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Sunday, May 1, 2016
American Odyssey and Cover Affairs
I've started watching a riveting TV series on Netflix called American Odyssey. Obviously it's fiction but the frightening plausibility of the story is astounding. Contrast that with another trending series called Covert Affairs and we get both sides of the propaganda spectrum.
American Odyssey is about an American female Special Forces soldier who comes across computer files that prove a major corporation is funding jihadists in North Africa. But before she can tell anyone, the rest of her unit is killed and she is the only survivor and the only witness to her team’s true assassins overseas.
Zap2it states Jake Robinson plays more than the Occupy Wall Street guy. It is a conspiracy that, like it or not, cuts to the heart of the modern dilemma we all now face.
The first problem is a privatized military but that clearly is not the only problem. I remember when I first started writing about Blackwater. Trailrunner was offended I referred to them as mercenaries but that is exactly what they were. Blackwater was dirty and they still are. Yet they aren't the only ones. Privatizing the military is a huge concern. Yet the real concern goes far beyond that.
Cover Affairs is a lighter, fun TV series that one has to constantly remember that it is absolute fiction. The CIA isn't really like that. We would like to think it is but unfortunately when we look at the long dark history of the CIA the reality is a far cry from the fun James Bond type fiction.
In Covert Affairs, Annie and her handler Auggie are very likeable characters that are consistently on the side of good. Both characters went through a trailer trash tramp stage but both got through it and ended up in committed relationships and lived happily ever after so to speak.
There was an ongoing interaction with a friendly Mossad agent that paints the intelligence community as being on the side of good which in reality is very far from the truth. Not a word was mentioned about all the years of drug trafficking and all the other bad things the agency does. It did rationalize some of the bad the agency does explaining it away by claiming it was caused by one rouge high ranking member like Allen Dulles. In reality, we have to face the fact that a bitter tree cannot bring forth good fruit and if the roots are evil the whole organization is.
Consequently, Covert Affairs paints the privatized military in a much more positive light. McQuade was a good guy and was very competent which reinforced that the real problem isn't private versus public military. The real problem is good versus evil. However, it is much easier for evil to corrupt a private military when there is less public accountability. Nevertheless, we have seen that it's pretty easy to corrupt a public military as well.
Protecting the US Constitution is still the root of the conflict. Do we really understand the intent of the principles in the US Constitution or do we just rattle off the name like Sarah Palin's without having a clue what it really represents. The US Constitution is all about protecting civl liberty for everyone. We can't protect freedom by doing away with it. That's all there is to it.
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Actually I wasn't really that offended. It's just that you were incorrect in that your usage of the word does not square with any dictionary definition, which requires employment by a foreign power for actual military operations and it was pretty obvious that you were just looking for a pejorative word that has negative connotations to describe what you objected to.ReplyDelete
1) "A mercenary is a person who takes part in an armed conflict who is not a national or a party to the conflict AND is motivated to take part in the hostilities by the desire for private gain."
2)"a professional soldier hired to serve in a foreign army".
Being an armed guard for your own government or their personnel, say at a facility such as a US Embassy or in support of US Government operations such as diplomatic intercourse with other nations does not qualify. When we had this conversation originally you eventually admitted that you were using "your" definition of of the word, not the dictionary one, or to put it another way, "the word means what I want it to". Hey, it's your blog, rock on....
LOL Actually, I wasn't trying to be provocative. A privatized military is a mercenary army. It's not driven by a moral compass accountable to the public, it's driven by profit and corporate greed. The fact that Erik Prince switched sides after he was accused of arms dealing, money laundering and the murder of whistleblowers is pretty much evidence of that.Delete
And again with the "mercenary".....like I said, for you the word means what you want it to, not what the dictionary says it does. Fine. Your blog, your rules. I thought you were a little better than "words mean what I say they do" though.ReplyDelete
"not driven by a moral compass accountable to the public"
AYFKM. You have no idea how easy it was to get fired from that job...just like you have very little idea what you're talking about with the rest of this. We were accountable every moment of every day for everything, with an ever growing list of what everything is. Damage a vehicle backing it up without a ground guide? "You're fired, window seat or aisle for the flight home at your own expense?" Personnel representing the client can get drunk and puke in the vehicle, we not only get to clean it up, if we take ONE DRINK we are FIRED. One accidental/negligent discharge of a firearm? FIRED. (and rightfully so) Not accountable? You just flat out don't know WTF you're talking about. You confuse what was going on in the first year or two after the invasion of Iraq for present reality, whereas that shit has been over for 10 years at this point. Guys were getting killed escorting supply convoys or aid workers every day back then. Even then shitbirds who somehow made it through training and on to a team got fired all the time. They were not allowed to jeopardize the mission, the client, their teammates, or even themselves with their douchebaggery. You seem to think that somehow all these guys who were honorable men in uniform somehow lost every vestige of that when they took a job guarding government personnel or property.
There is no "privatized military". Privatized infantry, artillery, tanks, yeah? All of these companies, regardless of name provide GUARD services. That's it. Static or mobile, still only guard services. Protecting people, at considerable risk (hence the pay) to themselves. You have no excuse for not knowing this, I sent you a clip from a news program SHOWING US DOING EXACTLY WHAT WE DO. And that was in 2011! But don't let reality get in the way of you think you know from what you've read, vs. actually hearing about it first hand....
You've read enough hatchet job "mercenaries run amok" stuff done by folks with all the journalistic integrity of Geraldo Rivera, try balancing it out by reading "Civilian Warriors" by Erik Prince himself.
When Shakespeare said me thinks thou doth protest too much he meant the defensiveness of the person he was talking to was suspect. This is a subject we are both very passionate about for obvious reasons.Delete
Have you seen the Netflix series Covert Affairs? In this post I cited it and the character McQuade who was private military and was a good guy. It is my hope you are a man like unto him. However, that hope dies when you cite Erik Prince.
Jeremy Scahill is a credible investigative reporter. Erik Prince is a corrupt scoundrel like unto Allen Dulles. One minute he is trying to promote Islamophobia and start a new Crusade against Muslims, then as soon as his corruption is exposed he runs off to the United Arab Emirates and creates a private mercenary army for them. That's according to the New York Times in the previous link I cited.
Quoting a book by Eric Prince is like telling me to learn the truth about the Hells Angels by reading a book by Sonny Barger. The credibility is an epic fail.