Monday, May 22, 2006

Bring on the Hessians

Over at Editor & Publisher there is a little blurb on Ted Koppel's knockout punch and perhaps, omen, over the hired help- security help, that is. Koppel sights the fact that there are 50,000 private contractors on our taxpayer payroll in Iraq. You may be familiar with Blackwater USA as they have recieved the most headlines - including patrols with some steep billing in NOLA. I like how bold Koppel is in this suggestion though- if we're going to fight international battles at the behest of corprate interests, why not have Chevron, KBR or Exxon Mobil pickup the tab? This is who is profiting and making the rules in the first place, let them pay for the force, its the least they can do for a no-bid contract and the spoils of war. Let's admit to the "market economy endgame". Makes sense to me. Its evil on a certain level and it definitely will cause additional moralistic gray zones to go with the green zones, but why not be honest, capitulate and embrace mercenaries. I think Koppel is only stating the obvious. This is what the privitization of all government functions will look like afterall. Is it so different from the strategies employed by the drug cartels and Al Qaeda? All stateless mercenary forces in themsleves. If Blackwater USA wants the "Darfur account" then let our corporate interests pony up.

side note: I have to say I really enjoy Editor & Publisher - its worth bookmarking if you're not familiar.


cjr said...

The Blackwater rep who used the phrase "Darfur account" should be suckerpunched in a bar.

I'm glad Koppel is asking the question about just privatizing wars that are waged in the name of corporate interests. Only problem is after about a week's discussion of that dystopic, Terminator-era idea, it won't seem strange at all anymore to most people. I think the Final Solution came out of the same kind of "back of the napkin" hypotheticalizing.

highlowbetween said...

Koppel is being snide of course - about as confrontational as any media figure is willing to be. The outsourcing to Mercenary companies is largely in play already with the corporate world. Kidnapping is a $billion dollar biz and one of the fastest growing 'industries'. Companies in risk zones pay a lot of money to have employees trained to survive the morning commute and more for hostage negotiation fees.
Crises Accounts are a lucrative future as we race to the bottom. What I'd like to see is some statistics on whether the traditional militray 'out performs' the mercenary forces? Regardless - its a frightening future bro.