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Contractor 'Cowboys'?

Post reporter Steve Fainaru has turned over another stone in Iraq and found a new example of a private U.S. contractor army operating without military command and control. Our Readers Who Comment are mostly appalled.

Today's chapter in what has become a series reports that guards employed by Unity Resources Group, a security company responsible for the shooting deaths of two Iraqi women in Baghdad on Oct. 9, had shot and seriously wounded a man 3 1/2 months earlier, according to witnesses. The company that hired Unity initially said it had no information about the June 24 shooting, but said Iater it discovered internal reports as the Post continued asking about the incident. Fainaru says that "The case demonstrates how security companies such as Unity operate in a lawless void in Iraq, with many shooting incidents escaping official or public scrutiny." A joint U.S.-Iraqi commission on the use of private security contractors was formed after guards for Blackwater Worldwide killed 17 civilians in Baghdad on Sept. 16.

We'll start with fishingriver, who filed the first comment on the article and used it to sum the particulars of the antiwar position. He wrote, "Hired guns shooting to kill without provocation and without repercussions. Torture performed at the presidents request and congress hasn't the votes necessary to stop it. 9 trillion dollars in debt mostly for wars that are only succeeding to fuel extremism in the middle east. This is what the republican party did when it was given the reigns."

claudedunger said, "These cowboys are in effect paid militias. Indiscriminant killing of civilians has to be a war crime..."

But VirginiaConservative had a problem with that characterization, writing, "War crimes? Then you have to apply them evenly. To Saudi, to Iran, to Yemen, to Chechnya. Want to go there?...Or is it just evil and war crimes if you can tag a westerner?"

And kerrd responded, saying, "VAConservative, if cops in the U.S. kill
an innocent person, that is usually resolved by a lawsuit and a settlement to the family by the community that employs the police officer. Why is justice suitable for Americans but
not for Iraqis?"

edlharris suggested that "It seems the one big issue here and with Blackwater is respect. Some of our representatives are not showing it to the Iraqis."

paulnolan97 wrote, "Can't anyone see that the continued millitary occupation of Iraq and the vastly oversized "diplomatic" embassy presence violates any notion of civil law and is itself illegal? By what right do we stay?"

The comment stream took a somewhat different direction when nobushyhair270 suggested, "vote for ron paul look up what he stands for and look at his record Ron Paul 2008"

And sek1026 did just that and said, "OK... went to Ron Paul's website. Looks very American and has me thinking. However, being from Texas and a Republican to boot - I have my doubts."

An interesting article on Paul ran in Sunday's Post Outlook section. Paul is described therein as "a fierce Republican foe of the wars on drugs and terrorism."

All comments on the Iraq story are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  November 26, 2007; 9:17 AM ET
Categories:  Iraq  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Bush and Bullets
Next: Too Much on Taylor?


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debt settlement

Posted by: Sebastian | January 14, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

A very good discussion highlighting the absolute failure of our overseas "nation building".

It has taken a while, but the American taxpayer is beginning to figure out this is a very expensive mistake with negative long term consequences for almost everyone- (private contractors excluded)

Posted by: truthseeker | November 26, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Why should contractors and other corporations change anything about the way they do business in Iraq or elsewhere when they can make many millions of dollars without producing, without oversight, and without respect for people or law?

Posted by: candyo | November 26, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I keep telling you, and you keep ignoring. There is no democracy in Iraq. It was never meant to be a democracy. It's a corporate "nation". Run entirely by the companies that invaded it right behind our solders. The private security firms are their armies. The goal of these armies is profits for their employers. They care absolutely nothing about the Iraqis, or for that matter the American people that pay them. In fact, they would be happy if the Iraqis would just kill each other off. That's why there never seams to be any Iraqis working on the "rebuilding" contracts in Iraq. These corporations always bring in workers from other countries.
The nightmare in Iraq is nothing more than the struggle between the Iraqis who are aware of this and are fighting to oppose it, and the Iraqis who accept it. Very much like the Nazi occupation of France. Then we called them "The Resistance". Now we call them insurgants, or just terrorists.
Mark my words America. The largest military basses in the world are being built in Iraq, and it won't be United States Army solders who are stationed there. By now you should know who will be occupying those basses!
The rape of the American tax payer continues.

Posted by: Awake | November 26, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

This is an interesting manner the Washington Post is using responses to previous articles to highlight reader sentiments.
Rather a nice effort in my opinion.
(I see its been going for several months, I don't get out that often so it is new to my eyes, at any rate.)

A tip of the tinfoil hat to whoever thought this up.
(Disclaimer: Ron Paul supporter)

Posted by: TheOneLaw | November 26, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

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