A Silence on Atrocities: US Intimidated by Its Own Mercenaries

Even the mightiest have their come-uppance when their internal logic spews out destructiveness returning on the self–“blowback” in a way perhaps not seen before. I refer to James Risen’s extraordinary article in the New York Times, “Before Shooting in Iraq, a Warning on Blackwater,” (June 30), in which the customary meaning of “blowback” refers to policies, e.g., the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, the “pivot” of military power to the Pacific intent on the encirclement, containment, isolation of China, produce unintended, or if intended, still unwelcome, consequences for the initiator of the policy or action.

Thus: Iraq, out-of-control (from the US standpoint, a raging civil war negating massive intervention and alerting the world to America’s hegemonic purposes); Afghanistan, original support of the Taliban against the Soviet Union, resulting in their material strengthening now turned against the US, endangering its power-position in the region; use of Ukraine as a basis for bringing NATO forces to the Russian border, now an overreach which may disrupt the EU and weaken US dominance over it; and blatant confrontation with China, both military and trade, with potential for war leading to nuclear annihilation. The status and role of world policeman is losing its blackjack, its reputation as global bully being challenged through the rise of multiple power-centers and industrial-commercial-financial patterns no longer defined, supervised, indeed controlled, by American global interests and military implementation.

That is blowback in its familiar guise. Less so, the self-chosen instruments of repression spilling out of behemoth’s mouth because America’s dependence on repression to secure its aims makes it dependent as well on the executors of repression, in this case, given the extreme stress on privatization (the core of the monster’s functional existence), Blackwater at your service, a private army on hire to USG for pursuit of the dirty work, deemed necessary, yet, delegated to official forces, the cause of embarrassment and shame. Browbeating indigenous populations, with an overwhelming swagger and display in the grand tradition of conquerors, in addition to protecting representatives of the conquerors, is a mission worthy, as here, of billion dollar contracts to the private militias (euphemism: “security guards”) as insurance the military victory and occupation will hold.

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