On the margins of the Iraq war, a parallel army of 100,000 has been doing the jobs unable to be tackled by an overstretched U.S. military, either because they cannot or will not take on these jobs.
You may know them as "security contractors," and they operate outside the rules of engagement.
Fainaru traveled with several bands of "mercs" to find out why they have come to Iraq, revealing a brutally honest portrait of these individuals- The Commonwealth Club of California
Author of 2008, Big Boy Rules Steve Fainaru is a foreign correspondent for the Washington Post, where he covered the war in Iraq from 2004 to 2007. In addition to the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, he received the Overseas Press Club’s Hal Boyle Award for best newspaper or wire-service reporting from abroad for his stories on private security contractors.
He was a Pulitzer finalist in 2006 for his coverage of U.S. troops as the insurgency in Iraq intensified.
Systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective. It has been used throughout history by political organizations of both the left and the right, by nationalist and ethnic groups, and by revolutionaries. Although usually thought of as a means of destabilizing or overthrowing existing political institutions, terror also has been employed by governments against their own people to suppress dissent; examples include the reigns of certain Roman emperors, the French Revolution (seeReign of Terror), Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union under Stalin, and Argentina during the dirty war of the 1970s. Terrorism's impact has been magnified by the deadliness and technological sophistication of modern-day weapons and the capability of the media to disseminate news of such attacks instantaneously throughout the world. The deadliest terrorist attack ever occurred in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001 (seeSeptember 11 attacks), when members of al-Qaeda terrorist network hijacked four commercial airplanes and crashed two of them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City and one into the Pentagon building near Washington, D.C.; the fourth plane crashed near Pittsburgh, Pa. The crashes resulted in the collapse of much of the World Trade Center complex, the destruction of part of the southwest side of the Pentagon, and the deaths of some 3,000 people.
So, the lesson you get from listening to all this is well as long as no American diplomats are killed doesnot matter how many innocent Iraqi civilians are killed since the outcome is worth the terror, and noone is going to be punished for killing innocent civilians as long as it suits the National Interest of U.S.
Seconldy by any definition of mercenary, they are Mercenaries and you show me one person who disagrees with on that and i will show you a hypocrite. I will argue till the cows come home that these Mercenaries are the real Terrorists. JUST OUR TERRORISTS.
May be one of the answers for "WHY THEY HATE US"?
The US Gov. went too far in the "outsourcing thing". Worst of all is that the EuroUnion (where I am) is copying many of the "American mistakes" in such policies, not the least concerning some aspects of "security".
I believe Blackwater is not to blame: I lived for a year in a country at war [where even buss and taxi drivers had .45's reado to fire] and I would suggest: "be a security officer in such a terrorist environment and you will understand".
Other levels of 'contracting' exist. Though Mr. Fainaru presents an excellent overview of companies willing to meet and speak with a reporter, other 'contracting' will never be known -- or will only be known as individuals reveal other operations. I recommend, of course, the primary work on 'contractors,' Blackwater: The rise of World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, Jeremy Scahill. Mr Scahill suggests a path of investigation.
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Watch Steve Fainaru: In the Company of America's Mercenaries