Mercenaries Keep Murdering Iraqis

Mercenaries Keep Murdering Iraqis November 12, 2007

The killing goes on in Iraq. As the spotlight focuses intently on the HunsBlackwater, the VandalsDyncorp kill an unarmed taxi driver who happened to get in their way. And of course, the US has decreed that mercenaries are immune from prosecution. And people still deny this is an occupation?

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  • I’ve come to gauge how things are going in Iraq by the frequency with which Morning Minion makes to address the issue. A couple months ago things were going fairly bad and it was practically every other post, all Iraq, all the time. This month the mainstream press has actually devoted some attention to positive developments and collaboration between the Iraqi people and the U.S. in flushing out Al Qaeda. Precious little attention paid to THAT on this blog. =)

  • That would be the same mainstream media that bought the nonsense about WMDs and links to Al Qaeda, would it?

  • MM – Right on!

  • That would be the same mainstream media that bought the nonsense about WMDs and links to Al Qaeda, would it?

    That would be called a non sequiter. In other words, MM has no useful retort to Christopher’s rejoinder, but as usual falls into “shoot the messenger” mode. It’s laughable that MM can implicitly suggest that MSM has been a useful agent for the Bush administration during most of the war. Then again, MM would also have to acknowledge that not only did the MSM buy into “nonsense about WMD,” but so did nearly every major political figure in the Democratic party. But by now it is obvious that MM and his flackies here at Vox Nova are so heavily invested in defeat in Iraq, that it is foolish to think that they can report honestly about the war.

  • What does “defeat” mean? Some equate it with a US military withdrawal, whereas I would count that as a positive, given that Iraqis do not want the occupation– and yes, it is an occupation. Ah, you might say, the US cannot withdraw until conditions are better. But how can the US be so arrogant as to tell another group of people that it has its best interests at heart, whether they like it or not? As the great Elizabeth Anscombe would say, “obvious nonsense”.

  • Donald R. McClarey

    “But how can the US be so arrogant as to tell another group of people that it has its best interests at heart, whether they like it or not? ”

    Indeed. We should send our apologies to the people of Germany and Japan immediately!

  • TeutonicTim

    Wouldn’t the Huns and the Vandals technically be the people in Iraq fighting against the great evil imperialist force (us)?

    Anyway, let’s not forget that this isn’t a new fight.

    This is a fight that goes back to 1095 and is still the clash of civilizations. We (the west)are just now figuring out that the fight never ended, whereas the Mohammedans never forgot.

    Even if Iraq wasn’t about WMD’s (which it still is, technically), Iraq is just a piece of the whole picture. The big picture about the fight against Islam. The fight against WMDs being in the hands of terrorists who would not hesitate to set off a dirty bomb. With Iraq, we have a massive presence over the entire Middle East to back up the precious sanctions the mighty U.N. has been wasting time with. Iraq was a strategic move – getting rid of Saddam was just a plus.

    And before you get on me about Christianity vs. Islam and how Islam is “peaceful”, just read a history book about who started and is continuing the fight, and who the only group was that impeded and stopped their advance. You can thank “Huns” “Vandals” and “Soldiers” of the Catholic/Christian type who saved our (Christendom) way of life.

  • Pauli: Investor’s Business Daily, eh? [Sigh]

  • Ut videam

    Sure, Mr. Iafrate, because Investor’s Business Daily is far more ridiculous a source than al-Jazeera, right?

    [Sigh]

  • What’s worthy of a sigh is when IBD has to pick up the slack in news reporting that should be covered by the major outlets. Excerpt:

    Earlier in the year, the Iraq debate was the top story week in and week out, grabbing from 11% to 15% of coverage, according to an index compiled by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and monitoring 48 mainstream news outlets.

    Over the first six months, and until the surge was in place, the Iraq debate averaged 11% of the coverage. Since then, it’s averaged about 7% per week — a decline of 36%. The second-half percentage would be even lower if not for a 36% spike in the coverage during the week of Sept. 9, when Gen. Petraeus delivered his long-anticipated progress report.

    Many military analysts — including some who don’t support the war — have concluded that the U.S. and its allies are on the verge of winning.

    But unlike earlier news about Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, alleged mistreatment of enemy combatants, supposed “assaults on civil rights” from the Patriot Act and other allegations of U.S. misconduct, the media seem strangely uninterested now.

    Since 9/11, when Petraeus gave his surge testimony, a number of stories have emerged that the U.S. and its allies in Iraq’s government appear to be on the verge of a stunning success.

    Hey, Ut V, betcha a whole dollar that no one answers TeutonicTim’s comment.

  • TeutonicTim

    Of course noone would answer me. Everyone “knows” there’s no reason to be in Iraq, especially since Saddam “never” had or used WMDs or shipped them to Syria. Everyone “knows” that the entirety of the Mohammedan world is just peachy. Everyone “knows” that Bush’s axis of evil was just warmongering (even though Israel blew up an actual nuclear device in Syria just delivered from North Korea)

    It’s just more fun to speak in derogatory terms about Soldiers, or forget that if Clinton hadn’t cut the military so much we wouldn’t need “huns” and “Vandals” to pick up the slack.

  • Ut videam, I’m fine w/ al-Jazeera. The fact that the United States has bombed its headquarters on occasion is telling. So much for “spreading democracy.”

    Pauli, Are your seriously suggesting that major news outlets have not reported on the “good things” happening in Iraq? I rarely watch TV news, but when I do I’m bound to see a story like that.

    Tim, thanks. I was concerned that we hadn’t heard anything recently from the “blame Clinton” crowd.

  • TeutonicTim

    No problem. Someone’s got to counter the overwhelming “blame the Republicans” crowd bias here.

  • major news outlets > TV News

  • Ut videam

    I know you’re fine with al-Jazeera. And the fact that the U.S. has bombed its headquarters on occasion certainly is telling. After all, the existence of a free mouthpiece for al-Qaedapress is a cornerstone of democracy.

  • Bombing media headquarters is not in keeping with Catholic just war teaching. Period.

  • TeutonicTim

    Acting as enemy combatants by spreading coded information regarding troop movements, and other operationally secure information renders their 3rd arty observer status void.

  • In your opinion perhaps. Whether Catholic just war teaching would agree with you is, of course, another matter.

  • TeutonicTim

    And what exactly in Catholic Just War teaching would disagree?

    “2307 The fifth commandment forbids the intentional destruction of human life. Because of the evils and injustices that accompany all war, the Church insistently urges everyone to prayer and to action so that the divine Goodness may free us from the ancient bondage of war. [Cf. GS 81 § 4]

    2308 All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war.
    However, “as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed.” [GS 79 § 4] [2266]

    2309 The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time: [2243]

    – the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

    – all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

    – there must be serious prospects of success;

    – the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modem means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

    These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the “just war” doctrine.
    The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good. [1897]”

  • Tim – You have quoted the Catechism’s summary of only one part of Catholic just war teaching: the conditions that must be met in order to enter into a war. There is another aspect that refers to the conduct of war. Bombing non-military targets is forbidden according to this part of just war teaching.

  • TeutonicTim

    I quoted the part that mattered regarding inflicting harm on troops by ceasing to be a 3rd party observer.

    Of course non military targets shouldn’t be bombed.

    It would be real easy to set up a spy agency that doubled as a media outlet to avoid action wouldn’t it?

  • The burden of proof would lie on the U.S. government to prove that that was indeed the case. Considering the U.S. government has no regard for even attempting to estimate how many civilians they have killed as “collateral damage,” it is unlikely that they would be prepared to give any substantial defense for why they would bomb a media center.

  • TeutonicTim

    The burden also lies with the government to do what’s in our best interests as a nation. That also includes protecting those who would be able to gather that information.

    I’m all for not trusting everything the .gov says, know some think the man is the devil, but come on, can you imagine the things G.W. gets to read regarding threats to this country?

    On another related topic, it’s well known that during last year’s helbollah/Israel fighting that 3rd party “observers” and “civilians” did indeed relay specific military information that caused grave harm to the israelis.

  • The burden also lies with the government to do what’s in our best interests as a nation. That also includes protecting those who would be able to gather that information.

    But the government cannot do anything they want in the name of “our best interests.”

    [C]an you imagine the things G.W. gets to read regarding threats to this country?

    This is irrelevant. We live in a democracy. The kind of power you want to bestow on the president is truly terrifying.

  • TeutonicTim

    Wrong. We live in a constitutional republic where officials we elected represent our interests in all levels of government.

    The power I bestow on the president? Sorry, but it’s well within the president’s constitutional power to read reports…

  • We live in a republic which claims to be a democratic republic and one of the consequences of this is that the president cannot simply do whatever he wants and claim that he is doing on based on some privileged information. This happens quite a bit, but it’s wrong, and it’s an abuse of power.

  • TeutonicTim

    So I’m guessing that Michael J. Iafrate should personally read the intelligence reports to determine if the president is acting accordingly? Come on now, even Catholic teaching leaves it to the judgement

    Despite common belief, the founding fathers did not think democracy was a good idea and feared rule by the mob. They also feared government, which is why we have opposing branches of government. Part of being the executive, elected by the people (and the electoral college of course) is to be the commander in chief and to hold the ultimate responsibility for the safety of our citizens, and also of our soldiers.

    The hypothetical discussion regarding the non-combatants turned enemy informers/intelligence service costing lives of our soldiers and citizens, it is well within the granted rights of the president to eliminate that threat if deemed necessary. Their non-military status voided, they are valid targets according to the laws of war.

  • TeutonicTim

    Correction: “…leaves it to the judgement of the leaders of government to act in the correct manner if it is deemed necessary”

  • Tim – Speaking in hypotheticals is fine, persons like yourself do it all the time to justify all sorts of positions. But the bombing of al-Jazeera was a real event, in real life, and unjustified.

  • TeutonicTim

    Unjustified for all we mere citizens without top secret clearance know…

  • TeutonicTim

    I’m sensing that your replies are becoming rather sharp and unchristian in the scope of open discussion. How else are we to determine what to do in certain situations if not to hypothesize? I see it as a rather ubiquitous discussion technique on this site. Are you sure that trying to quell open discussion is a direction you want to go on a site whose mentioned purpose is to engage in rigorous debate among Catholics of differing socio-political opinions?

  • Tim – Just war teaching stands in judgment over real, concrete actions that our government takes. That’s all I’m saying.

  • TeutonicTim

    I’m in agreement with that. It is healthy to question the government, but it is also healthy to trust them. Balancing that is obviously a tough task.