Monday, October 8, 2007

Morning Schmoe, & a U. S. Official on Blackwater

We've already cheap-shotted Joe Scarborough a couple of times. Now we can see what a weasel he truly is: And in an op-ed in what we affectionately refer to as the "local fishwrapper," a woman who served as a "U. S. official" (apparently she was a "political officer," whatever that means) in Iraq describes her experiences w/ Blackwater contractors:

But much more appalling than the ride was the deleterious effect each movement through town had on the already beleaguered people of Iraq. I began to wonder whether my meetings, intended to further U.S. policy goals and improve the lives of Iraqis, were doing more harm than good. With our drivers honking at, cutting off, pelting with water bottles (a favorite tactic) and menacing with weapons anyone in their way, how many enemies were we creating? [...] As we approached at typical breakneck speed, the Blackwater driver honked furiously and motioned to the side, as if they should pull over. The kids in the back seat looked back in horror, mouths agape at the sight of the heavily armored Suburbans driven by large, armed men in dark sunglasses. The poor Iraqi driver frantically searched for a means of escape, but there was none. So the lead Blackwater vehicle smashed heedlessly into the car, pushing it into the barrier. We zoomed by too quickly to notice if anyone was hurt. Until that point I had never mentioned anything to my drivers about their tactics, but this time I could not contain myself. "Where do you all expect them to go?" I shrieked. "It was an old guy and a family, for goodness' sake. Was it necessary for them to destroy their poor old car?" My driver responded impassively: "Ma'am, we've been trained to view anyone as a potential threat. You don't know who they might use as decoys or what the risks are. Terrorists could be disguised as anyone." "Well, if they weren't terrorists before, they certainly are now!" I retorted. Sulking in my seat, I was stunned by the driver's indifference. [...] As we do the work of bridge building and improving our host citizens' lives, if the people providing our transportation and security are antagonizing, angering and even killing the people we are putatively trying to help, our entire mission is undermined.
"But, but, the hell w/ the (often actually physical) impression these clowns leave, not one American they've protected has been killed!" says the right-wing cowboy crowd. And of course Ms. Gans is an "ingrate" when she mentions that the activities of Blackwater subverted her mission to help the Iraqi people.

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