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October 23, 2003
Things I meant to say yesterday

Via this link to "Important History Lessons for the President. Of course, we know he won't read it, but that shouldn't stop the rest of us.

Another story that keeps popping back up is the number of private, civilian contractors the army is using these days. I found this story interesting because it confirmed that the "security guards" in question were, as I suspected before, Dynacorp employees. Also note that this article says that about a third of the $3,900,000,000.00 a month, or $1.3 billion dollars a month we're spending in Iraq is going to private contractors.

Doug Brooks, president of International Peace Operations Association, the industry group for private military companies, says the problem of no-shows is overblown. " I'm sure there must be some no-shows," he says. "But I think this is a myth that's been built up. It's not a real issue; it's only an issue in the press. These are risky environments, but these guys are all former military, they know what they're getting into. They're getting paid to do this." And anyway, says Brooks, there are some jobs that are best left to the private sector. "The United States has the best military in the world, but they're not peacekeepers. It's a waste of talent to have these guys, say, guarding a museum. And it's demeaning to have soldiers, with all their training, cleaning toilets."

Can someone explain to me exactly how soldiers are too well-trained to be guards? (Also? Something tells me cleaning the bathrooms wouldn't be considered quite as "demeaning" if the soldiers in question were female.)

I won't even get into the way the hair on the back of my neck stands up when I'm told that our "peacekeeping troops" aren't peacekeepers, so we need to pay mercenaries to keep the peace once we've invaded a country bombed a country into submission.

I don't even know what makes a saint but maybe the good Mother Teresa did outweighs her hypocrisy, personality flaws, and the possible misuse of funds donated to her charity. (On second thought, maybe not.)

Posted by AnneZook at 08:04 AM


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