As you may have noticed, there’s something of a controversy going on about Blackwater USA, a mercenary army in the employ of the United States. They’re making quite a bit of money in Iraq, and have been spending quite a bit of their time shooting civilians. So now a number of people have been going on about Blackwater being too trigger-happy and that something has to be done about it.
It’s not that I disagree. Obviously terrible crimes are being committed by Blackwater, and the people responsible need to be brought to justice. But let’s think for a moment. Who are the people responsible? Is it just Blackwater?
Or let’s put it another way: why do some people think any of this is surprising? Blackwater consists of mercenaries, for Dog’s sake. And not just that – they’re mercenaries whose job it is to oppress a recently invaded and conquered country, which has turned from a fairly stable secular dictatorship (not nice at all) to a land ravaged by a religious and political civil war (even worse). Their job is to keep Iraqis from trying to win back their nation’s freedom.
So what do you expect? They work for Bush, not Santa. It is a proven fact that terrorizing the population and murdering innocents is part of George the Conqueror’s official strategy, as it has been the strategy of tyrants and dictators throughout history.
And it’s not like Blackwater is the only security contractor killing civilians for no good reason. Even if you throw Blackwater out of Iraq, even if you send observers and create new rules and whatever else is being proposed – none of that will change the fact that the Iraqi people are being occupied by a foreign imperialist power, and occupation has always meant violence. Because people don’t like giving up their freedom. Even if they weren’t free before they were subjected to this new dictatorship.
If you want peace, you have to be peaceful. Getting out of Iraq would help. Christ, apologizing would help. Not killing any more people would certainly help. The main reason monsters like Osama bin Laden have any supporters is because Western foreign policy has driven them there. Do you really believe people are so eager to blow themselves up because they dislike someone’s “way of life”? Bullshit. People cling to their lives – always have, always will. It takes extraordinary circumstances to drive someone to that kind of insanity – circumstances such as having your country bombed, or having foreign governments support a regime that decimates your people and quite possibly your family and friends.
People don’t blow themselves up because someone, somewhere happens to be allowed to do something that they think is immoral. To a guy living somewhere in a poor village in Afghanistan, American freedoms aren’t real. They’re something you see on TV, something far away. Almost fiction. Not enough to give everything up for. But the smart bomb that kills his sister, or his child, or his parents – now that is real.
Obviously there are also other reasons – poverty being a particularly important one. People on the edge of starvation don’t – can’t – think clearly. People with full stomachs and a comfy bed are much less likely to go and blow themselves up. And the Bushes of other countries know how to use that – that and religion – to make people hate the faceless “Americans”.
But I think we can safely assume that decades of war, oppression, murder, assassination, bombing, colonialism and imperialism may have something to do with the problem.