McClatchy: As Bush claims "ordinary life is beginning to return" in Baghdad, Blackwater mercenaries shoot 43 civilians, kill 16
Worse than we thought. As usual. McClatchy. It's always nice to read real reporting. Fair use:
On Sept. 9, the day before Army Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. military commander in Iraq , and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker told Congress that things were getting better, Batoul Mohammed Ali Hussein came to Baghdad for the day.
A clerk in the Iraqi customs office in Diyala province, she was in the capital to drop off and pick up paperwork at the central office near busy al Khilani Square, not far from the fortified Green Zone, where top U.S. and Iraqi officials live and work. U.S. officials often pass through the square in heavily guarded convoys on their way to other parts of Baghdad.
As Hussein walked out of the customs building, an embassy convoy of sport-utility vehicles drove through the intersection. Blackwater security guards, charged with protecting the diplomats, yelled at construction workers at an unfinished building to move back. Instead, the workers threw rocks. The guards, witnesses said, responded with gunfire, spraying the intersection with bullets.
Hussein, who was on the opposite side of the street from the construction site, fell to the ground, shot in the leg. As she struggled to her feet and took a step, eyewitnesses said, a Blackwater security guard trained his weapon on her and shot her multiple times. She died on the spot, and the customs documents she'd held in her arms fluttered down the street.
Before the shooting stopped, four other people were killed in what would be the beginning of eight days of violence that Iraqi officials say bolster their argument that Blackwater should be banned from working in Iraq.
Sounds like a bad case of Blackwater Fever, eh?
And at the same fucking time Betray-Us, Crock of, and Bushit were testifying and speechifying, the Blackwater mercenaries were going nuts:
During the ensuing week, as Crocker and Petraeus told Congress that the surge of more U.S. troops to Iraq was beginning to work and President Bush gave a televised address in which he said "ordinary life was beginning to return" to Baghdad , Blackwater security guards shot at least 43 people on crowded Baghdad streets. At least 16 of those people died.
They were testifying to the success of the surge. Bush even went on the teebee!
Cognitive dissonance getting to you yet? I'm having a very difficult time maintaining my cranial integrity:
Still, it was an astounding amount of violence attributed to Blackwater. In the same eight-day period, according to statistics compiled by McClatchy Newspapers , other acts of violence across the embattled capital claimed the lives of 32 people and left 87 injured, not including unidentified bodies found dumped on Baghdad's streets.
We're #1 ! We're #1! Blackwater, Fuck yeah!
The best known of that week's incidents took place the following Sunday, Sept. 16 , when Blackwater guards killed 11 and wounded 12 at the busy al Nisour traffic circle in central Baghdad .
Iraqi officials said the guards were unprovoked when they opened fire on a white car carrying three people, including a baby. All died. The security guards then fired at other nearby vehicles, including a minibus loaded with passengers, killing a mother of eight. An Iraqi soldier also died.
Mercenary armies do tend to have discipline problems. Perhaps we're still not paying them enough?
Or maybe... Maybe all the incidents were just pranks! That's the ticket:
But interviews with eyewitnesses and survivors of each incident describe similar circumstances in which Blackwater guards took aggressive action against civilians who seemed to pose no threat.
"They killed her in cold blood," Hussein Jumaa Hassan, 30, a parking lot attendant, said of Hussein.
Anyone who moved was shot until the convoy left the square, witnesses said. Also among the dead was Kadhim Gayes, a city hall guard.
But what about the schools?
Couple of things, here. I'm sure the opening shot by the wingers will be along the lines of McClatchy interviewed Iraqis, it's all lying, the Iraqi officials are being political, et cetera. The usual plays from the usual playbook. Assume all that is true. And if it's true, what does that say about our ability to win the civilian population of Iraq, which all sides agree needs to be done to win the war?
Finally, I think Bush has no cognitive dissonace at all. So Blackwater mercenaries are running around shooting at anything that moves. For Bush, that is "ordinary life was beginning to return." His guys are making big bucks, he's not personally affected, so it's worked out very well for him. Worked in NOLA, right? Mercenaries controlling civilian populations is Bush's vision of ordinary life. For him, what could go wrong?
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