iraqi people to govern themselves, and definitve proof that they will not be allowed to do so in any short period of time.

Further reading:
You may not agree with it, but there's no excuse for know trying to understand it. When you spend so much time and energy vilifying an enemy, you forget that they are still human and have specific motivations behind what they do. Remember this, both Bush and bin Laden feel morally justified in their actions and decisions in the past 7 years. That doesn't make them right by any means, but a one-sided argument is just that.