Blackwater: Our Stories
December 3, 2007 9:33 PM   Subscribe

The Blackwater USA weblog. A blogger sets up a blog for Blackwater so they can enter the conversation about their operations in Iraq.
posted by salishsea (36 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Dude, are they stealing footage from Monty Python to make a point about witch hunts? I smell DCMA!!!!!@!!!111
posted by parmanparman at 9:37 PM on December 3, 2007

posted by parmanparman at 9:37 PM on December 3, 2007

Mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous; and if one holds his state based on these arms, he will stand neither firm nor safe; for they are disunited, ambitious and without discipline, unfaithful, valiant before friends, cowardly before enemies; they have neither the fear of God nor fidelity to men, and destruction is deferred only so long as the attack is; for in peace one is robbed by them, and in war by the enemy. -- Nicolo Machiavelli
posted by moonbiter at 10:02 PM on December 3, 2007 [12 favorites]

This* is disgusting. From the blogger link:

My advice to Blackwater is that they need to offer their own voice, to tell their own stories about who they are and to engage with those that are prepared to think.

Blackwater speaks through its actions. They speak by sending drunk killers out of the country before justice can be done. The speak by killing civilians and disgracing our military (you know, the guys with rules and courage and bravery). Blackwater has done more damage to the reputation of America than any of O'Reilly's fantasy US hating liberals could possibly imagine, all while avoiding the rule of law.

*"This" being the assertion lack of communication has lead to Blackwater's reputation.
posted by null terminated at 10:16 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

I already "understand" Blackwater, thanks. Mercenaries are the enemy of humanity and deserve no sympathy whatsoever. Erik Prince is a Christian Reconstructionist theocratic fascist. His goal is to make Blackwater the Praetorian Guard of a police state in this country.

Blackwater is far more of a threat to the US than "Islamofascism" will ever be.
posted by words1 at 10:51 PM on December 3, 2007 [10 favorites]

I'm gonna say that I disapprove of the program and I think that Erik Prince isn't someone our government should be contracting with.

I have no doubt that the system is very bad at stopping abuses and that people have been looking the other way for profit.

But every human being deserves sympathy at one time or another.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:01 AM on December 4, 2007

scum scum scum scum scum scum scum scum scum scum scum scum
posted by limon at 12:24 AM on December 4, 2007

But every human being deserves sympathy at one time or another.

Ironmouth, come on, spare us the Jesus act. Blackwater isn't a human being; it's a corporation. This is not the tortured musing of a morally conflicted gun for hire, but calculated corporate PR.

Blackwater's chief source of income and raison d'être is the government's need to wage its war without dealing with public scrutiny.
posted by limon at 12:35 AM on December 4, 2007 [3 favorites]

Fight Blackwater in Iraq or you'll have to fight them in the USA.
posted by Rumple at 12:58 AM on December 4, 2007 [13 favorites]

So their argument is that everyone is doing drive by shootings so why shouldn't they?
posted by biffa at 1:12 AM on December 4, 2007

So their argument is that everyone is doing drive by shootings so why shouldn't they?

Great. The 'When in Rome' aka the 'But mommy, johnny was doing it first' defense.
posted by IronLizard at 1:56 AM on December 4, 2007

Fuck these guys.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 2:07 AM on December 4, 2007

But every human being deserves sympathy at one time or another.

I agree. After they have admitted their guilt and accepted their just punishments. Not before.
posted by srboisvert at 2:08 AM on December 4, 2007

Summary of entire blog:

I have been stunned by the RAGE!!!
posted by rokusan at 4:00 AM on December 4, 2007

But every human being deserves sympathy at one time or another

Yes, but this is not one of those times.
posted by absalom at 5:42 AM on December 4, 2007

Soldiers of Fortune are people who accept they are required to kill strangers for money. Talking about base emotions...
posted by ersatz at 6:11 AM on December 4, 2007

It is a difficult task to try to build a case for loving people whose job it is to murder other people... I don't think they have succeeded.
posted by HuronBob at 6:25 AM on December 4, 2007

This is a great site. I have long thought the violent, ignorant, violence-prone supporters of massive war and chaos in Iraq haven't had enough of a voice in this debate.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:45 AM on December 4, 2007 [2 favorites]

" a case for loving people whose job it is to murder other people". Does the same apply for soldiers on tour in Afghanistan or in Iraq? I certainly wouldn't look at the squaddies in that light, and yet a frequent profile for the mercenary companies' employees are soldiers who have been discharged at the age of thirty-something and who have no transferable skills. Sure, there are some pretty awful people in the mercernary companies, but there are some decent folk as well (at least, at my acquaintance). I'd hesitate blanket-applying the term "monster" to them and I'd more readily attack the people employing them and the motives for employing them rather than the army (deniability).
posted by YouRebelScum at 7:00 AM on December 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

maybe the goal of starting a war in Iran is to weaken the American forces to the point that Blackwater could easily defeat them in the event of a coup.
posted by any major dude at 7:07 AM on December 4, 2007

I'm talking about calling them all drunks. I knew a guy who decided to go do the contractor thing a few years back. He was a really nice guy and he wanted to make a lot of money for his family.

Limon, we aren't going to win these battles by name-calling--we have to be smarter than that. O'Reilly and the outrage junkies use our lashing out like that to confuse issues that seem obvious to us. And in a democracy, it is our duty as citizens to let people know the real reasons why these things are bad.

I guess that what I am saying is that people who vent mindlessly about real problems that face us are being selfish. It contaminates our message.

Forcefully advancing important opinions has been in short supply for some time now, but calling them all drunks and killers and making it seem like every Blackwater employee is out there just opening fire on every Iraqi they see is wrong. Pointing out that crony contracts to right-wing idealouges for the purposes of removing accountability for the conduct of an illegal war makes it highly likely that persons paid by our tax dollars will not be held accountable for crimes and hurt the Iraqis and the American people is right.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:42 AM on December 4, 2007 [2 favorites]

they're deleting negative posts on the site!

posted by stevejensen at 7:54 AM on December 4, 2007

at 9:57 cst, the site just took down the BW paw logo from the top left in the header.

Smells like BW didn't like that?

posted by stevejensen at 7:58 AM on December 4, 2007

I have set up a blog for them called Blackwater - Their Stories here. Why would I take on such an assignment?

Because you are an idiot who was just handed a wad of cash to put lipstick on a pig?
posted by prostyle at 8:11 AM on December 4, 2007 [2 favorites]

They had to start their own blog because they're used to being SILENCED ALL THEIR LIFES.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:10 AM on December 4, 2007

“Sure, there are some pretty awful people in the mercernary companies, but there are some decent folk as well (at least, at my acquaintance).”

YouRebelScum - someone doesn’t have to be a monster to be involved in something deplorable. Certainly there are niches wherein mercs are useful, and in some cases even laudable (I’m thinking of certain protective services).
And individually - as I’ve often argued - one is responsible for the way one comports oneself no matter what organization one is in. There were good or at least repentant Nazis (Oskar Schindler, for example).
But, while I champion your cause on opposing blanket statements, Blackwater’s actions in Iraq have been unprofessional and in the instances in question, atrocious. The fault for that lies not only with the people that employed them, but at the highest levels within the organization for fostering an environment which allowed them. Their respective agendas are alloy (and I suspect as words1 there is some danger of them becoming a sort of Praetorian Guard - one need only consider their work in N.O. after Katrina taking guns away from law abiding citizens*)
Merc work is, at best, a dicey business morally. Most mercs are reviled on general principals and justly so. They don’t fight for any ideal, even misguided ones, just money. On occasion they’ve fought for less money for better causes. But when they’re not working for UNICEF or some such they are an anathema to a free society.
Not that any one of them specifically or all of them collectively are bastards (some are) but that their use in a democracy (ok, ok, representative republic) is damaging especially when used to further national objectives.
If the people aren’t willing to fight for a given cause, that cause shouldn’t be fought.
Using taxes to pay mercs is an end run around what should occur to naturally limit (and oversee) the government’s power to make war.
That basic fact aside, Blackwater’s objectives are not aligned with our national objectives, nor do we have oversight over them. In their professional environment the organization has allowed certain excesses and is covering them up. They are more interested in doing business than in doing justice. And perhaps rightfully so, they are a corporation. But that doesn’t mean we should tolerate them, nor does it mean they are above the law.
But indeed, they are well trained. They do deliver what and when they say they will.
The problem is they’ve shown they’re willing to go to excesses the people of the United States can’t (and shouldn’t) countenance. (And indeed, nor should the Iraqis). And it is ultimately counterproductive to any resolution.
This quite apart from humanitarian concerns and human rights, which, by rights, they’re subject to under international law.

+ what moonbiter sed quoting Machiavelli

* what bothers me is the cyclic nature of this. I suspect, once Clinton is in office, the big agenda will be gun control and guns will be taken away from folks. There’s this constant anti-authoritarian thread that is alternatively championed by libruls and conservatards whenever someone they don’t like is in office. So the ATF busts in on some old couple, guns down the old man because he’s got a souvener WWII era luger and stomps the cat on the way out and all the right wingers are labeled “nuts” because they think Clinton the first is encroaching on their rights. This era, cops tase the crap out of people and libruls scream at those right wingers about how Bush the second is encroaching on their rights, and it’s the same damned thing. Just like a little rachet, you work one side, than the other, back and forth, and just keep racheting down the population through division. So under Clinton it was Waco and Ruby Ridge, under Bush it’s wiretapping and Gitmo, next up Clinton again (or whomever) with more of the same except from the left agenda.
/end rant.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:24 AM on December 4, 2007 [4 favorites]

Occasionally I think about the people who work for Blackwater; the kind of personality that would find it acceptable to do what they are doing. Do they think it's patriotic, or are they really just in it for the money.

I think about this, then I think about all my friends who went into the military out of high school, and how many of them would probably have jumped at a chance to get into a group that pays as well as these guys when their tours were up.

And then I consider these old friends of mine: the ideals these guys held, and the music which drove them:

To the rage built up inside of me
Fist in the air, in the land of hypocrisy

-- Rage Against the Machine - Wake Up

And I realize that I am now living in a truly screwed up world; where the people who were my friends, are now among those whom I fear, working for a group that I suspect is going to be instrumental in the eventual ruination of the country that I care for.
posted by quin at 4:17 PM on December 4, 2007

Hi. First time posting on MeFi, long time reader.

On a hunch, or something, I emailed Blackwater USA and asked them if they actually own/operate the blog mentioned in this post.

I'd love to post his reply here, but, seriously, of all the people in the world that I wouldn't want to piss off, these guys are near the top of the list.

Anyway, I had mentioned that blogs or websites sometimes impersonate other individuals or organizations. He agreed, an noted that some of these false blogs even support his company and cast a favorable light on them.

He also said that if Blackwater did have the power to remove sites from the internet, they wouldn't start with those that favor them.

Draw your own conclusions on that one, folks. Better yet, do some research. Mine didn't even result in a neither-confirm-nor-deny statement.. He didn't address my question at all--possibly just because he's probably very, very busy.

posted by DavidLoyall at 5:36 PM on December 5, 2007

Hi David, welcome!
posted by quin at 6:41 PM on December 5, 2007

Hi DavidLoyall, and thanks for taking corporate online bullyism sitting down.
posted by limon at 7:05 PM on December 5, 2007

Tiny Town Crushes Blackwater
posted by homunculus at 9:34 AM on December 13, 2007

I'd love to post his reply here, but, seriously .... he might come through my screen and shoot me!
posted by octobersurprise at 9:56 AM on December 13, 2007

possibly just because he's probably very, very busy .... shooting people!
posted by octobersurprise at 9:57 AM on December 13, 2007

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