The Outrage of Blackwater

It’s hard to make head or tails of the way America has sought to bring democracy to Iraq; it brought in private security firms whose mission is to safeguard diplomatic missions, political figures and government officials. But these companies, rather than maintaining security or contributing to its restoration – hire the cream of professionals in rapid killing on the front lines!

These firms have become a burden to Iraqis. Whenever a mine explodes or shots are fired, those who work in these companies try to prove their competence to the officials they are protecting by giving a show with live bullets that even Hollywood would love.

For the most part, the victims are innocent bystanders. Eyewitnesses assure me that this happens frequently on several Baghdad streets. But since the recent horrific deaths committed by security agents, no one has spoken of the other obvious truth behind the indiscriminate deaths meted out on our streets: Those who aren’t killed by American bullets, are killed by the bullets of militias and al-Qaeda or … from depression, which happens to many Iraqis who can’t bear the shock, the absurdity and … the calamities taking place in the land of Iraq!!

Earlier this week, when a car bombing incident took place near Baghdad’s Al-Nisour Square, an American diplomatic convoy was passing through the area. In response to the explosion, private bodyguards who work for the American company “Blackwater” opened fire Hollywood-style.

What was the result of the Blackwater Company’s crime, which has so tarnished the face of American security? The death of about 15 martyrs and the wounding of over 30 people – a death toll so high that it would have caused the fall of the government in any country other than Iraq!! And all this happened in clear sight and hearing of American diplomats who suffered no harm, except for the disturbing sound of the explosions taking the lives of so many innocent bystanders!!

And what has the government done?

It deplored and denounced this company which it licensed, and which then denied that its contract had been canceled!!!

What did America do?

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed regret to the families of the victims. Unfortunately, this year American politicians have expressed regret so often that their tongues have become veritable factories for producing apologies!!! – always agreeing to cooperate in order to carry out an investigation!! – Which will certainly be inconclusive due to a lack of evidence!!!

What did this company – which has seen its share of America’s private security market skyrocket and whose employees have proven their competence in cold-blooded murder – have to say?

According to the German News Agency DPA, the company said: “The convoy was attacked by armed insurgents, not civilians.”

This explanation is uglier than the deed itself, since when insurgents attack, they surely have a target and depend on surprise; they rely on hit-and run methods, which is why they escaped the response of the American agents. So who were the victims?

Iraqi citizens who had the bad luck to be in a place targeted by gunfire from two sides: the gunmen and the Americans.

In justifying its crime, the company added: “Our employees had a duty to defend human life.”

Are Iraqis not human? Are their lives not life?

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