Iraq Bans Blackwater

Blackwater USA one of the “private military corporations” operating in Iraq, has had its operational license revoked by the Iraqi Interior Ministry, following an incident on Sunday that left 8 civilians dead and 14 more wounded.

Blackwater, founded by ultra-right-wing Christian conservatives, hires Pinochet-era Chilean war-criminals, ex-law-enforcement types, and former military and intelligence personell. At least 90% of its revenue comes from government contracts — two-thirds of which are no-bid contracts.

In the event in question, they were escorting a US State Department convoy.

I’ll let that sink in.

We’ve got mercenaries guarding US State Department convoys.

Why not the Army? Simple — there aren’t enough soldiers in Iraq. How do you keep the true scope of the war from the American people? You give dozens of PMCs no-bid contracts to do the majority of operations in-country. There are currently more mercenaries in Iraq than legitimate US soldiers. Of course, the corporate media barely talks about them, referring to any incidents involving them as featuring “Contractors” — and when that became too obvious, they changed the reference to simply “Coalition Forces.”

So now, the Iraqis are saying ENOUGH — and booting these cowboys out the country.

Of course, given who Blackwater actually works for…..given the fact that mercenaries are actually providing most of the operational strength for the US Occupation…. it will be interesting to see if the ruling is allowed to stand.

We’ll see whether or not the Administration is really interested in Iraqi sovereignty, now that the Iraqis have stood up and made this decision.

Remember, though…. this is the same administration that deployed Blackwater to provide security in New Orleans post-Katrina.

What’s that, you say? You never heard about the fact that Bush sent mercenaries into an American city?

At this point, are you even surprised?

Steampunk Costuming

For the fans of steampunk and fans of costuming that I know read my journal….I wanted to share the following:

Click on the link for other photos of this nifty get-up, from the brassgoggles forum.

The hammered brass cog-and-skull on the breastplate is a brilliant touch.