Thebastidge: Not yet water under the bridge...
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    ********************Southwest Washington Surplus, your prepping supply store********************

    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    Not yet water under the bridge...

    Today on the Army early bird portal I see: Private Security Puts Diplomats, Military At Odds by By Sudarsan Raghavan and Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post Foreign Service, Sept 26 {Updated the link, no longer Army portal}

    They manage to find a lot of military guys quoting party lines. Personally, I think it's mostly finger-pointing. The US military doesn't have the same Rules of Engagement as the Brits, either. But they want to point fingers at Blackwater for having different ones yet.

    Yes, a lot of Blackwater guys are super-arrogant. But where di they get that way? In th eUS and Allied Special Operations Forces of their respective countries and service branches. I find this quote:

    "They are immature shooters and have very quick trigger fingers. Their tendency is shoot first and ask questions later," said an Army lieutenant colonel serving in Iraq."

    particularly amusing, given that most of these Blackwater guys have more combat experience than the average active duty US Soldier.

    When I was traveling around Iraq I had a sidearm, and I would not have hesitated to use it if my life were threatened. Maybe I have a "very quick trigger finger." When you're dealing with people who strap bombs to themselves, their cars, and their kids, there may not be time to "ask questions first."

    Again, I am not saying they are guilty OR innocent of the Sept 16th thing. I am inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt pending further evidence.

    But I do find it ironic that we have un-named military sources decrying Blackwater for being cowboys when most of the soldiers I know would rather have looser RoE as well. Not to mention State and DoD pointing fingers back and forth about who is worse, and State's pansy-ass attitude about violence (until it comes to their own sacred hides and their own guards.)


    Blogger Another Bratcher said...

    hmmm. Let me see. In this matter I have no respect for the opinion of someone that has not had a gun pointed at them with the intent to kill.

    Why would military personnel say these things about Blackwater? Maybe because they are making 1/3 of the salary for a similar job.

    9:46 PM  
    Blogger Larry said...

    Well, there's that. There's also the long running rivalry between DoS and DoD. Blackwater is largely perceived as a State department thing. Military with an agenda might talk shit about Blackwater.

    And I've talked before about how some of the brass here in the IZ occasionally seems to have forgotten there is a war on. With the slow pace of operations, the hunkered-down mentality of retreating into secure FOBs etc. sometimes they just get bored and start making up rules.

    Like where you have to park a bicycle, where you can and can't ride it. Just stupid stuff to exert authority sometimes.

    It wouldn't surprise me if soeone was just pissing on the DoS for partisan political reasons.

    And you're absolutely right about the idea of not criticizing if you haven't been there. That's one more reason why I reserve judgement on whether the shooting was justified.

    I just don't think I can possibly know from the 'facts' as advertised so far.

    6:01 AM  
    Anonymous Malana said...

    You write very well.

    6:39 PM  
    Blogger Larry said...

    Um, thank you!

    1:28 AM  

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