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From: Bart (129.171.32.13)
Subject:         Blackwater: Mercenaries by Definition
Date: October 18, 2007 at 6:04 am PST

Blackwater: Mercenaries by Definition

By A. Alexander

10/17/07 "Progressive Daily Beacon" -- --- Erik Prince, founder of the Blackwater mercenaries, has been a huge financial supporter of George W. Bush and the Republican Party. That might explain why Mister Bush's State Department worked with Prince's people to try and cover up the latest Blackwater slaughter of civilians in Iraq, and could be a big part of the reason why so many Republicans came to the chief mercenary's defense during Congressional hearings. His fondness for and belief in all things Republican probably answers too, Erik Prince's problem with honesty.

Blackwater's Mister Prince has a problem with people calling his mercenaries well ... err ... mercenaries. He appeared on CBS's "60 Minutes," a onetime news program-turned Blackwater infomercial, and said with a straight face, "You know the definition of a mercenary is a professional soldier that works in the pay of a foreign army. Iím an American working for America."

Nobody is denying Erik Prince's claim of being a United States citizen. But he wasn't being honest about his corporate mercenaries, nor was he being completely honest about the characteristics that define a mercenary. Mister Prince chose to emphasize only half of the mercenary equation. Still, even then, he was misleading.

Erik Prince's mercenaries make a great deal of money. They're paid much, much, much more than the average U.S. soldier. Though Prince chose to ignore it, a mercenary is also defined as someone who is, "motivated solely by a desire for monetary or material gain." Prince would probably insist that the people in his employ are motivated by a desire to serve the United States' interests, which he would further argue is Blackwater's singular goal in Iraq. As far as Iraq goes, such a claim may or may not be true? If it were true, everyone in Blackwater could have joined the U.S. military. But obviously "a desire for monetary or material gain" played a role in their choosing Blackwater over the Army and the Marine Corps.

One wonders too -- as it relates to his men being hired out to corporations -- how Erik Prince would defend his company against the mercenary charge? Is the person defending an oil company's platform in Africa doing it out of a desire to serve his or her country, or is he or she doing it because the money is so damned good?

Still, even by Prince's own definition, he and his employees are mercenaries. "You know the definition of a mercenary is a professional soldier that works in the pay of a foreign army," Erik Prince rationalized.

Certainly Mister Prince realizes that the United States military is a foreign force occupying Iraq. From the perspective of the few Iraqis who actually survive an encounter with Blackwater, Mister Prince and his hair-triggered maniacs are professional soldiers working in the pay of a foreign military ... the United States military.

The point, of course, is that no matter how Erik Prince tries to spin and lie; he and every Blackwater employee in Iraq is a mercenary

Copyright © 2005 Progressive Daily Beacon

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