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Blackwater's Black Ops

Out of sight, out of mind

When we left Iraq, 15,000 “retrained” Blackwater soldiers went in to protect our diplomats. I haven’t heard one word in the media about them. Are they really that perfect?

Lew Snyder

Santa Fe,NM

Mar 20 2012 - 12:45pm

There are some far more serious black ops to be talked about...

Mr. Scahill, why are you obsessing over Blackwater? There are far more serious instances of black ops. Are you aware of them?

The fact that President Bush launched the Iraq War based on false intelligence pales in comparison to President Obama’s actions.

President Obama launched the Pakistan War without any intelligence, without informing the Americans public and without getting any authorization from Congress. In comparison to Obama’s actions, Mr. Bush is a poster child of law, order and legal behavior. At least he tried to get the public's support for his actions. His successor completely skipped those steps.

Fifteen missile attacks within a single month with more than 150 Pakistanis killed is an act of war. At this intensity, there would be more than 3,600 killed civilians over a two-year period—which will cause very serious repercussions for US national interests in the region.

If you wonder what kind of consequences it might create, just imagine that some foreign power killed as many civilians here in the USA without any justification, accusations, trial or evidence. That’s the equivalent of 9/11. It means President Obama inflicted a 9/11-scope of civilian casualties upon Pakistan. The scary part is that President Obama was informed by generals Petraeus and McChrystal that such actions alienated the Afghans and that the generals have forbidden such tactics in Afghanistan.

Those people should not be branded as militants. They should have been treated as citizens of a sovereign country. If there were any proof that those individuals crossed the borders to attack US troops serving in Afghanistan, then we should have killed them while they were in Afghanistan without letting them get back home. By killing them in Afghanistan we would actually protect the US troops serving in that country. If the White House couldn’t determine whether those people were the insurgents based on satellite photos, then there would be the same problem with the satellite photos from Pakistani tribal territories.

The fact that we didn’t kill them with drone missiles in Afghanistan means that we weren’t aware they had been in Afghanistan. It means we have no proof those people are militants. No proof, no killings in Pakistan.

Obama’s actions do undermine US national security. By killing civilians in Pakistan we don’t pacify the region, we inflame the conflict and boost terrorist recruitments.

The Pakistanis are a very tribal society. The killing of a single individual will incite two dozens of his tribesmen to start fighting us back. It means a thousand Pakistanis killed in drone attacks will result in more than 20,000 new insurgents.

That’s why what started as an invasion of Afghanistan has spread to Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, Iran…

The only objective the White House has accomplished over the last decade is to multiply the problems several times.

Kenan Porobic

Charlotte, NC

Sep 20 2010 - 2:35pm