Hired Gun Fetish
Sometimes it seems that the only way to make sense of the Bush administration is to imagine that it’s a vast experiment concocted by mad political scientists who want to see what happens if a nation systematically ignores everything we’ve learned over the past few centuries about how to make a modern government work.Yes it's just what you would expect the Bush administration to do. And Krugman points out what I mentioned below - Blackwater is responsible for the deaths of US soldiers.
Thus, the administration has abandoned the principle of a professional, nonpolitical civil service, stuffing agencies from FEMA to the Justice Department with unqualified cronies. Tax farming — giving individuals the right to collect taxes, in return for a share of the take — went out with the French Revolution; now the tax farmers are back.
And so are mercenaries, whom Machiavelli described as “useless and dangerous” more than four centuries ago.
Iraqis aren’t the only victims of this behavior. Of the nearly 4,000 American service members who have died in Iraq, scores if not hundreds would surely still be alive if it weren’t for the hatred such incidents engender.And the actions of Blackwater will in part be responsible for the inevitable bad outcome in Iraq.
And the danger out-of-control military contractors pose to American forces has been obvious at least since March 2004, when four armed Blackwater employees blundered into Fallujah in the middle of a delicate military operation, getting themselves killed and precipitating a crisis that probably ended any chance of an acceptable outcome in Iraq.So why are they still there?
But it’s also worth noting that the Bush administration has tried to privatize every aspect of the U.S. government it can, using taxpayers’ money to give lucrative contracts to its friends — people like Erik Prince, the owner of Blackwater, who has strong Republican connections. You might think that national security would take precedence over the fetish for privatization — but remember, President Bush tried to keep airport security in private hands, even after 9/11.Members of the Bush administration should not only be impeached but jailed for the rest of their lives for acts of high treason against the people of the United States.
So the privatization of war — no matter how badly it works — is just part of the pattern.
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