Monday, March 17, 2008

Is it time to ban military contractors?

Just the other day, after watching the documentary, "No End in Sight" I wondered how the occupation of Iraq would end. Even if the U.S. ended its role and removed the U.S. military, the country would continue to be occupied by private corporations with their own private militaries without accountability to any government.

If this sounds extreme, consider that some corporations have exceeded the wealth and power of nations. For example, In 2006 Exxon's revenue for a three-month period was still greater than the annual gross domestic product of some major oil producing nations, including the United Arab Emirates ($74.67 billion) and Kuwait ($55.31 billion), according to statistics maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Hillary Clinton has just announced that she would propose a ban on military contractor's in Iraq. A ban is the only way to prevent private interests from forming their own personal occupation of Iraq. Where would that lead? We could continue down a dark path as weak states are captured and run by private corporations. A system, seemingly many times more efficient than the historical strategy of employing puppet dictators who are liable to turn upstart at some point or demonstrate such visible human rights abuses as to draw too much attention to the power/land, resource grab. Corporations are developing the resouces to operate their own militaries and the power to perform their coups out in the open, without the need for veils of legitimacy (puppets, stolen elections etc.)

I commend Hillary Clinton for taking this principled stand and hope the next president, whoever that may be, will ban military contractors. In addition to a ban, the body of law must be developed quickly to hold them accountable for crimes they commit in the mean time.

Exerpt from "Democracy Now"

Hours After Jeremy Scahill Exposé, Clinton Proposes Military Contractor Ban

Hours after Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill revealed Barack Obama would not “rule out” using private military companies like Blackwater Worldwide in Iraq, Hillary Clinton announced she would co-sponsor a measure to ban the use of Blackwater and other private military firms.

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