Ever since Falluja this auxiliary army [of contract soldiers] has been a leading indicator of every element of the war’s failure: not only our inadequate troop strength but also our alienation of Iraqi hearts and minds and our rampant outsourcing to contractors rife with Bush-Cheney cronies and campaign contributors. Contractors remain a bellwether of the war’s progress today. When Blackwater was briefly suspended after the Nisour Square catastrophe, American diplomats were flatly forbidden from leaving the fortified Green Zone. So much for the surge’s great “success” in bringing security to Baghdad.
Last week Paul Rieckhoff, an Iraq war combat veteran who directs Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, sketched for me the apocalypse to come. Should Baghdad implode, our contractors, not having to answer to the military chain of command, can simply “drop their guns and go home.” Vulnerable American troops could be deserted by those “who deliver their bullets and beans.”
Contractors--Cheney/Bush cronies and campaign contributors all--covering their bottom lines instead of doing what's best for Americans serving in uniform? Hard to imagine, isn't it?
Sounds like Bush better getting some more Presidential Medals of Freedom ready to hand out.
Meanwhile, as long as we're protecting the interests of those who are only in it for the money, it looks more and more like letting Saddam simply take his $1 billion (that would have been Iraqi money, remember, not American) and go into exile 'way back in early 2003 would have been a pretty good bargain, doesn't it?
(Note: Rich still isn't off my shit list yet, but no one else seems to be bringing up the point mentioned above, so there we are. You post with the columnist you have, not with the one you wish you had.)