Look to this shirt and bask in all its' ballsalicious glory. Now some of you may not possess the raw testicular fortitude required to appreciate or even decipher these foreign hieroglyphs so please allow me; a veritable throbbing and vein-tracked pillar of manhood to decipher them on your behalf.
It starts up top with a logo; a bear paw framed in sniper sights. This is the escutcheon of Blackwater U.S.A., a private military corporation of fair size and infamy. Looking at it you may come to the notion that a bear is about to be dinged in the foot by a high caliber rifle but rest assured this double-barrelled blast of masculine imagery swats aside such limp-wristed red flags of logic just long enough for the eyes to move downward, to focus upon the money shot; the metal-as-fuck babe riding a rampant grizzly! "Rough, Ready, Anytime, Anywhere. BLACKWATER... You call, we haul." Rock you like a mother-fucking hurricane, bitches!!! Seriously, THIS is exactly what I want my Slutfucker (tm) rock band to embody. It was wise of them to put such a powerful logo on a beige backdrop for the traditional black would absorb the heat it generates and prove injurious to the wearer.
When Blackwater is not searing my sockets with the visual equivalent of white-hot seminal fluid they're killing civilians at a fairly efficient clip. To summarize: Insurgent sniper goes to work on a Blackwater convoy. The mercenaries light up the surrounding area in response, killing nine civilians and wounding fifteen - none of them the sniper. No Blackwater operatives are injured in the incident.
This looks like it's going to be the big Iraq item this week except it's old news. Blackwater and other mercenary corporations operating in Iraq have been targeting non-combatants with regular frequency throughout the campaign. To be fair one can understand if not condone the rent-a-troop's point of view. These men get into S.U.V.s where they tool around Baghdad escorting cargo trucks or ferrying V.I.P.s from the airport to the Green Zone in a four kilometer run cheerily entitled "The Highway of Death." They have to worry about I.E.D.s as well as car-borne suicide bombers crossing the median in congested traffic and taking them out. What's worse, if they get hit they cannot count on the army's medical facilities for a patch up or even prosthetics. Naturally this makes them inclined to shoot everything that moves within a hundred feet of them. Even more natural is the seething hatred these armed squads have earned with everyday Iraqis. Did anyone ever believe that whole "Hearts and Minds" claptrap at the onset of the invasion?
There is no count as to how many bodies the mercenaries have racked up, nor has there been anything in the way of accountability. Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17 states that private military contractors are immune from Iraq prosecution and hence the law. Since they're not U.S. soldiers they are not bound by the Rules of Engagement or technically even the Geneva Convention. What we have is the Army of Plausible Deniability that recruits out of the NASCAR Speedatorium.
The mercenary count in Iraq has been estimated at over one hundred thousand strong. These numbers render irrelevant any other national contribution besides the U.S., which is worth mentioning because it means that America's real partner in this endeavor; the 'Coalition of the Billing' as it were are companies that rose from two-bit obscurity to hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts a year supplying soldiers that congress did not sign off on.
The Iraq Interior Ministry has stated that Blackwater will have its' licence revoked but this is a threat with no substance. Licences are not necessary to operate in Iraq and the contractors get their jobs from the State Department. If the U.S. wants them there, they stay. Blackwater C.E.O. Erik Price is a big Bush supporter on all fronts so I doubt very much that his company is going anywhere.
'Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror' by Robert Young Pelton is an excellent book on modern mercenary employment. Pelton talks about their presence in Afghanistan and Iraq, he rides with Blackwater operatives in Baghdad and has full access to their state-side headquarters. He goes over the skirmishes and full-on battles the mercenaries have taken part in; violent, sustained engagements that do not get reported by our media. The private soldiers themselves get a lot of spotlight too and a rather sad story emerges; that of struggling, mortgage-laden fathers who are taking dangerous jobs because employment has dried up in whatever Yankee burg they hail from.
It should come as no surprise that there are ten times more mercenaries in Iraq today than there were during the first Gulf offensive back in 1991. As the factory jobs have dried up the private security industry has boomed. We could be watching the beginning of a great shift whereby America's business focus changes from manufacturing to the import of military might. The title of this blog, which is one of Blackwater's many slogans, seems to be making no bones about it either.
The flipside to the cash-strapped corporate commandoes are the likes of Seal Team Six, Delta, and the almighty S.A.S. These are the elites doing crazy special ops takedowns with a frequency unrivaled in all their respective organization's history. The article above is pure war-porn so make sure to have some hand cream nearby before you click the link.