Monday, May 22, 2006


The New Hessians

Atrios noted this, um, interesting news item:

NEW YORK -- Little known to the American public, there are some 50,000 private contractors in Iraq, providing support for the U.S. military, amongs other activities. So why not go all the way, argues Ted Koppel in a New York Times op-ed on Monday, and form a real "mercenary army"? Such a move involving what he calls "latter-day Hessians" would represent, he writes, "the inevitable response of a market economy to a host of seemingly intractable public policy and security problems." It is make necessary by our "over-extended military" and inability of the United Nations to form adequate peace forces. Meanwhile, Americans business interests grow ever more active abroad in dangerous spots. "Just as the all-volunteer military relieved the government of much of the political pressure that had accompanied the draft, so a rent-a-force, harnessing the privilege of every putative warrior to hire himself out for more than he could ever make in the direct service of Uncle Sam, might relieve us of an array of current political pressures," Koppel explains.
Remember when the Cons attacked Markos Moulitsas Zuniga over at DailyKos for daring to call the contractors "mercenaries"? (And for noting that they were generally a) much better paid than our grunts, b) much less skilled than our grunts, and c) constantly getting themselves into trouble, and needing grunts to come extricate them from it?) Koppel's inadvertently (?) going one better -- he's calling 'em HESSIANS. You know -- the BAD guys who fought for the British in the Revolutionary War. Not for Honor and Duty and Country, but for pay, and promises of land. The guys whose names are mud in our high-school history textbooks. Thanks for giving the game away, Ted!

i thought it was decent satire. i dont know how anyone, particularly the head of Amnesty International, could have missed his references to the massacres that oil company goons have perpatrated. it is as if everyone is suddenly as clueless as delay's staff.
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