Friday, September 28, 2007

Wrapped In A Flag, Carrying A Cross (& Gun)

I’m as big a fan of capitalism as the next person, but there are some things I don’t think should be profit-motivated, chief among them the military.

Think about it: if a corporation is making a profit from war and unrest, doesn’t that give them an incentive to create more war and unrest?

This is why Blackwater USA scares me so much. The company has been in the news lately for shooting civilians in Iraq. So I can’t say I’m thrilled to learn they want to bring their business Stateside:
It is that lack of oversight and accountability that has Walker and others concerned about Blackwater's intention to take their private security operation domestic. The company has met with leaders in several states to offer their security services in the event of a natural disaster. In California, they have suggested earthquake relief. In New York, they offered help in case of terrorist attack.

Their thinking is simple. The Iraq war won't last forever, so if the company wants to stick around, it needs an alternate business plan. Work here at home is one solution.

"From a capitalist point of view it is brilliant," said Walker. "You want to diversify your market to diversify your downside risk. But do you really want someone diversifying this service? This is hired gun service. And you are going to diversity this among the 51 jurisdictions in the U.S.? This makes me really nervous. This is not a good thing."

It bears remembering, Blackwater wouldn’t have been needed in New Orleans (or at any other disaster on American soil) if our National Guard were not occupied in Iraq right now.

The more I learn about Blackwater, the scarier it gets. For instance, I did not know that Blackwater founder Eri Prince and Dick Devos are related--Devos (of Amway fame) is Prince’s brother in law. Both men are mega-millionaires involved with conservative Christian organizations and major GOP donors. And Prince owns the world’s largest private army.

Am I the only one bothered by this?