Apropos of Euphemisms

Ore : 1:11 PM

I am unapologetic about this; though many otherwise true-blue liberals and Democrats have disavowed or even attacked Markos's "screw 'em" attitude towards one of BushCo.'s nastier moves, I've never wavered in support of his sentiments. This story bears me out. For the sake of this post, and for what's left of the feeble pinky-hold a large minority of Americans seem to have on objective reality, let's retire these terms: "contractors," "consultants," "supplementary personnel." The people in question are none of these things; they are mercenaries. Let's for once call a spade a spade.

Mercenaries are the second largest fighting force in Iraq, after the U.S. military. The third largest -- a pretty distant third -- among the coalition of the willing consists of British troops. Now, mercenaries are hideously expensive, often uncontrollable and never accountable, and all too often quite counterproductive. So why employ them?

Let's face it, America is yet ruled by Republicans -- it's almost stupid to ask. We employ them for all those reasons and more.

One: Hiring mercenaries is one of the several ways (among others: stop-loss orders) in which the Bush administration can have their war without resorting to conscription, otherwise known as "the draft" or "ballot box poison." Tangentially, the Pentagon is not obligated -- indeed, would not -- count wounded or killed mercenaries as casualties -- another sharp PR move.

Two: Any policy which shunts obscene sums of taxpayer dollars (yes, our money) into the private sector, into corporate coffers, is, according to Republicans and conservatives, by its very nature a good thing.

Three (and this is probably the most important): If there's anything the Bush Administration has shown to disdain even more than they do representative democracy, it is the rule of law. And mercenaries are not beholden to the UCMJ. They can, in a war zone, torture, murder, rape and loot with impunity. US courts have no jurisdiction over them, and the notion of Iraqi justice holding them to account is laughable. Ordering your average U.S. Marine, i.e. an honorable one, to attach live electrodes to a prisoner is highly problematic; to give such an order to a CACI noodge is far less so. He just has to be careful not to vacation anywhere near the Netherlands is all.

The short: If you have to call your mercenaries by candy-coated, PR-friendly names, you know you're doing something wrong and immoral in hiring them. And if you have to hire that many mercenaries, you're fighting a war you shouldn't be fighting.

P.S. Looks like Bolton stands to be upstaged by his boss in the 2006 Embodiment of the Antonym for Diplomacy Awards, unless he can come up with something better than that our lesson (the only?) from the Vietnam War was that we lost because we didn't see things through.

"We'll succeed unless we quit."

Indeed. And I'll bet the Vietnamese are quite glad that Ho Chi Minh had that figured out long before you were sunbathing away your hangovers when you should have been fulfilling your TANG obligations, you tactless, oatmeal-brained git.

Ho Cheese Minh

posted by teh l4m3 at 1:11 PM | Permalink |

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Comments for Apropos of Euphemisms
Sweetheart, you know I'm too stoned to comment on your hot cleverness. But I love you mucho anyway.

/dennis vom block

Oh Dennis I will always be jealous of you. Now you've given me one more reason... Sigh.

I, for one, am never too stoned to blather on at you.

by mercenaries you mean "Security Contractors", of course.

(word verification has 8 letters, more tedious each and every time)

...you tactless, oatmeal-brained git.


I'm a mercenary. I'm not proud.

There is just too much of the government's business being conducted by private concerns and being funded out of "black budgets" these days.

Ah, well. Who needs democracy any more?

Great tirade. Now I'm all angrified.

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