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Contractors shouldn't be exempt: Rules needed

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Friday, October 05, 2007

Everyone knows there are more contractors in Iraq than U.S. soldiers, right? U.S. soldiers are at about 160,000 and the contractors are at 180,000. U.S. military has Rules of Engagement and strict oversight. Contractors have neither.

When a U.S. soldier commits a crime or makes a mistake, they get the full weight of the government coming down on their heads. Contractors get a plane ticket home and a call from Ken Star to the Iraq prime minister convincing him it wasn't so bad. Lindsey England and several others were charged and convicted of wrong doing in Iraq, not a single contractor has been charged or convicted of anything.

So tell me, why would the contractors be saints when there are no rules, no accountability and they know that we need them in order to have even the slightest chance of success in that country? But why in the world would the Iraqi's trust a word that comes out of our diplomat's mouths when a troop of Blackwater mercenaries are standing there waiting for someone to make a wrong move? Why should they trust us when we are encouraging this sort of "Free Market Forces" to run rampant in their country at their expense?

War should never be privatized. Face it. If it were up to Blackwater, the war would never end because they are making a killing (pun intended). What incentive do any of them have to help the situation instead of make it worse? We might as well just shoot ourselves in the foot right now.

This war, for them, is about making money. The more sectarian violence there is, the more job security Blackwater has. I'm all for capitalism when it comes to consumer products and such, but this is a perfect example of how capitalism can be the perfect poison in these kinds of circumstances.

At least put some kind of rules on these guys and actually convict the individuals who break them.

Jeff Trujillo

Kasilof



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