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September 22, 2007

For The Soldier Of Fortune Calendar. Plus: Helo A Situation




“Support Our … Mercenaries?”

Given that the movement of U.S. diplomatic personnel in Iraq is completely dependent on Blackwater, it is no surprise the company is operating again.  Give it another week, and most questions about the 25,000 to 100,000 “security contractors” (nobody seems to have a reliable count) will probably disappear also.  And then, so much for the Iraqi Government we keep urging to stand up to stand down on its contractor ban.

While the issue is still on the radar screen, however, the newswire has some pics-for-thought.

Not only did Photographer Patrick Baz lend these portrait shots of disguised private security forces on a Baghdad rooftop, he managed to actually slip the word “mercenary” into one of the two captions.  (Technically, I believe, American nationals in Iraq cannot be labeled “mercenaries” because America is involved in a war there — but all those Blackwater Bosnians, Filipinos, and Chileans can.) 

My question is, did these guys just automatically know to pose like they were shooting a movie poster?

By the way, that is a U.S. military helicopter in the first shot — as distinguished from the black-and-white striped Blackwater fleet.  What I also can’t understand, — given the average Iraqi’s distain for this outfit — is why Blackwater has the aerial presence in the first place.  In reference to the offensiveness, the newswires currently also offer a number of file shots of Blackwater helicopter buzzing Baghdad mosques.

UPDATE: 9/22/07.

I guess Iraq isn’t backing off on Blackwater so fast after all.

(image 1 and 2:  Patrick Baz/AFP.  September 18, 2007.  Baghdad.  Via YahooNews.  image 3: Hadi Mizban/A.P.  November 24 2004. Baghdad. Via YahooNews.)

  • lytom

    Interesting who protects the “diplomat” occupants and other “distinguished” visitors in Iraq!
    This issue should be the breaking point between the puppets and the occupiers! At least there is a start.
    It is not that difficult to imagine the next step, when thugs will be protecting the politicians in the US. After all are they not coming back home??? and don’t they need jobs?

    • Bighoss

      You sleep peacefully in your bed at night because very bad men, go to very bad places and do very bad things! REMEMBER THAT YOU LITTLE PRICK! You should be lucky enough to be allowed to lick their boots, you are not even close to rating the ability to call them THUGS…….ASSHOLE!

  • margaret

    I think one would call any men who looked like these, “criminals.”

  • jtfromBC

    Elite athletes when facing critical games, frequently do not shave, its called putting on “your game face”.
    These elite mercenaries are maintaining this macho image.
    Most commentators here, will readily understand the various individual or collective purposes for such behavior, so I’ll spare you my list.

  • Evan

    That shot of the helicopter is so resonant of September 11th. Not quite sure what to make of that.

  • tina

    Psychopaths out to prove themselves.
    My nephew goes to the mega conservative private college whose most famous alumni is the founder of Blackwater, a fact they proudly state on their website. These people are all in it together, and they are awfully close to Pinky and the Brain’s daily dream of ruling the world.
    Led by Dick Cheney, they are almost really cartoon pantomime villians. Except people like my sis think they’re the good guys, so the whole dance goes on.
    What is Blackwater? Murky, dark, probably contaminated, dirty, poisonous. The name fits, its a sinister name, something its founder probably thought was really cool.
    Blackwater selects from a pool of males with too many social/psych issues to be employed readily anywhere else. Some of them couldn’t even cut it as prison guards because they are too brutal. I have no doubt they have tortured and killed a lot of innocent people, and they are being paid well for doing that. I imagine the problem is even worse with the non-American employees, who may have even more disturbed backgrounds. After hearing some of the stories its clear that at least some Blackwater people are typical sadists, of the Hannibal Lector kind.
    It’s just horrible.

  • Antonio Lopez

    I find it interesting how Blackwater soldiers differentiate themselves from GIs by wearing beards. Are they the bikers of Baghdad?

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