Peter Van Buren spent a year in Iraq as a State Department Foreign Service Officer serving as Team Leader for two Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). Now in Washington, he writes about Iraq and the Middle East at his blog, We Meant Well.
He details what Obama's and Hillary's vision for the new and improved occupation of Iraq will look like. If, and its a big if, the military can be convinced to actually withdraw and hand Iraq over, its Hillary's State Dept that will be running the show in Iraq in the future. And SOS Hillary will have an army of mercenaries at her disposal. Gee, wonder what these guys will be paid to do?
The past mayhem caused by contracted security is well known, with massacres in public squares, drunken murders in the Green Zone, and the like. Think of the mercs as what the Army might be like without its NCOs and officers: a frat house with guns.
Most of them are Americans, though with a few exotic Brits and shady South Africans thrown in. They love 5.11 clothing and favor fingerless leather gloves. Think biker gang or Insane Clown Posse fan boys.
Popular is a clean-shaven head, no moustache but a spiky goatee teased straight out. You know the look from late-night convenience store beer runs. They walk around like Yosemite Sam, arms out as if their very biceps prevented them from standing straight. They're bullies of course, flirting inappropriately with women and posturing around men. Count on them to wear the most expensive Oakley sunglasses and the most unnecessary gear (gold man-bracelets, tactical hair gel). Think: Jersey Shore rejects.
Aggressive tattoos on all exposed skin seem a prerequisite for membership in Club Merc, especially wavy inked patterns around the biceps and on the neck. They all let on that they were once SEALS, Green Berets, SAS, or Legion of Doom members, but of course they "can't talk about it." They're not likely to disclose last names and tend to go by nicknames like Bulldog, Spider, Red Bull, Wolverine, or Smitty.
If arrogance was contagious they'd all be sneezing. All Aryan, all dudely, and now all that stands between those thousands of State Department personnel and Iraq. Oh yes: the seersuckered and bow-tied diplomats are supposed to supervise the mercs and keep them on the right diplomatic path, kind of like expecting the chess club to run herd on the football team.
Doesn't Hillary's Iraq sound just wonderful?
Now, think back to the last election and all the wonderful talk you heard about how Hillary was this super wonderful progressive who would make the world better if we'd only give her the power to do so. She instead becomes the paymaster for mercenaries. Its not that Hillary has changed a bit. Its that you were lied to during the last elections.
Clinton: I won't fund Iraq war without withdrawal plan turns out to be SOS Hillary signing the paychecks of the mercenaries in Iraq to keep us there forever.
The key lesson is that Democrats always run as progressives in the primaries, and always appeal to that base as needed in the general election. The problem is, the track record is that they are lying when they do so. This means in a future election, when you hear some Democrat saying all these wonderful progressive things, you have to remember that they are lying. Their calls not to fund a permanent occupation of Iraq will become their ruling actions of becoming the paymaster of the mercenaries for the permanent occupation of Iraq.
Just remember, (D) is for Liar.