Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Immunity for mercenaries

I haven't posted to my blog for months because I've been so depressed by the atmosphere of selfrighteous stupidity in the USA that I didn't know where to start. Every day brings events to light that I get myself worked up about and that would be great topics for blogging, but I'm too worked up to write about them!

But yesterday's news that our benevolent government has extended immunity from prosecution to Blackwater employees in Iraq made me so angry that I simply had to write about it.

If anyone needed proof that the fiasco in Iraq was cooked up by and is directed by people with no integrity whatever, this decision should be enough to make it clear. The Bush administration is run by people who will say and do anything to cover up the ongoing disastrous consequences of the war in Iraq and of their involvement in the decision making that led up to and continues to direct the invasion. From the original lies told to justify the war, through Abu Graib, and now the Blackwater disaster, the people in Washington who have caused this mess have either refused to admit what a disaster it is or refused to take responsibility for it. And now, as the Blackwater mercenaries are on the brink of being brought to justice for alleged war crimes, they are immunized by our own government.

There is no precedent nor legal justification for this immunity. Our own volunteer military, whose members fight for their country for much lower wages than the Blackwater mercenaries receive, are not immune from prosection. In fact, the Uniform Code of Military Justice spells out procedures for investigation and punishment of just the kind of cimes Blackwater perople are being accused of. And, while it would be naive to claim that the military's process can't be subverted, at least it doesn't start out by granting immunity to the main defendants! And, in fact, military justice has a pretty good record of identifying and punishing evil-doers in time of war.

Contrast this with what is happening under our very noses with Blackwater -- a team of highly-paid mercenaries given carte blanche to shoot anyone who gets in their way. Sounds a lot like the death aquads that used to roam El Salvador and Guatemala randomly shooting civilians for fun and profit. But then, we supported the governments that paid those guys, so why should Iraq be any different?