14 de Octubre, 2007
Unrelated Quotes, Pt. 42 [BadApple Remix]
Notes: Between 1200 and 1450, roughly, a period of general decline set in. A dozen cities of Northern Yucatán were dominated by Mayapán. People no longer self-sustaining, but increasingly dependent on tribute. "Parasitic dependence." We see rise of mercenaries.
"The new rulers established a strongly-centralized regime maintained by Mexican mercenaries, by intermarriage, and by forcing all local chiefs from outlying areas to reside in Mayapán as hostages."
—Nezua's notes and quotes from The Course of Mexican History, CHAPTER 3: Times of Trouble, Post-Classic Mexico, Oxford Univ Press, Sixth Ed.
The last important Pharaoh was Ramses III, who reigned from 1198 to 1167 B.C. By this time, however, the Egyptians had lost the will to fight. They had given over the protection of their country to paid foreign soldiers, or mercenaries. Not only was this expensive, but it was also dangerous, for mercenaries cannot be depended upon in an emergency."
—From The First Book of Ancient Egypt, The Fall of Egypt, Franklin Watts, Inc, 1961
BAGHDAD, Oct. 12, 2007 — Fresh accounts of the Blackwater shooting last month, given by three rooftop witnesses and by American soldiers who arrived shortly after the gunfire ended, cast new doubt Friday on statements by Blackwater guards that they were responding to armed insurgents when Iraqi investigators say 17 Iraqis were killed at a Baghdad intersection. [...]
'I call it a massacre' said Omar H. Waso, one of the witnesses and a senior official at the party, which is called the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. 'It is illegal. They used the law of the jungle.'
Many of the American soldiers were similarly appalled. [...] The case has angered many in the military who believe that the conduct of the security guards makes the troops’ jobs harder. 'If our people had done this,' another American military official said, 'they would be court-martialed.'"
—nytimes.com, New Evidence That Blackwater Guards Took No Fire
COURTMARTIALED and used, and blamed for the entire disastrous mess, just as happened with Abu Ghraib. So, is this a sign of a new frame with which to right this crooked Iraqi picture? Bad Apple Blackwater? Will such a dire contrast of lawlessness restore the sheen to our own military, their image still stained by more than a couple cases of abuse and cruelty as well as the original lawless and murderous act called Shock and Awe?
Was Abu Ghraib an isolated event? Was all the evil that blossomed into photographic evidence there now done with and gone from Iraq simply because a few people were blamed and jailed?
And is Blackwater really the problem? Or is our reliance upon them but a symbol of decayed morality and exhausted political and physical might? If these are not the reasons we now grapple with a mercenary army wreaking havoc on our behalf, it seems the exception would be a historical precedent for any society employing such means and suffering such consequences.
But it seems basic, no? You cannot legalize mass murder and invasion and hope to contain such energies and spirits. Many of us keep saying it. In our different ways. I think it's important we keep reminding ourselves. That all these instances of cruelty and murder and torture that keep arising are all flowers that were planted by the very first bombing run, and are still now blooming. War is a cruelty and pain festival. It is a celebration of death and power unrestrained. It is an illusion to think you can have a tidy war, even if you call your bomb-dropping "precision strikes" or "surgical" in their aim.
I am worried that Blackwater will be used as the perfect scapegoat to distract us just a little bit longer from the important truths we need to finally face about what we have done and are doing in Iraq. Everyone has a reason to pile on now. It feels good to have an uncontested scapegoat. The USAmerican people thirst for a clear moral foothold, the pro-war faction needs a reason to excuse all the failures of the war, the military has obvious benefit from pointing at Blackwater, and so does the White House. But really, Blackwater is but another patch of decay on the face of a fruit that is rotten to the core.