Monday, September 17, 2007

Blackwater Incident

Little 4 year-old girl smiles for the camera

Yesterday the Iraqi Minister of Interior revoked Blackwater’s license to operate as a security company within the country of Iraq. I only have a vague understanding of the incident that precipitated the revocation by the government, but I have my suspicions.

Reports indicate that a Blackwater PSD came under fire, disabling one of the armored SUVs in a Baghdad neighborhood. The PSD returned fire while trying to extricate the crippled SUV from the ambush site. A twenty-minute gun battle ensued resulting in injury and the loss of life of several bystanders.

Blackwater was hit because it was an easily recognizable PSD. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to identify 4-5 identical SUVs traveling in a convoy as a PSD protecting some high-value target. Knowing, however, how the PSDs operate once the shooting began I suspect that the Blackwater boys returned a very judicious amount of fire, thusly injuring and killing several people that were just trying to get out of the way. On one hand I can fault the PSD for not controlling it’s fires better, but on the other I understand about the stresses of the moment.

The Minister of Interior is simply doing what is politically expedient. PSDs are not well liked on the streets of Baghdad, and honestly have been responsible for several needless deaths and injuries in the past. The Government of Iraq must be seen as attempting to stem the violence and mayhem caused by the PSDs, so hence the license revocation. Ironically the same government officials that are crying for action against Blackwater and the PSDs rely on those security companies to safely shuttle them back and forth everyday through the streets of the city.

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