Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Sunday, September 23, 2007

"The Quality of Mercenaries is not Strain'd..."


UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki kept a polite distance as they attended a group meeting and avoided discussion of a deadly Baghdad shootout involving guards from a U.S. company protecting American diplomats.

The two greeted each other before the meeting Saturday, but in a brief exchange of pleasantries, the issue of the shootout did not come up, deputy U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said.

With tensions soaring over the Sept. 16 incident, Rice and al-Maliki chose not to speak about it at a United Nations gathering at which they were among senior diplomats and officials from Iraq's neighbors, including Iran and Syria, weighing future assistance to Iraq.

Earlier, the State Department's Iraq coordinator, David Satterfield, said the two did not have any one-on-one contact. Satterfield testily told reporters that the issue of the incident was not on the agenda. He told reporters after the meeting that Rice had already spoken by phone with al-Maliki about the matter.

At the same time, Iraq's Interior Ministry said it had expanded its investigation of the shooting to include six other incidents involving Blackwater guards over the past seven months.

The developments added to rising U.S.-Iraqi tensions, which shot up following last Sunday's shooting that killed at least 11 Iraqis, including civilians.
The presence of Rice and al-Maliki at the same meeting here was the closest high-level encounter between the governments since the incident and since Rice on Friday announced a full review of State Department security in Iraq.
Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said the U.S.-based company has been implicated in six other incidents over the past seven months, including a Feb. 7 shooting outside Iraqi state television in Baghdad in which three building guards were fatally shot.

Blackwater USA spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell had no comment when reached by telephone Saturday morning. USA Today

The Nation has a great article up right now, "Blackwater: Hired Guns, Above the Law" as well as a brief video, "Blackwater: Shadow Army". Also, here is a delightful comment by our president that gives some further insight into the White House position on Blackwater USA.

"A Quality of Mercy" is from Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice," but it is also the name of an episode of "The Twilight Zone".

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At Sun Sep 23, 01:06:00 PM, Blogger FranIAm said...

Two quotations from the article really chilled my heart... well the whole thing chilled my heart.


They have shown little regard for Iraqi lives and have fueled the violence in that country, not just against the people of Iraq but also against the official soldiers of the United States military in the form of blowback and revenge attacks stemming from contractor misconduct. These private forces have operated in a climate where impunity and immunity have gone hand in hand.

And then this:
Colonel Thomas Hammes, the US military official once overseeing the creation of a new Iraqi military, has described driving around Iraq with Iraqis and encountering Blackwater operatives. "[They] were running me off the road. We were threatened and intimidated," Hammes said. But, he added, "they were doing their job, exactly what they were paid to do in the way they were paid to do it, and they were making enemies on every single pass out of town." Hammes concluded the contractors were " hurting our counterinsurgency effort."

Wow. I am speechless. And furious. But glad I saw this here.

And that video of idiot man. How impudent. And it was in freakin' April, long before this current situation.

"Duh - dunno, don't care, dodgin' the question"

I loathe him.

At Mon Sep 24, 12:17:00 AM, Blogger Freida Bee said...

That picture literally scared me. Really.

At Mon Sep 24, 12:17:00 AM, Blogger Freida Bee said...

That picture literally scared me. Really.

At Mon Sep 24, 01:20:00 PM, Blogger Freida Bee said...


At Tue Sep 25, 10:57:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

FranIAm: I can't believe this situation either. The mercenaries sound like the villains in a bad Chuck Norris movie. for that matter, our president sounds like the villain in a bad Chuck Norris movie!

Freida Bee: Cool!

Freida Bee: Cool!

Freida Bee: I am honored that you have seen fit to speak so forcefully on this matter! I am always happy to hear from you!

(I get duplicates on occasion when I leave messages as well. It's very annoying when it happens. I liked your response to it!)


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