Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Dead heroes or live Americans?

Blackwater critics have a double standard about what its people should do to protect themselves. On the one hand, people like Congressman Henry Waxman say that the four guards who were murdered in Fallujah in 2004 were "heroes." He denounces Blackwater for allegedly not providing the men with the necessary defensive gear and support. Sunni civil defense forces had led the Blackwater guards into a made-for-TV ambush. A trial lawyer is trying to make millions of dollars for himself by suing Blackwater. He and the plaintiffs insist they're only trying to force Blackwater to provide its men with proper armor and firepower and such, so that the Fallujah atrocity never happens again.

So now, in 2007, a Blackwater contingent protecting an American diplomat is ambushed by Shi'ite gunmen. The guards are traveling in armored vehicles with better equipment and support than in 2004. They fire back at the gunmen, innocent people die in the incident, and the guards save the American diplomat. Waxman calls the guards criminals.

According to critics like Waxman, Blackwater was not aggressive enough in Fallujah but is too aggressive today. What do they perfer - dead heroes or live Americans?

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