Blackwater USA has been in the news on a regular basis lately. Most of the press about Blackwater has been negative in nature. Two events that took place in Iraq involving employees of Blackwater have become an obsession for a small but vocal minority with political motives.
The two incidents are being used to promote political agendas intended to embarrass the current administration. The main push to keep these two events center stage in the world’s news has been a priority for the Democratic party, national news networks and the Iraqi Interior Ministry.
The Iraqi Interior Ministry has been heavily infiltrated by the Iranian-backed Shiite militia. The murder of hundreds of Sunni and other Shiites have been traced back to the Ministry’s troops. Iraqi police have also been tied to the roadside bombings that have killed our service personnel as well as innocent civilians regardless of age, sex or national origin. It is agreed that it would be in the best interest of the terrorists operating in Iraq to have Blackwater leave the battlefield. Blackwater has a perfect record transporting high-risk targets through the battlefield. This is obviously causing low morale among the terrorists. The four Blackwater personnel killed, hung from a bridge and set on fire, is testimony to the frustration Blackwater causes the terrorists.
Blackwater employees are professionals, typically prior service members from the Special Forces community or individuals who excel in fields such as aviation. It does not matter who holds the contract, Blackwater provides the services expected, fulfilling its contracts with the U.S. government. Blackwater provides an excellent and honorable service to this country. In many cases Blackwater’s mandatory standards of conduct exceed that of the U.S. military, and as for Blackwater’s conduct in comparison to many U.S. politicians, think about it.
Blackwater employees have been accused of being “hot dogs” or “cowboys,” accused of flying helicopters low and erratically and the convoys of driving fast dangerously. These methods are necessary in a war zone. The Iraqi population knows the protocol when a convoy is passing. It’s the same as here in the states when an emergency vehicle goes by. Last year a convoy was stopped by a group of Iraqi policemen. The convoy was attacked. One of the Iraqi policemen was a suicide bomber and the end result was tragic. Suicide bombers, rocket propelled grenades and improvised explosive devices make evasive action necessary in the battlefield. A straight, slow path leads only to a grave.
The United States has done everything possible as technology advances to reduce the killing of innocent people. This is tough when the enemy uses innocent people as targets or as human shields. As for the incident that took place involving the Blackwater convoy, I would recommend withholding judgment until all the facts are released.
The war on terrorism began after the murder of thousands of innocent people on Sept. 11. The United States has been the target of terrorists for decades. We are not the only country that terrorists have attacked over the years. We just said enough is enough. This is not a war with Iraq, it’s a war on terrorists wherever they are hiding. Iraq is a battlefield in that war.
The Blackwater employees from Montana killed in Iraq and all those killed in Iraq or Afghanistan while serving their countries were serving with pride, defending us from terrorism. Make no mistake about it.
Attacking fellow Americans who are defending their country is not the answer to you unhappiness. Be it training operations stateside, or protecting dignitaries in Iraq, any person who puts on a uniform and goes out to defend this country, these patriotic acts keep this nation sage. Compare this country with any other country in the worlds and the privileges we enjoy here. It may open your eyes. You may find you believe in defending this nation from murderers, or at the very least you may lose the need to hate those defending you.
John Gisselbrecht lives in Kalispell
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