It’s more fun to call them ‘trigger happy cowboys’

I didn’t think I’d see this. It’s a dissenting view on the enjoyable practice of condemning private security contractors: Blackwater: Important force in Iraq mission.

Perhaps the rush to judgment results from recognition that this might be an opportunity to attack the president and the strategy in Iraq without attacking our military heroes.

Okay, slamming contractors is classier than “General BetrayUs” ads. But, then, so is farting.

But few media outlets have mentioned that Iraqi ”witnesses” have offered conflicting versions of the incident. Still fewer have highlighted the troublesome role of the factionalized Iraqi Ministry of Interior as the source of such witnesses.

This is the standard m.o., of course. Find some folks who say they saw what you want them to have seen. Ignore the rest.

I’m certainly not saying that the witnesses are lying or that Blackwater wasn’t in the wrong. I don’t know. I just do know that these sorts of situations generally have all sorts of witnesses with all sorts of motivations, and that they’re rarely as straightforward as they seem at first glance.

Say what you will about Blackwater and other private military firms. They’re here to stay. In fact, we haven’t seen anything yet.

UPDATE: In an story on the evilness of Blackwater:

Blackwater bills the U.S. government $1,222 per day for a single –protective security specialist,” the report says. That works out to $445,891 on an annual basis, far higher than it would cost the military to provide the same service.

Okay. Fair enough. Replace the private military contractors with military personnel. An extra 150,000 should do it. I can’t wait to see some anti-“mercenary” politicians stand up and demand that the Army be enlarged enough to take on the war zone duties covered by private firms.

I’ve long said that the active Army should be expanded by two or three divisions. Obviously, I was shooting low.


  1. As a general proposition, I am not to thrilled with private military forces. However, clearly they are needed. We need the troops NOW, so Blackwater gets the call, as opposed to a general troop level increase. I just get a tad uneasy about the development of a private army for hire. What do they do (if) when there is peace. What do we do if Doctor Evil buys a majority share of Blackwater and decides to take over a small country?

  2. As Riddick would say Murdoc, ‘I don’t know about your new crew, Murdoc; they seem a bit skittish to me’. LOL! First of all, neither ‘they’, nor anyone else, is a private army for hire. On top of that, who’s hiring us? The government or wanna be governments (UN/EU, whoever). My/our money came from the same cookie jar the Army/Navy/Marine/Air Force payrolls came from; your tax dollars. I’m not sure what the government to other employer’ contract ratio is, but I’d guess it’s like 9 to 1. So there is very little ‘private’ in the private army for hire anyway……..which isn’t really an army. What do we do when there is peace? We do what does the military does when they get reduced in size; when the money shrinks or dries up, the inventory and staffing get reduced, and the staff go work for someone else, doing something else, frequently it’s not even in the previous line of work. There is no question there have been bumps & dips in the road to contractor utilization, and the Gov itself is largely to blame for not having a single organization to professionally bid, grant, administrate, & monitor contracts or contractor performance………….not to mention take corrective or disciplinary action when necessary or appropriate. Murdoc is certainly correct on two counts. 1. People with an agenda counter to US interests are ‘piling on’ to Blackwater and contracting in general. 2. A lot of the piling on is based on questionable and/or contradictory testimonial, documentary, and physical evidence. That’s no surprise when your primary aim isn’t to find out the truth and take appropriate corrective/disciplinary measures ‘if they’re warranted’. Nothing like a good lynching……..especially when it furthers your aim/s.

  3. PS: You’ve made me think (increasingly difficult at my age). I’m sure Trigger Happy Cowboy was a higher paygrade than mine. Should I apply for backpay? LOL!

  4. In the articles about the incident, I noticed that the VIP they were guarding was wisked away from the attempted hit unharmed. Makes me think that Blackwater’s business will not suffer in the least.