[One reads that these guys are paid $600.00 a day which multiplies out to $4,200 per week or $218,400 per year for each Blackwater character (imported from such places at Pinochet’s Chile where they are no longer welcome) or $218,400,000 for the 1,000 of them in Iraq now plus profits for management each year.  Needless to say our troops do scarcely as well as these killers.

Note that we are reported to have more of these mercenaries in Iraq than our total number of troops (currently 168,000 with the ‘surge’). I’ll leave it to someone else to figure how much of Bush’s military requests are going to such outfits — presumably much more than to our own troops?

Privatization of our military — mercenaries — is both dangerous for us and the Iraqis and damned expensive for us tax payers.  This is the new neocon approach to things.  The big boys must make massive profits out of the tax payer.  Same thing for our medical system which costs twice the next nearest and delivers nothing to millions and less medicine to those who cannot afford it and who die younger as a result.  Forget the kids.  We have mercenaries to pay.  Ed Kent]


Paul Krugman | Hired Gun Fetish
Paul Krugman writes for The New York Times: “yes, the so-called private security contractors are mercenaries. They’re heavily armed. They carry out military missions, but they’re private employees who don’t answer to military discipline. On the other hand, they don’t seem to be accountable to Iraqi or U.S. law, either. And they behave accordingly.”

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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