Iraq war opponent Jeremy Scahill rails against paid security
contractors that lessen the burden on the U.S. military.
By Jeff Poor
Business & Media Institute
In the 1960s, one of the key rallying points that led to the
organization of the modern liberal movement was resistance to the
military draft and the Vietnam War.
But Jeremy Scahill, a fellow at the liberal Nation Institute and
author of "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful
Mercenary Army," a book highly critical of the defense contractor,
took a very ironic stance on the reinstitution of a draft in a recent
appearance. He blamed the government's reluctance to use a military
draft for the rise of private defense contractors.
"It [the government's use of Blackwater and other contractors]
also helps to keep a draft off the table," Scahill said June 5 at
Busboys & Poets books shop in Arlington, Va. "I can almost guarantee
you if there were a draft in this country, people would stop watching
Britney Spears checking into rehab clinic and would probably be out
in the streets because many, many more U.S. citizens would be coming
back in body bags."
"So this is a way of doubling, effectively, the size of the
U.S. occupation force in Iraq without having to own responsibility of
doing that," Scahill said. "Because, instead of implementing a draft
in the United States, instead of engaging with other nations states
to get their militaries there, the Bush administration has used
companies like Blackwater to go into countries like Chile, Colombia
and elsewhere and actually hire up citizens of nations, many of whom
have home governments that are opposed to the war and then deploy
them in a war zone in which their country is not a part of."
Scahill said he was not a proponent of a draft, and that he
would be a modern-day draft-dodger if it were reinstituted.
"If there was a draft, I think it would make the war
politically untenable pretty fast," said Scahill. "[B]lackwater
benefits from a lack of a draft."
"In fact, I've had guys say to me, 'We keep you from having to
go to war,' you know guys who work for those companies. In way, it's
true, but I wouldn't go to that war even if I was drafted," Scahill concluded.
On Oct. 19, 2007, Scahill appeared on Bill Moyers' PBS show to
discuss Blackwater and Moyers dedicated 40 minutes of the show to
Scahill's Blackwater bashing.