I share the authors’ seemingly out-dated view that there are some things that money can’t buy and therefore probably best not left to profit making entities to manage
Employing soldiers is quite high up on the list
People who bear arms for money have always had a certain stigma attached to their profession. Which is why so much effort has gone into rebranding mercenaries as ‘contractors’ in recent years. It’s unlikely that many people would give a fuck about stories of mercenaries being killed by Iraqi insurgents in quite the same way as hearing that ‘contractors’ have been done away with
People who serve in armies generally don’t carry that stigma and are usually accorded respect by most people.
That respect comes from the belief that those soldiers serve for something more than financial reward and have undertaken to risk their lives to protect the rest of us whilst we sleep peacefully in our beds
And even when our soldiers are stuck into some shitty, questionable situations by our politicians we still want to believe that our soldiers will do their honourable best to deal with those shitty, questionable situations
I think most of our soldiers want to believe that too
Which gets me onto a story someone emailed me (thanks AF)…
The news that a US National Guardswoman serving in Iraq, Ciara Durkin, was found shot in the head in Bagram Airbase last month
The US military initially told Durkin’s family that she died in action but now isn’t quite so sure.
The fact that Durkin was working as a finance clerk, had recently told family members that she had discovered something untoward and had urged them to press for an investigation in the event of her death does raise one or two questions
As does the fact that the list of US and UK soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq who have either a) been murdered, or b) so appalled by the immorality of corporate kleptowar that they’ve killed themselves, is beginning to stack up…
Colonel Ted Westhusing
A devout Catholic, father of three and a specialist in military ethics. Apparently he was so disgusted with the corruption of the
Corporal Pat Tillman
A high profile recruit to the US armed forces who gave up a lucrative football career to serve his country. He was killed in action in Afghanistan and awarded a nice shiny posthumous medal for bravery in combat. His family later discovered that the medal citation was a pack of lies, that Tillman was shot in the face at close range with an American rifle and that evidence was deliberately destroyed immediately after his death. They’re not best pleased…
Apparently, Corporal Tillman was planning to return home and say one or two negative things about the war at the end of his tour...
Captain Ken Masters
A father of two and the British Military investigator in charge of the investigation into those two British soldiers caught driving around Basra in a car full of weapons dressed as Iraqis
Captain Masters didn’t complete the investigation and apparently decided to hang himself instead
Staff Sergeant Denise Rose
Another British Military investigator who committed suicide in Basra, after spending only a month in Iraq
The investigation into her death implied that the suicide had something to do with her being rebuked for being drunk in uniform the day before…
I’m not putting forward any cleverly insightful conclusions about these stories. However, a little Googling of these people’s names and some reading up on the circumstances surrounding their deaths paints a picture of a totally fucked up mess, in Afghanistan and Iraq. A fucked up, immoral mess that’s killing people who are trying to do their best and killing those people in more ways than the bastards behind these wars want us to think about