Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Clinton, Obama Spar over PSCs

The Democratic primary has become a race to the bottom as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama try to outdo each other in condemnation of America's private security contractors. The only thing keeping the candidates close to honest is each other.

Bloomberg reports that in a speech at George Washington University, Clinton reiterated her commitment to pull all private security contractors out of Iraq - a plan that would lead to the deaths of most, of not all, American diplomats, as this blog has already pointed out. In a rival speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania, however, Obama noted that Clinton is a "latecomer" this issue, simply blowing in the wind as it suits her political interests.

Sadly, Obama's insights seemed to end there. He went on to claim that "we have to crack down on private contractors like Blackwater, because I don't believe they should be able to run amok and put our own troops in danger." This, when he said a short while ago that he would not rule out employing such contractors in Iraq. Would he really do so if they simply "run amok"?

The junior senator from Illinois laid down this maxim for his Iraq policy: "I have been consistently saying that we have to be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in." If that means employing some of the most well-trained, dedicated, patriotic Americans in the service of the Iraq mission, we applaud the senator's endorsement of Blackwater.

During her speech, Mrs. Clinton "recalled flying into Bosnia under sniper fire to visit US troops" when her husband was president. If anything, Clinton's comments underlined the important role of private security contractors, though she'd never admit it. When she visited Iraq, under Blackwater protection, she suffered no harm whatsoever.

(For the record, in the same George Washington University speech, Mrs. Clinton said she would work with terrorist-sponsoring Syria and Iran, were she to be elected president.)


Greg said...


What's your take?

Eric F said...

I am an undergraduate student at Syracuse University who is studying the U.S. media’s seeming bias towards Blackwater and other private security corporations. I want to hear from someone who has a different perspective on the corporation and hear their side of the story rather than be misled by the mass media.

If you would not mind answering a few questions I also sent out to Blackwater, please email me back at efuhrman@syr.edu.

Standish said...

I just took a look at the Wikipedia arms smuggling item, and it looks like a very biased account designed more to trash the company than to inform the public. As I understand the case, Blackwater officers first alerted the US government about the illegal weapons transfers from individuals who had stolen the arms from the company.

There's a big flaw in the logic of those who believe that Blackwater purposely transferred arms to a US-designated terrorist organization like the PKK. Blackwater's biggest client is the US government. The company simply doesn't do anything abroad without US government permission, because if it did, it would go out of business quickly.

Forget whether one likes or hates the company and just look at the logic: No sane businessman would jeopardize a nine-figure contract by doing a comparatively tiny business deal with a US-designated terrorist group. The company's under a microscope. The allegation is absurd.

Dr.Q said...

at the end we all shall see ... who can press further.