Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Save U.S. Tax Dollars. Kill a Merc.

This would have to be the message for the freedom fighters in Falluja. Remember those four guys who got set-up and killed there a couple weeks ago? They weren't soldiers, they were armed mercenaries from Blackwater Security Consulting. They aren't the only mercs to have been killed in Iraq. Far from it, though official numbers are hard to come by. One reason the U.S. military likes using them is that if they die, they aren't part of the body count. Robert Fisk says at least 80 mercenaries have been killed since fighting began.

Here's my question, though. I thought outsourcing to private companies was supposed to SAVE money. Yet these guys make up to one thousand dollars a day. That's a one with 3 zeroes and no decimal points. Now, I'm not an American GI, but I am pretty sure they don't make quite that much. Even with hazard pay and even after the government stopped charging them for meals while they were in the hospital having their limbs amputated.

So where is the uproar from the rightwing. Where is the FOXNEWS expose? Where are the ClearChannel rallies?

I have an idea. Let's pay regular U.S. soldiers the average, just the AVERAGE, pay of these private security workers. We'll see how long this war lasts then.

Meanwhile, to the "insurgents" (how dare you fight foreigners occupying your country!). You will earn favor with the American taxpayer, and (I suspect) the American soldier, by kindly turning your weapons on these hired thugs.

I am no expert, but I believe armed conflict law is on your side here. These guys are "illegal combatants" as they are not wearing the uniform or answering to the authority of any government. You can shoot at them or, better yet, capture them and hold them indefinitely on a tropical island somewhere as terrorists. I think Cuba may have room for another such facility.

The mercenaries are easy to spot. They do not wear regular uniforms, but they are partial to Oakley sunglasses. They will be even more likely to shoot at unarmed civilians than regular military because, as far as anyone can tell, there is absolutely NO SUPERVISING AUTHORITY over them. That's right, they answer to no one but their company bosses, who I am sure, at right this minute, are not taking human rights lessons from Amnesty International. I heard one of them questioned on NPR. He figured maybe if one of them did something wrong an Iraqi citizen could CALL THE FBI. Or, they could wait till after the "handover of power" and file a complaint with the local authorities. Meanwhile, Joe Merc will be back in the states stuffing 20's down Amber's G-String at his local Deja Vu.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Great Iraq report

A fearless friend of mine went on a fact finding mission to Iraq and shares his experiences in this amazing narrative accompanied by some pretty horrifying pictures. I'm trying to get a larger audience for this report, so I hope you'll forward it if you find it of value. Here's the link.

Sure, Buzzflash doesn't believe ME when I say it...

Amazingly, the mainstream liberal, Buzzflash, that thinks Kerry is the savior, publishes this article by Maureen Farrell predicting that a "terrorist event" will result in martial law and the cancelling of the elections in 2004. I, of course, in my witty, insightful and eerily prescient (hey, you write YOUR OWN REVIEWS you get to say what you want) Gambler's Guide to the 2004 Elections gave 10 to 1 odds that the elections would be "Code Redded" out of existence. I said this in September, 2003. Nevermind that I provided no EVIDENCE, as Ms Farrell bothered to do. If I said it, this should be enough. Nevertheless, Mr. Flash, or Buzz to his friends greeted my hours of hard, scriptatorial labor with the uncapitalized response (Buzz is too busy to use capital letters) "can't use now." That was it. Nothing else.

I'm glad they put Ms. Farrell's piece in there. The new information is particularly helpful: all the strangely similar messages emanating from rightwing talk radio/tv about how we should cancel the elections in the event of a major terrorist attack and how likely such a scenario might be. After all, notes Rush (am I the first to get the joke of his first name and his drug habit. Surely not. ) a vote for Kerry is, in fact, a vote for the terrorists.

Go read the article and follow the links. Then let me know if I should raise the odds from 10 to 1. I have a business to run here, ya know.

I also want to implore all the fascist trolls who occasionally look away from their autographed, G Gordon Liddy girly "Stacked and Packed Calendars" and eject their sputum onto my comments sections, to call your Senators and Congressmen or their corresponding stunt doubles in the Shadow Government and implore them to start providing decent health care to the returning wounded from Iraq. They are warehousing these guys in horrible conditions and making them wait ridiculous amounts of time for treatment. Now, what I've said before goes, G.I.'s: You can't break international law just because you are ordered to do so, and you'll get no sympathy from me if you are firing missiles into civilian homes. However, most of our military are doing what they think is right or just trying to make a living and they've been sent to this hell hole which is about to come crumbling down around their ears. Saigon anyone? In any event, here is just one of MANY, MANY articles about the substandard care provided to these wounded. And remember, wounded often means lost limbs and severe disability. Where's the Bush photo op of him visiting these soldiers? And where are all the Clear Channel rally participants when it counts? If you REALLY want to support the military, go here.

Let us also pause to remember, as dozens (I've seen estimates of up to 160 coalition dead in the last two days, but CNN just says 12. Whatever.) of U.S. military are cut down by rebelling Shia AND Sunni militants, that it was BUSH who said "Bring 'em on." I guess he got what he wanted.

By the way, for those of you interested in international law: If a military power occupies another country and an armed militia attacks military targets of the occupying power, the militants are not terrorists; they are called ARMED COMBATANTS. The occupying power doesn't get to shoot their children or blow up their houses with their families inside. Even without taking sides in the actual combat, their actions are LEGAL in humanitarian (armed combat law). This also means you can't shoot at them when they are wounded or otherwise "hors du combat" (out of combat) and that you must treat any prisoners according to the guidelines of the Geneva conventions. If you'd like to learn more about this topic, go to the Red Cross site here.